Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31 CSA

Justin, Anne, Aaron, Ellen, Cate, Catherine
Your box this week:
Smalls:  3 lbs. red maria potatoes, 1 bunch of leeks, 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, 1 each of garlic, torpedo onion and sweet onion, 1/4lb basil.
Regulars: 3 lbs. red potatoes, 1 bunch leeks, 3 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, garlic and onions, 1 italian eggplant, 1 lb. tomatillos and 1 jalapeno, 1 bunch beets, 1/4 lb. basil.

Some of the tomatoes in your box are black krim which is purplish-brownish-pinkish when ripe.  The shoulders usually stay green.  There are some brandy wines  which are pink when ripe, and some small round red ones.  Not all boxes got the same because we didn't have enough of any one variety.  Keep the tomatoes out of the fridge and eat within 3 days.  We store them with stem end down on the counter.

The basil should be used within 2 days.  I make a simple pesto using garlic, olive oil, salt, a tiny bit of lemon juice to keep green color, and of course the basil!  I blend it together in a food processor and put in a mason jar.  I pour a little olive oil on top to keep air out and store in our fridge for a month or so using as we want it.  You can also freeze it.  I add nuts and cheese when we are about to eat it.

We are transplanting cucumbers and squash today.  We planted lettuces, radicchio, leeks, and bok choi yesterday.  And the beat goes on...

Vichyssoise Soup recipe
If you look at the soup recipe, also check out their heirloom tomato salad recipe!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24 CSA

This weeks' small share:  1/4lb basil, 1 1/2lbs lemon cucumbers, 2 lbs red maria potatoes, 1 lb summer squash, 2 to 3 yellow onions, 2 heads garlic.
Regular shares get all the above plus: 1 pint of cherry or roma tomatoes, 2lbs fingerling potatoes, 1/4 lb more basil, 4 torpedo onions.
 The yellow onions can be kept out of the fridge but everything else needs to be refrigerated.  This is the last summer squash you'll get for awhile.  We will be planting more on Monday so in late August we'll have it again.  We hope to have enough tomatoes next week that everyone will get some.  Eggplant is starting to make fruit and the okra is blooming.
  Last Thursday we were able to make beds and I seeded all kinds of things including salad mix, arugula, and radishes that will hopefully be ready to harvest in 4 weeks.  I planted more beans, beets, carrots, and spinach.  So there will be more to eat in a few weeks but the next 2 to 3 weeks will be slim as we feel the effects of the crazy rain of early July.  We transplanted a lot of leeks and parsnips and lettuces.

Catherine getting ready to harvest squash

 Anne cleaning basil
Check out this potato soup recipe!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17 CSA

Amazing what a difference a little sunshine can make in our attitudes!  In 16 years of farming in WNC I've never seen rain like this.  We were able to till a few beds yesterday and seed some carrots and beets so 70 days from now, you will see carrots again.  We are seeding lots of things in trays of potting soil to transplant when the fields dry out enough to work again.  And we are working hard to save anything that survived all the rain.  Today we are weeding the sweet potatoes and celeriac.

Your box this week:
small shares:  1 bunch sweet onions, 2 bulbs of garlic, 1 lb. nicola potatoes, 1 lb. red gold potatoes, 1 head of celery, 1 sm. bag of basil, 1 1/2 lbs. patty pan squash, 3 cucumbers
regular shares: 1 bunch sweet onions, 2 bulbs of garlic, 2 lbs. nicola potatoes, 2 lbs. red gold potatoes, 1 head of celery, 1 sm. bag of basil, 1 1/2 lbs. patty pan squash, 3 cucumbers, 1 watermelon, 1 bunch white beets

everything in your box needs to be kept in the refrigerator

The nicola potatoes have a waxy texture and make great salad because of it.  They are also great roasted, fried, mashed.  The celery is more flavorful than what you'd buy in the store.  We use all the green leaves too.  I hope we will be able to give you more basil at some point but it may succumb to powdery mildew so I wanted to put some in each box this week.  The white beets are just as sweet as red ones.  They do cook a bit faster than the red ones.  The watermelons are hit or miss on sweetness because of, you guessed it, all the rain!  Even the less ripe ones are good though, used in salad or made into watermelon lemonade.

Patty Pan Squash recipe

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10 CSA

It has been a difficult 10 days here at the farm.  We have gotten 13 inches of rain since Monday July 1.  The creek has gotten into part of our field twice.  There are areas of 1 foot deep standing water just because the ground cannot soak up any more rain water.  We spent part of yesterday sucking water from the field with our irrigation pump only to have it rain 1 more inch in the afternoon.  Our crop losses are significant though we are not experiencing complete devastation.  We harvested all the garlic only to find that most if not all of it is fermenting from too much water.  We are hopeful about some of it and are trying to cure that.    4 beds of carrots and 3 beds of beets are rotting in the ground which translates to 4 weeks worth of those vegetables in your boxes.  Some of the varieties of potatoes are rotting in the ground because they are in standing water 6 inches under ground.  The early tomatoes have late blight which we have been trying to combat but now the fruits are just so waterlogged they fall off the plants with white foamy fermenting water coming out of them.  We are holding our breath about the storage onions and hoping for things to dry out and the sun to shine and get things growing again.
As soon as possible, we will be working in the fields again.  We will plant lots more vegetables. There are losses we cannot regain this year in garlic and onions but plenty of other things to eat. The melons and winter squash are looking good so far.  The peppers, okra, and eggplant look good.  And the fall crops look great.

Your box this week:
small shares:  1lb. green beans, 2lbs. red gold new potatoes, 2lbs. zephyr squash, 1lb. lemon cucumbers, 1/2lb pickle cucumbers, 1 bunch of torpedo onions, 1 bulb garlic, 1 zucchini
regular shares:  2lbs. green beans, 4lbs. red gold new potatoes, 2lbs. zephyr squash, 1 lb. lemon cukes, 1/2 lb. pickle cukes, 1 lb. tomatoes, 1 bunch torpedo onions, 2 bulbs garlic.

Everything should be stored in your refrigerator.  The garlic is for using now.  Do not try to cure it.

Lemon cucumbers are the round yellowish-green fruits in your box.  They are really great in salads or just eaten by themselves.
Check this link for some good recipes with squash:
Aaron cleaning torpedo onions

Laying out the garlic to cure

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 3 CSA


Your box this week:
1 bunch mixed color carrots, 1 bunch beets (some are mix colors, some are all chiogga), 1 bunch of sweet onions, 2 heads of fresh garlic, 1 small head of red cabbage, 2 lbs. cucumbers, 2 lb. mix of zephyr and patty pan squash (value $19)
"Regular" boxes also get:
2 costata romenesca zucchini, 2 fennel bulbs, and 1 pint of blueberries (value $29)

     Carrots, beets, and sweet onions will all keep well in your fridge for a week or more but you need to remove the tops if you're going to keep them longer than 2 days.  The tops start to go bad faster than the roots and will make the roots go bad.  The garlic is uncured and should be kept in your fridge and used within 3 weeks.  You can use it just like cured garlic however the flavor is slightly milder and it is MUCH easier to peel.  Cabbage, cucumbers, and squash all need to be kept in your fridge and eaten within the week.  The patty pan squash is the round cup-like squash and has a very sweet flavor.  The zephyr is the long yellow with green tip squash; also quite sweet and tender.  The costata romanesca in the regular boxes is an open pollinated squash with a sweet and mildly nutty flavor that holds its form and texture well when cooked.   It is the light green deeply ribbed long squash.                                                                                                        
     We hoped to put new potatoes in the boxes this week for 4th of July but we had such a heavy rain on Monday night that we could not get into the potato field today to dig them.  You can look forward to some creamy new potatoes next week!                                                                                   
    The sweet onions are one of our most anticipated vegetables of the year.  The variety name is Ailsa Craig.  They do not "cure" well so we only have them fresh with the tops on and then for a little while we'll have those that we can store in our walk-in and dole out until they're gone.  They are very mild and taste great raw in any salad.  They are also delicious lightly sauteed or grilled.     
Check this great and simple recipe for beets: 
It is good using the sweet onions and with some goat or feta cheese sprinkled on top.                      

Thanks to those of you who came out last weekend to see the farm!  It means a lot to us that you came!