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Archive for July, 2008

Lettuce Soup

Member Alicia writes:

I made this last night and thought it might be something good to post to the website or email out to everyone since we’ve been getting so much lettuce! Especially for those that aren’t crazy about salads.

Lettuce Soup (from Recipezaar.com)
Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 heads lettuce, finely chopped
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 dash nutmeg
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Cook onion in butter till soft.
2. Add lettuce, then flour, then broth.
3. Boil 1 minute, stirring.
4. Pour in blender and add milk, nutmeg, paprika and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Blend for a minute, then return to pot and reheat.

Its not as gross as it sounds, its very similar tasting to a cream of broccoli soup though not as creamy. Went very well with some crusty bread and cheese : )

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Letter from Farmer John, July 15 2008

Farm Update #8

Hello Everyone,

Well I have finally finished planting the winter squash and the edamame soybeans. Better late than never is an expression that doesn’t quite work in farming, but with a little rain and plenty of sun for these next 2 months there should still be a decent harvest. The varieties which were seeded first have germinated well and I have already cultivated them twice, since the grass in this former hayfield is also germinating quite prolifically.

With this major task behind me I expect to have time to begin constructing the new cooler. At present I have green, red and Savoy cabbage ready in the field and all of them will have to be harvested very soon or they will begin to split. So unless I include 3 heads of cabbage in next week’s share, we will need to store them for the next couple of weeks. The Chinese cabbage which I expected to be ready weeks ago has mostly bolted and is not useable. I am planting more for the fall harvest when the cool weather will insure a successful harvest.

We are continuing to harvest cauliflower and have quite a bit of a yellow variety called Cheddar and a purple variety as well as the traditional white type. I hope to have enough for everyone this week, but if not will send cabbage instead. Peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant are all flowering profusely, so it should be just another couple of weeks before we begin harvesting these summer favorites.

This week we will be shipping a variety of sweet onion called Walla Walla. They are rather large and very mild but they do not store well so use them up quickly. We will begin delivering garlic next week. The peas are coming to an end but there should be sufficient quantities for delivery this week. The green beans are growing beautifully and should be beginning to produce in 2 weeks. We still have radishes and both salad turnips and red skinned turnips in abundance, and so there will be a choice of these again this week. Beets will begin next week with carrots to follow.

The share for this week will be: Summer squash, sweet onions, peas, lettuce, choice of turnips or radishes, choice of Swiss chard or kale, cauliflower or cabbage, and choice of an herb- dill, cilantro, or basil.

Enjoy! Farmer John

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Letter from Farmer John: July 8 2008

Hi Folks,

It was another hectic week at the farm, but a lot was accomplished. One of the major projects that has been worrying me for the last several weeks was the laying of a waterline 500 ft. across horse paddocks, to get water to the crops planted in my newly rented field. There are eggplant, peppers, ground cherries, melons, and other crops planted in this field in plastic mulch covered beds. The plants have been growing well for the last few weeks but will grow much faster with water running through the drip tape. On Wednesday we rented a trenching machine and were able to complete 95% of the ditch. Unfortunately we encountered an old concrete slab in our path and will have to rent a jack hammer next week to complete the job. On Thursday we finished laying the PVC pipe as far as we could and for the time being we have temporarily bridged the gap with 2” hose. So finally we have irrigation capability and I expect that we should start seeing peppers and eggplant in 3-4 weeks. My new delivery driver Richard was able to obtain the correct refrigerant and charge the system on my box truck, so I now have working refrigeration. The next hurdle (in this particular arena at least) is finding a solution to the need for 3 phase electric power to run the compressor rather than a diesel engine. This option would give be extra backup cooler space, something I have badly needed during these past few weeks of bolting lettuces and an overflowing cooler. The next major project that looms ahead is the construction of another walk-in cooler in the barn of the newly rented farm. And there was actually still time to get some planting done! I have almost completed planting the pumpkins and winter squash and I expect to finish as well as plant the edamame soybeans this week. We have also been busy in the greenhouse- planting all of the same cool weather crops (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) for the fall that we are currently harvesting from the spring planting.
I hope you have been enjoying lots of salads because there will be 2 heads of lettuce in the share again this week. I have to make room in the cooler! The share for this week will be: Romaine lettuce, Boston lettuce, kohlrabi, parsley, peas, broccoli or cauliflower (that which you didn’t get last week) choice of salad turnips or radishes, and choice of Swiss chard or spinach. Enjoy! Farmer John

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Week 3 Share photos!

2008CSAshare3

Here’s the bounty from Week 3:

2008CSAwk3

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Letter from Farmer John: July 1 2008

Farm update #6: July 1, 2008

Hi Everyone,

As we head into the dog days of summer we continue to be plagued with the problem of bolting. We are just finishing the harvest of the first planting of lettuce and the second planting is already showing signs of shooting up their flower stalks. The cooler is already jammed full of tubs of lettuce and there are thousands of heads in the field that must be cut or will be lost.

Because of this we will be shipping 2 heads of lettuce this week. One of the varieties is a beautiful heirloom type of romaine called Forellenschluss. It has gorgeous speckled red leaves and very dense heads filled with a preponderance of very thin tender leaves.

We have begun cutting a lot of cauliflower, but there may not be enough for all groups this week. Those who do not receive cauliflower will get broccoli, and next week it will be the reverse. The summer squash is coming on strong and there should be zucchini in next week’s share.

The share for this week will be:

Red leaf lettuce, Forellenschluss romaine, scallions, mustard greens, cauliflower or broccoli. There will be peas for those groups who did not receive them last week.

Enjoy!

Farmer John

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