CSA newsletter #16! Recipes, farm photos, tidbits, and more!
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SEED SAVING 101 This Sunday, September 18th! This is Casey's favorite workshop of the season. Come find out why! Saving seeds is crucial to creating a secure local food system. Comple the cycle of life in your own garden! Attendees will learn basic botany and plant families and simple techniques for growing, processing, and storing pure seed from all beloved vegetable varieties. Part lecture, part hands on workshop, we'll spend a lively afternoon harvesting and processing different seeds throughout. You'll leave with the necessary skills and resources to go forth and save your own seed!

Last CSA pickup: week of September 26th. Only a couple more to go! Odd members, your last pickup will be next week!

HARVEST FESTIVAL! Sunday, October 16th. More details to follow!

Earthly Delights Farm's CSA Newsletter #16!

Volunteers Jean and Crystal dividing bean shares

Intern Appreciation Week was a great success! We got to hang out and reconnect with several of our former interns, as well as meet a couple new faces! The interns got a week off and returned more or less rested today. Thank you to everyone who made it happen! Now we only have a couple more harvests left, so none of us should have a hard time making it to the finish line!

Farm Wants and Needs

Every tummy full of fresh veggies!
*Vacant city land turned into productive gardens!
*A job on the city payroll with benefits and health insurance growing food and seeds for citizens!
*plastic bags
*twist ties
*an EZ up canopy
*bedding-free manure
from happy horses
*love, water, shelter, veggies...that's about it!

If you have an item to donate to the raffle/silent auction we're cookin' up at the harvest festival, let us know! It'll help us buy a new EZ up!
After a whirlwind weekend of family time for my brother's wedding, I snap back into garden life...dirt under fingernails, sweat under arms, head humming with intricate plans for the coming fall and spring, and a decent smile on my face.........oh, and oodles and oodles of food! Seriously a haul this week! Let's get to it!

*Corn! Called Ambrosia, from Lori's garden...yum! Excellent grilled or boiled with salt n butter....(Thursday folks, you got it last week instead of soybeans, which you're getting this week...). There's a lot of stuff to say about corn, good, bad, and ugly, so maybe I'll just share a "good" thing you might not know if you didn't read The Omnivore's Dilemma...corn is wind pollinated, and each "silk" on a corn cob is actually a pollen tube that leads to the kernel, which is actually the ovary of the corn. In order for that ovary to develop into a full-fledged kernel of corn, a grain of pollen has to land on the individual silk connected to that kernel and travel all the way down it to fertilize the egg! So, corn that's not planted densely enough is often not filled out all the way because there wasn't enough pollen to travel to each silk. That's why corn is planted in blocks, not in single rows...there's got to be a lot pollen flying around to hit each silk! Pretty cool, eh? It's a miracle it works at all!
*Anaheim Peppers Remember, you can always freeze these for later if you want. Or make chiles rellenos, stuffed chiles, or add 'em to the ratatouille recipe below...they'll work just fine in place of other types of bell peppers....some other sweet peppers are on the way, but we're waiting for them to ripen. If they haven't by next week, we'll just start pulling 'em and giving 'em to you green...
*Jalapeno Peppers Our other hot peppers are starting to change color, so you'll see them in the coming couple of weeks...next season, we'll grow serranos as well as jalapenos, but for now, just keep enjoyin' these prolific puppies and next week you'll see a couple of new surprises!
*TOMATOES! SOOOOOOO MANY! Now's the time, if you want lots of tomatoes, to take them...they could stop just as soon as they've started if we get another cold spell here...check out the ratatouille recipes below!
*Eggplant! Just one today, lest we burn you out on 'em...eggplant is the meatiest of veggies, perfect for vegetarians who just feel they're not eating something satisfying...if you'd like a week off of eggplant, let us know! We don't want to overwhelm you, but we also don't want to stiff you either! Check out the Ratatouille recipe below!
*Tomatillos Great scrambled with eggs and basil and onion and garlic and cheese...mmmmmm.......
*Ground Cherries I had some delicious dried ground cherries last winter from my friend Chad Courtwright. I just dried my first batch of 'em last weekend, and they're tasty, kinda like tangy little raisins...they're also fantastic added to salsa!
Perfect for ratatouille...see the recipes below to figure out which one suits you best!
*Onion Ratatouille for you-eeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!
*LEEKS!!!!! Yesssssssss............We had a bumper crop of leeks this season, so you'll likely get them for the next three weeks. Leeks have a lovely, mild taste and are absolutely delicious when sauteed in a little butter or olive oil. I'll put in a recipe for Baked Leeks below...that's my favorite way to enjoy 'em, except for potato-leek soup in the winter...with leeks, you use the white and light green parts at the bottom of the stalk, and the tough dark green parts at the top can be added to a stock but aren't very tasty alone. Leeks are often kinda dirty inside, so to clean them, first chop off the root at the bottom, and then slice them lengthwise through the middle. You can sorta fan the layers out and run 'em under water that way. It works great. 
*Magic Garlic "
There's no doubt that after you eat a lot of garlic, you just kind of feel like you are floating, you feel ultra-confident, you feel capable of going out and whipping your weight in wild cats." - Les Blank
*Cucumbers I tell you what, if you're sick of eating cucumbers and you've never tried chopping one up and rubbing it on your face, do it. You won't regret it. 
*Basil Even though ratatouille doesn't call for basil, a little of it in there wouldn't hurt a thing...I've been making a lot of marinaras lately, with the abundant tomatoes, along with a hefty amount of onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil, some salt and hot pepper, and often a little something extra--red wine, cinnamon, and raspberry jam seem to be my standby "secret ingredients"--and I add the chopped basil at the end so it tastes nice a fresh and still has its lovely green color
*Melons! A variety...most are called Hannah's Choice muskmelon, but there are a couple Moon and Stars Watermelons and a mystery melon...with all the seeds we've collected at seed swaps, it could really be anything...maybe a Banana melon...it's tasty, kinda mushy, but sweet and cantaloupe-y.  
*Cabbage! Scrounged one more li'l head for y'all...yum! Of course it's perfect for a coleslaw or one of those rad ramen noodle salads, and also spectacular on fish tacos or green bean tacos!
*Carrots I made a carrot cake for my mom's birthday this weekend, and it turned out awesome! I used the recipe from The Joy of Cooking, but any ole recipe would probably do just fine....

Baked Leeks
Casey's simple version...more elaborate versions would also yield good results, but this one's just so danged EASY.....

1. Cut the rest of the leek from the white and light green part, which you will use.
2. Slice the lovely little thing lengthwise and gently fan the layers apart, admiring their delicate beauty and possibly running them under gentle water if you see any dirt wedged in between the layers.
3. Arrange them in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and a little salt
4. Cover them with foil and bake at 375 until they're soft and creamy and yummy! This will make your kitchen smell good, too! It might take 20-40 minutes...i don't really remember...you'll know when they're tender, it's time to EAT THEM!!!!!
Faces of the Farm: Grundy, Lenny, and Chica, Farm Fertility

If there's one thing that's hard about organic farming, it's replacing all the nutrients we take out of the soil in the form of delicious veggies for y'all! These three are our main fertility source at Jane's Hawthorne Street farm plot. They live next door, pooping away while we work in the garden, and even when we're at home resting! They never stop! We've had the pleasure of enjoying their poo for the past four seasons now, and in a really elegant way, if I do say so myself. We put our compost bin right next to the fence, so when their owners, Jim, Karen, and Hannah, clean their stalls, they simply toss the poo over the fence into our compost pile, and away we go! It has made Jane's place our most productive plot in the grand scheme of things, and we're so grateful to them for it. They're probably pooping as we speak, those big beauties! I'll let Wendell Berry speak to this: "Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm — which therefore neither produced unmanageable surpluses of manure, to be wasted and to pollute the water supply, nor depended on such quantities of commerical fertilizer. The genius of American 'farm experts' is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems." Meaning, they've made a problem of waste on the feedlot and fertility on the farm. By having Lenny, Chica, and Grundy living next door, their waste, which could become a problem without a garden to put it on, has somewhere to go, and we have a way to replace all the nutrients we routinely haul off the farm in the form of produce. Pretty sweet! We're in need of more poo sources, since these three only poo enough to replenish one of our three farm plots each year. If you know someone with manure who takes good care of their animals, we'd love to meet them! Thanks, you three! We're grateful for all you doo-doo!!!!!! (did anyone notice how I wrote this in brown ink...haha...hope it makes you chuckle!)

The fantastic Mediterranean veggie dish...the photo is of the Smitten Kitchen's version (click on it to go there!), with a recipe included below. For a more conventional ratatouille version, which is heartier and not as labor-intensive to chop and arrange, click here:

As envisioned by Smitten Kitchen:

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant” that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.

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