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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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Week of August 1st

Projected CSA menu:

Cantaloupe
Sweet Corn
Green Peppers
Onions
Zucchini
Asian Eggplant (Full Share)
Mixed Greens
Kale
Tomatoes: San Marzanos, Heirlooms, Grapes, Red Round Slicers
Fresh Basil
Italian Melon (Full Share)

The next Open Farm Day is Saturday, August 19th

Our "sugar cube" cantaloupes are all ripe and ready to eat. Our reason and goal for growing melons: flavor! So, we only harvest them if they are ripe and falling off the vine. Not all cantaloupes are ready at the same time, so the first step is to search through the rows for the ones with tan/pastel colored skin. If they fall right off the vine without any effort when you go to pick it up – it is ready. This means the fruit has received all the nutrients it can from the plant and is at its peak and ready to be harvested. If the cantaloupe does not immediately fall off the vine, we leave it to continue to grow and ripen further from the sun. This applies for cantaloupes, watermelons, honeydew, etc. An important part of harvesting melons is to be careful where you step since there are living leaves and vines growing all over the rows bearing precious baby cantaloupes for the future. We also need to watch for major rainstorms in the forecast, since ripe melons can rot from being too wet and unable to dry out in a soaked field. One major benefit to receiving fruit, including tomatoes, in our CSA is that you can count on it being ripe (fresher) when you receive it. Grocery store produce is often harvested prior to being ripe to account for travel, storage, and distribution time.
Cantaloupe is extremely nutritious and loaded with Vitamin A and Vitamin C. There is a decreased risk of metabolic syndromes in individuals with especially high intake of cantaloupe. It also provides a wide range of antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress. They are also packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that help prevent excessive inflammation. This share also features our tomato lineup of all 4 varieties grown on the farm. Each one has its own unique flavor and texture and can all be used interchangeably. Which one do you like the best? Colorful heirloom tomatoes are notorious for their sweet, non-acidic flavor and are highly recommended sliced raw with fresh basil and mozzarella. Grape tomatoes are easy to eat as snacks in their container or in salads. San Marzanos are excellent cooking tomatoes since their skins fall right off once they are roasted. Lastly, our standard red round slicers are perfect for just that; on a sandwich, salad, tacos, etc.
Enjoy – tomato season has just begun!

Khaya's Korner
Hi everyone! Summer is such a busy time for Spiral Path. All of our employees are working hard; in the Packing Shed, in the fields, and in the garden. Do you ever think about how the fruits and vegetables that come in your box take a lot of work? They have to be carefully monitored while they are being planted, harvested, washed, and packed into boxes. Also, there is much devastation with farming. One hailstorm can lose thousands of dollars' worth of vegetables. That is why we try to make sure that no plant is taken for granted. To be positive that your fruits and veggies are getting exactly what they need, my dad and my grandpa must take soil samples. They use trial and error to figure out what is helping- and what isn't. All in all, when you open up our box, remember the hard work it took to grow these delicious plants!

Spicy Corn Stuffed Tomato Salad from Kathy Bennett
6 Sm. Ripe tomatoes
½ c. Creamy Buttermilk Dressing (Ranch)
2 T. Parsley (snipped)
¼ tsp. Pepper
Dash Ground Red Pepper
2 C. cooked fresh corn kernels
½ c. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
¼ c. chopped green pepper (or any bell pepper)
¼ c. chopped cucumber
¼ c. chopped onion
Lettuce leaves
Place the tomatoes (stem end down) on a cutting board and cut into 4-6
wedges each, cutting into but not through the stem end. Spread wedges
apart slightly; sprinkle with salt. Cover; chill. In a small mixing bowl, combine dressing, parsley, pepper and red pepper. In another bowl, combine corn, cheese, green pepper, cucumber, and onion. Add dressing mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover; chill. Serve tomatoes filled with corn mixture over lettuce on individual plates.

TOMATO ZUCCHINI BAKE This makes 2 very generous portions
1 C brown rice - uncooked
1 T olive oil
ground ginger to taste
1/2 C onions - chopped
2 each zucchini - large, sliced
3 large tomatoes - coarsely chopped
1 dash soy sauce - to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons of Tamari)
1 garlic clove - crushed
2 C. vegetable broth - boiling
Sauté rice in oil until golden brown. Place in a glass 13x9" dish and swish rice around to grease dish (use a 2 qt casserole dish). Spread rice in an even layer. Sprinkle liberally with ginger. Layer the onions, zucchini, and tomatoes over the rice. To the hot vegetable broth, add the soy sauce and garlic, then pour the mixture evenly over the casserole. Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees 1 hour 15 min until liquid is absorbed and vegetables are tender.

Tomato-Basil Creme Sauce
3 Tbs. Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs., tomatoes, seeded and cut into bite size chunks
salt
1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
6 oz. Neufchatel cheese
lots of chopped fresh basil
freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil. Stir in the onion and sauté over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, until it starts to turn golden. Stir in the tomatoes and garlic and salt lightly. Cover the skillet and let the tomatoes stew gently for about 5 minutes, until they're soft but not mushy. Stir in the vinegar. Break the cheese into 7 or 8 chunks and scatter over the tomatoes. Cover, turn the heat to low, and let the cheese soften for 2-3 minutes. Whisk the cheese into the sauce, stirring in the basil salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta.

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