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July 17th, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 17 July 12

What’s happening on the farm this week?

Well…whatever rain dance y’all did last week had all the wrong moves.  It didn’t work.  We are DRY, DRY, DRY!  This week is all about water management and irrigating as best we can.  With lack of water, beets are having a hard time sizing up.  Hopefully sometime soon on those.  Final plantings of all your fall brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts) will hopefully take place by end week.  Early peaches and cukes are in and of these you’ll get your first tasters.  A bit of a lull in the tomato stocks as we wait for our 3rd green house and field plantings to come to fruit.  Melons and corn are on their way while we swim in squashes, peas and green beans.  Besides that, we’re just trying to beat the heat, starting before the sun and, hopefully, ending just past it’s zenith.

What’s in this week’s boxes?





Mixed Micro Salad Greens

Braising Mix


Green Beans

English Shell Peas


Summer Squash



Storage, handling and general cooking tips


Storage + Handling

Peaches, like tomatoes, are climacteric, which means they will continue to ripen after they are picked. Leave them on the counter to soften to your liking before eating or stick them in a paper bag with a banana to quicken to ripening process. If your peaches are already at the softness you desire, store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. They should last up to a week. But please do not put under-ripe fruit in the fridge as it will dry out the flesh and turn mealy. When testing for ripeness, be gentle, never squeeze or press hard on the peach. Peaches blemish and tear easily. Wash peaches in cool, soapy water just before you intend to use them. To remove the peach stone, slice the fruit lengthwise around the pit, down to the stone. Then, twist each half in opposite directions to release the peach from the stone. Peaches are chock full of vitamins A and C and potassium.

If you plan to cook with your peaches, peel the skin first. To do this, cut an X with a sharp knife at the bottom of the peach and pop in boiling water to blanch for a couple seconds, then quickly put into a bowl of ice water. The ice water will stop the peach from continuing to cook and the skin will easily peel away. If the fruit is incredibly ripe, blanching is probably not necessary. You can just pare it with a knife.

If you are using cut fruit, sprinkle some lemon over it to stop it from browning as the exposure to air will cause enzymatic browning.


Storage + Handling

Blueberries will last up to 10 days, covered, in the refrigerator as long as they are kept dry. Just before using, wash and drain well. Blueberries also freeze well. Sort your berries, wash and dry them thoroughly (very important that they are dry!) Spread berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once hard, store in a labeled Ziploc bag.

Raw blueberries are delicious as is – just pop them in your mouth for an anytime snack. For a vitamin boost, (they are high in vitamins C and K, plus pack some powerful antioxidants and fiber) add them to salad, smoothies, a glass of lemonade, or a bowl of yogurt or cereal. Blueberries are yummy baked in pancakes, muffins, pies, cobblers, and crisps. Blueberries make wonderful jam!

English Shell Peas

Storage + Handling Tips

Peas can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 5 days, but it’s best to eat them as soon as possible. Just pull the string across the top to open the pod, then push the peas out with your thumb. Peas also freeze well if you want to save them for a winter treat. Blanch the peas first in boiling water to kill any enzymes or bacteria that naturally occur in all veggies, as well as to help the peas maintain their nice green color, texture and freshness. You should only blanch for about 90 seconds, then immediately cool them in a bowl of ice water. Drain and dry the peas then pop them in a labeled Ziploc in the freezer.

I love shelling peas. It is meditative when done alone on the porch and lots of fun when you involve the rest of the family or a group of friends. Just hand your guests a bunch of shell peas, a bowl for the shells, and a bowl for the peas. You’ll notice their hands and their mouths immediately start working. We shell peas for hours beneath the crab apple tree on the Fourth of July. The game we play when shelling is to see who can find the shell with the most peas inside. My personal record is 11. Last night our best was 9. I wonder how many you’ll find!

Peas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, thiamine (B1), niacin, iron, zinc and phosphorus. They are delicious boiled and then topped with herbs like mint or parsley, or added to risottos, omelettes, pastas, soups, and casseroles.


Zucchini + Summer Squash

Storage + Handling Tips

Zucchini and summer squash respire through their skins, so they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible.  Store them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin, or refrigerate them in a sealed plastic container lined with a towel.  In the refrigerator, they keep for about a week. Before eating, rinse the veggies under running water to remove any dirt, then slice off the stem and blossom ends.  They can be cut into rounds, quarters, or chunks.


Zucchini and squash are great grilled. Slice the veggies lengthwise, then top with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving add some slivers of basil or pesto. You can also cube them and put them on a kabob with cherry tomatoes, meat, and peppers before grilling. If you don’t want to fire up the grill, zucchini and squash also fry well. Just slice and put in a sauté pan over medium heat with butter or olive oil. When almost done, reduce heat to medium-low, top with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and cover pan until the cheese melts. Your side dish is done!

Green Beans

Storage + Handling Tips

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.

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 + Handling

Just-picked cucumbers dehydrate faster than the waxy supermarket variety, so be sure to put them in the refrigerator right away.  If you store unwashed cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper bin, they should hold for at least a week.  Cucumbers store best at around 45 degrees F, but refrigerators are usually set cooler than this.  Keep cucumbers tucked far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus fruits, as these give off ethylene gas that accelerates cucumber deterioration.

You can do a lot of fancy things to the skin of a cucumber, and when it is young, fresh, and unwaxed, it really only needs to be thoroughly washed.  However, if the skin seems tough or bitter you can remove it. If the seeds are bulky, slice the cucumber lengthwise and scoop them out.  Scoring the skin of a cucumber with a fork or citrus zester gives it attractive stripes and may help release any bitterness.  Slice, dice, or cut a cucumber into chunks according to specifications given in your recipe.

Cucumbers are delicious raw in sandwiches, salads, or as a tasty mid-day snack. Add cucumbers to egg or tuna salad for a crun or simply sprinkle with salt.

-Marinated cucumbers are popular at picnics.

-Use cucumbers in chilled summer soups, such as cold borscht.

-Many ethnic cuisines feature cucumbers in condiments like raita (an Indian yogurt salad).

-Try the succulence and mild flavor of cooked cucumbers.


Summer Salad

This one is for the vegans among us! Plus, there is nothing better than a cold salad when it is hot, hot, hot!



1 cup uncooked Speltberries (or wheatberries or other grain- makes 2 cups cooked)

1 15-oz can chickpeas (or 1.5-2 cups cooked chickpeas or other bean)

2 cups chopped peaches

1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 cup blueberries

4-5 cups kale

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Salt, pepper, and cinnamon, to taste



1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1.5-2 tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon, to taste

1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste


1. Cook one cup of dry speltberries (or wheatberries) in a pot with 3 cups water until tender (about 25-30 mins). Drain and place in large bowl with drained and rinsed chickpeas.

2. Meanwhile, sauté the kale leaves until tender. Chop the almonds, berries, and peaches. Place in bowl with chickpeas and speltberries.

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste. You may need more maple syrup or oil to suit your own taste. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serves 4.


Grilled Peach Salad


2 1/2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and Pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
1 oz Parmesan, freshly grated

2 large peaches, halved, pits removed
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 frisee or mixed greens, washed and dried
small bunch of fresh mint leaves


Put the goat cheese in a pestle and mortar with sea salt and pepper – easy on the salt because the cheese will already be salty. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mix. Add the Parmesan and mix again, but not for too long.

Put the halved peaches cut down on a hot griddle pan or on the grill to char them on both sides. Remove from the heat and either place them on a platter or between four plates. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, toss the frisee leaves with the goat cheese dressing, tossing together gently. Place next to the peaches on the plate and grate over some Parmesan. Finish the plate with some freshly cut mint leaves scattered over the top. Feel free to add some chopped walnuts or some bits of salty cured meat like Spanish Jamon, Italian Parma ham or Speck.


Tri-Color Bean Salad


1 1/2 lb beans (1 share bag)

2 cups green peas (fresh or frozen)

2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed

1 tsp mustard seeds

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1 mild chile, seeded and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp chopped tarragon

1 cup chard leaves

Sherry or red wine vinegar


Blanch the green beans in a pot of salted boiling water for 4 minutes then immediately drain in a colander under cold water. Wash the purple beans and add them to the beans. In another pot of boiling water, blanch the peas for about 20 seconds then drain and dry and combine with the beans.

Put the coriander and mustard seeds with the oil in a small pan over moderate heat. Once they begin to pop, pour over the beans and peas. Toss together and add the red onion, chile, garlic, lemon zest and tarragon. Mix well and season. Fold in the chard leaves or salad mix and sprinkle with the vinegar. Would be delicious also with some pesto.



Chicken Salad with Cucumber and Tomato

Martha Stewart Living

Try this no-mayo chicken salad. It’s light and refreshing.


2 tomatoes, quartered, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

½ cucumber, cut into 1-inch chunks

½ cup plain yogurt

2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

4 pitas, halved crosswise

Romaine lettuce leaves

½ cup fresh mint

1 tablespoon oregano


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place yogurt in a fine sieve and set over a small bowl to drain for 30 minutes. Combine tomatoes and cucumbers ina medium bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat and let sit for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt on chicken breasts, season with pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until chicken hits 160 degrees (20-25 minutes). Let stand until chicken is cool enough to handle. Shred chicken into 1-inch chunks and let cool completely.

Drain tomato-cucumber mixture. Add drained yogurt, chicken, lemon, garlic, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Season with pepper to taste and stir.

Toast pitas and fill with romaine leaves, then chicken salad. Top with herbs.


Refreshing Cucumber Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing

Savvy vegetarian


2 cucumbers, chopped

1/4 cup packed, roughly chopped mint leaves

1/2 cup chopped red onion

2-3 tsp chopped fresh dill


1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (Stir can well before measuring out)

1/2 cup packed mint leaves

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp black pepper



1. Chop the cucumbers, red onion, 1/4 cup packed fresh mint and dill. Place into large bowl and combine.

2. In a food processor, make the dressing by processing the rest of the ingredients (coconut milk, mint, olive oil, lime juice, maple syrup, salt + pepper). Process until mostly smooth (tiny mint speckles will remain).

3. Pour the dressing onto the cucumber salad and mix well. Chill for an hour or two or serve immediately. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings. Dressing will keep


Grilled English Peas


Fresh English shell peas in their pods

olive oil

kosher salt

balsamic vinegar (optional)

fresh mint leaves thinly sliced (optional)

1.  Prepare your grill for high direct heat

2.  Place a handful of peas into a bowl and drizzle olive oil over them. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Toss to coat with oil and salt.

3.  Place peas on hot grill, arranged in a way so that they don’t fall through the grill grates. Grill a few minutes on each side, so that the peas are well charred, and sufficiently cooked so that the peas are tender inside.

4.  Remove to a bowl and drizzle with a little balsamic and toss with a little mint if you want.

Eat like edamame. Put the pod in your mouth and scrape against the salty, charred surface of the pod to extract the peas. Discard the empty pods.


Alina’s Mom’s Zucchini Blueberry Bread


3 eggs
1 cup veg oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 med zucchini, grated and drained
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup blueberries


Preheat oven to 375F. Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl. Stir in oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Stir in the raisins and blueberries. Spoon onto a well greased 8 X 5 X 3″ loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until done. Cool in pan on a wine rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.



Baked Zucchini or Squash Halves Stuffed with Wild Rice and Quinoa


1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise (or 2 smaller)

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 cup cooked wild rice

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 rib celery, chopped

3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 teaspoon salt

butter (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

2. Cut out the center from each half of zucchini with a paring knife, being careful not to puncture the bottom or the sides; reserve the centers.  Transfer the hollow halves, cut-side up, to a baking dish.

3. Coarsely chop the zucchini centers and put them in a large bowl  Add the quinoa, wild rice, and Parmesan.  Stir well combined.

4.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and celery; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the bread crumbs and salt.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the bread crumbs are well mixed in and heated through, about 1 minute.

5. Add the bread crumb mixture to the quinoa/rice mixture and combine well.

6. Stuff hollow zucchini halves with the quinoa/rice mixture.  Cover with aluminum foil; bake for 40 minutes.

7.  Remove the foil.  If you wish, dot each half with a pat of butter. Continue baking until zucchini is very tender and the filling is golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes.  Serve Warm

As always, if any questions, always feel free to email us or give us a call!

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 |