July 9, 2012
July 9, 2012
The Harvest Season continues into Week 9:
It's tomato season!!
Did you know that ripening tomatoes LOVE heat? We were wonderfully impressed at the size of the harvests last week, and are very excited, despite the excessive heat during harvest, to offer you a share of this early season bounty!
The bulk of the tomatoes in the share this week are the cherry & salad tomatoes. Most of you got an early taste last week, and should look forward to more of the same this week.
Our 'slicing' tomatoes (which include both heirloom & hybrid varieties) are also beginning to come in strong. Because of the recent excessive heat, there's no way for us to predict when the peak (or how big the peak) will be, but we're at least happy to begin harvesting the larger tomatoes in quantities large enough for a decent distribution.
Tomatoes are at their peak of quality & flavor in July & August, so enjoy!
Here's what you should expect in your share this week (*please note that extreme weather makes it difficult for us to predict exactly what to expect come harvest day, since field conditions are volatile, so there may be changes to this list by harvest time.... we'll send updates if this is so):
Cherry and/or Salad Tomatoes
Cherry and/or Salad Tomatoes
Coming Soon: Green beans, beets, carrots.
Many thanks to Carol & Katie for harvesting Monday's cucumbers! It was already near 100 degrees when they finished the harvest, and it was a big one... Thanks!
- Feel free to use the Sharing Box at your pick-up location for sharing vegetables with fellow farm members. If there is an item you don't think you'll use, feel free to leave it for others to use. At the same time, feel free to select extra items from the Sharing Box for yourself!
- Thank you for returning boxes to your pick-up spot! The ability to re-use boxes all season goes a long way to keeping costs down, and making CSA work.... Thanks!
- The pint containers can be re-used, too! If it's not too complicated, please return pint containers so that we can use them again & again.
Recipes for the Week
Cucumber Tomato Salad
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes or 2-3 medium size tomatoes chopped/cubed
1/4 cup red onion chopped fine
2 Cucumbers chopped
1 mild pepper (green, cerano etc) chopped fine
Put in large bowl and chill
2 Tablespoons lemon juice or lime juice
4 teaspoons Olive Oil
Chopped fresh Cilantro
!/2 teasoon of salt and pepper each (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of honey
optional: throw in a pinch of other chopped fresh herbs like flat leaf parsley,dill or oregano, you can also use chopped Romaine Lettuce when in season
optional: add chopped toasted pita! Yum!
Shake together in a covered container and pour over salad, serve imediately. Enjoy!
8 oz. baby patty pan squash and/or baby zucchini (about 2 cups)
2 pints red and/or yellow grape tomatoes (about 4 cups)
1 to 2 cups fresh arugula or romaine lettuce, coarsely torn
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil, tarragon and/or chives
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. In a large saucepan cook squash, covered, in enough lightly salted boiling water to cover until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Cool vegetables by adding cold water and ice cubes to pan. Drain well.
2. In a serving bowl combine the drained squash, tomatoes, arugula and herbs. In a screw-top jar, combine remaining ingredients. Cover; shake well. Add half to salad; toss to coat. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Pass remaining dressing.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Sort, rinse and stem the cherry tomatoes. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Roast in oven until tomatoes begin to collapse, 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for a great winter treat!
Serve over pasta or as a topping for fish or chicken. Use your imagination!
Bell peppers, onions, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, tofu, chunks of meat, etc. The key is to get everything cooked at the same time. To do this, parboil or microwave anything which would take longer to cook until just tender, eg. potatoes, carrots, corn on the cob (1" slices). Marinate everything in your favorite mix and continue to baste as it cooks. Typical marinade: 1/2 c. oil, 1/4 c. lemon juice, 1 tbs. honey, minced garlic, salt, pepper, finely chopped herbs. (one can blenderize these too) Thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary can all be used. Vinegars can replace the lemon juice.
About Last Week at the Farm
Last week was the hottest week of our farming careers... by far. We must give BIG thanks to our apprentices for their wonderful attitudes & work ethic through it all! With temperatures averaging 105 degrees every day last week, it was a chore to just stay hydrated, much less make sure harvests got in, irrigation maintained, tomatoes trellised, you name it. We started work early each morning, and took time off in the afternoons, but still managed to get a LOT done.... including more weeding!
Even as we begin harvesting many of the summer crops, we still keep one eye on fall. Above, we complete a much-needed session of pulling weeds from the sweet potato patch. Sweet potatoes are harvested in early October, but must be managed all through summer.
It's a true pleasure when months of effort begin to pay off. The tomatoes in the photo above are the cherry tomatoes first sown in the middle of March. For 3 1/2 months we have planted, fed, mulched, weeded, trellising, and monitored these plants, and last week they produced our biggest cherry tomato harvests to date. They are loaded!
As excited as we are about recent harvests, and harvests to come (peppers, eggplant, beans...) we are equally aware that the kind of heat (and drought) we've just experienced can easily cause losses in upcoming harvests. Vegetable plants have remarkable abilities to protect themselves during extreme conditions, but there is a limit to the extent they can maintain production after the fact.
Our job is to steward the farm through the conditions we're dealt with, but a part of that stewardship is to accept what we can't control and stay smart. We assure you that we do NOT seek to cut corners. We do NOT seek to control conditions. If we were to cut corners & attempt more control for the sake of engineering quantity at all costs, you would surely see the quality of your food decline, and the cost increase. Our ethic is to do our job in a way that builds soil & builds relationships to stand the test of time.
We'll all know when & how this heat wave & drought breaks... until then, fall plantings will be on hold... we'll get there, though! We'll 'weather' these extremes, learn from them, and continue building the farm, growing great food, and sharing it with you all!
Hope everyone is enjoying the harvests! If you have any questions, or if any problems come up, we're always here....
Until Next Time,
Kris, Stacey, Jacob & Anna,
and everyone else at Riverbend Roots Farm