Weekly Share August 24th – 30th

Cut Salad Greens
Asian Long Beans
Red Creole Onions
Assorted Peppers or Tomatoes

Asian Long & Thai Round Eggplant
Nokia & Suyo Long Cucumbers
Khmer Thai Chiles
Thai Basil

It’s the last Spring/Summer Share. We hope you all have enjoyed the array of vegetables through these 15 weeks. We had a lovely and long Spring season, with longer harvests of salad greens and bunching greens and plenty of beets and carrots for storage. The basil has been insanely abundant and we had scallions and other hebs into July which is rare for us. As with all extremely hot periods the tomatoes really outdid themselves for a few weeks. We harvested over 700lbs one week. Other summer crops have been very difficult this year, partially to do with the long cool Spring season, as nice as it was, combined with heavy interference from pests, thrips on the onion crops, cucumber beetles on the cucumbers and squash, and so much disease on our summer nightshades (spring moisture followed by super dry hot conditions, followed by insane amounts of rainfall in 80 degree temperatures) We also had that strange May frost; which really set back our potato plants, making for extremely small potatoes and hence less yield. Other issues come from not enough hours in a day or hands working. When we get a lot of rain in May, it is hard to keep up with weeds and they grow so fast there is little to be done a few weeks later. May plantings also get set back; which for us means sweet peppers and chilies are not really ready till September. Our corn patch has been ravaged by nighttime visitors and recently a black bear decided it was a good buffet stand, while the bean patch was getting hit by deer on a regular basis for at least 6 weeks.  These sorts of pest issues increase in dry and hot summers, as the woods provide less food options during a drought and so the animals search further into our land.  Now though we are deep into our fall plantings, although the monsoon season has even set those plantings back a little bit; but we are seeing lots of growth in our bunching greens, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. We are beginning weekly plantings of salad greens and have seeded fall roots over the past few weeks. This coming week we will do our largest radicchio planting for the Fall, a week late; but the weather is looking wonderful for it after the few day heat wave this week. Soon we will have yu choy, salad turnips, broccoli raab, and spinach growing strong.  In addition we have harvested the first of our Winter squash, a new favorite and more prolific variety called Koginut. It needs awhile to cure before the sugars develop, but we will have winter squash.  All of this and Summer is not finished at all. We have two more successions of tomatoes that are getting ready to begin ripening and as always the chilies, eggplant, and okra will keep going strong if we continue to have sun. So there is much to look forward to as the seasonal shifts begin to take place.
If this is your last week with us for the season, we hope this share is a good one to go out on. We have the first of our new crop salad greens, along with a new stand of cucumbers, long beans, Asian eggplant, and a bunch of aromatics (basil, chilies, and red onions) to make some epic sweet and spicy southeast Asian dishes. The chilies are quite hot but don’t let that scare you, they are a wonderful seasoning pepper and you can use a small amount just for flavor. There are some of our favorite recipes below. Enjoy the share…..Autumn & Brian

Lemony Arugula Salad with Couscous, Cucumbers and Feta

Tam Taeng Kwaa (Thai Cucumber Salad)Pok Pok by Andy Ricker

Sichuan Style Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans

Stir-Fried Chicken with Hot Basil

Eggplant with Thai Basil
1 lb eggplant, cut into ½-inch slices
4-5 cloves garlic
1-2 medium sized fresh red or green chilies (or sweet bell pepper for the meek)
1 Tbsp light soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 bunch Thai basil
Slice the eggplant into ½ inch rounds and fry them over medium high in a wide skillet with ¼ inch of canola or other frying oil. When things get going, the eggplant slices will absorb the oil and you will gradually see it penetrate through to the top.  Make sure that they don’t get too brown on the bottom before this happens.  If the eggplant slices absorb all the oil and still don’t look wet, you must add more—but don’t worry, because they will release much of it as they cook.  When they look like they have absorbed enough oil and they start to get nice and brown on the bottom, flip them over and brown them on the other side.  If the pan is dry at this point, don’t add more oil because the slices have absorbed enough to fry themselves.  When they’re done, drain the slices on paper towels
Meanwhile, cut the garlic into slices and the chilies into diagonal rings.  When the eggplant is ready, remove it and add 2 Tbsp of fresh oil to the pan, add the garlic and half the chilies, and stir-fry until the garlic is golden.  Add the soy sauces and sugar, stir for about 30 seconds until the sugar starts to bubble, and return the eggplant to the pan.  Add torn basil leaves, stir and serve, garnished with the rest of the chilies (if you dare!)

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