Elysian Fields Farm
Community Supported Agriculture

Wednesday May 1st, 2002

Greetings from the farm! I would like to say hello to all of last years returning members as well as this years new members. The CSA has jumped to 49 members this year; from 25 last. There are 26 half share members, 23 full share members and 16 members who have signed on to receive mixed bouquets. I am looking forward to a very successful season, as I hope you are looking forward to lots of yummy goodies from the farm.

What's New This Week!!!

As you can see I have decided to take a different approach this year to listing the produce available in your bags. I have made two charts that follow, one for full share member and one for half share members. The purpose of these tables is to first let members know what is available in their bags, and then to help them understand the value of what is in their bags. For a 25 week season, full share members have paid $21 per week for their shares. Half share members have paid around $14 for theirs. As you can see below, the value of the produce given each week should be in the general vicinity of these two costs. The weight of the produce will be calculated and added on beginning next week.? Farmer Market Value is a reference to the Carrboro Farmers Market at which the farm sells on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Keep in mind these costs represent LOCAL and ORGANIC produce.

Produce
Full Share
Half Share
Size in Share
Farmer Market Value
Size in Share
Farmer Market Value
Winterbo Kale
2 bunches
$3.00
1 bunch
$1.50
Hakuria Turnips
2 bunches
$3.00
1 bunch
$1.50
Easter Egg Radishes
2 bunches
$3.00
1 bunch
$1.50
Lettuce
2 heads
$3.00
1 head
$1.50
Spinach
2/3 lbs.
$4.00
1/3 lbs.
$2.00
Dill
1 bunch
$1.00
1 bunch
$1.00
Strawberries
2 quarts
$8.00
1 quart
$4.00
Total
 
$25.00
 
$13.00

Produce Information and Cooking Tips.

Winterbor kale, for those of you who are not all that familiar with this green, is extremely high in vitamins and minerals. This dark leafy green veggie tastes great steamed, with a hearty thick texture and slightly sweet taste.After steaming you can add some Tamari and Sesame oil or eat plain.

The Hakuria Turnips are a fairly unique variety of turnip. You can harvest them at any stage of their development to eat, the smaller they are the sweeter and more delicate the flavor (although their flavor still remains a tinge sweet even when they mature in size.) Surprisingly, I enjoy eating them raw, you can almost eat them straight up like an apple, or sliced in to a salad. If you would like to cook them, some boil them and mash them half and half into baked potatoes. You can also add them to a stir fry mix.

Easter Egg Radishes attract a lot of attention in their physical appeal. The purple, red and white radishes generally taste the same, a subtle spicy cool bite, but have a colorful and fun aesthetic appeal. Enjoy in your salad!

The farm is growing a large variety of? lettuce this spring, from Boston to Romaine to green and red leaf. As a share?member you will receive a various colorful assortment of lettuce for the next few weeks while it remains in season. Keep in mind that lettuce cannot handle the intense heat of our North Carolina summers, and once the spring has past we will not see it locally again until the fall. This should be incentive to enjoy it now, I have been eating a salad every night for the past three weeks myself.

I think everyone should be familiar with spinach, and how to prepare it. I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicately sweet green.

It would be nice if dill could handle the summers here since it seems to go so well with cucumbers, pickled as well as fresh. There is a slight bit of overlapping as the early planting of cucumbers generally comes on in June. For now, dill is great fresh in salads or any stir fry or baked goods. Have fun with it.

The strawberries you have received where planted last September. The common strawberry farming practices for the area is to treat the crop as an annual, and to thus replant each fall and harvest each May anew. The plants are transplanted into beds covered with black plastic to help warm them over the winter. The berries you have received are organic, and have been grown without fungicides, pesticides or herbicides. Local organic strawberries are rare in these parts, it is common practice to first prepare the planting beds by gassing them with a common fungicide.? Further fungicides and pesticides, as well as chemical fertilizers are added periodically through the season. For me, organic strawberries are so important for the following reason: It has been tested and proven that out of all fruits and vegetables strawberries have ranked #1 in retaining the most chemicals from conventional farming post harvest to consumption. It has not yet been established what the actual negative repercussions of injesting these chemicals are, but I sure donít want to find out. Somehow the berries seem to taste better as well when they are grown naturally, they have true flavor, as I hope you enjoy.

Mixed bouquet members will be enjoying a mix of Saponaria, Batchelor's Buttons and Agrostemma this week. All where direct seeded in November of last year and have begun their bloom time with in the past week. There are a couple of other fall seeded flowers that will emerge soon, including Larkspur. Your flowers should last at least a week. If you add the packet of flower food included in your bags, you should not have to change the water in the vase. Yes, flower food does work. You could also make your own "flower food" mixture out of bleach (to kill bacteria in water), sugar and lemon juice. Somehow the acid and sweetness allow the plants to take in water easier.

If any member would like to email the farm with recipes please feel free to do so, I will start including them in the newsletter.

What's growin' on?

A little bit of chicken manure goes a long way! I purchase chicken manure in the spring and fall from some of the local chicken growers in Cedar Grove. The manure is high in phosphorous and Nitrogen.? It helps to really get a field jump started, in the long run though, one can overdo it with the chicken manure and it is good to mix in a little less potent manure such as cow or horse. The produce you are receiving this spring is from fields that where manured last fall. I am in the process of manuring the fields that the summer and fall crops will be harvested from.

The first planting of tomatoes is in the ground, as is the first of eggplants. Peppers go in on Thursday. Direct seeding up to this point has included beans, corn and okra.

Each week I will fill you in on what is going on at the farm, and a little about the crops and progression of the farm itself.? There is much to tell!I hope you all enjoy your shares this week and feel free to call or email with any feedback, as any feedback at all is helpful to let me know your needs and desires.

effarm@earthlink.net
919.732.8980
Elise.

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