Farm News/Communication

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Posted 1/25/2010 1:48pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Cheers and here we all are into the New Year of 2010. 
As a new year always comes with some changes, Matthew and I would like to let you have a preliminary glimpse into what Arugula's Star Farm will be accomplishing and offering,  in the 2010 season.  We just finished working on The Local Table publication update and thought we would share what we listed with you, our 2009 CSA members and buying customers, early, as the spring magazine will not be coming out till March or April.  After the website update/completion, it will be then that we will send out a newsletter to all you our customers, friends, and mailing list members to let you know of its completion. So please sign up to our mailing list, if you are not signed up already.  

Now, for The Local Table, 2010 season, public announcement:
Season: April-November
Our farm is located on the fertile Leipers Creek Valley, about 9 miles southwest of Leipers Fork, in the Bethal Community.  Most recently, our 152 acres were placed in a permanent conservation easement with the Land Trust for TN, and will forever be available as farm land, protected from sprawling development. This year we are altering our normally offered, 28 week CSA season, as we will be undertaking major infrastructure projects, cover cropping, and working on the establishment of a non-profit, Educactional Organic Working Farms Initiative named Windfall Agrarian Initiative.  The 2010 season will consist of e-mail direct sells of limited seasonal amounts of asparagus, strawberries, greens, legumes, root vegetables, melons, eggs, and other produced on farm items. By signing up to be apart of our e-mail direct selling list, you will have the option of placing an order, then to be picked up at Elmington Park, off of West End and I-440, or On-Farm.  In the future, look for Arugula's Star, an on-farm, all organic, outdoor/indoor dining venue.  For more information and to learn how a tax free donation can help a local farmer conserve land, teach others, and produce organic foods to help feed and enrich your local community, please see our website.  Be curious, ask questions, and sign-up for our newsletter mailing list.

Overall, we are really excited about what we are working towards this year in 2010, and if all goes well we are planning on having the CSA up and going again in 2011.  I think the e-mail direct sells will allow a lot of you to be able to purchase SOME seasonal items from us and then for full consistency, be able to experience shopping at local farmer's markets, to fill in with whatever else you might desire. You could also choose to sign-up with another farm for a CSA in 2010.  Or maybe you will also choose to experiment with a back yard garden of your own, for fun and for sustanence. 
Thanks and we will be in touch,   
Matthew and Allison Mills Neal

Posted 10/31/2009 1:56pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
09' CSA Basket Journal #23
October 21st

What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:

1.)A varietal mix of Sweet Potatoes (all sweet potato starter slips came from a certified organic sweet
   potato preservation center called Sand Hill Preservation Center up in Iowa, which is why you will see
   types of sweet potatoes you might have never seen before!)

2.)The last of the Peppers (Hot and Sweet Varieties)

3.)Eggplant varieties of Louisiana Long Green, Turkish Orange, Applegreen, and Black Opal

4.)White Russian Kale Bunch

5.)Lacinato Kale Bunch

6.)Rouquetta Arugula and Red Oakleaf Lettuce Mix

7.)Olga Romaine Heads

8.)Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash and Delicata Winter Squash

09' CSA Basket Journal #24
October 28th

What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:

1.)Batavian Escarole Endive Bunch

2.)Rainbow Swiss Chard Bunch

3.)Chioggia, Detriot Dark Red, or Goldstone Beet Bunch w/ edible Beet Greens and Stems

4.)Chinese Cabbage Heads

5.)Cherrybelle Radish Bunch w/ edible Greens

6.)Goldstone Beet Greens Bunch or Detriot Dark Red Beet Bunch (morning CSA members)

7.)Purple Peacock Brocolli  (afternoon CSA members)

8.)Waltham Butternut Winter Squash

Howdy to all, as you are enjoying your wonderful fall vegetables!
Here is a quick link to let you see and hear a toon by the Hog Slop Strin Band that played at our 2nd Annual Fall Farm Gathering last weekend.  We were very sad that so many CSA members were not able to come, so at least here you can see some of what you missed.  The afternoon/evening really was just perfect fall weather.    Allison and Matthew

Posted 10/15/2009 6:46pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
CSA Basket Journal #22
Oct. 14th

What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:
1.)Dry Shell Beans of Octobers (pink & white bean inside), Calypso (black and white bean)

2.)Walthan Butternut Squash
3.)Sweet Long Peppers of Nepolean Sweets and Corno di Toro
    Hot Peppers of Ring of Fire and Cycklon Polish Hot (these Hot Peppers
    are great for drying and then to be used through winter)
4.)Bulk Caribe Cilantro
5.)Collard Greens Bunches ("The Headless Cabbage")
6.)Batavian Escarole Endive
7.)Crisp Mint and Olga Romaine Lettuce Heads

Good evening to all on yet another dreary fall day, but I am sure that even if you are blue then maybe the thought of this week's wonderful basket of greens, peppers, golden orange sweet butternut, and crunchy peppers will add a pep to your step and some smiles in the kitchen and at the table!

The weather is suppose to be clearing at the start of next week.  Therefore,  we are hoping that the week will continue to stay nice all on through the weekend, so we will have some great weather for the Fall Gathering.  We forgot to ask many of you on Wednsday if it was looking favorable for you to attend, so remember to let us know if you are planning on coming.  We really would love for as many of you our CSA members to be able to come,  as this gathering is in part an appreciation to all of you for being apart of Arugula's Star Farm CSA!  It will also allow you to ask as many field questions that maybe you have been curious about and just have not asked about at the basket pick-ups.

I think I might have heard all of you crunching into those wonderfully crisp sweet peppers last night all the way out here in Maury County... goodness, the peppers have been so very crisp and full this year with all of this rain that they really do make for a great crunch.  When the peppers are this good they are really great to eat whole just like an apple, and if you have never thought about just biting into a pepper like an apple then I highly recommend trying it.

I bet everyone is thinking about a delicious warm dish of peppers, beans, and cilantro.  Since there is not a magnanomous amount of dry beans this week I would imagine that you should shell them and use them this week without neccessarily trying to save them.  Just shell, soak overnight, drain, and then prepare like you would any store-bought dry bean. 

Also, remember that you have the Basket Journal Archives from the '08 CSA season that you can go back and look through and learn more about all types of different "vegetables of the week."  For example you can look back at 08' Archive Basket Journal #6 to read about Endive, and to find a great Collard Green Slaw recipe.

Here is a great dinner idea for this week that we had last night for dinner....

  • A fine chopped Crisp Mint Lettuce, and Batavian Escarole Endive Salad tossed with  Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, and some Walnuts.
  • A warm Pasta, Pepper, and Cilantro Dish served topped with a great raw Hard Goat's Milk Cheese that came from Whole Foods called  Tommes Des bois noirs Herve Mons
Pick any non-long noodle organic pasta and prepare according to normal directions. When draining your cooked pasta remember to save a cup or so of you pasta water to add back into the pasta to loosen it up when you add it to the pepper mixture.
Heat some olive oil in a pot and then add about 1/4 of a cycklon polish hot pepper minced or 1 whole ring o fire pepper minced (take out seeds before mincing).  Then add a pear that has been diced to the warm oil and hot peppers.  Sautee this around for about 1 minute or so and then cover with a lid.  Next add about 3-4 thinly sliced peppers and sautee around and some salt to taste.   Add some splashes of vinegared red wine and then cover and by this time have your heat turned down to low-med.  Chop up some of your cilantro and add this in.  Then you final step will be adding the drained pasta back to peppers and then pouring your reserved pasta water in and stiring around.  Thinly slice your cheese so it will be ready to place on top of your servings.  Also, after plating up your pasta you can add some more olive oil to stir around and for your desired taste. 

Enjoy and Cheers!


Posted 10/10/2009 12:47pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Hello Folks… Past, Present and Future Friends, CSA Customers, and Farm Interns. 

Come one and Come all, as you would have gotten the quick announcement about our Fall Gathering last week, here is the detailed announcement.

Here at Arugula’s Star Farm, we will yes indeedy be having our Fall Farm Gathering up and coming here on Saturday October 24th.  The Farm Tour will be the first happening and it will start promptly at 3 pm. This will consist of The Farmer's, Matthew and Allison Mills Neal, giving a walk through and a talking about of the farm's valley land and all it's growing cycles of vegetables and fruits, and the viewing of the moveable chicken coop and the beautiful chickens.  This will be great for anyone, but especially our CSA members so you can get an even better idea of the farm behind the basket! 

Of course though, do not worry if you cannot make the tour, as you will be more than welcomed to show up around 4 pm as this is when we will be heading on up  the single trac steep drive way in low gear, to the hilltop, which is where the rest of the evening will take place. The leaves might even be in full beauty, and the upper pasture bald is surrounded by timbers, so the landscape should also be a neat place for you to visually experience.

The highlight and energy of the gathering will be the presence of the Hog Sloppin' String Band that will really be putting out some wonderful down-home folky hoedown tunes. They will also be heading up and calling out some all out square dancin, as we will have a close cut pasture square that will be perfect for some dosy doin and swingin your partner round and round!  Think about digging deep under your cushions for some extra dollars so that when the Hog Sloppin String Band starts to make your change about bounce on out of your pockets you can throw it in the tip hat that we will be setting out for them and their great efforts! 

We will have a warm fire a glowing when the sky starts darkening, the stars start appearing, and when the coldness starts a nearing!  Nonetheless, please dress weather appropriate, as the whole occasion will be outside.  It is always recomendable to wear layers to our Fall Farm Gathering outside event, so you can stay as warm as you need or as cool as you want. Also, since part of the gathering will be at night, please bring a flashlight or two so you can make it easier on yourself getting back to your car, or heading to the bathroom tree/port-a-pot.  We are most excited to have as many friends, and soon to be friends, here as possible, and if you have gotten this invitation then of course you are more than welcome to bring your family and some friends that might enjoy some good company and some good ole time a dancing.

We will have an old firm bench, but if you want to know for certain that you can have a chair for a period of the evening then please bring one, or a blanket.   Also, as this will be a place to get some good eats as well we are asking that everyone try their best to bring an all organic dish/treat (sweet or savory), to share with the crowd.  Also, BYOB…anything goes, but remember it needs to be a safe drive home (take in mind it might be a cool evening)!

We are really hoping for a grand ole time with lots of people, and so we can kind of know how many guests to expect could you please send us a quick…"yes we will be there" at

As far as directions, our address is 6624 Leipers Creek Road, Columbia, TN 38401(really not near Columbia, but only 9 miles south past Leipers Fork). You should be able to pull out your map to find the best way to get to Leipers Fork and then it will be as easy as heading south for 9 miles on Leipers Creek Road to get to our farm.  We have a great drawn out map and hand written directions that we can distribute to our in-town CSA members, if you ask.  Then for those of you who we do not see on a weekly basis and have never been to the farm, when you e-mail to let us know you are coming, then you can just request these directions and we will send out the directions as an attachment back to you. We will probably wait a little closer to the time of the gathering, and do a grouped e-mail for these requested directions, as we would like to only send out these directions as an  attachement once.  The reason being that we are on dial-up and it takes about 15-20 minutes to add an attachement to an e-mail.  

Real quick, to give you a better idea of where we are located, basically our farm is very easy to find.  If you are coming from the Green Hills area in Nashville, (drive time ~ 55 minutes) you will just head South on Hillsboro Pike till you come to Old Hillsboro Road, in which you will take a right onto heading towards Leipers Fork.  You will cross over HWY 96 eventually passing Leipers Fork.  You will then just stay straight and the road changes name to Leipers Creek Road.  We are located ~9 miles outside of Leipers Fork in Maury Co., heading southwestward, and our driveway is on the Left .1 or less of a mile after passing the Cave Spings Rd. Sign.  Often people miss our driveway because it comes up really quick, try to keep you eyes open for a shiny windmill in a big field and a woodenStacked mailbox.  After knowing these few highlights of directions you should be able to make your way here from any point.

After you turn into the driveway, you will follow the lane over the bridge, by the barn, and on up a really steep hill.  You will pass a house, but do not stop there, keep on going over the cattle guard and onto a field lane.  Eventually, you should see some cars and a sign that will direct you where to park. If you are coming for the tour, there will be signs directing you on where to park down in the valley, as you will not be heading over the bridge until after the tour. 

Well, we are just delighted and very excited to bring all you folks together for a hoedown of an evening and who knows maybe even a few surprises!

ICKY WEATHER NOTICE:  As our farm is in a different geographical location than where you are heading from, the weather here might not be the same as there.  Therefore, if the weather is looking very very grim here and not so swell for a farm gathering we will post on our website and send an e-mail notice the morning of Saturday Oct. 24th letting everyone know that the gathering has been cancelled.  There will only be a posting or notice if the event has been cancelled, so if nothing has been sent by mid-morning the weather must be lookin favorable and thus the gathering is a GO!

Matthew and Allison look very forward to seeing you all.  

Posted 10/8/2009 3:55pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
CSA Basket Journal #21
October 7th

What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:
1.)Batavian Escarole Endive Bunch
2.)Rutabaga Greens Bunch
3.)Bulk Lettuce Bag of Red Romaine and Red Tide Leaf Lettuce
4.)Peppers...a variety of Purple Beauty Bell, King of the North Red Bell , Napolean
   Sweet, Corno di Toro Sweet, Healthy (Yellow-Green) Pepper, and Ring of Fire
    Hot (very small and skinny)and Cyklon Polish Hot (wide, pointy, and short; larger
    then the Ring o Fire and more spicey than the Ring o Fire)
5.)Eggplants...a variety of Turkish Orange, Applegreen, Rosita, Rosa bianca,
     Black opal, and Louisiana long green
6.)Spaghetti Winter Squash

    This is one of those great Fall baskets that really presents so much diversity, as it incorporates vegetables from all seasons.  You have some wonderful greens (both hardy and tender), you have some robust summer crops of eggplants and peppers, and then you have those comforting winter spaghetti squash.
    I hope you enjoy using your Rutabaga Greens as these hardy greens are ones that you could not normally find in the grocery.  Think of these greens as being a combination in flavor of kale and collards, so you can use them in the same types of ways that you would try using kale and/or collards.  The stems will even have a crunchy cabbage flavor that would be great in a Sweet pepper, rutabaga greens, and spaghett squash (a spaghetti squash that has already been baked and ready to be scooped) stir fry or sautee. This dish could be flavored with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce and maybe some shredded coconut and sunflower seeds, or some of your roasted winter squash seeds.
As far as the eggplants go, I hope everyone has been enjoying the different varieties of eggplant that you have been recieving, as these are not your normal large purple eggplants.  The great advantage of our eggplants is that they do not have to be pre-soaked in water and salt to take out the bitterness.  Here is a tasty way to try your eggplant this week...
    Take as many of the eggplants as you want to use, trim of tops, then dice up in very small pieces with skins on. 
Heat a cooking pot that has a lid that you can use on medium to medium high heat.  Have one of the small ring o fire hot peppers finely minced (without seeds, that is unless you really want a very spicy dish). 
Pour some olive oil in your pot, probably 1-2 Tablespoons, depending on how many eggplants you are using.
 First add the hot pepper to the warm oil and let that get fragrant. 
Then toss in your eggplant. 
Stir around for a minute or so, then turn down your heat to low-medium and cover with lid. 
Next have a lemon out and zest it and juice it.  Add zest, juice, and  salt and pepper, making sure when you pick up the lid you let the condensed water run back into the pot. 
Now have a couple Bell Peppers chopped and  add them at this point too, Stir around and then put lid back on. 
You will let all this cook for about 20-25 minutes I would say and through the process you might add a few splashes of white wine vinegar and a little more olive oil if need be. 
Towards the end add in about 1/2 cup of raisins or currents and some honey.
  This is a delicious dish served with rice, toasted bread, roasted winter squash, or even along side a salad.
 Then if you would like to use a cheese I would go with some parmesan reggiano or a blue veined cheese.

    If any of you are trying to remember how long the CSA runs through, the season is scheduled to make it till November the 18th and so therefore that still leaves 6 more baskets!  We will be looking forward to seeing you all for then at least still a little bit longer.

Allison and Matthew

Posted 10/2/2009 10:49pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Fall has arrived in some splendid fullness and so has the time for Arugula's Star Farm's second annual Fall Gathering.  We would like to let you know the date of the on-farm event so you can go ahead and mark it off on your calenders, as we are hoping for as many past, present, and future friends, customers, and farm interns to be able to come on out and have a good ole time as possible!  
The scheduled date is Saturday October the 24th.
We will be sending more information and details about this event here soon, but until then just know there will be a farm tour, that will be starting at 3 pm.  Then the afternoon will turn into the evening starting around 4 pm up on the hill with a fall fire, some bring your own organic food and drinks, and none other than the incredible Hog Sloppin String Band that will be set up on a haying wagon playing some going ole time tunes and callin some square dancin.

Best Regards,
Matthew and Allison Mills Neal

Posted 10/2/2009 12:36pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
CSA Basket Journal #20; Volume 2
September 30th

What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:

1.)Musque de Provence French Pumpkins
2.)Goldy and Table Queen Acorn Winter Squash
3.)White Russian Kale Bunch
4.)Lacinato "Dinosaur" Kale Bunch
5.)Salad Mix of Olga and Crisp Mint Romain, Red Oakleaf & Black
    Seeded Simpson Leaf Lettuce, and
    Rouquette Arugula
6.)Bulk Caribe Cilantro and Purple Opal Basil

It seemed everyone enjoyed getting to select your favorite fall pumpkins, and the weather this week seemed about just pumkin perfect  for the first selection of these great edible fruits.  As I mentioned at the drop-off and pick-up, I would use your pumkins for decoration for a little while and then enjoy them for eating.  If you do choose to leave them setting around for a little while, do not set them outside where they are going to undergo the hot sun and then the cold nights, as this is to much of a temperature change for them to be stored.  I would recommend storing them for decoration inside in your climate controlled house.  Remember to try a section of these out raw, as I mentioned...thin slices with some cheese and wine, or using a peeler or grater to make a raw pumkin salad/slaw.  I am going to refer you all back to the 08' CSA Basket Journal #22, as you will learn all about how to store your pumkin and any other  winter squashes that you would like to go ahead and pre-bake and scoop out and freeze. 

You will find it the time to start having fun with your Kale as the fall time is the season for Kale, and you will be getting great amounts of it for the rest of the season.  I love chopping the leaf and stem up  in a very thin horizontal manner and making very delicios salads out of kale, so you do not have to always blanch or cook kale before it is edible.  Our raw Kale has a very nice flavor that will continue to get better as the temperatures continue to drop.  After the Kale is chopped, then toss it with some lemon juice, or a type of vinegar, then use olive oil or a nut oil, add some baked winter squash and some dried fruit or chopped fall apples, some roasted winter squash seeds or nuts, cheese if you like and maybe even a little bit of honey, or you could even toss in some meat shreds, and some salt and pepper.   This is a wonderfully easy and tasty salad that we come to love here over the winter months as Kale is a hardy winter survivor.  Also, if you Kale ever gets wilty before you get home you can let it swim in a cold bowl of water until it firms back up, just make sure you drain well and store dry in a sealed plastic bag or covered bowl in your fridge.  This past week I even made a winter squash souffle mix that I put on whole Kale leaves and rolled up, instead of puring into ramikins,  so it was like a souffle within a baked Kale Leaf.  As you can see, there is alot of creativity awaiting for the Winter Greens and Winter Squashes.

I am sure you all enjoyed opening the herb bag, as cilantro always smells so intense and wonderful.  I like to make a batch of cilantro paste that I can use in different preperations all week. The paste consists of 2-3 cups of cilantro (stems and leaves), 1/3 cup almonds, 1/4 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper, and a splash of lemon juice and white wine vinegar.  Blanch your cilantro for about 30-45 seconds, then drain, then place in a processor with all the other ingredients and there you have it a great paste to turn into a dressing, or to spread on pitas or toast or onto baked acorn squash, or meats.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and be on the look-out by the end of a day the Fall Gathering Farm Tour/Hoe Down Announcement of the finalized date, in which you all will want to mark on your calenders as this will be a great way to see our farm and to have a good evening of mingling, music, and square dancin!

Allison and Matthew
Posted 9/23/2009 2:50pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
CSA Basket Journal #19; Volume 2
September 23rd

What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:

1.)Maxibel Hericot Vert and Strike Snap Green Beans
2.)Eggplant...possible varieties of Applegreen (round and tart apple green),
   Turkish Orange (round, orange and green striped), Rosita (Plum purple and
   oval), Black Opal (dark purple and oval),  Louisiana Long Green (long and
   light green)
3.)Mixed Radish Bunch of Red Rudolf, Pink Beauty, and French Breakfast
   (remember that radishes are great to try sauteed or roasted, if you are one that
    does not appreciate them raw)
4.)Mix of Heirloom Tomatoes
5.)Hot Ring O Fire or Cycklon Polish Hot Pepper
6.)Desert King Peach Fleshed Watermelon
7.)Waltham Butternut Winter Squash
8.)Young Batavian Escarole Bunch
9.)Young Crisp Mint Romaine or Olga Romaine Bunch

Good afternoon to everyone as we have now passed into yet another season of Fall!  Not a dry fall at all as yes, it is still raining from when we saw everyone last week.  It really has been a full week of a lot of rains, so we were fortunate that during our gathering days we did not some how sink into the wet muddy fields.  Hopefully by the late weekend we can get some drying days with the great cool front that is suppose to be moving in.  It will be most appropriate now that it is Fall, if we could have some blue sky days in the 70's!  I hope everyone loved working in your back turtle beans last week, as we as well shelled for a full day so we could have some beans for winter eating.

This week you have a lovely amount of delicious green snap beans.  As these are so very fresh and crispy they would be great chopped finely along with a couple of radishes and made into a bean and radish salad tossed with some vinegar and oil and salt and pepper. This raw salad could be served over some of your lettuce greens as well.  Or you could blanch the snap beans and create a lettuce leaf and  endive salad that could be topped with the blanched green beans and some roasted and sugared nuts and a good olive oil vinaigrette and cheese! The other night I tossed the beans in some olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven uncovered for about 20 minutes at 425, and they were just delicious as Matthew and I ate almost a whole pound.  They were great served along side a roated sweet fleshed winter squash.  I am always combining vegetables in ways according to what we currently have availbale, so here is a tid bit from a book that talks about some different uses for snap beans, as I cannot include every meal that we put together here at the farm ....

   "Snap Beans have a long running love afair with toasted almonds, and for some reason anchovies.  Italians dredge them in flour  and fry them in olive oil until they are crispy and golden brown.  In India, they haul out heavy spices for snap beans: turmeric, cumin, cayenne, and mustard amoung them.  Eastern Europeans tend to saute them with onions and flavor with herbs, garlic, and nutmeg, and a little beef or chicken stock.  In Greece and Bulgaria, they may add tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and thyme to put in a saute pan. "

As you noticed last week, with the addition of the Kale, the fall greens have started making there way into your baskets; so I am sure everyone will be excited with this week's greens of lettuce and endive just as much as I am.  Remember that the endive is a bitter green and can be used in many dishes after it is blanched in hot water for about 3 minutes.  Your endive is very young so make sure you do not over blanch.  Blanched Endive is wonderful in Italian style bean soups served with crusty bread and good cheese.  The classic braised endive recipe is wonderful served along side roasted pork and apples if you are one that likes meat. 
So to braise the endive, heat oil over medium hight heat.  When oil is hot, add the endive and cook for 1 minute until brown, turning them on the other side for about that amount of time too. They'll spit and pop in the hot oil.  Then add some lemon juice from one lemon, salt, and about 1-2 tsp of sugar.  Turn the endives to coat.  Reduce heat to low, put on the lid and simmer for 30 minutes (since you endive is very young you might only do this for 15 minutes)
Also, raw endive is great in salads as well.  For example try making a lemon juice, olive oil, parmigianno-reggiano, and salt and pepper dressing to toss with chopped endive, apples, toasted pine nuts, and a hard boiled egg. 

This week's sweet melon will be the last of the summer sweet melons, so enjoy till next year!  As  Matthew and I can eat a whole Melon in the matter of 2 days or less, we generally eat the watermelon in the raw with some salt, but I will share a great salad I made this last week....
Shaved melon, potato, and tomato herbed salad with raw cheddar cheese shavings, which consisted of thickly shaved/diced watermelon (which this process allows one to get the seeds out as you cut, before putting into large salad mixing bowl), boiled fingerling potatoes, diced tomatoes, and a citrus basil pesto (a whole bag of the citrus basil stem and all, a couple to few Tablespoon of olive oil, walnuts,  and olive juice, and white wine vinegar, salt, and hot pepper all processed till a nice consistency forms), olive oil, and raw cheddar cheese.  Basically after all the chopping, boiling, and processing has been done you can toss all the ingredients together and serve.

Speaking of Fall, here soon we will be announcing our annual Fall Gathering date, so be on the look out for that by e-mail and we will hope that all of you our CSA members will be able to come.

Thanks and we will see you next week.

Allison and Matthew

Posted 9/17/2009 5:03pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
CSA Basket Journal's #17 & #18; Volume 2
Sept. 9th & Sept 16th

Basket #17
What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:

1.) French Sorrel
2.) Desert King Peach Fleshed Watermelon & Crimson Sweet Watermelon
3.)Purple Beauty and Healthy Bell Sweet Peppers
4.)Applegreen Eggplant
5.)Delicata Winter Squash (long slender winter squash with edible skin)
6.)Provider Green Snap Beans
7.)Summer Squash and Zucchini of Golden Scallopini, Reve Dark Green Scallopini,
    Cocozelle or Ronde de Nice Zucchini

Basket #18
What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:

1.) Mix of large, medium, and small heirloom summer tomatoes
2.)Purple Beauty, Nepoleon Long Sweets, and Healthy Peppers
3.)Bunch of Radishes with Greens....French Breakfast, Pink Beauty, and Rudolf
4.)Young White Russian Kale (great to be used raw in salads since it is so young and
5.)Citrus Basil
6.)Sugar Dumpling Winter Squashes
7.)Black Turtle Dry Shell Beans

Good Afternoon to everyone!  The rains have still continued to fall here from when we saw all of you, our morning members, in the pouring rain yesterday.  There was a brief reprieve from the rains during our on farm afternoon pick-up, but really other than that the rains have really just been falling. The fall row crops are really coming along and we know they are loving all of the great rain. The Outstanging in the Field event came just in time before all the rains started on Monday morning.  Sunday really turned out to be a beautiful day and beautiful event. The long dinner table that sat a sold out crowd of 130 people really put forth five courses of flavor, with the help of Chef Martha Stamps,  the Outstanding in the Field Crew, and of course all of our delicious organic vegetables and local certified organic meats and grains from West Winds Farm and Windy Acres Farm.

I hope everyone has enjoyed picking your dry beans.  Who would have thought that you would have been able to have a hand in this year's black bean harvest??   Again, here is the steps for picking your dry beans:

1. If you are not able to get to them for a few days, hang them in a dry place free of moisture until 
   you can get to them.
2. When you get to them, grab the base of the plant and turn up side down and pull off the beans
   with you other hand, placing the bean pod in a large bowl or bag.
3. After you have removed all the bean pods, you can then go ahead a shell them by removing the dark as coal black turtle beans and placing them in a bowl.
4. Next you can set some aside to be used fresh this week and then the remainign can either be frozen or stored in a airtight jar. When I say fresh, this does not mean eaten raw, but to be soaked and then cooked like one does for bulk purchased dry beans, or like you would have done with your Tiger's Eye Dry Beans.

Here is a quick meal idea in which I prepared last night:
I baked the Sugar dumpling winter squash by cutting in half vertically from the center stem and rubbing them in olive oil and placing flesh up in a roasting pan.  They baked at 415 for about 40-45 minutes.  While they were baking I chopped some pepper and radishes and tossed them with some olive oil and salt.  Then I chopped some citrus basil and softened some butter and mixed the butter with the chopped basil and added some honey and salt.  I had some homemade honey bran wheat bread that I toasted.  I cut some sharp raw cheddar cheese and got out some walnuts. 
The final plate consisted of the sugar dumpling squash halves, the pepper and radish salad, the cheese, the walnuts, and the citrus butter.  The citrus butter was delicious spread on the toast with the radish and pepper salad placed on top.

Have a great week and Thanks,


Posted 9/3/2009 5:22pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
CSA Basket Journal #15 & #16
August 26th and September 2nd

Basket #15
What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:

1.)Provider Snap Beans (a great cook down beany snap bean... if you came from a 
  family that had beans served this way you will know what I mean by "cooked down"
   country green beans. They are also great though for a blanch or roast)
2.)Summer Squash...golden scallopini, reve scallopini, benning's green tint, and or
    cocozelle zucchini
3.)Butternut Winter Squash
4.)Eel River Crane Sweet Melon (most optimum ripness occurs after their skin has
    turned a light yellow to tan color)
5.)Crimson Sweet Watermelons
6.)Boothby Blonde Cucumbers

Basket #16
What Genus Specie Varieties your basket contains:

1.) Dragon Langerie Snap Wax Beans
2.)Cocozelle or Ronde de nice Zucchini
3.)Mix of Heirloom Tomatoes.... Amana Orange, Black Krim, Tigerella, Speckled
   Roman, Ponderosa Red, Peach, Yellow and Red Pear (remember to let them set out
   on your counter near a window if they still need to turn a little bit before being
   extra extra juicy and ripe)
4.)Tomatillo...Toma Verde and or Purple (great for adding a fresh zing to a green
    salsa, that can be used to add flavor to many dishes)
4.)Citrus Basil
5.)Baby Radish Greens with Dainty edible roots
6.)Spaghetti Winter Squash
7.)Ali Baba Watermelon

I hope everyone has a great labor day weekend, as it sounded as many of you were visiting family and taking your great and juicy watermelon along!

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