News & Views:  Peek in the Box (Market Report) 


News and announcements about Plow Creek’s community-supported agriculture program and its weekly subscription produce boxes.

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I’d like to put out a little correction for some mis-information in yesterday’s CSA newsletter for Evanston. What you received (with the little paper wrappings) WERE, in fact, GROUND CHERRIES. They are not the same as tomatillos (despite what many internet references say - oy!), and so the tomatillo salsa recipe is not exactly relevant.

Ground cherries are good for making jam, pie, or just for snacking on. I was popping them all afternoon yesterday and they are quite enjoyable! Just remove the paper-y wrapping and enjoy!

Sorry everyone. I hope you did not already go to the efforts of making a rather weird batch of salsa (or maybe it was tasty - who knows?!). Perhaps we will have tomatillos coming some other week. -tatiana : )


Hello CSA subscribers… these notes are mostly just for Evanston, so sorry to all those on this list who are not included. Feel free to ignore!

I have a few post-CSA notes to share with y’all. It seems that even in our 12th week of deliveries, there are still some crimps to work out!

-There were still several watermelons left in the garage as of this morning. They were given away at House of Manna (free food distribution to people in the neighborhood). I gave you all a warning last week, so I don’t feel too bad, but it does stress me out a little bit to give away food that technically belongs to other people. If you do not want your watermelon, give it away to a friend! I prefer that to me having to make the decision to give it away.

-A couple of other things were not picked up this week, which have also been taken (this was not necessarily intentional by me, but I can’t completely control what happens in the Manna garage). I feel bad but I also want to note that I cannot much be responsible for your CSA boxes/orders after my 2-5 pm shift unless you specifically contact me with special instructions. I try to make it as easy as possible for subscribers to pick up late shares/orders, but I cannot track people down week after week or I would never get other work done!

-Becky Jones’ CSA box was gone when she went to the garage to pick it up. The next day there was a CSA box full of food in the garage, but with the newsletter missing (which had the subscribers’ name on it). I am not sure what happened in all of that, but thank you to whoever returned it (I have assumed this was Becky’s box, taken accidentally). Please be sure to take only the box with your name on it if you are a latecomer!!

-Last of all, PLEASE RETURN YOUR BOXES! We were short many boxes this week. If you live in the neighborhood or even will BE in the neighborhood, please bring your box back to the Manna garage, 726 Monroe. You can enter the garage at any time through the back door (it is covered in ivy) and leave your box.

Okay, that’s it. Hopefully I don’t come off like a nagging mother or something… thanks for reading all of these reminders! Peace to you. -tatiana : )


I ran out of room in the newsletter for this week, but I wanted to pass on a very yummy eggplant parmesan recipe to all of you.

Rogers Park, you are not getting eggplant this week, but hold onto the recipe because your time will come!

Eggplant Parmesan (slightly modified from the More With Less cookbook)

1 medium eggplant 1 cup bread crumbs cup Parmesan cheese 2 T chopped parsley 1 t. salt 1/8 t. pepper 1 t. oregano 6 tomatoes, chopped 2 green peppers, chopped 2 onions, chopped 2 T olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 2 T tomato paste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice eggplant in slices. Cover with hot water and let stand 5 minutes. Fry in oil until lightly browned (you may need to add water to the frying pan to keep eggplant from soaking up TONS of oil it is like a sponge!). Place eggplant in the bottom of a 9x13 backing pan.

Mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, and oregano and sprinkle over eggplant in baking pan.

Combine tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olive oil, garlic, and tomato paste in a saucepan, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Add extra salt or herbs if desired (oregano, basil, thyme, or marjoram are recommended). Spread on top of crumb mixture, and top with several handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese. Add extra Parmesan on top, if desired.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown. Serve over fettuccine or linguine pasta.

Serves 6.

Note — When Chico and I make this at the Clearing, I usually forego the sauce recipe from the cookbook and make my own standard marinara-type sauce which includes salt and herbs and maybe a little bit of Parmesan (you can never have too much Parmesan in this recipe, I suppose!).


Hello CSA sharers…

I was in the Manna garage today and noticed that there are still a few CSA boxes full of vegetables leftover from the Evanston pickup yesterday. I know that there are usually boxes left at the end of my shift but most of the season they have been faithfully picked up by Thursday.

I can take this as an official opportunity to let all of you know that if your box is still in the garage on Friday morning, we will give your vegetables away at the free food distribution!! If you are going to be on vacation some week, please do your best to have someone else pick up your box or at least let me know you’ll be gone and I will know to give your share away.

We also had four extra watermelons left in the garage from people who picked up their shares late but did not take watermelon along with it!! I will not give these away at the free food, but please come back sometime and get your melon if you have not already. Enter through the back door and they will be in a box somewhere easily accessible. If for some reason you don’t want your watermelon, please email or call me so I can give it away. Thanks! -tatiana : )


 
Evanston:
Watermelon
cherry tomatoes
walla walla sweet onions
carrots
basil
colored peppers
cabbage
garlic
edamame
 
The last item is also know as green edible soy beans.  Store in your fridge. You steam them in the pods for about 5 minutes and then they just slip out.  They're a bit like peas or lima beans.  We often serve them in the pods on the table and everyone slips their own beans out.  They freeze well.  Just blanch them until they slip out of the pods then freeze.  Cook like peas. 
 
Rogers Park
Watermelon
tomatoes
eggplant
walla walla sweet onions
cucumbers
jalepe=F1os
parsley
kale
tomatillos
 
Tomatillos can be roasted with other vegetables or used to make a green salsa (with jalepe=F1os and cilantro and onions)  Just briefly stir fry the onions and tomatillos (husked and halved) with a little oil then put that plus cilantro and jalepe=F1os in a blender and blend.  Yum!)  Store in fridge. 


Now is the time to stock up on Plow Creek tomatoes.  Canning tomatoes are available at $16 / bushel or $9 / half bushel.  A bushel weighs almost 50 pounds.  These are the same tomatoes we sell at market, but with blemishes which you can easily cut away.  To place an order, call 815-646-4862 or use the online order form.


Just a couple things I forgot related to the CSAs. 

One, please could we have the big plastic bags back.  Thanks! 

Two, our Walla Walla onions are getting older.  If people get ones that are rotting, please let us know and we’ll replace them next week.  We’re doing our best to sort them well, but they are sometimes hard to tell.  This note goes for last week as well.  But, people should also know that this type of onions are NOT keepers and should be used promptly.  Sorry about being slow in sending out this message. 
 
Erin





The tomatoes are rolling out the red carpet, and CSA members share in that bounty. Have you enjoyed your tomatoes enough to spread the juicy goodness further? Announcing the Wednesday August 8th special order, open to CSA members, neighbors, friends and well-behaved enemies:

Special Order:
Red Slicing Tomatoes
variety: Daybreak
birthplace: Tiskilwa, IL
upbringing: pesticide-free, natural fertilizers
size: typically 6 to 10 ounces each
quantity: 4 pounds or more
price: $1.50 / pound
pickup: Evanston / Rogers Park CSA, Wednesday afternoon
payment: mail check to Plow Creek Farm


Consider forwarding this offer to anyone you know who would appreciate such tomatoes, and could pick up at the CSA site or receive them from you.

These tomatoes are of the same ilk you received in this week’s CSA box, and a slightly larger quantity. Tomatoes will be included in next week’s box again, so members who order will essentially have a double share.

To place an order, visit the online order form or reply to this e-mail by 4PM Tuesday.


 
Looking like the following:
 
Evanston:
tomatoes
green peppers
kale
sweet onions
jalepeño peppers
cucumbers
green beans
 
Rogers Park:
tomatoes
green peppers
sweet onions
jalepeño peppers
swiss chard
garlic
cucumbers
zucchini
carrots
tomatillos


 
Evanston:
carrots
sweet onions
cucumbers
corn
cantaloupe
potatoes
cherry tomatoes
 
Rogers Park:
cilantro
cucumbers
sweet onion
boc choi
corn
cantaloupe
green beans
beets


This is what we're hoping for:
Evanston:
green beans
zucchini
kale
walla walla onion
basil
green pepper
cherry tomatoes
cucumbers
beets
potatoes
cantaloupe

Rogers Park:
cabbage
cucumbers
green onions
carrots
cantaloupe
cherry tomatoes
mint
green peppers
garlic
Swiss chard

The garden is throwing out much abundance now! And, we just got a nice shower, which should help keep it that way. 

Erin


Hoping to send…

Evanston:
Snap peas
Green beans
Kohlrabi or sweet turnips (opposite halves get what they didn’t get last week)
Potatoes
Cucumber
Carrots
Mint
Sweet onion
Blackberries
Cherry tomatoes
Swiss chard
 
Rogers Park:
Snap peas
Potatoes
Snow peas
Basil
Kale
Zucchini
Cherry tomatoes?
Sweet onion
Blackberries
 


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