Despite our best efforts our peas and green beans have really slowed down their progress. One week each of our four rows of green beans put out a grocery bag full of beans, last night I filled less than a grocery bag, maybe a pound. We did start watering the plants early in the week and there are now lots of flowers and tiny beans. We hope to send some with the shares in the near future.
Today, shareholders will take home as much corn as they would like! I will have 4 totes with me and I have yet to pick almost half of the section that is ripe. I will be doing some canning this weekend, me-thinks. Corn will keep well for a few days in the fridge. I love it cooked up on the grill. You could also blanch and freeze it for this winter, or make corn salsa or creamed corn, yum!
This weeks share also includes a cucumber, one bunch of carrots, zucchini and/or yellow squash, tomatoes, 3 lbs of potatoes and an eggplant. My favorite way to enjoy carrots is steamed or boiled, served with butter and dill. The eggplant always seems a little daunting to people. Here’s a nice recipe for Eggplant Parmesan. I like to slice them thin and use in a vegetable lasagna with tomato based sauce.
Well, here we are, at what we hope will be the halfway point of our CSA season. Exactly how long we run will depend on the weather. Since we had a later spring than we had hoped, maybe we’ll have a late fall as well!
The summer squash plants are still going strong, but I feel that the last 2 boxes have been heavy enough in squash that everyone will appreciate a rest. Corn, though, seems to be a popular item at the Farmer’s Market, and I certainly can’t get my fill of fresh sweet corn. So, corn is again included. Carrots also have a repeat performance. If you are looking for a new way to enjoy them you might try Chipotle-Lime Roasted Carrots or steamed, buttered and sprinkled with dill (still my favorite!)
The hot weather got me thinking about the many ways to spice up drinking water to make sure it’s easy to stay hydrated. That’s why I’ve included fresh mint in this week’s share. Gently crush a few sprigs and toss into a pitcher of water to store in the fridge for an extra refreshing glass when you need it. If you want to get a bit fancy, fix yourself a Mint Mojito or the non-boozy version here. It’s also very refreshing to just chew a leaf or two of mint throughout the day…better and better for you than store bought chewing gum!
The rest of the box will be perfect for some fresh salsa: tomatoes, green pepper, onion and jalapenoes. This is what I always most about fresh garden tomatoes since I pretty much refuse to buy those round cardboard things from the supermarket in the winter…unless I am really, really desperate. I don’t have a real recipe and that’s probably OK because everyone has their own taste when it comes to salsa.You will probably want to use all the tomatoes if you make salsa, as for the peppers and onions, it’s totally up to your taste. You will probably have some left over for another dish!
I just do a rough chop of the ingredients and let them sit together for a few hours for the flavors to meld. If you like, you could put everything in the blender, once it’s chopped, for a smoother texture. I like it chunky. Chop your tomatoes and add to your bowl. I do a fine chop for my onion and jalapeno to make sure the spice and flavor are distributed. I do the same for the green pepper (you can use any sweet pepper) just so the salsa isn’t too crunchy. Use more or less jalapeno and onion to your taste and a tip: adding some of the seeds of the jalapeno will add more heat to your salsa. If you have cilantro, fresh or dried, it’s a great addition. You can also add cumin to taste. I always use a few splashes of lemon or lime juice but some folks use cider vinegar.
A note about the tomatoes: we grow a wide variety of them! Red is only the beginning, some of my favorites are yellow and green when ripe. In the boxes this week there are a fair amount of reds with a yellow here and there and even a few purple-y looking ones. I couldn’t find the tag for those, so I’m not positive, but I think they are technically called a ‘black’ tomato. Enjoy the colors!
Now this is how I envision a CSA share! It’s been a slow summer till now, but things are finally starting to come in. This weeks share includes: beets, summer squash (here’s are recipe for Parmesan Garlic Roasted Summer Squash), kale, a few tomatoes, green beans, corn and a green pepper.
I was surprised to find corn ready, since I was just telling folks at the farmers’ market that it would be 2 weeks at least. We had just enough to send 4 ears to each of our members and try a couple ourselves. Our favorite way to cook is on the grill INSIDE the husk! Here‘s a like to the directions.
You’ll notice peas are missing from this box. There are absolutely peas in the garden, but we’ve heard from a few members that peas are getting tiresome. We’ll get our fill in the freezer this week and go from there. On that note, feedback is ALWAYS appreciated. We may have much different tastes and ideas than you. Let us know what you love and what you don’t so we can try to accommodate! This may also be a good reminder that when you find you have too much produce left over from the share, you may want to freeze it to save for some cold winter’s night when you are 3 months from your next share. I will try to find some recipes to use peas before I send more your way.
There is something different going on with the green beans. We use a lot of disposable plastic. By we, I mean Dave and I and the culture as a whole. So, I am trying something a little different to get away from all the little one-use plastic bags. I loaded up on food baskets, the kind that you get your burger and fries in at some joints. It seems to me that things like peas and green beans need to be contained in some way so that I don’t just had you a box or bag with them all mixed together at the bottom. This is also an easy way to designate the portion that will be given. I’m going to give this a try at the farmers’ market as well. I’ll have several baskets of beans or peas ready and when purchased the lot will go into the customers bag and the tray will get refilled. We’ll see how that works, we’re straying quite a ways from the box. I am going to sweeten this new deal with a giveaway at market, in keeping with the plastic reduction theme, customers can enter our drawing each time that they use a re-usable shopping bag at our table. Stay tuned for what the prize will be, I suppose I’ll have it figured out by Tuesday!
P.S. I will reuse these new baskets and any boxes that I send your produce in, save ’em and bring ’em next Thursday. Thanks!