Full Share: Salad mix, Little gem lettuce or Sungold tomato, Romanesco cauliflower, Broccoli Florets, Cucumber, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Carrots, Basil, and Red Cabbage.

Partial Share: Basil, Salad Mix, Purple Cauliflower, Carrots, Broccoli, and a Cucumber.

Hello CSA Members!

It’s hard to believe it’s week #11 already and we are reaching the tail-end of July. It’s also hard to believe that the farm temperature dropped to 33 degrees on Saturday morning, and tomorrow is supposed to be 92. One can never get complacent while farming in Montana!

A lot of people have been asking us if the cool summer has had an impact, whether good or bad, on the farm. For one, it has been much more pleasant to work outside, especially without wildfire smoke. And the potatoes seem to be thriving in this weather.

Did you know that purple potatoes have purple flowers, and yellow potatoes have white flowers?

And the cucumbers and tomatoes in the high tunnels are stunningly healthy looking. As good as the plants look, the only real impact from the cool temps has been a delay in the maturing of some of the fruit. The garlic, which would typically get harvested this week, is still about 2 weeks away from drying down enough. And while the potatoes are super healthy, they are just now flowering, and I dug a few test plants up and found nothing bigger than a golf ball. And the tomato plants are full of fruits, but maybe a bit slow to ripen. All in due time.

Tonight’s the first farm tour of the season, so I took a quick photo tour and am writing this a bit earlier than usual. Just a reminder, if your interested in taking a farm walk, that the second tour will be this Friday at 7:15pm.

Here’s a photo of a cleanly weeded block of carrots, typically an anomaly on organic vegetable farms. Do I sound proud?

We realize summer is in full swing in the valley, and people’s lives are busy, but I wanted to take a minute to review a couple issues we’ve been increasingly encountering with the CSA just to smooth it out for the remainder of the season. It is week #11, and we’re all friends now, right. So two quick points:

First, if you forget to pick up your share (really, it’s not that big a deal), please call us within 24 hours if you want to claim it. We have limited cooler space and hate seeing the food go bad, so we will not hold your share more than 24 hours unless you request it. If you call us 4 days after forgetting, you’re likely not going to get the answer you want. And, please, please, don’t just drive out to the farm, or send someone who’s never been here, to get a share without contacting us first. We do not leave shares sitting out in the hot CSA room for days on end, so there will be nothing to find here if you come out. If you contact us first, we will set it out for you so it will be easy to find. Otherwise, there is a high risk of you leaving empty handed. And that doesn’t make any one happy.

If you need a vacation hold, you can go to our website and make the change so long as it is before Saturday night of that week. If you miss that deadline, you can email us at 2bearfarm@gmail.com and we will make the change, again, so long as it’s 2 days before the day of your pickup. We can not handle same day requests. And contrary to our confusing wording on our website, when you return, you will not automatically get a double box the next week, so please let us know if and when you would like your double box. That’s been a bit of a source of confusion, and it’s on us.

And lastly ( I know, this is a 3rd point, and I only said 2), we really want to help accommodate your busy schedules, and we try to say “yes” to all requests, but some just don’t logistically work. For example, we wanted you to understand that almost every item in your share is fresh picked the day of your CSA in order to maximize freshness and nutrition. This also means that if you are scheduled to pickup on Friday afternoon, you can’t call us Friday morning and ask to swing by that morning to get your share. Because it’s not even harvested yet. If you email us Wednesday, ask us to harvest and box your share Thursday, and have it ready for you Friday, morning, we can do that. And we like positive outcomes.

Super. So, what’s on the menu this week? Well, the very first Sungold tomatoes are ripening, and we’ll do our best to get them into the shares, but we don’t know if there will be enough. So we’ll do a rotation…if you don’t end up with them this week, we will ensure that you get them next week. The broccoli and cauliflower continue to pour into the pack shed, so we’ll be handing those out again in various forms. This week, the full shares will get Romanesco cauliflower (the crazy, fractal looking one, which has inspired Rebecca’s share photo), and partial shares will get the purple cauliflower after getting white last week. And everyone gets carrots! The garlic scapes are officially gone, and we ran out last week on the last few shares, so if you randomly got a surprise cucumber instead of scapes…sorry!

OK, I’m off to give the tour. We’ll see you at CSA pickup!