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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 13 August 17th and 20th

CARROTS
Most folks know what a carrot is, but there are always a few folks that don't realize they grow underground. The leafy part sticks up out of the ground (and invites deer to chew on them) and the root is fully beneath the surface. I have been lucky, in that most of my carrots pull right up, however, this year I grew them in the rockiest soil I have (what was I thinking?!) and I need a pitchfork to get them out. The rocks explain some of the crazy shapes you may see at pick up!

For now all of the carrots are orange, but I did grow a few yellow ,white and purple carrots for fun that you may see later in the season.

We are starting to move in to fall--wow already?! And you will be starting to see the type of veggies shift in the share. We will move more into root crops like beets, carrots and potatoes and we will head back into more greens, cabbages and spinach. Although we did get 3-tenths of an inch of rain today, the fields are still pretty darn dry. I am feeling a bit anxious about all of the fall tranplants I just put in as well as seeded spinach, lettuce and cover crops. With just this tiny bit of moisture all the newly seeded crops germinated, but they are going to struggle.

Most farms have irrigation. It is a blessing and a curse. Mostly I believe in letting nature do its thing. If rain isn't falling, I don't think we should be depleting the water table. However, there are times I do wish I had just a bit of irrigation to "save" crops. The crazy thing is that if I did have irrigation, I think it would be like a drug. It would be hard not to use it and probably right now I would be outside, with my headlamp on, moving it around. Well, next year I am going to experiment with a little drip irrigation. I have few gardens in the back field that are very sandy and think it would help improve vegetable flavor if I were to irrigate them a bit. So we'll see how addicted I become...

Leroy and I thought I would show you what my hands look like after I have been harvesting tomatoes...just a tad blackened! Zach thinks my hands feel like shoe leather..his are soft as silk. (I did clean my fingernails for a wedding we attended this weekend)
This Week's Loot: a bit of lettuce (sorry those porcupines/crows really set us back!), greenbeans, cucs, zucs, carrots, beets, new potatoes, corn, melons, tomatoes, herbs, onions, some peppers and broccoli
Next Week's Loot: pretty much the same : )
The veggies are still pumping out good stuff! They are starting to look a little tired with the hot and dry and the elements of fall on our heels. I will probably not limit the share again this week, as I still have loads of beans and squashes. Please be mindful of the limits though on some items. At some point, barring an early frost, I am sure tomatoes will be limitless too, so do not despair!
Recipes
Summer-Squash Soup with Parsley-Mint Pistou*Adapted from Gourmet, September 2006
For squash soup
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lb yellow summer squash, halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced1 yellow-fleshed potato (1/2 pound), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
For pistou**
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs1 large scallion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Make soup: Melt butter in a 6- to 8-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat, then cook onion with salt, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add squash, carrots, potato, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool soup, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Working in batches, puree; soup in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and transfer to a bowl. Return purée to cleaned pot and thin with water if desired; simmer 3 minutes. Season with salt.

Make pistou while vegetables simmer: Pulse mint, parsley, and scallion in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a stream, then add water and salt, blending until incorporated.
Swirl 1 tablespoon pistou into each bowl of soup.

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