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Tennessee & Alabama CSA

Doe Run Farm, Petersburg, Tennessee

Farm Newsletter June 9, 2020

Greetings from the farm!

It’s hard to believe how quickly the weeks in the CSA season pass! We hope you are cooking up a storm in your kitchen and enjoying all the wonderful things the earth provides for us.

Thank You’s – We want to thank everyone for getting to your pick up locations “on time” and for keeping the locations “contact free”.  It get’s under my skin that I can’t meet up and visit at our delivery locations with everyone.  As many of you know, John and I haven’t delivered your shares in several years, and when the time came for us to start delivering again, I was happy because I could visit at least a few minutes with everyone at pick up.  Then came Covid 19 and everything changed.  For the time being we will have to forego visiting, but we can look forward to a time in the future when we can do that once again.

Since we can’t tell each of you in person, we will thank you in this Newsletter.  We want you to know that every member participating in the farm’s CSA is an important part of Community Supported Agriculture. The “C” in CSA stands for Community.  When you support CSA from Doe Run Farms, you are helping not just one farm, but depending on the time of the year – a minimum of 10 family farms with the costs of operating their farm.  We are not commodity farmers who get subsidies from the government,  we just grow food and we all appreciate the support you give us.

There was a link on your registration form that you could click on to print a copy of the CSA Guidelines for 2020.  If you missed seeing it, please let me know and I will send you a copy.  Everyone needs to have the CSA Guidelines to know what to do when something comes up unexpectedly during the CSA season.  You will need to be able to refer to your copy.  

Farm news: The crops are coming along, and have “perked up” with the few days of sunshine that we’ve had recently.  Needless to say we need more days like that to keep things growing.  This week we have had a lot of summer squash being harvested you will see that reflected in your share this week.  Cucumbers have made their debut in your share as well, and you will get more lettuce in your share too.

Veggie News:  A word or two about your Lettuce.  The lettuce is grown hydroponically (in water, not soil).  In the hot and humid southern states, it’s darn near impossible to grow good crops of lettuce in the summer.  We are hoping to solve this problem using hydroponic lettuce that’s grown under controlled conditions.  There’s nothing like a good salad with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, etc. in the summertime.  We have been unable to grow it even in the tunnels for the entire summer, so we are trying it this way in order to be sure you have fresh lettuce.  Lettuce is not only delicious in salads and on sandwiches, it’s so good for you in the summer because it helps to keep you hydrated-it contains a lot of water!

As many of you know, we have for about the last ten years, donated food to Manna House in Huntsville and to a food pantry in Nashville.  We grade out the vegetables and fruit for your shares each delivery day, and the veggies and fruit that don’t make the “cut” to be placed in your shares, are donated. For our Huntsville area CSA members, In the event you missed out on knowing about this, Manna House has a Huge Hydroponic facility just outside Huntsville, and they are growing lettuce for us this season. We are helping one another in this partnership, and you will be the beneficiary.  Manna House is still in the process of learning to grow several crops hydroponically, and we hope that with our support and that of others within the greater Huntsville community, their venture will be a big success.

Storing your Lettuce: To get the most from your lettuce (it will still have its roots on it), trim the roots a tiny bit to make it more manageable. Initially it helps to submerge your lettuce with the roots intact into a container of cool water for a few minutes. Shake it off well or use a salad spinner. Then place it in a breathable produce bag and then into your crisper drawer. I usually use mine up pretty quick since we eat a lot of salads.

Berry Info: Eat the strawberries the same day you get them, or at least the next day after getting them.  They are very ripe now and we are approaching the end of strawberry season. If it rains just before they are picked they get mouldy if they aren’t eaten right away because they will absorb a lot of water.  

Home Delivery CSA’ers:  Thanks for remembering to put those coolers and ice blocks out for us on your home delivery day!  Thank you also for making room for the farm van to turn around in your driveway.  You are terrific! 

Your CSA Boxes:  We do not re-use ANY of the boxes we deliver your shares in this season because of the infectious nature of the Covid 19 virus.  Toss them out or re-use them yourself.  They are really nice sturdy waxed boxes.  

We still have some CSA shares that we would like to sell if any of your friends are interested.  Since the season has begun, the shares are being pro-rated and the price shown on the website is the share price as of that date.  If you are enjoying your share, won’t you consider writing a review for the farm’s CSA on, or any other site where reviews are posted.  Many of our CSA members have found us with a Google search, although most find us through friends.

“What’s in the box this week”?  Cucumbers, Radishes, Lettuce, Green Beans (a different variety this week), summer Squash, Bulb Onions (beautiful ones too), Zucchini.  (Some but not all of these will be in your shares – sometime substitutions are necessary).

Please continue to wear your masks at pick up. With drive through pick up there is no need to get out of your car.  Please pop the trunk of your car before getting in line.  A friendly reminder, we only place shares in the trunk of your car not Inside your vehicle (car or truck).  Thank you for being considerate.    

Recipe of the week:  Favorite Shortcake for Berries or Peaches:  Sift 2c. flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 tbs. sugar.  Mix in 1/2 c. oil well, until evenly distributed.  Beat 1 egg and 5/8 c. milk and mix with dry ingredients.  Pat out with oiled hands or use a plastic spatula to spread dough onto an oiled cookie sheet to about 1/2 ” thick.  Bake @375 deg about 20 min. (we use all whole wheat flour with fine results)  Cut up strawberries, whip the cream….mmmm

Until next week, stay safe and be well friends,