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Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - September 14, 2011

Fresh from the Garden News

We managed to get a little bit of sweet corn from “the corn man” at the farmers market for you. I know this is only a tease for having a really good sweet corn feed, but you will enjoy it all the same. Fresh corn is sweeter than what you will find in the grocery store simply because the sugars start breaking down over time from the moment it is picked. This pretty much happens with everything, which is why fresh tastes  better and is better for you. If you want more corn, you will have to come to the farmers market and get there early to get in line on Saturday. Market opens at 9am and the line for fresh corn begins at about 8:45. It seems that he sells out no matter how much he brings, so consider freezing some for this winter if you like corn.

I’ve heard that the organic peaches from Cliffside Orchards (for sale at the Misty Mtn. Furniture parking lot on Saturdays) are FANTASTIC.  Be sure and get over there if you are interested in fresh organic peaches!

We are starting to get lots of reservations for children to come to our pumpkin patch once the pumpkins are ripe. It is such fun to see the little ones so excited about a farm visit and get to experience picking their pumpkin from the vine rather than a bin at the store.

We have our organic inspection this week. This is an annual event which provides opportunity for the State Dept of Ag inspector to come out and review our farm plan, all of our farm records, and assure that we are indeed 100% pure organic. Being certified costs us around $800 per year, and we have to apply annually. We feel that it is a good program that gives our customers the  assurance that we are what we say we are although we question the need to spend the money on   certifying every year with the cost increase. Too many times, growers will refer to what they    produce as “organic” when they cheat with chemical fertilizers or use pesticides. What we do takes a lot of planning and pro-active tender loving care to bring your food from the field to your plate.

The weather is beginning to change into the autumn season. With any luck, we will be blessed with an Indian summer that will keep the crops growing for    another three weeks, which is how many more deliveries you will be receiving.

What’s In The Bag…

  • Salad Mix—always double washed, colorful & full of fresh flavor. It is growing slowly, but its back again for awhile (maybe).
  • Eggplant— Japanese Heirloom
  • Sweet peppers—Purple and yellow heirlooms.
  • Summer squash
  • Green onions
  • Lemon cucumbers
  • Regular cucumber
  • Tomatoes— Sun Gold Cherry and an heirloom variety.
  • Beans—A mix of Italian
  • Basil
  • Sweet Corn—From the cornman at the farmers market. It is not organic, unfortunately, but it is still sweet and delicious. I think it matters most what you eat most of the time! :)
  • Apples—Transparent apples are excellent for cooking with. These came from a neighbors tree and are chemical free.
  • Garlic—Rapid Lightning Roja


Corn Fritters

Just in case you should decide that you don’t want to eat your corn lightly cooked… this is my mothers recipe from Oklahoma.

  • 3 cups oil for frying
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (12 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained OR Cut the corn off of 2 ears of fresh corn.

Heat oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Beat together egg, milk, and olive oil; stir into flour mixture. Mix in the corn kernels.

Drop fritter batter by spoonfuls into the hot oil, and fry until golden.

Drain on paper towels.

Original Recipe Yield 1 dozen fritters.

To eat your corn fresh off the cob, simply shuck it, add to boiling water and boil about 3 minutes.

Eggplant and Summer Squash Casserole

  • 2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 8 oz stuffing mix or dry bread cubed
  • 1 eggplant (diced)
  • 2 zucchini or assorted summer squash (diced)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cup Colby cheese (shredded)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a microwavable bowl, mix  water and margarine (cut into pieces). Stir in stuffing mix and cover with a microwavable lid. Cook on HIGH for 8 to 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.

Place eggplant, zucchini, tomato, onion into a large skillet. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir over medium low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F ( 175 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.

Layer vegetables, cheese, and stuffing in the dish until all ingredients have been used, ending with cheese.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

There are numerous different ways to make this dish. You can simply use dry bread crumbs or cut up stale bread. I like herbed bread crumbs for flavor. You can add more tomatoes if you like.

I have made it with half the cheese to lighten it up a bit. It is sort of like a veggie lasagna without the noodles.

Lemon Zucchini and Cucumber Salad

  • 1 zucchini (sliced into rounds)
  • 1 cucumber (sliced thinly)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place the zucchini slices into a steamer basket and set over one inch of water in a saucepan until tender.  Remove from the steamer and cool slightly.

In a bowl, combine the zucchini and cucumber slices.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. 

Toss to coat vegetables.

You can use lemon cucumbers, add finely chopped basil if you like.

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
          ~ Albert Einstein



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