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  Issue No: 7

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spacer     ISSUE No 007 June 22, 2012    

Farmer's Corner


I thought I would talk this week about one aspect of farming that gives your produce the look and flavor it has. Seed selection plays a very important role in the success of the farmer's produce. The seed variety today determines many things such as size, color, disease resistance, flavor, length of growing time, cold/hot weather tolerance, and whether they should be grown in green houses or in fields.

There are two types of seeds. The first is heirloom seeds and the other is hybrid seeds. Wikipedia defines heirloom seed as open pollinated seed passed down by generations. This type of seed has made a big come back in recent years for several reasons. Farmers can save the seed each year and replant the next knowing they will still get a true variety. Over the years farmers can save the seeds from just the best produce and improve their own seed strain. Once the seed supply is built up and there is enough for the entire year it can save farms a lot of money as seeds are very expensive. The down side of heirloom seed is bees can cross pollinate which can completely change everything about that product. This can be a huge problem as it could destroy the marketability of the crop. The other problem is heirlooms do not have disease resistance built in and are subject to many plant crippling diseases.

The other type is hybrid seed which is still the most popular with many commercial growers. The Wikipedia definition of hybrid seed is basically seed that has been specifically cross pollinated in a specific and controlled manner (by people not bees) to make a better seed. By doing this hybrid seed offers disease resistance too many things, uniformity in size, shape and color, and standardized growing length times. Here is a good example. We use hybrid seed to grow our zucchini as we sell a lot of it to grocery stores and down into the San Francisco area. Our wholesale customers want a dark green color and uniformity in size so it fits into shipping boxes correctly. It also needs to be slender and have staying power for a good week. Hybrid seed gives me the dependability I can count on to do those things where an heirloom cannot. Hybrid seed do not cross pollinate which gives a farmer the stability of a precise product. The down side of that is the seed cannot be saved and replanted as it will become inbred. This means we have to buy new seed every year which is very expensive.

Over the last sixteen years we have tried many different varieties and have found the varieties that grow the best in our soil and climate, give us the best flavor, and produce the most consistent eye appealing produce. We hope you enjoy it!

I look forward to seeing you all this week when picking up your CSA boxes. Don't forget to try one of our many selections of CSA add-ons. This week we will be promoting our locally farmed Cheddar Cheese. Stop by for a tasting when you're picking up your CSA box.

Your local farmer,

Sharon Grossi
Valley End Farm

In This Issue

  • Farmer's Corner
  • What's in the Box
  • Featured Veggie
  • Chef's Pick
  • Mark Your Calendar
Mark Your Calendar
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Cheddar Cheese

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What's in the Box
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USDA Orgganic

Weekly CSA Box

In this week's veggie box we have onions,strawberries, carrots, collard greens,zucchini, yams, spinach, and the rest a surprise. This of course subject to change depending on availability.

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Featured Veaggie

strawberry nutritional facts


Strawberries have grown for millennia around the world but were not largely cultivated until the early 18th century. A French engineer was in Chile and Peru and discovered their native strawberry, being much bigger than the ones seen in Europe.

Strawberries have a unique mix of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits providing health advantages in cardiovascular support, improved regulation of blood sugar, and cancer prevention. The vitamin C and manganese content (strawberries being one of the fruits with the best sources of both) protect our heart and blood vessels. Regular intake of strawberries, 2 to 3 servings per week, helps decrease ...

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Chefs Pick
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Strawberry Bread

Strawberry Bread

Delight family and friends with this amazing strawberry bread.

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