Friday, April 18, 2014

Summer Season Farm Shares get underway in early May.  Click HERE to review our three share sizes, pricing, and many options on pickup locations.  Join Us for the 2014 Summer Season!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CSA SIGNUP NOW for 2014!

Now it is fast and easy to signup for Elmwood's CSA Farm Share program.

Click on this link for online signup: http://elmwoodstockfarm.csasignup.com

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Certified Organic TURKEYS 2013 Season

It's Turkey Time!!  

USDA Certified Organic Turkeys 2013 Season




At the farm we are now taking pre-orders for Elmwood Stock Farm's organic specialty breed turkeys. We take orders by phone or email prior to the holidays, and payment is made at pickup. Turkeys can be picked up the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving (Nov. 23rd this year) at the downtown Lexington farmers market, or make arrangements to pickup at the farm on Friday or Monday (Nov. 22nd or 25th). Shipping is also available within the Continental US (an additional $20 for packaging plus shipping charges). All of our turkeys are processed under USDA inspection and will be freshly frozen for food safety.

As one of only a few farms in the US to raise organic certified heritage breed turkeys, we are proud to have these special turkeys to offer. We appreciate your interest in serving a locally produced, organic turkey – you can taste the difference and you will know you are serving the best! 




ALL TURKEYS at Elmwood Stock Farm in Scott County outside of Georgetown are Organic Certified free ranging turkeys that are raised outdoors on grass pasture. They are raised the old-fashioned way, on fresh green grass and clover pastures with wholesome grains, resulting in moist, flavorful turkey. Not only are Elmwood turkeys raised naturally, free from any synthetic inputs, flavor additives, or stimulants, but everything that every turkey eats is organically raised grain or grass pasture.

Pasture-based grass farming has recognizable health benefits resulting in a product with good saturated fats and high omega-3 fatty acids. The use of certified organic grain means our turkeys are more expensive to produce, but you can take comfort knowing no GMO grain and no synthetic chemicals are used in your food. Organic Certification ensures third party verification of our production practices and ultimately results in better health for you and your family this Thanksgiving season.



HERITAGE Breed -- A heritage turkey is not one particular breed, but made up of a group of breeds. At Elmwood, we care year-round for our own breeding flock in order to raise Bourbon Red (named after Bourbon County KY), Narragansett (the oldest known American turkey breed), and the Slate turkeys (also found on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste that promotes the survival of near-extinct foods).

Some characteristics that distinguish these very rare Heritage turkeys from the standard broad breasted variety are slower growth, more proportionate breasts to legs, and the ability to naturally breed. There is a better balance between the dark meat and white meat, which means roasting a bird to perfection is much easier, and the meat has a richer flavor. Heritage turkeys will never be as large as broad breasted turkeys though they eat certified organic grain for 28 to 30 weeks resulting in the healthiest, most flavorful, best turkey you will ever taste.

Heritage Breed Organic Turkey 2013:  SOLD OUT as of 11/11/13, but we are taking WAIT LIST orders as sometimes there are cancellations and heritage turkeys become available.

Expected dressed weight: under 7 pounds - SOLD OUT $69.00
Expected dressed weight: 7 – 8.9 pounds - SOLD OUT $109.00
Expected dressed weight: 9 – 10.9 pounds - SOLD OUT $129.00
Expected dressed weight: 11-13.9 pounds - SOLD OUT $149.00
Expected dressed weight: 14 - 16.9 pounds SOLD OUT $169.00


 
STANDARD Broad Breasted Breed – These broad breasted bronze turkeys are similar in size and shape to a supermarket purchased turkey, but the similarities end right there! Our turkeys are raised outdoors in our pastured system that provides a diet enriched by grasses, fresh air, adequate exercise, and sunlight. Our bronze feathered turkeys free-range on fresh green grass or clover pastures supplemented with wholesome organic grains, resulting in moist, flavorful turkey.

Standard Broad Breasted Bronze Organic Turkey 2013: as of 11/12/13
Expected dressed weight: 12 – 13.9 pounds - SOLD OUT $109.00
Expected dressed weight: 14 – 16.9 pounds - SOLD OUT $115.00
Expected dressed weight: 17 - 20 pounds - SOLD OUT $119.00
Expected dressed weight: 21 - 24 pounds - SOLD OUT $139.00
Expected dressed weight: 25 - 29 pounds - $149.00



The costs of cheap food are hidden in healthcare, environmental cleanup, and dependence on pharmaceuticals. You might have heard the phrase “Visit the farm, not the (f)pharmacy,” to establish a personal path between good nutrition and good health. The many months to care for heritage turkeys and the use of certified organic grains for better animal health results in high production costs. The resulting high purchase price for specialty turkeys reflects the true costs of safe and wholesome food.


When Slow Food USA added American heritage turkeys to its Ark of Taste, it tremendously helped to spread the knowledge that eating these turkeys is necessary in order to support the maintaining of breeding birds and moving the breeds to lesser degrees of endangerment.



To learn more about Heritage Turkeys visit the website for the American Livestock Breeds Conservatory. As more is known about vanishing breeds of heritage livestock, efforts are underway to promote awareness and prevent the extinction of animals like Bourbon Red, Slate and Narragansett turkeys.

Contact Us to let us know what size turkey to reserve for you and when you want to pick it up!

Monday, September 30, 2013

CSA Week 22, Last week of Summer Shares

It's Not Necessarily the End of the Season


This is the last week of the summer share season, but it need not be the last of the wholesome goodies you eat from Elmwood Stock Farm this year. Many of you are signed up for the fall or winter share season, we will be downtown on Saturday mornings at the Lexington Farmers Market all fall and winter, and hopefully you have tucked a few items away in your freezer or pantry.

First, we sincerely thank you for the support you have demonstrated by being a shareholder of our organic farming operation. Your financial support gives our business a solid foundation from which we secure the labor and supplies to produce and provide the food you receive. Equally as important is the feedback we hear about how much you enjoy the surprise each week and how it has helped you to try new veggies or recipes. We know that everyone does not like everything in the share, but the diversity and unique varieties we grow gives you the opportunity to try a new recipe, or share an item with a friend. Hopefully this newsletter has expanded your understanding of organic farming principles and where that fits in the larger aspect of what you eat.

The Elmwood Stock Farm – Fall CSA Season starts next week! Because of how the dates match up with Holiday cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas there will be six (6) pick-ups instead of the historical five (5). These are every other week, the locations and days of the week are different so check this out on our website. Though we are close to full, it is not too late to sign up. The eggs and meats are also available as well. Look for the Winter CSA Season information that will be posted in December, we may be one of the few sources of local and organic foods during the winter. The crops look good going into fall, though we sure could use some of that extra rain from back in the summer. The Turkeys are sizing up nicely and now is the time to secure the size you want this year. Email the farm, or come see us at the market to get your name on the list. Being in the grass-fed beef business, harvest season is upon us. Check out our beef or beef/chicken bundles on the website so you can have a good supply in your freezer.  

We will be at our usual location on the Short Street end of the pavilion at Cheapside Park on Saturday mornings. The leadership of the Lexington Farmers Market is evaluating the possibility of staying in the pavilion all winter this year, rather than being tucked away in Victorian Square. We thank Victorian Square for the opportunity they gave us for several years, to meet you each week all winter long, to secure your meats, eggs, and veggies. We hope that with a little windbreak, patio heaters, and ample close parking on Short Street, it will be more convenient for you to stop down to visit with us all winter. Certainly we will let you know when the decision has been finalized. 

The CSA model is evolving in the marketplace, primarily still around foods. The pamphlet from our friends at the Lexington Pasta Company is a prime example. Their desire to build a loyal customer base is with a quality product, and their mission of excellent customer service is consistent with ours. You may also be hearing about businesses offering home delivery of fruits and vegetables that may or may not be local or local and organic. While these may be convenient, there is little connection between you and the farm and should not be considered a new generation CSA. 

When you make your commitment to join our CSA as a shareholder, it gives you a direct connection to the food you eat. You eat seasonally, as nature intended. You probably no longer feel right about eating some fruits and veggies shipped in from other countries as the questions come to mind: If it is not organic or local, how much could the farmer be compensated for growing it? What are the external costs associated with those foods?  By your commitment to our local, organic farm, we are able to develop the infrastructure needed to be able to supply you with local and organic produce year-round. Even though your summer shares are ending, we are easy to find, electronically or in person downtown. We are proud to be your source for local AND organic fruits, meats, vegetables, eggs, and poultry, and we’ll continue to work hard growing for you throughout the year!

In Your Share


Cabbage - organic

 
Garlic - organic


Leeks - organic


Onions - organic


Bell Peppers - organic


Potatoes - organic


Delicata Squash - organic


Yellow Squash and/or Zucchini


Green Beans - organic


Eggplant


Tomatoes - organic


Recipes to Enjoy


Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples, adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe 

2 delicata squashes, cut crosswise into ½ inch slices, seeds removed (the skin on this squash is tender and edible when cooked, so no need to peel)
4 medium or 6 small apples (about 1 ½ pounds), halved
3 T extra virgin olive oil
¼ C + 3 T light brown sugar
6 oz bacon, slices cut into ½ inch wide pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (for garnish)
 Preheat oven to 400°.  Toss together squashes, apples, oil, sugar, bacon, and ½ tsp salt; season with pepper.  Spread on rimmed baking sheet, and roast until golden on bottom, about 45-50 minutes.  Flip squashes and apples over, and roast until tender, about 5-10 minutes more.  Sprinkle thyme over mixture and serve immediately.

Roasted Eggplant and Potatoes, a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe

¼ C canola or olive oil
1 pound eggplant
1 pound potatoes, any type will do, unpeeled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the oil in a large nonstick roasting pan and heat in the oven for a good 10 minutes, until the oil is sizzling hot.

Meanwhile, cut the eggplant and potatoes into 1-inch cubes into a bowl, and season well with salt and pepper.

Take the roasting pan from the oven and place on a stable, heatproof surface. Add the eggplant and potato and turn to coat in the oil, being careful not to splash yourself. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from the oven, stir in the garlic, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are golden brown all over. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a little more salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Optional garnish includes finely grated lemon zest, hot smoked paprika, or chopped herbs.

Cabbage and Beef Quiche, adapted from Cornelia Adam’s Quiches and Savory Tarts
10 inch pastry crust (homemade or premade)
1 large onion
2 T oil
1 small cabbage
6 tsp dry white wine or chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
½ tsp ground caraway seed
8 oz already cooked ground beef
2 eggs
1 ¼ C sour cream
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 oz Harvarti cheese, freshly grated
Prepare the pastry crust and line a 10inch pan.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Peel and dice the onion.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent.
Trim, quarter, and core the cabbage.  Wash and slice into narrow strips.  Add cabbage to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the wine or stock, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add caraway seed and saute for 5 more minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.
Mix the ground beef with the cabbage mixture.  In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the sour cream and season generously with salt and pepper.  Add nutmeg.
Distribute the cabbage-beef mixture evenly in the crust.  Pour the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with the cheese.  Bake until filling is set and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Summer Squash Tartines, adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy, serves 4.

1 tsp olive oil
1 or 2 summer squash, very thinly sliced (about 8 oz)
½ - 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
grated zest of 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 long pieces of baguette, sliced diagonally
olive oil and garlic for the bread
½ C ricotta cheese

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the squash, saute for 1minute or so to warm, then add a splash of water and cover.  Cook until squash is soft, about 3 minutes.  Remove the lid, add rosemary and zest, toss with the squash, then season with salt and pepper.

Lightly brush the cut surface of the baguette pieces with olive oil, then toast until golden and crisp.  While the bread is hot, rub the surface with the garlic.  Spread ricotta on the pieces, then lay on the squash pieces, overlapping a bit.  Season with a bit more salt and pepper.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 21, If It's Not Certified, It's Not Organic


We submitted our annual paperwork to continue offering you organic fruits, vegetables, and meats. The rigorous process of declaring the practices, processes, and products we use to produce organic food is precisely the reason we are sensitive to claims, like natural, unsprayed, chemical free or one of the other pseudo-organic claims in the marketplace. It is worth explaining not just the process, but just how much is behind the USDA Organic seal.  
    

Years ago, we were certified organic by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) to a standard set by them. At that time, each state or region had its own version of what organic meant.  Leaders of the organic movement sought a uniform definition for clarity in the marketplace, and the USDA adopted a single standard that was developed by the organic community. The USDA accredits certification agencies (ACA) to administer the regulations on their behalf, of which there are 53 agencies in the US, and 29 others around the world. The USDA is also responsible for enforcement, marketing, and further refinement of the standards. The Secretary of the USDA appoints 15 people to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), to advise him of issues around the production and marketing of organic products. These folks are representative of consumer groups, farmers, processors, environmentalists, food scientists, and the accredited certification agencies. Currently Mac is in his third year, of a 5-year term, as the representative for certifying agents, since he used to manage the KDA organic program. The NOSB is in charge of maintaining input from all aspects of the organic community and act as an administrative body for the federal program. As you can see, there is a tremendous degree of oversight behind the label or seal you see on packaging and signage.


Every year, we submit our organic system plan (OSP) to an ACA. The forty plus pages allows us to describe how we at Elmwood Stock Farm have interpreted the regulations and plan to produce food for you. The national standards require very specific details of how we will not allow any contamination of the products we deliver, therefore we must keep meticulous records on virtually every aspect of the operation. Our plan is reviewed for completeness of outlining procedures to promote biodiversity, manage issues with the neighbors, seed source compliance (No GMO or nasty seed coatings), pest control practices, animal welfare, and the like. Often there are more pages of attachments than in the form itself. The ACA then sends an inspector out to visually verify that our plan accurately describes the operation and we have not missed any aspect of compliance with the regulation. The inspector will perform various audit trail evaluations to confirm compliance. For example the yield of tomatoes must match the number of seeds purchased and the greenhouse production records to show we did not substitute non-organic tomatoes sourced elsewhere, and call them organic. The volume of hay or feed must jive with the livestock production data. The inspector then submits their report to the ACA for further review. We are then issued an updated organic certificate, with a detailed crops list to document our compliance. We may have seen it hanging up when you were here at the spring farm tour, or posted at our table at the farmers market.  We will gladly show it to you, as we are very proud of it, and all it stands for. 

Mac is currently Chair of the NOSB, which is an honor to be selected by his peers for the top spot, but with it comes a lot of responsibility. The growth of the organic food sector continues to grow at 20% annually, now estimated at $35 billion per year. With the growth comes more political scrutiny, more pressure from special interest groups, and demands on resources to manage this growth. The NOSB will have its fall meeting in Louisville at the Galt House Hotel, the week of October 21st. We look forward to showing the leaders of the organic community some good Kentucky hospitality while hammering out some tough issues. Mac is the lead author and project manager for what is being called “Sound and Sensible Certification”. This is an effort designed to take some of the onerous aspects of paperwork and document-ation out of the certification process, for farmers and the ACAs. It is hoped this will encourage others to adopt and adhere to the organic principles of organics. The board will also be evaluating retail establishment certification protocols, to further ensure the integrity of the products on your behalf. You can google ‘NOSB fall meeting’ to see all the proposals and recommendations and how you can submit written comments and/or sign up for public testimony. With so much transparency behind the decisions about what is organic, along with so much integrity behind the certification process itself, along with all of the work a producer does to maintain their organic status, you may better understand why it’s just not the same when people equate local with organic. The USDA can impose an $11,000 fine on people who misrepresent themselves as organic if they are not. If you suspect fraud, we encourage you to let the USDA-NOP or KDA know about it. 

Over the season, we’ve shared a lot about the biological systems employed to produce your food without toxic chemicals.  You’ve learned about microbes, soils, crop rotation, insects, plant disease, composting, irrigation, variety selection, seed sourcing and a lot more topics that organic production entails. We enjoy partnering with nature to grow healthy food.  We go to great lengths to document the process for others to verify.  And, we know that other certified organic farms go through the same thing.  Ultimately we know, if it doesn’t say certified organic, then it’s not.

In Your Share

 
Edamame Soybeans – organic

Green Beans - organic

Lettuce – organic

Okra - organic

Green Onions - organic

Red Onions - organic

Bell Peppers – organic

Sweet Potatoes – organic

Purple Viking Potatoes - organic

Squash and/or Zucchini


Beets – organic

Red Cabbage – organic

Eggplant

Tomatoes - organic

Recipes to Enjoy

 
Edamame in the Shell, a Mark Bittman recipe.  You want to eat the beans, not the pods, leaves or stems. Once the Japanese soybeans are cooked and seasoned, squeeze the pod on one side and the beans will pop right out into your mouth.  Discard the pods.

Salt

1 pound fresh or frozen edamame in their pods

Black pepper to taste



To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the edamame, return to a boil and cook until bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. To microwave: Put the edamame in a microwave-safe dish with ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt, cover partly and microwave on high until bright green, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your microwave power.



Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and a little or a lot of black pepper. Toss and serve hot, warm or chilled with an empty bowl on the side for the pods.



Garden-Stuffed Summer Squash, our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this internet recipe that she really enjoyed.



6 medium summer squash

½ C green bell pepper diced

1 C onion, finely chopped

1 C tomatoes, chopped and seeded

½ C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

½ C Italian bread crumbs

4 slices bacon, fried until crisp and crumbled

pinch seasoned salt

2/3 tsp teaspoon kosher salt

ground black pepper

butter (for sautéing)


In large pot, cover squash with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash are tender but firm, about 8 minutes. Drain squash and cool slightly. Trim stems and cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove pulp, then chop it into small pieces. Reserve squash shells.


Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, and sauté bell pepper and onion in butter until soft. In a separate pan, sauté squash pulp (about 1 cup) until soft. Combine squash pulp with onions, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, bread crumbs, bacon and seasoned salt.

Place hollowed squash shells in a baking dish, and sprinkle the inside of each with kosher salt and pepper. Spoon squash mixture into each shell. Top with additional bread crumbs
and drizzle top with melted butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until top is golden.

 

Sweet Potato and Fresh Greens Pizza, adapted from an Epicurious recipe. 


1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 ½ T olive oil, divided

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 prepared whole-wheat pizza dough

1 bunch greens, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces (kale, chard, beet greens, spinach, or any favorite fresh green)

¼ C crumbled goat cheese

2 T shredded Parmesan

1 T crushed walnuts


Heat oven to 425°F. Boil a large pot of water. Cook potato in water until fork-tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and let cool 5 minutes. In a food processor, pulse potato, 1 T oil, red pepper and a pinch of salt until sauce is smooth.


Roll out dough until 1/4 inch thick. Spread potato sauce evenly over dough. Toss greens in remaining ½ T oil; top pizza with goat cheese, greens, and Parmesan. Bake until crust is golden, 10 to 15 minutes, sprinkling on walnuts in final 2 minutes.

 

Master Recipe for Oven Fried Sweet Potatoes, recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Perfect Vegetables

1 tsp plus 1 T oil

2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat to 400°F.  Place ½ tsp of the oil on each of two rimmed baking sheets.  Spread the oil evenly over the entire surface and place both sheets in the oven.

Cut each sweet potato from end to end into 8 thick wedges.  Toss the sweet potatoes and the remaining 1 T of oil in a large bowl to coat.  Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again to blend.  Carefully remove one baking sheet from the oven and place half of the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet cut-side down.  Spread them out so that they do not touch each other.  Return the baking sheet to the oven and repeat the process using the second baking sheet and the remaining sweet potatoes.

Bake until the cut side of the sweet potatoes touching the baking sheet is crusty and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove each baking sheet from the oven and carefully turn the sweet potatoes, using a thin metal spatula.  Bake until the second cut side of the sweet potatoes now touching the pan is crusty and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.  Use the metal spatula to transfer the sweet potatoes to a platter and serve.

Roasted Potato and Eggplant, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

 
1/4 C canola or olive oil 
1 pound eggplant 
1 pound potatoes 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 garlic cloves, sliced  
lemon juice
 
Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Put the oil in a large nonstick roasting pan and heat in the oven for a good 10 minutes, until the oil is sizzling hot. 


Meanwhile, cut the eggplants and potatoes into 1-inch cubes, tip into a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Take the roasting pan from the oven and place on a stable, heatproof surface. Add the eggplants and potatoes and turn to coat in the oil, being careful not to splash yourself. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from the oven, stir in the garlic, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are golden brown all over. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a little more salt and pepper if needed, and any finishing touches you fancy. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Finish with finely grated lemon zest, hot smoked paprika, or chopped herbs.


Monday, September 16, 2013

CSA Week 20, Pests





We have discussed in this posting numerous times before about the intricacies of organic food production systems. Hopefully you have an image of this idyllic scaled down version of a tropical rain forest. The more diverse an ecosystem is, the more stable it becomes. We foster and encourage the proliferation of bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, plants, birds, wildlife, domesticated mammals and fowl, and us. When the seasons and weather patterns unfold “normally”, the balanced system has a way of buffering our crops from pestilence. Since there is no such thing as normal weather anymore, it seems there will often be an outbreak of an insect population that harms one crop or another crop when we have an unusually cool wet summer. 


When you sign up to be a shareholder of the Elmwood Stock Farm CSA, you agree to share in the risks of organic food farming in central Kentucky – and crop damage from insects is one such risks. With so many different vegetable crops, it is difficult at best for every single crop to do great, every year. We do our best in managing production, continually making improvements here and there, using our experience in making decisions while continually learning more, and ultimately we hope for the best.  With the farm being USDA Certified Organic, we have the responsibility to provide you wholesome produce consistent with our core organic principles.  Here are a few decisions we have made on your behalf this season, first with your brassica crops, and then sweet corn.


Broccoli, kales, collards, cabbages, and mustards, and bok choy are all in the brassica family. They also represent a valuable part of a healthy diet, so we grow these from early spring until winter kill late in the year. They grow relatively well in our climate though are a favorite of several insect pests.  The main pest is the cabbage looper, which eats holes in the leaves in the larvae stage (a pale green worm most often found on the underside of a leaf of the plant.)  The adults are “cute white butterflies” to the unknowing.  Often a beneficial insect population destroys this pest in either the egg or pupae stage. If there is a significant hatch of larvae, we use a biological control that affects only this species of larvae. This product is derived from plants and has been approved for use on organic farms, because of its narrow range of impact on the environment. This year we saw an invasion of a pest we’ve seen before, but not in such devastating numbers, the harlequin stinkbug. It showed up on brassica crops throughout Central Kentucky, though we’ve heard from one or two lucky farms that haven’t seen it yet.  It devours the plant leaves, sucking out the juices, and wilts and browns the plants, seemingly overnight. There are no biological control measures to control this pest on organic farms, save completely covering them with thin fabric most often used for frost protection -- and this needs to be applied before the beetles move in.  With the fall brassica crops coming on, we will painstakingly keep them covered, knowing we really need to have more of the good greens going into winter.  Cold weather with freezing temperatures should reduce this season’s harlequin beetle explosive population.


The kale or other greens you see at local farmers markets may have been sprayed numerous times by non-organic farmers with a harsh pesticide in an effort to control this pest if they have it at their farms. These are the kind of chemicals that the farmer should wear a respirator and plastic suit for protection while applying it to the food crop.  A couple of farms that we know about had trouble killing this creature with numerous pesticide applications.  We made the decision to not expose our farm and your food to such a toxic compound, but to do without the late season kale until we can grow you a crop organically. We hope you trust our judgment on this.  If we do not have a particular crop and you shop elsewhere, please source USDA certified organic produce for your own benefit.  Look for the logo.  



Now for that pesky worm, actually caterpillar, in the end of the ear of corn. It is a bit unsightly to peel back the husk of an ear of corn and discover a caterpillar already there. We have a few biological tools we can use in organic systems, but by definition they provide limited success and are very time sensitive to the stage of maturity of the ear. The pest only wants to be there the same time you do, not a week before. If the weather conditions are just so-so, some can get past our efforts to keep them out. We scout the fields daily and act accordingly when necessary. We source corn varieties that are known to have a thick husk covering the ear to resist entry. We are not willing to compost an entire corn crop because of a problem at the very tip of the ear. Sometimes we can keep it clean, other times we will cut off the tip to remove the problem as we pack your share, sometimes we just can’t see them when we look over each ear when picking and packing. When you encounter a small nuisance such as this, simply dispose of it with the shucks, wash the tip with running water, or cut away the damaged tip.  Another option is to purchase picture-perfect corn that has had countless amounts of toxic pesticides sprayed to make sure there is no concern. We think the toxic chemical is the concern, not the inconvenience. 

Just like the American chestnut blight of the past century, or the current invasion of emerald ash borer that is decimating the beautiful old ash trees in Kentucky, there are cycles of pests that a natural ecosystem has no control for. We have confidence that in a few years the natural enemies will find a chink in the armor of the harlequin bug, and help us control them during our production cycle. Until then, we will work with row covers, crop rotation, seasonality, variety resistance, and weather patterns, to grow crops without toxic chemicals. Thanks for your trust and support. We think it’s the right way to go.


In Your Share

 
Dried Beans – organic

Green Beans - organic

Okra - organic

Green Onions and White Onions - organic

Bell Peppers - organic

Yellow Squash

Tomatoes – organic


Fall Sweet Corn - organic

Garlic – organic

Eggplant
Lettuce - organic

Recipes to Enjoy


Spaghetti with Eggplant Sauce, our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this recipe she adapted from viewing several found online, serves 3 or 4


1 pound eggplant, cut into ½ inch slices

1/3 C extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed

2 springs thyme or oregano, chopped

1 C chicken stock or water

6 leaves basil, sliced thinly

salt and pepper

chopped fresh tomatoes

1 pound spaghetti



Lightly salt the slices of eggplant, stack them back together and let sit for 20 minutes.


Put the olive oil in a wide, heavy saucepan, add the garlic cloves, and set over low heat. Dry off the eggplant, cut it into chunks. When you start hearing the garlic sizzle a little and can smell it, drop in your eggplant and stir to coat it all with oil. Turn up the heat a little bit to medium high and add the thyme or oregano and stir. When the eggplant is turning translucent and softening, add the liquid, let it come to a boil, and turn it back down to medium-low. Let it bubble for a bit and cover it, leaving a crack for steam to escape. Stir once in a while so that the bottom doesn’t stick.


After about 20 minutes or so, the liquid in the eggplant pan should be mostly evaporated and the eggplant should be soft and melting. Mash it with a fork or spoon, and adjust the seasoning to taste.


Toss the eggplant purée with the spaghetti that you cooked al dente. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and basil.



Roasted Eggplant Burgers, our thanks to a CSA member for adapting this recipe, makes 4 burgers.  


1 medium eggplant

1/2 C rolled oats, toasted

1/2 C walnuts, toasted

1 C fresh corn

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 egg

½ C fresh parsley, roughly chopped

salt and pepper

1 C panko or whole-wheat breadcrumbs
 2 T extra virgin olive oil

4 whole-wheat buns

To make the patties, start with the eggplant. Slice them into 1/2-inch slices and sprinkle a generous amount of salt over each slice; let sit for about 30 minutes. This will draw out the moisture of the eggplant, making for less soggy burgers.

In a small skillet, sauté the corn with the garlic in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for about 5 minutes.


Preheat oven to 375°F.  Roast the eggplant slices for about 30 minutes, until they start to brown. Remove from heat and cut into chunks. Let cool a little, toss them into a food processor. Add the oats, walnuts, corn, egg and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then pulse a few times to incorporate everything.


Pour the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. With your hands, create little patties with the eggplant mixture, and pat them into the breadcrumbs.  You can freeze at this point, or refrigerate until ready to cook.


Heat the oil in a medium skillet, and cook each patty until nice and browned, about 7 minutes total. Serve with your favorite fixings, mozzarella melted on top is wonderful.  Can be frozen after cooked.



Green Bean Quiche, a Cornelia Adam recipe

6 oz bacon

1 large onion, diced

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of dried thyme

2 eggs

7 oz herbed soft cheese

2/3 C crème fraiche

1 tsp paprika

16-20 oz green beans, trimmed and snapped

9-10 inch premade pie crust



In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the bacon until most of the fat has melted.  Add onion and cook until translucent.  Season with salt, pepper and thyme.  Remove pan from heat.


In a bowl, blend the eggs, cheese, and crème fraiche.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and paprika.


Preheat oven to 400°F.  Distribute the green beans in a star shape in the crust, and sprinkle with the bacon-onion mix.  Pour the egg-milk mixture on top.  Bake the quiche until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.