Week 13: Tomatoes!
These little gems, above, are sun gold cherry tomatoes. They are the sweetest tomatoes we grow, and we can't imagine summer without them.
- We are opening the flower and herb beds to u-pick! You'll sign up in advance, but there's plenty of slots and you can sign up multiple times. Details are below.
- Summer brings with it that sound of lawn equipment with loud, two-stroke engines--leaf blowers, chain saws, weed whackers and hedge trimmers. I was surprised to hear from some professional landscapers that the electric, rechargeable versions of these hand tools are rugged, lightweight and effective--years ago they needed long cords or they didn't have enough power for professional use. Technology has advanced! They come with battery packs that are interchangeable between tools. If you rely on a landscaping service, this is a good time to nudge them to change their equipment. And if you rely on yourself for that work, maybe it's time for an upgrade!
This week's share
- 1 head garlic
- 2+ pounds tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 squash and/or 1 cucumber (depending on size)
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes
- 1 pound yellow onions
- 1 shishito and 1 jalapeno chili pepper
- Each pick-up will have 2-3 options of the following, and you will select one: 1 eggplant, 1 Korean melon or 1 pint okra
- Before you u-pick, please sign up here. If you need to make changes to the slots you signed up for, just log back into that SignupGenius page and make the changes directly--no need to send us an email or call to alert us.
- During the CSA pick-up times (Wednesdays 3-7pm and Saturdays 1-4pm), we kept the u-pick slot to only 30 minutes, because the parking space is precious and we want as many of you to enjoy the u-pick opportunity as possible. Outside of CSA pick-up hours, you can stay a full hour, you can park where you'd like, and you can sign up for multiple slots to stay longer if you'd like.
- U-pick is open to CSA members only. When you sign up, please use the name of the person who purchased the share, even if it's different from the person who will actually be picking.
Here's what's available to u-pick:
- Behind the washing station in the herb garden:
- Basils (Genovese, Thai, Kapoor Tulsi, Aromatto, Round Midnight, Greek, Lemon)
- Lemon Verbena
- Lemon Balm
- Cutting celery (this is a celery grown for its leaves rather than stems)
- Summer Savory
- Garlic Chives
- Onion Chives
- Behind the herbs there are lots of flowers. It's a little jungle-y back there, but you can help yourselves.
- In the "D" field, which is in front of the barns, on your right side as you drive into the farm:
- Zinnias and other flowers
- Green Beans - these beans are getting tough so we don't think it's worth picking them for your shares, but if you'd like them, you may pick them. There's plenty.
- Chard - The chard is about finished for the season. It's got bug holes and we don't think it's worth picking for the shares, so you can glean what remains if you'd like.
- In the "G2" field, which is just past the washing station on your right side. If you pick up your share here on the farm, you park between the washing station and field G2.
- Sunflowers have just begun to bloom
- First, an apology--I tried out that vegan version of the baked green tomatoes from last week's email and it was not delicious. I still hold to the opinion that the classic fried green tomato is worth enjoying if you've never given yourself the opportunity. Fortunately for me, the share this week is full of vegetables that you probably already have good ideas for how to prepare and eat, so the pressure is low.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes, from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley.
- 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
- coarse sea salt
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- freshly milled black pepper
- In a large pot over high heat, combine the potatoes with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, rosemary and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Remove and discard the rosemary.
- Mash the potatoes well. Slowly add the oil and beat in with a stiff wire whisk or wooden spoon until fluffy and creamy. Adjust the consistency with a bit of the reserved water, if necessary.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- I'm a big fan of Madhur Jaffrey. Here's a potato and tomato recipe of hers. Don't worry about what is classified as a "boiling potato". Both the red ones from last week or the yellow ones from this week will work well here. And if you don't have a dry chili from leftover from last year, you can easily substitute one of the jalapenos from this week. Consider adding a bell pepper, some chunks of squash, eggplant or okra to this dish. It works well with whatever vegetables you have around.
- Lots more tomatoes!
- Sweet, ripe peppers, probably by week 13
- More eggplant in the weeks to come
- The okra field is growing quite well, so if you are an okra fan, get ready.
- Red onions are finished, but beginning next week you'll get red shallots.
- Continuing: garlic, yellow onions, red and yellow potatoes
- Squash, cucumbers and melons are petering out or finished for a while
- More chili varieties will continue phasing in
- Asian pears soon!
- We are still battling with deer, raccoons, groundhogs and caterpillars to find out who will get the largest corn harvest, but we think we're going to win this one. Week 13? Stay tuned...
We've had some nice rains but the heat is even stronger, and soil moisture is dreadfully low. We'd appreciate a nice, slow, rain.
You guys are wonderful!
Your farmer, Carrie, and the Clagett Farm Team