Important Summer Season Update

Farmers surely have more to talk about than the weather, but it’s hard to ignore when you face triple digits day after day and the hottest part of summer is yet to come.

This season began and ended with unseasonable temperatures. In between, we have had some of the best growing conditions and worst bug infestations in years. In other words, we had the kinds of ups and downs that climatologists are predicting as the new normal for Central Texas.

I’m hoping you enjoyed the “up” parts — tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and okra coming in nearly a month ahead of schedule. The “down” part is that our fields have pretty much closed up shop and put out the “thank-you-please-come-back-this-fall” sign. I was afraid our leafy friends would have a hard summer when 90-degree temperatures showed up in February. Shades of 2011 lingered in the background but fortunately remained there because of generous, well-timed rains.

Now the rains have stopped and the heat is on. We have squash rows that refuse to put on any more fruit. Tomatoes and peppers that are covered with sun-scald.  Heck, even the okra is tired of fending off the grass hoopers desperate to find something green.

If this year is a preview of this new norm, we simply will have to adjust our CSA to fit the weather. Farmers are stubbornly optimistic but they are also highly adaptive and I foresee a time when growing in mid winter will become preferable to mid summer.  Toward that end we will be constructing our third hoop house next month.

I also foresee more farmers working cooperatively so that they can weather the extremes more effectively. Next month I will be visiting one of the oldest CSA cooperatives (in New Hampshire)  to learn more how their farmers work together to meet the challenges of changing weather and a challenging marketplace.

As always, we are grateful for your support. And you understanding. We had to stop two weeks early but we will put that stubborn optimism to  best use as we begin planting again this week for the fall season.
-Farmer Skip

Next week (Week 18B) will be the final week of our CSA and every member will receive their money back for Week 19A/20B. We have reconciled all the accounts and made individualized Farm Stand coupons for each member that are valid for vegetables and flowers during the most abundant weeks of the fall season (10/16/17-11/6/17).
Please pick up these coupons next week with your shares!
Questions?
Call 512.484.2746
or email carolyn.greengatefarms@gmail.com

August is the time for our farmers to travel and prepare the fields for the fall season, so we are closed to the public. Carolyn will be out of the office August 1st-21st, but feel free to email her if it’s a question that can wait until August 22nd. If not, try emailing greengatefarms@gmail.com.

Butternut Squash Galette

INGREDIENTS

  1. 3tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1onion, sliced
  3. 1butternut squash (about 1½ pounds), cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  4. kosher salt and black pepper
  5. 2teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  6. 1basic flaky piecrust
  7. 1tablespoon heavy cream
  8. ½cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces)
  9. 2tablespoons olive oil
  10. 1tablespoon red wine vinegar
  11. 1small head frisée

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, squash, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the sage; let cool.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the piecrust on a floured surface into a 12-inch circle; place on the prepared baking sheet. Top the piecrust with the squash and onion mixture, leaving a clear 2-inch border. Fold the edges of the piecrust over and toward the center, overlapping slightly and partially covering the squash. Chill until the dough is firm, at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  3. Heat oven to 350° F with a rack set in the lowest position. Brush the piecrust with the cream. Bake until the squash is cooked through and the crust is golden, 45 to 55 minutes. Top with the blue cheese.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the frisée and toss to combine. Serve the galette with the salad.

Thanks so much to Lindsay Hunt from realsimple.com for this amazing recipe!

Ham and Potato Casserole

INGREDIENTS

    • 3/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
    • 2 tablespoons margarine
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1 dash pepper
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 3 cups potatoes, cooked and diced
    • 2 cups ham, cooked and diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. HEAT oven to 350 degrees.
  2. COOK onion and green pepper in margarine until tender.
  3. STIR in flour and pepper.
  4. ADD milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  5. REDUCE heat and add cheese and mayo; stir until cheese melts.
  6. ADD potatoes and ham; put into casserole dish.
  7. BAKE for 30 minutes.

A big thanks to Music Heather from food.com for this tasty recipe!

Skillet Okra w/ Garlic

Ingredients
  • 1 pound of okra
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of adobo all-purpose seasoning (I like Goya)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. If using fresh okra…cut the ends of the okra and cut into ½ inch slices. If using frozen, chopped….just open the bag.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the okra, garlic, adobo seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

A big thanks to How to Feed a Loon for this yummy recipe!

CSA Newsletter Week 16B

Become a Guest Teacher at Green Gate

Do you have a special skill related to agriculture, gardening, cooking or sustainability you want to share with our community?
Become a part of our farm-based education team by becoming a guest speaker/teacher at Green Gate Farms!

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Past classes include: beekeeping, composting, rabbit raising and harvesting, chicken harvesting, herbal soapmaking, cheesemaking and more. Just email your course suggestion (include your bio, price, timing) and we’ll see about adding you to the roster.

Send details to info@newfarminstitute with ‘potential guest teacher’ written in the subject line.

Thanks for advancing farm-based education in Central Texas!

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