Edgewood Farm Organics Newsletter 6.8.17 - SIZZLING SPRING

Happy Sizzling Spring!

Our second delivery of the year is here, with more greens and a few splashes of delicious color headed your way.  We hope that everyone was able to enjoy all within the box, and if there is ever anything that won’t get eaten just pass it on to a neighbor or a friend.

The weather has us saying adios to spring and welcome to summer!  Intense hot temperatures and steady winds continue to dry out the fields rapidly and we are thankful for the wells that exist on the farm.  Farmer Jon, being from Colorado, is a master at setting up watering schedules that leave no plants left behind.  With a combination of sprinklers and drip irrigation we are assuring that our precious crops are wet enough to keep on growing.  Drip irrigation is a system where there are main header lines that connect to hoses that connect to well pumps.  Then smaller plastic tubing is connected with valves to the header line and laid down our plant rows.  There are little slits in the tubing or emitters, every 12 inches and this provides direct and thus efficient watering to the base of our plants.  We set up a smaller version of this method at our drop of site at Clarke in Saint Charles.  We highly recommend this set up to anyone that is tired of spending too much time watering their garden!

In the greenhouse the pumpkins and winter squash are soaking up the 80-90 degree warmth and are nearly ready to be transplanted into our 1 acre patch that we’ve prepared especially for them!  Other than that the greenhouse is much too hot for other seedlings and will be taking a break for a month or so before we start seeding fall brassicas (kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi).

In the field we celebrated the victory of completing our big spring planting.  What does that mean exactly?!  It means that all of the seeds that we started since the beginning of March have grown into sturdy plants ready for the field, and the potatoes and sweet potatoes have all been sown.   Everyday possible, we have been out on our hands and knees,  tucking each plant into its space in the field.  I thought that my life-time as a serious athlete would help me endure through the grind of the spring but I can honestly say that the fatigue that we have felt out here the past two weeks in unparalleled by any 4 hour tennis match!  What an absolutely humbling experience this spring has been.  We will put 600 more leeks in and the first round of pumpkins/winter squash in next week but the huge load is complete and for that we definitely gave each other high fives.

However, unlike the large Mansanto farmers who put their seeds in all at once and spray chemicals until harvest time, we continue to gently sow throughout the year.   We directly seed (not start in greenhouse) 30-day crops or otherwise called succession crops.  These include salad mix, radishes, turnips, and arugula.  They mature in just over 30 days and we try to seed them every 2 weeks to ensure a steady supply throughout the season.  We also strive to seed beets and carrots on this schedule.  On the subject of carrots and beets, we also accomplished our first full day of weeding!  Yeehaw!  A friend of ours came down and helped us weed carrots, beets, brussels, fennel and much more.  The plants all look so happy now that they are free from the constraints of the weeds.  For the rest of June, weeding, watering and adding organic amendments will provided the tender love and care that our plants need in order to promote optimal growth…..which then leads to the best veggies possible for our CSA members!

 

As for the lil’ Russians, aka my youngest brothers, they are in full summer swing with sports camps and games and a whole lot of fun.  Timmy’s obsessed with a video game called Farm Simulator; creating his own farm (organic of course), driving tractors, collecting eggs, doing farm things by simply moving a controller around.  He asks me every day if I want to sit and watch him play the game and due to a very busy schedule I’ve turned him down which is kind of sad…..so tonight I am planning on hanging out with him in his room and experiencing farm simulator. Joe has quite the busy schedule as well but still managed to help our grain farmer Paul, with some much needed tilling.  Between basketball camp in the morning and a baseball game/chasing girls around at night, he managed to fit in several hours in the afternoon driving a large John Deere tractor for Paul! 

EXTRA DELICIOUS GOODS FOR PURCHASE:

Last year we worked with the sweet and talented Susan-Marie to promote the amazing products that she creates in her kitchen.  It was a hit and we want to do it again this season.  Our CSA program may have us driving away from our immediate community but we still like to stay connected with the local folks in Bureau County.  Susan-Marie is an excellent baker, granola maker and hummus master just to name a few.  We want to offer her products each week to our CSA members and each order will be delivered at the same time as the boxes.  A list of weekly products and prices will be sent to everyone at the time of the newsletter and members that are interested simply email her their personal orders.  I will attach her products and price list to this email and we can start getting orders sent her way for next week’s delivery!  I hope that everyone will take advantage of this awesome add on to the veggie boxes. 

What to expect in the box on June 8th, 2017:

Head Lettuce – Time to make salads or even better, lettuce wraps! 

Spicy Salad Mix – The crunchy, mustardy, horseradishy taste is irresistible!  Like I mentioned last week, if you don’t care for the kick from these greens then simply stir fry or sauté to lighten the flavor

Cilantro – My favorite herb and it is so yummy right now!  Taco night will be that much better!

Radish – Two different varieties this week, some boxes will have the pink beauty variety and others will have the French breakfast (longer with pink and white).  Both are in their prime right now and will go great with a salad or branch out and cook the radishes in the oven or on the stove top.  The spice goes away when cooked and sweetness shines!

Garlic Scapes – A twisty, curly, amazing part of garlic.  We cut this part of garlic off so that it doesn’t form a flower and thus the garlic bulbs are able to grow as big as possible.  Chop up all of it, minus the tip of it (where the flower was going to form) and add to anything that calls for garlic. 

Lambs Quarter – This delightful plant is often mowed down or pulled out of fields, yards, etc.  How sad that is because it is tasty and so healthy.  Nature’s spinach we like to call it.  Farmer Jon and I will stir fry it with all of our other veggies and add that to rice….. or dry it and grind it in to a powder that we add to our smoothies EVERY morning.  It is full of health benefits that must not be overlooked!  Needless to say we also munch on it raw throughout the day!

Recipe Ideas and how to use:

Spicy Salad and Garlic - http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249833/spicy-green-salad-with-soy-roasted-garlic-dressing/

Cilantro and Radish - http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/steak-tacos-with-cilantro-radish-salsa

Garlic Scapes - http://www.abundantharvestkitchen.com/garlic-scape-hummus/

Lambs quarter - https://chestnutherbs.com/lambs-quarter/

*Always wash produce before indulging*

*Collapse and return boxes each week at pick-up site*

 

Happy seasonal eating to all!

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

 

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter 6.1.17 - FIRST DELIVERY WAHOO!

Hello CSA Comrades!

Our first delivery of 2017 is finally here and we hope everyone is eager to explore this new road together!   A grand thank you to all of our members for believing in us, and believe me, we will do everything in our ability to create a satisfying experience.  Our CSA members are our priority all year, from sun up to sundown; we hope our gratitude will shine brightly along the way.

Spring on the farm can be quite a flurry or shall I say frenzy, and far too much to include it all in this newsletter!  Instead I will share some highlights over the past month and start to paint a picture of exactly what your organic farmers are up to.

The weather for several weeks, had an old tune stuck in my head that went something like, “oh, the dreadful wind and rain.”  Luckily for all of us, farmer or not, the sun is out to play.  For a while there the pattern was drenching rain, high winds, more rain, a splash of sunshine and high winds, followed by more rain and yes another splash of sun.  When I say high winds, I mean steady, strong, drive-you-crazy-kind of wind.  A combination of the sun and wind dried out the fields this week and we found ourselves hooking up irrigation, hard to believe after how much rain we received in May.

In the greenhouse, there was a high level of controlled chaos up until a few days ago.  This is the space where we start seeds and nurture little plants until they are ready for the great outdoors.  Once they are big and strong enough they are transplanted into the field.  Somehow we managed to fit thousands of little plants in a 12 by 22 foot greenhouse structure, like I said, controlled chaos at it’s best.  The tomatoes and peppers were in there since the end of March!  The extended forecast of sunshine allowed us to plant like crazy fools, and suddenly the greenhouse was cleared out.   What to do with vacant space?  Fill it up with more seedlings of course.  It is once again brimming but this time with exciting varieties of pumpkins and winter squash, as well as head lettuce which we plan to have throughout the entire season.

In the field, the empty greenhouse means we are planting non-stop, trying to get everything that is ready in before the next rain.  I’m open to suggestions on how exactly to get in shape for this type of work!  We do use a really cool tractor implement for transplanting, I will attach a photo so that everyone can get an idea of what exactly it is.  Each of our plants is tucked in by our hands and most often with organic fertilizer which happens to be fish emulsion (which provides nitrogen).  It is quite the sensation to work the day away with the tantalizing aroma of fish goop in the air!  The plants love it so we do too. 

As of yesterday, all of our tomatoes and peppers are in the ground, as well as basil, parsley, onions, and potatoes.  The first round of cucumbers and zucchinis are in as well, and more will be planted in a couple weeks.  We space out plantings of these to reduce chance of disease, such as powdery mildew, taking out an entire crop.  Organic farming encourages observation and innovation, and the planting schedule for each crop is well thought out…..we don’t spray at the sign of disease or pests, we plan ahead for it, starting in the winter with pencil and paper Much more is going on in the wide open fields but the transplanting is the highlight of it all.  Our bodies hurt, my fingers are tender, and my shoes feel too small due to swollen feet but I rest well at night knowing that the work is good work. 

Before I ramble on much more, I want to introduce everyone to my littlest little brothers.  Many of you know them already but for those that don’t; I have two brothers, Joe (12 years old) and Timmy (8 years old).  It would seem that based on their ages they would be my children but I guarantee I am only their big sister.  They were adopted by my folks from Russia, thank goodness, and now live THE COOLEST LIFE ever.  Many newsletters will include quotes, stories, or hilarious encounters with these two as the seasons unfold, their uniqueness is worthy of sharing!

That’s the news on the farm front, there was so much more that I wanted to include but I know everyone is busy and a long newsletter might not be in the cards!  I look forward to updating everyone further next week and will strive to get next week’s letter sent by Wednesday.

What to expect in the box on June 1st, 2017:

Salad Mix – Farmer Jon’s personal blend of many lettuce varieties including: Flashy Trout Back, Outredgeous, Deer Tongue, Aerostar, Green Salad Bowl, Blade, Dark Red Lolly Rossi, Bolsachica and Parris Island.  The varieties have funny names but the mix is gorgeous, delicious, and completely unique!

Spicy Salad Mix – a beautiful mix of mustards and Mizunos, very mild and delicious on sandwiches!

                                 Eat it raw for a little kick or saute/steam it and the mild spice will go away.

 

Arugula – a mustardy/spicy green that can be eaten as is, or throw it in a processor with kale and

                  garlic and make an easy, yet adventurous pesto.       

                   

Kale – Red Russian variety, we love this kind because it’s tender and doesn’t need to be cooked for as long.  Make an easy raw salad by taking the kale of the thick stem or rib in the middle, rip leaves into smaller pieces and put in a large bowl.  Add olive oil, and spices of your choice, then give that kale a massage!  Yes!  Get your hands into the kale and massage and squeeze the olive oil into the kale and spices.  This softens the kale without having to cook it!  Then I add shaved parmesan or blue cheese crumbles and sometimes a dash of balsamic or any favorite dressing and that is it.  Try it out!

Green Garlic – Garlic that is harvested in the spring and has a milder flavor than the bulbs.  Use it just like the garlic we are all familiar with.  Chop it like green onions, using mostly the bottom white part.  The green part gets tougher as you go up the stem.  Add that to the pesto, or saute the spicy salad mix with it for a nice side dish.  I’ve been eating it raw in the field and my immune system is thankful.

*Note* Always wash produce before indulging.

           * Attempt to return boxes each week to CSA pick-up location, collapse boxes if possible.

***Extra note*** We pride ourselves on vibrant greens, wilt free is the name of our game.  Last nightwe were closing up our refrigerator trailer, all of the salad mix, kale and tender greens were packed away in the supposedly cool 38 degree trailer, ready for the first CSA delivery…..but the cooler wasn’t 38 degrees it was 60 degrees.  It was too late for anyone to service it and we had to act quickly.  We bought 20 bags of ice and packed it into all the coolers that we could find on the farm.  Then we packed the coolers with the precious greens and hoped that they would stay crisp throughout the night.  Please know that we are serious about crisp greens and hope that is what everyone will find within their box.  If there are ever greens that need to crisp up, put them in a bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes then spin dry, salad spinners are cheap and effective and we highly recommend them to our CSA members.   Thanks again for leaping positively forward with us, our sacred soil and future generations depend on these very types of action.  Happy, healthy meal times to all!

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

 

DELIVER SCHEDULE (these are estimated times of arrival)

Roselle, Garden Ave. :  1:00pm

Total Performance Factory, : 1:45pm

Saint Charles, 1003 West Main St., 2:45pm

Saint Charles, Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center: 3:15pm

Saint Charles, Clarke Campus : 4 pm

This is the first delivery of the year with new locations for us, these times will most likely be later in deliveries to come.    

 

 

 

 

Edgewood Farm Organics - Last Waltz for 2016 CSA Season

Howdy CSA Comrades!

Our last delivery or shall I say dance, is upon us.  The 2016 CSA season has been an adventure to remember and I look forward to creating more of these “veggie-tales” with everyone in 2017.  The last box of goods will surely have something inside for everyone to enjoy, even those with a sweet tooth.

The weather has shown many colors this past week, with the changing leaves as verification.  Last week we ended the warm stretch with cold temperatures but experienced absolutely perfect fall weather over the weekend.   The beginning of this week the temperatures cooled back down, by Tuesday we were grabbing gloves and long underwear to protect us from the chilly winds.  On Wednesday the forecasted 100% chance of rain came true, accompanied by high winds, and lightning starting before sunrise.  An inch of rain hammered down throughout the morning, putting harvest on hold for many farmers in the area. 

In the field we prepared two beds for garlic planting and hope to drop the seeds (cloves) into the soil on Sunday.  I plan to recruit people attending our Halloween Barn party to come out and help as I’m certain there is no better hangover cure than planting 1000 feet of garlic.  I’m thinking that I will have people sign up for this on Saturday evening when they are feeling “on top of the world,” then gently remind them on Sunday morning that they signed their life away to Edgewood the night before.  Offering bacon and eggs might smooth over the situation.  There is still a week worth of pulling plants and plastic before I am able to seed the Rye cover crop so the invitation to free farm-fit sessions is still open to anyone interested.

In preparation for next year we are actively getting the word out to folks in the Saint Charles area about our 2017 CSA season.  To clarify for all of our Clarke employee members, the price will stay at $500/share, and the location and delivery day will also stay the same.  We will offer 2-3 additional drop-off locations depending on the sign-ups that we receive.  Feel free to email me with questions and pass the information on to friends and family. 

In addition, next year we plan to have a Hoedown either in the summer or fall, as well as offer a few week days for members and their family/friends to visit the farm and play in the dirt.  I had a discussion with Jim’s wife, Erin, a CSA enthusiast.  She works weekends therefore the Saturday farm days will never quite work out.  I realize there are many others in this boat and I want to address that.  We hope to include 2-3 weekday opportunities to broaden the options for our members.  Note that if people come out during the week they will be put to work!  We also plan to determine the Hoedown date much farther in advance to make it easier on everyone to plan accordingly. 

*Note - We are considering a luncheon at Clarke Campus for all CSA members this year with the potential of folks outside of Clarke being able to join for a small fee ($5).  This occasion would allow us all to celebrate the end of the season and reflect and share stories with one another about our perspective of the season.  Stay tuned for an exact date!*

 

As for the lil’ Russians Halloween is so close they can taste it….and it tastes like Candy Corn and pumpkin seeds!  Joe made a costume change from SWAT to a scary zombie guy and Tim is holding onto the dark side with his Darth Vader attire.  Tim’s focus lately is committed to a farm simulation game on his hand-held screen thing.  He enlightened me yesterday that someday I would get to be a truck driver and haul corn.  Oh boy!  Joe is intently focused on hunting of all kinds, thanks to Farmer Paul and his passion for the “game.”  Last Friday on a no-school day, Joe woke up at 5am to go duck hunting with Paul.  He shot his first wood duck and the next day followed that first with another, as he shot a Goose while on a boat floating down the Illinois River.  Thanks to Paul for being the best role-model and pal a boy like Joe could ever have!

What to expect in the box on October 27th:

Arugula – add to any salad or pasta dish or I like to fry an egg and put it on a bed of arugula!

Radishes – the radishes are at their finest thanks to ideal weather conditions.

Garlic – keep the evil away when life gets spooky, scary….

Honey – Edgewood’s idea of pure, liquid Gold, made by our very happy Bee friends.

Potatoes – thanks to Plow Creek Farm

Kale – Plow Creek Farm

 

*Please continue to return boxes.  I can come back and pick them up over the next couple of weeks.

 

*Visit the sign up link and continue spreading the CSA word.  We are trying to use as little paper as possible to promote next year but if sign-ups are low I may develop a pamphlet to distribute.  Let me know any suggestions towards how to encourage folks to get on board, I’m new to this promo-marketing world!

*I’m planning on sending a newsletter once a month throughout the winter season to keep everyone up to date on our farm happenings, and ultimately keep us connected.

*Honey is for sale with a limited supply.  Pints are $15.00.

I could go on and on with the final weekly newsletter of the 2016 season; another growing season was made possible by a simple but necessary commitment among all of us.  The appreciation and empowerment that I personally derive from this collectiveness is unparalleled, I hope that everyone feels my appreciation and also feels equally satisfied as we finish the year.   My promise to everyone is to keep progressing forward into the 2017 season and beyond. 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

 

With kindness and gratitude,

Edgewood Farm Organics

 

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter - Finishing the season strong!

Happy Delivery Day!

I hope everyone was able to get creative with last week’s root box.  The winter radishes and turnips can appear challenging but there are so many delicious directions they can take our mealtimes!  I look forward to hearing about what everyone decided to do with those beastly veggies. A reminder to all, we have two more CSA drop offs, today and next week so keep on eating the freshly harvested produce while it is convenient and available.

The weather has continued to be a treat, pushing wintery thoughts away for a bit longer.  The dew thick in the morning soaks our boots instantly, and then burns off slowly with the eager, summer-like sun.  Tuesday was a scorcher for mid-October standards, followed by cooler temperatures in the 70’s on Wednesday and overcast skies.  Wednesday evening a light rain encompassed us and with the rain came lower temperatures.  An expected high of 60 degrees today is a gentle reminder of the truth of the season that looms in the distance.

In the field Keri and I are feeling as if we qualified for the farm Olympics, going for the gold!    All the plants have been pulled and harvested with the exception of peppers, arugula and radishes.  A barren landscape is left with some plastic mulch still to be pulled, the cover crop of rye to be seeded and the garlic crop to be planted…..all within the next two weeks.  Time to get farm-fit!  Anyone considering buying a gym membership right now should save their money and come experience our free and exhilarating fitness sessions here at Edgewood. 

In preparation for next year we’ve narrowed down our grant focus.  The NCR-SARE Farmer/Rancher Grant Program is available for sustainable farmers to put their ideas to the test over a two year period.  We want to measure the impact of planting various flower strips and conservation borders on the population of important beneficial insects.  The goal is to create field lay-out systems that increase the population and health of beneficial predatory insects ultimately resulting in a decrease in use of indiscriminate (organic) insecticides. Pyganic, BT and Surround are all sprays that help control beetles and/or worms that attack our produce but the action of spraying is far from natural.  We hope to measure other options that create the same results but enhance important insects rather than potentially harm them.  If anyone has knowledge in the grant biz or ideas on how to map out this experiment, we would be grateful for any help that can be provided.  This is an excellent opportunity with much to be done by the December 8th deadline!

As for the rest of the Edgewood crew, weddings are officially over for the 2016 season and all brides left happy and married, mission accomplished.  Farmer Paul is busy seeding his cover crop of Rye and Winter Wheat and expecting his first born in the beginning of November.  I can only imagine the thoughts going through his mind these days as he goes back and forth, acre by acre, with growing anticipation of fatherly days to come.   My Mom rallied the lil’ Russians on Tuesday after school and they came down to the field as a force to help Keri and I haul loads of compost, bamboo, tomato trellising and plastic.  Joe was driving a full size truck and pulling a trailer, as any eleven year old would be doing.  Timmy was showing off his muscles to Keri by dragging piles of compost far larger than him which actually was quite impressive.  It was nice to have the crew out there and we welcome many hands anytime.

What to expect in the box on October 20, 2016

Napa Cabbage – My first ever harvest of these! 

Brussels – Everyone takes an entire stalk home, they will be in a bin in pick up room.

Peppers – The peppers are continuing on strong…..

Arugula – Fresh, fall greens!  We are eating it with fried eggs for breakfast!

Butternut Winter Squash – Plow Creek FarmTiskilwa, IL

Sage – It was too beautiful to leave out of the box….fry it, dry it or burn it for around a campfire.

*Always wash produce before indulging.

*Please return all boxes by next week.

Recipes

Brussels Sprouts, Keri’s Style - Trim ends of Brussels, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and caraway seed, enough olive oil to coat everything.  Roast in oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  A great snack for eating while cheering for the Cubs!

Butternut Squash and Sage - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-and-sage-soup-with-sage-breadcrumbs-241346

Roasted Butternut and Arugula Salad - http://lindawagner.net/blog/2014/10/arugula-roasted-butternut-squash-salad/index.html

Napa Cabbage and Arugula Salad - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/savoy-cabbage-and-arugula-salad-14981

Eat well CSA comrades!  I hope everyone will end the year feeling satisfied.  Check out this link and fill out the Google form if interested in participating next year!  Please share with local friends and family!

https://goo.gl/forms/vf1rwAe9nncoGeSD3

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

 

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organic

Edgewood Farm Organics Newsletter - Harvest and Growing our CSA Family

Happy Delivery Day!

First and foremost I want to congratulate our Farmer Paul for completing his very first Organic Corn and Beans harvest this week.  Wow.  Year three of his farming career and already he is trucking bountiful loads of OG grain.  HE’s a natural and ought to be mighty proud of himself, the rest of the Edgewood Crew is!  Paul is a brother, a friend and an empowering co-worker to me and the crew and quite frankly, he deserves multiple high fives and definitely some days off!   He and his wife are expecting their first child in early November so his timing is impeccable.  Thank you Paul!

The weather has been gorgeous with the start of the golden leaves, backed by blue skies and fall breeze, a bit like paradise I believe….  The warm dry weather ended yesterday with a chilly, drenching rain, soaking everything including myself.  This morning we were greeted with an eye-opener better than coffee, a 37 degree sunrise perked us right up!

In the field my solitary days are over, my friend Keri has returned from the wilderness and is here to stay until the end of October.  In one day we were able to pull all of the tomato plants as well as the T posts that helped trellis them!  Two sets of willing and hardworking hands can go a long way, she’s proving that to me daily.  The peppers faired last night’s extreme temperature dip and the cabbage, radishes and Brussel’s basked in the coolness.  I look forward to sharing these items with everyone to end the season with a bang.

*On Monday Keri and I ventured off to experience another farmer’s field.  PrairiErth Farm in Atlanta, IL called on volunteers to come down and help harvest potatoes.  They have a lot of potatoes in their field along with many other delicious and exciting items.  We helped them and in return they helped us.  For their winter CSA and farmer’s markets they rely heavily on the sales of storage crops, for example winter radishes, turnips and sweet potatoes.  This year, based on overplanting or just excellent germination rates, they ended up with root crops that they weren’t going to have time to harvest.  Keri and I saw this as an opportunity to supply Edgewood’s CSA with some unusual crops that I don’t have in my field.  We harvested potatoes for them and got paid in veggies for all of our members!  The box may look emptier but I assure everyone it is full, full of sustenance.  In the recipe section I will provide guidance on how to cook and process.

In preparation for next year we are planning to grow the Edgewood Farm Organics CSA and we are calling on our current members to help make this possible.  With the future addition of Farmer Jon and a few other willing and able crew members we feel that growth is possible and essential.  Our CSA community now is remarkable and I don’t know a single other farmer that was able to start off with over 25 members consistently in their first years of growing.  Thank you for hopping on the CSA train and experiencing every twist and turn along with me.  We want to encourage more Clarke employees to take a chance on Organic Agriculture and we also want to include other willing people that live in the Roselle/Saint Charles areas to ride along with us.   We are striving to grow from a 27 member program to a 75 member program.  Shooting for the stars some might say but we’ve done the research, ran the numbers, and confidently stand behind our own skills…..we are enthused to broaden our embrace and include more community members in this experience.

*Included in each box is a post card full of information concerning the 2017 CSA season.  Bring it home and share the info. with neighbors, family and friends!  There will also be a stack of cards at each drop off spot for others to explore and consider.  Help us grow our CSA family! 

 

What to expect in the box on October 13, 2016

Watermelon Radishes

Russian Red Turnips

Korean Daikon Radishes

Hot Peppers – Jalapeno, Aji Crystal (orange/yellow), Candlelight (the tiny red ones)

Garlic

*As always, wash produce before indulging.

 

Recipe Ideas

Pickled Watermelon Radishes

https://food52.com/recipes/33585-pickled-watermelon-radishes

What is a Korean Daikon Radish?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daikon

How to cook it?

http://www.heraldextra.com/momclick/recipes/the-warmth-of-a-winter-radish/article_86637d3e-3d30-11e1-b6b0-0019bb2963f4.html

https://hotcheapeasy.com/2014/11/01/buttery-roasted-winter-radishes-and-watermelon-turnips/

I hope everyone enjoys celebrating the season with this autumn delivery!

"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." -  Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

 

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organic

Edgewood Farm Organics Newsletter - Final CSA Month is Here

Happy Delivery Day!

We are in our last month of the CSA season and many of the farmer’s markets will close in a couple weeks as well.  It’s time to freeze, dehydrate, and can whatever produce is available.  Our taste buds will thank us in the middle of January when we can grab a bag of frozen roasted peppers and add them to soup or chili.  Check out the recipe section of the newsletter for tips and ideas towards preparing food for winter.

The weather has been an encouraging friend to me, although corn and bean farmers are feeling differently.  The moisture coupled with cloudy days has Edgewood’s Farmer Paul delayed for corn harvest.  Next week he will give it a go, and BOY does his ORGANIC corn look nice!  The on and off rain helped the salad mix, radishes and arugula pop and this week we are back to warm temps so they are really growing!   More fall-like temps are just a few days away, and the rain that is here should clear out soon so we are all in for a lovely fall weekend.

In the field the pulling of dead plants has begun, and with this comes much reflection about all of the bounty that the field provided this year.  Many of the plants will stay in the field to decay and add nutrients back to the soil but the really thick stemmed crops, like Broccoli and Kale are removed and composted.  After removing all of the plants the next step will be pulling up the plastic mulch and the T-posts from the tomato trellis.  A lot of muscle work is required at the end of the season, no need for a gym membership, free farm-fit sessions available daily at Edgewood! I’m also thinning radishes and seeding the last planting of salad mix and hoping that they mature before October 27th!

In preparation for next year we are starting to research grant opportunities that may be available regarding our plan to integrate conservation and organic agriculture.  We are looking at the grants available through the National Resource Conservation Service and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and hope that the systems we want to implement on our new acreage will be worthy of  a grant.  We feel strongly that the symbiotic systems that we are focused on creating will be an important model for the future of sustainable, organic agriculture!

As for the lil’ Russians, Joe is back up on the big horses and psyched to take compost loads of dead plants for me.  I pull the plants and make piles and he comes and fills the bucket with them, drives the tractor to the compost, dumps it and returns back for more.  It’s nice to have a friend out in the field again.  Timmy is researching homemade R2D2 costumes for me on the computer and the plans don’t look too complicated so it might actually happen.  For our adult Halloween party I am considering a garlic princess costume, a princess that has the power to keep all the evil away….and most of my friends too depending on how potent I smell.

What to expect in the box on October 6, 2016

Kale

Eggplant – Bell and Long Asian Variety – Thanks to Coneflower Farm in TIskilwa, IL

Peppers – Long Italian variety and Green Bells

Oregano

*As always, wash produce before indulging.

*It might seem like a small offering this week but I will be honest, the fall bounty is not a reality for me this year.    I will do everything possible to make sure there are delicious items from Edgewood and my local farmer friends in the boxes for our last month of CSA.  “You win some, you lose some….”  Right?!  This year the surpluses and storage veggies weren’t as prevalent but I hope that everyone will still enjoy the October deliveries.  Each year presents challenges and rewards in its own unique way and each year I learn how to keep improving and moving forward.  As always, thanks for continuing to support these efforts!  Next year we are planning for wider varieties of crops and adding beets, turnips, rutabagas and much more to the field menu!

 

Recipe ideas and Storage tips

 

Peppers – Cut peppers into strips, roast in the oven and then put them in a zip-loc and freeze!  This is a very simple and rewarding way to store peppers for winter usage.  Check out roasted pepper recipes on the internet!  The possibilities are endless and we have a lot of peppers to eat between now and the end of October so it’s time to get on the pepper train.

 

Kale – Freeze Kale too!  If it seems like the kale isn’t going to be eaten fresh just put it in a zip-loc and freeze.  I add it to morning smoothies all the time and it gives me a good green boost to start the day.  The frozen kale can also be added to soups in the winter.  We love a Kale and Chorizo soup that sister-in-law Anna discovered. 

 

Eggplant – Eat this fresh if possible by thinly slicing the eggplant and putting it on a roasting pan.  Drizzle coconut oil or olive oil and cook at 425 degrees.  Coconut oil adds incredible flavor and texture and is a super healthy oil to cook with at high temperatures.  Check out epicurious.com for a great Oven-Roasted Eggplant Recipe.

 

Eggplant – Begnan Bhartha is a Northern Indian dish that my friend Keri just told me about!  It showcases eggplant and is even tastier when fire roasted on the grill or a fire pit!  I am definitely preparing this for Friday dinner!

 

Have a wonderful fall weekend, sunshine and cool weather adventures lie ahead!

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

 

With kindness,

 

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics Newsletter - Hello Fall!

Happy Delivery Day!

Our last delivery for the month of September is here and that feels like quite an accomplishment!  I am hoping to finish strong with the last day of CSA on October 27th and I will keep everyone posted if this changes!  For now, enjoy the seasonal flavors while they are abundant.

The weather feels like FALL!  Waking up in the early morning and grabbing a sweatshirt is what I crave and those days are here!  Last week the temperatures stayed around 80 degrees and the nights in the mid 60’s and this week the day temperatures are in the lower 70’s and the nights down in the 50’s and even dipping down into the upper 40’s!  The crisp cool mornings always bring back memories of Montana days, when hoodies and coffee were a daily ritual, almost all year long.  I could go on and on about the satisfaction of crisp, cool weather but I don’t want to jinx a good thing.

In the field I seeded new varieties of radishes and salad mix that will hopefully be ready for the last couple deliveries.  The bell peppers are experiencing a comeback and some are turning colors and are blemish free.  They will certainly make another appearance or two, especially after giving everyone a break from them!  The Brussels Sprouts are getting big and nearing maturity.  I am excited to add those to the boxes in a couple weeks; they were started in the greenhouse in March so it has been exciting to see them develop, regardless of the elements they faced this season.

In preparation for next year we are brainstorming ways we can systemize what needs to be done.  For instance, watering is a necessity, unless it is constantly raining which is a whole other matter.  Much time can be spent turning irrigation on or watering the plants in the greenhouse.  How can we eliminate the time it takes to water?  Drum roll please…..we can use timers!  The use of timers will cut down on our need to drop everything and drive over to the greenhouse and water, or walk to the other end of the field and turn the pump on and remember to turn it off.  All of this is eliminated with the use of timers. 

Additionally we are looking to create systems with the type of equipment we use and how we use it.  Many parts and implements that we use are inexpensive and old.  They were used “back in the day” when many farms were small.  Now folks are getting rid of these parts or quite often they are in piles in the back of garages and Morten buildings.  We want to parallel our field layout with our cultivating and planting equipment.  By creating these types of systems we ideally reduce weed pressure, reduce back pain, and increase our time available to put towards other necessary tasks.

 

As for the lil’ Russians they are officially in Halloween mode.  Timmy started out wanting to be Luke Skywalker but then Wal-mart brought him to the dark side……Darth Vader it is!  I have my heart set on being R2D2 but will need to get creative to pull that one off.  I really want to be R2D2 so that I can make beeping noises all night as my form of communication.  For those out there that aren’t familiar, R2D2 is a robot in Star Wars that talks in beeping sounds, not words. Maybe this is a sign that I need to get off the farm more or maybe it just means that R2D2 rocks!  Joe found a SWAT uniform, complete with handcuffs.  My mom had to hide the handcuffs so that they wouldn’t accidentally find their way into his school bag.  With Halloween still a month away there is a good chance they will change their costume preference before then, I will keep everyone posted as this evolves J

What to expect in the box on September 29, 2016

Radishes – French Breakfast

Butternut Squash – Plow Creek Farm

Sweet Potatoes – Plow Creek Farm

Garlic

Basil

*As always, we recommend washing produce before indulging.

*I plan to be at Garden Ave. by 1:30pm, then Lunt, then Campus by 3pm.     

Recipes

Cooking Radishes:

http://www.thekitchn.com/yes-you-can-cook-radishes-here-are-5-tasty-ways-tips-from-the-kitchn-219890

Exciting and “do-able” Butternut Squash recipes

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_56092ff3e4b0dd850308096b

Easy Peasy Roasted Butternut Recipe with Garlic

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/229733/simple-roasted-butternut-squash/

Enjoy exploring the possibilities that lie within this box.  Soup season is officially here so grab the crock pot and dosey-doe! Do a little kitchen jig in honor of September and recognize the bounty it provided for us.

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

 

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

 

Edgewood Farm Organics Newsletter - Autumnal Equinox

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

We are officially transitioning out of summer, the Autumnal Equinox is here!  This equinox brings much celebration as well as the necessity for preparing our fields and our souls for the days to come!  Embrace the beauty of this shift; it only happens once a year J

The weather has brought some rain but nothing compared to the storms last month.  The sun has been shining, turkeys and deer are roaming, and the skeeters are buzzing!  As mentioned before I find it hard to complain about them as I discover more about the agony that is sweeping Miami.  When I hear folks griping about mosquitoes I instantly shut them down with information about the severity of Zika.  That usually takes the complaining right away. 

                  *When I started this newsletter it was nice out, then out of left field we just got slammed by a crazy storm of high wind gusts and hard rain!  Wow.  I love Mother’s Nature’s sneak attacks, especially when I can take cover on a beautiful porch when it happens.

In the field seeds are being sown and a look of utter confusion comes over people every time they discover I am still planting.  Garlic will be the very last crop seeded the week before Halloween, very fitting as there may be Vampires on the loose.  Radishes, turnips and spinach were just seeded and the first planting of radishes are ready for delivery this week!

In preparation for next year we our deciding our cover crop plan for the 2 acre CSA field.  After heavy crop production this year the soil is craving a regenerative winter plan, as I think we all are!  A cover crop of annual Rye will feed the soil with plenty of Nitrogen and then in the spring we will till most of it back into the ground which will increase the level of organic matter.  Our soil tests show that our Organic matter levels are excellent so we are planning to experiment with the Rye next year by using it as a mulch or weed suppressor in hopes of decreasing the overall use of plastic that we rely on at this point.  In short, we will let the Rye grow until right before it is going to seed (it will be very tall at this point), then we will roll it down with a BIG roller implement, flattening it down over our designated planting beds/rows.  Ultimately we will transplant crops right into the flattened Rye, mimicking how we currently plant into plastic.  Trial and error lies ahead but I dream of someday eliminating the use of plastic mulch completely!

As for the rest of the Edgewood Crew they are in full swing with the wedding season.  The barn is once again a vessel for people to celebrate their very special day.  For the wedding crew this means it is game time, every bride will leave Edgewood with the magic of the farm in their hearts. Good luck wedding crew….. Being a CSA nerd probably sounds really nice right about now! 

What to expect in the box on September 22, 2016

Radishes – Heirloom French Breakfast variety – spicy when raw but mellow when roasted

Winter Radishes – Watermelon variety – roast, grill, or stir fry these, raw is quite intense

Potatoes – good ol’ fashion taters

Winter Squash – Acorn variety, they are small but a perfect compliment to a meal or for dessert.

*Due to shortage of acorn squash some folks received a delicate or butternut squash to supplement.

Recipes                 

Information about winter squash:

http://dish.allrecipes.com/winter-squash-types/

 

Radish ideas:

 

Definitely roast the bigger winter watermelon radishes.  They are extremely spicy and firm if they aren’t cooked first.  Also, the little French breakfast radishes can be roasted or grilled and it will reduce the spiciness!  The days of being startled by radish spice are over, thanks to the trusty oven.

 

http://www.bonappetit.com/restaurants-travel/article/three-ways-chefs-are-cooking-radishes-from-simple-buttered-breakfast-radishes-to-sauteed-watermelon-radishes

 

*Hot Extras: We still have amazing hot sauce available and some of the varieties really aren’t that hot.  If hot sauce is scary to people it is worth trying one of our creations.  They have the power to transform people’s beliefs about hot sauce.  The price is $4/bottle and I can resend the information about the flavors if anyone is interested.  The mild Cayenne is going quick to folks outside of our CSA and there are only 10 more bottles of this variety left until next spring!  There’s a reason for this, it is amazing and goes with everything.  We also have a mild roasted pepper sauce for folks that can’t handle any heat.   I love the spicy varieties myself and the farm fresh taste that each bottle delivers.  Email me anytime for more information or to place an order.  Christmas gifts could be checked off the list by placing an order; I know that is an encouraging thought!  Thank you for your consideration!

 

*Susan the baker/hummus maker has delicious products ready for everyone that ordered.  Please pay me or Jamie at Clarke and Alicia at Garden if orders were placed.  Cash or check will do.

 

*I plan to be at Garden Ave. by 2pm, then Lunt and then Campus by 3-3:30pm. 

In closing, I recently was browsing Wendell Berry quotes yearning for his empowering wisdom; I discovered this and wanted to share it with my CSA comrades:

“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”

 ― Wendell Berry

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics Newsletter - Conservation Teaming with Organic Agriculture

(Written Sept. 15th)

Happy Delivery Day Comrades!

Time flew by last week with a jam packed schedule.  I didn’t want to rush through a newsletter so here it is!  Thanks for waiting. 

The weather has been a rollercoaster to us all, whether in the farm fields, battling Zeka in Florida or holding down the fort back at Clarke’s home bases.  Wow.  This year shall be declared “the year of the insect invasion!”  I know we all are secretly or in my case, openly, hoping for an extremely cold winter.  The daily temperatures under 80 degrees and much cooler nights have been refreshing; the 90 degree days can hibernate until next summer please!  Heavy rain has held off in the Princeton area this week although there’s an 80% chance of thunderstorms tomorrow.

In the field, crops are growing, crops are dying.  That’s the cold hard truth about it all, and a very smelly truth at that.  Rotting tomatoes and zucchinis have an odor that greets me boldly and lingers on my hands until I have time to scrub it away.  The peppers are holding in there but worry not, I’m giving everyone a break from them this week.  The first planting of fall radishes are looking great and more are being planted as well as spinach and turnips.  I will attempt a few plantings of salad mix; the rabbits seem to be obeying the electricity these days.

In preparation for next year there is much to look forward to.  Young and aspiring farmers face many challenges; land availability is one of the greatest concerns.  Next year will bring many unique challenges but the fortune that faces us overpowers any of that.  We have regenerated, fertile, available land.

Next year 8 acres of our beautifully established prairie comes out of the Conservation Resource Program it’s been in for 10-15 years.  As farmers we naturally look at the land as possibility for growth.  The new land available is primo for agriculture production, at the same time it is a beautiful and thriving native landscape.  How can we incorporate the established landscape with our agriculture lay-out?  We were intrigued by the concept and possibilities of Conservation teaming with Organic Agriculture in a symbiotic relationship.  It turns out that there are passionate professionals fighting the good fight in this arena; Xerces Society to name one.

Visit the Xerces Society webpage, view their research, and listen to their lectures.  We contacted them with this objective in mind: we want to create prairie and plant management systems that support native insect populations, while also enhancing farm production through this reestablishment of essential plants, pollinators and beneficial predatory insects.

Currently, we are brainstorming, researching, sketching out maps, and reaching out to other farmers who share our outlook.  We know that next year we will have native prairie borders around the 8 aces of production as well as smaller strips in between beds and rows of beneficial flower varieties.  Ultimately we want to eliminate the use of pesticide sprays.  Organic or not, it is unnatural and we will rest easier knowing that someday we will not rely on any external, “chemical” inputs.  This type of farming will take several years to establish and reap the benefits of the beneficial insects and plants; we feel strongly about creating a system that not only works on our farm but is also something that we can share and promote to future farmers. 

What to expect in the box on September 15th:

Swiss Chard – thanks to Paul Fritz from Saint Charles.

Sweet Potatoes – from Plow Creek Farm in Tiskilwa, IL!!  Next year Edgewood will grow our own!

Patty Pans – one last last last harvest, until next year of course……

Spicy Salad Mix – arugula, spicy greens, and kale.  Garden/Lunt will be in the boxes, Campus on counter

Oregano – a special treat from Mom’s awesome herb garden!

*As always, wash veggies before indulging.

*I expect to be at Garden Ave. by 2:30pm, then Lunt then Campus by 3:30-4pm.

Recipes:

Sweet taters and Oregano

https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=585024

Sweet taters, Swiss Chard and Quinoa

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sweet-potato-swiss-chard-and-quinoa-gratin-11436

Curried Sweet taters with fresh greens and chickpeas

http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/curried-sweet-potatoes-with-chard-and-chickpeas/

Savor the taste of the seasons transitioning!   Fall is just around the bend……

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organic

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter

Written Aug. 31st, 2016

Greetings from Edgewood!

The weather is wet.  When it’s not actually raining, the intense humidity provides the effect of soaking wet rain.  This past week we’ve been in a cycle of exactly that, when the clouds are around it feels cool and refreshing and then WAM, the sun breaks through and the steamy blanket of heat wraps around us. The rain came down hard the past few days and with that flooding rivers and creeks, kayaking is not an option right now!  Looking ahead it looks like the holiday weekend will be full of sunshine….yeehaw!

In the field it’s been strategic timing to get in there and till beds in order to seed radishes and spinach. On Monday I found a break in the weather when the soil was dry enough to get in there and seed.  There’s been excessive rain, heat and sunshine so hopefully the seeds will germinate quickly.  There are a couple new varieties of radishes that I’m excited to try this fall, including an Easter Egg mix, with multiple colors and Champion variety, which will be orange.  The spinach should do well too as the temperatures begin to coolOver my veggie loving years I’ve tried many varieties of greens but fresh Organic spinach remains my absolute favorite.  Spinach salads to come, get excited comrades!

In the greenhouse the kale and late brassicas are germinating and if all goes well we will have a delicious crop to enjoy for our last couple deliveries.  Other than that the greenhouse is preparing for hibernation.  In fact, we are planning to double the size of the greenhouse for next year by extending a similar structure right off the existing one.  Doubling the CSA program = doubling the amount of space needed.

As for the lil’ Russians they rocked the Bureau County Fair last week. Thrilling rides, mud splashing demolition derbies, lemon freezes and an overall lack of sleep and excessive fun sums up the experience.  They created the term “fair-hangover!”  Back to school now they are discussing with their classmates their fair adventures, as the County fair is the most popular event around here.

Dove hunting opens on Thursday and Joe will partake in that, while Timmy will happily build Legos and indulge in Star Wars.  By the way, Timmy completed a 458 piece Star Wars Lego Ship in less than a week.  He worked on it after his school commitments were through each day, and then by Friday it was completed and I’ve never seen an 8 year old so proud.

*Next week Susan the baker/hummus creator will have classic hummus available as well as a black bean and garlic hummus.  Both recipes will use fresh OG garlic from Edgewood so I’m sure it will be amazing!

*There will be extra green Italian peppers for anyone that wants more, there will be two in each box.

*If anyone is interested in the last of the tomatoes of the season, I can sell them for an extremely low member price.  Email me if interested.  I don’t want to be the only one making sauce for the winter, and will include a winning tomato sauce recipe with purchase.

 

What to expect in the box on August 31, 2016

Swiss Chard

Peppers - One yellow bell each, plus other bells and Italian varieties in each box

Patty Pan – I’m not tired of these sweet squashes yet, hope everyone agrees!

Eggplant - from Plow Creek Farm

Jalapeno – one per box and they’re extremely hot

Dill – the entire plant, beautiful and useful!  It will be on counter for those at campus.

*As always, we recommend washing the produce before indulging.

There are both repeat and fresh goodies in this box!  Eat well and embrace the holiday weekend, maybe new friends will be made while these veggies are cooking over the grill…fresh organic veggies can win hearts, this I know!  Add some fresh goat cheese and local organic meat and those new friends are sure to stick around.  Happy Labor Day everyone!

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

 

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

 

 

 

 

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter - Thanks Mom!

Howdy CSA Comrades!

Delivery is on Wednesday this week, today! Please note we will do Wednesday delivery next week as well! September 8th we will go back to our usual Thursday pick-up. Thanks to everyone for their flexibility towards scheduling.

The weather, well, I forgot to include that thrilling information in the last newsletter. Rookie move. The weather has been something to talk about lately, with temperatures consistently in the low 80’s during the day and much cooler nights. What a treat it is when it’s not 80 degrees by 8am! The crisp early mornings are energizing after the warm blanket we’ve had wrapped around us. Fall weather is just around the bend.  In the field the tomato plants are preparing for their new home in the compost pile, as well as the cukes, zukes and patty pans. The winter squash are still doing well, I look forward to next year when we plan to devote a half acre to winter squash and pumpkins! I am directly seeding radishes, turnips, and spinach into the field on Thursday with The Planet Jr. Walk behind-seeder. I will capture some photos and video to attach to the website to show off the essential, antique equipment we have.

In the greenhouse I seeded more kale and hope this planting does better than the last. The insects are taking a toll on my plants and my mind, as soon as I think I understand the culprit a new species enters the arena. Wabbits, worms, beatles oh my! Perhaps I can seek out an entomologist for guidance…..

As for the lil’ Russians they are struggling to understand that homework is constant and it must be completed, almost every day. Their busy 8 and 11 year old schedules make it hard to fit homework in.  Far too many Legos to build and splashes to be made in the pond.  Their “super helper” skills may be missing these days but the void is once again filled by someone who is rocking it out with me! My Mom! Now that she isn’t juggling the constant daily needs, wants and whines of the boys she is able to get in the field, get dirty and get er’ done. CSA harvest and packing days rely heavily on her presence. I’m thankful for a Mom that doesn’t hesitate to help even when the work may be challenging and often seemingly, endless. Thanks Mom!

****Confessions and Reflections from your Farmer****

This is my 3 rd year as a vegetable farmer, and 2 nd year as a CSA grower. I want to be humble and transparent with everyone about the experience so far. My first year I had “bumper” crops across the board and only a small-town, very slow, farmer’s market to sell my produce. Then last year with a full-time employee, we had abundance and wide variety as well as record rain and weeds. Looking back on that year, the historical rains in June were overshadowed by the excellent health and diversity throughout the field. This year, the third year in production on this field, (and in my life) has been a whirlwind of discovery, climbing, stumbling and getting back up again and hiking forth. Fellow farmers have voiced that actually this is a common sequence. 1st year bumper crops, 2nd year strong and steady, 3rd year the learning “curve” or what I call mountain, steepens. The plateaus are nonexistent in this biz and that’s okay. That’s great in fact, farming will always evolve, and it will challenge us, and we will grow. Discovering that I share similar experiences as other farmers reassures and motivates me.  More immediately, I reflect on this year’s lack of Kale and Specialty greens, Carrots, and Beets. As well as the lack of diversity overall, for example last year we had unique offerings like fennel, chard and various herbs. Also, there’s a lot of repetition throughout this season.* I will note, when crops are bountiful in their season that is what we eat, we “eat in season.”  Summer = tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, etc. CSA thrives on the collective commitment we have with each other as well as the commitment to eat in season. I can take accountability for the lack of more exciting items or even staple items available, as I continue to force tomatoes into everyone’s lives, week after week. Fennel, heat-tolerant Head Lettuce or Swiss Chard would have been ideal to accompany these items! All I am trying to convey throughout this confession/reflection is that I notice where I am falling short and will continue my commitment to learning and improving for the remainder of this year and beyond.

What to expect in the box on August 24, 2016:

Potatoes – Austrian Crescent Fingerlings and German Butterball

Peppers – Bell and Green Italian Frying Peppers – no hot peppers so don’t be scared

Patty Pan – I love these things! Grill them or get creative.

Tomatoes – Red slicing, small cherry tomatoes, San Marzano paste tomatoes (the long shaped variety)

Garlic – this will store well on the counter or the fridge

Basil – This herb goes well with all of the above in my opinion

Recipe Ideas

Tomato - http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/summer-tomato- pudding

Caprese Salad – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/caprese- salad-recipe.html

Grilled Patty Pan Bruschetta - http://www.irenematys.com/#!grilled-pattypan/we270

Delicious Gratin variation - http://www.food.com/recipe/potato-green- pepper-tomato- gratin-101583

*I plan to be at Garden Ave. by 2pm, then Lunt, then campus between 3-3:30pm

*As always, we recommend washing the produce before indulging.

Have a blast swinging away on Thursday!

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics Newsletter

Happy Delivery Day!

First of all, thank you to everyone that made the journey out on Saturday.  The weather was amazing and the food wasn’t burnt so it was a total success!  Edgewood CSA members are above and beyond and I know that many other CSA growers yearn for this type of experience.  Next year we hope to announce the Hoedown date at the beginning of the season to allow more folks to attend.

In the field the tomatoes are slowing way down, the classic Red “Better Boys” are continuing on but the heirlooms are surrendering to the elements.  I’m sure this does not produce too many sad faces after the large amounts of tomatoes that were delivered in July.  Winter Squash are possibly facing downy mildew, a severe threat to the plants life.  Large scale pumpkin and winter squash growers have been warned about this spreading problem and they will have to take immediate effective action or face a huge crop loss in a very small amount of time.  On a brighter note, I am seeding many unique varieties of radishes, turnips and greens in the field in order to broaden our veggie adventures over the next couple of months.

In the greenhouse I am once again seeding fall kale, chard, and broccoli and hoping they will mature quick and strong to help create bounty for us towards the end of the season.  I’m attempting to grow green onions and several other short-season crops, these are varieties that mature within 30-60 days! 

*Please pass on any veggie suggestions for the fall.  If they are quick growing varieties than I will do my best to plant the seed and deliver the crop this fall.

As for the lil’ Russians, Timmy turned 8 years old on Monday, (reminder, these are not my children but my brothersJ). School has begun and we are wishing for passionate, patient teachers for both of them!  Every child deserves a teacher that cares and will go the extra-lengths to provide a meaningful experience for them.  I will holster my other requests for the educational system as this is a farm newsletter.

We have 11 deliveries left for the year!  I am striving to provide an excellent finale and crave input from everyone.  I was able to visit with some members on Saturday and inquire about their personal opinion on this year’s CSA.  For those folks that I was unable to reach please email feedback anytime!  I learned how to handle “constructive criticism” in 6th grade; my English teacher engraved that ability in me…. unless it’s my Dad delivering it. Haha!

****Next week many folks will be swinging away at the annual golf tourney, the delivery day will be moved up to Wednesday!  Pick up boxes on Wednesday, same spot, same time.

What to expect in the Box on August 18, 2016

Tomatoes – Better Boy Red variety and Fence Row grape tomatoes

Peppers – assortment of bells and Italian peppers

Spicy Salad Mix – when greens are cooked the spice goes away (braising mix)

Red Watermelon – Coneflower Farm, TIskilwa, Illinois

Patty Pans – baby and big patty’s

*Always wash produce before consuming.

*I plan to be at Garden Ave. by 2pm, then Lunt then Campus between 3-3:30pm.

 

Recipe ideas

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tomato-watermelon-feta-skewers-mint-lime

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/watermelon-recipes#1

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/245079/orzo-rice-pilaf-with-patty-pan-squash-and-bell-pepper/

*Always use Organic broth if recipes call for it!  That’s what I would recommend……

To all the children out there, bring your teacher a juicy tomato and straight A’s will follow!  Have a great weekend and enjoy all of the fresh organic treats!

 

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter - Getting by with a little help from my friends!

Happy Delivery Day!

I hope the summer varieties satisfied everyone last week. The juicy watermelon, colorful beans and fresh picked sweet corn were enjoyed by the Edgewood crew over many tasty meals. I certainly aspire to growing sweet corn and melons like that in the near future! We are fortunate to have such a kind and welcoming farm community in Bureau County and I will keep my eyes open for more varieties from them during the next three months! Thank you for the bakery support too, Baker Susan obviously knows what she’s doing when it comes to cinnamon rolls but make sure to eat vegetables before indulging. Balance makes perfect.

The weather is warm, muggy and quite summer like; go figure….the rain was light this week, except for the numerous down pours experienced during delivery last Thursday. The forecasted moisture seems to be scattered so the drip irrigation is back on and the crops are drinking it up.

In the greenhouse the plants have been moved out into the “hardening-off” preparing to be transplanted into the field on Friday. The empty greenhouse tells me that I need to get in there and start more seeds for fall production.

In the field tomatoes and peppers are turning colors and ripening quickly. They are facing pressure from insects but there are still a lot of beautiful fruits that will shine in the boxes this week. The patty pan summer squashes are ready for delivery and the cucumbers and zucchini continue to produce so they will reappear this week as well. Many onions (although small) are ready for consumption and will compliment any squash or tomato dish. Winter squash are setting fruits, and I imagine the Delicata variety will appear in the box within the next month. Also in the field, carrots, beets, winter radishes and salad mix were directly seeded into raised garden boxes and will be a part of the fall harvest.

A few extra thanks must be given to some kind people that helped check a lot off the endless to-do list last weekend. My cousin and his friend helped me re-electrify with the electric fence in order to keep the rabbits out, they also helped mow, weed-wack and drink beers. Sweet success! A heartfelt thank you goes to my friend Keri for showing up on Saturday, with a broken toe, and weeding her heart out. The Brussels Sprouts are extremely grateful and looking great now that we can actually see them! Keri is helping me with whatever she can, and her awesome spirit keeps me charging forward with a positive attitude. We need more Keri’s in the OG farming world. 

What to expect in the box on August 4, 2016

Tomatoes – assortment of sizes and varieties

Peppers – 2 types of green bell peppers

Cucumbers – this may be the last time…..

Patty Pan Summer Squash – might be the only harvest we will get from these!

Onions – little baby onions

Sage – culinary herb

Recipe Ideas:

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/07/patty-pan- squash-stuffed- with-cajun.html

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/tomato- onion-and- cucumber-salad- recipe.html

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ingredients-fine- foods/45-things- to-do- with-fresh- sage/

http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/polishmaincourses/r/Polish-Stuffed- Kohlrabi-Kalarepki-Faszerowane-Recipe.htm

*For those that order bakery goods, they will be in the pick-up room with your name on it! Please give Jamie the money today before 2pm. Make checks payable to: Susan-Marie Elemendorf or cash is great too. All items are $2.00 each. Thank you! We will continue to do this and expand weekly options as long as we have folks interested!

* Always wash your CSA produce before eating. Although they are rinsed they still need to be washed before indulging.

*I plan to arrive at Garden Ave. by 3:00pm, then Lunt, then Campus between 4 pm.*

**** Special CSA member offer**** Please look for an email from me later today! We are ready to release a very special farm creation to all of our members; cinnamon rolls are great but I think we have something even more exciting! I will let the suspense build on that and send an email with informational attachments very soon. Have a great weekend everyone! Adventures with fresh food await!

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter

Happy Delivery Day!

Prepare for a box full of summer excitement; CSA Santa is coming to town! Have no worries, the elves forgot to harvest the yellow squash. Thank you for the responses to the “evite” for the Hoedown, if anyone didn’t receive the invitation please let me know. I apologize for the inconvenient timing for many of our members, this is a significant work in progress and I will narrow down a more appropriate “Hoedown” date in the years to come.

The weather has been quite a wild ride, thanks to El Niño, “Spanish for THE Niño.” (Yep, I just quoted the late great Chris Farley). We all survived the sizzling weekend heat in our own creative ways and now, well it’s still HOT. At least the nights are cooling down for some sweet relief and a weekly dose of intense rainfall has been consistent. I spent the weekend indoors canning many vegetables, and preparing Christmas gifts ahead of time. The German roots within deepened as I prepared my first batch of “traditional” sauerkraut, Christmas Katy Kraut I might call it! My family knows what to expect in December, mason jars filled with goodness.

In the field I am rolling with the punches and celebrating the small stuff. Sounds more cliché than it actually is. The tomatoes are facing a similar issue as last year and are experiencing blight and/or a plant disease. I spoke with a few other farmers in this area and they don’t seem too worried about it so I will follow their lead and bring everyone tomatoes for as long as the plants will give to us. On a healthier note, my favorite summer squash, the glorious patty pans, are almost ready! Grilled Patty’s are on the horizon! Also in the field, the tractor and tiller are ready and willing for the field. Carrots, beets, turnips and winter radishes need to be seeded into freshly worked soil, and soon. Fall Brassicas will be transplanted next week after we dominate the wascally wabbits this weekend, peaceful domination of course.

In the greenhouse the head lettuce is thriving and newly seeded Napa Cabbages germinated very well. I will continue to seed fall brassicas and lettuce to make sure we have a bountiful fall.  As for the lil’ Russians, they are off at Culture Camp exploring their Russian roots and cultures beyond.

Farmer Paul is up North, slaying the summer catch, and that leaves me to secure the roost for a week, accompanied by 12 chickens and 2 Labradors. Just when I thought farming couldn’t get any more secluded! ”Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” is ringing true. 

Enough farm jibber-jabber, let’s talk about the special summer delivery coming today! A huge thank you goes out to 3 farmers/growers that helped make this week extra tasty. Paul Fritz (egg delivery guy at campus), and two local Bureau County farms contacted me about veggie surplus available for wholesale price. I jumped on these offerings as they are all items I do not have abundance of myself, and I wanted to break up the cuke and squash monotony! All three growers use only organic methods to grow their produce, although not certified their products are clean and safe. Perhaps this is a future farmer’s co-op in the making. Farmers helping farmers grow……we might be on to something here!

What to expect in the box on July 28, 2016:

Green Bell Pepper

Tomatoes – Garden Ave. and Lunt will have tomatoes pre-packed, Campus will have ‘maters counter

Basil – in boxes for Garden Ave. and Lunt, and on counter for Campus

Green Beans – Paul Fritz, Saint Charles, IL

Sweet Corn: Lazy U Farm, Tiskilwa, IL

Eggplant – 2 varieties, Coneflower Farm, Tiskilwa, IL

YELLOW WATERMELON – Coneflower Farm

Recipe suggestions: Look up these simple ideas to use this week’s items:

Ratatouille - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/ratatouille-108350

Grilled Corn - http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/07/the-food- lab-three- ways-to- grill-corn.html

Watermelon ideas - http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searchresults?search=yellow+watermelon

*For those that order bakery goods, they will be in the pick-up room with your name on it! Please give Jamie the money today before 2pm. Make checks payable to: Susan-Marie Elemendorf or cash is great too. All items are $2.00 each. Thank you! We will continue to do this and expand weekly options as long as we have folks interested!

* Always wash your CSA produce before eating. Although they are rinsed they still need to be washed before indulging.

*I plan to arrive at Garden Ave. between 2-2:30pm, then Lunt, then Campus between 3-3:30pm.

*Remember to pick the CSA box up or I’m sure others will gladly reap the benefits!

Enjoy a great weekend and wear that watermelon smile proudly!

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter - Get well soon Laura!

Happy Delivery Day!

First and foremost, I want to say, “Laura you are an amazing, strong and courageous woman! Keep on pushing through these unexpected forces. You are extremely loved and admired, we are praying for your healing and hoping that you are feeling our love embracing you!” I will continue sending Sue Stout funny pictures that she can share with Laura……and everyone else do their part to show a fellow CSA comrade how much we look out for one another.

Summer is certainly here and the spring weather that we thought was hot doesn’t seem so bad now!  The rain came down quick and hard last week, leaving the field very saturated and the muggy temperatures and lack of wind have done little to dry it out. The extreme heat that is on the near horizon is sure to dry everything and more! Personally I am planning on staying out of the crazy heat this weekend and taking the opportunity to begin canning some veggies for winter storage; a perfect excuse to stay in for a day. If planning on being outside this weekend make sure that it’s time spent in a pool, lake, pond, etc. Otherwise, stay inside and start canning as well! Our grandmothers would approve.

In the field, “Be vewwy, vewwy quiet...I'm hunting wabbits! KILL THE WABBIT, KILL THE WABBIT!!" At least that’s what’s going through my head. This is the first year that “wascally wabbits” have been an issue in the field. The main crops targeted, (now that they ate all the Chard), are the onions and low hanging tomatoes. They munched the tops of the onions and pulled them out of the ground, leaving tiny onions that won’t grow anymore. Timmy, my youngest brother was munching happily on “little baby onions” as we collected them, and I had to remind him often that we need to save them for CSA members! Enjoy the world’s smallest onions in the box this week.

On a brighter note, there are many green tomatoes on the vines, as well as gorgeous bell peppers that are truly weighing down the plants. Each box will find one bell pepper in the box as it was important to harvest some of the peppers that were hitting the ground. With the extreme heat on the way, the fruiting crops will be changing colors soon!

In the greenhouse, thanks to the help from the Gardeneers, there are many trays of head lettuce germinating! More brassicas were just seeded, in hopes of having plenty of kale this fall, and by the time they are ready to be transplanted into the field I will have all the wascally wabbits taken care of…..or at least my electric fence working properly.

The little Russians have been super helpers lately. Timmy is back in the farm game and making sure to taste all of the veggies before we put them in the boxes. He’s our new QC man. He only eats raw veggies, and lots of them, rest assure the veggies that go in the CSA box have been tasted and approved for delivery by Tim Clarke. Joe is the mowing master, whether it’s the little rider mower or the big tractor pulling the huge deck mower behind, he is getting it done. He stops for food breaks and to check on how everyone else is doing, other than that he is getting those grasses maintained! Good luck to Joe this week with the big baseball tournament. Go for the gold Joe!

*”I am creating an “Evite” for the Summer Hoedown to help make it easier on everyone and will send it out by the beginning of next week.

*Please collapse boxes when dropping them off, and I will always take plastic zip loc bags back for personal use.

* Always wash your CSA produce before eating. Although they are rinsed they still need to be washed before indulging.

* I plan to arrive at Garden Ave. between 2-2:30pm, then Lunt, then Campus between 3-3:30pm.

What to expect in the box on July 21, 2016

Kale – kale is still limited but local farmers markets are sure to have more if there isn’t enough in box

Onions - the wabbits harvested these prematurely. Tiny but delicious

Cucumbers - 2-3 varieties

Green Bell Pepper - 1 per box, needed to harvest the low-hanging ones)

Tomato - just a taste of the first, little ripened ones, before the wabbits got to them

Cabbage – possibly one little cabbage head

Garlic

*FreeBee Box: I know everyone is over the yellow crooknecks, and I am giving you permission to toss what you have left of those to chickens or compost! The newest variety of summer squash I am picking very small and tender. They are so delicious they can be enjoyed raw dipped in (organic)ranch! There are a few in each box but the rest will be at the pick-up location for those who want more.

*There will also be mint and/or basil for people to take if they please. I know that mint is abundant for many but for those that don’t have it readily available there will be some to take home. Dive into adventurous meal with family and friends this weekend, get the grill going, keep the oven off and remember to drink lots of water and other tasty beverages. The heat is on……

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter - Gardeneers CAMP!

Happy Summertime Everyone!

I hope the seasonal varieties are satisfying the taste buds and meal time adventures are expanding! The Edgewood crew experienced an adventure of a life time, and it all happened in three, eye-opening, inspirational days! We had the pleasure of hosting a group from Chicago, The Gardeneers, on the farm for an educational experience that will be cherished forever.

"Gardeneers are dedicated leaders who sustain school gardens — and empower students to enrich their knowledge of nutrition, connect with their community and become stewards of the environment."  

More info at http://www.gardeneers.org/  

The schedule was full of fun and learning, here’s a glance at each day:

Day 1:

  • Urban vs. Rural Agriculture
  • Conventional vs. Organic Agriculture
  • Greenhouse: Learning the process and importance of starting seeds in a greenhouse
  • Free time: swimming in the farm pond, a first time experience for most of the campers
  • Group Dinner: everyone, adults and campers helped make the farm fresh meal happen

Day 2:

  • Cheese and Bread Making Sessions at Flour House Bakery!
  • Global Food Crisis: Food! Discussion addressing food insecurity and equality
  • Organic Farming Production: Succession plant planning, crop rotation, etc.
  • Work in CSA field with Katy
  • Farm Ecosystem Discussion and Scavenger Hunt with Farmer Paul
  • Group BBQ, once again, a collective effort to create the meal!

Day 3:

  • Learning about Chickens and Bees!
  • Farm fresh breakfast!
  • CSA session:  Why it’s important to know your farmer!
  • CSA production:  Harvesting and packing the boxes
  • Closing session: Student reflections on The Life of a Farmer and the Experience at Edgewood

I could go on and on about my perspective of the camp, like I stated before it was absolutely life-enhancing. What is most important, I believe, is to share the experience from the Gardeneers perspective. Here is what the “campers” had to say as they reflected on their time at Edgewood.

When telling your friends about the farm experience, what new knowledge will you share with them?!

“Try new things!”

“Experience a farm before forming an idea or opinion about it!”

“Farming = a lot of time, commitment and isolation!”

“Farming = lots of work but also lots of benefits come from the effort and sacrifice.”

“Now we have a better understanding of what it takes to get Organic food into grocery stores!”

“The higher price of Organic food makes more sense after we experienced the process first hand.”

What surprised you the most?

“The potato process, learning that the little eyes become the sprouts and each seed potato planted can produce many potatoes from it!”

“I love the barn house and the Eco house!”

“I never knew people could get married in a barn. That’s really cool!”

“It was surprising how easy it was to make friends with other campers while we were on the farm.”

“Swimming in the pond was awesome!”

“I can’t believe that most of the corn and soybeans grown around here we can’t even eat!”

“I find it surprising that there are still really nice people in the world, like the Edgewood crew, willing to

share their land and time with us.”

What is one thing you will take away from this experience?

“The knowledge”

“The games- Ghost in the graveyard on the farm!”

“The amount of respect and trust people have.”

“Always be welcoming to others.”

“New skills.”

“Appreciate where your Organic food comes from.”

“The silence.”

These reflections are real and powerful. The teenagers apart of this inaugural education camp taught us invaluable life lessons, and for that I am eternally grateful. Despite the inequality they may face in their lives, they work hard, learn eagerly, and accomplish more than any teenagers I have ever met. They are the positive light in our future; I am confident that each and every one of them will conquer amazing feats in their time. Hopefully I will have the pleasure of employing some of them at Edgewood Farm Collective in days to come! “We are all in this together!” We all need to live that statement and consequently future generations will thrive and equality will grow.

Thank you for encouraging small-scale, Organic farming and specifically Community Supported Agriculture. I hope everyone will be able to make it to the Summer Hoedown; I want to express my gratitude by providing a fun farm-filled afternoon.

*Email me to confirm attendance at the Summer Hoedown, August 13th!  Feel free to email any specific questions or concerns about the event.

*Please collapse boxes when dropping them off, and I will always take plastic zip loc bags back for personal use.

* Always wash your CSA produce before eating. Although they are rinsed they still need to be washed before indulging.

In the box on July 14, 2016:

Potatoes – Austrian Crescent Fingerlings, German Butterballs

Cabbage – small and delicious!

Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash

Cucumbers – Suyo longs are the crazy, long variety and one of my faves!

Parsley/Cilantro

Purslane

Recipes:

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter - Crookneck Squash

(Pictured: Edgewood Farm Organics bee boxes are intentionally placed just a stone's throw from the CSA garden.  These honey bees help to pollinate the CSA veggies, this guy is headed for the flower of a yellow crookneck squash plant)

Happy Delivery Day!

Summertime is truly here along with fresh variety for our taste buds. The Edgewood crew had a blast celebrating Independence Day and hopefully the same goes for all of our CSA members! There is absolutely nothing wrong with a four day work week, congrats, the weekend is just around the corner!

The weather was relatively pleasant last week and the overcast days were a treat. Last year the fourth of July weekend was the first time we experienced sunshine in seemingly a month; this year I imagine most of us were totally fine with clouds overhead. By Tuesday the clouds had moved on and we were back to blue skies, and heat. Looking at the blue sky all day, I questioned the forecasted thunderstorms on the way. The storm was moving fast though, and by the middle of the night it swooped into Bureau Valley, leaving nearly 2 inches of rain in a short amount of time. The drip irrigation will not be necessary for a while, especially with the possibility storms brewing through Thursday.

In the field the variety of insects is increasing simultaneously with the variety of crops that are growing!  The main target victims are the cucumber, summer squash and tomato plants but with a little extra attention and care they will all be fine. The summer squash is producing prolifically, and the yellow crookneck variety is sure to please with this week’s delivery. On the grill they are amazing but please try a few pieces raw, the flavor is incredible. My favorite report from the field is the little tiny peppers forming and the many green tomatoes on the vines. Good fertilization and consistent watering will keep those plants maturing right along.

In the greenhouse trays are being filled with potting mix and seeds are on their way towards germination. Fall Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower were started Tuesday and will be treats in the fall CSA boxes! 

Enough talk about work, CSA Summer Hoedown is happening!

When:  Saturday, August 13th is the date, 12 - 4pm is the time (or camp to spend the night)

Where: Edgewood Farm Collective - 17803 Backbone Rd, Princeton, IL 61356.  

Why: Come celebrate the growing season with us!

Who:  All you wonderful folks, your families, and friends of Edgewood.  

The culinary theme is Mexican cuisine and beverages for all ages will be provided.  All of the food will be sourced from Edgewood and other local organic farms!  We will tour the entire farm, indulge my brother Johnny in the history of this land, explore the field that supports your weekly box deliveries, harvest veggies to fresh from the field for our meal, and get to know each other and the farm as we indulge in fun! For the adventurous type, there are many great campsites to be found on the farm and we welcome families and friends to camp with tents or campers!

Please email me to confirm attendance, how many in your party (including any children attending), and if you plan on camping.  Don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions/concerns.  Please RSVP with the info requested above by Monday Aug. 8th. to edgewoodorganicscsa@gmail.com.

**Princeton Pro-Tip: For those members that are “chomping at the bit” to get out of the burbs earlier on that Saturday for the Hoe-Down, the Princeton Farmer’s Market is from 8:30-1pm and our dear friends run the best coffee shop ever, The Flour House, on the north end of Princeton’s main street.

For delivery this week I plan to arrive at Garden Ave. between 2-2:30pm, then Lunt, then Campus between 3-3:30pm.

*Please collapse boxes if possible, and I will always take plastic zip lock bags back for personal use.

*Always wash your CSA produce before eating. Although they are rinsed they still need to be washed before indulging.*

What to expect in the box July 7, 2016:

  • Summer Squash – Yellow Crookneck
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Kale – Lacanato, Red Russian and Curly varieties
  • Basil
  • Calendula Flowers – edible flowers, great for topping salads of all kinds or dry them for tea!

Recipe ideas:

Look online for Korean pancakes made with summer squash, the possibilities are endless!

Try this with the fresh cukes:

http://natashaskitchen.com/2015/08/08/creamy-cucumber- salad-recipe/

Happy meal adventures to everyone! Enjoy the new, fresh tastes and have a great weekend.

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics

 

Edgewood Farm Organics CSA Newsletter - Z Tour!

Hello CSA comrades!

Summer is here and I know that everyone in the skeeter biz is battling through one of the craziest weeks of the year! All I can say is that Clarke forgot to come out to Edgewood, we are getting chewed alive! Other than forgetting about spraying for us (haha), I hope the week is going smoothly and the light is shining bright at the end of the work tunnel. Independence Day is going to be a blast, regardless of how tired we are!

The hot weather has held strong, although the evenings have been delightful in the 60’s and even down into the 50’s. Tuesday was glorious with scattered clouds and temperatures in the 70’s, I was in absolute heaven. Today the standard mid-80’s came back and the forecast looks like more of that and hotter. I won’t gripe about the heat when there are people in our own country that are trying to survive fire zones and waterless areas. There may be some unappealing aspects to Illinois but we are extremely fortunate when it comes to water access and availability…..and amazing SOIL!

In the field, TLC to the plants is the main focus. This comes in many forms; weeding, fertilizing, trellising, irrigating and of course singing songs to the plants to keep morale high. The tomatoes are flowering and the early varieties are setting fruit which means they need more than just fish emulsion (N). This week I added bat guano and Diatomaceous Earth to the mix to help them produce fruit that will reach peak size, taste and overall appearance. The weeds are thriving, that’s no surprise but what’s really “interesting” is the insect pressure that has evolved quickly and ferociously. Have no fear….I will protect our plants from these villains. On a way more exciting note, all of the beautiful, tasty Garlic will be harvested and will find its way into CSA boxes next week!

In the greenhouse the Lime Basil, fresh kale and head lettuce are ready to be transplanted into the field.  Before the weekend I plan to seed more fall brassicas and winter squash, as well as another round of lettuce, and the greenhouse will once again be filled with plant love.

My little brothers are in full summer swing with baseball games seemingly every night. Joe, the 11 year old went to Wisconsin with Farmer Paul to fish and relax. Apparently it was much needed because he has been working hard all week! I needed him to drive a big tractor and an ATV on several occasions, which might be where the extra enthusiasm came from! Tim, the almost 8 year old, let me know that he is “off duty.” Yesterday he made a few laps around the pathways in the field, ate an apple, asked me a bunch of random questions and then he was out and on his way back to the cool house and comfy couch to watch Star Wars. Yes, I was extremely jealous but he assures me that when I have time he will come over to my house and watch all of the Star Wars movies! Wow I’m a lucky sister!

Attention CSA members: I am eager to have everyone out this summer to the farm! A summer Hoedown is quite necessary after all the support you provide to me. August 13 th is the date in mind and I hope this will work for the majority. Bring your family or bring a friend, there will be a full farm tour, fresh Mexican food, adult and non-adult beverages and all around fun times. There are plenty of awesome places to camp on the farm, either with tents or campers. Tentatively it would be from noon-3pm or 1-4pm (unless camping of course). Look for an invitation attached with next week’s newsletter.

*There is information in each box this week about the Ztour bike ride that takes place in Princeton every July. The tour goes through the scenic farmlands of Bureau County. There is a ride for all ages and abilities. Check out the pamphlet and sign up or simply recycle it! Let’s Ride Bikes!!!!

*I plan to deliver at Garden Ave. between 2- 2:30pm, then Lunt, then Clarke Campus between 3-3:30pm.

* Always wash your CSA produce before eating. Although they are rinsed they still need to be washed before indulging.

*Please collapse boxes when returning them and any ziploc or plastic bags feel free to return as well as I will clean them and reuse them for personal use.

What to expect in the box on June 30th :

Cabbage

Zucchini

Onion

Broccoli

Oregano

For the holiday this recipe is perfect:

http://www.rachaelray.com/recipes/red-white- and-blue- slaw-salad

This recipe includes zucchini and oregano, just add steamed broccoli too:

http://www.culinaryhill.com/pasta-salad- with-zucchini- tomatoes-and- roasted-red- peppers-recipe/

Happy Independence Day to everyone! Keep on persevering through this week and the tasty food, quenching drinks, and loving family and friends will be the reward at the end!

“Grow, inspire, repeat.”

With kindness,

Edgewood Farm Organics