Hot and sticky, not great for a pregnant lady’s feet but great for our summer crops! We welcome the heat and the rain as you can see by this week’s box. Tomatoes are looking great. The peppers and eggplant in the hoop house are coming soon. Sweet corn, melons, zucchinis, and cucumbers have all had significant growth spurts. They don’t seem to be as affected by the slugs that took out our brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi family). This is the exact reason that we are a highly diversified farm. If we were just growing cabbage this year we would be in big trouble!
We processed our chickens on Thursday, which always makes for a hectic week. We do it ourselves for a few reasons; the price to get them butchered by someone else would make the chicken more expensive and the margins are already small. Also, we want the nutrients for our compost pile. We are constantly trying to figure out how to bring in good, healthy nutrition to the soil and this is one way
July 15th, Week 7
to do that. We like that the chickens are healthy and happy, not stressed and often injured by a long car ride. Most importantly, we want to feel connected to the entire process of producing the food we provide.
Be sure to take everything from your box!
If there is something that you don’t like or don’t think you can use then share them with a neighbor, family member, or co-worker. This is especially important for those of you who pick up at the Ys, since we only get there once a week. We don’t want to leave any more work for them since we really appreciate them hosting our drop-site! Thanks!
In your box this week…
Red Butterhead Lettuce
Sugar Snap Peas
Tomatoes or Mushrooms
Clockwise from middle: tomatoes or mushrooms (should be opposite of last week’s box), carrots, garlic scapes, sugar snap peas, baby lettuce, head lettuce (red butterleaf, beautiful!), basil and fennel. Please enjoy!
Weekly Serving Suggestions:
Head Lettuce– We were planning to just do the mix, but this Red Butterleaf was just too pretty not to put in the box this week. Show it off!
Baby Lettuce Mix– quick and easy salad starter. Try adding peas, tomatoes, shredded carrots or fennel tops. Chop in the head lettuce to make it go farther.
Mushrooms– Mushrooms are a wonderful way to add flavor and nutrition to almost any dish. Sautee them with soy sauce oil, sesame seeds and chopped scapes, then remove from heat and add a few dashes of a nice wine vinegar. Allow them to cool and add to top a salad or as a summertime side dish. They keep best in a paper bag in your crisper drawer.
Tomatoes- these are the first cherry tomatoes and a few other varieties from our hoop-house. The yellowy-orange Sungold variety are a favorite of many. I like to just eat these first ones raw in their peak ripeness. Don’t store in the refrigerator. Once refrigerated, tomatoes will never have the fresh taste and texture again. They’ll keep for days on the counter out of direct sunlight. They pair well with the fresh basil.
Sugar Snap Peas– with an edible pod, these lovely little treats are a perfect snack. Snap off the top (little hat) and peel down the concave side, then it’s ready to eat. Chop into ½” rounds and use in place of frozen or canned peas in any recipe.
Basil– Fresh basil is hard to beat. Chop it with tomatoes and fresh (wet) mozzarella then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for an easy and incredible Caprese salad. Keep dry and in the middle of the fridge (cold and wet will turn basil black and mushy!)
Garlic Scapes– add a fresh garlic flavor to any dish, chop fine and add in place of garlic at or near the end of cooking. Scapes will keep a long time in the fridge. (recipe on our website).
Carrots– These carrots are nice and fresh. Great for grating into salads or chopping into sticks for a refreshing and crunchy snack. They are getting big enough to roast or grill in chunks or whole!
Fennel– This bodacious beauty might be new to some of you. Fennel is a robust herb—part seasoning part vegetable. Chop the tops for salads, egg dishes, or soups. Use the bulb like celery, or halve/quarter it and roast it with olive oil, salt and pepper (works great on the grill too).
Best guess for next week…
Recipe of the week…
Carrot Fennel Orange Soup:
(From Asparagus to Zucchini, works well cold too!)
Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced fennel, stirring often, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add carrots and garlic, stirring for a minute or two. Add water or broth and salt. Simmer until carrots are tender (20 mins). Puree mixture with a blender, food processor or an immersion blender.* Stir in OJ and sour cream/yogurt until smooth and creamy.
Reheat if you like, but don’t boil. Garnish each bowl with the chopped fennel fronds. (Serves 4.)
**An immersion blender is a CSA members best friend!