Monday, August 13, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 14 August 2012 - Delivery #9

Hello everyone!

This is delivery #9, which means we have officially reached the half-way point of our CSA!  I can't believe it; it feels as though we've just begun, and I don't feel half-way worn out yet!  I get asked a lot when the last CSA delivery is, so I (finally) looked it up: October 9.  That's when your Tuesdays will get a lot less exciting!

This weekend we have been fortunate to have Lisa's friend Sarah visiting us from Montreal; here's a photo of the two of them with a loaded table at the Lunenburg Farmer's Market on Thursday morning!

Thanks, Sarah, for all your cheerful help!

One piece of housekeeping for the members of Halifax - Mid East Food Centre pick-up.  This group seems to keep getting bigger, and since the bags are not in an ideal location (usually under the exhaust from a stand-up cooler) and Salaam has been very kind in not minding thus far, we thought we'd stay one step ahead and see if anyone would be willing to switch to Nurtured (2571 Robie Street) pick-up instead.  The hours are shorter (1-5), but if you can make it work we'd really appreciate it.  Email me and let me know if this is a possibility for you!

Just a reminder to wipe out your bags before you return them if possible: we had to wash a few that were getting smelly this week!

A rare moment when everyone was working in the same part of the field: Lisa and Sarah picking cucumbers, workshares Anna, Kyle, and friend Carl picking beans, and Jon weeding (and myself, photographing!).

One of the hazards of the job!
The other day, Jon and I heard a loud scream from one of the greenhouses.  We yelled "You okay?" and because she laughed as she responded, we knew Lisa was alright.  She had gotten tangled in a spiderweb, which although it sounds like a girlish thing to scream about, I think it totally justified when the spiders look like this:

This is a "Writing Spider" a.k.a. "Corn Spider" or "Garden Spider".  It's known as a Writing Spider because the middle of its' web contains a zig zag of spider threads that almost look like writing.  The zig zag is to warn and deter birds and small animals from running into the web: though some of these are big enough I think a bird would be just an appetizer!  Lisa and I hate them and Jon is busy relocating them throughout the fields.  Apparently their bite is harmless, but I don't want to get close enough to find out.  They are fascinating enough that I took photos of this one and even looked it up on Wikipedia!

The chickens were kind enough to pose for me the other day: I ended up with some great shots and thought I'd share them with you!  3 out of 4 of these chickens are busy laying eggs for the egg shares, some of which are winding up now-- which means that if any of you want to sign on again (or for the first time) we should be able to squeeze in 5 dozen in the next 8 weeks.  Email me if you're interested!

One last note: we have four young roosters that we would love to get rid of.  Most still need a little bit of growing until they're fit for the soup pot, so if you or someone you know needs a new a new guy in their lives, let me know!

In your basket this week:
Here's a recipe that makes use of your potatoes as well as your weekly herb (have you noticed we send you a different herb every week?  It's because we think herbs are great, people don't use them enough, and fresh farm herbs are far superior!)
RECIPE: German-Style New Potatoes
1-2 lbs baby potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1  Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate).
2 Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
3 Add potatoes and sauté until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes.
4 Season with salt and pepper.
5 Transfer to bowl.
6 Sprinkle with parsley.

We're sending you an abundance, because we're guessing that you love fresh cucumbers as much as we do!  Seriously, we've been eating them every day, and I think I even saw Lisa and Sarah eating them for breakfast!  Our standby is a cucumber and tomato salad, with balsamic vinegar.  Simple, but so fresh and delicious!  If you want to get fancy or you have guests coming over, how about a cucumber slice on a cracker with some cream cheese or goat cheese?  I even love cucumbers on my sandwiches- much heartier than plain ol' lettuce!

We thought it was going to rain on us picking blueberries, but the weather held and the ridiculous humidity maintained.  We hope you are not yet tired of berries, but if you are, throw these in the freezer for those February blues!  The man who owns the farm where we pick gave me some good instructions: If you are going to have blueberry pancakes, make your pancakes plain and then heat maple syrup with blueberries in it.  It keeps your pancakes from being soggy!

At the beginning of the season, I love beans just steamed with butter on top.  By the second month of eating beans, I feel the need to be a little more creative.  Try steaming your beans until perfectly tender, and then throwing them in an ice bath (cold water with ice in it) to stop the cooking process.  They are interesting cooked but served cold.  I love throwing them in salads, like tomato-cucumber salad or potato salad.  If you have a can of beans in the pantry, or the patience to cook some dry beans, why don't you make a four- or five- (or more!) bean salad.

I used to think parsley was boring, but now I know it's just underrated.  Parsley is such a great, fresh taste, and when it's fresh from the farm it's never wilty or bitter, like I remember from previous encounters with this herb.  It shouldn't be confined to just a garnish, either!  It adds great flavour to soups, stocks, salads, stir-frys; basically anything you can think of!  It can even be used to freshen your breath, after you consume that garlic and onion in your basket!

YAY!  I'm so happy to be sending you the first of our tomatoes this week.  We've had some, but not enough to supply all of our CSA members yet, so this week you are getting an assortment of full-size and cherry-size heirloom tomatoes.  If you're wondering what makes a tomato an "heirloom", it's basically an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) tomato whose fruit has fallen out of favour with conventional, large scale growers for various reasons (generally they have thinner skins so do not ship long distances well, are usually less productive and do not produce uniform fruit- all the things favoured by the boring grocery store shelves). 
These are the delicious tomatoes you had as a kid but can't seem to find anymore!

Here's a brief introduction to some of the tomatoes you may meet in your bag:
Sungold (orange, round)
Yellow pear
Red grape
Red cherry
Black cherry (pale maroon with dark shoulder)
Green doctor (yellowish-green and round)
Matt's Wild Cherry and Currant Tomato (pea-sized and red)
Sunkist Slicer (BRIGHT orange, round)
Orange Blossom (orange, round)
Cherokee Purple and Black Krim (purply/green, eliptical or round shape)
Indigo Rose (black shoulder, orange bottom)
Speckled Roman (oblong red with green/yellow stripes)
San Marzano Roma (oblong red)
Moneymaker (red, round)

Onion accompany all the great things you're cooking this week!

Full-size shares also get:
I couldn't get my head around kale when I thought of it as a leaf, but when I thought of it as more like broccoli, somehow, it made sense.  It's heartier than any other leaf you can eat, and more nutritious, too!  As I've said before, I enjoy it best raw, chopped finely with a tangy vinagrette.  And lots of nuts and seeds!

I love how sweet and mild leeks are compared to onions.  That being said, you should feel free to substitute them in recipes that call for onion.  A lot of people who can't stand onion go for leeks; they'd be great sauteed with your kale and some garlic!


We'll be having a garlic festival at the end of October that all you garlic lovers should attend!  In addition to learning all about garlic, we'll also be showing you how to plant, and teaching you different harvesting, storage and cooking methods!  More info on this to follow; for now, enjoy our delicious juicy garlic!

Our turkeys have taken to the trees at night, which makes them hard to put away but funny to watch when it's not me who has to do it!

Watershed Farm hosts workshops from time to time and there is one coming up that some of you may be interested in attending.  If you grow vegetables in your own gardens or are interested in doing so, this is an opportunity to hear from one of Canada's leading lights in organic agriculture, David Cohlmeyer.   Please help us spread the word by sending on the attached flyer to anyone you can think of who may be interested.

Have a great week!

Teri Dillon

Watershed Farm
768 Allen Frausel Road
Baker Settlement, Nova Scotia
B4V 7H8
c. 902.212.2301 | p. 902.685.3901
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