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Aug.4, 2015

Posted 10/2/2015 2:26pm by Don Kretschmann.

Aug. 4, 2015

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

Farmers are invariably students of the weather. We’re always checking the weather report and watching the sky. We correlate this with our own memory and experience. In weekly and daily plans of work, expectations of the weather figure large. Over the last two weeks, it’s been getting downright droughty. We’d reset to our usual summer routine of irrigation. Generally, every other day a crop gets 4 hours of drip irrigation. We alternate the two fields of peppers, tomatoes…herbs, eggplant, and move the drip tapes between alternate rows of lettuce, “uno si, otro no.” Monday was to be one of two days this week with rain predicted—but only 30-40%. Dry as it’s been and cool, that didn’t sound like much more than a sprinkle was coming. Nonetheless, we got parsley, apples, peppers, tomatoes picked and potatoes dug early in the day—just in case it would rain. We’d been waiting for a chance to plant lettuce, so mid-afternoon as it began to cloud over slightly (but still patches of blue visible), I tilled the field and Angel, Maria, and Todd started planting. When it was going well, I took off to brushhog a field near the potatoes and beans. I could see clouds thickening to the south and thought nothing of it, because weather usually comes from the west. A little sprinkle and it stopped. With one more pass to finish mowing, the real rain commenced. Quick decision was: go for it. Once up and down the field, the trip in high gear up Ziegler Rd., and into the barn was more than sufficient to justify a complete change of clothes and to realize the only thing waterproof was the farmer’s skin. Lettuce got planted amidst everything, and later the heavier downpours of the evening washed it all in and serenaded us to sleep.       

The cuc patch has pretty much come to an end. The zucchinis are pretty close to demise as well. It was a great run of them which we hope you enjoyed.   

If you have others picking up your veggies for you, be sure to tell them to only take the box with your name on it. We had a number of subscribers saying they arrived to find their box already emptied. We’re not totally sure, but in vacation season we think many folks tell a friend or neighbor to claim the box. We surmise they arrive and just take any box without looking for a name. Also, if this happens to your veggies, please let the stop host know, so if there’s a box left at the end of the evening, you can claim the box which would be left over.

Coming Soon: Lots of field tomatoes, more potatoes, carrots, beets, red cabbage, variety of apples, peppers—hot and not.

Enjoying the rain, the sun, and all such, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

ID: If y

ou got apples this week, they are Redfrees. A nice sweetness and color for an early apple. Notes: We’ll gladly take clean pints returned from the blueberries (sorry, no other sizes or types)

Special Orders: Basil: half bushel/$17; Seven grain bread @$4/loaf; various cheeses; ground and whole bean coffee. Easy to freeze for the winter: Collards, kale, Swiss chard—12 bunch box $20. Imperfect veggies: We often have lots of things that we just can’t bear to toss. There’s always more veggies of this sort on the barn checkout table than we could ever eat. Boxes and binsful. We’ve been harvesting eggplant and there are any number of these which have one spot on them, or a sunburn; we’ve still got lots of “pie apples”; and we’ve got many onions in need of a paring knife. All this should be used rather quickly and we’ll get it to you free of charge.  

Moussaka: Slice eggplant about 1/2" thick and place on will oiled cookie sheets. Brush the top generously with more olive oil. Bake at 350 deg until slightly cooked (abut 20 min). (Alternate method is to cut eggplant, freeze in plastic bags, defrost and allow to drain, then brush with oil) Meanwhile fry 1# ground lamb (or beef), 2 finely chopped onions (green are fine too), and 2 cloves garlic. Add 1/2 C chopped parsley, 1 c tomato sauce and 1/2 c wine. Oil casserole dish, place one layer of eggplant, then the meat mix, then the other layer of potatoes.   Blend 2 c. milk, 2T cornstarch or flour, 1/2 t salt, and 4 eggs. Pour over casserole. Top with 1 c grated cheese (Kefaloteri or Parmesan) and sprinkle with 1/4 t cinnamon. Bake at 325 deg for 45 min. Can be made with potatoes as well or alternate layers. Since this recipe is for 9x13" pan, if there doesn't seem to be enough, one can cut the amounts of other ingredients in half and make a 9x9 pan.

Caprese Salad: Slice fresh tomatoes and arrange on platter with fresh mozzarella sliced ¼” thick. Place pieces of fresh basil leaves all around. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top. Fresh pepper to taste. Key is fresh mozzarella and basil. Easy and addictive.

Barbecue Potatoes: Mix well- 1/3 c. oil, ¼ c. catsup, 2 tsp dry mustard, ½ tsp paprika, and ½ tsp. salt. Cut 6 med. Potatoes into 4 wedges each. Or use whole potatoes 1-1 ½ in diameter. Then slit potatoes with knife every ¼”. Brush potatoes with half of mixture and bake @425 deg. 35 min. until tender, brushing occasionally with remaining mixture.