July 2013

blackcrates

What to expect in this week’s share:

    • Cucumber
    • Zucchini
    • Okra
    • Basil
    • Tomatoes
    • Eggplant

Volunteer Highlights:

Special Thanks to Melissa Lahn and Steve Host for volunteering their time at the farm.  Bloomington is a special place in that a lot of it’s residents are connected with their food, the farmers, local distributors, and the food pathways.

Come Volunteer at the farm, we enjoy sharing our daily connection to mother nature with you through our love and labors of farm work.  Some things you could learn while you’re here are:  how to pick and handle tomatoes, how far apart to plant eggplants, what is in our soil, how to pack a csa box, what are the names of the varieties of kale, and even the names of the farmers who pick your food.  These are just a few things you could learn while volunteering.  Every crop’s preparation, maintenance, and harvest has a valueable lesson.

It’s tomato time, so if you’d like to earn a little extra food while helping harvest tomatoes, please volunteer as soon as you can.  A great time to work is from 9am-12pm.  Bring a sack lunch, so we can break bread and swap stories.

If you’re interested in coming out to volunteer or know of anyone that would be interested, please e-mail us:  csa@strangershillorganics.com

Words from our volunteers

Question: “What did you enjoy most about working at the farm?”

Steve: ” I was excited to harvest food, that I knew was going directly to CSA member within a few hours.  That’s a pretty awesome turn around if you ask me!”

Melissa: ” I really enjoyed learning about Strangers Hill Organics, and the food they have to offer Bloomington.  I also liked putting the CSA boxes together.”

volunteervolunteer 2

Eggplant tips:

Storing and preserving- Don’t refrigerate, unless you plan on storing for at most a day or two, it will start to develop brown spots and become bitter.  Optimum storage temperature is 50 degrees, so try to keep eggplant in a cool spot.  The best case scenario for the most flavorful eggplant is to use within 24hours, but if that’s just not going to work, wrap with a paper towl and store in a paper bag.

To salt or not to salt-Some cooks might disagree about whether to salt eggplant or not.  To take away the excess moisture and eliminate any bitterness an eggplant may have, salting is recommended.   An eggplant will also need less olive oil while sauteing if salted first.  Unsalted eggplant will absorb about 6-8 tablespoons of oil compared with a salted eggplant, which will only requre about 2 tablespoons.  To salt the eggplant, simply sprinkle the cut eggplant with salt and place in a colander for 30 minutes or more.  After the 30 minutes, lightly squeeze out the moisture and pat dry.  If you prefer not to salt, I recommend blanching the eggplant as the best cooking alternative.

RECIPES

The following recipe is an excellent moussaka recipe I found last year.  Instead of using lamb, I used an soysage crumble mix–crumbled tempeh would also work.  You just might have some extra zucchini that would fit into this recipe perfectly.   You may not have 3 large eggplants as the recipe call for, so use some zucchini in it’s place.

Moussaka

Quick and Easy Cucumber Salad