Welcome to the Wolfe's Neck Farm Teen Ag and CSA share newsletter, written by our Teen Ag Crew member Gabriella Gaspardi. This weekly newsletter provides information about what produce you can look forward to receiving in your CSA share, a recipe or two, and any bits of information we think you might find interesting.

Thank you so much for your support of this program. Enjoy!  
CSA Pickup Day Details
Tomorrow is CSA Pickup Day! Please remember to return your baskets at each weekly pick up.

CSA pickups will occur on  Thursdays from 3:00-5:30 PM . If you need to pick up your share after 5:30 PM, it will be accessible in the refrigerator at the
Farm Stand. If you need to pick up early on a CSA day or if you are unable to pick up this week, please contact Richard at teenag@wolfesneckfarm.org at least 24 hours in advance.
This Week's Basket
Lauren enjoys a piece of freshly harvested cantaloupe.
The produce in this week's basket includes:
  • Tomato
  • Summer Squash
  • Delicata Squash 
  • Basil
  • Carrots 
  • Green Beans  
  • Kale
  • Cantaloupe (Whole shares only)
This Week's Food Pantry Contributions
The Teen Ag van packed with the donations and ready to go.
This week we took onions, tomatoes, kale, potatoes, and summer squash to Freeport Community Services and Yarmouth Food Pantry.

In collaboration with Good Shepherd Food Bank, we are contributing thousands of pounds of fresh produce to these three food pantries this year.
Teen Ag in the News
Photo: Bangor Daily News
A reporter from Bangor Daily News spent some time in the vegetable plot with us to learn more about the Teen Ag Program:

"A hot morning spills over Wolfe's Neck Farm. Six young women clad in T-shirts, tanks and shorts are knee deep in dirt. Rooting for potatoes, Maya Bradbury comes up with a spud..." 
Recipes of the Week
Pan Cooked Summer and Delicata Squash with Tomato and Basil  (Serves 4)

Tom holds two freshly harvested delicata squashes.
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large squashes of choice (summer or delicata), thinly sliced or diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, grated or peeled, seeded and diced
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
Directions:
    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide skillet. Add the squash. Cook, stirring the pan, until the squash is lightly seared and beginning to soften (3-5 min). Remove from the pan, and set aside.
    2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, then the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant -- less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have begun to cook down, about five minutes. Return the squash to the pan, add salt and pepper to taste, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until the squash is tender and translucent and the tomatoes have cooked down to a fragrant sauce. Stir in the basil, and taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from the heat and serve hot, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.
This dish can also be served cold with lemon juice on top. 

Vegetable Summer Salad  (Serves 4)

Lauren picking green beans.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, minced
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  1. Put green beans and carrots in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring water to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir in minced onion and ginger until tender (about 10 minutes).
  3. Stir kale, almonds, and agave into the onion mixture and remove skillet from heat; add to green beans and carrots. Season the salad with salt and stir.

Development of the New, Transportable, High Tunnels
Maya and Lilly use the water wheel to transplant kale sprouts.
Last Friday, the Teen Ag crew went to work on an extension of the Wolfe's Neck Farm fields. In this area adjacent to the campground group site, the Teen Ag crew is building a mobile high tunnel greenhouse. This will enable us to provide fresh produce to local food pantries throughout the winter. This new project has been made possible through major support from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

On Friday, the crew spent the morning measuring 
Lauren tests out the precision garden seeder.
the dimensions for the new  high tunnel, transplanting kale seedlings, and seeding carrots into the newly cultivated plots. We used the water wheel transplanter and all got a turn on planting.

We also had the chance to utilize our new precision seeder to direct seed carrots, as well as planting nutrient-rich beds with the water wheel. Despite the heat early in the day, it was a productive morning and we look forward to tracking our progress in these newly maintained plots.
 

What's Happening in the Field
Lauren works to dig up the
  loosened potatoes. 
The Wunderbar potato plow digging around the potatoes.  
For the duration of potato season, Wolfe's Neck Farm's summer day campers have been so helpful with harvesting potatoes. On Tuesday, the Teen Ag crew and Summer Campers once again harvested many potatoes together. 

This time, we used a new tractor attachment to aid in our harvest. We observed the Wunderbar furrower  in action, gently digging a trench for the  potatoes to be harvested. 
The Wunderbar  allows for the tractor to drive over the potato plants and loosen the soil surrounding the potatoes without scratching the outer skins of the potatoes. 


Tom Talk: History of CSAs
The Teen Ag fields supply vegetables for 47 families through our Community Supported Agriculture program. The CSA program is great for families who want to engage themselves with agriculture, meet their farmers and eat fresh, local produce. It also teaches our crew members how to manage and operate a small-scale CSA, giving them a business sense of farming to pair with their daily hands-on work.
 
Lilly working to fill all of the CSA baskets.
The CSA model started in Massachusetts in the 1980s. The concept of CSA is simple: the community member supports their farmer by paying upfront for 15 or more weeks of food at the start of the growing season. This greatly helps the farmer offset high overhead costs at the start of the season when vegetables are often not being sold, i.e., lots of money being spent, no money being made, yet. When CSA programs started in the '80s, eating local food was not trending and consumers supporting the new model often took a risk. Drought, pests or other environmental factors could wipe out a seasons' crops, leaving the consumer without the anticipated steady supply of produce. But that was the risk associated with the idea of the community supporting agriculture and local farmers. 
 
Contents of a past CSA basket.
These days, the trend towards local food is on the rise and the CSA model has spread to the rest of the country. Planning for the CSA starts early in the season when we plant our seeds in the greenhouse and field in April. We make sure we plant enough to supply not only the CSA, but the food pantries, on-site events, and Farm Stand. We try to keep the weekly shares diversified and interesting, and also supply the kid-friendly staples like strawberries and carrots. Careful planning and management are necessary. Next of course comes the hard work of the Teen Ag crew, helping to get the produce from seed into your basket week after week.

Thank you for taking part in our CSA for the summer! We hope you will enjoy what our vegetable plots have to offer. Stay tuned for weekly updates from your Wolfe's Neck Farm Teen Ag Crew.