Monday, June 20, 2011
This is kohlrabi. It tastes like broccoli and can be used in any dish that includes broccoli. We will be distributing kohlrabi to some of our members for Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A.'s third distribution on Wednesday June 22nd 4pm-6pm at the Neighborhood Co-op in Carbondale, IL. It is the least known of the vegetables that we will be including so we have a recipe on the newsletter this week.
We will be trying something new for this distribution. We will have a core of 4 items that all of our members will receive and Steve will be bringing crates of some cabbage, beets, kohlrabi and a few snap peas. Our members will be able to make some choices to meet the fulfillment of their half and whole shares. Steve will be there to explain the process and make sure that everyone is happy.
Once again, we would like to remind those members who may be picking their shares up at the Co-op on a non-distribution day to, please, ask a produce clerk to get your bag from the cooler.
Moving onto other news - Hollow Pumpkin Farm got some long over due soaking rains! For a week we had been watching black clouds pass us by....hearing thunder just around the corner and getting no rain while our neighbors were getting some good down pours. The rain finally worked it's way to us and boy the plants are dancing. It also sounds like we will be having moderate temperatures in the mid 80's so it is possible that our broccoli will flourish and be added to the list of produce for the C.S.A. soon. Update will be forthcoming.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Week two of Hollow Pumpkin's C.S.A. distribution went well. We are getting our rhythm down and our members are coming with smiling faces. I finally was able to meet some of the members who are new and could not make our opening gathering. All I can say is - we have a great membership this year. I have to admit I say that every year because it seems to be true each year we do the C.S.A.
This week we included: a mix of summer squash, some beautiful beets, romaine lettuce, green onions, basil and dill as well as a small portion of snap peas.
Some members wanted to know what the yellow "Flying saucer" looking Squash was. Well, it is called Patty Pan squash and it is a summer squash and can be cooked just like Zucchini or the yellow summer squash. Steve and I are grillers. We love to marinate the squash and grill it outside over a fire. The patty pans are exceptional grilled on the
open fire. The patty pan is
my favorite of the summer squash. If you did not get a patty pan mixed in with your bag, do not worry. Summer squash season has just begun and you will see the patty pans a few more times. Everyone will get a chance to try them if you have not already done so.
When the basil arrives can pesto be too far? There are so many ways to make pesto. I was told that pesto really means garlic....in other words as long as garlic is in it the sky is the limit. For vegans, tofu is used instead of Parmesan cheese. Here, on Hollow Pumpkin Farm we like to use a mixture of Asiago and Parmesan. We use cashews instead of walnuts and as a substitute for the way too expensive pine nut. Some folks put sun dried tomatoes into it.... What ever your heart desires pesto is always soooooo good. I will put up a pesto recipe on the recipe page very soon, so stay tuned.
A very important note to all of our members: The Neighborhood Co-op Grocery has graciously allowed us to use their cooler. Some of our members have a special arrangement with Hollow Pumpkin C.S.A. to pick their produce up on a non-distribution day because of work conflicts etc.... We want to remind those folks who have that arrangement with us to PLEASE ask a produce clerk to get your share bag for you. DO NOT walk into the cooler yourself. It is a privilege to be able to use the cooler and the clerks may not know who you are. It is an understandable policy for any retail establishment to not allow customers to enter their storage areas etc.... for obvious reasons. Please exercise common courtesy.
What's ahead? Very soon we will have cucumbers, garlic, onions, cilantro, parsley and potatoes which we are waiting for them to size a little more.
We are watching our broccoli very closely. Once again, Steve planted the
broccoli, which likes cooler weather, for the spring. However, due to all the early rain and lack of sun, the broccoli grew way too slow. Now it looks promising.....but, we are in for hot, hot weather which the broccoli does not like. We will keep you tuned into the broccoli saga.
The peppers are growing and the tomatoes are setting. Steve did plant corn again this year. Our Members who were with us last
year may remember that our corn tasseled but did not make ears. All we could assume about that was it was too hot and dry,
for that had never happened to farmer Steve before. So we hope for better luck this season.
The beets are so pretty this year. They are also so very tasty. You can roast them, boil them, make a cold summer soup (borscht) out of them. I hope our members will try one if not both of the recipes we have printed. There is a non-vegetarian recipe on the recipe page of the blog.
Steve will be at the Co-op for the third distribution Wednesday June 22th. I am on the road again. The newsletters will go out either Sunday or Monday prior to distribution. The newsletter for the distribution on Wednesday June 29th will go out on the morning of distribution. We hope our members are enjoying their shares. As usual, Steve and I always welcome questions, suggestions and constructive comments so please feel free to contact us if the mood should strike.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
We are distributing this Wednesday, June 15th 2011, at the Neighborhood Co-op in Carbondale from 4pm to 6pm. This will be distribution #2 and the share bags will look pretty and full this week. We will be including:
(Possibly: radishes and oriental greens such as tat soi and bok choy)
We all know that we blinked and spring was gone. It seemed like summer came on very prematurely. It has been hard to figure out what veggies from the spring planting would hang around and what veggies of the summer planting will be sized enough to begin distributing. Luckily for us, we have a mixture of both spring and summer veggies for our members this distribution, which does not happen often. The lettuces finally succumbed to the heat and became a bit tough and bitter. the good news is that we are going to get a bit of rain and cooler weather to boot!
The scientists are pretty darn sure that global warming is what is bringing us super cell tornadoes and excessively hot and arid weather. they are sure that the earth's core temperature has risen and we should expect more drought conditions to come. Hollow Pumpkin Farm is preparing for the future. Steve has figured out an inexpensive way to irrigate our fields on a more consistent basis and we are in the process of implementing this system. Good things are happening here on the farm so keep your eyes opened for more to come.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Our first distribution of the 2011 C.S.A. season is behind us now. There are some kinks to work out but all and all we think it went well.
For the past two years we have been delivering to our members door steps. This year we have chosen to have a central distribution point at he Neighborhood Co-op, since we have grown to a point where it has become unfeasible to continue door step delivery. We are still getting used to this system. Farmer Steve was up and out harvesting huge heads of romaine lettuce at 5:30AM and harvesting went on until 2:30PM when we began to pack up the shares and get Steve out the door. It always amazes us how long harvesting and processing takes. As the season progresses we will get into the rhythm of things and hope we can cut the time down just a hair so that we will be early to the Co-op in order to set things up prior to the arrival of our members.
We hope everyone was pleased with the huge romaine and the beautiful carrots etc... We did not tag the oregano and the lemon balm for we felt the aromas of the two herbs would tell our members what they were. Both herbs are very pungent and distinct. When in doubt, we hope our members are reading their newsletters which include the list of vegetables in their shares. We will tag things that we think folks might not know about and if anyone still cannot figure things our they can always email us and we will be happy to fill them in. We want to thank our wonderful members for helping Steve carry in the shares and for showing up on time and joyful about the harvest.
What about the rhubarb? Well, when we put up the list of produce in the share bags on Sunday, Steve went out and checked the rhubarb for bug damage and there was very little. Wednesday, harvest day, was a very different story. There is a bug called Curculio that loves to poke its nose into the rhubarb and suck the life out of it. We believe, due to the heat that the bugs became active and attacked the rhubarb between Sunday and Wednesday, and so, we did not have enough usable rhubarb for every member. That will happen from time to time. We may put something on the list that, come harvest day, will not be suitable for our C.S.A. members. That is one reason we did not put lists up prior to harvest in the past. Things in the field change from moment to moment...it is all living matter.
It is time for a thank you. Betsy Herman's son, Noah, came and helped process produce on Wednesday. Thank you Noah! We hope you will visit us often. A reminder to all of our members - we are trying to recycle so we would appreciate it if you can return the white tree tags along with your empty bag when you come to pick up your share at the Co-op next Wednesday June 8th. If you have any questions or comments please contact us...we like to hear from you!