Eaters' Guild

  (Bangor, Michigan)
A farm we eat from
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Strawberries

StrawberriesStrawberries
This season's crop of strawberries is the first crop of strawberries that Eater's Guild has produced. Lee and Laurie planted the strawberries in the sandy soil on the hill three years ago, but the plants did not turn out much fruit on the second year. They chose a June-bearing cultivar that is sweet, and tends to mature at a medium size. We use the strawberries regularly in the field. They are situated between the beds of asparagus, and on hot days, the strawberries serve as a wonderful reprieve. The Romans, too, considered strawberries to be a remedy for fainting, and melancholy generally. 

Storing fresh strawberries is challenging. Our strawberries tend to go through different "phases" as they age in our fridge. No, they are not all stages of decomposition. The way we start off is by placing the strawberries in a sturdy tupperware container that is lined with cloth. Any cloth will do. Take a strip off an old tee shirt if there's nothing better handy. This storage technique protects strawberries from their two greatest enemies, moisture (the fabric whisks it away) and pressure (which ruptures the cells, releasing moisture). You can almost get a week out of strawberries in this way, but at some point, they begin to soften. That's when we bake a shortcake and chop the strawberries down. Chopped, the strawberries can stand another three days or so before they start to get questionable. Of course, you can make preserves, too, but perhaps some of you would be better suited to share the best technique for that with me than I would be with you?
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June 21 Newsletter

Greetings!

Thanks all that have complemented this newsletter. I'm glad to be a part of the campaign. After receiving the last issue, many of you requested more photos. I can try to meet that request with each letter.

Farm Gathering

Time and Things to Bring
The first farm gathering of this season will be on June 26th! The gathering will begin at 2:00 pm. After the potluck, attendees will be invited to tour the farm. Please bring your own table setting, cup, and an entree or desert to share. If it's possible, bring a folding chair as well!

Directions

This link will show you Eater's Guild on on google maps, just put your location in the "from" field to get directions. Do beware, google puts the Eater's compound almost a quarter mile further North than it is in reality. The actual location is much closer to Hastings road. If you prefer to do your own search, their address is: 26041 County Road 681, Bangor Michigan.

Notes from the Field

Dusters
Every few days we hear helicopters and airplanes droning in the distance. We can't see, but do imagine that over the vast blueberry, corn, and soy fields that neighbor our oasis, these mechanical insects release a misty tempest of noxious fluids. One site tells that about 350 million acres of the continental United States are used for cropland. According to the USDA, only 5 million acres of the US are used for organic cropland. It's just over one percent of farmland land that is wholly free of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides...that means it's also just over one percent of food that's pure. 

As we're kneeling in the radish row, wriggling our hands through the plants to find the right leaves, to pinch, to pull, to evaluate, and to bunch, we talk about the engines we hear. Lee notes that the whole bed of radishes we're working through would be "considered a total loss by conventional farming standards." If a real person even needs to come out and look at it, it's not worth harvesting. Who'll have these skills later when they are needed if no one practices them now?

Is that so? I can't imagine. I brush the soil off of a radish now and again, as the hours go by, and enjoy the burst of peppery fluid. The poisons that the drones are releasing, Lee informs us, are so dangerous that people are restricted from entering the fields sometimes for days after. Moreover, for fruits like blueberries, farmers call in for extra doses of fungicide right before the harvest. If not for the extra air-strikes, the crop would never last through the complicated, time consuming shipping and shelving system on which our big-chain groceries rely. For what reason are we unable to share the land with other species?

I'm grateful for the support of CSA members like you, who make the healthful farming that we do a possibility. 

Cornish Crosses

Eater's Guild presents ORGANICALLY RAISED CHICKEN
Travis Meier and Lee and Laurie Arboreal have teamed up this year to raise chickens. I interviewed Travis, the principal caregiver, to learn more about the operation.

What variety of chicken are they?

They are known as Cornish Crosses. That's an F-2 hybrid for anyone who remembers their lessons on Mendel's genetics. Cornish Crosses are the “standard American” chicken. They are one of the best at growing breeds, maturing in eight to nine weeks, and also converting feed into meat very efficiently. Chicken was not really a popular source of meat until these birds came into the scene.

Mobile Pasture UnitWhat kind of housing do your chickens live in?

The housing can be referred to by many different names; I use “mobile pasture pens”. They look like small greenhouses but have tarped roofs to create shade. They have an open area of pasture that is enclosed by electric poultry fencing, which is a screened wire fence that is intended to keep them in. It gives them a lot of space to run around, and frequently, they run out, too.

Do you move the mobile pasture often?

Oh, yes. Many times during the course of the chickens lives. How often they move varies with the weather and the way that the chicken are acting, but basically, when I see that the ground has been nicely spread with manure, it's time to move them.

Chickens in the Mobile Pasture UnitA lot of the moving that's done within the electrified fencing is done simply by moving their feeders around and that kind of changes where the gravitate. Once I've run out of area to move the feeders to, and the whole area is well spread with manure, I just shift them down one more unit.

So the chickens have a symbiotic relationship with the plants?

Yes, their principal relationship with the plants is to spread manure. The whole of the topsoil and the plants in it get to respond to that huge boost of manure, making the ground more fertile in future times for vegetable farming.

They also eat some plants. Some of their feed sprouts little protein shoots, which puts more nutrients into the bird that are returned to the end user, humans.

Chickens are their not like a rabbit or a cow, sole source of food for which is salad like items. The plants that they eat are considered “low calorie feed”, which helps them digest other food and helps them be more nutritious.

Chicks in the hot house.What are some cool things about the chicks?

I don't know. They're just really cute. For me, the amusement of watching three hundred chicks in a sort of small area must be similar to what other people feel when watching fish in tanks. It's kind of exciting watching them all chase a fly or have staring contests with each other. I probably do too much watching them, but I call it “observation” to make myself feel better.

What would you tell a potential customer that is not accustomed to free range chickens?

Well, I would say that, because my chickens are let in the field and ingest a feed that is heterogeneous, that is, made up of many kids of seed, they are more healthy to consume. Generally speaking, the more diverse the nutrients a chicken eats, the more healthful it is for a human to eat. In factory farm situations, the food type is whatever is cheapest, which means that it's also usually all the same type.

Travis converts the "honeyhouse" to a home for a new batch of chicks.Also, I've noticed that the chickens taste great. They taste more “chicken-y” than the average, factory farmed animal. I'm not saying that they are more “game-y” like wild animals, they simply have a richer chicken flavor. They are even more moist than a big-chain chicken. I grow the best tasting chickens I that know of.

Where can people expect to find your chickens?

That's a good question. Right now they are at the Holland Market, South Haven Market, Texas Township Market, People's Food Cooperative, and Salt of the Earth. The more I can expand that list, the better. I'd like to arrange to a few more wholesale accounts. Serving a few restaurants really appeals to me right now. 

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June 15 Newsletter

Greetings!

And welcome to the first CSA newsletter of the 2011 growing season. If you'll permit me a quick aside, I'd be flattered to introduce myself to you. My name is James. I am enjoying my second season as an employee of the Eater's Guild farm. This summer, Lee and Laurie have privileged me with the responsibility of orchestrating the production of the Eater's Guild newsletter.  I shall act as the Eater's Guild herald, the compound crier, master of ceremonies, a vocalist for hire, narrating the seasons unfurling events, introducing the voices of my compatriots, and serving as a resource for you on how to prepare or preserve the contents of your shares. I will be pleased to take your comments and suggestions over the coming months so I may become a better performer. For now, I'll relinquish the spotlight.

Farm Gathering

The first farm gathering of this season will be on June 26th! The gathering will begin at 2:00 pm. After the potluck, attendees will be invited to tour the farm. Please bring your own table setting, cup, and an entree or desert to share. 

Notes from the Field


You've probably noticed that the weather has been volatile. Last week on the fields, we endured ninety degree days with cloudless skies and afternoons that felt like the evening due to tempests  overhead. Amusing as the spring swings are, most of us in the field will be glad for the smooth summer sailing to come along. Abrupt changes are what makes our bodies ache.
Strawberries
The plants on the other hand are rejoicing in the hot and cold again spring. We see intrepid growth day after day. We've sown the first tomatoes of the season. When the seedlings went in, they averaged four three inches in height. By the middle of the week, they'll likely have pushed up past five. 

We are harvesting the first strawberry crops in Eater's Guild's history. The volume is a little on the low side this year, but next season, the plants will be far more veracious and we will be able to put more pints on the table. One wonderful happenstance that we've found is that bales of mesquite (a variety of legume), which "fixes" nitrogen in the soil has growth throughout the strawberries, replenishing the soil they grow in even as the produce.

"Free Them"

Have you heard the names Rachel and Nancy Goodrich before? How about Regalo? If not, you may hear of them soon. This spectacular mother and daughter team is traveling from Hopkins, Michigan to California to raise awareness on a challenging subject, human trafficking. Rachel is making the trip on horseback. You may have guessed, Regalo is her horse.

The women, who travel by the name "Free Them," sold their home and possessions in order to make the trip. They will be traveling in 30 mile increments, stopping of in towns along the way to deliver literature and speeches on the subject of human trafficking. According to this story about the Goodrich family, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asserts that human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar industry, accounting for more financial flow than "Nike, Google, and Starbucks combined." Eighty percent of people who are trafficked are women and children. Of that, seventy percent are trafficked for "the purpose of sexual exploitation."

Free Them began their journey last week. They spent three nights at Eater's Guild, enjoying the sun, space, and an attentive audience. Here's a video report on the team. Keep your eyes open, I'm sure that you'll hear of the Goodrich family again. Let us know when you do!
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Radishes

Red Radishes

You'll be getting more of those familiar, piquant radishes that you've been using ins soups, salads, and stir fry's. Don't forget that radish greens can be used in all the same things that the root is used for.  

Radishes and Ryan Brady

Radishes are high in Sodium, Foliate, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin C and dietary fiber. One cup of sliced radishes will put 3, 6, 3, 5, 25, and 4 percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient in your body.

Radishes can be stored in a on the counter, in the pantry, or in the refrigerator. Refrigeration is best if the vegetables will not be used for a few days. Place them in a bag with holes or wrap them in a towel for the longest shelf life.

To freeze radishes, begin by thoroughly washing the vegetables. Next, remove the greens from the radish and set them aside – they will undergo a different process than the vegetables. Slice (but do not skin) the radishes into medallions, this will protect the texture of the vegetable when the cells undergo freezing. Blanch the medallions for 2-3 minutes and then submerge in ice water. Drain well, package in an air tight, air free container or bag, and then freeze. Now take your radish greens and blanch for ten seconds, drain well, package, and freeze.

More information on food storage is available from the National Center for Home Food Preservation www.uga.edu.

 

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Lettuce

Head Lettuce 

The six most common kinds of cultivated lettuce are in the daisy family Asteraceae. Lettuce has a long history. It was considered to be an aphrodisiac food in Ancient Egypt and a sleep aid by the Romans. Christopher Columbus introduced the vegetable to North America. Lettuce is a low calorie food that delivers a high volume of vitamin A and foliate. 

Ryan Brady cleaning lettuce.

 

Storing lettuce will require a little care if you want the leaves to remain crisp and healthy. My method is to wrap my lettuce in fabric, slip the bundle into a perforated bag, and place all in the crisper. Water and oxygen are the biggest foes that your lettuce needs to contend against. These precautions protect it from too much of these negative influences.  

In addition to following those procedures, do beware of what's nearby. Fruits like apples and oranges and vegetables like tomatoes and strawberries can release a gas-hormone that will encourage your lettuce to spoil.

This week you'll be getting another portion of salad mix. Since we are in the high season of strawberries, and some of you may be searching for new ways to enjoy Michigan's blessed fruit, I sought out a salad recipe that uses strawberries. Let me know what you think:

  • One third of a pound of salad greens and/or lettuce
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds

 


 


 

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Chard

Chard

Chard

Chard is a leafy vegetable with a spicy flavor. It is closely related to the beet. The first varieties of the vegetable have been traced back to Sicily. The vegetable still remains popular in Mediterranean dishes. Chard is high in vitamins A, K, and C, with 175 grams containing 214%, 716%, and 53%, respectively, of the recommended daily value.

I'll get straight to the point here. You can treat Chard the same way you treat your Kale.

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Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes

Garlic falls into the allium, or onion genius. Garlic scapes, also known as spears, stems, or tops, are immature garlic flowers. Raw, garlic and garlic scapes are a good source of all the B vitamins as well as vitamin C, prosperous, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Scapes store well in the refrigerator but do begin to loose their fluids after a few days. To put your scapes into long term storage, you can pickle them. Simply chop the scapes into half-inch long sections and layer in a canning jar with salt. Specifically, in a pint jar, drop in about one half inch of chopped scapes, then sprinkle over with one table spoon of salt, and repeat until full. Unsealed, your scapes will stay good for two years in a refrigerator. You may want to seal the jar by boiling if you intent to shelve the scapes.

You can use scapes like garlic bulbs if you like. A quick rinse and fast mince and they'll be ready to make your stir fry savory. You can also steam or boil the slender vegetables to eat like noodles in your dish. In some places around the Internet, I have found that people enjoy making a scape pesto by pureeing scapes with a few other ingredients (it's easy if you have a food processor): 1/4 lb or about 7 scapes, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 to 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 3 Tbsp lemon or lime juice, and 1/3 cups walnuts.

Garlic, like other biological entities, has reproduction as one of it's principal aims in existence. Each garlic plant has two opportunities to engage reproductively. One is to grow beautiful, purple flowers, cast pollen, and exchange genetic material with other plants. The other is to grow a head (comprised of cloves) that grows into a new plant in the next season. We pull garlic scapes (the forming flower) in order to make the garlic plant concentrate on growing the best possible head rather than letting it divide it's attention on two reproductive outlets.
Dewy Garlic ScapesWhat do you do with scapes? Pam Cameron, one of your fellow CSA members, wrote that she "added them in their full length to the grill (charcoal purist) with asparagus and red peppers - lightly coated in olive oil. They showed off their beautiful curly form against their straight-laced neighbors - quite a nice look."

They're coming one more time this summer! I've already talked about preservation and pesto (if you need a reminder, let me know). If you're more excited to use them fresh, perhaps you'll be interested to try this: Garlic Wok.

  • Chop seven or eight scapes finely and steam (or boil) scapes until tender.
  • Cube and saute one package of tempe (or tofu) in sesame oil.
  • Cook two cups of rice.
  • Mix all three ingredients.
  • Chop one or two heirloom tomatoes to top the dish.
 

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Kale

Kale


Our first harvests of Kale are on their way to you! For the best shelf life, store your Kale in a perforated bag in the refrigerator. If you'll be using the Kale soon or are running low on space in the fridge, you can also clip the stems of the kale and store them in a vase on the counter like a bouquet of flowers.

To freeze Kale, first blanch the leaves in boiling water, let drain, and then place them in an air tight plastic bag or Tupperware container.

Kale is a member of the cabbage family. It is esteemed to be among the most nutritious vegetables in the universe. It is also extremely virile, thriving whether in heat and flood or drought and snow. Varieties of Kale have been cultivated around the world, but particularly in Greece, since the fourth century BC.

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Mid-winter (Shares) notes

Greetings--
So not to confuse, this is an off delivery week.  My intention is to coordinate notes with delivery, but just now, there is little time when two hands are available, and when the two hands come together, the computer isn't always the first place I go--So be it, and forgive me my woe-is-me excuse.  GIven I started this two days ago...let's get this typed and off.  I'm leaving a few more recipes below.  Seems like everyone is in the swing of this winter fare--I've heard little  by way of needing preparation tips, and even less root weariness....this is great!  Given we are mid-way the winter distribution, it's all downhill from here.  Veggies next week are the same as last.  The cooking greens are hanging in.  SInce the collards were beginning to look a little rough, we turned the cows out to pasture in them.  You ought to see how pleased they are with this--the rows of stalks also provide a great windbreak.  When you're a cow, there's little more you ask for mid- winter.  The kale still looks great.  I've noticed in cooking the kale, that if you want it real tender, perhaps a little more water is needed to steam it.  Winter is dehydrating in all ways, the kale is not spared.  In anticipation of February's signature cold, and since the snow has reduced to very little, in terms of insulation for the kale plants, we expect one more delivery, maybe two, with kale--and then we will begin sprouting for something leafy, (and hopefully, green).  More carrots were dug this past week, they are still crisp and sweet.  On that note, I'll quit the jabbering, and get to recipes.
Have a great weekend--
Be well,
Laurie, Lee, Iris and Leif

 

Root veg. suggestion/Reminder--are you roasting your roots?  SImply chop your roots to approx. same size--coat with garlic infused oil sprinkle with coarse salt and herbs, and roast in 400F oven, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes.  Great method to clear out the crisper for next delivery.  Once roots are roasted, they can be stored in the fridge to eat on salads, sandwiches, or puree with broth as a sweet soup.  ENJOY!!
 

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Hello and Happy New Year

Hi and Happy New Year to you!

We're enjoying the quiet stillness of the present snowfall.  Iris is taking full advantage of the weather by cross-country skiing around the farm at least once a day.  On days like this, the chickens venture only the first few feet out from their coop, and the goats go only far enough to remind you of feeding time, even if it really isn't feeding time.  The cows are the most adventuresome, weathering all weathers, as long as the winds are still, otherwise finding shelter in the barn.  We traveled today to the library.  There, I found a very nice cookbook, full of recipes and storage/preservation tips for all foods grown and harvested.  It is the latest edition of The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook.  I do believe after I return it to the library, I will be finding a copy to purchase for the farm's kitchen library.

I trust you've identified your produce by now, but let's review anyway.  I spoke with a couple folks just this week who said they finally googled identification of some of the veg.  So, it seems that we neglected this on our end...sorry for that.

Kale and Collards are being distributed as "heads" or so we are calling them.  During the growing season, we harvest the individual leaves of the plants and bunch them with a twist tie--now that the plants are no longer growing, we are cutting the very top (head) of the whole plant, giving you some of the larger, thicker leaves, as well as some of the tender, small leaves right at the top, central part of the plant.  Kale is ruffly, while the collards are flat and roundish, actually resembling loosely headed cabbage at the top.  These are great in soups, and the kale especially often be used in recipes calling for cooked spinach.  In this case, kale will need to be cooked longer, and will likely have a more obvious presence in texture.  Collard leaves can be stuffed as you would cabbage, and I have had them raw, used in place of tortillas/pitas in wrap sandwiches.

Turnips and rutabaga are similar in appearance, turnips are a round, white root with purple tops; rutabaga is oblong, and the flesh is yellowish, with purple tops.  In recipes I notice that rutabaga and turnips are often interchangeable, with the exception that turnips hold more water, and need time to drain in baked recipes.  TO do so, cut/shred the turnip as instructed, sprinkle with salt, and let sit 30 min. or so, in a colander over bowl or sink.  If desired you can squeeze or press excess water from the turnips before adding to recipe.

The other roots, carrots, beets, onions and potatoes don't need introductions--and likely you are finding or have favorite preparation methods of these roots.

We hope you can find the time to enjoy the snow--be it standing in the powder knee high, or viewing it through a window from the warm comfort of home.
Be well,
Laurie, Lee, Iris and Leif
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CSA season sign off--Thank you

Hello there--
Just a brief but heart felt thanks to all of you for joining us this
season.  We have had a few inquiries on it, so I just want to remind
you that this is was our last week of vegetable share delivery.  We
have continued to have internet difficulty since our last email--
unfortunately this has kept our correspondence few and far between
over the past two weeks.  We were blessed with a familial investment
in a larger garlic crop for next year, all of which was planted
Thursday last week.  We are putting the season finishing cover
crops in, managing some hedgerows, cleaning barns for storage,
etc...Time to begin tucking in for earths rest.  We continue to
prepare our minds and home for new life within our household.  We feel
the season was a good one; every one having a different face, this
one was relatively mild mannered, at times, plain non-plussed.  We
take what we get, and do with it what we can, and we know you do the
same, in a similar, and a different way.  We thank you for this, as
CSA style of eating requires humor and creativity, determination, and
dedication to a greater cause.  Enjoy your fall and winter months!
Be well,
Laurie, Lee and IRis

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CSA week 19/20--SW MI Harvest Festival

Good Afternoon!
Large harvests are happening this time of year...mainly potatoes and hay for us at this point--squirreling it away for winter.  Needless to say, every moment can be filled with some preparatory gathering, as well as keeping an eye on what is directly in front of us.  This is the time of our season we consolidate information for the winter shares offered Dec-March.  Once we piece this together, we will send it off to you.  We are planning some changes reflecting lessons learned from past seasons, but for the most part, if you have taken part in winter shares in the past, you know the gist.  In the near future, this Sunday, Sept. 20, the South West Michigan Community Harvest Festival takes place in Scotts, at Tillers International (just south and a little east of Kalamazoo).  This is a great day for learning what is going on agriculturally in our region, food and entertainment are offered, draft horse hay wagon rides, kids activity tent...and it's very affordable.  Time is 11am-6:30pm.  You may check out the festival details at www.swmiharvestfest.org.  

Now that it is Saturday--the week got away from me as I started this Tuesday and became distracted then, and I guess every day in between.  I really want to get this off to let folks know about the festival.  Fall veg. looks pretty good.  Hard squash, mainly the type Delicata, looks good.  A second round of summer squash is ready for harvest, so we are able to extend distribution of this  a while longer.  

This is all for now, given the time, I need to get to market.
be well
Laurie, Lee and IRis.
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Farm notes--CSA week 18

HI there--
Whether your weekend was extended or not, we hope you enjoyed every bit of it.  What a week, it has been beautiful.   The salad mix succession this week is lovely, so we are back on track with this.  Leeks are being brought into the fold.  The potato digger is back on track (last update I heard), so more spuds will grace your share.  If you feel weary of these, keep in mind they will store well in a dry, dark, cool space....another planting of summer squash and zucchini is coming on line, whether this week or next, you will see more of these.

What I would really like to use time to mention are the apples we are able to offer in your shares this week.  They are from Molter Farm in Watervliet, MI.   This is the farms first season certified organic under MOSA.  The shares last saturday were the first to receive the apples, and they sure are tasty.  We will offer you the opportunity to purchase these apples in quantity, sometime in the next couple weeks.  I'm not certain of the varieties available--as of now you are getting Golden Supreme, and an early variety of MacIntosh.  The cost will be $40/bushel and $22 per half bushel.  You would pre-order and then pick up apples direct from us at a farmers market on Wednesday in Holland, or on Saturday in South Haven.  We will also have these for sale at these markets in smaller quantities, if the bushel/half-bushel is too much for you.  Our coordination with Molter Farm is fairly free-form, so if you can be the same, get your orders to us, where you will pick up (Sat. in south haven or Wed. in Holland) and we can let you know the date your apples will be there for you.

Other fall fruit news is that Kismet Organics in Fennville has pears available now.  They are offering 1/2 bushel field run pears for $15.  For these, you would contact Mari direct at Kismetorganics@yahoo.com.  Mari says it is a small crop this year, so the fruit is larger than years past, and the nicest yet!

That's all for now!
Have a great week~
Lee, Laurie, and Iris.
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Drying out...CSA week 17

HI there--
Keeping it brief as usual.  As the subject line says, we are venturing out to begin to see the effect of last weeks weather, and the cool nighttime temps., on the crops.  As usual with organic process, time will tell, but there are a couple effects we see outright now.  Pertaining to deliveries early in the week, we find ourselves between salad mix successions.  Successive rain events bog things down due to nutrient leeching.  The stand is there, but growth is slower than usual.  The high demand on Tuesday and Wednesday cannot be met--but it is a temporary absence.  WE foresee being on full track next week.  The other suspicion, not certainty, is tomato crop failure.  So much for the positive anticipation forecasted in weeks prior.  Maybe you've heard radio articles pertaining to late blight, and how this disease is moving our direction from the Northeastern areas of the country.   We saw signs of it in shady areas of the tomato field, it looks like fuzzy black mold.  After last week it has spread further.  The Heirloom varieties appear hardest hit.  We have a couple F1 hybrid varieties, which may give them some resistance...it is just hard to say absolutely now.  So check with the friends that always have too many tomatoes, see if you can reserve some for yourself.

On a sweeter note, looking ahead:  We have been contacted by a certified organic apple grower in the area, and will have apples for your shares.  Also, we plan to offer bushels and half bushels for sale , details to follow.  We can say that the bulk orders would be available on a pre-order basis, and they will be available for pick up in South Haven on a Saturday, at the farmers market, or the farm.  As soon as we have a schedule set, we' ll let you know.

I've had to leave this message numerous times to take care of other things, so I'll cut it off here.
Enjoy the week and the sunshine!
Be Well
laurie, Lee and Iris
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Help--Cabbage...CSA week 16

CAbbage anyone??? Well you won't be getting more this week, but after saying last week that no recipes came to mind, I realized later that you have received a fair amount of cabbage over the previous deliveries--and I did get one request for some cabbage suggestions--a good slaw dressing, or other ideas.  I went to a few cookbooks, and as you might imagine, cabbage leaves are stuffed, savory and sweet, yes sweet, flan in fact.  Cabbage is cooked slowly with various forms of poultry, pig--etc.  These are involved recipes, and some variation can be found online, in books, etc.  A SIMPLE preparation for cabbage is this:

Slice the head so you have thin ribbons.  Heat oil or ghee in a saute pan, med-high heat, add a few drops of toasted sesame oil.  Once heated, add cabbage to oil.  stir with tongs to coat the cabbage allowing it to wilt.  Once thoroughly wilted, sprinkle with tamari and serve with rice.  
Great additions to this:
thinly sliced onion--add with cabbage to hot pan
grated fresh ginger--add with cabbage to hot pan
jalapeno or other hot pepper--added with cabbage...sesame seed sprinkle
sherry or mirin--to deglaze pan



Then there is coleslaw.  Traditional creamy cole slaw dressing is called Boiled Dressing.  THere is a plethora of recipes online if you search-coleslaw boiled dressing.  Another great dressing is homemade mayo seasoned with dijon mustard (less sweet, less tangy than boiled dressing)  THis may have been a recipe earlier with kohlrabi--but I will outline it here as a reminder...

2 eggs
1-2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
nice pinch of salt
Combine above in blender--and run on med speed to combine well.  While blender is running, add:
salad oil--olive or walnut or your choice--about 1/2 -3/4 cup. (little more if needed)
by drizzling in slowly through hole in lid of blender.  Watch as you drizzle, and combination will thicken.  Once the hole in the dressing where you are pouring the oil closes up, stop the blender.  Put dressing into bowl or shallow jar, and check seasoning.  YOu may want to add celery seed powder as a nice contrast, or mustard seed whole is very nice.  I have here given you a raw egg recipe, so use good, farm fresh eggs, and refrigerate and use any left over dressing in a week, just to be on the safe side.  I hope you like this.


As far as farm update goes--we are finally into the hot season crops---Tomatoes, slicers are on for this week, as well as peppers and eggplant.  Summer squash will revisit your selection this week, as we have onions, garlic, potatoes, kale and salad mix.  On the person side of the farm, we can't say enough how dedicated and hard working our interns and hired help are this season.  We are not a big crew, but diligent, yes.  I think all three interns are here this weekend, so if you are planning on the potluck Sunday, try to meet each of them.

New addition to the farm yesterday was 2000+ strawberry plants.  Just south of us in Hartford is Krohne's plant farm offering strawberries, and asparagus.  They hold the baby plants at freezing temps to keep them dormant.  We've heard there is decent success planting them now, so we're giving it a go.  We will know how they took in the next couple weeks, and then look for berries next spring.  Very exciting.

Perhaps we'll see you Sunday, if not, we do plan to hold another CSA potluck in the fall.
BE well
LAurie, LEe and IRis

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