Farmer Derek calling for rain...please
Grace and Jenna pot-up fall cauliflower and broccoli in the shade of the greenhouse
Two and a half acres of pollinator habitat on the farm provide forage and protection to the myriad of insects, birds and other creatures which provide too many benefits to list here and which we immensely appreciate seeing around
Notes From The Field
Hello cooler weather and rain
By Derek McGeehan
I am very much looking forward to the hypothetical forecast for the start of this week. The farm needs rain, I need rain, we all need rain, but not too much or too heavy or too quickly. With the help of a workshift Friday morning we planted 7 varieties of fall cabbage, spread out over 5 raised beds, totaling 3000 row feet. They're ready for a drink. We also planted the first round of fall beets, and they could use a drink, too.
U-pick flowers don't seem to mind the lack of precipitation! Here rudbeckia blooms brighten a Sunday afternoon
Water is precious. It helps transport nutrients from the soil to the plants and within the plants. We're all mostly water; plants, animals, humans, maybe one of Jupiter's moons, Europa. Too bad a lot of surface water is now polluted; it must have been nice back in the day to take a dip and a sip and feel clean. Perhaps we'll find another Earth that is cleaner. For now, we'll try to grow some clean, healthy, safe, and tasty produce to keep us energized, using rain water from the atmosphere that we hope is clean. We also have a 300 foot deep well that is tapped into a clean aquifer that we could use to irrigate the farm if we and the crops become deathly dehydrated. For now, we'll put our trust in the computer models and meteorologists with their nice degrees and knowledge and experience studying weather patterns and the goings on of the surface-atmospher interface. But we're doing well and moving forward and making good progress. Sunflower, buckwheat, red clover, sorghum-sudan grass, and hemp cover crops were sown a week and a half ago and have miraculously germinated and started to grow. Thirsty, we now presume.
Hey, organic carrots
By Derek McGeehan
Harvest #8 (Week B) should include lettuce, scallions, summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, carrots with greens, fennel, kohlrabi, radishes, Italian dandelion, and parsley. A few items will be a choice. U-pick this week should include basils, perennial herbs, beans, dill, cilantro, hopefully cherry tomatoes, and a flower bouquet.
Preserving the harvest workshop-- a success!
By Gia Yaccarino
Though the attendance was low for our second workshop, I believe everyone present gleaned something new. I know I did! We discussed how to keep our weekly share fresh including types of containers and ethylene gas absorbers. An overview of water bath (boiling water) canning and pressure canning was discussed, followed by an overview of freezing techniques. Thank you to everyone who attended – your contributions to the discussion was what made the event a success!!
How did I enjoy my harvest this week?
By Linda Dansbury
It was a busy week in veggie cooking - I wish I had written everything down as I made them, so I could remember everything I prepared. Below is a snapshot of how we enjoyed our veggies.
Beets, kale, scapes, parsley, tarragon, scallions
- I was thrilled to see beets the past couple of weeks. I roasted the entire batch - wrap in foil and put on a cookie sheet. Roast in an oven set to 365-400 degrees and start checking for tenderness after an hour. If you have a variety of sizes, some will need to be removed earlier than the larger ones. I made the Roasted Beets and Beet green Risotto -
since we didn't have the beet greens, I used the kale that I julienned and it turned out delicious. I also made a roasted beet salad, in which I make a dressing using scallion, tarragon, Dijon mustard, vinegar and a mild oil. Mix a bit of salad greens with the dressing and place on plates, then mix the roasted, sliced beets in the dressing (if you have time to let the beets sit in the dressing for a bit, the flavor gets better); place the beet slices in a pretty pattern around the plates and top with little bits of goat cheese, fresh ground black pepper and a bit of fresh parsley.Dandelion Greens
- made the Dandelion with Warm Hazelnut Dressing u
sing walnuts and walnut oil instead. This is really delicious and simple.
Fennel - I made steamed clams using the 2 fennel bulbs we received as part of the veggies for the stock. I used it place of the celery I most often use, blending my fish soup base with my normal base for clams/mussels.
Squash, eggplant, pepper, fennel, radicchio, scallions - we grilled our entire dinner last night - this is so simple and yet delicious - I quartered the squash lengthwise, cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, cut the pepper, radicchio and fennel into quarters, keeping the root end in tact for the fennel and radicchio so they stay together. Drizzled olive oil and sprinkled fresh ground black pepper and salt on all the veggies. Just watch them carefully when they are on the grill - they can burn quickly if you turn your back on them!
Radicchio - is also delicious raw and added to salads - I separate a few leaves and stack them in top of each other and then julienne them and add to my "normal" salad greens. Adds beautiful color as well as a different flavor.
Cucumbers and the start of cherry tomatoes
By Linda Dansbury
We are at the peak of the cucumber season right now and they are yummy. Three pounds might seem like a lot to use, but if you didn't have a chance to go to the Canning Workshop yesterday and are afraid of canning, but love pickles, try the Refrigerator Pickle r
ecipe that is on the website. I am also adding a southeast Asian inspired salad recipe to use your cucumbers, radishes and herbs.
We are adding links to recipes featured in the newsletter to make it easy for you to access that recipe. However, members can search for recipes featuring specific veggies with these simple instructions: At the top of the Member's Page screen, select "Search". In the pull down box on the left, select "Recipes". Type in either the entire recipe name if you know it, or simply type the veggie you want to search on and a list with all of the links to the recipes in the list is right at your fingertips.
U-pick cherry tomatoes should start being available this week. Over the years, farmers D&D have selected the varieties that do best in our microclimate - taste, disease resistance, length of harvest are just a few of their criteria. There are many different colors, shapes, and sizes of cherry tomatoes - try them all. Look toward the bottom of the plants in order to determine the color they are when ripe. The very popular and delicious Sun Golds, for example look ripe when yellow, but look closer and you find orange ones, which are much sweeter. There are also red, orange, purplish, and even striped tomatoes out there - they are all delicious. I enjoy them as a snack, added to salads, blistered in a pan with olive oil and garlic and then poured over fish, green beans, or home made pizza. Yum - get out there and pick and enjoy!
Sesame Peanut Cucumber Salad
From Food 52.com; serves 2-3 people. Takes a few minutes to prepare but the depth of flavors is worth it.
1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
1 large or a few small radishes, cut into matchsticks
1 fresh hot red chile pepper, diced (Remove the seeds for a milder salad.)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon black or white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons salted and roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Fresh Thai basil, mint, or cilantro or a combination of them, chopped
Place the cucumber slices, radishes, and chile pepper in a large bowl, toss to mix. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, ginger, lime zest and juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, and honey. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the cucumbers and toss until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to deepen. Before serving add the sesame seeds, peanuts, and herbs and toss again.