CSA Newsletter Week #13, August 17th

Farm Notes

We are in the midst of another busy few weeks of major harvesting and fall planting. There are lots of potatoes, winter squash….I know…it’s hard to believe it….and summer carrots to harvest. And there is still the regular cucumbers and tomatoes and share items to be harvested! While we have all this harvesting to do, the plants (and weeds) don’t stop growing so there is still plenty of field maintenance to work on as well.

This is another heavy week, so don’t forget your bags and boxes to take your items home.

We are still taking pre-orders for tomato canning boxes. Make sure you email uk.csa@uky.edu to reserve yours now. Tomato boxes are $25 for 25 lbs. of “seconds” tomatoes. Which means you will want to can them by the weekend. Let us know what your preference is on variety (i.e.: Heirloom, Hybrid, Paste or Mixed) and we will fill it on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Mark your calendars! We will be having another Saturday You-Pick day on August 19th from 9am to 11 am. Bring your family and enjoy a wonderful day picking flowers, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, herbs and okra!

The next round of summer carrots are ready to come out of the ground!

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Farm Stand

The CSA Farm Stand (which is for purchasing “extras”) will be set up at both the campus (from 4-6pm) and farm (from 3:30-6:30pm) locations. Items available will be on a first come, first served basis. For the campus location, we will be set up a little differently this year. The Farm Stand will be located all the way to the right of the pick-up line with it’s own tent and table. So please do not go through the regular pick-up line to buy a la carte. At the farm, the Farm Stand table will also be set up separately from the regular pick-up line. We accept cash or check only please.

Items Available for Purchase this Week:
+ Tomatoes
+ Sweet Corn
+ Peppers
+ Carrots
+ Eggplant
+ Purple Viking Potatoes
+ Yellow Onions
+ Garlic
+ Conventional Grapes
+ Cantaloupe
+ Cabbage
+ Pickling Cucumbers

Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Hattie Nunley.

My summer spent on South Farm has been a transformative experience! Never have I had such a unique opportunity to learn by doing and gain a new perspective on sustainable agriculture. Working alongside the CSA staff and my fellow apprentices, I have helped nurture crops from seeding until harvest day and begun to understand how much time, energy, and dedication go into farming. It truly is one of the most physically and mentally demanding professions and I would have never fully grasped this had I been in a classroom rather than the field.

South Farm has also blessed me with an outlet to become closer to the community here in my hometown. Each week at distribution, I watch  our shareholders’ faces light up as they receive the vegetables we worked so hard to cultivate. There is nothing more rewarding than going home after a day at the farm with the feeling that I was involved in bringing others closer to the food they eat. I could not get this anywhere else!

While I am sad that my time at South Farm is drawing to a close as the school year approaches, I know that I am emerging from this journey a more thoughtful, well-rounded, and appreciative individual. I could not have asked for a more fulfilling way to spend my summer than being close to the Earth and I look forward to applying what I have learned in all of my future endeavors!

Hattie with a happy bunch of turnips.

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Tomatoes
+ Sweet Corn
+ Peppers
+ Eggplant
+ Purple Viking Potatoes
+ Carrots
+ Yellow Onions
+ Garlic
+ Conventional Grapes (variety: Vanessa)
+ Cantaloupe
+ Cabbage
+ Pickling Cucumbers

Major carrot harvests are underway.

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You-Pick
Please review You-Pick guidelines under Member Information.

Items available for you-pick:
+ Flowers: There are several flowers blooming, but please be mindful of the plants as they are still growing and if they get cut too short, they won’t grow back again.
+ Herbs: As with the flowers, there are herbs out there, but again, be mindful that you do not cut whole plants down as they are still growing.
+ Hot Peppers: There are lots of hot peppers! The numbers on the signs that name the variety are on a heat scale of 1 to 5. The 1 indicates mild peppers while 5 is the hottest of the hot (e.g. habanero).
+ Okra
+ Cherry Tomatoes are coming on heavy… there are a few varieties available for picking. For your convenience, there is a cut-through in the middle of the bed between the T-posts so you can get around more easily.
+ This year we have started a perennial herb bed. It is located next to the road leading out the back gate. The perennial herbs are on the black landscape fabric. Most everything is already in the regular you-pick field, but there are a few plants such as spearmint and a couple of flowers that are not in the regular field.

Please be advised that there is a bed of brussels sprouts on the opposite side of the cherry tomatoes that is NOT for you-pick. Only beds that have a you-pick sign are open for picking, but please ask a farm staff member if you have any questions at all.

Our tomato cooler is absolutely packed to the brim!

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Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ This will probably be the last big harvest of sweet corn this season. Please be advised that there have been some worm sightings. They can easily be plucked out and any damaged or brown spot can be cut off.

+ This week’s variety of potatoes, Purple Viking, have a purple/pink skin color with a white flesh. These potatoes are good served in a variety of ways including boiling, mashing, baking and frying.

+ The Viticulture team has given us grapes for the share again this week. They are a conventional, non-organic grape variety called Vanessa.

+ Last cantaloupe of the season! As melons are notoriously hard to grow here in Kentucky, we hope you’ve enjoyed the melons you’ve received this year.

+ This week is also the last week for cabbage until the fall. If you still have cabbage in your fridge from before, again, no worries! Cabbage is an excellent storage crop and will keep for a long time.

Corn pyramid. Our buckets can't contain this week's harvest!

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Preservation

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.

+++

How to make saurekraut:
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Remove defective and coarse outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut away any spoiled or damaged spots. Rinse heads in cold water to remove dust or visible dirt particles. The bacteria needed to ferment the cabbage are found on the cabbage leaves.

Cut heads into halves or quarters and slice or shred the cabbage so that the shred is long and thin as possible. If you use a food processor, you may not get this characteristically desirable shred, but it will not affect the fermentation.

Weigh the cabbage. Place it in the container (crock or food grade plastic pail). For every 5 lbs. of cabbage, sprinkle with 3 tbsp. pure canning/pickling salt (use a non-iodized salt because iodine will prevent the bacterial fermentation necessary to change cabbage into sauerkraut). Mix well to distribute the salt uniformly. Allow the salted cabbage to stand a few minutes to wilt slightly. Then pound the cabbage firmly with a wooden tamper until enough juices are drawn out to cover the cabbage. Repeat this procedure, layer by layer, until the container is filled to the desired depth and the cabbage is completely covered with juice. Leave at least 4-5 inches between the cabbage and the top of the container.

A water-filled plastic bag is one of the easiest and best ways to both cover and weight down the cabbage. Be sure that you use a heavy-duty, watertight plastic bag that is intended for food use and is not colored. Fill the bag with water to a depth of 3-4 inches, allow the bag to completely cover the cabbage and tie securely.

As an alternative method, cover the cabbage with a clean cloth or clear plastic, fitting the covering snugly against the sides of the container. Then cover it with a wooden, china or other nonmetallic disc and place a weight on top. It is absolutely essential that you cover the cabbage and liquid to exclude air, since the fermentation process requires anaerobic conditions (without air).

Place the container of cabbage in a well-ventilated place with a relatively constant temperature. If kept at room temperature (68-72ºF), the kraut should be ready in three to four weeks. At higher temperatures, fermentation will proceed more rapidly and the kraut will be ready sooner. Similarly, if kept at temperatures lower than 68ºF, a slow fermentation will occur, but may be incomplete if the temperature drops below 60º. It is desirable to provide 68-72ºF temperature during the first several days in order to begin production of the acid which will preserve the cabbage. Then, if desired, the container could be stored in a cooler area (basement, unheated garage, etc.) if you want a slower fermentation. If the temperature drops below freezing, fermentation will stop, but will start again when the temperature rises into a favorable range.

Check the container daily. During the fermentation, film yeasts or molds may form on the surface of the liquid. If they appear, skim them off. If any discoloration appears within the top inch of kraut, remove it. If you are using a cloth covering, rinse or replace it each time you remove scum or spoiled cabbage.

Hello friend!

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Recipes

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

Meal Plan Menu

Thursday:

Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked white rice
4 bell peppers
1 lb ground beef (ground chuck, 16% fat)
6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 1/2 tea spoons dried basil)
1/2 teaspoon dry summer savory
1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Paprika

Directions:
1. If you haven’t already made the rice, start cooking the rice following the package instructions (usually 1 cup of raw white rice plus 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.)

2. Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Remove and discard the stem and seeds. Place bell peppers cut side up on a steaming rack over an inch of water in a large covered pot. Bring to boil, let steam for 10 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, basil, summer savory, marjoram, salt, several turns of black pepper, and rice.

4. Remove bell peppers from steamer pan. Place cut side up in a pyrex or other oven-proof casserole. Gently stuff the peppers with the ground beef rice mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the stuffed peppers, along the outside of the peppers, and into the pan. Rub the oil over the outside of the peppers; it will help with browning. Sprinkle the tops generously with paprika.

5. Place on middle rack and cook for 35-50 minutes, or longer, until the meat is cooked through.
Serves 4 to 6. Serve with ketchup.

Friday:

A few weeks ago, some of our staff made a low country boil for community lunch. It was delicious! You can always adjust the recipe to reflect what you have received in the share.

Dave’s Low Country Boil

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. seafood seasoning such as Old Bay, or to taste
5 lbs. potatoes
3 (16 oz.) packages of kielbasa sausage cut into 1 inch rounds
8 ears of corn, silks and husks removed
5 lbs. whole crab, broken into pieces
4 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions:
Heat a large pot of water over an outdoor cooker, or medium-high heat indoors. Add Old Bay Seasoning to taste, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, and sausage, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the corn and crab; cook for another 5 minutes, then add the shrimp when everything else is almost done, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Drain off the water and pour the contents out onto a picnic table covered with newspaper. Grab a paper plate and a beer and enjoy!

Saturday:

Enjoy a sloppy joe and some coleslaw for tonight’s dinner.

Sloppy Garden Joes
From UK Cooperative Extension Service

Ingredients:
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced or shredded
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 lb. 94% lean ground turkey or chicken
1 (8 oz.) can salt-free tomato sauce (or use fresh tomatoes or make your own sauce)
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes (or use fresh tomatoes)
1 (8 oz.) can mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
8 whole-wheat buns (split in half to make 16)

Directions:
Saute onions, carrots, green pepper and ground turkey or chicken in a frying pan over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the juices run clear. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, mushrooms and barbecue sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until thick. Serve open-faced on toasted or on plain whole wheat buns.

+++

Sweet and Sour Creamy Coleslaw

From The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook by Maggie Green

Ingredients:
8 cups shredded green cabbage
4 carrots, peeled and grated
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp sweet paprika, optional
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place the cabbage and carrot in a large bowl-the bigger the bowl, the easier it is to toss the slaw with the dressing.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar mustard, celery seed, paprika, salt, and pepper until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour the dressing over the cabbage and stir well to combine.  For best results, refrigerate the slaw for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Variations:
Curry Coleslaw: Substitute 2 tsp curry powder for the celery seed.
Like-Popeye’s-Fried-Chicken-Coleslaw: omit celery seed and substitute 2 Tbs dill relish for the Dijon mustard
Poppy Seed Coleslaw: Substitute 1/2 tsp poppy seeds for the celery seed.

Sunday:

Breakfast for dinner…try these carrot pancakes!

Carrots Cakes by Rachel Ray

Ingredients:
Fluffy Pancakes with Syrup*
3/4 cup cooked, pureed carrots
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whipped cream cheese
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, walnuts, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, pureed carrot and melted butter. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until just combined.
Preheat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter.
Grease the griddle and ladle on 1/4-cup portions of batter. Cook on 1 side until bubbles form and the pancakes are cooked around the edges, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook through, 1 minute more. Blend whipped cream cheese and 1/4 cup confectioners sugar to top; dust with more sugar.

*Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more (unmelted) for serving
Maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks and melted butter. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until just combined.
Preheat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter.
Grease the griddle and ladle on 1/4-cup portions of batter. Cook on 1 side until bubbles form and the pancakes are cooked around the edges, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook through, 1 minute more. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Monday:

Grilled Eggplant and Portobello Mushrooms with Miso-Apple-Wasabi Glaze

From The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without by Mollie Katzen

Ingredients:
4 Tbs shiro miso (the very light, beige-colored type)
4 Tbs apple juice
1/8 tsp minced or crushed garlic
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp prepared wasabi
Canola oil or peanut oil
1 large globe eggplant (about 1 3/4 pounds) cut into 3/4-inch rounds
6 portobello mushrooms, about 4 inches in diameter, stems removed
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
5-6 shiso leaves, minced (optional)

Directions:
In a medium sized bowl, combine miso, apple juice, garlic, ginger and wasabi until smooth. Set aside.  Preheat broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with oil.  Cut eggplant slices and mushroom caps in half and arrange pieces on the tray.  Brush eggplant with oil and sprinkle salt over all.  Broil, with surface of eggplant and mushrooms 4 inches from heat source, until eggplant is dark golden brown, 3-4 minutes.  Flip vegetables over and repeat broiling process.  Turn vegetables over again and brush (or spoon) a generous portion of glaze.  Return to broiler for another 2-3 minutes.  Serve with extra glaze, seasoned with pepper, and garnish with shiso leaves if available.

Tuesday:

This is a great way to use your tomatoes and also if you have any tomato juice you made from those canning boxes!

Homemade Tomato Soup

Ingredients:
3 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp. flour
1 quart tomato juice
2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp. fresh chopped basil
1 tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk

Directions:
Melt butter in a large pot until melted and sizzling. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent and soft. Stir in flour, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. Add tomato juice and whisk until flour and butter mixture are well incorporated into the liquid. Add the diced tomatoes, basil, oregano and salt. Cook until mixture comes to a light boil; turn heat down and slowly stir in milk and continue cooking over gentle heat until heated through. Once milk is added, do not allow soup to come to a boil. Serve immediately.

Wednesday:

Leftovers day! Clean out that fridge for new vegetables coming Thursday.

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