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The Weekly Weeder

July 21, 2016
Weekly shares and Tomato EOW Group
The picture above is of our slicing tomatoes.  Note the living mulch between the rows.  We plant clover or annual rye as a living mulch- this helps to reduce soil loss.  The picture directly below is of our paste tomatoes.  And the third one is of our cherry tomatoes.

Box Contents and Tips

  • Basil: 1 small Small; 1 large Standards; 2 large Doubles.  We like to store it in a vase out on the counter top - give the ends a fresh cut first.  When basil is stored too cold (refrigerators) it can turn black and immediately rot.  Please note you'll need to wash your basil prior to use as the rains have splattered the under leaves with soil.
  • Broccoli:  0.6 pounds Small; 1.25 pounds Standards; 2.5 pounds Doubles.  Store in plastic bag until used. 
  • Carrots: 1 pound Small; 2 pounds Standards; 4 pounds Doubles. The first of the season!  Store in plastic bag - will keep for months this way!
  • Cucumbers: 6 for Smalls; 12 for Standards; 20 for Doubles.  The cucumbers are almost done....so enjoy them as they last.  Try something new this week - there are lots of cucumber recipes on the internet including some interesting drinks!  Or if you haven't already, make a batch of easy refrigerator pickles. 
  • Eggplant: 1 for Shares; 2 for Standards; 8 smalls for Doubles.  Try making an easy cracker spread called Babaganoush or a batch of Ratatouille with your peppers and zucchini. Remember they don't like to be stored too cold, so be careful they aren't put into the back of your refrigerator.          
  • Pepper, Green Bell:  1 for Shares; 2 for Standards; 2-3 for Doubles.  Store in a plastic bag in your refrigerator until used. You may have to cut a little bad spot off, but the peppers are all usable.
  • Pepper, Jalapeno: 1 Smalls; 2 Standards; 3 Doubles.  These have good spice to them this year.  If you don't like a lot of spice, cut in half and remove the seeds, and use half if you like.  Store in plastic bag to avoid softening.  Stored cold but humid they will keep for weeks!
  • Scallions: 1 small Small; 1 large Standards; 2 large Doubles. Use as you would green onions - raw or lightly cooked.
  • Swiss Chard: 1 small Small; 1 large Standards; 2 large Doubles. Entire leaf is edible.  Strip leaves away from stems, then chop stems and cook first, then add leaves last. 
  • Tomatoes, Cherry: Just the start!  0.34 pounds Smalls; 0.7 pounds Standards; 1.4 pounds Doubles.  Remove from plastic bag, wash thoroughly, then leave out on the counter top until fully ripened - then use! 
  • Tomatoes, Slicers: 0.6 pounds Smalls; 1 pound Standards; 2 pounds Doubles.  Remove from plastic bag, wash thoroughly then leave on the counter top to fully ripen - then use!  
  • Zucchini - combination of green, gold and patty pan (round)4 count Smalls; 6 count Standards; 8 count DoublesStore on your counter top to avoid rubbery zucchini's. 
COMING SOON:  More Tomatoes, Peppers, Carrots....Savoy Cabbage, Cured Garlic, Green Beans, and lots more!

Video of the Week

Washing cuccumbers on the brush washer
A video this week is of some of our crew washing, sorting and counting cucumbers on the brush washer.  Yes counting all of those cukes. We harvest them by the pallets and count them one by one.  If we don't count them then we don't know how many each share should recieve.

News From the Farm

It's been a wet first part of the week, and we'll end it with hot temperatures.  With the wet weather comes humidity, and things aren't drying very easily, making field work a challenge.  We are thankful to have worked hard last week and over the weekend to seed our fall carrots and beets before Sunday evening when over 2.5 inches of rain fell!  The ground was wet and not ideal to dig our first planting of carrots, but they were predicting heavy rains (up to 4 inches) for Tuesday evening, so we spent half the day harvesting carrots.  Luckily, the weather predictions didn't come true and Wednesday was a hot, humid, sunny day. 

The wet conditions this past month - rains, heavy dews, high humidity - have destroyed our first planting of beans.  We were able to give some beans last week, though they didn't hold up very well.  Luckily we have more beans in full flower and they are looking great! 

In wet, hot and humid seasons it can mean a lot of disease trouble on plants.  Just like people, plants don't like to be wet for too long.  Blights, fungal spores, powdery mildew and other diseases can quickly become a problem as they spread easily.  How have we protected plants for a season like this? 
1. Good ventilation is very important so the plants can dry during the day.  We do this by keeping our fields weed-free as much as possible and planting at the correct spacing.
2. Our ridge farm has a breeze on most days of the year, and when it's humid we are happy for our farm's location. 
3.  We protect our tomatoes, very susceptible to blights on leaves and fruits, with organically approved fungicides including copper sulfate and hydrogen peroxide to kill fungal spores. 
4.   We also use good harvesting practices and stay away from our tomato and beans when they are wet.

Despite our best efforts sometime we just have to accept that mother nature is in charge and make the best of our conditions.  Whether that means working in the sticky heat or having beans and lettuce that are less than perfect.  For us we find some strange comfort doing all we can do, but accepting the fact that we can't control everything. I think the strain of falsely believing we can control everything would cause us to break.

We hope you enjoy this early summer box.

Eat well everyone -
Cate & Mat
The Strange Vegetable Lottery!
On occasion we come across a funny shaped or colored vegetable.  To encourage people to read the newsletter and simply for fun,
we play a game called The Strange Vegetable Lottery. 
Here is how it works: we take a picture of said vegetable and put it in the newsletter and we put the vegetable in a random box.  If you receive this strange looking vegetable you must take a picture of it and email it to us at csa@ridgelandharvest.com.  Once we have photographic evidence that you received the same strange vegetable shown in the newsletter you will receive a prize in your next box.

So these weeks vegetable is this beautiful twin eggplant.  If you get this in your box, send us a pic and you will receive a fabulous prize!

Bulletin Board

Bulk Purchase Opportunities!
To order: send us an email with your order request, name & pick-up site by Monday 12:00 pm (noon) for delivery on Thursday.  Then mail your check to the farm!
BASIL,12 bunches $18  -- great for pesto lovers & drying.
SWISS CHARD,
12 bunches $18 -- great for freezing!
CURED GARLIC, 5 pounds $30 -- porcelain hard neck varieities
                            10 pounds $60
 
Farm Email:  csa@ridgelandharvest.com
Farm Address: E5538 Nelson Road, Viroqua, WI 54665 

Not getting our emails?
  We subscribe 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 responsibility 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 resubmitting 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 is delivered when you want it.  Thank you!!
Member Submissions
Send us your pictures and meal ideas. We will put your pictures, recipes/ideas  this section of the newsletter.
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps from Robyn in La Crosse
Pesto noodles with garlic, onion, zucchini, broccoli. Delicious, healthy, and quick! from Robyn in La Crosse
Copyright © 2016 Ridgeland Harvest, All rights reserved.


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