Elysian Fields Farm
Wednesday July 24th, 2002
|Striped Armenian Cucumbers|
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Members this week have received a few different varieties of tomatoes. These varieties include Striped German (large and yellow with red stripes coming from bottom), Cherokee purple (dark red to purplish color), Brandywine (large pink) and red sun (general red slicing tomato). There is an abundance of produce being harvested daily on the farm these days so I hope you enjoy the variety.
A few new crops coming on slowly now to note are winter squash, eggplant and red peppers. We will be trying to give you more of these goodies along with tomatoes in place of the summer squash, beans and cucs that you have been receiving a lot of (although they will still be rotated in the shares).
The blueberries are really at their peak, and although the season lasts through august, now is a great time to pick because there are so many. The picking goes a lot faster at this point. As a reminder, members are welcome to come by the patch at any time to pick berries.
Well, Cedar Grove has been receiving a fair amount of rain these past few weeks. The rain these days has been so scattered that just 8 miles up the road they are still as dry as a bone, with no rain to speak of. The farm got a down pour of rain about 3 weeks ago of 3 1/2 inches at once. The following week followed with an 1 1/2. Since then we have had decent showers on occasion of 2/10ths here or there. There have been a couple of nice late afternoon showers here this week already. My point is that despite the severe draught, with the little rain we have gotten and the large pond I do have, the veggies are doing pretty good.
Recipes and Cooking Tips.
If your tomatoes do not look fully ripe, place them on the window for a day or two. Keep watch on them, when their color is bright and they are soft they are ready to enjoy. The Striped German is primarily a yellow tomato, so when ripening watch the bottom of the tomato for its red strips to appear and brighten. You really do not need to store your tomatoes at all in the refrigerator.
The striped Armenian cucumber has a very thin skin and small seeds. I encourage all to enjoy the cucumber with its skin on rather than peeling it. You can slice it up and eat as a cucumber salad. The striped skin makes for a beautiful presentation. Cucumbers store well in the fridge.
Growing up in New England, it took a good few years for me to discover Okra. I first tried okra in Zimbabwe, of all places, on my semester abroad from college. I was living in a village with a family that farmed for their own subsistence. Given their hot and humid growing climate, it is needless to say they ate okra just about every night, and here is how they would cook it. They would chop the okra into thin slices and put it in a pot with some water. They put it over the fire and let it boil. They would let the okra boil down until it mostly lost its solid form and was a soupy, and of course, slimy consistency. I have to say that this is still my favorite way to eat okra, although many do not tend to like it in its wet and slimy form (Yum!). You of course can also fry or steam okra (chopped or whole). I have also learned recently that there is a movement towards eating it raw, as a snack. Andy, my trusty employee who some of you have meet at the Carrboro Market, views it as quite a treat.
Garlic and basil means more pesto. I have been informed of a great way to make Quiche. One of Andy's creations, pesto squash Quiche, makes my mouth water and may also be a good way for members to utilize the abundance of squash these days. I donít have a specific recipe, rather an idea you can try. Make pesto, saute onions and squash, add the pesto to the saute, piecrust, place Swiss cheese on the bottom of it, add saute mix, and pour in the Quiche mix of eggs and milk. Bake. Let me know if you try it.
To prepare filling, combine first four ingredients in an 11 X 7 inch baking pan. I would leave out the sugar here because I like the natural taste of the berries but that is your choice.
To prepare topping, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Combine flour and next four ingredients (through baking soda) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles course meal. Stir in sour cream to form a soft dough. Drop Dough by spoonfuls onto blueberry filling to form 8 dumplings. Brush dumplings with milk; sprinkle with 1ts of sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and dumplings are lightly browned.
We have a mixed basket of flowers this week for members. The gladiolas are still plugging away, although not for much longer. There are also some Tuberoses, which are a long stemmed small white-blossomed flower. The small flowers clustered at the top of the stem have a lovely strong scent to them that lasts a good week to ten days. There are not many of these, grown mainly as an experiment this year. I have fallen in love with their delicate beauty though and plan on increasing production of them next year.
There are also bunches of mixed bouquets for flower members this week. The bouquets mainly boast Rudbeckia "Indian Summer", Ageratum "Blue Horizon", Zinnias "Benary's Giant Mix" and perhaps a few sunflowers "Autumn Beauty". I hope you all enjoy your flowers this week, and remember to keep your vase water clean and well fed.
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Elysian Fields Farm: Community Supported Agriculture