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Aug. 6, 2013

Posted 8/17/2013 8:52am by Don Kretschmann.

Aug. 6, 2013

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

   Last Friday we hosted one of our quarterly get togethers at the farm concerning organic orcharding.  A century ago nearly every farm had a small orchard.  Many homeowners also had a pome or two in the yard or even a dozen trees.  We benefited from many of these old standard sized trees in the waning years of their production.  Many a gallon of our cider was made from these unknown varieties.   We've noticed most farms no longer have an orchard and homeowners just plant grass and ornamentals.   At our workshop were many people with a small number of trees or young people interested in planting some apples.  This is an encouraging sign of change.  Greg Krawczyk, the entomologist at thePennStatefruit lab and research station inAdamsCountywas there as well.  He's been to our farm a number of times and said we had some of the best organic fruit he's seen in the state.  He also said they have some very old pictures of apples on the walls at the lab, depicting apples which by today's supermarket standards would be considered downright ugly.  Greg pointed out that what we have come to routinely expect in a piece of fruit was not at all necessary in days past.   We thank all of you, our customers, for your incredible openness to buck the trend for perfection and tolerate less than cosmetically perfect produce.  It allows us to utilize a vastly greater proportion of nature's largesse and forego chemical warfare to achieve perfection. 

   A few years ago I volunteered to go to West Africawith a program called Farmserve Africa to share what I could with the farmers there.  It was a real eye-opener in many ways.  I was astounded to see that nearly the only green cultivated widely eaten was what we call pigweed.  There were plots of these "weeds" deliberately seeded, "weeded", watered, bunched and washed for market. And we, here, consider this red rooted amaranth a terrible nuisance.  There's just no room for waste in undernourished regions with limited resources.  It was very difficult to travel to remote villages and sit in front of malnourished children eating big portions of a bag lunch.  Mother said, "Clean your plate, there are starving children inAfrica."  Waste can indeed be invisible. 

   We hope you enjoy the eggplant--the best crop we've ever had; no end in sight. It goes well in cassarole dishes where it functions as a replacement for pasta. See website for a favorite: Moussaka. (use potatoes or eggplant)

    Very sorry to report that there won't be any peaches this year!  The two late frosts did a real number on the McConnell's  peaches and they will only have enough for their home market customers.  Waaaa!

    Thankful for your open mindedness and adventurous tastes, we are, your farmers 

               --Don, Becky & the Farm Crew

Recycling: We appreciate any blueberry containers you might return to us.  No other types, please. 

Billing Note: We don't go though the entire list every week and enter charges.  We enter an amount at the beginning of the season, assuming full participation.  Then we readjust that in late Aug. and finally in Dec.  All is eventually credited so you pay only for what you get. Bottom line--you won't immediately see an adjustment when you cancel a box. Also, remember to let us know if you want credit for a canceled box, or to donate it.

Pico de Gallo or Fresh Salsa:  4 tomatoes, 1 bunch cilantro, about 1 green onion (or 1 medium sized dry onion or a small bunch of chives)--chop all these very finely.  Add salt, 4T lemon or lime juice, dash of garlic powder and if you like, about 1 tsp. of finely chopped hot pepper—go easy because they are hotter fresh.  Mix and enjoy with chips or other Mexican fare.  You can also add chopped cucumber, bell pepper, or corn.

Stir Fried Spicy Carrots with Peanuts: Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Put ¼ c peanuts in a shallow pan, and bake for 10 minutes . Cool and chop coarsely. Coarsely grate 1 pound medium carrots and stir fry in 2 tbs butter or peanut oil about 5 min.  Stir in peanuts, ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes or diced Jalapeno to taste.  Season with salt pepper and a dash of lime juice.  Serve hot.

Cucumber Salsa: In a medium bowl, combine 2 cucumbers (peeled, seeded, and chopped), 1 c sour cream, 1 c plain yogurt, 1/2 c chopped cilantro, 1 tsp ground cumin and ½ tsp salt.  Mix well.  Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Eggplant pizza:  Slice eggplant 1/2 " thick, sprinkle salt on both sides and let set about an hour.  Pat dry.  Saute several minced cloves of garlic in 1/4 c. olive oil until tender.  Brush eggplant with garlicy oil setting the garlic chunks aside. Grill or roast eggplant on a cookie sheet.  Cut up eggplant into 1" pieces.  Combine with about a dozen chopped olives, Tbs. oregano (or spice of your choice) and top partially baked pizza crust with mixture and strips of provolone or mozzarella.  Bake 15 min until cheese is melted.

Easy Baked Fries: Wash and dry potatoes (don’t bother peeling them).  Slice them a little less than ½” thick then the same the other way to make “fries”.  Toss with a little olive or vegetable oil in a bowl until well coated.  Spread out on an oiled cookie sheet and bake until they are done @ 350 deg. Get creative by tossing w/ dry onion soup, onion powder, chilli powder, paprika, Cajun spice, chopped herbs (rosemary is good), or what suits you. 

ID: Tomatoes--Cherokee Purple, Arkansas Traveler, and our own "Big Pink". Bunched green--cilantro.

Redfree are the next apples.  Sorry, some folks didn't get Pristines last week--limited quantities.  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 berries 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.