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Summer Share - Week 3 - Middle Way Farm
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Summer Share
Weekly Newsletter 

Week 3
June 12, 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
Transplants Available
We are coming to the end of the season for most transplants. Up until now, I have not offered any transplants for sale through the custom CSA. However, before the chance passes, I wanted to give a final opportunity to purchase vegetable and herb transplants from the farm. Rather than the custom share store, please use the form at this link to select plants. Plants will be delivered alongside your CSA share. The cost will be added to your member balance (for both custom and standard share members). Direct payment at pick-up is not necessary, billing for extras will take place at the end of the season. 
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! 
PLACING HOLDS & NOT PLACING CUSTOM ORDER

Please note that because there is no minimum number of holds for custom shares and no roll-over of positive balances at the end of the summer season, you can take off weeks from ordering as you please and you do not need to let me know or place a hold on your account or even send a courtesy e-mail. If I do not receive an order from you, I will assume you are taking the week off. It will be your responsibility to make sure that your orders are placed when you want them. 

If you have a standard share and will be taking a full week off, please do still place a hold/send an e-mail so that I know whether or not to pack your share, pack it and send it to the food pantry, or pack a double share for you the following week. 
CHANGING PICK-UP TIME

I've had a number of requests to move pick-up times the last two weeks. In order to not individually coordinate with multiple people every week and to provide needed flexibility for every ones' schedules, I'm setting up a blanket policy for all Grinnell members (on-farm pick-up, farmers market, home delivery by e-mail request) who need to change their pick-up time. If you do not pick-up your share by 6 pm (at either pick-up), you share will be placed in the on-farm cooler (see procedure below for pick-up). You will have till the FOLLOWING MONDAY MORNING (by noon) to pick up your share. At that point, your share will be given to employees/volunteers or brought to the food pantry. No exceptions. You can come anytime that is convenient for you prior to Monday noon to pick up your share. I do not need to be present for you to pick-up your share. 

Please do still continue to pick-up your share during the assigned pick-up time whenever possible. This ensures that you get produce when it is freshest, simplifies my workload, and keeps the cooler from getting filled up with shares. You may also still ask me to set aside your share if you know in advance you won't be picking up, but we don't need to coordinate a time for you to pick up.

How to Find Your Share:
  1. Go to the farm (3633 Hwy 146, 2/3 mile north of Grinnell on right side, 2nd farmstead) and make your way towards the blue barn when you pull in the driveway. Head past the "Middle Way Farm" sign. You'll see the red metal building on your left with a large garage door and concrete pad facing the greenhouse and propane tanks.
  2. Enter the loading dock through the door to the left of the large overhead doors. There is a light switch to your left when you enter the door. Please make sure to only turn on lights to the loading dock itself, and no the outdoor lights. 
  3. Turn to your right once you enter, and walk all the way to the other side of the room. There is a short hallway at the other end with two doors. The cold cooler is the left door. 
  4. The light switch for the cooler is immediately around the corner from the door, above the stainless steel sink. Its the LEFT switch of the double switch. The RIGHT switch is for the lights in the other "cooler" (which is not currently being used as a cooler). The single switch turns electrical power on and off to outlets in the coolers. Do not toggle the other two switches. 
  5. Your share will be immediately inside the cooler door on the right side. Standard shares will be unlabeled and separate. Custom shares will be individually labeled and separate. Fruits shares will be separate from vegetable shares and labeled. Please make sure you are picking up the right share. There will be a clipboard for you to check off that you picked up. Please keep cooler door closed if you will be in cooler for more than a few seconds. 
  6. If you have a box to return or want to leave the box with your share, you'll see a large metal wire rack next to the sink outside the cooler that holds boxes.
  7. When leaving, shut the cooler door tightly and turn off cooler lights. Turn off loading dock lights and shut loading dock door tightly behind you. Make sure outside light is not on.
The Weed and Feed workday will be this Saturday, June 18, 1 - 5 pm with potluck from 5 - 6:30 pm. 

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


Beets - 1 bunch (Standard Share only) 
Broccoli - .5-.75 lb head ($3 per head or equivalent weight bag of loose sprouts)
Garlic Scapes - 1 bunch ($1.50/bunch)
Head Lettuce - 2 heads ($2.50/head or 2 for $4)
Snap Peas - 1/2 lb bag ($3/bag) (Limit 1 per share)
Snow Peas - 1/2 lb bag ($3/bag) (Limit 1 per share)
Turnips, Salad - 1 bunch ($2.50/bunch or 2 for $4)
Spinach - 6 oz. bag ($4/bag) FINAL WEEK
 
Also Available for Custom Order

Arugula - $4/6 oz. bag or 2 for $7
Baby Kale - $4/6 oz. bag or 2 for $7
Cabbage, Napa - $2.50/head or 2 for $4
Chard - $2.50/bunch
Green Onions - $2.50/bunch or 2 for $4
Kale, Green Curly - $2.50/bunch or 2 for $4
Kale, Lacinato - $2.50/bunch
Kale, Red Curly - $2.50/ bunch or 2 for $4
Kohlrabi, Green - $1/bulb or 3 for $2.50
Kohlrabi, Red - $1/bulb or 3 for $2.50
Lettuce Mix - $4/6 oz. bag or 2 for $7
Parsnips - 1.5 lb bag ($4.00/bag or 2 for $7) REDUCED PRICE, ALMOST GONE

Radish, French Breakfast, Red, or White - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Rhubarb - $2.50/1 lb. bunch or 2 for $4. THIS IS REALY THE LAST WEEK :) 

Fruit Share

Blueberries - 1 pint

Most likely due to the hot and dry weather, a promising looking strawberry season at Berry Patch Farm has been unexpectedly cut short. Fortunately, their blueberry season is starting earlier than ever.

Possibilities for Next Week
Beets will be available for custom order next week. They are just starting to produce. Look for one more week of peas (possibly more if the second planting produces). New potatoes are very close, with carrots and cabbage not far behind. Spinach and radishes are done for the season for the heat. Expect more lettuce, broccoli, kohlrabi, and turnips. Kale and arugula should be making an appearance in standard shares soon too. 
 
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 think the heat wave this week might have been the most anticipated warm-up ever, but probably no more anticipated then the first truly hot weather of any summer. We worked through the heat on Friday, but started early in the morning and quit in the early afternoon, a schedule we will likely replicate this summer whenever possible if temps are going above 90 degrees in the afternoon. I've been mostly relaxing in the shade and air conditioning since then.

If you have not looked at it already, I sent an e-mail out this week about the policy going forward for putting holds on your account and not placing a custom order, as well as picking up shares outside of the normal pick-up period. I put the text of those e-mails in the Important Notes at the top of his e-mail. For those with standards shares, please do continue to use the hold function or e-mail me about any absences, since I would like to know whether to a) not pack your share, b) pack your share and give it away, or c) not pack your share that week and pack a double share for you the week you get back.

For those with pick-up in Grinnell, I also will have a policy going forward that all shares not picked up will be placed in the cooler at the farm. If you know you won't be picking up, you can e-mail to tell me to put your share directly in the cooler but we do not need to negotiate a time for you to pick-up. Shares can be picked up at anytime before Monday noon, no need to coordinate directly with me on a pick-up time and I don't need to be present for you to pick-up. At that point, shares will be given away to employees/volunteers or the food pantry. For those at drop sites outside of Grinnell, you will have to work with your drop site coordinators in the event that you forget or are not able to pick up your share. Please continue to make an honest effort to pick-up your shares during pick-up times, as I have limited space in the cooler and would like to limit the amount of people coming to the farm off-hours to pick up their shares. This also ensures you get your produce when it is freshest.

Several new items in the share this week...don't be intimidated! Make sure to check out the What To Do With Your Share section if you are unfamiliar with any of the produce in the share. We are moving into the summer crops a bit sooner than I expected. Beets and broccoli are a farm mainstays that will make regular appearances in shares over the next few months. I am attempting to grow broccoli (along with lettuce), throughout the summer months by selecting heat resistant varieties and making multiple plantings. If all goes well broccoli should be available for most of the rest of the CSA season. Garlic scapes are a highly seasonal treat that is usually only available for a brief 2-3 week period in June prior to garlic harvest starting in early July. Salad turnips are also an early summer crop that is a bit unusual but excellent once you get to know them. I call them salad turnips because they are smaller, sweeter, and better raw than your typical purple top turnip. If you don't think you like turnips, give these a try. 

We have made a decisive turn into summer on the farm, in more ways than one. The hot days and warm nights look like they are here to stay. The hay field surrounding the vegetables was cut this week and is going to be baled today or tomorrow. We finally finished planting the summer crops - tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and watermelon - this week. This took longer than expected because of some challenges with preparing the ground for planting and getting durable landscape fabric ready for use as a weed barrier within the planting bed. With the landscape fabric and straw mulch in the pathways, I'm hoping for an almost weed free field. I'm getting ready to mow the spring cover crop of winter wheat on two plots (one plot = 20 one hundred foot long beds or 8000 square feet, farm = 10 plots) to get them ready for summer and fall planting. And the abundance of produce continues to grow. 

The peas surprised me this week. We got a very good pick off of them on Friday, all the more so given the lack of rain over the last two months. The broccoli also looks great, especially given the drought. I am really in awe at the resilience and resourcefulness of plants, not only that they can SURVIVE in dry soil and hot temperatures, but that they can THRIVE continue to produce good yields and nice quality produce. Water is the single biggest limiting factor for planting growth, and the lack of rain does ultimately hurt yield on the farm. I am able to mitigate that through irrigation and by over-planting and planting multiple times. This one of the situations where human management intersects with natural forces outside human control. Its the middle way I have to tread everyday on the farm, trying to exert control while also letting go of what I can't. 

The Weed and Feed workday will be this coming 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. 

Early summer is a grind on the farm. I work more hours this time of year than probably any other and it still seems like there is always more to do than hours in the day. I am fortunate to have two great employees this year who tackle anything I throw at them and supportive friends and family who keep me grounded and not too wrapped up in the farm. I am also buoyed and sustained by your positive comments, the pictures you post, and your enthusiasm for the food. That's what makes this meaningful work. Thank you. 

Your farmer,

Jordan
What to Do with Your Share

Beets - Beets often seem to be a love it or hate it vegetable. Fortunately, I think a good portion of the people who think they hate beets have only had them pickled or boiled. There are of course of some people who truly just don't like the flavor of beets, but until you've had them roasted I don't think that you've given beets a fair shot. 

Preparation & Cooking:  Trim off the leaves just above the root. Beet greens are wonderful themselves, probably my favorite cooking green. They can be boiled, steamed, or sauted. They do not keep well, so use them as soon as possible. I learned the technique below from chef Kamal at Relish and its now my preferred way to prepare beets. Trim off leaves and scrub beets clean but otherwise keep them whole. Put as many beets as you want to prepare in an all-metal stockpot with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring to boil on moderate heat with the cover on. As soon as the water boils, put the entire stockpot in the oven, covered. The beets will steam in the pot over the next half hour to one hour, depending on the size of the beets and the number in the pot. There is no risk of burning the beets and little risk of overcooking them, so this is a great way to prepare beets for kitchen multi-taskers like me. Remove from the oven once beets can be easily pierced with a fork. Leave out to cool or run under cold water if you want to use them immediately. The skins with slip easily off the cooked beets and you can use these cooked beets themselves or use in other recipes calling for beets. I love them sliced in a salad with hard boiled eggs. They can also be stored immediately with the skins on and pulled out of the fridge, peeled, and chopped as needed. 

Storage: Keep greens in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity and use within a few days. Roots should also be kept in a sealed plastic bag but can keep for well over a month. I have kept unwashed beets in cold storage from October to June and could have kept them longer if I hadn't sold them all! 

Broccoli - There are two ways that you may receive broccoli in your share. One would be a larger main head, which is the first one cut from the plant. The other way is as a bag of smaller heads, which are the side shoots or second cuttings from that same plant. 

Preparation & Cooking:  Broccoli comes clean and "ready to eat", sitting high atop a plant away from the soil. However, with organic broccoli you may encounter the occasional insect that has hidden inside the head. I spray an non toxic organic pesticide for cabbage loopers (caterpillars of cabbage moths), but you may find one in there if their population has built up enough. There is also a brown beetle that appears harmless to the broccoli but is a common site crawling around atop heads. To make sure your heads are insect free, just soak them in a bowl of salted water for a few minutes. Any insects will float to the top. While many steam or boil broccoli, I always suggest roasting it. 

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Use within a week, broccoli does not store well. 

Garlic Scapes - Scapes are actually the slender, waxy, curly flowering stalk of hardneck garlic plants. They grow out of the middle of the plant in mid-June, about a month prior to harvest. The scapes are traditionally removed so that the garlic plant puts energy into its bulb rather than its flower, although this conventional wisdom may not not be fully accurate. In any case, I remove them because they also happen to be a wonderfully edible with a unique mild garlic flavor. Scapes are not actually a true flower. If left on the plant, scapes will actually form "aerial bulbils" or tiny garlic bulbs that if planted will sprout and grow small garlic. 

Preparation & Cooking: Cut off the unopened flower bud itself and chop up the rest of the green stalk into small pieces. Garlic scapes can be substituted for bulb garlic in any recipe. As a rule of thumb, I treat one scape as equivalent to one clove of garlic. Although a single scape has more volume than a single clove, scapes are milder so I figure it more or less works out. They can be grilled whole. If you've still got green garlic from previous weeks, you might think about making double garlic soup, which uses both green garlic and garlic scapes. I think this is the same recipe that shareholder Carolyn Jacobson has raved about for the last several years. Check out this site too for more ideas about garlic scapes. Garlic scape pesto is wonderful variation on the traditional basil pesto that I have for the Recipe of the Week.

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Scapes can actually keep for a surprisingly long time. I have stumbled on scapes in my crisper drawer in July and August that were still good to use. 

Head Lettuce

Preparation & Cooking: Cut off the first inch or two of the bottom of the lettuce head and discard. Wash any dirt that might have been hidden on the inner parts of the leaves. Make sure to spin or pat dry before consuming or storing. Wet lettuce leaves go bad faster!

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

Peas -  Standards shares will receive both 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 other share vegetables like kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, garlic scapes, and turnips. 

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. 

Salad Turnips - These are the turnips for people who say they don't like turnips. Smaller, sweeter, and milder than traditional purple top turnips. This week you'll receive an all white variety called Hakurei. I also grow a scarlet skin turnip called Scarlet Queen. 

Preparation & Cooking:  Trim off greens and the top and bottom of the roots. They can be sliced up and eaten raw or roasted whole. To saute, slice them thinly and cook on medium heat in a skillet with butter or oil. Finish with some vinegar, soy sauce or salt, and pepper. They make a great side dish. They are also wonderful in soup, including this recipe which uses turnip greens as well.

Storage: Store roots separate from greens in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Greens should be discarded or used within a few days. Roots should keep for at least several weeks. 

Spinach 

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

Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients

1 cup of garlic scapes, top flowery part removed, cut into 1/4 -inch slices
1/3 cup of walnuts 
3/4 cup of olive oil 
1/2 cup grated parmigiano cheese 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
black pepper to taste 
2-3 cups of chopped arugula, if using (can substitute spinach)

 

Preparation

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. For 1/2 pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.

Photo of the Week
Trying a new approach to growing lettuce throughout the summer. Here Megan and Kate are installing ground staples to secure the shade cloth over two beds of head lettuce. The shade cloth cuts down light transmission by 30%, which can cool the area underneath up to 10 degrees and make the difference during hot days for cool season crops like lettuce, which normally would want to bolt or flower during the summer. 
Copyright © 2016 Middle Way Farm, All rights reserved.


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