June 30, 2012 

letter head csa

"No ray of sunlight is ever lost, but the green it wakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to live to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith."  - Albert Schweitzer


Zucchini's are arriving

     The first summer squash of the season are beginning to roll in this week.  Being that it has just begun, we hope to share 1 or 2 with each of you this week. Squash grows so rapidly that we are checking it each day to find what was 2 inches yesterday, could be 5-6 inches the following day.  We hope this will be a welcome new addition in growing abundance in the next few weeks.

 The squash bugs always seem to appear in the garden as soon as the squash plants do.  They are a well known visitor to any gardener growing squash, and not the easiest to treat organically.  We have met gardeners who grow mostly organically and still treat their squash with pesticides to evade the persistent critters.  We however do not.  We did plant many plants and rotate the location of them throughout the garden to see if it lowers the population this year.  We also work to strengthen the plants through heavy composting, plenty of water, mulch, and seaweed fertilizers to help them withstand the weakening effect the squash bugs bring.   I also spotted a young preying mantis yesterday, which I was delighted to see.  They like to prey on squash bugs, so they are a welcome visitor we refer to as a beneficial insect.  It is important to remember that pesticides would kill them off as well.  We have one honey bee hive here as well.  The honey bees in their generosity, pollinate the squash, which encourages a better crop, and then fly back to their hive and produce honey to share as well.  It is remarkable!

 When I get excited to share the coming abundance of the squash, I am reminded that ultimately this is up to our Creator, and we set the best intentions to care for the earth gently and be grateful when we reap the harvest we are gifted.  So I will share both the hardships and the ease and pray for an abundant squash harvest this year to share with you all.

As we were melting in the heat this morning the lettuce was increasing in it's bitterness.  Earlier this week, when it was cool, we thought we might send home the last batch of lettuce until fall, however the last two days were rather hot, which makes lettuce rather bitter, so we are going to lay those beds to rest until fall.

I picked the last of the sweet peas early this morning, and we will be sending them home this week. We intend to pull up the vines and replace those beds with winter squash (pumpkin, butternut, and spaghetti squash).  Just as my son told me he doesn't want to eat another sweet pea this year (he has spent a lot of time helping me in the sweet pea patch), it's time to lay the vines on the compost pile to produce nourishment for next year's crop.  I peeked at the row of green beans a row over from the sweet peas, and they are full of young little beans.  This week we will send you the end of the sweet peas, and maybe next week the green beans will be ready to share, God willing.

Change is in the air, as the season shifts you will begin to see the change reflected in your share as well.  Next up, tomatoes!  More about them next week. 

Chicken Tractor

The laying hens are new members to our work force in the garden.  We would chicken tractorlike to thank CSA member, Isa, for donating his time and talent!  He has repaired an old chicken tractor from here on the farm to house 17 laying hens and a rooster.  The chicken tractor is an enclosure that sits on the bare earth, giving the chickens fresh grass and bugs to munch on all day.  Jesse moves it once every evening, as they can clear an area down to the soil in no time.  They get the benefit of fresh pasture and we have them preparing new beds for us and fresh eggs too.   The enclosure keeps them protected from predators and from destroying beds that have your produce growing in them.  If all goes well with our trial run and the chickens fare well, we hope to expand our flock next spring and offer eggs to members as well.  Currently, they are enjoyed by the local community here.   
Thank you for joining us this season to share in the harvest and all of it's beauty, nourishment, and healing.  Scape Bracelet

Please contact us any time with questions.  You are always welcome to come visit!

Peace and Blessings~

Halima Willett
This Weeks Harvest
sweet white turnips
Sweet White Turnips
Sweet Peas
(Rutabaga and/or Kale)
Spring Onions
Featured Recipe
Basil Walnut Pesto 
(Tucson CSA Recipe)
basil in greenhouse
Basil in April 

1 bag CSA basil, woody stems removed
2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 handful walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt


Blend all ingredients until you obtain a textured paste (slightly granular).
Serve on top of pasta, sautéed summer squash, acorn or spaghetti squash, or use as a spread for sandwiches.

Scalloped Potatoes and Greens
June Potato Harvest


4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced 

2 tablespoons butter

1 bunch scallions, sliced

1 bunch greens (any greens), sliced in ribbons

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1 dash nutmeg

1 teaspoon dry mustard

salt and pepper to taste


Heat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add scallions and sauté for one minute. Stir in flour until smooth.

Add milk and stir until thick and bubbly. Add salt, pepper, 

mustard and nutmeg. Stir in greens. Pour mixture over potatoes and mix well, but gently. Pour the potato mixture into baking dish. Cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-20 

minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Turnip Salad

turnips (peeled and chopped)
1 bunch green onions (chopped)
2 granny smith apples (- peeled cored and chopped)
4 slices pineapple (chopped)
1/2 cup sugar (or sub)
1/4 cup oil
1 T Water
Salt and Pepper 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add turnips and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, and cool.

In a large bowl, combine the turnips, green onions, apples, pineapple and sugar. Stir to evenly coat with the sugar.

Whisk together the oil, water, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over fruit and vegetables. Toss and refrigerate overnight.