Share Notes July 11th, 2024

Share Notes July 11th, 2024

CSA Share Notes:

Garden Update:

More crops are gradually coming into readiness while others are struggling from residual damage caused by the record breaking wet spring. Tomatoes are mostly doing well. Squash and Zucchini are having a rough go. Cucumbers are just coming online, and seem to be doing fairly well so far, but they are definitely a sensitive crop that wants little variation from ideal conditions.  Hopefully they will do well throughout July!  Some crops like melons and okra were delayed getting planted from the spring rains and won’t be ready for quite some time. We might have to get them to you in  some early fall CSA shares, or spread the summer harvest out into early September to get you these customer favorites.

Many crops are rocking strong, so we’re hopeful we’ll have several wonderful and abundant weeks for you.  We’re working with what nature is dishing out and are so grateful our CSA members are along for the ride.

Note: Bouquet Subscribers! You’ve got a special share notes section down at the very bottom of this page, so scroll all the way down for info on today’s bouquet.

Now here’s your vegetable line-up:

  • Basil — Important note! DO NOT REFRIGERATE your basil.   Store it bouquet style, in a glass of cool water on the counter. If yours is wilty, you may be able to refresh it submerged in a sink of cold water, let it soak for an hour. If it doesn’t revive, use promptly, or hang to dry to store and use this winter. (try to pick up your box promptly after delivery whenever possible!)
  • Eggplant — Large and regular shares received this crop this week. Larges received long Japanese, Regular received an Italian, plus a few Fairy Tale if your Italian was small. My best eggplant tip is cook it HOT and FAST. You want a good browning on them, maybe even a hint of char. This really brings out the sweetness. You can grill them, roast them in a hot oven, or blister them in a cast iron.
  • Cherry Tomatoes — sungolds! For the Large and Regular this week. They are so tasty I rarely cook with them, because they always get eaten too quickly. But they are excellent in a fresh summer pasta, on salads, etc.
  • San Marzanos — Mini shares received a few of our San Marzano tomatoes. These are a sauce tomato, meaning they have less water content and are excellent for a salsa or pico. Let ripen in a sunny window sill.
  • Slicing Tomatoes —  Some are ready to eat, some need a day or two. Allow them to ripen upside down on a sunny windowsill.
  • Sweet Peppers — Everyone is receiving a couple of bell peppers, and sweet Italian peppers. These are being grown this year in our greenhouse covered with a gentle shade cloth, and they are so happy in there! Some of the biggest bells we’ve ever grown. Yesterday we made a green Thai curry with peppers, eggplant, squash, garlic, onion, and big handfuls of basil (it’s a great way to use up a TON of your box contents). I don’t have time for home made green curry sauce, so I buy good quality jarred curry paste and it does the trick for a quick, delicious meal.
  • Specialty Peppers — The Large shares received our Shishito peppers, a very mildly spicy pepper. It’s all the rage in the culinary world these days.  Blister them in a hot skillet then dip them in any number of different delicious sauces. Try a Barcelonian romesco sauce, an Italian pesto, a garlic lemon dip, an Asian sesame and fish sauce…you name it. They’re wonderful. A quick google search will give you a million and one ideas.
  • Squash or Zucchini — This crop was STRESSED by the huge spring rains we received and has struggled ever since. Beryl didn’t help. We’re getting smaller yields than most years. Everyone received at least one. We’re planting more so we hope to load you down with lots more in a few weeks.
  • Cucumbers — Feels like we’ve been waiting forever! The first small taste of what’s to come went out in the Large and Regular boxes this week. Just a single cuke. Hope to give you lots more soon.
  • Potato —  Large and Mini shares received White Kennebec potatoes this week. Try Smashed Potatoes: parboil and drain, then lightly oil a baking sheet and place boiled potatoes on it. Smash each one with the bottom of a coffee mug into a flattened disk (the potato will crack, deeply. This is fine) Brush all sides heavily with olive oil, salt generously, and bake at 450 till crispy and golden, about 30 min. (We actually use a small counter top oven which we plug in outside on the porch to not heat up the kitchen this time of year). This will be your new favorite way to enjoy potatoes.
    • I have an important note about your potatoes!  The last 3 weeks of their growth, they sat in super saturated soil while we received downpour, after downpour and couldn’t get them harvested. Those conditions are causing a significant amount of post-harvest loss. We have sorted them multiple times to try and ensure you’re receiving best quality but some bad ones inevitably get missed.  Be sure to sort through yours carefully. 
  • Onion  —  DELICIOUS sweet red onions for everyone.
  • Garlic  — Good quality garlic is impossible to find in stores, so we’re elated to have this back in our kitchen! This year’s garlic harvest is one of the best we’ve had and we’re so excited to share it with you. These are a red Creole type, bred for hot, humid Louisiana conditions, and this helps it perform well here in East Texas, too. It consistently produces large bulbs with a smaller number of nice big cloves with a wonderful, pungent flavor.
  • Winona Peaches! — These top quality, gorgeous, FLAVORFUL peaches are from our friends down the road at Winona Orchards. They are not organic so give them a baking soda wash before you chow down. If any of yours are still a little firm, place them in a sunny window for a day or two and they’ll be perfect. We’ve been enjoying lots of peach-tomato salads. Earlier this week was salmon topped with peach tomato avocado salsa. So good!


Veggie Storage tips:

  • Everything wants to be washed well before cooking, but keep the dirt on till then, to prevent faster spoilage.
  • Basil must not be stored in the fridge. Keep it in a glass of water in a cool place, and out of direct light.
  • Tomatoes, peaches, potatoes, garlic, and onions prefer room temperature, dry conditions.
  • Peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and squash want to be in your fridge, sealed up to retain moisture.


We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook, showing us how you’ve used your CSA share.

Your farmers, Jess & Justin


Regular Share


Today’s Regular Share:
Top Left to Rt:  1st row: Genovese basil, Bell peppers, slicing tomatoes, 2nd row: garlic and Italian sweet peppers, Italian eggplant, yellow squash, 1 cucumber, 3rd row: red onion, sungolds, Winona peaches

Large Share

Today’s Large Share:
Top Left to Rt: Genovese basil, Bell peppers, shishito peppers, slicing tomatoes, 2nd row: sungolds, Italian sweet peppers over Japanese eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, and 1 cucumber, 3rd row: red onion, garlic, Winona peaches, and White Kennebec potatoes

 Mini Share

Today’s Mini Share:
Top Left to Rt: Genovese basil, San Marzano tomatoes, Bell peppers and an Italian pepper, slicing tomatoes, zucchini. Bottom row: red onion, garlic, White Kennebec potatoes, and Winona peaches.


Today’s Bouquet Share:

Photo coming as soon as I have daylight to snap the photo!


Today’s Bouquet Share notes:

About half of this week’s bouquets are bright and bold, and about half are muted tones. Muted tones are headed to Dallas and Longview this week. Bolds are headed to Tyler. If I have enough, I’ll switch it next week.  I’ve got sunflowers ready again, and loads of zinnias, lots of pretty Gloriosa Double rudbeckia too. The lisianthus are done till next year!

One thing to note: I had to scramble to harvest as much as I could prior to the deluge we got from Beryl.  This means many of this weeks flowers were harvested 1-2 days ahead of schedule (depending on their typical harvest & conditioning time), and this will probably effect vase life to some extent. If you’ve got any droopage, trust that next week’s flowers will be a little perkier.