The last few weeks have been extremely busy. We are in Summer harvest mode, even though many of the crops were planted a bit late. Our first succession of tomatoes, including the Sungold cherries, and the romano beans are in full swing and doing lovely so far. These types of crops take a lot of time to harvest and must be harvested more frequently, so our week begins to look much different with at least one crop harvested every day. Over the next few weeks we will see eggplant, peppers, and okra come into full swing as well. In the mean time we have gotten all the garlic and onions cured or dried back and are beginning to clip them (from there necks) and move them from the barn into long-term temperature controlled storage. Our potatoes are ready to be harvested and cured for long-term storage as well; this happens when the greens fully die back and the potato skin becomes more firm, the difference between a “new” potato and a mature potato. We have cleared all our cabbages from the fields and are beginning to bulk our beets, so we have some storage crops through the summer heat.
At the end of June we began our first wave of fall seedlings, things like fennel, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and an assortment of bunching greens. This week we begin the second wave with lettuce, radicchio, escarole, frisee, chard, and beets. This means we are less than four weeks away from beginning our fall plantings. Since you are still getting some of these crops in your weekly shares it may seems unremarkable; but for us this is the long game for fall and winter crop diversity. With the waning daylight hours, getting the timing right to grow healthy plants to maturity takes considerably more finesse. In addition we have to watch the heat, be mindful of pest issues before they explode and irrigate non-stop. This is the beginning of our busy period and a lot of it does not pay off until November, December or even into the New Year. But right now you probably care only for tomatoes; which makes sense because it is tomato time and boy do they taste good right now. Check out the recipes and enjoy the share……Autumn and Brian
Sweet-Vinegared Daikon and Carrots – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
1/3 cup organic rice vinegar
1 Tbls organic granulated sugar
1 cup julienned daikon (1 ¾” thin matchsticks)
1/3 cup julienned carrots (1 ¾” thin matchsticks)
½ tsp sea salt
Zest from 1 yuzu or ½ Meyer lemon cut into fine slivers
Heat the vinegar and sugar together in a small saucepan over low heat to melt the sugar. Cool to room temperature before using.
Keep the daikon and carrots in two separate bowls. Sprinkle the daikon with 2/3 of the salt and the carrots with the remaining salt. Massage the salt in gently and let sit for 10 minutes before squeezing out the excess water and dropping into a clean medium-sized mixing bowl. Toss the daikon and carrots with the slivered yuzu or meyer lemon zest and cooled sweet vinegat. Chill for 1 day before serving.
Napa Cabbage Salad with Sesame Seeds – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
half a napa cabbage
½ Tbls fine sea salt
2 Tbls mild citrus juice (yuzu, Seville orange, Meyer lemon)
2 Tbls rapeseed oil
1 Tbls unhulled sesame seeds
Slice the cabbage crosswise into fine strands and toss lightly in a large bowl with the salt. Measure the citrus juice into a small bowl and slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify. Pour over the cabbage, mix gently to distribute the dressing. Toast the sesame seeds over medium-high heat in a dry frying pan until they are fragrant and start to pop. Toss into the salad and serve immediately.