Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bike Pick Up

Just a reminder, there are other ways to pick up your weekly CSA vegetables. Go Melissa.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tenth Pick Up is Today 8.25.2009

Hello Everyone,

Well here we are at the half way point. The summer vegetables will start to be replaced be cooler weather crops as we move into the fall. Our last pick up will be the first Tuesday in November so you'll really get a full taste of the range of vegetables that can be grown here in the Piedmont of North Carolina.

The bad news is we're out of tomatoes. Just kidding! In fact the opposite is true. If you like tomatoes this is your week. We have lots of them and a really large portion of this week's membership will include them. If you don't like tomatoes give them another try. I have recipes below. Also see last week's email update for lots of yummy tomato recipes. Or, make a new friend out of a neighbor.

The cherry tomatoes are driving us crazy. We planted too many and can't keep them picked. We planted several heirloom varieties that taste excellent (as you will see) and at least one variety that we have stopped picking because it is ridiculously small and actually doesn't taste all that good. We're asking the insects to eat that particular variety please.

So the reason for me telling you just how many cherry tomatoes are resting on our vines is to invite you to come and pick! It might be just a tad boring after a while but it's not especially hard work and we don't stop anyone from trying to leave after they've had enough. Plus we'll send you home with more of these really yummy cherry tomatoes.

Also we are having a problem with powdery mildew on the basil so we're not including any this week. We do have some out at the farm though so if you want to come out you can probably pick enough for your family for a week in about 10 minutes. Just another reason to come out and visit us.

School's in session. I know this because I live three doors down from an elementary school. The kids pick tomatoes out of my yard on there way to and from school but that actually one of the reasons I plant them there. And this year they'll have to look closely because the morning glories are doing such a good job of hiding, well, everything in my front yard. I'm guessing the next week or two might be a bit of an adjustment as those of you with children get back in the swing of the school schedule. Please call me if you have any last minutes problems in picking up your food. aaron 704/305.6654

This week you will be getting sweet peppers. Some are green, others red and some are brown. The brown ones aren't bad. They are a variety called 'Sweet Chocolate' and they live up to their name. Many of the brown peppers and some of the red one tend to get soft and wrinkly because we have to leave them on the vine for so long to get them to change colour. This doesn't mean they are bad. In fact they are likely to be even sweeter. I'm telling you this because most of us are used to seeing peppers in the grocery store that were picked before they were ripe and are stiff. Do not be afraid of the slightly wrinkled peppers. Let your tongue make final judgment.

I wanted to mention again that we will be having fruit this fall. Some of it will not be certified organic but none of it will have been treated with anything that would not qualify as a certified organic treatment. In fact I don't think any of it will have been sprayed with anything. at all Does anyone like apples?

This week:

Tomatoes! (lots of 'em)
Peppers (some green, red or brown)
Zucchini (just a little)
Squash (just a little)
Cucumbers (just a little)
Muscadine Grapes

See everyone later today.



This came in from Karen last week:

Our other favorite way to use the squash---thinly slice and layer in a casserole dish with spaghetti sauce, top with Parmesan and, if you want, Italian bread crumbs, then bake for about an hour at 350. I have used all three kinds of squash this way (either separately or mixed) and my 9 year old loves it. We've also made several gallons of vegetable soup with the green beans, squash, garlic, canned diced tomatoes, broth, onion and whatever else came to hand (beans, carrots, etc) . I cook it overnight in the crock pot on low then we put it up in the freezer for the winter.

The patty pan make great stuffed squash, as do the zucchini (didn't try it with the summer squash). I sliced the top off the squash and hollowed it out, leaving a shell (in the case of the zucchini sliced it in half and scooped out enough from each half to leave a "boat" for stuffing). I then diced up the extra flesh and mixed it in with ½ pound of Chad's mild breakfast sausage, some Italian bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, spinach (frozen – squeezed and blotted to get rid of the extra water), garlic powder, minced onion, an egg, black pepper, salt, savory and thyme – and mounded it in the squash shells, baking them at 350 for an hour. Another variation on this was to cut the whole squash up (so don't need the patty pan), fry up the sausage then mix the sausage and chopped squash with all the ingredients listed above except for breadcrumbs. Instead mix it in with cooked brown rice, spread in a casserole and bake for an hour at 350.

Zucchini Cobbler:

* 8 cups peeled, chopped zucchini
* 2/3 cup lemon juice
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg * 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups white sugar
* 1 1/2 cups butter, chilled * 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon DIRECTIONS
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice until zucchini is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and cook one minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 10x15 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine flour and 2 cups sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup of butter mixture into zucchini mixture. Press half of remaining butter mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Spread zucchini mixture over top of crust, and sprinkle remaining butter mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden. Serve warm or cold.

Zucchini brownies

Here's the recipe for the brownies:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners' sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

A delicious salsa recipe made with fresh ingredients.


* 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
* 2 small cloves garlic, minced
* 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
* 2 hot chile peppers, Serrano or Jalapeno, finely chopped
* 2 to 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
* 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
* salt and pepper

Put chopped onion and garlic in a strainer; pour 2 cups boiling water over them then let drain thoroughly. Discard water. Cool.

Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.
Makes about 2 cups of salsa.

A rich and creamy recipe for tomato soup.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 and 1/2 pounds firm tomatoes - skinned and roughly chopped
1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic (I use more) - crushed
2 ounces melted butter
1/2 - 1 pint of stock (chicken, beef, evetable, etc.)
Baking soda
Salt and Black Pepper
Caster Sugar (very fine sugar, also known as powdered sugar)
1/4 pint double cream

Melt the butter in a heavy based pan and fry onion and garlic until soft and transparent. Add 1/2 pint of stock together with chopped tomatoes and generous pinch of baking soda. Bring to boil, lower heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before liquidising. Return to pan through sieve.

Re-heat adding stock until of desired consistency. Season to taste. In a separate pan bring cream almost to the boil and then add to soup. Garnish with fresh chopped basil or parsley.

It is really delicious, and can be frozen, provided that you don't add the cream or milk, do this just before serving. The Baking Soda is what makes the difference - without it it just doesn't taste right.

This came in from Lisa. She is selling fromage blanc (and cheese and butter and eggs) and has provide ways to use the romage blanc which I will reprint here.

Recipes for the fromage blanc.

Veggie Salad

Add fromage blanc to chopped veggies. Salt and pepper to taste.

Suggested veggies in any combination:

okra (yes raw)
basil or dill

Another notch-toss with pasta. Two notches-and grilled chicken.


1c fromage blanc
1TBS dried dill
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together well and refrigerated for an hour or more to let the flavors get happy.

Fromage Tso

1c fromage blanc

1 1/2 TBS General Tso's Chicken seasoning mix (by Sunbird)

Mix well and refrigerate for two hours-the dried veggies in the mix need time to rehydrate.

Fromage Chinois

Mix equal parts of fromage blanc and plum sauce-more or less of either to taste;)

A little note on working with fromage blanc. If you mix the recipe by hand or with a whisk you'll get a dip consistency. If you use a blender you'll get a dressing consistency.

Mexican Style Dressing

1 15.5 oz. can of black beans
1c fromage blanc
1TBS Texas Pete (3 or 4 TBS if you're Eric)

Blend on a fairly high speed until smooth. Other thoughts-refried beans would work and could be mixed with the fromage for that dip consistency.

Pesto Lovers

Dip version: mix pesto with fromage blanc.

What I did

Dressing version

1TBS fresh garlic (2 med. cloves)
1 bunch fresh basil (1/2 -3/4 cup)
1 8 oz. container fromage blanc (1 cup)
sea salt to taste

Spin the garlic in the blender until minced. Add the basil and spin until it's chopped. Add the fromage and blend on high speed until smooth.

Some tips you might want to share with your group:

A general rule of thumb for using fresh herb in a recipe calling for dried herbs is to use three times as much fresh. Drying concentrates the flavors of the herbs.

Drying basil is as simple as putting a rubber band around a bunch and hanging it upside down. The best batch of basil I ever dried was treated this way and pinned to my kitchen curtains.

Basil repels insects when rubbed on your skin. It also relieves the pain and itching of insect bites and stings, especially fire ant bites. You can make a simple "after-bite" recipe by pouring common witch hazel over mashed or chopped basil in a glass jar. Let it sit for a couple of days and strain out the basil. Add more basil to the same tincture and it'll continue to get stronger. Just strain it out every couple of days. Naturally you don't ever want to drink it because of the alcohol in the witch hazel.

According to my fav. herb book basil "eases flatulence, stomach cramps,colic and indigestion. It can be used to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Sweet basil has a mildly sedative action and is useful in treating nervous irritability, fatigue, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Sweet basil has an established antibacterial action."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nineth Pickup is Today 8.18.2009

Hello Everyone,

Later today is, as the subject line of this email has already stated, our Ninth Pickup. I think it's an exciting one. It's exciting mostly because we have several pounds of tomatoes for everyone. Yes we've shown up fashionably late to the tomato party but we're here and we brought the goods. This week it will be only large, round slicer tomatoes, you know the kind that make great tomato sandwiches.

Quite a few of the cherry tomatoes and plum tomatoes are ripening as well. These little suckers take a long time to harvest although it's not exactly terrible work. You get to do a lot of taste-testing. The trick it to pick more than you eat. We need help doing just that. On Sunday and Monday we'll be out at the farm picking small tomatoes and we could use your help. Give me a call (aaron 704/305.6654) if you're interested.

Speaking of labor requests, the first annual Charlotte Regional Farm Tour will be taking place on the afternoon of September 19th. We are one of the farms on the tour, or rather I should say that the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm Park where we do most of our farming is on the tour. This is a request for volunteers who would like to work at the farm on that day. Work might include picking cherry tomatoes or washing peppers but it might also include talking to people about your experience as someone who is buying local produce and supporting local farmers. It might include sharing squash recipes- I'm not sure exactly what it will be like but it will be fun and it will count as part of the four hours that working-share members are asked to spend on the farm this growing season.

Speaking of volunteers visiting our farm, who left the kid-sized, blue and gray reversible jacket at the farm? I think it was part of the group that picked squash in the upper field on a Sunday several weeks ago. My wife took our camera to the beach with her so I can't share a photograph of the jacket, maybe next week if it is still unclaimed.

I've heard from several of you that last week we sent waaay to much basil so we've toned it down this week. However, we have waaay more basil than we can sell so if you need extra let me know. You can come out to the farm and trade 30 minutes of cherry tomato picking for as much basil as you can haul off in your vehicle.

Also thanks to those of you who were out at the farm this past week helping to tie up tomatoes, wash vegetables do other such work. We appreciate your labor.

An update on fall and early winter crops: We have already planted cabbage, kale, collards, and broccoli in the greenhouse. We'll be planting more of that stuff this week along with cauliflower and kohlrabi. We'll also be planting spinach and lettuce a little later on. Yesterday we built beds for root crops. This morning while I type Brad and Eric are seeding radishes, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips and much to my wife's annoyance, rutabaga. I think mashed potatoes made with 5 parts potato and 1 part 'baga are great. She won't eat them unless they are straight potato. I can make fun of her more than normal in this email because as I mentioned, she is at the beach and cannot hurt me.

Several of you have asked about the puppy. He's actually biting my feet as I write this email. On Saturday he's going to live with family of ours in Virginia. He is just about as cute as a critter can be but it's not a good time for my family to add another member so we're shipping him up north and hoping our three year old won't notice.

So, what are you getting this week?

Tomatoes (big, fat, red, local tomatoes)
Swiss Chard (other greens coming soon)
Muscidine Grapes
Squash (both patty pan and straight neck)

By the way the grapes aren't organic. They have not been sprayed with anything. The vines haven't been synthetically fertilized they just aren't from an organic farm. We will have other opportunities to harvest fruit this fall from farms that aren't organic. We will not be harvesting fruit that has had anything sprayed on it. If you're not comfortable with this give me a call and we'll talk about it. We think these opportunities to other fresh, local fruit that is chemical free are too good to pass up.

Ok, on to the recipes. By the way keep sharing. I haven't gotten any recipes from you folks in a while.

You have tomatoes and you have basil so you can now make one of the year's yummiest salads. I don't have measurements on this one because I've done it so long I just adjust it to the amount of tomatoes I have. It goes something like this.

Yummy Tomato/Basil Salad


Olive Oil
Vinegar (I think rice wine vinegar works best)
Salt & Pepper


Chop up tomatoes into thumb-sized pieces and place them in a bowl. Try to bruise them to get the juices flowing. Add olive oil not to the point where the tomatoes have to start swimming but enough to equal the juice of the tomatoes. Start with a little, you can always add more. Next add just a splash or two of vinegar. Not too much, again you can always add more but I don't want you ruining these tomatoes after you've waited so long. Next add feta cheese (Hopefully Lisa will have some today at the pickup) I like to add lots of Feta. It's probably hard to add too much unless you find yourself with more feta than tomato. Crush 5 or 6 basil leaves and then chopped them up and add to the salad. You can adjust this ingredient too depending on how much you like basil. Now put it in the refrigerator for several hours.

You can eat it without the croutons but I think they are a great addition. If you think you'll like them completely soggy go ahead and add them just before you put it in the frig to cool. I wait until about an hour before I'm going to take the salad out and serve it before adding the croutons. Then they soak up some of the juice but are still relatively crunchy. Enjoy.

Tomato Sandwich


White Bread
Salt & Pepper
Duke's Mayonnaise


Lightly Toast your bread. You just want to stiffen it up a bit so it won't fall apart under the stress of tomato juices. Put a little more mayo on each slice than seems reasonable. Cut a really thick section out of the center of the tomato and save the rest for dinner. Place the tomato slice on one of your bread slices and hit it a little with your knife to bruise it and get the juices flowing. Salt and pepper to taste. Next I usually make another.

Tomato Pie


4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

Swiss Chard with Tomatoes


1 lb red swiss chard or green swiss chard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup soft fresh breadcrumb
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small tomatoes, i use italian tomatoes,seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
crushed red pepper flakes


Trim coarse leaves and thick center ribs from chard; cut tender stems and leaves into 1/2-inch slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet; add bread crumbs; cook, stirring often, until crisp and golden; remove from skillet and set aside. Cool skillet slightly; add remaining oil and garlic; cook, stirring, 2 minutes; add chard and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes; add tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes to taste. Remove from heat and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eighth Pickup is Today 8.11.2009

Hello Everyone,

This afternoon we will see you between 4:30 and 6:30 for pickup number eight. This week Aaron will be out at the farm and Brad and Eric will be downtown at Two Leaves and a Bud.

We're excited to say that the walk in cooler at the Elma Lomax Incubator Farm is up and running. This will make our lives much easier. We're very grateful to have had temporary access to another cooler while this one was being set up but we are happy to now have one at the farm!

Last week we got help from the Bartnik Family as well as Teri Jones. Thanks for all your help. We enjoy getting to work with CSA members and we are grateful for the work you do!

Yesterday, on perhaps the hottest day of the year, Mallory Pitser from Know Your Farms came and worked with us all day. In addition to getting the harvest in we were able to get some other much needed work done. Thanks Mallory.

We're going to be part of the 2009 inaugural Charlotte Farm Tour. So will a lot of other really cool farms. If you're interested click the link for more information.

The okra is coming along slower than we'd like but the peppers are now coming in with some consistency. Everybody gets a couple this week. By far our biggest disappointment of the year is the tomatoes, or lack there of. Above is a picture I took yesterday morning of one of our tomato patches. We have more than 500 plants in the ground. The combination of a wet spring followed by 3 weeks of no rain and then 12 inches of rain in two weeks means that we got a late start and then the fruit was slow to set and now we're having problems with rot. We're still trying and hoping. Just wanted to prove to those of you who haven't been out to the farm in person that tomatoes are in fact planted there.

An updated price list for Creekside Farms is at the bottom of this post. Give Chad a call if you're interested. His number is at the top of the price list.

This week from Cold Water Creek Farms you will get some combination of most of the following:

Green Peppers
Swiss Chard
Yellow Squash
Patty Pan Squash
Green Beans

On to the recipes...


Sauteed Swiss Chard (EASY!)


1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
2 large bunches Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips


Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper.
Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chard; stir to coat. Cover; cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Season to taste with salt. Transfer to bowl and serve.

How to Roast Garlic

Cut the top (pointed end) off the head of garlic.
Place the head of garlic on a piece of foil large enough to wrap the garlic in. Or use one of those great clay garlic roasters.
Drizzle olive oil over the garlic.
Wrap the garlic well with the foil.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 (175°C) for about 40 minutes, until garlic is soft.

Muscadine "Dump Cake"


1 cup prepared grapes
1/2 stick butter
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar


To prepare grapes, remove pulp; cook pulp until seeds loosen, then press through sieve to remove seeds. Add pulp to skins and cook until tender. Add sugar to taste, some grated lemon peel and a sprinkle of apple pie spice.
Melt butter in glass pie plate. Mix flour, sugar and milk in another bowl. Pour flour mixture over butter. Carefully pour prepared grapes over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Do not open oven until baking time is up. Cake should be brown on top. Yield: 8 servings.

Mulled Muscadine Cider


1 quart muscadine grape juice
Dash of ground allspice
2 (4-inch) sticks cinnamon
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Serve warm. Yield: 8 half-cup servings.

Muscadine Pie


pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie
2 quarts ripe muscadines
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces


Line pie plate with half of the rolled out pastry. Refrigerate pie shell and remaining pastry until ready to fill pie. Mash muscadines. Separate hulls from pulp. Strain so as to get juice, leaving pulp and seed. Cook hulls in juice until tender, adding a little water if needed. Let cool, then add lemon juice, flour, and sugar. Put fruit mixture in prepared bottom crust. Carefully arrange top crust over fruit, lattice style, if desired. Flute edge. Cut several slits in top if top crust is left whole. Bake in a 400° oven for approximately 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° and bake 30 minutes longer.
Serve with whipped cream or whipped topping, if desired.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Seventh Pickup is Tuesday 8.4.2009 (and we found a puppy)

Hello Everyone,

Based on the unforeseen events of yesterday one lucky family included in our CSA will find a small puppy in their weekly container of delicious vegetables. The puppy in question was found trespassing at the Incubator Farm early on Sunday morning. Clearly the puppy was dumped by hard-hearted puppy haters who thought that those of us working tirelessly to grow vegetables and ignite the local food economy in the Charlotte region would be suckers willing to take in a cute young dog, with no farm dog resume to speak of. They were right of course as I could not drive away and leave this small little buddy literally in the street looking for someone to rescue him.

I was kidding about putting him in someone's CSA container. A final decision has not been made about where this dog will ultimately find a home. Eric Williamson is an absolute sucker for dogs who need homes but he has a lot on his plate and already has two female dogs. This young pup is definitely a boy. Keaton, my three year old daughter has offered all her (non $) resources to help provide a home for this dog. And there is the fact that he was found near the farm. It's arguable to say where or not he was peeing on our produce or fiercely protecting it with all the bite of a 12 week old puppy. Sigh. We will keep you posted. A picture is attached.

We had several families out at the farm on Sunday and we harvested the old squash/zucchini fields for the last time. I mowed one row but we will have to wait until it dries up a bit to mow the rest of it. Then we will till it under. We really appreciate everyone who came out to help yesterday. I forgot to ask about sharing names about who was here so I won't add specifics but I can say that we got a lot of work done in a short amount of time and I'm grateful to everyone who came out!

I hope that everyone who came out on Sunday enjoyed the extra corn (now with lower levels of worms and even more freshness!) and the other vegetables. We are shameless in our attempt to offer even more food to those of you who come out and help us get work done.

Container Update :: We had only one container unreturned last week and it was returned on Sunday so we are still, as a group, doing a spectacular job in retuning containers. So as I am often accused of doing, I'm going to raise the bar on my CSA members who are already doing good work.

Here's the deal. A friend of ours is going to work out a situation where he can buy small, mesh bags perfect for containing green beans or a garlic bulbs that needs to be kept out of the ice of our CSA containers. These bags aren't expensive but they aren't cheap. I would rather buy some of them and use them week after week instead of plastic Ziploc bags, but that would require CSA members to return them on a regular basis. Based on our experience so far I'd say you all would do a good job of this but I though I'd run this suggestion past you. Could you realistically return 2 or 3 small mesh bags each week in our containers, which we would wash and stuff with yummy vegetables for the following week or would they get lost in your fridge? I need candor here.

I'm sending this email update out early and frankly, I'm not exactly sure what you'll be getting on Tuesday. I say that because both the Silver Queen corn and the okra are on the bubble. I picked a little corn on Sunday for our volunteers but I'm not sure that it shouldn't have waited another 2 or 3 days and been better. Also we have a little okra but will we have enough for everyone? I'll send out an update before the pickup so you'll know exactly what you're getting.

You will get some green tomatoes. You can let them ripen or you can use the following recipe with an understanding that all this is an adventure and I admit to never having fried green tomatoes before last night but they were good.

One more thing before the recipe. I will be out of town from Wednesday until Saturday evening, Email will go unanswered but phones calls will be answered; probably.

Call me at 704/305.6654

And if I don't answer you'll know why and you can give Brad or Eric a call. By the way they could use some help later this week as I tend to be one of the fastest green-bean-pickers available in Cabarrus County. Go out for just few hours and work on your tan; and leave with some extra food.

Eric 704/796.7795

Brad 828/406.0849

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe


3 medium, firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs or cornmeal
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1 Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and pepper. Let tomato slices stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place flour, milk, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes.

2 Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dip tomato slices in milk, then flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 4-6 minutes on each side or until brown. As you cook the rest of the tomatoes, add olive oil as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

CSA Update :: regarding worms in the corn and destroying the squash field

Hello Everyone,

It has been brought to my attention that the corn that went out last week had some worms in it. On one hand this is normal. As the growing season progresses it gets harder and harder to keep the worms from getting some of corn before it is harvested. On the other hand, we can keep the worms from eating the corn by spraying organically approved BT or Bacillus thuringiensis once the corn silks arrive. Here's more information on the product.

So technically we can avoid gross worms in our corn. But... rain washes off the BT so it must be sprayed after each storm. We have had so much rain lately that it has been nearly impossible to spray after each downpour The result is that the corn has more and bigger worms in it than my wife likes to see when she's shucking it; which means I'm shucking all the corn these days. I am sorry for the inconvenience of having to chop off the ends of the corn and having to come face to face with the worms. They aren't especially cute critters. Thanks for bearing with us.

On Sunday I'm going to destroy all of our squash and zucchini plants. I'm going to do this not because I'm tired of squash and zucchini but because they are done producing for the season. We have planted a smaller amount of squash and zucchini for the fall and truth be told it will begin to bear in a few weeks. But the field that has yielded all of the squash and zucchini so far this season will be put to rest on Sunday.

Before it is plowed under I will harvest from it one last time. You are welcome to join me. I will be doing this work from 1:30pm until 3:30pm at the farm on Atando Road tomorrow, Sunday, August 2, 2009. Please join me if you'd like. Also this is a great opportunity to get the kids in the field. They can't mess anything up- they can trample all over the plants and pull them apart and that's fine. And they can keep some of the vegetables they pick.

If you do join me bring long sleeves and long pants and gloves if you want. The plants are prickly.

If any of you are interested in coming out to the farm tomorrow please meet me there. Here are directions for those of you who haven't been out to visit us yet.

Best Wishes,