CSA Week #14 Preview

Last Friday we had some extra help to clean the bins and harvest summer squash and cucumbers. Brooke Gentile teaches GEN 100 classes at UK and for the past few semesters, she brings her GEN 100 students to the farm for a tour and some hands on experience. We greatly appreciate their help!

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Brooke and her daughter harvesting cucumbers.

Here is a look at what you might expect in your share this week:
+ Acorn Squash
+ Onions
+ Garlic
+ Peppers
+ Tomatoes
+ Summer Squash
+ Cucumbers
+ Carrots
+ Green Beans

As a reminder, this is just an estimation of what we think will be ready for the share. The official share list will be posted in the newsletter on Thursday.

CSA Newsletter Week #13, August 18th

Farm Notes

Last weekend we had our SAG 10 year reunion at the farm. Friday night, we met at Ethereal Brewery and enjoyed some local brew, delicious food trucks and yummy Crank and Boom icecream. It was good to catch up with our previous apprentices and staff members. Then on Saturday, we met at the farm for a pre-dinner yoga session. Following we enjoyed a potluck and volleyball. At the close of the evening, we tested our farm skills in a farm olympics where we had a melon toss, bin stacking, and irrigation emitter punching event. I believe everyone had a great time and really enjoyed getting to see people from the past and find out what they’re doing now.

The melon toss.

The melon toss.

Expect another big share today, so don’t forget your bags, boxes or bins!!

We will have our Farm Stand set up at both the campus and farm locations. We will have extra share items in case you need any additionally veggies. This will be first come, first serve, as we have limited quantities of extras. We accept cash or check only. However, if you are already a member of the CSA and you have a credit card on file, we can charge that.

Digging potatoes

Digging potatoes

Note from an Apprentice
This week’s note is from Kyle Youngs.

Hello!
My name is Kyle Youngs, I’m a senior of Horticulture from Alaska, and I’m loving my first full summer in Kentucky! I will be graduating in the fall, so this summer has been amazing going through the apprenticeship program, along with working at another organic veggie farm (For Pete’s Sake Farm). I have learned so much from the great people out at Waveland, and gained many valuable experiences and connections, not to mention the gratification from providing quality produce to the local community.

Working on two farms has been challenging, but incredibly helpful and insightful at the same time. For Pete’s Sake Farm is an heirloom organic vegetable farm off Evans mill road, and we run a much smaller operation on about two acres with two high tunnels, and on a terraced hillside. Although only running around a 50 member CSA, a lot of the work (mostly manual) fell upon a few other individuals and myself, which has had ups and downs! It’s was a real great opportunity to have been able to learn from some professional farmers and see how they run a larger CSA, and take that knowledge back to the other farm to help improve what we do, and maximize efficiency. With goals of growing and expanding marketing at For Pete’s Sake, we’ve made changes in transplant production, irrigation methods, crop scheduling, weed management, pest control (cultural and biological), soil maintenance, and others areas, all stemming from key concepts I was able to see and learn hands on at Waveland.

I’ve completely fallen in love with working the land and all that comes with it; the people, the food, and the way it makes me feel so much more in touch with the earth. That reminds me of pretty much the main principle behind every aspect we’ve covered, and that is sustainability. Everything I do now out farming is accompanied with thoughts of whether or not it is the best and most beneficial way for the earth and the life it supports. Alaska was super beautiful, but I believe I’ll stay here after graduation in the fall after meeting all of these amazing people, and seeing the beautiful life year round here in Kentucky.
Peace!

Kyle is the 3rd person from the left, passing a red bucket over.

Kyle is the 3rd person from the left, passing a red bucket over.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Tomatoes
+ Peppers
+ Eggplant
+ Cucumbers
+ Summer Squash (yellow squash and zucchini)
+ Potatoes (of the Augusta variety)
+ Yellow Onions*
+ Cantaloupe (the last week!!!)
+ Grapes (Conventional, of the Mars variety)
+ Corn (of the Luscious variety)**
+ Basil***

*Again, we’d recommend using your onions sooner, rather than later as they have soft tops. But that is easily cut off and the rest of the onion is good to use.

**The corn this week has some pest damage, which also may include the pests themselves. The tips may be a little mushy, but they can easily just be cut off and any friend you find, can just be picked out so you can enjoy the 90% of the corn that is still good!

***The basil has some downy mildew on it. It is still fine to eat, but wash first before you use it. Also make sure you wash it right before you use it, because if you wash too far ahead, the basil will rot and mold.

Potatoes are cute.

Potatoes are cute.

You-Pick

The You-Pick field is now open! Before you start picking, here are a couple of ground rules:
+ We ask that you bring your own scissors or pruners and your own bag/box/bin.
+ You-Pick is open whenever the farm is open which is Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 4pm, with the exception of Thursdays, when it is open until 6:30pm.
+ Please park in the parking lot. We ask that you do not drive your vehicle on the grass in the fields.
+ There will be signs that say “you-pick”. Please only pick from the beds that have signs. This year’s field is the third field on the south side (fields closest to the fence and Waveland Rd.) If you have questions about anything or where the field is, please find a staff person and we will gladly help you!

Items available for you-pick:
+ Flowers
+ Sunflowers
+ Herbs
+ Basil and Fennel Leaf
+ Hot Pepper
+ Cherry Tomatoes
+ Okra

This year's cherry tomato varieties are as follows from left to right, top to bottom:

This year’s cherry tomato varieties are as follows from top to bottom, left to right: Chocolate cherry, Yellow Pear, Supersweet 100, Juliet, Sun Gold, Rojita and Pink Boar

Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ The potatoes are of a variety called Augusta. They are a yellow skinned potato with pink eyes. They have a good consistency which makes them ideal for au gratin, fries or mashing.

+ The grapes today are from the Viticulture segment of the farm. While we used to have some grape vines on the organic section, these grapes are not organic. They are from the conventional side of the farm. Our friends over in Viticulture had some extra grapes they didn’t want to go to waste. And we know you all will enjoy them! The Mars variety is a seedless table grape that produces medium size, well filled clusters that are a deep blue color. Sweet, with a little zing of tartness at the end.

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Preservation

Cucumbers:
Fresh Pack Dill Pickles
Use this recipe to make a few quarts or dozens of quarts of pickles. Keep proportions of vinegar, water and salt constant as you increase the amount of pickling solution.

Ingredients:
pickling cucumbers, 2-6 inches long
dill heads (or 1 tbsp. dill seed, dill weed or dill juice=1 head fresh dill)
onion slices, 1/4 inch thick
garlic cloves, peeled

Pickling solution:
1 qt. vinegar
3 qt. water
1 cup canning/pickling salt

Directions:
Wash the cucumbers carefully. Cut a tiny slice off the stem and blossom ends to facilitate absorption of pickling solution. Place 1 or 2 garlic cloves, slice of onion and a head of dill into the bottom of a hot canning jar. Pack the cucumbers into the jar, making sure that they are below the threaded neck of the jar. Cover cucumbers with boiling pickling solution to with 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Put lids on and place jars in actively boiling water in a boiling water canner. Process pints or quarts in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Start to count processing time as soon as the jars are placed in the boiling water.

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Recipes

For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.

Homemade Gyros
Recipe from Culinary Hill

Ingredients:
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6-6 inch pita breads
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 lb. lean (90/10) ground beef (or lamb)
1 tbsp. olive oil
optional garnishes such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onion and feta cheese

Directions:
Combine yogurt, cucumber, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, dill, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl to make the dill sauce. Chill at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Preheat oven to 350º. Cut the top quarter of each pita and tear these into pieces and set aside. Wrap pitas in a stack in foil. Place the pitas wrapped in foil in the oven and heat for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine torn pita pieces, onion, remaining 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, oregano and remaining garlic in a food processor. Process until a smooth paste forms, about 30 sections. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beef to the paste and mix until thoroughly combined with hands or a spatula. Turn beef mixture out onto a cutting board. Form into a uniform loaf and cut into 12 sections. Roll each section into a ball and flatten into a patty about 1/2″ thick. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until well browned and a dark crust forms on one side, 3-4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the second side is also well-browned. Drain on paper towels. Serve with warmed pitas, dill sauce and optional toppings if desired such as shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced sweet onion, Kalamata olives or feta cheese.

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Cheeseburger Potato Soup
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. chopped green pepper (optional)
1 tbsp. instant beef bouillon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp. flour
1 cup shredded cheddar or American cheese

Directions:
In a 3-quart saucepan, brown beef; drain off excess fat. Stir in potatoes, celery, onion, pepper, bouillon, salt and water. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes. Blend 1/2 cup milk with flour. Add to saucepan along with remaining milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese and stir just until cheese melts.

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Baked Zucchini and Tomatoes
Submitted by Katie Fiske

Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini
2 medium tomatoes
1 medium mild onion
1 cup crushed ritz crackers
Salt and pepper
Butter (or margarine)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
Wash zucchini; do not peel unless skin is hard. Peel the tomatoes and onions. Slice all vegetables into very thin cross-wise slices. In a greased baking dish make alternate layers of zucchini, tomatoes, and onions, sprinkling each layer with a little salt and pepper and dotting with butter. Cover the top with shredded cheese and cracker crumbs. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 until vegetables are tender (at least 30 to 40 minutes).

CSA Week #13 Preview

Today was another big harvest day! We started harvesting more potatoes, trying to get them out of the field before the rain hits again. We were also able to do another round of seeding and lay some drip tape in another fall field. Hopefully we’ll be able to plant into the new field if the rain holds off!

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Here is a look at what you might expect in your share this week:
+ Yellow Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers
+ Eggplant
+ Tomatoes
+ Cantaloupe
+ Peppers
+ Basil
+ Garlic
+ Corn

As a reminder, this is just an estimation of what we think will be ready for the share. The official share list will be posted in the newsletter on Thursday.

CSA Newsletter Week #12, August 11th

Farm Notes

Thursday has come upon us way too fast. This week has been busy with pre-harvesting and transplanting. We are all caught up with the fall transplanting and direct seeding for now. Of course, there will be more to plant in the coming weeks, but it’s nice to be caught up for a few days.

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We will have our Farm Stand set up at both the campus and farm locations. We will have carrots, beets, turnips, and leeks for sale that are not included in the share this week, along with extra share items in case you need any additionally veggies. This will be first come, first serve, as we have limited quantities of extras. Anyone who pre-ordered veggies will get a confirmation email about their order. We accept cash or check only. However, if you are already a member of the CSA, we can charge your credit card on file.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from John Allison.

A View from Both Sides of the Fence

My name is John Allison and I’m a senior sustainable agriculture student. Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to work in both conventional and sustainable agriculture production systems. I believe that this mixture along with knowledge gained in the classroom has greatly assisted me in understanding our food system as a whole. As the debate on the status of our current food system continues, my goal is to not force my personal beliefs on others, but rather educate the consumer in an unbiased manner. I believe that too many people today do not know where their food comes from or how it is produced, and by educating them on this they can better understand the effect their purchases have on production. To you, the shareholder, I thank you for caring about the food you are consuming. Farmers everywhere (including us on the South Farm) put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work and I thank you for appreciating the products they care so much about.

John is the one in the green shirt all the way to the right on the wagon.

John is the one in the green shirt all the way to the right on the wagon.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Yellow squash
+ Zucchini
+ Pickling Cucumbers
+ Tomatoes
+ Watermelon
+ Cantaloupe
+ Corn
+ Peppers
+ Eggplant

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A few notes about your veggies this week:

+ The summer squash is a bit on the bigger side this week. They are still good, however you may want to use them instead for baking. There will be a recipe posted below specifically about baking with summer squash.

+ The watermelons this week are not as pretty as they were when you first got one 2 weeks ago. They do have some spots, but the inside is still good. We encourage you to eat them sooner rather than later, as the spots will start to spread and the melon will begin to rot. There will be another round of Sangria watermelons in the weeks to come.

+ This week is peak week of corn. We also tried something new with the corn this week — we attempted to control the pesky corn ear worm that eats into the tips. Part of the pest control tactic involved using a food-safe cooking oil. However, we made a mistake: the cooking oil itself was not labeled as organic. As such, we cannot call this round of sweet corn organic. This was a lesson for all of us as we continue to learn about the strict requirements to be a USDA certified organic operation.

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You-Pick

The You-Pick field is now open! Before you start picking, here are a couple of ground rules:
+ We ask that you bring your own scissors or pruners and your own bag/box/bin.
+ You-Pick is open whenever the farm is open which is Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 4pm, with the exception of Thursdays, when it is open until 6:30pm.
+ Please park in the parking lot. We ask that you do not drive your vehicle on the grass in the fields.
+ There will be signs that say “you-pick”. Please only pick from the beds that have signs. This year’s field is the third field on the south side (fields closest to the fence and Waveland Rd.) If you have questions about anything or where the field is, please find a staff person and we will gladly help you!

Items available for you-pick:
+ Flowers
+ Sunflowers
+ Herbs
+ Basil and Fennel Leaf
+ Hot Pepper
+ Cherry Tomatoes
+ Okra

You-Pick HOT Peppers From top to bottom, left to right:

You-Pick HOT Peppers

From top to bottom, left to right:
The numbers indicate the heat index; 1 is lowest, 5 is highest.
Numex Suave Orange [1], Anaheim Highlander [1], Tiburon Poblano [2], Hot Rod Serrano [4], Hungarian Hot Wax [3], Cheyenne Cayenne [2], Helios Habanero [5], Capperino Cherry [2], Jalafuego Jalapeno [3]

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Veggie Tips (or Facts)

Peppers are a low calorie vegetable and high in vitamins A and C. You can use peppers in many different ways; raw with dips or in salads, stir-fried, stuffed and baked, roasted, grilled, and added to relishes, sauces or salsas. Peppers will keep in the refrigerator for at least one week. If you wish to preserve them, you can dry or freeze them. Approximately 1 lb. of fresh peppers equals 3 1/2 cups of diced peppers.

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Preservation

Refrigerator Pickles

Ingredients:
1 qt. vinegar
1 qt. sugar
1/3 cup salt
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp. tumeric
cucumbers
onions

Directions:
Mix all but cucumbers and onions together until sugar is dissolved. This mixture does not have to be heated. Fill quart jars with thinly sliced unpeeled cucumbers. Slice one onion into each jar. Fill jars with syrup mixture; cover with lid and store in refrigerator. Keep refrigerated. Can be stored for several months.

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Recipes

For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.

Zucchini Bread
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 cup grated, unpeeled zucchini
1 1/2 cup raisins
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda

Directions:
Beat the eggs then add the sugar, vanilla, oil and cinnamon. Mix in squash and raisins. Combine and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Bake in 2 9×5 loaf pans at 350º for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until done.
Variation: For healthier zucchini bread, use only 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup oil. Substitute 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup oatmeal for the flour. Add another tsp. baking powder, if desired.

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Lemon Summer Squash Bread (makes 2 loaves)
from Heather Christo’s blog

Ingredients:
1 cup melted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups grated summer squash (or zucchini)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp. lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 loaf pans with baking spray. Melt the butter in a small pan. Combine the sugar and lemon juice and zest in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the batter is light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and barely combine into a batter. Add the grated squash and mix until just combined. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Take the bread out and let cool until the pan is just cool enough to handle. While the bread is cooling, make the lemon glaze. Add the 1 tbsp. of butter to a small pan and melt it. Remove the pan from the heat and add the 3 tsp. of lemon juice. Whisk to combine. Add the powdered sugar and whisk to combine. Add the water to thin it to the right consistency. Turn the loaf out and drizzle the glaze over top of the loaf. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Corn Casserole
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup fresh corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green pepper strips
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped yellow squash or zucchini
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Bring corn, onion, peppers and water to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Do not drain. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, saving 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Add undrained vegetables and mix well. Put in a 1 1/2 quart casserole. Bake uncovered at 350º for 45-50 minutes. Top with remaining cheese. Garnish with a tomato and pepper slice if desired.

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Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Salad
Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
For the salad:

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds total), cut into 3 x 3/4 x 3/4-inch strips
2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips

Dressing:
8 large garlic cloves (unpeeled)
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
3/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the sesame spread:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt

8 warm pita bread rounds, cut into wedges

Directions:
To make the salad: Place rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Spray large heavy baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Combine eggplant, peppers, garlic and oil in large bowl. Toss well. Transfer to prepared sheet. Bake until eggplant is brown and vegetables are tender, stirring every 10 minutes, about 50 minutes. Remove garlic and reserve. Scrape vegetables and all pan juices into bowl.
To make the dressing: Combine vinegar, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne in processor. Peel roasted garlic; add to processor. Puree until smooth.

Toss vegetable mixture with 1/4 cup garlic dressing. Cool, tossing occasionally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill vegetables and remaining dressing separately. Bring to room temperature.)

Mound salad in center of large platter. Surround with pita wedges. Serve, passing remaining dressing and Sesame Spread separately.

To make the sesame spread: Beat butter, sesame seeds and salt to blend in small bowl. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Yield: 8 servings

 

CSA Week #12 Preview

We apologize in the delay of posting this week’s preview. It’s been a busy first few days of the week. We did a huge tomato harvest on Monday and Tuesday has been spent transplanting all day for the fall crops.

This will be the last week to reserve a bulk carrot, cabbage, or kohlrabi box. We will also be reserving tomato boxes again. Please email uk.csa@uky.edu if you wish to reserve one. We will reserve your order on a first come, first serve basis. If we are unable to fulfill your order, your name will be rolled over to the next week.

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Here is a look at what you might expect in your share this week:
+ Yellow Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers
+ Corn
+ Cantaloupe
+ Watermelon
+ Tomatoes

As a reminder, this is just an estimation of what we think will be ready for the share. The official share list will be posted in the newsletter on Thursday.

Farm Stand Pre-Orders

We are taking pre-orders by email for bulk items this week (August 11th) at the UK CSA Farm Stand.

This is the last call (until fall) for the following items:
  • Beets ($3/lb)
  • Turnips ($1.25/lb)
  • Cabbage (5 heads for $10)
  • Kohlrabi ($3/each)
We will again be selling:
  • 5lb bags of “juicing carrots” for $6. These are called juicing carrots because many are split or chopped.
  • 25 lbs of ripe tomato “seconds” for $25. We will have hybrid boxes, and mixed boxes of heirloom/hybrid/paste tomato varieties. If you have a preference, please indicate that in your email. Previous requests that were not filled last week will be filled first this week.
  • Leeks for $3/bunch
If you would like any of the above items, you can email us your order request to: uk.csa@uky.edu
Please email before 10am Thursday, and indicate whether you prefer farm or campus pick-up. Confirmation emails if we can fulfill your order will be sent by noon on Thursday.
You can pay cash or bring a check for your items, made payable to “UK CSA.”
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Another Wet Thursday…

It was (another) wet one at CSA distribution.

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At our campus pick up location, we had to pack up early due to the crazy rain and lightning that rolled in around 5pm. We distributed shares as best we could out of the back of our truck until 6pm. Thank you all for your patience and flexibility — our first priority had to be the safety of our staff and students. As one member pointed out, this is what “community” in the CSA is all about, working together to get the good food in your hands and helping each other in the bad weather.

Some of the garlic and onions got damp thanks to the rain. We recommend peeling back the damp layers. You may also want to consider refrigerating them and using them soon.

 

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If anyone was unable to get their share because of weather, we can still provide your share at the farm on Friday (tomorrow) between 7:30am and 4pm or Saturday during the open you-pick hours of 9am-12pm.