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Summer Share - Week 2 - Middle Way Farm
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Summer Share
Weekly Newsletter 

Week 2
Jun 5, 2016
What You Will Find in This Newsletter
  1. Important Notes - Please Read First
  2. What's in the Share?
  3. How to Place Your Custom Order
  4. Picking up Your Share (Notes for Each Pick-up Location)
  5. Farmer Reflection
  6. What to Do With Your Share
  7. Recipe of the Week
  8. Photo of the Week
Important Notes
EVERY OTHER WEEK SHARE starts this week, and will be delivered every "EVEN" numbered week in the CSA calendar, with this week being WEEK 2, and next week being WEEK 3, etc. 
If you took a CSA box home last week, please return this week. I prefer that members do not take boxes, and instead use their own bags to take home the contents of their shares. This allows me to immediately reuse the boxes for next week's shares. Click to view this video from a farm in Illinois that shows you how to open the box and unfold it flat for storage.  Thanks for your cooperation! 
The first monthly MEAT SHARE delivery will be this week, and will occur in the first full week of each upcoming month, July - October. Meat share members will receive more information directly by e-mail. If you're still interested in joining the meat share, e-mail me ASAP. I can still get you in on this month's delivery if I hear from you by Monday night at the latest. Otherwise we can start you on the next monthly delivery with a pro-rated share. 
Due to several conflicting events that day, the date for the Weed and Feed workday has been changed from Saturday, June 11 to Saturday, June 18. Same time, 1 - 5 pm with potluck from 5 - 6:30 pm. 

What's in the Standard Share
(With Custom Order Prices)

Cabbage, Napa - 1 head ($2.50/head or 2 for $4)
Green Onions - 1 bunch ($2.50/bunch)
Head Lettuce - 2 heads ($2.50/head or 2 for $4)
Kohlrabi - 1 bunch of 3 green and red bulbs with leaves ($2.50/bunch)
Snap and/or Snow Peas - 1 bag (Amount TBD) (Standard Share Only)
Radishes, French Breakfast - 1 bunch ($2/bunch or 3 for $5)

Spinach - 1/2 lb bag ($4/bag or 2 for $7)
 
Also Available for Custom Order

Arugula - $4/6 oz. bag
Baby Kale - $4/6 oz. bag
Chard - $2.50/bunch
Kale, Green Curly - $2.50/bunch or 2 for $4
Kale, Red Curly - $2.50/ bunch or 2 for $4
Lettuce Mix - $4/6 oz. bag
Parsnips - 1.5 lb bag ($4.00/bag or 2 for $7) (REDUCED PRICE)

Radish, Red or White - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Rhubarb - $2.50/1 lb. bunch or 2 for $4 (LAST WEEK)

Possibilities for Next Week
I am hoping the peas come into their prime next week so I can offer to custom share members as well. The lack of rain has cut down on yield. Main broccoli crop is just beginning to head out, is one of the cauliflower varieties. New potatoes are getting close, as are spring turnips. This is like the last week of spinach (especially with the hot weather coming), and the spring radish plantings are also coming to a close. I am hoping to extend the season of lettuce through continued plantings, but heat and lack of rain will make it tough. 
How to Place Your Custom Order
  1. Go to middlewayfarm.csasignup.com.
  2. Click on Member Log-in and use the Log-in Via E-mail the first time to generate a log-in link. You can then change your password and log-in via password in the future. 
  3.  Click the "Store" link under Place Your Order on the left sidebar. 
  4. You have until Tuesday midnight to place your order (Tuesday pick ups have a separate Sunday deadline). You will not be able to place an order after then. Add items to your "shopping cart" as you would any online store. 
  5.  Your share will be pre-packed in a wax box, but please plan on bringing your own bag so that the boxes can stay at the distribution site. I like to reuse the boxes many times and the best way to do that is for them not to go home with members! 
IMPORTANT: Make sure to complete your order by completely checking out. Your order is not submitted unless you receive a confirmation e-mail. That let's you know that I got your order on my end. Every so often there is a member who thinks they have placed an order but didn't fully checkout and then are disappointed when there is no share packed for them, so be wary of that!

E-mail middlewayfarmer@gmail.com if you have any problems ordering or other questions.
CSA Share Pick-up 
Find your drop site below for instructions. If you are unable to pick up your share during the assigned drop site hours, please call the contact for each site. If you do not pick up during the assigned hours, it is your responsibility to get in touch with the contact person and its up to the contact person at each site to determine how long they will hold your box for you. 

Marshalltown
Tuesday, 3 - 6 pm


Pick-up on the Marshalltown Community College (MCC) campus at the Entrepreneurial and Diversified Agriculture program building on the northeast edge of campus. 

Coordinator: Mary O'Dell - (641) 275 0811

Farm to Folk
Tuesday, 4:30 - 6 pm

First Methodist Church, 516 Kellogg Ave, Ames (temporary location change from UCC Church, 217 6th St). 

Pick-up at the Farm to Folk weekly distribution. Visit farmtofolk.com to learn more about Farm to Folk, which serves as CSA drop-site and also facilitates a la carte orders from a variety of local producers. 

Contact:  Marilyn Anderson - (515)-460-7273

On-Farm Pick-up
Wednesday, 3 - 6 pm
3633 Hwy 146, Grinnell 50112


 2/3 mile north of Grinnell on the right side of Hwy 146. Look for the big blue barn, 2nd farmstead on the right after leaving town. Pull in the driveway with the "Grin City Collective" sign. Follow the driveway straight until it forks. Take the left fork. You will see a "Middle Way Farm" sign just ahead by the corner of the blue barn. You can park in the driveway past this sign, in front of the dumpster, propane tanks, and greenhouse. To your left as you pull in to park will be a large red metal building with a garage door. Share pick-up will be here. 

Contact: Jordan - (641) 821 0753

Home Delivery
Wednesday  4 - 6 pm 

CSA share will be delivered to the address you have listed for your membership. 

Contact: Jordan - (641) 821 0753

Newton
Wednesday, 3 - 6 pm 
2016 South 3rd Ave East, Newton

Pick-up in garage at house adjacent to Aurora Park. 

Contact:  Ally Marshall - (641) 840 0592

Grinnell Farmers Market
Thursday, 3 - 6 pm

Visit Middle Way Farm's stand during market hours at the south end of the market on Broad St.

Contact: Jordan - (641) 821 0753
Farmer Reflection

I tend to think of this time of year as the true start of summer, several weeks before the summer solstice. The spring crops are beginning to end and I'm already starting to replant early plantings of radish and lettuce. The insects (including the pests) have returned in earnest. Hot daytime temperatures are just around the corner (end of next week into the weekend by the looks of the 10 day forecast). Sweet potatoes arrived in the mail on Friday. They are the most cold sensitive crop of all, not getting planted until the first or second week of June. We will plant them this week along with the rest of the warm season crops, including eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, and watermelon. We got the tomatoes, peppers, and ground cherries in on Friday. We seem to have once again moved into a dry period after some nice rains the week before last. We'll be working on finishing planting, catching up on weeding, and getting irrigation in place this week, especially ahead of the hot weather. 

We are rapidly moving out of salad season into stir fry season. This is the first week of Napa cabbage, kohlrabi, and peas, all of which are excellent in stir fries. If you're unsure of what a stir fry is or want tips on how to stir fry, take a look at this quick guide to stir fries. Its a great way to use up a bunch of vegetables at once, and works well for reheated leftovers at future lunches or dinners. Please also check out the What To Do with Your Share  and Recipe of the Week sections below for more tips on how to use and store produce that you are unfamiliar with. This is part of the challenge of a CSA, to learn to use vegetables that you may be personally unfamiliar with but have an important niche in our growing season on small, organic vegetable farms. I know when I was a CSA member in 2009, it pushed me to try new vegetables and to cook more than I was used to. My advice is to use the internet to find more information and recipes about items you are unfamiliar with. I do my best each week to provide information, links, and recipes to help you along. You don't have to try anything complicated; sometimes simple ways of incorporating a vegetable (grating kohlrabi onto a sandwich for example) is the best way to be introduced, rather than trying a brand new recipe. 

Please note that I have pushed back the Weed and Feed workday from Saturday, June 11 to Saturday, June 18. The volunteer workday will be from 1 – 5 pm, followed by a potluck supper from 5 – 6:30 pm. Volunteers are requested for any length of time during the 4 hour workday, with a stay of at least an hour preferred. Participants are invited to bring a main dish, beverage, side dish, or dessert to share (preferably made with local ingredients if possible), but the farm will provide several main dishes. The farm cooler can be used to store perishable dishes during the workday. Volunteers are asked to wear work clothes (loose fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts are recommended to limit sun exposure) and closed toed shoes. In addition to a potluck contribution, they should also bring work gloves, a sun hat, sunblock, and a water bottle. Although the farm will do its best to accommodate varying levels of ability and physical limitations, most tasks during the workday will involve stooping, bending, and reaching for extended periods of time. Some cushions and pad for knees will be available. Instructions will be given when volunteers arrive about general farm rules and specific instructions for weeding. Parents may bring along children, but those younger than high school age will not be able to help in the field. 

You'll see this week that peas are only available for the standard share. This happens occasionally when a crop is just beginning to produce or yield is limited. Standard share members get preference in this regard, but I make my best effort to limit these occasions so that custom share members also get full pick of what's available on the farm. As always, e-mail me at middlewayfarmer@gmail.com if you have questions.  

Your farmer,

Jordan
What to Do with Your Share

Snow/Snap Peas - This first picking of peas will be smaller than the main pick, so will be limited to standard share members. it will be a combo of snow peas (flat, curled pods with barely formed peas) and snap peas (thick, straight pods with more mature peas). Unfortunately I do not grow the third kind, garden or shelling peas. 

Preparation & Cooking: No one needs to be told to eat peas raw, but you should know that I only grow stringless varieties, so the whole pod is edible. Snow peas (and snap peas) lend themselves particularly well to stir fries, incorporating kohlrabi and Chinese cabbage. 

Storage: Keep in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to a week. The flavor of peas is best enjoyed soon after picking. 

Kohlrabi - Kohlrabi are a lesser known member of the broccoli family, actually closely related to cabbages. They are the swollen lower stems of the plant, cut off from the root at ground level. The small young kohlrabi this week are especially tender and sweet and the leaves are in good condition and edible as well. They can be used similar to collard greens and kale as a cooking green. Or you can discard them. Some people have compared kohlrabi to jicama, the Mexican root vegetable. I like to call it a cabbage apple. It has a mild, sweet cabbage flavor with more of the texture and appearance of an apple. Great for snacking raw and in cooked dishes. If you're not a fan of kohlrabi now, I hope you will become one over the next few weeks. 

Preparation & Cooking: Many people enjoy kohlrabi raw only, but its sweetness improves when cooked. Cut off the leaves and peel the outer waxy layer of skin  with a paring knife before eating. Cut into slabs for eating raw. You can put raw kohlrabi in a plastic container in the fridge immersed in water to keep it crisp and fresh for a while. When cooking, cut into smaller, thin slices so it cooks quickly and evenly. Grated kohlrabi is great as a raw addition to sandwiches or salads (such as the Recipe of the Week Million Dollar Salad) or can also be added to cooked dishes. Check out this farm's page for some other ideas about kohlrabi. 

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Kohlrabi's waxy outer skin keeps it fresh for up to several weeks. Its outer appearance will diminish with time but the flesh will still be good to eat once peeled. 

Cabbage, Napa - Also known as Chinese cabbage (which is mostly how I have referred to it in the past), this cabbage starts out as a loose head of leaves and becomes a tighter oval shaped head as it matures. The heads you will receive this week are of the younger, loose head kind. The leaves, at whatever stage, remain tender throughout in a way that a green or red cabbage leaves do not, which makes them edible raw or with just a light saute. 
 

Preparation & Cooking: The Recipe of the Week, Million Dollar Salad, is a crowd pleasing way to eat Napa cabbage raw. Its also an excellent stir fry vegetable (as is kohlrabi). Cut off about inch of the bottom to take off the stem end and separate the leaves. You can chop up the leaves with the mid-rib (it has the consistency of celery) but in places where it is thicker you may want to take it out. Napa cabbage cooks like other cabbages, but takes less time and does not have the rubbery texture you might associate with cooked cabbage. Napa cabbage is the preferred cabbage for kim chi, a traditional, fermented Korean side dish. Here's another page from Early Morning Farm on how to use Napa cabbage.

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Should keep for at least 1-2 weeks, but can store longer. 

Green Onions - I use green onions as a substitute for bulb onions this time of year, the only difference being they are milder and more tender than bulb onions, so they can be substituted more heavily and with less cooking time than bulb onions. 

Preparation & Cooking: When preparing, trim off the root and the top of part of the leaves that is yellowed or tougher. Rinse under running water, especially under the layers of leaves, which may harbor soil or other debris. Slice thinly, using both the white and green parts of the plant. Fun fact: not only will the mature onions regrow if planted, you can regrow scallions from their roots. 

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Use within a week  or so.

French Breakfast Radish - This is a very pretty and tasty French heirloom variety from the 19th century. It has a mild spicy flavor. Check out this article on the origins of the name "French Breakfast" and some creative ways to consume them. 

Preparation & Cooking:  Trim off the top and the root end. Eat whole as a snack with a dip such as humous or soft cheese. Slice them thinly and put raw on your salad. Grate onto a sandwich. If they are in good enough condition, the tops can be used as a cooking green. Toss them in with the spinach if you're cooking that. Radish tops are quite hardy and nutritious. They are prickly so not great raw, and they tend to spoil quite quickly, so use them immediately if you are not composting them. 

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Separate green tops from roots and use tops immediately or within a few days. Use roots within a week or two. 

Spinach - With the onset of hot, dry weather, spinach will be petering out over the next 2 weeks. It will make a return in early fall! These leaves are full size, meaning they are best cooked but can also be chopped or torn into smaller pieces and eaten raw. Makes wonderful scrambled eggs sauted with green onions and green garlic!

Preparation & Cooking:  This mix has been double washed, so it is basically ready to eat without any further rinsing. You may need to pick out a bad leaf or piece of chaff before serving, but other no washing or other preparation should be needed.  Be aware that if you wash it again, you will significantly shorten its storage life. Always spin dry or towel dry greens that have been rinsed before serving and before storing.

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Should keep well for a week or more. 

Recipe of the Week

Million Dollar Salad with Chinese Cabbage

Tried and true favorite. You can also add in grated kohlrabi and radishes.  

Yields: 10 servings
Source: allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

1 head chinese cabbage
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 (3 ounce) packages of ramen noodles,
lightly crushed 1 cup sesame seeds
1⁄2 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp soy sauce
1⁄4 cup wine vinegar
1⁄2 cup white sugar
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, wine vinegar, and soy sauce until the sugar has dissolved. Refrigerate the dressing while preparing the salad.
  3. Spread the ramen noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds onto a baking sheet
  4. Bake the noodle mixture until lightly browned, stirring often. Let cool.
  5. Mix in cabbage and green onions with noodle mixture in a bowl. Toss with dressing.
Photo of the Week
New approach to the warm season crops this year. I'm using multi-year landscape fabric with holes that have been burned into it at set intervals using a small propane torch. This is an alternative to black plastic that is laid and discadred each year. This landscape fabric will be taken up in the fall and stored over the winter but reused as many years as possible after that. 
Copyright © 2016 Middle Way Farm, All rights reserved.


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