“The weather continues as if on order from a helpful purveyor: hot dry weeks punctuated by a soaking inch or two of rain. Ben, Jon, and Brandon made the first bales of second cut hay this week, quick-dried and rich with clover. Bob Perry came over with his combine to harvest the hard red winter wheat, which remained upright in the microburst of wind and hail that hit us two Saturdays ago, though the mature heads were heavy with grain.
The field corn is growing steadily, and the sweet corn has tasseled. The first watermelons came in, just enough for a taste, but what is better than a taste of chilled watermelon, eaten in the afternoon shade of an oak, juice dripping down on the grass?
Yesterday, the harvest wagon lurched home over the farm road under a colorful load of tomatoes. When the tomato flood begins, summer bounty has arrived in earnest. There were flats of the bright red slicers, which I have eaten to excess this week, while standing over the sink with the salt shaker in my hand; also, the oddball striped heirloom variety called Green Zebra, which is a hard sell on looks alone but will fly off the wagon once tasted at peak ripeness. Then, the husked, papery green tomatillos, a new crop for us this year, which I’m roasting in the oven as I type, along with jalapeños, to make a batch of salsa verde for tonight’s team dinner. Finally, there were many, many quarts of cherry tomatoes, evidence of how hard the harvest team has been working. I think that Sungold, the world’s favorite cherry tomato, might be dethroned by a new-to-us variety called Pink Princess. Or, maybe, it’s the mixed quarts that are truly perfect – Sungold’s tart acid chased by the Princess’s pure sweetness. We have tomatoes enough to satisfy everyone, and then more, and still more, enough to keep Jori and her crew busy processing sauce and salsa at the Hub on the Hill, hundreds of pounds at a time…..” Continue Reading this Essex Farm Note.