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Week 9 Newsletter (August 17, 2017)

Tell me and I will forget; Show me and I may remember; Involve me and I will understand.

Sunflowers!

Crop list

  • Kale – all

    Tom, Ruby, and Jillian amongst a bed of carrots.

  • Potatoes – all
  • Rosemary – all
  • Summer squash – all
  • Zucchini – all
  • Cucumbers – all
  • Red lettuce – all
  • Peppers – all
  • Purple basil – full/single
  • Apples – full
  • Eggplant – full
  • Sunflowers – full

Farmer notes

  • We are halfway through the summer csa season!
  • We received an inch of very needed rain last evening
  • Lettuce is a red summer crisp (Batavia) called Cherokee
  • Potatoes baked with the rosemary is a good call
  • Only bell peppers this week, but several hotter ones still to come
  • We are beginning to see some red in the tomato patch
  • Apples are best for baking or in salads
  • Sunflowers are best when looked at and not eaten J
  • Purple basil is an Italian large leaf variety
  • Should have sweet corn next week!
  • Tomorrow is our 2nd member work opportunity – will anyone be joining us for some fun in the field and lunch?
  • If you are on vacation, make sure you have someone pick up your produce
  • Please return our boxes, ice packs and egg cartons for reuse
  • Wash your produce before you eat it

Mid-Season Farm Report

My 21-yr. old daughter, Adriana, was over for supper last evening and we enjoyed some stuffed peppers, sugar snap peas and a beet/potato bake.  We also loaded her up with a dozen or so items for her apartment in Winnipeg.  She is a senior at the University of Manitoba after spending a year abroad in Madrid.  ‘Getting ready for school’ or ‘shopping for school supplies’ is a perennial signpost for the end of summer.  No doubt many of you are also readying young ones for the upcoming academic year.  Here at the farm the crops are also reliable signposts for the upcoming fall season.  Here is an update on the fields as we move into the second half of the year.

All in all, the crops are in decent to great shape and we have had a very good year of adequate soil moisture and no extreme weather.  All of fall transplants are in the field with the Napa cabbage, boc choy and iceberg lettuce going in this week.  We still have plenty of seeds to go into the soil yet: spinach, leaf lettuce, Asian greens, red Russian kale, braising mix etc.  The fall brassicas, carrots, beets and winter squashes are all growing nicely with minimal blight or deer damage.  The melons, sweet corn and tomatoes have been limping along with weeks of below 80-degree highs in the temperature department – these will be coming your way in the upcoming deliveries.  We are hoping to have sweet corn for you next week in box #10!  Our garlic was harvested on Monday and is hanging in our pole barn with fans to dry out for a few weeks.  Our main tasks at hand are continuing to weed (carrots, beets, Brussels, parsnips, fennel) and keeping up with all of the harvesting.  We look forward to the fall season and supplying you all with great produce.

Vegetable of the Week: Lettuce

Week 9 Box

Lettuce is a versatile crop that is grown throughout the growing season in several locations here at Earth Dance Farm. Like other transplants, lettuce starts as a seed in our greenhouse and is moved into the field as soon as it develops a strong enough root system. Due to cool Minnesota weather in the spring, lettuce is grown in the hoop house at the start of the growing season where it can remain warmer. Later in the season, during the summer and fall months, we grow lettuce out in the fields to ensure a steady supply throughout the CSA season.

This week’s lettuce is a red summer crisp (Batavia) called Cherokee. It has thick, crisp, dark red leaves with a long harvest window and high tolerance to heat. In addition to Cherokee, we also grow Romaine, leaf lettuces, and even Iceberg. The Romaine we grow, which has been given a handful of times this season already, is called Green Forest. It is a tall dark green crop that works well in our hoop house or out in the fields. The leaf lettuce we’ve given is a great salad mixture balanced with a variety of colors, textures, and flavors. It is planted by seed directly into the field. Finally, our Iceberg lettuce, known as Crispino, is a nice juicy addition to sandwiches. It was just planted earlier this week, so look for it later in the season!

Lettuces can be used in a variety of implementations during meals. A great go-to, and fail-safe way to use lettuce, is in a salad. You cannot go wrong combining lettuce with a selection of our other greens. Top it off with some balsamic vinaigrette or your favorite dressing for a delicious and nutritious dish. Another popular use for lettuces is in sandwiches, wraps, and burritos. Add it to a BLT, ham sandwich, bean burrito, veggie wrap or any of your favorites! A final suggestion is to make lettuce wraps. Instead of using lettuce within a tortilla, how about substituting the tortilla with a leaf of lettuce? Toss in some rice, beans, ground beef, quinoa, cheese, your favorite condiments and herbs, and pretty much anything you like. Wrap up the lettuce leaf and enjoy.

How do you use Earth Dance Farm lettuce? We would love to see and hear how our produce is used! 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

The past several weeks of Meet the Farmer have featured many of our interns and farm helpers for the summer season. We learned about the backgrounds and interests of Jillian, Piper, Jo, Tom, Samson, and Emily. Last week we even learned how to make pickles! Earth Dance Farm would certainly not be the same without the hardworking people who dedicate their time to grow the wide-range of produce we offer.

Although Earth Dance Farm is defined by the individuals growing the CSA’s crops, it wouldn’t be the same without all the animals to keep us company. At the farm, we have 3 dogs, several cats, horses, over 200 chickens, and neighboring cows to the north and south. Check out pictures of our furry friends below!

Cokie – constantly in motion

The always friendly Pipa

Ruby taking a nap

Clementine hangin out

Ponies Lena and Ollie in the pasture

Horses Leo and Odin in the pasture

Samson holding a chick

EDF chicken on an adventure

Barn cats waiting to be fed

A neighboring cow greeting Tom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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