CSA Newsletter Week #11, August 4th

Farm Notes

This is the half-way point of our CSA season. We have enjoyed harvesting and delivering your fresh vegetables and we hope you all have enjoyed eating them thus far. There will be lots more veggies to come throughout the rest of the season. We couldn’t do it without you all, so thank you! Thank you for sticking with us and supporting us even through the ups and downs and the crazy hot and humid or pouring rain weather. It always seems to be one of the extremes!

If you have pre-ordered a cabbage box, tomato box, or juicing carrots, please remember to bring payment to your pick-up site. Thank you!

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This is a reminder that we will have Saturday You-Pick this Saturday, August 6th from 9am-12pm. The front gate will be open and we will also open the back gate to Waveland Ln. There will be a staff member there to orient you to the field and answer any questions you may have. Please bring your own scissors or pruners and bag or box to take your items home. We ask that you park in the parking lot and walk to the field. However, if accessibility is an issue, you may park closer, but please ask a staff member to direct you first. We hope to see you there!

We will have our Farm Stand set up at both the campus and farm locations. We will have beets for sale that are not included in the share this week, along with extra share items 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.

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Note from an Apprentice
This week’s note is from Savannah Columbia.

As summer is winding down and school is right around the corner, I catch myself reflecting on the summer I have had with the CSA. Before this apprenticeship I had little experience with vegetable production and no experience what-so-ever with community supported agriculture, as I come from more of a livestock background. But let me tell you, I’ve learned a lot! As a Lexington native and a student in the College of Ag, I have always heard the buzz of local and organic food but never got to dip my toes in it. However, this summer I got to jump in full force!

There is something about watching our produce grow to harvest and being part of the process every step of the way that has shed a new light on me. To see how much our shareholders love us and their food just warms my heart! My friends will ask me why I love having dirt under my fingernails and sweat in my hair but I tell them that being part of something that is feeding members of my community is a feeling that can’t be found anywhere else. Through my days on the farm I have learned many things that will be of great use to me in the future, whether it be on my own farm or another’s. Next summer I hope to take the skills I’ve accumulated and put them to use with a CSA outside of Kentucky!

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Yellow Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Eggplant
+ Tomatoes
+ Green Beans
+ Carrots
+ Yellow Onions*
+ Garlic
+ Peppers
+ Chard**

*The yellow onions have some soft necks on most of them. That is why we give out 2 in the share and give them out over several weeks. We apologize if you get one, but you can easily just cut off the soft part and the rest of the onion should be good. Sometimes its hard growing onions in Kentucky. But personally I would be very sad if we no longer grew them, so I’ll take them even if they are imperfect! 😉

**The chard is a little holey looking, but we thought you all might appreciate some leafy greens during the middle of the summer!

Our tomato varieties this year from top to bottom, left to right: Pineapple or Persimmon, German Johnson?, ?, ?, ? Big Beef,? Amish Paste. Speckled Roman, ?, Valencia

Our tomato varieties this year from top to bottom, left to right: Striped German, Cherokee purple, German Johnson,  Rose de Bern, Black Krim, Big Beef, Estiva, Amish Paste. Speckled Roman, Gilbertie, Valencia

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. 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 Pepper
+ Cherry Tomatoes
+ Okra

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Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ A few notes about the onions this week. First, onions can be used in many different things, as I’m sure you all know. But here are some ways you may or may not have tried them before: in soups, sandwiches, salads, stuffed (!), scalloped, roasted, baked, pickled (!) or boiled. Basically onions could go in anything! Approximately 1 lb. of raw onion equals 4 cups chopped.

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Preservation

How to can carrots according to The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover.

Raw pack: Wash and peel carrots, Leave small carrots whole; slice or dice larger carrots. Fill jars tightly, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1 tsp. salt to quarts and 1/2 tsp. to pints. Cover with boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace.
Hot pack: Prepare as for raw pack. Cover with boiling water; boil 5 minutes. Fill jars with hot carrots to within 1-inch of top. Add 1 tsp. salt to quarts and 1/2 tsp. to pints. Fill to within 1-inch of top with boiling cooking liquid.

Process in a pressure canner; pints 25 minutes and quarts 30 minutes. Process at 10 lb. of pressure if you live below 1000 feet about sea level. Process at 15 lb. of pressure if you live at or above 1000 feet above sea level.

How to freeze carrots:
Select tender, smaller carrots. Remove tops, wash and scrape. Slice lengthwise, crosswise or dice. Small carrots may be left whole. Water blanch cut carrots 2 minutes; small whole carrots 5 minutes.
Cool immediately in cold water; drain, package and freeze.

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Recipes

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

Okra and Summer Squash
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
2/3 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup slivered carrots
1 1/2 cup slice summer squash (1/4 inch thick)
1 1/2 cup sliced okra (1/2 inch thick)
1 cup diagonally sliced green onions (1 inch pieces)
dash pepper
3 tbsp. butter

Directions:
Combine water and salt and bring to a boil. Add carrots and cook, covered, about 5 minutes. Add squash, okra and onions and cook about 3 minutes longer or until tender crisp. Drain and season with pepper and butter.

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Traditional Baba Ghanoush
From allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
1 1/2 tbsp. tahini sauce
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
salt to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil (or to taste)
1 pinch dried parsley flakes, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400º. Arrange oven racks so you have one high and one low. Cut a shallow slit along the side of the eggplant and place into a baking dish. Roast in preheated oven on the lower rack until the eggplant is completely shrunken and soft, about 40 minutes. Move dish to higher rack and continue baking until the skin is charred, about 5 minutes more. Let eggplant cool until cool enough to handle. Peel and discard skin from eggplant. Put eggplant into a bowl; add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt. Stir until ingredients are evenly mixed. Drizzle olive oil over the baba ghanoush and garnish with parsley. Serve with pita chips or bread, or try it with other veggies like carrots, peppers, or kohlrabi, etc. You can even use it as a spread for a sandwich.

+++

Fresh Basil Beans

From The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh green beans
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
1/4 tsp salt
1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop in the beans and cook for about 5 minutes, until bright and crisp. The actual cooking time depends on the thickness and maturity of the bean. Drain and immediately plunge the beans in ice water. Drain again, and keep the beans cool or refrigerated. To reheat the beans, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beans, toss, and cook until warm. Add the garlic, basil, salt, and red pepper flakes, stirring to cook the garlic and coat the beans.

Variations:
Gremolata Beans – substitute 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest for the basil.
Lemon Parmesan Beans – substitute 1 Tbsp lemon zest and juice of 1/2 lemon for the basil. Stir in 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese just before serving.
Sesame Ginger Beans – substitute 1 tsp minced fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari, 1 Tbsp dark sesame seed oil, juice of 1 lime, and 1 tsp sesame seeds for the olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt.

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