Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beginning Of The Fall Share

It is so hard for me to believe that this is the last week of the summer share.  Where did the summer go?  But the good news is that there are 10 more weeks of the fall share!  Fall Shares are picked up at the delivery location just as before with all the other shares.  For those of you that do not have the fall shares, this is you last week.  Andy and Lizzie want to take each of you for your support. You can't imagine the effect you have on this family.

Looking back over the summer, Andy and Lizzie feel that hings went very well.  The drought was bad but it was not a severe as it was two years ago.  The new irrigation system that is in place and more experience under their belts helped get them through that time.   

Over the years the CSA has grown quite a bit.  The CSA started in 2008 with 35 members.  From there the CSA membership grew to 45 members in 2009, 110 members in 2012, 150 in 2012 and 215 members in 2012.  As the CSA memberships grow so does the CSA.  Instead of being a one family CSA it has grown into a community CSA.  This helps to make the CSA stronger .  With more families involved they can fill in for each other when the need be.  And this will help to maintain a steady supply of produce for us all.  And of course all the families growing for the CSA are using sustainable organic methods of growing.

They do appreciate all of our support.  Andy wants you to know that you have made a difference in many lives by choosing to support the Cedarmore Farm CSA.  With our wanting fresh organic foods we are helping young Amish families to stay on the farm, which is where they really want to be.  They can not thank you all enough.

Recipe Of The Week: Fried Onion Rings

Fried Onion Rings

2 large sweet onions
2/3 cup of water
1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
oil for deep frying
1 egg
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup of all purpose flour

Cut onions into 1/2 inch slices, separate into rings.  Place in a bowl, cover with ice water and soak for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile in a bowl beat egg, water, oil, and lemon juice.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  Stir into egg mixture until smooth.  Drain onions, coat in mixture, and fry a few at a time for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  (Also good to put chopped apples in dough instead of onions-like apple fritters.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall Is Sneaking In

Is anyone else loving the change in the weather?  The hot days of summer are fading away and the cooler fall weather is slowly taking over.  The little bit of rain that the farm got put a little moisture in the ground, just not nearly enough.  They are hoping for a few more rains like the last few that they have had in hopes that things will be going to green back up.

Again with the weather is it so hard to predict what produce will be coming in our boxes.  The plan this week is for some type of squash to be in our boxes...spaghetti, acorn or butternut..  This should be the first week of the squashes. The beans and tomatoes will likely slow down, but then again there is another patch of beans that might be coming on in a few weeks...again it is a weather thing.  There are still plenty of onions, potatoes and garlic.  Most of that will be stored to use this fall.

A variety of tomatoes and  the purple peppers were a surprise.

This week there will be a survey in your boxes.  Please take the time to fill it out and send it back.  This is one forms of feedback that help Andy and Lizzie get a feel for what we like and don't like...and as members of the CSA, what we would like them to consider doing.

Andy and Lizzie are trying out some new farming techniques this year on the farm.  And he wants us to know that sometimes he has mixed feeling about some of these new ways.  Part of him wants to stick to the ways that he knows,like using lime and compost.  He is not to keen on all the hub-bub of checking all the this and that is in the plants.  The other part of him see some of the advantages in some of the new techniques.  He has finally come to the conclusion that by hanging on the the old, tried and true proven ways and combining them with some of the newer ways might be the best of both worlds.  In other words I think he is saying that Cedarmore Farm will continue to use cover crops, lime, and compost and what they are already doing.  Then they will still be able to fine tune things by checking the Brix and the plant sap PH and the missing minerals accordingly.

Recipe Of The Week: Winter Squash Casserole

Winter Squash Casserole

2 cups of mashed winter squash
4 slices of bacon
1/2 cup pf chopped bacon
 2/3 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon of salt
a dash of Tabasco or black pepper
1/4 cup of buttered bread crumbs

Put squash in a bowl.  Fry bacon until crisp, crumble into squash.  Leave about 1 Tablespoon of drippings in  skillet.  Fry onion in drippings until transparent.  Add squash, cheese, salt and Tabasco sauce (or black pepper) and mix well.  Put in a buttered baking dish.  Top with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and crumbs begin to brown...about 25 minutes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Green Tomatoes and Bicolor Corn

Andy reports that Hillsboro did get just a little rain the other day...about .4 of an inch.  Enough to make a little difference but the farm is still pretty dry.  He says that he feels like it is going to rain but it has been really spotty lately.  Some areas not far from the farm have gotten quite a bit while the areas around Hillsboro have gotten missed a lot.  He thinks it could be a lot worse and he is so very thankful that they have a proper irrigation system which helps out in these dry times.

We got some lovely green tomatoes in our boxes this week.  Green tomatoes is a down south kind of dish.  If you search the blog for a recipe I believe there is one from last year.  We just fry them like we would fry eggplant or zucchini.

They are digging the first sweet potatoes of the season this week.  They are hoping for a good crop.  Lizzie's recipe this week is for a Maple Syrup Sweet Potato Casserole.  I would suggest trying the maple syrup that Andy makes...it is really good!  As a matter of fact, they are running a sale from now thru the end of the month.  We can get a 10% discount on any size syrup we buy.  Order it by emailing Cedarmore Farm (email on the right side of the page) and then Andy will bill you at the end of the month.

Andy is trying so very hard to educate us all about organic farming methods....this week it is a little further above my head then usual.

We are to understand that all plants are either positively charged cations or negatively charged anions. A few of the important ones...potassium, calcium, and magnesium are cations.  While nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and boron are anions.  It the P.H. is kept between6 and 6.4 that means that there is a good balance of the cations and anions and that will make for healthy plants.  If the P.H. is low that means that one or more of the anions is low.  If the P.H. is low in the older leaves then they are low in potassium or magnesium.  If the P.H. is low in the newer leaves that indicates that they are low in calcium.  Andy is still in the learning stages of learning about it all and doesn't claim to be an expert on the subject.  He strongly believed that all this research will only improve the quality of the produce that we receive each week in our shares.

FYI...as most of you already know, Andy writes the newsletter at the end of the week before he packs the boxes for our delivery dates.  He know what is ready harvest but sometimes there is a little glich.  This week he stated that we would be getting sweet potatoes.  That didn't happen because when he started digging them up they just didn't look ready.  It wold be better to leave them in the ground that to take them out to early.  I appreciate the fact that
he wants out boxes filed with the best he can provide.  And if that means waiting a little while to make Lizzie's Sweet Potato Casserole...then I will patiently wait.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Recipe Of The Week: Maple Syrup Sweet Potato Casserole

Maple Syrup Sweet Potato Casserole

4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup pf maple syrup
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 cup of melted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup of chopped pecans (optional)

Slice sweet potatoes crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.  Cook in boiling water for 20 minutes or until fork tender.  Let cool to touch, peel and mash.  Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well.  Add syrup mixture to the sweet potatoes and mix well.  Pour into a 8X8 buttered baking dish and sprinkle top with pecans if desires.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pray For Rain

Our porch was overflowing with good things tonight!  A watermelon for everyone!!!

The ground is still pretty dry at the farm.  The little bit of rain that we had over the weekend just did not to the trick.  The farm really needs the rain!  Andy is hoping that the weather forecasters are right when they say that we should be getting some of the rain from the hurricane in the next day or two.  He says that he can feel it in the air...a change is coming.  

Andy and Lizzie will be having church at their house this weekend.  In most Amish communities each family in the community takes turn hosting church in their homes or their barns instead of having it in a 'church house'.    That means that they have extra corners to clean so they can have the place looking decent.  (I can tell you that it was a polished and shined.  Not a thing our of place and sparkling clean.

Since we are all still learning about the growing methods...

Earlier Andy and Lizzie started using a P.H. meter and a refractometer to check their plants to be able to get a better idea of what minerals are still needed.  The refractormeter shows how high the brix (sugar content) in the plants is.  The higher the brix, the healthier the plant is.  With a high brix you have less disease and insect pressure.  Also the produce keeps better and has a better flavor.  Although the refractormeter tells  how high the brix level is, it really does not tell much about what minerals are still lacking.  The P.H. meter tells more about what minerals are needed.  More about that at a later date.

Recipe Of The Week: Potato and Bacon Omelet

Potato and Bacon Omelet

8 slices of bacon diced
1 1.2 cups of peeled and diced potatoes (1/4 inch pieces)
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon of salt
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
12 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons of water
1/4 teaspoons of pepper
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
cheese, optional

Fry bacon until browned, drain on paper towel.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings.  Add potatoes and onions to drippings.  Cook until potatoes are tender and golden.  Stir in bacon and parsley.  Set aside.  Beat the eggs, water, salt and pepper.  Add potato mixture until well blended.  Heat oil in a skillet and pour in egg and potato mixture.  Cook, lifting cooked egg portion around the edge so the uncooked portion runs beneath.  Cook until mixture is set, (if desired sprinkle with cheese) fold in half and slide onto serving platter.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Heard It Through The Grapevine....

...there will be watermelons to go with our boxes this week.  I know that it might be tempting to take more than one.  But Andy is only able to send one per customer.  So please respect his wishes and only take one.  Thanks!