Lightning strike

Charlie Davis and his son Caleb came to repair our farmyard well.

This is the inside of the well controller. It is not supposed to have the rainbow/galvanized look.  That’s the result of the lightning surge.

There was a lightning strike nearby on Thursday night.  No one was hurt but many electronics were damaged.  Here’s the list so far:
– farmyard well controller
– irrigation well controller
– solar array controller
– a thermostatic control for one cooler
– pump for our diesel fuel tank
– controls for a mixer we use to prepare greenhouse potting mix.

That’s a lot.  If we hear Steve cursing, then we know he has found more damage.  We are crawling our way through repairs.  Water was off in the house and farm buildings for less than a day because our well repair guy is terrific.  Charlie Davis (Southcentral Well & Pump) returned our call on Thursday night, tracked down a replacement controller early Friday, and was at the farm by 11:00 am.

Steve fixed the cooler compressor and the diesel pump (more cursing) but the irrigation well and solar array remain unresolved.   An electrician has declared both controllers as ‘dead.’  These are specialized and expensive parts but we have insurance.

Honestly, I kind of lost it on Thursday night.  This is a complicated year and suddenly we had no water and so many essential farm systems were damaged.  We filled buckets at the neighbors (thank you K & J!) and took bucket baths.  Charlie’s quick reply helped.  We opened a few beers and went to bed early.  Beth


We are sending a substantial bunch, as the basil grew well this week.  If you don’t expect to use it all within one week, you should freeze some.  Chop finely by hand or in a food processor.  Mix with a little olive oil, and press firmly into a shallow freezer container.  Once frozen, you can break off pieces when you need them.  No need to thaw; just throw a frozen chunk into your tomato sauce or salad dressing.  Full disclosure, basil blackens when frozen so keep that in mind when using it.
Storage:  Basil deteriorates if stored in the refrigerator.  It is best stored at room temperature with the cut ends in water, for example in a jar or vase.  Treat it like a flower.  Give the stem a fresh trim and change the water every day or two.
Basil forecast:  We think this will be a good basil year.  Keep your fingers crossed.  We’ve settled on a favorite disease-resistant variety, to avoid the disease that has ended our basil crops early the past few years.  I think we’ll have a steady supply during tomato season.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #9, July 16/17, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Carrots, 1.25 lb
Green kale, 1 bunch
Zucchini &/or summer squash, 1 or 2
Cucumbers, 3
Walla Walla onion, 1 or 2
Green bell pepper, 1
Broccoli, 1 or 2 small heads
Basil, a generous bunch
Fresh garlic, 1 bulb

– We have 1 pt cherry tomatoes for a few sites.  We’ll distribute cherry tomatoes to all the sites as they ripen in the coming weeks.
– Each site gets something from this list: globe eggplant OR a few plum tomatoes OR a small bag of snap peas.
– Remember, all boxes at a site are identical.  Do not touch or open other members’ boxes.

Next week’s box will probably contain cucumbers, zucchini, Caraflex cabbage, basil and more.

Carrots – These were smaller than expected at harvest.  We’ll let the field grow for a few more weeks before harvesting again.

Walla Walla onions – These fat onions are sweet, crisp and very mild.  Wonderful raw or lightly cooked.  Try cutting into wedges, threading on a skewer and grilling.  Do not try to fry these onions – it doesn’t work because of their high water content.  
Storage:  It’s OK to store at room temperature for up to one week.  Otherwise, refrigerate.

Fresh garlic – The garlic you receive this week is freshly dug and uncured.  The cloves are very crisp and pungent.  You will find that the wrapper papers on each clove are still crisp but peel off readily.  You should refrigerate this head of garlic.  It won’t spoil at room temperature but the clove wrappers become difficult to peel as they dry.  We expect to dig our garlic crop over the next week, then will cure the bulbs for a few weeks.  We’ll send more garlic once the curing is finished.
Storage:  Refrigerate fresh garlic.

Eggplant – For best flavor, store eggplants at room temperature for 2 – 3 days.  If holding for longer than three days, store in the warmest part of your refrigerator.  Eggplants do not store well for long periods of time.  Many recipes instruct you to salt and drain eggplant “to remove bitter flavors.”  Eggplant this fresh is not bitter so you can skip the salting step.
There are many ways to use versatile eggplants.  Here are a few ideas:
– Roast in the oven or over coals to cook and smoke your eggplant, then transform into baba ganouj with lemon, tahini, and garlic.
– Cut in 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices, peel, and rub with a little salad dressing (I use Newman’s balsamic dressing), then grill slowly until soft and smoky.  At this point, you can cut into cubes to make eggplant caponata with chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, olives, capers, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
– Use the grilled cubes in casseroles or to top pizza.  
– Add thin, grilled eggplant slices in grilled cheese sandwiches.  Use hearty bread – this doesn’t work well with soft sandwich bread.  

See?  The cucumbers already look better, with less beetle damage.


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Baked Eggplant Fries
Pasta Sorta Gricia
Basil Oil Grilled Crostini with Goat Cheese

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Creamy Polenta with Eggplant and Zucchini
Chicken Noodle Soup with Cannellini Beans and Kale Pistou
Basil Cucumber Buttermilk Dressing

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Olive Hummus, Basil, Cucumber, Zucchini, Carrot Wraps


Adapted from Martha Stewart
Depending on the season, I change up the veggies I use for this salad. The kale and the dressing are the powerhouse part of this meal and the rest is easily substituted so don’t worry if you don’t have any scallions or radishes on hand at the moment. I always use an onion of some kind– sometimes scallions as listed here, but at other times it’s thinly sliced yellow onion, leek or shallot. I usually use a root vegetable as well– sometimes radish, sometimes carrot, occasionally beets. Then I’ll add another veggie or two, again whatever I have on hand, cucumbers and bell peppers of any color are great. Really anything you like raw on a salad will work just fine.

1-1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, divided
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound kale (or collards), ribs removed and very thinly sliced
1-2 cucumbers, seeded and sliced
1 Walla Walla onion, thinly sliced

  1. In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  2. In a large bowl, combine kale with the dressing, using half at first, tasting and adding more as you like. I often use the full amount for a pound of kale but you may not want to.
  3. Top with cucumber, onion and remaining 1/2 cup nuts. Serve right away or store for 2-3 days in your fridge. The kale can stand up to being dressed in advance.


Adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 2-4 (as a side)
Takes: 45 minutes

½ cup Greek yogurt, divided
1 tablespoon curry powder (preferably hot curry powder)
1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound carrots, unpeeled, tops trimmed, cut in half if large
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix together ¼ cup yogurt, curry powder, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 minced garlic clove, and olive oil in a large bowl until smooth.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Add carrots and toss to coat.  Roast on a baking sheet in a single layer, turning occasionally, for 30 minutes.  You’ll want them to be lightly charred in spots and very tender.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice, remaining garlic clove and remaining ¼ cup yogurt in a small bowl.  Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Place cooked carrots on a platter (along with any crunchy bits left on the baking sheet).  Drizzle with yogurt mixture.  Serve warm.
  4. Or skip the platter and put all the carrots and yogurt on one plate and dive in (without sharing!).



Makes 6 servings
Takes 1 hour

1 pie pan lined with pie dough (from scratch or store-bought)
1 cup finely diced broccoli
1 Walla Walla onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup shredded cheddar or Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half, whipping cream or milk
1/4 cup prepared pesto (recipe below) or 1/2 cup finely chopped basil if you’re feeling less ambitious
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prick bottom and sides of crust and line with foil. Bake in preheated oven 8 minutes, remove foil, and bake another 8 minutes. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Toss broccoli, onion, peppers, cheese and flour in a bowl. Spread mixture over bottom of crust. Whisk remaining ingredients in the bowl. Pour filling into crust. Bake until knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Basil Pesto:
3 tablespoons pine nuts (or walnuts or almonds)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 garlic clove
2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil

  1. Combine pine nuts, Parmesan and garlic in a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle. Process until finely ground. Add basil and process 20-30 seconds longer until combined. Remove to a small bowl and fold in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 1/2 cup.


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