Thursday, July 9, 2009

Newsletter Week #7

July 9, 2009, Week #7

Vegetable medley:
Swiss Chard Lettuce Garlic
Patty Pan/Zucchini Green Pepper Green Beans
Choice: Tomato or Cucumber
Herb bag: Basil Sorrel Catnip/Mint

We’ve rarely been so glad to see a rainstorm on a holiday as we were last week. The gardens really went “BOOM” with the moisture, and we’ve been busy ever since doing what we can to keep that moisture IN and pull the weeds OUT.

Raggedy basil is sure sign that the Japanese beetles have hatched. They are just about the only bug that bothers basil, and fortunately, they only bother it for a couple weeks, and then the basil resumes full beauty. Bear with it.

The tomatoes are so close! We still don’t have enough for a real harvest, but we were surprised by a flush of green peppers, and this little picking will help stimulate another bloom.

Think healthy cucumber thoughts. It’s almost as if our garden, after last year’s cucumber extravaganza, has rejected the first planting. They’re trying, but barely succeeding, to grow. The second planting looks good. It will just take awhile to mature.

Corn is tassling, strong and green. We had a little corn marathon, thinning an exuberant stand of corn before last week’s rain. We were amazed to find how much moisture the corn holds. It’s as if the leaves are perfect funnels to catch and preserve each twilight’s dewfall.

Red Springs Family Farm is searching for a couple of farm improvements. Many of you are better connected in Cookeville than we are. Please let us know if you have any leads on the following:

BREAD TRAYS – stackable, durable, just the right size to hold the hundreds of tomatoes (uncrushed, in single layers) that are about to come rolling in. We’ve got a few that stack, and several that don’t, but we’re definitely not prepared for the harvest this year.

A DELIVERY VEHICLE – some of you may have noticed that we’re tooling around in our old Ford Ranger – single cab, standard bed, pick up truck. It was our best option after retiring the Kia from its several years of good service. It’s dubious that the Ranger will suffice through watermelon season, and it’s an extremely uncomfortable ride for us (all three, in the front, standard shift and no AC). We’re thinking along the lines of a Suburban, or maybe someone’s well kept church van. We are on a farm budget, but we expect to pay for quality.

Any leads or ideas are welcome.

Care and handling of summer squashes:
Refrigerate unwashed zucchini and summer squash for up to a week and a half in a perforated plastic bag or in a sealed plastic container lined with a kitchen towel. Rinse zucchini and summer squash under cool running water to remove any dirt or prickles; then slice off the stem and blossom ends. Slice the vegetable into rounds, quarters, or chunks according to the specifications of your recipe.

Here’s one of our easy family meal additions:

Vegetable Fritters from Simply in Season
(serves 4, but we usually double this recipe)

½ cup flour ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt pinch of pepper
2 eggs, beaten
Mix to form a smooth batter. Add
3 cups shredded summer squash 1/3 cup onion, or 2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or basil
Mix gently. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan to medium heat. Drop large spoonfuls of batter, cooking until golden on both sides.

Spicy Summer Squash Soup with Yogurt and Mint
From The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters, makes about 2 quarts

Heat in a heavy bottomed soup pot: ¼ cup olive oil
Add and cook stirring often, over medium heat:
1 large onion, sliced fine pinch of saffron threads
1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp turmeric 1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp cayenne 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Cook until very soft but not browned. If the onions or garlic start to stick, turn down the heat and add splash of water to the pot. While the onions are cooking, wash in cold water:
5 medium or 3 large green or yellow summer squash
Cut into thick slices. When the onions are done, add the squash to the pot with salt.
Cook for 2 minutes, then pour in:
3 cups chicken broth 3 cups water
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the yogurt and mint garnish. Cut into julienne: 4 mint sprigs, leaves only.
In a medium sized mortar, pound half of the mint to a paste. Stir in the remaining mint and:
2 Tbsp olive oil 2/3 cup yogurt salt
Let the soup cool a bit, then puree in a blender until very smooth. Take care when blending hot soup to leave a vent for the steam to escape. Reheat, thin with water if desired, adjust seasonings, and serve hot with a spoonful of yogurt and mint. A lime wedge can be a pleasant garnish as well.

We hope you enjoy your veggies this week. We look forward to bringing you more and better as the season progresses.

Please remember, we love to return these clamshell blueberry boxes to Hidden Springs. We also appreciate your clean shopping bags for bagging lettuce. Recycle what you can’t return, please.

Thank you for sharing the harvest!

Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“Like reeds in a basket, human life is interwoven with the life of the earth. All our food, water, clothing, and shelter come from its body, and arise with her natural rhythms. Our skina dn bones are likewise formed of its stuff. Our moods, thoughts, and capacities are not wholly independent of this relationship.
One gift that CSA gives to individuals, to families, and to culture in general, is a vehicle for re-establishing a conscious connection with the rhythm of life, the rhythm of the seasons, and the rhythm of the farm that gives rise to the food which eventually becomes the molecules and cells of our bodies. Thus, joining a CSA is an act not just of economy or ecology, but also of health at its most fundamental level.” ~Steve McFadden, Farms of Tomorrow

No comments: