Seeds of Hope Farm CSA Newsletter, Week 9, July 12, 2013

This week you’ll find in your share:

•Potatoes*
•Onions*
•Garlic*
•Cabbage or Squash
•Cucumber
•Swiss Chard
•Carrots
•Kale or Mustard Greens
•Beets
•***Green Beans
•Basil

Next week you might find in your share:

• Cucumbers?
• Cherry Tomatoes
• Chard
• Beets?
• Onions
• Potatoes
• Peppers
• Garlic
• Herb

From Your Farmers…

Week A Members: Included in your share this week is a nutritional survey. This information helps us learn how to better serve you, to gauge the impact of our program, and to continue growing food in our neighborhood . Please return the survey in your bag with your next pick-up.
All Members: Second installment payments for sponsor members are due by next Friday, July 19.
Potatoes, garlic, and onions are all fresh from the ground and therefore uncured.

*Potatoes will still have some dirt on them…that’s because the varieties we’ve chosen have thin skins, and if we wash them for you, they won’t last. If you find that a little green on a potato slipped by us, please cut it off, as it contains solanine, and can cause a bit of a tummy ache. Store your potatoes out of the light to keep the green from developing.
*Onions are uncured, and are just developing skins. I’d suggest refrigeration, and using them quickly.
*Yes the garlic is a little dirty. At this stage we don’t peel because it will easily bruise. The garlic will be fine left on the counter and handled gently. Refrigerating the garlic can cause it to sprout. Keep in mind that the smallest bulbs are the most potent.

Food For Thought… We know that love creates and attracts love, hate with hate, disease with disease, and life creates and attracts life.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about finding an occasional hole or even a little critter in produce. That this never happens in food at the supermarket and should give us warning. Perhaps these supermarket foods are nearly sterile. In our American ways, we think of sterile as being clean and safe. On the other hand, sterile means no life. This effect begins taking place long before the supermarket shelf- such as bare-soiled fields.
Finding a few holes in your food or even a little critter from your farm share that snuck by doesn’t imply a lack of care, rather, its assurance that we are creating and attracting life. More simply put, food from this farm is safe to eat and full of life.

Upcoming Events: Starting July 13 from 9am -Noon, we will be hosting a monthly open house at the farm the second Saturday of each month. Each event will feature a tour, farm fresh food, and the opportunity to take part in the growing of your food. The amount of satisfaction received from jumping in is quite surprising, in a really good way. We are inviting you, our members, neighbors, and anyone who is interested in getting to know our farm, how it works, how to grow their own food, or who just wants to lend a hand or spend a morning under the golden sun in a beautiful setting.

Join us Saturday, July 20 for Family Fun at the Farm, from 9 AM to 2 PM. We will have activity stations featuring vegetable face painting, making bird feeders, learning about bees, how they make honey and contribute to the farm, and harvesting cherry tomatoes, attendees will receive a potted herb to take home. And more!

Recipes of the Week: Balsamic-Glazed Beets and Basil Pesto -from epicurious.com
This first recipe can help ‘beet’ the heat- because it’s delicious hot or cold.

Ingredients
-1 lb beets (the amount in your share)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp pure maple syrup or honey
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp minced fresh thyme leaves

In a large saucepan cover beets with salted water by 1 inch. Simmer beets, covered, 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender, and drain in a colander. Cool beets until they can be handled and slip off skins and stems. Cut beets lengthwise into wedges. Beets may be prepared up to this point 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring beets to room temperature before proceeding.

In a large skillet stir together vinegar, syrup or honey, and oil and add beets. Cook beet mixture with salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring, until heated through and coated well. Sprinkle about half of thyme over beets and toss gently.

Serve beets sprinkled with remaining thyme.

Basil Pesto: Pestos are basically pestos- the types of nuts can be mixed and matched- like walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts are all interchangeable. So are the leaves- basil, radish leaves, and my favorite, surprisingly to me, is spinach. You can mix them as well- like using some chard greens in place of some of the basil to tame its power. Notice that the recipe below IS our radish leaf pesto adapted to basil. If making larger batches, not that about three packed cups of leaves makes about one packed cup of pesto.

2 large handfuls of good-looking radish basil leaves, stems removed
1 ounce hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan, grated or shaved using a vegetable peeler
1 ounce nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, or pinenuts
1 clove garlic, chopped
A short ribbon of lemon zest or a tiny splash of lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil, use more to get the consistency you like
To taste: salt, pepper, ground chili pepper

Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender or mini-chopper, and process in short pulses until smooth. You can also get old school and use a knife or mortar and pestle (great for the arms) if preferred. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure all bits are in the mix. This produces a thick pesto; add more oil and pulse again to get the consistency you prefer.

Taste, adjust the seasoning, and pack into an airtight container like a recycled glass jar. Adding a thin layer of oil on the surface will help it to last longer. Store in the refrigerator and use within a few days or in the freezer for a wintertime treat.

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