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Newsletter
Summer Share #11  
August 10 - 16, 2015

 

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


 

Calendar & Reminders

1. No Spring Green Farmers Market this Saturday, August 15 due to the Car Show in town. 
Blackcap Bakery will be at the White School all morning with Grace's delicious baked goods. There will also be pizza available for sale 11-1 from the wood fired pizza oven Lew Lama is donating to the 4 Pete's Sake event being held Sunday, August 16 at North Park.

2. Current CSA Members should have received a mid-season survey via email. Please complete with any comments, thoughts, insights you have regarding your share and return it. We appreciate your input. If you didn't receive one, please let me know.

3. Box Pickup -  Please take the box with your name on it and return it the next week.

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

5. We rinse all produce except berries & tomatoes. However we recommend washing the produce in your box before eating it. 


6. 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 Plastic or Brown Wax Box - take the one with your name)

Carrots - 1 bunches for EOW members
Summer Squashes - Zucchini,Yellow Summer - combo of 2 see recipe in this newsletter
Slicing Cucumber - 1
Tomatoes - 2
Tomatillos - 4 -5 for EOW members Most popular way to use these is in salsa verde. (The flat leaf parsley in last week's share is a good substitute for cilantro.) May be lightly stir-fried with other delicate summer vegetables - think zuchinni & summer squash. Can also be chopped into salads, made into preserves or even pies!

Cherry Tomatoes - 1 quart
Basil - 1 bunch See recipe in this newsletter.
New Red Potatoes - 3/4 lb New potatoes are best enjoyed when boiled and topped with butter, salt and pepper. Dill weed, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and chopped green onion are also good additions.
Yellow Onion - 1
Garlic - 1 bulb
Broccoli - 1 lb
Caraflex Cabbage - 1 Pointed mini cabbage. Inner leaves are tender, crunchy, and have an excellent, sweet and mild cabbage flavor. Perfect for summer salads, slaws or cooked dishes.

 

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

Carrots - 1 bunches for EOW members
Zucchini - 1see recipe in this newsletter
Tomatoes - 2
Cherry Tomatoes - 1 quart
Basil - 1 bunch See recipe in this newsletter.
New Red Potatoes - 3/4 lb 
New potatoes are best enjoyed when boiled and topped with butter, salt and pepper. Dill weed, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and chopped green onion are also good additions.
Yellow Onion - 1
Garlic - 1 bulb


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!

Update on crops in the field:
 

  • the snacking pepper plants and bell peppers should be turning colors in the next week or two
  • eggplant is also on the horizon - there are lots of little purple globes hanging on the plants
  • celery is coming soon
On the Farm . . . what's happening this week in words and pictures.
The sugar snap peas and beans producing so abundantly just a few weeks ago have completely spent themselves, and the new plantings of these same crops are up and growing for a fall harvest. I am anxiously checking the progress of the abundant eggplants and peppers hanging on their plants but not quite ready to pick.

We spent the weekend processing the first batch of broiler chickens. Bill had made some adjustments to our process making us more efficient. We finished up the last 50 birds in no time.


Aidan added a couple red New Zealand rabbits to the three white ones he already owns. He is contemplating showing rabbits as well as raising them for meat.

My elderly aunt passed away last Sunday, and the funeral was yesterday. Family was flying in from around the country, and I was determined we would be there despite falling on a harvest day during tomato season. My family helped make that happen. My sister, Nicole and niece, Cecelia came to get the harvest started a day early. It was many hours picking tomatoes (some not trellised – so embarrassing!), pulling onions, hunting for zucchini, and digging potatoes and carrots.

                                            Celia and Nicole with some of the onion harvest.

Wednesday chores were completed early, and we commenced removing the layers of dirt behind our ears, between our toes and under the corners of our fingernails not wanting to be obvious about the fact we make our living from the farm today. We pulled seldom worn, dressy outfits out of the back of the closet and discovered that Aidan’s dress pants are too short.  Thank goodness jeans have become acceptable wear for a funeral.  Belts, dress shoes and earrings located, we left the farm, Bill and I feeling we were playing hooky, and nervous of the consequences later that evening with much work to finish.

 

Bill and the boys clean up pretty well.

The funeral was a fitting tribute to my aunt, the eldest of nine children raised on a farm just north of Spring Green, the very farm I grew up on. Delphine helped Grandma Feiner prepare food, tend a big garden and chicken house, care for younger siblings, make soap with rendered lard, clean the farm house and assist Grandpa Feiner in the barn. She told me once it was a lot of work, an understatement for sure. After she married, she moved to Plain to live and raise her children. She was soft-spoken and careful about her appearance, always looking beautiful, but also a hard worker and tough as nails. Characteristics instilled and encouraged on that Wilson Creek farm. She, along with other women of her generation, took a job outside the home. Throughout her life she felt it important to give to others, donating time to different organizations as well as her church. Del was sensitive to hardships others were experiencing always sending cards and notes with thoughtful messages.

It was good to visit with her sons and their families as well as the aunts, uncles and cousins who came. It was also bittersweet because the last time we gathered this way was for my dad’s death, a year and a half ago. He was the youngest of the big family and died unexpectedly from depression leading to suicide. It shocked us all. While that feeling has dulled in the months since, it is still hard to understand. At the funeral yesterday looking around at all the family surrounding me, I was sad to be again brought up short by the loss of another member of the clan. I also felt grateful for my family. This big, German Catholic, stubborn, yet warm and caring farm stock has made me strong in many ways I often take for granted. I have made often unconventional choices in my life secure in their support.

After the lunch in the church basement we lingered, hesitant to part and resume our lives at a distance. Mom and my sisters (minus one sister recuperating from a bout of summer flu) decided to come home with us to complete the work we abandoned earlier.


You have a box this week thanks to them. They helped collect even more cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, and broccoli. They assembled boxes, sorted produce, packed boxes and selected recipes for the newsletter. They even washed our counter of dirty dishes, chopped vegetables for us and cooked supper. 

Henrich loading cucumbers with Tana.


Mom, Nicole and Cecelia headed home after dark. My other two sisters, Tana and Lauren and my 3 year old nephew, Henrich spent the night. We cleared the table and headed to bed. Hanging on to the last moments together before sleep, we crawled on Lauren’s and Henrich’s bed to read a silly story about a confused dragon.

.

It felt good to be with family visiting and then working to bring in the harvest while trying to convince Henrich not to bite each cucumber as he loaded them in the crates. I am comforted by the love surrounding me as well as the continuity of working together much like Del and Dad worked together with their parents and siblings on their family farm years ago. Although we've have had to say good-bye to loved ones, those of us left are still connected and rely on each other often. Life is good.

Enjoy your week,

Stacey

.

Simple Pesto
serves 6

2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
1 cup toasted nuts (walnuts, hickory nuts or pecans)
1 1/2 - 2 cups grated Parmesan
3 large cloves garlic (or more to toast)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 - 1 cup olive oil

 

Baked Zucchini Cakes

INGREDIENTS
3 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup panko
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning (or substitute given below)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

PROCESS
Preheat oven to 400. Squeeze the grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel until it is fairly dry and you have about 2 cups after removing it from the towel. Place the zucchini and the remaining ingredients in a bowl; mix well.

Form the dough into 12 (2-inch) patties and place them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn each cake over and bake for another 10 minutes.

OLD BAY SUBSTITUTE
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
Aunt Carol's Refrigerator Pickles

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 quarts water
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup (5 ounces) pickling salt *
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 large onions, sliced
1-2 heads garlic, cloves peeled
8 heads dill (or 4 tablespoons dill weed or dill seed)
5 pounds pickling cucumbers
Chile peppers, minced (optional)
*Kosher salt works too, but make sure to weigh it to ensure that the volume is correct, as it is usually denser than pickling salt. It may also take longer to dissolve, so you may have to let the brine boil longer.

PROCESS
In a large stockpot, combine the water, vinegar, salt and mustard seeds to create a brine. Bring to a boil on the stove. While heating, layer the slices from 1 onion on the bottom of a large, nonreactive container. Add the cloves from 1 head of garlic, 4 heads of dill and the cucumbers. When the brine has reached a vigorous boil, let it cool slightly and pour it over the cucumbers. Add the remaining onion slices, garlic and dill on top add the chile peppers (if desired). Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 1 day, then move to refrigerator. Lasts for at least 4 months.
Provencal Tomato and Basil Soup
(from NY Times)
 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 to 6 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

Salt to taste

2 pounds tomatoes, cored and diced, or 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice

Pinch of sugar

2 large sprigs basil, or about 16 leaves, plus 2 tablespoons slivered basil for garnish

1 quart water

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 Parmesan rind (optional)

1/4 cup rice or tapioca

Optional garnishes:

Garlic croutons (thin slices of baguette, lightly toasted and rubbed with a cut garlic clove)

Grated or shaved Parmesan

 

1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Stir in half the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil sprigs or leaves, and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Add the water and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes. Add the tapioca or rice, and simmer for another 15 minutes until the tapioca is tender and the soup fragrant. Remove the basil sprigs and Parmesan rind. Puree in a blender in small batches, taking care to place a towel over the top of the blender and hold it down tightly. If you used fresh unpeeled tomatoes and want a silkier soup, put through a strainer, using a spatula or the back of a ladle to push the soup through. Return to the pot, add pepper to taste and adjust salt. Serve garnished with garlic croutons and/or Parmesan, if desired, and slivered basil leaves.

If serving cold, refrigerate until chilled.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: The soup will keep for two or three days in the refrigerator and can be frozen.

Nutritional information per serving: 130 calories; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 22 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 3 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during preparation); 9 grams protein

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