It's August and that means that it's that time of year when our days are dominated more by the harvest than by tasks like field prep, seeding, planting, mulching, bug picking, mowing and weeding. Squash, zucchini and cucumbers are bountiful and tomatoes and watermelon harvests are on the cusp of monopolizing our remaining free time. Of course, there are still plenty of the other aforementioned farm tasks to take care of: our fall brassicas, winter squash, carrots and beets need weeding, and we still have a few successions of lettuce, spinach, fennel and scallions in the greenhouse to transplant.
One of the most exciting accomplishments of the past week has been completing our new watermelon netting and fencing system to protect them from crows and coyotes. The crows and coyotes make a dynamic duo of watermelon thieves: the crows like to peck open every one that is close to ripe and the coyotes like to play ball with the smaller ones. The melon protection system unfolded over the course of a week (we needed to order more netting!), and the crows did manage to do a significant amount of damage during that time. Still, the harvest looks promising. This year we broke up our watermelons into two different plantings 2 weeks apart, and the later one appears to be in great shape!
*Tuesday and Thursday 11am - 6pm*
Wednesday and Friday 2pm - 6pm
*Saturday 10am - 3pm*
*Hours in bold and with an asterisk are also CSA pick-up hours
In the CSA:
- Golden beets - these beets are not only beautiful, but they are also particularly tasty!
- Watermelon - We grow seeded watermelons, so time for some seed spitting contests at your next picnic or cookout!
- Tomatoes - the first red slicing field tomatoes are ripening. It's still early, so it will be just a small taste this week, but hopefully more to come soon!
- Fresh onions - Red long of Tropea and Ailsa Craig (white) onions.
- Summer Squash
- Potatoes - the last of the red potatoes, as well as a yellow potato variety called Nicola.
- Green Beans and purple beans
Cherry tomatoes will be closed to allow for more to ripen. They should be back next week!
In the store:
Most everything we have in the CSA will also be available in the store. We'll continue to have blueberries and we should also have some eggplant, fresh garlic and we may even see a few heirloom tomatoes. In addition, we'll have Verrill Farm sweet corn, Pete and Jen's eggs and Fat Moon mushrooms.
PYO Flower CSA:
Flowers ready this week include bachelors button, celosia, calendula, scabiosa, zinnias, verbena, amaranth, cosmos, orlaya, strawflower, snapdragons, gomphrena, calendula, and more. Sunflowers are also ready!
Golden Beet and Beet-Greens Salad with Yogurt, Mint and Dill
by David Tanis, NYTimes Cooking
- 2 pounds medium golden beets in skin, well washed (or red or other beets)
- 12 to 16 ounces beet greens (or chard or other greens)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- ⅓ cup red onion or shallot, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon toasted cumin-coriander mixture
- Pinch cayenne
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE YOGURT SAUCE
- 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch cayenne
- 1 teaspoon toasted cumin-coriander mixture
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly snipped dill for garnish
- Roast the beets: Put them in a baking dish in one layer (if some beets are larger, halve them so they will cook evenly). Add about 2 inches water to the pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for at least an hour, or up to one and a half hours, until fork tender. Remove the foil, pour off the liquid and let cool for a few minutes, then peel while still slightly warm. Cut into wedges and set aside.
- Cut beet greens into 1-inch ribbons, then wash well 3 times in abundant cold water to remove any sand or grit. Bring a large pot salted water to boil. Add the greens and cook briefly till wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain, cool under running water, then squeeze out excess water.
- In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant and just lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Grind to a coarse powder in a mortar or spice mill.
- Make the vinaigrette: Put the onion, garlic and vinegar in a small bowl and leave for 5 minutes or so, then whisk in the remaining ingredients.
- Make the yogurt sauce: Put the yogurt in small bowl. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, cayenne, cumin-coriander mixture, mint and olive oil.
- Season the beet wedges lightly with salt and dress with half the vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, lightly salt the greens and dress with remaining vinaigrette. Arrange dressed beets and greens on a platter and top with a little smear of the yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with dill, and pass the rest of the yogurt sauce at the table.
ZUCCHINI GRIDDLECAKES (and variation with corn)
By Adam Ried, Boston Globe August 19, 2007
- 2 1/2 pounds small to medium zucchini
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons flour
- Corn, vegetable, or canola oil (for cooking)
Using the shredding disk in a food processor or the large holes on a box grater, shred or grate the zucchini (you should have about 8 cups) and the onion. Place the vegetables in a colander, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, and mix. Place the colander over a bowl and let stand 30 minutes until mixture exudes about 1 cup of liquid. Rinse under cold water. Spread a clean dish towel on a work surface, place the mixture in the center, gather the corners of the towel, and twist to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a large bowl, and break up clumps with a wooden spoon.Stir parsley, eggs, milk or half-and-half, baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper into the zucchini and blend. Add the flour, and, using a rubber spatula, fold it into the zucchini mixture.
Set the oven rack to the center position and heat to 250 degrees. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Measure 2 or 3 tablespoons zucchini batter and pour into the pan to form a disk 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Repeat until the pan is filled, leaving about 1 inch between cakes. Cook cakes without moving (adjusting heat if pan becomes too hot) until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 1/2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the cakes and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 3 1/2 minutes more. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and set in the warm oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.
Thyme and corn Remove kernels from 2 ears of corn, about 2 cups. Follow the Zucchini Griddlecakes recipe using 4 zucchini instead of 8. Add the corn and 3/4 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme to the squeezed zucchini along with the parsley, eggs, milk or half-and-half, baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper
Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles
By Jennifer Segal
- 1-1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups cold water
- 1-3/4 to 2 pounds pickling cucumbers (about 6), cut into halves or spears
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 16 dill sprigs
Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel, glass, ceramic or teflon) over high heat. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a bowl and whisk in the cold water. Refrigerate brine until ready to use.
Stuff the cucumbers into two clean 1-quart jars. Add the coriander seeds, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, dill sprigs, and chilled brine into jars, dividing evenly. If necessary, add a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine covers the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate about 24 hours, then serve. Cucumbers will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.