Thursday, August 27, 2009

4th Week of August

Notes from your Farm:
This week we got a nice break from the precipitation, and I was able to do some of the planting for the fall crops. The arugula, which many of you have been asking about is germinated and up already--there are few things better than seeing a new crop of sprouts emerging from the surface of the soil. With the wet weather abating, we should have a plentiful bell pepper harvest this week and in the weeks to come. Thanks for sharing the rewards and risks of growing plants with us, we appreciate your encouragement and enthusiasm for what we do and the food that we grow.

Dogs are welcome at the farm: to respect other shareholders, please observe the following if bringing your pet to the farm:
--dog should be under your control at all times--either in your vehicle or on a controlled leash--please no pets in the food pickup area or herb beds for best sanitation practices. (the monkey on your back is fine :-)

Like Green and Yellow Beans? Unlimited Pick-Your-Own again this week!

We have some excellent cookbooks here for sale that are a great match for seasonal and local eating.
  • Simply in Season Cookbook: has recipes in order for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter crops.
  • Farmer John Cookbook: from the quirky Farmer John of the "Real dirt on Farmer John" movie fame. His Angelic Organics CSA is one of the best known in the country.
  • Simply in Season Children's cookbook: Fun, easy, and quick to prepare recipes to do with children.

Pick-Your-Own Field Highlights:

  • Black-eyed Susan flowers: these are beautiful.
  • Ground Cherries: check out these tasty little paper-husked treat that have a hint of pineapple. Pick when paper turns golden brown or fruit is on the ground.
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes: yes, they have the late blight too--but there are some tomatoes there.
  • HOT Peppers: range from mild to wild the farther back the row you go. Some varieties are maturing to red, but green is ok to pick too as you wish.
  • Heirloom tomatoes: various types located in the first row.
  • Pole beans: including Red Noodle and Roma types, down at the low end of the PYO field
  • Cut flowers: zinnias, snapdragons, celosia
  • Basil: is ready: pinch off the tips just above where they branch--not sure, ask Bradley
  • Tromboncino Squash Tower: Check out this rapidly growing vine and the bamboo tower that Bradley made for it.
  • Summer Savory: this herb located beyond the grapes in the PYO field. Very strong by itself, it is excellent with tomatoes
  • Edible flowers: Nasturtiums, and Calendula and Borage are edible and are located also toward the end of the PYO field.


Homefields, our nonprofit host and landlord, is looking for a few volunteers to help out with the United Way "Day of Sharing" at Homefields. This is an event that allows Millersville University students to become involved in a community service project. We are looking for volunteers to either select plants to beautify the Homefields residential property and/ or volunteers to help direct the MU students on the morning of Sat, Sept 12 as they do various jobs around the Homefields property. Please contact Joyce Smedley at if you are interested in volunteering or would like more information.

Homefields is also beginning monthly meetings called "Sharing Homefields" to expand the mission, property and resources of Homefields. Please see the flyer on the distribution table for more information.

About some of the Characters:

  • Asian and Italian type eggplants: the slender Japanese type eggplants are usually sweeter and milder than the classic Italian types. Their color is fabulous too.
    Coating slices with oil and soy sauce and grilling them is quick and delicious. See an excellent and simple recipe below!
  • Bell Peppers: these are the most nutritious when raw, and the Apple variety has incredible flavor according to farm staff (who are never wrong).
  • Beans: we are having a banner year--please pick as many great and yellow beans as you have freezer space for if desired.
  • Tomatoes: doing better than expected! There is a tomato soup recipe below
  • Carrots: roasted, raw, boiled, or steamed, you can't go wrong.
  • Mars: these red onions can be used now or kept for storage.

Bradley's Eggplant Unrecipe

So simple and so delicious, maybe we will call it a recipe:
Slice slender eggplants lengthwise, coat with soy sauce and sprinkle with a little bit of brown sugar. Place in toaster oven or broil until caramelized on top and the eggplant is nice and soft.
--from Bradley Hagens, Farm Staff

Fresh Tomato Soup

1/4 c olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 T finely grated orange zest
18 ripe roma tomatoes, quartered (I used regular tomatoes and fewer number)
heavy or light cream
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil leaves

1. using heavy saucepan set over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil, stirring occasionally until tender and translucent, about 10 to 12 minutes
2. stir in orange zest and tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down and rendered much of their liquid
3. puree soup in batches using either food processor or blender. then strain mixture through a food mill or medium mesh sieve placed over a clean saucepan, discard remaining peel and seeds [I skipped this step; my blender pureed to a fine consistency and there was no problem]
4. reheat soup mixture gently over medium-low heat, season with salt and pepper. add heavy or light cream to taste (anywhere from ½ c to 1 ½ c or until you achieve the consistency and flavor you desire)
5. just before serving (about one to two minutes before) add fresh basil, torn into small pieces, to the soup, with a pinch on top of each bowl for garnish

serves 4 to 6

--shared by shareholder Tracy Broderick

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