This Week’s Share:
- Summer Squash
A weekly description of your veggies, with a twist…
Beets – John Evans, from Palmer AK, holds the worlds record for the largest beet ever grown, over 42 pounds! You can see it on the following website. Bet, it didn’t taste as lovely as the beets in your share this week. http://www.recordholders.org/en/records/vegetables2.html
Carrots – Carrots are the 5th most consumed fresh vegetable in the United States. In 2000 Oregon ranked 8th nationally in producing carrots for processing, representing 2.3 % of total U.S. production. http://www.ipmcenters.org/cropprofiles/docs/orcarrots.html
Corn – 80 million acres of land are planted to corn in the US yielding over 650 million pounds, mostly for livestock feed and processed corn products. 4,500 acres were planted in Oregon in 2006. I couldn’t find out how much was sold locally. (USDA)
Cucumbers – “To see cucumbers in a dream denotes that you will speedily fall in love. Or, if you are in love, then you will marry the object of your affection.” Richard Folkard in ‘Plant Lore’ (1884)
Eggplant – From Ode to Eggplant “But your flavor is requited love-The thing that makes all others complete: Garlic, tomato, lentil, lamb, rice. Olive oil would simply be lost without you.” – Persis M. Karim
Lettuce – A “transcontinental” head of lettuce, grown in California and shipped nearly 5,000 kilometers to Washington, DC, requires about 36 times as much fossil fuel energy in transport as it provides in food energy. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4132
Onions, Walla Walla – “For this is every cook’s opinion, No savory dish without an onion; But lest your kissing should be spoiled, Your onions should be thoroughly boiled.” -Jonathon Swift
Parsley – “Parsley, parsley everywhere. Let me have my victuals bare.” – Ogden Nash
Summer Squash – “You give and give too much, like summer days limp with heat… as we salt and freeze and pickle for the too little to come.” – Marge Piercy’s Attack of the Squash People
Tomatoes – “the tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness.” -Pablo Neruda
*Basil – “O cruelty, To steal my Basil-pot away from me!” – John Keats
SE Ankeny pick-up will be receiving their half pound this week.
**Melons – In 2004, domestic Cantaloupe production was valued at $300.6 million. Per capita consumption of melons has remained around 25 pounds over the last 15 years. The US is a net importer of Melons, mostly from Mexico. Meanwhile we export over 79% of our crop to Canada and Japan. http://aic.ucdavis.edu/profiles/Melons-2006.pdf Melons, like me, thrive in heat. We get sweeter, our color is better; we are more pleasant to have at the table. So, some shares will begin to see these gems in their share this week.
Box share picker uppers… Bring Out Your Bins! Bring Out Your Bins! It’s that time of year when we need to issue a recall.
Free Produce at your pick-up site. Just put that cilantro bunch you dislike or the cucumbers you can’t keep up with in the FREE BOX at your pick-up so that others can benefit from your aversions. Don’t just leave your portion in the bins; it makes us think we counted wrong. Thanks!
Deliciously Simple Bruscetta
For a single gal sometimes it’s all I need for dinner
The Italian equivalent of chips and salsa…
Tomatoes – As many as you like, dice ‘em up
Garlic – Mince up to what your spice factor enjoys
Basil – I would say a ratio of four leaves to every tomato you use
Olive Oil – Good quality is better here, use enough to make your tomatoes wet
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
Dice, mince, chop and stir all the ingredients together. Toast up thin slices of Good Italian Baguette…Eat like chips and salsa
ACHAARI BAINGAN (Eggplant in pickling style)
Cook this dish to impress your friends with Indian culinary skills. Easier then it seems, Kalongi is key but not necessary.
Adapted from Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey (serves 2)
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji) (sub cumin if your couldn’t find it)
- 3 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- a pinch of turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder (or to your taste)
- Cilantro for garnish
- oil for frying
Cut eggplant into largish cubes and place them in a bowl of cold water. Pat dry with a towel. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a deep saucepan. When hot, add the eggplant slices and fry them over medium heat until they turn reddish brown. Fry in batches if the saucepan cannot hold all slices at one time. Remove from heat and place on absorbent paper.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. When hot add fennel seeds and kalonji, as they begin to sizzle and darken add the chopped tomato and ginger-garlic paste. Stir for a minute. Add coriander, turmeric and chili powder. Season with salt.
Mix well and cook for about 2-3 minutes, breaking the tomato pieces with the back of your spoon. Turn the heat up and continue to stir until the sauce thickens
Add the eggplant slices in the sauce and mix gently. Cook for about a minute more. Serve with rice and a cool cucumber salad.
A Midsummer Days Farm
Well into the CSA season the afternoon light begins to yellow in sync with the browning onion tips and golden tassels on the corn tops. Much of the produce coloring your boxes and bags has become more familiar, significant and expected. Likewise the days of work to bring in your vegetables have become more familiar, significant, and expected. With the sun rising later the crew has the welcome shift to a 6:30 start time. That extra half hour of sleep in the morning is sure to feel like a mini-vacation. Our weeding list grows shorter in proportion to the days it seems, as we shift to a harvest heavy day and the last of the lettuce, carrots and fall greens are transplanted and seeded. And do I mean heavy…some beets are almost the size of my head!
Farm life at SIO cultivates lots of time for thought and discussion on topics from the hilarious to the serious. The descriptions for this weeks share were inspired by our field conversations and how they move from the inspirational to tactical to absurd. One moment we are contemplating our totem animals and the end of the next row fretting over what percentage of fresh produce in the global food system is wasted.
It is important to remain inspired as we work hard growing food for our neighbors. I often wonder, feeling perplexed about the tractor trailer of corn I saw pulling out of the farm across the street, where all that corn is going. At the delicious Plate and Pitchfork dinners at the farm last weekend I bit into a hefty Corona bean salad and wondered how much protein and nutrition I was getting compared to a more energy intensive bite of meat. Will I really eat a peck of dirt before I die? What percentage of our income should we be spending on food (down to about 9% from 24% in 1924, Worldwatch Institute) to sustain a healthy food system and fair wages for farmers? These questions, random song lyrics, and lots of numbers run through my head every day that I cultivate beautiful food for you all. It keeps me inspired, along with gratuitous amounts of chocolate, and I hope the vegetables keep you inspired too!