CSA Newsletter: 2010 – Summer Week 5

 In CSA Newsletter

From the Fields: Well we forgot to tell you last week that the entire garlic harvest is complete! Garlic gets planted in the fall. Garlic seed is actually just a clove of garlic. Each clove then grows into an entire bulb, which gets harvested usually in July. This year the garlic was two weeks early. It’s important to get garlic out of the ground in a timely manner, because as the plant matures the leaves die back. The leaves are what actually make up the wrapper of a bulb of garlic. A healthy wrapper is key when trying to keep garlic for a long time. When we harvest garlic our entire crop comes out of the ground all at once. This garlic will be the same garlic we will give to our winter share members and restaurants throughout the winter. It was pretty stressful having the garlic come early because it takes an enormous amount of labor to get it all out of the ground. Usually you don’t want strawberries and peas needing to be picked when the garlic is ready. Craziness. But we got it done! Now the garlic harvest is being stored in our greenhouse and barn, drying out so that it can be stored long term.

This week we dug our first carrots. We harvested and washed just shy of a 1/2 ton carrots this Monday. Just like we did with our garlic, we used an implement called an undercutter.  The undercutter is bascially two huge knives that get pulled underneath the soil, behind a tractor. It loosens the soil so that it is easier to pull out your crop. After the undercutter goes through the bed, each carrot gets pulled by hand and the green tops get twisted off. While carrot tops are pretty, they actually suck the moisture out of the carrots once harvested, so we like to leave the greens in the field. Once pulled, the dirty carrots get washed in our barrel washer. This is a big cylindrical wood-slatted machine that rotates in a circle. We put the dirty carrots in one end. They spin slowly round and round and towards the other end of the barrel, knocking dirt off themselves the whole way. On the other end, we spray the carrots with a pressure washer to get them the rest of the way clean. It’s a still a good idea to scrub them to get the last little bits of dirt off of them.

The other major thing going on at the farm is the explosion of the cucumbers and zucchini. On Monday alone we harvested 500 pounds of zucchini and another 600 pounds of cucumbers. We will harvest them again on Wednesday and Friday. What does that mean for you? You’ll be seeing a lot of these two items for the next couple of months. Bust out the grill, your favorite zucchini bread recipe, and use the online recipe search to get ideas!

Share News: With all the cucumbers and zucchini starting to come, we’d love it if you would share your favorite recipes with us. Last year we had great success sharing members’ recipe ideas and would love to do it again. Please email me your favorite! New this week are purplette onions,  carrots, and fennel! The purplettes are like the red onion version of the pearls you received last week. We don’t suppose you’ll need a ton of help figuring out how to eat your carrots. We hope to get carrots to you fairly regularly throughout the rest of the season. They store best just like we give them to you: tops off and in a plastic bag. Fennel may be a new item to many of you. See this week’s recipes and use the online search for cooking ideas.

Our Crew: We’re happy to be adding a new crew member to the Primrose family. Douglas will be joining us as a part-time employee. Douglas helped us out a lot at the end of the season last year, especially when Zea came along. Just as he seemed to come into our lives at just the right time last season, he has done so again. We’re delighted to have him.

Sincerely, Mike, Cassie, Zea and Crew

In the Box:

  • Broccoli Shoots- EOs
  • Carrots
  • Chard – EOs
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Purplette Onions
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Snow Peas – REGs
  • Sugar Snap Peas-EOs
  • Thyme
  • Zucchini, Gold and/or Green

REGs = regular shares only
EOs = everyother shares only

This Week’s Recipes

Cucumber Limeade
Caramelized Fennel Flatbread
Garam Masala, Fennel, Tofu Scramble

Summer Week 5: Wednesday, July 7th – Everyother Week A