It seems as if we will make it to 15 weeks this year! Many gardeners are already done due to a frost last week. We didn’t get that one, fortunately, so we still have time to get more produce out.
This weeks box includes cabbage, tomatoes, a variety of hot peppers (jalapenos, the long red ones are chili peppers and the orange ones are habaneros), beets, sage and potatoes. The cabbage, tomatoes and peppers would go well in this Creole Cabbage recipe. Instead of the can of tomatoes and rotel, use some fresh tomatoes and your choice of peppers the jalapenos are generally the milder and the habaneros the spiciest! Any peppers that you don’t immediately use can be frozen. We slice or chop them then freeze directly in freezer bags to use in cassaroles, stir frys and scrambled eggs as needed.
The amount of sage in the box is probably too much for most recipes, so I would encourage you to preserve it for later. Here is a great photo tutorial on how to freeze any herb in oil for use later.
Unfortunately, this is about it for the potatoes. We had issues with gophers in the garden that really took a toll on the potatoes and some of the beets too. The skins are slightly imperfect so they won’t be good for saving. It should be a good amount to use quickly.
A good mix this week! Corn, green beans, carrots, beets and tomatoes. Tomatoes are a favorite at this house, we usually have at least 5 varieties planted in various colors. Pictured are a ‘Black Trifle’ which looks more purple to me a red and yellow that I couldn’t find tags for, probably ‘Beaverlodge’ and ‘Lemon Boy’ and the ‘Green Zebra.’ The green is my personal favorite. When they are ripe they take on a more yellow hue than the unripe ones.
Not pictured is the mint, but I am going to send it this week, promise. See CSA week 10 for recipes for the mint.
Here is an interactive Farmer’s Market Recipe Generator to help you out with using this weeks produce. It has some very tasty looking recipes!
Almost all of this week’s share was picked after the rain, either last night or this morning. I only washed the root crops. Veggies store best when they are unwashed. With everyone’s varied cooking and eating habits, I want your produce to last as long as possible if it isn’t eaten immediately!
Have a great Labor Day weekend!
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!
This week’s share included: peas, snow peas and green beans which have all been staples for a while. Summer squash made an appearance again, a few members received zucchini and the rest yellow squash. There are lots of squash on the plants, but for some reason they just aren’t growing as fast as they should be.
Beets have made their debut this season! One member’s favorite is the beet greens so I made sure that these were included. They can be sauted like any green with a little butter and onion or garlic.
Tomatoes are also a first. We have had a few small handfuls of these little yellow cherry tomatoes in the past week. There were finally enough to divvy up between our CSA members today. There was a mix of regular red tomatoes (I couldn’t find the marker, so I can’t tell you what variety specifically), red grape, yellow cherry and a few red cherry tomatoes.
The main garden plot was finally free of snow and dry enough to till this past weekend! Heather’s dad is good enough to bring his tractor and tiller in the Spring to get us ready to plant. We are now just a couple of days shy of what is regarded as the ‘average last frost date’ in this area. If you ask the old timers, though, they will say that you aren’t really safe until Memorial Day. We never wait that long. We usually don’t wait as long as we did. If we could have dried that garden any faster, we certainly would have! One of the items on our to-do list for this fall is to move some dirt to get optimal drainage for next year.
Since we are expecting rain for the next 4 days, we decided to give-it-our-all this afternoon. Dave took the afternoon off of work and the two of us, or should I say the three of us, planted everything that still needed to get in the ground!
You’ll notice in the photos that we plant our peppers and tomatoes into black plastic. There are a few reasons for that. #1 The black plastic warms the soil and air around these heat loving plants. #2 It keeps the weeds at bay. #3 In the case of the tomatoes, it keeps soil from splashing up onto the plants reducing the chance of soil born diseases taking hold.