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CSA Share Weekly Update for August 21st-24th!

Greetings all!

This bright sunny day has lifted our spirits around here! The soil and plants are very wet still but we are happy to be drying out a bit around here today with the 80* high.  There are varieties of produce that can’t be picked in the rain, so we are excited for our dry day!

If you pick beans in the rain for example, they will get “rust” which is small red spots on the beans. While it’s not harmful at all,  it’s not ascetically pleasing either. Tomatoes are another example, if they are picked when the plants are wet there is a high risk for disease in the plants. If the tomatoes themselves are wet or there is potential for condensation in the basket you are picking into, they will get soft very quickly.

In late July and August the weather has been very mild, we haven’t really had any hot, hot weeks like we did last season. As a result, we are about 2 weeks behind on Muskmelon than where we were last season. At this time last year we were already harvesting winter squash! The problem with the cool overnight temperatures is that our produce isn’t growing at the same rate or ripening at the same time as it has in the past.

As a CSA Farm, I hope that CSA Share members can understand us flip flopping some varieties this next 2 weeks. Every share holder will get the same amount of each produce variety. By rotating the cabbage and cauliflower cuttings for the last 4 weeks, we ended up having bigger heads (of each) which benefits every CSA member. The same is true of muskmelon and spaghetti squash.

We will continue our rotation this week, so if you receive muskmelon in your share this week, you will receive spaghetti squash in your share next week. If you receive spaghetti squash this week, you will receive muskmelon next week. We do plan on having muskmelon for several weeks in the CSA Shares this season again.

The varieties of produce you can expect in your CSA Share this week are: Sweet Corn, Spaghetti Squash/ Muskmelon, Jalapenos (in a plastic bag), Sweet Banana Peppers, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Carrots with greens, and Tomatoes!

Sweet Corn needs to be eaten right away, as the sugars will start to break down to starches as soon as it’s harvested. Keep it in the fridge in the husk to keep it fresh for up to 3-4 days recommended.

If you’d like to grill some corn, soak the corn in the husk overnight in the kitchen sink. In the morning, remove the tassel at the end of the cob, and leave it in the husk. Get the grill warmed up and place corn cobs directly on the grill grates for about 6-8 minutes, there should be slight grill marks on the husk of the corn. Soaking it in water helps to basically steam the corn. Tip: If it’s not soaked overnight the corn will dry out slightly & if you don’t remove the tassel at the end of the cob, it will start on fire on the grill (could be personal experience lol).

Muskmelon and Spaghetti Squash are on a rotation, you will receive one this week and the other next week.

Muskmelon are a great mid-season treat. Ben goes out in the morning and chooses which melons to pick for the day which is mostly dependent on color. Ben only picks ripe melons, and ripe melons expire more quickly. So, the melons at the grocery store for example are picked unripe because they will last a long time if they ripen over the course of a few weeks in the store and on your counter. Farm fresh muskmelon are completely different. The ripening process of fruit is to have as much sugar as possible, coating the seeds and resulting in a more efficient germination the next season. The melons that are picked when ripe (with the highest amounts of sugar, i.e. flavor) will be best enjoyed in a day or two, 3 days at the most.

I really need to stress this- if you don’t want an over ripe melon please eat it within a day or two!

Spaghetti Squash is a type of winter squash. It is ripe earlier in the year than any other winter squash. It is often considered very valuable to those with Gluten restrictions in their diets because it can be a substitute for any pasta, and it has great flavor! The most popular way to prepare the spaghetti squash is by baking it and using a fork to scrape the squash away from the outside skin. Using the fork method, it produces a texture that is very desirable!

Jalapenos are a classic hot pepper. Sweet Banana are a classic sweet pepper. They both have thinner flesh than the green pepper, so they cook down a little quicker than the bell peppers. They can keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks if stored in the crisper in a bag. The jalapenos will come in a bag so the spiciness from the peppers doesn’t rub off on any of the other produce varieties.

Carrots will come washed but it will be important to use a vegetable brush to remove any extra dirt under running water. For maximum nutritional value do not peel unless removing damaged areas because the nutrients Carotene and trace minerals are close to the carrot’s skin surface. To store for up to 4 weeks, remove the greens and refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag. We won’t be removing the greens of the carrots as there are other purposes for them if you choose. Examples being chopped into a green salad or stir fry, or they could be dried and used as an herb like parsley.

Tomatoes will continue to come in assorted varieties until we are through tomato season. Don’t store tomatoes in the fridge. Remember, if you’d like canning tomatoes and produce (peppers/onions/etc.) the baskets of tomatoes are $15 and can be delivered along with any weeks delivery during the tomato season! #csafarming #csamn #eatlocal #brownfamilyfarm #localveggies #localfruit

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