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July 18, 2017

Posted 8/10/2017 7:24am by Don Kretschmann.

July 18, 2016

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

   We’d been anxiously waiting since the 4th of July to seed the fall carrots, beans, and beets as well as transplant cauliflower, cabbage, and the largest planting of the season for broccoli.  Finally, on Saturday, the stars aligned. In a dawn-to-dusk workday, we planted beans, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce until we couldn’t see. Monday saw the north face of our hill dry a tad and the late roots were seeded. 

   The spring beets and carrots have been a real disappointment this year.  We spent lots of time on our hands and knees weeding them when they first came up.  But the repeated rains kept the weeds sprouting and prevented us from cultivating.  Shorthanded, without our Mexican helpers didn’t help.  But additional help might not have allowed us to do much more than the half the field we managed to keep weeded.  We’re considering “brush hog therapy” (giant mower) both to see the beets, and perhaps to allow them to get ahead of the weeds.

   Tomatoes look fantastic—we just picked the first field ripened one.  With more than adequate moisture, they’re growing fast and keeping us hopping tying them up. Peppers are nearly full sized, too. Hopefully basil coming next week, but the Japanese beetles have been difficult to deter. We’ve got the field surrounded with bag-a-bug traps.  We’re catching lots.  Luckily they seem to like certain weeds very much too!  

  The first green beans deserve a simple preparation.  Snap off ends and then in half.  Boil until just tender; drain; serve with tad of salt; if you must—a little balsamic or wine vinegar. We’re seeing the first bell peppers sizing up nicely as well as plenty of the hots. The apples are just starting.  It appears we’ll have a good sequence of early ones.  We don’t have nearly enough for everyone to get each variety and will cycle through the varieties.  We’ll do our best to describe each one and how it’s best to enjoy.  They are not varieties one would typically see in a grocery store, so the names are likely unfamiliar except to CSA vets. 

Enjoying respite from the raindrops, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky,Maria & the Farm Crew

ID: Not everyone got it, but if you’ve got a smooth purplish long curving fruit, it’s Oriental eggplant.  Tend to have less seeds and not mush like the centers of traditional eggplant.

Vacation & Notes:  Please indicate your stop location when sending messages.  This saves us having to look it up in the database and we can go straight to the barn lists.  If you get any of the once a month items, like chickens or mushrooms, indicate that so we can mark those lists too.  All but the mushrooms can be delivered the following week, but at least we have a heads up.  Also let us know if you want a credit or to donate the box.   

...if you can resist wolfing down the pint before arriving home... Blueberry Shortcake: Sift 2c. flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 tbs. sugar.  Mix in 1/2 c. oil well, until evenly distributed.  Beat 1 egg and 5/8 c. milk and mix with dry ingredients.  Pat out with oiled hands or use a plastic spatula to spread dough onto an oiled cookie sheet about 1/2 " thick.  Bake @375 deg about 20 min. (we use all whole wheat flour with fine results) Top pieces of shortcake with blueberries and whipped cream. Aunt Jeannie’s Zucchini-Coconut Pie:  Beat together 3 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, ½ c. sugar.  Fold in 15 oz. ricotta, 1 tbs. flour, 2 c. grated unpeeled zucchini, ½ c. shredded coconut.  Pour into oiled pie pan.  Bake @ 350 deg. 50 min. or until firm. Can be eaten warm or cold. Fresh Dill Pickle Spears:  Slice 1 or 2 cucumbers into spears and place in a glass quart jar with a few sprigs of fresh dill (or dried or seed).   Then heat 1/8 c salt, 1/4 c vinegar, and 2 c water to boiling with a cut-up clove of garlic.  Pour this over the cukes and when it cools, refrigerate.  (To avoid breaking the jar with the boiling water, run hot tap water on the outside of the jar just before pouring the boiling liquid in.) Cucumber or “white” Gazpacho: Puree until smooth.  3 peeled cucumbers, 3 cloves chopped garlic, 2 c. sour cream, 1 c. plain yogurt, 1 c. chicken broth, 1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper to taste.  Chill several hrs. or overnight.  Garnish with slivered almonds Cucumber Soup: Pare three large cucumbers, cut in lengthwise strips & scrape out seeds. Dice strips.  Saute cucumber gently 10 minutes with ¼ cup diced onion, w/ 4 Tbsp. butter.  Add 3 ½ cups chicken broth, ½ tsp. dill, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and some minced parsley.  Cover & simmer 25 minutes.  Puree in blender until smooth, Return to pot and add 1 cup cream, beat together, add 1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken.  Bring just to boil.  Before serving, blend in ¼ cup cream.  Optional:  Serve topped with chopped hard-cooked eggs, salt and pepper. For Extra Purchase: Blueberries: 12 pt. flat $60. (half flats available)   Seven Grain bread @$4/loaf.  Indicate the week or weeks.