What’s in the Box: Cherry tomatoes, heirloom and slicing tomatoes, purple glazer garlic, eggplant, summer squash or zucchini, english cucumbers, sweet yellow onions, celery, leeks, purple haze carrots, jalapeño pepper, anise hyssop.
What’s going on at the farm: Another busy and challenging week on the farm this week as we prepare for fall while managing summers bounty and the ever present heat reminds us how important water is. We have some more new crops coming for you in this weeks offerings including cherry tomatoes. Our blend is tasty and diverse and includes small and large red, orange, yellow, black, and plum cherries. Celery has turned out amazing this year and if your not going to use it right away the best way to keep the stalks crisp is to cut it off the greens and band them together separately if you want to use them later. They can be used to juice, or in cooking as you would parsley. Another crop that youi may have noticed is prolific this year is our cucumbers which are always a favorite in our household. We love them for snacks and juiced to cool down but the kids often eat them whole. Our onions are being harvested this week and they will be sun-curing in the greenhouse so any onions you receive after this week do not need to be refrigerated once they have a dry skin. The same goes for the garlic which is fully cured now and ready to store until next spring in a room temp place out of direct sunlight. Our carrots this week are purple haze carrots. Its a completely new crop for us and i’m pretty excited about these so enjoy this first time offering! They have big strong tops which I’ve heard can be used for a delicious pesto and the bright purple skin is complemented by a bright orange interior and good flavor on these beautiful carrots! Sweet peppers are starting to show signs of changing color so they should be coming very soon and our eggplant crop is probably the best i’ve ever had this year. I like frying these plump fruits in slices plain or breaded in olive oil and then making burgers out of them….. They are also good grilled, roasted for baba ganoush and make a great addition to stir fries, curries, eggplant parmesan, gluten free lasagna noodles, or stuffing! Another new crop for us this week is the Anise Hyssop which is an herb from the mint family. It has an anise flavor which is refreshing and cooling and floral and both the leaves and the lavender flowers are edible and can be used as garnish, brewed or mutt led for teas or beverages. I had the honor of meeting Odessa Piper, a local food legend this last week at market. She passed down some of her favorite ideas to me for her favorite ingredient, Anise hyssop. Here they are and maybe they will spark some inspiration in your kitchens this week for this uncommonly found yet wonderful herb.
In the Kitchen
- Try Anise Hyssop in place of basil or mint in Asian dishes
- Add chopped leaves to tabouli, root vegetable or lentil salads
- Scatter buds and flowers over watermelon & crumbled feta
- Wrap a leaf around a slice of fresh sprig or perfectly ripe pear
- Strip flowers into dough for shortbread, scones, and pie crusts
- Layer leaves over prosciutto spread with chévre, roll and slice
- Scatter buds over buttered carrots, beets, pea pods or parsnips
- Macerate a julienne of the leaves with stone fruits
- Add to other herbs and lettuces, toss with Parmesan and berries
- Cook chopped leaves into rhubarb or apple pie fillings
- Crust lamb with julienne, zests, oil, mustard and bread crumbs
- Wrap a leaf around a slice of aged cow or sheep cheese
- Churn into a brilliant sorbet, or set with ice cream and berries
- Use flowering sprigs as a garnish in place of mint
- Add flowering Anise Hyssop to bouquets of wild flowers
- After coffee, chew on a young leaf to freshen breath
We were able to accomplish harvesting all of the sweet onions this week which are curing very nicely and rapidly in this hot sunny weather. We pounded in poles and hung trellising for the pole beans and cultivated weeds around them, the late filet beans are growing well and our winter squash is setting fruit. Speaking of fruit we should hopefully have some very nice cantaloupes and sweet peppers coming in the next few weeks too. more planting coming in the coming week along with the hefty task of harvesting and topping all of our summer onions once they are fully cured. Until next week we will keep on trucking through the summer heat and hope you all enjoy the veggies!