Thursday, September 6, 2012

week 16

Lettuce            Saisai Greens   Pole Beans      Tomatoes         Eggplant         Peppers           Watermelon/Cantaloupe
Summer Squash         Potatoes      Garlic      Okra or Cuke
Herb bag:       Arugula               Basil                  Celery    Chives

"Many organic practices simply make sense, regardless of what overall agricultural system is used. Far from being a quaint throwback to an earlier time, organic agriculture is proving to be a serious contender in modern farming."  - David Suzuki

That was some kind of rain!  About 3 ½ inches fell here all together from the hurricane system.  It was just about the gentlest rain we've seen all season.  The seeds were happy, not drowned.  We were wishing we had more of the fall transplants out in time to catch the rains, but it is simply  not possible to accomplish EVERYTHING.  So, we waited for the soil to dry enough to transplant, and that was Wednesday, and then it rained some more.  Besides that, we've had an anniversary and Paul's birthday to celebrate, so there has been a slight lull in farm busy-ness as usual.  We need a lull sometimes.

In the meantime, I don't think anyone would argue that the weather has changed.  It feels like Fall now.  A few of the sweetgum trees are showing some purple leaves, some red on dogwoods, and even a few yellowing sycamore leaves.  The big rain illuminated for us what was finished in the garden.  Some plants that may have been barely hanging in there before surrendered themselves to full fledged decay in the downpour.  Most of the squash patch went down (we're not supposing many folks will mourn too hard for that one), and several of the cucumbers too, which was a shame.  They weren't too happy to be located by the overgrown herb garden.  Most plants enjoy neighboring with mint and catnip, but we learned the hard way that cucumbers do not.  The last planting is in a different location and perked up noticeably with the rain.  There's still hope for the cucurbits.  The tomatoes are pretty slow today too.  Again, there are still a LOT of green tomatoes out there, so we believe they will be trickling in now, not piling in by truckloads anymore. 

While some of the fruits have slowed, the greens are picking up.  The lettuce drought is finally ending (my, how we have missed that lettuce!), and there will be kale next week!  Saisai daikons are a special Asian radish bred especially for the greens.  We use them like turnip greens or spinach.  One enterprising food blogger has even used her radish greens as a pesto. Pesto is a wonderful substance.  It's a great way to get a dose of garlic and raw greens.  We have not tried it yet, but thought the idea warranted sharing.  It hardly needs saying, but I’ll say it anyway:  WASH YOUR GREENS WELL THIS WEEK.  That was a hard rain Wednesday – there’s grit a’plenty on almost everything.

Speaking of pesto, extra basil is now available by request.  $5 per pound for regulars like yourselves.  We need to know by no later than Wednesday so we can prepare to pick extra early on Thursday morning.  Pack up your freezer and don't miss that fresh basil all winter!

This celery is not like what you buy in a grocery store.  It’s big on flavor, low on water, and has had a rough season.  There aren’t many pieces appropriate for making ants-on-a-log or cutting into salad, but they’re wonderfully flavorful in soups and stews.  We thinned them pretty hard this morning, so we’ll see whether they persist for another cutting down the road.

Here's a solid good greens recipe:
Radish Greens with Miso Sauce (from The Real Dirt on Vegetables)
1 bunch radish or turnip greens or both      1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon peanut oil                                 Sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil                                   2 cups hot cooked rice (or other grain)

1) Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the greens and boil for 1 minute.
2) Drain the greens in a colander and run cool water over them to stop the cooking. Let drain again, then gently squeeze out any excess water with your hands. Transfer the greens to a cutting board. Chop finely and set aside.
3) Put the miso paste in a small bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons water; then add a little more water so that the miso is thinned just enough to stir into other ingredients.
4) Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped greens; cook, stirring until they are tender and heated through. Add the thinned miso paste. Add sugar to taste; stir the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat; stir in the toasted sesame oil. Serve over rice.

And a straightforward and adaptable stuffed pepper recipe for these great peppers!  I think it could also be used for stuffing patty pan squash.

Stuffed Colored Bell Peppers
A little oil                                            2-3 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped onions                      3 cups raw brown rice
6 cups water, stock or tomato juice  1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup chopped tomatoes                   1/2 cup grated hard cheese, such as cheddar
1/2 cup chopped, toasted almonds  1 cup thinly sliced basil leaves: Napolitano or Genovese
Salt and Pepper          18 Pimiento Peppers or 9 Bell Peppers, tops cut off, seeds removed

Heat oil in large skillet; add and saute garlic and onion. Add rice and brown about 5 minutes. Add desired liquid and allspice. Cover and cook until rice is done, about 40 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cheese, almonds, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Blanch peppers in boiling water one minute (I sometime skip this step.) Stuff peppers with rice mixture. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes. Nine servings.

The most hopeful and interesting international news rarely makes the big time presses.  We heard good tidings out of Bhutan this week.  The small Himalayan nation (population 700,000) has set a goal for its agricultural practices to be 100% organic by 2020.  This is the same country that measures its welfare by GNH (Gross National Happiness) rather than GNP.  Granted, no place is perfect, Bhutan included, and we have some very different logistics to consider in the USA, but it still seems to me that we can always learn something by paying attention to our neighbors, near and far, about different ways to carry on governance.  

That's about all the politic-ing we can stand!

Eat well and be well. 
Thanks for sharing the harvest.                                                                       
Your Gardeners, The Entwistles

No comments: