Summer is here, even if it’s not official on the calendar. It’s hot, humid and thunderheads lurk about late afternoon. Our farm crew schedule has changed to a 6:00 am start time to get ahead of the heat as much as possible. We’re finished picking strawberries and have tilled under overgrown kohlrabis and the remains of the last lettuce harvest. We now look towards cucumbers, okra, basil and potatoes to sustain the farm through the summer.
In your shares this week you will find:
Cucumbers – Try a cool cucumber soup! Here are two recipes to try:
Chilled Creamy Cucumber Soup – try Avocado instead of yogurt for a vegan version
Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho
For a quick Asian style salad, slice thinly and tossed with sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and a little seasoned rice wine vinegar. For snack time, mix some celery salt with plain whole milk yogurt. Cut cucumbers into long thick, sticks, dip and enjoy!
Cantaloupe Melons – These melons have been carefully defended from marauding deer using a variety of techniques. Farmer John looks at the lunar cycles and patrols the field at times when deer activity is likely, usually around dusk and 3:00-5:00 am. We have a depredation permit which allows hunting of deer at night and out of the regular season. We have also posted guard dogs near the field, as well as parking vehicles and tractors nearby the melons to discourage deer from sampling the fruit. Wash melon rind carefully, then slice and enjoy! These beauties are ripe, eat promptly or refrigerate if you will keep them longer than a day or two before eating.
Arugula – Grown in the shade for season extension. I love a bed of arugula with some feta cheese sprinkled on top, sliced cucumbers, a few good olives and a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
Kennebec White Potatoes – enjoy them roasted, in potato salad, or Salad Nicoise linked below. No need to peel.
Fennel – Caramelized Fennel with Goat’s Cheese. Yum! Also excellent minced and added to spaghetti sauce when cooking onions. The fronds may be used as an herb, sprinkled on salads, or a bed to steam fish.
Green Cabbage – Try this slaw with Fish Tacos! I also love a simple braised cabbage with chicken stock, or sweetened with some apples.
1 small cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups) – Use the slicer attachment in your food processor if you have one.
1 small carrot, grated
2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 whole jalapeño chile, seeded and minced, optional
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (this is optional, you can also dress with olive oil)
Sugar, honey, or agave nectar to taste (optional)*
Salt and pepper
Daikon Radish – Slice thinly or grate and add to salads or slaws. I also love Daikon radish cut into chunks and added to soups, or diced and in stir-fry.
Yellow & Orange Carrot Mix – Grate together for a colorful salad topping! Try roasting together and serving with the potatoes in this week’s share for a hearty side dish. You can also pickle them in long sticks for a pretty, crunchy treat ready to eat anytime!
Tricolor Beans – or – Squash, depending on what we harvest the day your shares are packed. One of my absolute favorites for green beans is a light blanching, then chilling, and use in salads anytime later! Try this recipe for Salad Nicoise to use both your green beans and potatoes. Then sub out the arugula for your greens and you’ve made a CSA box salad!