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Newsletter
Summer Share #16  
September 14 - 20, 2015

 

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Enjoying the slide at the Richland County Fair.

Table of Contents 
 (Click on the links to go directly to an item or scroll down.)


 

Calendar & Reminders


Save $10 on Winter Shares when you signup by September 30. http://www.myfinehomestead.com/2015-shares Madison pickup available.

Broiler chickens available for sale. Pasture raised, fed organic, soy-free grain & antibiotic-free. They weigh 3 to 4 lbs each and cost $15.50 each. Call or email me if you'd like to purchase one or more. If you are a MES or Yearly member and are ready for more chicken - let me know.

We rinse your produce however we recommend washing the produce in your box before eating it. 

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

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!

 

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 Box :  (Black Plastic or Brown Wax Box - take the one with your name)

Radishes - 1 bunch
Tomatoes -  2 orange Valencia heirlooms & 4 slicers

Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash - 1, or 2 small
Snacking Peppers - 5 assorted colors (mini yellow, orange, & red bell sweet peppers)
Carmen Pepper -1 Italian "bull's horn" frying pepper. This pepper has a lovely sweet taste for salads and roasting especially when partially or fully red-ripe.  
Kossack Kohlrabi - 1 This large variety of kohlrabi is surprisingly tender and sweet.

Sorrel - 1 bunch 
Carrots - 3/4 lb

Kennebec potatoes - 1 3/4 lb Good for fresh use or storage.

Onion - 1 Red & 1 Yellow
Garlic - 1 bulb 

Dill - 1 bunch Our first sowing of dill didn't germinate well and was overrun with weeds so this is our second sowing. While we no longer have cucumbers to pair it with, I've included a couple recipes in the newsletter for you to try. Dill also goes well with scrambled eggs, yogurt dressings, salads and in soup. You can store it in the fridge in a plastic bag with a piece of paper towel to absorb any condensation.  
 

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.

 

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

Tomatoes -  1 pink Rose heirloom & 3 slicers
Bell Pepper - 1 orange 

Snacking Peppers - 5 assorted colors Mini yellow, orange, & red bell (sweet)peppers.
Carrots - 3/4 lb
Kennebec potatoes - 1 lb Good for fresh use or storage.
Onions - 1 red & 1 yellow
Garlic - 1 bulb 

 

Tomatoes

 

We try to give you a mix of blush (still ripening) and ripe tomatoes in your box each week. It doesn't always work out perfectly but that is our goal. Ripe tomatoes are best enjoyed in the next day or two. Blush tomatoes will continue to ripen if left on your kitchen counter or more quickly, if you place them in a paper bag. Although tomatoes taste best when non-refrigerated, sometimes you have fully ripe ones and can't use them. This is when I'd recommend storing them a couple more days in your refrigerator. The cold temperatures will affect the texture a little, but it will still be a great tomato.
 

Above is a comparison with ripe tomatoes and blush (still ripening) tomatoes.
 
On the Farm . . . what's happening this week in words and pictures.

Bill has been busy preparing seed beds and planting them with winter-hardy crops for the cold months ahead. We are growing several crops in our greenhouse and high tunnel (a covered structure high enough to walk in but smaller scale than a greenhouse). More will grow under low tunnels (narrower and closer to the ground) which serve the same purpose but are less expensive.

He’s also adding compost to all our beds to increase the organic matter in the soil. The goal is to make the soil organisms happy so they multiply and increase the fertility of our fields. It is a slow process and will take a few weeks as Bill shovels the compost by hand. His back, arms and knees are sore, but he is feeling satisfied knowing his work is greatly increasing the productivity of our fields. It is also a good excuse for a back rub at the end of the day!

I, guardian of tidiness in our home, am working a few days a week off-farm for a short time, and we are adjusting to the disruption. The kids while not enthusiastic or necessarily prompt are stepping up to help with household chores. I can’t always find my clean dishes, but they are clean. And when the task is done, they agree it feels right to contribute to the running of our household.

pumpkin patch
 

Even as a pattern of orange is revealed in the pumpkin patch with the plants turning brown and drying up, and the summer squashes have all but spent themselves, we continue to harvest generous quantities of tomatoes and peppers. I realize as we tumble toward the fall season, it, like much of life, is not straightforward. It contrasts to spring, where the push is definitely forward. Everything is germinating and quickly! The amount of green we see increases exponentially as plants compete for the increasing amounts of resources. “Me, me, me!” spring seems to scream. It feels like youth, filled with potential and promise - surging forward, learning, growing. Growing so much, it sometimes hurts. 

tiny green beans

Fall is more complicated. There is still a push forward as the second crop of tiny green beans hang on their plants, the watermelon radishes swell beneath the dirt, the germinated lettuce and arugula promise a coming harvest soon. Yet, it is not the same eager surge of spring, more like a begrudging acceptance of reality. Winter is coming, but it isn't here yet; there is time for more. And while the growth isn't quite so lush, it may be even more prized for weathering the trials it has faced, much as we savor the sweetness of spinach, Brussels sprouts and other vegetables that have experienced frost. 

I have weathered some frosts. Outside my hair is turning gray, my upper arm jiggles when I raise it to wave to neighbors driving by (even though I can still curl a mean bicep) and inside I struggle to understand the loss of my dad and accept that my children will inevitably move away. Still I stand at this place in my life that feels more like fall than spring and feel more comfortable with myself as a woman, daughter, wife, mother, friend, farmer -- as a human being-- than I ever have before. And I know there is time left. Sweet, valuable time that I don't want to waste. Much like fall.

Have a great week,

Stacey

Grilled Carrots with Lemon and Dill
Serves 2-4

 

1 bunch (about 1 pound) carrots, scrubbed and patted dry
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or other high-heat oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon dill, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Trim tops and any fibrous ends from the carrots and cut crosswise into pieces approximately 3 inches long. Cut any thick ends in half lengthwise, so all pieces are about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. (If you are using an outdoor grill, see note below.) In a bowl, toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Preheat grill pan or grill over medium-high heat. Place carrots cut-side down on the grill and cover.(Use a big pot lid or a metal sheet pan as a grill pan lid.) Grill for 4-5 minutes, until the carrots develop sear marks and are beginning to soften. Flip, cover, and grill for another 4-5 minutes. Carrots will be softened with a bit of crunch in the middle.

Transfer the carrots to a bowl. Mix in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, dill, lemon juice and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes
  • If you're using an outdoor grill, you may want to grill the carrots whole, so they don't fall through the grates. After grilling, let them sit until cool enough to handle, cut them into pieces and proceed with the recipe.
  • If you don't have a grill or grill pan, you can make a version of this recipe with a cast iron skillet. Instead of grilling, place carrot pieces in a hot skillet until blackened in spots. Flip and continue cooking until softened and a little charred all over.
  • Try using other acid and herb or spice combinations. A few ideas: lime juice + cilantro, balsamic vinegar + parsley, and orange juice + cumin.
 
Broiled Zucchini with Yogurt-Dill Sauce
Serves 2

1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill
1 small clove garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat broiler. If using the main compartment of the oven (as opposed to a separate broiler compartment below), place a rack about 5 inches from the broiler element.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, dill, garlic, and lemon juice. If necessary, thin with water to a pourable consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Trim ends off zucchini. Cut in half crosswise, then cut each half lengthwise into 4-6 spears. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Place zucchini in an oven-proof skillet or pan and broil, flipping occasionally, until slightly charred and tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Remove from broiler.

Serve zucchini warm or chilled with yogurt-dill sauce.

Our Monarch Butterfly

The monarch emerged from its chrysalis early Wednesday before we were up. It's a female which made Marlee happy. You can tell because it didn't have the pair of black spots on its hind wings that signifying it to be male. It was very windy out so we released it in the covered tomato greenhouse. Marlee and I wondered if it will soon migrate south to Mexico as we watched it fly around. Maybe it will be one of the ones to make it all the way. We hope to raise more Monarchs next year. 

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