CSA Newsletter Week #15, September 1st

Farm Notes

Unfortunately, this hot weather just keeps sticking around. With fall right around the corner hopefully we will start to get some cooler weather which will be a nice break for us and the veggies!

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. Our new SAG tote bags will also be available for sale for $10. We accept cash or check only. However, if you are already a member of the CSA, we can charge your credit card on file.

I forgot to add some pictures that Kyle Youngs had included for his newsletter entry a few weeks ago:

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Ryan Collins.

A New Beginning

By Ryan Collins, sustainable agriculture apprentice

This summer apprenticeship has successfully taught me many things about the current state of American agriculture and I can honestly say no class at the University of Kentucky has offered more knowledge to me. I grew up in rural eastern Kentucky, where farming is just as much in the past as coal. My grandparent’s generation is starting to pass, and the amount of home gardens seems to be declining at the same rate. The small farms that are still functioning are mostly producing corn and hay for cattle. With the current economic and health crisis occurring in Kentucky this seems very counter intuitive. This apprenticeship has given me the skills needed to be a great vegetable farmer and Kentuckians from every county should take the time to come see what the UK CSA has to offer.

According to the CDC, in 2014, 66.2% of adults in Kentucky were overweight, 31.3% of that number being obese, and less than 30% of adults consumed the recommended daily amount of vegetables. Organic fruits and vegetables are rarely accessible in eastern Kentucky, and when available, come at a heavy price. The U.S Census Bureau states that 19.4% of Kentuckians live in poverty, this percentage drastically increases in rural Eastern Kentucky, making it almost impossible to afford a healthy lifestyle. A family of four can provide all of the fresh vegetables they need for a year with very minimal labor and hand tools instead of expensive farm equipment. Through UK’s extension programs and today’s technology, materials are available for anyone, regardless of background or degree, to obtain these farming skills. UK CSA has taught me all you need to be a successful vegetable farmer, and with adequate research and hard work, you can as well.

Here is Ryan making a turnip bunch earlier this season.

Here is Ryan making a turnip bunch earlier this season.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Green Onions
+ Winter Squash (of the Delicata variety)
+ Corn (last sweet corn of the season)
+ Peppers
+ Tomatoes
+ Potatoes
+ Cucumbers
+ Summer squash
+ Dill/Cilantro

A parasitized tomato horn worm.

A parasitized tomato horn worm.

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)

+ Delicata squash is a winter squash variety that is very sweet. It is good baked, stuffed, roasted, mashed, steamed, boiled or sauteed. Winter squash can be kept for 3-4 months in cool, dry storage. You can use most any winter squash in place of pumpkin. There are high levels of vitamin A and some vitamin C in winter squash and about 20 calories in a half cup of cooked delicata squash.

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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Recipes

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

Squash Soup

You could even freeze this for later!

Ingredients:
3 yellow squash, rough chopped
3 Zucchini, rough chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 quart homemade vegetable or chicken stock
Enough water to cover squash
1 bay leaf
¼ cup heavy cream or half n half
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne

Directions:
Rinse and chopped squash and onion. Heat a 4-6qt pot on med high heat. Add onions, sauté till soft. Add squash, sauté 7 minutes.

Add garlic, bay leaf and stock. Top off with water just until all are covered. Cook until squash are soft. Puree all ingredients but bay leaf in a blender, strain though a mesh colander.

Return to pot, add heavy cream. Season to taste.

+++

Stuffed Delicata Squash

From Eating Well magazine

Ingredients:
2 small delicata squash, about 12 oz each, halved and seeded
6 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
8 oz lean ground beef (90% or more)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup nonfat or low fat plain yogurt
4 tsp toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds that have been shelled)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 2 tsp oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Place facedown on a large baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned on the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring bulgur and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Drain well.

4. Heat the remaining 4 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beef, chili powder, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bulgur and cook 1 minute. Stir in yogurt.

5. Spoon about 3/4 cup filling into each squash half. Serve sprinkled with pepitas.

Serves 4, 1/2 squash each.

+++

Creamy Cucumber Soup
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
6 cups peeled, seeded and chopped cucumbers
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onions
2-3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. minced fresh dill

Directions:
Combine ingredients. Process in a blender until smooth. Chill and serve.

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