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FarmShare C.S.A. Newsletter week of August 27, 2013

Another colossal share this week, as our summer bounty stretches on! This is the time to pickle, can, freeze and preserve. If you can’t find time to do that, share with your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors, they’ll love you for it. We love this time of the season, because you get to share in our copious bounty of tree-, vine-, and stem-ripened fruits and veggies.

This week’s share:


Jersey Mac and Paula Red Apples

Stone fruit medley: Peaches and plums





Pickling Cucumbers


Cherry Tomato mix-Sungolds, Black Cherry, Washington Cherry, Gold nugget

Green beans

Head Lettuce

Lettuce Mix


Storage, handling and general cooking tips:


Take care when handling your raspberries – they are very fragile and perishable. If you do not plan to eat your berries today, store them unwashed in your refrigerator on a plate. Raspberries will keep in the refrigerator for one or two days. When you are ready to enjoy your berries, give them a gentle wash and pat dry. To help prevent spoilage, keep berries out of the sun and do not leave out on the counter for more than two hours.

Raspberries freeze very well. Wash them gently and pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, pop them in a labeled freezer container. They will keep for one year.

Raspberries are chock full of vitamins C and K as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Add some berries to your morning yogurt or pancakes!


Storage and Handling

Apples should be kept uncovered or in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Warm temperatures will cause apples to lose their crispness and flavor, so if they are kept out of the refrigerator, make sure it is in a cool, ventilated place far from direct sunlight. To prevent cut apples from turning brown, sprinkle with lemon juice or soak them in a bowl of ½ cup water and 2 tbsp lemon juice.


Storage and Handling

Melon can keep up to a week, whole and uncut, into your fridge. IF your melon has been sitting in your car and its a hot day, let it cool off before sticking it right into the fridge, as the drastic temperature change will cause the fruit to spoil faster. Melons can be eaten cut up, wrapped in salty, cured meats, in fruit salad, or even sliced and grilled.


Storage and Handling

Peaches bruise easily, so when testing for ripe-ness use your whole hand, not just one finger. Leave peaches out, on the counter. If they need to ripen more, place in a closed paper bag. Once ripe, store in the crisper bin of your refrigerator where they’ll keep for up to five  days. Peaches can also be frozen. Peel and slice them, lay them on a baking tray and stick in the freezer for a few hours until they’re frozen through. Transfer the peach wedges to a resealable plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. They’ll keep at least 6 months (longer in a free-standing freezer) and are perfect to use in baking. Want to peel your peaches? Here’s how: Cut a small “x” in the bottom of each peach. Dip them in boiling water for 30 seconds, and the skins will slide right off.

Cook tips

Eat these guys fresh, rinsed and wiped to remove fuzz. Or bake into a crumble. Or put in your morning cereal. Or serve with almond essence infused whipped cream as almonds are a close cousin to peaches. Delicious in savory dishes as well, you can grill them and put in a salad, can be made into a chutney alongside your pork or beef, or preserve them to be enjoyed mid-winter. There are endless options.


Storage and Handling

Blueberries are delicate and fickle, be gentle with them. Keep your fresh blueberries refrigerated, unwashed, in their container. They should last up to two weeks. Water on fresh blueberries hastens deterioration, so do not wash before refrigerating. Blueberries are highly perishable so do try to use them as soon as possible.



Storage and Handling 

Corn is best when eaten right away, before the sugars turn to starch, and diminish its sweet taste. This is mostly true for eating corn right off the cob, but after 4 days, corn will still be edible and tasty enough to cook with. Corn should be refrigerated with the husks still on. The husks will preserve that milky moisture in the kernels. Keep them in the crisper drawer without any strong smelling foods, as corn will easily absorb those odors.

Cook tips

Try eating your corn raw – when it’s fresh like this, it’s yummy! My kids love to pick an ear off the stalk, shuck it in the field, and chomp away. To cook your corn, boil it in water for about 4-6 minutes, depending on how soft you like it. Last night, I cooked it for just 3 minutes then let it steam in the pot until the rest of dinner was ready a few minutes later. It was perfectly cooked and just popped off the cob! Corn is best when eaten simply: boil, slather with butter, and sprinkle with salt. Do you twirl your corn and eat around the cob or lengthwise like a typewriter? In our family, I’m the typewriter.

Corn is also delicious grilled. Pull back the corn husks without removing them fully, remove the silks, then pull the husks back up and soak for at least 15 minutes in water. Grill corn in its husks (maybe brush some pesto on the corn before pulling up the husks), turning occasionally until charred about 20 minutes.  Corn is super versatile. Think: creamed corn, corn bread, corn chowder, salsa, succotash, or as a topping to salad.


Storage + Handling Tips

Tomatoes bruise easily, so handle them with care. They are best stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, stem-side down. Keep them away from your bananas and onions to avoid decay and icky taste. Never refrigerate tomatoes! The cold renders tomatoes mealy and flavorless. Eat them within a few days.

You can also freeze tomatoes. There is no need to peel or blanch them beforehand. Once thawed, the tomato skins will slip easily off. Simply rinse and dry the tomatoes thoroughly, then place in freezer bags. You can suck any air out of the bag with a straw. Frozen tomatoes are great for cooked dishes.

Fresh tomatoes are yummy sliced and layered with mozzerella cheese, basil, olive oil and salt. They work wonders for burgers, wraps, pastas and salad.

Green beans

Storage + Handling

Store dry green beans in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. They are best eaten soon after picking, but can keep for 5 days or so. Wash beans thoroughly in cool water before eating.

Beans can be cooked whole, cut crosswise, diagonally, or French-cut (sliced along the length of the bean). Many say that preparing beans with a French-cut yields the most tender and sweet taste. Perhaps that’s true, but remember that beans retain the most nutrients when cooked uncut. Green beans are rich in protein, fiber, iron, and Vitamins C and A. They are also high in beta carotene, which is most commonly associated with carrots. Some say you can lower your cholesterol levels by 12% just by eating a cup of beans a day!

The easiest way to prepare beans is to steam them. First trim the ends of the beans. I like to have my son do this step. He just snaps the ends with his fingers. It gets him involved in the meal and he ends up eating a few along the way! Next, steam the beans for about 8 minutes, or until they have turned bright green and are just tender. Drain and place in a bowl to toss with butter and salt and pepper.

Many people like to stir-fry green beans. This method retains more nutrients than other cooking methods. Stir fry beans with garlic and some cherry tomatoes for a beautiful and tasty side dish. Whatever cooking method you choose, remember to cook beans as little as possible, using the least amount of water possible, as beans release nutrients into the water. If you boil your beans, why not re-use the bean water to cook rice and thereby regain some of those nutrients?


Storage and Handling

The best way to store cucumbers is surprisingly, not in the fridge! Cucumbers are very temperature sensitive, especially if kept below 50 degrees. Cucumbers can be damaged by cold and become watery, pitting on the side, and accelerated decay. Stick them on your counter but keep them away from tomatoes, melons, and bananas which give off ethylene gas which will cause the cucumber to spoil faster.

Cook tips

Although usually eaten raw or pickled, cucumbers are delicious in light soups and even better braised. Slice off the skin or leave it on, its all about preference.

Salad Greens

Storage and Handling

Store unwashed lettuce or mesclun in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To store lettuce or greens that you have already washed and dried, roll the leaves loosely in a kitchen towel, put the towel in a plastic bag, and place the package in the vegetable crisper bin.  Wet greens will spoil quickly, so make sure they are truly dry before refrigerating them.  If you have a salad spinner, wash and spin the greens before refrigerating them.  Eat mesclun mix within three or four days, and use lettuce within a week.

Salad greens bruise easily, so be sure to handle them gently.  For lettuce, slice the head at its base with a sharp knife and let the leaves fall open.  Discard any damaged or leathery outer leaves and tear large leaves into bite sized pieces.  Both lettuce and mesclun mix can be washed by swishing them around in a basin of cold water.  If a lot of dirt collects in the water, wash them a second time.  Dry the greens in a salad spinner, or if you don’t have one, place them loosely in a mesh bag or thin towel, then go outside and swing them around your head.


 Kosher Dill Pickles

Adapted from Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking

Splitting your pickles in half, or slicing them into spear, might ferment them quicker, potentially within one day even. Try it out and let us know if it works!

  • 4 quarts (scant 4l) water
  • 6 tablespoons coarse white salt (kosher, if available)
  • 18-20 pickling cucumbers, scrubbed with ends cut off
  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly-crushed
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice (recipe below)
  • 1 large bunch of dill, preferably going to seed, washed

1. In a large pot, bring 1 qt (1l) water to a boil with the salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the remaining water.

2. Prepare three 1 quart (liter) wide jars by running them through the dishwasher or filling them with boiling water, then dumping it out.

3. Pack the cucumbers vertically into the jars, making sure they’re tightly-packed. As you fill the jars, divide the garlic, spices, and dill amongst them.

4. Fill the jars with brine so that the cucumbers are completely covered. Cover the jars with cheesecloth, secured with rubber bands, or loosely with the lids. Store in a cool, dark place for 3 days.

5. After 3 days, taste one. The pickles can ferment from 3 to 6 days. The longer the fermentation, the more sour they’ll become. Once the pickles are to your liking, refrigerate them.

Homemade Pickling Spice- combine all
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons dill seed
2 tablespoons allspice berries
1 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
10-12 bay leaves, crumbled

Dilly Beans

Adapted from Food in Jars


  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed to fit your jars
  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (5%)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling or fine sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons dill seed
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flake
  • 4 cloves garlic


  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 4 pint jars. Place 4 lids in a small pot of water and bring to a bare simmer.
  2. Wash and trim your beans so that they fit in your jar and leave about an inch of headspace. If you have particularly long beans, your best bet is to cut them in half, although by doing so, you do lose the visual appeal of having all the beans standing at attending.
  3. Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  4. Divide the dill seed, peppercorns, red chili flake, and garlic cloves evenly between the four jars.
  5. Pack the beans into the jars over the spices.
  6. Pour the boiling brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  7. Gently tap the jars on the counter to loosen any trapped air bubbles. For stubborn air pockets, use a chopstick to wiggle them free.
  8. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  9. When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
  10. Once jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals.
  11. Sealed jars can be stored on the pantry shelf for up to one year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten promptly.
  12. These beans want to hang out for a least two weeks before eating, to thoroughly develop their flavor.

Cantaloupe and Tomato salad with Mint

This recipe will work well with a Crenshaw melon as well, so have no fear, replace canteloupe with crenshaw if that is what you have in your share this week

adapted from Farmer John’s Cookbook

  • 1/2 small cantaloupe, balled or cut in 1 inch pieces (~1 cup)
  • about 1 cup halved and/or diced cherry tomatoes
  • about 1 cup peeled, diced cucumber
  • 1 large rib celery, diced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, plus some for garnish
  • 1 tblsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Combine the cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumber and celery in a large salad bowl

2. Whisk the yogurt, mint, sherry vinegar, honey and lemon juice in a small bowl.

3. Pour the dressing over the melon salad and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste; garnish with mint leaves.



Adapted from Shoot to Cook.

This salsa makes for a good bed to grilled shrimp or other grilled seafood. Combine with a side of rice for a complete meal!


3-4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted
1 large red onion, cut into large fat slices
3-4 tablspoons of olive oil
4-5 ears of fresh sweet corn, shucked and cleaned
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
1 small jalepeno, chopped fine
2-3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Brush the peaches and onion slices with olive oil and grill over a pre-heated, medium hot grill until soft (between 8-20 minutes depending on how ripe the peaches are). I found that the onions took much less time so they came off the grill first. Meanwhile, place the ears of corn on the grill as well (no need to brush with oil) and grill until some kernels are charred and the corn overall starts to turn golden. Note: if you have very fresh and young sweet corn, it requires almost no cooking – you could almost get away with not grilling it at all if you choose.

Once everything is grilled, cut the peaches into bit sized pieces (try to reserve as much juice as possible) and add to a large bowl. Mince the grilled onions and add to the peaches. Cut the corn off the ears with a knife and add to the bowl along with the ginger, jalapeno, cilantro and green onions. Pour lime juice over the ingredients, then gently mix so as not to crush the delicate peaches. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can either serve it immediately or put it in the fridge. A couple hours in the fridge made the flavors meld a bit better.

Peach, Raspberry, and Blueberry Rustic Tart

For the pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed 
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp cold water

For the filling

  • 3 ripe yellow peaches
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 half pint blueberries
  • 1 half pint raspberries


To make the dough, put the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a food processor or electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and cold water. Continue to mix on low until a dough forms. Gather the dough together and form it into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Meanwhile, get your filling ready.

For the filling, peel and thinly slice the peaches. In a medium bowl, combine them with the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the raspberries and blueberries and mix very gently. Set aside.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large tray with baking paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Place it on the baking tray.

Spread the peach filling, gently so as not to smoosh the raspberries, across the tart, leaving a 2 inch border around the edges.

Fold the edges in roughly, but making sure they are sealed.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until the tart is golden. Serves 6.



As Always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

All the Best,

The FarmShare Team
Applecrest Farm Orchards
133 Exeter Road, Hampton Falls NH 03844

Tel: +1 603 926 3721

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Applecrest Farm | 133 Exeter Road (Rt.88) | Hampton Falls, NH 03844 | Phone 603.926.3721 |