Week of July 24th – CSA Newsletter

Potato field!

Week 7 of the TC3 Farm CSA is here! That means we’re about 1/3 of the way through the season. I’m not exactly sure where the time has gone but I can’t believe that it’s almost August. And guess what? It rained a bunch again. I’ve been able to sneak in some tractor work here and there to prep some fields but we still have a field that we haven’t been able to get in all season because of how wet it’s been. And even though the weeds are growing at an epic pace, this wet weather makes them easy to pull. We slowly but surely continue to make our way through the fields. Last week we made it through our potatoes and were able to “hill” them. “Hilling” potatoes is when we mound soil around the base of the potato plants. This allows them to grow more potatoes per foot and protect them from sun exposure. After our potatoes, we started our field peppers. Hopefully, we’ll get through them this week.

We’ve also been staying on top of our management of our greenhouse and hoophouse crops. The greenhouse tomatoes have really taken off and last week a hive of bumblebees arrived at the farm.

A bumblebee hive to help with pollination.

We bring in the bumblebees to help with pollination in our greenhouse since it is mostly closed. The heirloom tomatoes are coming along. I just noticed today some color change on a few tomatoes, so it shouldn’t be too long. The hoophouse peppers are loaded, as well. We wait for the peppers in the hoophouse to turn a different color so we can maximize their sweetness.

In other farm news, we’ve had a couple of groups out to the farm in the last week or so. First, we had the Student Managers from the Dilmun Hill Student Farm at Cornell. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase what we are doing here and how far we’ve come in a few short years. Another benefit was the potential for future collaboration between our farm and Dilmun Hill. The other group that visited the farm last week was the Management Team from Coltivare.

Coltivare team walking the fields

It was awesome to get them up to speed with all the happenings here at the farm and the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems program.

Let’s get to this week’s share, shall we? You may have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about eggplant when I updated about the greenhouse and hoophouse crops. That’s because the first of the eggplant are ready this week!

The first eggplant of the season!

The plants are big and beautiful and I had some eggplant over the weekend and it was very tasty with very few seeds. The other new crop for this week’s CSA share will be green cabbage. In addition to these new crops, there will be a choice of lettuce mix, swiss chard, kohlrabi, salad turnips, fresh garlic, dandelion greens, flat leaf parsley, sorrel, garlic scapes, carrots, cucumbers (both pickling and slicing) and zucchini.

Over the weekend I made this simple pasta dish with eggplant and zucchini. In a saucepan, I added a little olive oil and heated that up. I added about 4 cloves of crushed fresh garlic and cooked it until it was just starting to brown. I then added a can of crushed tomatoes, some chopped parsley and a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes (I like things a little spicy). I brought that to a boil and then simmered for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a big cast iron pan I heated some more olive oil and added peeled and chopped eggplant, chopped zucchini, more crushed fresh garlic and salt and pepper. I periodically stirred things around until the eggplant and zucchini were nice and tender. I added the sauce mixture to the veg and cooked on low while the pasta was cooking (I started the water in between getting the sauce set and the veggies started). After the pasta was strained, I added the sauce and veg and a little fresh parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Have a great week!

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