Week 11 has proved to be an extra busy week on the farm and its doesn't look like we are stopping the party any time soon. In addition to getting food out of the field we have been planting the heck out of our fall crops and starting to figure out the great cooler shuffle as we transition into mid summer on the farm. We are tuning up the carrot harvester for our big mid season carrot push and trying to make some curing space for the onions that will need to be pulled right about the same time. Flowers are bursting, hundreds of little sunflowers with their heads turned to face the sun, make the farm a joyous place to be in late July and we are still playing twister in the cucumber and zucchini patches as we work around the monster plants that have over grown their fields.
With food literally spilling out everywhere, this time of year feels like a race...a race with mother nature to see how much perishable food I can fit in my stomach before it gets too ripe. Recalling the order of operations from seed to food, we have moved from leaf, to root, to fruit. Fruit, for all of its glory, is by design a short lived being. It holds the seeds for the next generation and when the plant drops its fruit, it will degrade and replant the seed. Lucky for us, the fruits of many plants are delicious, but we have to gobble them up before they start trying to replant themselves.
One way to do this is to cook them. When I can't keep up with all the beautiful fruits of the season, I know its time for ratatouille. One of my favorite summer dishes, this can use up a lot of produce and fast. I make an extra big batch and resign myself to thinking about winter, putting half of it in the freezer for the colder months. One of my favorite ways to make it, is to chop up all the veggies, and add lots of oil and balsamic vinegar. I cook it down in the oven until it is good and gooey and then slather it on some thick cut sourdough toast with ricotta or goat cheese. It tastes just as great this way coming out of the freezer and can be served in a similar way as a quick appetizer for hungry winter guests.
Freezer pesto is a must do in our family. We make a huge batch to get us through the long winter and now is the time to get it going. With tons of fresh basil on hand, the kitchen literally turns green as we stay up late processing all the freshness. Look for bulk bags at the market this weekend!
Looking forward to seeing many of you very soon!
This Week's Harvest
Flowers and Herbs
Peppers (small amount)