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The Weekly Weeder

July 30, 2015
EOW 'Carrot' group
The first planting of beans- both green and dragon tongue.  On Tuesday we harvested over 1800 pounds of beans!  All hand picked.  You will find a couple of nice large bags in your boxes this week.

Box Contents and Tips

 
  • Beans, Green - Keep in plastic bag until used.  A wonderful quick side dish with many versatile recipes. 
  • Beans, Dragon Tongue - what a load! Similar to wax beans Keep in plastic bag until used
  • Broccoli - mid summer broccoli is not a beautiful as the spring and fall crops.  The heat forced the head to mature before the sized up.  But it is still delicious.  Despite our best efforts you may find a cabbage worm or two.  Soak the broccoli in salted water to remove any worms. 
  • Cucumbers: Store in refrigerator but use up before they go limp.  Try refrigerator pickles or a cucumber salad.  We love them peeled and added to tacos or sliced onto sandwiches or dipped into hummus. 
  • Eggplant, Asian- store on counter- cold temps of most refrigerators will make it rubbery.  Great grilled!
  • Lettuce, Red Romaine - Store in plastic bag or salad spinner.
  • Lettuce, Green Romaine standard and double shares only - Store in plastic bag or salad spinner.
  • Scallions - A mild onion flavor.  Store in plastic bag until used.  White end portion is what we primarily use.  Great for salads of any kind!
  • Pepper, Jalapeno- for some reason these little guys seem to be extra spicy this year
  • Zucchini - green and/or gold (ALL SHARES) - patty pan (Standard and Double shares only): we find they store best at room temperature as the refrigerator is too cold and they turn soft and rubbery. 
COMING SOON....
More lettuce, basil, sweet corn, broccoli and more!
Paul and John helping to pick up the last load of green beans.  They will do just about anything as long as they don't have to wear shoes and can ride in the back of the truck.

News From the Farm

This time of year is exciting and frankly a little intimidating for us.  We have tomatoes that are starting to have a few ripe fruits. Zucchini and cukes are at their peak, and then we have our onions that need to be harvested and cured,  We grow a fair amount of onions (about 80,000 plants were transplanted)- so the task is not a small one.  Like our garlic it takes a good sized crew to bring in the crop, along with everything else that needs regular attention.  We will start harvesting the onions on Thursday and will devote most of the day working until 6 or 7 pm with a crew of 7-9 people. We hope to get our shallots, cippollini and sweet onions harvested and brought to the high tunnel to cure.  This leaves us with the yellow and red storage onions that will take another day or two to get harvested- we will probably start those next week.

After the tops of the onions are completely dried down and cured we will bring them into the packing shed for storage where we will begin the process of cleaning and sorting them for your boxes and sale.  A few years ago we bought an onion cleaner/topper that removes the tops mechanically.  This machine has saved us a bunch of time and labor costs and has allowed us to grow more onions for your boxes.

Despite opening the door to peak season and the pressing needs of the crops we are in the process of building a new greenhouse. So this week we began tearing the old one down.  We plan to pour concrete at the the end of August and begin building the new one in September..  Frankly, I wonder if we are a little silly do this project during peak season.  But since we want to use the existing site, there is no other time of the year to do it.  We transplanted our last broccoli crop Monday and began to take the old greenhouse down within the hour of the last plants being removed. 

A new greenhouse has been long over due for us- we have been using the same 12x42 foot greenhouse since we started with half an acre and 10 CSA members- now we have 28 acres and 500 Members.  We have made it work and have had to make some adjustments and sacrifices to what we grow. But the new one will be 26x72 and will be on a concrete slab and will allow us to use it for curing our onions instead of our high tunnel- so we can grow more successions and longer season crops in the high tunnel.  It is sad to see our little greenhouse go but we are so looking forward to a larger more efficient space!

As a result of the greenhouse project we will not be hosting the annual Pizza Picnic- we are in construction mode and machinery and debris is/will be plentiful.    To be honest it isn't just about the debris and construction mess- it is also a little about preserving our health and sanity.  Preparing for a pizza picnic for 150 people is no small task and we just didn't feel that we would survive it during peak season. We have had many people inquire about this beloved event and we know there will be many of you who are disappointed but we will be taking a year off and we hope it will return in 2016.

We wish you well and happy eating,
Cate & Mat

Bulletin Board

 

Reminder that August 1st second check payments will be deposited on the first business day (August 3rd). 

Rescheduling a delivery:

New this season, we are allowing members to reschedule, one time only,  to an alternate week to accommodate travel and vacation.  Or you can choose to postpone and double your next delivery.   We must be notified of your intent to reschedule or postpone delivery by 8 am on the Monday of your normally scheduled delivery week.  There will be no exceptions to this deadline.  We are happy to offer this to members, but it has been taking a significant amount of time to track and manage the changes so to help please be sure to include the following:  Name, share size, delivery schedule (weekly or EOW group), pickup site, relevant dates

Newsletter Archive: Sometimes despite our best efforts our newsletters don't make it to your inbox, never fear our newsletters are archived on our website.  We usually have the newsletter done late Wednesday evening and they are immediately archived and accessible on our website:  http://ridgelandharvest.com/newsletter-archive/

MEMBER HANDBOOK: You can read it through our website under our "newsletters" tab for 2015: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=2c8787a9f015805c236a13570&id=d01ceeae19

 
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