CSA Newsletter Week 7

Good Heart CSA Open Farm Day 7/18

CSA Pick-up July 13 & 16

The next CSA Open Farm Day is this coming Saturday, July 18th from 11:00-3:00.  We invite you to join us on the farm for a farm tour, a time to see how and where your food grows, to ask questions, meet our new chicks, and to help build our third moveable hoop house.  A farm lunch of salad and veggies will be provided, and you are welcome to bring a potluck dish to share.

What about those new chicks, you ask?  Last Thursday we picked up 217 Freedom Ranger chicks, which we’ll raise for meat.  We love the way these chickens forage and amend the fields and soil by their presence.  In about 10 weeks we’ll have fresh pasture-raised chicken for sale; in the mean time, we have whole chicken in the freezer, and will start bringing some to the CSA pick-ups.  The chicken is pasture-raised and fed certified organic grain, and is $5.50/lb.  Farm Stand Members can use their credit to buy chicken.

On the farm we’ve been busy cultivating thanks to the sunny days that have dried out the fields from June’s rains.  The flower space has been reclaimed, and the chamomile and calendula are ready for harvesting.  Rudbeckia and yarrow are beginning to bloom, and come this week you’ll all be welcome to pick some blossoms at CSA pick-up, or on the CSA Open Farm Day.

Field prep is also underway.  This spring we opened up a new block to grow in, and have just scythed the buckwheat and field pea cover crop that we sowed in May.  Cover crops are an important way to build soil and smother weeds, help retain soil nutrients in space we aren’t growing food crops in, and reduce the risk of erosion.  All good things as we rely on the health of the soil to grow nutrient dense food.

We look forward to seeing you this week, and hope you’ve all enjoyed a sunny summer weekend!

In Good Heart,
Katie and Edge

Photo: Chamomile ready for harvest

Harvest List:
Zucchini/Summer Squash
Snap Peas
Lettuce heads
Bunching Greens
Choice of Herbs
and maybe, just maybe our first onions of the season (!)

Pesto is a favorite condiment around here, and with the sun and heat, the basil is growing wonderfully.  This weekend I made a batch of goat-cheese pesto, loosely following Ina Garten’s recipe from Barefoot Contessa.  The recipe is below.  I left out the nuts, used garlic scapes in place of garlic, and goat cheese in place of parmesan, and added a splash of lemon juice.  The ratios for basil to oil and garlic are perfect.

· 1/4 cup walnuts

· 1/4 cup pignolis ( pine nuts)
· 3 tablespoons chopped garlic(9 cloves)
· 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
· 1 teaspoon kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 1 1/2 cups good olive oil
· 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.
Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.
To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

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