Rolling Acres Farm

  (Atlantic, Iowa)
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Week of September 14, 2009

Week of September 14, 2009

Dear CSA Members,

Yesterday as I was picking raspberries and listening to the constant buzz of the bees surrounding me, I again thought about how lucky I am to live on a family farm and to be able to spend my time outdoors. Raising food for people to eat is a rewarding occupation for the most part. Of course it helps when the weather has been near perfect. We started out a little rocky with wet and cold but I believe you would agree with me that the bounty has been plenty over the months of summer.

There are a number of different types of tomatoes that you are finding in your boxes. In the August 3rd newsletter there are pictures and descriptions of the tomatoes. Brandywine, Costuluto, German Striped, Persimmon and Black Krim have all been rather prolific. I personally have like the taste of the Black Krim although Larry thinks it is not acidity enough. I take a slice of tomato, a slice of fresh mozzarella or Swiss cheese, a leaf of basil put them on a slice of garlic bread and then under the broiler for a couple of minutes for a delicious sandwich. I have also sliced the tomatoes on a platter, top with a slice of fresh mozzarella and a leaf of basil and sprinkle basalmic vinegar – Yum…….

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes -  I want to let you know that if you want extra vegetables to freeze or can, please get in touch with me. A couple of members have come out and picked their own to take home and process. Others have had me pick produce for salsa. I have been canning tomato juice in the evenings. It is always a chore, there is no doubt about that, but my, in the winter when we can go down to the fruit room and bring up canned goods, what a wonderful feeling that is. Greg Brown, an Iowa folk/blues musician has a song called “Summer in a Jar”. What an appropriate name for preserved produce from the garden.

The green peppers are the best I have ever grown. When I travel to meetings in the winter, I am always asking CSA farmers what varieties they plant. This year the green pepper variety Ace kept surfacing. I planted them and am very pleased. I also planted Sunray – those that are now turning yellow. The banana peppers are all sweet, not the hot kind and you will notice that they are now turning red. Another variety is Apple – they have the shape of an apple and are a beautiful red color. What fun it is to have such color on our plates! There are a few Jalapenos, Serranos and some Cayenne. If any of you wish to have any of the hot ones for salsa making, just let me know. I know that not too many of you are that fond of hot peppers.

Okay, I must confess, the zucchini got away from me. They aren't too bad, but they are large. It is obvious that Catie and Emily were able to keep a better handle on them than me. Hope you are up for making some zucchini bread or cake.

I am doing my best to figure out the ripeness of the melons. The experts say you can tell by several different methods so I am trying them all. You will be getting both a cantaloupe and a watermelon today. This is a great time of the year for fruit!

Since the departure of Catie and Emily, I have been taking the boxes to the Care Center; this has given me the opportunity to visit with you and to share ideas about utilizing the overflowing baskets of veggies and fruit. I appreciate hearing how some of you are freezing or canning produce to use this winter in pots of soup – the mainstay of winter suppers.

The turkeys are growing bigger every day. I realize that it is quite far from Thanksgiving, but I would like to remind you if you are interested in reserving one for your Thanksgiving table, please get in touch with me. The feed I am feeding them this year is organic and comes from the Madsen farm in Audubon County. These birds are very, very local. They will be $3.00 per pound.

Until next week……


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