Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27 or 30 Box

Yesterdays' pepper harvest!  Garret and Elliot load the truck.
This weeks' small box:  1 bunch of arugula, 2 #s of Juliet tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1 # baby eggplant, 1/2 # summer squash, 1/2 # lettuce mix, a bag of 3 # of onions and 1/2# of garlic.

Regular boxes:  1 bunch of arugula, 3# of Juliet tomatoes, 1 bell pepper and a pound of paprikas (sweet), 1# baby eggplant, 1/2# summer squash, 1 # lettuce mix, 1 delicata squash, a bag of 5# of onions and 3/4 # of garlic.

It is best for storage crops to be unrefrigerated (like onions and garlic) and so I thought I'd give you a months' worth of these things at once because it is hopefully easier for us to do it right this way.  Typically we make your boxes on Tuesday evening (or Friday evening for Saturday pickups)and keep them in our cooler overnight.  That makes the onions and garlic get damp and so not store as well.  If this just doesn't work for you to get this much at once to store yourself, let us know.  I included a reminder in each bag that says:

Storage Onions and Garlic
These onions and garlic have been cured in our barn and are considered storage crops.  This means they will keep without refrigeration for a few months.  Ideal storage conditions are dry, dark, and cool.  Short of ideal, they will keep best in a basket or bowl in your kitchen cabinet or a corner of the counter that doesn’t get direct sun.  If you want to have your eyes burn less when cutting onions, store them in the refrigerator but it will cut down on how long they will keep.
This bag is meant to be a months’ worth of onions and garlic.  If it is way less or way more than you can use, let us know!
Some of the onions, especially the red ones, are damaged on part of the bulb.  We tried a new method of “field curing” these and some got sunburnt.  I haven’t found any to be rotten that I’ve cut into; it’s a surface burn.  If you find otherwise, please let us know and we’ll replace them!

This week is probably the last you'll see tomatoes in your box.  Try them oven roasted!  Just cut them in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbs and roast at 400 degrees until done to your liking.  These are great with pasta, on bread, on pizza.  The baby eggplant is good this way too!  It is also good sauteed in olive oil with salt and a chile pepper.  The paprikas in the regular boxes are a great sweet, thick walled pepper great roasted, raw, or sauteed.

The boxes will start to change to more lettuce, greens, and radishes in the coming weeks as well as winter squashes and potatoes.

Goose beans growing on field corn we're growing for Farm and Sparrow bakery.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 20 or 23

Peppers on the vine
Small boxes this week:  1 1/2 # carrots, 1 # fingerling potatoes, 2 #s of sweet peppers (yellow bells, jimmy nardellos, pimentos, lipstick), 1 bunch of komatsuna, 1 bunch of leeks, 1 pint of edamame.
Regular boxes this week have: 2 # carrots, 2# fingerlings, 3# sweet peppers, 1 bunch of komatsuna, 1 bunch of leeks, 2 pints of edamame, 1# mountain magic tomatoes, 1 # baby eggplant.

Saute 2 to 4 leeks and several of the peppers in olive oil, salt, and some herb ( basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, parsley) until both are soft and the leeks translucent.  Turn off the heat and add the komatsuna (stems chopped thinly and leaves a bit larger).  Let the greens wilt and toss the vegetables with pasta or rice.
Butternut, red kuri, sweet dumpling squashes curing in the barn

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13 or 16 box

Small boxes:  2 delicata squash, 1 pint of edamame, 2 small yellow onions, 1 garlic bulb, 1 red bell pepper, 2 1/2 #s tomatoes, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 bunch of komatsuna.
Regular boxes:  all the above plus double the garlic, onion, delicata squash, 1 quart of juliet tomatoes, 1 bunch of sage, 2 sweet paprika peppers, 1 fennel bulb.

The delicata is a "winter squash" that is ready to eat now.  They do not require the curing time that other winter squashes do and are a real treat!  We just cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake up side down with a little water in the pan until soft (about 30 minutes at 400 degrees).  Our kids ate 1 a piece the other day when we taste tested them.
The edamame is best cooked in boiling water for about 5 minutes and then popped out of the shell and eaten plain.  A great snack!  Its also good added to salads or stirfries.  It does need to be shelled; those pods would be most unpleasant to chew.
The komatsuna is a green in the mustard family.  It is very mildly spicy and would be good lightly sauteed, eaten raw, or made into pesto with the parsley.
The peppers have really kicked into high gear with ripening!  I don't want to overwhelm you with peppers but if you are a pepper lover and would like more in your box,e let us know at market or via email for those of you who pick up elsewhere and we'll get you more.  The offer still stands with the hot peppers too!  As long as we have them, you are welcome to get some every week if you like!

On the menu this week:
Parsley, komatsuna, and garlic pesto over pasta
Fresh tomato slices with salt
Sauteed onion and peppers with scrambled eggs
Baked delicata squash

oohlala yellow bells

Sweet Italian "corno di toro"

beautiful bells

Round of Hungary pimento

Boldog sweet paprika

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6 or 9

Small boxes:  1 bunch of beets, 1 bunch of leeks, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 # of "mountain magic" salad tomatoes, 1 bulb of garlic, 3 jimmy nardello SWEET peppers, 1 # of a mix of green beans and yellow wax beans.
Regular boxes:  all the above plus 3 more jimmy nardellos, another garlic, 1 # of fingerling potatoes, 2 # of amish paste tomatoes, 1 small bunch of baby carrots.

The mountain magic tomatoes are surprisingly tasty in my opinion.  It is always difficult and often impossible to grow a good tomato crop organically here because of all our humidity, cool nights, and foggy mornings. This is a variety that was bred right here in Fletcher at the horticultural research station by a man who has devoted himself to breeding blight resistant tomato varieties for the mountains.  (he uses conventional methods for breeding.  no GMOs here!)  I hope you like them.  They're best for fresh eating in salads or salsa.
The Jimmy Nardello peppers, contrary to their looks, are very sweet!  They're delicious sauteed with some onions and eaten with pasta, potatoes, eggs, by themselves.  It is an heirloom variety that has enjoyed much renewed popularity because of how delicious the peppers are and because Slow Food put it on their "Ark of Taste" list.  We also have many varieties of hot peppers.  I tend not to put them in the boxes because I don't know who likes them and who doesn't SO if you do, please let us know at market or in an email and we'll be sure you get as many hot peppers as you want!  We have lots of hot banana peppers right now and they are good pickled if anyone is interested!
This unusually cool weather we're having has the okra in slow motion but we hope to have it for you soon!

Beets and Pasta
Cut the beet root from the leaves
Wash the leaves and save them
Wash the beet and boil until tender, let them cool enough to handle, slip the peel of with your hands and cut into quarters.  Marinate the beets in a dressing of equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the pasta of your choice.
While the pasta is cooking, cut 2 to 4 leeks into thin circles using from just above the roots to where the leaves start; wash them by letting soak in cold water for a few minutes while agitating them; saute until soft in olive oil or butter.
Cut the beet leaves and stems into thin ribbons and toss with the pasta while it is still hot so it wilts them.
Add the leeks, beets and any marinade with them to the pasta.
You may want more crushed black pepper or red pepper, a bulb or 2 of crushed garlic and romano or parmesan shredded on top.
(this is good with sausage too if you like it)

Garret and Aaron trellising the black eye peas.