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Week #8 – The produce is getting plentiful

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What a difference a week makes – we didn’t get too much rain this week (Paul said that in the past 3 weeks we have received over 8 inches – ideally an inch a week is perfect!!) The sun has been out since Wednesday!!  All the veggies are enjoying getting dried off, growing and loving life!
We said good bye to my brother this morning  – he left at 6:00 a.m. – we did all go out to dinner with my cousins on Wednesday to Charcoal Corral – one of our favorite places to eat in the summer!
What better background than a corn field!!  So in between my brother and myself is my cousin Jim and his sister Dori – we had such great times growing up and it’s nice that we were all able to get together and share some more memories and lots of laughs!!
This week we have a LOTS of beans – so if you want to freeze, can, eat many, this is your week to do so!!!  You can get either yellow or green and we will sell them by the 8 quart basket for $12 – a half bushel for $20 or a bushel for $35.  We have both yellow and green.  If you would like to pick up the beans when you come for your CSA pick up just let me know ahead of time so I can have them ready for you!!
They say that if beans are really fresh they will stick to your clothes.  We were picking beans on Friday using the bean picker machine and this is what my sleeve looked like when we were done!
You can’t get any fresher than that!!!
This Wednesday is our GAP audit.  This weeks email is going to be about GAP and what it stands for – GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practices – and what it boils down to is that it is all about food safety.  Nobody wants to get sick after eating anything and the way you handle the food needs to be done in the most safest way.
We sell a lot of produce to Wegman’s and back in 2012 they told all of their growers that for us to be able to sell to them we needed to be GAP certified.  It was a little scary at first – but once we jumped into it and got our feet wet – we did just fine.  Basically what it boils down to is paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork!  We have to keep track of: the temperature of the cooler everyday – every time we clean off a knife we have used to cut something in the field we have to document it – the containers that we pick into can not sit on the floor they have to be on something like a pallet – we have to have written documentation on how to take a water sample (because writing scooping the water into a container and putting a lid on it doesn’t count!!) We have to test our well water and ponds every 4 weeks – we have to have an identification code that we put on our boxes that go to Wegmans that if there is ever a recall by looking at the code we can tell you exactly what the the product was – what field it was picked out of and what day it was picked.  Yes – it’s a lot of work – the kicker is we have an audit every year (ours is Wednesday, August 2nd at 9 a.m.) and we have to pay $92 an hour from the time they leave their office until they get back and finish their paperwork.  The USDA does the audit.  They will then do a surprise visit – usually sometime in September and again they charge us the $92 an hour!  On the positive side – Wegman’s will give us $600 each year to help us cut down on the cost – that is very helpful and we really do appreciate that!
It’s a lot of work, but the end result – having the safest produce possible for our consumers is what it is all about.  Sometime when you are in the produce section just watch people.  We deliver the produce – we have followed all the necessary procedures guaranteeing it is washed and packed the way it should be.  The consumer will pick up a vegetable – put it to their nose and put it back.  They will cough into their hand – pick up the produce and either smell it or decide to take a different one. It’s crazy – in Europe when you go to a farmers market you can not handle any produce – you tell the farmer what you want and they bag it up for you!  Hmmm!
Well, that is my annual spiel on GAP and all the good stuff that goes along with it!!
This week Full shares will receive 8 items and half shares will receive 4.
Available this week will be……………
***New this week***  Yellow Hot Peppers
***New this week*** Sweet Banana Peppers
***New this week*** Yellow Beans

Green Beans
Green Cabbage
Red Cabbage
Savoy Cabbage
Sweet Corn
Red Potatoes
Garlic
Kale
Zucchini
Summer Squash
Cucumbers
I look forward to seeing you either Tuesday or Thursday from 2-6 p.m. – if you can’t make it on your regular day you are more than welcome to come on the other day!!
Have a great week (I will be glad when Wednesday is over!!)
Gail

 

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