Week #18 — Note from the Farmer

Week #18

Dear CSA members,

The seasons are continuing to change; there was a cool bite to the air this morning. As the summer crops begin to fade, the fresh fall greens take their place, bringing new life to the fields. The dry weather has continued through the growing season, bringing with it challenges as well as some benefits – such as not working in the rain and mud. The fungal diseases that can often reduce crop yields during the summer months were not a major concern due to the lack of precipitation.

The majority of our plants are started by hand in the greenhouses and then transplanted into the fields to give them a much-needed head start. During this period, the transplants need constant moisture to help establish the plants. This was a major struggle from early spring until last week, when we finished the last transplants for the season. Fortunately, we have a great staff of excellent farmers who efficiently irrigated our tender crops while conserving water throughout the summer months.

The past several days have been very rewarding with high yields of winter squash, popcorn, carrots and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes are a crop that we are just learning how to produce in high quantities. The process starts in the winter by ordering organic sweet potato “slips” from a farm in Georgia. The timing must be perfect to ship the slips from Georgia to New York. These tender shoots can survive for only a day or two and need to be planted and watered immediately upon arrival in June. This season we prepared a section of the field with hills of soil prior to the slips arrival. Keeping the rows hilled, weeded and fertilized throughout the season paid off with the best quality sweet potato harvest we have ever had. These slips are expensive but with high yields, they are worth it. Now that we have figured out the needs of this crop, we will double our order for next season and hopefully get the same results.

We have acres of fall greens coming on strong. Lettuce, radishes, mizuna, mustard, arugula and more will soon return, bringing fresh salads to the fridge! We also have an abundance of hardy brassica greens that will continue through the remainder of the year. Potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squash and many more root crops will add some bulk to the weekly harvest. Things are looking good for the fall!

I hope that everyone has enjoyed the season so far and is feeling the healthy benefits of eating our fresh organic produce. Thank you for all your support and loyalty to our farm.

Pete for everyone at Stoneledge Farm

A reminder that this week is a coffee share week!

Winter squash – 1
Lacinato kale – 1 bunch
Sweet potatoes – 2
Ancho peppers – 2
Sweet peppers – 2
Curly parsley – 1 bunch
Shallots – 2
Radish bunch – 1
Serrano peppers – take what you like

Fruit Share:
1 bag- Empire Apples Grown by Fix Brothers Orchard
1 bag – Anjou Pears Grown by Klein’s Kill Orchard

Mushroom Share: Crimini

Judi’s Recipe — Week #16

Wow – Week 16! This is the home stretch. The weather is getting cooler and the farm is getting ready to wind down during the next two months. Remember, your share will be getting heavier each week from now on.
So, how about a heart veggie and seafood recipe for the cooler evenings? This one is easy to prepare and it’s delicious!

SESAME RICE NOODLES WITH SHRIMP
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1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar, divided
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS honey
1 TSP Sriracha
1 cup peeled, seeded, julienned cucumber
1 cup peeled, julienned carrots
1 cup julienned radishes
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb brown-rice spaghetti
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp sesame seeds (black or regular)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together tamari, 1 tablespoon vinegar, oil, garlic, honey and Sriracha.
2. In a separate bowl, toss together cucumber, carrots, radishes, scallions, remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar and salt. Let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti as directed on package until al dente.
4. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add shrimp.
5. Drain noodle mixture and rinse with cold water, shaking out any excess. Add noodle mixture and vegetables to bowl with tamari dressing and toss. Top with sesame seeds.

Try it – you’ll love it! Have a delicious week.
Best,
Judi