2023 CSA Season Week Nine

August 1, 2023

Welcome to August! It’s greeting us with a hot one today as we slide into the last half of summer. We hope you’re all having a wonderful summer and finding ways to stay safe and cool in this weather.

Today is the last day for August vacation requests!

We understand things come up and people have vacations, especially in summer, so we’re more than willing to accommodate your schedule if we can. If you’re going on vacation or unable to pickup, we can send the box to a different location, donate the share to Food for Lane County, or issue a credit toward next season’s share. Please make sure to let me know at least 7 days before your regularly scheduled share. (If you pick up on Tuesday, but you’re changing to Friday that week, please tell me no later than the previous TUESDAY.) We plan for harvest and pull the lists well in advance, so to keep things going smooth, we’re unable to process requests made after that 7-day deadline.

        I will be in South Africa the last half of August, so please get your vacation days for Weeks 10 through 13 (August 8 through September 4) to me by August 1st so I can get them entered. If vacation requests for that time frame are submitted after August 1st, they will unfortunately NOT be processed. Thank you for your time and consideration! 

Please note the changes while I’m gone:

I’d like to take a moment to go over the changes during the two weeks that I’ll be in South Africa. Deliveries will, of course, continue as normal, but some of the normal procedures will be modified or put on hold all together.

  • All vacation requests for August 8 through September 4 are due no later than August 1st. I have to get all the lists prepared and ready for the harvest crew in advance, so any requests received after August 1st for that time frame will not be processed.
  • Estimate emails will not be going out from August 11th to August 27th. We will do our best to get the blog out on Tuesdays, but as the majority of it will be written before I leave, it will be a truncated version.
  • Emails and phone messages will be checked sporadically. If you have something time-sensitive (that does not pertain to holding a share, missing a box, or changing the schedule in any way), give the office a call and leave a voicemail. Chris and Shannon will be checking those while I’m gone, but since most of their time is spent out on the farm, they won’t be handling anything with the schedule, and may not be able to give you a call back that day. You can find the majority of the answers to questions about delivery sites or the CSA in general on our website. For anything else, send an email, and I will answer when I’m back in the country.

Are you interested in strawberry flats?

Because I will be out of the country for the weeks we’re hoping to have strawberry flats available, we’d like to plan and get orders early. If you’re interested in a strawberry flat this year, please send me an email before the end of this week, and I’ll let you know when we can have a flat available to you this year.

Please note, we won’t be able to add flats while I’m out of the country, and my last day in the office next week is Thursday. Friday, I’ll be on a plane, so Friday of this week (August 4) will be the last day to let me know you’re interested, as I’ll be finalizing details next week. There’s a chance we’ll still have some in September when I’m back, but we can’t guarantee the strawberry patches will still be flourishing, so let me know soon!

We wish you all a happy Lughnasadh!

The Gaelic festival of Lughnasadh will be celebrated today, on August 1. The festival marks the beginning of the harvest season and honors the harvest god, Lugh. Traditionally, the sabbat is celebrated by a great feast that includes as many fruits as you can eat, as well as a sacrificial bull. The harvest festival is often a time for handfasting, and accompanied by a ritual dance or play telling the story of the gods.

Now days, festivals like the Puck Fair in Ireland mark the celebration of Lughnasadh. The Puck Fair is a three-day festival that can be traced back to the 16th century. The fair has become a tourist attraction, and includes traditional music and dancing, a market, and a parade. During the festival, a wild goat is crowned king and given a throne, while a local girl plays the role of queen. Other Lughnasadh fairs and festivals, all boasting great food, music, and dancing, can be found all over Ireland.

What’s in your box this week:

  • Strawberries
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Heirloom tomatoes

Some sites only:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Cilantro

We do our best to harvest in equal share, but this week, we were a little short on a few things, so a few sites won’t get everything. If we don’t get you something this week, don’t worry! We’re keeping excellent notes, and we’ll do our best to get you next week.

Handy Tips:

  • Green Beans: Fresh green beans taste best when eaten soon after harvesting. They will stay fresh for up to one week when refrigerated in a plastic bag. Remove the stem end and cook whole. Beans will retain more nutrients if they’re uncut. To cook beans, simmer them in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Watch for the beans to brighten in color and become tender, but not soft. Cook less for chilled bean salads to maintain crispness.
  • Tomatoes: Do not refrigerate tomatoes! You can place them out of the sun at room temperature. Some of our tomatoes are a day or two from being fully ripe, but will be perfect with a little patience. To remove tomato skins, place the whole tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, dip in cold water, and remove skins. Tomatoes can be frozen whole. Core tomatoes, then place them on a cookie sheet, and freeze them. When they’re solid, place them in a freezer bag and replace them in the freezer. Remove as many tomatoes as you need at the time. Thawed tomatoes are good for cooking and pureed dishes. Salsas, sauces, and purees also freeze well.
  • Cilantro: For short-term storage, wrap cilantro in a damp towel or stand upright in a container with an inch of water and refrigerate. Do not wash cilantro prior to refrigeration. Freeze the fresh leaves in a plastic zip-lock bag, or put a tablespoon of the herb in each ice cube tray section, add a bit of water to cover and freeze. Do not thaw before use. Dried cilantro does not retain its flavor very well. Add fresh leaves to soups, stews, stir-fries, and salads for an aromatic touch. Add cilantro toward the end of cooking time to retain fresh flavor and color. Toss fresh leaves into a green salad.

What we’re making:

  • Maybe I’m already in vacation mode, but this Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris looks absolutely amazing! Make a virgin daiquiris for your kiddos and enjoy the hot, sunny weather.
  • These Fudgy Beet Brownies are another way to trick your tastebuds into being good, while also satisfying that sweet tooth!
  • I love cucumbers, and I wait all year for cucumber to show up in our shares! This Chickpea Salad with Cucumbers is a beautiful addition to your dinner table this year.

We hope you’re all having a wonderful week, and come up with delicious meals for you and your family! We’re so grateful we’ve gotten to tag along on your food journey this year, and we look forward to many more seasons to come!

Many blessings,

Chelsea and your Winter Green Farmers