Weekly news from the farm!!!

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Greetings Everyone,

This week among the most disturbing news to appear in our news feed was this article titled, “Insect ‘apocalypse’ in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides“.   The reason so, is because as organic farmers we strive to do our best to grow crops, all the while trying to coexist with all that Mother Nature has to offer.  While we are guilty of evicting groundhogs off the farm, we still try to coexist with them as much as possible and there are still plenty of them scattered across the fields on this farm.  We choose not to spray harmful sprays while our crops are flowering, especially if the pollinators are out and about foraging, as we’d prefer to loose those crops rather than kill both helpful and harmful insects.

As we were harvesting sweet corn a couple weeks ago, while admiring the bees busy collecting corn pollen, we couldn’t help but wonder, “What if they were collecting pollen from GMO corn?”. After all, GMO corn has been genetically modified to kill larvae such as that of the corn earworm. So if soft bodied larvae won’t survive on GMO corn, then what happens when to the bee larvae when the bees take that pollen back to their bee hives? We haven’t seen research on this subject so the jury is out as to what happens in this situation. Good thing much of the expansive GMO corn fields across our continent lack biodiversity, because our hope is that the bees probably don’t carry too much of that pollen back to their hives.

Even though the EPA is choosing not to ban pesticides that have been proven to be toxic, we the people still play an important role in helping to save these insects, which all of us can strive to do by divesting from buying crops or products that are produced using these toxins.   Here at MHO, we feel incredibly lucky to have you subscribers who have divested from supporting that type of agriculture by either  growing your own food or supporting the farms in your region that encourage biodiversity. It makes us happy to think of all of you subscribers who grow pesticide free food/flowers, rather than lawns, so these wonderful gardens offer a nectar source for our insects. YOU ARE THE TREND and together we will provide habitat and save the insects.  

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 after 8 AM. 


What is new and abundant this week!

We’re pulling the onions down from their curing racks!!! We’ve been thinking that we at MHO need to cut back on the volume of onions we use because it is a lot of work to seed, plant and harvest these wonderful vegetables.  We eat approximately 4 bushels each year because we use these for seasoning almost all of our meals.  When they first come down from the curing racks, we fall completely in love with this humble veggie all over again, and pledge to ourselves that we’ll grow just as many next year.  That’s because they are so SWEET.  Many of you have made caramelized onions, which transforms this vegetable into super sweet deliciousness.  Once caramelized, they can be added to sandwiches, soups, stuffed peppers, mixed into mashed potatoes, the options are endless. We think our Candy yellow bulb onions, because they are very sweet, are much like a Vidalia onion.  They are excellent fresh on sandwiches and in salads! These onions are amazing caramelized, and even though we harvest them at the beginning of summer, we traditionally make French Onion Soup in honor of our harvest because it is delicious! We also love making an onion chutney that we eat with naan. This recipe for caramelized onion chutney you should be able to make with ingredients right from your pantry. Each season we make a few batches of vegetable tempura that is excellent with candy onions. Savor Magazine has a list of 50 recipes that use onions so be sure to stock up on these while they are in season!

Most of our onions this season are random sized, which we think is due to the way we made the beds they were planted into. So don’t expect all the onions to be equally sized like the photographs. Red onions are high in anthocyanidins such as cyanidin, which has a redish-purple color and is the same chemical found in cherries, raspberries, cranberries, and lots of other red things. In herbal medicine, anthocyanin-rich substances have long been used to treat a number of conditions (including high blood pressurecolds, and urinary tract infections)  Including cyanidin-rich foods in your diet is believed to reduce your risk of arthritis, cancer and diabetes. 

Mix and match the fingerlings!!!  Again this week we’re roasting our potatoes hasselback style because we love the mixture of textures and flavors.  Above you’ll find French Fingerlings (the red skinned potato), Magic Molly (the beautiful blue skinned potato, and Austrian Crescent (the yellow skinned potato). Eat the skins because that makes the potato an incredibly nutritious meal.

Thai basil is our favorite basil this season!! Like all growing seasons, the one thing we both LOVE and DETEST about farming, is that there are no constants.  From year to year, we’re never able to replicate our growing conditions, so each year is a little different.  This year we’ve struggled to grow Genovese Basil, which is a variety we love for pesto and pizza sauce. We’ve found that in this years growing conditions, the Thai basil has out performed all our other basil cultivars, so we’re extremely thankful for this basil.  So much so, that we’ve planted additional plants in our greenhouse so that we have basil for seasoning our meals well into fall.  

Those of you who have been purchasing food from us weekly since the beginning of the season will notice that the tomatoes and peppers are decreasing in size.  Like us humans, the plants have a “peak” time during their life cycle where they’re thriving, then after that peak their growth rate will begin to taper off.  Once the plants growth rate tapers off, the size of their fruits will become smaller.   We understand that your receiving smaller tomatoes and peppers, may require just a little bit effort on your part for preparing meals – like coring tomatoes and peppers – so we appreciate you eating the food we’ve grown that is not perfectly sized. 

We’re roasting peppers again this week!!!  Be careful placing your order for peppers, if you’re ordering roasted peppers they’ll have the word “roasted” in the product description, while you’ll find the word “fresh” included in the product description of those peppers that are not roasted.  The photo above is of roasted Poblano peppers.  These peppers have such a great flavor, and besides our roasted Italians, these are the #1 favorite pepper for pizza toppings when we host design your on pizza nights at the farm. We use these peppers for seasoning almost any of our meals.  If either jalapeno or serrano peppers are too hot for your palate, try substituting with a Poblano pepper.  We love the poblano/spinach cream sauce used in these enchiladas and occasionally use this sauce as a pizza sauce or for tostadas.  This chile is known as “ancho” when dried, and is famous for it’s use in chile rellenos. These vegan stuffed peppers or these chili stuffed peppers are easier than frying and packed full of flavor. If your adventurous, you can make this 4 pepper salsa. We always add chiles to pork chili or this vegetarian chili.  Believe it or not, they are excellent stuffed with potatoes.  During the summer, when tomatoes and tomatillos are in season, this salsa is a staple that we make weekly.  This stewed tomatoes and peppers are a great dip for chips, pizza topping, spread for bread. 

This list is among our favorite recipes for using roasted Peppers: In salsaromesco saucein pasta on burgers, in hummuswith eggs, with potatoesroasted pepper sauceguacamolechilicreamy pepper dipred pepper diproasted poblano enchiladas.

This Weeks Farmer’s Choice Shares

Sauteed onions and peppers are amazing tossed with lettuce, pasta, as a side for almost any meal, and is even fabulous  as a topping for sandwiches, in fajitas, wrapped in burritos!!!

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:

  • Onions: Onions: Mixed Yellow Candy and Red bulbs.  We’re starting to take our onions down from the curing racks!
  • Kale: Green Curly Kale: Our spring planted kale, so you’ll need to remove the stems, but it is fabulous steamed, boiled in water or in a smoothie.  Not nearly as tender as young spring or fall plants, but super nutritious.

The following are included only in the meat share

What’s Happening on the Farm

We Thought we’d just highlight some of our biodiversity seen around the farm this week!!!

We’ve only seen one monarch butterfly this year which seems very disturbing.  We’ve also observed that our native milkweed is much ore abundant this season than it has been for the past several years. We started planting a milkweed cultivar just so we are certain to have milkweed growing on the farm since that is the only host plant for the monarch larvae.

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