Tribeca CSA Newsletter – Week 12

In Weekly Newsletter on September 2, 2009 at 10:48 PM


Survey Raffle winner!

Congratulations, Atoussa! Atoussa won the raffle for Food For Life book. The drawing was yesterday at the distribution, and by coincidence Atoussa was in the middle of doing her work shift!

Book Winner!

Congratulations Atoussa! We hope you put the book to good use with your CSA share!

Survey Results:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey, we got lots of great responses. Here’s a summary of the results: (People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%)

How important was each of the following in your decision to join the CSA?

Economic Value:

  • Very important: 31%
  • Somewhat important: 37%
  • Not very important: 31%
  • Not Important: 0%

Does not use pesticides:

  • Very important: 67%
  • Somewhat important: 22%
  • Not very important: 6%
  • Not Important: 6%

Environmental/Political Values:

  • Very important:55 %
  • Somewhat important: 35%
  • Not very important: 6%
  • Not Important: 4%

Support Local Farmers:

  • Very important: 76%
  • Somewhat important: 16%
  • Not very important: 4%
  • Not Important: 4%

Local Produce:

  • Very important:82 %
  • Somewhat important: 8%
  • Not very important: 8%
  • Not Important: 2%

Personal Health and Nutrition:

  • Very important: 69%
  • Somewhat important: 22%
  • Not very important: 10%
  • Not Important: 0%

High Quality Produce:

  • Very important: 75%
  • Somewhat important: 20%
  • Not very important: 0%
  • Not Important: 6%

How do you prefer to receive information about the CSA and communicate with other members.

  • Google Groups email: 76%
  • Website/Blog: 39%
  • Newsletter: 25%
  • Other: 14%

Please rate your CSA share in the following categories:

Weekly Quantity

  • Too much: 0%
  • Good amount: 86%
  • Not enough: 14%

Weekly Variety:

  • Too much: 4%
  • Good amount: 84%
  • Not enough: 12%

Season Long Variety (so far):

  • Too much: 2%
  • Good amount: 68%
  • Not enough: 30%

How would you rate the quality of your share:


  • Excellent: 55%
  • Good: 37%
  • Fair: 8%


  • Excellent: 7%
  • Good: 48%
  • Fair: 45%


  • Excellent: 61%
  • Good: 35%
  • Fair: 4%

Would you be interested in getting pastured meat and poultry at the CSA distribution site? (ie – Thanksgiving Turkeys)

  • Yes: 48%
  • No: 18%
  • Maybe: 34%

What were your three favorite vegetables you received so far this season? (listed by number of times mentioned)

  • Beets: 16
  • Corn: 15
  • Lettuce: 13
  • Carrots: 13
  • Cilantro: 11
  • Squash: 9
  • Tamatillos: 6
  • Kale: 6
  • Onions: 6
  • Basil: 5
  • Green beans: 4
  • Sweet peas: 4
  • Squash blossoms: 3
  • Fava beans: 2
  • Herbs: 2
  • Peppers: 2
  • Potatoes: 1
  • Garlic: 1
  • Leeks: 1
  • Spinach: 1
  • Tomatoes: 1
  • Oregano: 1
  • Mint: 1
  • Sugar snap peas: 1
  • Radishes: 1

What new vegetables would you like to see? (in no order)

Tomatoes, swiss chard, basil, broccoli, avocado, garlic, shallots, red or yellow bell peppers, sweet potatoes, zuchinni, fava beans, more basil, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, more unusual squashes, eggpant, cucumbers, greater variety of salads, sugar snap peas, edamame, more corn, collard greens, bok choy, serrano and poblano peppers, turnips, fresh garlic, cauliflower, more herbs, spinach, more fruit, more variety, artichokes, mesclun lettuces, arugula, potatoes, squash, asparagus, any and all Asian ones, heirloom tomatoes

What vegetables did you get too much of?

  • Cilantro: 22
  • Epazote: 6
  • Carrots: 5
  • Radishes: 4
  • Onions: 3
  • Parsley: 3
  • Beets: 3
  • Basil: 2
  • Celery: 2
  • All herbs: 2
  • Lettuce: 1
  • Cabbage: 1
  • Corn: 1
  • Kale: 1
  • Leeks: 1
  • Mint: 1

What vegetables would you like to eliminate?

  • Epazote: 14
  • Mexican herbs: 4
  • Papalo: 4
  • Beets: 2
  • Jalapenos: 2
  • Cabbage: 2
  • Peppers: 1
  • Herbs: 1
  • Cucumbers: 1
  • Radishes: 1
  • Kale: 1
  • Celery: 1
  • Parsley: 1

How convenient were the following aspects of your CSA’s distribution?


  • Very convenient: 42%
  • Relatively convenient: 44%
  • Not at all convenient: 14%


  • Very convenient: 70%
  • Relatively convenient: 24%
  • Not at all convenient: 6%

Day of week:

  • Very convenient: 52%
  • Relatively convenient: 48%
  • Not at all convenient: 0%

Distribution set-up:

  • Very convenient: 65%
  • Relatively convenient: 33%
  • Not at all convenient: 2%

Do you plan to rejoin the CSA next year?

  • Yes: 68%
  • No: 4%
  • Undecided: 28%

Has the CSA experience met your expectations so far?

  • Yes: 90%
  • No: 10%

News from the Farm:

It was a tough week for the farmers as the rains challenged them in every way. Pedro states that the rain slows the experienced farmer by 20-30%, so that not only are fewer types of vegetables picked, but a smaller quantity. To make matters even more difficult the rains bring fewer people to market, so while the rain is healthy after planting when the food is growing, it adds stress in so many ways when it comes time to market. Pedro felt that stress this week.

The one bright spot for him, along with the weather eventually clearing, is harvesting for the CSA on Monday. Pedro’s spirits were high as he prepared himself for the day and the variety for the group.

Open Core Group Meeting!

Interested in learning more about becoming a Core Group member? Please come to the Open Core Group meeting on September 21st at 8pm. Location TBD, will be announced soon. Everyone interested in helping is welcome!

Next Week’s Work Shift:

The people doing workshifts on September 1st are:

2 – 4:30pm: Nancy P & Suzanne P
4 – 6:30pm: Monica T, Pamela G, and Talya A-E


Vegetable Highlight: Eggplant

Eggplants are part of the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes. Like tomatoes, they grow hanging from the vines of the plant, which grows several feet in height. While the different varieties do range slightly in taste and texture, one can generally describe the eggplant as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture.

Eggplants are a good source of antioxidants and is thought to be good for cardiovascular health.

Choosing: Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size. Their skin should be smooth and shiny, and the color should be vivid. To test for the ripeness of an eggplant, gently press the skin with the pad of your thumb. If it springs back, the eggplant is ripe, while if an indentation remains, it is not.

Storage: Although they look hardy, eggplants are actually very perishable and require careful storage. Eggplants are sensitive to both heat and cold and should ideally be stored at around 50 degrees Farenheit. Do not cut eggplant before you store it as it spoils quickly once its skin has been cut. Place uncut and unwashed eggplant in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for a few days.

Recipe: Penne with Eggplant Puree
Adapted from Giada’s Kitchen: New Italian Favorites

  • 1 medium eggplant, skin-on, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (or bigger tomatoes cut up)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

Note: This recipe is as delicious as it is unattractive in presentation!


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss first 7 ingredients together, then spread vegetables into a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven until vegetables are tender and golden, about 35 minutes.

Set pasta water to boil while vegetables roast. Also while vegetables are roasting, spread pine nuts in a small baking dish or sheet. Toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes, stirring once. Set aside to cool. Cook pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, then drain, reserving 1.5 cups of pasta water.

Transfer vegetables to bowl and puree with an immersion blender (or, transfer to food processor and puree in processor). Pulse until vegetables are pureed, leaving some chunks with distinct bits of vegetables. Add pasta and Parmesan to puree and toss to combine. Add pasta water, 1/2 cup at a time, until the pasta is saucy. Sprinkle pine nuts on top and serve.

Other recipes:


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