Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Notes from Your Farm: July 4th heat, beans arrive

A warm hello from the farm, 

It's July 4th week and we can safely say that it feels like it too! It's perfect weather for cold pasta cucumber salad--see recipe below.  This week we have been trickle irrigating the crops that grow under the plastic mulch film and also hoping for rain for the open field crops.  We finished transplanting the fall cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower yesterday and began putting the Long Island Cheese pumpkins in the ground as well.  The term fall crops can be confusing--they mature in fall, but they must be planted in summer to mature in time.  

The green, yellow and purple beans are ready and we're happy to be harvesting them once again.  
Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are a few weeks off--sure signs of mid-summer and we eagerly await their arrival.  

 Baker Stephanie of Abendessen bread says: I will be baking Sun-dried Tomato Bagels for this week.  $4/half dozen $8/dozen

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:
Green, Yellow and Purple Beans: Frozen beans taste pretty good until you eat some of our beans and your perspective changes.  The purple ones taste equally good--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.

For cooking fresh beans--bring to a boil in a bit of water, then turn to low and cook until just tender. 

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. 

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. 
Greens: 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.

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.  


Cool cucumber noodle salad:  a cool meal after a hot day--we enjoyed this very much last evening! 
cook then rinse somen, soba or spaghetti noodles
dice and add cucumbers
dash of soy sauce to taste
dash of sesame oil to taste
cold diced cooked chicken or chopped peanuts for meatless.
dash of paprika or cayenne as desired
--from the kitchen of Lorena Breneman

Enjoy the harvest, 

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