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Farm News - Week Of August 14

Farm News for the week of August 14th  

Reminders & Announcements

  • Late Summer Shares begin this week!  All Late Summer Vegetable, Fruit and Egg Share members will pick-up.
  • Next week is a pick-up week for weekly Late Summer Vegetable and Fruit Share members.

Bulk Quantities of Tomatoes are Available
Starting this week, we'll have 20-lb cases of beefsteaks available for CSA members. Starting next week, we will also have 20-lb heirloom cases and mixed beefsteak/heirloom cases available. You can order cases by emailing Jen and we'll deliver them to your pickup site. Here are the prices:

  • Beefsteaks:  $38
  • Heirlooms: $48 (starting next week)
  • Mix of Beefsteak and Heirloom: $43 (starting next week)

Cases are limited so they are available on a first-come, first serve basis.  Please email tomato orders to me/Jen (jen@prairiewindfamilyfarm.com) and let me know when you would like to pick up your order.  I will send you a confirmation prior to your pickup.  

This Week's Vegetable Harvest

  • Broccoli 

  • Eggplant 

  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Carrots

  • Beefsteak & Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Cantaloupe (from Tipi Produce in Evansville, WI)

  • Green Beans

  • Basil or Parsley

This Week's Fruit Share

  • White "Tango" Peaches - these are the donut-shaped peaches in shares. They have a slight, fresh pineapple and peach flavor.
  • Nectarines
  • Red Raspberries

Farm Photo Journal

Good morning from the farm!  While the weather is mild and sunny, we're bringing in the summer bounty and working on a myriad of fall and winter farm projects together.  Here are a few pictures to share our progress! 

 

Last week, our farm crew worked together to bring in another large late summer harvest: thousands of pounds of red, yellow and sweet onions!  The onions are now curing (drying) to allow them to store throughout the fall and winter months. 

As mentioned in last week's newsletter, we found the ideal weather conditions to recover our hoophouse structure last week...and here's the final product! Charlotte also captured a great timelapse video of the team working carefully, precisely and quickly to recover this structure on a beautiful blue sky day.

Recovering our 3,000 square foot hoophouse was a team effort!

Tyler tilled the soil within the hoophouse to improve drainage, mitigate weed pressures and loosen the soil for planting. We're also working to prepare for fall and winter planting in the hoophouse by seeding transplants in the greenhouse.

With rain in the forecast, a small group of us worked into the evening to plant and seed.  We planted fall fennel, lettuces, swiss chard and Jeff's seeding included beautyheart radishes, Japanese salad turnips, arugula, spinach and other surprises.  

 

We don't normally work late into the evenings, however this work is sometimes important to wrapping up the projects at hand.  The quiet end of day plantings and seedings during a beautiful sunset do offer a moment of calm and reflection. We are fortunate to work in such a beautiful setting doing something we feel good about each day: growing food for our community.  Thank you for supporting our work, and we hope you'll enjoy what we have planned for you this week!
~ Jen, Jeff and the farm crew  

Making the most of your share

  

As you probably know by now, heirloom tomatoes come in many different shapes and sizes. With the recent moderate temperatures, our tomatoes are ripening slowly but they are starting to ripen more quickly this week and in larger quantities so vegetable CSA members will receive in their shares.

The tomatoes are turning the field a brilliant rainbow display of pinks, purples, greens, oranges, yellows, reds, browns and colors in between.  Heirloom tomatoes flavors are as varied as their colors; some are rich, some are tart, some smooth, etc. We love heirlooms for their varied looks, flavors and that growing heirloom tomatoes is a great way to promote diversity in the tomato gene pool. 

Here are a few tips for preserving your tomato bounty

  • First, we don't recommend storing tomatoes in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them fresh. Temperatures below 50 degrees have a negative impact on the texture and flavor of fresh tomatoes. Place fresh tomatoes stem-side-down on a plate lined with a paper towel and keep on the counter.  A CSA member taught me the trick of storing them on tables lined with newspaper in my basement.  It works wonderfully!  
  • If you don't care to can, another strategy to preserve tomatoes is to freeze them. One of the simplest methods is simply to wash and dry the tomatoes and pop them in a freezer bag whole. When you remove them from the freezer, run them under warm water for a few seconds and you'll be able to slip the skin right off. While a defrosted tomato will no longer have the same sturdy texture as a fresh tomato, it will be perfectly delicious for use in almost any cooked dish.

This week's vegetable shares will also receive cantaloupe. Melons grow on vines like many other cucurbit crops (e.g., zucchini, cucumbers) and are a favorite amongst vegetable growers.   This week's melons are grown by Steve Pincus and Beth Kazmar of Tipi Produce, who grow 45 acres of certified organic crops in Evansville, WI. They are interested in understanding the biology of their 45 crops so they can grow them better, using cover crops, rotten leaves and composted manures as natural fertilizers. We've known Steve for many years, and we always enjoy visiting his beautiful farm when we're in Wisconsin.  We hope you'll enjoy this summer treat as much as we do!   

Farm Kitchen Recipes

Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad
1/2 small cantaloupe, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cucumber
1 rib celery, diced
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup chopped mint or other herb (parsley or basil)
1 T sherry vinegar
1 t honey
2 t lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumber and celery into large bowl.  Whisk yogurt, herbs, vinegar, honey and lemon juice in small bowl.  Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 4.
(adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook)

Simple Sautéed Carrots and Leeks
3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lb carrots, cut diagonally into 1 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

Halve leeks lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces and wash. Sauté leeks in butter with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in carrots, water, and vinegar. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until carrots are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Boil, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.  Serves 4.
(adapted from epicurious.com)  

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... poblano peppers, beets, grapes, plums and more!



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