Crop Talk July 24, 2017
CSA Week 7

   Cherry tomatoes make their debut this week, and they're so sweet that you'll understand why they're classified as fruits, not vegetables. 

   "Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems," the staff at Live Science reports. "By those standards, seedy outgrowths such as apples, squash and, yes, tomatoes are all fruits, while roots such as beets, potatoes and turnips, leaves such as spinach, kale and lettuce, and stems such as celery and broccoli are all vegetables."

   So boxes feature five botanical fruits this week and only two botanical vegetables, but the culinary classification comes out five to two in reverse. The cherry tomatoes are great by themselves, but I'll probably add some of mine to sauteed squash and onion for a little depth and sauciness, not to mention color.This idea for zucchini and pasta also looks good. The Cook With What You Have website also offers 51 different suggestions for using your potatoes. Both the red potatoes and the Yukon gold potatoes in this week's boxes are easy to boil in one-inch chunks. I drain them after about 10 minutes, when they're still firmer than I want them to be, because they'll continue to soften off the heat.

Week 8 Shares Include: cherry tomatoes, squash, potatoes, greens, apples , peaches, onions

Pick-your-own bonus: 6 peaches.

    Bonnie McDaniel, creator of the gardening and lifestyle blog Farm Girl in the City, was out picking peaches last weekend. We thought we'd share her kale salad ideas and invite you all to get acquainted with her her blog. Thanks for visiting GCF, Bonnie!
Dogs Like Good Food Too
   
   CSA members Eric and Julie Parkhurst understand that your dog's health depends on what he eats, just as yours does. That's why they started EJ's Meats & Treats, a family business that produces smoked and dehydrated natural pet treats. Each of their treats is hand-processed, with no unnatural preservatives, additives or fillers. Meat treats are made from all natural free-range livestock and poultry raised on family-run USDA certified farms in the United States. And they use produce from Great Country Farms.  EJ’s Meats & Treats takes pride in the quality and love that goes into each treat that goes into your pet's mouth. Never before has spoiling your pet been so affordable.   

   A selection of their treats is now available in our market.

Cooking with Lee  

   Long-time CSA member Lee Draznin has embarked on a blogging project this year: it's called "What Do I Do With This Box?", and the name speaks for itself. We invite all of you to join us in Lee's kitchen for the next few months, while we learn how he uses the bounty that comes to his door every week.  

Here's Lee's post from Week 7: 

   "This week is about Zucchini, not corn.  A couple of years ago, squash was so abundant, that Great Country Farms was sending squash in every box.  I published about 30 zucchini recipes, and had a great time trying to figure out just what to do with all that squash.  I considered repurposing one of those recipes, when I came up with a better idea…and the idea comes with a story."

Read more here.
Making it Right

   It was a good week for integrity at GCF. On Saturday, in the company of his father, a young man (very young) returned to us a toy tractor which had become swept up in the excitement of his visit to the farm and surreptitiously went home with him under financially incomplete circumstances. The young man apologized for his mistake, and we gave his dad a couple of free passes.

   Today we received a letter and a check from a guest who wanted to return the complimentary admission we had extended to him. "I served our country in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen, unarmed and largely unprotected in sometimes kinetic areas alongside and in support of the US military. In Afghanistan we had over 300 casualties, including 120 fatalities. Nevertheless, I am a non-veteran civilian. I wish there were a 'Humanitarian Workers Day' to celebrate my kind of service, but there is not. I apologize for taking advantage of your kindness to veterans; it is yours to give, not mine to take. I am sorry."

   We'd like to celebrate that young man, his father, and this veteran humanitarian worker. Each of them has helped us come a little closer to being the people we aspire to be.

Bonus Value this week: $4.54
Year-to- Date Bonus Value:  $114.71

What is the YTD Bonus Value? Each week we total up the market value of the bonus pick-your-own items. The value to date includes 8 quarts of strawberries, two bags of spinach, four bundles of asparagus, three quarts of sweet cherries, a quart of tart cherries, two pints of black raspberries, two quarts of blackberries, and 24 peaches, and two bags of green beans.

Please note that bonus amounts do not carry over from week to week, and they are offered while supplies last.  

Wagon rides to the fields will start at 9:15 sharp and continue at the top of every the hour until 5:00. We update our Twitter @TheFarmerSays with the latest picking conditions, so be sure to follow us.

Group Site Members: 
Please remember that you must pick up your box on delivery day. All boxes contain perishable items that spoil easily, so any boxes that are not claimed within the designated pick-up window will be donated. Your host is not permitted to hold your box overnight.

Great Country Farms | 540-554-2073 | CSA@GreatCountryFarms.com | www.GreatCountryFarms.com