Week 6 CSA Newsletter

The Weekly News

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our farmer’s market booth in Saint Croix Falls

The unseasonably cool weather continued this week … good sleeping and harvesting weather, and nice for the spring greens. The chickens are settling in, loving our garden scraps and their big yard, and giving us a modest amount of eggs.

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We plan to double or triple the flock as soon as we find a convenient source of young laying hens. Last night as we were falling asleep, a cacophony of coyote caterwauling erupted nearby… a hair-raising reminder to throw on a robe and go shut the coop door, which we’d forgotten to close for the night.

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the baby cherry tree has produced one, single, beautiful cherry.

 

The garden work this week has consisted of a whole lot of weeding and mulching and squishing potato beetles, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs.

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Kristin hung out in the field with a hummingbird feeding on bolted arugula flowers, while she was on bug squishing patrol. Gabe did a lot of chopping and stacking fire wood with Choppy Abe the WWOOFer, who is getting very handy with the 17 lb Monster Maul.

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field fresh lunch break: Senposai leaf wrap filled with peas, carrots, beets, turnips, cucumber, arugula, and cilantro from the field, along with tuna & homemade mayo (with help from the chickens) – topped off with edible nasturtium flowers.

The beans and cucumbers are coming in, will should be ready in harvestable amounts in the next week or so. We are experimenting with trellising the cuke plants this year, which will hopefully make for easier harvesting. We’ve discovered that the cucumber beetles are hiding out inside of the big yellow squash flowers, and have been plucking them once they wither, exposing their striped insect occupants, and squishing them before they can feed on the cucumbers and infect them with bacterial wilt.

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not an enemy bug. I always think of these ones as Jiminey Crickets.

 

We finally tamed the poison ivy in the newly-cleared shady area to the north of the semi trailer “barn” enough to move the processing tables and gear in – today was the first harvest using it; we loved it.

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volunteers helping out in the new processing area

Next we’ll be installing a tarp shade cover extending from the roof of the semi … always upgrading! It was only a couple of years ago that our processing area was a tiny hut barely big enough to stand up inside of …

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field-fresh pasta salad with snap peas, golden and green zucchini, oasis turnips, kohlrabi, basil, onions, garlic, tarragon, tatsoi, and parsley with edible borage, calendula, and nasturtium flowers.

The Weekly Box:

–          Snap Peas – Always good as a snack, but also great in salads and stir-frys – with pounds of them at your disposal, try something new this week!

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–          Salad Mix (with Ruby Red lettuce, Oak Leaf lettuce, pea tendrils, arugula, mizuna, and baby Dinosaur & Red Russian kale) – we’re lucky to still be getting salad mix this late in the year! The lettuce and pea tendrils are getting larger, so you may want to chop your mix up before serving for easier mouth-sized bites. We’ve pretty much abandoned the patch of arugula we planted this spring, in favor of the hardy volunteers that are up between the rows all over the place.
–          Rutabaga (with delicious greens) – similar in flavor to a mild turnip. We usually have them for breakfast, cubed, pan-fried or roasted, and topped with over-easy eggs. If you cook them thoroughly they lose all turnip flavor, and taste kinda sweet.

Cut off the greens so that they don’t dehydrate the root, and store/cook them as you would any other green, such as kale. Very nutritious!

–          Napa Cabbage – Perfect for an Asian salad with peanut sauce, or kim chi. Another options we hear is just delicious is to cut them in half and grill them. Some good options listed out here:

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/809695/8-things-to-do-with-napa-cabbage

–          Garlic – tastes great, repels vampires.

–          Zucchini

–          Basil (Thai & Aromato varieties)

–          Miracle Berries (specially shipped up from Florida by a friend of the Farm!) – Pop one, or half of one, into your mouth, and move it around your tongue. Let the skin come off, and ensure the innards get all over the surface of your tongue … then eat a slice of lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange, and taste something you’ve never tasted before!

Links for more info on miracle berries (they’re just a natural fruit!):

 

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Have a great week, and enjoy the veggies – and the flavor-trippin berries!

– the Sehrs

 

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