Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #11
Large shares: yellow doll watermelon, oak leaf lettuce, eggplant, red tomato, Romano beans, sweet pepper, sweet corn, lemon cucumbers, yellow onion, cilantro, arugula
Small shares: yellow doll watermelon, sweet corn, chard, new potatoes, cilantro, romaine lettuce, salad cucumbers, garlic, either Romano beans, green beans or sweet onion.
Dear CSA members,
Watermelon harvest worked out really well on Monday afternoon. I was pleased that we were able to get enough small and large melons all at once for CSA this week! The variety is called “yellow doll” and has a bright lemon yellow flesh with a sweet, dense and crisp flavor and mouth-feel. This variety is good for our climate because they are small in size and mature quickly. This has been an excellent summer for melon growing, and despite this being our first effort at a large scale melon planting the vines are producing more and larger fruits than the average (at least as described by the seed company). Some of the small shares have a melon that is just touching the lid, so I hope they make it to you in good enough condition! We tried very hard to size them to fit the boxes, but like I said they were certainly above average size all around!
While washing CSA boxes this morning in preparation for packing I came a cross a plant tag stuck to the inside of one of the boxes. I pulled it out, and being naturally curious, read the tag. It was from a home depot plant of some kind, but I went on to read. “This plant has been treated with neonicotinoids to protect it from aphids, mites, whiteflies and other insect pests”. Wobbly Cart has been supporting a WSU native pollinator project that has been studying native bee populations of organic farms for the past couple of years. Through this project we have been learning a lot about honey bee and native pollinator declines and the link between this and the increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
Neonicotinoids are systemic insecticides that are taken up by a plant through either its roots or leaves and move through the plant just like water and nutrients do. These insecticides provide very effective control of piercing and sucking insects in this manner. There are currently around 465 products containing neonicotinoids approved for use in the state of Washington. Approximately 150 are approved for use in the home or garden. The systemic action of this insecticide is what makes it a problem for honey bees and other pollinators; because the pesticide spreads withing the entire plant, it can also be found in the nectar and pollen of the flowers.
Ongoing research is being conducted to learn more about Colony Collapse Disorder and the long term effects neonicotinoids can and will have on bee populations. There is increasing evidence that these pesticides could have a “sub-lethal” effect on bees and other pollinators by imparing their learning behavior, reduced reproduction, memory loss, reduced immune function, and altered foraging behavior. Due to this evidence the European Union has suspended use of neonicotinoid pesticides until impacts on bees can be further assessed. The United States has yet to take action, though I did hear that the State of Washington has banned their use on state property landscapes. These products are not allowed in organic production. I urge you to be cautious in purchasing plants and look for tags that indicate they have been treated with neonicotinoids and or in using insecticides in your landscape, you may be having a far reaching effect beyond just the pest you are trying to eliminate.
Thanks for supporting farms and enjoy this weeks’ box,
Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart
Potato Salad with Herb and Caper Dressing
Tender new potatoes
Mixed Herbs, such as basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, and tarragon
1 T capers
Juice and zest of one lemon
2-3 t Dijon mustard
1 T red wine vinegar
½-3/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Slice while still warm. Meanwhile, make vinaigrette. Put a bunch of mixed herbs in a food processor. Add capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running. Taste for salt, acid, and balance. Add more oil if necessary. Toss dressing into warm potatoes.
Watermelon, Cucumber and Lime Salad
Lime, zest and juice
Salt and pepper
Toss watermelon slices, cucumber slices, salad greens and diced feta with lime zest, juice, olive oil, agave syrup, salt and pepper to taste. Correct seasoning.
The previous two recipes are from our NE Portland dropsite host Santha Cassel!
Watermelon Margaritias: bring ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water and 3 strips of orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved about 3 min. remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Place 2 cups peeled and seeded watermelon in a blender and pulse until pureed. Stir watermelon puree into a large pitcher with ¾ cup white tequila, the simple syrup and ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice. Place a small amount of salt or sugar on a saucer. Moisten glass rim with lime juice and press into the salt or sugar to coat the rime. Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour margarita mix over the ice. Serve with additional lime wedges.
Red chard and Rice: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepot over medium heat. Add 4 slices bacon, finely chopped. Cook 2 minutes. Add 2 cloves garlic and stir 1 minute. Add 1 small bunch red chard, stemmed and chopped, season with a little nutmeg, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika. When the chard is wilted add 1 cup white rice and stir 1 minute more. Add 1 ¾ cups chicken stock or water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and serve
Baked Eggplant Sandwiches: Slice 2 eggplants into ½ inch thick rounds and lightly salt them. Set aside for at least 20 minutes. Mix together; 1-cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsely, and black pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set up a work station with a plate of ½ lb sliced provolone or mozzarella, a plate with the eggplant slices, a bowl of flour, a bowl of beaten eggs, and a bowl with the bread crumb mixture, and an oiled baking sheet. For each sandwich, place a slice of cheese between two slices of eggplant. Hold the sandwich firmly and coat the sides with flour. Dip the sandwich first into the eggs and then into the bread-crumbs to coat both sides. Place the finished sandwich on the baking sheet. Continue assembling the sandwiches until you have used all the eggplant slices. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. These are best served bubbly hot.
Green Salad with Spicy Thai Citrus Dressing: For the dressing: in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, ¼ brown sugar, 1 tsp soy sauce, ¼ tsp black pepper. Cover and shake well until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1 Tbsp minced Jalapeno Pepper, 1 tsp minced fresh garlic, and 3 Tbsp vegetable oil and shake again. For the salad: In a large bowl, combine 6 oz Romaine Lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces, 1 ripe tomato cut into bite sized chunks, 3 small cucumbers, peeled and cut into thick rounds, 2 thinly sliced scallions, and a handful fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped. Drizzle on about 1/3 cup of the dressing. Toss well and serve at once. (From Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott).