Last week's heat and humidity were tough, but the crew did an amazing job pushing through! In spite of the conditions, we managed to do a lot of planting, seeding, weeding and cultivating. We also did a bit of irrigation work (both for the plants and ourselves!). We've been fortunate to get a good soaking rain once a week for the past month, but that hasn't stopped us from forging ahead with irrigation set up anyway. Even when we get a decent amount of precipitation, the combination of our sandy soils and the heat mean that our plants still need a boost from our drip irrigation lines and low-flow overhead sprinklers.
The heat and rain have helped bring us a really nice selection of summer vegetables this week! You'll notice that many of the vegetables this week are listed as transitional (onions, potatoes, cucumbers, squash and zucchini). This is because all of these crops are being grown in our field across the street in order to give some of the fields at the main farmstead a rest this year. The field across the street has been managed organically since we started farming it in 2016, but it takes 3 years of using organic practices before the crops from a field can be labeled organic. Next year, everything from that field should be officially certified organic as well, which will make our labeling and record keeping much easier!
This week in the CSA:
- Fresh Onions - This week we'll be harvesting the Ailsa Craig variety. It's a sweet white onion that you eat fresh. Unlike most store-bought onions, these are uncured and therefore should be kept in the fridge. Transitional.
- Cucumbers - Both slicers and pickling cukes are coming in strong! Pickling cukes have a thinner skin and crisper texture, and as the name suggests they are great for making pickles (see below for a great refrigerator pickle recipe)! Transitional.
- Zucchini - Transitional
- Summer Squash - Transitional.
- Potatoes- We'll continue to harvest the Dark Red Norland variety and also begin harvesting Chieftain. Transitional.
- Cabbage - We'll still have green cabbage, as well as some red cabbage and "Caraflex" (an arrow-shaped cabbage that is quite tender).
- Swiss Chard
- Curly Kale
- Garlic scapes
- Salanova lettuce mix
- Yukina Savoy
- Green beans - first of the season. We will have more plantings as the season goes on.
- Sunflowers - they are just starting to bloom, but members will get a couple of stems to pick this week!
- Herbs - dill (just in time for cucumbers!), new plantings of cilantro and basil, and sage, thyme and mint.
This week in the Farm Store:
We will have most of the veggies listed in the CSA available in the farm store. We will also have arugula, eggs from Pete and Jen's Backyard Birds, and mushrooms from Fat Moon Farm.
PYO Flower CSA:
This will be the first week that flowers are open for picking. If you are not a PYO Flower CSA member and would like to pick a bouquet, you can purchase a jar for picking in the store! Flowers ready this week include zinnias, bachelors button, celosia, statice, scabiosa, verbena, cosmos, strawflower, gomphrena, and more.
Pasta With Green Beans And Potatoes With Pesto
by Nancy Harmon Jenkins from from NY Times Cooking
- 2 cups packed tender young basil leaves
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 plump garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with flat blade of a knife
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, or more to taste
- Salt to taste
- ½ pound small potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- ¼ pound tender young green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 pound trenette, or other long, thin pasta
- Make pesto: in bowl of food processor, add basil, pine nuts, salt and garlic. Pulse until mixture is coarse and grainy. With motor running, add oil in slow, steady stream. Add cheese; process just enough to mix well. If sauce is too dry, add a little more oil. Taste; add more cheese or salt, if desired.
- Bring 6 quarts water to rolling boil. Add at least 2 tablespoons salt and the potato slices. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until potatoes have started to soften but are not cooked through. Add green beans, and continue boiling another 5 minutes.
- Add pasta, and stir. Start testing pasta at 5 minutes. When it is done, and when potatoes and beans are tender, drain and turn pasta and vegetables immediately into preheated bowl. Add pesto, and mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.
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 (or substitute about 6 garlic scares diced)
- 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.
Zucchini/Summer Squash Ribbons
From Uncommon Gourmet, All-Occasion Cookbook
- 2 Medium-size zucchini
- 2 Medium-size summer squash
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Medium-size clove garlic, crushed
- ½ cup finely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
Using a vegetable peeler, cut long ribbons of the zucchini and summer squash, reserving the seed core for another use (like soup). Heat butter in a large skillet. Add garlic, squash ribbons and nuts. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until vegetables are tender-crisp. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Stir well, remove from the heat and serve.