Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What to Do With Your Share---Week 19

Seuss sweet pepper
It appears that fall is creeping in. Just a couple weeks ago it was 100 degrees, but now the nights are cool and the weather favors the autumnal vegetables. We fall in that category too, as the heat of summer is over and we feel a little less worn at the end of the day.

One fall crop that is prime at the moment is kohlrabi. Returning members should remember last year's post by our friend Cole Rabi. Follow the link and learn some basics for eating this crunchy treat.

Here at the farm we have been doing a lot of tomato eating and preserving. Tonight, after previously prepping and cooking down our chili sauce, we are canning it. We use the Ball Blue Book recipe, which is similar to one in our July 29, 2008 blog from member Ann Flynn.

Cover crop and high tunnel
Yet another good recipe for this summer/fall mix of vegetables is Cauliflower puttanesca. From way back in our September 15, 2004 newsletter, this dish is from the newsletter of Rebecca's old CSA in SF, Terra Firma. You don't have to add anchovies or olives, but it sure helps make the dish.

In the Share - Week 19

CAULIFLOWER OR BROCCOLI (F/P)  These plants withstood a lot of heat late into their maturing season, but some are bulking up fairly well.  A hearty thank you to the CSA members who got the weeds in check last week!  We hope to have both for several more weeks.

TOMATOES (F/P)  Today was the last big picking of tomatoes with most of the hybrid reds ripe and the heirlooms dwindling.  The paste or Roma tomatoes will keep coming for a while.

LETTUCE (F/P)  Mostly green crispheads that can take some summer heat. 

KOHLRABI (F/P)  We tasted one today and we were happy we did - very tender and juicy was the result.

BEETS (F/P)  The beets are going bonkers out there - they grew to a large size while we were occupied on other things.  Don't worry, they are still sweet and tender.

SWEET PEPPERS (F/P)  Loads more of these big beauties this week.

GREENS CHOICE (F)   Several of our fall greens are sizing up.  You'll have a choice of kale, rapini or broccoli raab, or Swiss Chard.

HERB CHOICE (F/P)  Basil, marjoram and thai basil.



NEXT WEEK:  More tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower.  Sweet potatoes, cabbage and garlic.


Two and a half inches of rain soaked in well.  The soil is loose, full of worms and a pleasure to dig into.  A sure sign of fall, we dug the first sweet potatoes on Saturday.  They are curing in the greenhouse and should be in the shares next week.  Tom has flail-mowed the sorghum sudan cover crop that many of you saw at the farm in the past few weeks.  That's next year's fertility which will be turned into the soil later this week. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In the Share - Week 18

red peppers

LETTUCE (F/P)  Welcome back, you ruffle-headed beauties!

HAKUREI TURNIPS (F/P)  and you too, turnips...

TOMATOES (F/P)  A few less than last week, but still a nice amount.

SWEET PEPPERS (F/P)  We've never grown such huge, beautiful peppers.  Enjoy!


BROCCOLI (F) Use soon, as it is a bit squirrelly.  Not sure what is causing it to unevenly ripen, but it got stressed by some combination of weather, soil and water. 



GARLIC and HOT PEPPERS (F/P)  Tom has more info. on cooking with the hot peppers in his post.

NEXT WEEK:  More tomatoes, sweet peppers, broccoli, lettuce and turnips.  New will be Napa/Chinese cabbage and eggplant.


Many of you have met Lauren Semivan at the farm this summer.  She and her new husband, Lorne, are headed towards a farm of their own and are apprenticing here in preparation.  Lauren is an accomplished art photographer with works in museums and galleries.  She has been working this summer during the little time we leave her on a new series of composed photographs.  Some bits and curiosities from the farm have even made the cut.  This week she and Lorne travel to New York City for an opening of her work at the Bonni Benrubi gallery on Wednesday night.  Go here to see the show.  Best wishes for a dazzling time! 
Before they left, the farm managed to have quite the party. 
Thanks to everyone who made our first on-farm CSA potluck and 10th anniversary of the CSA a swinging success. 
The rain stopped just in time to have a dry afternoon with very pleasant temperatures.  The baby chicks in their run provided quality entertainment to kids of all ages. 
As always, the membership cooked up some delicious fare plus a lovely cake to cap the day off. 
Here's to the next ten!

What to Do With Your Share---Week 18

It was a wonderful weekend at the farm as we celebrated our tenth season. Yeah! A splendid time was had by all as the pictures below can attest.

It was great to host the CSA on a day that did not include manual labor. The food seemed extra tasty  as we all dined in the midway.
Mark Flynn entertaining and feeding the crowd.

Hangin' in the back yard.
 On Saturday our grill was hot and so I roasted a batch of hot peppers. The large green peppers are an Anaheim type and are good for roasting and peeling. The yellow and red Hungarian hot wax are good grilled, but aren't good for peeling as they are thin.

Hot, hot peppers.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In the Share - Week 17

TOMATOES (F/P)  700+ pounds just today.  The red hybrids are at their peak.


ROMA TOMATOES  (F)  Tom's post covers some good hints for cooking with whole tomatoes.  Romas are great for sauce-making.

SWEET PEPPERS (F/P)  The hot weather ripened a truckload of these today.


ARUGULA (F/P)  The second cutting which isn't as perfect as the first, but still very edible.



HOT PEPPERS AND BASIL  (F/P) The hot peppers are Anaheim or banana types.  Either are pretty mild especially if you remove the seeds. 

GREENS (F) The first picking of the kale and collards will be small bunches.

NEXT WEEK:  More tomatoes, peppers, basil and eggplant.  Lettuce, carrots and Hakurei turnips return.


okra harvest

The onslaught of summer fruit continues.  We are picking okra above our heads, tomatoes that have sprawled up their posts and down to the ground, and pepper plants that have take over the paths.  We have more tomatoes than we had time to count, so we may just send them in and say, "take what you want."

Besides the harvest, the big story this week on the farm is the Fair Share Farm CSA 10th Anniversary Party taking place this Sunday.  We hope you all got the invitation.  Folks can arrive as early as 2 pm.  Program at 4 pm, food at 5 pm.  BYO place setting, dish to share and lawn chair and/or blanket.  Bring instruments, lawn games, participate in a treasure hunt, take a hay ride and stick around for a campfire.  Hope to see you all here!

praying mantis

What to Do With Your Share---Week 17

It's been a series of hot, dry spells that have defined the summer of 2013. It has not rained much since the summer solstice, and Sunday was a real oven. We are looking forward to a cooler forecast for the tenth anniversary party.

Tomatoes continue to ripen and fill the shares. We hope you have been able to see them go to use. One easy way to use them is to "beef up" a store bought sauce. You can't have too many tomatoes in your tomato sauce. It is nice to get the skin off if you are going to cook them for awhile, otherwise you get curls of skin in the sauce.

Pasta tomatoes are the best for sauce
You can blanch your tomatoes in the same boiling water you are going to use to make pasta. Dunk your tomatoes in the water for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes and then cool in cold water. The skins will peel off when you core the tomato. Chop them, heat them in a pan, and then add the tomato sauce. Meanwhile bring the pot of water back to a boil and cook the pasta. A great way to stretch that can of sauce.

Narrow quarters in the high tunnel

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What to Do With Your Share---Week 16

The food we are producing at the farm right now is an unprecedented amount. A field crew of 5 is being consumed by the harvest. A good problem to have indeed, but one that can affect the coming season's bounty as we juggle summer and fall tasks.

Fennel, watermelon radish, kale and pole beans

The fall harvest seems to have begun already with the picking of the first radishes and turnip greens. At the same time we are picking the heat loving okra pods. While I don't have a recipe that combines the three, there are many delicious ways to enjoy them. A radish sandwich is always a nice snack. The okra is best when cooked with a dry heat, so that it does not release as much of its slipperiness. The wok-fried okra recipe from 3 years ago is a good example of this.

As far as the turnip greens go, I went to the bookcase and checked out Leafy Greens by Mark Bittman. His Turnip Greens in Mustard Sauce was a perfect accompaniment to some Parker Farm's pork chops tonite. We added some balsamic and olive oil at the end to smooth out some of the bitterness of the greens.

August sunrise

In the Share - Week 16

SWEET PEPPERS (F/P) Ripe sweet peppers are a real treat.  The fruit stays green for months before finally turning to their brilliant shades of yellow and red in late summer.  Finally the wait is over and we have loads of them coming in.  We also have a good selection of 2nds with small blemishes on the bulk list for those of you who would like to freeze some.

TOMATOES (F/P)  More heirlooms and hybrids of all shades and sizes

CARROTS (F/P)  More orange ones this week.

GREEN BEANS (F/P)  The bush beans are done, but the Rattlesnake pole beans continue on.

SALSA PACK OR OKRA (F/P)  We picked 30 lbs. of okra today from some very healthy plants.  Expect to see it in the shares for the next month. 

TURNIP GREENS (F)  Normally we would thin the turnips when they were much younger than they are now.  The plus side of the delay is that they are at a very tasty size for sharing.  Tom's working on a recipe as I write this so check with his post.

RADISHES (F)  More pink ones.  The greens are edible as I was reminded recently.  A light cooking removes the prickles.

CHERRY TOMATOES (F/P)  A quart for the full shares, a pint for the partials.

GARLIC & BASIL (F/P)  A bit of both:  one sprig of basil and one garlic head for each share.

NEXT WEEK:  More tomatoes, peppers, beans, salsa packs, okra and cherry tomatoes.  Maybe lettuce.  Onions and potatoes if we can find the time.


The 1.2 inches of rain on Sunday brought relief to the heat-stressed plants and people.  When you have more tomatoes to pick than hours in the day, it is a lot nicer to be in this pleasant weather than last week's oven.

The baking heat was appreciated by the okra plants.  They are reaching for the sky and are loaded with fruit.  Speaking of loads of fruit,  a bumper crop of tomatoes is a lot of work but has a great payoff.  What other occupation do you get to eat your prized accomplishments?  I need to stop writing so that I can do just that...  happy eating!