We are finishing out our 14 week spring season with some delicious Organic and non GMO Sweet Corn, Sweet Italian Basil, Malabar Spinach, Cured Red Sweet Onion, Tri Colored Potatoes, Eggplant, Corno Di Toro Peppers, Edamame, Mixed Potatoes (red, white, purple) Juliet Tomatoes and some sweet
Sorry about the Blueberries folks but we couldn’t end the season without a little surprise now could we. All of our Wednesday and Thursday CSA Members will receive sweet Cantaloupes grown on the farm. Saturday markets will most likely have melons too but we won’t know until Friday, and that’s the way it goes.. Welcome to farming! 🙂
Cantaloupe- Our melons are picked when they are presumed ripe, however, we are currently growing several different varieties all with different characteristics which can make it difficult to know for sure, the only way to know for certain that you have a deliciously sweet and ripe melon is to cut into it. If you happen to get an unsatisfactory melon please let us know and we will try our best to replace it with a good one the following week at one of the farmers markets.
Malabar Spinach is not exactly a spinach, It actually belongs to the Basellaceae family (vine family of flowering plants) and is a very warm season crop unlike traditional spinach. There are two main species of Malabar spinach: Basella alba (included in your share) which has green stems and thick fleshy leaves, and Basella ruba which has red stems, we grow that too. The mucilaginous texture is especially useful as a thickener in soups and stews. Mucilage is a thick, gluey substance produced by nearly all plants. You will notice when you bite into it that it is thicker and the inside of the leaf tends to be a bit gooey for lack of a better word. It is most popular on sandwiches and in sautes.
Sweet Corn this sweet corn needs no introduction, just bite into it and you will see for yourself. My favorite way to eat this corn is raw, right off the cob but if you would rather cook it remove the husks, and bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the shucked ears for only 1 to 2 minutes, in unsalted water, do not overcook. Ok, ready for the whole truth?? You may have noticed that we cut the tops off of our corn and that is not necessarily for the ease and hassle free shucking but because the majority of our sweet corn crop has worm damage or undeveloped kernels at the very top of the ear. This is nothing to be alarmed about, it is just a natural process and how can you blame them? Who wouldn’t want to feast out on this delicious sweet corn?! Growing organic sweet corn takes practice, patience and most of all relentless determination. It takes time to learn what works well for your crop and what doesn’t through seasons of trial and error. “Pest management in an organic system is based on prevention. The goal is to have a healthy, balanced plant and soil system in which pest populations will be stay within tolerable limits. In a conventional system, synthetic pesticides may help a grower save the current crop from an immediate pest problem; however, in many cases, the problem recurs or another develops. The organic approach is based on the theory that major pest problems usually occur when something is out of balance in the system. Are the plants undernourished or stressed from growing too quickly? Is there a nutrient imbalance? Is the soil too wet or too dry? Has a good crop rotation been followed? Is there a diversity of plants to support beneficial insects? Thus, studying the problem and trying to determine why it occurred should help prevent similar problems in the future. This will, of course, take time to learn and develop”. –NCSU.EDU
Edamame are immature soybeans in the pod. I apologize if you received some that were pretty thin and beanless. I took home a handful to experiment with and noticed many of the pods had little or no beans in them almost as if they were dehydrated or scorched by the sun. Some of them were plump bean pods holding one or two soybeans inside. The easiest and best way to eat edamame is to boil or steam the pods and serve with salt. Make sure you give them a good wash because they came straight from the field rather than the freezer. I soaked mine in water twice to make sure the sand and dirt were removed and then I put them in a microwave safe bowl with just enough water to cover the tops. I added a pinch or two of coarse ground sea salt and covered. I cooked they soybeans on high for two minutes, removed them and added another pinch of sea salt and let cool. The easiest way to eat edamame is to drag the seedpod between your upper and lower teeth to removing the soybean from the pod and discarding the unedible pod. It certainly won’t fill you up but it makes an enjoyable snack or appetizer.
Japanese Eggplant is unique in that is has a tender skin so you don’t have to peel it, it also has a sweeter flavor than that of the classic Italian eggplant. The color varies from light pink, white, lavender and purple. Slice it thin longwise and throw it on the grill or chop it and stir fry it, the spongy flesh soaks up any marinade or sauce. Especially delicious with asian sauces, ginger and basils. Eggplant is highly sensitive to ethylene, a natural gas that causes certain foods to ripen very quickly. So it’s best to keep eggplant stored separately from bananas, tomatoes, and melons, which are all high ethylene producers. You can keep eggplants out of refrigerator if you plan on using them within 2 days but if not I would suggest wrapping them in a dry paper towel and placing them in a reusable container or perforated bag in the produce drawer.
Corno del Toro Peppers- The Corno di Toro or Bull’s Horn chile gets its name from its curved, long and slender pod that comes to a pointed tip, resembling that of a bull’s horn. When immature its skin is green and depending upon variety will ripen to a vibrant red or yellow hue when fully mature. Reminiscent of classic Italian frying peppers the Corno di Toro is an ideal variety for a traditional Italian appetizer, fried simply in olive oil and finished with sea salt and parmesan cheese. It is also a popular variety for cooking down to make Italian sauces. Whole peppers can be grilled, roasted or sautéed for use on sandwiches, pasta and pizzas. Their larger size also makes them an ideal pepper for stuffing with a combination of rice or pasta, herbs, and cheeses then roasting or baking. – SpecialtyProduce.Com
Sweet Italian Basil- Fragrant and beautiful basil adds a fresh element to any dish, Top it on pasta, sprinkle it on pizza, or chop it up fine and toss it in some balsamic vinegar with some fresh mozzarella and Juliet tomatoes from your share for a deliciously simple, Italian classic..The Caprese Salad.
Juliet Tomatoes– Great flavor, fresh or cooked. The Juliet is a larger sister variety of the well-known Santa grape tomato, and is one of the most disease resistant varieties available. The delicious, rich tomato flavor is ideal for salads, makes a great salsa, and fresh pasta sauce. Many farmers and chefs refer to it as a mini Roma because of it shape and deep red color.
It has been such a pleasure to provide you with fresh, locally & sustainably grown produce. We hope you will join us for our Fall Season starting in October- Fall membership opening soon. Ciao for now- Shani