Week 13: August 30th
What’s in your Share This Week?
Walla Walla Sweet Onions (the last week of ‘em)
Sweet and/or Hot Peppers
Recipe Ideas for the Week:
If ever there was a week to make fresh salsa, here it is! Tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, walla walla sweet onions, and cilantro – with a side of green cabbage to cool your tongue down!
No need for a recipe – just dice it all up in the proportions you like, add hot peppers, fresh lime and salt to taste, and grab a bag of corn chips!
Zucchini and Cilantro Soup with Chile and Mint!
Last week I suddenly realized that I had neglected to cut the zucchini off of our 7 plants in the garden (yes, I have a garden AND a farm…call me crazy). A week had gone by since I’d last checked them, and sure enough, there were over a dozen giant zukes hiding under the leaves – many of them almost the size of Pippin. I harvested them, lugged them home, and piled them shamefully in the kitchen.
Ah, the burden of too many zucchinis! It IS that time of year when people start locking their cars to prevent neighbors from leaving their over-abundance of giant summer squash in the backseat. I decided I couldn’t let them go to waste, nor do we have many neighbors whose cars we can plunder – so I set to work. Some of them ended up in two loaves of zucchini bread. Lots more got grated into Ziplocs and frozen for winter. But there were still more in the heap.
Enter Danny, my husband, who decided that Friday night would be zucchini theme night at our dinner table. He embarked on an ambitious menu of three distinct zucchini dishes: zucchini fritters, grilled zukes with fresh, rough-chopped pesto, and the best of all, this spectacular soup (adapted from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors cookbook). You’ll need to get some mint, parsley and fresh lime to finish it off, but the rest of the produce is in your tote this week. Yum: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/zucchini-and-cilantro-soup-chile-...
The New Stuff: How to eat it, cut it, cook it, and keep it:
These are sweet, petite, tight little cabbages by the name of Gonzales. So tasty in fact, that an army of tiny little grey slugs raided the patch and chewed holes in many of the outer leaves. I’d recommend peeling your cabbage down one or two layers before you eat it, and don’t be surprised if you encounter a bitty slug hiding within. Whatever you do, don’t let that little slimer loose in your own garden!
Ah well, on the bright side: if you find a slug, you know you’re eating clean food that’s never been sprayed.
Cabbage is 90 percent water (only 15 calories per 1 cup serving), but still delivers a significant dose of vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium and magnesium. It’s purported to be a great digestive aid and intestinal cleanser as well. Cabbage is thought to be the most globally cultivated of all the plants in the Brassica family, and is eaten in almost every country around the world. It’s nourished humanity for centuries, whether in the form of kimchi or sauerkraut or good old slaw.
Like the red cabbages we sent out in July, this week’s green variety will store well in your fridge in a plastic bag for weeks.
On the Farm…
Is it just me, or is there a hint of Fall in the air? The back and forth between drizzle and glorious sunshine has leant a new feel to the farm these days. There are vine maple leaves turning red along the creek, and the evening shadows seem stretched out longer across the valley.
The notion of Autumn has us gearing up for a handful of season-specific activities on the farm right now: Pulling and curing our storage onions and shallots; ordering seed garlic for an experimental planting this fall (we haven’t been able to grow it for years, due to issues with white rot in the past – but we’re hoping to try it again!); reserving strawberry plants for our usual November planting; and gearing up for winter squash harvest and a lot of fall cover crop plantings. We’ll also be tearing out our three year old strawberry plants this fall and replacing them with two or three new lines of perennial Marionberries – in order to round out the berry offerings even more.
Just as Spring has it’s own frenetic pace in order to get everything planted, so does Fall in order to get everything harvested! Which is why we’re looking ahead to October right now and have set a date for the first ever Root Harvest Party at the farm! Mark your calendars for October 16th. Rain or shine, we’re going to have a carrot and beet digging extravaganza – in hopes of pre-empting the mice and wireworms, who always become stiff competition for our root crops in the later Fall. We hope you’ll join us! Bring your shovel, and come get dirty! More details to come….