Angelic Organics Farm News

Week 9 - Sat - Aug 16, 2008

Our Newsletter web layout is currently "in development"/under construction. See Bob Writes... from first week for more details.
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William Sporting a Real Farmer Tan

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

THE VERDICT IS IN…With another Boone County Fair behind us, I am proud to announce the awards our vegetables received. Our crisp carrots were awarded a fourth place prize; the winner of the blue riboon was a plate of purple carrots. Our white eggplant, the only white eggplant, was deemed worthy of second place (a red ribbon). Our garden display of mixed vegetables also received a red ribbon.

As a whole I am proud of the vegetables we entered into the fair. I tried to pack a punch with an overload of brightly colored high quality vegetables. Much like my affection for chard, Fordhook Giant in particular, I am a no frills kind of girl. However, after checking out the competition, especially those that won, I also understand the importance of presentation. Not that Jenny Hoople and I, who are both pretty creative people, didn’t rock that box of vegetables. The next time, and there will be a next time, instead of subtle we will opt for a more dynamic display, doilies and all.

CANNED GOODS. It is rare during the summer for a weekend to be free of commitment. Besides working until noon on Saturday, a little later for me since I am writing this and guiding a tour on top of my greenhouse duties, I don’t really have any plans. So for the first weekend in many I am here on the farm with endless opportunities. It seems to me like a perfect time to start canning. I have this goal to learn how to preserve food. I have dabbled with it in the past. My mom has always made pickles, canned green beans, tomatoes, salsa, and spaghetti sauce just to name a few. There was a time that she canned meat. I don’t remember trying that, but I do remember being enlisted to help cut beans and cucumbers.

It has just been in recent years, mainly since working at Angelic Organics that my interests have been peaked about food preservation. I think it started when I realized that I wouldn’t have zucchini all year or tomatoes. Sure, the canned ones from the store do the job, but wouldn’t I be more satisfied popping open a container that I had personally grown, harvested, and fit neatly into a mason jar. Yes! So, I told my mother that I wanted to learn, and she was the perfect person to teach me.

My opportunity came a few weekends ago, I was home to visit my sister (newsletter week 7). I walked into the kitchen to find my mother elbow deep in cut beans. I asked if I could help so that I might learn. She guided me through the process of boiling the lids, filling the jars, and then putting them into the pressure cooker. I remembered as a kid liking the rattle and spits of her old pressure cooker. After about a half hour the lid lock popped, (she now has a new and improved pot) and we withdrew the contents. It was only a moment before the lids sounded their ever-reassuring “ping” letting you know they are perfectly canned. I was so inspired I went to Farm and Fleet to buy my own canning equipment.

So here I am, with a weekend where the most pressing errand is to collect my winnings from the fair. I’ve got beans picked and the pressure cooker; all I need now are some jars. After beans, I will move on to tomatoes. Heck maybe even meat…probably not!

 

Angelic Organics HOME 
What's In Your Box

Bob writes...

(see 2009 share details at bottom)

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

Melons-a red or yellow watermelon.

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.

Heirloom Tomatoes-maybe

Tomatoes-bagged in a brown paper bag, pp. 228-235

Peppers-Bells, pp. 215-222

Hot Peppers-jalapeno, Hungarian hot wax, and/or banana peppers; bagged with tomatoes; look for photos to help ID soon at www.angelicorganics.com/peppers

Eggplant-pp. 174-180

Cucumber(s)-pp. 95-101

Zucchini & Summer Squash-maybe, the last of 2008, pp. 145-150

STEMS

Celery-pp. 169-173, great robust celery flavor, use the whole plant, best when used for cooking. See last year's newletter for more information on our celery.

ALLIUMS-pp. 121-128

Leeks

Sweet Onions-unlikely, only if room

ROOTS

Carrots-pp. 163-168

COOKING GREENS-pp. 81-94

Toscano (Dinosaur/Lacinato) Kale

Oregano

Summer Savory

SALAD GREENS-pp. 136-141

Lettuce--Heads of New Red Fire(a red leaf), Cherokee (a red summercrisp) and/or Two Star (a green leaf)

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

Coming Soon...Beet, Pac Choi, Helvetican Spinach

I would like to welcome all 12-week shareholders to our 2008 growing season. This is our 9th week of deliveries and we are now beginning to make about 300 more boxes. So far this year, I have been pretty pleased with our fields’ productivity. And despite 3 separate wet periods, I am happy to report that we have handled them well and now the crops are just pouring out of the fields. We are just about at the peak of the fruiting crops. And while zucchini, summer squash, and cucumbers are winding down, tomatoes, peppers, and melons are just about to come at us with full steam. And let me tell you that our potatoes plants look very good and the dryness of late are immensely helping our onions. So, overall, things are falling well into place. Last year, by around this time in early August we had already had about 7 inches of rain (on our way to 14 inches for the month). This year we have had about an inch and a half! So, generally speaking, our spirits our up.

Now let me get to the topic of carrots--one of my favorite vegetables. Last year, with the rains, our carrots were a disaster. We only gave carrots for 2 ½ weeks for the whole season. This year, including this week, we will have given them already for 4 ½ weeks. Further, today, we just squeezed in our root harvester to lift our final bed of summer carrots and pulled up approximately 2,700 pounds. So this means that likely you will still see another week of carrots (and this is even before our fall carrots) next week or the week after. I wish these yields would hold up into the fall [but I actually don’t expect them to because while the excellent and patient direct seeder Diana seeded all of the summer carrots, we had her train others on the fall seeding; also, perhaps the seeding rate should have been increased due to the warmer soil temperatures, as the germination rate for the fall carrots was not as good as for the summer carrots]. In any case, if we get only 2,200 pounds of carrots out of each of our final 6 beds then we will have over 13,000 pounds of carrots in the fall--about 10 pounds per share! (I already am worried about having space for everything in our coolers.)

Today I feel pretty good because of how we harvested the most recent carrot bed. Usually, until we get to the fall, we undercut the carrots and then hand harvest them either into bunches or topping them with knives. But this morning I asked Primo if he thought there was enough room between bed 8 of the field (the bed in which the carrots were in) and the lettuce fence (17 feet away = 6 feet for bed 9 which contained the carrots that we harvested last week by hand and about 12 feet for the driveway between the carrot field and our lettuce field. (The reason we have an electric fence around the lettuce is to keep the deer out.) Anyway, Primo thought we could fit the carrot harvester and the tractor and wagon that go right along (into which the harvester dumps the carrots) through this narrow corridor. So first we undercut the carrots (because the undercutting shoe on the carrot harvester is not as effective as I would like) and then we squeezed down the field. It worked great!! In what would normally take 15 people to harvest in 4 hours (a total of 60 people hours) we got done with 4 people in less than 1 hour. Human hand harvesting takes us 15 times longer!!! And now the crew has more time to do things for which we don’t have machines--like handweeding, trellising tomatoes, and cleaning garlic. At the peak harvest time of the year, such a time savings in monumental.

* * * * *

A few weeks ago we rolled out our early offer for 2009 20-week shares with our extra early discount. The deadline passed this last Monday. But due to all of the busyness here at the farm, we have decided to extend it to next Monday, August 18, 2008. This also allows new 12-week shareholders to take advantage of the discounts. If you sign up by August 18th, you will save $80 off of the 20-week share price as it will be on January 1, 2009: $630 vs. $550. Go to http://www.AngelicOrganics.com/2009.pdf to download a form to sign up or call the farm at 815-389-2746 between 7 am and 1 pm, Mon - Fri. to charge your share. Multi-year options are still available until August 31, 2008.

You can see below for the results of last week's survey. This means that now we want to know what the favorite fruiting crop is. Please participate in this survey if you have a favorite and would like to let us know!