This past Saturday represented a Barrett's Mill Farm first: Melissa and I were both off the farm for most of the day and the crew ran the show on their own! Our Assistant Growers Wyatt and Ethan, along with the help of crew members Kathleen, Micah and Erica did an awesome job ensuring things went smoothly.
This week we need to finish thinning and weeding our fall carrots and beets, hoe the fall brassicas, weed eggplant and pepper pathways, plant celery, basil and lettuce, mow in some crops that have finished producing, fence in our watermelon to keep out coyotes, and of course, continue irrigating everything! This year's drought has been serious enough to warrant several Boston Globe articles so far this season. According to the United States Drought Monitor's classification, Concord (and much of Middlesex county) is experiencing "severe drought" conditions. Though this isn't really news to us (or anyone with a lawn), it does provide us some comfort to know that it's being widely recognized as a problem for many farmers!
In the Vegetable CSA:
- Red Long of Tropea Onions - these fresh onions are sweeter than most storage onions. Unlike storage onions, these should be kept in the refrigerator.
- Green or Purple Peppers
- Eggplant - The larger Italian eggplant varieties are starting to fill out, so we'll see some of these in the CSA distribution area this week.
- Summer Squash
- Dark Red Norland potatoes - these are a red-skinned, white fleshed variety. The potatoes are small due to drought and Colorado potato beetle pressure, but they are tasty!
- Cherry tomatoes - Some of the varieties ready for picking include Sungold, Jasper, Red Pearl (grape), Yellow Mini, Cherry Bomb, Sunpeach, Black Cherry and Bumblebee.
- Hot peppers - Jalapeno and Serrano.
- Sunflowers - Two new plantings are starting to bloom this week. These ones had drip irrigation on them, so they are in much better shape than the first sunflower planting.
- Green beans
- Purple beans
- Basil - there are 3 varieties - Thai, lemon and Italian. The basil looks beautiful, so it's a good time to make pesto!
Pick-your-own Flowers: All of our flower varieties are now blooming - it's a great time to pick!
In the store: Everything available in the CSA will also be available in the store. In addition, we'll have the first of our red slicing tomatoes, beets, eggs from Pete and Jen's, and sweet corn from Verrill Farm.
Blistered Green Beans With Tomato-Almond Pesto
By Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit November 2015
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup unsalted, roasted almonds
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
Preheat oven to 450°F. Roast tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, turning once, until blistered and lightly charred, 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Finely chop almonds in a food processor. Add garlic, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, cayenne, and half of tomatoes; pulse to a coarse pesto consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat 11/2 tsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add half of beans; cook, undisturbed, until beginning to blister, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 7–9 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Spread beans out on a platter; let cool. Repeat with remaining vegetable oil and beans.
Toss beans with pesto; season with salt and pepper if needed. Add remaining tomatoes and transfer to a platter.
Dish can be made 3 hours ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature. Toss and adjust seasoning just before serving.