Newsletter

Week #18 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

Pea shoots, sweet pepper, acorn squash, yellow storage onion, red storage onion, filet beans, porcelain garlic, aji rico chili peppers, jalapeño peppers, lettuce mix, radishes and tomato.

What’s going on at the farm:  

Its been warming up and drying out this week with gorgeous weather finally!   We harvested all the rest of the winter squash and pulled in our biggest haul ever, easily.   I made great progress on the greenhouse site removing roots, and leveling the site with my tractor.  I borrowed another large tool for the job (a gas powered pole driver) this last week too and I am basically ready to set the foundation poles at this point.    We got some more clean up done this week too removing all the melon beds from the fields.   Winter squash beds got ripped out too after we harvested all the winter squash!   Over 2,000 fruits were hauled out of the field after being clipped off the vines and moved to the greenhouse for curing.  Its been a lot of lifting lately but i’m feeling strong despite being tired and pacing myself into the late season.  Our crop selection looks tasty this week and will include.

Sweet peppers are pouring in with this heat so we will be including a mix of all the types we can!   Enjoy these while they last because when the heat is gone they will ripen much slower.   Stuffed peppers are a great way to use up a lot of these and if you find you have excess you can chop them and freeze them to put in chili or soup in the winter.

Our acorn squash is fully ripened and cured and ready to eat.  It will store at room temperature for 2-4 months.

Garlic i’m sure your all familiar with, remember it does not need refrigeration just room temp is great.   One of my favorite things to do with it is roast whole bulbs in the oven on low for 40 minutes or so and then spread the cloves like/with butter on bread.

Storage onions are a regular thing in our shares and so here they are again.   The base of cooking in my book, the yellow onions are getting down there so some smaller ones this week.   One nice thing about having some smaller onions around is you can use them when you just need a little onion without having to save a huge cut onion in the fridge.

Filet beans are in this week and they cook a little faster then the regular green beans you got last week.  These are long, slender, seedlesss and tasty!   They are very good with the garlic too!

Pea shoots are back again and these lovely little sprouts will make great salads with some of your peppers, and other veggies!

lettuce mix is back and ready for some awesome salads with some of your sweet peppers, radishes, and other veggies!

Radishes, are crisp and spicy this week and plenty to go around so nice big bunches are coming to you!

Aji Rico chilies, are here for the second time and they are fruity and not to hot.    I love them raw for pico.

Jalapeno is back again this week, i made a large batch of bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers for the farm potluck so if you missed it that’s a shame and you will have to come next year!    I will do it again!

Tomatoes.   Yes we still have some!   This week will mark our tenth week of tomatoes in shares this year.  Thats the most we’ve ever been able to distribute in one season and we may not be done yet although they are slowing quite a bit and def getting smaller.

Thanks for being a part of the farm folks!  It’s worth mentioning there are two weeks remaining after this coming one in our twenty week 2018 CSA season.   Week #19 which is our last week for bi-weekly shares, and of course our final delivery for full season members the week after for week #20. I look forward to having a good time with you all tomorrow night for those of you who can make the annual farm potluck, csa members and their guests are welcome from 3-10ish, and you should bring your prefered beverage and a dish to pass.    There will be a large bonfire after the dinner as we burn to prepare for the new greenhouse building site!   Enjoy the food all!

Week #17 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

spaghetti squash, purple glazer garlic, yellow storage onion, red storage onion, green pepper, sweet peppers, red radish, green beans, jalapeño, pea shoots, sunflower shoots, and tomatoes.

What’s going on at the farm: 

Finally we are drying out a bit and able to get some field work done.   We removed a few rows of tomatoes late last week, and today we removed some more mulch beds after picking the very last melons off the vines.    I got the pine tree stump removed today too and i’ve been able to resume work on preparing the greenhouse site.  which is almost ready to install the foundation on.  I’ve gone down a few workers the last few weeks and although its supposed to get easier late in the year for me it never does and this year is no different with this huge project developing and many other time consuming things like bean picking, weeding salad greens, winter squash harvest, and clean up going on.  I am also preparing to have you all out as guests for the annual farm potluck dinner this coming Sunday, September 16th.   We will start at 3pm and go until sunset followed by a bonfire.  I will plan on dinner being around 5-6pm.  Please bring a dish to pass and your own beverages.  I will supply plates, silverware, brats, and a variety of roasted peppers.

I’ve got a lot of good crops coming for you folks this week and the fall veggies are coming on strong for our last three weeks after this one.  Our offerings this week include;

Pea Shoots and sunflower shoots.   I hope you are all familiar with these by now.  This new addition of sunflower shoots for us this year has been a smash hit and I could go on and on about the many compliments we have gotten on the sweet flavor of the pea shoots and great shelf life we have been experiencing with these but my favorite so far was taco salad with these. Yum!

Red Radish.  These fresh bunches of roots will be great with your fresh pea shoots and sunflower shoots, or roasted up.

Red and yellow storage onions.  The base of many recipes everywhere I think you all know by now that onions are a common theme in our boxes too.    All the onions you will receive now are the long term storage types and will hold up to 6 months without refrigeration which will actually make them sprout.

Green beans.   It might be late summer but the beans are coming in strong with this mid summer planting we got in hitting just in time for the last quarter of this season.  We just had them for dinner on the grill in a foil packet with garlic and avocado oil and they were so good!

purple stripe garlic.   Purple stripe is back this week and a little spicier then the porcelain we’ve been distributing the last few weeks.  Keep without refrigerating and if you have a garden maybe plant a few large cloves for yourself around halloween this year.

Jalapeño is our hot pepper this week and a pretty familiar one.   I made poppers for dinner today and am planning on doing more for the farm party by splitting them and stuffing them with cream cheese after removing the seeds.  Please do remember to wear gloves for that job.  I then roasted them on a sheet of foil on the grill for about 20-30 minutes.

Sweet peppers.    Enjoy these sweet fruits while they are here as they only ripen when the temps stay up!  Ignore the gossip about the male and female peppers being better for certain things if you’ve heard that somewhere, it’s a real myth.

Green pepper.  These are getting bit smaller but still tasty and crisp, we like them on our mini pizzas at home.

Spaghetti squash is our first winter squash this week and everyone is getting a couple of these.  They store great at room temperature on the counter for quite some time if you don’t want to use them right away.

Tomatoes, we are trying to bring them back again this week but not very much to go around so please enjoy these while we still have them.

Thanks everyone, as always it is a pleasure and a privilege to be your farmer and I hope you all enjoy the veggies!

Week #16 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

Cantaloupe, sweet peppers, garlic, torpedo onion, green peppers, english cucumber, leeks, pea shoots, sunflower shoots, jalapeño peppers, baby kale, cayenne peppers.

What’s going on at the farm:  

This week brings us into the last quarter of the season.   My new greenhouse arrived last Wednesday and I started removing roots and stumps and preparing to burn the branches and level the build site.   Old broccoli beds were removed from the build site and i’ve been solarizing weeds out of the area utilizing the heat.  Green beans are super close to the first pick but I think It will not be accomplished until later in the week so those will go out starting next week along with the winter squash we harvested this week.  Spaghetti was the first of the winter squash this week harvested for curing so that will be coming starting next week.   Looks like a good haul of spaghetti, acorn, butternut, and honey nut squash though overall!   Work will continue this week on clean up for fall along with the regular harvesting, cleaning, and mowing which is a lot this time of year too.   Here is the run down for Week 16.

Cantaloupe is still here!  What a great crop this year.    This will be our third straight week of melons and these are pretty close to perfect ripeness but yours should have a light yellow color to the skin and a sweet scent out of the stem end but they will not get soft.  This variety is very firm with incredible flavor and sweetness.  I have a customer at market that like to eat these in chunks wrapped with prosciutto.  If we have enough i’m going to double up on cantaloupe for everyone this week so hopefully that will happen.  Still some cracking of the skin on these with all the water lately.

Sweet peppers are really coming in with the heat and humidity but that also makes for more peppers that may get a soft spot or mark on them because of all the moisture.  We try to avoid any that are worse then a spot but we are also loading you guys up on peppers so if you have to cut out a bad spot it shouldn’t be the end of the world.   Plenty to go around!

Green peppers are coming to you again too because the green flavor is great sometimes too.  I love them on homeade pizza, in stir fries, or stuffed.

Jalapeno peppers are one of our hot pepper this week and they are good for so much but my favorite is splitting them in half and slow roasting them with cream cheese in them but they spice up any dish nice.  Cayenne is the long skinny red hot pepper and those are great dried for red pepper later or in stir fries, pasta dishes, or make your own bit of hot sauce!

Torpedo onions are here one more time but this is likely the last week for these before we get into all storage types for winter.

Leeks are also back and these creamy textured onions hold well even if the outer wrapper gets dry you can simply peel of a layer before cooking them up!    They are great with potatoes, in soups, stews, and stir fries.

Pea Shoots and sunflower shoots are such great fresh salad greens and full of vitamins, but also great on burgers, sandwiches, tacos or even lightly sautéed.

English Cucumbers are still coming but much slower so enjoy these while we still have them, not likely much to go around this week and it might be the last week for them

Our kale this week is the baby jagallo nero kale, we had it early in the year once or twice and this week it is our sautéed green, great for stir fry, sautéed salad with sesame seeds, or even a raw salad when its massaged roughly with oil.

I hope everyone enjoys the veggies and stay tuned next week for green beans, winter squash, and possibly radishes and the return of salad mix coming very soon!

Thank you all.    -farmer Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week #15 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box: 

Heirloom tomatoes, yellow sweet onion, red torpedo onion, garlic, eggplant, assorted sweet peppers, sunflower shoots, pea shoots, leeks, cayenne peppers, aji rico hot peppers, cantaloupe, and watermelon (bi-weekly-only)

What’s going on at the farm:

Way too much rain was the highlight of last week.   Now we’ve got a lot of humidity and heat building up again.  My greenhouse project is well under way as we got most of the logs cut and moved this week.    I’m almost ready to start prying the roots out of the ground this week.  On Wednesday the new structure comes and we will have the parts on hand to build!  Its hard to keep energy up this time of year after working so hard all year long so slow and steady is my pace heading into the last quarter of the season.   Melons and cantaloupes are in and tasting great!   Our green beans, dragons tongue beans, and edamame and winter squash are loving the heat and precipitation too.   Beans should be ready very soon.   Here is this weeks rundown.

Cantaloupe:  This fruit is a favorite of many, yours should have a nice yellow tint to it before you cut it open, and a light scent out of the stem end of the melon.  No need to refrigerate it unless it has a crack or a has been cut open.    I just let them ripen at home on my counter.  Some of them will be very ripe and others slightly under so its up to you when to cut it.

Watermelon is here this week for bi-weekly members only since they missed out last week we will do our best to get everyone a watermelon.    Most of them are orange glow heirloom melons which are orange with a white seed, but you may also receive seedless pink or yellow melons depending on what is ripe this week.

Torpedo onions are a summer red onion great for eating raw as they are not to sharp.   I do believe they are good with everything!  These store dry but won’t keep well after October.

Sweet yellow onions are in the box again this week too, a great staple for any dish this is likely the last week for these sweet onions.  These store dry but won’t keep well after October.

Leeks are another mild onion coming to you this week, great in stir fries, or sautéed in butter with potatoes for some potato leek soup which can also be served cold!

Garlic is back again with flavor this week!  It’s great for you and will hold until spring with no refrigeration at room temp.

Aji Rico chilies are one of our hot peppers this week, these have a tear drop shape and red color and they are very fruity with a small amount of heat.  I would call these mild with great flavor and I really like them with tomatoes for fresh pico, or on tacos or nachos.

Cayenne is our other hot pepper this week and we have a lot of these pouring in right now, they are great for making red pepper flakes if you dry them slowly in the oven or a dehydrator, if you have one.

Sweet peppers are numerous right now too expect a lot of red, yellow, and maybe even some orange sweet peppers of different shapes and sizes in the mix.   In general these are larger then the hot peppers so easy to tell them apart.

Sunflower shoots and pea shoots are back again and they make great salads together and great compliment to your other meals too.

eggplant.  Just a few smaller fruits to go around now with these creamy and spongy summer fruits soak up anything you can spice or marinate them with.   I like them best fried in olive oil for sandwiches, pasta, or ratatouille.

Tomatoes are still coming in pretty well too, a random blend will go in each box and although they are getting a bit smaller they do not lack in flavor!

Until next week then folks, happy Labor Day weekend and enjoy the veg!

-Farmer Kyle

Week #14 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box: 

Cantaloupe, heirloom tomato, porcelain garlic, sweet yellow onion, red torpedo onion, leeks, sweet peppers, green pepper, eggplant, curly kale, summer squash, padron peppers, and sage.

What’s going on at the farm:   

The site prep for greenhouse three continued this week.   I took down a large pine and a 5 foot wide hardwood hackberry tree that took two days to cut up to make room for the future building.   Now it is ready for excavating the roots, stumps, and leveling the site which I will do with the new tractor.     These were not some little trees so it really gets the blood pumping to do such a dangerous job.    I got several quotes from three different companies on the ideal structure and it looks like the grant will cover about 2/3 of the cost.  Apparently the cost of steel rose over 15 percent recently.    Also investing in solid structure components like metal hips and baseboards, ventilation, and metal end framing can lead to less headaches later and a more reliable long lasting structure in my opinion so that’s where i’m leaning on it.      I should be able to grow enough in it to still pay it pack within a year with the grant so on we go with the project!    We got hit with heavy rains this week receiving over 10 inches the last few days and the fields are thoroughly soaked.   Amazingly I was able to get in a planting before the last rain came.   I had a nice area prepared from earlier weeks work and seeded lettuce for salad mix, spinach, and radishes!   Hopefully they did not all wash out with the heavy rains and we will have some greens coming back for the last few weeks of the season.

Melons and cantaloupes are coming in now but the yields are not incredibly high and all this water is not good during the cantaloupe ripening period.  My plants are making fewer large melons this year.    I’m going to try and get everyone a cantaloupe this week.    If it is cracked at all from the excess moisture you should try to eat it or refrigerate it right away.   So starting of the list this week is;

Cantaloupe.   This delicious dense fruit is not as sweet or easy to ripen during heavy rain periods like this but they are coming in none the less.   Hopefully it does not affect the sweetness.    The variety  grow has exceptional flavor and texture so keeping my fingers crossed.    You should cut these when they have a light yellow color to the skin (but no later) and a light scent to the stem end of the cantaloupe.   That is ideal ripeness in my opinion but they should all be close to or at that point when you receive them this week.  Enjoy!

Tomatoes, are still going strong in the greenhouses and a nice blend of slicers are coming to you this week.   Our outdoor cherry tomatoes are pretty much finished with all the rain this week.   Enjoy the late summer tomatoes while you can because they are getting smaller and slowing down now.

Green peppers and sweet peppers are back and peppers is one veggie my kids and I all love in this household.   I’m sure your familiar with these as well!

Eggplant is also back and these fruits are also getting smaller and slowing down a bit this week, These are great cooked just about any way you can think of buy my favorite is frying slices breaded and putting caramelized tomato and onion over them.

Garlic, sweet onions, and torpedo onions, will help make your cooking flavorful and savory in so many ways.   I’ve been making kabobs a lot lately and grilling the onions, peppers, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, marinated with a  little oil and sweet sauce.

Sage is our herb this week, it is wet from the heavy rains which is not ideal for this herb so do try to dry it out or you could refrigerate it and use it fresh sooner then later.  It will not store well cool and wet for long.    Sage has a great savory flavor that lends itself well with onions, garlic, meat or protein dishes like grilled chicken, beans, etc…

Padron peppers are our hot pepper this week.   These wrinkly peppers range in size from tiny to larger then a jalapeño.    They are a spanish peppers traditionally sautéed in olive oil and sea salt until they soften and blister.  They have a great flavor like that but the larger ones tend to be fairly hot.   The small ones are usually not but thats the thing about padron peppers, you don’t really know how hot each one is until you try them.   We have a few ripe red ones too so those will be sweeter and hot for sure.   In my opinion if they get large they are always hot so keep that in mind when eating them.

That’s it for this week folks.  This is going out later then normal as its been very busy and exhausting here with the greenhouse project going on but I am going to get out in the fields and get harvests and packing done for deliveries today.

Thank you for being great CSA members!  -Kyle

 

 

Week #13 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:  

Sweet pepper, green pepper, heirloom tomatoes, broccoli, purple stripe garlic, red torpedo onion, shallots, jalapeño peppers,  zucchini, summer squash, leeks, eggplant, english cucumbers, and curly kale.

What’s going on at the farm:  

Our late summer beans are making good growth this week and we’ve been seeing some ripe melons but not enough quantity for shares.    Hoping to have a bigger harvest soon.   Lots of new hot peppers coming soon including poblano, habanero, aji rico, and more… also I will be planting greens and roots for fall this next week or two.   Items on the list to plant include lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, turnips, radishes, beets, chard, kale, spinach, and more.   Weather will play a big part in that as I only have a few open days where i’m not harvesting and delivering and selling food each week now and the harvests are heavy this time of year.  I’ve been working on preparing some areas that were cleared of harvest this week too and controlling weeds for next year using some different methods including lots of hand weeding, solarizing, and mowing.

Keeping up with the harvest is a challenge this time of year in the heat but we’ve been doing so.   I’m also doing more research on greenhouse structures this week and got the chainsaw blades sharpened so I can start tree trimming soon.    The two trees I have to remove should make quite a bit of firewood for the annual farm potluck dinner coming up in a few weeks.   I don’t like to have it on Labor Day weekend as I know most of you have plans for that weekend.    I’m thinking Sunday  September 16th sounds good.      I hope you all can make it and will mark your calendars.  I’ll be sending more info along in an e-mail reminder closer to the date but we usually start around 4 or 5 pm and go into the evening.   More updates on that coming soon.   For now it’s back to the veggies that we are harvesting and delivering to you this week.

Peppers of all types (and I grow many) are coming in well in the hot humid weather, both sweet and hot are seeing some color change now.    You will receive green peppers, sweet peppers, and jalapeño peppers this week in your shares.  The sweet ones are the large colored ones of course and as always do be careful cutting the jalapeños, they are getting hotter this time of year.   I like to wear disposable gloves when working with hot peppers and clean the cutting board and knife off afterwards.

Heirloom tomatoes abound yet and they are so so good, these are a big part of my daily meals and I love eating just a plate of tomato and cucumber salad for lunch with just some salt, oil, and vinegar.

Allium is the name of the onions family and we have four types for you this week including our mediteranian red torpedo onions, bronze shallots, leeks, and garlic.    They are all dry except the leeks which need refrigeration the other onions family items will store at room temp just about anywhere out of direct sunlight.

eggplant loves this warm humid weather, and I love grilling or pan frying slices of it in olive oil, and herbs, either breaded or not.     Try it on sourdough with some tomato, onion, garlic, or shallot and some melted mozzarella, its heavenly.

Broccoli should hopefully be bountiful enough to go around this week but not much of this crop left so not huge portions going out this week as last week.  None the less fresh broccoli is one of my favorite things and would go well with any meal.

Zucchini and summer squash is here again and coming in slower but steady.   They are great sliced on homeade pizza, stir fries, zucchini fries, breads, muffins, cakes, and more.

English cucumbers are pouring in lately from our late summer planting ands they look perfect.    They are great snacks for these hot summer days with a little salt or paired with the onions for some classic cucumber and onion salad.

Curly kale is back again and we have had it quite a bit but the quality and flavor of this stuff is so good!   My daughter and I are loving the kale chips at home and just a little garlic sliced onto them with some oil and salt and then bake them until they are crispy.   About 15-20 minutes (depending how crispy you like them) at 350 in a  glass pan in the oven stirring occasionally.

That’s all I’ve got for this week folks.  Thanks again and I hope you all enjoy the veggies!

-Farmer Kyle

 

 

Week #12 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

Heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, german extra-hardy garlic, red torpedo onion, bronze shallots, red or yellow sweet peppers, zucchini, summer squash, english cucumbers, leeks, sunflower shoots, pea shoots, basil, and cayenne pepper.

What’s going on at the farm:

Another busy and abundant week at the farm with some enjoyably cooler temperatures for working before the heat wave came in and a little bit of rain to break the dry spell has made for a good week.  It looks like we may get some more during our CSA harvest and delivery days this week as temps stay hot and humid.    This week on the farm we clipped a lot of onions, and shallots, did a lot of mowing in preparation for a big field clean up day and took steps to put the greenhouse purchase in motion because I got the NRCS grant!!!   I will be building a third greenhouse this fall but first I have to prepare the site which involves removing a few more trees and leveling it.   Afterwards I have to purchase the building so I got a loan for that and when the project is complete I will get some reimbursement with hopefully not too much out of pocket besides a lot of energy and hard work getting the grant and constructing my third agricultural building.

I also got news that I will be losing my rental land this week, after next season is over.    I grow in two separate locations the last 10 years and so about half of the food is produced on rented land.  The new land I mentioned last week is not quite a for sure either but there are some promising options out there. Including; making my own farm more efficient with the greenhouses, expanding field space and controlling weeds for less labor.   I may consider moving to a larger piece of land too on a larger established farm with infrastructure, but those are as hard to find as a small 5 acre piece to grow on.  Those are my goals at least and in the meanwhile if you know anyone renting farm land out near Edgerton/Milton area let me know!  Just 5 acres or less would be enough for me to really thrive on with the skill set i’ve developed over the years so i’m sure i’ll do great things with whatever I have available and figure something out.

Sweet peppers are coming in and you will receive red or yellow italian frying peppers this week based on availability as they are just slowly coming in this last two weeks with the cooler weather.   They are my favorite pepper with excellent sweetness even half red and an unmistakable tapered shape which resembles a horn giving these peppers the traditional name corno di toro or horn of the bull.

Sweet onions, specifically our red mediteranian torpedo onions are back this week with the same fully sun cured quality as last week.   I keep my onions at room temp out of direct light for longer storage.

Our garlic this week is a little different then the other variety you have been getting.   Our german extra hardy still has large cloves which are easy to peel but it is a little less complex in flavor then the purple stripe garlic.

Shallots are coming to you for the first time this year because why not add another allium, these onions are a staple of french cooking and have a buttery texture and flavor that is just perfect for any savory dish. They will store indefinitely at room temp on your counter or cupboard.

Cayenne is our hot pepper this week.  These bright red wrinkly peppers have some heat but also sweetness when fresh.   You can dry them to make cayenne powder or crushed red pepper flakes too!   I like them in stir fry, with fried eggplant, or cucumber salad for some zippy spice.

Eggplant is back again this week and when all else fails these are great stewed up with some zucchini, summer, squash, tomatoes, pepper, onion and garlic for some ratatouille.  We have a wonderful ratatouille recipe right here on the website under the recipe section.    Its a great way to use a lot of summer veggies up in one dish too!

Tomatoes are back!   Slicers, cherries, and heirlooms!   Can anyone get enough homegrown tomatoes?   We will have an assortment again this week with a variety of flavors and colors. That should keep things interesting for you to make beautiful caprese salads, pico, or just a simple tomato sandwich.

Basil is probably the best pairing for an herb with all these savory summer veggies, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions, they all go so well with a little basil weather its Italian, korean, thai, or american food.   You could even spritz up your lemonade with some fresh basil during these hot summer months!

Cucumbers would be another great way to cool off, so enjoy a fresh crop of these mini english cucumbers, they are looking just perfect again heading into August off the new vines!

Zucchini and summer squash is still here and slowing down quite a bit now, not many more of these to go around this summer so enjoy them while they are here.

Broccoli is back again and these fantastic heads have great flavor and tight beading that only a summer broccoli grower could dream of… it’s been taste tested here and you got my tips on cleaning last week so enjoy this rare summer treat!

Pea and sunflower shoots are both back to provide you with some fresh micro greens for to use right away in your salads, on your sandwiches, or tacos, or even sautéed lightly!

Until next week be well and enjoy the produce!

Week #11 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:  

Eggplant, broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, purple stripe garlic, sweet yellow onion, leeks, curly kale, zucchini, english cucumber, summer squash, jalapeno pepper, cherry tomatoes, and basil.

What’s going on at the farm:  

We are seeing some significant shift in weather and decreasing day length this week on the farm as some cooler nights dipped down into the lower 50’s.  Its been great weather to work in so we are lucky that way recently.  Week 11 is our first delivery of the second half of the season but has also been 5 months straight of work for us and we are looking forward to taking a few days off here and there in the coming months.  Some summer crops will slow down a bit and are reaching the end of their days like squash and zucchini, while others like sweet peppers are just starting to come in.    All our onions are harvested with our last haul coming in from the field last Wednesday morning.  Now they will be cured and clipped and stockpile storage onions for your fall shares.  I found the first ripe melon this week and just need a little more sun and heat to get more fruit to set so we can have enough crop ready for you.  Sweet peppers are just starting and will be coming soon as well.   Never the less our crop list is extensive and very summery this week.

Cherry tomatoes are pouring in and our mix has 7 types which include chocolate, two types of red, two orange, yellow, yellow grape, and pink cherry tomatoes.  So many ways to enjoy these but just rinsed as a snack is a super easy way.  They are great roasted too or caramelized with your onions for a sweet and toasty tomato paste.

Broccoli, especially as a summer crops is pretty rare for us so here is our second planting for you to enjoy mid summer.   Broccoli is better the sooner you can prepare it from the field so try to use it soon.  I really like this variety for its summer performance although it didn’t do as well for me in the spring as I tried it this year for the first time in that slot too.  I think we will keep this variety around for summer and fall crops though.  The best way to clean your broccoli is to submerge it in water.   I usually check for caterpillars myself as sometimes there can be a couple on the stems (they are the same color) under the head and submerging can float them off.    I don’t mean to scare anyone away from this delicious crop as I have not seen any issues with them on this crop, just giving my best handling advice.   We also wash the heads immediately after harvest ourselves and ice them to keep them crisp and cool until they are packed to go to you!

Slicing and heirloom tomatoes are also in and we have been distributing them to you in varied stages of ripeness so that you can have them throughout the week.  Remember you don’t need to refrigerate tomatoes, they ripen and taste better just left on the counter.

Eggplant is an August favorite on the farm here.  We had a casserole last week which used 4 eggplant under a layer of sliced tomato, and pepper, and onion with mozzarella cheese melted on top…. so tasty.    My favorite characteristic of eggplant is its ability to soak up the oils and herbs in a dish kind of like mushrooms.   A properly cooked eggplant is creamy and full of savory flavors.

Cucumbers are still rolling in but definitely slowing down so we will be decreasing the amount you get each week from here on, enjoy these crisp and hydrating summer fruits while they last.

Zucchini and summer squash, just a tad of each in our share this week.  So many uses for these the list truly doesn’t end.  We put them on pizza and in our pasta and stir fry dishes quite often at home here.

Onions this week are dried and cured meaning you don’t want to refrigerate these any more.  They are not like the fresh green top onions you received before because we layed these out in the sun to cure for a week before clipping of the tops for storage.    The curing process results in a better lasting and tasting onion, see if you notice the difference in sweetness especially in the large yellow Ailsa Craig sweet onions which we had a fantastic crop of this year!

Our garlic is also dry now and can be stored without refrigeration, more purple stripe coming to you this week which is a tad spicier then our porcelain garlic which will be coming later in the season.

Leek are our third member of the allium family coming this week, these long shanked summer leeks don’t store as long as a fall leek but the flavor is great on these.  My favorite way to eat them is sautéed in butter and blended with potatoes and cream for potato leek soup which can be served cold or hot.

Jalapeño peppers are our hot pepper this week, just a few of these to go around right now but the chile flavor is excellent and the heat is moderate.   Much more so when the seeds are removed.   Be careful when handling hot peppers and their seeds though no matter how hot the pepper.

A little basil coming for everyone this week.  Our basil is nearing the end of its cycle but we thought with all the tomatoes it would be nice to try and get you all some basil one more time this summer.

Lastly our green this week is curly kale.  It’s a new crop and very tender and flavorful!   We love kale chips at home with garlic sliced up and just a little oil, I bake them at 300 in a glass pan for 15-20 minutes  Stirring occasionally.  Some other recipes call for parchment paper.   In general you can season them anyway you like too.

A few more mentions this week which might make the box include pea shoots, sunflower shoots, and celery.   Thank you all for your support and enjoy the summers bounty!

Week #10 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box: 

Cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, sunflower shoots, purple stripe garlic, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, english cucumber, leeks, jalapeño pepper, green pepper, and curly kale.

What’s going on at the farm:  

Another busy and challenging week on the farm this week as we prepare for fall while managing summers bounty.  We have some more new crops coming for you in this weeks offerings too including a little heat with our fresh jalapeno’s.   Our garlic was harvested this week and will be curing in the greenhouse until we trim it and make room for the onions to come in from the field.   I planted four types of beans including regular green beans, dragon’s tongue beans, haricot vert, and edamame.    We got some good rain a few days after planting which should provide some solid germination over the next few days as some sun and heat returns to the fields.  More planting for fall will continue this week along with some research beginning for a big project coming up in my near future.   I’ve been working on a grant for a third hoop house and got word this week that I may be getting a contract yet this fall even though I did not make it in the first round of funding.    If that happens I will be taking down several trees around the future site this fall and I have to figure out exactly what building I will purchase and all the aspects of preparing the construction site.  After purchasing and constructing the building and paying for all that upfront I would then be reimbursed up to a certain amount per square foot.   That is pretty exciting news for our season expansion and growth for the future.   I also had a chance to look at some new land this week a neighbor might be willing to rent to me, so I may be adding some new land for next year!     The crew and I have been working hard pulling in all the harvests too.  The cherry tomatoes are going bananas and all our summer crops and winter squash really started to take off this week in growth and production.   All in all its all we can do to try and keep up but should make for some great CSA boxes over the rest of this summer!  Here is your rundown this week.

 

Green peppers are here and these will lead off the parade of peppers coming in over the next few months.   I like them on homemade pizza or stuffed and baked, sliced up in salads or skewered on kabobs!

Jalapeno peppers are also the lead for our wide assortment of hot peppers that are just starting to come in.   These are very large this year and packed with heat so do be careful when cooking with these.  Remember that any of the hot peppers have oils that can remain on your hands, knife, cutting board, etc… and make sure to rinse them and I would even recommend wearing gloves if you are going to remove the seeds and things by hand.   One of my favorite things to do with these is jalapeño poppers but they lend a great spice and flavor to stir fries, pizza, tacos, nachos, or fresh pico too!

Cherry tomatoes are coming in so fast right now!  They are definitely peaking this week and so I would expect a good portion of these in your share, i’m not sure how much is too much for each family on these but large shares got a whole quart last week.    We may be increasing that amount this week for all shares but i’ll see how many we can get boxed up first!

Heirloom tomatoes are also peaking and looking great.  They are so good this time of year with cheese, or oil and vinegar, or possibly a great home-made sauce for pasta or stuffed peppers.

Summer squash and zucchini is still pouring in too so more of these coming to you this week.    I had some amazing home-made zucchini fries with them this week.    It’s a little work to bread them and fry them up but oh man are they good!

Eggplant is also coming in very fast now.   We have such a huge harvest this week so expect a good portion coming to you.   Eggplant parmesan or noodles lasagna is so good with these and zucchini slices layered with sauce and ground beef.    Ratatouile is a great way to use your eggplant, zucchini, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and squash all together for an amazing summer stew too!

Sunflower shoots are our micro green this week and you’ve had them before a few times this season but they can literally be used on anything or even eaten as a healthy snack!

English cucumbers are coming in a little slower now but we have a new planting of the baby ones coming in too so hopefully that one starts picking up.  A summer CSA share is never complete without some crispy cakes to keep you cool out there!

Curly kale is our favorite kale here.  I put in a new planting which is super tender and the first pick is coming to you this week.   My daughter and I are going to experiment making different types of kale chips with these and our goal is to start making larger amounts of kale chips for market in the next year!

Leeks are ready this week too and these creamy members of the Allium family lend themselves well to stir fries, and soups.  My favorite is potato leek soup which can be served hot or cold!

Thats’ the scoop for this week folks. Some other crops in the near future include a summer broccoli harvest, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and melons including cantaloupe and several types of seedless watermelon which are both looking great.   I hope you all enjoy the veggies and eat well!

 

 

 

 

 

Week #9 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

Heirloom tomato, slicing tomato, cherry tomatoes!  Purple haze carrots, sweet onions, summer squash, zucchini, english slicing cucumber, eggplant, baby kale, basil, pea shoots, and garlic.

What’s going on at the farm: 

Hot and dry was the theme around here this last few weeks but the fields dried down enough I could plow and put in the winter squash and prepare fields to plant a lot of beans for late summer and fall.   My crew has expanded this month and we are bringing in extra help for the main season and pushing forward harder then ever this next few weeks to prepare for a great fall.    Garlic will be coming in this week and all our onions are nearly ready for harvest after that.   In total there are over 25,ooo of them to bring in with the garlic and leeks which will be coming soon!    The extra help has helped us catch up on weeding and we have all our peppers, sweet and hot looking perfect and they are loaded, we even picked the first ripe red pepper this week!  Eggplant is also ready and the very first peppers although we don’t really have enough for shares yet.    Our watermelon and cantaloupe crops are looking amazing too!    looks like a great summer ahead and I purchased some new tools for killing weeds this month which i’m hoping will really be a game changer for our fall greens production this year!   All in all we are in great position for mid season and despite not having any early green beans I guarantee you there will be a lot to end the second half of the season as we plow in the carrot area this week too and prepare to put in edamame, green beans, and dragons tongue beans.

Tomatoes galore is the theme this week for boxes!  They are one of our favorite crops here and I hope you all have your bacon and mozzarella cheese ready for caprese salads and BLT’s!

Eggplant is also here and this is amazing fried or grilled with some olive oil and herbs on it.    Eggplant parmesan, lasagna, pasta dishes, ratatouille, eggplant burgers with tomato mayo and basil and the list goes on and on…. I love this veggie because it really can absorb so much flavor and has a great creamy texture when its cooked!

Purple haze carrots, one of my favorite carrots because of their gorgeous two tone color of purple with a bright orange core…. these babies will stores if you snap the tops off but otherwise the tops make great pesto too!

Our kale this week is a frilly baby kale, jagallo nero!  its a new one for me and i hope you all enjoy it for the second time this year!

Pea shoots are great as a salad green with a little tomato cucumber and carrot.  I also use them on sandwiches or garnishing dishes tacos or pizza too!

Sweet onions are back and they are good with everything and sweet enough to enjoy raw!

Zucchini and summer squash are still pumping out and these staples of summer are great in any dish you could create and even baking projects  like zucchini bread, muffins, and cakes maybe even with the carrot for a carrot zucchini cake!

English style cucumbers are the only type of cucumber I grow anymore as they are sweeter, have smaller seed cavities, and thinner skin then their waxy american counterparts which can get bitter.   A fresh cucumber and tomato salad with mozzarella and basil is one of my favorite things in the summer.

Basil and Garlic are the last few finishing touches on our boxes this week and there are so many ways to use these with your veggies I hardly think you all need the suggestions but I think these will round out the box very nicely for the week.

Thank you all again for being great CSA members and I hope you enjoy the food!

-Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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