Red Pear & Pozzano Sauce Tomatoes
Italian & Middle Eastern Eggplant
Seyrek or Cubanelle Peppers
Red Ace or Chioggia Beets
Mountain Rose Potatoes
Escarole or Purslane
German White Garlic
We are currently finishing up on a few weeks of heavy harvesting. The tomatoes have been putting out like crazy and even though we have some definite blight on our early crops, the volume of tomatoes is pretty wonderful, with over 500lbs harvested last week and close to 700 this week. Our latter successions are also looking happy and healthy. This year we have been maintaining a good schedule for suckering, pruning dead leaves, and trellising. Perhaps it is paying off. The pepper crop is just beginning to put off, with a few of the early varieties being harvested such as the shishitos, cubanelles, anaheims, and seyreks; but the overall crop is insane looking. Our chiles are more abundant than we have seen in years, with hundreds of fruit per plant and the poblano, Serrano, guajillo, and paprika plants are almost 5 feet tall. It is a force to behold. There is always this point in the Summer when the sheer growth of everything is pretty overwhelming and when a crop is super healthy and loving the weather conditions its magnified 10 times. Last week we finished harvesting all the potatoes, over 3100 lbs this year, and have them stored away to cure so we can have them available into the winter. It is definitely a Summer crop season, the spring was a real challenge but the Summer is strong as ever. Even though summer is in full effect, our focus is drawn into the Fall season. We currently have a full greenhouse and might even be seeding carrots this coming week, what with the cooling temperatures and potential precipitation in the forecast. Over half of our cropland is being prepped for fall and winter crops and in two weeks we will begin heavy planting weeks; which continue into early September. This is the busiest season on our farm. Between Brian’s birthday (this week) and Autumn’s birthday (last week of August) we experience our busiest season. Although we are already fatigued, this year things are coming together better than ever thanks to better infrastructure and a great group of employees and volunteers getting the work done. As always thanks to you, our share members, for committing to us through the seasons, we couldn’t do it without you.
This week’s share includes a medley of crops well suited for Mediterranean fare; sauce tomatoes, eggplant, parsley, green peppers, and garlic. Our favorite tomatoes are the sauce varieties we grow, red pear and pozzano. The Red Pear are well suited for any application, a salad, salsa, cooking, or even a tomato sandwich. They are complex in flavor both sweet and savory, a truly versatile tomato. The Pozzano, is a San Marzano style tomato; which makes delicious sauce or is perfect when braising other veggies, such as peppers, eggplant, or beans. Our parsley crop is finally making itself more abundant. Today we actually finally got the weeds under control too, hopefully giving it a leg up. The garlic will be abundant over the next month and also a bit ugly, as we are sorting through our cured garlic and using the ugly stuff now, since it has less layers of dried skin it will not be able to store as long as the prettier, more sealed heads. Check out these recipes and enjoy the share…..Brian and Autumn
Zaalouk (Spicy Eggplant Salad)The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
1 ½ lb eggplant, peeled and cubed
5 cloves garlic, peeled
3 large tomatoes (about 1 ½ lbs)
4 Tbls argan oil or mild extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbls wine vinegar
½ tsp harissa or a mixture paprika &ground chili pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Boil the eggplants with the garlic in plenty of salted water, in a pan covered with a lid, for about 30 minutes or until they are very soft. Drain and chop the eggplants and garlic in a colander, then mash them with a fork, pressing all the water out.
Put the tomatoes in the emptied pan and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce, stirring occasionally. Mix with the mashed eggplants and the rest of the ingredients and add salt.
Variation: Add the juice of 1 lemon (instead of the vinegar) and 1 tsp ground caraway or coriander