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Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Tribeca CSA Newsletter – Week 13

In Weekly Newsletter on September 12, 2009 at 2:07 PM

News

The next cheese pickup dates are: September 22 and October 20!

News from La Baraja

Pedro really appreciated the feedback from the group. He expressed his appreciation as well for the CSA as this is a steady predictable “pre-sold harvest” versus the “game of chance” he plays with the daily markets.

Last weekend, Labor Day weekend, is by far the slowest weekend of the harvest year. The holiday keeps people away from the market and family budgets are geared towards back to school. But this is expected and had been planned for by Pedro, with a smaller group and a smaller harvest for the markets.

As many may have noticed the weather took as turn for the milder as the summer comes to an end. We should expect more turnips, squashes, eggplants, potatoes, and more hearty vegetables as the season prepares to turn. Pedro planted parsnips in may and he thinks they are nearly ready for harvest and will be looking at them closely for next week. Later in the month, turnips and Halloween pumpkins will be making their debut!

Next Week’s Work Shift:

The people doing workshifts on September 15th are:

2 – 4:30pm: Kamy W. & Phillip R.
4 – 6:30pm: Celeste C. & Onni J.

Vegetable Highlight: Tomatoes

Most of us are very familiar with tomatoes and enjoy them best during the summer months when they’re fresh and locally-grown. Even though we can get some variety of tomato year-round in the city, there’s no comparing a tomato bought in January with a tomato that came off the vine just the day before! Tomatoes in the summer are best eaten as plain as possible so you can enjoy the depth of flavor. To keep some of that summer flavor for later, try making the Tomato Preserves recipe from the 1948 New York Times! (link below in the “other recipes” section)

Recipe: Tomato and Onion Salad with Capers
(note: this recipe comes from Ivete’s dad. Ivete posted this recipe, with the story behind it, on her blog here: A Chef’s Daughter)

* 4 medium tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (don’t chop them too small!)
* 1 red onion, chopped
* The juice from 1 lemon
* 2 tablespoons un-rinsed capers, plus a dash of the brine
* Spash of extra virgin olive oil

Assembly couldn’t be easier: Mix everything up and add salt & pepper to taste. Then stick the salad in the fridge for about 5 minutes before you dig in.

Note to onion-haters:

The onion is critical in this and shouldn’t be substituted, but I understand that some people really don’t like them raw. Have you tried soaking raw onions in a bit of water for 15 minutes and then trying them? Soaking them takes a lot of the bite out but leaves a nice flavor behind. Especially in the case of red onions, whose flavor is milder than white onions, I definitely think it’s at least worth trying before you dismiss it with an instinctive “Yuck! Onions!” reaction.

Other recipes:

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Week 13 – Group B

In 2009 Share on September 8, 2009 at 9:32 PM

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Vegetables:

1. Potato
2. Butternut squash
3. Eggplant
4. Patty pan squash
5. Tomato
6. Lettuce
7. Radishes
8. Celery
9. Cilantro

Fruit:
Apples

Tribeca CSA Newsletter – Week 12

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

News

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:

Vegetables

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

Fruit:

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

Eggs:

  • 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?

Hours:

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

Location:

  • 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

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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!

Directions

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:

Week 12 – A Group

In 2009 Share on September 1, 2009 at 8:50 PM

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Vegetables:
1/2lb Tomatillos
1-1/2lb Carrots
1 Bunch Collard Greens
1lb Eggplant
1lb Green Peppers
2lb Tomatoes
1 Bunch Cilantro
1/2lb Jalapeno
6 Ears of Corn

Fruit:

2lb Peaces
2lb Nectarines