Week #11 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:  

Eggplant, broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, purple stripe garlic, sweet yellow onion, leeks, curly kale, zucchini, english cucumber, summer squash, jalapeno pepper, cherry tomatoes, and basil.

What’s going on at the farm:  

We are seeing some significant shift in weather and decreasing day length this week on the farm as some cooler nights dipped down into the lower 50’s.  Its been great weather to work in so we are lucky that way recently.  Week 11 is our first delivery of the second half of the season but has also been 5 months straight of work for us and we are looking forward to taking a few days off here and there in the coming months.  Some summer crops will slow down a bit and are reaching the end of their days like squash and zucchini, while others like sweet peppers are just starting to come in.    All our onions are harvested with our last haul coming in from the field last Wednesday morning.  Now they will be cured and clipped and stockpile storage onions for your fall shares.  I found the first ripe melon this week and just need a little more sun and heat to get more fruit to set so we can have enough crop ready for you.  Sweet peppers are just starting and will be coming soon as well.   Never the less our crop list is extensive and very summery this week.

Cherry tomatoes are pouring in and our mix has 7 types which include chocolate, two types of red, two orange, yellow, yellow grape, and pink cherry tomatoes.  So many ways to enjoy these but just rinsed as a snack is a super easy way.  They are great roasted too or caramelized with your onions for a sweet and toasty tomato paste.

Broccoli, especially as a summer crops is pretty rare for us so here is our second planting for you to enjoy mid summer.   Broccoli is better the sooner you can prepare it from the field so try to use it soon.  I really like this variety for its summer performance although it didn’t do as well for me in the spring as I tried it this year for the first time in that slot too.  I think we will keep this variety around for summer and fall crops though.  The best way to clean your broccoli is to submerge it in water.   I usually check for caterpillars myself as sometimes there can be a couple on the stems (they are the same color) under the head and submerging can float them off.    I don’t mean to scare anyone away from this delicious crop as I have not seen any issues with them on this crop, just giving my best handling advice.   We also wash the heads immediately after harvest ourselves and ice them to keep them crisp and cool until they are packed to go to you!

Slicing and heirloom tomatoes are also in and we have been distributing them to you in varied stages of ripeness so that you can have them throughout the week.  Remember you don’t need to refrigerate tomatoes, they ripen and taste better just left on the counter.

Eggplant is an August favorite on the farm here.  We had a casserole last week which used 4 eggplant under a layer of sliced tomato, and pepper, and onion with mozzarella cheese melted on top…. so tasty.    My favorite characteristic of eggplant is its ability to soak up the oils and herbs in a dish kind of like mushrooms.   A properly cooked eggplant is creamy and full of savory flavors.

Cucumbers are still rolling in but definitely slowing down so we will be decreasing the amount you get each week from here on, enjoy these crisp and hydrating summer fruits while they last.

Zucchini and summer squash, just a tad of each in our share this week.  So many uses for these the list truly doesn’t end.  We put them on pizza and in our pasta and stir fry dishes quite often at home here.

Onions this week are dried and cured meaning you don’t want to refrigerate these any more.  They are not like the fresh green top onions you received before because we layed these out in the sun to cure for a week before clipping of the tops for storage.    The curing process results in a better lasting and tasting onion, see if you notice the difference in sweetness especially in the large yellow Ailsa Craig sweet onions which we had a fantastic crop of this year!

Our garlic is also dry now and can be stored without refrigeration, more purple stripe coming to you this week which is a tad spicier then our porcelain garlic which will be coming later in the season.

Leek are our third member of the allium family coming this week, these long shanked summer leeks don’t store as long as a fall leek but the flavor is great on these.  My favorite way to eat them is sautéed in butter and blended with potatoes and cream for potato leek soup which can be served cold or hot.

Jalapeño peppers are our hot pepper this week, just a few of these to go around right now but the chile flavor is excellent and the heat is moderate.   Much more so when the seeds are removed.   Be careful when handling hot peppers and their seeds though no matter how hot the pepper.

A little basil coming for everyone this week.  Our basil is nearing the end of its cycle but we thought with all the tomatoes it would be nice to try and get you all some basil one more time this summer.

Lastly our green this week is curly kale.  It’s a new crop and very tender and flavorful!   We love kale chips at home with garlic sliced up and just a little oil, I bake them at 300 in a glass pan for 15-20 minutes  Stirring occasionally.  Some other recipes call for parchment paper.   In general you can season them anyway you like too.

A few more mentions this week which might make the box include pea shoots, sunflower shoots, and celery.   Thank you all for your support and enjoy the summers bounty!

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