Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wed/Thurs - Week 9


I hope you are doing well. This week, our small shares have eggplant, fresh candy onion, slicing or saladette tomatoes, collard greens, spaghetti squash, and poblano peppers. Our full shares have red beets with their greens, 2 fresh candy onions, slicing or heirloom tomatoes, collard greens, spaghetti squash, poblano, jalapeno, anaheim, or yummy orange peppers, red new potatoes and okra.

New in the small shares this week are our slicing and saladette tomatoes, spaghetti squash, and poblano peppers. As promised last week; our field tomatoes are starting to ripen enough for harvest, and we have included every one we could for you this week. Some of the shares received our slicing tomatoes; which as their name implies, are great on sandwiches, salads, with mozzarella, or however you like. The saladette tomatoes are smaller, about the size of ping pong balls, and are great in salads or sliced in half and mixed with pasta or put on a pizza. All of our tomatoes are truly vine-ripened and never kept below 50 degrees; to keep them as flavorful and fresh/juicy as possible. Tomatoes stay best between 55-65 degrees, and below 50 degrees lose flavor and get a 'mealy' texture. We have a special cooler that keeps them in that range so they will be as fresh and tasty as possible for you, so I hope you will take care of them just as well when they get to your home. They will not be harmed by hotter temperatures, but they will continue to ripen, and the heat will quicken that. Since our tomatoes are picked at the peak of their ripeness, they are fresher, but also do not last as long as grocery store tomatoes, so please plan on eating them within a few days.

We have also included a spaghetti squash in each share. These are the first of our winter squash, and you should expect to receive a different variety of those almost every week for the rest of the season as well (we grow 12). Spaghetti squash have a very unique, almost magical-seeming texture to them. Cook them by slicing in half from tip to tip, spoon out the seeds, put some water in a baking tray and bake them, with the exposed flesh facing down, for about half an hour at 350, or until tender--you can turn it while it's baking too, just make sure it doesn't dry out. Once it cools a little, take a fork to the flesh in a perpendicular manner and drag out the strings--it will be just like strands of spaghetti. Do not eat the rind. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce, or do anything you would normally do with noodles with it. You can also cook the seeds(they are very similar to pumpkin seeds), just salt and roast them with some oil at the same time. They make a wonderful snack, and can stay in a bowl on the countertop and be eaten for some time. The poblano peppers have a deep green pepper flavor, medium spice, and are the traditional pepper used for chiles rellenos--a personal favorite. Even if you're not up for chiles rellenos, I highly recommend searing them on the grill or in the broiler and eating them that way--they have a wonderful flavor.

New this week in the full shares is some of our red new potatoes and okra; which can be stir fried, boiled, or sauteed. It is full of 'soluble fiber'; which means that when it is cut and cooked, especially for long periods of time, it develops a thick, gooey texture. Notably, okra is the traditional base/thickener of gumbo, and is a major staple food accross much of the world. If you prefer to avoid the gooey texture, simply cook it faster, and try to avoid cutting it open. The full shares also have some 0of our last beets we will have for another month and a half or so. The red new potatoes can be prepared any way you would the gold new potatoes, and though some people say they can taste the difference, should taste about the same as well.

Things are coming along very well on the farms. A few people came up for the garlic harvest, and though I was unable to make it; from what I understand it went very well and everybody had a great time. We will be putting together plans for our melon party sometime in the next week, so hopefully we will have the details for you by next week or the week after. As you might have noticed, our lettuces are out of season now, and probably will be for another 6 weeks or so--it is normal for them to not fare well through the heat of the summer, but they will be back again in the fall. Our melons and watermelons are coming in, and soon we should have more available, and in more varieties, so you should expect some of that in the weeks to come. As noted above; our winter squash has come in early this year, so we might even have enough time to rotate through every variety we grow before the season is over. Ground cherries are another highly anticipated item that is coming in and we will be able to share soon.

Please remember to return your bags.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.



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