CSA Newsletter: Week 12 (August 6th, 2012)

Hello CSA members!

This week we hope to bring you cantaloupe, green beans, chiles OR potatoes, zucchini OR cucumbers, tomatoes OR cherry tomatoes, and basil. Large share members will also get chiles AND potatoes, kohlrabi, and a large share “grab bag” choice. Fruit share members will be getting peaches!

In this week’s newsletter:


Farm Stand Now Open!

Posted by Maddie

As you may have already heard (or seen), Red Wagon’s farm stand opened last week! Look for the big red and white striped tent in the shopping center at the corner of 95th and Arapahoe in Lafayette.

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The stand is open from 10-7 on weekdays and 9-7 on weekends. We have some amazing goodies at the farm stand, including fresh roasted chilies, peaches and other fruit from the Western Slope, sweet corn, and lots and lots of organic Red Wagon veggies! I stopped by on Saturday and got some great stuff. I hope you check it out.

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Fresh Tomato Salsa

Posted by Maddie

I had a great time sharing my farm bounty with friends this weekend. Saturday night we made Chiles Rellenos for a vegetarian visitor (more on Chiles to come from Mo), along with some fresh tomato salsa and homemade tortilla chips. I made a trip to our farmstand for a few items (jalapenos, garlic etc.) that I didn’t have in my veggie collection. It was well worth it and I definitely recommend checking out our farmstand if you haven’t already.

*Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion (or any onion), diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (removing the seeds and veins will get rid of a lot of the heat, keep them if you like it spicy)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2-6 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch black pepper

Start by dicing your tomatoes. I had some beautiful heirlooms, including a Green Giant from the Friday harvest.

Put your diced tomatoes in a colander set over a medium-sized bowl, so the juices can drain while you chop everything else. You can either leave your salsa chunky or run it through your blender for a smooth version. If you are planning on blending your salsa (which I did), don’t worry about chopping things too perfectly.

Next, chop your garlic, jalapeno, cilantro and onion and layer on top of your tomatoes in the colander.

I used about half of a Red Wagon jalapeno with the seeds and veins. You can either remove the seeds and veins for a little less heat, or leave them in to turn it up a notch. Either way, be forewarned, our jalapenos definitely pack a punch.

Once you think enough juice has drained from your tomatoes (15 minutes was fine for me), you can empty the bowl and add your chunky vegetables. Next add your lime juice, salt, cumin, and pepper and blend until smooth or leave it chunky. This is what mine looked like when it was finished.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Just for fun, we made our own tortilla chips to go with the salsa. I realize this doesn’t involve any of your CSA veggies, but it’s really fun and tasty!

Heat some oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. The exact temperature isn’t that important, just make sure it isn’t going to burn your chips. While your oil is heating up, take some nice corn tortillas and cut them into quarters.

Fry them in oil, flipping a few times, until they are bubbly and a nice golden brown. Don’t overcrowd your skillet.

Remove the chips from the oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a little salt, and voila! Happy munching.



Tomatoes Being Planted

Posted by Mo

You are getting either cherry tomatoes or slicing tomatoes in your share this week. Cherry tomatoes mature a week or so sooner than the slicers so we mostly have cherries right now.

I took this picture on May 15th. Javier, Sylvester and I think that is Robert are planting the tomatoes that were harvested for you today.

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We start our tomatoes in a greenhouse and plant them out very young.

We use a nifty machine called a ‘waterwheel’ to transplant our greenhouse starts.

Two people sit on the back of the waterwheel and the tractor pulls them along the row to be planted. The tractor has already been down that row and put down red or black plastic mulch and drip tape.

This is the back of the waterwheel. Two people sit next to each other and the plants are in trays in easy reach. See the wheel between the two seats? That is the part of the machine that punches the holes in the plastic. As the tractor moves down the row pulling the water wheel, it punches holes in the plastic and waters at the same time.

This is the part of the machine that punches the hole in the plastic.

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There they go.

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Roasted Chilies

Posted by Mo

You are getting roasted chilies as a choice today. These will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. If you can’t use them right away they freeze beautifully. We will offer roasted chilies a few more times so make sure you save some in your freezer for winter. Also, if you are a real chili head our Farm Stand is open at 95th and Arapahoe. You can get more chilies there, or anything else you are getting in your CSA share if you need more of something.
Red Wagon is licensed to sell roasted chilies by Boulder County Health Department, so rest assured, the chilies you are getting are handled safely for you.

CSA members often ask how and where we roast our chilies. I thought it might be easier to show you than tell you so I went to the Farm Stand this morning and took a picture. They weren’t roasting when I was there but I think you can figure out how it happens buy seeing a picture of the roaster.

Pretty fancy huh? Amy, did you just laugh out loud seeing a picture of our chili roaster? There it is, in all its glory.
Ta-dah.

Preparing a roasted chili 101.

Here is a before roasting and after roasting picture of a chili.

You will want to remove the charred skin because it tastes like cellophane.

Then remove the veins and seeds. Use the back of your knife to scrape the seeds and veins out.

Now go make yourself a quesadilla with all the good vegetables we grew for you.

Have a great week,
– Mo

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