It is summer squash and cucumber season and we are enjoying bountiful crops of both! In fact, we have already began to harvest our second planting of summer squash and zucchini and the next cucumbers are on their way. This is a great time for squash grilling, refrigerator pickle making, and general enjoyment of these summer veggies at their height. While extreme heat can cause problems on the farm such as blossom drop in eggplant and peppers, the hot temperatures this weekend did help speed up ripening of some crowd favorites such as cherry tomatoes and eggplant which will make their debut in the CSA and slicing and heirloom tomatoes which will be available in the farm store. We are continuing to weed, protect, and cultivate future crops such as winter squash (in the photo above Sarah driving our Farmall 140 with pumpkin knives attached to cultivate the winter squash), fall beets and carrots, fall brassicas, and another favorite, watermelon! All these crops on the horizon are looking good now but this is a precarious month for them as we race to clear the weeds so they don’t choke out the crops, hope for rain but steadily work to set up irrigation when needed, and protect late summer and fall crops from animal pests to the best of our ability (turkeys, rabbits, coyotes, crows, oh my!).
This week in the CSA:
Fresh Onions - both Ailsa Craig (white) and Red Long of Tropea (red). They should be stored in the refrigerator.
Mini Cabbage - Green, purple and Caraflex
Arugula - The planting we are picking from this week has some holes from flea beetles but it is tender and tasty!
Salanova - the last planting until fall.
Lettuce - summer crisp, panisse, and red leaf
Cherry tomatoes! Sungolds, cherry bomb, yellow mini and others have begun to ripen so we will have the first taste in the CSA this week!
Green and purple snap beans
Herbs: basil, cilantro, parsley, dill flowers, thai basil, chives, peppermint, thyme, spearmint
Tuesday and Thursday 11am-6pm
We’ll have snapdragons, bachelor’s buttons, calendula, orlaya, gomphrena, cosmos, strawflower, statice, rudbeckia, scabiosa, celosia, sunflowers, decorative basil, zinnias, and more this week. Picking is open to PYO Flower CSA members as well as to the public for purchase by the bouquet (we provide the a jar for measuring your bouquet size and you fill it with the flowers you’d like to take home!).
This week in the farm stand:
We will have all of the veggies listed in the CSA available in the farm store, as well as our own blueberries, tomatoes (slicing and heirloom), peppers, flower bouquets, as well as eggs from Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds and mushrooms from Fat Moon Farm.
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
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
16 dill sprigs (or flowers)
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.