June 10, 2015, Week 8

What’s Growing on?
Rain has been coming down here at the farm this past week! Although it has stalled us out on completing a variety of pressing work tasks, the crops have been well nourished and for that we are grateful. We have had so much rain that any previously tilled ground with plants growing in them becomes too soft and soupy to walk on. We literally can’t get to the plants lest sink in mid-calf and make a mess. We have taken advantage of this time to do some much needed cleaning up at the farm though. Lots of mowing, taking up old irrigation line, taking down pea trellising, and more has given the farm a nice face lift. As we clean-up we say goodbye to most of our spring plantings. We truly are in a transition period now in June, like always, slowly saying goodbye to the spring crops and hello to the summer crops. Here in the southern climate, we can only grow cool season crops like greens in the spring, fall and winter while likewise only growing warm season crops in the warmth of the summer. So, as we enter the summer months, what do you have to look forward to?  Below you can see the start of the best the summer has to offer…..tomatoes!!!

These Cherokee Purple tomatoes are an heirloom variety of tomato. Heirloom varieties are those that have had their seed passed down from generation to generation and have not been crossed with other varieties to breed for certain characteristics. While their excellent flavor is maintained, heirloom varieties can be difficult to grow for a variety of reasons. As you can see in this picture, one of the hard things about growing them is that when we get excess rain the skin of the tomato splits and we are unable to sell them. Heirlooms plants are also much more prone to getting plant diseases and can have a much shorter life because of it. To ensure we have a long and profitable tomato season, we also grow hybrid plants that we have selected for flavor, disease resistance, and that have a little bit thicker skin to hopefully avoid splitting. My all-time favorite is Big Beef, a yummy beautiful red tomato. We also grow pink girl and lemon boy for color and fun. So, when will you be receiving all of these beauties?  It could be as early as next week! With 95 degrees predicted in the forecast for later this week, we should see these guys turning fast now. Keep your fingers crossed!

That’s all for now, as usual, let us know if you have any feedback, thoughts or concerns, we love to hear from you!
Best,
Elise, Beth, Trish, Shelley and Lauren

Recipes!

Curried Zucchini Soup
Serves 4
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
Coarse salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t curry powder
1 ½ lbs zucchini (about 3 medium), sliced 1-inch thick
1/3 c sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and 1 T salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder; cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the zucchini, potato, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In batches, puree the soup in a blender (do not fill more than halfway) until smooth; serve immediately, or let cool, and refrigerate in an airtight container until chilled. Garnish with toasted almonds.

 

Short-Term Cucumber-Onion Pickles

2/3 cup white wine or apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 shiny fresh red or white onions
2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
a few dill sprigs
1 teaspoon mixed whole peppercorns
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt and set aside, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Thinly slice the onions into rounds, then toss them with the cucumbers, herb, and peppercorns in a noncorrosive bowl.
3. Add the oil to the vinegar, stir well, then pour over the vegetables. Toss well, then cover and refrigerate. It’s best if the pickles can sit for a day before being used.

 

Cheese-Crusted Roasted Cauliflower
from Mollie Katzen’s “The Heart of the Plate”

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups minced onion (1 large)
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar or shredded Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400F, with a rack in the center position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and slick it with the olive oil. (You can use a chunk of cauliflower to spread it around).
2. Arrange the cauliflower pieces on the sheet and sprinkle them with the minced onion. Roast for 15 minutes, then shake the baking sheet and/or use tongs to redistribute the pieces — gently, so they won’t pop off the baking sheet.
3. Roast for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is becoming uniformly golden, then push everything together in the center of the baking sheet, keeping it a single layer. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
4. Roast for 10 or so minutes longer, or until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and season with the salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

What's in the box?

Regular Share

Quantity

Storage Info

Notes

Cucumbers

1 lb.

 

*see recipe below

Carrots

1 bunch

 

Remove tops from carrots for extended storage of roots. If you can’t eat them all, try freezing them for later! I froze some this weekend, it was very easy. Cut up and add to boiling water for 2 minutes, instantly put in cold water, then to a freezer bag and you are done!

Squash

1 lb.

 

 

Lettuce

1 head

 

 

Cauliflower or beets

One

 

Remove tops from beets for extended storage of roots.  *see cauliflower recipe below!

Onions

Two

Refrigerator

These are not cured yet so you can store them in the refrigerator in a bag for a good long while. *see recipe below!

 

Full Share

Quantity

Storage Info

Notes

Cucumbers

2 lb.

 

*see recipe below!

Carrots

1 bunch

 

Remove tops from carrots for extended storage of roots. If you can’t eat them all, try freezing them for later! I froze some this weekend, it was very easy. Cut up and add to boiling water for 2 minutes, instantly put in cold water, then to a freezer bag and you are done!

Zucchini

2 lb.

 

*see recipe below!

Broccoli

1 lb.

 

 

Cauliflower

Larger

 

*see recipe below!

Lettuce

1 head

 

 

Onions

Four

Refrigerator

These are not cured yet so you can store them in the refrigerator in a bag for a good long while. *see recipe below!