Wednesday, August 3, 2016

2016 CSA Share 10

2016 CSA Share 10

Last week we had a cool break from the hot and dry summer weather that has been characterizing our summer so far. We received a few inches of rain and many cool, cloudy days for plants to enjoy and recover from the previous heat. This week we've got a few hotter days but lots of sun and clear skies, prefect for our second cutting of hay to be cut and dried. The sheep are getting to enjoy some of this sweeter pasture too. We still have one lamb and one half hog available for sale, let us know if you are interested! 



The garden is really starting to produce now, and we've got enough tomatillos and green beans this week for shareholders to save some for winter if they decide.  New crops this week are eggplant and cauliflower. We won't be at the Portland or Belding Farmers Market for the rest of the season, extra vegetables and products made from the farm can be requested and purchased on the farm or at the Turk Lake bookstore and bait shop on Saturdays. 


Large Share Pictured: 2 bunches Kale, 4 cubanelle peppers, 2 banana peppers, 1 eggplant (large share only), 4 red onions, 2 summer squash, 2 cauliflower, 2 lbs tomatillos, 4 tomatoes, 4 lbs green beans, 4 cucumbers, 2 bunches herbs
Small Share pictured: 1 bunch kale, 2 lbs green beans, 2 red onions, 1 cauliflower, 2 cucumber, 1 summer squash, 2 cubanelle peppers, 1 banana pepper, 2 tomatoes, 1 lb tomatillos, 1 bunch herbs. 

Eggplant (Large Shares only)

New this week, the first of our eggplant! We only had enough for our Large shares for this week, but look for them again soon! Also known as aubergine, brinjal or garden egg, the fruit is widely used in cooking and is related to both the tomato and potato. The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but become tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. The great is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, making for very rich dishes. Try is roasted, skinned, mashed, mixed with onions, tomatoes and spices and then slow cooked. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille or deep fried for eggplant parmesan. A simple way to try it is sliced and grilled with cumin, salt and pepper seasoning. 

Easy Eggplant recipes

Cauliflower

New this week are cauliflower! The white head is composed of a white cluster of flowers arranged on a stem. Cauliflower can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled or eaten raw. When cooking, the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible, but often discarded. Break the florets into similar sized pieces so they are cooked evenly. 


Kale


Flea beetles have been enjoying our kale, but there was enough for a harvest this week. Enjoy these as kale chips,  or sautéed in olive oil, garlic and a little cayenne, or add them to a soup, or a frittata, or a quiche, you can't go wrong with kale. 

Kale Chips
All the Kale Recipes You Will Ever Need

Green Beans

Lots of green beans this week, small shares get 2 lbs, large shares get 4 lbs. Try freezing or canning some to save for winter! We have purple and yellow beans on the way and currently flowering and forming small pods. 


Cucumbers

More cucumbers this week! We harvested the first of our lemon cucumbers, but didn't have enough for everyone so we will likely be seeing those next week. These are dual purpose cucumbers, great for enjoying fresh or pickling. Try adding them to a sandwich, wrap, or pasta salad or making a cucumber salad. 


Tomatillos

Also known as the Mexican husk tomato, this plant is in the nightshade family along with tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. It bears small, spherical green, yellow, or green-purple fruit inside paper-like husks. They are the central ingredient in Mexican and Central-American green sauces. They keep longer with the husks removed and refrigerated in plastic bags and can be frozen whole or sliced. 


Tomatoes

The year's first ripe tomatoes! The first ripe tomatoes are mostly our heirloom Kellogg's Breakfast, brandywine and  Black Krim slicers. Enjoy these on a BLT , wrap, or adult grilled cheese! 


Peppers

More Cubanelle peppers  and Banana peppers this week for our shareholders. Cubanelle pepepers have sweet, mild flesh with rich flavor great for cooking and frying. It is thinner-walled, best suited for quick cooking. Popular in spanish, italian and slavic dishes, many cooks prefer it to bell types. Banana peppers are not very hot and are great in proscuitto and cheese or in a sandwich.



Onion

More red onions from our greenhouse. You can't beat the smell of onion cooked up with butter or olive oil and garlic, and a great start to many a dish! Use these this week with the cucumber or tomato, or tomatillo green salsa. You can't go wrong! 


Summer Squash 

Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe! The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread. 



Herbs

For herbs this week we have Italian Basil, catnip, and tarragon. Italian basil goes well with tomatoes, summer squash, cubanelle peppers, chicken, beef, and fish. Try it in caprese salad or the mothership tomato salad! This is an heirloom variety called Lettuce Leaf because its leaves are that large!

Tarragon goes well with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, leeks, and mushrooms, in salad dressings and omelets and with chicken, beef, lamb or fish. 

Catnip, also known as catmint, is popular for its effects on cats, which will react to the leaves dried or fresh. Its lesser known uses are for medicinal purposes for humans. It has a calming effect on the mind, body, and even stomach and has been used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It also has digestive uses for treating upset stomach, diarrhea and gas. Tea is one of the more common ways catmint is taken. Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat for a minute before beginning the steeping process with the dried leaves of the plant. Fresh leaves and the flowering top can be made into a tincture or essential oil. 

To preserve your herbs you can hang them to dry out of the sun and rain where there is good air flow until dry, then crumble into a paper bag and transfer to a storage container. 





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