Week 5

Photo courtesy of Peter Caswell
While Melissa and I have been barely tolerating the recent heat and humidity out in the fields, many of our summer crops have been thriving under these conditions. Our cucumber, summer squash and zucchini plants are cranking out fruit at a rate that is challenging to keep up with (but believe me, it's a good type of challenge!). Some of our pepper plants have nearly full-sized green peppers and every time we turn around it seems like our tomato plants need another line of trellising. One of the most exciting sights this past week, though, was the appearance of baby watermelons. These will take a few more weeks to achieve full size (we grow smaller varieties of watermelon, so "full size" is much more manageable than what you're probably used to seeing in the grocery store) and ripeness, but they are really worth the wait!

Many thanks to Peter Caswell, who came by the farm on Saturday and took some lovely photos of our veggies (including the ones in this blog post).

In the CSA:
Cucumbers - We grow both pickling cukes and slicing (also called "salad") cukes. Pickling cucumbers tend to have thinner skins and fewer seeds, which make them more suited to pickling, but I also slice them up on salads.
  • St. Valery carrots - Melissa tasted this heirloom variety for the first time last year while visiting some farms on the west coast. These carrots are quite sweet, but they are also known for storing really well. We grow another variety in the fall for winter storage, but if you do plan to store your St. Valery carrots for a while, we recommend storing them without the tops in a plastic bag in your refrigerator's vegetable crisper. They should keep for several months this way (if you have the willpower not to eat them before then!)
  • Caraflex cabbage - This is our first time growing this type of cabbage based on the recommendation of another farmer friend. It has a unique conical shape and is known for a sweet and mild cabbage flavor.
    Caraflex cabbage. Photo courtesy of Peter Caswell
  • Japanese Eggplant or Beets - Some mystery animal has taken a liking to our Japanese eggplants and hollowed out a significant percentage of the ripe fruit. For this reason, we don't have quite enough to offer all our CSA members this week, so you'll likely have the choice between an eggplant or another purple vegetable - beets!
  • Fennel
  • Summer squash - This week we've added Patty Pan squash to the mix. These summer squash are shaped like flying saucers!
  • Zucchini
  • Napa cabbage
  • Mini green cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots (Nelson) - Nelson carrots are the same type of carrots you've already been enjoying so far this season.
  • Scallions
  • Kale- Toscano and Curly- Toscano kale is also called dinosaur kale because the texture looks like dinosaur skin!
  • Arugula
  • Yukina savoy
  • Radishes
  • Kohlrabi
  • Baby bok choy

CSA pick-your-own crops: 
  • Green Beans
  • Basil
  • Thai Basil
  • Parsley

In the farm store:
Most of the same veggies, with the exception of eggplant and beets.

Multi Bean Salad

Green Beans are ready and for Melissa that means batches of Multi Bean Salad from her go-to cookbook: Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. Leftovers keep well for easy summer dinners. Melissa's favorite beans to use are dried pinto beans (they boil quickly with just an overnight soak), canned chick peas, and green beans of course!

Make this one day ahead of time. 6-8 servings.

From Moosewood: This recipe calls for 5 cups of cooked beans. Any kind of beans will do, but it’s extra nice if you use several different kinds and one of those is steamed whole green beans. If you are starting from scratch with dried beans, begin soaking them the night before. Don’t mix the different kinds of beans until after they are cooked, because cooking times vary. You don’t want them too crunchy or too mushy. Cook them in plenty of water (except green beans which should be cooked in as little water as possible) and test them periodically. How to gauge amounts: you can safely expect the amount of dried beans to double after they're soaked and cooked. You can marinate Hot Beans and cool, then chill them in marinade. They’ll really absorb the flavors this way.

The Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (cider or wine)
  • 3/4 cup mixed olive and safflower oils
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt
  • lots of fresh black pepper
  • a few dashes of marjoram or oregano
  • 1/2tsp basil
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbs red wine
  • rind and juice from 1/2 a large lemon

Pour marinade over these and gently mix:

5 cups of cooked beans
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup finely minced red onion (optional)
freshly chopped parsley