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Thursday, September 1, 2011

CSA Newsletter, Week 8 of Summer Share Season!

Here is the newsletter received by our CSA members this week!
For more info on our farm shareholder program with home delivery, visit http://wishfulacres.blogspot.com and click on "CSA".

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Hi everyone!  We are down to the last 3 deliveries in our summer CSA program.  The last delivery will be September 16.  The fall CSA program will begin on Sep 23 for those who are signing on for that.

Are you tired of summer squash & cucumbers yet?  This week, I'm giving you a slight break from the squash & cukes.  You'll only receive 2 of each if you're a full share member, and 1 of each if you're a half share.  I considered removing them completely for a week, but one of this week's recipes needs squash.  Plus you'll be receiving salad mix and may want a cucumber for that.  So please don't start throwing the squash & cukes back at me (really, in January you'll miss them).  :-)

There are some new vegetables this week, so please read closely so you'll know what they are!  (One is a sneaky tomato variety disguised as a bell pepper...)

This is my last chance to mention our Farm Open House, which is your chance to see where & how your food is grown!  Monday, September 5 (Labor Day), from 2-4 pm, on our farm (4679 Flansburg Rd, Lena).

Need to miss a weekly share?  I am flexible.  If you are going on vacation or will be out of town for an extended period of time, and will miss a weekly share, I can issue you a credit which can be spent on vegetables at our Farmers Market booth, on the farm, or extra veggies added to your CSA delivery.  If you are simply going to be gone on delivery day but back shortly after, there is a farm pickup option available to you all (simply let me know when you'd like to pick it up).

Need extra eggs?  We are finally in sync with our hens and getting lots of eggs now.  If you need an extra dozen delivered with your order, simply email me by Friday morning.  The brown eggs are $3 per dozen.

Chicken meat update: so many are interested in having us raise chickens for meat!  We are still pursuing this, I'm waiting for a quote on liability insurance from our insurance company.  One note, it takes at least 8 weeks to raise a meat-variety chicken, so once we get the go-ahead, we'll order the day-old chicks.  They'll be processed near Sterling in a licensed facility (that's the closest place!), and they will be whole, frozen chickens (sorry, we are unable to offer only certain cuts).  I'll keep you all updated.

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

Now, here is what you'll receive in your share this week!!!

-Asian Mix -
New this week!  This mix of greens can be stir-fried or eaten raw as an asian greens salad.  It will include Tot Soi (a tiny baby version of bok choy), Asian greens, and Mustard Greens (add your curly Asian Cucumber for a truly Asian salad).  If you wish to stir fry these vegetables don't cook too long, they're tender & will cook quickly.  Add a bit of soy sauce & garlic and you have an easy stir fry to serve with rice.  If you wish to eat raw, I'll include an adaptable Asian Salad Dressing recipe below in the recipe section.

-Eggplant - New this week!  We're growing 3 varieties of eggplant this season, and you'll receive one of them.  The traditional dark purple variety, a lavender variety, and a thin dark purple variety.  Can be used in this week's ratatoullie recipe, or grilled!  My favorite way to eat eggplant is grilled.  Slices need to be about 1/2 inch thick for grilling, and marinade them first by brushing with olive oil & garlic powder.  Grill until they are almost falling apart.  Eggplant is a bitter vegetable if undercooked, it was the last vegetable for me to overcome, cook it long & slowly.  How about eggplant parmesan?  Or simmer it in a pasta sauce or in a lasagna.

-Tomatoes - Ripe red tomatoes as well as heirlooms of various colors.  There will be at least one "Stuffer Tomato" in each of your shares.  This looks like a bell pepper, but don't be fooled, it's really a hollow tomato!  Stuffer tomatoes are such fun to cook with.  Simply cut off the very top and scoop the seed cavity out with your fingers (careful not to rip).  The hollow cavity can now be stuffed - try chicken or tuna salad in a raw stuffer, or bake them in muffin tins or on a cookie sheet stuffed with Italian or Mexican ingredients (would be good stuffed with this week's ratatoullie recipe, topped with cheese, and baked for 30 minutes). Tomatoes should not be refrigerated.  Keep on counter. 

-Arugula - New this week!  The cooler temperatures of the last few weeks are allowing me to begin growing some of the cooler-weather-loving vegetables again.  Arugula is a green leaf vegetable that has a "peppery" taste, not overly spicy, but with a bit of bite.  Great on top of a lettuce salad or on a sandwich.

-Cherry & Pear Tomatoes
- a mixed rainbow bag, including Chocolate Cherry, Orange Cherry, Red Grape, Red Cherry, Yellow Pear, and Red Pear.  No refrigeration.

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

-Radishes -mild French Breakfast variety.  Also great on an asian salad, or even sliced & stir fried with your Asian greens. - refrigerate.

-Squash - not a lot, just enough for this week's ratatoullie recipe or the recipe of your choice.

-Lettuce Mix - salad mix this week (lettuce and New Zealand spinach). Refrigerate.

-Cucumbers - The curly Asian burpless cucumber for you to use in your Asian salad or recipe of your choice, plus a regular slicing cucumber in the full shares.  Refrigerate.

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

-Brown Eggs or extra vegetables
, depending upon your option upon signup.

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

Ratatoullie Recipe (one of my favorite Italian dishes).  Can be served as a main dish as is, on top of pasta, over meat or eggs, or play with the recipe: one example is to add broth to make a soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried or fresh basil
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
Chop all vegetables.  Heat olive oil, add all vegetables in and cook until tender.  Season with salt, pepper, and basil.  Top with cheese when serving.

Asian Salad Dressing Recipe

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. In a 1 pint glass jar or larger, combine the garlic, ginger, olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and water. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake well. Remove lid, and heat jar in the microwave for 1 minute if needed to dissolve the honey. Let cool, and shake well before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Stuffer Tomato
See above in your vegetable descriptions, under "tomatoes", for cooking ideas.

CSA Omelet

I love making omelets with each week's share ingredients.  I made one with last week's ingredients and you can view the recipe with a picture right here on the farm blog: http://all-natural-mama.blogspot.com/2011/08/smells-like-italy-in-our-farm-kitchen-i.html

Grilling Ideas for the week:
-Grilled eggplant is delicious!  See above in your vegetable description under "eggplant" for how to grill. 
-Sliced squash can be grilled just like eggplant, and the leftovers are great for an omelet or on a sandwich.


Thanks, everyone!  Hope to see you soon.

Penny Peterson
Wishful Acres Farm
http://wishfulacres.blogspot.com

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