CSA Newsletter Week #13 August 22nd

Farm Notes
The U-Pick fields are bursting! There are an abundance of cherry tomatoes, roma beans, and now pole beans to pick! In addition, there are still plenty of herbs, flowers, and okra! Details on tomato varieties, below.

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Note from an Apprentice
by Michel Lobel

Hello, Hello! My name is Michel Lobel, and I am a Senior in the Sustainable Agriculture program. This has been quite the summer of education and adventure for me. In addition to the apprenticeship I have been working on another organic farm, and traveled to Indonesia for a five week study abroad session. I can honestly say this has been my most productive summer ever!

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, including about 17,000 different islands. There are approximately 300 different languages, which just so happens to be the approximate number of varieties of rice native to the country. To say Indonesia is a diverse place is an understatement. I traveled to Indonesia with six other students and Dr. Krista Jacobsen, our fearless leader. We traveled by plane, train and automobile across Sumatra, Java and Bali to learn about farming systems and the culture. In Sumatra we worked with students and faculty from UNILA to learn about different farming and ecology systems including community forests, mangroves, palm oil plantations, and coffee production. In Java we visited a few Indonesian organic farms (there are no organic standards in Indonesia, so organic doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing here and there), a government run medicinal plant garden, and learned a lot about the handicraft villages and handicraft production. In Bali we learned about an ancient Hindu rice irrigation system, Subak. All of these opportunities were once in a lifetime and I am extremely grateful for all hard work that went into not only planning the trip, but getting us there too.

While I may have been extremely busy this summer, each opportunity has allowed me to compare farming on not just a local scale, but a global scale. It has opened my eyes as to how similar half way around the world can be. We all face similar challenges in farming from insect problems to water management, land access to an aging farmer population. While this world may be vast, we’re not so different after all.

Terima Kasih!

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Michel helping with a recent harvest

What’s In Your Share

For August 22nd, you’ll find:
+ Roma Beans
+ Onions
+ Garlic
+ Eggplant
+ Green Bell Peppers
+ Sweet Peppers
+ Hot Peppers
+ Tomatoes
+ Parsley
+ Melons
+ Potatoes

The following crops are available for U-Pick:
+ Cherry Tomatoes are bursting in our fields at last! There are several varieties to choose from. The sweetest variety is called “Sun Gold.” They are ripe when they are orange. There are some pink and purple tinted tomatoes called “Sunpeach” and “Black Cherry.” The smallest cherry tomato is a red one called “Matt’s Wild Cherry.” The oblong grape tomato is “Red Pearl.” You’ll also find some larger saladette tomatoes. Saladette tomatoes are meaty and less juicy, making them ideal for sauce, canning, or salsa. The “Green Zebra” variety is unmistakable thanks to the yellow underside with green stripes. There is also an orange variety called “Jaune Flamme.” The most unique tomato is perhaps the “Indigo Rose”; this tomato appears jet black, but as it ripens, the bottom side will turn from green to red.
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+ Pole Beans! These beans are in the same field as the herbs, cherry tomatoes, and flowers. These beans are over a foot long! Come grab some while you can.
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+ Roma Beans! There are still plenty of Romas to pick. The Roma Beans are located in the same field where the strawberries were planted. The field will be on your left before you get to the organic parking lot.
+ Okra (You want to cut the okra pods when they are 3″ or less, if you find a larger okra pod, do everyone a favor by cutting if off the plant to encourage more pods to grow.)
+ Basil (Note: basil is located in a different field, down the grassway and on your left. Pinch off the tops of the plants to encourage more growth.)
+ Herbs
+ Flowers

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Veggie Tips
+ Potatoes make their first appearance into the share this season. These are red skin, “new” potatoes. The skin is thinner than on some of the other varieties. When storing, keep them out of direct sunlight.

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Recipes

Cantaloupe and Watermelon Salad
Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
2 cups watermelon, cubed
2 tablespoons mint leaves, finely chopped
3 ounces feta cheese
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon oil, safflower suggested
1 tablespoon walnuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon honey

Directions:
Mix fruit nuts and mint together. Whisk juice and oil and honey together. Toss the feta into the dressing, then toss with fruit.

Basil Tomato Grilled Cheese
Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
8 slices Italian bread (3/4 inch thick)
8 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 large plum tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:
On four slices of bread, layer cheese and tomatoes; sprinkle with the
basil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Top with remaining bread.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, cheese and garlic powder; brush
over the outsides of each sandwich.

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sandwiches until golden
brown on both sides and cheese is melted.

Yield: 4 servings.

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