Week #12 – 2018 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

Heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, german extra-hardy garlic, red torpedo onion, bronze shallots, red or yellow sweet peppers, zucchini, summer squash, english cucumbers, leeks, sunflower shoots, pea shoots, basil, and cayenne pepper.

What’s going on at the farm:

Another busy and abundant week at the farm with some enjoyably cooler temperatures for working before the heat wave came in and a little bit of rain to break the dry spell has made for a good week.  It looks like we may get some more during our CSA harvest and delivery days this week as temps stay hot and humid.    This week on the farm we clipped a lot of onions, and shallots, did a lot of mowing in preparation for a big field clean up day and took steps to put the greenhouse purchase in motion because I got the NRCS grant!!!   I will be building a third greenhouse this fall but first I have to prepare the site which involves removing a few more trees and leveling it.   Afterwards I have to purchase the building so I got a loan for that and when the project is complete I will get some reimbursement with hopefully not too much out of pocket besides a lot of energy and hard work getting the grant and constructing my third agricultural building.

I also got news that I will be losing my rental land this week, after next season is over.    I grow in two separate locations the last 10 years and so about half of the food is produced on rented land.  The new land I mentioned last week is not quite a for sure either but there are some promising options out there. Including; making my own farm more efficient with the greenhouses, expanding field space and controlling weeds for less labor.   I may consider moving to a larger piece of land too on a larger established farm with infrastructure, but those are as hard to find as a small 5 acre piece to grow on.  Those are my goals at least and in the meanwhile if you know anyone renting farm land out near Edgerton/Milton area let me know!  Just 5 acres or less would be enough for me to really thrive on with the skill set i’ve developed over the years so i’m sure i’ll do great things with whatever I have available and figure something out.

Sweet peppers are coming in and you will receive red or yellow italian frying peppers this week based on availability as they are just slowly coming in this last two weeks with the cooler weather.   They are my favorite pepper with excellent sweetness even half red and an unmistakable tapered shape which resembles a horn giving these peppers the traditional name corno di toro or horn of the bull.

Sweet onions, specifically our red mediteranian torpedo onions are back this week with the same fully sun cured quality as last week.   I keep my onions at room temp out of direct light for longer storage.

Our garlic this week is a little different then the other variety you have been getting.   Our german extra hardy still has large cloves which are easy to peel but it is a little less complex in flavor then the purple stripe garlic.

Shallots are coming to you for the first time this year because why not add another allium, these onions are a staple of french cooking and have a buttery texture and flavor that is just perfect for any savory dish. They will store indefinitely at room temp on your counter or cupboard.

Cayenne is our hot pepper this week.  These bright red wrinkly peppers have some heat but also sweetness when fresh.   You can dry them to make cayenne powder or crushed red pepper flakes too!   I like them in stir fry, with fried eggplant, or cucumber salad for some zippy spice.

Eggplant is back again this week and when all else fails these are great stewed up with some zucchini, summer, squash, tomatoes, pepper, onion and garlic for some ratatouille.  We have a wonderful ratatouille recipe right here on the website under the recipe section.    Its a great way to use a lot of summer veggies up in one dish too!

Tomatoes are back!   Slicers, cherries, and heirlooms!   Can anyone get enough homegrown tomatoes?   We will have an assortment again this week with a variety of flavors and colors. That should keep things interesting for you to make beautiful caprese salads, pico, or just a simple tomato sandwich.

Basil is probably the best pairing for an herb with all these savory summer veggies, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions, they all go so well with a little basil weather its Italian, korean, thai, or american food.   You could even spritz up your lemonade with some fresh basil during these hot summer months!

Cucumbers would be another great way to cool off, so enjoy a fresh crop of these mini english cucumbers, they are looking just perfect again heading into August off the new vines!

Zucchini and summer squash is still here and slowing down quite a bit now, not many more of these to go around this summer so enjoy them while they are here.

Broccoli is back again and these fantastic heads have great flavor and tight beading that only a summer broccoli grower could dream of… it’s been taste tested here and you got my tips on cleaning last week so enjoy this rare summer treat!

Pea and sunflower shoots are both back to provide you with some fresh micro greens for to use right away in your salads, on your sandwiches, or tacos, or even sautéed lightly!

Until next week be well and enjoy the produce!

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