Balancing Family and Farmwork (CSA week 6)

It’s a little too easy to get wrapped up in your work, no matter what you do. I used to think that farming was worse because you never escaped; I just have to look out the window to find work staring right back at me. Nowadays everybody seems to be taking their work home…those laptops are just too convenient, so you can work even though you’re 30 miles from the office.

This time of year in high season, I find myself constantly trying to get the bottom of a bottomless to do list….it’s never ending. So at times like these especially, it’s important to remind myself what’s important. Tonight, even though I had cucumbers to wash, boxes to set up, dirty dishes in the sink, and a CSA box and newsletter to think through, I got into the house before nightfall just to be with our kids and put them to bed. We didn’t do anything exciting, we just read a couple books, talked about a movie they like, and said goodnight.
I have to admit there are nights when Maree needs to yell out the back door way past sunset to get me in while I feverishly try to finish “one last thing.” Well, I could find “one last thing” forever. This growing season more than ever, I’ve been mindful to carve out that time with family, friends, a good dinner like with a couple members at our workday last Sunday. And you know what? I’m no more “behind” than any year past, and, actually I’m feeling much better than years past too! There’s a reason my traditional farming neighbors stubbornly take 5 meals a day because they realized long ago that you can’t keep hammering away on work and think you’re getting somewhere. A little rest, some conversation, and you’ll save more time getting done what needs to be done.
In the box:

Green Beans
Cukes: the big long one is an English Cuke, the other your standard joe cuke
Scallions aka Green Onions
Green Cabbage
Dino Kale: also known as Lacinato Kale, an Italian variety…my favorite.
Radishes: a variety called French Breakfast
Sweet Onion
Raspberries-This is the start…not in your box this week? Expect them next week (or even the following week).
Grilled Fennel
From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Cut the stalks from a fennnel bulb. If the bulb is small, cut it in half lengthwise. If it is large, cut into 1/2 inch slices, making sure that each slice has a piece of the root attached. Steam for 10 minutes, then brush generously with olive oil and season with salt. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Serve with garlic mayonnaise:
Garlic Mayonnaise
Coursely chop 4-6 garlic cloves. Put them in a mortar, add a pinch of salt, and pound until a smooth paste forms, which will happen quite quickly. (If you don’t have a mortar, chop the garlic and salt together until smooth.) Stir it into mayonnaise, add lemon juice to taste, then thin with hot water or leave it thick, depending on intended use.
Note: This sauce also goes well with green beans, potatoes, asparagus, cooked carrots, and cauliflower. Use in a sandwich, or spoon into a soup or pasta.

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