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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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August 22

This week's projected CSA menu:

Grape Tomatoes
Do not refrigerate

Yellow Bell Peppers
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

San Marzano Tomatoes
Store at room temperature

Cucumbers
Store in the fridge

Sweet Mini Peppers
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

Heirloom Tomatoes
Store on a countertop

Sweet White Onion
Does not need refrigerated

Green Pepper
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

Mixed Greens
Store in the fridge

Zucchini
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

Field-Ripened Tomatoes
Do not refrigerate

Sweet Orange Snack Peppers
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

Cubanelle "sweet heat" Pepper - Full Share Only
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

Eggplant - Medium Share
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

We had over 450 people show up to our Open Farm Day this past weekend to dig potatoes, pick herbs/flowers, and take advantage of all the extra produce give-outs! We are always so thrilled to see how many kids and adults are ready to get their hands in the dirt and experience the farm life. There were 240 voters in the tomato taste contest and both categories yielded strong winners. Our red grape tomatoes won by a landslide in the overall contest and the purple Cherokee Carbons took the gold for the best tasting 'tomato slicer'. Thanks to all who were able to attend and we hope to see even more of you for our last big event in September.

Monday morning, the farm woke up to what feels like a whole different climate. It looks like the humidity has finally burned off for us all to really enjoy the last month of summer -outdoors. Watching the high temps drop from 90s to 80s in a week is a considerable difference on our bodies and the plants we are desperately working to maintain. Cooler weather is upon us! We have reached the half-way mark in our CSA season, with 17 weeks to go until mid-December. Our bunched greens like kale and collards are growing fast and are returning soon to your weekly shares. The rain has been a major help on our irrigation efforts and our newly planted fall crops are loving the weather change. Our nightshade crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are all coming in strong and will continue to do so until mid-October when the first frost usually hits our area.

What happens to the produce once it is picked and when is my CSA box packed?
All of your produce is picked fresh, typically the day before you receive it. We harvest daily for our CSA members based off of what is yielding and will plausibly fit inside the box. Once a wagon of produce comes in from the field, our packing house will immediately put the produce macrobin onto a fan inside the proper cooler. This fan will suck out all of the hot air from the vegetables for several hours, bringing them down to their precisely needed temperature to keep and store in a refrigerator for customers- ideally up to 7 days. The produce is then sorted, graded, and packed inside a CSA share that same day based off of fair division of produce to each sized member. Packing CSA is usually the last (big) task we do at the end of the day. We have 15 packing house employees working over 60 hours a week to receive and grade produce from our fields. Once everything is in- it's pack time! Mistakes happen ... we will happily replace any item that was missed or not properly graded to your satisfaction!

Cubanelle peppers are a mild Hot pepper known for their "sweet heat." They sauté up perfectly with sweet peppers to add a little heat to whatever you are cooking. Enjoy!

Khaya's Korner: Tomato Harvest

Last week my dad told us "We're going to harvest tomatoes before 4-H tonight." So, we climbed into my dad's pickup truck and rode to the farm. My mom drove the tractor up and down the field of tomatoes. My dad picked up bushel baskets from the field and placed them on the wagon. Then, either my brother or I dragged the baskets to the other end of the wagon, while the other one of us watched Isla. We quickly finished the field. Then, my dad put away his tractor. We made it on time to 4-H. ~Khaya

Stuffed Pepper Pot
Love the taste of stuffed peppers? Want it easier & quicker? Try this recipe!
1lb ground beef
1 onion, minced
2 green peppers, diced
2 yellow (or orange or red) pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Brown ground beef with all the above in a pot
Add:
1 tsp salt
1 / 2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp fresh basil or oregano, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 quart (32oz) tomato sauce
Simmer for 20-30 minutes
Add:
2-3 C cooked rice
top with 2 C shredded cheese, allow to melt. Serve!

Zucchini & Fried Pepper Casserole
Tomato Sauce, divided (24oz) 3 C slices of fried peppers (mix colors)
3 zucchini, sliced in 1 / 4 inch rounds (about 5 cups) 1 C sliced fresh mushrooms*optional*
1 / 4 C seasoned bread crumbs 2 T fresh chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste 1 (8oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
Butter 9x13 pan, then spread bottom of pan with 1 and 1 / 2 cups of sauce. Top with layer of zucchini slices, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over zucchini. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with fried peppers, then mushrooms. Sprinkle with basil. Top with remaining sauce. Bake, covered, 45 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from oven; top with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven, uncovered, 2-3 minutes, until cheese melts. Let rest 20 minutes before serving.

Grilled Eggplant, Cherry Tomato and Romaine Toss
1 tsp minced garlic salt Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or basil 1 eggplant
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 head romaine lettuce
1 egg white 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
about 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided 1 / 2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
To make dressing: mash garlic with 1 / 4 tsp salt to make a paste. Combine with thyme or basil, vinegar and egg white. Whisk in 4 Tbsp olive oil and season with pepper. Heat coals on outdoor grill. Slice off a 3inch piece of skin from two opposite sides of the eggplant (this will create a flat edge for grilling). Cut eggplant lengthwise into 4 thick wedges. Brush each with olive oil and grill until tender, 3-5 minutes per side. Cool to room temperature and slice into 3 inch strips. Chop, clean and dry lettuce. Toss lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes, cheese and dressing in large bowl. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Makes four servings.

TOMATO SOUP
1 T butter, 2 cloves garlic minced, 2 carrots chopped, 2 celery stalks chopped
2 quarts tomatoes chopped, pinch sugar
1 / 2 C fresh basil or 1 / 4 C dry
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese Heat butter in skillet, sauté garlic, carrots, celery. Add tomatoes and simmer 20 minutes. Add sugar, basil, salt and pepper; simmer 10 minutes longer. Top with cheese. Approximately 8 servings. Can try a creamed version by placing in blender when cooked Slowly reheat and whisk in about 1 C cream (or milk) slowly. Will curdle if not done slowly.

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