Tuesday, August 6, 2013

CSA Newsletter #9

August 6 and 7

chard or lettuce
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch sweet onions
1 bunch herbs
sweet peppers
green beans
salad mix

August  = Abundance

After a sweaty, wet, buggy, making the best of it sort of July, we are deeply basking in the glory, beauty and super veggie positive moments of August up here on the Kettle bluffs.  
The field is rapidly changing, with all early crops either eaten and enjoyed or mowed and put back into the soil.  All the fall crops are basking in the sunshine during the day and appreciating the cool nights.  The return of kale and the onslaught of cabbage and broccoli are rapidly approaching.  The brussels are sprouting,  the fall roots are seeded, and looking good and we haven’t even touched the shallots or red onions.  Then there is the, no joke, thousands of feet of lettuce and carrots that are little now, but are proof we are just barely half way through the season and there are still tons of fresh veggies and yummy meals to come.  
As farmers, we always have to look forward and into the future.  We have to plan, execute, anticipate and keep up with it all or, well, no one eats.  For example, we seed storage onions in March so they can grow and thrive over the entire season and we can eat them in the fall and into the winter.  If we don’t do that when the snow flies, it just doesn’t happen.  Especially with the short growing season in Maine, we have small windows of opportunity and we have to be on top of things and always looking forward to achieve bountiful results.  Right now, even though it is still early in August, the focus on the farm is loving up the fall crops, keeping them happy, healthy and weed free, so we can live large in the months of come.  Not to mention, I pretty much start planning for the next growing season from the second I start the current one, because there are always elements of the farm to improve upon, evolve or straight up scrap.
Be that as it may, this whole farming thing aside, I think we can all appreciate the need to be more present in our lives.  To take a moment, take a few breathes, slow down, trust in the process, enjoy the blue sky, give thanks and focus in on all the wonderful things that are happening right now!  So with that in mind, and even though it has been more then brisk these past evenings, put those autumnal thoughts aside and be present with this week’s meaty, deep summer, heart of it all veggie share! 
The names of all the varieties of vegetable we are enjoying this week really bring it home and emphasize this time of strength, beauty, bright colors and abundance we feel these days on the farm.  Check it out.....

We are pumping it up with Provider Beans and Hercules Carrots.  Yeah!
We are grooving with Islander Peppers and Bright Lights Rainbow Chard.  Nice!
We are large and in charge with Big Beef Tomatoes and we are chugging along on the Orient Express Eggplant train.  Yahoo!
.........and we got the epic blessing of a double rainbow over the farm the other day to sweeten the whole deal.  So it’s pretty much decided at this point - 
August is Awesome and Fall will be Fabulous!
Carrot Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, warmed until just melted or butter
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and oats. Add the nuts and carrots. In a separate smaller bowl use a whisk to combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, and ginger. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoonful at a time.  Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.
Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
Liberal seasoning of freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 lb. green beans, cut into 2 in. lengths 1 1/2 cups lentils
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Combine all ingredients for dressing in a screw top jar and shake vigorously. Set aside. Cook lentils by adding them to boiling water and cook for 20 minutes, partially covered.
Stir occasionally. The lentils are done when they are tender but still a bit crunchy. Don’t let them get mushy. Drain in colander and transfer to large serving bowl. Heat tsp of oil in skillet. Put in the red onions and sauté 2 minutes. To set the color, sprinkle the vinegar over the onions and toss well. Sauté 1 more minute. Add green beans and cook until green beans are tender and bright green. Then add beans and onions to lentils and add dressing. Serve with fresh tomatoes and rice.

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