Thursday, July 14, 2011

week 8

July 14, 2011 week 8

Lettuce Onion Potatoes
Bell Pepper Patty Pan Garlic
Tomatoes Cucumber
Herb Bag: Sorrel Basil Cutting Celery

We're grateful to not be in a drought so far this year! No end to the interesting weather, though. We've seen soaring heat and torrential down pours. About 3 ½ “ of rain fell on Tuesday which brings our total for the last month to about a foot. This was just a little pop-up thunderstorm that dumped all that rain in about an hour! It washed out our road and took down our phone too. The county road crew did a prompt repair job, but the phone company seems to have a lot going on right now.

We did pretty good catching up with cultivating the garden but will be out there doing it all again after the hard rain. We harvested the potatoes and the rest of the onions too. That was a big day! The tomatoes are doing great now and the peppers are looking good too. The okra has shown it's first blossoms and the corn grew about 2 feet taller with the warmth and abundant moisture. We also had our very first watermelon of the season and the prospects look good for next week on the small ones with yellow flesh.

Summer Squash are on of our favorite early summer treats. They come in a variety of shapes and colors. This week we have the yellow and green patty pans that look like flying saucers, and a few round green zucchinis. The zucchinis got hit hard by the early wet weather and many plants succumbed to fungal disease, which summer squash are prone to. We have also planted a few other varieties that will be coming along in a few weeks. There will be Yellow Crook Neck and Benning's Green Tint – a white patty pan that we especially like the flavor of. They can all be used interchangeably as they have a similar taste and texture. They are great raw out of hand or chopped into a salad or can be lightly stir fried until they are just heated through. They can also be cooked until soft as in a ratatouille.

Try this with your summer squash.
Vegetable Pasta Salad
¼ c. red wine vinegar ¼ c. Olive oil ½ tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic minced 1 tbs Dijon mustard ¼ cup Basil
wisked together and set aside

4 ounces uncooked Pasta cook, drain, and rinse in cold water. Toss in large bowl with 1/3 of dressing

2 c. chopped fresh vegetables: green peppers, summer squash, cucumbers, broccoli, mix and match
3 medium tomatoes cut in thin wedges ½ cup sliced olives
Layer ingredients on top of pasta in above order.
Sprinkle ¼ - ½ cup fresh basil and 2 tbs fresh parsley on top then add ½ cup Parmesan cheese and remainder of dressing. Toss lightly before serving.

And for the tomatoes: Chilled Tomato Soup
1 beefsteak sized tomato (peeled), 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, 6 basil leaves, salt and pepper
Puree in a blender until smooth. Oh YUM.
There are many ways to feel about potatoes. For some people they are just another starch, a root (though that isn't botanically accurate), something bland that fits the bill to put with the more important parts of dinner. But this time of year, we beg to differ. This may be due in part to the many hours we spend in the hot field tending the potato plants, then grubbing around in the soil digging them, toting them around in baskets, sorting them out, and tucking them safely into storage, but nevertheless, we contend that fresh potatoes are a different story. You can't ever count on finding really fresh potatoes in a grocery store (sort of like garlic). These potatoes are more crisp – like a fresh apple – and considerably more delicate in flavor (in my opinion) than potatoes that have been in storage. These smaller sized potatoes don't store well, and are best eaten fresh, or NEW, hence the name – new potatoes. You can treat as you would any potato – boil, fry, bake, mash, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper. For a basic good recipe, try this:

Roasted New Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, quartered 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
AT LEAST (adjust herbs/spices as needed:) 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag; toss to coat. Pour into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 35 minutes, turning occasionally until potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm until serving.

We're offering Kenny's Cheese again this year. For those of you who haven't heard of it , Kennys cheese is a great little family dairy in Barren County Kentucky. They use only there own fresh raw milk to make their cheese. We think that it is a great tasting high quality cheese. The prices have taken a slight increase – we've done what we can to keep them down, but dairy is a tough business. Here's how it works...

Tell us the cheeses and quantities of cheeses that you would like, as soon as possible and no later than next Thursday. It will take Kenny's a full week to process, cut and wrap our order, and we'll bring your order to market July 28. We'll do this once a month through the season, so order an appropriate amount to see you through. We know that these prices can seem high if you're buying conventional cheese. They are comparable to specialty and organic cheese prices, and having seen the Mattingly farm and how it operates, we are confident offering Kenny's products. He uses no growth hormones, and though he does not certify organic, his practices are sound and he is a fine steward of the land. Kenny's offers a very nice selection of cheese – we're keeping it basic for now. If you see something interesting on their website you can request it. Here's the selection and price list, all prices are for ½ lb blocks:

Cheddar, Mild $4
Cheddar, Aged $5
Monterey Jack $4
Colby $4
Barren County Blue $5
Swiss $5

We would like to know that we have a reasonable amount of interest in the cheese order before we commit to making the drive up to Kenny's. Please express your cheese intentions soon.

Cantaloupes and Eggplants will be ready soon. Enjoy your meals!

With best regards,
Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon and Branden

“To be sane in a mad time is bad for the brain, worse for the heart.
The world is a holy vision, had we clarity to see it – a clarity that men depend on men to make.
– The Mad Farmer Manifesto; The first Amendment (2) by W. Berry

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