Thursday June 28, 4:00-6:00pm, Cook Field Parking Lot
What’s in your box this week:
- Green onions
Self Select Items–Chard, Parsley, Celery leaf
Tentative for next week’s box:
- Chinese cabbage
- Spring onions
- Sweet peppers
A Message From Charles Griffin: The Farmer’s Perspective
I want to start by thanking everyone in the Community Supported Agriculture program for your support of the Institute for Food Farm. The Institute for Food depends on your support to keep the farm and the program going.
One aspect of many CSA programs around the world is that by joining such a program you are making a social commitment to support farmers and the work they perform on the land. Part of this agreement includes the sharing of the risk and bounty involved in food production.
In this third year of developing the farm’s production capacity, we have run into several formidable issues. The weather events are easy to convey, with three flooding rains most of the early plantings were affected. Eighthly degree temperatures in April certainly stimulated several crops to go to flower prematurely. This has limited our offerings so far this Spring.
Other events also indirectly related to the weather have limited crop yields. On a new organically managed farm, usually by the third or fourth year, insect populations have made the farm their new home. In the transition from conventional to organic, the weeds, too, have been liberated by the lack of herbicides. With continued rains, managing weeds and insect pests is quite difficult. All of this will change as the farm establishes a balance between beneficial and pest organisms. However, it takes multiple seasons to achieve some balance.
The positive news is that we have nearly three acres of crops planted, and we will begin harvesting some of our favorite crops in the next few weeks. This year’s crops will still require the extra work of weeding and applications of pest management materials (all of which are approved for organic production).
So, again, thank you for your support of the Institute for Food farm’s CSA program. Your support is truly transforming a piece of local farm land into an oasis of healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy food for everyone’s benefit!
Notes on cucumbers…
Cucumbers mark the coming of summer, thus the expression “cool as a cucumber.” Crisp and light, they are comprised of 95% water. Unlike some of the spring greens, they offer fewer vitamins and minerals, but they are rich in vitamin E (you can rub the inside of the peel on your face to refresh the skin).
I am a big fan of Raita, an Indian condiment, paired with spicy curries to cool the palate. Mark Bitman, in his cookbook Minimalist Cooks at Home, has a Chicken Curry in a Hurry recipe that is a staple in our house because it is easy, fast, and tasty. Raita would be a great pairing.
The recipe is easy.
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped seeded English hothouse cucumber
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons chopped green onions
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt. Chill raita, covered, until ready to serve.
And if you have a little time on your hands, take care of your gut biome by making some sauerkraut with the cabbage in your box. A tablespoon of sauerkraut each morning is the equivalent of taking a probiotic.