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The Weekly Weeder

August 14, 2014
Onions harvested and curing in our high tunnel - this picture shows about 1/2 of this years crop.  We finished harvesting them Wednesday after CSA boxes were packed.  They now fill the high tunnel!  The onions will spend 1-2 weeks drying until they are fully cured.  Then they will be moved to the shed where they will be run through our onion topper, sorted and packed into your boxes.

Box Contents and Tips

Box #10:  This is a Orange EOW Group

Salsa Box!

  • 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, 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:  The first planting has ended and the second planting begun, though a smaller planting so there won't be as much.  Store in warmer part of refrigerator or on counter top.  Prefers about 50-55-degrees
  • Cucumbers:   The last cukes for a while - we picked the last of this first planting so there is a variety of sizes in your box. Still good just not so perfect.  Store in plastic bag in refrigerator.
  • Cherry Tomato Mixture:  Store at room temperature.  Use as they become ripe.  You will see some residue of Copper (bluish color) as we us this to control blight.  This is approved for organic use, but you will want to be certain to wash prior to eating
  • Slicing Tomato Mixture:   Store at room temperature.  Use as they become ripe.  You will see some residue of Copper (bluish color), as we us this to control blight.  This is approved for organic use, but you will want to be certain to wash prior to eating. 
  • Eggplant Asian and/or Globe:  Store in plastic bag in refrigerator to prevent it from becoming rubbery.  Try it thickly sliced oiled salted and grilled- makes a great sandwich.
  • Kale, Green Curly:  Store in plastic bag in refrigerator. 
  • Cilantro:  remove rubber band.  Store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in refrigerator or upright in a jar of water as you would a bouquet.
  • Peppers:  Hot wax (yellow), Jalapeno, Green Bell.  Store in 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.
  • Onions, Spanish:  This is still fresh so 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.  We will have more corn in the next few boxes and  the second planting looking better than this first one.

Coming Soon (in the next box or so): 
More Carrots, Sweet Corn and Slicing Tomatoes - plus cabbage, beets and leeks.

Bulletin Board

Bulk Purchase Opportunities:
   Kale:  Red, Green or Lacinato:  12 bunches for $18
- specify which variety when ordering
   Beets:  10 pounds $15
   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!  We are working on the menu and details.  We hope to email you more information before the next box.

 Archived Newsletters are available here

News From the Farm

The last week has been a very productive week.  The shock of the peak season is starting to dissipate and our muscles are operating from memory- and oh what a pleasant memory it is.   The smell of curing onions, ripening tomatoes and air perfumed with cilantro is almost heaven.  Financially August can be a tight month for a CSA farm, but we certainly feel rich looking at the bounty of our harvest and seeing our coolers start to fill.

This year in particular has been a great year, in part to having an excellent crew.  The last couple of years our crew failed to fully mesh and partly based upon some poor hiring choices.  The nature of our work demands that people we hire are not only capable of doing the job but also have personalities that compliment the rest of the crew.  It seems this year we have struck gold with everyone we have hired!

We have Craig and Aquilino who have been with us for 7 years- they are the pillars that have held up our farm through some very difficult years and words fail to describe what they mean to us.  Aquilino's brother Noe has joined us this year.  He brings several years of produce experience and has been a really nice companion for his older brother.  I swear making great bunches with such speed must be a genetic trait.

Jess who was with us last year is now running the packing shed as well as helping out wherever she is needed.  Having a good person to rely on in the shed has been a blessing for our farm and a huge load off Cate and my backs- we finally  have time to manage other aspects of our bustling farm.  Jess has a demanding and critical job and she is doing it with grace and a great sense of humor. 

We do have a few greenhorns on the crew this year and they are all doing a great job and complement the other personalities beautifully. Nikki has been a good addition and it is nice to have someone who is always willing to do what is asked and sees the importance of doing the job correctly.  Along with Nikki, this is Tanja's first year and she has been steady, level headed and an amazing person who we only have to explain something to once.  She just gets it and digs in to get things done.  Finally, Emily comes in a couple days a week mostly to help Jess in the shed (and make certain that no one get too out of line).  She has a farm and large family of her own and is able to have twenty things asked of her and she still manages to make certain Jess doesn't get too serious.  

The one thing I noticed about our crew as we were packing your boxes tonight is that they seem to enjoy their time together and like to have fun while they work.  Let's be honest, the work we do is not glamorous and is often repetitive, difficult and mundane.  Because of the nature of our work it is crucial that we have good people to do it with.  Cate and I hope that everyone will be able to join us again next year and for many years to come.  We couldn't bring you these bountiful boxes of clean fresh produce with out their dedication and hard work. 
Happy Eating!
Cate & Mat
Bringing in the Onion Crop- our full crew plus help from some terrific Amish neighbors and our nanny Fiona- who is a joy for us and the boys.
Copyright © 2014 Ridgeland Harvest, All rights reserved.

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