Dear Friends of the Farm,
New crops this week are a bi-color potato called Mardi Gras, tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, purple peppers and yellow watermelon or muskmelon. This is the early planting of tomatoes (before the rain) and there are not very many rows in production (3). We had just started to plant when the storms started to hit and we got them covered with row cover. It is not the peak of the season yet. Most of the field tomatoes were planted after the rain, so we expect most of the tomatoes to come on later in the month or beginning of next month. As I’m sure most of you know tomatoes do not like to be cold. Store them on the counter (out of the sun) until ready to use.
Mardi Gras is a beautiful potato that is marbled purple and yellow. It has some of the benefits of a purple potato with the taste close of a Yukon Gold. I like to roast these babies on the grill because they tend to keep their color better.
I know you get tired of hearing this, but I don’t know how else to say it!! Because of the wet May, the eggplant plants are having a hard time producing. If we cannot get everyone one Japanese eggplant, you will get a black one. Eggplant are hard to store. They do not like to be too cold or too warm. I usually store my eggplant on the counter and try to use it in a stir-fry as soon as possible. The older it gets, the more bitter it becomes. You do not need to salt and sweat this (to remove bitterness) because it is so fresh, (unless you are trying to get out excess liquid for a specific reason). For long term storage, wrap the eggplant in plastic wrap and place in your crisper drawer on warmest setting.
The purple peppers are just starting to mature. We hope everyone will get one, but you may not. We will know more once we get out there picking!
Last week you got a yellow watermelon called Yellow Doll. It is a refrigerator melon which means it remains small and is the first to maturity. It was planted during the rain and the plants are stunted and only a few melons have grown to maturity. This week you will get a yellow watermelon or muskmelon. There isn’t enough of both to give everyone one of each. Muskmelon is in the cantaloupe family but has a stronger taste and is sweeter.
This week you are also getting red onions, carrots, possibly a few turnips, squash, a cucumber and green beans.
Fruit: Members will be getting plums and a few more peaches!
Festival: We are looking forward to our gathering on September 20th for a beautiful day of fun on the farm! Hours will be 11am to 4pm. We need to know who will be attending this event so that we know how much inventory we need to purchase. You must RSVP to this event! Please do so no later than Sept 12th. Contact Peg Lehr at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 303-320-5706. We will need to know if you are vegetarian and how many people are in your family; adults/kids. We do not encourage people from outside the membership to join us for the festival. This is our Thank You to you for being members. If you do bring guests, it will be $10 a person, adult and children alike. We will also need to know how many adults/kids and whether or not they are vegetarian. A return reply will not be given to your RSVP.
Activities: There will be a pot-luck style lunch. We will provide utensils, drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers, plus all the extras that go with them. We will need you to bring a side dish or dessert. Please double the amount you would normally feed your family.
There will be a few carnival style booths for children and for the adults that still are children deep inside!
There will be a Canning Booth to help you with your canning questions. We will also hold a jam/jelly contest and a pickle contest. Please bring down your best jar and let us see how it stands up to our judges’ views! There will be a small prize for the winners!
If you are interested in a hat or cookbook they will be available to purchase at the Festival.
We will have our annual Stick Horse Race for all horse lovers. We encourage you to make your horse and enter your steed into the race. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed horse and the winners of the races. We will start out with a parade and then the races begin!
A Self-Tour of the farm will be available. Loaded with a map and directions, you can explore the buildings on the farm; see animals and the farmland itself.
If you are interested in picking a few crops, we normally have a list of U-pick crops for canning and freezing at the Check–In station. You will need a decent pair of shoes for picking crops (flip flops are not recommended)!
Volunteers for festival: I know several of you could not make it to the farm this spring and are anxiously waiting for a time in which you can volunteer on the farm. Now is your chance! The Festival will need several people to help keep it running smoothly! Please contact Peg Lehr about volunteering! email@example.com or 303-320-5706.
Here is a list of all the jobs that need volunteers:
Set Up and Produce Choppers: as many as we can get & we start at 9am sharp!
Check-In Station: two people every hour – 11 to 3
“Master” Grillers: two people every shift – 10:30 to 12; 12 to 1:30 and 1:30 to 3
Clear Food Table and Man Drink Station: 2 people every hour 11 to 3
Empty Trash Cans/Restock Bathrooms: 1 person every hour 11 to 4
Canning “Experts”: 1 person every hour 11 to 3
Cookbook/Hat Booth: 1 person every hour 11 to 3
Tear Down & Clean Up: Everyone who is still around at the end of the day can help us with this chore! As Grandmother Edith would say, “Many hands make light work.” This takes no more than an hour to complete. Last year because we had so many helping hands, this work was completed in 45 min!
Thanks for letting us be your farmers this summer! Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle
Rosy Home-Style Fries
4 to 5 med potatoes, cubed and boiled until tender
2 med beets, cooked and cubed
1 Tbsp oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 large pepper, chopped
(optional) ½ cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 to 3 Tbsp dried
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Saute’ onions 5 min. Add potatoes and beets, saute’ 10 minutes or until potatoes start to brown. Toss in everything else and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve warm.
Helpful Hint: This recipe works best if the beets and potatoes are cooked ahead of time and cooled completely!
Check out Jacquie’s Summer Pasta on page 71 in the cookbook for another great recipe for squash. I like this cold the next day for lunch after I have had it warm for dinner the night before!