Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CSA Newsletter

Medium tunnel with bean crop  and eggplant on right
Greeting from the Garden!  This week's box has lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, green onions, carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, beans, basil and melons.

Field Notes - DRY.  Ken figures we have gotten two rainfalls of an inch or more since July 4th.  One of our irrigation ponds is bone dry.  Since it is dry, we are hiring a man with heavy machinery to dig irrigation ponds deeper, and establish a pond for the garden.  The past few years have brought us extreme temperatures and weather.  We are trying to improve options to buffer these extremes.  

Ken has taken time out from his constant August maintenance to build an eggmobile.  This has been the second summer demand for our eggs has exceeded supply.  Ramping up the infrastructure and buying day old chicks has made us aware of the real cost of producing eggs and other food.  Although one can find cheap food, we believe in producing eggs and vegetables that are as nutrient dense as possible.  And we appreciate the support we have received for this.  We can always use more like minded people.  Please spread the word.  Spending the time and money before we see the eggs and food always makes us feel a bit vulnerable.

Broccoli - last crop's side shoots
With shorter days and cooler nights, some of the heat loving plants - like tomatoes -  have crested their wave; others are at peak - cantaloupe, peppers, eggplant.  This crop of broccoli reminds me fall is coming.  Soon we will be digging and filling the root cellar for winter.  I expect the roots will be smaller due to lack of rain this season.  Often that means two things - great, concentrated flavor and better storage quality.

From the Kitchen.  Although I have been canning tomato juice and soup, I am ready to move on to cooking down tomatoes to sauce.  When we date jar lids, it is always amusing that the July tomatoes are less concentrated, but as the root cellar shelves fill up, the jars become darker and closer to paste.  If you are interested in canning, do not delay.  Supplies of tomatoes are less and less.

Ken's eggplant pickles were a real hit.  I plan to make baba ganoush from eggplants soon.  It freezes well.  And Ken usually makes a batch of lasagne for the freezer.  This year I may take that on as he plays catch up out in the garden and field.  I like to have a couple dishes ready for quick suppers. Now that we have some cool weather lighting the oven is a real option.

We have been eating vegetables in omelettes - green onions, peppers, tomatoes, and more.  Ken likes to slice small tomatoes and grill the cut side as he is making breakfast.  The cut cooked edge is slightly caramelized, and the rest is still "fresh" in flavor.  I was told this is very British.  I don't know...

"Til Next Week - Bon Apetit!

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