CSA Newsletter: 2010 – Summer Week 4

 In CSA Newsletter

Zea & Asha helping with the garlic harvest. June 2010.

Thanks to all the members who came to the farm this Saturday! We enjoyed having you all come visit us.  At the event, we divided folks up into two tour groups: the info dense tour with Mike and the kids tour with Cassie. It was a humid hot one out there, but there was lots to see and learn. While the strawberry picking was lean, everyone went home with strawberries. I think my favorite part was showing the kids the walk-in cooler. Just like our veggies, everyone likes a little cool down after the heat! We hope that many of you will come join us for our next farm event ” the corn boil potluck. This will be at our new land in Cross Plains on Sunday, August 8th from 3-5pm.

From the Fields: Sunny skies at last! It’s been hard not to be in a good mood with the mild sunny weather we’ve been having the last couple of days. We’re feeling a little relieved as well, because we’re finally able to get out into our fields a bit more and start combatting the weeds. They’ve been having a heyday lately, and we’re catching up little by little each day. Soon the soil will be dry enough for Mike to get the tractor in the field and do some mechanical cultivation, and then we’ll really be back on track. We have to wait until the soil drys out enough.  As organic farmers we really focus intensely on soil health. Healthy soil is like a sponge ” it can absorb water, but also has lots of spaces and pores for air too. This provides spaces for roots to grow, as well as points of aeration. Driving a heavy piece of equipment, like a tractor, on soil that’s too wet can damage the soil health by compacting it. So even with the sun out, we’re still waiting a bit to get out in the field to make sure we don’t do any damage. It can be hard to wait though ” oh the weeds, the weeds!

Share News: Broccoli is the star of your box this week.  You will receive 2 heads. Yep, you read it right. We planned to have some broccoli ready now and some ready two weeks from now, but due to the early heat and all the rain, the younger planting caught up to the first one. The result = mucho broccoli. Think broccoli casserole, cream of broccoli soup, stir-fries with broccoli (see this week’s recipes). Or if two heads are too much, think about blanching the broccoli and freezing it for a winter treat.  It’s always a good idea to soak your broccoli before you cook with it, as there may be some cabbage moth caterpillars hiding in the head. Cabbage moths are white moths that lay their eggs on vegetables in the cabbage/broccoli family. The caterpillars are exactly the same color as a broccoli stem. By submersing your broccoli in cold water (a dash of salt helps too) you can drown out the caterpillars. When we washed the 500 heads of broccoli in the shed this week, we saw only a few, but it’s always a good practice. Remember if the idea of caterpillars in your broccoli makes your stomach turn, just remind yourself that a caterpillar in your broccoli is way better than a pesticide.

New this week are garlic, cilantro, basil, and pearl onions. Cilantro is a wonderful herb even if you don’t have tomatoes around just yet. Try cilantro in scrambled eggs. Or when you are making that stir-fry to use your broccoli, add a dash of lime and some minced cilantro to give your dish a great flavor. Basil is always a favorite for pesto making. With fresh garlic and this week’s zucchini, you have an easy pasta dish to make for a meal. Basil leaves are also a fantastic addition to any sandwich. Basil doesn’t like it cold, so it’s best to treat it like you would flowers ” put your bunch in a glass of water and set it on your table. Not only will it smell wonderful, it will keep the leaves nice and green. (Basil leaves turn black if they are exposed to too low of a temperature). Finally, pearl onions. You can use the greens just as you would a scallion.  And well, the onions are excellent. No real peeling to do, just all the fun of a fresh onion.

Our Crew: On a sad note, our employee Alex unexpectedly lost his father to a heart attack this weekend. He left Tuesday to be with his family in Utah. While we know many of you haven’t met Alex, we would appreciate any kind thoughts and/or prayers you could send his way. Our hearts are with him.

Sincerely, Mike, Cassie, Zea and Crew

In the Box:

  • Basil
  • Beets – EOs
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage, Green – EOs
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Kale, Red Russian
  • Pearl Onions
  • Romaine Lettuce – EOs
  • Snow Peas – EOs
  • Sugar Snap Peas-REGs
  • Zucchini, Gold and/or Green

This Week’s Recipes:

Pasta Primavera
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Easy Broccoli Gratin

Summer Week 4: Wednesday, June 30th – Everyother Group B