Tuesday, August 13, 2013

week 11

In one bag: Tomatoes 
In another bag:  Sweet Red & Yellow Peppers  
Sweet Corn                 Garlic              New Potatoes

and finally: Lettuce     Summer Squash         Okra    
Sorrel       Basil           Parsley

Then: Watermelon and Hot Peppers

What a great big harvest this week.  Wow!

So, the corn is starting.  We have a hot electric fence around it to protect it from night time marauding raccoons and squirrels.  This is ‘young’ corn by our standards, so we’re just sending a little bit.  It sure is nice and sweet.  Next week, barring unforeseen corn tragedy, we’ll send more and it will be more ‘mature’.  In our experience, corn is best enjoyed as fresh as possible.  If you are not going to eat your corn right away, we think your best bet is to cook it anyway, which holds the corn sugars in their freshest state (they start to turn to starch REALLY FAST, and lose that amazing fresh corn taste). 

Do not be amazed when you crack open your watermelon.  It’s supposed to be yellow.  We love these sweet things!  There are two varieties in the garden this year – Early Yellow Moonbeam, and Petite Yellow.  They are both delicious, ice box size, melons.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  There are more standard-colored melons ripening, and a world of cantaloupes as well.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the sweet pepper situation, you’re not alone.  We are too.  The best advice I have is to freeze some.  It’s so easy (no blanching – just freeze them raw).  I highly recommend roasting them, too.  The sweetness is intensified, and they freeze well that way too. 

Don’t know about your, but we’re ready for a break from the rain.  The Fall seedlings are begging to be transplanting, and we need the soil just a hair drier to feel good about getting things done.  Hopefully, we’ll be busy at that task this week.

New plantings of summer squash and cucumbers look promising.  Beans are struggling with the moisture, but okra is going full blast.   The season is turning around – the green of the trees is a little less intense, and now and some trees even look a little orange here and there.  Could be Fall approaching. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

week 10

August 6, 2013 week 10

In one bag: Tomatoes             
In another bag:  Sweet Red & Yellow Peppers   Onions       Garlic              Summer Squash        Tomatillos
and finally: Lettuce     New Zealand Spinach    
Sorrel       Basil           Parsley
Maybe: Jalapeño or Serrano Peppers                        Okra

I sure do love a cloudy Tuesday morning with no rain!

The cool weather is just great and the greens are responding to it wonderfully.  Some of our summer regulars are on vacation for a little while.  The green beans gave out early, probably in response to the stress of that 9 inches of rain awhile back.  Eggplant are taking a break, gathering their strength to bloom and fruit again.  But Okra is starting to produce.  Right now I only have enough to give to a few of you at a time, so I’ll alternate weeks.  The green okra is Star of David – it holds tenderness for a long time, is less slimy, but has a slightly prickly exterior, until cooked.  The red is a new variety for us – gorgeous, tho a little more slimy. 

Next week we’ll have sweet corn, and probably some melons.  Carrots and beets are coming soon, too.

Tomatillos are new this week.  They are an excellent addition to a homemade salsa.  We’ve also enjoyed them sautéed with summer squash and sweet peppers.   They are authentic to Central American cuisine.  Have fun with them.

If we don’t get to see you when we drop your basket off, please advise whether you like hot peppers or not.  We have them in GREAT abundance, and the hotter ones will be coming along a little later in the season.

As for all this beautiful basil – if you haven’t already, I recommend you make some pesto.  Pesto is a flavorful paste of basil, garlic, nuts, cheese, and olive oil.  Traditionally, in Italy, they put it on pasta, but it’s great on potatoes, on toast, on grilled or roasted veggies.  It’s good.  It freezes well, too.  Here’s a nice basic recipe for Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed              1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil                     1/3 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or Brazil nuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced      Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, chop the cheese, nuts, and garlic, not too fine, but nicely chopped.  Take them out of the processor, and put in the basil.  Process the basil to a very fine chop, then combine the cheese mixture with the basil and olive oil in another bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then toss on pasta and enjoy.  Alternately, pack it into a freezer bag and freeze it for later. 

We hope you enjoy your basket – and have a great week!