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Week 10 Newsletter (August 24, 2017)

Life [and your CSA box!] is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. – Forrest Gump

Zinnias!

Week 10 Crop List

  • Sweet corn – all

    Week 10 Box

  • Squash – all
  • Cucumbers – all
  • Potatoes – all
  • Basil (pesto bunch) – all
  • Red lettuce – all
  • Peppers – all
  • Zucchini – all
  • Eggplant – single/half
  • Scallions – full/single
  • Zinnias – single
  • Tomatoes – full

Farmer Notes

  • Sweet corn for the next several deliveries
  • Tomatoes for all for the next 5 weeks
  • Some potatoes come every week, these are still uncured and right from the ground – eat them soon or keep refrigerated
  • Hot peppers and melons still inching along
  • Read about the purple Italian basil in ‘veg of the week’
  • We have had nice rains the last 2 weeks now
  • We are weeding the leeks, carrots and parsnips now
  • Cucumbers are showing signs of letting up
  • Please leave your blue name on your boxes
  • Wash all your produce before you eat it
  • On vacation? Make sure someone picks up you produce

Sweet, sweet, sweet corn

Sweet corn out in the field

Samson and I took turns at two-hour intervals Tuesday night to walk around our sweet corn patch.  We were looking to distract any raccoons that may have been trying to get into our precious commodity.  You know that coons like sweet corn; I mean, they really like sweet corn!  They can smell when the kernels are plump and juicy and they are not a bit shy about going after what they want.

We always grew sweet corn growing up on the farm, I think all farmers did, and probably still do.  Our patch was not in our main garden, since it required more space, so we had it in the field somewhere alongside the regular corn.  Some years we had an electric fence around it, often a radio, and on more than one occasion a dog and doghouse.  One particular year I remember Dad saying, “That sweet corn is looking so good this year, tomorrow it should be perfect to harvest.”  The next morning, we saw that it had been devastated by an army of raccoons.  Dad was so angry and his face told us his feelings, ‘why does nature, God and the animal world all conspire to inflict such pain.’  He got over it, as we all did that year, but I learned not to underestimate the cunning of a coon.  Now we have a three-wire fence connected to a hefty solar panel that puts out a decent jolt.  And still I wonder and worry on the night before harvest… and periodically get up to check and make sure.

Enjoy your corn and the rest of this week’s box!

Vegetable of the Week: Red Rubin Basil (with bonus Antipasto recipe from Cornelia!)

A bed of basil at Earth Dance Farm

This week’s vegetable of the week is Red Rubin Basil. Contrary to its name, Red Rubin is actually a deep purple color and can be used in a pesto or as a delicious garnish for quinoa, noodles, rice, salads, and roasted vegetables. It has been cultivated for over 5,000 years across the globe and is a member of the large mint family, or Lamiaceae family. This family also includes other culinary herbs such as rosemary, sage, and lavender. Basil has long been used in culinary traditions, but its implementations are wide ranging. In ancient Egypt, basil was found in tombs and mummies likely having been used as a preserving herb. Furthermore, basil has also had a strong presence in some traditional medicine practices including that of ancient India.

Today, research has shown that the essential oil of basil possesses antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. It is used in perfumes, incenses, and holistic remedies. For cooking the leaves are often added at the last moment to preserve the plants strong flavor. This is because cooking can diminish its potency. Read more cooking tips about basil here.

Pesto

  1. Combine 2 cups fresh packed basil leaves, 2 cloves of garlic, and ¼ cup pine nuts (other tree nuts work as well) in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add ½ cup of oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. If using immediately, add 1/3 cup more oil and process until smooth. Mix in cheese in large serving bowl if desired.
  3. If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months.

This recipe can also be done by chopping the ingredients and placing them in a blender. For those with allergies or food intolerances, remove the tree nuts or cheese. Enjoy!

Bonus recipe from our member Cornelia, thanks Cornelia!

Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Antipasto

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. thyme and rosemary each
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Slice zucchini and eggplant in 1 cm rounds, cut bell pepper into 4-6 pieces and place on a baking sheet single layer. Roast them at 355 degrees F. for at least 30 minutes until slightly brown.

Meanwhile in a bowl mix together olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, spices and herbs. Add roasted veggies and mix so that every piece is well covered.

Let mixture marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours. You can also marinade up to a week in the fridge: place in a jar, then fill up with Olive oil. Enjoy!

How do you use Earth Dance Farm basil? What other recipes have you all been using? We would love to see and hear how our produce is prepared! Snap a pic and share it on Facebook or Instagram, or email it to us at norm.the.farmer@gmail.com. Enjoy your box!

Meet the Farmer

We’ve recently had a few new additions to our crew here at the farm. As some of you may have read in a previous newsletter, summer interns Piper, Jillian, and Jo went back to school to begin a new academic year at their respective colleges. In place of them we now have two new interns to help out the rest of the season! In this week’s edition of Meet the Farmer we get to learn about Alex!

Alex amongst the zinnias

Hi, I am Alex, I am 23 years old and I was born and raised in Warner Robins, Ga. I grew up heavily involved in the boy scouts where I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Throughout my childhood and adulthood, I developed a love and passion for farming and ecology. In my free time I like to hike, run, kayak, and most of all travel to new places. I am currently a student graduating in the Fall of 2017, with a degree in Culinary Sustainability, and Hospitality from Kennesaw State University, located in Atlanta, Ga. What brought me to Earth Dance Farm was a desire to learn about sustainable farm practices and to get my hands dirty. I have been on the farm for a little over a week now and I am having a great time, and I’ve gotten to know some great people.

Enjoy your produce! Like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @EarthDanceFarm!

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