Thursday, August 6, 2009

1st Week of August

Notes from the Farm
Well sometimes things turn out better than expected--in this case the tomatoes have not all died and we are getting some for the harvest, it looks like we will get about 440 lbs this week, which translates to 2lbs and 4lbs per half and full shares respectively. This week we've been spading up all the finished crops and planting sorghum sudangrass in thistle-filled areas to choke out the thistle by the start of next season. The onions are doing phenomenally well this year, and we continue to harvest them and place them in the greenhouse to cure and dry down their necks. The sweet peppers (aka bell peppers) look great, are not susceptible to late blight, and will be harvestable in a week or two. It was great to see everyone at the potluck Sat. evening; thanks for your presence and great food. We'll have the fall potluck on Saturday September 26th.

Pick Your Own Field Highlights
  • Tromboncino Squash Tower: Check out this rapidly growing vine and the bamboo tower that Bradley made for it.
  • Summer Savory: this herb located beyond the grapes in the PYO field. Very strong by itself, it is excellent with tomatoes
  • Edible flowers: Nasturtiums, and Calendula and Borage are edible and are located also toward the end of the PYO field.
  • Basil: is ready: pinch off the tips just above where they branch--not sure? Ask Bradley.
  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes: yes, they have the late blight too--but there are some tomatoes there--harvest sparingly.
  • Heirloom Tomatoes: various types located in the first row.
  • Pole Beans: there are few bean towers at the bottom of the PYO field, several different varieties.

Thai Basil Eggplant Recipe

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Japanese eggplants (or 1 big purple, peeled and cut into pieces)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 bunch basil, preferably Thai basil, washed and stems removed
2 Thai chiles, minced (optional)

1) Peel eggplant if desired (I don't). Cut into irregular shapes but same sizes. That makes them easier to turn and keeps them from sticking to the pan.
2) Heat wok over med-high heat. Add oil, peppers and garlic. Cook until garlic becomes lightly browned, 1-2 minutes.
3) Add eggplant and stir. Add 1/2 cup water cover and simmer 5 minutes, until eggplant has soaked up most of the water and becomes translucent. You may need to add more water as it cooks.
4) Add fish sauce and sugar. Stir gently. Turn off the heat and add the basil stir gently.
5) Serve immediately.
6) Really good with jasmine rice!

About some of the Characters

  • Asian and Italian-type Eggplants: the slender Japanese type eggplants are usually sweeter and milder than the classic Italian types. Their color is fabulous too. Coating slices with oil and soy sauce and grilling them is quick and delicious. Also the recipe above for Thai Basil eggplant.
  • Carrots: munch on them like a marauding rabbit ;-) The whole farm crew loves to nibble on them, a whole different crittter from what's in the store.
  • Mars: these red onions can be used now or kept for storage.
  • Leeks: generally, use the white part and discard the tough green stem. Leeks often have soil in the layers, so it is good to halve them and rinse the separated layers. The recipe above calls for using the green part also, just be sure to cut perpendicularly so you don't have long tough strands to deal with.
  • Potatoes: baked, boiled, roasted, they are excellent.

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