Chatfield CSA E-news July 7 - 11
Thanks to the shareholders who made it out in the heat for our potluck - we hope you enjoyed the ice cream cones! Our next event is the "Supporting Shareholder" Farm to Fork dinner on Sunday July 27th - invitation coming out soon for that. We also will have a York St. Cooking Class and Potluck: August 3 - Mitchell Hall, 3 p.m. class theme TBD.
Produce List: July 7- 11
*this list is tentative and subject to change
Featured recipe: Kale Slaw
Adapted from "The Post Punk Kitchen" website by Issa Chandra
For the kale slaw: 5-6 cups shredded kale (stems removed, chiffonade – see note)
Dressing for slaw: 2 cloves garlic or 3 scapes, 1/2 an avocado, 2 tablespoons tahini 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or lime), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup water (plus more to thin)
Make the Kale Slaw:
In a blender, pulse the garlic to get it a bit chopped up. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Add extra water as needed in order to get it to a thick but pourable consistency, like a thick milkshake.
Place the shredded kale in a bowl and add the dressing, using a rubber spatula to scrape the blender and get everything out.
Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for about 30 seconds. Taste for salt and seasoning. This is important to any kale dish if you are not cooking the kale.
Add this kale on the top of any dish that would go with it - this recipe suggests making tacos (with curried tofu) and topping the tofu with the kale slaw. For the full recipe:
Grower's Perspective: Squash those bugs!
by Phil Cordelli, Head CSA Grower
“It was supposed to be their grand entrance this week. Alas, the summer squash and cukes will be a bit late. Each season with its infinite variables brings a new set of conditions, which results in a new balance of organisms, be they weeds or crops or animals or insects. This season it’s the squash bug population that has exploded.
Each season they arrive around now, and set up shop at the base of our cucurbits (the family of plants including cukes, squash and melons), shading themselves under the canopy of leaves and gnawing on the plants. If the plant is large enough it can withstand a few squash bug bites, but when the bugs find small plants, or the population explodes, as it did this year, they chew so much of the stem that it can no longer move enough water and nutrients up to the rest of the plant.
Growing organically, there’s not a whole lot we can do to effectively kill these tough little bugs beside handpicking them off and crushing them (and with nearly an acre of cucurbits that’s a tall order! Plus, they absolutely STINK when you do crush them, and their guts are a freaky turquoise color …). We have a weekly regiment of using organic based substances that are approved for organic gardening. So we kinda just shoo them off the plants with this, just hoping to buy enough time for the plants to gain strength to grow through the damage.
If this is too much information for you, feel free to stop reading at any time, but I do want to share some of the specifics of our growing practices, and why the offerings at distribution have the cycles they do. So, back to the cucurbits!
This season Jamie had a great idea to sow the aisles of our plastic-mulched beds with clover. As you know, nature abhors bare ground almost as much as a vacuum, so establishing a low-growing, nitrogen-fixing cover crop on this ground is a perfect solution. I kicked myself that I never thought of this before.
I suppose in retrospect I should’ve realized it was too perfect of a solution, because it turns out that when we shoo the bugs off our melons and cukes, they just hide out in the shady, clovered aisles until the sprays become inert, which happens in a day or so, or faster in bright sunlight (hello, Colorado!).
It’s still a much better solution than trying to keep bare soil out there, but it does have unintended consequences … So, the next cucumber and squash seedlings are just uncurling their necks in another field. We've got them covered, hoping the bugs just keep snacking on the first planting. Rest assured though the watermelons are looking FANTASTIC! They were established enough to power on through it all. We will too.”