Black Twig Apples
Okra or Romano Beans
Celebrity or Verona Tomatoes
Cubanelle, Seyrek, or Anaheim Peppers
French Breakfast or Round Red Radishes
German White Garlic
We hope you all had a wonderful week. During our “off week”, we were able to take two days away from the farm and get some much needed rest followed by lots of on farm work getting full swing into our fall crops. All this rain has been welcome; but also gives weeds a big push. September is our last month of intense weeding and hoeing, so with the help of our interns Tyler and Magena we are trying to keep up the good fight against weed takeover. This week we caught up in all our fall bunching greens (Kale, Mustards, Collards, etc.), lettuce, beet, and carrot beds, so it was a good start and as the fields dry from all this rain, we will continue on to other crops and successions. This week marks the final Spring/Summer share of the season. Next week we will begin our 10-week Fall season, which brings lots of new crops as the weather cools and the season shifts. This is Virginia though, so we expect continued flashes of warm weather and great production with our peppers, chiles, okra, eggplant, and green beans into October. This is what makes Fall so special. This week will be the last you will see of Summer Squash, so enjoy. It has been three years since we have had a substantial Apple harvest from our ancient Black Twig trees. While the apples you will get look rough and have blemishes, these trees are special and produce fruit that are intensely flavorful with a bright tartness and a crisp texture. We feel lucky to have these old heirloom trees established on our farm long before we came here. Check out the recipes below and enjoy the share…..Brian and Autumn
Middle Eastern salad When I was a child, my father, who rarely cooked, would sometimes prepare a chopped salad that he had eaten in the US. It comprised several ingredients – often crunchy lettuce, sweet tomatoes and cheese or some form of meat – chopped into small pieces and tossed with a good dressing. This is more a Middle East version, without meat or cheese. It is almost the consistency of gazpacho, but laced with plenty of cool, crunchy cos lettuce.
2 very ripe tomatoes
1 small cucumber
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and chopped
6 radishes, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
A small bunch of dill, leaves only, finely chopped
A bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
A bunch of mint, leaves only, chopped
½ tsp dried mint
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Juice of ½ a lemon
½ tsp pomegranate molasses
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small cos lettuce
1 Chop the tomatoes into small dice and place in a large bowl. Halve the cucumber lengthways and scoop out the seeds, then cut into pieces the same size as the tomatoes and add to the bowl. Add the red onion, red pepper, radishes, chilli, chopped fresh herbs and dried mint. Stir well to combine.
2 In a separate bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, a good pinch of salt and the extra virgin olive oil. Stir well and pour over the chopped vegetables. Toss gently and leave to macerate for 10 minutes.
3 Hold the pomegranate in one hand and gently tap it all over with a rolling pin to loosen the seeds. Now cut the fruit in half and extract the seeds with your fingers – do this over a bowl to catch them and any juice. Pick out any strands of bitter pith that have dropped into the bowl.
4 Just before serving, shred the lettuce and toss it through the salad. Taste and season with a little more salt if necessary. Pile on to a serving plate and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds. Serve with warm flatbread, or as an accompaniment to grilled fish. My Favourite Ingredients by Skye Gyngell (Quadrille)
All photography generously provided by Alexis Courtney