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Thursday, August 25, 2011

CSA Weekly newsletter

Hello to all our Shareholders!

I apologize for the late email, I prefer to get it to you earlier in the week.  News, announcements, recipes, and veggies in your share this week are all below.  I'll be delivering your orders between 12-2 tomorrow (Friday).

This week in your share you'll receive a wide variety of vegetables.  In fact, you'll receive all the food needed to make 2 of our favorite recipes here on the farm: a batch of Minestrone Soup and a big salad to go along with it. 

We are heading down the final stretch of our summer season CSA!  There are only 4 weeks left.  Have you signed back up for our fall season?  It begins September 23 and runs through November 25 (10 weeks).  There will be some changes to the fall season.  Most importantly, the half share delivery schedule will change.  Rather than delivering half the amount of vegetables each week, beginning in fall the Half Share CSA members will receive a full share every other week.  I'll be splitting you into two categories, some with delivery on week A, the rest with delivery on week B, so that I can pack the same amount of full shares each week.  This will save a bit of my sanity on packing day, as well as on all the plastic bags & packing materials, and delivery time.  Plus now you'll be able to make the recipes without cutting them in half or saving enough produce over 2 weeks.  The full shares will remain the same.  (To all:  In your share this week I'm going to include a few postcards with our farm's information and ask that you pass along to anyone you know who may be interested in joining the CSA.) 

Save the date!  Our Farm Open House is Monday, September 5 from 2-4 pm (Labor Day).  For those who haven't visited, our farm is located at 4679 Flansburg Rd, Lena.   If you need to contact me for directions, you can email or call 815-990-2380.

Our tomatoes are now available in bulk, and we're still doing cukes & squash in bulk, too.  (Email me by Friday morning to order in time for your delivery).  Tomatoes are super easy to can, but did you know they can also be frozen?  To freeze, simply toss them whole into a gallon ziplock bag.  Then lay in the freezer.  That's it!  You can pull them out all winter to toss into the crockpot, soup pot, or casserole.  We sell bulk by the half-bushel, prices:

  • Tomatoes - 1/2 bushel grade A - $25 (this is about 25-26 pounds of tomatoes, a 50% savings off normal price)
  • Cucumbers - 1/2 bushel - $10
  • Squash - 1/2 bushel - $10
We are sold out of beef until late September, but I will have extra eggs from now on, the hens are finally laying well!  If you need extra eggs any week they are $3 per dozen, you can email me by Friday morning to order any delivered with your share.

We are always in need of plastic grocery bags, if you have extra we'd be happy to take them off your hands!

Without further ado, on to your share!

-Tomatoes - Ripe red tomatoes as well as heirlooms of various colors.  Tomatoes should not be refrigerated.  Keep on counter. 

-Cherry & Pear Tomatoes
- a mixed bag.  No refrigeration.

-Green Beans (Green Italian Flat or Yellow Wax) -

-Radishes - the mild variety called French Breakfast - refrigerate.

-Sweet Bell Peppers - Green or Purple this week.  Refrigerate.

-Hot Peppers - Green chili & jalapeno.  To make fresh salsa recipe! Refrigerate.

-Squash - for this week's minestrone recipe or the recipe of your choice.

-Basil.  Refrigerate.

-Lettuce Mix - The nice rain and cool temperatures of the last week really sped up the new lettuce crop!  I thought I wouldn't have any lettuce for a few weeks, and you can call me a liar because you will all get salad mix this week (lettuce, baby beet greens, and New Zealand spinach). Refrigerate.

-Cucumbers - Refrigerate.

-Sweet Onions-  Refrigerate sweet onions.  If you have extra sweet onions from each week's share, they can be easily frozen for use this winter!  Simply chop them up & toss into a freezer bag.

-Garlic - Garlic may be left out on your counter for several weeks.

-Brown Eggs or Swiss Chard
, depending upon your option upon signup.

And here are some recipe ideas for all those delicious organic veggies! 

Minestrone Soup (farm favorite)
-2 quarts beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
-1 cup chopped summer squash
-1 cup green beans, stemmed & cut in half
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-4 tomatoes, chopped
-1 sweet pepper, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 jar marinara sauce (use your favorite type of spaghetti sauce)
-1 cup dry pasta (we prefer whole wheat)
-2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
-salt and pepper
-parmesan or romano cheese, optional, for topping each bowl of soup.

This is so easy.  Heat broth to a boil, toss in all the chopped veggies.  Allow to simmer for 15-30 minutes or so.  Then add in the pasta & marinara sauce and allow to simmer on low until pasta is cooked through.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  The basil can be added chopped fresh on each bowl with the cheese (or added at the beginning with all the vegetables, your choice).
You can play around with this recipe, add more of this, less of that, it's very easy to make your own!

Fresh Salsa
-4 red tomatoes, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1/4 cup hot peppers, chopped (to make them less hot, cut in half & remove the seeds and white membrane near the seeds, this is where the heat is).
-2 cloves garlic, chopped

Combine all in a bowl, salt to taste.  Serve with tortilla chips, on top of a salad, taco, etc.  Keeps in the fridge for about a week.

Farm Fresh Veggies Salad
-1 bag salad mix
-1 bunch radishes, chopped (if you like the taste of the radish greens, you can use these too!)
-1 cucumber, sliced
-1 small summer squash, chopped
-1 small sweet onion, chopped
-1 small sweet green pepper, chopped

Toss all together, serve with your favorite dressing.

Thanks, everyone!  Hope to see you soon.

Penny Peterson
Wishful Acres Farm

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