News from the farm: August 25, 2010

What's going on at the farm?

 Core Sound Seafood will be offering community supported fishery shares for this Fall. Shares will contain a variety of fresh, local seafood from the Downeast Coast in Carteret County. Full and half shares are available weekly or bi-weekly. All details are available on their website at www.coresoundseafood.org You can sign up and pay online. The fall share starts on September 23rd and will run through December 2nd. See their website or contact them at info@coresoundseafood.org for more information

Short Winter Soups CSA is offering Shares for this fall.  See the information attached to learn more about how to receive healthy soups with locally sourced ingredients!

Hello Members!  We have Basil!  Time to make pesto and store it for the winter.  Once you make the pesto, the best thing to do is put it in ice cube trays and freeze it so that you can take out a serving size ice cube of pesto to cook with in the winter.  Here are some recipes:

Pesto:
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon pine nuts or walnut pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
4 cups fresh basil leaves

Place all ingredients except basil leaves in the blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth, than add basil, a handful at a time, blending until all the basil is incorporated and the pesto is somewhat smooth.  Makes 1 cup.

Here are some cooking tips:
-Remove basil leaves from stem before using and wash them gently to remove garden grit.  Do not wash until use, as wet basil does not store. 
-Chop basil WITH stems into soups and stews
-Toss fresh whole basil leaves into green salads and chopped into pasta or rice salad.
-Top slices of tomatoes with chopped fresh basil leaves, olive oil and a little salt and pepper. 
-Layer basil leaves in a sandwich along with slices of garlic and tomatoes and cheese if you wish.
-Basil is famous in salad dressings, tomato sauces and as the main ingredient in pesto, but don’t forget to throw it into egg or cheese dishes, sautés, stir-fries, pureed vegetables soups, dips and sauces. 

Storage:
-Fresh basil deteriorates quickly.  Use as soon as possible.
-For short term storage, wrap in a very lightly damp towel and refrigerate.  Do not wash prior to refrigeration.
-Freeze fresh leaves in a plastic zip-lock bag.  Remove air, seal, and freeze.  Do not thaw before use.

Well, what a season we have had.  I have been reviewing the past eighteen weeks worth of deliveries to get a feel for how much you all have received at various times.  I have attached a price value to each week according to how much you received and the going market selling price for each item (see below).  At $325 a season for 20 weeks of deliveries half share members are in line to receive $16.25 per week worth of produce.  Full shares are in line to receive $26.25 per week, at $525 for 20 weeks.  We use these numbers as a goal each week to meet, and as a way to estimate how much we should give members each week as opposed to bringing to market.  If we have a lot on any given week, we give above value in order to create insurance for later weeks when we may not have enough in hopes that it will average out over the season.  The CSA comes first, what is left over goes to market. Some weeks, like this week, there isn’t enough to meet value for the CSA, but I still have to go to market in order to deliver the 50 plus boxes to members who pick up there.  I have saved a little to sell, but will also bring pork to sell as I won’t have much on my table produce wise.   As you can see below, we luckily had extra earlier in the season to give above value to members.  Building up that insurance paid off this year as we see the variety and quantity dwindle a couple weeks earlier than normal.  One reason we believe is that the season has been running a couple of weeks earlier than normal since June.  All summer crops were two weeks early this year, as I am sure we all remember that the summer heat was early too!  Seems like we are getting some late summer / early fall cooling down a couple of weeks early this year also, as late August this year feels like early to mid September!   Two weeks early is the theme, and we seem to be winding down a couple of weeks early as well, unfortunately.  The loss of the pepper crop this year due to Southern Stem Blight (see earlier newsletters) is a shame as well.  We will have produce for you the next two weeks of your shares, but it will not be much, and I wanted to prepare you for that.  We will have to see over the next two weeks how much we actually have, as it is a bit hard to tell at present.  I like to reach at least value each year, giving you produce for the whole amount that you paid in the beginning.  The insurance, or average though, sometimes goes year to year as well as it does week to week in any given season.  Some years, like last, we are able to give above the season value, in hopes that this will average out some years like this one, which may be a little below value.  At present we are up $7.00 for the half shares and $9.50 for the full shares for the 18 weeks we have done so far.  I predict though that we will not be able to reach the weekly value for the next two weeks, thus winding up the year a slightly below the yearly value.  I bring all this up in hopes that folks will remember the bounty earlier in the season despite the fact they are receiving less at this time.  Folks may have different thoughts or ideas about ‘value’ and the CSA model.  I find it to be an interesting discussion and would be curious to hear your thoughts, so please email with them!

Here is how the season has broken down so far:

Date                       Half                    Full
4/28/2010             15.25                    25.00
5/5                        15.75                    29.00
5/12                      22.50                    35.50
5/19                      22.50                   33.00
5/26                      17.50                   28.00
6/2                        16.25                   27.00
6/9                        15.75                   23.50
6/16                      17.00                   26.75
6/23                      14.25                   26.50
6/30                        19.75                    28.25
7/7                          17.00                    28.25
7/14                        17.25                    26.25
7/21                        18.25                    30.50
7/28                        16.25                    26.00
8/4                          15.25                    26.75
8/11                        13.00                    22.75
8/18                        16.00                    23.75
8/25                        10.00                    17.00
9/1
9/8

What's in the box?

Full Box
Crop Amount  
 

Basil - ½ lb.
Leeks - 1/3 lb.
Tomatoes - a couple
Cherry Tomatoes - one pint
Eggplant - 1lb.
Butternut - one medium

Half Box
Crop Amount  
 

Basil - ¼ lb.
Leeks - 1/3 lb.
Tomatoes - a couple
Cherry Tomatoes - one pint
Eggplant - ½ lb.
Butternut Squash - one small