Here's what's In The Box! Use the first things first:
Swiss Chard: We've got just little bunches for you this week - but consider eating fresh as salad, rather than cooking it down.
Tomatoes: These are just getting rolling here in our valley, but they are tasting great so far. You’ve each got a few heirlooms – a stripey paste, a juicy red and a sweet yellow. Full Size boxes have the first bags of cherry and currant tomatoes.
Herb Bag: We’ve loaded a bag full of lots of herbs you can use for the next few weeks. They should be recognizable, but they are layered in the bag to help you sort them out. On top is vining Summer Savory – similar in taste to thyme, the stems are longer and stronger and the leaves are easy to slide off the stem. Great with beans, lentils or eggs. Next you’ve got a few handfuls of Cilantro – some of it is bolting so you’ll see flowers, but all of the flowers, leaves and tender stems can be chopped and used. Underneath that is grey, fuzzy Sage leaves – terrific with the new potatoes, or with summer squash. These are very easy to dry on your kitchen counter should you not use them in a week or two. Finally, on the bottom of the bag we have Lovage – our perennial celery. Both leaves and stems can be chopped and added to anywhere you’d use celery – though we find the flavor also has hints of curry and nutmeg. YUM!
Eggplant: This is just the first harvest from these pretty purple plants, and we only got enough to add to Full Size boxes . You’ll all eventually get eggplant though. Note that we only pick our eggplant small so that we can enjoy the taste of the flesh without the bitter mature skin. So you should be able to lightly sauté this, or grill with other veggies, or roast in the oven and transform into a dip. Use soon and store OUTSIDE of the fridge.
Summer Squash: We’ve enjoyed these so many ways this summer, but our favorite recipe by far is marinated in lime juice, olive oil and salt and grilling quickly outside. A great compliment to steak.
Calendula Confetti: This is most gorgeous sprinkled over a Massaged Kale Salad. However, we’re using it this week to decorate a cake to say farewell to our summer Arts and Agriculture Intern and another Crew Member who’s summer has come to a close. Be creative!
Peppers: The first to ripen here on our plants are Yellow Sweet Bananas and Purple Sweet Bells. You’ve got one or two of each, with lots more to come!
Cucumbers: These are slowing down a bit, but you all should have one or two.
Mixed Baby Kale and Collards: Those of you who know me well know that I eat a salad every day for lunch. So what do I have in the height of summer when the lettuce is on break? Kale – every day. I LOVE it. The way we pick our kale and collards, young, small and tender – is the perfect age for fresh eating. Wash, rip the stems out, then cut the leaves into bite-size pieces. Throw in a dish and sprinkle with salt, vinegar and pepper. Then mash up with your hands and let sit in the fridge for about ½ hour until you are ready to eat. I dress this up with goat cheese and pickled eggs – because that’s what our farm gives us a lot of right now – but kale is perfect with nuts, dried cranberries, sliced peaches, figs and even grilled beef.
New Potatoes: These pretty Red Norlands are perfect to make into potato salad because they need very little cleaning or cooking. The skins are tender and bright (oh, and you may have some blue or golden mixed in) and the flavor is fresh and wonderful. Eat them soon and store in the fridge – they won’t keep in your pantry the way cured russets will.
Garlic: We harvested our garlic this week and were delighted to see these lovely heads. The bulbs are planted in the fall then lay covered in mulch until we harvest them in July – so you never know what you’ve got under there! Enjoy soon and store in the fridge – the skins on these are not yet cured so they won’t keep in the pantry. Whip up some pesto!!!!!
Flower Bouquets: It suddenly feels like the cusp of fall here on the farm, and our wildflower bouquets this week reflect that time of year. What a treat! Cattails, Queen Ann's Lace and yellow coneflowers from the hedgerows, baptista and hosta leaves from the garden.