Elysian Fields Farm
Wednesday July 17th, 2002
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Full Share members have received a bag of tomatoes this week, as half and full share members will receive next week and the remainder of the season. The blossom end rot I mentioned in last weeks news letter is gone!! Hurray!! For all that I tried to rid the tomatoes of the rot, I think in the end the rain was the missing link. I irrigate the tomatoes through drip line, a line that is laid along the base of the plant so that the water can drip out and soak into the soil where the plant needs it, at its roots. Tomato plants are highly sensitive to overhead watering (and rain) since the humidity can cause fungal diseases to occur. The problem with using only drip irrigation in a draught is that most of the soluble nutrients in the surrounding soil are not made available to the plant. This mostly occurs when it rains (or overhead irrigation is used) and the nutrient uptake area to the plant is increased from the lone line of soil that the drop feeds. Cedar Grove has received about 6 inches of rain in the last three weeks, a needed remidy it seems. So, the first 'real' picking of tomatoes started this week, the first always being the smallest. There are six hundred healthy tomato plants in the ground that comprise the first planting so there will soon be plenty for all.
After all that, I would like to introduce you to the tomato varieties that I have grown this year for the first planting. Amongst the heirloom varieties we have Cherokee purple (a purplish tomato), Striped German (a yellow tomato with deep orange to red ends) and Brandywine (a large pink tomato). I have also grown a determinant slicing variety called Red Sun. This is a tasty general red tomato. If your tomato is at all hard or greenish, you should put it on the window and wait to eat until it is deep in color and soft to the touch. All members this week have received Sungold cherry tomatoes, a yummy orange cherry that has gained much popularity in the area.
As a side note, please feel free to check out the newsletter on line (for real this time) at www.elysianfarm.com.
In addition to the tomatoes, share members can look forward to receiving some new goodies in there bags soon. I realize that at times receiving the same thing for weeks on end can be difficult (although the feedback I have received thus far seems very positive and a big thank you to all who have taken the time). Perhaps squash or beans or cucumbers may get old (even though they are sooo good fresh from the garden). I have noticed the first eggplant ready to harvest this week. This is very exciting to me because eggplant can be very difficult if it wants to be. The plants are VERY healthy though, waist high even. The eggplants, like most crops, will start slowly and then reach a peak. Members can look forward to receiving eggplant within the next couple of weeks. Peppers are also on their way, the red bells should be coming along within the next couple of weeks as well. Yummy!
Recipes and Cooking Tips.
In the past week I have received some very helpful feedback from members. One member has suggested that I try to include more child friendly recipes. I would like to ask members if they have a favorite 'kids' recipe that they would like to share for the newsletter to please feel free to email it to the farm. I was also asked to share more summer squash recipes. My faithful employee Andy has given me a great idea for 'stuffed' squash. Andy used the patty pan squash by taking out some of the squash filling inside. He then added the stuffing (couscous, shitake mushrooms, feta cheese) and placed in a baking pan. After blending some tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes) he added them to the baking pan so that the squash would cook in the tomato's juices. Put the pan to bake in the oven and add the tomato juice on top to serve.          You can also try:
Please feel free to let me know if you have a specific veggie you would like to receive more recipes on. Thanks!
This week members have received either a bunch of Gladiolas or a bunch of Zinnias. The Gladiolas, having had a good season, are sadly on there way out. There may be some around next week, but like this week, not for all. Personally, my favorite colors ended up being any and all shades of purple. I ordered a mixed basket of colors from a new source not knowing what each would actually look like. The purples being the most beautiful to me, I think I may focus on growing those shades next year, perhaps along with Ivory. I would love to hear what members favorite Glad colors where this year (or least favorites!).
The Zinnias are the Benary's Giant Mix variety. I enjoy seeing them bunched since the variety of brilliant colors look like candy to me. Zinnias make a great cut flower, lasting easily seven to ten days in clean water. When you receive your flowers place immediately in tepid water. I can't emphasize enough that your vase should be as clean as can be. Dirt and bacteria will cause premature drooping of your flowers. I would also like to share with members now a simple flower food recipe you can use at home. To 24 oz. of water add 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, and one crushed aspirin tablet.
Please send any and all feedback to email@example.com or 732-8980.
Elysian Fields Farm: Community Supported Agriculture