In other, out-of-the-field news, we are delighted to invite you to an end-of-show celebration for the art exhibit we are featured (among other farms and farmers) at the Overture Center. The Farm to Fork Gallery Talk and Local Food Celebration is a joint event by painters Sue Medaris and Alicia Rheal, as well as myself and a bunch of other great local food businesses. Sue, Alicia and I will all give short talks about farms, food, art and community and we’ll be offering samples from Chocolaterian Café, Landmark Creamery Cheese, Underground Meats, Pickle Jar BBQ, 4 Elements Herb Farm, Galpaca Farms and Barham Gardens Aronia. Circle M will serve samples as well, and we’ll also have more “Play with Your Food” t-shirts available in new colors and sizes, including kids! Sue’s Market Weight Press will also have artwork for sale – and she’s the one who designed our shirts. You will even recognize some of those happy veggies on display at the Overture Center. Our young crew members will dress up and serve samples, so you can come say “hi” to them, too. FREE
Aronia Berries – This special treat comes to you from our neighbors and friends at Barham Gardens. Several years ago, Kim and Roberta Barham learned about this native berry bush that packs a huge anti-oxidant punch and they decided to plant some couple thousand of them. Now they are in the middle of a huge harvest and they’ve graciously shared with us, and you! Don’t expect to eat these berries raw – they are astringent and need some sugar to make them palatable – like rhubarb. But wow – in baked good and juiced they are amazing! We’ve enclosed a brochure with info and recipes, and you can sample some baked goods at the Sept 4 Overture Event.
Basil – Sorry so sandy! We had some ferocious rains this week – for which we are very very thankful, but they did splash a lot of sand on the produce. Most of it we are able wash off for you, but the basil should not be washed until you are ready to use it. Fill a sink with cold water, push leaves below the surface gently, let sit for 5 minutes to loosen the soil, and then swish around. Let the dirt sink for a minute, then remove. Enjoy – we’ve given you a mix of Italian sweet, purple ruffles, Anise, Thai and lemon. They can all be combined for a pesto, or you can use individual leaves on different dishes to take advantage of the flavor. We REALLY love the anise (red stems) with cilantro in spring rolls.
Cilantro – We love cilantro, especially with tomatoes, but it’s really such a miracle to have it in our sandy gardens at tomato time. It bolts in the heat and prefers cooler temperatures, but this week conspired to bring us both rafts of tomatoes and waves of cilantro all at once. SALSA! This is a rather fragile crop, and also got very sandy so we washed it a lot. It won’t last long in the fridge, so use it up within the week.
Tomatoes – Lots of gorgeous cherries and heirlooms this week. You should have a lot of variety in your box and bag – enjoy! Our favorite this year is a new variety called Indigo. It’s the small-ist slicer with a purple top and an orange bottom. Sweet not acidic, it’s a treat right off the vine. We like them so much, you are lucky you got some;)
Head Lettuce – These lovely head lettuces – Green Romaine for the Full Shares and Mayan Jaguar for the Shorties, and another Green Oakleaf for everyone - took a beating in the rainstorms, but they look really nice! Still, it’s not a bad idea to think about eating them sooner rather than later. Crisp and delicious. Another summer miracle, since head lettuces typically bolt in such heat.
Peppers- The first of many, we hope!
Bok Choy – Ah, the veggie that is both cabbage and celery at once! So crisp and sweet. Enjoy with Asian stir-fry and salads. Consider pairing with sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.
Garlic Chive Blossoms – The spicy florets from Chinese Leeks, otherwise known as Garlic Chives, are gorgeous atop a dip or omelette and taste great, too.
Summer Squash – We have squash at every meal right now – and we don’t mind! See our great recipe for Zucchini Chocolate Bread on the Recipe Blog. Yum!
Arugula – We just love this for breakfast, lightly wilted under poached eggs. But it’s great sautéed with olive oil and mixed with pasta, great added to a squash bake, wonderful as a bed under grilled meats. Enjoy!
Eggplant – These plants are just getting rolling. Like the peppers, they enjoy heat and grow very slowly here in our valley until about the end of July. Now they are loaded with flowers and next week they’ll be loaded with fruit. So this is just the start. Enjoy sliced and sautéed in an omelette, or add to ratatouille. We like eggplant in everything this time of year, and we especially love babaganoush spread. See our Pinterest page for some good recipes.
Broccoli (Full Size only) - Sorry, Shorties, these boxes are just too full to get you everything! We’ll make room for these next time around for you.
Scallions – These giant scallions are a Japanese variety that is new to us and WOW! We love them and will certainly be growing them again next year. What a bang for your prepping buck. So easy to slice and you get so much useable flavor. Cut up the whole thing in little slices.
Onions – This is our first harvest of the storage onions, but we didn’t cure the skins on these yet, so you won’t want to store them out of the fridge. Use up in a few weeks. Fabulous for salsa!
Garlic - Garlic in everything this time of year: Pesto! Salsa! Babaganoush!