We are having another beautiful, sunny day here on the farm - perfect outdoor working weather! Despite our complaints about the dryness of this summer, it has been a wonderful summer for working outside. In the midst of the sometimes gloomy and cold days of winter I like to remember these perfect summer days.
While we are still doing a bit of weeding and planting, more of the tasks on the farm at this point in the season are harvest-based. We have harvested all our onions and garlic and within the next two weeks we will start harvesting all our storage potatoes and winter squash. Rob is also leading a farm tour here this Thursday, focusing on his use of raised beds to grow perennial fruit and nut trees. So we also have to spend a bit of time making sure that everything looks 'pretty' around here!
You may notice that green onions are a bonus item again this week. Thomas pulled the very last of the green onions from the fields and now they are ready for you. While I know some (many?) of you have had your fill of green onions, I really can't force myself to feel too badly about having plenty of a vegetable to go around! After years of having a personal garden and now 4 years of running a market garden, I have learned that every year there will be one or two vegetables that produce far more than you expect. But we eat them all because I know there will be a dark day in winter that I will think, "wouldn't I love some fresh green onions (or zucchini, or green beans...) right now". That's the difficulty with eating locally and seasonally - sometimes it is feast or famine!
As this is week 11 of our 20 weeks of vegetables we are more than half way! We will enjoy all the summer vegetables for another 3 - 4 weeks and then there will be a shift towards all our fall crops. This week, you are getting a preview of one of our fall crops with the addition of spaghetti squash in your shares. As their name suggests, once roasted or steamed these squash can be scooped out in long strands just like spaghetti. For more info on how to prepare them Martha Stewart always has some good information!
Another uncommon vegetable you will see in your shares this week are tomatillos (sometimes known as husk tomatoes). It's difficult to explain the taste of a tomatillo but the best I can come up with is that it is a cross between an apple and a tomato. Firmer than tomatoes and eaten green, tomatillos are most classically eaten as Salsa Verde. But they can also be diced into salads or eaten whole.
Chickens and Eggs Available We will have eggs available again this week. If you are looking for delicious and pastured chicken, send me an email to reserve yours! $5/lb for whole roasters and $40 flat for pieced chickens.
We have enjoyed eggplant as a choice item twice so far and now they have cranked into high gear and we have eggplants for everyone! We grow three varieties of eggplants: the traditional dark purple, a lighter purple and white striped variety, and a round variety that is white with a purple blush. All of these can be used in identical ways. While some people like to peel their eggplant, I always leave the skin on. All those dark purple pigments mean more antioxidants for me! And remember, like tomatoes and zucchini, don't put your eggplant in the fridge! It will deteriorate faster when chilled. The countertop is just fine but use within 3 - 4 days. While there are many ways to use eggplant, my two favourites are babaganoush (or other roasted eggplant dips) and ratatouille. Babaganoush served with some vegetable crudites and crackers is a lovely light summer lunch. And ratatouille uses so many of the summer vegetables and is delicious spooned over spaghetti squash. When ever we have a surplus of eggplant I simply roasted them, cool, and throw in a freezer bag for making dips in the winter.