CSA Newsletter Week #13, August 18th

Farm Notes

Last weekend we had our SAG 10 year reunion at the farm. Friday night, we met at Ethereal Brewery and enjoyed some local brew, delicious food trucks and yummy Crank and Boom icecream. It was good to catch up with our previous apprentices and staff members. Then on Saturday, we met at the farm for a pre-dinner yoga session. Following we enjoyed a potluck and volleyball. At the close of the evening, we tested our farm skills in a farm olympics where we had a melon toss, bin stacking, and irrigation emitter punching event. I believe everyone had a great time and really enjoyed getting to see people from the past and find out what they’re doing now.

The melon toss.

The melon toss.

Expect another big share today, so don’t forget your bags, boxes or bins!!

We will have our Farm Stand set up at both the campus and farm locations. We will have 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 and you have a credit card on file, we can charge that.

Digging potatoes

Digging potatoes

Note from an Apprentice
This week’s note is from Kyle Youngs.

Hello!
My name is Kyle Youngs, I’m a senior of Horticulture from Alaska, and I’m loving my first full summer in Kentucky! I will be graduating in the fall, so this summer has been amazing going through the apprenticeship program, along with working at another organic veggie farm (For Pete’s Sake Farm). I have learned so much from the great people out at Waveland, and gained many valuable experiences and connections, not to mention the gratification from providing quality produce to the local community.

Working on two farms has been challenging, but incredibly helpful and insightful at the same time. For Pete’s Sake Farm is an heirloom organic vegetable farm off Evans mill road, and we run a much smaller operation on about two acres with two high tunnels, and on a terraced hillside. Although only running around a 50 member CSA, a lot of the work (mostly manual) fell upon a few other individuals and myself, which has had ups and downs! It’s was a real great opportunity to have been able to learn from some professional farmers and see how they run a larger CSA, and take that knowledge back to the other farm to help improve what we do, and maximize efficiency. With goals of growing and expanding marketing at For Pete’s Sake, we’ve made changes in transplant production, irrigation methods, crop scheduling, weed management, pest control (cultural and biological), soil maintenance, and others areas, all stemming from key concepts I was able to see and learn hands on at Waveland.

I’ve completely fallen in love with working the land and all that comes with it; the people, the food, and the way it makes me feel so much more in touch with the earth. That reminds me of pretty much the main principle behind every aspect we’ve covered, and that is sustainability. Everything I do now out farming is accompanied with thoughts of whether or not it is the best and most beneficial way for the earth and the life it supports. Alaska was super beautiful, but I believe I’ll stay here after graduation in the fall after meeting all of these amazing people, and seeing the beautiful life year round here in Kentucky.
Peace!

Kyle is the 3rd person from the left, passing a red bucket over.

Kyle is the 3rd person from the left, passing a red bucket over.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Tomatoes
+ Peppers
+ Eggplant
+ Cucumbers
+ Summer Squash (yellow squash and zucchini)
+ Potatoes (of the Augusta variety)
+ Yellow Onions*
+ Cantaloupe (the last week!!!)
+ Grapes (Conventional, of the Mars variety)
+ Corn (of the Luscious variety)**
+ Basil***

*Again, we’d recommend using your onions sooner, rather than later as they have soft tops. But that is easily cut off and the rest of the onion is good to use.

**The corn this week has some pest damage, which also may include the pests themselves. The tips may be a little mushy, but they can easily just be cut off and any friend you find, can just be picked out so you can enjoy the 90% of the corn that is still good!

***The basil has some downy mildew on it. It is still fine to eat, but wash first before you use it. Also make sure you wash it right before you use it, because if you wash too far ahead, the basil will rot and mold.

Potatoes are cute.

Potatoes are cute.

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

This year's cherry tomato varieties are as follows from left to right, top to bottom:

This year’s cherry tomato varieties are as follows from top to bottom, left to right: Chocolate cherry, Yellow Pear, Supersweet 100, Juliet, Sun Gold, Rojita and Pink Boar

Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ The potatoes are of a variety called Augusta. They are a yellow skinned potato with pink eyes. They have a good consistency which makes them ideal for au gratin, fries or mashing.

+ The grapes today are from the Viticulture segment of the farm. While we used to have some grape vines on the organic section, these grapes are not organic. They are from the conventional side of the farm. Our friends over in Viticulture had some extra grapes they didn’t want to go to waste. And we know you all will enjoy them! The Mars variety is a seedless table grape that produces medium size, well filled clusters that are a deep blue color. Sweet, with a little zing of tartness at the end.

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Preservation

Cucumbers:
Fresh Pack Dill Pickles
Use this recipe to make a few quarts or dozens of quarts of pickles. Keep proportions of vinegar, water and salt constant as you increase the amount of pickling solution.

Ingredients:
pickling cucumbers, 2-6 inches long
dill heads (or 1 tbsp. dill seed, dill weed or dill juice=1 head fresh dill)
onion slices, 1/4 inch thick
garlic cloves, peeled

Pickling solution:
1 qt. vinegar
3 qt. water
1 cup canning/pickling salt

Directions:
Wash the cucumbers carefully. Cut a tiny slice off the stem and blossom ends to facilitate absorption of pickling solution. Place 1 or 2 garlic cloves, slice of onion and a head of dill into the bottom of a hot canning jar. Pack the cucumbers into the jar, making sure that they are below the threaded neck of the jar. Cover cucumbers with boiling pickling solution to with 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Put lids on and place jars in actively boiling water in a boiling water canner. Process pints or quarts in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Start to count processing time as soon as the jars are placed in the boiling water.

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Recipes

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

Homemade Gyros
Recipe from Culinary Hill

Ingredients:
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6-6 inch pita breads
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 lb. lean (90/10) ground beef (or lamb)
1 tbsp. olive oil
optional garnishes such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onion and feta cheese

Directions:
Combine yogurt, cucumber, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, dill, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl to make the dill sauce. Chill at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Preheat oven to 350º. Cut the top quarter of each pita and tear these into pieces and set aside. Wrap pitas in a stack in foil. Place the pitas wrapped in foil in the oven and heat for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine torn pita pieces, onion, remaining 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, oregano and remaining garlic in a food processor. Process until a smooth paste forms, about 30 sections. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beef to the paste and mix until thoroughly combined with hands or a spatula. Turn beef mixture out onto a cutting board. Form into a uniform loaf and cut into 12 sections. Roll each section into a ball and flatten into a patty about 1/2″ thick. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until well browned and a dark crust forms on one side, 3-4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the second side is also well-browned. Drain on paper towels. Serve with warmed pitas, dill sauce and optional toppings if desired such as shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced sweet onion, Kalamata olives or feta cheese.

+++

Cheeseburger Potato Soup
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. chopped green pepper (optional)
1 tbsp. instant beef bouillon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp. flour
1 cup shredded cheddar or American cheese

Directions:
In a 3-quart saucepan, brown beef; drain off excess fat. Stir in potatoes, celery, onion, pepper, bouillon, salt and water. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes. Blend 1/2 cup milk with flour. Add to saucepan along with remaining milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese and stir just until cheese melts.

+++

Baked Zucchini and Tomatoes
Submitted by Katie Fiske

Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini
2 medium tomatoes
1 medium mild onion
1 cup crushed ritz crackers
Salt and pepper
Butter (or margarine)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
Wash zucchini; do not peel unless skin is hard. Peel the tomatoes and onions. Slice all vegetables into very thin cross-wise slices. In a greased baking dish make alternate layers of zucchini, tomatoes, and onions, sprinkling each layer with a little salt and pepper and dotting with butter. Cover the top with shredded cheese and cracker crumbs. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 until vegetables are tender (at least 30 to 40 minutes).

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