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Sept. 8, 2015

Posted 10/2/2015 3:08pm by Don Kretschmann.

Sept. 8, 2015

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

Hope you enjoy the tender green beans. We’ve been watching them grow so nicely for the last month, only to be picking them yesterday under a little duress. Without moisture, there are definitely less than usual. Normally we pick a bean field over a two week period. While picking, we noticed that plants were keeling over and seeds were rapidly developing because of drought. We decided to pick nearly 2/3 and not risk so many getting “beany” and tough. The remaining 1/3 was more of an acceptable gamble. The expected rain could nicely fill out the many tiny beans, or it could cause the weak plants to fall over. Monday we had just adjusted the picker so it scooped up many more of the downer plants when things got even more complicated. After picking four rows, Angel noticed we had a hissing tire on the picker. By the time we turned the machine around it was completely flat, off the rim, and in need of a new tire. Normally we’d just take it off and over to Skander’s for a new one. But Monday was Labor Day. With the push to harvest before losing beans, we just had to give a shot at fixing the biggest farm tire I can ever remember repairing. Luckily there was a tube, which made the basic repair not much harder than a bicycle tire. Getting it off and back on the rim was a struggle-with only crow bars. Then there was creatively repairing a badly dryrotted sidewall with a piece of bicycle tire held in place on the inside with a plug for a tubeless flat tire. Hey, it held OK and we picked the beans. Another day of farming…    It looks like there’s an intense area of rain making a beeline straight for us and it couldn’t be more welcome. The farm has gotten downright droughty over the last several weeks. We been waiting for a little moisture in the soil before planting many of the last crops. Turnips, radishes, and all the fall mesclun greens will pop right out of a moist seedbed in a day or two—faster than the weeds which will never catch them. We could use another batch of lettuce in the ground as well.   

Enjoying the waning summer, awaiting a good rain, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

Tip: If ripe tomatoes are accumulating, you can easily just put them in a plastic bag and freeze them for later use in sauce or soups. No processing required at all. Veggie IDs: Apples are Primas this week. We’ll be on to the main season Jonafrees and Liberties in a week or two. Apple topped “Bread Puddings”: Heat ½ c. sugar in saucepan until it melts, add ¼ c. butter and 4 large diced apples and simmer until apples are cooked, then add ½ c raisins and ½ c. cider. Simmer 5 min. add dash vanilla set aside and cool. (this next part is kind of like a rich French toast) Beat together 2 eggs, ½ c. milk (or for a treat--cream), 3 tsp. sugar, ¼ tsp vanilla, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cardoman. Cut your favorite hearty bread into small squares—about 4/slice. (This can also be stale leftover bread as well) Soak bread pieces in pudding mix about half a minute or until it’s well saturated. Fry these in 2 tbs butter. Top each bread piece with apple mixture. Accumulating a number of apples in the fridg? Apple crisp: Slice or coarsely dice 2# apples (we never peel our apples), mix well with ¼ c. brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and juice from small lemon. Place in buttered 9 x 13 pan. Mix in bowl, 1/2 c. wholewheat flour, 1 c. brown sugar, 1 c. rolled oats, optional 1/2 c. nuts and mix well. Cut 1/2 c. butter (one stick) into chunks and scatter over mixture then using your hands or pastry cutter squeeze and mix until everything is mixed well and crumbly. Drop topping onto apples and bake @ 375 deg. 35 min. Broiled Tomatoes: Arrange 1 tomato per person, sliced in half or 3/4" thick, on oiled cookie sheet or low rack. Brush with olive oil or melted butter. Broil until the tops are browned but not burned, and the tomatoes are heated all the way through. Many variations! Herbs and Spices: Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary, coriander, parlsey, dill, chives, cumin, basil, tarragon,chile or curry powder on each tomato before broiling. Breadings: Sprinkle bread crumbs or wheat germ on top before broiling. (or breading and cheese) Cheeses: Sprinkle any cheese you have on hand on top before broiling. Sour cream topping: Broil tomatoes until heated. Combine 2 tsp. sour cream and 2 tsp. mustard and spread on to of tomatoes and broil until topping is bubbly. Garbanzo Bean Salad. Combine 1 1/2c. cooked garbanzo beans, 1 c. chopped tomato, 1/2 c. black olives, 1 c. slivered onions, and 1/2 c. Italian dressing. You can add chopped cilantro or parsley also. The garbanzos (chick peas) are easy to make in a crock pot as they take a long time to cook. The rest is quick and easy. Tomato Bruschetta: Dice up tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Mix with shredded basil or oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Toast your favorite bread or ideally, French baguette, rub with garlic and top with mix