Our next CSA distribution will be Monday August 6 and Thursday August 9. This has been an especially draining week for us, so there will be little in this post beyond information on the upcoming share. Enjoy the food as much as we are, because it’s one of the things that keeps us going.
THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE
NEW! Amish Salad tomatoes Only sort-of new as a few made it into earlier shares. These are small, pinkish fruits that look like large cherry tomatoes. We grow them mainly because they’re hardy and productive, one of our most reliable varieties. Their raw flavor isn’t anything special, but their dense flesh and uniform size/shape makes them excellent for roasting. Prepping them for roasting is really fast, too, since there’s no need to core them. We’ll try to include 1-2 pints in each share; try making a roasted tomato salsa or sauce with these.
NEW! Cured onions We grew two kinds of sweet onions this year, and we’ll include a sampling of both in the share this week. Cipollinis, a flat yellow onion, have already been a part of a previous distribution. The other variety is a red variety: Rossa di Milano. These are new to us, so we did only a small trial, but we quite like them. They have a nice sweetness with less of a bite than the cipollinis if eaten raw. They’re very nice for Greek salad.
Potatoes We’ll be distributing from a row of Kennebec potatoes that we dug this morning. Yield still wasn’t stunning, but we’ve seen worse. Kennebecs are good for general purpose use. Potato pizza is a great way to feature (& stretch) a small quantities of potatoes: Slice a small-ish potato as thinly as possible, rub a pizza crust with olive oil and garlic, sprinkle on rosemary or another herb of choice, lay out the potato slices to cover the crust, add some cheese, and bake. Joanna’s favorite!
NEW! Cayenne hot peppers These long, thin, red peppers pack a punch but are highly tasty. When we have more than we can use fresh, we string these with a needle and thread and hang them in a window to dry for winter.
Anaheim hot peppers These dark green peppers are mildly hot and perfect for adding flavor to salsa, sauces, and other dishes. We especially enjoy halving them lengthwise (removing seeds), stuffing them with fresh goat cheese, and roasting. Very tasty.
Jalapeno peppers Standard small green hot pepper, great for stuffing with cheese.
Mixed sweet peppers The plants look great, and the amount should be on the rise. So many uses for these: raw (salads), stuffed, stir-fried, roasted, etc. Roasted peppers take a little bit of effort, but are intensely yummy. The thicker-fleshed varieties tend to be easier to peel.
Cherry tomato mix
Mid-sized slicer tomatoes Enjoy these sliced or roasted, they’re very versatile.
Big ugly heirloom tomatoes These come in a variety of colors; some of you received White Tomesol tomatoes last week; other varieties include Cherokee Purple, Kellogg’s Breakfast (orange), Grandpa Willie’s (red/pink), and Cour di Bue (heart-shaped pink). The raccoons have crowned Cherokee Purple the winner of their taste-test extravaganza.
Okra Remember that these have a relatively short storage life. Try them fried in cornmeal, or chopped into soups or curries. To preserve, toss them in a bag in the freezer (do NOT blanch) or slice and put in a food dehydrator at 120ºF for ~8-12 hours until crisp/brittle.
Cucumbers Mostly yellow cukes from the second planting.
Summer squash The zombie squash planting continues, pumping out both human and pig food. Unbelievable. Maybe there won’t be a break from squash after all, given that the new planting is starting to form little baby squash-lings.
Cured garlic: This week’s varieties will be German Extra Hardy (a hardneck variety with large cloves that is especially good roasted) and Shvelisi (a nice general purpose hardneck). We will cut the stalks so German Extra Hardy has a longer stem this week.
We hope you enjoyed the sweet corn, not as much as we hoped to get you, but some is better than none. Raccoons continue to get into the patch despite electric net fences with nearly 6,000 volts and other efforts on our part. We’ve been salvaging lots of damaged ears for our own use, but aren’t sure whether there will be enough from this planting for another fair distribution to everyone. Feedback welcome on what you did get: was it mature enough, did you find major earworm damage, etc. We’re still in the learning phase of growing sweet corn. There’s one more variety with a later maturity date; the planting is slightly smaller and the ear set doesn’t look as uniform. So there’s a possibility for a slight bit more in a few weeks, but no promises.
We’ll stick with 4 herb bundles/full share and 2/part share this week. Most of the lime basil is flowering pretty heavily, so we’re going to retire it for now; a few more plants should be ready later. The chives and garlic chives seem to have perked up slightly with a bit of natural moisture and after a break in harvest, so those are going back on the list for now.
Kentucky colonel mint
Basil Now coming from a new planting.
Shiso: Mix of red & green varieties. Really pretty! There’s lots of this right now, so we might give out a bonus bundle of herbs for anyone who expresses interest. We heard from one household that they made a tasty shiso pesto.
Green coriander: Great for salsa. Probably the last week of this; much of the planting is moving beyond the nicest green phase.
Coriander: Some of the cilantro plants have finished maturing their seed into fully dry coriander. We’ll cut this as we do for dill heads: just chop off a cluster of stems, put it in a bag, and let you separate out the seeds from anything else. These are suitable for either culinary use or for planting to grow your own cilantro/coriander.