Dear CSAers: I’m grateful for the care and support I received this past week while I was with my father and family in the Intensive Care unit of the University of Iowa Hospital. Last Friday, as we sang together around his bed, my father passed away from a hard fought battle with hypersensitivity pneumonitis - "farmer's lung" - a common cause of death today among mid-western grain farmers of the early "green revolution" era (before tractors with enclosed cabs, which help reduce exposure to environmental toxins & dust).
Please give Mirra, Kayla & Richard your appreciation for their hard work and dedication to taking care of the farm during my absence and bringing you good, clean food. Here is their info on tomorrow's box for you!
ACORN SQUASH - one of the first signs that fall is coming - the ripening of the earliest squash in the cornfield. We look forward to that first cool evening to taste their sweet meat roasted the oven. The simple, classic Baked Acorn Squash recipe below makes a great dessert; you can use local sorghum or honey instead of maple syrup & brown sugar. We also like savory Acorn squash cubed and roasted with potatoes, butter, rosemary, salt & pepper. Acorns will keep 1-2 months in your kitchen or garage (not as long as most winter squash).
STIR FRY MIX again this week is packed with a variety of tasty nutritious greens: sweet potato greens, kale, Bok choy, beet greens & chard, "perpetual beet spinach." Our Kale & leafy greens are free of the toxic pesticides that placed them in the “Dirty Dozen:” most pesticide-laden fruits & veggies when conventionally-grown (see August 6 post).
SUMMER SQUASH - take advantage of summer while it’s still here! Freeze summer squash now so you can have safe & nutritious Salamander Springs Farm summer squash this winter with the recipes we've posted all season. Processing to freeze is easy--ask us at the market or use simple instructions online (www.pickyourown.org/freezing_summer_squash.htm). Conventionally-grown supermarket squash made the 2012 “Dirty Dozen” list because they are “commonly contaminated with pesticides exceptionally toxic to the nervous system.”
TOMATOES - HEIRLOOMS, PLUMS, CHERRIES: summer is still here! Choose an heirloom you haven’t tried yet, a box of sweet cherry tomatoes or plum tomatoes to dry for winter use. If you want to freeze or can (including our ketchup recipe), CSA members can purchase additional tomatoes at the market at a discount ($1.50 lb). Conventionally-grown tomatoes are on the “Dirty Dozen” list of most pesticide-laden fruits & veggies (see August 6 posting).
GREEN BEANS: ITALIAN ROMA (snap) and HEIRLOOM POLE BEANS (Half Runner, Elkins, or Preacher/Rattlesnake Pole) -1# of each. ROMA BEANS are a tasty Italian stringless snap bean. Picked while flat, when the inner bean seeds have not had a chance to form, they need little cooking nor stringing. Eat raw in dips, put into stir-fries, egg dishes, steam or cook with butter & salt. HEIRLOOM POLE BEANS have a hearty, sweet flavor and are more than a vegetable: they provide a substantial amount of protein as well. Harvested when the inner bean seeds have started to fill out, they can be a meal in themselves! The larger beans need “stringing” before cooking (pull off the string along each seam from each end of the bean). Cook about 12-15 minutes (the fatter the bean, the longer the cook time). Heirloom beans with a pot of potatoes, pearl onions, butter & salt makes a simple, hearty meal with unmatched flavor! Heirloom pole beans were also traditionally harvested at the “shucky bean” stage--after the beans in the pod fill out and the pod yellows on the vine--to shell out for soup beans. Crucial to sustaining pioneer families through the winter, the rich flavor of heirloom pole beans is still treasured by their ancestors. See the fascinating story of the Elkins Bean in August 6 post. If you want additional green beans to freeze or can, use our CSA member discount of $1.50 lb. Ask us for processing tips.
CUCUMBERS! use a favorite summer salad recipe posted earlier this season. Conventionally grown cucumbers are on the “Dirty Dozen” list of most pesticide laden fruits & veggies.
PURPLE POTATOES - we’ll have quart boxes set aside for our CSA members of both Magic Molly (purple-blue inside & out) and Purple Vikings (purple & pink skin, white inside). Both are very versatile, with a texture and use like Kennebecs.
SWEET CANDY YELLOW ONIONS -you’ll get a few medium - small ones this week. Good Foods Coop (and Stella’s Deli) in Lexington has diminished our sweet onion supply! In September will will move into the stronger-tasting winter storage onions.
FRESH BASIL & ROSEMARY
-for your taste buds, the recipes in these postings, and for your health.
and last but not least...
FRESH BAKED BREAD & SPECIAL TREATS from Drew & Lindsey at Clementine’s Bakery.
September 14-15 Permaculture in Practice Workshop at Salamander Springs Farm is FULL. We have on-farm workshops every year and Susana teaches workshops in many regions, so if you know folks who would like to learn more about growing food & living sustainably by cycling resources, nutrients, & energy, have them email via the farm website and ask be on our "workshop notification list."
Monthly farm tour, Saturday, September 14, time has changed to 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. because of the on-farm workshop schedule that weekend. NO charge for our CSA members. If you have not had a chance to visit the farm yet this season, please join us. Email us if you need directions--Google maps will send you to the moon or even Mars.
Simple, Classic BAKED ACORN SQUASH:
With a big knife, slice Acorn squash in half (lengthwise-from beside the stem to the pointed end). Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don't burn and the squash doesn't get dried out.
Coat the inside of each half:
1T each brown sugar & maple syrup. (or use local honey & sorghum)
dash of salt
Bake 60-75 minutes or until the squash is very soft and edges browned. (don’t under cook). Enjoy while still warm.
ACORN SQUASH - a cup (about half a baked squash) has only 115 calories, but has plenty of fiber (which helps your body process fattier foods) and 2 grams of protein, and is a good natural source for vitamins & minerals: for example, it has 37% of your RDA of Vitamin C, 18% of A, 20% of B-6, 5% iron and 4% calcium, and 25% each of potassium and magnesium!
See the August 6 post for the “The Dirty Dozen” conventionally-grown fruits & veggies found most laden with toxic pesticides (2012 results of Environmental Working Group annual testing of pesticide levels in fruits & vegetables).
See past blog posts for nutritional benefits of this week’s fruits and veggies.