Bike the Barns at our farm this year.

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2008 Bike the Barns at Tipi Produce

Our farm has been chosen to host the lunch stop for FairShare’s Bike the Barns fundraiser this year.  This is a big honor.  When we hosted the event in 2008, I was nervous about accommodating 600 bicyclists and their cycles.  It was easy.  We discovered that 600 people+bikes don’t take up that much space.  The ride begins and ends in lovely Lake Leota park in Evansville.

Registration is open for the ride.  Go here for information and to register.  There are two routes this year.  Choose the 30 mile route or the 70 mile route.  Both routes stop at our farm.  Registration opened on June 17 and 120 riders have already signed up.  I see a few Tipi members among them!

Strawberry U-Picks.
Please read this week’s email for information about upcoming strawberry u-picks at our farm.  The u-picks are for Tipi members only, so I don’t post the details on-line.  Check your email this week and next.

July 4 schedule.
The holiday falls on a Thursday this year.  WE WILL DELIVER TO OUR THURSDAY SITES on WEDNESDAY JULY 3.  Friday deliveries will not change and boxes will be delivered on Friday July 5, as scheduled.  It is a purple EOW week.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes.  This is the final asparagus delivery.  It’s been an excellent year for asparagus but now it’s time to let the plants grow and store root reserves for next year.  We’re thrilled to send asparagus to you folks for five weeks.  That’s the most we can expect. This week, we will pack …

Asparagus, 0.8 lb
Strawberries.  Most will get 1 pt.  A few sites will get 1 quart.
Snap peas, l lb
Zucchini/summer squash, about 3 lb
Rainbow Swiss chard, 1 bunch
Red bibb lettuce
Scallions, 1 bunch
Broccoli (1.1 lb) OR kohlrabi with greens

Next week’s box will probably contain strawberries, snap peas, zucchini and summer squash, garlic scapes, broccoli OR kohlrabi, greens and more.

Strawberries! – These first berries are Annapolis, our earliest variety and always the first ready to harvest.  These are the largest Annapolis berries we’ve ever grown.  The first flowers on Annapolis are almost always lost to frost.  That’s the risk with early varieties.  The flowers survived this year, giving us large “king” berries in our first harvest.
♦ Strawberries are perishable.  Ripe berries should be eaten immediately, or stored in the refrigerator.  Most berries are quite clean.  If you want to clean your berries, rinse gently.  Don’t soak them, just rinse.  Do not be concerned if you receive a partially-filled container.  Sometimes we fill them partially in order to distribute berries to all the members.
♦ Please recycle your strawberry containers this year.  We no longer collect them for re-use.

Snap peas – These peas should be eaten pod and all.  They are delicious raw, or very lightly cooked or stir-fried.  They might need a quick rinse to remove faded gray blossoms.  Store in the refrigerator.  Here’s how to remove the strings from the snap peas.  Snap off the stem end and pull the string down the concave side of the pod (the inward-curing side).  Throw away the string and eat the pod.

Summer squash/zucchini – You will receive yellow summer squash or green zucchini.  Some squash are oddly shaped but are fine to eat.  This is typical for the first picking, and reflects that the first squash were not completely pollinated.  The plants were hidden under row covers where pollinators couldn’t find them.  The honeybees settled down to work once we removed the row covers and the newest squash look great.

Swiss chard (pretty bundle of greens with mixed-color stems)  – This is a close relative of spinach, but requires a bit more cooking.  Use as a substitute in any recipe that calls for spinach, just cook the chard a little longer.  Both stems and leaves are delicious.  The stems requite longer cooking, so cut them free from the leaves when preparing.  That allows you to cook the stems longer.

Kohlrabi (green bulb with leaves) – See last week’s newsletter for information.  The leaves have grown since last week, and are now the consistency of collard leaves.  Remember to remove the stems before cooking the leaves.  Peel the bulbs and use in salads.

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