Monday, August 24, 2009

Week Twelve

This week everyone received quite a few tomatoes! I posted some great recipes below for the fastest, tastiest farm dinner ever - starting with another great recipe from Jen for mock crab cakes (using patty pan squash instead of crab) with herb-caper mayo, beans with herb butter, and heirloom caprese salad. You might be suspicious of these squash-cakes but I assure you they are beyond delightful - much more than they should be for being so simple. Todd loved them, and he is not usually fond of "mock" anything.
Full shares received a container of cherry tomatoes, 6-8 large heirloom tomatoes (depending on size), pattypan squash, variety of peppers (the orange ones are called Yummy!), a mix of basils, a container of raspberries, peaches, and cut flowers, including some of our lovely sunflowers. Partial shares received cherry and heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, variety of basils (sweet, cinnamon, lime and Thai), a container of raspberries, and flowers.

There are less beans this time around because the second planting was a little smaller. And some sad news - I think this will be it for the cucumbers. The bacterial wilt virus has definitely killed off most of the plants at this point and I am planning to tear them out this week. I can use that space to plant some arugula and other tasty fall greens, and we'll move the support fence to where we've planted the snow peas, which are up and will soon need something to climb. We are going to combat this awful virus next year by moving all cucurbit crops (cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash) outside of the produce garden area and grow them in newly dug beds on a different part of the property. We will also spray regularly next season with an organic insecticide (made from chrysanthemum) called pryethrum which will help eliminate the cucumber beetle, the pest responsible for spreading the wilt virus.
The peaches were also a bit of a disappointment... we have a raccoon (or family of) that, apparently, enjoys climbing the peach tree and taking a bite from every other fruit. Hopefully next year we can combat this with some barrier fencing. Or firearms. Just kidding.
This Sunday was lively at the farm for CSA pick up... we had a few member families stick around to pick some extra berries for themselves. My friend Sarah, her husband Jason and sons Elliot and Jasper stopped by for an afternoon of berry picking, followed by a spirited round of throw-black-walnuts-at-the-barn-until-they-shatter-into-a-million-pieces which was seriously more fun than it should have been.
Sarah and Elliot
The raspberries are coming in strong and we are picking a few buckets every other day. If you would like to arrange to come to the farm on Sunday to pick some more of your own for pies, preserves, ice cream, etc, just let me know. There's plenty to go around.


pattypan "crab" cakes - 2c coarsely grated summer squash, 1c Italian bread crumbs, 1 onion (finely chopped), 1 Tbs mayonnaise, 1 Tbs Old Bay seasoning, 1 egg (beaten). Combine, adjust texture, form into patties. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes covered loosely with foil, then broil until tops are golden. Makes 4 big or 6 medium cakes. I also made a mayo sauce to go on top - just a handful of whatever herbs you have, chopped finely and added to a cup of mayo and a bit of cour cream. Mix in a few capers and blop a spoonful on top of each cake.

Chop some more herbs and toss them in melted butter with the beans (blanched for barely a few minutes), and serve with a caprese salad (alternating slices of tomato and buffalo mozzarella, drizzle olive oil and sea or kosher salt on top with some torn basil leaves) and voila! Fast and amazingly delicious dinner right from your CSA bag. You might finish it off with some berries over ice cream drizzled with honey for dessert. And those of you who have peaches could dice them and serve in a bowl with raspberries, shredded cinnamon basil and honey on top.

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