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Saving Your Own Seed
Ben Cohen, author of “From Our Seeds and Their Keepers,” made a compelling and inspiring case for saving seed to the farmers at the 2019 OAK conference in March.
I’m not a farmer. I’m not even a vegetable grower. But I do grow perennial flowers and as they quit for the season, I cut them back and plant zinnias from seed I’ve saved from year to year. Zinnias are easy to grow, attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and fill in the garden when the peonies have long disappeared.
Saving zinnia seed from year to year is incredibly easy. Let your favorite zinnia flower age out and die back.When its bloom has faded and dried, I’ll cut it, put it in a plastic bag,along with a slip of paper with its name, and put the bag in a cupboard until next year. 

My new favorite zinnia is the Polar Bear from Renee’s Garden Seeds. The tight white blooms described as “dahlia” style are stunning in an all-white bouquet or as “white space” for a more brilliant one. I will be clipping the larger blooms,saving those seeds next year, and giving some to friends. If you'd like some, send me an e-mail at organic@oak-ky.org  and put "Polar Bear" in the subject line. 

Believe me, you can have the blackest thumb in the world and still have success with zinnias.

--Sarah Fritschner, MMO Editor 
Organic Favorites: What We Are Loving Right Now
Produce Auctions 
Once a summer, usually at the height of tomato season, I make a trip to one of Kentucky’s five produce auctions. Most of the auctions are at least an hour from the state’s major cities, and most were set up to meet the needs of Amish-Mennonite farming communities who want to sell large quantities of produce all at once.
The auctions sell produce in bulk, often by the pallet. Smaller amounts are available, but even 5 boxes is a lot of food. The wholesale prices and availability of “seconds” allow me to buy enough certified organic tomatoes to make sauce that will last all winter.

Virtually all of the auctions have certified organic produce, though you usually have to ask at the office what
vendor numbers ID the organic producers. Scope them out before the auction begins, get a buyer number and be prepared to spend the afternoon.
Find locations and operating hours at Kentucky’s produce auctions here.

--Sarah Fritschner, MMO Editor 
Curious about what's in season this August? 
Visit our brand new consumer resources page to download a copy of our eating with the seasons postcard and learn more about why organic matters, and not busting the budget on organic! There is also a what's in season app and website worth checking out for a on the go seasonal reference! 
3 Ingredient Recipe

Really Scary Chicken
A French food-preservation technique, confit (KAHN-fee) requires cooking salted meat immersed in its own fat at very low temperatures. The result is meat that can keep (in coolish temperatures) for weeks. The amount of fat used in confit recipes conjures the name of our 3-ingredient “really scary chicken,” because Americans tend to be fat-phobic and our recipe uses a full cup of olive oil.

Be brave! You don’t eat all that oil!  Once the chicken is cooked, “you’ll be left with a dish full of salty, lemony, garlicky, chickeny fat that should be put to use as often as you can,” according to Alison Roman, who contributed the 5-ingredient recipe precursor to the New York Times.
 
Garlic is at its peak in August -- plentiful in farmers markets and gardens right now. Whole bulbs are used here, cut in half so they simmer to silken softness and pop right out of their paper shells. Feel free to use the bulbs that may have opened up too much (and thus won’t keep as long), or the smaller bulbs that are a pain to peel (use more than 2).
 
You can see Roman put this dish together, plus 2 ingredients (carrots and oregano) in this video.
4  bone-in, skin-on chicken leg quarters
(or substitute favorite dark meat)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 heads garlic
1 lemon
1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle chicken all over with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in a 3-quart (or so) shallow baking dish or pot so they are all in one layer. the legs are snug and lying flat. Remove any loose outer papery skin from the garlic but no need to separate or peel. Cut the bulb in half to expose a cross-section of garlic cloves and tuck among the chicken. Slice the lemon in thin slices, discarding any seeds, and scatter them over the casserole. Pour olive oil over all.

Bake, uncovered until the chicken is very tender, about an hour, basting with pan juices halfway through to enhance browning.
 
Remove from oven cool slightly. Divide chicken, lemons and garlic among 4 plates.
 
Retain the oil and refrigerate. Use to roast vegetables, brown grilled cheese or cook eggs, as the fat in any recipe that calls for cooking onions and garlic as a first step, and any other way you would use cooking oil.

Serves 4.

--Sarah Fritschner, MMO Editor 
In the Garden...Managing Pests Organically
Organic pest prevention is heavily dependent on smart management strategies, like crop rotation, soil health, and a knowledge of insect life cycles, but if you're having problems battling pests now here are a few certified organic methods you can use -- insecticidal soap, physical barriers like row covers, and careful monitoring for specific diseases—to keep your garden thriving.

Insecticidal soap is approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for organic production. It is a soap made from naturally occurring plant oils and animal fats designed to break down the outer protective coating of a soft bodied insect and dehydrate them. It can work well for squash bugs that are in the nymph stage (grey bug with black legs) commonly found on yellow squash, zucchini, winter squash, and pumpkins. When applying this product make sure the pest is present and you are following the instructions to mix a diluted
solution. If soap is applied in a concentrated form it can strip plants waxy coating and burn plant foliage. Once applied these insects should be gone within hours. Afterward, continue to monitor the undersides of the squash leaves looking for red, metallic egg cases and remove any that you see to prevent their return.
Floating row cover is incredibly helpful as a physical barrier to prevent pests. This is also referred to simply as row cover, Reemay, or Agribon, and is a white, all-purpose garden fabric that lets water and light in but keeps pests out. It can be used in the fall to help with cabbage loopers on crops like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or kale if you have had trouble in the past.
It’s best to cover plants as seedlings by installing metal hoops for support and placing the row cover on top of these hoops right after planting. Bonus, this white fabric is also used to cover plants during cold snaps to prevent frost damage.
Careful monitoring will ensure any pests or disease are caught early, especially with battling blight (a type of fungus) on tomatoes. Early tomato blight is a nuisance, it causes some yellowing of the bottom leaves and occasional brown spots that result in a reduced yield, but late tomato blight is devastating and can wipe out an entire crop.

Here is how to spot it, look for a white, fuzzy fungal growth on the underside of the leaves (appear here first) and a circular brown or dark spot on the fruit itself. Pull any tomato plants that you see immediately out of the garden and put them in bags not the compost. This fungus can spread rapidly to other plants and thrives in wet cool fall conditions.
For future plantings, prevent early and late blight by ensuring tomato plants are planted far enough apart for proper air circulation, water only at the roots, and trim the bottom leaves to minimize plants contact with the soil.
Have a great organic pest management tip you want to share that is working well in your garden? Contact us at organic@oak-ky.org.

--Katie Harvey, OAK Staff
OAK is Offering a Seasonal Cooking Class at the UK Food Connection this September! 
Join the Organic Association of Kentucky at the UK Food Connection on Thursday September 12th from 6-7:15pm in Lexington, KY for a seasonal foods workshop. Chef Tanya Whitehouse will offer kitchen knowledge and pro-tips and walk guests through a 
cooking demonstration of a seasonal dish they can make at home with vegetables from the farmers markets or their weekly farm share. Tickets are $5. Visit the OAK consumer events page HERE to register and share the Facebook event!  
Want To Be Part Of A Healthier Workplace? 
Let KY Farm Share help start a workplace CSA! 
This program improves employee health by connecting Kentucky employers with Kentucky farmers that offer a weekly certified organic vegetable share delivered directly to the workplace during the Kentucky growing season!

Talk to your employer today about being a partner for the 2020 season! Get more info about the program HERE!
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SHARE YOUR STORY!
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VOLUNTEER WITH US! 
We have lots of opportunities for you to dive into the good food movement. For more information reach out to info@oak-ky.org.
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