CSA Newsletter, Week 13

Back to the Fields

CSA Pick-up August 24 & 27

Our week-long Elmore vacation with Edge’s family went fast, and though we did spend some time in the fields, it was just enough to harvest and water…and take almost all of our onions out of the field!  Now they are in the curing stage, and in a few weeks will be dried enough to store for the fall and winter.  Other that the onion haul, we really did get some relaxation on the lake and a nice recharging week with family.  Now it’s back out to the fields to catch up and get our hands in the soil (all that swimming actually made our feet look clean–consider theses barefoot farmers amazed).

With the bounty of tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers coming our way, we are into the season of processing.  It can be hard to find time to put everything by, and we are feeling very grateful for our freezers.  Though it’s nice to can and save space in the freezers for meat, with so much on the to-do list, popping tomatoes into gallon-size freezer bags, or chopped peppers into quart bags for later use really makes good use of our limited time.

Have you been feeling slightly overwhelmed with the amount of food lately?  If so, and if you have freezer space, we recommend taking advantage of this super-easy preservation.  Whole tomatoes can be bagged and frozen for later use in soups, stews, and sauces, as can peppers and beans.  I usually blanch the beans for 30 seconds in boiling water, then cool them in an ice batch before freezing.  Even herbs can be frozen whole in freezer bags, or chopped up, mixed with oil or melted butter, and frozen in ice-cube trays, then popped out and stored in freezer bags.  These little herbed ice-cubes are great to start sautés, add to soups, or to use as a bread dip.

Cucumbers on the other hand are not freezer bound.  A quick google search tells me that some people have ventured into the frozen-cucumber land, but I’m skeptical of the result.  Pickles still somewhat elude me, and I’m still trying to find the perfect recipe.  While most of my canned versions have ended up softer than I’d like, refrigerator pickles are a sure bet for crispness (and none of the fuss of a boiling water-bath canner).  If pickles elude you, too, here’s a great recipe to start with from the Smitten Kitchen: easiest fridge dill pickles.  If you are a pickle master already, I’d love to hear your tips and get your recipes!

As we continue finding ways to preserve the harvest, we also extend the harvest season with low-tunnels and hoop houses, which let us bring you fresh greens and sweet carrots and beets, and so much more all the way through December.  As August winds down, do be sure to take advantage of the special discounted price of $280 for the Fall Harvest Share, which runs from October – December.  The discount is our way of saying thanks for your early support, which plays a vital role in helping us grow a sustainable, community-based farm.

We look forward to seeing you all this week!

In Good Heart,
Katie and Edge

This week’s harvest:

Tomatoes–heirlooms, slicers, and cherries
Onions
Zucchini/summer squash
Cucumbers
Potatoes (from Kettle Song Farm, an organic farm in Worcester)
Beans
Choice of Broccoli or Cabbage
Herbs

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