CSA Newsletter Week #2, June 4th

Farm Notes

How about a little bit of fall in our June? Despite the coolness of this week, things are moving along at the farm. Monday was a shorter day due to the amount of rainfall we had. So Tuesday and Wednesday were days of harvest and weeding as the soil became dryer. We also got our sweet potato slips in and were able to plant them immediately with our water wheel transplanter. The sooner you can get the slips in the ground, the better it is for the plant.

We would like to invite you to our annual Solstice party! This year the party will be June 19th at 6pm. Join us at the farm for a potluck meal. Please bring a dish to share and join us for a fun community meal. The farm will provide all plates, utensils, cups and drinks. Following our meal, we will have a farm tour, volleyball games and a bonfire.

The farm is located at 4321 Emmert Farm Lane: when traveling south on Nicholasville Road, turn right on Man-O-War and at the first stoplight, take a left into the main farm gate, directly across from the Lowe’s and Walmart. Follow the gravel drive straight past the residence on your left and the greenhouses on your right until you reach the organic buildings at the back of the farm. Park in the small parking lot on your left or in the grassy area just to the north.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Hannah Jones.

Being immersed in farm work after living 19 years of my life in an urban setting is jarring, to say the least. The extent of my agricultural knowledge as a child was the pictures of scenic farms on milk cartons and other items in the grocery store. I knew little to nothing about the true logistics of what it takes to be a farmer.

Scuffle-hoeing under the glaring sun, clearing row upon row of weeds, transplanting seeds into the muddy earth; not exactly your typical summer class. However, in your usual academic setting you never get to experience the fantastic feeling of harvesting what you have toiled over and distributing it to the members of your community.  Hearing their gratitude and shared compassion for the land makes it all worthwhile.

The most amazing thing about apprenticing on the farm is the minute details that you get to learn about the vegetables we eat on a daily basis. For example, I never knew that eggplants had to be covered by a cloth-tarp material to evade being destroyed by insects. Beets have to be thinned so that they can grow largely; if they’re not thinned out, the amount of seeds will crowd the beets, causing them to be very small. I’ve also learned the importance of wearing long pants, even on hot days, unless you want scraped knees. It makes me completely appreciate seeing these vegetables offered organically, knowing the intense nurturing involved getting them to fruition.

Did you know that ideal soil should be soft and crumble within your hands? I did not. This is one small aspect of soil that we covered in our weekly agriculture class on the farm this week. If you ever have the opportunity to come out to the farm, grab a handful of the ground. It adheres to the textbook definition of what great soil should feel like, a great reference point for anyone interested in growing.

Behind the label “organic” is a lot of hard work and preparation. So far, it has been an amazing experience to farm alongside fellow students that bring a fresh, exuberant approach to farming.

hannah jones

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:

+ kohlrabi
+ mixed kale
+ salad mix (including some salanova lettuce)
+ cilantro
+ spinach
+ beets
+ arugula
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Veggie Tips

+ This week in your share, you will be receiving kohlrabi (pictured above). The name kohlrabi comes from the German words kohl (cabbage) and rabi (turnip). The plant was developed by crossing a cabbage with a turnip. Here are a few more interesting facts about kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage tribe, Brassica oloracea, along with broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and kale. The plant evolved as a cool weather garden plant in Northern Europe. Asian brassicas, even the “heading cabbages” like Napa cabbage and bok choy, belong to the turnip family, Brassica rapa. Turnips had played a big role in the Himalayan kitchen, but turnips, which are a root crop, had been plagued by soil pathogens. The kohlrabi, by contrast, thrives in the same cool temperatures as the turnip, but the bulb sets above the soil, not below, and so remains unblemished from nematodes and other pests that live in the earth. The flesh of the kohlrabi adapts well to any use that the turnip would serve, and it can also be made into a coleslaw or a sauerkraut.

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+ This week’s beets were grown in Krista Jacobson’s high tunnels. Beets are rich in folate and vitamin C and the beet greens are high in potassium, calcium, iron, beta carotene and vitamin C. Try roasting this excellent vegetable in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour until beets are tender. Then when cool enough to handle, peel the skins. Quarter beets and season to taste.

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+ In the salad mix this week, is a lettuce type called salanova lettuce. This lettuce is a variety of baby lettuce that was specifically developed to be harvested as a small, yet full head of lettuce. Each head when cut once, will have uniform size leaves. It also has a better flavor and texture as it has had time to develop into heads.

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Recipes

Creamed kohlrabies (similar to mashed potatoes)

Recipe from The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover and family

Ingredients:

3 medium kohlrabies
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:

Wash and quarter kohlrabies. Drop into boiling water and add salt. Cook 18-20 minutes. Drain. Peel and put into blender. Add remaining ingredients. Blend 2 minutes or until smooth. Reheat.

+++

Orange glazed beets

Recipe from The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover and family

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked beets, diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

Directions:

Melt butter. Blend in flour. Add brown sugar and orange juice, stirring constantly until thickened. Drain beets; add sauce to beets.

+++

Microwave beet chips

Adapted from foodgal.com

Ingredients:
1 1/3 pounds Beets, unpeeled, scrubbed
2 teaspoons or so of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Directions:
Slice beets into 1/8-inch rounds for thicker beet chips. For thinner ones, use a mandolin to cut very thin slices. Toss slices in a medium bowl with oil and salt to coat evenly.

Coat a large microwave-proof plate with cooking spray. Arrange some beet slices in a single layer on the plate. Microwave, uncovered, on High until some slices start to brown, 2 to 3 minutes (depending upon beet thickness and microwave power). Turn slices over (they will be hot, so take care with your fingers) and continue microwaving until they start to crisp and brown around the edges, about 35 seconds for very thin beet slices to 2 to 4 minutes for thicker slices. Check frequently and rearrange slices as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer chips to another plate and allow to cool completely. (They will crisp up more as they cool.) Repeat process with remaining slices.

Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 servings, 12-14 chips each

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