CSA Week Six

10 07 2009

This is the letter we distributed this week to all our CSA members:

Hello, Mud Puddle CSA Members!

Some really fantastic things are happening. We have (a few) red tomatoes! Not enough for everyone yet but, hopefully by next week there will be enough for people to have some color in their bags. Also, we’re falling in love with a lettuce that is doing amazingly well for us; a cultivar called Nevada. It’s a French Crisp type, for those of you interested in the lettuce lingo, which means it has a strong heart and an iceberg-type head shape. It also has a nutty flavor that is pretty nice from a head lettuce. Finding a lettuce that does well in the heat is key this time of year. Last year we were up to our ears in super bitter, beyond tangy greens that were only edible drenched with a creamy dressing.

But really quick, can we have a heart to heart? It’s about zucchini (or courgette). A lot of people have strong feelings about zucchini and we thought we could illuminate the vegetable and hopefully give it some interest (or at least some of your empathy). Nutritionally the zucchini is very low in calories and, according to Wikipedia.org, contains “very useful amounts” of folate, potassium, and Vitamin A; ½ cup of zucchini also contains 19% of the recommended amount of manganese, which is very good for the liver, kidneys and brain. In Mexico, the flower is more popular than the fruit, and is used in soups and quesadillas while in England it is the country’s 10th favorite vegetable of all time. The younger zucchini (which we are slaving to harvest) is the best; we try and pick it when it’s under 8 inches long. The really young ones will have a nice orange blossom that is also edible. If you want to try a squash blossom, or a fruit with a flower still attached, let us know. We will do our best to get one to you.

Also, we’ve moved the baby ducks and chickens (more like… teenagers? How do you figure poultry years?) down to the big house in the field. The ducks have made the adjustment very well, defending their flockmates, the baby chickens, from the big chickens. It’s pretty cute. We had to pry ourselves away from the animal behavior study a few times in order to get things done for harvest. Our flock, as it currently stands, is 54 birds strong! Now if only they would all start laying. We’ve noticed however that in the heat the Aracaunas are doing very well (they lay the blue-green eggs). Not something we’d read or heard about, but nice none-the-less.

Lastly, the garlic in your bags is really nice. Don’t feel like you have to cook it. Try it chopped up raw in Gabrielle’s vinaigrette recipe, or just toss it in your salad and stand back for the spicy kick. It’s very good for you. And if you eat enough raw, it will keep the annoying neighbors away.

Happy Eating!
Mud Puddle Farm

Included in your basket this week (week 6):

Carrots
Scallions
Summer squash
Head lettuce—Nevada (a French Crisp/ Batavia Style Lettuce)
Salad mix
Onions
Garlic
Herbs (parsley)

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