Newsletter – July 22, 2013

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Dear Friends of the Farm;

This week you are getting red potatoes, red onions, Chioggia beets, summer squash, cucumbers, cabbage and purple bell peppers. Two new varieties of summer squash could be in your bag, a green & white striped zucchini and the other is ¾ yellow with a green butt called Zephyr. Chioggia beets are Italian, very sweet and depending on how you cut them will look like a bulls eye or candy striped!

Some Members got broccoli last week. It came on suddenly and was a surprise to us! Some of you will not be happy with the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. There will be worms on these crops. We grow them because Members have been requesting them for years. Being organic, we have not found an effective way to get rid of the worms. Simply pick them off. If any are left behind after cooking, they turn brown and can be easily seen & removed before serving. If you cannot deal with the worms (don’t feel bad if you cannot) these items make good compost!

When I give you the tops to crops, this means they are edible too. Carrot tops are great in salads, soups or used as an herb. Fennel tops are great on fish. Onion tops are no different than green onions. Turnip and beet greens are very good served wilted (cook like spinach) or raw in salads.

Abundance: This is a good time to add a couple of cloth bags or a box to your car for the abundance that will be coming your way! Soon you will see crops such as muskmelon, corn, tomatoes, watermelon, and honeydew. We do not bag up these items for you. These crops will need to be hauled off to your cars and a bag or box will really come in handy! There will be times (just like last week) when a crop will really produce lavishly. If we have more than we need for distribution, we will give you the choice to take extra at your Distribution Center! Other times, we will ask you to make a trip out to the farm for a U-pick session. Watch your newsletters!

Processing the excess: There are some tricks my grandparents taught me when trying to stay on top of a productive year. Place a good plastic bowl in the freezer with a resealable lid. Cook all your carrots, corn, beans etc. and place the leftovers in the container. When it is full, you have the making of instant vegetable soup! All you need is the broth.

Or you can bag up your leftovers as individual servings. Please remember this is fully cooked food and should not be cooked again. Simply reheat.

Several years ago, I purchased a vacuum packer. With experimentation, I discovered I could freeze crops such as beans, onions, bell peppers and summer squash raw. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower have to be par-boiled or they get bitter & carrots get rubbery. To par-boil: bring your water to a boil; add your veggie; set your timer for 3 minutes; 4 for carrots (whether or not the water comes back to a boil). After three minutes, pour out water & dump the veggies into ice water. Let sit until completely cool, very important! Spread out onto towels & dry completely or you will have condensation in your bags. Bag up & try to get out as much air as possible, then set into your freezer.

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