July 7, 2020 | Volume 11 | Week 5/A
CSA Week 5/A

Week 5/A marks the second of 3 meat bundle deliveries for Full Share and Group A meat subscribers.

Everyone will receive the first cucumbers of the season--and as you'll read in the Farm Updates, below, tomatoes are not far behind! Hot weather favorites like these help make our summer heat waves somewhat more bearable.

Experiencing a basil backlog? Make a batch of classic Genovese pesto and freeze it for winter enjoyment on pasta or pizza.
Week 5/A
Pack List

(*WI organic Amish farmers)
Summer Squash

EOW will also receive:
(Hidden Spring Farm and Turtle Creek)

Pack list is subject to change due to harvest and weather conditions
Early July Farm Updates
by Janet Gamble

With all the heat, crops are advancing quickly. It’s a dance as we irrigate to provide the water needed to keep the soil hydrated and cooled. Water is the cheapest form of fertility. This time of the year the capillary system of the soil is cut off, meaning that ground moisture will not wick to the surface as it does in the spring and fall. That means the biology of the soil slows down. With water applied, microbes can continue to be active, which provide the nutrients available to the plants in an organic system. In essence, we are farming the microbes so we can have healthy and nutritious food for you.
This season we allowed some of our cover crops to mature. Not sure what our definitive plans were for the rye seed, we decided to roll it down, apply manure and consider it a “sheet” composting experiment on a piece of land that desperately needs as much organic matter put into the soil as possible. We think this could build soil effectively on this eroded site. The rye in its maturity becomes more ligneous: taking in lots of carbon from the atmosphere and turning it into tough stalks. The grain also has a certain amount of carbon. Letting the rye mature, we have locked up some carbon, an essential element for building top soil.

Our current modern agriculture system falls short of doing this kind of carbon sequestration, not to mention other consequences to the environment from no-till systems that require the use of weed killers such as Roundup and other practices that cause harm to our food supply and ground water.

Our farm is quite like a patchwork quilt with keeping the integrity of our rotation system and leaving blocks of cover crops and grains maturing. We’ve cut back on our production this season, mostly because of the uncertainty of markets and because the land just needs the rest and nutrient buildup. 

With fewer vegetables in the fields, there is a new feeling and organization on the farm. It feels healthier, quite frankly. Despite the lower yields, it’s what’s best for the land. For that reason, we have asked other organic farmers to produce some of our crops for us.

We call it the Farm Collective—a transparent and collaborative relationship between farmers in the market place. We mostly work with organic Amish farmers who live too remotely for market access. We can provide the market while they produce crops we can take out of our rotation. This week you will receive cabbage from our Amish farmers.
Tomatoes in the high tunnel are beginning to show signs of ripening as they turn from a dark green to a pale green and we know the pink stage is around the corner. We revel in the beauty of the health and vitality of the plants. Our crew tended this crop as one of the best we have produced on the farm to date. 

The care the farm emanates this season is notable and perhaps some of these pictures will provide a glimpse of the work we’ve done.
Quick Zucchini, Kale, & Chicken Pasta Bowl
1 LB boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
salt & pepper to taste
1 T. olive oil
1 T. dried Italian seasoning
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 T. minced garlic scapes OR 2 garlic cloves, smashed
½ LB rigatoni 
2 medium zucchini or summer squash, thinly sliced 
1 bunch fresh kale, leaves cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
A few fresh basil leaves, slivered

Toss chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

In a large stockpot, heat chicken broth over high heat. When boiling, add chicken, garlic, and pasta. Lower heat to medium-low and cook until pasta and chicken are halfway done--about 6 minutes.

Add sliced zucchini and cook until pasta and chicken are done and zucchini is soft. Add kale and cook for about 1-2 minutes more or until kale is bright green.

Divide evenly among 4 bowls (mixture will be slightly soupy). Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve at once, with crusty Italian bread.

Servings: 4

Recipe adapted from: elitenutritionandperformance.com
Raw Beet Salad with Citrus Dressing
This recipe has proven itself among the editor's family and friends as a gateway to beet appreciation for beet-skeptics and even self-proclaimed beet haters.

8 oz beets
2 T. chopped fresh parsley or mint
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 T. orange juice
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Peel beets and shred on a box grater. Toss with herbs. Mix together remaining ingredients and combine well with beet mixture. Allow flavors to develop for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Refrigerate leftovers for up to a week (Salad sweetens as it ages.)

Servings: 2-4
Recipe adapted from: nytimes.com
Sautéd Swiss Chard & Scallions
1 bunch Swiss chard, with stems, washed
3 T. butter or olive oil, or combination
1 bunch scallions, sliced ¼" thick
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Cut chard into large pieces, plunge it into boiling water and cook until stems are just tender. Drain, shock under cold water and drain again. Squeeze out as much water as possible. 

Put chard on a board and coarsely chop with a large knife. Heat butter and/or olive oil in a deep pot. Add scallions and cook over moderate heat until just tender. Add chopped chard, toss well, season to taste and serve.

Servings: 2-4
Recipe adapted from: justapinch.com
Cabbage & Cucumber Salad
2 medium cucumbers 
1 small head cabbage 
¼ t. black ground pepper
1 t. sea salt (or to taste)
¼ c. mayonnaise
¼ c. Greek yogurt

Slice cucumbers into half moons. Shred cabbage. Transfer cabbage and cucumbers into a large glass bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix together Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. Add to vegetables and mix gently until well combined (See NOTE)  Serve immediately.

NOTE: using a folding motion avoids bruising the vegetables, which releases moisture that will make the salad soggy: Insert soft spatula along the side of bowl to the bottom. Lift veggies upwards while gently shaking off shredded veggies from the spatula in a side-to-side manner, allowing salad to fall back into the bowl. Repeat until salad is well mixed. 

Servings: 10
Recipe adapted from valyastasteofhome.com
Turtle Creek Gardens, LLC | 262-441-0520 |
Janet Gamble, Farm Manager: farmmanager@turtlecreekgardenscsa.com
Christi Lee Ehler, Newsletter Editor: newsletter@turtlecreekgardenscsa.com