Thursday, August 25, 2011

week 14

Tomatoes Cucumber Sweet Peppers Potatoes Summer Squash Garlic

Watermelon Greens Zinnias Okra if you like

herb bag: Basil Sorrel

Late August, the walnut leaves start to spin off in gusts of wind. We're grateful for the cool nights to offset the hot days. We're still longing for a longer rain. Until then, the drip tape keeps drip drip dripping. At least the evenings are enjoyably cool now. We even dared to heat up the house with a homemade pizza, topped with lots of plum tomatoes and sweet red peppers under layers of basil, garlic, and fresh mozzarella. What a treat.

The fall gardens are the main work at hand now, and it feels like spring all over again. Paul and Branden are planting and transplanting hundreds and thousands of seeds and seedlings into freshly worked ground. It's a hopeful time. The seedlings are lovely and it feels good to be moving into a new season.

Next week is the #15. We will be three quarters through the main season. Time flies. If you're on a quarterly payment plan, please be ready to renew next week or the week after. Thank you for your support.

We only irrigate the lower gardens. Down here, the creek is handy enough to pull water with gravity and a small pump. In the upper gardens there's no water near enough to be efficiently brought to the field, so we have to rely on soil fertility, mulch, and the blessings of Mother Nature to see us through. Thus, the watermelons are smaller this year. These are Crimson Sweets. The next variety to harvest are an heirloom that we're trialing this year, named Ali Baba. The next sweet corn is begging for a good rain, and the sweet peppers are obviously perfectly contented.

Here's more summer greens. Some of you will be receiving the same greens we sent a couple weeks ago, (best sauteed with sesame or olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic) and a few of you will be trying out New Zealand Spinach, otherwise known as Tetragonia, or Warrigal. This plant is not related to spinach, but has similar qualities. It is more tolerant of heat and less of cold than spinach. It also has a lot of oxalic acid, which makes it feel weird and prickly on the tongue when eaten raw. Some folks don't seem to mind it much, but we prefer it cooked. Legend has it that Captain Cook and his crew relied heavily on Tetragonia while making long trips in the south Pacific.

To cook Warrigal greens, pull the leaves from the stems, swish them in water to wash, then submerge them in a pot of salted boiling water. Let them boil for 2 minutes for pasta or salad dishes and no more than 4 minutes for side dishes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. You can store the cooked greens for a day or two in the fridge before using them. The leaves have considerably more body and less of a melting texture than spinach.

Here's a recipe:

Aussie Alfredo with Warrigal Greens (off the web)

12 ounces tagliatelle or fettucine 1 pint heavy cream

1/2 c chicken stock or canned broth 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste

2 c cooked shredded/diced chicken meat Salt and fresh ground pepper

2 c cooked warrigal greens (or spinach or chard leaves), coarsely chopped

1/2 c chopped toasted hazelnuts


Halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes tossed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Grated parmesan cheese.

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain.

2. While the pasta cooks, heat the cream in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half, stirring often.

3. Stir in the chicken stock, nutmeg, chicken, and greens. Heat until ingredients are warmed through. Mix in the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more broth if the mixture seems too thick.

4. Pour the pasta into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the hazelnuts. If desired, serve with the tomato salad sprinkled on top of the pasta to balance the richness of the sauce.

Buttery Patty Pan with Basil (adapted from the Food Renegade website)

your summer squash, sliced into ¼ inch slices ¼ to ½ cup melted butter

bunch of fresh basil, leaves finely sliced sea salt

Arrange the slices of squash around the bottom of a small casserole dish. Drizzle melted butter over them, and scatter some chopped basil on top. Lightly salt. Add layers of squash, basil, butter, and salt until your squash is all gone. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes (until the squash is tender). (Coree contends that this could be done in a Dutch oven or deep skillet over low heat on the stove top, as well, perhaps with just a splash of water in the bottom to help keep it from sticking – we would also throw in a little diced or crushed garlic.)

We're hoping for another flush of eggplant and some more green beans soon. Send us recipes that you're enjoying this season (we will share them in the newsletter), or post them on the blog or facebook page.

Enjoy your food. Enjoy your life.

Thanks for being a part of our farm!

Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon, and Branden

The grand essentials to happiness in this lfe are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” ~ Joseph Addison

Thursday, August 18, 2011

week 13

August 18, 2011 week 13

Tomatoes Cucumbers Sweet Peppers Corn Cantaloupe Summer Squash Garlic

Beets White Potatoes Green Onion

Herb Bag: Basils Parsley Sorrel

It's been an exciting week out here. We've been participating in a farm group called CRAFT (referring to the craft of farming), and last Monday was our turn to host a farm tour. Our farm friends and their interns turned out in what seemed astounding numbers to us. They came from as far away as Louisville, and enjoyed a garden tour and then demonstration and discussion about a few of the more unique things we do. Paul showed the crowd our grafted tomatoes, solar battery charger, and how to save tomato seeds. A brave few went exploring in the cold creek, and we all enjoyed a lovely pot luck dinner, topped off with home-milked, hand cranked ice cream from our friends at Hill and Hollow Farm. Branden got some quality time with other interns (i.e. young folks); Coree got to chat it up with the farm wives; Paul enjoyed some serious farmer-guy time, and Lulah played with rough and rowdy farm kids until the day was done. It was a good exhausting day.

The cold snap has been great. Though it's still way too dry, the cooler temperatures protect the plants (and the gardeners) from completely frying in the field. The more temperature-sensitive plants have bloomed again and stand ready to set more fruit (tomatoes, eggplants). The watermelons had been taking the heat pretty hard, which is unusual for them. They seems to be making more fruits again now too. We hope to have Crimson Sweets in the van next week. The cool weather has slowed production on some of the mid summer crops like okra and squash, but we're confident that they will catch up soon.

The corn has seen some tough predation. We put an electric fence around the field from the time it tassled, but the raccoons and squirrels have broken through a few times. There is a conspicuous lack of nuts on the ground in the woods this year, and so the hungry animal population is exerting great pressure on a lot of crops. We're feeling fortunate to have been spared as much as we have. Corn ear worms are the organic certifiers of our corn crop. If they disturb you too greatly, we recommend taking a heavy knife and just chopping off the silk end of the corn before you shuck it. We also recommend that whatever happens, you cook this corn TONIGHT. Corn is best as fresh as possible, and we work hard to keep it fresh for you. Make the most of it and enjoy. Hopefully, there will be another flush of it in a few more weeks.

How about these peppers? This is a lot more than a peck of perfect peppers, and this is a good time to freeze some sweet peppers for the winter months. Chop them to whatever size and shape you enjoy cooking with, pop them into baggies and on into the freezer. They're a real treat for homemade pizzas, pastas, and stir frys when this season of plenty has passed. Keep in mind as well – a ripe red sweet pepper has THREE TIMES as much Vitamin C as an orange, and loads of beta carotene as well. As much as these plants love the sunshine, its no wonder!

Sweet Pepper and Lentil Soup

inspired by a recipe in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, or 2 leeks, chopped

3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon freshly purchased paprika or smoked paprika

1-3 sweet peppers, depending on their size, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup brown or black lentils, rinsed 5 cups broth or water

1 tsp salt P to taste 1-2 Tablespoons champagne or sherry or rice vinegar

Cook the onion in 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat in a skillet until the onion/leeks begin to soften. Stir in paprika and allow it to cook for about a minute more.

Add the chopped sweet pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until everything begins to soften. Scrape all this into a slow cooker. Add the lentils and broth (or water) and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the lentils are completely soft, 7-9 hours.

Season the soup with S & P (more salt if you used water, less if you used purchased broth), and last Tablespoon olive oil. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of one of the vinegars, adding more if needed. Serve hot.

Fettuccini with Sweet Peppers & Pinenuts

1 lb package uncooked fettuccini pasta 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 3 large sweet peppers, cored, seeded and julienned

1/2 cup pine nuts 1/2 cup fresh parsley or basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, halved 1/4 cup capers, drained

1 tablespoon coarse salt or coarse sea salt black pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions: drain and return to pan to keep warm. In a large, heavy skillet heat the olive oil. Add garlic and bell peppers (yellow, red & orange), and cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Add pine nuts and cook approximately 4 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Gradually stir in basil or parsley. Add olives and capers and heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a serving bowl, toss the sauce mixture with prepared pasta.

Pickled Beets (tangy and sweet refrigerator pickles)

4 cups cooked sliced or diced beets 5 cups water 1 tsp. salt

marinade: ½ cup lemon juice 1 cup vinegar ¼ cup honey

½ Tbs. Dill ¼ tsp mustard powder

Soak and chill the cooked beets in water and salt for several hours, then drain off the water. Prepare the marinade, mix with beets, and store overnight in the refrigerator. Serve next day.

Sweet Steamed Beets

4 cups raw beets 2 Tbsp melted butter

2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp coriander powder

Slice or cube beets. Steam until tender (+/- 20 minutes), drain. Melt butter. Put beets in a serving dish and drizzle with butter and lemon juice. Sprinkle with coriander. Toss to coat evenly, and serve.

We hope you enjoy the harvest.

Your gardeners,

Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon, and Branden

Then only is our life a whole when work and contemplation

dwell in us side by side, and we are perfectly in both of them at once.” - Ruysbroeck

Thursday, August 11, 2011

week 12

Lettuce Tomatoes Cucumber Sweet Peppers Garlic Eggplant Potatoes

Cantaloupe Onion Okra/Tomatillo/Squash

Basil Parsley Summer Greens

The rain's been so sweet, there's just not quite enough of it. So the drip tape is down and the tap is open. Our water comes from the little creek branch right next to our house. We don't mindusing it as needed. It's just a short diversion of the water from it's original course. It sure makes a big difference in how the garden grows!

The season's turn is fast approaching. This week we all remarked on the change in the quality of the air, just a smell or a feeling of Autumn, even when it's still so hot. The greens of the leaves aren't as dark as they were a month ago.

It's been a busy week and we're grateful to feel so much getting done around the homestead. A friend of Branden visited over the weekend and was good help hauling down a HUGE tomato and cantaloupe harvest. Friends with kids (always a boon for Lulah) visited early in the week, as did long-time shareholder John, who lended his hands generously to a number of the tasks of that day. Our jolly good friend Wilson reappeared on Wednesday and helped bring down the peppers, eggplants, and yet more tomatoes. We're really grateful for the extra help. It makes our days lighter, and brighter.

Corn lovers, your day is coming. The corn looks like it will be ready next week. Tomatoes are peaking and will ramp off some, and watermelons and corn will come on in bursts. The peppers are ramping up on color (and sweet flavor), and the summer squash are coming back into production as well. The gardens look good, if a little dry.

In your herb bag this week you'll find some new greens. We're trialing some summer greens this year and these were the first ones to look good. You can use them as you would turnip greens. They're very “green”, not too sweet, but not overly bitter or spicy either. Let us know what you think. Here's a nice simple recipe from Mariquita Farms in California:

Summer Greens Meal

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil 3 Garlic cloves, minced

1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced 1 Tablespoon Red Raspberry or cider vinegar

1 large red onion, sliced 1 can black beans

2 Tablespoons soy sauce 1 large pototo, cubed

1 bunch of cleaned greens

Put all ingredients in a large pot, in the order listed. Bring mixture to boiling point, stir, lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 or 20 minutes, or until potato is tender. Serve with a chilled fruit and yogurt accompaniment.

The plague of grasshoppers has come to our gardens. They have eaten a couple of plantings to the ground, and have done quite a lot of damage to this week's lettuce. We're sending it anyway. Those of you who love lettuce will make the most of it, like we do. Those of you who don't love lettuce won't be sad. All new plantings are being immediately covered with remay (polyspun row cover), giving the seeds and seedlings some protection in their early weeks.

The book Radical Homemakers has lately come to our home, and it's some juicy night time reading material. Here's some food for thought about our food system:

~ The average American ingests approximately fourteen (14) pounds of chemicals per year in the form of food additives (coloring, flavorings, preservatives, and emulsifiers), pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones and heavy metals That does not include our annual per capita consumption of 58.2 pounds of high fructose corn syrup.

~ Over the last 100 years of modern agriculture, 75% of plant genetic diversity has been lost and now 30% of livestock breeds are at risk of extinction.

~ 75% of the world's food comes from 12 plants and only five animal species.

~ Six companies control 98% of the world's seed sales, four companies slaughter 81% of American beef, and four companies control 70% of American milk sales.

~ Up to 40% of the food grown in the US is lost or thrown away (WOW, yeah?).

~ 28% of American families share a meal together daily, and food companies spend $10 billion per year on advertising directly targeting children.

This is the stuff that makes us glad to work hard in the hot sun for the sake of real food.

Indian-Style Okra and Tomatoes

¾ tsp cumin ¾ tsp coriander 1/8 tsp cayenne

1/8 tsp ground fennel 1/8 tsp turmeric 3 Tbsp vegetable oil

½ lb okra ¾ cup chopped onion 2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tbsp chopped ginger 1-2 diced tomatoes

Measure dry spices into a small bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large heavy skillet over med-high heat. Add okra in a single layer and fry without stirring for 1 minute. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, tossing and turning okra until it is lightly browned. Remove okra from the pan.

Add the remaining oil to the same pan along with the onions. Cook onions until light golden, then add the garlic and ginger and cook stirring constantly, until the mixture caramelizes (8-10 minutes). Add the spices; stir for a few seconds and then add the tomatoes and ¼ cup water.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring for 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Ad the fried okra and salt to taste. Return to a boil and cook, covered, over low heat, until the okra is cooked and the sauce thickens about 20 minutes. Stir in some cilantro and garnish with more, if desired.

A Big Tomato Sandwich

1 large loaf ciabatta bread Herb Vinaigrette 2 or more big ripe tomatoes

1 large red/yellow pepper, roasted, peeled, quartered 4 oz fresh mozzarella or goat cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice the top third off the bread and set it aside. Pull out the inside (make bread crumbs).

2. Paint the inside of the bread with some of the dressing, then make layers of sliced tomatoes, pepper, and cheese. Bathe each laye with dressing and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the top, press down, and cut into quarters or sixths. This packs well if wrapped tightly.

Herb Vinaigrette: ¼ cup basil leaves, 1 Tbsp marjoram, 1 Tbsp parsley, 1 clove minced garlic,

1/3 cup olive oil, 4 tsp. Aged red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Finely chop and mix well all ingredients.

Have a great weekend! The Entwistles

Thursday, August 4, 2011

mid season newsletters

August 4 - week 11

Lettuce Tomatoes Cucumber Peppers Garlic Eggplant Summer Squash

Potatoes Cantaloupe Okra or Green Beans

Basil Purple Ruffles Basil Cutting Celery

WOW is it hot! These are the kind of days that we contemplate joining the electrical grid and having an air conditioner. We can't spend enough time at the creek.

Last night's thunderstorms missed us, so we're ready to lay drip tape and do a little irrigation. With Fall crops to plant, more beans to germinate, and shallow rooted lettuce to keep growing, a trickle of moisture to the top of the soil makes the continuation of the garden possible. Plants that have been in the ground for awhile – like the okra, peppers, tomatoes, melons, basil, have all reached their long roots down to where there is still plenty of soil moisture. It's the new plants that need a lift.

Speaking of lettuce, this is the time of year that it suffers. The heads are small and may be more bitter than usual. We recommend using a sweeter salad dressing, or using some fruit – dried or fresh – mixed in your salad to off-set the bitter flavor (a very important, though neglected and wrongly maligned taste in the American flavor repertoir). Our good friend Wilson will eat very bitter lettuce by mixing a dressing of tahini and marmalade, thinned with some oil and maybe a splash of vinegar. Otherwise, you might try this:

Orange Sesame Vinaigrette

3 Tbsp canola oil 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil 3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp fresh orange juice 2 Tbsp rice vinegar 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp honey salt and pepper to taste

Mix well, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Can be kept covered refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

We're still recovering slowly from our various spinal perterbations. Paul can do a fair amount of work, but is still not comfortable sitting for long periods of time. Coree, on the other hand, can sit just fine but walks with a limp and has difficulty lifting heavy things. We're grateful for progress, grateful for the many helpful hands and kind healing thoughts and prayers that have come our way in the past few weeks. We cannot pretend it hasn't been a trying time, but like most trials, it serves to clarify our perspective and sharpen our resolve to make the changes we need to make to stay healthy and strong and live this life we love.

You never know what might come your way on the information super-highway. Here's some unconventional knowledge about cucumbers, for your entertainment, at least:

~ Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

~Have an important meeting or job interview and realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

~ Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, voila, the squeak is gone!

The excessive heat is doing a number on our eggplants. They're beautiful this week, and there will be a few more next week, but they refuse to set fruit in the high heat. Once the heat breaks, the flowers will hold and bear again, but we may have a break in their production. Have some Baba Ghanoush ~ Enjoy them while you've got them!

3 lbs eggplant 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove (or more!), minced salt and cayenne to taste ¼ c. chopped parsley

Wash and dry eggplants, and broil them on a rimmed baking sheet. Turn them one or twice, and broil until soft and tender – 15-20 minutes. Let the eggplants cool for ten minutes, then peel them, discarding stems and skins. Coarsely chop. Combine sesame oil, lemon juice, garlic and 2 tsp salt in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Place eggplant in a medium sized bowl, and beat with an electric mixer or immersion blender until smooth. Gradually beat in the oil-lemon mixture. Season with additional salt to taste. Transfer to a pretty bowl and serve at room temperature sprinkled with parsley and cayenne pepper. Store in the fridge up to 5 days.

Here's a cool recipe for hot weather that incorporates much of our harvest...

Panzanella Salad

12 oz. day old country style break with rusts, ut into 1 inch cubes (8 cups)

4 large tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped, juices reserved

1 large cucumber, cut into ½ inch dice 2 med. Peppers, cut to ¼ inch dice

1 small red onion, cut to ¼ inch dice ¾ – 1 cup sun-dried tomato vinaigrette

salt and pepper to taste 20 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons

Combine bread, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion in a large bowl.

Add ¾ cup of the sundried tomato vinaigrette and toss to coat all ingredients evenly. Taste and add more is the salad is dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with basil. Serve within an hour or two of making. Made too far in advance, the bread will soak up all the dressing and you will need to add more. Capers, olives, and anchovies are good additions.

Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

1/3 c. sun dried tomatoes, reconstituted in hot water, chopped ¼ c. balsamic vinegar

½ tsp (at least!) minced garlic 1 c. olive oil

½ c. red wine vinegar salt and pepper

Process vinegars, garlic and tomatoes in food processor together, then add olive oil. Refrigerate, covered, up to two months – best used at room temperature.

(All the recipes for this newsletter came from The Earthbound Cook by Myra Goodman, with thanks.)

If you find an enourmous, beautiful, delicious pink tomato in your bag, that's one of our new favorites, with the (great) name – Mortgage Lifter. Healthy plants are producing well, not cracking, like so many large tomatoes are prone to do. We hope you're enjoying them too.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the good eating...

With best regards,

Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon and Branden

A thatched roof once covered free man; under marble and gold dwells slavery.”

~ Roman philospher Seneca (3BC – 65 AD)

End of July - week 10

Lettuce Cucumber Bell Peppers Hot Peppers

Garlic Tomatoes Eggplant Green Beans MELONS!

Okra Basil Sorell Cuttimg Celary Green Onions

More powerful and fearful on the farm than flood, drought, heat, or cold... back injury.

After two weeks of Paul's slow recovery (we're glad to report that he is recovering steadily), Coree and Branden were some tired folks (Paul is tired too – but in a different direction – he's tired or being laid up!). Coree, flying around doing chores and getting ready to start dinner on Saturday evening, went to climb into the barn loft to fetch some onions and the ladder toppled, sending her down onto her right hip pretty hard. That's two farmers down – not good numbers.

Branden's youthful energy and the helpful goodwill of a great number of our family and friends has been on our side this week and we're sure grateful. We knew entering into this season that help would be necessary to make it work; we had no idea how true that would prove to be. It feels very strange for neither of us to be able to make it to Cookeville for delivery this week – we're glad that the food can be brought to town without us. Thank you all for your understanding as we weather this strange interval.

The mid-summer heat, and harvest, is upon us. The hills are a full deep green, and the nights are noisy with cicadas and tree frogs in full chirp. Cucumbers and okra need picking every other day, tomatoes twice a week. Melons will come on fast for awhile then trickle in after the rush. The green beans are sweet. You have a great sufficiency of menu items to work with this week. What a great time of year.

If you get a melon that doesn't smell perfectly ripe, leave it out a couple days. Otherwise, pop it in the fridge because it's probably perfectly ripe. Cucumbers and okra should be refrigerated as well. Eggplants and peppers prefer to not be refrigerated but may need to be if you can't get around to using them fairly soon.

This is our tenth week – marking the middle of our twenty week season. If you are paying quarterly, please make your check ready for next week. If you're not sure where you are in your payment schedule, just drop us an email and we'll let you know.

Tomatoes Tomatoes! It's a big bunch of tomatoes. They sure are beautiful. We hope you're enjoying them completely. FYI – tomatoes lose texture and taste when refrigerated. Of course, they'll also keep longer in the fridge, but the icebox should be a last resort. A warm sunny window will ripen them faster. Cool shade will keep them longer. Use them up. We don't buy tomatoes off season; we just eat so many and put up as many as we can, and by the time the last green tomatoes get frosted, we're tired of them! Put tomatoes in everything - some recommendations – make your own salsa or tomato sauce (you can freeze the tomato sauce to use this winter) – bruschetta – tomato sandwiches – tomato soups – tomato salads - tomato juice – tomato jam!

A few basic tomato recipes fill the remainder of the newsletter – we'll be back with okra and cucumber recipes next week!

Bruschetta – an Italian appetizer dating from the 15th century (old food!) - simple, flexible, and delicious. For best results use a crusty kind of bread. I like to fry the bread in olive oil, but like as mentioned above – it's all flexible to your own tastes:

Mix salt, pepper, ½ cup olive oil, one large minced clove of garlic,

and several leaves of chopped fresh basil.

Dice two large tomatoes and an onion if you want (make this in any quantity you like – simple math).

Combine tomatoes with oil and herbs, allow flavors to mingle well.

Spoon this mixture onto crispy toasted Italian bread. Top with Mozzarella and/or Parmesan. Enjoy!

Salsa – this is probably also an ancient food. Same principles as Bruschetta, but with a different set of flavors, and delivery method (chips). Here's a basic framework:

1 pound tomatoes, diced (or more) 1 red onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced and seeded 1 clove garlic, smashed (or more)

1 lime, juiced 3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine and enjoy!

Salsa variations are endless. Sweet corn is a wonderful addition to salsa. Bell peppers or tomatilloes will be fine in here too.. Mostly, if you have some tomatoes, either an onion or some garlic, salt and pepper, and lime juice, you can have a basic and very delicious fresh salsa. So good.

And a nice fresh tomato sauce:

10 ripe tomatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter 1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped 2 carrots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1/4 cup Burgundy wine

1 bay leaf 2 stalks celery

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have ready a large bowl of iced water. Plunge whole tomatoes in boiling water until skin starts to peel, 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and place in ice bath. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then remove peel and squeeze out seeds. Chop 8 tomatoes and puree in blender or food processor. Chop remaining two tomatoes and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion, bell pepper, carrot and garlic in oil and butter until onion starts to soften, 5 minutes. Pour in pureed tomatoes. Stir in chopped tomato, basil, Italian seasoning and wine. Place bay leaf and whole celery stalks in pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours. Stir in tomato paste and simmer an additional 2 hours. Discard bay leaf and celery and serve.

We hope you enjoy your basket this week. We look forward to seeing you next week. Please be careful when climbing ladders and lifting anything heavy.

With best regards,

Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon and Branden

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson