This summer has flown by, faster I think than any other year and I feel like I have a bit of whiplash trying to catch up with all the stuff we have to do in the next few months. We are almost to the middle of the lake here on the farm, the time when we are equal distance from either shore and we have no choice but to just keep swimming. Not a bad thing really as the light is starting to change and the temperatures (in theory) should be slowly but steadily decreasing. Who am I kidding, we live in Colorado, it will just be hot until one day it will just start snowing. The slow slide is a nice state of mind though. This week has your farmers busily harvesting summer's bounty, beating back the last big weed push from the field edges, germinating winter carrots, beets, and storage radishes, and prepping for September's loose leaf crops. AND we are still harvesting onions...forever onions.
Its ratatouille time folks! I have no idea how long we will have zucchini as the cucumber beetles are attacking those plants as well, but I'm hoping for another few weeks. Just enough time for you to make one of summer's most lovely treats. Traditionally done in the oven, you can make a big batch and freeze it if you don't cook it all the way. Otherwise, I like to make a quicker version with peppers, eggplants, summer squash and tomatoes on the stove top. I must admit that the oven version is better, but sometimes you just don't want to get your house all hot after a long day in the sun. Serve it with basil, lots of olive oil, crusty bread, and some good wine. Groan with delight and be thankful for summer. Our slicing cucumbers are officially done. Which would be sad news if we didn't have a nice substitute in the "pickling" cucumbers. I use quotations because they are really just small cucumbers that you can use the same way you might use a slicing cucumber. We can call them salad cucumbers if that makes it not to eat them pickled. Again, its all a state of mind.
Just a quick reminder on veggie storage, most crops want to be in a sealed plastic bag in your fridge. Eggplant, summer squash, peppers, and cucumbers do well with a towel in the plastic bag. If you are afraid of head lettuce prep, here is your easy cheat. Just cut off the end, chop coarsely and put it into the salad spinner basket. Put the basket in the salad spinner bowl and fill with water. Pick up the basket, pour out the water and repeat. Spin when done and store in the spinner in your fridge for ease of use later. If you don't have a salad spinner, there are other tricks, but really just get a salad spinner, you can thank me later. Finally, our heirloom tomatoes are ripe when we pick them. Do not get more than you can eat in 2-3 days because that is how long they will keep on your counter. Yes, you heard me, your counter. Tomatoes will last longer in the fridge, but their texture will change and they will not be nearly as delicious as they should be for all the TLC we put into them. Also, don't be fooled by their color, if they are supple, they are ripe, I promise.
Looking forward to seeing you all real soon!
This week's Harvest
Green and Dragon Beans
Eggplant, Asian and Italian
Bell Peppers and Hot Peppers
Zucchini and Summer Squash