Elysian Fields Farm
Wednesday July 10th, 2002
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Hello, Members! I hope you are all doing well and have had a nice and enjoyable holiday weekend. I would like to first apologize for the confusion about last week's newsletter. I have been able to fix the printer (as you can see) which has come as a big relief. Unfortunately I was not able to finish last weeks newsletter in a timely fashion. You can NOW go to my web page at elyianfarm.com to view an abbreviated newsletter for last week if you would like.
I would also like to thank members who have taken the time to email feedback on the shares as well as their perspective on certain foods. Peter and Margaret have informed me (as a few others have) that they prefer to eat their peppers red. Given that I have not received any feedback that encourages green peppers to be included in the shares, I think I will then wait on the reds. Kylie, I would also like to thank you for your thorough and thoughtful comments on the flower and produce shares! I have a couple of questions I am going to ask members periodically through out this section pertaining to the produce in this weeks share. I would love to hear any thoughts you may have pertaining to these foods!
So, this week I have given full share members a good amount of basil in their shares. I could have given a lot more. I would love to know if members are enjoying receiving basil, or if members are, at this point, over it???? I have included lemon basil in half share member's bags this week. I enjoy basil and like to include it in any and all concoctions I get around to making. I also really enjoy eating Pesto (see recipes) and want to encourage members to bag and freeze their Pesto if they can make extra. Let me know what you think.
Full share members have received one pound of an Italian flat snap bean and one pound of a specialty purple colored snap bean. That's right, purple. I find the purple bean to be really quite beautiful and tasty and am eager to grow more of it. Half share members have received one pound of Italian flat beans and will be receiving purple beans next week.
Both full share members and half share members have received a good amount of summer squash and cucumbers. I would love to hear some feedback from both full and half share members as to the quantity given. I strive to supply enough of a given crop to sufficiently satisfy a larger family (full share) to an individual or couple (half share). I am curious if the quantities of the crops just mentioned is viewed as excessive, a bit shy, or just right by members? The cucumbers are an American slicing cucumber named Marketmore. I have included in each bag one Heirloom cucumber called the Lemon Cucumber. It is named so due to its delicate yellow skin, not because it actually has a lemon flavor. I would love to hear what members think!
Half share members have received a Galia or "Tropical" melon called Passport. The variety has green flesh yet maintains a strong cantaloupe flavor as opposed to a honeydew. A few full share members have received this melon as well. The remaining full share members have received a specialty watermelon, either Sorbet Swirl (orange and yellow flesh), Sunshine (yellow flesh), New Orchid (orange flesh), or Sugar Baby (red flesh, the stand of small watermelons). I hope members enjoy their melons and look forward to many more! Fortunately this is just the start of the melon season, and successional plantings done here on the farm should make for a melon filled summer for member.
The blueberries are still coming on strong, as they should be through the month of August. I hope all members can make it out to the patch to enjoy the yummy berries. The later variety has come on and resides in the first three rows from the driveway on the right hand side. There are a lot so come and enjoy, email the farm if you need directions.
Lastly, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I need to address the tomato situation. I would love to have had tomatoes for shares this week more than anything, unfortunately, so far, I have been fighting a losing battle with blossom end rot on my first planting of tomatoes (the second and third seem good so far). I have been able to harvest some, as half share members received two Cherokee Purple tomatoes last week each. I have taken some measures recently that I am hopeful will do the trick, how can we go on without fresh garden tomatoes!! I am confident we will be enjoying them by next week (the week after at the absolute latest) so lets hang in there! For those of you who are unfamiliar with blossom end rot, it appears pretty much as it sounds, the bottom of the tomato rots prior to ripeness while on the vine. This is mainly caused due to a lack of Calcium, which is essential in aiding cell wall growth. The Sungold cherry tomatoes are thriving well all the same and have been given to half share members as they were to full share members last week. Enjoy!
Recipes and Cooking Tips.
I am going to try to give you some helpful cucumber eating hints, since this is the time of year and there are a lot of them! We all know that cucumbers make a great salad in them self. I would like to suggest a few different dressing options for sliced and chilled cucumbers. Try tossing 3-4 Tb of Lemon juice with 1-2 ts. of sugar and chopped red onions. Or, Mix 2-3 Tb soy sauce with 4 Tb white vinegar and 1 ts sugar. Balsamic vinegar and oil also make a yummy combination for a simple dressing. You can refrigerate your cucumber salad and munch on it as a snack for days. Below is at least one recipe that involves cooking your cucumbers, which can be a pretty common practice.
To prepare: cut cucumbers into bit size lengths (you can peel and seed if you prefer, I like the whole thing). Salt heavily. Refrigerate for an hour or more. Rinse, drain and pat dry. The salt acts to take moisture out of the cucumber flesh. Saute minced shallots, garlic, and ginger in peanut oil until soft. Add turmeric, salt and sugar. Then add a generous amount of vinegar and let simmer for 10 minutes. Pour over cucumbers. Mix well and refrigerate for one hour.
To prepare: Trim cucumber tips. cut into 2-inch lengths (again, if you prefer to peel the skin and scoop out the seeds go ahead). Cut each into 1/2 inch sticks. Toss in butter and seasoning over moderate heat. After about four minutes sprinkle lightly with water. Cover and cook until soft. Uncover, raise heat, and shake. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Pesto-To prepare: 2 cloves garlic. 1tsp salt. 3 cups packed basil leaves. 2 Tb pine nuts. 1/2 cup olive oil. 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (optional). Combine and puree. Yum.
Well, I am happy to say that all flower share members have received a bunch of Gladiolas this week. Last week about half of the members received the glads, as they tend to come on fairly slowly. A new planting of Zinnias and Sunflowers also are looking lush and on the verge of blooming out. Hope your flowers brighten your day and your home. Thanks, and please send any and all feedback my way!!
Please send any and all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-8980.
Elysian Fields Farm: Community Supported Agriculture