This Week’s Share
Cherry Tomato Plants
Cherry tomatoes are wonderful snacks and great on salads. They are easy to grow and fun to pick in small quantities. However, they are very labor intensive to pick on a larger scale. For this reason we are giving you your own plant to enjoy. We concentrate on growing many different varieties of slicing, saucing and heirloom tomatoes which you will see in your shares starting at the end of July. We are also hoping that growing this plant will further connect you to your food source. It will probably be the most local food you will ever eat (unless the lettuce in your garden is closer to the back door).
Tomatoes appreciate full sun, and plenty of space to climb. Bury the plants deep so that only a little stem and the newest leaves are showing. Water them deeply. This will help to encourage a strong root system. They like a trellis to keep their leaves and fruit off the ground. Once established, tomatoes do not need to be watered more then once a week. Use about 5 gallons of water per plant. Tomatoes don’t like wet leaves so try to keep the leaves dry when you water.
If you do not have room to plant the tomato outside you can plant it in a five-gallon bucket with a drain hole. Keep it in a sunny space and remember to water frequently as container plants tend to dry out quickly.
Each share will receive one plant. If you wish have more they are $2 a piece. Here are the varieties to choose from:
Intense fruity flavor.
Exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomatoes. Vigorous plants start yielding early and bear right through the season. The taste can’t be beat. This is an indeterminate variety which means the fruits ripen staggered over several weeks.
Seeds of Change Original Highest Vitamin C cherry tomato we’ve found. Uniquely high in gamma-amino butyric acid, a body sedative that calms jitters. Tresses continuously grow many delicious red (occasionally yellow) fruits.
These small cherry tomatoes are packed with more taste than you can believe. Deep red, round fruits have a tender, smooth texture, and loads of sweet, full flavor with high sugar content . This is an heirloom variety. Teresa Arellanos de Mena, a friend of former Univ. of Maine AG faculty members Drs. Laura Merrick and Matt Liebman, brought seeds to Maine from her family’s home state of Hidalgo in Eastern Mexico. It’s the region of domestication of tomatoes, and where these grow wild. Matt gave us the seeds. This is an indeterminate variety which means the fruits ripen staggered over several weeks. – Johnnys Selected Seeds
Green (Garlic) Goddess Dressing
Adapted from How it all Vegan! By Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer
This has a rich flavor and is great as a dip or dressing. You could put it on a lettuce and turnip salad, or a mizuna salad, or dip your turnips in it as a snack! If you don’t have all the ingredients (e.g. parsley) you could substitute another good herb like dill or try it without and just increase the green garlic for an especially garlicky taste!
1/2 lb soft or medium tofu
1/4 Cup olive oil or flax oil
1 stalk green garlic (chop up the white end)
1/4 Cup fresh parsley
2 Tablespoon vinegar (I like apple cider best)
1/2 Small onion
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a blender or food processor, blend together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Braising your braising mix
Braising is a cooking method that essentially combines sautéing and steaming. For a basic braise you will need:
1/8 Cup (approximately) Water or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop up some green garlic (the white part of 1-2 stalks should do depending on your love of garlic). Coarsely chop your braising mix, keeping in mind that the greens will decrease in size by 1/2 to 2/3rds when you cook them. You can also cut off your turnip greens and add them to the braising mix if you want to see how you like them! Heat a frying pan on medium high heat. Add oil, and when it is hot, toss in the green garlic and braising mix. Stir the greens until they are just wilting and starting to brown. Add just enough liquid (water or veggie broth) to cover the bottom of the pan, cover the pan, and steam the mix until barely tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You can add soy sauce or peanut sauce or experiment with whatever spices to alter this basic braising recipe.
Mizuna salad with hakurei turnips, candied pecans, and maple-balsamic dressing
1/2 lb Mizuna (you could use your whole bunch, or just make a small salad for yourself).
5 hakurei turnips
1/2 Cup pecans
1/4 Cup sugar or maple syrup
To candy the pecans:
Cover the bottom of a skillet with 1/4″ water and heat on medium/high with sugar or maple syrup until the sugar dissolves. When the sugar is dissolved, add the pecans and stir fairly regularly until all the water evaporates and the pecans are covered in sticky sweetness. They will become crispy as they cool. Be sure to scrape them from the pan before they harden to the bottom.
Chop the Mizuna into a desired bite size. Thinly slice the white turnip bulbs so they are about as thick as quarters.
Toss the mizuna, turnips and pecans together.
Dress with maple-balsamic dressing:
This is a very simple, sweet but tart dressing. Recipe from How it all Vegan! By Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 Cup maple syrup
Hakurei Turnips in peanut sauce:
These turnips are great fresh without any help, but they can be dipped in this sauce for a great snack, or they could be thinly sliced and served as a dish with this sauce drizzled on top.
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 stalk green garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped ginger
1 Cup water (decrease water amount if you want a thicker dipping sauce)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
2/3 Cup smooth peanut butter
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar (other vinegars or lemon juice will work)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (alter depending on your spice factor)
Chop the garlic and ginger in a blender or food processor until fine. Add 1/2 the water and all other ingredients. Blend and add water until desired consistency is achieved.
What can I put in my Compost Bucket?
If you’re at one of the bulk pick-up sites you can participate in our compost bucket exchange. Take a clean bucket and bring it back the following week with whatever compost you generate that week.
Here are the basic guidelines for what can go in the buckets: Any vegetable material, including coffee grounds, citrus, etc., also egg shells, and small amounts of oils, fats, and dairy are fine. Just please no meat in your buckets. We don’t like plastic bags in the buckets; they’re hard to clean out. Please don’t put rubber bands or other non degradable items in the bucket, we end up having to sift them out and throw them away.
The most important thing is that you don’t hold onto a bucket for more than a week (and try to keep it in a cool place, out of the sun, during the week). After a week they start to get pretty smelly and that means they’re running out of air. This makes the compost from them less valuable.
New Faces in the Fields
With all the flats to seed in the greenhouse, seedlings to transplant, rows to hoe and produce to pick we have a new crop of energized apprentices planted out here on the farm. (Puns grow like weeds around here). This May, five new apprentices (see photo above) joined the three second season apprentices to begin learning all about organic farming this season. They are bringing great enthusiasm to growing your food. Brian, Blake and Michael continue on this year continuing to deepen their farming knowledge and are an incredible asset in keeping all our far systems running smoothly. You can find all of us out here working this beautiful land to produce beautiful food. Here are our new farmers to introduce themselves to you in their own words.
Nolan (3rd from left in picture above) was born and raised it the forests of central Indiana under the limestone cliffs of the Sugar Creek watershed. He has lived and grown food in California, Maine, Oregon, where he splits his time between filmmaking and farming. He also loves foxes.
Brooke (2nd from left in picture above) has recently returned home to Oregon after studying at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She is excited to be learning some real skills on the farm and hopes to integrate environmental and social activism together her future.
Aaron (4th from left in picture above) is a young native Portlander who is excited about learning how to farm. He enjoys tree climbing, nature walking, and breakfast burritos.
Heidi’s (5th from left in picture above) background is in fruit production and research and while she is still passionate about fruit she is excited to learn all about vegetable production. She loves eating fresh produce with lots of garlic.
Matt (6th from left in picture above) lived his formative years near Cleveland, Ohio. Since graduating from Ohio University he has worked in both wilderness and residential therapy. Dedicated to learning the ways of organic farming, he is also passionate about playing music.