Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CSA Harvest #13

This weeks harvest will include;

Bell Peppers
Pak Choy
Beans (Long or short)
Choice of Eggplant or Corn

The nights have been getting much cooler. This is great for all of the fall crops that are in the ground. As I walk into the fields and look at the new sprouts, I can only think about the sweetness in these late season crops.

We have some very tasty new products in the bag today. My favorite is the Pak Choy. This is a thinning of a very large plot, so be ready for them to become fuller in the coming weeks.

Another new crop: Breakfast Radishes. This is our first late summer planting of them. Radishes are very unique since the temperature and moisture affect them so much. The general rule is the hotter the days the hotter the radish. So, since the days have still been hot, expect these to still have a kick. Over the coming months you can look forward to the radishes becoming much more sweet.

Over the last week we have been staying busy, like usual. The animals have been making some moves. The pigs have new pasture, the hens should be laying soon and the ducks have been growing like crazy. We are getting ready to harvest some honey and Dennis the goat is really doing a good job with the ragweed.

Well, I would like to leave you with a quick poem that I wrote.

Days getting short,
nights turning cool,
baskets becoming over full,
with your help...
Local Sustainability can become the rule.

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CSA Harvest # 12

This weeks harvest includes;

Bell Peppers
Shishito Peppers

We have a few new things in the csa than we have had in later weeks. The watermelons that you will find in your bag today are so ready to be eaten, they explode when you are cutting them up. They are very sweet,and juicy
Your varieties include;
Black diaomond
Charleston Gray
Crimson Sweet
Sunshine Yellow

Beet Varieties include Bianca, and Gold

I will be posting cooking videos this week, check back in a few days.

Last Monday Ken and I, Mustard, left on an educational endevor. We went to work on Henry Brockman's farm in Goodfield, IL. Our day started at 6am and ended at 7pm.

All we have to say is "Henry Brockman is the man".

We harvested for his 220 member CSA, weeded, and learned how to keep good records, saw new techniques and learned efficency. Kenny and I were like dry sponges, we absorbed tons of information. By the time the day was up, all we wanted to do was reflect on everything we had done, and wirte it all down. It was definately a great experience for the both of us. We'll definately be visiting him again.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CSA Harvest #11

This week’s harvest includes:

Bell Peppers
Spicy Peppers
Herbal Tea Pack – Lemon Basil, Blue Spice Basil, Lemon Balm, Shiso, Cinnamon Basil, Peppermint, and Vietnamese Mint

Pork with Fresh Cornbread and Shishito Peppers we served at a dinner party this week.

We have been having some great products lately that need a bit of extra protection. Rather than add more plastic into circulation we would like to reuse the black plastic containers we used for packaging your peaches and tomatoes. Those containers must be returned at the CSA pickup each week.

You can make the tea in the same way we described on the July 2nd post.

Our hot pepper plants are really loving the heat that we have been having, so we thought we would share some ways to help you love the heat and make these guys a little bit less intimidating.

Peppers are part of the nightshade family (along with eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes), and are native to the Americas. When Mexico became a Spanish colony chiles became a popular item of trade, and were quickly integrated into cuisines around the world. Capsaicin is the chemical that gives peppers their spiciness. Though the seeds contain a small amount of a pepper’s heat, the majority of the capsaicin lives in the veins of the pepper.

If you decide you want to dive into the world of hot peppers it is important to use care when handling them. While working with chiles be careful not to touch your eyes or nose, and thoroughly wash your tools and hands once you finish using them. If you forget to wash your knife everything you cut afterwards will become infused with a bit of a kick.

To capture just a little bit of a chile’s heat try adding the whole pepper to a dish that you’re cooking. Just take it out when you’re ready to serve your meal, so that someone doesn’t mistakenly munch on a whole pepper.

Another way of using peppers is to dry them. Hang them somewhere that gets good airflow. Once they’re dried you can use them whole for seasoning, crush them for chile flakes, or grind them. They’ll last for years when dried.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CSA Harvest #10

Be ready to fill your CSA bags with:

Ground Cherries
Shishito Peppers
Bell Peppers
Summer Squash

…And for those of you who like things a little spicy we will have a variety of hot peppers to stock your bags.

We will be using the same format as last week for the CSA pickup, so make sure to bring a bag to carry all of your fresh produce!

With the heat and humidity we’ve been having, a chilled soup is a great way to avoid the stove. Gazpacho makes for a refreshing addition to a meal, and this recipe is a perfect way to use some of your week’s harvest.

A recent gazpacho from a dinner party; the tomato broth was poured tableside.

Ground cherries grow wild in every state except for Alaska, but they are sweeter and more productive when cultivated. These intriguing fruits, which taste like a combination between a pineapple and tomato, are related to tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and tobacco. If you’re trying to figure out a way of using them, besides just husking them straight into your mouth, we like to put them in a fruit salad. Add the ground cherries with sliced melon, and for a more grown-up taste try pouring a splash of vodka and sprinkling a bit of hot chili into the mix. You can even garnish it with some basil. We have to thank the land for the inspiration for this dish, where the ground cherries grow by the melons, which grow by the chilies.

Melon and ground cherry salad we’ve been serving at dinner parties.

The plants around the farm are really enjoying the summer weather, especially since we’ve finally managed to catch-up with the weeds – at least for the time being. However, the animals are definitely giving the plants a run for their money on who can grow the fastest. We have 28 heritage turkeys that we just put on pasture, and they will be ready for Thanksgiving. The piglets have upsized, and now reside on 4 acres of pasture, including a nice patch of woods with plenty of shade to protect their fair skin. Also, we have two steers that are ready for slaughter next week, so let us know if you’re interested in purchasing grass fed beef.