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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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Week of August 14

This week's projected CSA menu:

Green Peppers
Cantaloupe
Tomatoes: Heirlooms, grapes, and field-ripened reds
Shallots
Zucchini
Sweet Red "Lipstick" peppers
Italian Eggplant
Candy Onions
Sweet Corn (Full Share)
Asian Eggplant
Cucumbers

Prepare for a heavy load as we stock you up on our bumper crop of juicy slicer field- ripened tomatoes. If you prefer a little tang to your tomato, these are the ones for you! Sweet, non-acidic heirloom tomatoes are also continuing to come in. Heirlooms are old-fashioned open-pollinated tomatoes whose popularity has majorly increased in the past decade due to their superiority in flavor, texture, and organic origins. To be certified heirloom, these tomatoes must be grown from seed that has produced the same variety of tomato for at least fifty years! They also must be grown outside, open-pollinated, and cannot be from hybrid tomato seeds that were cross-pollinated. Try all the varieties at our up-coming open farm day and vote for your favorite flavor so we know which ones we should continue to grow more of.

Shallots are making their first appearance this week. They taste somewhat like a common onion, but are prized for their milder flavor. Three to four shallots may be substituted for 1 medium onion. The younger (smaller) the shallot, the milder the taste. Refrigeration is not recommended for shallots since cold temperatures tend to encourage sprouting. Store shallots at room temperature right in the paper bag. Sautéed shallots in butter goes deliciously over fish and seafood. Eggplant and shallots are also a great match for dinner plans. Newly seeded this year are sweet "lipstick" red peppers. We planted a mini trial of this variety that are known to ripen early, even earlier than our mini orange peppers that will be coming on full-force any day now. I know we all are craving their arrival, at least I certainly have been checking on them a couple of times a week to turn fully orange. Patiently waiting ~

Khaya's Korner
Hi everyone. Did you know that we have beehives here at Spiral Path? We have them because bees are one of the most important parts of the farm. Bees are pollinators. This means that they carry pollen from a male flower to a female flower. Take a cucumber for example. If this pollinating process didn't happen, cucumber plants would produce lumpy, curvy cucumbers instead of nice, long, straight ones. Honeybees making honey is an important process too. During the summer and spring, bees store up honey so that they will have something to eat during the sometimes harsh winter. As farmers, we cannot take too much honey from the hive, or else the bees will die off later. We have to leave them plenty of honey to feed them and their young. All in all, bees being pollinators is a very important thing to our farm and we wanted to share it with you. ~ Khaya Brownback

Tomato Soup
4 C chopped fresh tomatoes
1 slice onion
4 whole cloves
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all the flavors. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl. Discard any stuff left over in food mill.
In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with sugar and salt, and adjust to taste. 1/2 cup heavy cream may be added.

Eggplant Minestrone from member Shelly Silber
2 T olive oil
1 large onion (chopped fine)
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic minced
1 med sized eggplant peeled and diced (Asian or Italian)
3 zucchini quarter (I use zucchini & yellow squash, also leave skins on)
3 carrots sliced
3 stalks celery sliced
8 large tomatoes peeled & quartered (or 2 pints whole tomatoes cut up)
4 c beef stock
1t each: dried oregano, basil, salt, sugar
½ c elbow macaroni
¼ t pepper
In a large kettle heat oil then add onion, garlic and ground beef, let it cook till the meat is done. Add eggplant and cook for 3 minutes. Then add sliced zucchini, carrots, celery, tomatoes, beef stock, oregano, basil, salt and sugar, simmer uncovered for 1-2 hours. Add macaroni and pepper cook for 20 minutes.
When serving sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and warm bread. Serves 8 people. Enjoy!
P.S. You can always omit the beef or us a beef substitute.

Zucchini and Roasted Peppers with Pasta from Karen Collins
1 1/2 lb. zucchini, unpeeled, cut lengthwise and sliced thin
1/8 tsp salt
2 peppers: red, orange, yellow, or green. seeded and halved
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 c shaved parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, halved
Season zucchini with salt and place in large colander to drain for 1 hr. Preheat broiler.
Place peppers on baking sheet cut-side down. Broil peppers for 10-15 minutes until skin is blackened and blistery. Place peppers in tightly closed paper bag for 15 minutes. Remove skins and slice into thin strips. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and zucchini. Cook for 2-3 minutes until zucchini is tender. Add peppers and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Discard garlic clove.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water (I use Penne Pasta) following cooking instructions. Drain well and add to zucchini mixture. Mix well, transfer to serving dish and top with cheese.

EGGPLANT SANDWICHES a Brownback Family Tradition
1 eggplant
1 egg
½ cup milk
seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup oil
Cut eggplant into 3/8 inch slices and make a mixture of the egg and milk. Dip the slices into the egg mix, then into the breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in frying pan and cook the breaded slices on medium-high heat until browned (about 5 minutes on each side). Serve on buns with cheese, lettuce, tomato, sweet onion rings, basil...

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