Naturally Good News

New Terra Farm June 2007

Veggie Deliveries Started

The first veggie deliveries seemed to go well, only a small amount of chaos involved in figuring out who gets what, when, and where. We’ve been getting out pretty late in the day, especially on the Friday deliveries. We’re still working on the ‘pick and pack’ routine, and optimizing the run; we will start getting deliveries out sooner shortly.

We will shortly be setting up the web page with information about each week’s deliveries. Right now, for the next week or two, you can expect to see mostly salad stuff and greens, garlic scapes and occasionally broccoli (see Garden News).

Garden News

It’s been a tough spring for us gardening types, folks. Threatening frost one day and 31 degrees Celsius the next! With the lack of some good steady rains, we are irrigating 15-16 hours a day. Most of our plants came through the ups and downs OK, though they are sulking a little bit with the cool nights we are still getting. We lost some broccoli, lettuces and field greens to the rapid weather change; this kind of stress causes these plants to bolt (i.e. go to seed). So our supply may be limited until the next crop comes in (a week or two).

The root crops (carrots, beets, turnips) are showing low-average germination, so we have started more in successive plantings. Overall I estimate we are about 10 days to 2 weeks behind where we expect to be this time of year. I took a peek at our records; last year on June 23 we delivered our first sugar snap peas. While we have some on the vine right now, they are too small and too few for delivery.

But the good news is, the kale, chard and spinach are doing well, most of the bush beans look good, the pole beans are up, and we even have little eggplants, peppers and tomatoes on some of the plants. The cukes, zukes and squash plants look very strong (we still have them covered with row cover to provide extra warmth as well as insect protection), and they should produce a healthy crop. We may have a somewhat skimpy delivery or two in the next couple weeks, but more goodies are on the way, before Christmas I promise!

Home Garden Tip

Lets talk a little bit about the other side of gardening, i.e. the harvest. More specifically, I want to give you some tips on post-harvest handling of your veggies.

In general, we try to get our produce under shade and washed in cold water as soon as possible after picking. Then we remove excess water, and store in the fridge.

All lettuces and greens should be washed in cold water and the excess moisture removed before refrigeration. Salad spinners work well for this; the greens can also be hung up in mesh bags to dry. Put them up in a shady spot.

When we bag loose lettuce or field greens we tie the top of the bag and then poke a few holes in it with a fork. This helps excess moisture to escape.

Carrots, beets, and radishes will keep for quite a while in cold water, until you can refrigerate them. For longest keeping, remove the tops.

We wash our cukes and zukes with a damp cloth and then refrigerate. DO NOT refrigerate tomatoes; you will seriously affect the flavour. Just store them at room temperature out of direct sunlight.

By the way, you will notice that some of the tomatoes we bring you will be red ripe, and others in the same batch will be more orangey. We do this on purpose to ‘stretch out’ the life of the tomatoes. The orangey ones will ripen fully in a day or two if left on the counter out of direct sun.

Great kale recipe!

This recipe was forwarded to me by one of our fellow CSA members (thanks, Moira). It’s an original recipe using lots of great summer veggies including kale.

Peel and cut up a butternut squash

Wash kale, remove the ribs and chop it up.

Chop 2 onions, mince 4 cloves of garlic and cube a red pepper.

Microwave and then purée the squash

Steam the kale.

Sauté the onions with the minced garlic, and add a chicken bouillon cube and the water from steaming the kale (substitute your own chicken stock if you have it.)

Broil or barbecue 2 Italian sausages; while sausages are cooking, pour a cup of red lentils into the onion mixture and cook until the lentils are soft.

Add the chopped red peppers, the butternut squash purée, the two barbecued sausages, chopped, and the steamed kale.

Add a little cream, and serve.

Box order update

We are sold out of beef for the next little while; the response was good (and I’m keeping some for me!). More beef available later in the summer, let me know if you want some so we can determine how much to plan for.

We have a few chickens left from the last batch; more chicken and pork will become available in mid-July. We will have some more lamb available about the same time. Order early as we usually sell out.

Thanks for your patronage folks, we appreciate your support.

Scott and Suzie

Yet another New Terra Farm 'low-ku'

farmers face challenge
take inventory of sheep
without nodding off