CSA Newsletter Week #11, August 6th

Farm Notes

Can you believe it? This week marks the half-way point of our season for this year! This week has been busy as we’ve been in a rush to get our fields ready and our transplants in before the rainy weather hits us again.

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We’ve also got a new implement on the farm. It is a conveyor to assist with our harvest. It is essentially a ladder with a belt attached to it and it extends out into the field. All we have to do is place the bucket on the conveyor and it takes it right to the wagon where it gets loaded. Below is a photo of it in action while we harvested squash:

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Here are a couple of notes about this week’s share. It seems as though our cucumbers are about done. They are definitely slowing down. Also, our tomatoes are coming to an end as well. I expect to maybe get another 1 or 2 weeks out of them before the plants die back completely. The grapes this week are from the conventional side of the farm, so they have been sprayed with pesticides and fungicides. Make sure you wash them. Additionally, we will have “seconds” onions at the share this week. Because it has been so wet, a lot of the onions have begun to rot. We have cleaned them up quite a bit for you, but please use them this week. They will not store for very long.

There are no extra tomato boxes for sale this week.

Crawling through the corn field thinning the corn to 6 inch spacing.

Crawling through the corn field thinning the corn to 6 inch spacing.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Yellow squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers
+ Tomatoes
+ Corn
+ Potatoes
+ Grapes (from the conventional side)
+ Mixed sweet peppers
+ Onions
+ Garlic

Potato harvest!

Potato harvest!

You-Pick

The following items are available for You-Pick:
+ ground cherries
+ 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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Aaron flame weeding the carrots.

Veggie Tips

Here is a guide to the peppers you may choose from this week at distribution:

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+ From the top left:
Banana pepper, Shishito (which can also be red), Carmen, Canario
+ The three grouped on the right are all the same pepper variety, Zsa Zsa, just in different stages.
+ From the bottom left:
Flavorburst and Aristotle

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Preservation

Mild Salsa
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
8 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (about 5 lbs.)
2 cups seeded and chopped green, red or yellow bell peppers
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. minced cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vinegar
2 drops of hot pepper sauce

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large kettle. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Carefully ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Makes about 7 half pints.

+++

How to Freeze corn
+ Whole kernel: Husk, remove silks and trim ends. Blanch for 4 minutes; chill immediately in cold water. Corn not thoroughly chilled may become mushy. Cut corn from the cob about 2/3 the depth of the kernel. Put in freezer containers and freeze.
+ Corn on the Cob: Husk, remove silks. Blanch for 6-8 minutes; chill immediately in cold water very thoroughly. Pat ears dry. Package whole ears individually, then into a second package. If steam forms in wrap, ears have not completely chilled.
+ Creamstyle: Husk, remove silks. Blanch for 4 minutes; chill immediately in cold water. Cut corn at center of kernel; scrape cobs to remove juice. Put in freezer containers and freeze.

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Recipes

Zucchini and Feta Fritatta (with Potato)
Source: Kitchen Daily

Ingredients:
2 medium red potatoes, about 3/4 pound, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 large eggs
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, about 3 ounces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Preheat broiler.
Bring potatoes to a brisk simmer in a small saucepan of salted water, then cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.  Whisk together eggs and 1/4 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Cook zucchini in 1 Tablespoons oil in a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in potatoes and tomatoes, then pour in eggs and cook, lifting up cooked eggs around edge using a heatproof rubber spatula to let as much raw egg as possible flow underneath, until edge is set, about 2 minutes (top and center will still be very loose).  Sprinkle cheese evenly over top and broil frittata about 6 inches from heat until set, slightly puffed around edge and golden, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Loosen edge of frittata and slide onto a cutting board.  Cut frittata into wedges and serve topped with salad.

+++

Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked white rice
4 bell peppers
1 lb ground beef (ground chuck, 16% fat)
6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 1/2 tea spoons dried basil)
1/2 teaspoon dry summer savory
1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Paprika

Directions:
1. If you haven’t already made the rice, start cooking the rice following the package instructions (usually 1 cup of raw white rice plus 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.)
2. Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Remove and discard the stem and seeds. Place bell peppers cut side up on a steaming rack over an inch of water in a large covered pot. Bring to boil, let steam for 10 minutes.
3. Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, basil, summer savory, marjoram, salt, several turns of black pepper, and rice.
4. Remove bell peppers from steamer pan. Place cut side up in a pyrex or other oven-proof casserole. Gently stuff the peppers with the ground beef rice mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the stuffed peppers, along the outside of the peppers, and into the pan. Rub the oil over the outside of the peppers; it will help with browning. Sprinkle the tops generously with paprika.
5. Place on middle rack and cook for 35-50 minutes, or longer, until the meat is cooked through.
Serves 4 to 6. Serve with ketchup.

+++

Chunky Potato Salad
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
2 lbs. small red potatoes, quartered
3 cups cubed cheddar cheese
1 cup 1/2 inch sweet red or green pepper pieces
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cups sliced green onions
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing

Directions:
Cook potatoes in salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile combine cheese, peppers, celery and onions. Add potatoes and toss with dressing.

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