Spring CSA Week 13

Hello Out There!

Well, here we are, deep into July and the farm and its workers are pushing through the heat. We keep reminding ourselves that the hottest days are yet to come and that we must keep some fuel in the tank. Keeping hydrated is a challenge, and after a few long hours in the field, everyone’s face is blushed and stinging from the unrelenting sun.  Someone once told me that the true test of a farmer in the south is what they can grow during July and August, and every year that statement rings true. The plants are one thing, but the farmer’s ability to make it through “burnout season” is the real test.
Many plants actually do very well in the heat. The okra is popping up, our sweet potato vines are stretching out languidly, and the weeds have never been happier… Our crop of winter squash is maturing, and we just finished the last of our summer plantings of cucumbers, peppers and squash. The Late Blight is slowly making it’s way up our tomato plants, as it does every year. Maybe two weeks left? It’s hard to guess. At this point, we’re almost welcoming a slowdown from the relentless harvests, if only to have a break from the stinging sweat and itchy arms that accompany our twice weekly forages into the jungle of tall green vines.
Even at the height of summer, though, you can see the season turning. The days slowly grow shorter, and the hours full of frantic fall planting are but a few weeks away. Fall is calling, and although August will be sullen and threatening, the cool nights of Autumn aren’t as far away as they seem. Even through the fog of the dog days, we are eagerly awaiting the sight of greens and roots populating the rows once again. But for now we surrender to the heat, we let it take our strength, and it returns to us the bountiful harvests of summer. We hope hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
This week I’ve asked Sandy Morehouse, owner of Burge Plantation to write some words about the farm from his perspective, Enjoy!
Take Care and Eat Well,
 Cory Mosser

Greetings,

My family has owned Burge Plantation since 1809.  It is steeped in history and, at least in my eyes, is a family treasure.  In fact, Burge started out as an “organic farm,”  my relatives just didn’t know it.  There were no chemicals or GMO’s back then, just manure, hoes and a lot of back breaking work.

 

Take a look at the inventory of  items listed in my Great Great Great Garndfather’s will:

4 geese, 20 oat stacks, 10 fodder stacks, 4 beehives, 150 bu. Potatoes, 1 yoke of oxen and cart, 79 hogs, 11 head of cattle, 4 mattocks, 4 axes, 6 weeding hoes, 6 plow hoes and hocks, 3 plum stocks, 3 raw hides, 10 hogsheads, man’s sable, 150 lb. cotton and 1 handsaw, many notes due and the land.  How many of these items will be in your will?  We have come a long way haven’t we??  Or have we?

 

Since Cory and his crew started here a year and a half ago, I have gained a better understanding of what farming in the 1800’s must have been like

 

Our organic operation is another leg to the stool that supports our 1,000 ac farm – and as my generation’s steward I am proud of it.  It is a financially challenging exercise, but I am confident that with hard work, dedication to the mission (both of which Cory has in spades) it will be a great success. Thanks to you members of our CSA it is well on its way.

 

-Sandy Morehouse

 

 

In The Box

-2# Tomatoes

-1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes

-1.5# Potatoes

-1 Head Cabbage

– 3 Onions

-1 Head Burge Heirloom Garlic

-1# Zephyr Squash

-1.5# Eggplant

-1# Cucumbers

 

Recipes and Ideas


Ok, truth be told, I’m not an eggplant person. I tend to shy away from it in lieu of other veggies. That was, until this season. We’ve had so much eggplant come out of the fields, that I’ve been experimenting quite a bit. I have to say that I’ve fallen in love with the funny purple fruit. Other CSA custerms have as well, and thet’ve been sending in recipes professing their adoration, we’ve included a couple below.

 

Preserved Eggplant

I had to share this one with all of you. I’m eating some right now as I write, and it’s unbelievable! Check out the recipe at: http://www.theslowcook.com/2009/09/03/preserving-eggplant-in-olive-oil/

 

Eggplant Mykonos
Submitted by CSA member Sam Feuer

from “Moosewood Restaurant Cooks as Home”

2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-large eggplant (6 cups cubed)
1 large red or green pepper (we used mild-to-medium peppers instead)
3 cups undrained canned tomatoes (1 28-ounce can)
1/2 cup apple juice (or water)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground fennel
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (2 teaspoons dried)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups chopped rinsed fresh spinach, packed (about 1/2 pound)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated feta cheese (optional)

In a nonreactive stewpot, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.  Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and add them to the pot.  Slice the pepper into 1-inch-square pieces.  Crush the fennel into the pot.  If using dried dill, add it now.  Cover the pot and simmer, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is completely tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the fresh dill, if used, and add the lemon juice and spinach.  Simmer for another minute or two until the spinach wilts but is still bright green.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve topped with feta cheese, if desired.

Roast Eggplant with Cherry Tomatoes

Alyssa Hurd, another CSA customer left us this suggestion: “I make a simple and flavorful dish using this type of eggplant: 2 -3 Chinese eggplant cut lengthwise, a container of cherry tomatoes, 4 cloves of garlic mashed, 2 teaspoons olive tapenade. Put the eggplant, tomatoes and garlic in a baking dish and generously drizzle with olive oil. Salt. Pepper. Add 2 t’s of olive tapenade. Roast.”

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