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CSA Share Weekly Update August 14th- 17th!

Greetings all!

The fields look great, and picking has been very easy in this mild weather. This seems to be the real beginning to mid-season, as we are just starting to get into peppers, onions, expect spaghetti squash very soon, and the melons will start rolling in by next week hopefully. We have got muskmelon, red watermelon, yellow watermelon (seeded and seedless) to share for several weeks.

We had rain for two days last week, and while we can never really complain about a little rain, it would be helpful if the overnight temperatures were a bit warmer! In comparison to last season, there are several varieties that are later coming into harvest than normal even though the seeding and transplanting is the same.

This week is another rotation week, so if you got cauliflower last week you will receive cabbage this week, and vice versa. The reason we do this with the cold crops is because they don’t always grow evenly. So throughout 4 consecutive weeks each CSA share member will receive 2 cauliflower and 2 cabbage.

CSA Share members can order additional produce along with their normal CSA Delivery each week. We currently have greens beans for $25 (usually $35) a half bushel, and tomatoes for $15 a half bushel (usually $25). If you are canning salsa for instance, and would like to order peppers and onions etc. for your recipe just send me an email and I will bring everything along with your share! We have bulk pricing on most varieties of produce available.

This week in your CSA Share you can expect: Cabbage/ Cauliflower, Red Potatoes, Onions, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers/ Pickles, Zucchini/ Summer Squash, Beans, Tomatoes and Basil!

Cabbage and Cauliflower both do best stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Cabbage will keep for up to 2 months, whereas Cauliflower will keep for up to 2 weeks before it starts getting soft.

Potatoes were packed in bags earlier on this season because some of them were so small they would roll out of the bottom of the box. Now that they are larger they can’t fit through the bottom, so they are loose in the box without a bag. Red Potatoes are one of my favorite versatile crops. If you haven’t grilled any potatoes this summer yet I recommend putting a little oil in a tinfoil boat with potatoes, other veggies and some spices. It always turns out well for us!

We are also adding onions to the CSA Shares this week. Please keep in mind that these onions are fresh onions, which have not been dried. This means that they need to be kept in the fridge or they will soften fairly quickly. Once we get farther into the season and the onions get larger, we will start drying the onions. In about September you will see dried onions, which is the same style as the ones you’d get in the grocery store (and can be kept in a pantry). But for now, please keep them in the fridge. Fresh onions are one of my favorite things to cook with because they have such a strong flavor.

Beans can be frozen, or canned! Freezing beans is easier than canning because canning beans requires a pressure canner (instead of the traditional hot water bath canning).

To freeze beans, blanching is required. Wash the beans, cut off the stem end, and cut into desirable sized pieces. Get a pot of boiling water and add beans for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a cold water bath to stop the cooking process. Place into freezer bags and label with date.

Tomatoes will continue to vary each week. We grow large slicing tomatoes, roma tomatoes, 4th of July tomatoes and grape tomatoes! Since tomatoes are something that some of us have been waiting for all winter, we will be adding tomatoes each week until our harvest is over. Tomatoes are a staple of a CSA Farm, so if you like them wonderful! If you don’t like them plain, try using them to cook with, for instance fresh spaghetti sauce or roasted caprese salad for example; they don’t just belong on sandwiches! J

Tomatoes are best kept on the kitchen counter, and if they are not quite ripe enough for you, placing them in a paper bag on top of the fridge will be the best way to get them to soften quickly. Do not put a ripe tomato in the fridge, unless you already ate half of it and you are saving the other half. Putting the tomato in the fridge condenses the sugars and leads to a softer tomato flavor.

Basil is one of the first herbs we see come in for the season. This is a very common herb used by many for thousands of years, literally. It is known as the main ingredient in pesto sauces and caprese salad for example, recipe below! It is most commonly used as a fresh herb, but can be cooked with. The flavor doesn’t hold very well when fresh basil is cooked, so many people will used dried basil to cook with. To keep for up to a week in the fridge, get a small cup and put the stems of basil in the cup. Cover the top of the cup loosely with a plastic sandwich bag. #csafarmingmn #eatlocalmn #localveggies #mnveggies #brownfamilyfarm

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