July 13, 2008

Week 45

Roll out those lazy hazy crazy days of summer! Well, at least the hazy and crazy part’s right. 110 today, 112 tomorrow. We’re buying Gatorade by the pallet but still can’t work much past noon in the field. The good news is that fruit trees shut down in this weather and actually slows the ripening process. Fruit ripens fastest on the tree at 80 degrees which happens to be great weather to work a long day.
Our heavy chickens on the other hand don’t do well in the heat and without an elaborate cooling system we’d be sunk. But elaborate we’ve got. A computer controlled environment that basically creates a wind tunnel. The houses close up at 74 degrees; huge fans start kicking on as the temperature rises, drawing the air through 6 inch thick 5 foot tall 80 foot long cool cells. Fog banks down the house help even more and when it’s all running harmoniously, we can drop the temperature a good 20 degrees plus a 5 mph wind chill exchanging the air in a 20,000 square foot house every 40 seconds. Still, we can only do so much. We’re in control up to about 100-103. After that, another degree outside is another degree inside and you’re just hoping all the motors and pumps and back-up generators hold together.
I use the same technology in the fruit packing shed so it’s remarkably comfortable. Yester-day, to lighten things up I went up on the pack line with a garden hose and started squirting the girls who grabbed theirs and returned the favor. Work stopped for a few minutes, but we had fun and some of us got cooler than others.
You know, there’s a way to deal with whatever life throws at us and a little spontaneous good humor goes a long ways in most cases. “We can’t control the storm” I think the saying goes, “but we can trim the sails.” My greeting on these days is “Hey, you don’t need a coat today, and your fingers aren’t cold!” Each of us can do our little thing to brighten the day of the folks around us. I know many of you do already. It’s an abundance mentality that we either have or we don’t. People either see the world through an abundant or a scarce lens. Those who choose to see it as scarce, live small and/or selfish. Those who realize that the resources around them are only limited by sunlight broaden their capacity to enjoy whatever life delivers. Do what you can today to bring an abundance mentality to your corner of the world!

I’m sure you’re not surprised that we are going to have to raise our prices. Frankly, I’m surprised we made it this long. Probably too much Abundance mentality for my own good. Starting the week of the 21st for delivery the 25th and 26th we’ll be at $19.80 for the small and $33.80 for the large. Deposit for new folks will be $22.00 but doesn’t affect any of you. The cost of plastic made out of oil is the reason. Still better than wasting $1.50 on cardboard each week. Our new small boxes will be here in a few weeks, and they’re way cool!
Hey, you don’t need a coat today! Enjoy the produce EAT HEALTHY

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We may have another first for some of you. It is an orange flesh melon. Orange flesh melon is actually a cross between a honeydew and a cantaloupe. But wait, this melon apparently has another name. It is often called a Temptation Melon. With a name like that it must be good.
The flesh of this melon is very similar to the cantaloupe, but with a bit more delicate flavor, like the honeydew. When you cut it open you will see the similarity it bears to the cantaloupe and you will prepare it in the same manner by removing the netting and seeds before serving it. This melon actually shares the taste qualities of both melons. The orange flesh melons will turn a pale orange shade when they are fully ripe.
These melons make a perfect addition to breakfast served alone or with yogurt. Try adding a sprinkle of ginger, salt or a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to kick up the flavor of this sweet juicy treat.
This melon is best served chilled and is a great addition to a fruit salad, or to a refreshing drink, such as fruit punch.

Here is what you will find in this week’s box.
-Seasonal Stone Fruit
The Peterson Family, Kingsburg
-Orange Flesh Melon
John France, Porterville
-Sweet Corn
Don Warkentine, Kingsburg
-Clip Top Carrots
California Organic, Lamont
-Yellow Crookneck Squash
-Mediterranean Cucumbers*
-Red Roasting Potatoes
T & D Willey, Madera
Kyle Reynolds, Kingsburg
*Denotes Large Box Only
Contents may vary due to availability on date of delivery.

If you are having a problem removing the corn silk here are a couple of hints. Use a wet paper towel and run it down the cob. The silk will stick to the towel. Another option is an unused tooth brush. Use the brush gently and brush down the cob. This will remove silk from between the kernels.

Grilled Tex-Mex Salad
4-6 ears of corn, husked with the silk removed
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (with the seeds if you like it hot)
1 chopped pepper (color is cook’s choice)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or full size tomatoes cut into pieces
Place the corn on the grill and roast, turning often, until golden brown on the outside. (You may boil the corn instead) When corn cools, cut the kernels off into a bowl. Add the onions, beans, jalapeno, peppers, and tomatoes, set aside.

2 Tbsp lime juice 4 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mild chili powder ½ tsp cumin
Salt and pepper

Combine in a small bowl and pour over the corn mixture and toss. Let sit in the refrigerator for an hour, or overnight, before serving.

Black Bean Salsa
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups of corn
1-2 tomatoes seeded and diced
½ cup diced onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded (leave the seeds if you enjoy the heat)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover and chill overnight. Taste and add salt and pepper, or more lime juice as necessary. Serve with tortilla chips or with grilled chicken breast as a side.

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