CSA Newsletter Week #8, July 16th

Farm Notes

Finally we’ve had some nice, dry weather! The next few days will be busy as we’ve been needing to start some of our fall plantings. We’ve also completed our onion harvest. In about 4 weeks you can expect some onions in your share after they have dried. Additionally, you can expect corn, beans and peppers starting next week! For those of you who pick up at the farm, our back gate is now working and you may enter through the back if you so desire.
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There will be a Twilight Farm Tour at the UK Horticulture Research Farm Tuesday July 28th starting at 6pm. There will be tours highlighting the different research projects across the farm. Everyone is welcome to attend!

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Note from an Apprentice

This week we have a note from 2 different apprentices. The first note is from Raya Stearn.

Lexington has been rain free for the past twenty-four hours! What an odd celebration especially in the middle of July, hopefully it will still be this way when I see all of your beautiful faces tomorrow at pick up!

Due to this sunny and warm evening we were able to practice yoga outside tonight and I found myself reflecting on my time spent on the farm and everything I have learned up to this point. Most things are related to the art of farming but I mostly think about you, the shareholders. We grow vegetables to learn about them but also to provide wonderful, beautiful, and nourishing food to sustain you and your families. Before I began studying sustainable agriculture I viewed food as dispensable, which is the way companies and marketers want it to be portrayed. This is not the case. Working on this farm has given me insight into the relationship we have with each other, the land, and the food being grown. The fact that each one of you cares enough to purchase a share is equally important as the people out here growing the food for you.

It takes time, much time and not everything goes according to plan (due to endless rain storms). Personally, I feel this has been a valued experience; farming is not easy, there are obstacles and the best way to learn is by doing, under all conditions. This weather has definitely slowed us down but there is always something to be done, farming never stops. Some corn stalks have fallen over and the tomatoes and peppers do not like this much rain but our veggies are tough and are still growing through these gloomy days. Preparation for the fall crops has been in full swing. I, along with other apprentices and staff have spent hours in the greenhouse sowing seed and thinning trays. Our vacuum seeder is an awesome tool that allows an entire tray to be seeded in a timely fashion which is really nice when you have to prepare 40 to 60 trays of little baby seeds just waiting to germinate!

Time has been the focus in this letter. Sure, everything is on a time schedule but we must adjust when things get off track, and that is okay. We finished our practice tonight by thanking ourselves for the time we spent, the time we gave to grow our minds and bodies. On behalf of the entire farm, I would like to thank the CSA members for your support, we have much time left to provide you all with delicious food but the time thus far has been rewarding and enjoyable. I love seeing you all sharing veggies with friends or neighbors, spouses, and your children.

Raya in between Alex and Clifton thinning flats in the greenhouse.

Raya in between Alex and Clifton thinning flats in the greenhouse.

The second note is from Savannah McGuire.

Hi everyone, my name is Savannah. I’m going to be a sophomore in the fall and am majoring in Sustainable Agriculture.

The ample weeds in our rows are evidence of the furious rainstorms that we have been seeing in Kentucky this week. Despite the wet ground, we headed to the fields to do some damage control and weeded with the wheel hoe. We harvested lots of onions this week and spent time racking them so that they can dry out for storage. Tomatoes are starting to ripen and everyone has been really excited about that- the bugs too. I enjoy tying tomatoes, so this week was fun for me as we all spent lots of time in the sun, stringing up wandering vines to make the plants stand tall.

During class this week, Dr.Bessin spoke about integrated pest management and we spent some time in the fields bug hunting. He showed us all kinds of bugs, including the infamous Colorado potato beetle, which is unfortunately not partial to potatoes. The beetles crawled around the tomato stems and chewed through eggplant leaves as Dr.Bessin identified their larvae to us.

I have been trying to take in the exceptional beauty of the farm this week. During the hot, humid times, I love the way that I can smell the peppers and tomatoes just by walking through the fields. I love watching tremendous thunderstorms roll in over the gravel driveway and how everyone is able to chat and laugh as we wait for the clouds to pass. I love being able to bite into a ripe, juicy tomato seconds after yanking it from the vine.

The way that we farm at the South Farm isn’t just about producing food- it’s about fostering community. I’ve seen that so clearly this week as we’ve sweated together, laughed together, and been exhausted together. I love the fellowship that we can all have as we devour Thursday lunch and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Our culture has turned food into something fast, convenient, and very individualized. We are paying the price of cheap food by forsaking the experience of a meal.

Working at the farm has shown me everything that goes into making a meal. Something spiritual happens when people eat together. Each day we look to the ground below us for nourishment, yet most of us (myself included) forsake the precious gift of fertile land that we have. We ought to be good stewards of this land and that begins with obtaining a proper gratitude and understanding of our reliance. Being on the farm reminds me of how small and dependent I am on things outside of myself. It reminds me of how much something so fundamental to my existence is being neglected. Every complex piece of farming- from irrigation to pest management- points me to a Designer that must be so much more glorious than I can fathom.

When it comes to eating, being an individualist won’t work. We all ought to take time to teach each other the importance of our connection to the land and take action to ensure that it can continue.

Savannah picking tomatoes.

Savannah picking tomatoes.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Cabbage (probably one more next week)
+ Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers (the last for at least a couple of weeks)
+ Tomatoes
+ Eggplant (we will start including Asian Eggplants as an option)
+ Chioggia beets (the last beets until fall)
+ Leeks (the only time we will give out)
+ Turnips (mix of “Scarlet Ohno”: Red salad turnip and “Hakurei”: White salad turnip)*
+ Carrots (last until fall)
+ Shishito/banana peppers

*We are not very proud of these turnips. Peel outer layer off, and cook rather than eat raw. We will give out better turnips this fall.

Asian Eggplants

Asian Eggplants

You-Pick

The following items are available for You-Pick:
+ hot peppers: jalapeños, serranos, and capperino cherry peppers
+ cilantro
+ dill
+ cherry tomatoes
+ okra
+ Herbs: onion chives, garlic chives, flat parsley,  curly parsley, thyme, marjoram, savory, lavender, chamomile, sage, oregano, rosemary and basil*
+ flowers
* Note: some of the herbs are still very small, so please be mindful to only harvest a small portion of each plant. In particular some of the rosemary plants and basil are still quite small.

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

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Veggie Tips (or Facts!)

Some of the apprentices and my fellow coworkers have been wondering what some of the plant families are that our vegetables fall into. It is important to know for several reasons, particularly for weed, disease and pest management. In controlling for weeds, if you were wanting to use an herbicide, it would be good to know whether or not the weed is in the same family of the crop. If it is, then it could also be harmful to your crop. The same thing occurs in disease and pest management. Crops that are in the same family need to be rotated to other parts of the field, so you do not have a build up of disease and pests in the soil. Crops of the same family will be susceptible to the same things, therefore rotation is paramount! Below is a table of different crop families and examples of vegetables found in that family.

Family Name Aliases Members
Crops Ornamentals Weeds
Solanaceae solanaceous crops; potato, tomato or nightshade family peppers (bell and chile), tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, tobacco, tomatillo petunia, million bells nightshade, jimsonweed, henbane, groundcherry, buffalobur, horsenettle
Brassicaceae Cruciferae; brassicas; cole crops; cruciferous crops; mustard family horseradish, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, Chinese cabbage, radish, rapeseed, mustard, collards, watercress, pak choi, bok choi, rutabaga stock, alyssum, candytuft shepherd’s-purse, field pennycress, yellow rocket
Cucurbitaceae cucurbits; cucumber family; squash family cucumber, melons, watermelon, summer squash, pumpkin, gourds, winter squash
Rosaceae rose family, rosaceous plants apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, pears, cherries multiflora rose
Fabaceae Leguminosae; leguminous crops; legumes; bean, pea or legume family beans, peas, lentils, peanut, soybean, edamame, garbanzo bean, fava beans, hairy vetch, vetches, alfalfa, clovers, cowpea, birdsfoot trefoil, black medic various vetches, clovers, black medic
Poaceae Gramineae; grass family corn, wheat, barley, oats, sorghum, rice, millet, rye, ryegrass, sorghum-sudangrass, fescue, timothy ornamental grasses brome, wild oats, crabgrass, orchardgrass, barnyardgrass, quackgrass, fall panicum, foxtail, Johnsongrass
Polygonaceae Knotweed family buckwheat, rhubarb knotweed, smartweed
Liliaceae lily family; alliums (for members of the Allium genera) asparagus, onions, leeks, chives, garlic, shallot tulips, daffodils, hosta, hyacinth, daylily wild garlic and onions
Lamiaceae Labiatae; mint family lavender, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, mints, catnip salvia, Molucella (bells-of-Ireland) mints, catnip, henbit
Ericaceae heather or blueberry family blueberries, cranberries rhododendrons, azalea, heather
Chenopodiaceae goosefoot family spinach, beets, chard, sugar beets kochia, lambsquarters
Apiaceae Umbelliferae; carrot family carrots, parsnips, celery, dill, chervil, cilantro, parsley, caraway, fennel Trachymeme, Buplerum poison-hemlock, wild carrot
Asteraceae sunflower family; aster family, Compositae sunflowers, lettuce, endive, escarole, radicchio, dandelion, Jerusalem artichoke, artichoke, safflower, chicory, tarragon, chamomile, echinacea, sunflowers marigold, mums, zinnia, aster, Calendula, cosmos, Rudbeckia, Tithonia, Centaurea, Helichrysum, yarrow, Leucanthemum, echinacea, sunflowers dandelion, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory, echinacea, thistles, knapweeds, cocklebur, yarrow, ragweeds, goldenrod, groundsel, galinsoga, sunflowers

The table and further information can be found here.

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Recipes

Sauteed Carrots and Leeks
Submitted by CSA Member Betsy Adler

Ingredients:
2 leeks, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
Combine leeks, carrots, chicken broth, butter, sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper in a skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes. Cook and stir mixture until leeks and carrots are lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

+++

Roasted Root Vegetable Medley
From Food Network

Ingredients:
8 to 12 slender carrots, peeled and trimmed
8 to 12 baby turnips, peeled
6 to 8 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise in halves
1 or 2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
1 or 2 medium onions, trimmed, peeled and halved, each 1/2 cut into quarters
1 or 2 large beets, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 or 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 celery root, trimmed and halved, halves cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put all the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Season well with salt and black pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.

Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve the vegetables from their baking dish or transfer them to a platter to accompany a roasted main course.

+++

Carrot Turnip Fluff
Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
1 lg. turnip, peeled and diced
2/3 c. lowfat milk
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Salt and white pepper to taste
Shredded carrots
Dash of red pepper (optional)

Directions:
Cook carrots and turnips in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain. Place in blender or food processor while slowly adding milk. Blend in butter, salt and white pepper. Blend until pureed.

Reheat. Transfer to serving dish. Garnish with shredded carrots and dash of red pepper.

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2 thoughts on “CSA Newsletter Week #8, July 16th

  1. Hello,

    Would you like to use any recipes from the Kentucky Fresh Cookbook? Let me know if you don’t have a copy of the cookbook. Keep up the good work.

    Warm regards,

    Maggie Green The Green Apron Company Kentucky Fresh Cookbook http://www.greenapron.com

    >

    • Hi Maggie! Yes, we own your cookbook at the farm. Would you mind if we posted some with our newsletters? We will, of course, always give you credit. Thanks for your comment and I really do think a Kentucky CSA cookbook would be fantastic!

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