July 14, 2012 

letter head csa
"You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of proactively participating in shaping the world your children will inherit."
~Joel Salatin


Surprise Dinner Guest

Spined Soldier Bug
Spined Soldier Bug eating a Cucumber Beetle 
I would imagine the spined soldier bug, pictured at left, would not be the most welcome dinner guest to most.  However, when we found him perched on the back of a kitchen chair a few days ago, we were delighted! Not so much to invite him to dinner, or even allow him to take up residence in the kitchen, but he could help out in the garden!  He was quickly captured in a glass jar with a screened lid.  We then captured a preying mantis that had been spotted sitting on a basketball on the front porch, and Andy volunteered to walk them up to the garden along with the dinner scraps he wanted to offer the laying hens. 

After releasing these guys in to the garden, this spined soldier bug was caught on camera catching a cucumber beetle, who wanted to dine on the cucumbers.  Andy, our intern, has had many stories to share this week of patiently watching preying mantis's stalk and devour young squash bugs, as he was harvesting summer squash, preventing them from weakening the plants.   I am grateful for the support of the beneficial insects that have made their homes in the garden  
  Pesticides will kill most bugs, including the beneficial ones who munch on
LIttle helper
Lady Bug 
the pests that damage crops. They also harm the pollinators that are essential to fruit production and so much more.  They don't make common sense, in my eyes.   We had talked about using an organically approved spray earlier in the year, due to another year of finding so many squash bugs and cucumber beetles in the garden, and decided against it, as we knew it could harm the beneficial as well, even though it was a non-chemical organically approved spray.  Seeing this picture and hearing Andy's stories of watching the preying mantis's in action all week, fills my heart with gratitude for that decision and for the support and wisdom that is so abundant in this creation in it's natural state.

 Black Kabouli Garbanzos!

  In this weeks share, we intend to include fresh garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas.  The variety is Black Kabouli, which produces a dark colored bean. These beans are said to have been cultivated near the fertile crescent over 6,000 years ago.  This heirloom is brought to us from Afghanistan.  They're noted as very drought tolerant plants, with this variety in particular being able to withstand the cooler temperatures and shorter growing season we have in Pennsylvania.  As with other garbanzos, these beans rich with manganese, folate, fiber, tryptopha, protein, calcium, phosphorous and iron.

Garbanzo Bean Pods  

Not only is this a new addition to this week's share, but to our gardening experience.  We haven't ever grown them, or eaten them fresh from the garden ourselves before this week.  If you haven't either, then we will be sharing the experience together. Jesse loves to cook with chickpeas, so when coming across them in the seed catalog, he decided to give it a try.  They went in about the same time the sweet peas did, which have wrapped up there season, and are ready to harvest.  They will not come in your share in the most familiar way, I assume, but in the pod.   I will share the advise I have found via the web, since I cannot yet offer my own experience of preparing them in this fashion.

"Use fresh Garbanzo beans in almost exactly the same way you would fresh edamame. Steam lightly in their shells, or char for a few minutes under the broiler or in a hot pan. Season simply with plain or flavored sea salt, and serve as finger food. The beans may also be removed from their shells, and cooked similarly to English peas. Blanch in boiling water, and toss in mixed bean salads, as an alternative to lima beans in succotash, or dress by themselves with a light vinaigrette. Fresh Garbanzos may also be blended into hummus like their more mature, dried counterparts or added as a fiber packed ingredient to guacamole."

In addition to the chickpeas, we have loads of zucchini to share.  The cucumber and eggplants are in full fruit, while the tomatoes are still just beginning to ripen.  I always think they are going to be ready any day, and am reminded to be patient.  Once they are, we'll be busy picking them everyday.  Green bean picking has replaced sweet pea picking, which is a time intensive crop, but worth the wait. The garlic is all harvested and hung to cure while many of the onions have been brought in and cured.  Both of these can  be handed out throughout this season and next, God willing.  Hope you enjoy the harvest! 
Thank you for joining us this season to share in the harvest and all of it's beauty, nourishment, and healing.  

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

  Amin and Halima2
Peace and Blessings~

Halima Willett
Fall CSA
September 22nd thru November 10th
We are inviting new members to join us for the Fall season!  
 If you have a Spring/Summer membership and would like to continue through the fall, we are now accepting enrollments.
Please share with others this opportunity to support local agriculture while receiving the healing nourishment it provides. 

This Weeks Harvest
Garlic Bulbs 2012
Fresh Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
Green beans
Long Purple Eggplant


3 T Olive Oil
4 Cloves of Garlic
2 C Chopped Onion
1 Bay Leaf
1 Med Eggplant
(or a Few Long Purple)
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t basil
1 t oregano
1/2 t rosemary
1/2 t thyme
1 medium zucchini
2 medium bell peppers, in strips
1 14 oz can tomatoes
Fresh minced parsley and/or minced olives (opt.)

>Spicy Variation<
omit bay leaf, marjoram, rosemary
add 1/2 tsp. cumin,  2 tsp. chili powder and cayenne to taste
1 cup pitted sliced oil cured olives

1) Heat olive oil in a deep skillet.  Add garlic, onion, and bayleaf.  Saute over med. heat for about 5 minutes

2) Add eggplant, salt, and herbs, and stir.  Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft.

3) Add zucchini, peppers, black pepper, and tomatoes.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tender.

4) Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature~ plain, or topped with parsley, and/or olives.


I would recommend the following link to both learn more about the eggplant and find an abundance of recipes.  Several were worth sharing, so I'll share the link and let you explore.