Week 4 Summer CSA Package
The first of the season’s tree fruits and raspberries
June 25, 2012
Greetings!
This week’s package, although somewhat a mismatch of items, does include some very exciting items.

First, fruits. This is the part of the season where things finally quit being so….green. I know, you are all sighing relief right now. That’s just how Ohio is though! I always joke that the season starts green, gets very colorful, then gets downright heavy.

This week Rich Eshleman from Clyde Ohio is expecting a good harvest on cling peaches, apricots, and some japanese plums. The yield will likely be in that order. Over the next couple weeks we expect to get this selection in weekly and rotate which stops get these items so that you each get to try them. The plums will be limited to the vegan bags for this week.

I was talking to Rich about this year’s harvest. He’s expecting that the peaches and apricots are going to be smaller across the board. I asked him how big the apricots would be. He laughed and said ping pong ball size. He explained that the late frosts in May burnt off the foliage that protects the fruit. This prevents early cell development in the fruit and therefore limits the size. The apricots and peaches will not fully recover this year.

The next exciting product is our yogurt from Velvet View Farms in Big Praire Ohio (south of Wooster). This was my favorite new product last year, to the point that I take a 3 gallon bucket home each month. The product has exceptional flavor and is very versatile. It is very runny so I use mine in place of buttermilk in baking and sometimes even milk in recipes.

The yogurt has only one ingredient: cultured milk. It has no stabilizers like pectin or added milk solids. This keeps it runny but 100% authentic. My favorite fact is that it is 17 ft 2 inches from the utter to the pasteurizing tank. When the cows are being milked, a valve is turned and the warm milk flows directly to the tank in the other room. The temperature is brought up, the culture added, and 10 hours later they are ready to bottle yogurt.

The non-gmo, organic feed we were using was reaching almost $0.30 per lb, which might not sound like a lot, but to get a hog up to 300 lbs, you are looking at 900 lbs of feed. The price of feeder pigs was also climbing, where the berkshire hogs were were getting were costing almost $90 per head, where conventional feeder pigs were costing about $45.

Anyhow, the hog farmer and I worked on a few solutions. First was a breeding program to breed our own pigs. This won’t have an immediate effect as but will hedge our risks in the future. The second was to find an alternative food source. That worked out quite well.

About next week, week of July 4
A few folks have asked about next week’s deliveries. Deliveries are on schedule for next week, including Wednesday. Also, for anyone thinking of taking their Fresh Fork package with them to a picnic or vacation, below is what I’m expecting to put in next weeks package (this can change):
– choice of whole chicken (5#) or berkshire pork roast (3-4 #)
– one bunch of beets
– one bunch of carrots
– one head red cabbage
– one bunch of spinach
– one lb of green beans
– one bulb onion

Summer Week 4:

Small CSA Share
1 quart of yogurt
1 pt of black raspberries
Assorted tree fruit
1 package Italian Sausage links, 1.25 lbs
2 ct zucchini
1 bunch radishes
1 head green leaf lettuce
1 bunch kale

Large CSA Share Small contents above plus:
1 head kohlrabi
1 red bulb onion
1.5 lbs hoophouse tomatoes
2 ct cucumbers
1 head brocolli or cauliflower, whichever comes in
1 jar strawberry basalmic sauce made from leftover week 1 strawberries

I’m expecting the last item will go quite well with next weeks pork or chicken option, so be sure to save some for then.

Vegetarian Share
Small contents minus sausage, add:
1 container sheep’s milk feta from Lucky Penny Creamery
1 head Kohlrabi
2 cucumbers
1 red onion

Vegan Share
Small contents minus italian sausage and yogurt,
Add Vegetarian items
Add 2 # japanese plums

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