Much of the farm crew gathered for a photo last week before Rachel, Leah, Ann Marie and Ione head back to college and Dave and Ali return to their school year jobs! In a couple of weeks there will be just a small but experienced group remaining - Molly, Sarah, Brian, Rebecca, and Melissa and Lise of course. We will also have part-time help from Ari and Debbie as well as help from Jane and Kathy (Lise’s Mom) who continue to earn their reputation for saving the day when we are shorthanded. We are trying to get big weeding and harvest projects done while we still have a larger group: carrots and beets have been weeded, we are working on the leek field, all the storage onions have been harvested, and we have begun the winter squash harvest. While we will be sad to see much of the crew go (and hope they come back next year!), September is a great month for veggies and we also have the 14th Annual Concord Ag Day to look forward to Saturday September 14th!
Concord Ag Day Farmers’ Market
Saturday, September 14th
Concord Center, 10am-2pm
Come visit us at this annual producer-only market in Concord Center featuring Concord farms and the food, flowers and plants we grow right here in town! Visit www.concordagday.com for more details! There will also be music, games, a mobile garden book library and tickets for afternoon Kitchen Garden Tours (1pm-4pm). We'll have a booth at the market selling our veggies and we'll have a tally sheet at the market, so if you're a Barrett's Bucks member you can do your shopping there! Meanwhile, back at the farm both the store and CSA will still be open regular hours Saturday, 9am-3pm. The Concord Ag committee is also gearing up for the Farm Passport drawing at the Stone Soup dinner September 22nd at Verrill Farm so September will really be a celebration of the agricultural community of Concord!
This week in the CSA:
Sweet Italian and bell colored peppers - Yellow, Red, and orange peppers are starting to ripen! The red Carmen variety are my favorite! Their elongated shape leads some folks to think they might be spicy but they are sweet like red bell peppers!
Kale - Our fall kale is ready now, it is bright green and tender
Spaghetti squash - The first of our winter squash. These are ripe when bright yellow. Cut in half, remove seeds and bake in oven. When soft enough to easily pierce with a fork scrape out the inner “spaghetti” and top with your favorite pasta topping!
Heirloom tomatoes - These tomatoes are odd looking but have the best flavor and are gorgeous when cut up into tomato salads. We grow Striped German and Pineapple (yellow with pink stripes), Cherokee Purple (purple with greenish shoulders), Cherokee Green (greenish yellow) and Pruden’s Purple (actually pink).
Slicing Tomatoes - Big Beef (red), Bigdena (red), Chef’s Choice (orange) and Damsel (pink)
Green bells and purple “Islander” peppers
Edamame - pick pods that have filled out.
Tomatillos or husk cherries - you’ll have a choice between either of these. Both have husks. Tomatillos should be picked when the fruit has filled out so much that the husk has split, they can be green or purple. Husk cherries should be picked when the husk is brown and papery, to eat remove the husk, the berry inside will be yellow. Husk cherries usually fall on the ground when they ripen, hence why they are sometimes called “ground cherries”!
Cherry tomatoes - We have longer beds than usual this season (about 250' feet long), but those who walk to the back of the beds will be amply rewarded with very fast picking (it’ll probably take less time overall than if you try to hunt for tomatoes at the front of the beds)! We’re picking all varieties right now: Sungolds (orange), yellow mini (yellow), grape (red), cherry bomb (red), sunpeach (pink), Jasper (red), Bumblebee (yellow with pink stripes), Lucky Tiger (oblong and green with pink stripes), Black cherry (purplish brown), Mountain Magic (red “cocktail” size) and Wapsipinicon Peach (yellow cocktail size with fuzzy skins). You can also check signs out in the fields for guidance on the correct color for ripeness.
Hot peppers - Jalapeños (green), fresno (red) and ancho poblanos (green, about 4” long).
Herbs: parsley, dill, dill seeds, dill flowers, cilantro, coriander seeds, Italian basil, Thai basil, chives, peppermint, spearmint, thyme, oregano, tarragon and sage. Many of the herb plants in the herb beds near the farm stand are still small. Please pick sprigs, leaving plenty of plant below to continue to grow. For sage, pick off only a couple of individual leaves, leaving at least 6 or 7 leaves per branch. For Italian basil, please pinch the tops only so that the plants will branch and grow bigger.
Tuesday and Thursday 11am-6pm
We’ll have snapdragons, bachelor’s buttons, calendula, orlaya, gomphrena, cosmos, strawflower, statice, star flower, verbena, rudbeckia, scabiosa, celosia, decorative basil, sunflowers (in the flower field this week), zinnias, and more. Picking is open to PYO Flower CSA members as well as to the public for purchase by the bouquet (we provide the a jar for measuring your bouquet size and you fill it with the flowers you’d like to take home!).
This week in the farm stand:
We will have all of the veggies listed in the CSA available in the farm store as well as summer squash and cabbage. We will also have sweet corn from Verrill Farm, eggs from Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds and mushrooms from Fat Moon Farm.
Wondering what to do with all your cherry tomatoes? This recipe was suggested by one of our crew members!
Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup very thinly sliced red onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (about 1 large clove)
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (15-ounce can) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup shaved Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the red onion and garlic and set the dressing aside to marinate for 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature.
Place the tomatoes, white beans and parsley in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well, then gently fold in the Parmesan. Serve at room temperature using a slotted spoon.
adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
• 3 medium eggplants
• Minimum 4 tbsp of Olive oil
• Sea salt and black pepper
• 1 yellow pepper, cored and finely diced
• 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
• 1 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
• 3½ tbsp capers plus 1 tbsp of the brine
• 5 oz buffalo mozzarella
• 1 cup basil
Preheat the oven to 375F. Slice the eggplants widthwise into ¾ inch-thick pieces, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and brush generously on both sides with plenty of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, then roast for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Allow to cool down. Mix together the pepper, tomato, vinegar, capers and brine, and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside for a minimum of 30 min (can actually be refrigerated for several days). To serve, arrange the cooked eggplant slices, slightly overlapping, on a big serving platter. Break the mozzarella into chunks and scatter on top, spoon over the salsa and garnish with basil.