Elysian Fields Farm
Community Supported Agriculture

Wednesday September 4th, 2002
Week 19

What's New This Week!!!

Produce
Full Share
Half Share
Size in Share
Farmer Market Value
Size in Share
Farmer Market Value
Roma Tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs.
$2.25
1 lb.
$1.50
Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes
1 lb.
$2.25
1/2 lb.
$1.00
Green and Purple Japanese Eggplant
4 pieces
$1.50
2 pieces
$0.75
Basil
1 bag
$0.75
1 bag
$0.75
Garlic
1 head
$0.75
1 head
$0.75
Spaghetti Squash
4-5 lbs.
$6.50
2-3 lbs.
$3.50
Apples: mixed local
8 pieces
$2.00
4 pieces
$1.00
Peppers or Okra
-
-
1/2 lb.
$1.50
Cherry Tomatoes
1 pint
$2.00
-
-
Total
 
$18.00
 
$10.75

What's growin' on?

Hello there everyone, hope you are all doing well! We sure have enjoyed the 5 (+) inches of rain we have received here in the past week and a half, as I am sure you all have as well. First off, I would like to talk about tomatoes, and apologize for not doing so last week. I gave all full share members one Green Zebra tomato last week and forgot to explain what that funny looking tomato is! Being a 'ripe when green' tomato, I hope members weren't to confused with the tasty treat. The Green Zebra is an Heirloom variety that can be sweet and tangy at the same time. It is valued for both its coloration and taste. The fruit has dark green stripes along a light green background at its immature stage, while at maturity a lighter green striping appears against a yellow-amber background. Members should let their tomatoes set until these colors appear fully if already not present. The best way to eat the Zebra (according to me) is sliced on a plate with a yellow and red tomato, since the bright lime green color of the Green Zebra stands out so boldly against the others. Each member has received at least on Green Zebra this week, and will receive more in the next couple of weeks. Roma's and Zebra's are among the majority of tomatoes present in the 3rd and last planting coming on just now. Black from Tula, Striped German and Muskavich are also among the heirlooms present. The tomato plants greatly benefited from the rain, although within the tomatoes themselves a good amount of splitting was present this week. This occurs when the fruit holds more water within itself than the skin can stretch for, thus cracking and splitting of the skin occur. The Sungolds Cherries suffered as well, many of the tiny fruits were cracked.

Members have also received another portion of Spaghetti Squash (one of my favorites!). Full share members have really received quite a big one, and should read the following preparation tips prior to taking the fruit on. Spaghetti squash can take a while to cook despite the size of the fruit, mainly because you must cook it whole, with the skin still in tact. You must do so in order that the stringy spaghetti like flesh will stay confined within the shell of the fruit. In order to cook and thus soften the entire fruit through, expecially for such a large specimen as full share (and some half share) members have received, one must cook the squash for some time. If boiling the fruit, members can expect it to take a good couple of hours before the fruit will be ready. Baking may take longer. You can always cook the squash to soften it in advance, days in advance if you choose, prior to eating. Once soft you can wait to cut into the fruit until you are ready to cook with the spaghetti like flesh. Most importantly, don't be intimidated by the large and heavy touch skinned fruit, because it sure is a treat. There are about eight half share members who have received Butternut or Red Kuri squash as opposed to spaghetti squash, since this is the last of the spaghetti.

Members have received apples once again this week, a bit more ripe and on the sweet side than the last alotment. One variety in specific is quite good but unfortunately as been overcome with a fungal disease. There is no harm done in eating the fruit, despite the fact that it is a bit spotty, I encourage members to eat them up and enjoy!

Below I have comprised a chart of the weekly value of produce received by members thus far this year. I am keeping track of such information for numerous reasons, both for the benefit of the farm and its members. Most importantly I would like members to be aware of what their money has bought them through out the course of the season. This is important to me for a couple of reasons: 1) I think is it important for people to realize that in buying directly from a local farm and farmer, one can reasonable and cost efficiently purchase local and sustainably grown produce, often for much cheaper than one could at a local natural grocery. In this scenario both the customer and the farmer win, since the farmer receives the retail and true value of the crop rather than the wholesale value (often half or less of the true). I also think in comparison to purchasing conventional produce from any store, one can see that by eliminating the wholesale middle man, that the local sustainable produce can be purchased at a competitive price while it commonly can only be purchased for a large cost increase. 2) I feel that as a farmer I can benefit from looking at such a chart to learn from the ebb and flow of the produce being distributed. For example it seems to me that a couple of weeks in late May - Early June and Late August - Early September where particularly low months, while July and early August where particularly high months. I would like to learn from such waves so that I can concentrate in future years on better balancing those high and low tides so that members can receive a steady and consistent alotment of produce through out the season. Please share any thoughts you may have on any of the previous topics. Thanks! Elise.

Full Share ($)Half Share ($)
May 12513
May 82114
May 152716
May 222613
May 291812
June 52212
June 12159
June 192112
June 262011
July 32110
July 102818
July 172516
July 242316
July 312116
August 73119
August 142216
August 212417
August 281612
September 41811
September 11  
September 18  
September 25  
October 2  
October 9  
October 16  
Total424263
Value525345
Remaining10182
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