July 11 2012, Week 13


Family potato harvest and farm tour! If you plan on attending, PLEASE READ!

This is scheduled for this Sunday, July 15th from (potato harvest) 1-2pm (farm tour) 2-2:30pm. Please watch your email inbox on Saturday. If we continue to receive a lot of rain this week we may need to cancel this event and tour at the last minute. I will email folks on Saturday if the event is cancelled. If the ground is too wet, we will be unable to use the tractor to pre-plow the potatoes out of the ground. This is a crucial first step in the harvest. After the potatoes are plowed out of the ground, members and their children (of all ages) are instructed to sift through the ground (or big sand box to kids!!) and find the potatoes. Kids love it. Searching for buried treasures in the sand??!! Come on, I love it, who wouldn’t!!??
Harvesting will ONLY occur from 1pm to 2pm, so BE ON TIME THIS YEAR if you want to participate. More and more folks come every year, and the job actually goes rather quickly, which is awesome and such a big help to us. If you would like to come for the tour, please arrive before 2pm as the tour will start promptly at 2:00!! Keep in mind this is a working farm, and we don’t have time to keep it looking as pristine as I would like it too. Some areas of the farm that we do not grow on have tall grass and not all of the areas that we have grown on this spring have had been cleaned up yet, although we are through harvesting them. There are, of course, the areas that we are actively harvesting and growing in now that look gorgeous, so we will focus on those ;)

-Bring a water bottle with water
-Bring a sunhat and sunscreen
-Map Quest the farm for directions at: 5925 Oakley Road, Cedar Grove, NC 27231. The farm is at least a thirty minute drive from Chapel Hill AND Durham.

Recipes, Produce and Storage Information:

Tomatoes: Do not put tomatoes in the refrigerator, as it ruins their texture and flavor. If you leave them in the paper bag, their ripening is accelerated. Since the tomatoes you have received this week are on the ripe side, I recommend taking them out of the bag and placing them on the counter to store (including your cherry tomatoes).

Peppers: Regular shares have received mildly hot peppers this week. The long flat pointy green peppers are a green chile pepper. It is an Anaheim variety that is great for stuffing (Chile Rellenos), grilling or roasting. It has thick, mildly hot flesh. We are aware that these can be a hard thing to utilize for folks with small children. Here are some suggestions: You can freeze the peppers whole if you want to store them for awhile and use them a small amount at a time for soups or stir fries for flavor. Alternatively, they store in the plastic bag in the refrigerator for about three weeks. The DARK green pepper, if you have received one, is a Poblano, and like the Chile, can be used in Chile Rellenos or add a little bit at a time to dishes for a mild heat. A Jalapeño is in your bag also and are a bit spicier than the others. A great addition to a salsa made with your tomatoes and onions.
A member sent me the following recipe from the cookbook: Recipes from America’s Small Farms, by Joanne Lamb hayes and Lori Stein.
9 large tomatoes—only vine-ripened will do
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley (optional)
Core the tomatoes and dip into boiling water for about 10 seconds to loosen the skin. Place the tomatoes in ice water to cool, then slip off their skins. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the juice and seeds into a strainer over a bowl. Reserve the juice and discard the seeds. Puree half of the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Coarsely chop the remaining tomatoes.
Combine the pureed and chopped tomatoes in a bowl and add the reserved juice. Stir in the cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper, oil, vinegar, garlic, and jalapeno peppers. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle the fresh herb over the bowls for garnish, if desired.

What's growing on???
The good news is that it has cooled down, and rained!!! The bad news is that it is still raining and looks like it is going to keep on raining! This is bad news because; 1) we may need to cancel the potato harvest if it keeps up, 2) too much rain can lead to split tomatoes and melons, and 3) if the ground is too wet we aren’t able to do a lot of the work we need to do like turning under areas we are finished with or weeding. Since the rain is unfortunately out of my control, I must begrudgingly learn to say, so be it! I am trying to focus on the positive. It cooled down!!! And rained!!! Yippie!!!

Oh, and the basil! We were hoping to give basil in this week’s share since we have a lot, it looks gorgeous, and it just goes so well with all of those tomatoes we have handed out. Unfortunately we were unable to harvest it because the plants stayed wet from the rain all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Basil cannot be harvested wet. When done so, the leaves quickly deteriorate and turn brown. Have you ever had basil turn brown on you suddenly during storage? There are two potential culprits, cold and/or wet. So, let us plan on basil for next week and see what the rain Gods think of that!!!
I love to hear from you so please email if you have any comments, thoughts or concerns. Elise.

What you can look forward to......
I see a lot of watermelon and cantaloupe in your future. Sweet colored peppers are teasing us with one or two beauties staring to ripen here or there. We are hoping to have them in abundance soon. More tomatoes of course, although we have passed our peak week for the first planting and you will see a slightly smaller amount in boxes the next couple of weeks. Basil!? More summer squash. Potatoes and onions. Winter squash! Yum.



What's in the box?

Full Share
Crop Amount  

Tomatoes! (5 lb.)

Sungolds (1 pint)

Mixed cherry tomatoes (1 pint)

Eggplant (1.5 lb.)

Green peppers (1/2 lb.)

Onions 1 lb.

Half Share
Crop Amount  

Tomatoes! (3 lb.)

Mixed cherry tomatoes (one pint)

Onions (2/3 lb.)

Fairy Tale eggplant (1 lb.)

Green Chile Peppers and a Jalepeno (2/3 lb.)