Archive for August 8th, 2012

VALUE OF GREENS- repost

You may have noted we discontinued the Swiss Chard a couple of weeks ago. For some it was probably a “Thank God-AT LAST!” For others it was a passing not noted. BUT, Thursday when harvesting the last of the early cabbage, I wandered upon the Swiss Chard row. What previously had been a tired, picked over row of straggly and broken leaves, had sprung alive anew! I was amazed at the resiliency of the chard, but then reminded of the importance of greens in our own bodies–

Here is a paragraph from http://www.lloydcraftfarms.com on the VEGGIES PAGE:

ALL LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES: “One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens literally suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to nuetralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver.” (www.globalhealingcenter.com)

Chard has been our ally in this first year of our Adventure–no matter what the weather, hot and windy, or hot and sultry, or just plain stifling hot–the chard was there. Week upon week, upon week…it was our ‘Thank God-AT LAST’… When the lettuce was attacked by the cabbage loopers–the chard was there. When the weather was too hot for lettuce germination and feared too hot for tender seedlings to survive–the chard was there. While baby leaf spinach takes an unbelievable amount of time to cut, sort, weigh, and bag; the chard accomplishes the same in a tenth of the time–which works well when you are putting out a large variety of veggies!

With that said, we will be making Swiss Chard available as an OPTION at each pick-up. However, it is (like all leafy greens) very perishable–once picked it needs a cool refrigerator home. We absolutely have mental issues when we have to throw away food–it is the fruit of our labor. So, short of asking for orders (which is not workable with our busy schedule), or forcing you to ‘accept’ the chard (like forcing you to buy insurance), I will have 15-20 bundles available each week on a first-come-first-serve basis. As always, interested in any feedback—!

BTW–chard can be chopped up in ribbon strips for salad, younger leaves can be added in entirety. Chard can be baked in casseroles, fried with potatoes (my favorite), boiled and served with vinegar, or frozen! I do not have recipes posted on the RECIPE page for Chard, BUT there are three links after the Table of Contents which list other recipe sites–I know one in particular is loaded with Swiss Chard options.

Good food for good health–The-at-the-moment, Tired and Picked Over Farmer’s Wife

THIS WEEK’S SHARE- Second week in August

THIS WEEK’S SHARE:

GREEN BEANS–1# bag for all, and 1# bag of Yellow Wax for FULL Shares
EGGPLANT
CARROTS–bigger, but still sweet. Mid-season carrots soon to arrive!
CUCUMBERS– Sultans and Impact (we have discontinued the Intimidator variety, though small seed cavity, tends to bitterness)
TURNIPS
CABBAGE–last of the early cabbage…more to come before season’s end–late cabbage maturing
BUNCHING ONIONS
LETTUCE–bags of Romaine leaves, Neveda (a tender green leaf), or Baby Red Romaine

CORN— we are loading you UP! (We think this is the last week before it becomes tough kernelled–still SWEET! 3 plantings for the season–so more to come!)
CANTALOUPE–HOORAY, HOORAH!! (If not the best cantaloupe you have ever eaten–let us know and we will give you another to try! We have 8 varieties, each with different characteristics and flavor. As noted earlier, Driedfruit beetle can sabotage the flavor by drilling a tiny, nearly invisible hole which spoils the melon.)

OPTIONS: SUMMER SQUASH AND BOK CHOI

WASHING & MEET THE PESTS

Just a quick reminder to wash all your veggies. We do not wash veggies–we may clean root crops with the hose to remove mud; and we plunge the cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower into Ice Baths; BUT we do not wash veggies. Unwashed veggies keep longer in your fridge. An exception might be lettuce–I prefer to wash it, drain it well, place it in a ziplock bag with a moist paper towel–it will keep for an unbelievably long time! But I do not wash any other veggies until right before we use them.

As we enter into mid-summer and the harvest is in full swing, we are noting the arrival of our unwanted friends–Meet the PESTS: Dried Fruit beetles and aphids. Both are easily washed off of your veggies and do not cause lasting damage (except in the stuff they have destroyed).

The Dried Fruit beetles infest ripe fruit–in the cantaloupe they bore holes into the melon, sometimes unseen without close scrutiny, and spoil the flavor. In the corn, which is near the cantaloupe, they have literally EATEN up to a quarter of the ear. Unlike many pests, which destroy the fruit without completely consuming it, they stay on their melon or ear until it is gone. The beetles multiply rapidly, with the larval stage in the ground and the adults causing the damage. (Unlike Cabbage loopers and other moths which lay their eggs in the fruit, and it is the larval caterpillars that ravage the crop.)

Aphids are not as easily spotted, but leave a sticky film that washes off easily, and can cause minimal surface damage to the fruit. Their infestations are in the tips of the leaf shoots–if unchecked they stunt the growth of the plant and can kill it. Aphids in broccoli are bad news–fortunately we have harvested all the broccoli heads and just have some side shoot production. We are checking them for aphid infestation–if noted the broccoli will have to be destroyed. Aphids are sticky and can not be washed out…I donot believe and have not been successful in washing the flowerlets in salt water. It is a trick for cleaning off cabbage loopers, those cute little green caterpillars, but totally useless against the sticky aphids.

Both pests can be controlled with Pyganic, an organic pesticide derived from chrysanthemums, which kills on contact. Once we have sprayed, we rotate those plants out of harvest for a three day period. Pyganic is easily washed off the surface of the veggies–so another reason, beside extending the refrigerator life of your veggies, for washing all produce. Pyganic does not discriminate between good and bad pests, so our Lady Bird beetle community can be at risk if we spray too much. Lady Bird beetles are our friendly Ladybugs, who love to feast on aphids!

Keeping you informed–The Putting-the-face-on AG Farmer’s Wife

VALUE OF GREENS

You may have noted we discontinued the Swiss Chard a couple of weeks ago. For some it was probably a ‘Thank God-AT LAST!” For others it was a passing not noted. BUT, Thursday when harvesting the last of the early cabbage, I wandered upon the Swiss Chard row. What previously had been a tired, picked over row of straggly and broken leaves, had sprung alive anew! I was amazed at the resiliency of the chard, but then reminded of the importance of greens in our own bodies–

Here is a paragraph from http://www.lloydcraftfarms.com on the VEGGIES PAGE:

ALL LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES: “One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens literally suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to nuetralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver.” (www.globalhealingcenter.com)

Chard has been our ally in this first year of our Adventure–no matter what the weather, hot and windy, or hot and sultry, or just plain stifling hot–the chard was there. Week upon week, upon week…it was our ‘Thank God-AT LAST’… When the lettuce was attacked by the cabbage loopers–the chard was there. When the weather was too hot for lettuce germination and feared too hot for tender seedlings to survive–the chard was there. While baby leaf spinach takes an unbelievable amount of time to cut, sort, weigh, and bag; the chard accomplishes the same in a tenth of the time–which works well when you are putting out a large variety of veggies!

With that said, we will be making Swiss Chard available as an OPTION at each pick-up. However, it is (like all leafy greens) very perishable–once picked it needs a cool refrigerator home. We absolutely have mental issues when we have to throw away food–it is the fruit of our labor. So, short of asking for orders (which is not workable with our busy schedule), or forcing you to ‘accept’ the chard (like forcing you to buy insurance), I will have 15-20 bundles available each week on a first-come-first-serve basis. As always, interested in any feedback—!

BTW–chard can be chopped up in ribbon strips for salad, younger leaves can be added in entirety. Chard can be baked in casseroles, fried with potatoes (my favorite), boiled and served with vinegar, or frozen! I do not have recipes posted on the RECIPE page for Chard, BUT there are three links after the Table of Contents which list other recipe sites–I know one in particular is loaded with Swiss Chard options.

Good food for good health–The-at-the-moment, Tired and Picked Over Farmer’s Wife