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The Weekly Weeder

June 23, 2016
Stir-Fry Box!

Weekly shares and Tomato EOW Group
Our sons Paul and John enjoying the view on a nice summer evening.

Box Contents and Tips

  • Bok Choi: It's time to invite some friends over for a big stir fry!  Store in plastic bag until used.  Entire plant is edible, though the stalks are best to use with a little of the green top for nice texture.  Don't overcook the Choi or it will become limp and mushy.
  • Broccoli: Small shares 1.5#; Standard shares 3#; Doubles 6#.  Store in plastic bag until used.  Delicious in stir fry, cold salads, quick side dish.
  • Cilantro: 1 small bunch Small Shares; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles.  Remove rubber band and thoroughly wash bunch and lay out on towel to dry or put into a salad spinner. 
  • Garlic Scapes: 1 small bunch Smalls; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles.  This is the flower stalk that is appearing on the garlic that we pick off to redirect the plants energy into bulb development.  Entire scape is edible.  Great mild garlic flavor to be eaten raw, made into garlic pesto, or put into your cooking.  Store in plastic bag to avoid rubbery scapes.  
  • Lettuce, Green Romaine: 1 head Standards & Doubles A very large head of lettuce ready for your weekend entertainment for 10!  Type in "romaine lettuce recipes"
  • Lettuce, Red Romaine: 1 head Smalls & Doubles  Cut bottom core to release the leaves, wash thoroughly, shake out excess moisture, store in salad spinner, plastic bag or Tupperware.
  • Pea Shoots - 1 small bunch Small Shares; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles.  The Food Network recommends preparing shoots by snipping off any "thick stems and chop tendrils and leaves as desired. Pea shoots may be used raw in salads or stirred into hot dishes (such as soups or stir-frys) at the last minute."  Use within a few days as they are perishable.  Store in salad spinning or plastic bag.
  • Radishes, French Breakfast: 1 small bunch Smalls; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles.  We like to immediately cut off the radishes from the greens, rinse the roots and place into a plastic bag until eaten.  They have a nice spice to them due to the hot days.     
  • Scallions (or green onions): 1 small bunch Small Shares; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles.  Use raw in salads of all kinds or cook lightly to retain onion flavor.  The entire plant is edible though commonly the white portion and thick green portion of the leaves are used (discarding the wimpier tips of the plant).  Will keep in plastic bag for several weeks until used. 
  • Strawberries!! Shares may have quarts or pints equivalent to:  3 pints Small shares; 6 pints Standards; 9 pints Doubles.  Everyone has received pints from last week's picking and Monday's picking, which was our last picking.  Eat them up soon as they are perishable. Store in the refrigerator.
COMING SOON...Sugar Snap Peas, Kohlrabi, Baby Turnips, Broccoli, Swiss Chard, and Zucchini along with a whole lot more!
Nathanial and Derek harvesting garlic scapes.  We pick the scapes to force the garlic plant to put energy into the bulb, thereby we will have larger bulbs.  Full crew pictures are a challenge as we have some really nice Amish neighbors who work for us and they don't want their pictures taken.  So you will only see a few of our crew members in the newsletters.  But you should know that there are many hands at work to bring your your food.

News From the Farm

It's been a much smoother week as we had all hands on deck for the harvest.  Last week we were plagued with mechanical issues as THREE vehicles had stuck calipers and brake line problems, all on different days of course.  And half of our crew was busy harvesting strawberries 4 times last week to keep ahead, the heat ripening them and adding to the intensity of the week.  We know berries are very popular, but we're happy to see the berry season come to an end, and allow more help to harvest other crops.  From about a 1/2 acre we harvested a total of 7,192 pints of strawberries- wow that is a record for us, and we are happy to share the bounty with you.  We are proud to give our standard shares 6 pints of berries and allow members to pick free.  Not all farms take sharing the bounty to this extent.

What else are we doing on the farm this week, besides harvesting?  Mat and Derek were busy preparing fields for more transplanting of second succession crops of cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant and swiss chard; another succession of broccoli and lettuce too which we hope to transplant on Friday! Cate seeded more sweet corn.  With the warm weather Mat will be on pest and disease control duty- continually scouting the crops, monitoring bug populations, life stages, searching for any signs of disease and applying the best organic control depending on situation.  Thursday while Steve and Craig are on delivery the rest of the crew will be picking up row cover, trellising tomatoes and working in the greenhouse.

We love the work and the endless list of things that need our attention.  But mostly we love sharing our food with you.  We hope that you are able to make use of all the produce.  We have found that those who are able to freeze, can, ferment, dry or generally preserve the extras are the ones who get the most value from our CSA.  Doing this doesn't take much time if done in small batches and will allow you to save money and eat locally all winter.  We put a lot of energy in to getting this food to you, and want to help you eat well all year.  If you aren't familiar with fermentation, canning, drying and freezing, there are a lot of great resources out there, so take a little time to check them out and give it a try.  Many people join a CSA to try to change their eating habits and that is a great first step.  The second step is finding ways to change your cooking habits.  The third step is preserving some of this wonderful food to change your shopping habits.

Eat Well -
Cate & Mat

Bulletin Board

Not getting our emails?  We suscribe everyone who joins or CSA to our mailing list.  We investigate bounced emails.  Beyond that we cant do much else to make sure your are getting our newsletters.  It is your responsibilty to check all your SPAM filters- both with your service provider, your antivirus  program, and your email program.  You also need to make certain csa@ridgelandharvest.com is listed as a safe sender in all your filters.

If you are still not receiving our newsletters try resubitting your email address to our mailing list on our website (the form to do so is on the bottom right of the homepage of our website), they can also be downloaded from our website here: 
http://ridgelandharvest.com/newsletter-archive/

Member Handbook:  if you have questions about how to pickup your box the answers can probably be found in this document.  You can download it here:  http://ridgelandharvest.com/newsletter-archive/

Having someone else pickup your box?  make certain they take only the box with your name on the label.  When people take the wrong box it causes a chain reaction of trouble for many people.  The system is simple.  Look at the labels and take the correct box.  Please,  Please if you are having someone else pickup your box help them to understand this small but critical step.

Rescheduling Delivery:  We are happy to reschedule your boxes to allow you to travel and still reap the full reward of our CSA.  However, tracking the requests is very time consuming  we serve 500 members.  So we ask that you provide the following information when you are rescheduling your delivery: 
1. Name of the primary member,
2. pick up site,
3. share size,
4. delivery schedule (weekly or EOW), 
5. if applicable your EOW group (garlic or tomato), 
6. the date you will be gone
7. the date you want your share delivered.

Having all of the above information saves Mat a lot of time in making certain your share in delivered when you want it.


 
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