CSA distribution # 25 & newsletter

Our next CSA distribution will be Monday September 17 and Thursday September 20. So far, September has been everything the rest of the summer was not: generally temperate, properly rained upon, and productive. We’ve been feeling very good the past few weeks, even though it’s still been a challenge getting some fall crops started properly. It would be pleasant indeed if fall continued this way, with comfortable working conditions and excellent diverse food rewarding the survival of a difficult summer.

This week’s newsletter will be brief as we’ve been extra busy hosting the CSA potluck and an enjoyable family visit along with the normal workload. A quick reminder that we’ll be celebrating the return of sane weather and restaurant sales with Happy Hour at Trey this evening; join us from roughly 4-6pm to find out what they’re doing with the 10 things we delivered this week. We’d love to see any members or readers and have good conversation about the world beyond the farm.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Swiss chard This is doing great, and will certainly feature again this week.
Onions
After last week’s taste, we’ll skip these a few more weeks as there’s still lots of other fresh produce to squeeze into shares.
Green beans
At/past the peak of production and will start dropping off again over the next few weeks. These have done well this year.
Cherry tomatoes Actually looking better again; should hopefully be a decent quantity.
Slicer/sauce tomatoes
Should keep chugging along. We haven’t been distributing many sauce tomatoes lately as they’ve been in good demand from restaurants and we’ve had enough slicers to more than cover CSA. However, as expected, the sauce tomatoes are really hitting their stride now as the slicers fall back a bit, so you’ll start seeing those in more abundance. Bulk tomatoes will start appearing on the surveys in case of extra abundance.
Okra
This is starting to get some cucumber beetle damage, which manifests itself as little bumps/warts all over the okra, or at least that’s what we assume is going on. We’ve read that stink bugs can cause that kind of damage, but we’ve seen only a few stink bugs and lots of cucumber beetles. This does not affect the flavor or quality of the okra, but does make it look funny. We’re also starting to see some lower yields coinciding with cooler weather.
Sweet pepper mix
Same as previous weeks. These have been a rock-solid producer this year and we’re so happy with them.
Hot peppers
We’ll do the same breakdown of hot peppers as last week. As we were cutting up some peppers for dehydration on Thursday afternoon, we found some (particularly red anchos) that were moldy inside even though the outside looked perfect. Hopefully the ones that went into the shares were okay; please let us know if that’s not the case and if you’d like extra replacements next week. See below for another easy way to use hot peppers.
Garlic:
Siberian (long stem) is our favorite cooking garlic, best used when featured as in garlic butter. Tochliavri (short stem) is another of our problematic softnecks, and we make no promises on quality. Always interested in what you find, though.
Summer squash
These have been pretty slow lately, just keeping up with basic CSA needs. That’s ok with us overall, though we wouldn’t mind having more to sell or to offer in quantities for zucchini relish.

HERBS
We’ll stick with 4 herb bundles/full share and 2/part share this week. A couple new additions, and a week or so off for Kentucky colonel mint, which has required too much hunting for nice looking stems lately.

Thyme
Oregano
Sage
Tarragon

Garlic chives
Chives
Orange mint
Parsley
Basil

Thai basil
Lime basil
Shiso
Dill leaf (limited)

SCHEDULING
A gentle reminder of tonight’s happy hour at Trey (4pm-6ish), and the 10/27 goat roast party. We’d really appreciate having RSVPs (yes or no) for the goat roast by the beginning of October. Soon we’ll put up an event page like we did for the potluck; it seemed to work very well for coordinating people with a minimum of wrangling on our end.

POTLUCK RECAP
We had a great time with the four member households who attended the potluck and brought some really enjoyable food. Dishes included polenta (farm corn), deviled eggs w/ pickled okra, potatoes with chive blossoms, tabbouleh with herbs & produce, fresh bread, various jams & spreads, pepper salad, fresh cheese, several salsas, and more. We enjoyed it all and were able to dine on the leftovers for several days, making life easier during a busy stretch. The weather was perfect for a long farm ramble around the fields and pastures, and we enjoyed getting to know people a bit better. It was a good warmup for next month’s big party which we hope many of you can attend to celebrate the (almost) end of the season.

EASY HOT PEPPER SALSA
This is a super-easy raw salsa that can be used to feature and explore the flavors of different hot peppers. We featured the two versions above at last week’s CSA potluck to happy reviews. It’s based on a Rick Bayless recipe, but we changed the ingredients & quantities to suit our preferences & CSA shares. The pepper used is interchangeable: above left we used a whole habanero (featuring the fruity flavor and aroma) while above right we used a whole ancho (featuring the rich pepper flavor). Neither were overly hot when deseeded. Don’t use too much tomato or you’ll overwhelm the pepper flavor and just get a hot tomato salsa. The idea is to have just enough body to capture the pepper, not dilute it.

1  hot pepper, deseeded and finely minced (habanero, ancho, or anaheim)
1 T finely minced onion, deflamed in cold water
1/4-1/2 cup minced tomatoes
1 T chopped cilantro (optional)
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and let rest a bit for flavors to blend. It’s key to mince everything really well so the flavors blend. One whole habanero, seeded properly, shouldn’t overwhelm this, but you can start with 1/2 and see what you think.

Serve as a dipping salsa for chips, sliced peppers, or other produce; or use as topping for roasted potatoes or cooked rice/beans.

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