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Newsletter
Summer Share #7  
July 13-19, 2015

 

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Table of Contents 
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Green, cherry tomatoes will soon start turning red and orange.

Looks like we have a bumper crop of tomatillos coming on!

Calendar & Reminders

Box Pickup - to help you find your box more efficiently, your name is now posted on both the front and back sides in a bright color. Please take the box with your name on it.

July 26th,1 to 4pm - Farm Party. We will be grilling brats and ask that you bring a dish to pass. Come see the farm, meet other members and enjoy the day. We look forward to spending time with you!

Sunday, September 20 - Bike the Barns Event. 
http://www.csacoalition.org/news/2015-bike-the-barns/

All produce is soaked, sprayed off or dunked in cold water to remove dirt and to cool it down. However we recommend washing the produce in your box before eating or preparing it.

Please remember to return your empty white wax box or black plastic box each week. If you'd rather not have to remember it, you can bring your own bag/box to the drop-site, change out your produce and leaving the box there. Thanks to all who are remembering to return your boxes.

Previous editions of our newsletter are on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Fine-Homestead/145013635612327

This Week's Box

Please note: This is the produce we harvested and packed for Thursday's shares. The Saturday and Monday boxes will be similar but may change depending on produce availability.
 

Full Share:  (Black Box - take the one with your name)

Red Butterhead Lettuce - 1
Green Beans & Yellow Wax Beans - 1-1/2 lbs See recipe in newsletter.
Baby Summer Squash -combo Zucchini/Green Striped/Yellow - 3 or 4 Tender and sweet, these are the first of the season! You can eat these raw, but our favorite way is to slice and saute in a little butter until they are lightly browned.
Slicing Cucumber - 1 
Sugar Snap Peas - 1 lb Crunchy, sweet and juicy both the pod and peas are edible. Remove the string along the front before eating by grasping the stem, snapping and pulling the string down and off.
Red Onion - 1 These fresh onions are not storage onions so use within a couple weeks and keep in a cool, dry place with good circulation.
Baby Carrots - 1 bunch These tasty treats are the real baby carrots! 

Basil - 1 bunch for the EOW members Basil has bigger, wider leaves than cilantro which are prized for their wonderful flavor, welcoming aroma and soft texture. You can toss whole leaves in your salad or coarsely chop into ribbons to add to almost any dish you are preparing. Basil may develop brown or black edges when stored in the fridge. The best way to keep it, is to cut off the very ends of the stems (since we harvested it the day before and they have sealed up) and put in a jar of water on your windowsill, counter or even as a centerpiece on your table. If you'd rather keep it in the fridge, wrap it in a damp paper or cloth towel inside a plastic bag.
Cauliflower - 1
Garlic - 1 


 

Half Share: (White Wax Box - take the one with your name)
 

Red Butterhead Lettuce - 1
Green Beans & Yellow Wax Beans - 1lb See recipe in newsletter.
Slicing Cucumber - 1 
Sugar Snap Peas - 1/2 lb Crunchy, sweet and juicy both the pod and peas are edible. Remove the string along the front before eating by grasping the stem, snapping and pulling the string down and off.
Red Onion - 1
These fresh onions are not storage onions so use within a couple weeks and keep in a cool, dry place with good circulation.
Baby Carrots - 1 bunch These tasty treats are the real baby carrots! 
Basil - 1 bunch for the EOW members Basil has bigger, wider leaves than cilantro which are prized for their wonderful flavor, welcoming aroma and soft texture. You can toss whole leaves in your salad or coarsely chop into ribbons to add to almost any dish you are preparing. Basil may develop brown or black edges when stored in the fridge. The best way to keep it, is to cut off the very ends of the stems (since we harvested it the day before and they have sealed up) and put in a jar of water on your windowsill, counter or even as a centerpiece on your table. If you'd rather keep it in the fridge, wrap it in a damp paper or cloth towel inside a plastic bag.

 

Coming Within a Few Weeks:
Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Eggplants, Snacking Peppers, Cauliflower

Contact us with any questions on the contents of your box or for ideas of what to do with them. We are always happy to talk "food" with you!

On the Farm . . . what's happening this week in words and pictures 

We took some time over the weekend to visit my sister, Lauren, and her family in Wauwatosa as well as to view the Van Gogh to Pollock, Modern Rebels exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum. It was very interesting and child friendly. It runs until September 20th, and we recommend it to everyone.

Each of us found works that intrigued us. Naturally, the painting "Peasants in the Field" by Camille Pissarro spoke to me. Marlee was inspired to draw her own version of Henri Rousseau's "Bouquet of Flowers with an Ivy Branch" while Liam contemplated a larger than life sculpture of "Man Walking" by Alberto Giacometti. Aidan was intrigued by "Untitled", a welded steel, canvas and wire piece by Lee Bontecou,  and Bill was perplexed by a painting of evenly spaced horizontal lines called simply, "The Tree" by Agnes Martin.

Back on the farm, a scary, windy storm hit late Sunday night/early Monday morning giving us needed rain but no damage. On Monday, Bill, sweat dripping from his eyebrows, hand weeded the brassicas, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale in hot and humid conditions. Later Bill, Aidan and I weeded the peas in the sun while watching an ominously dark, blue-black, rumbly storm system move just north of us toward Richland Center. We were fortunate to again escape the damaging winds and hail many in the area experienced. Tuesday, my sister, Nicole, and niece, Cecelia, spent their day off weeding the green bush and yellow wax beans. I weeded chard and onions after supper. We still have more onions to weed as well as tomatoes and carrots. This year we've spent a considerable amount of time hand weeding even though it doesn't always look like it to us. All we can see are the ones we haven't gotten to yet!

We are concluding we need to be more serious about how we handle weeds to ensure successful crops as well as to protect our backs!

Bill weeding on his self-made, adjustable weed cart. All it needs is a willing participant, a padded seat to cushion one's derriere - we provide the weeds!

Because we are committed to farming without pesticides, including herbicides (even organic ones), we realize we will always have weeds. However, there are cultural practices that can better help us control the amount. We've considered using black, plastic mulch to keep weeds at bay but are leery  because while it would suppress weed growth, we are also committed to reducing the amount of plastic we use.There is biodegradable plastic mulch however it hasn't been approved as organic and would need to be disposed of in a landfill. Every time we have been tempted to order the big rolls of black plastic, we develop a nagging feeling and decide against it. It just doesn't fit the way we farm.

We try our best to follow the 3 R's - Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. We make our own soil blocks instead of using plastic trays of cells to start seeds in. The full share black, plastic boxes and the plastic trellising material we used on several rows of peas all came used from another CSA farm. And we constantly question how few of the biodegradable, plastic bags we can use when packing boxes without sacrificing produce quality. Buying the mulch in a such large quantities would all but negate these efforts.

For the rest of this season and next, we are dedicating ourselves to exploring cultural practices like planting weed inhibiting cover crops like oats or rye, limiting the amount of weed seeds we disturb by tilling shallowly (2 inches or less), flaming tiny weed seedlings in beds, purchasing a mechanical finger weeder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LtAKTV9Mt8 , using ergonomically designed hoes sooner and more often and mowing weeds before they go to seed. By employing these practices, we hope to prevent our work share members as well as ourselves from experiencing "weeding fatigue" and make our farm run more efficient.

At some time in the future, we may decide to use plastic mulch for certain crops such as tomatoes or watermelon which would also benefit from the soil warming it would provide but for now - we weed on!

Have a great week,

Stacey
 

Storm passing us to the north on Monday evening.

Green Bean Salad
(From Asparagus to Zucchini)

¼ c minced onions

2 Tbl oil

1 Tbl vinegar

Chopped herbs – thyme, dill or summer savory

¼ tsp salt

2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed

Pepper to taste

1 lb trimmed green beans
 


Mix all ingredients except beans. Marinate raw beans in dressing for 24 hours. Makes 3-4 servings.

Solar Harvest Group Buy for Farms and Residential Homes
 

Dear CSA Members,

We are excited to tell you about the Solar Harvest Group Buy being organized by the FairShare CSA Coalition and H&H Solar.  Solar is abundant, renewable, and can help you become energy independent.   Now is a great time to join the Solar Group Buy AND take advantage of other cost-saving incentives for solar power!  Learn about all the incentives in the Solar Harvest Brochure.  Anyone can join the group buy!

When you join, you not only save money, you also help the CSA farm movement!  For every system installed, H&H Solar will make a set donation to Fairshare’s grower education program which provides valuable programming for CSA farmers throughout the region and does important work connecting us (farmers) to you (eaters) and vice versa.  

There were 10 solar systems installed as part of the 2014 solar group buy.  Collectively, these systems saved over $17,500 in installation costs and H&H made a matching donation to FairShare.  Seven farms in the coalition now have solar power and those systems are doing very well.  See one system in action and surpassing projected energy production just 7 months after installation at this post.

Join the clean energy revolution, support a local business, and make a donation to Fairshare CSA Coalition.  Now your home’s energy can be produced by the sun, just like your veggies!  Click to learn more about Fairshare’s Solar Group Buy 2015.  

Thank you!

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