Seeds of Hope Farm CSA Newsletter, Week 18, September 13, 2013

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This week you’ll find in your share:

Celery* !!!
Arugula !!!
Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers
Zucchini or Squash
Cucumbers
Cherry Tomatoes
Okra
Melons***
Garlic

Next week you might find in your share: 

• Tomatoes
• Cherry Tomatoes
• Arugula
• Spicy Mix
• Potatoes
• Peppers
• Garlic
• Celery
• Herb or Cut Flower

From Your Farmers…

Good bye heat wave,
Hello to the most bounteous part of the year. Early fall brings us the fading heat, emerging cool, aged beauty, color, and a serenity found no other time of year. To me it’s kind of like that wonderful feeling that follows long, steady physical exertion. A runner’s high; a season’s peace. While an ending, the cooling is also a new beginning. Life meant to last comes with the fall- leafy greens, roots, and storage fruits.

We, along with Global Compassion Ministries are going to help one of our project partners, Bethany Peace United Christian Church build their hoop house this weekend. The hoop house will help Bethany Peace achieve their goal of getting more quality food into Spanish Lake. We will be helping BP to grow food in the house and create a whole new educational centerpiece.

The hoop house will also benefit our project in that some of the produce grown in it will go toward our CSA. We may also use the house to start our early spring and early fall crops. Hoop houses extend the growing season, can double as a greenhouse space, can be shaded in the heat of summer, create higher yields, reduce pest and disease issues and give full control over irrigation.

We’re really excited, thrilled in fact, to have this opportunity and are deeply grateful to Bethany Peace and Global Compassion Ministries for making this possible.

If you’re free this Saturday swing by and join us, and learn about how food can be grown year round. Give me a call, let me know you’ll be making it. A lunch will be provided. We will have beverages on hand, but bring a water bottle and help us keep the disposables down.

In food news…. Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash! Radishes…Coming soon.

We will REUSE the cherry tomato boxes from previous weeks. Please return them with your share bags.

Food For Thought…
Week B Members: Putting food up. It’s getting to be that time of year. Some summer crops abound while others fade out, but we still want to eat them. Even in winter. This week Randy put together a great couple of guides for preserving the bounty via pickling. The University of Missouri Extension guide lists precautions for safety and a load of methods and recipes.

We hope you’ll make use of these terrific, simple guides. We are including them now so you can use them from now until the season ends, November 22.

This week you are receiving a whole pound of okra. That’s a whole lot to use fresh, so see the pickled dill okra recipe on page three of the guide, particularly for the large okra.
There is also a great guide on using dried beans. Please hang onto this for future weeks! Using the guide will help save money and ensure your protein.

This Week’s Recipes…are all listed in the food preservation guide.

Arugula- add some into a salad, slap it on a sandwich, or just grab a handful for a snack. (that’s my method, and some would say a bold one) If too spicy, cook it down just a touch and add it to a pasta or any sauté.

Celery- is a tough one to grow in Missouri heat, but requires a long, warm season. The stalks of this gem are tougher and more strongly flavored than that of the grocery store celery we’re used to. Even so, I eat it raw with peanut butter. Eating the stalks and saving the leaves for soup base or as a rugged parsley is a good option. For some, using whole heads as a soup base may be a better route.

Simple soup base: Saute chopped celery, carrots and onions in lots of oil with salt until soft as soft as soft. Now you have a soup base. Now for a reliable soup recipe.

We sent this recipe out last year, but I think it’s so good it’s worth repeating. Another treat from Helen Nearing’s Simple Food for the Good Life. I’ve enjoyed this soup hot and cold.

Simple Celery Soup
As in other recipes, if you use stock instead of water for the cooking liquid, the soup will have a more full- bodied flavor. [If I have no base, I cheat by using lots of soy sauce or liquid aminos, and maybe a dash of Worcestershire sauce in the liquid.]

1 head of celery
2-3 tbsp butter or oil
1 potato, scrubbed and chopped
4 cups stock or water
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of nutmeg

Remove the celery hearts and save them for use in salad. [with such small heads I’d skip this] Chop the remaining celery, including the leaves. Set the leaves aside for garnish. Heat the butter or oil in a medium saucepan, and sauté the celery and potato. Add the stock or water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the celery is soft. Add the sea salt and the nutmeg, and garnish with the chopped celery leaves just before serving.

Variation: For a creamy celery soup, cook the soup as directed above; put it through a mill or sieve, or blend it coarsely, adding more water if desired.

Upcoming Events:

The next CSA dinner and cooking class is Tuesday, September 24. Come join us. It really is fun, like going out to eat. You also get to meet new people and learn a recipe instead of dipping into the pocket book.
Our Second Saturday for September will be next weekend at Bethany Peace Church, 11952 Bellefontaine Rd, from 8 AM until the tunnel is done, hopefully before dark.

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