What in the heck happened to September? Although the weather has been alarming I have been enjoying summer’s last push. Looks like the real fall is approaching and, admittedly, are fall crops are ready to cool off.
There are some things like spinach and lettuce that won’t germinate when the weather is really hot. It makes it hard to grow in July but this heat wave along with the fact that these greens are planted in our hoop house has made many of our fall/winter crops not germinate well. I have had to replant, which is no small task but I think there is still plenty of time to get them going yet.
I, too, am excited about fall. There is something deeply gratifying about the big harvest. All of the planning, planting, irrigating, weeding, and hoping is over. Now it is time to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor. It is also a different kind of work. The spring is far more cerebral and the fall far more physical. We get to turn off our brains for a bit and just work our tails off.
For me, a physical tired is different than a mental tired. It is a satisfying, sleep hard, eat big kind of tired. I find myself at the end of the day wanting to email an old friend or cook an extravagant meal where as in spring I’m lucky if I take my shoes off before I crawl into bed.
You don’t get the full satisfaction of fall unless you first make it through spring and summer on the farm.
~ Please return bins!! We had to some small shares into paper bags this week!
~ If you would like to join don’t hesitate too much! 8 weeks for $200. Same drop sites.
Squash (Acorn or Jester)
Coffee- (optional) Mexico
Carrots- Store well in the crisper drawer or a bag in your fridge. Easy to use, just rinse and eat—I never peel mine. Great cooked with a little butter, salt, and dressed with fresh parsley. Also good grilled. Try shredding for salads and slaws or chopping for soups and stews.
Head Lettuce- Stores well in a bag in the fridge. So fresh and crisp. Enjoy these big lettuce leaves as lettuce wraps/lettuce boats. Perfect vessel for egg/tuna/potato salad, even a nice bruschetta with croutons sits well inside the larger leaves of lettuce. Chop it up for a salad, or lay them across your burgers and sandwiches.
Slicing tomatoes- Also best stored out of the fridge. Use on sandwiches, salads or wraps. These big slicers are good for enjoying a nice thick slice alongside a meal. Serve plain, with salt, brown sugar, or pesto on top. Store on the countertop out of direct light. Many heirloom varieties ripen from bottom to top. Slice them vertically to fully appreciate the flavor profile of these exquisite fruits. A slice on a sandwich, cold or grilled, sure goes a long way too.
Leeks- These are very much like green onions, but they are drier, which lends them a creamier texture when cooked. Split lengthwise and run under cool water to clean between the leaves. Chop across the stem and sautee over medium low heat with butter until creamy and gooey. Then add to soups, sauces, eggs or potato dishes. Stores well in a bag or crisper drawer.
Bok Choy- My favorite recipe is still grilled. Simply quarter them the long way, then coat in olive oil and salt. Grill them directly across the grate over medium heat for a couple mins and an additional min each side. Just long enough to leave good char marks and somewhat soften the stalks. Stores well in the crisper drawer or a bag in the fridge. Also great chopped up for soups, salads, slaws, and stir-fry.
Winter Squash- Acorns for full shares and carnivals for small shares. Both will store well in the pantry or on the counter for several weeks. They also make a nice centerpiece, till you use them. Any winter squash can be cut in half seeds and pulp removed, then roasted in the oven face down until the skin can easily be pierces with a fork. At this time, the squash meat can be scooped out (allow it to cool first, or use a hot pad. The cooked squash meat can be used in any number of recipes, from pies and breads, to sauces and casseroles. Acorn and carnival both lend themselves to roasting. Quarter them and scoop the pulp (seeds can be saved for roasting) then roast until tender. Flip upright (like a boat) and add some maple syrup or brown sugar and some butter. Return to the oven until the edges are starting to brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Spinach- These fresh, big, tender leaves are perfect for a quick steaming or sauteeing. Add some to cooked leeks, just before removing from heat and cover to wilt, then add to scrambled eggs or tomato sauce. Stores best in the bag in the fridge.
Cherry Tomatoes- So easy, just pop the top and eat them. Also great sliced in half to top salads or set off a slaw dish. Keeps best out of the fridge.
Salad Turnips-Fresh, sweet and crisp! Kids love these, provided you don’t call them turnips. I’ve called them Spring Apples, and all manner of other things. Separate from tops and store both in a bag in the fridge for best results. Eat fresh sliced on a salad, sliced as a snack, or just “chomp ‘em up,” as Leona says. Greens are great with a quick sautee in egg or potato dishes. Also, steam them and dress with vinegar as a small side or serve over fish. New scarlet variety, very pretty. These may be a little tougher and do best chopped up or cooked a little bit.
Coffee Mexican Coffee- Mexico Coffee is balanced sweetness in the form of chocolate and toffee, low acidity, and smooth finish. (Taken from Condor’s website.)
Leek and Cheddar Drop Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
5 Tbsp butter, cut up
1 cup chopped leeks
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 450.
In a food processor, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add butter, pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and process briefly, until dough holds together.
Fold in chopped leeks and shredded cheddar.
Drop heaping Tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet for each biscuit. Bake until golden brown, about 12 mins.
Serve immediately. Spread with soft butter, honey butter, or cream cheese. For honey butter, mix 1part honey with 2 parts soft butter together thoroughly.