Summer Week #11: Wednesday, August 15th – Everyother Group A
Crossroads at the Olympics
The results are in for the Crossroads Olympics competition. Dozens of Olympic farm events have taken place here in Cross Plains over the last couple of months. We wanted to take a few moments to summarize the competitions where Crossroads team members medaled.
The Crossroads team did well in many field events. The pigs went gold in the Compost Consumption Challenge. Each pig courageously ate 40 pounds of composted vegetables daily. No one else on the Crossroads team came close to this heavy eating record. Meanwhile, Mike took gold in the 1600-Meter Tractor Disc Pull. In particular his mount and dismount of the disc implement was superb. Anna & Douglas took a team gold in Synchronized Shoveling. In this event, competitors must weigh down row cover with shovel-fulls of soil to keep pests away. Out in the Solanaceae beds (the heat loving crops like tomato, pepper, and eggplant), Jada excelled in the 100-Meter Hay-bale Hurdles. Her cross-country training at Beloit College really paid off. Derek nearly medaled in the Melon Toss, but ended up disqualifying in the final round with a devastating muskmelon drop. Last but not least, Ruby (the dog) and Mosa (a working cat) were fierce competitors against one another in the Varmint Volley. In the end, Ruby’s desire to eat the varmint allowed Mosa to take gold in volleying the prey.
Crossroads crew members also brought home medals in the greenhouse and post-harvest divisions of the games. Alex took home gold in the Delivery Decathlon, performing weekly wholesale and CSA box deliveries flawlessly. Cassie took silver in Greenhouse Watering Polo. Commentators have suggested her pregnancy caused her to have slightly slower times this year, narrowly missing gold. Zea took an amazing gold in the Packshed Pedal. She narrowly qualified in the trials, but made some huge improvements throughout competition. Together Julie & Eva earned gold in the 2 x 2 Retail Relay, carrying team Crossroads at the farmer’s market throughout Cassie’s pregnancy.
Only one event is still in progress at the farm; the Crossroads team recently won the a 1st round game of Team Tomato Toss, making it to the quarter-finals. This competition will be on-going until the first hard frost. Go Crossroads go!
Speaking of tomatoes, now is the time of year that they really start to come in. For the next 4 weeks at least (barring no late blight disease or super early frost), you will be getting a bag of field fresh organic tomatoes. Here are some tips to help you enjoy this bounty.
- The first thing you want to do is remove your tomatoes from the bag(s) they come in and put them on a plate on your counter.
- We harvest and deliver the tomatoes to you at various stages of ripeness, so that they don’t need to be eaten all at once. A ripe tomato has a little give to the touch. Eat them in order of ripeness.
- We do refrigerate the tomatoes at the farm to hold them at a certain ripeness, but this is at a temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so that we don’t impact the flavor. You generally want to avoid putting your tomatoes in the fridge, as the 37 degree temps of most fridges is too cold for a tomato and can change the flavor for the worse. Having said that, if you have tomatoes on your counter that you just won’t be able to get to before they over-ripen, do put them in your fridge. The trick is to remove the tomato from the fridge and let it warm up a bit before trying to eat it, as this will help some of the flavors shine again.
- If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of tomatoes, I always recommend making a sauce. A large pile of tomatoes will shrink quickly in making sauce. Freeze excess for next winter!
- You can also freeze tomatoes for later. Simply core the tomato, and cut an X in the skin on the bottom (facilitating easy skinning when thawed) and throw them in a bag in the freezer. They’ll be great for sauces and chili later on.
Enjoy your veggies! Sincerely, Cassie, Mike, and Zea