This week is a busy one as we prepare for the events surrounding this year's Farm and Garden Fair. As usual, we'll have a stall at the annual Ag Day Farmers' Market on Main Street in Concord Center on Saturday September 9th, 10am - 2pm (the farm stand and CSA will also still be open regular hours). We'll also host a Meet the Machines tour at the farm on Sunday September 10th at 10am! Drop by for one or both events to say hi!
The Farm and Garden Fair weekend marks an important turning point in the season for a number of reasons. By this time of year, our crew has dwindled to a few core members (this year: Rebecca, Dave, Shaun and Alexis!). The Fair weekend also signals to us that it's time to begin planning for next year! Because we like to be able to try to recruit new CSA and Barrett's Bucks members for the following season at Ag Day, we have been busy preparing our brochure and sign-up forms for 2018. In order to do that, we write a draft budget to figure out the prices for the vegetable, late fall and flower CSAs. We also take the time to figure out our store and CSA hours, the number of members we need for our CSA and Bucks programs, and the staffing needs to make it all happen!
While we're getting ready for Ag Day and the farm tour, we've also got a number of regular farm tasks to keep up with. We still have some butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata and gourds to bring into the barn for curing. We also need to top our Brussels sprouts (clip the tops of the plants to encourage sprout growth), pull up landscape fabric and plastic mulch from our earlier cucumber, melon and squash plantings, seed cover crop, and transplant our fall-planted strawberries (which should arrive later this week from Illinois). Of course, there's also still the daily harvest!
In the CSA:
- Garlic - after curing for about 6 weeks hanging in the farm stand, they are now ready to eat (and should be good for storage longer-term as well). We will continue to dole out garlic through the fall, and we will also set aside about 20% of it as seed for next year's garlic!
- Swiss chard
- Baby bok choi
- Spaghetti squash- Ripe when bright yellow
- Peppers - green, purple, red, yellow and orange
- Tomatoes- heirloom and slicing
- Carrots - we are now into the fall planting of carrots! The variety this week is Bolero, which is one of our favorites.
- Curly Kale
- Toscano Kale - also called dinosaur kale
- Cherry Tomatoes and cocktail tomatoes - Sungold, jasper, black cherry, yellow mini, cherry bomb, red grape, Juane Flamme, pink boar, bumblebee, and Wapsipinicon peach!
- Hot peppers - serrano, jalapeño and ancho. Some cayenne are also starting to turn red!
- Purple tomatillos - pick when husks are filled out.
- Husk cherries- Pick dry husks that have fallen on the ground under the plants. To eat, remove the husk and eat the yellow fruit inside.
- Beans - Dragon's tongue are still going strong, and we may have some green beans as well at the end of the week.
- Herbs: Basil, parsley, dill flowers, sage, thyme, mint, oregano, chives
In the store:
We will have the last of the summer squash, zucchini and cucumbers in the store, as well as green beans and edamame. We will also continue to have Verrill Farm corn, Fat Moon mushrooms, and Pete and Jen's eggs.
PYO Flower CSA:
Flowers available for picking this week include zinnias, bachelors button, celosia, scabiosa, verbena, amaranth, cosmos, strawflower, snapdragons, gomphrena, sunflowers and more.
adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
- 3 medium eggplants
- Minimum 4 Tablespoons of Olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 yellow pepper, cored and finely diced
- 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 TB of Red Wine Vinegar
- 3½ TB capers plus 1 TB of the brine
- 5 oz buffalo mozzarella
- 1 cup basil
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Slice the eggplants widthwise into ¾ inch-thick pieces, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and brush generously on both sides with plenty of olive oil.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, then roast for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Allow to cool down.
- Mix together the pepper, tomato,vinegar, capers and brine, and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside for a minimum of 30 min (can actually be refrigerated for several days).
- To serve, arrange the cooked eggplant slices, slightly overlapping, on a big serving platter. Break the mozzarella into chunks and scatter on top, spoon over the salsa and garnish with basil.