Thursday, July 17, 2014

Notes from Your Farm: Dragon carrots, garlic harvest, overnight pickles

Hello from the farm, 

We wanted some rain, and sure enough, we got some, and then some more, but we'll not complain.  We're never bored at the farm, and as usual things are hopping.  We are harvesting carrots and garlic this week!  Carrots, if you've never grown them, are a hard-fought victory when you actually have them in hand

Carrots are difficult to germinate, take a long time to sprout, are poor weed competitors, are temperature sensitive, require extensive hoeing and hand-weeding, thinning and laborious harvesting and washing. So if all those things go well, we get carrots, and sure we enough that all happened! :-)
And...drum roll, it's garlic digging time too.  Garlic is our longest growing crop.  We plant it in October and it matures almost a year later in July.  We are pleased that our farm-made potato digger works for garlic as well.  This garlic is so good, a real culinary treat!  Enjoy. 

Cameron the Victor, shows off a Dragon carrot

Carrots of many colors.  Carrots were historically many colors--the orange color was popularized by Dutch vegetable growers. Carrots of other colors also contain many healthful anthocyanins. 

Pick Your Own field Update:

Please wait to pick things in the herb beds and Pick Your Own field until you see it listed on the Pick Your Own/Herb boards, so things reach the correct height, stage or maturity.

If we've overlooked something, please let us know!! :-) 
Basil: cut only the top third of stems to allow for regrowth.  

Stephanie the Breadbaker is making Hefezopf (a braided yeast bread) this week .  It's $6/loaf.

thanks to Elizabeth, Asst. Farmer for putting together a farm crew poster! 

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Carrots: carrots are really good roasted in the oven with some coconut, olive or peanut oil. Of course they are also good as carrot sticks or in salads. 
Beets:  these are good roasted or grated raw in a salad. For more work :-) look up a borsht recipe online. 

Walla Walla Sweet Onions:
Mmm, what could be better than carmelized Walla Walla sweet onions?  Take a heavy frying pan, put in a big pat of butter (the pendulum now has swung in butter's favor)  and a whole mess of sliced onions and fry medium low stirring every five minutes or so until golden brown. Wow.  Then, put on top of fried egg and cover with your favorite cheese and broil.  Perfection! 
Eggplants:  We really like the long slender Asian type eggplants! They are user friendly, mild and great for grilling with soy sauce, miso etc on the grill or use in any recipe that calls for eggplant--in short, treat them the same as the Italian "bell-type" eggplants.  

: sort of a mini-broccoli little crunchy dude, these are tasty raw and taste kind of like mild sweet broccoli. Usually eaten raw.  Some people peel away the outer layer.  I ate one this morning unpeeled and enjoyed it.  

Cucumbers!:  while most people don't usually drool over cucumbers, maybe they should over these. We don't like to boast, but these cucumbers are fabulous. Check out the Poona Kheera cucumber from India--they are golden brown when ripe, very crisp and juicy and never bitter. A real winner.  See overnight pickle recipe below 

Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency.

Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  "A good spring tonic" says my 101 year old grandma. 


Beansfinished until second planting begins bearing. Frozen beans taste pretty good until you eat some of our beans and your perspective changes.  The purple ones are equally delicious--if you want to preserve the purple color, don't cook them--they turn green when heated.  The purple ones look awesome in a salad. 
Greens: these succumbed to the heat, with the exception of chard which continue to grow through the summer heat. We like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Broccoli: Broccoli is dicey as a spring crop and the heat has made it flower and diminished its quality--look for a new crop in fall. 
Garlic scapes: we hope you enjoyed the delightful flavor of these. In a couple of weeks the garlic bulbs will be ready! 
Lettuce heads: these have run their course and are stretching skyward--a precursor to bolting--flowering to make seed. 
Lettuce mix--the leaves have given it their all and are now finished.  
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Cilantro: this herb has run its life cycle and is "bolting" or going to seed.  

Justine's Overnight Pickle Recipe 

2 qts water
1 1/4c white vinegar
1/4 c canning salt
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp pickling spice
Combine in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let cool.

While liquid is cooling, cut pickles-anyway you like- and put into a jar, large bowl...etc.
I also add fresh dill and few hole cloves of garlic.Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers and cover.
Put in the refrigerator for 24 hours...then enjoy!

Hope you like them!
thanks to shareholder Justine for this recipe 

Enjoy the harvest! 

Your farmers 

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