☛ Announcements: Farm dinner is coming up on August 25th!
Another lovely week of growing. It has been very melon-y around here which no one is complaining about. Some years we don’t get a single melon and some years it seems like we are swimming in them. Melons love it hot and we have had a lot of good heat for them. We also didn’t have a lot of pressure from cucumber beetles this year. Last year the cucumber beetles were pretty destructive so this year we covered the plants with row cover until the plants started to flower. We uncover them when the flowers come on so that they can be pollinated and make fruit!
Believe it or not, Tenzin and I are already planning where everything will be planted for next year. In the next couple of weeks, we will put down fertility (chicken manure), making beds, and covering the beds with big plastic tarps. The weeds will germinate under the tarps and then, if our timing and water is right, they will die from lack of sun. The tarps also will help keep the integrity of the beds until spring. When we uncover them next year they should be much dryer and with less seed pressure so we can get into the field early and bring you all the good stuff as early as possible.
We will also be planning where the different plant families will be so we don’t spread disease around the farm. This is mandatory for our organic certification but it is also important to being responsible farmers.
Clockwise from top: Leeks, cantaloupe, cucumbers, carrots, sunflower, zucchini, sweet peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, dill, garlic, eggplant (fulls). Enjoy!
Bell Peppers (colorful, not spicy)
Cauliflower- white, orange, or purple
Eggplant (full shares only)
Flowers! (because beauty matters)
Cantaloupe- Why did two melons have a big wedding? Because they “cantaloupe!” Just kidding, but I do love ripe cantaloupe almost enough to marry it… Cantaloupe is delicious and easy to use. Just slice, scoop the seeds and eat. It can be balled, chopped into chunks or served in thin slices with prosciutto and crusty bread. Store it in the fridge, but don’t wait too long!
Slicing Tomatoes- Perfect for slicing, but flavorful and versatile. Easy to use for a sauce. Try sauteeing chopped tomato and leeks until soft, then adding some heavy cream and oregano. Salt and pepper and cook until slightly reduced and thickened. Add a dollop of fresh butter and whisk in while removing from heat. Makes a lovely butter sauce for pasta!
Cucumbers– Tzatziki sauce is easy to make. Combine peeled and seeded cucumbers with greek yogurt and dill and just a bit of lemon or lemon zest and salt. Delicious on falafel, lamb, chicken, or almost anything! Be creative, store in the fridge.
Leeks– Taste like onions, but they sautee up so nicely into a thick buttery smooth sauce. Leeks are ideal for sauces, soups and stews. Store them in the fridge in a bag or the crisper drawer.
Fresh Dill- Try the Tzatziki sauce from the cucumber section. Fresh dill is also great in a vinaigrette, or with honey and lemon as a glaze for roasted veggies or meats (we especially like it on carrots)! Stores well enough in a bag in the fridge. Can be stored in a sealed bag in the freezer, as well.
Carrots- Fresh, crunchy, tender and delicious. Enjoy them raw, roasted or grilled. However you slice ‘em they’re some of the best around. Store them separated from the tops in a bag or crisper drawer of the fridge. Finely diced carrots, make an excellent sweetener for tomato sauce too!
Eggplant- Beautiful and suggestive, eggplant do a great job of holding flavors to be reduced through longer cooking. They make a perfect addition to a ratatouille, mousakka, or just a simple tomato dish. Have someone who doesn’t like mushrooms? Sauteeing eggplants in oil or butter until golden brown is a great substitute for the texture of cooked mushrooms in many dishes.
Sweet Bell Peppers- Beautiful to behold. Sweet and tart, peppers add a layer of flavor to almost any dish. Try a diced pepper salsa with or without tomatoes! Peppers can also be roasted and frozen for use in soups and stews later on! Stores well in the fridge. Red, green, and purple!
Cherry Tomatoes- Featured in the recipe of the week this week (but don’t worry if you already ate them all, you can use any tomatoes). Sweet and delicious, cherries are a great snack all by themselves. Cherries can be stored on the countertop out of direct sunlight.
Garlic– This garlic is only partially cured, so while it will keep on the counter for a week or so, don’t expect it to last till spring in the pantry. Garlic is glorious and makes almost everything better. For strong, bright garlic flavor mince it fine and add it after cooking. For a more subtle umami boost, add it earlier in larger pieces (I’ll often add whole, or just lightly crushed cloves to a soup or roast.)
Broccoli– I’ve heard broccoli referred to as the “most versatile vegetable.” I have to assume that is because it only needs a short bit of heat, and can be added to nearly everything. While I like to steam long “branches of broccoli that include a fair bit of “trunk”. I also find that chopping the whole thing (except the thicker skin of the stem) finely makes it much easier to add to a sauce, or egg dish. Our girls are especially fond of mac n cheese with broccoli (sometimes we start dinner late too!) Stores best in a bag in the fridge.
Cauliflower– Purple, white, or orange! It is very versatile, easy to add to a ratatouille or anything else really. Also very good roasted whole. There are a few caterpillars still hiding in and amongst the heads, so soak or clean them as you go. Stores well in a bag in the fridge.
Zucchinni– Been a few days! Zucchini are great in sauce, slaw, eggs, you name it. If you’re bored of it, you can shred it, salt it, let the juices run out of it, then, then freeze it in a bag for soup or zucchini bread this winter. Stores well in the crisper drawer.
From: Savour magazine (adapted by me).
10 Tbsp Olive oil (divided)
3 Bell peppers (chopped and seeded)
¼ cup (loosely packed) fresh oregano
2 tbsp thyme
1 or more heads of garlic, cloves peeled
1-2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1-2 eggplants, chopped
1-2 zucchinni, sliced
1 head of cauliflower cleaned and chopped into bite-size pieces
2 pints cherry tomatoes, or equivalent
21/4 tsp kosher salt (divided)
2 tsp vinegar (preferably red wine)
Fresh ground black pepper
Heat 3 Tbsp oil in large pot over medium-high. Add bell peppers leeks, garlic and ½ tsp salt. Cook, stirring often until slightly softened. 5-6 mins, transfer to a large bowl.
Add 4 Tbsp oil to pot. When shimmering, add eggplant, cook, stirring often. When slightly softened, about 5 mins, transfer to bowl with the peppers.
Add remaining 3 Tbsp oil to pot. Add zucchinni, cauliflower, and ½ tsp salt. Cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5 mins.
Add bell pepper mixture back into the pot. Stir to combine, and cover to simmer over medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 10 mins).
Stir in tomatoes and ½ tsp salt. Cook, covered, until tomatoes burst (or about 8 mins). Uncover and stir in vinegar, black pepper and remaining ¾ tsp salt.
*serve with pasta, crusty bread, or potatoes.