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
The produce in this week's basket includes:
  • Tomato
  • Delicata Squash
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans  
  • Summer Squash                           
This Week's Food Pantry Contributions
Basil in the Education Garden ready to be harvested.
This week we took onions, potatoes, cucumbers, 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.
Save the Date: 'Dig In' to Teen Ag
Tuesdays this August, we're hosting an educational mini-series at Wolfe's Neck Farm to invite visitors to learn more about what's happening here. Next Tuesday, August 16th: Teen Ag grows all of our fruits and veggies, and our Director of Education Piper Dumont is excited to share more with you.

Programs are free and meet at the Farm Stand, 4:30-5:30 PM.
Recipe of the Week: Lamb Stuffed Delicata Squash 
A tasty dinner recipe using the CSA share squash, basil, and garlic. Find ground lamb in our Farm Stand freezer! 

Ingredients (serves 8):
Tom holds two freshly harvested Delicata squashes.
  • 2 small delicata squash (about 12 ounces each), halved and seeded, no need to peel!
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 ounces ground lamb
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt 
  • 4 teaspoons basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 425 °F
  • Cut the squash in half, length wise. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place face down on a large baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned on the edges (which should be 25 to 30 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, bring the bulgur and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed (which will be about about 10 minutes). Drain well.
  • Heat the remaining 4 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until beginning to brown (which should be 4 to 5 minutes). Add lamb, chili powder and the remaining salt. Continue to cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until the meat is cooked through (about 5 minutes). Stir in the bulgur and cook 1 minute. Stir in yogurt.
  • Spoon about 3/4 cup filling into each squash half. Serve sprinkled with the finely chopped basil and slice each squash half in half. 
Field Trip to UMaine's Highmoor Farm
The crew observes experimentation of integrated pest management in the Highmoor Farm greenhouses.
Last Friday, the Teen Ag crew went to Monmouth to visit the University of Maine  Cooperative Extension fruit and vegetable research facility,  Highmoor Farm. Highmoor Farm  is the center of research and development for Maine growers.  Highmoor Farm's research helps agriculturalists to have the ability to be more of a competitive presence in today's market place.
The Teen Ag crew listens to Mark Hutton, vegetable specialist and associate professor of vegetable crops, discuss and show aphids being produced throughout their crops. 
   

Highmoor Farm is 278 acres, 17 of which are dedicated to orchards, such as apples and peaches, and 5 acres dedicated to vegetable and small fruit research, such as strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, and raspberries. We were impressed to see how they manage their greenhouse-grown tomatoes.  Highmoor Farm is only one of five research farms in the  Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station.

The Teen Ag crew poses for a picture in the cucurbit field overlooking the Highmoor Farm Farmhouse. 
In July of 1909, the state of Maine purchased the 278 acres of land with the intent of being
a research facility for apples. It has since evolved and they now research a range of practices for fruit and vegetable production. Such projects include  evaluating new mulching techniques and greenhouse systems in order to develop better strategies in integrated pest management and soil fertility. 
What's Happening in the Field
We had a busy week on the Farm! Here are some highlights:

Lauren placing freshly harvested potatoes and onions into the farm stand display. 
This past week the Teen Ag crew has spent a lot of time harvesting onions and potatoes. We've  been placing the harvested onions into the greenhouse in order to cure them. There have also been many Katahdin and Purple Viking potatoes ready to be harvested as well. Crew member Lauren has taken a particular liking towards the potato harvest. 

There have been many visitors up at our plot,
The crew laid out the onions on a drying rack in the greenhouse. 
including Bangor Daily News.  Keep an eye out for us in future BDN publications. These are very busy times and we encourage you to come and visit. Be sure to register for our free 'Dig In' program next Tuesday to see firsthand what we're up to .
Teen Ag Summit: Lots to Gardens at Saint Mary's Nutrition Center
Raised bed garden
By Lillian Kuhn, Teen Ag Crew Member
 
On Monday, our Teen Ag crew attended the Teen Ag Summit, held this year at Lots to Gardens at Saint Mary's Nutrition Center in Lewiston, ME. The summit involved four other groups of young farmers with programs located between Portland and Wiscasset.  In the morning, all of the participants were grouped together for ice breaker games, then, different programs were grouped together to take a tour of the Lots to Gardens program. 
 
Lots to Gardens converts lots, such as underused parking lots, to gardens in the Lewiston area. The participants of the program are responsible for the upkeep of these plots. A boy named Malayla was our leader and explained the garden varieties to us. The Blake Street Garden is a verdant oasis nestled in between apartment buildings and parking lots. The plots are in raised beds because ofthe presence of lead in the ground soil, and they used milk gallons to serve as watering cans. Our tour continued around Lewiston, and ended halfway up a bike path headed towards the city's high school. There, we met one of the supervisors of Lots to Gardens, who gave us an overview of the program and put us to work. We returned down the bike path and removed grass from the one side to make room for a patch of perennial fruits.
 
After our tour, we returned to Saint Mary's Nutrition Center for lunch, where each group prepared a dish for a delicious potluck. We then divided up and attended different seminars that teens were leading. I attended a workshop on dying wool to learn about animals that provide wool and different natural dyes-- hollyhock, goldenrod, and coreopsis. Other workshops included a snack making group, and a lecture on soil. 

A sign for Blake Street Garden
The second round of workshops were cooking and a slideshow about a sustainability and a social justice conference, where some of the summit attendees had presented in Washington D.C. last summer. The presenter, Mohammad, enjoyed the conference because it combined music, protesting, and sustainability. The cooking seminar made delicious zucchini and chocolate chip cookies. 
 
After a day full of new friends and education, we returned home and discussed our favorite parts.

Tom Talk: Small Fruit Production
A diagram of the growing patterns of strawberries.
This year we have greatly increased small fruit production up at the Teen Ag vegetable plot. We planted 1,200 additional strawberry plants, 21 highbush blueberries, close to 100 raspberry bushes, 30 apple trees on dwarf rooting stock grafted by Liane of the Teen Ag crew, and 50 beach plum trees. This is in addition to the Teen Ag orchard we planted in the spring, complete with apple, peach and plum trees. Fruit production is in full swing!

We've planted a great number of "day neutral" strawberries this year. This means that the plants develop a light fruit set in June during the traditional strawberry season, but then come on more strongly in mid-August and continue fruiting into September. This is an alpine variety that is late-fruiting, allowing us greater versatility with our CSA and for selling strawberries alongside fall raspberries in our Farm Stand. 

Highbush blueberries in the Wolfe's Neck Farm Education Garden.
After planting the strawberries, we mulch with straw to help retain moisture and aid with weed pressure. We then pick the first and second flower sets off of the plant, as a means of discouraging fruiting in the immature plants. By doing this, the plant puts its energy into vegetative production and sends out "stolons", runners which anchor themselves and create more plants. Our 1,200 plants will turn into 3,000 next year. Finally, in mid-August we allow the plants to fruit, and enjoy delicious coastal Maine berries!

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.