Farm Newsletter July 24, 2017

IMG_0297Farm Newsletter July 24, 2017

Farm News        Crop Forecast

 U-Pick       Recipes       Nuts and Bolts

Bulk Produce is Available Again

— See Nuts and Bolts.

Hello Friends!

We hope you’ve been enjoying eating lately!  This summer abundance is easy to get used to.  Hot and sweaty? Have a cucumber, maybe with a little salt.  Ready for a pile of soft sweet veggies?  There’s plenty of summer squash and zucchini to go around.   Need a snack for the road?  Carrots and cukes are ready to grab and go.  And any of it can go on top of or next to a crisp crunchy salad.  Summertime and the meals are ….easier!

Before the storms rolled through late last week, the almost two weeks of dry weather was very, very helpful.  It’s a reminder of why wet rainy periods can be so stressful — when it’s dry for two weeks we can get all (or nearly all) the cultivating, weeding, mowing, discing, cover cropping etc done.  Thanks to the help of a few of you we even got the garlic in before it rained!  That was a big satisfying project to finish up, and was easier and better for the garlic since it came in with no mud on it.  So far the rains have been gentle enough, no flying ice balls in our neighborhood, and some dry time in between to let it soak in.  It can be wiped away in a stormy moment or in a wet week, but it’s been a great growing season so far.

You might notice that Erin, Ben and Allia aren’t around this week — thanks so much to our dedicated crew who is covering for us and making sure all is well and moving forward while we’re gone!!  We’ll be swimming, playing and laying around as much as possible.  If you need help Anna or Ray (aka Aaron Ray, The Syrup and Eggs Guy) will be in the barn to answer routine questions and keep things moving.  If you have anything on your mind feel free to email us, we will check email a few times.  And thanks!, by the way, to everyone who has been using the Change Pickup Day Form — it seems to be working well and is saving Erin lots of office time.

We’re looking forward to the rest of the season — the produce, the meals, the chances to keep in touch with you and see you enjoying the farm so much.  Thanks for being a part of the farm!

 

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Crop Forecast

Everything we’ve had should keep on trucking, including the recent additions of sweet onions and fennel.  Cabbage will be on vacation too next week — we mowed and tilled in one planting to prevent the spread of the pathogen spreading — and the next planting looks healthy and robust but isn’t ready to pick yet.  But we’ll have napa cabbage on the table though, it has a different texture but can be used in many of the same ways, or in many Asian-style dishes where it really shines.

We’ll probably start picking eggplant next week, the long skinny dark purple Asian type — remember the skin is so tender you don’t need to peel it.  It is super roasted (in slices, cubes, etc) or grilled, or stir-fried; it is mild and sweet and a great addition to the summer medley that’s been coming the last couple weeks (carrots, beets, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, leeks.)

Tomatoes are trickling in this week; and peppers are on the way, plus watermelons and cantelopes — maybe in 2 weeks there will be enough ripening to go around.  By mid-August we should be swimming in the high harvest, assuming the gentleness of the skies and all the hundred other factors keep the plants humming along!

 

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What’s for U-Pick?

Beans! — Thanks for using the red flag system.  We’ve gotten lots of positive feedback on it, and expect to also use it in strawberries and peas.  There are lots of beans coming on for the next month and beyond — dig in and freeze, can, eat fresh to your hearts’ delight.  They are easy for us to grow and if you keep them picked and eaten, we’re happy to do it for you.

Cherry tomatoes will start to trickle in this week, and will be open with a very small limit.  Right now it’s mostly orange ones in the western row.

Cilantro, mint and lemon balm, basil and parsley.

Please always check the U-pick board when you’re here to see what’s available and picking amounts.

U-Pick Help:  If at any point in the season you are not physically able to  U-pick due to an injury or any other reason, please let us know.  We have a list of generous folks that are interested in volunteering to pick your U-pick crops for you.  If you’re interested in being on the volunteer list, please let us know too!

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Nuts and Bolts

 

BLUEBERRIES!  Certified Organic!  Next Door!  Holy Smokes!  Little Hill Berry Farm, Molly McGovern and Aaron Wills, old friends and OH farm members.  U-pick is open this week, next door on 320th Street — sign up here to see the days and hours, and to sign up for their picking updates email list.

Bulk Produce for You — Check here each newsletter for what we have available for extra purchase.

To place a bulk order, simply call or email us at least 2 days ahead of the day you’d like to pick it up.  Orders can be picked up at the farm during our regular pickup hours, but it doesn’t have to be your share pickup day.

This week’s selection is : Carrots, Beets, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Summer Squash for $1 / lb.  Lettuce Mix for $5 / lb. Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who brought U-pick containers!  We are stocked up to the gills.

Share Pickup Hours Monday, Wednesday Friday 2:00-6:00pm. You can U-Pick any time (when U-pick crops are in season.)

Change Pick-Up Day Form — Click here.

Please Drive Carefully —Children are everywhere.

Thank you so much for enjoying the farm!!

Your farmers,

Erin and Ben, with Allia, Anna, Bisharo, Jaime, Paul, Ray and Sahara (with Zach joining us later on)

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RECIPES

Fennel Gratin

from Simply Recipes

2 pounds fennel bulbs

salt

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 bread crumbs

2 tsp thyme

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

 chopped fennel fronds for garnish
1. Cut the bulb into 1-2 inch pieces, discard the woody cores
2. Grease a baking pan with 1 tsp olive oil and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Boil fennel in a pot of salty water until fennel is just about tender (about 5 minutes). Drain and toss with a Tbsp of olive oil.
4. Mix the parmesan, thyme, and bread crumbs then mix half of that mixture with fennel. Add the fennel to the casserole in an even layer. Top with mozzarella cheese, then the rest of the parmesan-bread crumb mixture. Drizzle 1 to 2 Tbsp of olive oil over the top.
5. Cover the casserole and bake for 20 minutes. Take the cover off and bake until the cheese is well browned, about 15 more minutes. Let the gratin cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Top with chopped fennel fronds.

 

Sweet onions are great on pizza!  Here is a recipe…

Sweet Onion Pizza Recipe

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