Weekly Share September 3rd – 9th

Arugula
Flat Leaf Parsley
Crimson Spineless Okra
Dancer & Italian Eggplant
Celebrity & Salad Tomatoes
Sweet Italian & Peruvian Aji Peppers
Red Round or French Breakfast Radishes

It’s our last Spring/Summer share, signifying a slow seasonal shift into Fall. Mainly marked by the shortening day lengths and sometimes cooler nighttime temperatures, by no means are the Summer days over though. Here in Virginia many of the Summer heat loving crops thrive into October; but we also see the return of more temperate and cool season crops beginning in September. This year they are coming on fast and furious. This is our favorite season as we have the most diversity of crops at one time. Meaning extremely challenging harvest days and wonderful times in the kitchen. Although this coming week is looking quite hot and humid, we are looking forward to some cooling off in the coming weeks, as our workdays are more full than at any other point in the season. We are on a specific weekly planting schedule through the first week of October, in order to sustain successions of various crops through next Spring. We cross our fingers for adequate moisture (not too much rain), so we can direct seed when needed and have to be diligent about keeping weeds in check and pest management in order to have healthy crops. Cover cropping is also a crucial part of our September schedule. We get cropland cleaned up, beds shaped and various cover crops seeded for over the winter, to protect from run off and build soil health; while being ready for early Spring plantings. In addition we are raising two flocks of meat birds throughout the fall; our broiler chickens and Muscovy ducks, so we have to dedicate time to moving these flocks throughout our pastures twice a week. Fall is a busy time, the last big push to get us through the season, with a focus on the coming season and the myriad of projects to do through the Winter to keep the farm in good health.
This week’s share is bringing back some greens and radishes after a big hiatus; paired with the best of summer. The Peruvian Aji dulce peppers, look like little pumpkins and are fabulous thinly sliced in a salad or paired with fresh tomatoes. They are thin skinned and delicate compared to the other sweet peppers. Okra is back, the planting is putting off huge amounts, like many of the warm season crops this summer, we are getting huge amounts at one time and then the crops dwindle a little bit. Fried okra is always fabulous; but you can also try it braised with some tomatoes and sweet peppers for a delicious simple dish. The arugula and radishes have some spice, as always when grown in the heat; but they go great with the sweetness of the tomatoes and peppers. If you make pizza, this here share has some great options. Check out the recipes below and enjoy the share……Autumn and Brian
Shrimp And Okra Gumbo
Roasted Eggplant, Green Pepper & Tomato Dip
Turkish eggplant and beef stew (musakka) recipe
Tomato, Smoked Mozzarella and Arugula Salad

 

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