May 23 2012, Week 6

Reminders

Please return your wax box each week at your pick up location when you come to get your vegetables.  We have been running low on full share boxes already, but in all fairness, didn’t start with as many of those as regular share boxes from the onset. If it is easier for you, I have noticed that some folks at the market bring a cloth sac to unload their veggies into so they don’t have to worry about taking the box with them and remembering to bring it back.  You are of course more than welcome to take the boxes home with you.  Whatever is easiest for you!
 
We re-use the green fiber pint containers if you would like to return them also, but are not re-using any bags for reasons of hygiene and safety from any kind of bacteria that may be present.   The government has created the GAP’s (Good Agricultural Practices) Certification Program.  While some aspects of it may seem excessive, I see its value.  You can read more on it at www.nyfarmersmarket.com/food-safety/links.html.  For now it is voluntary for farmers, but may be mandatory for folks at some point.  I envision if this is the case, we would not be able to re-use the pint containers at that point either.  We’ll wait and see!

Recipes, Produce and Storage Information:

Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, page 345
 
“Whether red or green, smooth or crinkled, cabbage is a mild, sweet vegetable, though we don’t generally think of it that way.  To keep it sweet and appealing, don’t overcook it.”
 
Boiled Cabbage:
Nothing sounds so unappealing as boiled cabbage, but when not overcooked it’s actually one of the nicest ways to enjoy it.  Drop shredded cabbage or wedges into a large pot of boiling water.  Cook, uncovered, until the leaves are tender, 5 to 10 minutes.  Pour into a colander, shake off the water, and press a towel over the cabbage to wick off the excess moisture.  Toss with butter or oil, salt and pepper, and any seasonings above right- including a dash of apple cider vinegar to bring out the flavors, but not enough to be detectable.
 
Good Partners for Cabbage:
Olive oil, butter, brown butter, mustard oil, cream, sour cream
Cheddar, Taleggio, Teleme, Parmesan
Mustard, horseradish, caraway, curry spices, juniper
Dill, marjoram, sage
Apples, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice
Potatoes, buckwheat, pasta
 
How to Store:  Keep cabbage in a plastic bag in your salad crisper.  It will keep for weeks, but its nutritive value diminishes with time.  If the outer leaves wilt, just remove them before cooking.

What's growing on???

The strawberries have just about finished fruiting for the season, which for them is always so short and sweet.  For those of you who remember me talking about releasing predatory mites into the strawberry patch, to combat our pest mites, I wanted to let you know that the predatory mites seem to be prevailing.  While the plants will not produce more fruit at this point, they still produce more leaves, and runners.  The plants that had been stunted by the mites have now grown beautiful strong leaves, and despite missing their fruiting season, look healthy.  I am also unable to find any of the pest mites at this point.  Although we weren’t able to save this season’s berries, I am confident that this will spare our fall planting and next spring’s harvest, assuming the pest mite population has now been replaced by the beneficial predatory mite population.  Pretty cool, huh?  
 
In other news, man, those tomato plants are growing!  I actually saw a Sungold cherry tomato that had started to turn a pale orange color yesterday.  Of course it always starts out slow, the ripening, but to me this means we are on track with last year’s early harvest.  I am pretty sure that by mid June we were handing out tomatoes in the share boxes.  That is just three weeks away!   Sheesh. 
 
Today, at week six, we are just about one third done with the CSA deliveries.  Where have the past six weeks gone!  It really has been a blur to me.  I think we have been the busiest this spring season that we have ever been, due, primarily, to the warm March weather we received.     In retrospect, I see that we were force to do our normal  work load for the last two weeks of April, PLUS, the first two weeks of May’s normal work load, all at the same time (during the last two weeks of April).  I am happy to say we are just now starting to feel a bit normal here at the farm, although we still need to plant our second crop of tomato plants, control the weed load in our winter squash planting and second planting of cucurbits, all of which are BIG jobs.  We hope to fit them in this Thursday, next Monday and Thursday as Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s are all harvest, all day! 
 
Again, if you have any feedback, thoughts or concerns, please email me at effarm@earthlink.net.  I love to hear from you (despite the fact that it may take me a few days to reply due to my lack of easy internet access).

What's in the box?

Full Share
Crop Amount  
 

Cauliflower (2-3 lb. head)
Carrots (one bunch orange)
Sugar Snap Peas (2/3 lb.)
Summer squash and zucchini (2 lb.)
Swiss chard
Cabbage (large)
Lettuce (one head)

Half Share
Crop Amount  
 

Cauliflower (1-2 lb. head)
Carrots (one bunch orange)
Sugar Snap Peas (2/3 lb.)
Summer squash and zucchini (1 lb.)
Cabbage (smaller)
Lettuce (one head)