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Week 6 Newsletter (July 27, 2017)

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. – Aristotle

Morning Rainbow at Earth Dance Farm

Week 6 crop list:

  • Red beets – all
  • Romaine lettuce – all
  • Eggplant – all
  • Cucumbers – all
  • Cabbage – all
  • Kohlrabi – all
  • Zucchini and summer squash – all
  • Oregano – all
  • Cauliflower/Turnips – full, half
  • Popcorn – full, single
  • Radishes – full, single

Farmer notes:

  • We could use some good old sunshine and hot summer weather
  • We are trying to transplant our fall brassicas into the field
  • We are one third finished with the summer season already
  • Green beans missed the cut for this week – everyone receives them in the week 7 box
  • We gave you oregano this week since it pairs well with the summer squashes, next week will be dill for the cucumbers
  • Eggplant or zucchini are excellent thinly sliced the long way, oiled and seasoned and put on the grill – top with parmesan or pesto
  • Enough already on the radishes – we will bring them back in the fall
  • One more week of cauliflower, kohlrabi and cabbage
  • 2 to 3 weeks until the potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers will be ready
  • Cucumbers are great in salt or vinegar, tossed in a salad or creamed
  • Check out our Facebook page for a video on how to use the popcorn
  • Remember to return our boxes, ice packs and egg cartons
  • Wash all your produce before you eat it
  • Thanks for being such awesome members!!!

Black plastic mulch

Eggplant and tomatoes thriving on black plastic mulch

Melons growing on black plastic mulch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently our week here on the farm can be summarized something like this:

  • Monday – weeding, hoeing, irrigation and planting, some harvesting
  • Tuesday – harvesting and washing for the Thursday delivery
  • Wednesday – harvesting, washing, and packing the weekly boxes
  • Thursday – delivering produce, back to weeding, hoeing, and some planting
  • Friday – farm tasks, mowing, weeding, etc. and planting as needed

From mid-July until mid-August we are in the throes of weeding the fields.  If the crops are growing like crazy, then you know the weeds are growing like crazy on steroids.  Keeping weeds at bay is accomplished through a variety of means; hand weeding (the most fun for the interns), hand hoeing, mechanical cultivation, flame weeding, and the use of weed suppression such as plastic or straw mulch.  All these methods are employed here at EDF depending on the crop, the weed pressure, the time in the season and the soil condition.

We have utilized black plastic mulch to a greater degree the last two seasons since we purchased a machine that lays it into the field.  Its primary uses include weed suppression, soil moisture retention and the increase and constancy of soil temperature.  Crops are transplanted by hand into the plastic beds.  The space between the beds is mowed and the weeds/grass growing next to the plant is pulled by hand.  Drip irrigation is laid beneath the plastic by the machine and is used as needed. This system works particularly well for crops that love the heat such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and melons. Each of these crops are thriving this season growing under these conditions.  I had a recent Facebook comment to the affect that the eggplant did too well last season and ‘a guy can only eat so much eggplant.’ And yes, the eggplant has arrived in your boxes in full force this week with some banana peppers coming next week.  The bell peppers, tomatoes and melons are still a few weeks out.  We hope you are having a wonderful summer!

Vegetable of the Week: Summer Squash

Summer squash is out in force and that means it is time to feature them as our vegetable of the week. Summer squash comes in a variety of kinds including yellow squash, patty pan, and the most popular, zucchini. All varieties of summer squash have thin, edible skins and tender flesh. Summer squash is rich in vitamins and minerals including copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins B6, C, and K. Summer squash can be broiled, grilled, sautéed, baked, or used raw in a salad. Summer squash goes well with oregano so we recommend combining them in your dishes this week. Check out the recipes below to learn how to make Sautéed Summer Squash and Zucchini Bread!

Sautéed Summer Squash with Red Pepper and Onion

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ lbs summer squash cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 red pepper cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped oregano
  • Salt and pepper

What to do:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the onion.
  • Cook until tender stirring often
  • Add the garlic, summer squash, red pepper, and about 3/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the squash is translucent and the red pepper tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt. Stir in the oregano and remove from the heat.

Zucchini Bread

What you need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini with no seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon

What to do:

  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl
  • Add vegetable oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla
  • Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Then add to the large bowl and combine mixtures
  • Preheat oven to 3250F and bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes

If you’ve tried either of these recipes, we would love to see and hear how they turned out! Snap a pic and share it on Facebook or Instagram, or email it to us at norm.the.farmer@gmail.com. Enjoy your box!

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

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