This Weeks Share:
- Summer Squash
Beans- Dragon Tongue is the variety of bean in your share this week. It is a beautiful flat bean with deep purple markings. To keep their unusual color you need to serve them raw. This is easy to do since they are so tender and sweet. They are also great cooked but unfortunately their purple color will fade.
Beets- Kestrel is the variety we are harvesting. This dark red beet is sweet with that hint of earth that makes beets so tasty. We are topping your beets because the greens are no longer nice enough to eat.
Carrots- According to the cookbook From Asparagus to Zucchini the carrot originated in middle Asia, first eaten by the hill dwellers of Afghanistan. The early cultivated varieties were purple and pale yellow. The first orange varieties did not appear until the 1600’s in the Netherlands.
Chard- Indigenous to the Mediterranean, chard is often referred to as Swiss chard due to its initial description by a Swiss botanist in the 16th century. The common beet root evolved from the leafy Swiss chard. We grow a variety called Rudy Red.
Corn- Corn is here! We transplant all our corn which is laborious but ensures a great stand and helps with weed pressure. We did eight separate plantings with seven different varieties of corn. This summer you will receive Sugar Buns and Spring Treat which are yellow, Sugar Pearl and Silver Queen which are white varieties and Fleet, Brocade and Luscious which are bicolor. This week is Fleet.
Cucumbers- Hope you are staying as “cool as a cucumber”. Cucumbers are refreshing because they are 95% water. They contain small amounts of vitamin A, C and a few minerals. Cucumbers are also rich in vitamin E which makes them not only great eating but effective skin conditioners. Try rubbing an end slice or an inside peel on your face and experience its refreshing benefits.
Garlic- If you need to store your garlic it does well in a cool, dark, dry and well ventilated place. Warm temperatures will encourage garlic to sprout. Do not refrigerate, unless storing peeled cloves for a short time. If so, keep them in an airtight container to avoid garlic odor spreading to other foods. For very long term storage, garlic can be minced and covered or blended with olive oil and placed in small airtight containers and frozen. After removing from the freezer, keep it in the refrigerator.
Herbs- Cilantro and dill will both be in your share this week. Both of these herbs are great chopped into a variety of chilled summer salads, such as pasta, potato, tuna and cucumber. They also enhance many stews and soups. Try this recipe for simple dill garlic butter. Melt butter over a low flame. Sauté garlic, being careful not to burn. Add finely chopped dill and continue to sauté for another couple minutes. Pour over potatoes or other cooked vegetables. With a splash of lemon it makes an excellent sauce for broiled or baked fish.
Lettuce- Lettuce is making a reappearance this week. Red Cross is the variety we will harvest.
Summer Squash- We harvest summer squash three times a week to unsure that the fruits do not get too big. If you find yourself falling behind on eating your squash it can be cooked, pureed and frozen in airtight containers. Then in the winter you can pull it out and use it as an addition to or as a base for winter soups.
Coming Soon- Eggplant and Tomatoes will all be showing up in your shares in the next week or two.
Just to be adventurous or to prove to those picky eaters in the house that yes, they will eat summer squash or yes, they will enjoy beets here are two surprising ways to use your vegetables. As dessert!
Sweet Zucchini Crumble
Adapted from Farmer John’s cookbook The Real Dirt on Vegetables
Silky smooth baked zucchini is the surprising filling in this sweet dessert. Like the best apple crumble, this dessert has a tender, lemony-sweet, spiced filling just waiting to be discovered beneath its irresistible, crunchy crust. Serves 6 to 8
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 3 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups shortening, softened, or butter, cold
- 6-8 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 4 large zucchini)
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Stir the flour, 2 cups of the sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add the shortening or butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse oatmeal.
3. Pour half of the mixture into a 9×13-inch cake pan. Using your fingers or a rubber spatula, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.
4. Combine the zucchini and lemon juice in a large pot over high heat and cook until zucchini is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer for 1 minute more. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved flour mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove the pot from the
heat to cool for 10 minutes.
5. Pour the zucchini mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture. Return the pan to the oven and bake until it is lightly browned and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes.
Adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh, Seasonal Produce
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup oil
- 3-4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups shredded beets
Combine dry ingredients. Sift or mix well together. Melt chocolate very slowly over low heat or in a double boiler. Allow chocolate to cool then blend thoroughly with eggs and oil. Combine flour mixture with chocolate mixture, alternating with the beets. Pour into 2 greased 9 inch cake pans. Bake at 325 for 40-50 minutes, or until fork can be removed from the center cleanly. Ten servings.
In The Fields
Last Monday we hosted a Farmscaping for Beneficials walk on our farm. These walks are sponsored by OSU and The Xerces Society who are working together on a project to support grower-led activities that build the knowledge and implementation of conservation biological control (CBC) on local farms. Conservation biological control can be defined as methods used on and around farms to restore and enhance beneficial organism populations that can increase to numbers that may limit pest populations. Such methods may include insectary plantings, grassy field margins, beetle banks and hedgerows. We have implemented several of their strategies on our farm to encourage beneficials: whenever possible we allow our cover crop to flower; we grow many cut flowers on the farm, and we have edges that are not disturbed by tillage. We continue to learn what we can do to create habitat that will encourage beneficials and help us to be better farmers.
This is the second year that Sauvie Island Organics is involved with the Janus Youth Food Works’ program. Food Works is a youth employment program, which engages 14-21 year olds in all aspects of planning and running an entrepreneurial farm business. Their farm is adjacent to ours on Sauvie Island. On Fridays, the one day that we do not harvest and use our barn for pack out, we hear the music of the Food Works youth as they bring their harvest in for washing and packing. You can find them each Saturday at the PSU farmers’ market downtown.