Welcome to the middle of the lake week...or at least that is what we call it on the farm. We are officially 12 weeks into our summer CSA program which means we have 12 weeks left of summer markets and farm stand fun. There is no turning back now, so all we can do is keep swimming until we reach the other side. The second half of the swim usually feels like we are swimming with the current and a nice breeze at our back. Now is the time to bring in the food and get as much of it to our community as we can possibly pick. This means it is your job to come get the food and turn it into, as one CSA member put it, "energy and happiness." Its a tough job, but I know y'all are up for it!
We are continuing to harvest summer crops that are coming on with abundance right now. Hard to know what to eat right now as there is so much good stuff. We are starting to partner with a few different farms to bring you folks some things that we did not have space to grow on the farm this year. This week we will have fingerling potatoes from Strohaur farms and yellow squash from Garden Sweet. Both farms are local and organic and we hope that you will enjoy supporting them as much as you support us.
This week we are looking for "fast" food and have been eating very al fresco. With the continuous cucumber abundance (quite a year for those little suckers), I have been making more salads than ever before. This week we paged through Joshua McFadden's "6 seasons" cook book and found a nice recipe for cucumber and celery salad with apricots and herbs. I had never had anything like it and would bring it fresh to a potluck any day. Now that I'm thinking about it, those cucumbers would also pair well with the abundance of heirloom tomatoes we have for a nice cool gazpacho. Served with a crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine, I can't think of a nicer super for a warm summer evening.
If it hasn't been obvious to you all, now is the time for caprese. The heirloom tomatoes are in full swing and it is a real show stopper to have a big bowl of multi-colored tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella topped with salt and balsamic reduction. No one complains in our house when that appears on the table. If you are looking for a quick week night supper, Andrea Beamis has an easy recipe for chickpea and summer vegetable tacos. Deviating complete from a traditional taco flavor, this version combines roasted summer squash, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes with chickpeas and a herbed tahini sauce. Easy to scale up for unexpected guests and pairs well with a cold beer after a long work day.
A few FYIs. There have been a few folks asking about the tomatoes in the "refrigerator" in the farm stand. To set the record straight, the fridge is really a cooler that we have set to a tomato friendly temperature. This allows us to keep the tomatoes from getting over ripe as well as keep insects and critters from eating them. There should not be any decrease in the quality of the tomatoes coming from this fridge, so please indulge.
Speaking of tomatoes, a quick attaché about them. We grow them in unheated tunnels which means the temperature fluctuates with the temperature outside. "Cat facing" or the scaring that you see on the outside of the tomato is caused by extreme temperature swings, not unlike what we have seen this summer...hot-cool-hot-cool. Unless we grow these things in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse, we will not be able to keep the tomatoes from developing scarring. Consider them beauty marks and enjoy them with reckless abandon anyway.
Also, its time to start thinking about winter! If you have been enjoying our summer CSA program, don't let the fun stop when the colder months approach. The shares run from the beginning of November to the end of March and include fresh greens, storage crops and pantry staples. We will be continuing our tradition of Wednesday evening pick ups at Equinox Brewing, so be sure to stay for a pint when you pick up your box!
Looking forward to seeing you all soon,
This Week's Harvest
- Head Lettuce
- Sweet Onions
- Heirloom and Cherry tomatoes
- Summer Squash from Garden Sweet
- Fingerling Potatoes from Strohaur
- Peppers, bell and hot