Elysian Fields Farm
Wednesday June 18th, 2003
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I would like to start off by announcing the introduction of the midseason survey now available on the website at www.elysianfarm.com. The survey is accessible to members on the home page menu under 'submit a survey'. I really encourage all members to please take the time to quickly submit their thoughts on the CSA thus far. The survey is set up to take only a few minutes to fill out, and you can then easily submit your form online and send it directly to my email box. It is very important to me, and the CSA as a whole, to receive member feedback and I hope that this will be a practical way for most members to communicate that. I am also in the planning of a CSA farm tour day, to hopefully take place the second weekend in July here at the farm. I want to have it at this time so that members, after visiting and touring the farm, can also pick blueberries since they will be in season. I would like to encourage members to come to tour the farm and become more involved with were their food is coming from and learning about where the farm is at in general. I will keep members updated through the newsletter as the date approaches.
I hope all members are aware, as I have commented briefly in most newsletters, that I am aware, that produce has been on the light side so far this year. To address this briefly, the main thing affecting the lightness of the shares has been the wet and cool weather we have been receiving this spring. As many of the local tobacco farmers have commented here in Cedar Grove, this is the wettest spring they have ever experienced. Many of them have not been able to get all of their crop in this year. Cedar Grove has been hit pretty hard, as an example, Monday we received an inch of rain in an hour, while Sunday we received an inch of rain in a short period as well, and we are expecting more today and tomorrow. This has been the trend this spring, along with very little sunlight and unseasonably cooler weather. Fungal diseases, rotting, slow growth and excess leaching of nutrients have been the main challenges. For example, the cauliflower and broccoli season was two weeks shorter than expected because many of the heads simply rotted in the field from excessive rain gathering on them. Here is a prime example of how farmers and customers to local seasonal produce suffer from conditions out of their control. This is were the customers accept the risk involved with the farmer of committing to being affected by these conditions. I want everyone to know that although this year we will obviously have fairly inconsistent amounts of produce per delivery, that as much as possible, the produce will increase and the average weekly cost of the share provided.
All that said, this week on the farm we have been pretty wet. After being run out of the field due to hard rain and lightning Monday afternoon, I took the time to gather my fall flower seed order. Andy, JJ and I have also been doing some transplanting of late melons, lettuce and flowers. We have been continuing work on staking and trellising the first and second plantings of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants and have also engaged in a good bit of weeding (one crop that has not been affected negatively by the excess rain!).
The garlic that you have received this week is fresh. This means that it has not been dried after harvest and thus needs to be put in the refrigerator and used within a week or so. Peel the skin to reach the cloves as you would if the skins were dried.
As folks can see we have the first delivery of green beans this week. Phaseolus vulgaris, the green beans are indigenous to Central America and the Andean regions of South America. Nutritionally the green bean is not as exceedingly high in protein as the mature, dry shell bean. However, generous amounts of vitamins A, B1, B2, calcium, and potassium characterize the green beans.
Beans will retain more nutrients if cooked uncut. Steam or simmer in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully for beans to brighten in color and become tender, not soft or mushy. Refrigerate beans in a plastic bag. Beans will maintain integrity quite well for one week to ten days. Beans are easily frozen for long term storage. Blanch in boiling water for two minutes, rinse in cold water to stop cooking process, drain and pack into an airtight container such as a zip-lock bag.
What to look forward to...
We picked the first few Sungold Cherry tomatoes, the small orange and sweet cherries that members will be familiar with from last year. They will be bountiful and plenty for members once we get some more sunlight. More summer squash is one the way as well as more beans. The corn ears are coming along and we should see them soon. Onions and leeks are still growing and will be available within the next month. The blueberries are close but not here yet. I will give members another update on the berries next week, as picking should start around then. Once again, please let me know if you have any feedback! Elise.
Elysian Fields Farm: Community Supported Agriculture