WEEK 16: August 31 – September 6, 2009 CSA Newsletter

This Week’s Share:  Summer Squash, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Heirloom Tomatoes, either Pepper or Eggplant, a bunch of Radish, and “Farmer’s  Choice”.

Week 16

Recipes, Information and Suggestions: 

Summer Squash is holding strong in our fields and likely your kitchen. We hope you are still enjoying it.  Another fabulous resource for you to learn all about putting up the summer bounty is found through the OSU extension  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/umatilla/mf/sites/default/files/pnw214.pdf . It can be helpful information with your squash and even your tomatoes.

The second field of  Sweet Corn  is coming on for us all now. We harvest it last  just before you get to it each day for the freshest pick possible. The sugars begin to break down as soon as sweet corn is picked so be sure to enjoy your corn sooner rather than later.  Here is a nice site with multiple sweet corn recipes…..Enjoy the corn while it  lasts!  http://www.thatsmyhome.com/farmers/corn-recipes.htm .

Cucumber  is in the share again this week. I have been meaning to post a list of the varieties we grow so here goes. You usually have an assortment of Sweet Slicer, White Wonder, and a hairy one called Barese for your basic eating varieties. The round ones, which are my personal favorites, are either Lemon cucs, Crystal Apple, or Richmond Green Apple. Of course we also have the very basic looking, green cucumber called Straight Eight. We also have two varieties which ripen to a yellowish, brown color called Poona Keera  or the Armenian Yard-longs. Despite these cucumbers looking a tad unappetizing, their flavor is incredibly sweet and akin to melons, aka delicious!…..Farmer Kip really enjoys them!

Tomatoes  are coming out our aisles! We hope you all love them as we do. The various Heirloom variety list that we grow is extensive.  We grow all of the larger varieties in the photo below.  We also have several plum varieties such as Purple Russian, Tangerine, Cream Sausage and Yellow Roma. Some additional favorite slicers that we have are Wisconsin 55, Siberian, Black Sea Man, Lemon Boy and Monte Carlo. We grow a few other unique beefsteak, slicing varieties including Black from Tula, White Beauties and a bright orange one called Manyel. Yum. Have you had tomatoes with your eggs yet…?

Here is a fresh marinara recipe that is very good…..even better if you have fresh herbs. It can taste very sweet with the fresh tomatoes, so don’t be afraid to load up the simmering pot with extra garlic…or extra dashes of wine!

Ingredients:

2 TBsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup redwine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           4 cups (about 4 large) peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 can(6 oz.) no-salt-added tomato paste
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp.fennelseed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 bay leaves

 Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tomatoes are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Cool 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves. You can serve now, chunky or blend for a fine consistency….Place cooled tomato mixture in blender jar 1 or more cups at a time. Cover and blend at stir about 30 seconds after each addition. Blend on high about 30 seconds. Return mixture to saucepan. Simmer over low heat about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over fresh pasta topped with fresh parmesan or asiago cheese.
Fresh, crisp Radish  bunches make it back into your shares this week. Hopefully they are a welcomed returning friend.  We have really enjoyed having them again for a change. They make a great raw snack. You can also cook radishes – and they’re good too! Try this quick and easy side-dish recipe  http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2008/06/04/butter-braised-radishes/ .

Pepper  or Eggplant  will make it into your share this week.  Also the “Farmer’s Choice”returns again. Different types of Melons have been making an appearance as your wild card veggie.  We grow several different types of personal sized musk melons. Galia and Honeydew are two types of melons with sweet green flesh inside.  Charentais, Cantaline and Minnesota Midget are a few types of  the traditional orange fleshed cantaloupe.  The smoother skinned varieties, with white-yellow sweet flesh could be the Collective Farm Women or mini Canary melon.  Some have very unique flavors, but they all are something close to sweet! If you get a melon this week we hope you enjoy it. I have heard another possibility for your unknown veggie may be Broccoli, as some plantings are forming heads ready to harvest.

FARM NEWS: Farm life is going well….flora and fauna continue to amaze us. Our bees are very busy. The vegetables continue to thrive and the pests continue to attempt to thrive, but somehow manage to balance out or stay in check when you have enough beneficial insects and enough high fertility and low stress in your fields. We are currently dealing with nothing too damaging. Potatoes are busy producing well for us underground. They will likely make it to the veggie share soon. Winter squash production is down this year from last. We don’t anticipate having all the different varieties for you this year, unfortunately, but we do hope to have some anyway. Fall brassica’s are coming on nicely. We’ll have more onions and garlic for you as well.

We are excited about planning our 2009 Fall Farm-Member Harvest/Work Party….to which we hope you can all attend. Save the date!….October 10th, Saturday from 10 am – 4ish pm. We want to start the day with garlic planting. Our fall garlic order is in and our field preparation is currently underway.  We’ll start with the garlic ‘work’  for an hour or two and then head to the woods for our potluck and party. We’ll have a grill there and some meat and veggies for grilling, and some beverages with and without alcohol. Please bring a dish to share and/or drink to share, and your outdoor chair and come hang out! Of course foods and beverages hand made with farm fresh ingredients are lovely! Please don’t hesitate to bring the kids, but dogs should probably stay home. Woods tours and farm tours will be arranged for those who want. We are hoping for good weather and a very nice afternoon with all of you who can join us…….please do let us know if you’re expecting to come so I can get an idea of how may cookies to bake. We’d love to see you, and love to have the help from you all participating in ‘YOUR’ farm. Thanks!~

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