Can you believe it’s almost August!? I love August on the farm. The wild flowers are in full swing and the food is so bountiful. I find myself snacking through the whole morning and wondering why I’m not starving at lunch time like I am all spring. We even ate our first melon out of the field this week (IN JULY!!) and the sweet corn is already making ears.
The first big harvest will happen this week when we pull all of the garlic for curing. To harvest the garlic, we take the tractor with an undercutter on the back and lift the soil just below the garlic bulbs. This loosens the soil enough that we can pull the garlic up without having to use a digging fork. All of the bulbs then get harvested by hand and put on a trailer. We lay it all out in the greenhouse for about 2 weeks until the skin dries out protecting the cloves. Once they finished curing we clean the outside layer of skin off, removing any dirt, cut the stalk down and the roots off. Any bulbs with imperfections will be set aside for green garlic and any exceptional bulbs will be set aside for seed garlic. The seed garlic will have to be cracked open and every clove will act like a seed to be planted in October. The rest is ready to eat and will store for up to a year! I love me some garlic!
August 1st, Week9
Clockwise from top: Parsley, tomatillos, cucumbers broccoli (or cauliflower), carrots, jalapenos, fresh garlic, cherry tomatoes, salad mix, tomatoes, beans, onions, zucchini. Enjoy!
U pick beans are available for anyone interested! Call or email to set up a time.
Check your Broccoli and Cauliflower for cabbage caterpillars. If you don’t want to look for them, soak the heads in salt water and they will gracefully exit.
In your box this week…
Fresh Sweet Onions- white
Peppers- Jalapenos or shishitos
Cherry Tomatoes (Full shares only)
and a Zinnia! (just because we love you)
Weekly Serving Suggestions:
Salad Mix- Fresh, green, easy and good for you. Summery weather makes salad a great choice. Enjoy plain, with dressing, or pile it into wraps, burgers, sandwiches, etc. Top with cucumber slices, carrot curls, tomatoes, blue cheese, whatever you like. Stores well in the bag in the fridge, add a small piece of paper towel to the bottom of the bag for extended storage.
Fresh Parsley- Parsley is a great summery herb. Easy to use, it can go in almost anything puree it with carrot tops for a unique chimichurri. Try it in the gazpacho recipe below. Parsley also goes great in a fresh salsa (or “pico de gallo”). Stores well wrapped in a bag in the fridge, add a wet piece of paper towel around the base for extra longevity.
Cucumbers– So fresh, so easy. Just slice and serve. Or try topping with salt or seasoning. Also great chopped and stirred into plain yogurt as a dressing for seasoned meats or whole grain salads, add a little bit of your favorite fresh herb. Stores well in the crisper drawer of the fridge (or in a bag in the fridge). Try it in the recipe of the week!
Fresh Sweet Onions– (White) perfect for raw eating in salads, sandwiches, or wraps. Also perfect for fresh salasa and gazpacho. Store these in the crisper drawer or a plastic bag in the fridge (think scallions). Use them like scallions too–chopped into salads or soups, egg dishes, slaws or egg/potato dishes. Chop up the white parts and the tender greens. Split the stalk down the middle with a knife then chop across the grain for half-rounds. If you don’t care for raw onions, you can always give them a quick sautee first to take out the bite and bring out the sweet. Cut into wedges (like an apple) then peel the layers apart for great dipping scoops.
Carrots- crunchy sweet and delicious. We think you’ll like our carrots good enough to eat plain. But they also work well shredded into salads and slaws or sliced into stir-fry. Grilled carrots are also delicious. Just scrub and dry, then coat in oil and salt, olive oil works well, slit larger ones down the middle. Then place them on the grill over medium-high heat until just lightly charred, then flip them over and repeat. Carrots should have grill lines and light charring, but still have just a little snap (tender-crisp) in the middle. Carrots store very well in a bag in the fridge or crisper drawer with the tops removed.
Broccoli or Cauliflower- These two vegetables, are unique in many ways, but can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Stores well in a bag in the crisper drawer for a few days. Can chopped into bite-size pieces, blanched and frozen for fresh green flavor in the wintertime. Both can be lightly steamed and served with lemon juice, butter, or cheese and salt.
Snap Beans- Fresh Beans are lovely and easy to use. These will be green, purple, yellow, and/or speckled. The purple and speckled beans will lose some of their color when cooked. A light steaming or simple marinade will do the trick to make them a tasty addition to any dish. Steam them and drizzle with oil or butter and salt. Also great for eating fresh (raw) or with dip. Will keep well in a bag in the fridge.
Zucchini- Enjoy some of the last zucchinis of the season. These are easy to use, a light steam or a simple marinade is enough. Can be used for baking or in egg/pasta dishes. Stores well in the crisper drawer.
Tomatillos- These funny little fruits are the base of many green sauces in central American cuisine. Salsa verde is easy to make and very delicious. I prefer it made with cilantro, which will be coming next week, and these will easily save till then in the fridge. But you could make it using the parsley that’s in this week’s box too! Tomatillos are best roasted, simply remove from the husk and roast in a pan or place right on the grill until lightly charred and heated throughout. Puree with fresh onions, garlic, and herbs and any hot peppers you may like. Also makes great sauce for stews, look back on the website for pork and roasted Tomatillo stew recipe.
Hot Peppers- (Jalapenos or shishitos) Jalapenos are thicker walled and darker green with smooth skin. Almost all of them are spicy, but the heat level will vary from one to the next.
The shishitos have thinner, wrinkled skin that is typically light green in color. Most are mild and savory, but about 1 in 4 will carry some heat. To determine, just taste the smallest bit from the bottom (blossom end) of the pepper. The tops of peppers are typically hottest. Shishitos are really good grilled or roasted until lightly charred. All peppers store well in the crisper drawer or in a bag/container if more than a few days. And either kind will go great in a fresh or roasted salsa.
Cherry Tomatoes– (Full shares only, this week) Stores well on the counter or table out of direct light. So fresh, so good, so easy. Use as a ready snack or to dazzle with a few halved on a salad or the side of a plate—to really make it pop! Stores best on the counter out of direct sunlight. I can’t believe you won’t eat them all right away, but if you wish to keep them, they can be frozen whole (tops gently removed.) Then used for soups or as extra fancy ice cubes for bloody Marys.
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. These are the perfect tomatoes for the recipe of the week (though any will certainly work).
Paste Tomatoes-These are the sturdy, typically smaller and lighter red tomatoes. They store well out of the fridge, but their primary purpose is to be less juicy than slicers, so the fridge won’t hurt them too bad if you want to store them until the cilantro comes next week! These are the perfect tomatoes for pico de gallo (fresh salsa) or for making sauce, as they contain more solids and less juice.
Fresh Garlic– This beautiful garlic is just like cured garlic except that the flavor is brighter (better for fresh eating) and they won’t store all winter in your pantry. They haven’t been cured yet, so keep them someplace cool or in the fridge (in a container, if you’re concerned about the odor). And try to use them in the next week or so.
(Adapted from New York Times Cooking see the full recipe at… https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017577-best-gazpacho)
This is a new take on gazpacho for me, and frankly, a welcome one. This recipe emulsifies the liquid with olive oil (good olive oil will shine here) and strains out the chunky little bits, resulting in a lovely and satisfying experience.
Puree veggies together in a blender or with a wand thoroughly until smooth.
With the motor running add vinegar and some salt. Then drizzle in the olive oil slowly while pureeing at high speed.
The color will change and the texture will thicken until velvety-smooth.
Strain contents through a sieve or food mill to remove the solids.
Chill in a glass pitcher until cold.
Serve In tumblers or frosted mugs with a sprig or two of parsley, or chopped fresh parsley as a garnish on top.
Serves 8-12 (approx. 1 quart)