We've had a very exciting series of events over the past few days on the farm! Thursday we got some much needed rain, and we weren't at all upset to be cold and wet. Friday our fall-planted strawberry plugs arrived from Illinois. Saturday was the Annual Ag Day Farmers' Market in Concord Center (thank you to everyone who stopped by the stand!). Sunday we hosted a tour and talk as part of the Farm and Garden Fair. And today we had our last major planting push as we transplanted our strawberry plugs and second-to-last lettuce planting.
Of all the events this last week, the rain was probably the most exciting for us as farmers (and that's saying something, because Ag Day is so much fun!). It had been over a month since we'd had any precipitation on the farm, aside from a light misting a few weeks ago. We took the opportunity to seed about an acre and a half of cover crop in peas and oats. It was enough rain that the soil was still damp Monday, allowing us to transplant lettuce in an area that is not currently covered by irrigation.
Though the rain did a lot to revive many struggling crops, we are still going to be seeing the effects of this hot dry summer for weeks to come. Lettuce has been very slow to mature - each succession is about a week behind where it was last year. In spite of irrigation every 3 or 4 days, our spinach plantings don't look very promising. Rutabagas and turnips that were seeded (and reseeded) in July and August had poor germination rates. Every year there is something different about the weather conditions, and that means every year different crops will thrive. Fortunately, there's a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks. The fall brassicas (cabbage, kale, collards, cauliflower, Brussells sprouts) are looking very healthy. The winter squash harvest was excellent and is now curing in the barn. Potatoes are back this week, and after 6 weeks of drying in the farm stand, garlic is ready!
In the CSA this week:
- Delicata squash - these do not need much preparation, as the skins are edible. Our favorite way to eat these are to slice in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds, cut into about 1/4 inch thick half moon slices, and roast on a baking sheet with olive oil for about 25 minutes.
- Nicola potatoes - this is a gold skinned, gold fleshed variety.
- Savoy cabbage
- Tomatoes - production has slowed significantly, but we'll still have a few this week
- Colored peppers
- Swiss chard
- Tendersweet cabbage
- Red Russian kale or arugula
- Acorn squash or spaghetti squash
- Green beans - a new planting
- Sunflowers - two different plantings are blooming at once
- Cherry tomatoes - Jasper, grape and Matt's Wild are plentiful
- Husk cherries
- Hot Peppers
In the store:
In addition to the crops listed above, we should have Baby bok choi, mustard greens, Happy Rich broccolini, and a small amount of spinach.
Mixed Beans with Peanuts, Ginger, and Lime
by Yotam Ottolenghi, from Bon Appetit, August 2015
- 2 pounds mixed snap beans (such as green, wax, haricots verts, and/or Romano), trimmed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ½ large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
- 1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layers removed, finely grated on a Microplane
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup salted, roasted peanuts
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ⅓ cup (packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving
Working in batches by type, cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 1–4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and pat dry.
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium and cook shallot, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and coriander and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high. Cook peanuts, tossing often, until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels; let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside 1 Tbsp. peanuts for serving.
Whisk kaffir lime leaves, lime zest, lime juice, sugar, ½ tsp. salt, and remaining 3 Tbsp. oil into shallot mixture. Add beans, remaining peanuts, and ⅓ cup cilantro and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with more cilantro and reserved peanuts.