CSA Newsletter Week #14, August 25th

Farm Notes

Things have been a bit quiet around the farm lately. As UK has started the fall semester, many of our apprentices and even some staff members have gone back to class. Even the plants have started to slow down. We are nearing the end of tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant and peppers. Which means that this week will probably be the last week of tomato boxes. Because we are nearing the end of tomatoes, this week will just be a first come, first serve on the tomato boxes. We are hoping to have a few, but we cannot guarantee how many we will have.

Sadly, this will be the last distribution week that our staff member, Alex Goodman will be around for. At the end of next week, Alex will be leaving us to go back to his home state of Virginia where he hopes to continue to pursue his passion of farming. We will miss him so much, but are glad that he is moving on to bigger and better things!

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We will miss this goofy guy!

NEW SAG TOTE BAGS ARE IN! We will have new tote bags made with 100% organic cotton and our Sustainable Agriculture logo on them for sale at distribution. They are $10 each. Cash or check only. Bring your veggies home in style!

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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.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Patrick McGurk.

As undoubtedly the least experienced apprentice on the farm this summer, I felt a good amount of anxiety before my first day. The closest thing to farm work I had ever done in my life was picking apples and berries at Huber’s you-pick farm as a kid. Thankfully, I have found everyone involved in the program to be not only patient, but also to be great teachers. Growing up in the suburbs outside Louisville, food came from one place- the grocery store. For most of my life I never gave a second thought about it. However, as I have pursued my degree in environmental and sustainability studies, agriculture and food production have become a serious focus of my studies and I decided that simply reading and studying the issues would not be enough. Spending my summer on the UK horticulture farm has been an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a person. I have an entire new arsenal of skills that will benefit me for life, as well as an incredible appreciation for farmers and agricultural workers around the world. They are hands down the most underappreciated workforce. My personal favorite part of working as an apprentice is distribution. Getting to meet and interact with the families that will be eating the food I have helped to produce is rewarding in a way that can’t be put into words. It feels great to have a shareholder ask me a question about an item in their share and be able to confidently answer it because I have been involved from start to finish in its production. It’s amazing how much I have been able to learn in one summer of hands on work, but I know that I have barely scratched the surface. As I pursue a career in corporate responsibility and sustainability, I will always keep local, community based food a focus in my life. I may end up working a desk job, but it has become a serious goal of mine to produce my own food to the best of my ability, no matter where I end up. I think our community would be a healthier place if everyone participated in food production in whatever small way they are capable of. Community gardens, raised beds in backyards, and even pots of herbs on front porches are all enough to teach a respect and reverence for food production that is sorely needed today.

Patrick is the last person to the right on the wagon.

Patrick is the last person to the right on the wagon.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Acorn Squash
+ Onions
+ Garlic
+ Tomatoes
+ Peppers
+ Summer Squash
+ Cucumbers
+ Eggplant
+ Carrots
+ Green Beans

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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. 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)

Acorn squash is a great storage vegetable for the winter. They will keep for up to 4 months in cool, dry storage. It is also a pretty versatile vegetable as you can use it steamed, mashed, boiled, baked, stuffed, or roasted. It can even be pureed into a soup. It is also easy to bake and then freeze for a later use. Winter squash have high levels of vitamin A, C, folate and potassium. There are about 56 calories in 1 cup of cubed, raw acorn squash. Here’s how to bake winter squash:

Cut the squash in half and place it upside down on  a cookie sheet with sides or a cake pan. Add 1/4 inch of water to the pan. Bake at 350-375º for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of the squash. The squash should be fork tender.

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Preservation

How to make tomato sauce:

Quarter red ripe tomatoes and cook in a stainless steel kettle on medium heat for 2-3 hours. Strain through a sieve or strainer. One pound of tomatoes makes approximately 1 cup sauce. This can be used immediately, canned or frozen.

How to freeze summer squash:

Sliced: Choose young squash with tender skin. Wash, slice or cube; blanch three minutes. Cool immediately in cold water, drain and put into freezer containers. Freeze.

Mashed: Wash, slice and cook in a very small amount of water until just tender. Mash. Pour into a bowl, set in ice water to cool quickly. Package and freeze. Frozen summer squash works best in baked goods recipes.

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Recipes

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

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Glaze

Any hard-shelled winter squash can be prepared this way, as long as the squash wedges have a cavity to hold the butter and maple syrup. Serve with pork chops, roast chicken, or roast duck.

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash, about 2 ½ pounds
Kosher or sea salt
4 tsp unsalted butter
4 tsp maple syrup
¼ cup water

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. With a cleaver or heavy chef’s knife, cut across the top of the squash to remove the stem, then quarter the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and stringy fibers in the seed cavity.

2. Put the squash quarters, cavity side up, in a bakinG dish just large enough to hold them comfortably. Season the squash with salt, then put 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp maple syrup in each cavity. Pour the water into the baking dish, then cover the dish and bake until the squash is tender when pierced, about 45 minutes.

3. Pour any juice from the squash-cavities in to the baking dish, then transfer the squash quarters to a serving platter. Transfer all the juices from the baking dish into a small pan and place over high heat. Cook until reduced to a syrup, then spoon the syrup over the squash. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. The squash is best when it is not piping hot.

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Panzanella Bread Salad Recipe

From Simply Recipes

As you cut the tomatoes, remove some of the seeds and liquid. Your panzanella will be juicy enough. Leave the crusts on the bread chunks; they will stay chewier and give the panzanella more substance.

Ingredients:
4 cups tomatoes, cut into large chunks
4 cups day old (somewhat dry and hard) crusty bread (Italian or French loaf), cut into chunks the same size as the tomatoes*
1 cucumber, skinned and seeded, cut into large chunks
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, torn into little pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup good olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
* If you don’t have hard old bread sitting around, you can take fresh crusty bread, cut it into big cubes, lay the cubes out on a baking sheet, and put in a 300°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until the outer edges have dried out a bit (not toasted, just dried). If you use fresh bread without doing this, the bread may disintegrate into mush in the salad.

Directions:
Mix everything together and let marinate, covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, up to 12 hours. Do not refrigerate or you will destroy the texture of the tomatoes.

Serve at room temperature. Yields 6-8 servings.

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Fried Onions

Submitted by CSA Member Hayriye Cetin Karaca from turkishfoodandrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 medium white onions, sliced in 1/10 inch thick rounds
1/3 cup canola oil
A pinch of salt to taste
A pinch of black pepper (optional)
Fresh parsley to garnish

Directions:
Sprinkle salt over onion slices. Sizzle oil in frying pan and add onion slices. Fry both sides of onions till they become caramelized. Then place them over a paper towel to soak the excess oil.
Then transfer them to a serving plate, sprinkle some black pepper (optional) and garnish with parsley.

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