Week #16, September 6, 2018

It’s too wet.  That’s all we think about.  This isn’t news; you’ve experienced the endless rains too.  Honestly, this is a difficult moment for us.  Our crew is struggling with the rain, mud and mosquitos.  It’s hard to keep our spirits up.  

Some items in this week’s box have more water than usual and are more perishable as a result.  Keep an eye on your produce and be strategic about what you use first.  Everything we pack in the CSA boxes is in good shape, but some things might have a shorter shelf life.   Our summer crops are fading away.  We’ll continue to pick tomatoes as long as at the flavor is decent.  Peppers and zucchini remain productive and good quality, which we appreciate.  Lettuce, sweet corn, cucumbers are finished for the season, probably Swiss chard too.  This is probably the final melon.

We look forward to fall crops.  Carrots, greens, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and winter squash all look great, and will be productive if the weather turns dry.  We need some sun and wind.   The sweet potatoes remain a mystery until we start digging them.  We’ve got several bean plantings scheduled for harvest over the next month.

Farming means accepting the weather but how can we avoid reacting to it?  We’re pretty philosophical by this point in our farming careers but it hurts to watch lovely crops melt down in the rain.  We’ve had wet spells before but rarely for more than a month.  A series of wet months is different.  Our workers soldier on.  They are amazing.  Tuesday was a sunny day and we tried to store that energy before today’s rain.  Beth, Steve and the crew.


Ellen and Sena head back to the buildings.  The crew have kept their spirits up despite soaked clothes, soaked socks and predatory mosquitos.  We used our rain coats with mosquito nets on Monday.  Trust me, that’s a steamy combination.  I asked Steve “who do you think will quit today?”  He said “me.”

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #16, Sept 6/7, 2018
– weekly shares
– purple EOW
– moon sampler

Carrots, 1.7 lb
Plum tomatoes, ~2 lb
Slicing tomatoes, ~2 lb
Muskmelon or red watermelon (by site)
Red frying peppers (or Oranos), 3 – 4
Bell pepper, 1 – 2, red, yellow, orange or purple
Green zucchini, 1 big or 2 small
Yellow onion, 1 or 2
Poblano chiles, 3
Garlic, 1 bulb
– Some sites get eggplant.
– Some sites get lettuce.

Next week’s box will probably contain Romano beans, red potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, some type of greens, and more.

Tomatoes – The tomatoes are hanging in there.  We have a few plum tomato varieties that are just ripening, so those are the best right now.  The beautiful orange plum tomatoes are finally ready en masse this week.  We will keep picking plum &/or slicing tomatoes until the flavor gets weak. As usual, we send a mix of fully ripe and slightly underripe tomatoes to ripen at room temperature.  Watch your tomatoes closely.  If spots develop, use quickly or refrigerate.

Melons – Everyone gets one large melon or two small ones.  We’ll distribute watermelons and muskmelons by site.  The watermelons will hold well.  Muskmelons are ripe and should be eaten in the next few days.

Green zucchini – These nice zucchini are from a new field, so quality is high again.  We’ve included some big ones but they are tender because picked from young, healthy plants.

Garlic – This is German Extra Hardy, a variety with big, fat cloves.  This variety grew well for us this year.  We’ll increase this type in our fall planting.

Lettuce – Wash well!  There’s lots of grit because of splashed soil.  These are small; we had to strip off a lot of outer leaves.  Think about cutting a little higher than usual above the base when you prep your lettuce, to avoid rusty spots on the lower stem.

Peppers:


You will receives some of these peppers.  I photographed more to help you identify the different types by shape, size and color.  
Clockwise from top left; 
Frying peppers (slender; red or yellow; SWEET) – These peppers are thin-walled with low moisture, which allows them to fry readily in hot oil.  Excellent raw or cooked.
Bell peppers (blocky; various colors; SWEET)  Bell peppers are thicker-walled and juicy, great for eating raw in salads or roasting on the grill.  Your bell pepper this week could be yellow, orange, red or purple.  Purple peppers taste like green bells.
Poblano chiles (triangular, shiny;  red or brown; MILDLY HOT) –  Poblanos are the creme de la creme of chiles.  They have lots of great flavor in combination with manageable heat.  Roast and add to soup or casseroles.  To reduce heat, remove the seeds and midveins.
Oranos (slender; orange or orange and green; SWEET) – These are snacking peppers, with excellent flavor and few seeds. 

RECIPES

Visit our 2018 Recipe Log or our 2017 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Garlicky Glazed Carrot
Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Garlicky White Wine Reduction Sauce with Tomatoes
Nigel Slater’s Eggplant Tomato Curry
Peppers Piedmontese
LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Indian Moong Dal with Carrot and Tomato
Quick Chopped Kalamata Tomato Relish Crostini 
Eggplant Falafel
Smoked Trout Salad with Peppers
LOCAL THYME/ Quick and Easy Meal
Poblanos Rajas Scramble

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

GRILLED CARROTS, STEAK & ONION WITH SMOKY FISH SAUCE
Recipe adapted slightly from Six Seasons
I had this at a potluck a few months ago and fell in love with Portland chef Joshua McFadden and his beautiful cookbook Six Season immediately. I think this is probably the fifth or sixth recipe I’ve adapted for you all from this cookbook so if you are loving these recipes, it’s really time you checked it out yourselves. Lauren.

Takes 1 hour.
Serves 4.

1 pound steak (skirt, tri-tip, rib-eye or other cut that’s tasty grilled)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds trimmed and peeled carrots, split lengthwise into quarters
1 large yellow onion, cut into fat slices
Olive oil
1 or 2 lime wedges

Smoky Fish Sauce:
1/2 cup fish sauce
2 poblanos seeded, de-ribbed and minced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sugar

  1. Season the steak with 1 teaspoon salt and several twists of pepper then heat a gas grill to medium.
  2. Prepare your sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and stirring until sugar dissolves then adding 2 tablespoons water. Let sit on counter to marinate while you cook.
  3. Once preheated, arrange the carrots and onion slices on the grill. Cook, turning every couple minutes, until they are starting to soften and brown a bit (the carrots should be about as soft as a cooked beet, and the onions should be tender and juicy but not yet significantly charred), about 15 minutes.
  4. Increase the grill heat to medium-high, blot any moisture off the steak, and add it to the grill. Cook to medium-rare, 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on how thick it is. Leave the vegetables on while cooking the steaks but keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not charring too much. A few dark edges are nice, but take them off if they are getting more blackened than that.
  5. Take everything off the grill. Let the steak rest as you cut the carrots at an angle into long slices and cut the onion rings in half; they will likely fall apart at this point.
  6. After the steak has rested for at least five minutes, cut it across the grain into thin strips. Place the steak, carrots and onions into a large bowl and pour on 1/2 cup of the spicy fish sauce (the batch makes more like 2 cups; save the remaining to drizzle over grilled meats, to marinate some chicken, or to use as a dressing for roasted vegetables (particularly poatoes). Also add any steak juices that have accumulated on the resting plate or cutting board to the bowl. Toss, taste, and add more sauce if you need for the flavors to be bright and flavorful.
  7. Drizzle with olive oil, a bit more salt and pepper, and a few squirts from the lime before serving.

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VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS
Takes 1 hour, 30 minutes (only 30 minutes active).
Serves 4-6.

3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 orano pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 eggplant (if you got one), cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 can black beans
4 red frying peppers, cut in half, seeds and ribs removed
1 bell pepper, cut in half, seeds and ribs removed
1-2 avocados, optional
Sour cream, optional
Hot sauce, optional
Fresh lime juice, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add pepper, zucchini and eggplant (if using) and saute 10 minutes longer. Finally, add garlic and saute until that is fragrant (about 5 minutes more). Stir in tomatoes and spices followed by quinoa and beans. Cook for 5-10 minutes until tomatoes aren’t too liquidy.
  3. Stuff each pepper half with quinoa mixture. They will likely be heaping. Place peppers with room between them in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Pour a few tablespoons of water into the pan to help steam the peppers. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes more until peppers are soft and lightly browned.
  4. Serve warm with sliced avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, and/or lime juice.

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