Down on the farm: Welcome to our 15th CSA Season-and
thanks for making it possible for us to do this again. We hope you had as much
fun as we did this summer -that you got to spend time with people you care
about in beautiful and interesting places-and enjoy some good fresh foods.
Maybe you have come back with some new recipes or you sampled a new vegetable
that you'd like us to grow. If so, let me know and we will grow it, if it's
In this section I tell you what's happening on the farm, and sometimes address
current issues in agriculture. In case you don't have time to read the whole
newsletter, I try to put important announcements right at the beginning.
Some quick introductions of the people who are growing your
vegetables: (And, yes, Mr. Trump, we are all "legal"!):
Nancy (me) I write the newsletter and I'm the farmer-so it's my fault if we
don't have the veggies we should. (Well, sometimes the weather contributes to
Charlie (my husband) who does our restaurant sales and
deliveries, and maintains everything from our farm golf carts to computers.
Donna is the person you deal with the most. We're lucky to
have someone with her knowledge, skills, and interests-she's an IT
professional and a Master Gardener. She is usually available to help you
from 7-3 (M-F) on our office phone or her e-mail email@example.com. However, she is quite
busy overseeing the packing of your boxes and restaurant orders 4 mornings a
week until about 10.
Unlike larger farms, which, of course, have (more efficient)
specialized crews, our crew does everything from putting the seed in the ground
to packing the veggies into the boxes. Seven people do most of the field and
packing house work: Chago and Manuel, who at 79 and 78, respectively, have each
worked on this farm for over 50 years. (They only work in the mornings-we think
that's fair, don't you?) Miguel, Luis, Santa, Abelino, and Angelica are the
others who do all the planting, weeding, spraying, harvesting, packing, etc.
Then there are the people who make this all possible-Ted and
Trudy Winsberg, who chose not to sell their 50 year old Green Cay Farm for
development when they retired, so that we have a place to farm, and you all can
visit the Green Cay Wetlands park.
And we can't forget the people who bring your boxes to you.
I often think they have the most difficult job-manuvering through PB Co.
traffic, finding the right addresses, and getting through the security at some
communities. We have 8 routes a week, which each go to a different area.
Each of these people has their own route: Mondays-Art and Josh; Tuesdays-Mary
Ann and Joni; Thursdays-Jeannie and Bob; Fridays-Madison and Marty. Please be
patient these first few weeks. Once they get their routes established, the box
will usually arrive about the same time each delivery day.
Despite some early-season battles with plant viruses this
summer (more on that next week), we are managing to harvest what we should be
picking at this time of year. I was especially happy to be able to get the
watermelons, since at one point I thought the crop might be gone before we
could pick it. Cucumbers are disappointing-they are not where they should
be, but a new crop is blooming. Some corn was ready too early, so we sold it to
restaurants and summer customers and now will have to wait a few days for this
new crop to be ready. Long-term subscribers may be happier with this box
than "newbies" since the experienced people know that the first few
weeks of boxes don't always have this many different veggies.
And, what I hope is good news for those who get large boxes:
one of my goals this season is to always include 2 greens in the large boxes.
Many who get a large box share with another family or, you are a family who
simply eats a lot of veggies. Either way, I thought you might appreciate having
more greens. Depending on the season, that may be baby greens (kale, lettuce,
arugula), or a larger green such as chard, kale, or collards. I'll be sure that
at least one of these is a green that can be cooked and saved. (And for those
with small boxes, remember that we almost always have some greens available as
What's in your box: This is where I tell you
what to expect in your box this week. I'll tell you right now that I'm sorry,
but this is not 100% accurate every week. There are Sundays when I think we
will have something and then we go out to harvest on Monday and find it is full
of insect pests; or a sudden rain causes a disease to spread and destroys most
of a crop.
This week we expect to have:
a watermelon summer squash (Perez Farm in Loxahatchee)
an avocado (Erickson Farm)
cucumbers (probably only in large boxes for another week or two)
baby kale (large boxes only)
Enjoying your vegetables: When we first started this CSA program, we
included a recipe in the newsletter almost every week. Now that most of us have
access to the internet, we can find numerous recipes for almost anything. So, I
add this section only when I have a special suggestion about using something in
your boxes. And I'm always glad to have input from you to share with other
subscribers-maybe the details of how you prepared something or a link to a
recipe that worked really well for you. By the way, our subscriber page does
still have a section for recipes we've collected over the years.
(Password for subscribers this season is eggplant.)
These avocados are Florida avocados from Erickson Farm in Canal Point. (www.ericksonfarm.com) The variety
is called "Tonnage". Most people prefer the Hass types, which are
smaller and have a higher fat content. It is possible to grow some Hass types
here, but, in our climate, they are not productive enough for commercial
production. We have held these at 50 degrees so they will need about 3-5 days
at room temperature to ripen. If you need help using or storing them,
check the suggestions under the "Slimcado" brand on the Brooks
Tropicals website. www.brookstropicals.com
A little housekeeping: In your first box, you
will receive a schedule which tells the dates of your boxes for this whole
season. If you pay monthly, it also tells how much you will owe for each
month and when the payment is due. We hope you can find a place to keep this so
you'll know when to expect (or to pick up) your boxes. If you don't
receive one of these, please contact Donna (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Around our area: "Save the Date": our
annual Subscriber Open House and Farm Tours weekend this year is February 13
and 14. It's always the weekend after the Superbowl-so this year that puts it
on Valentine's Day weekend. Plan to bring your Valentine on a farm tour
and to enjoy a delicious and unique potluck lunch!
Weekly extras: Several years ago, I was asked
to include the weekly extras list in the newsletter. This list is on our
website, too, but subscribers said they wanted it on their email so they didn't
have to access the website. (It also makes the newsletter seem very long,
but, it's really just that this list takes up 3-4 pages.) What are "extras"? This means that we either have an extra large
supply of some of the items we grow, or we purchased or grew some items just
for extras (for instance, flowers, honey or okra). The best way to order extras
is to email Donna at email@example.com.
I'll write more about some of these products and the producers who grow them
during the next few weeks.
For most extras, please order by 2 PM the day before your
box. If you are ordering later than that, please call 561-638-2755 and
leave the message on the machine. (Those ordering for Monday boxes need to call
and leave a message, since you don't receive this list in time to order by
email.) Flowers and sprouts require earlier orders since we have to order
them from other farms. For more information, please check the
"Weekly Extras" section on the subscriber pages of our website.
Some people order particular extras as a "standing order". For
instance, you may choose to get cut flowers, sprouts, or even extra tomatoes or
lettuce each time you get a box-whether it is weekly or biweekly. Contact Donna
if you want to set up a standing order of anything.
Locally grown Flowers (for Monday and Tuesday boxes, order
by noon on the Friday before your box; for Thursday and Friday, order by noon
on Wednesday). For information about these flower growers and some pictures of
their flowers, check the Subscriber Business Links on our Subscriber section
Seed to Bloom, Loxahatchee: colorful mixed bouquets-whatever is in
season $10.00 each
Summer squashes from Perez Farm in Loxahatchee
$1.50/lb.-yellow, zucchini, or mixed
Avocados from Erickson Farm in Canal
Point $1.50 each
Namwah bananas (short and plump) from
Yagnapurush Farm in Loxahatchee
1 lb. $1.50
3 lbs. $4
McCoy's Honey-raw, unfiltered, locally
(Supply is low now-we expect to have more in less than a week.) 1 lb. glass jar $5.00 each
(wildflower, palmetto, or orange blossom) temporarily out: 3 lb. plastic jug $14.00
each (wildflower, palmetto, or orange
1 lb. glass jar Orange blossom honey with comb included $6.50
Pict" Honey This honey was produced by the bees which pollinated our on this
farm this spring.
1 qt. jars $17
Veggies from our farm Baby arugula $2.50/8 oz.
Baby kale $2.50/8 oz. Eggplant $2.00/lb. Okra $3.00/lb.
Microgreens $2.50 sandwich bag (mix may contain radishes, arugula,
kale, and/or kohlrabi)
Sprouts from Universal Living Sprouts in Royal Palm
Again we are carrying these beautiful sprouts from Universal Living Sprouts in
West Palm. They are too perishable and expensive for us to keep them in stock,
so please be sure to pre-order them if you would like to try them. You will
need to order them about a week before the day of your box-or you can place a
The first 4 are more like microgreens-they are growing in
flats and then cut off. The beans are more like sprouts-with the tiny roots.
Sprouted greens 8 oz. $7.00
Sprouted beans 4 oz. $3.00 Adzuki
Pea beans-sprouted peas
Mixed (Adzuki, Lentil, Mung)