Preview Week 13

Week 13 shares will be big and beautiful again this week… while the summer squash is officially done we have winter squash right around the corner… and in the meantime, an epic corn harvest is on its way (perhaps the last of the season).

Here’s Week 13 at a glance:
+ Sweet Corn
+ Tomatoes
+ Pickling Cucumbers
+ Mixed Peppers
+ Cabbage (Surprise! Some more greens for summer!)
+ Conventional Grapes (Yet another surprise!!!)
+ Carrots
+ Yellow Onion
+ Garlic

Beautiful flowering dill.

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CSA Newsletter Week #12, August 10th

Farm Notes

The summer veggies are starting to slow down around here. While we still have tomatoes and pickling cucumbers, we are about to transition into more root crops and storage vegetables. This weather has also been a really nice break. Cooler weather always makes field work much more enjoyable!

This week’s share will be a little heavy, so make sure you bring an extra bag or bin as you are getting 2 (!) melons today!

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!

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
+ Summer Squash
+ Pickling Cucumbers
+ Mixed Sweet Peppers
+ Green Beans
+ Chard
+ Dill
+ Basil
+ Sorbet Swirl Watermelon
+ Cantaloupe

One of our international students, Jacques, helping with the bean harvest.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Viktor Halmos.

Hello everyone, my name is Viktor Halmos and I am a junior majoring in Natural Resources Environmental Science (NRES) with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture. My two concentration areas for NRES are Global Sustainable Food Systems and Field and Lab Analysis.

I was born in Kenner, LA and as a first-generation Hungarian American, I was fortunate enough to spend most of my summers in a small town called Szeged located in the southern region of Hungary. Despite my upbringing being in urban areas, my summers consisted of spending quality time with my relatives on the various organic family farms cooking with farm fresh ingredients and gathering around the table to appreciate where the food came from. It was those summers that sparked my interest in farming and its ability to provide ingredients that are unrivaled in flavor and in nutrition.

When reflecting on my summer as an apprentice at South Farm, what stood out most to me was being able to connect others with organic ingredients that truly speak for themselves. My generation seems to be losing its palate to the current industrialized food system that is largely centered around large-scale monocultures, meat production in CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), and heavy use of chemical pesticides/herbicides and fertilizers. It seems like many people have forgotten what it means to cook with local ingredients and simply, how much better it tastes. Eating food that is prepared with local, fresh ingredients has numerous benefits. Fresh vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals that are essential to your overall health. You are far less likely to develop or worsen food allergies when consuming local, fresh produce rather than industrially farmed produce. Purchasing produce and ingredients from local farmers will help support the local economy and allow those farmers to continue their work. Lastly, in my opinion, locally farmed produce simply tastes better.

As someone that enjoys cooking, I already took the first step in redefining what it means to eat locally. I encourage you to buy more locally sourced ingredients and reap the same benefits that I have since a young age. Try experimenting with various recipes containing locally grown vegetables and meats and I am sure you will not regret it. I hope to be able to directly work with farmers one day and improve the connection between farmer and consumer. The knowledge that I gained, such as how to keep bees and extract honey or how to utilize fresh ingredients for the community lunches, have made this summer immensely valuable and enriching. I hope to apply that knowledge to further understand and improve the concept of ‘farm to table’ especially in Kentucky.

Viktor and Rin transplanting basil in the haygroves.

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Tomatoes
+ Summer Squash
+ Pickling Cucumbers
+ Eggplant
+ Sweet Peppers
+ Green Beans
+ Chard
+ Dill OR Basil
+ Sorbet Swirl Watermelon
+ Cantaloupe

Sunflowers are not only a good cover crop, but they are also so beautiful to see!

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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 JUST starting to come on… 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)

+ We are done with the slicing cucumbers for the season and have moved on to the pickling variety. Really, you could pickle the slicing cucumbers, but the actual pickling variety are preferred as they have a smaller, more uniform size which makes them much better for pickling. You can, of course, still eat the pickling cucumbers like a normal cucumber. There are 2 varieties that we grew this year, Boothby Blonde (a pale yellow) and Supremo (a green). Check out a refrigerator pickle recipe in the preservation section below!

+ The last watermelon of the season is a variety called Sorbet Swirl. This has a beautiful yellow-pink flesh and is quite tasty, if I do say so myself! It does have seeds, but may be a little less than what the Sugar Baby watermelons had.

+ The second round of cantaloupes have come from the organic research section where Dr. Mark Williams and Dr. Ric Bessin have been researching the use of protective netting on cantaloupes to exclude pests such as cucumber beetles. These melons are a bigger variety than what the CSA had a few weeks ago and are much prettier. We hope you enjoy them!

+ The green beans are mostly sorted and clean, however there are some stems and you may find some dirty beans in your bag. Even though we have a piece of equipment that helps us harvest the green beans, it does not always work perfectly. But because we have a bean harvester, we are able to plant more beans which means you can enjoy several rounds of beans in the CSA.

+ The chard bunches are smaller this week and they may be a little holier. We apologize for the quality, but hope you are excited about getting a little bit of green in your share!

Watermelon for this week is a variety called Sorbet Swirl. And it is delicious!

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Preservation

Refrigerator Pickles

Ingredients:
1 qt. vinegar
1 qt. sugar
1/3 cup salt
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 1/2 ts. mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp. tumeric
cucumbers
onions

Directions:
Mix all but cucumbers and onions together until sugar is dissolved. This mixture does not have to be heated. Fill quart jars with thinly sliced unpeeled cucumbers. Slice one onion into each jar. Fill jars with syrup mixture; cover with lid and store in refrigerator. Keep refrigerated. Can be stored for several months.

Early morning chard harvest!

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Recipes

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

As you will be receiving more carrots next week, here is one of my favorite cookie recipes to help you use up any carrots you have left.

Carrot Ginger Cookies
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 cup tightly packed, shredded carrots

Directions:
Combine first 6 ingredients. In another bowl, beat brown sugar and shortening until fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. Add dry ingredients then fold in carrots. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375º approximately 12 minutes.

Meal Plan Menu

Thursday:

If you decided to go with chard instead of the dill (which you can use in the refrigerator pickles), I recommend a delicious quiche for tonight. You can also add any other veggies you have left over from last week. In fact, if you have a lot of veggies to use up, double the recipe and freeze one for a quick and easy meal later on!

Swiss Chard and Cheddar Quiche

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 large eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
kosher salt and black pepper
2 ounces Cheddar, grated (1⁄2 cup)
1 prebaked 9-inch piecrust

Directions:
Heat oven to 350° F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chard and onion and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the half-and-half; season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the Cheddar and chard mixture and mix to combine. Pour into the prebaked 9-inch piecrust and bake until set, 40-45 minutes.

Friday:

Green Bean Lasagna

Ingredients:
about 2 lbs. green beans
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 large sweet onions, halved and sliced
8 oz. assorted mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1/4 cup white wine
1 15 oz. container Ricotta cheese
5 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (or mozzarella), divided
Parmesan cream sauce*
1 1/2 cups crushed buttery crackers
1 6 oz. container french fried onions
3 tbsp. butter, melted

*Melt half a cup of butter in a 3 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat. Whisk in 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 4 cups of milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Rinse, clean and drain green beans; pat dry with paper towels. Cut or snap in half if needed. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions, and sauté 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer onions to a large bowl, and wipe skillet clean. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet; add mushrooms, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add wine, and sauté 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Add mushrooms and green beans to caramelized onions in bowl; toss. Stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup Italian cheese blend. Layer 1 cup Parmesan Cream Sauce, 3 noodles, half of green bean mixture, and 1 cup cheese blend in a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch baking dish. Top with 1 cup Parmesan Cream Sauce, 3 noodles, and all of ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 3 noodles, remaining green bean mixture, 1 cup cheese blend, and 1 cup Parmesan Cream Sauce. Top sauce with remaining 3 noodles, 1 cup Parmesan Cream Sauce, and 2 cups cheese blend. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Toss together crackers and next 2 ingredients. Remove lasagna from oven; sprinkle cracker mixture over top. Bake 10 more minutes. Let stand on a wire rack 20 minutes before serving.

Saturday:

Although it won’t look quite the same, you could also use the zucchini squash in this recipe. Either cut it into rounds and they will be miniature or just slice long-ways.

Baked Patty Pan Squash Parmesan with Garlic Breadcrumbs

Ingredients:
3 to 4 large pattypan squash (about 1 3/4 pounds total), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella or fontina cheese

For Breadcrumbs:
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil; brush with oil.

Toss squash and onion slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Spoon marinara sauce over squash slices.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes (depending on the thickness of the squash); sprinkle with cheeses and bake for 5 to 7 minutes more, or until squash is tender and cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Meanwhile, to prepare garlic breadcrumbs, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat, until oil is hot and garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bread crumbs, herbs, and salt and pepper and stir until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over squash slices and serve.

Sunday:

Have pasta for dinner with your own fresh, homemade tomato sauce.

The Quickest Tomato Sauce

Recommended by a CSA member from jamieoliver.com

Ingredients:
Olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled, and finely sliced
Bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
3 x 400g tins of good-quality, whole plum tomatoes (or substitute fresh tomatoes)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and pour in 4 generous glugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to colour lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through. Discard the basil and garlic that will be left in the sieve, but make sure you scrape any of the tomatoey goodness off the back of the sieve into the bowl.

Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavours. It will be ready when it’s the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza.

Store the sauce in a clean jar in the fridge – it’ll keep for a week or so. Also great to freeze in batches or even in an ice cube tray, so you can defrost exactly the amount you need. But to be honest, it’s so quick to make, you might as well make it on the day you need it.

Monday:

If you haven’t used all the tomatoes up yet, try this fresh tomato salad recipe, paired with a protein of your choice.

Tomato Salad

Submitted by CSA Member Hayriye Cetin Karaca from turkishfoodandrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 medium red ripe tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in bite sizes
½ medium red or white onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vinegar or 1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ tsp basil (optional)
1 small green pepper, diagonally sliced (optional)
¼ bunch of fresh parsley for garnish
½ tsp salt

Directions:
Place tomatoes, onions and pepper (optional) in a salad plate. In a small bowl mix the olive oil, salt, vinegar/lemon juice and basil (optional). Pour this mixture on the salad and mix. Then add the crumbled feta cheese on top. Garnish with the parsley. You can also chop the parsley and mix with the salad.

Tuesday:

Pizza night during the week. Use your peppers and any other extra veggies you have laying around for toppings.

Friday Night Pizza
from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Makes 2 12-inch pizzas

Ingredients:
3 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 cups WARM water
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sliced onions
2 peppers, cut up
16 oz. mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh tomatoes in season or sauce
other toppings such as spinach, chopped
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary
olive oil

Directions:
To make crust, dissolve the yeast into the warm water and add oil and salt to that mixture. Mix the flours and knead them into the liquid mixture. Let the dough rise for 30-40 minutes.

While the dough is rising, prepare the sliced onions: a slow sauté to caramelize their sugars makes fresh onions into an amazing vegetable. First sizzle them on medium heat in a little olive oil, until transparent but not browned. Then turn down the burner, add a bit of water if necessary to keep them from browning, and let them cook 10-15 minutes more until they are glossy and sweet. Peppers can benefit from a similar treatment.

Once the dough has risen, divide it in half and roll out 2 round 12-inch pizza crusts on a clean, floured countertop, using your fingers to roll the perimeter into an outer crust as thick as you like. Using spatulas, slide the crusts onto well-floured pans or baking stones and spread toppings. Layer the cheese evenly over the crust, then scatter the toppings of the week on your pizza, finishing with the spices. If you use tomato sauce, spread that over the crust first, then cheese, then other toppings. Bake pizzas at 425F for about 20 minutes, until crust is browned on the edge and crisp in the center.

Wednesday:

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

Preview Week #12

Lots of rain has left our fields a bit muddy this morning. Tomatoes are still bursting off the vines — so there is still time to pre order 25lb tomato boxes of seconds for $25.

Our patty pan squash and heirloom zucchini will not be around much longer.  And while we are done with slicing cucumbers we now have pickling cucumbers to enjoy next!

Zucchini squash grows weird sometimes.

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CSA Share Week #12 Preview:

+ Tomatoes
+ PICKLING Cucumbers
+ Green Beans
+ Patty Pan and Zucchini Squashes
+ Sorbet Swirl Melons — these are a yellow watermelon! The last of our watermelons for this year.
+ Mixed Peppers
+ Swiss Chard OR Dill — at last a little bit of green!

 

CSA Newsletter Week #11, August 3rd

 

Farm Notes

Hi everyone! It’s hard to believe, but we are already half way through the season! Besides some thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon, we’ve been enjoying nice weather this week at the farm. We’re excited about this weeks share and we hope that you are too!

The table grapes in this weeks share are the Mars variety. Please be aware that these grapes are not organic, and should be washed before eating!

We are still taking pre-orders for tomato and cabbage 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. Cabbage boxes are 5 heads for $10 and will be a mix of red and green cabbages.

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:

+Table Grapes

+Carrots

+Cucumbers

+Patty Pan Squash

+Heirloom Zucchini

+Tomatoes

+Yellow Wax Beans

+Garlic

+White Onions

+Peppers

+Corn

Surprise! Conventionally grown Mars grapes coming to CSA shares this week from the UK Vineyard!

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Note from an Apprentice

Hi everyone! My name is Erica Van Meter and I am apprenticing at the UK CSA this summer, as a requirement for my degree. I will graduate in May of 2018 with a B.S. in sustainable agriculture and a minor in plant and soil sciences. I have spent most of my life living in Frankfort Kentucky, about 25 miles west of Lexington. Before the University of Kentucky, I first attended Morehead State University where I majored in biology and later switched to geology; I was confused because I was influenced by family members and had no self-determination. When this, among other things, became unsuitable, I moved back to Frankfort and enrolled at Kentucky State University. I recalled a floral design class in high school that stood out to me, and for whatever reason, I went with it, and that is how my interest in horticulture began. I can say with honesty that I was extremely lost until I began taking classes at UK in August 2015. At that point, life started making sense to me. My studies at UK started with a hobby and an angsty idea that I need to be isolated and independent, but I had no real goals in sight. A lot has changed for me since then I suppose, because now I have a platform of sorts to build my person upon, and there are many ways in which my summer at the CSA has positively added to it.

First, a hard day’s work is refreshing and gratifying, but it is more than that. I appreciate the cool, quiet mornings in the fields, where I have time to self-reflect; it is therapeutic to feel the earth and meditate on the mystifying way that it produces life. I also appreciate the diverse group of people I have met this summer, and the light-hearted times we have shared while working out in the fields. The Thursday meals have been a particularly rewarding part of the summer, where we eat an ethnic variety of foods, and learn many appealing ways to prepare and eat vegetables; it has been beneficial for my cooking skills since I grew up eating burnt frozen pizza. There are so many more experiences this summer, such as learning how to keep beehives and extract honey, or how to drive a tractor, that have enriched me and will not be forgotten. However, the main idea is that I have learned that gardening is more than just a hobby. I hope to own my own farm someday, and the knowledge I have learned this summer is priceless in its value to that aspiration. in our weekly classes, we learned the planning process, science, economics, and labor process of farming; it comforts me that there is a place where I can be myself and enjoy learning about things that are important to me. I have become more aware of the connection between my mind, soul, and body, and how it interacts with the world around me. I am convinced that a wholesome life can be obtained by being conscious of what we put into our bodies and how it affects ourselves, others, and the earth.

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

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Erica is the girl on the right in the picture

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+Table Grapes

+Carrots

+Cucumbers

+Patty Pan Squash

+Heirloom Zucchini

+Tomatoes

+Yellow Wax Beans

+Garlic

+White Onions

+Peppers

+Corn

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 JUST starting to come on… 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.
+ Green Beans
+ 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.

Another round of flowers from the You-pick: Asters, Snapdragons, Statice and Verbena.

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Veggie Tips (or Facts)

-Please keep your wax beans refrigerated! They can be enjoyed cooked or raw and are delicious in salads with a light dressing.

-The Mars grapes included in the share this week are seedless

-This is the last week that slicing cucumbers will be included in the share

Recipes

Meal Plan Menu:

Monday:

Ribbon Zucchini with Yellow Wax Beans

From marthastewart.com

Ingredients:
1 pound small zucchini, 4 to 6 zucchinis
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
4 ounces yellow wax beans, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Slice the zucchini into long ribbons: Cutting lengthwise, slice the sides from around the seedy core of each squash; discard core. Cut each side into long, thin strips.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil. Add the onion and yellow wax beans, and saute until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and 1/2 cup water, and stir to combine.

Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until zucchini is tender and flexible, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato, chives, salt, and pepper, and remove from heat.

Tuesday:

Grilled Chicken with Gazpacho

Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for brushing the chicken
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
Tabasco to taste
1 slice type white bread,, torn into pieces
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 cup finely chopped, seeded and peeled cucumber
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander or parsley
1 whole boneless chicken breast with skin
(about 1 pound), halved

Directions:
In a blender blend together the garlic paste, the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the water, the cumin, the Tabasco, the bread, half the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste until the mixture is smooth, transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in the remaining tomatoes, the cucumber, the bell pepper, the onion, and the coriander or parsley.

Brush the chicken with the additional oil, season it with salt and pepper, and grill it on a rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, or in a hot well-seasoned ridged grill pan, covered, over moderately high heat, for 5 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through. Cut the chicken on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve it with the salsa.

Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday: Clean out the fridge and eat leftovers!

Thursday:

Stuffed Onions

Submitted by CSA Member Hayriye Cetin Karaca from turkishfoodandrecipes.com

Ingredients:
5-6 medium white onions
1 cup rice, washed and drained
1 tomato, diced
1 tsp tomato paste
½ cup olive oil
1-2 cups hot water
1 Tbsp dried mint
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt to taste

Directions:
Cut the both ends of onions and remove skins. Make sure the onions can stand still on the root side in the saucepan. Scoop the onions using a metal spoon. Try keeping at least 3 outer layers and the root part as the base. Chop the scooped parts for stuffing. Mix all the other ingredients but the water in a bowl. With a spoon fill the 2/3 of onions with the stuffing mixture. In a large saucepan or pot, place the stuffed onions. Add 1 cup or enough hot water to almost cover 1/3 height of the onions.
Close the lid and cook on low-medium heat, until the onions and rice get cooked, for about 30-40 minutes.

Friday:

Corn Casserole
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green pepper strips
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped yellow squash or zucchini
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Bring corn, onion, peppers and water to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Do not drain. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, saving 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Add undrained vegetables and mix well. Put in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 350º for 45 to 50 minutes. Top with remaining cheese. Garnish with a tomato and pepper slice if desired.

Saturday:

Peppers Roasted with Garlic

Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon herb vinegar, or to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil flavored cooking spray.
Place the bell pepper halves open side up in the prepared baking dish. In a medium bowl, toss together the cherry tomatoes, basil and garlic. Fill each pepper half with a handful of this mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the aluminum foil, and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with herb vinegar. These are equally good served hot or cold.

Sunday:

Barbecue Carrot Dogs

From eatingwell.com

Ingredients

  8 servings

  • 8 medium carrots
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 whole-wheat hot dog buns, toasted if desired
  • Ketchup, mustard, relish and/or sauerkraut for serving

Preparation

  • Peel carrots and trim to fit the length of your hot dog buns. Bring a couple inches of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add carrots, cover and steam until barely cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk broth, vinegar, soy sauce (or tamari), mustard, garlic powder and paprika in a sealable 1-gallon plastic bag. Add the carrots, seal and place the bag in the refrigerator keeping the carrots in a single layer. Marinate for at least 3 hours or up to 1 day, turning twice. Preheat grill to high or heat a grill pan over high heat. Remove the carrots from the marinade. Grill the carrots, turning once or twice, until they’re hot and have grill marks, about 5 minutes. Serve on buns with your favorite condiments.

 

 

 

Preview Week #11

WOW!!! Can you believe this is week 11?? We will be half way through our 2017 main CSA season. Incredible!

We are still taking pre-orders for Tomato Boxes and Cabbage Boxes! Believe it or not, the flush of tomatoes we are experiencing now will not last. If you want a tomato box of “seconds” email us ASAP to get on the list and reserve yours. Most folks can get them on the week they request but as tomato season continues the numbers will dwindle and it will be harder to accommodate the tomato box requests… so now is the time!

Email: uk.csa@uky.edu

 

Patty pans as big as your face!

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Here is a preview for this week’s share:

+ Yellow Wax Beans
+ Garlic
+ Tomatoes
+ Patty Pan Squash and Heirloom Zucchini
+ Carrots
+ Mixed Peppers
+ Cucumbers

 

CSA Newsletter Week #10, July 27th

Farm Notes

This week has been yet another busy week harvesting and planting for the fall. Although a few days have been quite hot, the weather is hopefully going to cool down for the next week and we may even get some rain.

BE PREPARED!!!!! Today’s share is LARGE and HEAVY! So make sure you have your bags and/or bins to take your yummy produce home.

We are still taking pre-orders for tomato and cabbage 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. Cabbage boxes are 5 heads for $10 and will be a mix of red and green cabbages.

Planting broccoli for the fall.

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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:
+ Corn
+ Summer Squash
+ Cucumbers
+ Leeks
+ Tomatoes
+ Potatoes
+ Peppers
+ Melons
+ Green Cabbage
+ Basil
+ Red Onions

A big crew to help get the last bed in this field of potatoes out.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Rin Ishikawa.

Hello everyone, I’m Rin Ishikawa, an exchange student from Kyoto University in Japan. I’m majoring in Agricultural Economics at Kyoto University and I am now majoring in Sustainable Agriculture at UK for just one year. I grew up in a big city called Sendai, which is located in the northern part of Japan. My mother is very sensitive about food safety issues, as is commonly seen among mothers in Japan. My eating habits have been largely shaped by my mother, who always eats organic produce and hates industrialized fast food. I have no farm background. However, I was involved in a food education program for the schoolkids during elementary school and middle school. The main focus of the program was to provide the kids with a chance to know where food is coming from and what it is like to grow food. The experience in the program opened my eyes to the world of agriculture. Finally, I experienced a food shortage in Sendai when a disastrous earthquake and tsunami happened in 2011. After this, I started to think about this question – how can we feed the world sustainably?
 
The self-sufficiency rate of food in Japan is around 40%, which means we are highly dependent on imports from other countries. The farmers are getting older – the average age of farmers is 66 years old and they cannot find successors because those old farmers all know that it’s very hard to make a living as a farmer. As more and more small-scale farmlands are abandoned in the rural areas, there’re no longer young people in the countryside and the communities and traditions are now on the verge of disappearing.
 

One day in a rural sociology class at Kyoto University, our professor talked about the CSA in the United States. I was so impressed to hear about the CSA system because it provides the answer I’ve wanted for a long time – to support small farmers in a sustainable way while nurturing the community, enhancing the connection between the farmers and consumers so that people can understand where the food comes from, and establishing a sustainable food system within the community. I went to talk with the professor after the class, and he told me that there is a university where students can actually experience the operation of a CSA and take various classes about sustainable agriculture. I said, “I want to study there!” And that’s how I decided to come to UK. I’m really happy to be able to participate in this UK CSA apprenticeship. I was surprised to see the scale of the CSA and how organized the system is! I don’t have enough space to write about everything I experienced, but I’ve definitely learned a lot from this apprenticeship. After I go back to Japan in December, I will continue my studies about the CSA and write a graduation thesis that compares CSA’s in Japan and in the US. There are only a limited number of researchers of CSA’s in Japan. Thus, I hope my research will help promote the movement towards creating more sustainable food systems in Japan.

The team is out getting those tomato babies standing up straight.

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Corn
+ Tomatoes
+ Leeks
+ Potatoes
+ Cucumbers
+ Summer Squash
+ Peppers
+ Watermelon
+ Cantaloupe
+ Green Cabbage
+ Basil
+ Red Onions
+ Eggplant?

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 JUST starting to come on… 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.
+ Green Beans
+ 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)

+ The potatoes for this week are a Red Gold variety and are a new potato, meaning they are more for eating fresh and not a storage type. Potatoes store best in a cool and dry area with good ventilation.

+ In general, people usually just use the white part of the leek in cooking, but I would say you can use up to where the stem starts branching out into the leaves. Leeks are most known to be paired  with potatoes in a leek and potato soup, but can also be used as garnishes or sauteed up like you would onions. You can wrap the leeks in plastic to keep the strong smell from affecting the other things in your fridge and store them for up to 2 weeks.

+ Cantaloupes this week are meant to be small. They are very ripe, so you definitely want to use them by the weekend.

+ I didn’t warn anyone last week, but the watermelons do have a lot of seeds. We like to use this particular variety because of  its small, round size. But because of that, they tend to be a lot seedier. If you want, check out last week’s newsletter and save the seeds and roast them for a tasty snack later!

+ As the preview post said, we hope to have a bigger corn harvest this week. There may be some friends in your corn, but they are easy to pick out or cut off. Sometimes growing sweet corn organic is hard. But we are improving every year!

Our next corn planting is looking good and ready!

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Recipes

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

Meal Plan Menu

Thursday:

In case you want to eat your melons as more of an actual dish and not cut in half, scooping spoonfuls of sweetness out, here is a melon salad that you can use both the cantaloupe and watermelon in.

Cantaloupe and Watermelon Salad

Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
2 cups watermelon, cubed
2 tablespoons mint leaves, finely chopped
3 ounces feta cheese
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon oil, safflower suggested
1 tablespoon walnuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon honey

Directions:
Mix fruit, nuts and mint together. Whisk juice and oil and honey together. Toss the feta into the dressing, then toss with fruit.

Ratatouille on the Grill

Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed with press
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds plum tomatoes, each cut lengthwise in half
2 medium red peppers, each cut lengthwise into quarters
2 medium (8 ounces each) zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large (1 1/2-pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 ounces ricotta salata or Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Prepare outdoor grill for covered, direct grilling on medium.

Prepare vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. In slow, steady stream, whisk in oil until blended.

On 2 jelly-roll pans, lightly brush tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and onion slices with some vinaigrette. With tongs, transfer vegetables to hot grill grate. Cover grill and cook tomatoes about 6 minutes; peppers, zucchini, and eggplant about 8 minutes; and onion about 12 minutes or until all vegetables are tender and lightly charred on both sides. Return vegetables to jelly-roll pans.

To serve, on platter, arrange grilled vegetables; drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle with basil. With vegetable peeler, shave ricotta salata into large pieces over vegetables.

Friday:

If you’d like to try something besides just corn on the cob, try this corn casserole that includes a lot of other vegetables you got in your share.

Corn Casserole
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green pepper strips
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped yellow squash or zucchini
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Bring corn, onion, peppers and water to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Do not drain. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, saving 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Add undrained vegetables and mix well. Put in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 350º for 45 to 50 minutes. Top with remaining cheese. Garnish with a tomato and pepper slice if desired.

Saturday:

This salad is a nice light and refreshing salad for a warm summer day. Pair it with a protein of your choice.

Summer Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad

From Eating Well, August 2011

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or more to taste
2 medium cucumbers
4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, halved and very thinly sliced (or red onion)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives and/or tarragon (or basil)

Directions:
Whisk vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Remove alternating stripes of peel from the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds. Add the cucumber slices, tomatoes and onion to the dressing; gently toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Just before serving, add herbs and toss again.

Sunday:

Try the leeks as more of a stand alone to a meal or try it in the more traditional leek and potato soup style.

Leeks with Olive Oil

Submitted by CSA Member Hayriye Cetin Karaca from turkishfoodandrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1 bunch of leeks, washed and cut into chunks
2 carrots, sliced in circular shapes
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp tomato paste (optional)
½ cup rice, washed and drained
1 ½ cup hot water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp sugar

Directions:
Place olive oil and onions in a pot and sauté them till the onions turn light brown. Then add tomato paste (optional), sliced carrots and chopped leeks. Cook them over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice and sauté for 1-2 minutes, and then add hot water, salt and sugar. Cook till rice becomes soft, for about 30-40 minutes over low heat.
Let Leeks with Olive Oil cool in the pot. Then place into a serving plate. Drizzle some lemon juice and olive oil (optional) on top.

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

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter
4 cups sliced leeks
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup sour cream
4 slices fried, crumbled bacon

Directions:
Melt butter in a 3 qt. saucepan. Add leeks and cook until tender. Stir in potatoes, broth, pepper and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer approx. 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Cool slightly. Blend mixture, half at a time, until smooth. Pour blended mixture back into saucepan. Gradually stir in sour cream. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Serve hot and garnish bowls with bacon.

Monday:

One of our CSA members and former apprentice shared a good way to use your cabbage up. She has no set ingredients or quantities, so it is a good way to use whatever vegetables you have on hand.

The base: chop up cabbage, apples and potatoes and add to an oven proof baking dish (like a crock or dutch oven). Add whatever other chopped veggies you like. For a meat version, you can add sliced sausage, or for a vegetarian option just omit the meat or use mushrooms. Don’t be afraid to pile the veggies up, as they will cook down. Drizzle with olive oil, add whatever spices you like or have on hand and bake at 350F for about an hour or until tender.

Tuesday:

This is my favorite way to enjoy the summer veggies: zucchini, tomato and onions. Pair this with a protein of your choice.

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).

Wednesday:

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

Preview Week #10

While last week’s corn harvest wasn’t as big as we would have liked (a family of raccoons discovered our field at an inopportune time!), have no fear because we have more corn to come this summer!

Our next corn planting is looking good and ready!

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Here is a preview for your share this Thursday:

+ Sweet Corn
+ Tomatoes
+ Patty Pan Squash and Heirloom Zucchini
+ Cucumbers
+ Green Cabbage (last cabbage harvest until fall!)
+ Leeks
+ Red Gold Potatoes
+ Basil