This Week’s Share
- Summer Squash
Carrots – Fresh, sliced, diced, shredded, steamed, roasted or stewed carrots are a fantastic sweet vegetable for all seasons. I like mine roasted with maple syrup and either raisins or rosemary.
Celery – A hearty welcome to celery. The variety of celery we grow is called ‘Tall Utah’, and it surely is tall, it’s also quite fragrant too. Treat this celery as an herb, a delightful addition to soups, stews and other kitchen endeavors, instead of the kind of celery you would use for ants on a log (aka snacking). This celery might taste a bit too strong if you just eat is raw. I recommend flavoring your tomato juice with a stick of this celery.
Cucumber – The cucumbers are starting to slow down a bit, so your share of these delicious summer treats will start to get smaller. Use your cucumbers this week to make a delicious pickled cucumber salad.
Eggplant – Eggplant, the spongiest vegetable in your share, is a wonderful summer treat. My favorite method for cooking eggplant is rubbing slices or halves with canola oil, sesame oil and miso paste and then broiling in the oven until brown. Makes a great pizza, salad or pasta topping.
Garlic – Use garlic in your pesto or in almost any dish. Try your garlic roasted…peel cloves, coat with olive oil and roast in the oven until the color changes and the texture turns soft.
Kale – Welcome ‘Winterbor’ Kale. The second planting of kale has finally come on strong and we are excited to include a bunch of this curly kale in your share. Kale is a multi-function vegetable. You can steam or sauté it briefly to enjoy this vegetable still crisp. You can also cook it down further and cook it in balsamic vinegar for a delicious side dish. Kale, chopped finely, is also a wonderful addition to quiches, soups and grain dishes.
Lettuce – A simple summer salad is the best dinner on a warm night. Wash and tear off your lettuce leaves. Add shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers and diced tomatoes and top with a roasted garlic vinaigrette.
Potatoes – This week you will be getting Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes in your share. Nothing beats a freshly harvested potato. I love potatoes roasted in a vegetable medley, especially on the grill. See the recipe below. These delicious potatoes are also wonderful cubed and cooked in your favorite soup.
Summer Squash – The varieties of summer squash are also starting to slow down too. Enjoy them while they are still with us.
Tomato – The tomatoes keep coming on stronger and stronger. How fantastic to finally have them with us. I recommend making homemade tomato juice and dressing it up with a little celery.
*Basil – This week Wednesday Box and Friday Box will receive a bulk basil distribution in their shares. This is the time to make some tasty pesto to keep in the freezer until winter.
Apple and Celery Bread
2 c. apples, fresh, diced (do not peel)
1/2 c. celery, fresh, diced
3 lg. eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
1 3/4 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Beat eggs in mixing bowl. Add oil and sugar; mix well. Add apples and celery; blend. Sift together dry ingredients and add to above mixture; just to blend. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Roasted Eggplant Dip
adapted from How to Cook Everything
The author says “roasting eggplant gives it such a wonderful smoky flavor that even people who claim to not like eggplant often eat this dip enthusiastically”.
2 medium or 4 small eggplant
¼ c freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
½ t minced garlic, or to taste
½ c freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
minced fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Start a charcoal or wood fire, preheat a gas grill, or turn the oven on to 500 degrees. Pierce eggplant in several places. Grill or roast, turning occasionally, until the eggplant collapses and the skin blackens, about 15-30 minutes. Remove and cool. When cool enough to handle, open the skin and scoop out the eggplant flesh. Mince finely and mix with lemon juice, oil, garlic, cheese, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, garnish, serve with bread or crackers.
adapted from The New Laurel’s Kitchen
“These richly flavored yeast-raised potato pancakes are light, delicious, and not at all greasy – wonderful not only for breakfast, but at any time of day.”
2 medium potato
1 egg, beaten
1 t salt
½ c whole wheat flour
¼ c wheat germ
2 t active dry yeast
1 c warm mil, stock or water
1 T onion (or more)
1 T oil
Sauté onion in oil. Dissolve yeast in liquid. Grate potato and mix together with egg, salt, flour, and wheat germ. Add the onion with its oil. Let rise 30 minutes. Stir down. Cook over medium heat on lightly oiled griddle until browned on each side, about 6-7 minutes. Serve with applesauce and yogurt. Makes 8 pancakes.
Grilled Veggie Medley
Start up the grill (or the hot coals at your camp site). Cube and slice potatoes, eggplant, summer squash, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, peppers and even tomatoes. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and your favorite herbs. Then wrap into a tin foil pod and throw on the barbeque or put it in the coals. Flip once or twice and then open for moist, delicious vegetables.
What’s Going on at the Farm?
This is a wonderful time of year at the farm. The skies are still clear and bright, the angles of our shadows are changing dramatically, and the hue of the sunlight is a warmer and a deeper yellow. The crops are all roaring along at the peak of their production. The peppers keep marching along their path, just waiting to change from green to the magical rainbow of colors to which they will mature. The irrigation schedule is slowing down as we harvest more crops but seed fewer replacements and fill in empty spots with the last of the summer cover crop. The hearty winter crops are growing with speed and soon winter squash, cabbage, and spinach will be knocking on our door again. It’s hard to believe the time is moving this quickly!
An Excellent Opportunity to Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle
Here are some tips for using the three Rs (Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle) at your veggie pick up site.
1. Bring your own bag or bags for vegetable transport. Canvas and cloth are good options because they can get washed or rinsed as needed. Just throw all your veggies in there and a little water or soil won’t hurt, which eliminates the need for all produce to go home in individual plastic bags. Circulate two bags in rotation, one with your bike/car and one in the house so you’ll always have one with you. You can also re-use paper or plastic grocery bags from the store or previous week of drop. Every re-used bag is one less ‘virgin’ bag (and newly harvested raw materials) that gets put into the waste stream.
2. Collect your paper bags (from the store or from drop) and bring them to share at drop for yourself and other members to use. That way, when you forget to bring your bag…there will already be a used bag waiting for you.
3. About the thin plastic film bags…although these bags come in handy for bagging a wet head of lettuce or some tomatoes that might get squished and leak on the way home, they aren’t necessary for bagging every item. Consider conserving bags by combining only wet produce (lettuce, kale, etc) or delicate produce you are concerned about into one bag. This saves bags and time. These bags are also easily saved and re-used from week to week by rinsing quickly and hanging to dry upside down on a dish rack. Luckily, your produce gets along real well with each other and is more than happy to sit lumped together in your bag until you get home to unpack it.
4. And for the recycling part…you can recycle paper bags that have passed their prime, or you can re-use them as wrapping paper or bedding for your worm composting bin. You can even save up your spent plastic film bags and recycle them at the Master Recycler Plastic Round-ups that occur three times per year (see information and link below).
FREE Master Recycler Plastic Roundups
Saturday, September 29, 2007, 9am to 2pm
Floyd Light Middle School 10800 SE Washington
Kaiser Permanente 3325 N Interstate (off Fremont & Overlook Park)
Saturday, October 6, 2007, 9am to 2pm
PCC Sylvania 12000 SW 49th Lot 10
Westview High School 4200 NW 185th North Parking Lot
Every year the second-year apprentices get one 180′ bed at the farm on which we can experiment with crops or techniques that we don’t otherwise use at the farm. Planning and managing my apprentice bed has been a fun challenge, with an emphasis on the challenge part. Much like the rest of the farm, I did my planning during the winter months of January and February. Between my over zealous visits with the Seed Savers Exchange catalog and the large number of seeds I acquired at seed swaps, it was hard to narrow down my options and pick a sane amount of crops to plant. I had a few definite crops I wanted to include: heirloom melons, storage onions, small-long storing winter squash, cherry tomatoes, sunflowers, Zulu Prince daisy, a few varieties of hot peppers, and tomatillos. But then I found varieties I just had to have, like black tomatoes and beans and edamame and the list goes on and on. The planning and seeding in the greenhouse was easy compared to the planting out, weeding and harvesting. I forgot how long our work days are in the hot sun and how hard it is to do anything after a long day on the farm, nonetheless more farming. However, I’ve done my best to visit my apprentice bed a couple times a week, weed it when I can, and watch the progress of all my crops with delight and much impatience! The absence of a long, hot summer has kept my melons from ripening yet, and I can hardly wait for them to be ready (and I have cut open enough un-ripe melons to have learned my lesson). It has been wonderful to experience a 180′ mini-farm from start to finish, and I have learned a lot of lessons in the process. Here are a few lessons learned. 1) Always trellis tomatoes. They sure need it to stay healthy and it makes harvest much easier. 2) When the seed packet says 18″ spacing, they sure do mean it. 3) Label everything and 4) Patience is key!
The Next Step
I am excited to say that I have accepted a placement as an AmeriCorps Volunteer with the Northwest Service Academy (starting mid-September) to serve at the ‘Garden of Wonders’ Food and Garden education program at Abernethy Elementary School. I am looking forward to a year of integrating my newly acquired farming knowledge into a school garden setting and getting to teach again, yay!