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The Weekly Weeder

August 7, 2014
Zucchini.  We plant our first crop on silver plastic with one stripe of black.  The silver helps regulate the heat gain in order to control pests/insects.  The black allows for some heating to promote growth.  Our second planting is well underway, we harvested the first time from it on Monday.  For the second crop we plant on all silver.

Box Contents and Tips

Box #9:  This is a Blue EOW Group

  • Carrots!  These are a nice summer carrot, while not as sweet as our fall carrots, are still very good.  Keep in plastic bag in your refrigerator and use as you wish.  No need to peel these carrots, just rinse prior to use. 
  • Beans, Dragon Tongue:  Heirloom variety of bean that are exceptionally flavored!  Keep in plastic bag in refrigerator until used.  Simply snap off the little stem end, then lightly steam in salted water.  Beans loose their vivid purple color.
  • Beans, Green: Simply snap off the little stem end.  Keep in plastic bag in refrigerator until used
  • A mix of Zucchini - Gold and Green and/or Patty Pan:  This first planting is starting to fade.  Store in warmer part of refrigerator or on counter top.  Prefers about 50-55-degrees
  • Cucumbers: The first planting is starting to fade as can be seen by the increased ugliness of the cuke.  Still good just not so perfect.  Store in plastic bag in refrigerator.
  • Cherry Tomato Mixture:  Store at room temperature.  Use as they become ripe.
  • Kale, Red Curly:  Store in plastic bag in refrigerator. 
  • Dill:  remove rubber band and rewash (very dirty from the rain on Monday) and spin dry in salad spinner.  Store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in refrigerator or upright in a jar of water as you would a bouquet.
  • Radishes (red round or easter egg):  Real beauties! Use their leaves as a cooking green, similar to a mustard and turnip.  Store in a plastic bag in refrigerator
  • Garlic:  Asian Tempest is the variety- store on the counter. It is nice to have garlic for our CSA again after the crop failure last year.  We will have more garlic in the next boxes, but the best and most of our crop will be replanted as we continue to recover from the crop failure of 2013.
  • Scallions:  This is a new variety for us and is very large.  Let us know what you think of it  Store in a plastic bag in refrigerator.
  • Sweet Corn  We have to admit this first planting of corn is not our best.  We don't have a corn planter, so rows are closer than ideal, combined with too many seeds per foot makes for small ears.  Also the corn was tasseling during the brief dry spell, which affected the pollination.  However there is some nice corn, you just  might have to use it in another dish rather than as a featured item.  We will have more corn in the next few boxes and hopefully the second planting will be better than this first one.

Coming Soon (in the next box or so): 
More Onions, Carrots, Garlic, Sweet Corn and Slicing Tomatoes!

Bulletin Board

Bulk Purchase Opportunities:
   Cilantro, 12 bunches for $15
   Parsley, 12 bunches for $18
   Carrots, 25 pounds for $35

Please send us an email by Monday to receive your order along with your CSA delivery.  Send payment to the farm: E5538 Nelson Road, Viroqua, WI 54665

2nd Annual Pizza Party:  Saturday Sept 13, 2014.  Wagon rides, u-pick farm tour and amazing food by Luke Zahm of the Driftless Cafe- you don't want to miss this.... it will be a great time and amazing food!  More details soon.

 Archived Newsletters are available here

News From the Farm

Wow!  Our prayers for rain were answered Monday afternoon.  In the span of 1 hour we received 2.5 inches of rain.  Just before the deluge Cate was able to get some more fall crops planted.  The crew was in the middle of tomato harvest and was happy to come in to the barn to trim garlic.  Trimming garlic tends to be a welcome job for a hard working crew.  So between Mat turning off the spigot  (knowing he would get a full nights sleep) and the crew having a job that allowed them to sit rather than bend over, there was a small celebration in the barn. 

This is the transition time of the season.  The spring/early summer crops are waning as the peak summer crops are just coming ripe.  The tomatoes and sweet peppers are just beginning to blush, and we are starting to harvest onions for curing and storage.  This transition will be evident in the next couple of boxes as these crops slowly start to make their appearances.

For Cate and I, this is the time of year where we feel spread the thinnest.  Our lists are way too long for the amount of people and time we have to do them.  For the new members of the crew they really have no idea of what August and September are like on a produce farm.  And perhaps it is best that they don't know what is coming or they would run for the hills!  For us it means either sorting tomatoes, washing carrots or packing wholesale orders at 3 in the morning before our crew arrives.  The next two months mean 17- 20  hour days for us and 12 hour days for our crew.  This is the make or break time of year. The intensity of this time of year is what we have come to thrive on and the abundance of the harvest and sharing it with our customers is what we love. 

Happy Eating!
Cate & Mat
No matter how busy the season may be or being inundated with the needs of a full crew, Cate always has time for her boys.  Here she is with John
Share a Share
Meet Karen Foxgrover, a Partner Shares program participant and an active supporter of FairShare CSA Coalition.
More than 10 years ago, Karen experienced a change in income due to a disability, and could no longer afford the local, organic produce she loved so much. Eating well was especially important to Karen in dealing with her disability, so although she still made buying healthy food a priority, the cost became a burden.
One day while shopping at the Mifflin St. Co-op in Madison, WI, she came across a flyer for FairShare CSA Coalition’s Partner Shares Program, a cost-sharing program that helps low-income families join CSA farms. She thought, “Oh my goodness! Is this for real?” Karen asked around for more information and soon sent in her application.  She has been a CSA member ever since.
“The Partner Shares Program was enormous for me. I had a passion for really good healthy food, but I was buying organic only when I could afford it. Partner Shares came out and I could get a subsidy, and I could continue to eat and cook the food I loved.”
In addition to the financial aid she receives from FairShare, Karen is able to use her SNAP benefits towards her CSA box, making her produce even more affordable. Over the years she has been a member of Harmony Valley Farm and Driftless Organics, and has enjoyed the journey of exploring her CSA box throughout the years, with the help of FairShare’s From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.
“I didn’t know what to do with anything, how to cut it up, how to store it. The cookbook was a godsend. When I got a new vegetable and I loved it, I could share it with the whole world.”
Whether you’ve been a CSA member for a few months and find yourself fumbling through your box with curiosity, and maybe a little fear, or whether you are a seasoned CSA veteran, the desire to share the food you love with others is common ground. This summer, please consider sharing the bounty of the season with those in need by donating to the Partner Shares program. Your support can help bring fresh, healthy, local food to families in your community.
Share a Share today!
For more information about Partner Shares and how you can donate please visit FairShare’s website: 

Donation Options:
  1. Donate Online –OR–
  1. Donate by Mail
Please make checks payable to ‘FairShare CSA Coalition’ and mail donations to:
FairShare CSA Coalition
303 S. Paterson St. #1B
Madison, WI 53703
Copyright © 2014 Ridgeland Harvest, All rights reserved.

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