PHCSA Newsletter: Week 6

Prospect Heights CSA Newsletter

Week 6 – July 16, 2014

In this issue:

  • Pickup #6 Information
  • Makeup Egg Delivery
  • The Weekly Challenge — Using It All
  • Windflower Farm Trip – Get Ready
  • News from Ted

Important Dates:

July 24
Pickup #7

August 23-24
Windflower Farm Trip

This Week’s Pickup: Week B

Thursday July 17, 4:30p -7:30p
Alternate summer pickup
(see emailed newsletter for details)
We expect:
vegetables | fruit | eggs* | dairy shares
flowers
bread
Lewis Waite Mystery Boxes and A la Carte

REMEMBER:  If you are an A week share member who paid for a Lewis Waite bread order or a flower share, you will need to come and get your delivery this week, or else it will be donated at the end of the shift to the food pantry…

*If you missed your egg delivery last week, pick up your MAKEUP egg delivery this week.

Makeup Egg Delivery

Last week, as a result of a glitch on the farm, some of us didn’t get our eggs.  If you missed your delivery, Ted promises to send extra this week, so be sure and pick up your missing eggs on Thursday.  

Weekly Challenge – How to Use it All…

When Life Gives You Greens, Make Pesto!

When you think pesto, basil pesto likely comes to mind, but pesto can contain different greens, nuts, etc. based on what you have on hand. If you’re including heartier greens (e.g. kale, chard), blanching them briefly helps, and, for nuts, go raw & unsalted and toast them if you have a chance. Provided that you don’t mix in cheese/dairy, pesto freezes well for many months, so it’s an easy way to preserve an abundance of summer veggies. One of my favorite pestos last summer was a lemongrass basil kale pistachio pesto, so, really, go wild!

Past PHCSA pesto recipes: http://prospectheightscsa.org/recipes/recipe-archive/#pesto
Check out pesto variations & tips on the PHCSA Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/phcsa/csa-cooking-reference/
Share your own pesto recipes & creations: http://prospectheightscsa.org/share-recipes-csa-photos/

Windflower Farm Trip – Get Ready

This year’s annual weekend trip to Windflower Farm will be August 23-24.  Join us for a glorious weekend upstate complete with a farm tour from Ted, potluck dinner with the farm crew, evening bonfire, camping under the stars, farm breakfast, and excursions of your choosing like the county fair, wine tasting, swimming holes, and more!  PHCSA arranges transportation for those without a car, and more details will follow soon. In the meantime, mark your calendars.  You don’t want to miss this!

News from Ted at Windflower Farm

This week’s share:
·       Broccoli or Cauliflower
·       Collards or ‘Redbor’ Kale
·       White Cipollini Onions
·       Swiss Chard
·       Dill or Garlic Scapes
·       Slicing Cucumbers
·       Yellow or Zucchini Squashes
·       Beefsteak Tomatoes (not many – just starting)

Fruit shareholders will be getting Yonder Farm’s blueberries or apricots.

Save the date: The annual Open House at Windflower Farm will be held on the weekend of August 23-24, and all CSA members are invited. Details to come.

The skies just broke loose again. Every second or third day for the last couple of weeks we’ve experienced a downpour. In several instances the rain has amounted to two or three inches, and in one overnight storm over four inches fell.  When rain falls this frequently, and in such quantities, trouble ensues. Farm roads wash away, tractors get stuck, crop diseases set in, succession crops go unplanted, weeds grow unchecked, and crop nutrients leach away. Our soil is well-drained, however, and the crops we grow on it generally benefit from a slightly wetter-than-normal season. We also farm primarily on high ground, where flooding occurs infrequently. So far, our crops appear healthy, due in part to the beautiful sunny stretches between the downpours, and signs of disease are minimal.

Our chief challenge lies in weed management. Organic farmers trade chemical weed control for mechanical weed control. We use tractor-mounted tools to physically kill weeds, followed by hand hoes and, when all else fails, hand weeding. Weeds can be difficult to control in the best of conditions, and represent one of our highest costs of production. Much of what we do and why we do it has to do with one strategy or another for combating weeds. In choosing not to use pesticides, we leave ourselves particularly vulnerable to weed outbreaks in rainy weather. Weeds are nearly impossible to stay ahead of when wet conditions prevent our access to fields with tractor-mounted weeding equipment. We simply could not keep up if we weeded using just hand tools. But do not fear, we vegetable farmers are an optimistic bunch, and, although we are expecting a rainy start to the week, we’ll likely get back into our fields by the end of the week, giving us yet another opportunity to set those weeds back before we are overwhelmed by them!

Have a great week, Ted

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