Weekly news from the farm!

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Greetings Everyone,

We feel extremely fortunate that this farm is located in a tourism mecca, because the Asheville area is among the top cities in the country offering AirBnB stays and that reputation has certainly helped us with our bookings as we launched this business venture.  From what we’ve been reading, many small farms across the country are also delving into tourism to supplement their farm income.  We came across this article, that mentions, “The USDA noted in 2015 that 88 percent of all US farms are considered small, but approximately 60 percent of all vegetable and dairy sales to consumers come from only 3 percent of larger family farms. Many of these bigger farms can receive government subsidies to augment their income. Those subsidies are determined by the size and complexity of their operation under the 2018 farm bill. Smaller or organic agricultural endeavors, or those that grow “specialty crops” like fruits, nuts, and vegetables, don’t qualify for this sort of support.”  Mountain Harvest Organics happens to fall into the category of producing specialty crops, so we don’t qualify for subsidies.  Don’t you find it interesting that vegetables, being a healthy food source, are considered a specialty crop? We think that corn and soy should be considered a specialty crop.

As many of you know, we don’t leave the farm very often, so I love this quote from one of the farms offering farm stays through AirBnB,  â€œWe interact with guests from all over the world, and it’s great, because we never have to leave the farm,” .

You will probably need to white list our email to receive correspondence from us because we have changed our email from farmer@MountainHarvestOrganic.com to Farmer@MountainHarvestOrganics.com (our email is organics plural).

Your Farmers (and cleaning staff), Carl and Julie


NOTE: Your’re receiving this eNewsletter because you’ve either been a subscriber to MHO in the past OR if you’ve registered for our newsletters from our website.   Feel free to unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive this eNewsletter!

CSA Shareholders: You can access our online store using this link, if using a desktop you will log in by clicking the icon of the person in the top right hand side of the web page, if you are using a phone click on the menu icon and choose the login option. All orders need to be placed by Tuesday at 8 AM so that we will know what to harvest for your share! Please return your boxes because we re-use them.  Orders will be ready each Wednesday at 8 AM. 


What is new and abundant this week!
Globe and Asian Eggplant is becoming readily available!!! Pictured on the left is asian eggplant, and on the right you’ll find our globe variety. When we farmers are grilling out, which is pretty frequently during the summer, we always grab an eggplant, because it is an amazing vegetable that takes on the flavors of your marinade much like tofu.  You’ll find both Asian and Globe eggplant in the online store.  This variety is Semi-cylindrical or globe shaped. Eggplant are one of our summer delights; they are great grilled, a substitution for breadroasted, used in stir-fries or curries. During the summer, we make baba ganoush about once per mouth, roasting our eggplants on the grill for the best flavored recipe ever! This eggplant in garlic sauce is sure to satisfy your eggplant craving!  This Crock-Pot Ratatouille is delicious and a time saver that uses many summer staples. Eggplant is refreshing in a Greek Salad. You can get a little fancy with pastries in making a eggplant and tomato basil pie. This vegetarian (and vegan) recipe for Eggplant Provençal is great as a main entre. Eggplant is perfect for this vegetarian Eggplant-Walnut Pate . The possibilities are endless.
Have you ever tried eggplant stacks? Now may be the perfect week for this delicious meal with the abundance of tomatoes, basil and eggplant.  While you may choose to fry your eggplant for this recipe, or like us simply grill it, then assemble.  
Garlic is back!!! We’ve been pulling our garlic down from our curing racks, and while the bulbs aren’t as large as we’ve had in the past, the bulbs cured out beautifully.  They are extremely flavorful, so if you are used to eating garlic from the grocery store, you’ll use less of this.  We’ve been enjoying garlic in tomato, cucumber and basil salad, actually we can’t imagine a meal without garlic.  After all, some research suggests that garlic is medicinal and can help prevent cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world’s biggest killers. It also suggests it can reduce high blood pressure, or hypertension. Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.
You’ll find plenty of zucchini and zephyr yellow squash in the online store!!! These also are great for grilling.  We also love chunking them and roasting for burritos.  This is a summer squash, which is a soft skinned, and a very versatile vegetable and always included in our weekly meals while they are in season. One of our “go to” preparation for squash, is grilling it, as we enjoy cooking outdoors during the summer because our house is kept cooler when we aren’t heating up the kitchen. When cooking indoors, roasting squash in the oven, or simply sauteing it with other summer veggies is delicious. Summer squash (or winter squash) is excellent in enchiladas, in quesadillas, or in burritos because you can adapt these recipes to almost any vegetable that is in season.  You can’t let a summer go by without making a squash casserole or ratatouille. Then of course, this veggie is great in a gratin or in a torte.
This Weeks Farmer’s Choice Veggie Share
Above is a Great Spangled Fritillary that you may see in the gardens around the barn when picking up your share at the farm!!! Aren’t we luicky here in the mountains to have so many amazing polinators? This week’s Farmer’s Choice Share includes: (share contents are subject to change based on our actual harvest.) We’re offering both a Farmer’s Choice Veggie and Farmers’ Choice Veggie & Meat Share.  Items common in both shares are listed first, followed by items specific to the veggie share the finally the veggie/meat share. The Farmer’s Choice Veggie & Meat share normally has smaller portions of vegetables. ) The following are included only in the veggie share: The following are included only in the meat share
What’s Happening on the Farm
We harvested bulb onions!!!  Above is Carl with an onion that weighed in at 1.68 pounds, that onion would sell for $5 at our prices.  That variety is Expression, which is nearly identical as Candy, in that it maintains the sweetness but has more disease resistance.  While these onions don’t store long, they are extremely sweet, so we’ve been enjoying a few of them on tomato sandwiches.  Our onions this year aren’t very consistently sized like our crop has been the last few years, which we are attributing to the new fertilizer we are using, and we won’t quite know if they will cure out correctly for a couple months.  We’ve had daily rain showers here on the farm which can impact  the quality of onions during their last few weeks of growth.  
We saw raccoon dung in the sweet corn patch! We noticed raccoon dung in the sweet corn patch, and from our experience, raccoons can wipe out a sweet corn crop overnight. Like us humans, they prefer their sweet corn to be at peak ripeness before they decide to eat all the ears, so we’ve been keeping a live trap in an effort to protect your corn. We were surprised to have trapped this cute little red fox, whose parents ate all our chickens.  We were tempted to relocate it, but we read their range is up to a 70 mile radius.  While they ate our chickens, we do see the benefits they offer us, in they seem to be including rabbits as part of their meal plan, and rabbits can be destructive to our crops.  You’ll be happy that your farmers released this cutie right here on the farm.  Knowing that if we want to keep chickens and coexist with these beautiful creatures, we’ll need to figure how to protect our chickens from becoming a part of their menu plan. We miss having chickens around the farm and this is the first year out of the past 20 that we haven’t had eggs!!!
We know, this is a difficult subject! Here at MHO, we are overrun with groundhogs, most likely because we haven’t hunted them regularly over the years, so they continue to thrive probably due to a regimen of eating healthy organic produce. We believe that Kaiser has earned his right to retire after guarding the farm over the years, but we are thankful that he is only in semi-retirement because he has caught  6 groundhogs so far this year.  Carl has been able to evict 2 groundhogs off the farm, but Julie and Argus are at 0!  We can’t remember back when Kaiser was a puppy, that if he was born with this skill of protecting the row crops from groundhogs, or if it was an acquired.  We certainly hope that Argus isn’t a “no count” vegetable guardian.  We’ve heard hunters use the term “no count” when they have a dog that doesn’t meet their expectations, and normally those dogs are dumped in Spring Creek.  Do you all remember Samson, who was a “no count” Plott hound?  We are thankful that the McVey’s go out of their way in adopting “no count” dogs!!!   No worries about Argus, even if he is a “no count” vegetable guardian, we’ll still love him and guests will probably continue to reward him with hamburgers for his cuteness!!!

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