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
Red tomatoes ready for the CSA.
The produce in this week's basket includes:
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • "Wolfe It Down" Salad Mix
  • Cantaloupe
  • Chard

If you have extra produce bags or unused produce from your shares, feel free to return them to us at CSA pickup. We are happy to repurpose the bags and compost your uneaten produce. Thank you!
This Week's Food Pantry Contributions
The Teen Ag van packed with the donations and ready to go.
This week we took onions, kale, potatoes, winter squash, tomatoes, and summer squash to Freeport Community Services, Bath Area Food Pantry, 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.
Recipe of the Week: Savory Cantaloupe and Tomato Pasta


Tom, Lilly, and Lauren showcase the produce from this week's share.
Ingredients (Serves 5):
  • 1 cantaloupe, halved, seeded, rind removed
  • 1 tomato, diced and seeded
  • 1 package spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 a lemon, for juice

Directions:
  1. Cut the melon into ½-inch cubes.
  2. Add pasta to boiling salted water, and cook according to package instructions. 
  3. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add diced melon to the pan. Saute to soften. Use a wooden spoon to break the melon down as it softens. Season with pepper.
  4. Add pasta water as needed to keep the melon sauce loose. Season with a pinch of salt.
  5. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan to stop cooking. Remove from heat.
  6. Add cooked spaghetti directly into the pan. Toss to combine. Add more pasta water to the pan to loosen sauce if needed. 
  7. Top with goat cheese and uncooked, cut, tomatoes.

Teen Ag Crew's Last Week
The crew enjoying each others' company on their lunch break.
This week is our last as a full crew for the season. It's been an awesome and memorable season. We took the time to reflect on our summer in the Teen Ag Program by the beach. Below are some takeaways from our debrief:

Gabriella
"I was able to learn what happens off of the Teen Ag plot this year, and really got to comprehend how much effort goes into maintaining a nonprofit."

Lauren
"I really made strong connections with all of my crew members this year. I can see these friendships staying."

Liane
"I learned that I had the ability to be a leader to those on Teen Ag, and also gained all of these friendships."

Lilly
"I loved getting to meet and work with amazing people everyday and learning the importance of supporting local farmers."

Maya
"I learned the importance of working through a difficult task and the perseverance that farmers need to have."
"The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway."  Michael Pollan 
Notes From the Field
The crew learns of the different parts of a working tractor.  
Last Friday, the Teen Ag crew was visited by the UMaine Cooperative Extension for tractor safety. During tractor safety, the subjects of how to behave around farm equipment to how to operate farm equipment were covered, along with many other subjects pertaining to tractor safety. 




Richard takes some the day campers on a tour of the Teen Ag plot.
After a summer full of garden visitors from Wolfe's Neck Farm's summer camp, it is now the last week of the season. We'll miss these special helpers, who came through the Teen Ag plot each day to harvest, learn, taste test the vegetables, and keep us company. Thanks for a great summer!
           

The Process of Tomato Pruning
Tomato plant before going to fruit.
For the duration of the season, Liane and the Teen Ag crew have spent a large amount of time caring for the tomato plants. Now that it is finally tomato season, the crew can proudly display the efforts involved with the upkeep of the tomato plants. 
 
We prune the bottom leaves of the plants because with less leaves, the plants are less dense, allowing for more air to move through. The leaves dry faster after rain, making them less susceptible to diseases that may develop from prolonged moisture. The fewer leaves also make it easier to spot  insect pests that would have been hidden by the thick canopy of leaves.
 
The crew prunes the tomato plants earlier this summer.
The lessened amount of leaves also allows for the plants to ripen more quickly and produce a larger fruit. Pruning can lead to larger fruit because the lack of leaves directs energy toward creating and ripening fruit instead of making more leaves. 
 
The fruit ripens with less time because the  plant's leaves and physiology have fewer fruit to take care of.  Earlier ripening can be extremely useful to tomatoes grown in short-season climates, as the race against the first frost is less imminent. Since the beginning of the season, the crew has had to maintain constant attention to pruning and trellising the plants.
 
Tom Talk: Biosecurity
What is biosecurity on a biodiverse farm?
 
Kale displaying the damage of cabbage moths to leaves.
Biosecurity on a vegetable farm is the act of taking preventative measures to avoid transmission of weed seeds, plant diseases, and insect pests. This can be trickier than it sounds, and we have had successes and failures this year. Remember that weed Galinsoga? Well the thousands of tiny seeds it produces love to stick to boots, which can then be transmitted to other parts of the field. The new two acres of tillage that we are expanding to now has Galinsoga seeds germinating within it. This is likely the result of boot transmission.
 
Tom displays the seeds of Galinsoga.
As far as biosecurity where pests are concerned, we have done a decent job in limiting the impact thus far. The community gardeners have also done a wonderful job of checking their plants before bringing them into the field. Bringing foreign plants into the field or from someone else's greenhouse is a common way that new pests are introduced into the field. We did make the mistake of planting a few beds of kale and cabbage in close proximity to our seed propagation houses. This has created a refuge for the cabbage moth, which has now infiltrated the greenhouse and begun feeding on our Brassica family transplants.
 
A cabbage plant destroyed by the feeding of Cabbage moths.
With these mistakes in mind, we have taken extra precaution to keep Galinsoga seed out of our new field where the high tunnels will be placed. Before rototilling, I cleaned the rototiller and tires of the tractor, cleaned my boots, and always give myself the once-over to check for seed before entering the field. Weed seeds and pests can be sneaky, and it's a lot of work to stay a step ahead, but even more work to deal with them once they are a problem.
 
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.