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173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 • sweettopfarm@gmail.com  
www.sweettopfarm.com
CSA Newsletter: Week Nine
16 August 2017
scroll down to read what is in your CSA box, storage tips, recipes,
and see photos of the farm this week

* * * * *

Did you miss last week's newsletter? Click here to read it: Week 8 Newsletter

It's another rainy Wednesday--nice weather for writing a newsletter and sipping tea but not exactly the forecast we prefer. After last Wednesday's soaker followed by the rain we got early morning on Monday, we have plenty of moisture in the ground. The forecast of another 1 to 3 inches of rain is going to put us behind in seeding fall spinach and a few other greens; however, we did manage to get the last of the fall broccoli transplanted last night leaving only kohlrabi and chard left on the transplant wagon. We look forward to getting both in as soon as we can and putting the transplanter to bed for the season.

Recently, it was brought to my attention that not everyone realizes that unlike the typical home gardener, we plant crops throughout the season. I often refer to this as succession planting. For example, we plant broccoli twice, two weeks apart in the spring for summer harvest and then plant another three successions in the summer for fall harvest. Every crop that you see in the box has at least two plantings at some point in the season with the exception of these long season crops: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, winter squash, potatoes, onions, leeks, and brussel sprouts. If we didn't transplant and direct seed continuously May through August, your weekly box would be pretty sparse. For those of you wondering what farmers do during the winter, determining this schedule is one of my big projects. At this point in the season when our brains are a little fuzzy and our bodies and minds are tired, it is really useful to have a three-ring binder with everything that needs to get done in a particular week.


ABOUT THE BOX: Cantaloupe! This is one of our favorites! We don't buy cantaloupe, well, ever, so when it is ready, we eat it as much as we can. It's orange, sweet flesh is a welcome treat in our house, and we hope the same goes for yours. While we pick melons at the slip stage (when the stem slips from the vine), these melons could use a day or two on the counter top to continue ripening. When the melons smell sweet at the stem end, it's time to cut them open.

Cucumbers are back. The new planting is just starting to have nice sized cukes, so we hope to have them in the boxes for the next three or four weeks. The picklers are going strong and it isn't too late to place an order for 10 pounds of picklers for pick-up next Wednesday. Send us an email if you are interested.

Our worker share members Tracy and Petra helped us pick lots of green beans yesterday, so you have a nice full bag this week. The plants still have lots of blooms and tiny beans, so let's hope that we'll have a nice harvest again next week--some heat to get them to size up would be nice though.

When you see the size of the gold beets, don't be alarmed. I sampled several, and the whoppers still tasted good to me. Look at it as less work chopping several small beets. They went from small to XL in a very short period of time, so I was quite surprised when we harvested yesterday to find those monsters. Enjoy these beets, as we won't have them again until mid September. 


For those of you that did not get a box last week, please read: WATERMELON DISCLAIMER: We do our best to pick ripe melons and apologize if your melon isn't ready yet. Unlike cantaloupe, once harvested, a watermelon does not continue to ripen. Sometimes a melon passes all the criteria on our checklist and still isn't quite ready. More times than not though, if a melon passes the test below, it's good. We'll have melons again next week and expect cantaloupes in another week or two. If you get a melon that is dark green, the flesh is pink-red (Edith's favorite); if it's striped, the flesh is yellow (my favorite). Each melon goes through our ripeness checklist in this order: 
1. Tendril and leaf near stem need to be dead
2. Melon sounds hollow
3. Feels slightly ribbed
4. Nice yellow spot on the side that is on the ground (although we've had great melons that have no spot)


Enjoy this week's harvest!
                                                                                                                    Your Farmers,

Megan, Adam, Edith, and Harvey

What's in your box and
where does it go?
 
  Fridge? Bag?
beets-loose yes plastic
cantaloupe once cut container of choice
carrots yes plastic
celery yes plastic
cucumbers yes plastic
eggplant no  countertop
green beans yes  plastic
onion yes  plastic
peppers-hot, Italian, and bell yes plastic
potatoes-white no  countertop
watermelon once cut container of choice
zucchini/squash yes plastic
 


 
   
Recipes
 
Melon, Cucumber, and Mint Smoothie

Puree in a blender and enjoy:
2 cups chopped melon
1 cup chopped cucumber, seeded
12 fresh mint leaves
2-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste
1 cup ice cubes
1 teaspoon honey


Roasted Salt and Vinegar
Crushed New Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1-2 tsp flaked sea salt, for sprinkling
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 425F. Boil the potatoes in salted water until knife-tender. Drain. Put back in the pot to dry out a little. Tip on to a very large baking tray.

2 Using a tea towel gently crush each potato but leave them whole. Drizzle them with the olive oil and season with pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are browned and crisp.

3 Remove from the oven and gently toss with the vinegar. When all of the vinegar has been absorbed, sprinkle with sea salt and parsley.

Adapted from Jennifer Joyce at www.theguardian.com

Click these recipes for additional ideas:
Details About Today's
CSA Box

Beets-Loose
Gold beets this week. There are some huge ones in there. I sampled a couple during harvest and they still taste good.

Cantaloupe
This special treat could use another day or two on the countertop to continue ripening. When it's fragrant, cut it open!

Carrots
No need to peel! Take the greens off before storing to keep the carrots crisp in the bag.

Celery
This is the last of the celery this year.

Cucumbers
2-3 small slicers. Some boxes got a couple of pickling cukes as well--no need to peel, just eat.

Eggplant
A smaller variety called Diamond. Tired of eggplant? Coarsely chop, saute, cool, and put in a bag in the freezer. In the winter, add it to sauces, soups, stews.

Green Beans
They're back! A big bag; please return the cloth bag with your CSA box.

Peppers
One small medium-hot jalapeno (pointed green pepper), one large green Italian pepper (not hot), and one purple bell pepper. If you like the color, eat it raw; cooking turns it back to green.

Potatoes--Dakota Pearl

A bright white potato that tastes as good as it looks. Great all purpose potato.

Walla Walla Onion
A sweet onion

Watermelon
Please read disclaimer in the newsletter above. If your melon has dark green skin, the flesh is pinky-red; striped skin is yellow fleshed. 


Zucchini/Summer Squash
One or two of each again this week.
This week's harvest (left to right): watermelon, green beans, cantaloupe, carrots, cucumbers, jalapeno, squash, celery, eggplant, onion, beets, zucchini, peppers, and potatoes.
A page out of our farm binder that is full of production logs telling us when to do what.
This cool weather has got fall crops on our mind. Clockwise from the top: brussel sprouts, delicata squash, leeks, and carrots.
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Our mailing address is:
173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007






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