Friday, August 15, 2008

2nd Week of August

This Week at the Farm

The weather curmudgeon will only say that we didn’t really get rain this week and could definitely use some…enough said. Three cheers for drip irrigation. Many thanks to Jeff and Del for doing a superb job of picking beans this week. Brian Bixler did a wonderful job filling in with the mower for the vacationing Eric Rooney.

The tomatoes are going gangbusters--we may have some extras... The spader is repaired and is working well to prepare the soil for your fall crops and the bell peppers are starting to come into their own. The little orange variety is called Yummy, and lives up to its name despite being a pipsqueak of a pepper.

Life with less Plastic

As we put our fresh veggies into bags each week, a lot of plastic bags are used here on the farm. If you’d like to help with our efforts to create less waste, one way is to put items into reusable tote bags or an insulated box or cooler. We will continue to provide both produce bags and the shopping bags realizing that some items need the individual bags and that sometimes its just nice to have the shopping bags here.

Did you know?

Buckwheat is an excellent cover crop for preventing weed growth, bringing up nutrients from the subsoil, and attracting beneficial insects.

Serving Suggestions for the Harvest

Melon: Chill and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper
Watermelon: Chill and sprinkle with a bit of salt of desired
Beets: Boil until tender, slip the skins, serve slightly warm or roast instead
Eggplant: Slice and put on the grill or skillet—brush with olive oil and soy sauce
Onions: We have some wonderful Red Zeppelin storage onions ready this week—keeps 8 weeks
Cucumbers: Great for munching on plain, but also in tomato/cuke salads (See the easy pickle recipe below)

Thank you for appreciating the work that goes on here to bring fresh food to your table.


Upcoming Events and Recipes

Saturday, August 23, 10 am
Water Conservation at Home: inside the house and out, including cisterns (rainbarrels), presented by Matt Kofroth, Watershed Specialist with the Lancaster County Conservation District. Sign up if interested on the sheet.

Saturday, August 23, 3pm to dusk
Backyard Fruit Growers Summer Tour and Meeting
This event is open to BYFG members and Goodwill at Homefields farm shareholders.
The agenda will be:
3:00 meet and greet
3:30 tour
5:00 Auction of donated items—plants, posters, jams, fruit and garden items.
6:00 potluck meal—bring a ready to serve dish
7:00 Fruit growers Q & A sharing session
7:30 Bud grafting of stonefruit demonstration
What to bring—folding chairs or blanket to sit on, a dish to share.
Water, plates, utensils and cups will be provided by BYFGers.

Friday, September 19
Homefields Golf Tournament
Homefields, our benevolent landlord and host will hold its 12th annual Golf Tournament at Crossgates Golf Course, Millersville. To participate, pick up a copy of the flyer here at the farm or see their website at: Proceeds benefit Homefields.

Overnight Pickle Recipe
from Kitazawa Seed Company (they have many great Japanese recipes for vegetables)

Ichiyazuki is a salt pickling and is the easiest, fastest and most popular way of pickling. Basically, vegetables are washed, sliced, salted and placed under a weight for about a day. You may prepare this in the morning and serve pickles at dinner. Raisins or chilies may be added for desired flavor. Salt is rinsed off the vegetable before serving. The vegetables are good for only 1-2 days.

Choice of vegetables such as nappa, cucumber, young radish leaves, mizuna, mustards, turnips and leaves, etc.
Raisins, chilies - optional

For Chinese cabbage, wash nappa leaves. Sprinkle salt on leaves and massage salt into leaves (especially white mid ribs). Place nappa leaves in a deep pan or bowl. For sweet or hot flavoring, add raisins or chilies on the side of the leaves. Sprinkle salt on top of the nappa. Place a dish that will be able to sink down and place it on top of the nappa. Put a heavy weight on top of the plate. Another pan filled with water placed on top of the plate may be used as weight. When you are ready to eat the pickles, wash the leaves and squeeze out the water. Cut leaves into 1/2" lengths.

Daikon tops, radish leaves, takana or mustard leaves. Follow the like nappa process described above. It is preferred not to use raisins or chilies for these spicy vegetables.

For cucumbers, they can be lightly peeled. Cut lengthwise in half and cut again 1/2" crosswise. Sprinkle with salt and massage and follow like nappa described above. Cut to desired size before serving.

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