What’s in the Box 8/30/16

CSA Week #14 – August 30 – September 2
Thank you for all of the awesome feedback in our Mid-season CSA Survey! Farmer Matt and I spent part of the weekend reading through EVERY SINGLE COMMENT and we’ll be sending out an e-mail with our responses/answers to some of the most frequently asked questions later this week!  We really appreciate you taking the time to respond and we’re ready to make changes to our 2017 program based on your suggestions!  So thank you again…Some of you asked why you receive “repeat” boxes during the summer.  Well, we can blame it on the plants!  Unlike lettuce or carrots where we harvest the whole plant, crops like zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers produce week after week (often for 4-6+ weeks) until they’re done. In other words, it’s like a running faucet.  We can’t turn it off for a week to give you a break….the plants keep on going!  Part of the CSA Membership experience is eating with the seasons, and sometimes that means that you eat the same things for multiple weeks when it’s in season.  You’re finding yourself in the same position as farmers have found themselves in for eons….cukes, zukes and tomatoes coming out of your ears, right?  I have 25 tomatoes staring back at me on the kitchen windowsill right now.  I can relate!  So, what can you do?  My first suggestion is to FREEZE.  Tomatoes can be frozen whole in a ziplock bag.  10 seconds, done.  Peppers freeze beautifully as well.  Zucchini can be shredded and frozen too.  (Just remember that frozen veg will need to be cooked when defrosted.  It will be perfect for soups, stews, sautes, etc. Just don’t expect the texture to be anything like it is before you freeze it….)  For some reason I’m keeping up with the cukes.  Probably because I like to snack on them while I’m sitting in front of the computer…like right now.  As a last resort, you can give some of your excess produce away! You could make your friends and neighbors very happy…

Red Beefsteak TomatoesTry salsa, sauce, tomato sandwiches, tomato salads (see recipe below), or just stick in a bag and freeze for the winter!
Storage: On the counter until they are a deep red.  At that point, eat them right away or if you must, put them in the refrigerator. Uses:Raw/Cooked  When to use: Right away when deep red.

Mixed Saladette/Cocktail TomatoesThese are new for us this year.  They are referred to as “saladette” tomatoes – much smaller than beefsteaks and just a touch larger than cherry tomatoes.  I’ve fallen for their delicate flavor and thin skins.  They’re also beautiful!  Yellows, oranges and reds….
Storage: On the counter until they are a deep red/yell0w/orange.  At that point, eat them right away or if you must, put them in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw/Cooked  When to use: Right away when deep colors.

Watermelon This is the final week of watermelons… we’ve had a great run of it, right?  The hot, dry summer (with lots of irrigation) has created the perfect growing conditions for these beauties….  enjoy their sweetness as you say goodbye to summer….
Storage: In the refrigerator. Uses: Raw  When to use: Within the week. 

Lettuce Red Batavian variety.
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw  When to use: Within 5 days. 

Freshly-dug New PotatoesVarieties will change through the week….yellow or red. These are unwashed so that they will store longer at your home. Please try to eat them within a week.
Storage: In a cool, DARK place Uses: Cooked  When to use: Within the week.

Green Bell Peppers Try some stuffed peppers this week…or sliced raw for snacks or salads.
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw/Cooked  When to use: Within 5 days. 

Cucumbers
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw  When to use: Within 5 days. 

Zucchini/Summer Squash
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw or Cooked, Baked When to use: Within 5 days. 

FRUIT SHARE – 1 mixed bag of Apples & Pears

Recipes

Summer Tomato Salad with Tangled Herbs – Emilie of The Clever Carrot
Stuffed Green Peppers (with beef) – A Betty Crocker recipe link?  Yes, but it’s a good basic guide for this traditional recipe.
Vegetarian (Mexican style) Stuffed Green Peppers
New Potato Salad with Eggs & Mustard Seed

Bon appetit! xoMaggie

At the Farmers’ Market

As a separate program from our CSA, we grow produce for 3 farmers’ markets on Long Island.  Our CSA members are often our best customers at the market, so please stop by and say “hello”!

Islip – Saturdays 7am-12am
Port Washington – Saturdays 8am-12pm
Huntington – Sundays 7am-12pm

Click here for maps & directions to the markets.