CSA Newsletter Week #18 September 25th

Farm Notes
We finished the big sweet potato harvest, and this week you’ll get your first taste! There has also been a lot of weeding, mowing, and cleaning up some fields that are done for this season.

With the start of fall, our season is winding down, and we believe the success of another farm season with a host of wonderful CSA members is cause enough for a celebration. Therefore, we invite you to join us for our annual fall CSA Potluck here at the farm on Saturday October 4th at 1pm. Bring your family or a friend and a farm-centric dish to share! See who is coming on our Facebook event page.

For your share this week, it is the last week for onions! Please note that many of the U-Pick crops are also done for the year. Starting today, our only U-Pick item remaining is herbs. You can harvest oregano, thyme, sage, chives, and parsley in abundance.

The Horticulture Club will once again be at distribution today, around 4:00pm. This week, they will have apples you can purchase. These apples were picked from South Farm, but they were conventionally grown — they are NOT organic! They can only accept cash or check.

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Note From an Apprentice
By James Blanc

Greetings to all CSA members! My name is James Blanc. I’m from Haiti. My major at the University of KY is Agronomy, and a minor in Animal Science. I am a senior.

It wasn’t too difficult for me to choose my major because of my agricultural background back home in Haiti. My family has a small farm where we grow vegetables and raise goats.

I was very fortunate to be part of the apprenticeship at the South Farm this year. I was motivated to be part of this program for a specific reason. In my country, there is no difference between agronomy, sustainable agriculture, and animal science. There is one word for the 3: Agronomy. Agronomy, here in the States, emphasizes staple food crops like corn, rice, beans, wheat, forage and hay crops. These crops are produced on a large scale. Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture put more emphasis on vegetable crops, fruits, and ornamental flowers. I’ve been taking a lot of classes related to agronomic crops and animal science. I felt like the Sustainable Ag and Horticulture part was the only part that I missed. That’s the reason why I took part of this wonderful apprenticeship.

IMG_5327James, left, regularly helps us at distribution.

I honestly don’t regret being part of it. It does cover every single subject that I was interested in, from seeding to post harvest. You learn something new every time you come to the farm. I was fascinated by how the CSA program works. We don’t have something like that in my country. I’m starting to wonder about the feasibility of something like that in my country. We do have a system in the country where two farmers would grow different crops and share between each other after harvest.

Overall it has been a great summer. I got to work with some wonderful people, the CSA staff. I greatly believe all that I learned during this summer will help me a lot in the future. Thanks to the CSA staff and members!

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What’s In Your Share

For September 25th, you’ll receive:

+ Braising Mix
+ Salad Mix
+ Kohlrabi
+ Onions
+ Turnips
+ Acorn Squash
+ Magic Molly Potatoes
+ Red Russian Kale
+ Sorrel
+ Radishes
+ Sweet Potatoes

The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Herbs

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!

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Veggie Tips

+ This week we’d like to introduce you to our third potato variety: Magic Molly Fingerlings. These potatoes were bred in Alaska; they have a purple skin and purple flesh that retains its tint after boiling. Their flavor is enhanced when you roast them, and they also work well in fritters.

+ Acorn Squash are a popular winter squash variety. The outside of this squash has long ridges which contain a mildly sweet, yellow flesh inside. Acorn squash has lots of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Try pairing this squash with bacon, garlic, maple syrup, sage, or nutmeg. Here are a handful of ideas for enjoying Acorn Squash, or try our recipe below.

+ Sorrel is a tender leafy green with a bright lemon flavor. Sorrel has protein, iron, and vitamin C. Use it as an addition to your Salad Mix, in soups, quiches, or pair it with fish.

+ There are two green mixes this week. The Braising Mix contains Kale, Tatsoi, Green and Red Mustard, and a Chinese green called Hon Tsai Tai. These greens are ideally suited for stir fries. The second green mix, our Salad Mix, contains several lettuce greens and a smattering of spinach as well.

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Recipes

Apple Turnip Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from Southern Living

Ingredients:
1 pound turnips, peeled/cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound potatoes, peeled/cut in 1 inch pieces
2 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2-3/4 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
2 tablespoon softened butter
2 tablespoons (about 3 slices) of crumbled bacon (I used real bacon bits)
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Cover the turnips and potatoes with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the chopped apples and garlic. Saute until tender and fragrant.

Drain the potatoes and turnips and pour them into a large bowl. Add the butter and apple mixture and begin gently mashing. Slowly add the buttermilk until you have the right consistency.

Stir in the bacon, thyme and use salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately. These warm up well, so alternatively you can make them ahead and microwave them before serving.

Purple Potato Latkes
From Ten Apple Farm

Makes 20-24 3-inch latkes

Ingredients:
2 lbs Magic Molly potatoes, scrubbed
2-3 small / medium onions
kosher salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup matzo meal
Canola Oil or schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)–or combination of the two

Directions:
1. Leave the vegetables as whole as possible and, using the grating attachment of a food processor, grate potatoes and onions. (You can also grate by hand, but you want to keep the strands as long as possible.)
2. Empty grated potatoes and onions into a large bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt, tossing to distribute the salt evenly.
3. Transfer the mixture to colander and let drain for 5-10 minutes, pressing occasionally to release liquid.
4. Transfer about 1/3 (or just slightly more) of the potato/onion gratings back to the bowl of the food processor and blend, using the chopping attachment (standard blade). Chop until smooth.
5. Return the chopped potato/onion mixture to the large bowl and combine with the grated potatoes and onions.
6. Add 2 eggs, matzo meal and a little more salt to the bowl and mix well.
7. Heat 1/4 inch of canola oil, schmaltz, or a combination of the two oils until hot (a drop of water sizzles).
8. Using a large wooden spoon, drop mixture by spoonfuls into hot oil, smoothing the top a little to flatten each latke.
9. Fry until well done on both sides.
10. Drain latkes on a brown paper bag on cooking sheet and place in a warm oven while cooking remaining latkes.
11. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or sprinkled with a little sugar.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Glaze

Any hard-shelled winter squash can be prepared this way, as long as the squash wedges have a cavity to hold the butter and maple syrup. Serve with pork chops, roast chicken, or roast duck.

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash, about 2 ½ pounds
Kosher or sea salt
4 tsp unsalted butter
4 tsp maple syrup
¼ cup water

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. With a cleaver or heavy chef’s knife, cut across the top of the squash to remove the stem, then quarter the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and stringy fibers in the seed cavity.

2. Put the squash quarters, cavity side up, in a bakinG dish just large enough to hold them comfortably. Season the squash with salt, then put 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp maple syrup in each cavity. Pour the water into the baking dish, then cover the dish and bake until the squash is tender when pierced, about 45 minutes.

3. Pour any juice from the squash-cavities in to the baking dish, then transfer the squash quarters to a serving platter. Transfer all the juices from the baking dish into a small pan and place over high heat. Cook until reduced to a syrup, then spoon the syrup over the squash. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. The squash is best when it is not piping hot.

Sorrel Soup

For a richer soup, whisk together three egg yolks, temper with hot stock, and whisk into soup in step 2. (Do not allow soup to boil; yolks will curdle.)

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch sorrel leaves, washed, stemmed,
and cut into strips
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Melt butter in a heavy medium pot over medium heat. (Avoid using aluminum or cast iron.) Add onions and potatoes and cook, stirring often, until they are heated through, about 5 minutes. Add stock and 4 cups of the sorrel leaves. Increase heat to medium- high and bring stock to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer stock gently until onions and potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Working in batches, transfer soup to the bowl of a blender. Pulse the soup to a chunky but well-blended consistency. (Do not purée the mixture.) Return soup to the pot over medium-low heat. Add cream (at this point, gradually whisk in tempered egg yolks, if using). Add remaining strips of sorrel and season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to heat soup until sorrel is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve soup warm, or chill and serve cold.

FALL POTLUCK, Saturday October 4th

Let’s gather for our Annual Fall Potluck at the farm. It will be Saturday, October 4th at 1:00pm. We’ll provide plates, napkins, utensils and drinks. You bring a friend and a farm-centric dish. It has been a great year–we sure hope you’ll come celebrate it with us!

The front gate will be open. If you’ve not been to the farm before, take Nicholasville Road south to Man-O-War. Take a right on Man-O-War and then at the first light, turn left in to the farm. Once on the farm road continue straight past the residence on your left and the greenhouses on your right. Park in the small parking lot on your left.

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See who’s coming here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/808235282562258/?context=create&source=77

CSA Newsletter Week #17 September 18th

Farm Notes
Many of the cool and overcast mornings drove us to pull out our sweatshirts, fleece jackets, and hats to stay warm. By mid afternoon, however, we shed layers as the sun came back out to shine. We’ve been back at weeding this week in our fall fields. We’ve also spread seed of cover crops like clover, oats, and peas in the fields that are done for this season.

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This week and next we are hosting the UK Horticulture Club at the CSA pick up. The Horticulture Club will be selling plants TODAY, and conventionally grown apples NEXT Thursday.

Plants for sale today include:
Qt. Thuja plicata evergreen $5.00
Qt. Button Bush, Cephalanthus occidentalis $5.00
Qt. Joe Pye Weed $5.00
Qt. Liatris spicata $5.00
Qt. Cup plant, Silphium perfoliatum $5.00
Cool season flower, Calendula 6in round $2.50
Forest Pansy Redbud 6-7ft. in plastic nursery containers: $25.00-35.00 ea.
Brassica 4pk: Early sprouting broccoli, Chinese cabbage, Savoy, $3.00 per 4 pack

They can accept cash or check only.

Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant are available on U-Pick for only 1 more week! Last chance to grab a few extra for winter!

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Note From an Apprentice
By Alex Goodman

Howdy CSA friends, my name is Alex Goodman, I study Sustainable Agriculture at UK and had the pleasure of helping the wonderful South Farm crew grow some of the most beautiful produce for your shares this summer. Growing up I had always wanted to be a farmer but did not come from a farming family so I thought this dream would be an unlikely reality. But after this summer and getting a taste of what organic vegetable farming is all about, I couldn’t be more excited to continue learning and working toward that goal.

Not only did I get a taste of farming I also got a taste of some new and very delicious vegetables, one of which is in your share this week, kohlrabi! Probably not unlike many folks the first time I saw a kohlrabi I was immediately intrigued. I had never eaten one and had no idea what to do with it, so I knew that when they started coming in I would have to try it. Not unlike this apprenticeship overall, it was amazing. With the wise guidance of the farm crew I quickly learned how versatile and delicious a vegetable it is, I mean you can mash it and hash it, so it doesn’t get much better than that.

I still don’t know exactly how to describe to someone what kohlrabi tastes like, but all I can tell them is they have got to try it and I would say the same about this apprenticeship. If you don’t know what farming tastes like then you have got to try it and I’d venture to say you’ll likely find it to be something that once you try, you don’t want to go without. Anyway, I love kohlrabi, I loved learning and working with the South Farm crew, and overall I loved being a small but hopefully helpful part of this CSA. I hope you all have and continue to enjoy your shares as much as we enjoyed growing them! Thanks for supporting this CSA and making this opportunity possible.

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What’s In Your Share

For September 18th, you’ll receive:

+ Kohlrabi
+ Scarlet Ohno Red Salad Turnips
+ Spinach
+ Lettuce Mix
+ Corn
+ Collard Greens
+ Spaghetti Squash
+ Onions
+ Arugula

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The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Flowers
+ Herbs
+ Cherry Tomatoes
+ Hot Peppers – LAST CHANCE! Hot Peppers are in the 7th field on the right side. The row with Hot Peppers is on the far side of the field, closest to Nicholasville Road.
+ Eggplant – LAST CHANCE! Eggplants are in the 7th field on the right side. This is the same field as Hot Peppers, but they are in the first row closest to the parking lot.
+ Sweet Peppers – LAST CHANCE! The bell and sweet peppers are in the same field as the Eggplant and Hot Peppers.
+ Tomatoes – LAST CHANCE! Our tomato field is directly across the grass way from the Peppers and Eggplant. All 6 rows of tomatoes are available for U-Pick.
+ PawPaws – The PawPaw trees are still up for U-Pick! There are two rows of PawPaw trees. They are located closest to the back metal gate along Waveland Museum Road, just beyond the apple trees, on your right.

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Please refrain from driving your vehicles to the fields as we often need the drive-rows for tractors and you may not be aware of irrigation crossing the drive-rows that should not be driven upon.

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!

Veggie Tips

+ Don’t be fooled by the red skin and red-tinted stems of the Scarlet Ohno: this is a Turnip, not a beet! These turnips are sweet, with a white flesh that may have a hint of pink. Their impressive stand of edible foliage is packed full of fiber and vitamins. Unlike some other turnip greens, these leaves are smooth and mild, ideally suited for salads. Try the roots braised, glazed, or pickled.

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+ Need help figuring out how to cook your Spaghetti Squash? Slice the squashes lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds. Coat flesh with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place flesh side down on a sheet of aluminum foil in a baking pan. Bake in oven at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Once the squash is cool, you can use a spoon or fork to scrape the squash strands out. Top with marinara sauce as a pasta substitute! If you aren’t going to cook with the spaghetti squash right away, store at room temperature out of direct sunlight, as you would with your potatoes.

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Recipes

Market Ragout of Turnips, Kohlrabi, and Spinach
Adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison

Improvise ingredients with what’s available — onions or scallions, spring leeks or green garlic, shelled peas, fall greens, etc.

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 spring onions or shallots, halved
6 or more small turnips, scrubbed and quartered
2 or 3 small kohlrabi, peeled and quartered
1 thyme or lemon thyme sprig
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
A few handfuls of spinach leaves
Dollop creme fraiche
4 large basil leaves, slivered

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions, turnips, kohlrabi, and thyme. Add water to cover halfway and a teaspoon of salt. Simmer.

2. As soon as the vegetables are tender, after 12-15 minutes, add the spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted down, a few minutes more. Stir in the creme fraiche and add the basil. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve this as a side dish or a course by itself. With a starch (puff pastry, ravioli, even buttered toast), it can be offered as a vegetarian main dish.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Kale
From The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:
1 whole Spaghetti Squash
Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper
2 bunches Kale, Stalks Removed And Torn Into Pieces (you can also substitute other greens!)
1/2 whole Onion, Diced
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a sharp knife, VERY CAREFULLY cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. (Stick the knife into the center of the squash, then cut down. Again—be careful!) Scoop out the seeds and pulp in the center and discard. Place the squash, cut side up, on a large baking sheet. Rub a little olive oil over the cut surface, then place the pan in the oven for 1 hour or until a fork is easily inserted into the squash.

While the squash is cooking, saute the kale: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to turn color. Throw in the kale, sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and stir to saute until the onions are golden about the kale is partly cooked, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

When the squash is cooked, use a fork to scrape the stringy squash out of the shell. Add the squash to a bowl. Mix together 1 tablespoon olive oil with the balsamic vinegar. Drizzle it over the squash, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add the chili powder. Toss to combine.

Add the squash to individual bowls, then top with a good amount of sauteed kale. You will have squash left over! (Or, you can toss all the kale and half the squash together.)

CSA Newsletter Week #16 September 11th

Farm Notes
Freshmen students from the College of Agriculture visited the farm this week to learn about our work and get their hands dirty. These students helped us with a potato harvest. Many hands made light work for a notoriously time-consuming task.

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We’ve also been irrigating our fall crops that will be filling your shares these next 7 weeks. Many crops are close to being ready for harvest already, including kohlrabi and sweet potatoes.

Believe it or not, this is the last week for tomatoes and peppers in our CSA share! But incase you haven’t had your fill, we are opening up these crops for U-Pick this week and next before the plants are removed.  Be respectful in taking only what your family can use and please no driving to the fields.  We will be allowing Glean KY/Faith Feeds to also pick the remaining fruit so there will be little wasted.  We also are adding the PawPaw trees for U-Pick. All U-Pick additions are noted on an updated farm map, below.

Note From an Apprentice
By Chad Moore

IMG_5449Chad helps weigh potatoes

Hello Good Food People!

My name is Chad Moore and if you’ll forgive my poor grammar and take a little time, I’d like to continue this thing with a rhyme. It’s my turn as an apprentice to say thank y’all! Hi! How’s it going!? We sure miss being on the farm now that school is picking up and the field work is slowing. I’m not saying there’s not still tons to do… Because Tiffany and the South Farm gang LOVE growing good food for you! That’s really what it’s all about and I know y’all can taste it! The care, the heart, and the life in this food – so eat it, share it, can it – but don’t waste it. Heck, I won’t be mad even if you do ’cause there sure is a lot. After all, every week, we give you all that we’ve got! And you fine people give it right back, with your smiles, your thanks, hugs and hand shakes. As the beautiful veggies have grown on their vines so has this connection between your families and mine. These growing seasons of giving, of nourishment, of friendship and living. Every CSA pickup is a work of community art, with all of you – food movement artists – playing your parts. You wonderful folks from all over town, make this great thing possible every time you come around. I hope you feel it – I know I do, more and more all the time. That feeling of meaning, of purposeful choice, for a real connection to the land and its people… We – each of us – give that feeling a voice. I look at us all and see a perfect circle, where our decisions, our dollars, our desires connect us to the earth and to each other. So if it’s alright with you, I’ll call you sisters and brothers. We’ve got this saying written on a doorway at the farm, “One Earth Family,” and I welcome you all with open arms. Thank you all so much for being a part of this CSA. Know, without question, that it matters and makes a difference, every single day.

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What’s In Your Share

For September 11th, you’ll receive:

+ Hakurei Turnips
+ Tomatoes
+ Delicata Winter Squash
+ Kennebec Potatoes
+ Onions
+ Garlic (the last week!)
+ Green and Red Bell Peppers
+ Radishes

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The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Flowers – A few flowers, like Zinnias, are still around a little longer.
+ Herbs
+ Cherry Tomatoes – These plants are STILL loaded with fruit! Now is the time to get them!
+ Hot Peppers – Hot Peppers are in the 7th field on the right side. The row with Hot Peppers is on the far side of the field, closest to Nicholasville Road. See map image below.
+ Eggplant – Eggplants are in the 7th field on the right side. This is the same field as Hot Peppers, but they are in the first row closest to the parking lot. See map image below.
+ Sweet Peppers – All of our sweet and bell peppers are also being added to the U-Pick! These peppers are in the same field as the Eggplant and Hot Peppers. See updated map below.
+ Tomatoes – Our tomato field is directly across the grass way from the Peppers and Eggplant. All 6 rows of tomatoes are available for u-pick.  See updated map, below.
+ Green Bush Beans – Beans are located behind the tunnels for picking. This is the last week for beans! See map image below to find them.
+ Basil – This basil is also located behind the tunnels. This is the last week for basil. See map image below. While the plants are fairly diseased, you should probably be able to find a few nice leaves to enjoy with your tomatoes.
+ PawPaws – For those who’ve asked, we are opening up the PawPaws for U-Pick! There are two rows of PawPaw trees. They are located closest to the back metal gate along Waveland Museum Road, just beyond the apple trees, on your right. See updated map, below.

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Please refrain from driving your vehicles to the fields as we often need the drive-rows for tractors and you may not be aware of irrigation crossing the drive-rows that should not be driven upon.

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!

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Veggie Tips

+ The Potatoes this week are Kennebecs. Kennebecs have a buff skin and white flesh. These are the go-to potatoes for mashing and making fries. They have an earthy and nutty flavor when cooked, and their thin skin and firm flesh make this potato ideal for myriad uses in your cooking!

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+ Hakurei Turnips are a Japanese turnip variety that may surprise you with their delicate and sweet flavor! Even if you are not normally a turnip fan, give them a try. They don’t need peeling and can even be eaten as you would an apple. Their greens are edible as well. Try them glazed (recipe below)! They are also a good addition to stir fries, as a substitute for water chestnuts. If you just can’t seem to embrace their flavor, you can always tone the turnips down by mashing them with potatoes and apples, as in this recipe.

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Recipes

Glazed Hakurei Turnips

Bring out the flavor in these most delicate and delicious Japanese turnips.

Ingredients:
1 bunch hakurei turnips,, trimmed, and quartered, greens reserved
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt

Directions:
Place turnips in a large skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. (If turnips are tender before liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer turnips to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and stir to coat well.) DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before continuing.

Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2–3 minutes. Season with salt.

Peppers Roasted with Garlic

Grab some extra peppers, cherry tomatoes, and basil from our U-Pick fields this week!

Ingredients:
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon herb vinegar, or to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil flavored cooking spray.

Place the bell pepper halves open side up in the prepared baking dish. In a medium bowl, toss together the cherry tomatoes, basil and garlic. Fill each pepper half with a handful of this mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the aluminum foil, and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with herb vinegar. These are equally good served hot or cold.

CSA Newsletter Week #15 September 4th

Farm Notes
This past week at the farm can be summarized in one word: RAIN! The fields have been soggy but the sun has still managed to come out just enough to get everyone sweating up a storm. With Monday’s holiday, we’ve been pressed for time to get everything taken care of for our CSA distribution.

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Tomatoes are winding down, so they won’t be in the share much longer! Now is the time to think about canning for winter! This week is the last week to get a canning box.

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Note From an Apprentice
By Alice Wilson

Bonjour fellow UKCSA members! My name is Alice Wilson, I am currently a student in the Horticulture Plant and Soil Sciences program in the College of Agriculture. This apprenticeship has been literally the greatest experience and given me the best summer in my lifetime. Upon arriving back from the trip our Horticulture Club took to Costa Rica, I began my apprenticeship on the farm. I have always been fascinated with agriculture. I had been walking down the hall one fine morning and overheard Mark Williams talking about an apprenticeship on the Horticulture Research Farm. My ears perked up and my mind fluttered: I had to find out more about this apprenticeship. And as you know I did just that! Looking back to the first day, I have climbed mountains. I was so nervous! I had no idea what to expect and I sure wasn’t comfortable with the idea of driving a tractor.

I can’t even begin to explain how truly amazing this apprenticeship was. It emotionally moves me when I talk about the farm; it’s my solace. As an apprentice I have learned many important skill sets such as fixing irrigation leaks by splicing, driving a number of different tractors, beekeeping, tying tomatoes, arc welding little pieces of metal together, how to harvest various vegetables the correct way, trellising cucumbers, and various pest and disease identification processes.

There has been an undeniable connection that I have deeply felt throughout this farming program. This symbiotic relationship between the land, the insects, the soil, the vegetables, and the community has truly been wonderful to be a part of. To see the whole process unfurling right before your eyes is pure pleasure. You watch a seed drop into the ground, then next week that seed is now a tiny plant poking out of the ground. A couple weeks later the plant is beginning to appear in recognizable form, then a couple more weeks the fruit is beginning to form, another week the fruit has ripened and is ready to be harvested. The fruit is harvested by each and every one of our apprentices’ loving hands, and brought to you for your dinner table. I am so thankful that I have been lucky enough to share this experience with this program. I only hope that more and more schools will catch on to how incredibly beneficial this is not only for educational purposes but also for the community’s health and involvement with their local farmers.

Thank you to everyone who I have worked with this summer on the UK South Farm. Everyone is so dedicated to ensure a greater good for their community. Most of all, I would really like to thank Tiffany Thompson for being such a wonderful and lovely mentor to all of us. If it weren’t for Tiffany, I don’t believe this would have been as great an experience. I will never look at farm land the same. I will always have a deep passionate love for farming and its practices. I know that the rest of my fellow apprenticeship members feel the exact same and I am so glad that I have shared this emotion with every member on our team. I and the rest of my colleagues are the future of farming, the future of agriculture.

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What’s In Your Share

For September 4th, you’ll receive:

+ Radishes
+ Arugula
+ Tomatoes
+ Redskin Potatoes
+ Hot Peppers
+ Spaghetti Squash
+ Roma Beans
+ Onions
+ Garlic

The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Flowers – A few flowers, like Zinnias, are still around a little longer.
+ Herbs
+ Cherry Tomatoes – These plants are loaded with fruit! Now is the time to get them!
+ Hot Peppers – Hot Peppers are in the 7th field on the right side. The row with Hot Peppers will be clearly marked with a U-Pick sign. We collect data on the harvests of other pepper varieties, so ONLY HOT PEPPERS may be U-Picked at this time! See map image below.
+ Eggplant – Eggplants are in the 7th field on the right side. This is the same field as Hot Peppers. Again, other peppers between eggplant and the hot peppers are NOT for U-Picking! See map image below.
+ Green Bush Beans – Beans are located behind the tunnels for picking. See map image below. They are young and tender!
+ Basil – This basil is also located behind the tunnels. See map image below. While the plants are fairly diseased, you should probably be able to find a few nice leaves to enjoy with your tomatoes.

FarmMap_2

Please refrain from driving your vehicles to the fields as we often need the drive-rows for tractors and you may not be aware of irrigation crossing the drive-rows that should not be driven upon.

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!

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Veggie Tips

+ This week features another Radish variety: Easter Egg Radishes! So named due to the variety of colors, theses radishes are a mix of white, red, pink, and purple colors. These radishes have a more mild flavor. They contain vitamins A, C, zinc, potassium, and fiber. Roasting radishes will heighten their sweetness, or try them raw by adding them atop tacos for a spicy crunch.

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+ We have the first round of Potatoes this week! Did you know that potatoes are great sources of vitamins C, B6, niacin, potassium, and fiber? Did you also know that potatoes are in the same plant family (Solanaceae) as tomatoes and peppers? These potatoes are a variety called Chieftain. They have a red skin and white flesh. You can eat them a variety of ways, but this variety does well boiled. Cover potatoes in a pot of water, add a bit of salt, and boil 15-20 minutes or until tender. Enjoy with a little butter, salt, and pepper. You can also boil them to start, but finish them in an oven, which is a great way to get the roasted potato flavor with crisp skin, without having the potato skin shrink.

+ Spaghetti Squash is a unique squash because the flesh, when cooked, falls apart into strands that closely resemble, well, spaghetti of course! As such you can use spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta, at a cost of only one fifth of the calories of regular spaghetti noodles. After cooking, use a fork to scrape the squash strands out of the two halves. Check out recipe ideas, below!

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Recipes

Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan

Ingredients:
1 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 stick butter
Salt
Pepper

Directions:
Use a paring knife to prick squash all over. Place in a baking dish and bake 1 hour or until soft. Cut squash in half. Scoop out and discard seeds. Using a fork, scrape flesh in strings into a serving bowl. Toss with Parmesan and butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Other ideas:
Spaghetti Squash with Fresh Tomatoes and Rosemary
Spaghetti Squash Tostados
Spaghetti Squash Gratins with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Winter Citrus Salad with Arugula

From The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook by Maggie Green
Although this salad calls for oranges, which are never grown in Kentucky, Maggie says the citrus pairs nicely with the peppery bite of arugula. Try it with some Florida fresh oranges!

Ingredients:
4 oz. baby arugula (about 4 cups)
6 oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
2 oz. Parmesan shreds
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Arrange the arugula on a large platter or in a large, shallow salad bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle half the dressing on the greens and toss. Arrange the orange slices on top of the arugula. Scatter the red onion on top of the oranges. Drizzle with more dressing, and top with Parmesan shreds. Season with additional freshly ground black pepper.

CSA Newsletter Week #14 August 28th

Farm Notes
Many of our fall transplanted crops, like broccoli and cauliflower, have been tended this week with weeding. Sometimes we have to weed crops by hand, but other times we can utilize our tractors and implements to do the job of weeding more efficiently. One such implement is the “finger weeder” which runs right next to the plant’s stem to get rid of weeds.
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Tiffany in the “hot seat”: getting ready to steer the finger weeder

This week was the last week at the farm for our Thai students, Boat and Aum. We have appreciated their help this summer! IMG_5106

Our student apprentices are also back in class, which means it is quieter around the farm. Their exodus also signals to us that autumn is around the corner. A preview of fall is in your share this week: greens and winter squash.

We have numerous changes to our U-Pick offerings. Please read the information below, as some items will be disappearing after this week and other items in different locations are available. As always, if you have questions about U-Pick items, don’t hesitate to ask a farm staff member. We ask that you refrain from driving your vehicle to the fields.

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What’s In Your Share

For August 28th, you’ll receive:

+ Arugula
+ Greens Mix (Kale, Collards, Chard)
+ Radishes
+ Tomatoes
+ Peppers
+ Onions
+ Garlic
+ Delicata Winter Squash

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The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Flowers – LAST CHANCE! Most of the flowers will be mowed by Tuesday. A few flowers, like Zinnias, may still be around a little longer, but everything else will be gone.
+ Okra – LAST CHANCE! These will be mowed by Tuesday.
+ Basil and Dill Flowers (both in 5th field on left) – LAST CHANCE! These will be mowed by Tuesday.
+ Herbs
+ Cherry Tomatoes – These plants are loaded with fruit! Now is the time to get them!
+ Hot Peppers – NEW! Hot Peppers are in the 7th field on the right side. The row with Hot Peppers will be clearly marked with a U-Pick sign. We collect data on the harvests of other pepper varieties, so ONLY HOT PEPPERS may be U-Picked at this time! See map image below.
+ Eggplant – NEW! Eggplants are in the 7th field on the right side. This is the same field as Hot Peppers. Again, other peppers between eggplant and the hot peppers are NOT for U-Picking! See map image below.
+ Green Bush Beans – NEW! Beans are located behind the tunnels for picking. See map image below. They are young and tender!
+ Basil – NEW! This basil is also located behind the tunnels. See map image below. While the plants are fairly diseased, you should probably be able to find a few nice leaves to enjoy with your tomatoes.

FarmMap_2

Please refrain from driving your vehicles to the fields as we often need the drive-rows for tractors and you may not be aware of irrigation crossing the drive-rows that should not be driven upon.

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!

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Veggie Tips

+ Radishes make their way into the share again. French D’Avignon Radishes are 3-4″ long, slender, and mostly red in color but with a white tip. Radishes are a good source of vitamins A, C, potassium, zinc, and dietary fiber. Roasting radishes will bring out their sweetness, or add them raw to salads for more “crunch and punch.” Try radish crudités (a raw appetizer combined with a dipping sauce) — soak them in ice water for 20 minutes, drain and pat dry. Then dip the radishes in softened butter followed by coarse sea salt, and enjoy! You can also try pairing them with chives or parsley from our U-Pick herb field. Don’t forget that the radish greens are edible! Mix them with the Arugula for a spicy salad or mellow these peppery greens by sautéing them (see recipe below).

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+ Delicata Squash is the first winter squash for your share this year! This sweet squash contains lots of beta carotene, vitamins A and C, and only has 20 calories for half a cup. Unlike many of the other winter squashes, Delicata has a thin skin that doesn’t need to be peeled off if you don’t want to go to the trouble. Try it roasted with salt or cinnamon, or stuffed (see recipe below),

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Recipes

Stuffed Delicata Squash
From Eating Well magazine

Ingredients:
2 small delicata squash, about 12 oz each, halved and seeded
6 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
8 oz lean ground beef (90% or more)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup nonfat or low fat plain yogurt
4 tsp toasted pepitas

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 2 tsp oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Place facedown on a large baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned on the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring bulgur and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Drain well.

4. Heat the remaining 4 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beef, chili powder, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bulgur and cook 1 minute. Stir in yogurt.

5. Spoon about 3/4 cup filling into each squash half. Serve sprinkled with pepitas.

Serves 4, 1/2 squash each.

Sauteed Radishes with Radish Greens or Arugula
From Farmer John’s Cookbook

This is a fantastically simple recipe, because we rarely think to COOK our radishes, let alone eat the radish greens. Both of which can spice-up your dinner table. The peppery bite mellows when cooked, but if you want the best of both worlds (the succulent sweetness of cooked radishes and the bite of raw radishes) add some mustard or horseradish or cayenne to the dish.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1 pound radishes, quartered
4 cups radish greens or arugula
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the radishes; cook, stirring constantly, until tender but still crips, about 5 minutes depending on size. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

2. Put greens in skillet with the wash water still clinging to the leaves. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until wilting, 2-3 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and radishes to the skilet; stir until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Smoky Tomato Salsa

The season for making fresh salsa will soon be past! Take advantage of the tomato and peppers in your share while you can.

Ingredients:
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and quartered
2 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, parsley, or basil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place the tomatoes, green onion, bell pepper, garlic, and your herb of choice in a food processor or blender. Pulse to blend and chop the ingredients. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large bowl. Mix in the olive oil, vinegar, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to blend the flavors.

Recipes update

Have you eaten your cantaloupes yet? We ate ours in salsa form this week (!) Similar to Mango or Peach Salsa, we found a recipe using cantaloupe and cucumbers mixed with tomatoes, onions and hot peppers. We ended up pureeing ours, but this recipe leaves the chunks intact:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cucumber-melon-salsa/

Also, have your noticed our updates recipes pages?  Kristi has compiled all our recipes from past newsletters for easy clicking through the recipe page.  Check out our cantaloupe page here: http://ukcsa.wordpress.com/recipes/cantaloupe/.