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Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - August 15, 2007

Fresh from the Garden News

We miss our salad mix as much as you do. This is one crop that really does not like the hot. Thankfully, there are other farmers that live at higher elevations that can keep their lettuce growing. Prancing Pony has been bringing some beautiful lettuce heads to the farmers market the past few Saturdays, so if you want local, organic lettuce, you can definitely find it at our market.

Meanwhile, we have eight different kinds of lettuce seedlings growing. As it cools off, we will all be eating our salad again.

In the meantime, we are giving you lots of tomatoes along with enough other vegetables that you can be creative with alternatives to lettuce for a salad!

Our apprentices are gone from the farm now. Erin works as a kayak guide and is off in the Canadian artic on a four week trek and may return the end of this month. Ana has returned to Santa Cruz, California to do what she does as a high school counselor.

Just about the time I was wondering how we were going to keep up with life on the farm without the girls, I ran into a young woman named Wendy at Winter Ridge. I gave Wendy the nick name of the “Deadhead Queen” some years ago when she volunteered to help out here. Deadheading is one thing that is constantly in need of attention in the garden to keep things growing, flowers blooming, and herbs producing. It is also one project that I never seem to have time to attend to.

Wendy is very conscientious  and has a good eye for doing what needs to be done and taking great care to be gentle with the plants. She has been a great help these past few weeks with harvesting, weeding, deadheading plants and helping put together your weekly bag of goodies.

We feel fortunate to have such outstanding young women coming to mentor with us. I have the quote: “The future belongs to those who give the next generation reasons to hope” on our Greentree Naturals business card.  This quote comes from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who was a visionary French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist, and philosopher, who spent the bulk of his life trying to integrate religious experience with natural science, most specifically Christian theology with theories of evolution.

I like the idea of encouraging the next generation to consider farming and think about things like where your food comes from, the people that grow your food, and how to be good stewards of the land.

Zucchini and Summer squash from Farmer John’s Cook Book

Squash that produces in summer generally falls into two categories; (1) zucchini and (2) everything else, collectively known as summer squash. There are subtle difference, but zucchini and summer squash are generally interchange when cooking.

Zucchini and summer squash are kind of like the rabbits of the vegetable world; once they start reproducing, there’s no turning back. The vines unfurl rapidly, and before we know it, the flowers give way to mature squash.

Our un-waxed farm-fresh zucchini and summer squash respire through their skins, so they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible. If stored in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin or a sealed plastic container lined with a kitchen towel in the refrigerator, they will keep for about a week and a half.

What's in the Bag

  • Beans—The first of the harvest with many more to come!
  • Broccoli—Sprouting variety; soak in salted cold water for 10 minutes before eating or cooking.
  • Cabbage—The heads split when we soaked them so they may not look perfect, but trust me, it is sweet and very good to eat!
  • Cucumber & Garlic
  • Herbs— Sage, Greek Oregano, winter savory & basil
  • Sweet baby pepper
  • Summer squash
  • Eggplant—Some of you got long skinny oriental eggplant, so know that whatever that purple thing is, its eggplant!
  • Tomatoes—These wonderful fruits come from Jerry Petrina and his wife a Deerfield Farms in Sagle area.  If you want to order more for canning or eating, let us know by Thursday morning for the following week delivery. If you get the Daily Bee, last Sunday’s front page was a story about their farm. The golden cherry and small reds are Heirloom tomatoes that come from Greentree.
  • New potatoes—Yellow Finns, Ruby Crescent, Albies Gold and Chiftons.
  • Blueberries– From Riley Creek Blueberry Farm. We are coming to the end of the berry season so this may be your last chance to order any extras. Let me know by Thursday if you want to purchase more to freeze this winter.


Creamy Zucchini-Cumin Dip from Farmer John’s Cookbook

Treat your zucchini like cucumbers! As in many classic cucumber recipes, the grated raw zucchini for this salad is salted and drained before being used. Salting tenderizes the zucchini, mellowing its “raw edge,” and prepares it to absorb the flavors from the other ingredients in the dish. We know the classic combination of sour cream and onion is grand, and lime, cumin and a touch of paprika give it character. This works great as an all-purpose party dip—double the recipe if you’re making it for a party. Or use it as a garnish for tacos or chili.

Makes 1+1/2 cups

  • 4 small or 2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice1 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Paprika

1. Place the zucchini in a medium bowl; add the salt and mix well. Transfer to a colander and set in the sink to drain for a least 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put the sour cream, onion, lime juice, and cumin in a large serving bowl; stir until well combined. Season with pepper and paprika to taste.

3. Squeeze as much moisture as you can from the zucchini with your hands; add the zucchini to the sour cream mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.

4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Zucchini and Summer Squash Cornmeal Coating from Farmer John’s with adaptations from Diane’s kitchen

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small or 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved crosswise, each half sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick strips
  • 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, halved crosswise, each half sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick strips
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped herbs of choice

1. Mix the cornmeal with the salt and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl (mix in herbs at this time if you are using them).

2. Working with one piece of squash at a time, coat it lightly in flour and shake off any excess. Next, dip the floured squash in the beaten egg, letting the excess drip off, then dip it in the cornmeal and coat well. Set the coated squash aside. Repeat process with the remaining squash.

3. Line a plate with a paper towel. Pour enough oil into a large skillet to thoroughly cover the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Transfer as many of the coated slices to the skillet as will easily fit and cook until they are brown, about 5 minutes. Flip the slices and cook until brown, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the cooked slices to the paper towel to lined plate to drain and cool.

Scrape off any leftover burning pieces of cornmeal from the skillet, add more oil if necessary, and repeat the cooking process with the next batch of squash and zucchini.

Season with additional salt to taste and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
- Robert Brault


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