FACSAP -Fredericksburg Area CSA Project

whole food for a whole community


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2014 – Week 18

Sorry folks, no picture this week! Your (very heavy) share included the following:

  • Pie Pumpkin from Evergreen Acres
  • Acorn Squash from Evergreen Acres (green, shaped like an acorn)
  • Celebration Squash from Terembry Farm (multicolored)
  • Turban Squash from Terembry Farm (reddish-orange)
  • Watermelon from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Red-skinned Potatoes from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Okra from Terembry Farm and Hartland Natural Farm
  • Green Beans from Green Thumb Growers
  • Tomatoes from Terembry Farm and Green Thumb Growers
  • Shiitake Mushrooms from Rock Run Creek Farm
  • Honey from Cardinal Apiaries

All of the squash included in your share today are edible. Quite a few members thought they may  be gourds, and they are beautifully decorative, but these are delicious too.  You can find lots of recipes online for winter squashes.  Most of them are roasted, stuffed, or made into a soup.  Perfect for the upcoming cool fall days.


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2014 – Week 17

Your share included the following this week:

  • Apple juice from Golden Acres
  • Wheat Berries from Grapewood Farm
  • Acorn Squash from Evergreen Acres
  • Chard from Rock Run Creek Farm or Green Beans from Green Thumb Growers and Hartland Natural Farm
  • Beets from Rock Run Creek Farm
  • Okra from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Peppers from Terembry Farm
  • Summer Squash from Terembry Farm
  • Tomatoes from Green Thumb Growers and Evergreen Acres
  • Lettuce from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Watermelon from Hartland Natural Farm
Nora and Dylan

Nora and Dylan

Here are some tips and recipes to help you get the most from your share:

  • You have many options for using your wheat berries.  Check out the fact sheet provided by the grower here:  Soft Red Winter Wheat info for CSA_2014.  The trick to wheat storage (and the storage of any bulk grain for that matter) is to keep out the oxygen, keep it cool and keep it dry.
  • You can mill this wheat into flour using a simple blender.  Consult your owner’s manual for instructions (my Blendtec has lots of options based on the type of grain) or find out how at http://naturalthrifty.com/how-to-mill-flour.html.  I’ve also seen blog posts about using coffee grinders and food processors. Get creative and check the internet for more tips.
  • Whole grain salads have been popping up in deli counters and restaurant menus.  I’ve been saving the link to this recipe since April, because I knew we’d be getting wheat in one share bag this year.  Find the recipe for Blueberry-Kale Grain Salad at http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/blueberry-kale-grain-salad-50400000136145/.
  • Still looking for ways to use your butternut squash? Remember that winter squash (pumpkins, acorn, butternut) will store for quite some time.  I’m looking forward to trying this pasta recipe with my butternut http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/butternut-squash-pasta/.
  • I’m including the link for one of my favorite recipes for using up kale, but it is great with chard as well.  It isn’t pretty, but the combination of flavors is craveable. This recipe was tested on my 17 month old and was a hit served over couscous: http://ahungryspoon.blogspot.com/2010/09/african-pineapple-peanut-stew.html
  • Member Amy passed along a very simple method of cooking acorn squash that keeps it tender, not mushy. Cut the squash in half vertically, scoop out seeds. Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes (check along the way for desired consistency, cooking time may vary  by the size). By placing the cupped part face down, it kind of steams itself! This will work for butternut squash and pie pumpkins as well, but may take just a bit longer.
  • Here is a non-traditional way of serving acorn squash: http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/roasted-acorn-squash-with-parmesan-cheese-recipe/
  • If you are looking for a way to make your gallon of juice last, consider making jelly.  I’ve wanted to try this for years, but never can keep myself from quickly drinking all of the juice!  This might be the year, and this is the recipe I’m going to try: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/09/caramel-apple-cider-jelly-recipe-apple-jelly.html.
  • If you cannot drink the juice quickly enough, consider making your own apple cider vinegar.  You use existing ACV as a starter and allow it to help ferment the juice. http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/how-to-make-your-own-vinegar-apple-cider-drink/
  • Speaking of the juice, if you aren’t used to consuming lots of apple juice you may notice some side effects from over-consumption.  Tom found the following information to pass along to our members:
    Apple juice has a 0.5 percent by weight sorbitol content which is non digestible sugar also appearing in prune juice, pear juice and cherry juice.  Bacteria in the digestive tract break down this sugar and cause gas.  This will result in different responses from different groups of people depending on their particular intestinal bacteria and adaptation.  Methods of reducing symptoms include drinking chamomile, peppermint, fennel, or ginger tea.  All of these ease stomach cramping and facilitate the passage of the developing gas.  Limiting the amount of juice consumed at one time also helps.  People with irritable bowel syndrome might want to avoid apple juice completely.
     
    See National Institutes of Heath discussion at  http://digestive.niddk.nih. gov/ddiseases/pubs/gas/

    See suggested remedies for bloating and gas at http://everydayroots.com/gas-remedies


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2014 – Week 16

Wow, summer sure has come back this past week.  Enjoy your watermelon to help you cool off until this wave passes.  Your share included the following this week:

  • Watermelon from Evergreen Acres
  • Tomatoes from Green Thumb Growers, Terembry Farm, and Evergreen Acres
  • Corn from Terembry Farm
  • Green Beans from Green Thumb Growers
  • Peppers from Terembry Farm
  • Butternut Squash from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Green Onions from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Beauregard and O’Henry (white) Sweet Potatoes from Green Thumb Growers
  • Apple Juice from Golden Acres
  • Potatoes from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Okra from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Zucchini from Hartland Natural Farm
MIchael and Sabina

MIchael and Sabina

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your share:


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2014 – Week 15

Krystal and Bryan

Khrystal and Bryan

This week your share included the following:

  • Banana, Bell, and other assorted Peppers from Terembry Farm (I know I saw a few poblanos in there!)
  • Cucumbers from Terembry Farm
  • Green Beans (Contender Buff Valentine) from Green Thumb Growers
  • Tomatoes (Early Girl) from Terembry Farm and (Cherokee Purple, Arkansas Traveler, Roma VA Select) Green Thumb Growers
  • Sweet Potatoes (Beauregard) from Green Thumb Growers
  • Butternut Squash from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Zucchini from Hartland Natural Farm and/or Yellow Crook Neck Squash from Terembry Farm
  • Watermelon (Crimson Red) from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Beets from Rock Run Creek Farm
  • Shiitake Mushrooms from Rock Run Creek Farm

pepperssquashcukespeppers2

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your share this week:

A few of our growers have opportunities to purchase additional items outside of those provided in your weekly share. 

Grapewood Farm has a large quantity of organic soft red winter wheat berries available in either 5 lb food grade storage bags @ $7.50/bag or they have 50 lb bags available (contact them for pricing and delivery options for the 50 lb bags). Five pounds bags can be delivered to Fredericksburg as needed.

I’m addition, they have the gleanings from the wheat cleaning process. This is a mixture of wheat straw, chaff and some wheat berries. If anyone is interested in this material (for poultry or other uses) at a very reasonable price please contact them for pricing and delivery options based on quantity and their location.
 
Click here for more information about the wheat available: Soft Red Winter Wheat info for CSA_2014
 
Contact Joe Thompson at 540-903-8947 or northernneckjoe@gmail.com
 
Evergreen Acres has organic tomatoes available to purchase if you are looking for a bulk purchase or for canning.  Contact Jim at jimrg54@yahoo.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Evergreen-Acres/107488542629558?fref=nf.

 


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2014 – Week 14

This week your share included the following:

  • Corn from Terembry Farm
  • Green Beans from Terembry Farm and Green Thumb Growers
  • Bell Peppers and/or Banana Peppers from Terembry Farm
  • Cuban Cachucha Peppers from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Zucchini from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Cherry Tomatoes from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Fingerling Potatoes from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Eggplant from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Chard from Rock Run Creek Farm
  • Tomatoes from Green Thumb Growers and Evergreen Acres

 

Tom, from Green Thumb Growers, and Heather, FACSAP Secretary

Tom, from Green Thumb Growers, and Heather, FACSAP Secretary

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your share this week:
  • Chard can wilt while waiting for you to pick up your share and get it home.  If this happens, just remove the rubberband and give the entire bundle a soak in a sink full of cold water.  Add a splash of hydrogen peroxide or vinegar for an added boost.  Then just spin or blot the chard until dry and store it in a plastic bag in your refrigerator until use.
  • Looking for some new recipes for your chard?  Check out the list at http://grist.org/food/what-to-do-with-an-overload-of-chard/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=update&utm_campaign=socialflow.
  • Fingerling potatoes are naturally smaller.  They are best roasted (whole or halved length-wise) or can be used in salads.  If you don’t want to heat up your oven, try stove-top roasting as described in the recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/dill-fingerling-potatoes-recipe.html.
  • Looking for an easy way to preserve a small amount of tomatoes?  You can roast them and then freeze them for later.  I roasted about a share’s worth (cut in half and remove the core and seeds) along with one chopped onion and 6 cloves of garlic and a generous drizzle of olive oil topped off with salt and pepper in a 450 degree F oven.  I left them in long enough that the onions were fully cooked and the tomatoes had started to brown and caramelize (maybe 20-30 minutes?).  I pureed the roasted vegetables and added them to a broth and fresh basil for soup, but you can toss the puree with pasta or freeze it for later use.

Over the next few weeks I plan to highlight some of our grower and organizer favorites.  I asked them to share their favorite vegetables to grow, favorite to eat, and to pass along a recipe.  Here is what  Sharon McCamy, Terembry Farm, had to say:

“I love growing those heirloom Royal Burgundy and Gold Rush beans from High Mowing Seeds–at 54 days, one gets quick results and the beans are delicious and high-yielding–and easy to pick. They do well in the fall so am planting a lot–and I always freeze some for the fall.  High Mowing Seeds are all certified organic/certified Non GMO.

beans

Recipe:  Heirloom Gold Rush Beans Sauteed in Butter/Chardonnay Sauce

  • Heirloom Gold Rush Beans – 2 cups washed
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay
  • Sea salt/cracked black pepper to taste
  • Handful of fresh Tarragon. Dried tarragon also works well. You can also add French fine herb mix.)

Heat olive oil in skillet on medium high.  Add diced onions and brown 3 – 5 minutes.  Add butter, add beans and saute 4-5 minutes, stirring to ensure even heating. Add white wine and cover skillet  turn heat to low, and let beans simmer in wine/butter for 3-4 minutes, until wine/butter sauce is reduced. Add fresh or dry herbs to skillet for 1 minute before taking beans off heat.  Salt/pepper to taste.

Variation:  add lambs quarter (which has a flavor similar to spinach but higher levels of Vitamin A) to simmer with the white wine/butter sauce.   Sorrel also works.”

Serves 2-3.

 

 


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2014 – Week 13

This week your share included the following:

  • Zucchini from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Green Peppers and Cachucha Cuban Peppers from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Ground Cherries from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Corn from Terembry Farm
  • Cayenne and Jalapeno Peppers from Mount Olive Organics
  • Beets from Rock Run Creek Farm
  • Tomatoes from Evergreen Acres, Terembry Farm and Green Thumb Growers
  • Green Beans from Green Thumb Growers or Eggplant from Hartland Natural Farm

 

Lauren

Lauren

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your share this week:

  • Store your ground cherries in their husks. They will turn a warm apricot color when they are ripe and ready to eat. 
  • I like to eat the ground cherries raw.  I remove the husk and pop them in my mouth.  If you are looking to cook them Organic Gardening magazine has a great-sounding recipe for ground cherry and pineapple crumble at http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/ground-cherries?page=0,1.
  • The Cachuca Cuban peppers may look like a hot scotch bonnet pepper, but they are actually considered a sweet mild pepper.  Use them like you would a green bell pepper.
  • Did you find any cornworms in your corn?  Stavroula likes to say that if the corn didn’t kill that worm then you know it is safe for you to eat.  It is common to find a small worm at the top of an ear of corn grown without pesticides.  Before cooking, just cut out the part of the ear around the worm.  It’s not a reason to throw out the whole ear!
  • Check out the recipes at http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11173-top-10-ways-to-cook-beets.html for some great ideas for your beets!

Over the next few weeks I plan to highlight some of our grower and organizer favorites.  I asked them to share their favorite vegetables to grow, favorite to eat, and to pass along a recipe.  Here is what Stavroula Conrad, FACSAP President, had to say:

“After quite a bit of thought, I must say for summer for me it is zucchini, and for spring it is greens.  For zucchini, so many ways to cook it—stuffed with rice and/or meat and baked and topped with egg lemon sauce or tomato sauce before serving; cut into slabs, salted, rinsed, coated with flour and pan-fried in olive oil and topped with grated cheese or sea salt; fritters with shredded zucchini, onions, salt, herbs, eggs, flour and grated cheese, pan-fried in olive oil; moussaka with zucchini, eggplant and potatoes; boiled whole and dressed with fresh lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt ( a staple boiled summer salad in Greek tavernas!).  The zucchini blossoms can also be stuffed and pan-fried—a delicacy in Greek summer kitchens.

For the greens, especially tender kales and spinach, baked into spanakopita or into an egg-feta soufflé.

Here are a few sample recipes.  Lots more on-line when you search for ‘Greek zucchini recipes’.”

Fritters:  http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/04/kolokithokeftedes-greek-zucchini-fritters-with-tzatziki-recipe.html  http://valleycoop.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/url-2.jpeg

 

 


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2014 – Week 12

Tiffany & Jeannie

Tiffany & Jeannie

 

This week your share included the following:

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Eggplant from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Bell Peppers from Hartland Natural Farm
  • Green Beans from Hartland Natural Farm, Evergreen Acres, Green Thumb Growers, and Terembry Farm OR Yellow Beans from Terembry Farm
  • Corn from Terembry Farm and Green Thumb Growers
  • Tomatoes from Evergreen Acres, Terembry Farm, and Green Thumb Growers
  • Shiitake Mushrooms from Rock Run Creek Farm
  • Cherry Tomatoes from Hartland Natural Farm

Here are some tips to help you get the most of your share this week:

  • If you’re looking for ways to save your tomatoes into winter, small batch canning might be for you.  I did a quick search and found a great sounding recipe for tomato jam at http://martineholston.com/quick-canning-small-batch-caprese-jam/.
  • Many people are surprised to learn that you can freeze tomatoes.  I often will throw them in the freezer if it is too hot for canning or if I only have a few that are not going to get used fresh before going bad.  I have read that you can freeze them whole, but I prefer to peel them and remove the seeds first (just like I do when canning my tomatoes).  I them toss them in a zip top bag or vacuum seal them in a freezer bag.  These are great for making sauces, soups, and chili over the winter months.
  • I grew up in Indiana, corn country.  We had corn fields behind my backyard and at the end of my street.  The smell of the corn fields on a humid evening is one of my favorite memories.  So it is only natural that fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite summer treats.  Unfortunately, most people overcook it and miss out on the milky sweet juices fresh corn has to offer.  It should be eaten as soon as possible after harvest.  If you must store it, leave the husks on and keep it chilled and stored in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying.  Peel away the husks and silks just before cooking, and cook for no more than 5 minutes in boiling water.  Eat immediately (rubbed with butter and sprinkled with salt!).
  • What a large supply of beans our growers had for us this week.  Each share contained 2 pounds of beans.  If you aren’t going to eat them all right away, I would recommend freezing them.  They take just a little bit of prep, as they do need to be blanched before freezing.  You can find instructions (and many other preserving tips for just about any fruit or vegetable  you can think of) at pickyourown.org.  Bean instructions are at http://pickyourown.org/beansfreezing.htm.

 

Heidi's garden in late June

Heidi’s garden in late June

Over the next few weeks I plan to highlight some of our grower and organizer favorites.  I asked them to share their favorite vegetables to grow, favorite to eat, and to pass along a recipe.  Here is what Heidi Lewis, FACSAP Vice President and Folk City Soapmaker, had to say:

“My favorites to grow vary from year to year. This year, it’s heirloom tomatoes, especially the ‘Blue Beauty’ variety I started from seed purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I love the deep blue-black shoulders on these beauties. My favorite thing to eat during the summer growing season is watermelon (no recipe needed), which I haven’t planted in my backyard garden this year—there were too many tomato plants!”

 

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

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