Friday, August 29, 2014

CSA Share 11

2014 CSA Share 11

This week on the Shire Farm we continue the trend of a new item every week of the season.   This week we have a new, very unique item, the Garden Huckleberry.  This item is a fruit that grows on a very quick growing bush and is an annual unlike most fruits.  It is very important not to eat this fruit raw, it will not be very tasty!  Sweeten them up by cooking them at a simmer for 20 minutes with 1-1/4 cups of sugar.  In other news the cucumbers and summer squash are coming to a close for the season.  Melons are getting close but are not quite ready yet.   We also have some fall favorites like pumpkins and spaghetti squash in the weeks to come!

Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Eggplant, Okra, Peppers, Ground Cherry, Garden Huckleberry, Kale, Onions, Lemon Basil, Dill, Terragone, Italian Basil, Parsley




Garden Huckleberries

NEW THIS WEEK!  This is the other unique fruit we are growing this year.  Like the Ground Cherry it is related to the tomato plant.  This fruit is not very tasty raw and requires a little work to make this the delicious specialty it is meant to be.  It is great to use for Jams, on Ice Cream or can be added to the Ground Cherries to make a unique mixed berry pie.  Again from our favorite source of information Mother Earth News:

To prepare the fruits for use in most recipes, it's necessary to subject them to heat (to soften them) and to add about 1 1/4 cups of sugar for every four cups of raw berries. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Sweetness is, of course, a matter of personal taste. We also suspect it would be quite easy to substitute a less processed product for the white sugar called for in Ms. Farris's recipes.] If I'm making a pie, for instance, I first simmer four cups of berries, with just enough water to prevent scorching, for 20 minutes. Then I add the sugar and four tablespoons of cornstarch or tapioca, stir the filling till it thickens, remove it from the heat to cool, pour it into a shell, and cover it with a top crust. I put the pie in a 425°F oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is browned. The cooked and sweetened fruit is also delicious in pancakes, muffins, and such.

Ground Cherries

We've been waiting for this one all year.  This interesting garden specialty is from the tomato family, and luckily has so far been unaffected by the blight.  These small paper covered fruits have a super sweetened tomato flavor, which is closer to a berry.  They are fantastic added to vanilla ice cream.  They also can be the basis for a great pie.   From Mother Earth News

But my favorite way, by far, to eat ground-cherries is in a pie. To make this festive dish, combine 2 cups of sugar with 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Then, add 4 cups of husked, ripe cherries, 2 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour the filling into a 9" unbaked pie crust, cover it with another sheet of dough, cut a few slits in the top for venting, and bake it at 350°F for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden.


Okra was a new vegetable to us last year that we brought back again this year.  We like to use our Okra by dicing it with a jalapeno and add it to a cornbread mix.  Okra can also be grilled, sauteed, fried, stir-fried, or added to soup.  

Grilled Okra

Spicy Sauteed Okra

Chicken and Okra Gumbo





We have tomatoes to go home with everyone from our greenhouse. Below is a link to Farmer Figgins' post about all the varieties you will be seeing this season.   Fortunately we do still have slicers and romas growing in the greenhouse which can be used very universally. 

2014 Tomato Varieties




We are growing a mix of White, Yellow, and Red onions, and everyone should see a mix throughout the season.  Use the onions as you would any onion, we find the Red onions are best for strong flavors, and we like them especially for raw sandwich onions, yellows are very universal useable in any way, and whites are good for cooking with.   

Peppers- Jalapeno, Ancho, or Bell

These spicy summer favorites are coming free choice this week.  We have a mix of peppers this week either a Jalapeno, Ancho, or a Bell pepper.  Each has a little different use.  Jalapenos, are typically added for spice to a dish, especially salsas, sauces, and stir-fry. Ancho peppers are pretty diverse and can be used diced, or stuffed and roasted.  Bell peppers are probably the most universally liked pepper.  These peppers are not typically spicy and even can be sweet.  There is no wrong way to eat bell peppers in our opinion, diced it can be added to a salsa raw, or sauteed and added to eggs!  




 We have a dark purple variety and a white variety, perfect for ratatouille or eggplant Parmesan. Raw eggplant can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. The flesh is smooth and meaty, capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, making for very rich dishes and making it a great meat substitute for vegan and vegetarian dishes!


We have changed up the salsa verde recipe this week, it is a fresh recipe that requires no cooking.  This salsa is great on pork chops!  This interesting vegetable is related to the tomato and must be removed from it's papery husk before use.  It can be used in many of the same ways as a tomato either in sauces or green salsas.  

 Salsa Verde

Summer Squash

Another summer favorite that is easy to use in a lot of different recipes.  We will have a mix of Zucchini,an heirloom variety,  costata romanesco zucchini and Yellow Crook Neck squash for everyone this week. These are starting to get large enough for making zucchini bread one of Farmer Figgins' favorite way to use squash!

Spaghetti Carbonera with Summer Squash




This green became a favorite for us at the farm Farmer Don certainly came to love it.  There are many great ways to enjoy this super food, which is loaded with vitamins.  You can of course eat it raw, or throw it in a juicer.  We really enjoy throwing it in the cast iron with  butter, salt, pepper, and some red pepper flakes and sauteing for a few minutes for a great side to any meal.  It is also a great healthy snack when you bake them into Kale Chips.  

Kale Chips

Fresh Herb Bundle

We've got  bunches of Parsley, Terragone, Dill, Italian Basil and Lemon Basil this week, enjoy!  

Can't use it all? Here's a simple How-To on drying your own herbs

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