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Aug. 13, 2013

Posted 8/17/2013 8:53am by Don Kretschmann.

Aug. 13, 2013

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

    After getting everything planned for the week, task lists put together, and packing up boxes last Tuesday, we drove with our youngest daughter, Grace, to the Navajo reservation in the Four Cornersarea of AZ/NM.  She teaches at a special education school there.  It was part adventure, part meditation, and a lot of observing the land with farmer eyes.  Becky drove out last summer and was very depressed seeing dried up corn and soybean fields from Ohioto Colorado.  The year before she saw crops in Oklahomawhich were so dead and dry it looked like winter, though the temp was 105.  But this year as we drove, everywhere had ample rain--and then some.  Green corn, hayfields, and rangeland.  Even the deserts of New Mexicoand Arizonawere full of puddles, green grass sprouting between the sagebrush/chaparral, and wild flowers in multicolor bloom.  In that swath of America, there's extreme variety in the natural landscape.  Equally varied, we saw many examples of the dreams, struggles, successes, and failures of many farmers. A special experience was driving after dark on the reservation with nearly no lights visible from horizon to horizon--just the star lit sky and a darting meteor or two.  In this sense group/tribal ownership would keep one in contact with a larger universe.

  We're refreshed by a change of perspective.  We smiled and glowed with pleasure when readying for bed, to hear, instead of the annoying whine of a hotel air conditioner, almost as loud, but oh so much more relaxing--the PA summer grasshopper and insect chorus.   They're part of our larger universe.  

   Bulb onions are generally harvested partially green and then dried in the sun until the tops completely dry and a nice dry "paper" layer develops on the outside.  Because of danger of rain in our region (many onions are grown in desert areas), we generally put them on a wagon bed to dry so we can move them inside, or even in the haymow upstairs in the barn.   We had such high hopes for our onion crop this year and it looked absolutely beautiful growing these many months.  But as it neared maturity, we noticed the green tops strangely falling over. This usually happens at maturity and when they are drought stressed, but something looked odd.  We've been culling through them, getting those we feel cannot store out the door quickly.  We'd recommend you use these onions quickly and even refrigerate.  Sorry for the quality problems.  We are puzzled and need to investigate why.

            Partners in the local foodshed, we are, your farmers 

               --Don, Becky & the Farm Crew

Caprese Salad: There are few more delicious and easier salads than this.  Simply slice some fresh tomatoes and fresh mozarella cheese, combine with fresh basil leaves either arranging attractively on a plate or tossing.  Dress with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  It's nice too with some thinly sliced onion.

Any veggies are great for a quiche--peppers, chard, kale, onions, carrots..  Secret is to have the veggies evenly cooked.  Carrots, potatoes.. would be good to pre-cook well. More tender greens, onions, or zucchini, etc. just barely cooked. 

Kale Quiche:  Remove tough stems from kale, and cut into pieces---4 cups.  Cook in boiling water for 3 minutes till bright green.  Drain and cool.  Chop medium onion and mince 2 cloves garlic; saute in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 6 minutes.  Cool.  Beat two eggs in the bottom of a large bowl.  Add kale, onion/garlic mixture, 1 cup crumbled feta, 1/2 cup half & half, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Mix well.  Pour into pie shell, bake for 35-40 min. till golden brown and set.

Pie Crust-sift 2c. flour(any kind)+ 1/2t. baking powder+ 1t.salt. Blend 1/3c. boiling water+2/3c. oil.  Pour hot oil/water over dry ingredients and mix.  Roll out for crust immediately.  Between sheets of 6mil plastic makes it easy and clean.  Just peel back the plastic after rolling.  Halve recipe for single crust. 

Rice Crust--Beat 1 large egg until frothy.  Add 2c. cooked brown rice 2/3 c. grated cheese.  Press into buttered pie pan.  Great for quiches!

As tomatoes pile up, we begin to use them for cooking. There's nothing quite like a local ripe tomato in a simple fresh sauce. This is one of our hands-down favorite fresh tomato recipe introduced to us by Becky's sister.

Pasta a la Georgina:  Saute 2 lg. cloves chopped garlic and about an equal amount of finely diced fresh ginger in 2 T oil.  Add about 1# fresh ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks, and simmer.  (15 min+-)  Cook pasta, drain.  Add 1 c. chopped fresh basil to tomatoes just before serving.  Sprinkle pasta with grated mozzarella cheese; top with sauce.  A great 20 minute meal! 

Billing Note: We'll be updating our database shortly to give credit for missed boxes and to add in other adjustments which aren't already in the accounting.  If you are sending payment and know what that adjustment should be, just subtract it.  We don't go though the entire list every week and enter charges.  We readjust again in Dec. and if there are any credits remaining, send refunds  All is eventually credited so you pay only for what you get. Remember to let us know if you want credit for a canceled box, or to donate it.

ID: Redfree are the next apples.  We cycle through the varieties as they come in, and then evenly distribute what we have.  After Redfree--Primas.   

Special Orders:  Please use the website to order--under Products>CSA extras or Blueberries. Flats of organic  blueberries  @$58/12 pts.   Please order by Sunday!     Basil--$15/half bushel  There's been a few leaf hoppers and Jap beetles, but we think that wouldn't harm the pesto making at all.   Great to stash away some of this treat for winter.  Hungarian Hot Wax peppers--$25/half bushel  Always our favorite for putting away as pickled Italian hot pepper rings.