Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer slips into Fall

Summer in Maine enthralls me. So many months of anticipation proceed it and yet, no one can ever quite put a finger on when summer has truly begun.  As a farmer, I am more apt to celebrate the first day of summer as the day when I plant my tomatoes rather than the Summer Equinox, which falls a full three weeks later.  I have heard people half-jokingly refer to August as Maine’s only bonafide month of summer.  Whatever day one decides is the true start to summer, the slip into fall is never far behind.

In the hills and mountains of Western Maine a few brave and beautiful leaves have begun their metamorphosis into the bold colors of fall. Kids and parents are gearing up to return to school and the tourists are filling the south-bound lanes of the interstate. Farmers all across New England are picking their first tomatoes and preparing for fall all in the same breath.  Summer is so very short in Maine – short but magnificent.

Fresh Start Farms’ 8-week Summer CSA is in its final week.  We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed the bounty of the season from the early weeks overflowing with sweet tender greens and herbs to the first tastes of quintessential summer veggies like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and green beans.
Next week is the beginning of the 8-week Fall CSA. Many of you are already signed up for the next 8 weeks and some of you are deciding whether or not another 8 weeks makes sense for you. For those of you who are already signed up, I would like to give you a glimpse into the delectable harvest to come and for those of who have not yet decided, I would like to unabashedly attempt to lure you in to the culinary delights that could be yours.

Sweet, sweet juicy ears of corn will begin to appear in CSA bags during the next two weeks as well an abundance of tomatoes, a rainbow of peppers, and varieties of heirloom eggplants originally from all corners of the world.  As temperatures cool, you will once again find ruffled heads of lettuce and bags full of salad mix, mesclun mix, and arugula – all greens that have a harsh bitter flavor when temperatures soar, but mellow into a crisp sweetness as the air cools. Many farmers planted sugar snap peas for harvesting in September and early October when cool temperatures ensure maximum sweetness. Many of the farmers also planted extra garlic and onions to give to CSA members as a year-end thank you.  In September and October, your bags will be full of ingredients for potato leek soup, pumpkin ravioli, sweet potato pancakes, tomatillo salsa, caldo verde, curried butternut squash soup, sauerkraut, pesto, tomato sauce, French onion soup, gourmet salads, and so much more.

The farmers of Fresh Start Farms all send their sincere thanks for supporting them as members of their CSA and invite you to return for a delicious and bountiful fall season.

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