Seeds of Hope Farm CSA Newsletter, Week 4, August 14, 2012

 

Oh the bounteous bounty of summer. You may think your bag is a bit over stuffed this week, and we admit that may be so. We really appreciate the support of all of our members and want to do more than just say so. While we don’t want to overload you with produce and make you feel wasteful, we do want you do have a full veggie stock on hand. Many of the goods this week will hold up for quite some time if properly stored. This includes garlic, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and beets if you choose. (We’re offering a choice of round zucchini or beets this week.) The round zucchini are great for cooking whole, slicing, or if they are a bit large, making into a nice zucchini bread.

Don’t forget the next farm dinner is only two weeks away! Give us a call or be sure to sign up next week.

A word from your farmers…

Last Wednesday the farm enjoyed its heaviest rainfall since April: just over 1/2″. We have had a couple trickles since then. Combined with the lower temps, we are getting very excited about our fall offerings coming to life.  

You  may be wondering why some of your tomatoes are green…

that’s on purpose. the green and yellow tomatoes are an heirloom variety called Green Zebra. Light and tangy, a sandwich just isn’t the same without one once you’ve given it a try. Some tomatoes may look deformed, bumpy, or at least, nothing like store bought tomatoes. Luckily, they don’t taste like them either. These juicy morsels are as nature and a couple of low-tech breeders intended: for flavor and nutrtion, not for picking green, lasting weeks through gassing and shipping across the country to wherever they end up.

Just a reminder: We send out lots of packaging to keep your food top quality, but we are always glad to have whatever is feasible back to use again. This especially means paper bags and the little cherry tomato pint boxes. We’ll even use rubber bands again. This week your share will be in a reusable bag. Please bring it back with you next week so we can use it again in two weeks.

A forewarning: tomatoes don’t seem to mind the drought, so get your canning or freezing supplies on hand, as they will likely keep coming. Libraries generally keep a good stock of books with methods of food preservation. One we really like is called Putting Food By, written by Janet Greene.  Here are a couple of online sources for preserving your  tomatoes:

http://www.grit.com/Food/Canning-Made-Easy.aspx

www.pickyourown.org/freezingtomatoes.htm 

 As an alternative to the above freezing method, I (farmer Gabriel) just core them, do a little X across the top with a knife, then straight to the freezer. A freezer bag is probably a good idea, but I’ve never bothered. I tend to make sauce within a couple weeks, so maybe that’s why it works well for me. When I pull the tomatoes from the freezer to make sauce, I drop them in hot to boiling water and the skins slide right off. Some do the skinning before freezing. See what works for you.

But no matter what, using them fresh is best. For this week’s recipe we are turning to Simple Food For The Good Life by Helen Nearing. Helen and Scott Nearing were a couple of folks who helped inspire the back to the land movement. As a couple they didn’t care for exploitation of labor, people. land, or exploitation of any form of life. They foresaw the depression and pollution of the late 20s and 30s and took to the hills of Vermont to live what they called The Good Life, later the title of their best known book. The Good Life is a presentation of one way of living, tying in an adoration of life, poetic living and philosophy, and leaving consumer culture in favor of being a part of one’s natural surroundings. As homesteaders Helen and Scott lived a full and honest life, seeking harmony with nature and themselves, and spread peace through positive activism, but primarily as teachers of those seeking to live simpler, more wholesome and harmonious lives.

Helen and Scott generally grew about 85% of their own food, used little gas, heated their Northeastern home with hand hewn wood, built their dwellings from gathered stone, valued hard work, living a purposeful life, and devoting much time to leisure.

Travelers who spent with them were given a free place to stay and all the garden grown food they could eat in exchange for help on the homestead. Their ways of hosting those wanting to learn led to the WWOOF farming of today.

As did Thoreau, the Nearings encouraged above most things to simplify, simplify. The farm continually teaches us the same. And with that, given the large amount in this week’s share, we encourage you to do the same. Lessen your workload, lessen your cooking.  Treat yourself to the joys of simplicity and the true flavors of garden grown with this week’s recipes.

Lemoned Carrots

3 cups carrots, scraped

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp vegetable (or any) oil

1 tbsp raisins

juice of 1/2 lemon

sprinkle of nutmeg

 Put scraped carrots in skillet with honey and oil. Cover and cook on medium heat for ten minutes. Stir in the raisins; sprinkle with lemon juice and nutmeg. Serve immediately.  (Carrots are much sweeter when shredded than sliced..so give them a try shredded over a salad!)

 Raw Tomato Soup

6 ripe tomatoes, quartered

1 green onion, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

2 C water

fresh basil or oregano leaves to taste

chopped chives or parsley (as garnish)

 Churn all ingredients, one half at a time, in a blender until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl, and serve chilled. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley.

This week’s offerings include:

potatoes

garlic

sweet red peppers

jalapeno peppers (the red means sweeter and hotter..delicious!)

cucumber

cabbage

basil

eggplant

cherry tomatoes

carrots

***choice of beets or 8 ball zucchini

Next week you are likely to find..

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Onions

Banana peppers

Something leafy green

Cherry tomatoes

Savory herb

Cucumbers

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