Monthly Archives: August 2022

Week #12. Melons on the way

Watermelon harvest is everyone’s favorite job but you have to be able to catch and throw and not mind getting splashed.  We are deeply enjoying the beautiful summer days.  This is one of the best ways to spend them.


Photo by Maggie Schley

Steve picks the ripe melons and makes piles in the field.  Ari tosses melons to Mat, who washes them in the blue tank. It’s great to wash right at the edge of the field.  Melon harvest almost always coincides with warm weather, so no one cares if they get wet.


After washing, we toss again and place (gently!) in wooden bins. Back at the farmyard, we can move the full bins with a forklift and pallet jacks. That means we do not have to lift them again until we pack them in your CSA boxes.


Photo by Mat Salbego

Then we rest and eat cracked melons.

Garlic crop looks good.



The crop is in and drying nicely. The top photo shows garlic laid to dry in our barn loft.  The bottom two photos show garlic laid in the greenhouse on July 29 and July 30. You can see how quickly it’s drying.  I do not love having the garlic in the sun but we cannot fit it all in the loft, so we need to use the greenhouse too. Once it’s dry enough, we’ll move it into the barn.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #12, August 11/12, 2022
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ moon

Sweet corn, 8 ears
Green beans, ~1.5 lb
Cherry tomatoes, 1 quart
Slicing tomatoes, ~2.2 lb
Red peppers, 2, either red bell or red frying
Cucumbers, 3 or 4
White or yellow onion, 1 large
Basil, 1 small sprig
By site: red watermelon OR muskmelon

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet corn, melons, tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers and more.

Sweet corn report – There are very few bugs this week.  It’s the next delicious batch of ‘Vision’ corn.

Cucumbers – This field is so productive!  Usually I wouldn’t send cucumber so many weeks in a row but this field is going to end quickly, so let’s enjoy them while we have them.

White onions – These are more pungent onions than the Walla Wallas that we’ve sent in recent weeks.  We consider them intermediate between Wallas and yellow storage onions in both pungency and ability to be fried.  In other words, these will fry better than Wallas but not as well as a yellow onion.

RECIPES by DEB

all the veg soup
Photo by debslunch

All-the-vegetables Vegetable Soup

We don’t think of summer time as soup season, but fresh summer produce is so tasty in soup. This quick and easy vegetable soup can be thrown together in 3O minutes in the morning and reheated for dinner without overly heating up your kitchen. And it can turn a sandwich into a real meal! I’ve used Tipi green beans, carrots, corn, and bell pepper in this batch, as well as my last pint of Tipi tomato juice, but feel free to sub in what you have – zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes.
Takes about 30 minutes
Serves 6

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 stalks of celery, well-rinsed and chopped, with some of the leaves if possible
3 smallish carrots, sliced into rounds (a generous cup)
1 bell pepper, chopped
kernels from two ears of corn
1 1/2 – 2 cups green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch lengths
2 cups of tomato juice
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or a mix of broth and water
1 to 1 /2 cups cooked beans or small pasta like macaroni or small shells
salt and freshly ground pepper
one tablespoon of honey, or to taste

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot that holds about 4 quarts. Add the longer cooking vegetable first – onion, celery, carrots, and toss with the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften and turn translucent, then add the peppers, green beans and corn. Continue to cook for about 10 more minutes.
  2. Add the broth and tomato juice and water of necessary, and raise the heat to bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. (If you’re making this in the morning, you can go and change out of your pajamas into regular clothes while the soup simmers)
  3. Add the beans or pasta – I used small red beans from Rancho Gordo, but garbanzos would be good, too. Stir in the honey. Cook a few minutes to make sure everything is blended. Dip out a spoonful and let it cool slightly, and taste to see if it needs more salt, or anything else.
  4. You can eat the soup immediately or cool it, and refrigerate and reheat when you’re ready. Serve with crusty bread or grilled cheese sandwiches.

 
corn feta pasta
Photo by debslunch

Pasta with Oven-roasted Corn, Feta, and Jalapeño

This remarkably flavorful pasta only has a few main ingredients: pasta, corn, feta, and jalapeño. I tested the recipe with a large, very mild jalapeño – feel free to sub bell pepper or whatever you have. Sliced cherry tomatoes would also be delicious in this recipe. Serve with pan con tomate, Catalan tomato bread – see recipe below.

1 pound orecchiette – the orecchiette cradle the corn kernels, but bow ties or penne would also work
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large jalapeño, or about 1/2 cup chopped bell or frying pepper, finely chopped
kernels from 4-5 ears of oven-roasted corn, 3-4 cups
Kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons basil pesto, purchased or homemade
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Flaky salt and chopped fresh basil leaves, for serving (optional)

  1. Prepare the oven roasted corn: heat the oven to 400°, and place a rack in the top third. Pull the silk off the corn, and partially shuck it – leave at least one layer of husks on. Arrange the corn directly on the oven rack, or on a tray that will hold all the ears on one layer. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping after about 15, until the cobs have some color on the outside. Cool and peel the corn, and cut the kernels off the cobs. Save the cobs for stock if you like.
  2. Cook the orecchiette in a large pot of well-salted water; optionally, drop a corn cob in for extra corny-y flavor, until the pasta is just a little less cooked then you like it. Drain, saving a cup of the pasta water.
  3. Melt the butter in a wide deep skillet and cook the jalapeño or bell pepper in the butter till softened. Add the corn and 1/4 cup pasta water, and cook until slightly reduced, 2-3 minutes. Add the pasta, pesto, and feta, and another 1/4 cup pasta water, and toss until the pasta is well coated with the sauce. If it seems too dry, add more pasta water as necessary.
  4. Top with the flaky salt and basil, if using, and serve immediately with pan con tomate

 
roasted chicken thighs with cucumber yogurt
Photo by Johnny Miller for The New York Times

Roasted Chicken with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Takes about 40 minutes
Serves 4-6

This recipe is based on a recipe by Melissa Clark, in the New York Times. I’ve adjusted some of the ingredients to match what we’ve got in the box.

Two to two-and-a-half pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced or put through a press
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs such as basil or parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
A good-sized pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
One lemon, one half cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or other thick yogurt (or sour cream)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated about 2/3-3/4 cups
Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped herbs, such as basil or parsley for sprinkling on top

  1. Heat oven to 425°. Combine the chicken, 3 of the garlic cloves, the 1 tablespoon basil or other chopped fresh herbs, or teaspoon of dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and toss until well coated. The chicken can be refrigerated at this point for up to 12 hours before roasting.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil, and spread the chicken mixture on it in a single layer. Drizzle with a little more oil and roast until the chicken is cooked through, 25-35 minutes. For a little more color on your chicken, run the pan under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, stir together the yogurt, grated cucumber, and remaining garlic clove in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. When the chicken is done, arrange it on a serving platter and squeeze the half lemon over the top. Sprinkle on the chopped basil if using. Serve with the cucumber-yogurt sauce and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

 
pan con tomate
Photo by The Spruce

Catalan Tomato Bread

From The Spruce Eats, by Lisa & Tony Sierra
Pan con tomate or Catalan Tomato Bread, a tapa, flavors toasted bread with garlic and tomato. Toast the bread until it’s nice and crispy to avoid sogginess after the bread is rubbed with the tomato – but even soggy, it will still taste great!
 
cold corn soup
Photo by Nagi

Cold Corn Soup for Summer

From RecipeTinEats
Another soup this week – this one is cool, creamy, and full of fresh corn.
 
tomato basil rice
Photo by Bite On The Side

Tomato Basil Rice

From Bite On The Side
Serve this rice garnished with cherry tomatoes and chopped fresh basil as shown, or chunks of slicing tomato. You can omit the basil if we don’t get any in the box; you might want to add oregano or another dried herb, and call it tomato-herb rice!
 

And finally, two recipes for salads with green beans and corn, one creamy, and one with tomatoes.

corn and green bean salad
Photo by Taste of Home

Corn and Green Bean Salad

From Taste of Home
This recipe calls for reduced fat mayonnaise – I am not a fan! Feel free to use your favorite mayo.
 
Martha Corn Green Bean Tomato Salad
Photo by John Kernick

Corn, Green Bean, and Tomato Salad

From Martha Stewart
Martha calls for yellow tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes in this salad – a combination of our slicing and cherry tomatoes will work just great in this recipe.

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Week #11; Let’s talk peppers.

Our pepper season begins.  We have two or three peppers for each share this week.  Most people will get a mix of red bell and red frying peppers. (Some boxes will have all bells this week.)  Let’s review the differences.


Bell peppers are sweet, not spicy.  They are blocky and thick walled.  These are great for salads, stuffing, grilling, and roasting, where their thick walls are an advantage.  This week’s bell peppers are red or green, but we grow red, yellow, orange, purple and green bell peppers.  All are sweet.


Frying peppers are also sweet, not spicy.   They have a pointed tip and are thinner walled.  These peppers are great for frying.  They have lower moisture, which allows them to fry and brown in hot oil.  Frying peppers can also be stuffed or used for salads.  They are less useful for roasting, because of their thinner walls, and lower yield after roasting.  We grow red and green frying peppers. 

#2 Grade Red Peppers

I write about pepper grading every year.  Returning members can say “yeah, yeah” and skip ahead.  New members, please read.
Some of the red bell peppers we send in the CSA boxes will be our #2 grade.  We do this to avoid waste and to deliver good value to our CSA members.  The #2 grade peppers are excellent eating quality, but are not quite pretty enough to sell to our coop store customers.  As a result, we place a much lower value on these peppers.  This allows us to provide generous amounts of peppers over the course of the season.  We feel this is a good exchange, even if it means you occasionally open a pepper and find that it needs trimming.  Here are the reasons that peppers are downgraded from #1 grade to #2 grade:

  • They may have a minor blemish, or
  • They may have minor insect damage, or
  • They may be very ripe and beginning to wrinkle.  (These are especially sweet and delicious as they are fully ripe.  These cannot be sold to stores because their shelf life is short.  You will find that the texture is less crisp than a #1 grade pepper, but the flavor more than makes up for it.)
  • They might be partially red and partially green.
  • Others are just too small.
  • Eating quality is fine (or excellent) for all the #2 peppers. 

.
We throw away ALL peppers that we suspect have rot inside (although one may occasionally slip through in either #1 or #2 grade.).  Enjoy this week’s peppers.  As amounts increase, we’ll share favorite pepper recipes.

Zucchini News


The crew on the way to harvest zucchini.

After this week, you (and we) will get a vacation from zucchini.  Our next field will be ready to harvest in late August.  This is good timing from our perspective, as we have many great things for the CSA boxes this month.  Melons, corn, beans, peppers and tomatoes are all hitting their stride.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #11, August 4/5, 2022
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Sweet corn, 7 or 8 ears
Carrots, 2 lb
Red peppers (frying or bell), 2 or 3
These will be a mix of #1 and #2 grades.
Cherry tomatoes, 1 quart
Slicing tomatoes, 1 or 2
Cucumbers, ~4
Zucchini &/or Zephyr squash, ~2 pieces
Walla Walla onion
Fresh garlic, 1 bulb
By site: a small muskmelon OR red watermelon

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet corn, tomatoes, red cabbage, melons, and more.

Sweet corn – This week’s batch has fewer bugs.  However, I still suggest that you cut off the tips before shucking.  Then you do not even see any bugs.  We expect to have seven deliveries of corn for you this year and I’ll post bug info here each week so you know what to expect.  The corn is delicious.  Just cut off the tips before shucking – you’ll be happier.

Carrots – This is a really nice batch of carrots, a variety called ‘Romance’.  Steve has experimented for years to find the best carrot varieties to plant each season.  Summer carrots can be disappointing, eg too bitter, but this ‘Romance’ variety does great.  Of course, we have to water and tend them for success, but they are worth the effort.

Red peppers – Storage: Refrigerate

Cucumbers – We just began harvesting our second cucumber field and the quality and abundance are great!  We have four cucumbers for you this week.  Enjoy the bounty – soon the field will calm down and production will slow.
Storage: Refrigerate in a warmer part of your fridge, or even leave at room temperature.

Cherry tomatoes (mixed orange and red) – Everyone gets a quart this week but they are not quite full.  We divvied up what we have!

Fresh garlic – We are sending German Extra Hardy garlic this time.  Storage:  I suggest that you refrigerate this bulb of garlic, so it remains easy to peel.  The garlic is fine if you leave it at room temperature but the cloves will become difficult to peel as the bulb dries.

Muskmelon (some sites) – Some are ripe and ready to eat.  Some appear greenish and need to ripen a day or two on your kitchen counter.  Keep at room temperature but refrigerate if not eaten within 2 days.

Red watermelon (some sites) – We have watermelons for just two sites.
Storage: Store at room temperature and refrigerate once cut.

RECIPES by PHOEBE

Roasted Salmon with Marinated Cucumbers and Ginger Rice

Sweet and tangy marinated cucumbers add a cooling crunch to this gingery salmon and rice bowl. Serve it with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and drizzles of toasted sesame oil for a nutty finishing touch.

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

1 large cucumber (about 10 ounces), peeled, seeded, and diced
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed
1½ cups water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cane sugar
4 (4-ounce) salmon filets
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Toasted sesame oil, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the cucumbers in a medium bowl and toss with ½ teaspoon of the sea salt. Set aside while you start the rice.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add the water and the remaining ¼ teaspoon sea salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to steam in the covered pot until you’re ready to serve.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the cucumbers. Add the rice vinegar and the sugar to the bowl with the cucumbers and toss until the sugar dissolves. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
  5. Pat the salmon filets dry and place them on the prepared baking sheet, skin side down. In a small bowl, stir together the tamari and brown sugar until the sugar dissolves. Brush the mixture onto the salmon filets, then bake until the salmon is just opaque and flakes easily, about 12 minutes.
  6. Assemble plates with a scoop of the ginger rice, a salmon filet, and spoonfuls of the marinated cucumbers. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with drizzles of toasted sesame oil.

 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Warmly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and packed with shredded zucchini, these moist and fluffy pancakes taste just like zucchini bread! Serve them with maple syrup for a delicious breakfast or brunch. Tip: If you have lots of squash to use up, you can increase the zucchini to 1½ cups. The pancakes are great both ways.

Makes about 10 pancakes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Heaping 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heaping ¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup almond milk, or any milk
¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons neutral oil or melted butter, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
½ cup chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, Greek yogurt, egg, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and brush lightly with oil. Use a ⅓-cup scoop to pour the batter into the skillet. Cook the pancakes until they’re puffed, cooked through, and golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat as needed if the outsides of the pancakes brown before they’re fully cooked in the middle. Serve with maple syrup.

 

Homemade corn fritters on a plate
Photo by The Modern Proper

Corn Fritters

From The Modern Proper
Crispy, buttery, savory, and sweet, these pan-fried fritters are a fun way to use sweet corn! This recipe calls for green onions, but you could easily sub in a couple tablespoons of minced Walla Walla onion.

Greek salad
Photo by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews

Greek Salad

From Love & Lemons
This simple salad is a refreshing summer side dish, and it’d be a perfect way to use the cucumbers, peppers, onion, and cherry tomatoes in your box this week. Feel free to skip the mint. Thanks to the fresh veggies and punchy dressing, the salad has plenty of flavor without it.

Sheet pan chicken pitas in bowls.
Photo by Pinch of Yum

Sheet Pan Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki

From Pinch of Yum
Here’s another great way to use the peppers and cucumbers in this week’s box! In this easy sheet pan dinner, you’ll roast thinly sliced peppers and spiced-up chicken breast and serve them in pitas with diced cucumber, onion, and creamy cucumber tzatziki.

Za’atar Roasted Carrots with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds on a serving plate topped with cilantro
Photo by The Modern Proper

Za’atar Roasted Carrots with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds

From The Modern Proper
Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, adds bright, earthy flavor to these simple roasted carrots. Dress them up with feta and toasted pumpkin seeds for tang and crunch.

Burst tomato pappardelle in a pan topped with fresh basil and being scooped with tongs.
Photo by Pinch of Yum

Burst Tomato Pappardelle with Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Pan-Fried Chicken

From Pinch of Yum
Burst cherry tomatoes, lemon, and a touch of cream create a light, flavorful sauce for this summery veggie pasta. The chicken here is totally optional – for a vegetarian take on this recipe, feel free to skip it!

Carrot ginger dressing
Photo by Jeanine Donofrio and Phoebe Moore

Carrot Ginger Dressing

From Love & Lemons
Potentially my all-time favorite salad dressing! Made with roasted carrots, fresh ginger, and rice vinegar, it’s creamy, zingy, and super refreshing. Toss it with salads, drizzle it over a grain bowl, or use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, sushi, or grilled or roasted veggies.

 

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