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July 24th, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 24 July 12

What’s happening on the farm this week?

Here’s a headline: “U.S. declares largest natural disaster area ever”.  Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture declared natural disaster areas in more than 1,000 counties and 26 drought-stricken states, making it the largest natural disaster in America’s history.  Wow.  And while in our little neck of the woods we failed to make “the list”, ’tis dry as ever.  Today’s much needed impressive downpours were, unfortunately, all too brief and sudden, most of it washing straight off the bone dry soil and right into the drainage ditch.  Bummer!

Onward we go, tho.  Corn is spiking out from the heat and drought but first ears will be harvested tomorrow.  Peaches and melons are gorgeous and yummy and my favorite summer treat.  Peaches in now and melons to follow next week.  Like all things early this season, so too the apples.  When was the last time you ate a fresh off the tree NH apple in the 3rd week July?

Hope you’re all enjoying the shares!

What’s in this week’s boxes?


Blueberries: Patriot, Reka, Draper & Blue Gold

White Peaches: Sugar May, White Lady & Hale

Early Apples: Puritan, Lodi & Wellington & “No Name”


Tricolore Pole Beans

Root Veggie Medley: Beets, Turnips, Carrots and Scallions


Savoy Cabbage

Red Leaf Lettuce



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!


Tricolore Beans

Storage + Handling Tips

Store dry 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.



Storage & Handling Tips: Beets can stay in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. Remove the leaves and place the beets in a plastic bag and the beets within a damp paper towel. Whole beets should not be frozen if they are more than 2 inches across. scrub, boil, skin, cool and then cut into desired slice and freeze in a labeled plastic bag or container for up to 6 months.

Cooking: Beets are edible both raw and cooked. raw, with all their nutrients still plentiful and un-lost, they are great as a crudite on a veg platter or shredded into a salad.  They add color to dishes, whether it is a deep purpley red, yellow like Burpee’s Golden, or orangey with pink woven rings like Chioggia. They can be boiled whole (don’t top and tail until after it’s cooked). Scrub clean and then boil in salted water for about 2 hours, depending on the size, until a knife smoothly cuts through – but don’t test it too many times as the damage will cause bleeding. Beets can also be roasted in tin foil with olive oil for about an hour at 425F. After the beets have been cooked, cut the top and bottoms off and peel under running water. The leaves can be sauteed and cooked just like spinach or eaten raw after washing. beets can also be pickled!
Warning: beet juice stains!! wear cloves and an apron. cutting off the leaves will also cause bleeding sap.


Beet and Cabbage with Horseradish


1 bunch red beets
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
1 tbsp hot horseradish

Put the beets in a pot with water to cover and boil until tender; about 45 minutes (depending on size). Allow the beet to cool, then peel it (leave the stem end on to give you something to hang onto) then grate. Mix it with the finely shredded cabbage. There should be rougly equal amounts of each. Put the brown sugar, vinegar and salt in a small pot an heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Mix in the horseradish, and toss this dressing into the beets and cabbage. Let the salad marinate for 2 hours to overnight before serving.


Sauteed Beet and Bean Salad

5-6 beets

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 1/2 mixed yellow & green beans, trimmed

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) butter

2 tbsp lemon juice


Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss beets with oil in a roasting pan, sprinkle with salt, then with foil. Bake until beets are tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and let beets stand at room temperature. Peel beets when cool enough to handle. Cut beets into quarters or halves depending on size.

Cook haricots verts in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add lemon juice, then beets. Toss well. Stir in beans and parsley; sauté until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature. Feel free to serve on top of a bed of red romaine lettuce with some fresh sungold tomatoes.

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 yellow and 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.

Farmer’s Boiled Dinner

2 lbs beef brisket (corned)

1 bay leaves

3 gold potatoes (yukon, quartered or 9 small red, left whole)

2 onions (peeled keep the stem to hold)

3 carrots (peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces)

1 turnips (baby, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces)

1-2 parsnips (peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces)

4 beets (included recipe optional serve)

12 green cabbage (cored and cut into 8 chunks)


Rinse corned beef with cold water, place in large pot and bring to a boil.

Skim off surface scum once it reaches a boil.

Add bay leaves, cover and simmer for two hours.

Add potatoes and onions, cook for 20 minutes.

Add carrots, turnips and parsnips, cook for 30 more minutes.

Meanwhile, put beets in large pot of cold water and bring to boil.

Add large pinch of salt, reduce heat to low simmer, half cover and continue cooking for 35 minutes, then strain.

When cool, remove peels and put beets in gratin dish with butter and/or vinegar in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

When assembling the dish, do not include the beets with the other veggies. Serve them as are in their own gratin dish.

Remove meat from pot and place on oven proof platter or roasting pan, cover with tinfoil and place in the oven with the beets.

Bring the broth and vegetable mixture up to a boil and add the cabbage. Boil for 5 minutes and then turn down to a simmer and cook for at least 3 more minutes, more if you like softer cabbage (I do it for 10 more minutes).

Slice the meat and serve on a platter, surrounded by the vegetables and some of the stock or pot liqueur


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.


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 |