CSA Newsletter Week #14, August 24th

Farm Notes

This week has felt a little bit different. With the solar eclipse on Monday, rain later that evening and classes starting back Wednesday, the farm has been quieter. The summer veggies are really starting to slow down and we are beginning the transition to fall. Now that school has begun, we have a new staff member to introduce. If you see a tall red-head about the farm, that’s Grant Bartholomew. Grant is a recent graduate of the Sustainable Agriculture program and will be helping us for the remainder of the season. He completed his apprenticeship in 2016.

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
+ Savory Corn
+ Peppers
+ Banana Peppers
+ Red Onions
+ Lettuce/Chard
+ Spaghetti Squash
+ Pickling Cucumbers

Underseeding clover in the brassica beds.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Katie Kilcoyne.

As a geography major focusing on map-making, I wasn’t entirely sure how an apprenticeship on a farm would tie into my major when I signed up for it. Mostly, I was drawn into the course on a personal level. My mother grew up on a farm and as a child I spent lots of time there as well. While my mamaw still gardens, my family’s farm was put out of production when I was 12 after my papaw had a major stroke and lost all motor functions in the left side of his body. He passed away in 2016 — just before I started college and found my passion for natural sciences and geography. I had a lot of trouble dealing with the timing of his death as both of those disciplines informed papaw’s farming practices and we could have had some amazing conversations. I couldn’t help but feel like I had barely missed getting to understand my papaw’s way of life. Coming in, I viewed the apprenticeship as an opportunity to reconnect with that.

This Tuesday was our last class, and looking back, I can say I got the closure I had been looking for and found a new passion, all while getting college credit! As a bonus, during my apprenticeship I was able to see the connection between my major and the work I had been doing on the farm. As a geographer, l analyze space, collect data, and spatially project said data to inform future decisions. My focus could very easily be used to help farmers strategically manage their land.

It feels good to do work hard and literally see what we learn in the classroom come to fruition. It feels even better to know the work and research being done at our farm will inform farmers across the county. I didn’t realize how significant south farm was in the farming community coming into this apprenticeship. It seems like every day on the farm I see someone new come to the farm to learn. In particular, I have also been blessed with the opportunity to work with international students from Haiti, Thailand, Japan, and Indonesia through the CSA. As a native Kentuckian and Lexingtonian, the University of Kentucky seemed blasé to me growing up, but sharing my excitement in class with my international peers has been an exfoliant to my perspective.

Every day on the farm is a new lesson or surprise. Somehow, my understanding of professors was that they stayed in an office all day writing papers, but I’ve gotten to meet many professors in the College of Agriculture working in the field. It’s a strange dynamic doing intense labor next to someone who you find out an hour later at lunch has a PHD and is conducting groundbreaking research a couple fields away from you. The CSA staff have taught me lessons I couldn’t have learned in a classroom setting. They’ve taught me how to develop a sense of community with one’s coworkers while establishing an efficient workflow. I’ve never been in such a healthy and happy work environment. I’ve got the perfect model for how I want to work with people in the future, but I can only hope to find coworkers as great as them.

Who says farming can't be fun and goofy?!?

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Katie is the one on the left.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Tomatoes
+ Savory Corn
+ Peppers
+ Red Onions
+ Banana Peppers
+ Spaghetti Squash
+ Lettuce/Chard
+ Pickling Cucumbers

A little bit of green in the middle of summer! You choose: lettuce or chard in the share.

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

Items available for you-pick:
+ Flowers
+ Herbs
+ 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.

Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ One of our apprentices, Emily, shared an app called Tasty. This is an app that lets you search recipes by ingredient and more! For example, you type in ‘tomatoes’ and it pops up with a bunch of recipes that include tomatoes. The recipes vary in difficulty from an easy 5 minute recipe to different international cuisines. This could be a super handy app to have on hand. Depending on your device, here are some links for Apple and Android users.

+ In general, the red onions do not store for as long as other varieties. You will want to use these onions sooner rather than later. This will also be the last red onions of the season, unless we have enough to do a mixed bin later on in the share.

+ The spaghetti squash is a winter squash. That means it has a harder outer skin and will store for several weeks and up to 2 months. Store it in a cool and dry place.

+ The sweet corn is coming to an end for the season. Unfortunately this round of corn is not very sweet. It is still perfectly good for eating, but you may want to use it in casseroles and mixed with other things. This will not be good eating off the cob corn. Although most of the ears are pretty nice, you may find some “friends” in the ears. They are easy to pick out or just cut off the damaged part.

Baby carrots for fall.

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Recipes

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

Meal Plan Menu

Thursday:

Taco Tues….Thursday?! How about a little fresh corn salsa to go with your tacos?

Fresh Corn Salsa

Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
4 sweet corn ears
4 tomatoes medium sized – seeded and diced
1 onion medium sized – diced
3 jalapeños – seeded and diced fine
1 lime – juiced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup cilantro – fresh and chopped

Directions:
Husk and boil the sweet corn until desired doneness. You could also grill the sweetcorn if you prefer.
When the corn if done, set aside to allow it to cool.
Dice the tomatoes, onions and jalapenos and place them in a mixing bowl.
Cut the corn from the ears and add it into the mixing bowl.
Add in the juice from one lime, salt and garlic powder.
Chop the cilantro and mix all together.
Can be served immediately or covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

Friday:

If you chose the lettuce this week, try this lettuce wrap recipe.

Edamame Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked, shelled edamame
1 medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
3 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 shredded carrots
8-10 leaves of bibb, butter or green leaf lettuce, washed and dried

Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1-2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
1-2 cloves minced fresh garlic

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, edamame, red pepper, green onions, cilantro and shredded carrots together. Combine the sauce ingredients together in an empty jar and shake well. Mix about half the dressing over the quinoa mixture.  Place a couple of tablespoons of the mixture in a lettuce cup, top with a little extra drizzle of sauce, wrap and enjoy!

If you chose the swiss chard, you can try this recipe below as a side dish to any entree of your choice.

Swiss Chard with Lentils and Feta Cheese

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup small-dice yellow onion (from about 1/2 medium onion)
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup brown or green lentils
2 cups water
12 ounces Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)

Directions:
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, stir to combine, and add the water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender and the water has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile, trim the ends from the chard stems and discard. Cut off the stems at the base of the leaves and slice the stems crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Place in a small bowl and set aside. Stack the leaves, cut them in half lengthwise, then coarsely chop into bite-sized pieces; set aside. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying or straight-sided pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the reserved chard stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped chard leaves, measured salt, and measured pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar and reserved lentil mixture until evenly combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the feta and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday:

The weather is supposed to be grand this weekend! How about grilling out and making some stuffed banana peppers as an appetizer?

Stuffed Banana Peppers

Ingredients:
6-8 large banana peppers
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 small tomato, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 small green bell pepper, diced
1-2 jalapeños, diced
1/8 tsp. salt
12-16 bacon slices

Directions:
Cut a slit lengthwise in each banana pepper, cutting to, but not through, other side. Remove seeds. Combine cheese and next 6 ingredients. Spoon mixture evenly into each pepper, and wrap each with 2 bacon slices; secure with wooden picks. Place peppers on a rack in a broiler pan. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden.

Sunday:

Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Salad
Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
For the salad:

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds total), cut into 3 x 3/4 x 3/4-inch strips
2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips

Dressing:
8 large garlic cloves (unpeeled)
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
3/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the sesame spread:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt

8 warm pita bread rounds, cut into wedges

Directions:
To make the salad: Place rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Spray large heavy baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Combine eggplant, peppers, garlic and oil in large bowl. Toss well. Transfer to prepared sheet. Bake until eggplant is brown and vegetables are tender, stirring every 10 minutes, about 50 minutes. Remove garlic and reserve. Scrape vegetables and all pan juices into bowl.
To make the dressing: Combine vinegar, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne in processor. Peel roasted garlic; add to processor. Puree until smooth.

Toss vegetable mixture with 1/4 cup garlic dressing. Cool, tossing occasionally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill vegetables and remaining dressing separately. Bring to room temperature.)

Mound salad in center of large platter. Surround with pita wedges. Serve, passing remaining dressing and Sesame Spread separately.

To make the sesame spread: Beat butter, sesame seeds and salt to blend in small bowl. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Yield: 8 servings

Monday:

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.

Tuesday:

Spaghetti Squash with Fresh Tomatoes and Rosemary

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, seeds removed, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or more to taste)
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
Dash dried pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven 450 degrees.

Carefully slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, discard. Place squash cut side down on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a pairing knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Using a fork, scrape the strands of squash from the inside of the skin. Season with ½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt.

In a food processor combine 1 cup of the chopped tomatoes, the rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and olive oil. Puree until smooth.

In a large bowl combine the spaghetti squash, chopped tomatoes, and tomato puree. Taste and add additional salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Wednesday:

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

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2 thoughts on “CSA Newsletter Week #14, August 24th

  1. Does anyone know where I could purchase a pressure “canner” (not the same as a pressure cooker) ? I have only seen options on line but would love to purchase locally if available!

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