Monday, July 14, 2008

Newsletter July 10, 2008 week #7

Red Springs Family Farm
July 10, 2008, Week #7

This week:
Summer Squashes Cucumber
Lettuce Green Beans
Savoy Cabbage Green Onions
Basil Celery
Sorrel Parsley
The First Tomato

THERE WILL BE MUD! Wednesday brought us 8/10” of rain, and then last night another 2 ¼” fell bringing us up to just over 3 inches of rain! It’s usually not great fun to harvest in the rain, but we were more than glad to get a little wet this morning. There’s more mud than we’d like on your produce, but the vigor of the garden after a storm is well worth it.

Thank you all for your interesting advice towards improving our organizational efforts. Both of us have lived varied and interesting lives and tried on several occupations, but neither of us has ever been a business major. We are transitioning to keeping our books in a spreadsheet format and even starting up a Blog to post our newletters and some photos for folks to check back into at will. We will let you know how this unfolds.

The model of vegetable/customer interaction that we are most closely modeling is that of Community Supported Agriculture. In some ways, this way of sharing veggies is as old as time. The re-organization of this ancient relationship began in earnest in the 1970’s. The basic idea is that a group of people who want to eat good, fresh, local food agree to support a nearby farm in exchange for whatever that farm can produce in the course of a season. By saying this, I am inferring that the vegetables are yours while they’re STILL IN THE FIELD. You can feel a connection to our gardens, not just the stuff that comes in the bag each week; just as we feel connected to you and your family as more than just grocery store customers in a check out line.

It’s rare for people, un-related by kinship, to actively rely on one another in this fast paced world. We believe that we are more interdependent than we know or openly acknowledge. This work that we do of gardening with you in mind brings that interdependence into the light of day. We know that what we bring to you is not what you might purchase by choice in a grocery. It’s our hope that you can enjoy the effort of bending with each season’s flavors, and that you can feel the vitality of not just the food itself, but also your relationship to it.

Out of the average dollar spent on food in a grocery, about 19 cents goes to the farm where the food originated. The remaining 81 cents is distributed over the various labor costs, transportation, packaging, and marketing that gets it to the right place at the right time, looking good enough to be placed in your basket. If the economics seem poor, the quality and safety seems even worse. There’s not a chance that these tomatoes (there will be more next week) are infected with salmonella. Locally grown food is fresher, safer, and friendlier than petroleum-doused supermarket fare, by a long shot. That’s enough of me on this soapbox!

This is the first time we’ve grown this savoy (crinkly) head cabbage. It hasn’t grown to its fullest head, but we really need to get it out of the field so we can move onto other crops. If you like it, let us know so we can try to grow more for the fall. Please, rinse them well and enjoy those big green outer leaves as well as the little heads.

We thought we would have beets today, too, but we hesitated to pull them and disturb the mud (sensitive micro-organisms are easily destroyed in muddy soil), and then we just plain ran out of room! There will be more beets, really.

Thanks to Emily for some fantastic green bean recipes today:

Green Beans and Tomatoes
Olive Oil 1 medium onion
1 can tomatoes 1 pound green beans (ends snapped off)
Salt, pepper, and tarragon leaves

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and simmer until the juices thicken. Steam green beans about two minutes. Break in to pieces. Add to tomato mixture. Season.
(This is a good accompaniment for egg dishes such as Zucchini Frittata with parmesan or Frittata with Swiss Chard and Roasted Garlic)

Green Beans and Potatoes with Pesto

Boil Potatoes in water. Cook until a skewer slides through them but not until they are mushy. Steam green beans two to three minutes. Mix with basil pesto.

(To make Pesto: put 2 cups fresh basil, 2 Tbsp. pine nuts, 1 medium garlic clove, ½ cup grated parmesan all together in a food processor. Grind to a rough puree. Slowly add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.) (We’ll give you more pesto recipes later, as basil becomes more prolific.)

Summer Squash with Garlic and Herbs (from Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters)

Choose any combination of very fresh summer squashes (crookneck, straightneck, green or yellow zucchini, or patty pan). Trim and slice or cut julienne. Saute in generous olive oil until tender and just beginning to brown. Add a generous amount of freshly chopped garlic and basil or marjoram, and season with salt and pepper. Cook just a minute more, until the garlic releases its aroma; squeeze over a bit of lemon juice, and serve.

A couple of these zucchinis are worthy of zucchini bread making. Send in your favorite recipe to share, or ask if you don’t have one. It’s wonderful stuff!

Next week, we’re looking forward to the first sweet peppers, more tomatoes, and maybe even garlic in the baskets. Thank you for sharing in this harvest. Bring us your questions and comments as needed. Above all, enjoy this food!

With best regards,

Paul, Coree, and Lulah

“One should eat nutritious food and exercise regularly to have sound health.
Virtuous deeds performed with intelligence shall naturally bring good wealth.”
~poetic advice from the Rig Veda

Red Springs Family Farm, PO Box 351 Red Boiling Springs TN 37150 ~ ~

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