Week 8

When we begin work on cool, dark, mornings in August it feels for a moment like the season may be beginning to wind down. However, red potatoes, peppers, and eggplant are here to prove that the height of the season has just arrived. Not only are the summer crops notable for brightening our dinner tables, but many of them are longer season crops that we have worked on for months now, making the harvest all the more deserving of celebration. For example our seven varieties of sweet peppers were carefully seeded in slot trays in the greenhouse April 9th, just a couple of weeks after we moved to the farm. A month later we potted them up into larger celled trays to make room for growing roots and continued their care in the greenhouse. When the plants were almost ready we prepped the beds, putting down drip irrigation lines and plastic mulch. By June 4th we were prepared and found the time among our many projects to get 750 pepper plants into the ground. After planting we mulched the pathways in-between the tomatoes with straw to prevent the growth of weeds and set up irrigation. Your can imagine our excitement when we finally began to harvest the first peppers two weeks ago! In addition to the green, purple and flamingo peppers available this week we have yellow, orange and red peppers to look forward to later in the month. Despite the shorter days of August our jam packed cooler tells us that the summer harvest is in full swing!

In the CSA:
  • Peppers- green, purple, flamingo
  • Red Potatoes
  • Tomatoes- Red slicing tomatoes will again be the stars of the distribution this week. In addition, we will have the first of our heirloom varieties available this week or next.
  • Eggplant- Japanese, beatrice, and nadia
  • Lettuce- The summer crisp lettuces are great at surviving the summer heat and are perfect for burgers and crispy salads.  We are now planting the more delicate lettuces again and they will be ready for September harvests.
  • Nelson Carrots
  • Arugula
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Yukina Savoy
  • Tokyo Bekana- These light green ruffled leaves are great in salad or lightly cooked. 
  • Kale- Toscano and curly
  • Cucumbers- pickling and slicers
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini

CSA pick-your-own crops:
  • Cherry Tomatoes- Sungold, Jasper, Black Cherry, Matt's Wild Cherry
  • Mountain Magic Tomatoes- A "cocktail" tomato in-between a cherry tomato and slicing tomato in size.
  • Sunflowers!
  • Coriander Seed- For the best flavor grind just before use.
  • Dill Seed
  • Lemon and Thai Basil
  • Oregano
  • Hot Peppers: 
    • Jalapeno
    •  Serrano- Pictured right, Serrano peppers are hotter than Jalapenos and are distinguished by their narrower shape. We have them labeled so you can be sure to pick the hot peppers of your choice!
  • Husk Cherries- Husk cherries are a sweet a relative of the tomato that grows inside a husk. The berries are ready when they have dropped to the ground and the husks appear dried. Berries still attached to the plant will not be sweet so be sure to only pick up berries from the ground beneath the plant. 

In the store:

In the store this week we will have all of the items available that are in the CSA except for some of the pick-your-own herbs. In addition, we will have tomatillos. We will also continue to carry corn from Verrill Farm.

Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

Mediterranean vegetable stew 4-6 servings

1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium bell peppers, in strips or cubes
2 small or 1 medium zucchini (and/or summer squash), cubed
1 small eggplant, cubed
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 medium tomatoes, in chunks
1 bay leaf
1 tsp each: basil, marjorm
1/2 tsp oregano
dash of ground rosemary
3 tbs. burgandy or dry red wine of your choice
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp salt (approximate)
black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
freshly chopped parsley

Heat olive oil in large, heavy cooking pot. Crush the garlic into the oil. Add bay leaf and onion, salt lightly. Saute over medium heat until onion begins to turn transparent. Add eggplant, wine and tomato juice. Add herbs. Stir to mix well, then cover and simmer 10-15 minutes over low heat. When eggplant is tender enough to be easily pricked by a fork, add zucchini and peppers. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix well. Continue to stew until all vegetables are tender. (How tender is tender? Do a taste test and decide what seems right to you).

Just before serving mix in the fresh parsley.

Serve on a bed of rice, or in a bowl, accompanied by some good french bread. Top with grated cheese and chopped black olives.