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.

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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

+ 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.

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