Small Family Farm CSA

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August Fourteenth, 2019

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Growing sweet corn on the scale that our farm grows sweet corn is no simple task.  We're not big time sweet corn growers, but we are certainly growing it on a scale that is larger than most.  That sweet smelling corn travlels through the night breeze and draws in the racoons like they're hypnotized.  They are crafy and quick and entire families of them can destroy a sweet corn harvest for a farm like ours in just one night.  
 
Sweet corn is tranplanted on our farm.  We start sweet corn in trays in the geenhouse in May and water care for them while they germinate.  Birds, mice and chipmunks seem to know there is sweet corn growing beneat the soil in our trays in the greenhouse in the Spring and we need to keep the trays covered with a floating row cover just to keep the seeds protected until they have germinated.  Once the sweet corn transplants are a couple weeks old, we transplant them out in the fields at 6 inch spacing.  Transplanting sweet corn is not something many farms do unless they have the time, labor and are serious about growing sweet corn!  We know how much you love it, we value our field space and if we're going to put all the effort into growing sweet corn, we want it to turn our right!  We want the plants to be at the correct spacing (not too crowded and not too far apart either!  
 
Once the sweet corn patch begins to tassel out in July, we set up an electric fense around the patch to keep the racoons from sampeling and scampering through the field.  We use electric wire that goes around the entire patch four times.  We electrify the wire using a deep marine battery that needs to be hooked up every night to the wire to keep it hot.  In the mornings, farmer Adam goes out to un-hook the battery from the fense as to not drain the battery too quickly by running it 24 hours out of the day.  Every few days he brings the battery down to the shed to trickle charge the batter back up during the day time to make sure the battery has plenty of juice for the night time protection.  
 
We have had several years of good success using this method.  It does require keeping the sweet corn fense trimmed so that any weeds or grass growing up under the wire wont short out the wire.  We have had years where racoons have cunningly found their way in in some un-even ground or who have bravely charged through the fense (who knows how they get in!) but so far this season we are having good luck with our efforts!  We hope to have a hefty giving of sweet corn to share again next week that will likely be even bigger than this week's offerings.  It seems like some corn is maturing a little earlier than we thought it might, so we might have a big week next week, and then a lighter giving of corn the following week.  
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Soooo....What's in the Box?

Yellow Watermelon-  Wowzers!  What a melon!  We like these melons because they fit inside a CSA box and they don't take up the entire CSA box either!  They have everything a melon should have: seeds, crispyness, juicyness, and flavor!  

Sweet Corn-  6-7 ears of sweet corn per member this week.  We're hoping for an even more generous giving next week!  We're doing a good job of keeping the raccoons out of the sweet corn fense with our 4 strands of electric wire surrounding the fense.  Sweet corn is best eating within hours of harvest.  It should be kept in the fridge until you get to eating it up!  For best flavor and texture, we recommend eating it up as soon as possible!  Enjoy!

Zucchini and Summer Squash-  Yes, the Zucchini and Summer squash harvest is waning.  Can you tell since you're only getting a couple now!  We may only have a week or two of squash to share.  They come on strong, and it gets a little intense there for a bit, but we'll miss them when they're gone, I know I will!  

Tomatoes-  While summer squash may be phasing out of season, tomatoes are phasing in!  1.65 lbs per member this week which is a modest first giving.  We pick tomatoes with a "blush".  A blush is anything with any early signs of color.  We need to pick tomatoes this way because the plants need to be picked every two days to keep the fruits from ripening too quickly on the vine.  If the fruits become too ripe, we won't be able to ship them without them turning into tomato sauce in your box!  Leave your tomatoes sitting on your counter outside of the plastic bag we ship them in to ripen.  When tomatoes are put into the fridge the ripening process stops.  Refrigerators (and I don't understand the science behind this completely) suck the flavor out of tomatoes.  Your tomatoes will be more flavorful if left on the counter to ripen.  We only recommend putting tomatoes in the fridge this summer if you need to buy yourself some time and you have too many tomatoes getting too ripe on you.  

Cherry Tomatoes-  1 pint of Sun Gold cherry tomtoes for everyone this week!  Sun Golds are my personal favorite tomato of all time!  They are so sweet and delicious!  These tomatoes ripen orange, so allow them to sit on your counter until they are a bright and shiny orange color and enjoy any way that you wish!  Check out my favorite cherry tomato tart recipe below that is AMAZING!  I highly recommed making this recipe at least once this season with your cherry tomatoes that you receive in your box!

Green Beans-  A generous 1.1 lbs of green beans this week.  We had a nice crew to pick beans with us this week!  We are so very thankful for all of those loving pairs of hand that so tediously worked with us to get all of these beans picked for us all to share!  That's a lot of hours picking beans!

Cucumbers-  4-5 cukes per member this week.  Cucumbers are beginning to wane in production as well.  They're looking a little less perfect as the season goes on, but we're so thankful that we all still get to eat this lovely seasonal treat!  

Carrots-  1 lb per member.  We topped them this week to save time.  Carrots are alwasy welcome in many dishes on the dinner table!  I trust you won't have issues using these up!

Celery-  The final giving of celery for the season!  Celery was lovely while it lasted, but all good things come to an end!  Remember that you can use your celery leaves in making stock with your veggie scraps.  I recently learned about how healing celery juice is.  If you're not sure what to do with your celery, juice it!  Anthony Williams write The Medical Medium which is all about the healing effects of driking celery juice daily.  Check out this website:  https://www.medicalmedium.com/medical-medium-celery-juice-movement.htm

Lettuce-  1 head green leaf lettuce per member.  Some of the heads were nice and big, but many of these heads of lettuce were quite small.  As I have mentioned before, growing lettuce in the heat of the summer like this is tricky!  We're thankful for even a smaller head this week!  

Onion-  1 white onion per member this week.  Onions are welcome in almost any dish!  

Eggplant-  1 Standard or asian eggplant per member this week.  Eggplants are so versatile and such a fun seasonal treat that doesn't last long!  

Jalapeno-  Yes, these are hot!  1 per member this week.  Jalapenos are spicy and you may be able to recognize them as the smaller green pepper floating in your bag with your tomatoes.  

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  These peppers are one of the most mild on the spectrum of hot tomatoes.  Technically, they are a hot pepper.  I have cut into many hungarian hot wax peppers and some have been surprisingly spicy, and some have been hardly spicy at all.  They are usualy a lime green color and are also called 'bananna peppers'.  But these peppers 'ripen' orange to red, so you may have received one that was orange or red as well.  They would be in your bag with your tomatoes.  

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Recipes-

Cherry Tomato Tart

Eggplant Curry

Grilled Eggplant Ratatouille Muffaletta (grilled eggplant and veggies served on bread)

Teriyaki Green Beans with Cashews