For weeks we have been testing our watermelons in the hope that we will find a ripe one somewhere in the patch; because the first ripe watermelon is one of the best parts of summer. We never grow the earliest watermelons or cantaloupes, so undoubtedly we have already gotten one from another farm and enjoyed it for breakfast. Eating one warm in the field is an altogether different experience and one that symbolizes how spoiled we are to be farmers. Like eating snap peas off the vine, or the first really ripe cherry tomato, nothing compares to a warm field cut watermelon eaten with your hands, juices running down your face. It is truly like being a kid again. Anyhow last Thursday and Friday were our watermelon days and they were definitely worth the wait. This time of year is the most trying physically and mentally: the weather is hot and difficult, we are in the middle of our season and hitting exhaustion, while the fall work is compounding on top of the summer crops harvest and management needs. Watermelon is one of the only things that can cure this fatigue and remind us how lucky we are to spend our days outside growing food.
This week’s share brings Sugar Baby watermelons. A sweet and rich red melon, it will not disappoint and if you do not choose to just eat it, there are a few recipes below. This will be the last of our beets until we have them later in the fall and since the tops have been removed, feel free to store them as long as you would like in your crisper drawer. We have put together the Salsa box; because salsa is such a treat in the summer and finally after a long wait we have a successful stand of cilantro, a very difficult crop to grow this time of year. Our eggplants and peppers are still coming along very slowly, except for the jalapenos; which seemed to be ready just in time for the cilantro, so Salsa seemed inevitable. Some of our special heirloom tomato slicers are finally putting on more fruit and so this week you will receive a few of these tasty treats. Below are a portion of our heirloom varieties that we hope you will enjoy. Check out the recipes below and have a wonderful week…..Autumn and Brian
Spears Tennessee Green, a yellowish green variety which is lime green inside and has a delicious tart flavor
Pink Brandywine, a classic slicer with a complex acidity and excellent texture
Amana Orange, a cremsicle color, silky texture, and mellow sweetness
Cour Di Bue (pink) and Golden King of Sibera (yellow), both oxheart shapes with great meaty texture (not watery and less seeds), great on sandwiches
Michoteta (Feta Cheese and Cucumber Salad) – The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
½ lb Feta Cheese Juice of 1 Lemon 2 Tbls Olive Oil 1 Red Italian Onion, finely chopped ½ large Cucumber, peeled and diced White Pepper
Crumble the cheese with a Tbls of water, using a fork, and work in the lemon juice and olive oil. Mix in the onion and cucumber, and add pepper.