This past week we've tackled a lot of important projects, some of which have been weighing on our minds for longer than others. In addition to mowing in many spring crops and transplanting and seeding many of our fall crops, we've also laid out landscape fabric between our cuke and watermelon beds to keep down the weeds (bottom left photo). We've cultivated, hoed and hand-weeded many crops, including about an acre of winter squash (bottom right photo) and our PYO flower field (top left photo). It's later than intended, but we've also begun mulching our tomato, pepper and eggplant beds (top right photo). While we have been checking things off our to-do list at a fast pace, we also keep adding new items at an equally rapid rate. Some of the things we're looking forward to doing this week include weeding our celery, celeriac, zinnias and 2016 strawberries, hoeing eggplant and peppers, seeding our second fall carrots and beets, adding more lines to our trellised tomatoes, hilling our leeks, and mowing in our flowering buckwheat to prepare for a fall cover crop
Part of the reason we've been able to tackle such a wide variety of tasks lately is that the focus of our harvest has shifted from delicate and small items like baby greens, peas and strawberries to some hardier and bulkier summer crops like squash, potatoes and carrots. Psychologically, it's a nice shift for us - it's a lot faster (and therefore more satisfying!) to harvest a bucket of carrots than it is to harvest a bucket of peas. We haven't completely finished with those time-consuming crops (we have gooseberries this week, and green beans and cherry tomatoes to look forward to), but it's feeling more manageable. Plus, we have some additional farm hands to help us out for the summer, which has made a huge difference for us!
In the CSA this week:
- Dark Red Norland potatoes - These have a beautiful, delicate red skin and white flesh. They are great for roasting or potato salads.
- Fresh Onions - Ailsa Craig and Red Long of Tropea are the two varieties we grow. Unlike storage onions, these should be kept in the fridge and used within a week or so.
- Purple Haze carrots - We grow these because they're pretty, but also tasty. The inside is orange.
- Napa cabbage - This is a great addition to stir fry or shredded raw in summer rolls or wraps.
- Mini cabbage - We grow 3 varieties: red, green and caraflex, which is an interesting pointed cabbage. All three are tender and tasty.
- Summer squash and zucchini
- Garlic scapes
- Nelson carrots - this is the regular orange variety we've been enjoying for the past several weeks.
- Swiss chard
- Red Russian Kale or Arugula (maybe)- We are in between plantings, so we will see how much of each is available this week.
We are in the awkward early-July stage of the season when peas are done, but the beans and sunflowers aren't quite ready. Look for those soon, but in the meantime, now is a great time to enjoy the parsley, basil, cilantro and dill!
In the store:
In addition to the items listed above for the CSA, the store will also likely have scallions, salad turnips, Happy Rich broccoli and gooseberries! This tangy July treat is great for pies or jam.
Vegetable Summer Rolls
Gourmet | May 2001
This recipe is time-consuming, but well worth the effort. We made them for World Cup viewing on Sunday night! I recommend doubling or tripling the peanut sauce recipe. I also don't use quite so much hot pepper, but that's a matter of personal taste (or wimpiness!)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ounce bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles)
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 4 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds
- 2 red-leaf lettuce leaves, ribs cut out and discarded and leaves halved
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage
- 1/3 cup coarsely shredded carrot (1 medium)
Cook onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 4 minutes. Whisk in remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer, whisking, 1 minute, then cool.
Make summer rolls:
Cover noodles with boiling-hot water and soak 15 minutes, then drain well in a sieve. Pat dry between paper towels and toss with vinegar and salt to taste. Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Soak 1 rice-paper round (make sure there are no holes) in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels. Arrange 1 piece of lettuce on bottom half of soaked rice paper, folding or tearing to fit and leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Spread one fourth of peanut sauce over lettuce and top with one fourth each of mint, basil, cabbage, and noodles. Roll up rice paper tightly around filling and, after rolling halfway, arrange one fourth of cilantro and carrot along crease. Then fold in sides and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels. Make 3 more rolls in same manner. Serve rolls halved on the diagonal.