Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CSA Newsletter

Two heirloom tomato varieties
Greetings from the Garden!  This box has lettuce, mizuna, early tender cabbage, beans, radishes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, early white bulb onions, the first Asian eggplant, and savory.

Field Notes.  The days are getting noticeably shorter.  When I wake up at 5 a.m. on harvest day it is not so light outside.  With these shorter days and heat the vegetables that set fruit really produce.  Their goal is to make seeds.  As we pick the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, beans, etc the plants make more fruit and push to get it ripe.  In my life this means as the days shorten I see an avalanche of cucumbers, a tsunami of zucchini, a flood of tomatoes.  Some days it is a bit overwhelming.  Ken takes it all in stride.  He has made kim chi and pickles.  I have frozen strawberries and broccoli.  Next I will be freezing beans.  Ken will can the blemished tomatoes.  And now is the time if you want to freeze, pickle or can.  Let us know if you want more produce to do so.

Burpless European cucumber
Ken continues to plan and plant and transplant.  He is a master juggler of crops, time, and space.  Where do green manures go?  What space gets replanted?  What will go under plastic?  All these questions come up each season.  And with the experience of each season, Ken refines these decisions.  I am constantly amazed.

On an off farm note, Ken is doing a tile installation at the Barron clinic.  If you end up in the clinic waiting room after next week, check out the tiles.

From the Kitchen.  All this summer produce forces tough decisions.  How many salads can I put on the table at one meal - cucumber salad, tomato salad, tossed green salad.  And I look at cooking and oven time in the heat.  I love green beans - steamed to the al dente stage and topped with a bit of butter or umeboshi paste.  

Asian eggplant
Asian eggplant is a real treat.  It is not tough, so there is no need to peel or salt.  Eggplant is the only vegetable that must be cooked according to three different cookbooks.  We like it cooked with green peppers cooked kinpira style.  The instructions for kinpira are in the blog entry just before this one.  

And now is the time for Ken's quick upside down "pizza."  This annual favorite is a whatever you have and like recipe.  Ken takes a pie plate, oils it and then places vegetables in it.  The ones requiring more cooking time like eggplant or great caramelized like onions go in first.  Peppers and tomatoes and zucchini are good additions.   Ken tops this with a biscuit dough and pops in the oven.  Follow your biscuit recipe for temperature and cooking time.  Once it is done remove from oven and as you cut slices flip onto the plate.  One friend added grated cheese to the biscuit dough and said it was good that way, too.

Savory is a favorite around here - it is rather like a cross between thyme and rosemary - less resinous than rosemary, but more punch than thyme.  I chop it and top steamed vegetables or add it to baked or green beans.

This cabbage is early and tender - great salad cabbage or tasty steamed and topped with oil or butter or umeboshi paste.
'Til next week!

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