Sunday, July 26, 2015

 The meager garlic harvest. Turns out we still have not perfected the art of growing garlic. Many of them rotted again last winter and spring. Hopefully our ideas for fixing the problem will help for next year.
 A nice photo to stroke our farmer egos
Name that vegetable: A tomato of course

Casualties of all this rain:
chard: about 2/3 of the crop has died due to wet roots
carrots: 2 beds have completely rotted
onions: any onions in the slightest of depressions have failed to thrive
Ditto: sections of brussels sprouts, cabbage, peppers, tomatillos and kale

We are also lacking in any kind of salad greens this week due to the fact that that soil has been too wet to till and get anything planted in the last couple weeks. (we will still have shoots for greens)

We are thinking we need to find some way to add drainage tiling in our fields. We probably should have done so before but we have never had the urgent need for added drainage that we have this year.

eggplants are starting to roll in!  If you have never cooked with eggplant, you can just slice it, toss it with a little oil and basil (or your favorite herb) and saute or grill it!  For a little fancier presentation, try one of these great eggplant recipes from Julie, a super friend to the farm!

Spicy Eggplant with Onion

★★★★★
Main course
Prep 15 mins ∙ Cook 15 mins ∙ Makes 4 ∙ Difficulty Medium ∙ Source Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 lb eggplant
  • 1 ½ to 2 tsp chili paste with soy bean and garlic
  • 5 tsp Chinese thin soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 1 cup oil

Directions

1. Cut the eggplant into 1 ½ inch cubes.
Mix the chili paste, soy sauce, sugar, and ½ cup water in a cup.
2. Heat ½ cup of the oil in a wok over a medium flame. When hot, put in the eggplant. Stir and fry for 4 or 5 minutes. The eggplant will absorb all of the oil. Add the remaining ½ cup of oil by pouring it around the edges of the wok and letting it slither downward toward the vegetable. Stir and fry for another 5 minutes or until the eggplant has browned lightly and is tender enough to eat. Remove eggplant with a slotted spoon and place in a sieve set over a bowl.
3. Remove all but ¼ cup oil from the wok. Add the garlic. Stir and fry for 15 seconds. Put in the onion. Stir and fry until the pieces turn soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat down a bit if the onion starts to brown. Separate the onion layers as you cook. Put the eggplant in the wok. Stir the mixture in the cup and pour it over the eggplant.
4. Cook on medium heat, stirring as you do so, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove eggplant with a slotted spoon, leaving all the oil behind in the wok.

Notes

Delicious Chinese eggplant; the eggplant gets satiny and the sauce is spot on.
It does call for a lot of oil and I've found that there isn't that much that drains out, but it's delicious and I don't make it that often!


Ratatouille, or Baked Mixed Vegetables with Olive Oil

★★★★
Main course
Prep 30 mins ∙ Cook 1 hr ∙ Makes 4-6 ∙ Difficulty Easy ∙ Source Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ to 2 lb eggplant, diced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some for garnish
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 lb zucchini, trimmed and diced
  • 4 plum or 2 round tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • Fresh herbs (can include thyme, marjoram, rosemary, savory, basil, parsley)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Film a casserole or heavy ovenproof skillet with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, then make a layer of the onion, followed by one of the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Repeat. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, cover with aluminum foil, and put in the oven.
3. Bake for about an hour, until the vegetables are completely tender. Garnish with more herbs, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Notes

I chop all of the veggies quite small and I add 1 can of chick peas. Great on top of pasta!
You could, if you choose, leave the veggies in larger chunks. You can also add green or red pepper, potatoes, and/or mushrooms.
I found it cooks better and stays moister if you cover the baking dish with foil.

Vegetable Lasagne

★★★★★
Main course
Prep 1 hr ∙ Cook 45 mins ∙ Makes 10 ∙ Difficulty Easy ∙ Source Sunset Vegetarian Cooking

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb eggplant, diced
  • ¼ lb mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 1 lb chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
  • 1 16 oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp each dry basil and salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 16 packaged lasagne noodles (I like the no boil kind by Barilla)
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz shredded mozarella cheese
  • 4 ½ oz grated parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Heat oil in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, eggplant, and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes (and their liquid if canned), tomato sauce, wine, carrot, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until sauce is thick. You should have 5 cups of sauce; set aside.
2. If using traditional noodles, cook in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.
3. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread about ¼ of the sauce in dish. Arrange ⅓ of the noodles in an even layer over sauce. Dot noodles with ⅓ of the ricotta. Sprinkle with ⅓ of the mozarella, then ¼ of the parmesan. Repeat this layering two more times. Spread remaining sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. If made ahead, cover and refrigerate.
4. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly (40-50 minutes). Cut in squares to serve.

Notes

Takes time but it's worth it.



 

This week's expected vegetables
Choose 7 items (large share 9 items):
new potatoes
romanesca cauliflower
carrots
eggplant
cherry tomatoes
onions
tomatoes
cabbage
basil
beets
broccoli
cucumbers
green beans
yellow beans
dragon tongue beans
zucchini
summer squash
kale 
chard (maybe)
pea shoots
sunflower shoots
eggs (count as 2 items)
flour
dry black beans

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Uggh...more rain :(

 Weeded ginger on the left and unweeded ginger on the right
 Romanesca! We didn't think we would be able to grow this crop because it needs high fertility and because of the Swede midge pest. But we planted about 50 of them and most plants look like they will produce heads. So get them while they last...we'll only have a few at each market day.
Its that time of year - time to get the stepladder out to prune tomatoes!
 Mmmm kale!
Doh! Due to springtime busy-ness, tractor maintenance and attention goes out the window. So, after all the oil leaked out of the bearings, the wheel fell off. Because of all the rain though, the soil is too wet to till right now anyway.

This week's expected vegetables
Choose 7 items (large share 9 items):
new potatoes
romanesca cauliflower
carrots
baby chard (maybe)
eggplant
cherry tomatoes
onions
tomatoes
cabbage
basil
beets
broccoli
cucumbers
green beans
zucchini
summer squash
kale 
chard (maybe)
lettuce mix
spicy mix
pea shoots
sunflower shoots
eggs (count as 2 items)
flour
dry black beans

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Some of you have been asking about tomatoes. Well we hope to have a few this week. We will definitely have cherry tomatoes. Even though we planted our tomatoes extra early this year they still are not ripening yet. But the plants look healthy and we hope that soon we will have more tomatoes than we know what to do with. 

This week's expected vegetables
Choose 7 items (large share 9 items):
new potatoes
carrots
baby chard
eggplant
cherry tomatoes
onions
tomatoes (maybe)
cabbage
basil
beets
broccoli (maybe)
cucumbers
green beans
zucchini
summer squash
scallions
kale 
chard
lettuce mix
spicy mix
pea shoots
sunflower shoots
eggs (count as 2 items)
flour
dry black beans

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Announcement! There will be a potluck on the farm on friday!  starting at 6 pm!  come meet other CSA members, watch the baby goats frolic, watch the lightning bugs, and hear the frogs call!  evening on the farm is a truly lovely time, come on out to see your veggies growing! 


 We had three bee swarms this week. This one hung around long enough for beekeeper friends of ours to come collect them and add them to their own apiary.
Cute cat photo! this is one of our cats, Mouse. 

This week's expected vegetables
Choose 7 items (large share 9 items):
new potatoes
carrots
baby chard
eggplant
cherry tomatoes
onions

cabbage
basil
beets
cucumbers
green beans
zucchini
summer squash
scallions
kale 
chard
lettuce mix
spicy mix
pea shoots
sunflower shoots
garlic scapes
eggs (count as 2 items)
flour
dry black beans

happy eating this week!  liz and matthew

Sunday, June 28, 2015

 Harvesting cats. Actually, as you know, it was a rainy Saturday so we spent the day in the hoophouses and greenhouse pruning and trellising tomatoes and cucumbers and Dorian didn't mind hanging out with us.
 Juicy Colorado potato beetle larvae eating potato leaves. These are usually a minor pest on our farm that do not do too much damage to our potatoes.
Tiny Swede midge adults on a sticky trap card. This is an almost invisible pest that destroys broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.

This week's expected vegetables
Choose 6 items (large share 8 items):
cabbage
broccoli
beets
cucumbers
green beans
zucchini/summer squash
scallions
kale 
chard
lettuce mix
baby chard
pea shoots
sunflower shoots
garlic scapes
eggplant (maybe)
eggs (count as 2 items)
flour
dry black beans

Sunday, June 21, 2015

 Two new doeling kids. These two arrived Wednesday morning while we were picking beans. No trouble in delivery and they both seem healthy.
 Start of the kale harvest
 Sad Brussels sprouts with drowning roots
 After a few days of no rain the soil was finally dry enough to till so I spent yesterday on the tractor. And before the rain came down again last night (1.32 inches) we got a bed of greens transplanted and several beds of bean planted.

This week's expected vegetables
Choose 6 items (large share 8 items):
cabbage
broccoli
beets
cucumbers
green beans
zucchini/summer squash
scallions
kale 
chard
lettuce
lettuce mix
pea shoots
sunflower shoots
garlic scapes
eggs (count as 2 items)
flour
dry black beans

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Well these past couple weeks the rain valve has been stuck open and we can't seem to close it. This coming week doesn't look to good either. With our heavy soil spots that are especially poorly drained are now completely saturated and the plants are not happy. Ah well! Hopefully this week we (i.e. Liz) will remember to take some nice photos I can post to the newsletter for next week.

This week we expect to have available for CSA (small share choose 6, large share choose 8):

cucumbers
green beans
zucchini/summer squash
scallions
kale 
chard
lettuce
lettuce mix
pea shoots
sunflower shoots
garlic scapes
eggs (count as 2 items)
flour
dry black beans