Angelic Organics Farm News

Week 8 - Sat - Aug 9, 2008

Our Newsletter web layout is currently "in development"/under construction. See Bob Writes... from first week for more details.
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Diana washing carrots.

This Week's Vegetable Notes - by Diana Nolden, assistant growing manager

It is that time of year again, the Boone County Fair begins tomorrow (August 5th) and I have my vegetables ready for judging. After work today I will head to the fair grounds and submit my cornucopia of vegetables as well as individual entries of the best crops this farm has to offer. This could be my chance to finally get a blue ribbon.

It all started three seasons ago when our intern Kate, Ben and myself went to the fair. As we walked through the barn that housed entries in canned goods, bakery items, and vegetables, I knew our farm had a fighting chance. Heck, some might even say we have an unfair advantage, but this is what the fair is all about. The best of the best come and show off.

I missed my chance last season. When I finally got around to calling about fair entries they told me I had until noon that day to get my goods in. Since it was a Saturday and I worked until noon I knew I was out of the running for yet another year. However, this season I was on top of my game. Shelly even brought in her Boone County Fair registration book so I could read the different categories. There was a discrepancy concerning the actual day of entry. Shelly told me it was the weekend of July 19th and 20th; the very same weekend I had a wedding to go to and the open house. I couldn’t believe it, that was also three weeks before fair time and my vegetables would end up rotting. There was another date in question, but when I called to confirm no one answered the phone. So, all I had to go on was what Shelly told me.

Sunday morning, July 20th I woke up early to prepare my fair entries. I had worked it out with Bob so I could turn in my goods and be a little late for Open House set-up. Jenny Hoople, a good friend and co-worker promised to help me. She found me a little after 8 freaking out. Talking me down from my window’s edge we managed to put a few things together and load up my truck. Another bump in the road came when I had no idea where to deliver my box of vegetables. The guys manning the gate for the truck show wore expressions that made you wonder if they had ever before seen two girls or vegetables, let alone together. After some walky-talkin’ we were pointed in what we could only guess was the right direction.

At the end of a drive was a small house. As we pulled up a woman came walking out, I asked if this was the place to register for the fair. Lucky us, it was. Jenny with one box in hand and I with the other marched into the building. I set my produce down and said "I’ve never registered for the fair before, but here are my vegetables." There was a moment of silence while an older woman looked from our produce then to me and said, “Today’s only the day to fill out paper work.” I kept my head down as I filled out the forms hoping they couldn’t see me blushing. Monday morning I walked into the office and Shelly began laughing. I said “what?” and Shelly replied, “I bet you did what I did.” Just like me, Shelly showed up at the Fair office with a fair quality textile exhibit and amateur photography entry.

The fair starts August 5th and lasts through Sunday, August 10th. If you are in the area, or feel like taking a drive to Boone County, come check out our vegetables and see if they are were deemed worthy of a blue ribbon.

 

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What's In Your Box

Bob writes...

Please note: this box summary is written the week before you receive your box. It is updated but not all the boxes packed for your delivery day will be exactly the same, although it is likely that all the boxes at your dropsite will be the same. Some things may be in your box that are not listed, and some listed things may not be in your box. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all your vegetables.

The page numbers listed below refer to cooking tips and recipes in Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables as provided to all shareholders. Some recipes are listed at AngelicOrganics.com/RecipeService

FRUITING CROPS

Sweet Corn-The taste of the sweet corn is very good this year. Unfortunately, some corn insects think the same. As such, there are some ears that have insect damage--more than we'd like. We try to cull out the worst ears but some still get through. If you get any ears with damage, we hope you are able to cut off the offending portion, toss it, and eat the rest. Also, there are a few unevenly pollinated ears (beetles chewed their silk--there's 1 silk for each kernel). Mostly however the corn is good-we hope you enjoy it. pp. 223-227

Tomatoes-a few, including an heirloom or two. pp. 228-235

Peppers-bells, red lipstick, red carmen and/or islander; pp. 215-222

Eggplant-2 Italians, pp. 174-180

Cucumbers-pp. 95-101

Zucchini & Summer Squash-These are slowing down. pp. 145-150

STEMS

Fennel-with their fronds. Click here for frond ideas. pp.181-184

ALLIUMS-pp. 121-128

Garlic

Sweet Onions-makes great onion rings.

ROOTS

Carrots-Yummer!; pp. 163-168

COOKING GREENS-pp. 81-94

Swiss Chard

HERBS-pp. 102-120

Parsley

Anise Hyssop or Lemon Balm-perhaps try with baked goods, fruit salads, and/or fish.

SALAD GREENS-pp. 136-141

Lettuce--These are mini-heads of Nevada (a green summercrisp) or Two Star (a green leaf); due to a rain just before harvest they are a bit muddy.

Swap Box Note: Each location will have three swap boxes--1 mixed, 1 with sweet corn and 1 with kale and tomatoes. Please only take 1 or 2 extra items to ensure that all shareholders get a opportunity to enjoy the bounty.

 

Weather Notes: First off, while we received a half of an inch of rain last Thursday, at 1 pm, just after we finished harvesting, and while we received an inch of rain yesterday, starting at 6 am -- right when we did start harvesting, we did not receive the severe weather that Chicago received on the evening of Monday August 4th. It is true that yesterday’s rain slowed us down but we can happily report that our fields are holding up well under this water. And since we missed out on any more rain Monday night or Tuesday morning, we are happy that we are already starting to dry out. I have often seen forecasts change in a moments notice. Also, I have seen it rain when there has been no reported chance of it. (Since we work outside in our fields, I pay very close attention to forecasts and their reliability.) But none-the-less, I am still hopeful about our upcoming forecast from the National Weather Service which lists no rain through even next Monday, August 11th, with comfortable temperatures as well. If this ends up being the case, it will bode well for our harvests of onions and garlic which ideally cure over the course of a week in sunny, warm, dry fields.

Historical Harvest Chart:

I thought that many of you would find interest in the linked charts (Page 1 and Page 2) which I designed and which Diana meticulously compiled. They list a history from 2003 - 2007 of the vegetables that we actually harvested and/or put in the boxes each week over the 24 weeks of delivery (from mid-June to late November--the 20 week share plus the “winter shares”). A green “B” means that likely every box received such vegetables in a given week; a yellow “W” means that likely each Wednesday and Thursday box received the identified vegetable; and, a blue “S” means that likely each Saturday box received the identified vegetable. I find it fun to anticipate when a given crop might be coming and also how a given year might be different than a given trend. For instance, this year we gave collards, one of my favorite cooking greens in week 6. Previously, the earliest we gave collards was in week 13. And last year, we were only able to give carrots over 1 and a half weeks and this year we are already in our 3rd/4th week of carrots with more to come of this the next two weeks and very likely in the fall.

The chart has so much data that it has to be broken into two pages but check it out. Let us know what you think of it--send an email to CSA@AngelicOrganics.com. Also look at the chart and complete this survey on “favorite vegetable categories”--we’ll share the results soon (see the on-line week 8 newsletter at www.AngelicOrganics.com/NL to take the survey and to see the “Historical Harvest Charts”).