Tuesday, September 16, 2014

week 16

one bag: Lettuce Basil Cilantro Arugula
Sage Cucumber
in another bag: Onions Garlic Okra
Variety Peppers Summer Squash Eggplants
And the first Winter Squash plus a few Tomatoes

We did an experiment with our winter squash this season, and it failed. What we did was try to contain the sprawling squash in the patch of field corn. In years past, we have rather successfully planted squash and corn together. We noticed that the squash set its best fruit when it crawled out from under the shade of the corn, but it still held some ground under the corn and kept down some weeds, so it worked out alright. This year, we put a little more space between each corn plant, and tried to keep the squash IN. If we persist in this experiment, we're going to have to put even more space between each corn plant, because it has grown quite obvious that winter squash wants more light than we've been giving it. We learn a lot from reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. Farmer Boy, in particular, is a sort of an informal farm manual for Upstate New York a couple hundred years ago. Evidently, corn was planted VERY farm apart – so that the horse team could be driven between the rows, going both ways. After a certain amount of cultivation was done, the pumpkins could go in between the corn. It must have been beautiful to see. But it would take A LOT of room to grow enough corn that way.

So – these lovely squash are from Long Hungry Creek Farm. Enjoy.

There's something about sage and squash that really worked together, in my opinion. And the sage gets really big about now, just when the squashes are harvested. I like to gently fry a few leaves in butter as a tasty garnish. It's hard to go wrong with that combination.

We're thinking hard about planting garlic now, and will probably begin digging up sweet potatoes later this week.

The little patty pan squash are like tender buttery morsels out in the garden. It's a thrill to find them each time I harvest, though inevitably a few hide out and manage to sit on the vine until they become more like small alien spacecraft. They make a fine zucchini bread, now that it's gotten cool enough to want to bake again.

One of our favorite treatments for squash is Vegetable Fritters – very satisfying flavor, forgiving recipe, and easily doubled (from Simply In Season):

1/3 cup flour ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper 2 eggs Mix to form a smooth batter. Add...
3 cups shredded summer squash 1/3 cup onion or 2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp fresh herbs – your choice Add to batter and then drop onto a hot greased skillet by the spoonful. Fry until golden on both sides and enjoy.
Have a great week!

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