Dave Vernon snapped this photo just a few hours ago of Carole and Vince (the volunteers in hats) and Jared and Elissa picking up tomatoes. We don't always have piles of vegetables at the ends of the fields--just these moments of overwhelming abundance. A good problem to have!
And speaking of overabundance, we got 4.5 inches of rain yesterday. That's quite a storm--enough to get our truck stuck in the mud while we were trying to harvest your eggplant yesterday. While I don't normally want so much rain at once, we're glad for the soak. We needed it! And this was the first time I harvested in a bathing suit and rain boots.
- Reject Vegetables and Compost: With ripe tomatoes come bruised tomatoes. And sweet peppers with bug holes. And eggplants with soft spots. And overgrown okra. In years past we have had a bin (and sometimes many bins) of reject vegetables available as a bonus to your share. Lately, we've been tossing those rejects in the compost. This week we're going to experiment with leaving the rejects near the compost pile. Which means two things: (1) We are now giving you permission to add your compost to our compost pile. And (2) you may now pause (briefly!) on your way out of the farm to take any rejects you might like from the area we have designated near the pile. The quicker you can act the better--if we have a traffic jam near the compost pile this experiment will meet a speedy end. The compost pile is behind the garage that sits opposite the washing station. Please only add plant products to the compost pile. We do not want your biodegradable bags and plates and so forth--they quickly become litter. Also, RIGHT NOW, while you're thinking of it, put a container in your car for those bruised tomatoes. Also, please wear masks when you're on the farm outside your vehicle around the food. This includes dropping compost, picking up reject vegetables, and u-picking. Thanks!
- This is a good time to revisit the idea of putting up vegetables for the winter. Think about the things you'll be missing in December, and how you can put up any extras you have now. Tomatoes can be frozen whole (seriously--just put the whole tomato in a bag in the freezer), or frozen as sauce or soup. Or they can be dehydrated, or canned. You can chop up peppers and freeze them. Last year I was impressed by all the ways people put up their chilies! Let this be the summer you learn how to give your winter self the gift of this summer's bounty. It's a lot quicker and easier than your think.
- A few of you have noticed that the paper bags that hold your CSA shares are not always strong enough to carry the CSA share without ripping. We are trying to use biodegradable and inexpensive packaging whenever possible, and when we add vegetables with condensation from the cooler or moisture from washing, the paper products don't always hold up as well as we'd like. Please keep a tote bag or cardboard box handy for carrying your CSA share once it leaves our hands. Thanks so much!
This week's share
- 2 ears sweet corn
- 1 head garlic
- 1 pound potatoes
- 1 pound yellow onions + red shallots
- 7 pounds tomatoes
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1-3 eggplants (depending on size)
- Choose one (your pick-up might not have all 4 of these options):
- 1 pound okra, or
- 1 pint green chilies (probably shishitos, or possibly jalapenos, cayenne or serranos), or
- 1 pint tomatillos, or
- 1 pint roma tomatoes
- Cherry tomatoes - We Sun Golds (orange) and a few Sunrise Bumblebee (orange-yellow with red stripes) in a couple rows at the top of "F" field, which is inside the deer fence across the driveway from the washing station
- Flowers - Any flowers you see on the farm are open to u-pick. We have flowers behind the washing station, sunflowers in field "G2" which is beside the parking area on the same side of the driveway as the washing station, and zinnias in field "D", which is in front of the barns on your right side as you're driving in.
- Herbs - mostly in the herb gardens behind the washing station, as well as some basil and parsley in field D:
- Basils (Genovese, Thai, Kapoor Tulsi, Aromatto, Round Midnight, Greek, Lemon)
- Cutting Celery (this is a celery grown for its leaves rather than stems)
- Garlic Chives
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Verbena
- Onion Chives
- Parsley (these are starting to flower and won’t last much longer)
- Summer Savory
Vegetable Hash with Eggs, by Brandy Shannon
- 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 1/4 Pound Potatoes, scrubbed and diced 1/2"
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1 Chopped Onion
- 1 Chopped Green Pepper
- 3 Minced Garlic Clove
- 1 Minced Chili - If you like it spicy, mince whole. If you like it mild, remove seeds and white membrane before mincing.
- 4 Eggs
- 3 Tablespoon Crumbled Goat Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro or other green herb of your choice
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat Olive Oil over med-high in 12" Ovenproof Skillet
Add Potatoes in a single, even layer to the skillet, season with salt and pepper.
Cook, tossing occasionally and scrape the bottom of the pan until browned, about 10 minutes.
Lower heat to medium, add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. If the pan is dry, add a bit more olive oil to prevent too much sticking.
Add to the skillet: Garlic, Bell Pepper,Chili and a 1/2 Teaspoon of salt and pepper.
Cook, tossing occasionally until pepper and potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove the skillet from heat and scrape any stuck bits off the bottom of the pan. You can use a tablespoon of lemon juice, stock, or water to deglaze the pan if desired.
Use a spoon to make 4 small craters in the hash.
Crack an egg into each crater.
Season the eggs with salt and pepper
Bake for 5-7 minutes until egg whites are set and remove skillet from the oven.
Sprinkle goat cheese and cilantro over top of the hash and eggs.
Great topping options: lemon wedges, salt, pepper, hot sauce, more goat cheese, more cilantro
- Many people do not realize that the green bell peppers at the supermarket are unripe. Had they been left to ripen on the plant, they would become the sweeter, yellow, orange and red bell peppers that cost a little more money. So far we've been giving you green bell peppers from 2 of our 5 varieties, and letting the rest ripen to their full sweet glory. The plants are LOADED and you're going to see a lot of sweet, ripe peppers soon. We have 5 varieties of peppers this year that you can generally classify as sweet (not hot) peppers. The first two are the ones that we pick green, since they size up quickly. The other 3 are smaller, which means they ripen quickly, which is why we use them as our sweeter, ripe peppers. Don't be confused by their pointy shape--none of these peppers is spicy:
- Flavorburst - bell shape, starts green-yellow and ripens to orange
- Jupiter - bell shape, dark green and ripens to red
- Glow - ranges from elongated bell shape to pointy, dark green and ripens to orange
- Cornito Rosso - pointed shape, green ripens to red
- Oranos - pointed shape, green ripens to orange
- Tomatoes, eggplant, chilies and okra also continue to increase in abundance
- Asian pears next week
- This is the last week of potatoes
- We will have several more weeks of onions and shallots. And of course, garlic every week through November.
- Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday members will get the same amount of corn in total over the next two weeks, but my guess is that Wednesday and Thursday members will get a little corn this week and next while Saturday members will get all of their ears this week. This will probably be the last corn of the season.
- Squash will come back in about 2 weeks
Can you feel the days getting shorter already? Enjoy this summer sun while it lasts--it will be gone before you know it!
Thanks so much for being our members,
Carrie Vaughn and rest of the Clagett farmers