This week's projected CSA menu:
Yellow Bell Peppers
Mini sweet peppers
Field-Ripened Red Tomatoes
Sweet White Onions
Orange Snack Peppers
San Marzano Plum Tomatoes
Eggplant- Full Share Only
Another round of delicious sweet corn is in and we've got the watermelon, tomatoes, and peppers to go with it as we transition into September's bounty. Growing watermelons is downright difficult and we still trial new varieties every year in search of the perfect foliage, rind, size, and lifespan all in one melon. In this current field, we grew a trial of 3 different varieties: delicate yellow and two types of seedless reds. A seedless watermelon plant can only grow with a pollinator (seeded melon) in order for it to produce fruit. We plant them together in the same row and let the bees and nature do the rest. This year, the yellow melons were planted as our pollinators for our seedless trials of red melons. These are all coming from the same field and look very much alike. And with growing/traveling vines throughout different rows, melons can mix and match and appear in any combination, so do not be surprised if your melon is a different color than the one listed on your menu. The yellow watermelons are our family favorite and should be handled very delicately. Their rinds are thin and crack very easily. Like many fruit rarities, the yellow watermelon is tough to grow as their foliage (leaves) notoriously dries up in the weather conditions it takes to produce a good melon. Nevertheless, farmers like us are striving for a great yield of them to offer this exclusive crop to our members and we are thrilled to finally have them ripe and ready to share. If you are the lucky recipient of a seedless red, you'll know by their dark green skin that is much heartier and built for shipping than the yellow. Much care was taken to harvest, pack, and bring this last wave of summer melons to you. Enjoy!
Soo many peppers...I can't keep up with them. What should I do?
Peppers are the easiest thing to throw into the freezer for winter. Just chop and freeze in bags. They do not need blanched and can safely store in your freezer for years. You can even freeze whole stuffed peppers for a ready meal to heat up when you are too busy to cook. I freeze peppers in portion amounts so I can just throw them into a sauté pan, soup, casserole, etc. Homemade tomato sauce can also be frozen if you do not have the time or interest to can. Overabundance is a blessing!
Khaya's Korner: Back to School
Today my brother Jonas and I were weeding strawberry plants. We had to pull the weeds out by their roots and pull the flowers off of the plants. Weeding strawberry plants is one of the hardest jobs I've done all year. While weeding, I realized it would be one of my last days working on the farm before school starts. I'm going into 6th grade at West Perry Middle School. My first day is on Monday the 29th. I won't be able to work much after the first day of school. Also, I'm very sorry that I missed everyone on open Farm Day; I was at a wedding in Boston. I look forward to seeing you at the next Open Farm Day! ~Khaya
Crunchy Avocado and Black Bean Salad
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 / 2 tsp salt
1 / 4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 / 2 English cucumber, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
Wisk together shallot, lime juice, honey, lime zest, oil, salt and pepper in small bowl.
Combine beans, bell pepper and cucumber in a large bowl. Add dressing, mix well. Add avocado; gently toss to blend.
Heirloom Tomato Salad and Steak with Peppercorns and Basil
1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds of tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 / 2 teaspoon tamari
a handful of green or purple basil, roughly chopped
1 and 1 / 2 – 2 pounds of steak
Grind/mash the peppercorns and salt together using a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle, rolling pin or knife. Set aside.
Whisk together 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil with the olive oil, rice vinegar, tamari and 1 / 2 teaspoon of the peppercorn and salt mixture.
Rub steaks with the remaining tablespoon of the sesame oil and the remaining peppercorn and salt mixture.
Cook the steaks using your preferred method.
Cover the tomatoes with the dressing and basil.
Bell Peppers and Onions – Quick Stir-Fry
Cut Bell Pepper in half, remove the stems and "guts" seeds and flesh. Peel and slice onions into thick rings. In a large skillet, cast iron is good- melt 1 / 4 C butter or 1 / 4 C olive oil. Add the veg and generous amount of salt and pepper. Stir often over high heat until peppers and onions begin to caramelize(brown) remove from heat. Use as a topping for anything from scrambled eggs to potatoes to steak to rice.
Husk and remove silk from 6-8 ears (or more) of fresh sweet corn. Steam the corn in 2 to 3 inches of water for about 12 minutes. Then, slice the corn off each cob with a sharp knife into a large pan. Melt 1 / 4 C butter or olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the corn with 1 / 2 C minced green pepper and 1 / 2 C minced red pepper. Stir over high heat until the corn cooks, only about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on 1 T minced parsley or cilantro.
Grilled Eggplant Steak
Make a marinade: 1 T balsamic vinegar, 1 T tamari soy sauce, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 / 4 t pepper, 2 T olive oil. Let marinade "brew" for 15 minutes. In a pinch (and Mike and Terra's favorite): Use Gazebo Room Greek dressing. Slice eggplant (unpeeled) lengthwise into 1 / 2 inch steaks. Pour 1 / 4 cup dressing into a 9" x 13" pan-this size works well for the steaks. Dip each steak into dressing, both sides. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes or up to 24 hours in the fridge. Grill or broil for 4- 5 minutes each side, until soft. Remove from heat. Serve with a slice of good cheese, thick slice of tomato and lettuce on a hearty bread sandwich.