CSA Newsletter Week #9, July 21st

Farm Notes

The days just seem to blur together in this hot summer we’ve been having. The squash and zucchinis are growing so fast and the days are flying by. The last week has been spent harvesting, weeding and preparing fields for the fall.

A robber fly on the squash. Robber flies are beneficial insects as they prey on the insects we don't want in our fields.

A robber fly on the squash. Robber flies are beneficial insects as they prey on the insects we don’t want in our fields.

We will have our Farm Stand set up at both the campus and farm locations. We will have extra share items for sale in case you need any additionally veggies. This will be first come, first serve, as we have limited quantities of extras. We accept cash or check only. However, if you are already a member of the CSA, we can charge your credit card on file.

Laying drip tape in the whole sale fields.

Laying drip tape in the whole sale fields.

Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from John Allender.

Working with the CSA this summer has been a great way to round out my experience in agriculture. Before this summer I had not had a lot of experience with vegetable production, or a production system as diverse as the CSA. Most of my experience has been with large – scale grain production and while that can definitely be rewarding, I find the interaction you have with the people you feed from the CSA even more special. Doing the CSA handout was probably one of my most memorable take away experiences so far, aside from pulling drip tape and other “character building” activities. Seeing people smile and get excited over the food you worked hard to plant, harvest, clean and package is super rewarding and makes it all worth it. When things get frustrating thinking about keeping your shareholders happy and smiling gives you that drive to move forward, something we do not necessarily get to see in the grain production world.

Being a student who wants to farm after college, the CSA has given me a great blueprint for what I may want my farm to look like. I love being out in the fields and constantly thinking about what I would do to maybe tweak the system a little bit to give me an advantage. Above anything, I have a whole new respect for what vegetable farmers go through season after season. You have to be a master of the ins and outs of so many crops and constantly battle to get that perfect squash or head of cabbage to please your consumer. You definitely will get out of this experience what you put into it and I cannot wait to see the experiences I will have finishing out this course.

Not a completely clear picture, but John is standing on the right, harvesting onions.

Not a completely clear picture, but John is standing on the right, harvesting onions.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Corn
+ Cabbage
+ Green Bell Peppers
+ Eggplant
+ Tomatoes
+ Yellow Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers
+ Garlic
+ White Onions
+ Carrots
+ Banana/Shishito Peppers

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You-Pick

The You-Pick field is now open! Before you start picking, here are a couple of ground rules:
+ We ask that you bring your own scissors or pruners and your own bag/box/bin.
+ You-Pick is open whenever the farm is open which is Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 4pm, with the exception of Thursdays, when it is open until 6:30pm.
+ Please park in the parking lot. We ask that you do not drive your vehicle on the grass in the fields.
+ There will be signs that say “you-pick”. Please only pick from the beds that have signs, as everything else is not ready to be picked yet. This year’s field is the third field on the south side (fields closest to the fence and Waveland Rd.) If you have questions about anything or where the field is, please find a staff person and we will gladly help you!

Items available for you-pick:
+ Flowers
+ Sunflowers
+ Herbs*
+ Basil and Fennel Leaf
+ Hot Peppers*
+ Cherry Tomatoes*
+ Okra*

*In regards to the herbs, please be considerate and do not take all of a plant. They are still small, so just take a few clippings from several different plants if needed to ensure that they will last throughout the season to be enjoyed by all! There also is some peppers, cherry tomatoes and okra to be picked, but not a lot, so also be considerate when picking.

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Veggie Tips (or Facts)

Corn is a good source of thiamine and folate, as well as vitamin A, C, potassium and iron. In one serving of corn (approximately 100 grams) there are 96 calories. The corn looks beautiful, but if you do happen to see a friend or two in the ears, don’t panic – it’s organic! Hopefully there won’t be any friends in the corn, but if there is, they are super easy to just pick out before cooking. We tried very hard to only give you nice ears, but if there is a bit of a mushy spot, you can just cut that part off.  You may find in your corn:

Sap Beetles

And especially hopefully not:

Corn earworm

Or:

European Corn borer

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Recipes

For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.

Corn Casserole
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green pepper strips
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped yellow squash or zucchini
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Bring corn, onion, peppers and water to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Do not drain. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, saving 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Add undrained vegetables and mix well. Put in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 350º for 45 to 50 minutes. Top with remaining cheese. Garnish with a tomato and pepper slice if desired.

+++

Fresh Salsa

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 small cloves garlic, minced
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
2 hot chile peppers, Serrano or Jalapeno, finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper

Directions:
Put chopped onion and garlic in a strainer; pour 2 cups boiling water over them then let drain thoroughly. Discard water. Cool. Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.

Makes about 2 cups of salsa.

+++

Garden Fresh Carrot Muffins

Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski
A healthy way to start the day!

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups of granola with almonds
1 egg
1 cup unsifted all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable or light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup finely shredded carrots, lightly packed into measuring cup
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Directions:
Combine granola, flour, baking powder, salt and spices in large bowl. Stir well to blend. Beat egg in a small bowl. Add milk, honey and oil. Mix well.Add liquid ingredients to blended dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are moistened. Stir in carrots.

Fill paper-lined or greased muffin-pan cups 2/3 full.

Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes. Brush melted butter over tops and sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar or spread with cream cheese frosting or whipped cream cheese. Serve split with butter while still warm.

Processor Method: These may be made more easily in the food processor. In a bowl, whisk together flour and other dry ingredients. Add honey and liquid ingredients to processor bowl and mix using the metal blade. Switch to grating disk and grate the carrots into the liquid ingredients in the processor bowl. Combine dry ingredients and carrot mixture well and proceed as above.

Makes 1 dozen.

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