CSA Newsletter Week #10, July 30th

Farm Notes

Man, this Kentucky weather! We’ve had rainstorms every day for several weeks and now that we’ve had a nice stretch of dry weather, it has just been as hot and humid as can be. And now we want some cool rainy weather back. It seems like we can never find a good balance. We have been working through the heat though and are excited to see you all again this Thursday at distribution.

We have also found a pair of blue handled scissors, if anyone lost a pair while they were out You-picking. Contact us by email or at the distribution and we will get them back to you!

There are no extra tomato boxes for sale this week.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Sarah Gosser.

I have always grown and eaten vegetables. As a child, I loathed being called in from playing outside just to be ordered to string and snap gallon after gallon of green beans. In school, I was the weird kid because in my lunch my parents packed cherry tomatoes instead of fruit rollups and cucumber slices instead of potato chips. Even during college when I lived on beer and ramen noodles, I always had fresh tomatoes that I grew in a pot on the outdoor fire escape. However, despite coming from a vegetable-eating family, I never really considered my diet to be that healthy, that is, until I became a CSA shareholder.

Two years ago my fiancé and I bought a share of the UK CSA. Each week we would pack up our reusable bags and cardboard boxes and each week we would have to somehow stuff all of those ginormous, fresh veggies in our refrigerator. Much of the produce was familiar, but some of it was quite foreign: Pac choi? Arugulahuh? Kohlrabwhati?? And it seemed like before we could even put a dent in our first share it was already Thursday again, and our poor little fridge was nearly busting at the seams.

The fiancé and I decided to get serious. In order to keep up with this crazy purchase, we needed to get creative. Where we could throw in vegetables, we piled them in. Adding chard to smoothies? Let’s try it! Grating up this weird, alien plant (kohlrabi) and frying it like hash browns? Okay, sure! Dehydrating green beans and zucchini so we could munch on them during our roadtrip to California? Goodbye, gas station junk food!

Soon we were not only adding vegetables to every meal, but omitting what we originally thought we needed to have to make a tasty meal.  Who knew that something called “nutritional yeast” could give food a similar taste as would shredded cheese? And beet burgers now trump my all time fave, the classic cheeseburger.

Fast-forward to today.  The fiancé is now the husband, and I am now an apprentice with the CSA I fell in love with two years ago. Not only do I now work somewhere that feeds my vegetable addiction, but twice a week I get to be in a field in the sun, laughing with friends as we make up ridiculous vegetable puns (the “cornier” the better).  This summer has deepened my love for not just vegetables, but also being a healthier and happier individual. Hurray for the CSA!

Sarah in the foreground, harvesting kholrabi earlier in the season.

Sarah in the foreground, harvesting kohlrabi earlier in the season.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Tomatoes
+ Green Beans
+ Yellow squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers (of the pickling variety)
+ Corn
+ Onion
+ Herb of your choice (cilantro OR basil)

Taste test!

Taste test!

You-Pick

The following items are available for You-Pick:
*NEW* + ground cherries, also know as husk cherries. The ground cherries are ready for harvest when the outer husk has browned. You can pick them off the plant or you can also pick them from the ground as they will fall to the ground when they are ripe.
+ 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

+ For this week’s green beans, we suggest that you rewash and cook your beans before eating them. They aren’t quite up to the “snacking in the car on the way home” caliber.

+ Again, as with last week’s corn, there may be a friend in the ear. You can just pick them out and cut off the eaten part before you cook it. Our friend is most likely going to be either the European corn borer, the corn earworm or the sap beetles.

European corn borer

Corn Earworm

Sap beetle

The corn borer has two generations every year. The first generation occurs in June and July where the borer tunnels through leaf midribs and the stalk. The second generation occurs in August and September and those borers tunnel through the ears and stalks. The corn earworm is an even more damaging worm because it will feed directly on the corn itself. This is most likely the “friend” that is in your ear. And finally, the sap beetle is a scavenging beetle that may be present only because the corn was already damaged from the earworm. Controlling for these pests can be difficult on an organic farm. At least for controlling the earworm, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) does not work and a different pesticide (spinosad) which can be found in an organic formulation is also difficult to use due to the frequency in spraying the plants. With all this rainy weather, even if we wanted to spray, we just simply can’t. So please have patience with our corn!

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Recipes

Grilled Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Sage

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (about 1 ounce), divided
1/2 cup soft fresh goat cheese
2 teaspoons sliced green onions
1 shallot, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium tomatoes

Directions:
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons fresh sage and fry 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer fried sage to paper towel.

Combine cheese, onions, shallot, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon fresh sage in bowl. Season with pepper. Using small sharp knife, remove cone-shaped piece 2 inches wide and 1 inch deep from top of each tomato. Divide cheese mixture among tomatoes; top with fried sage.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place tomatoes on grill rack; cover barbecue with lid. Cook until tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes.

+++

Ground Cherry Pie
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
2 9-inch pie crusts
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
3 1/2 cups ground cherries
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. butter

Directions:
Put one crust in the pie plate. Combine sugar and flour and put in the crust. Fill with the ground cherries. Sprinkle with brown sugar and lemon juice. Dot with butter. Put the top crust on and seal the edges. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes then at 350° for 40 minutes or until done.
Variation: To top with crumbs instead of a crust, combine 3 tbsp. flour, 3 tbsp. sugar and 2 tbsp. butter.

+++

Onion and Green Bean Casserole
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
3 cups sliced onions
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups lightly cooked green beans
2 tbsp. bread crumbs

Directions:
Sauté onion slices in butter until they are limp. Blend in flour, salt, mustard and pepper. Add milk, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add cheese and green beans. Put into shallow 2-qt. casserole and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

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2 thoughts on “CSA Newsletter Week #10, July 30th

  1. CSAs are so needed in Morehead ? Can you urge MSU to adopt this plan? Can you help farmers in the area to have CSA partnerships with local people who would be willing to put money upfront in the growing season? We have farmer’s markets, but we could do more!!!!

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