Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 30th and August 2nd: August already?

This Season is Rockin'!

PYO raspberries are looking great and the flavor is OUTSTANDING!!!  The best I have tasted.  Don't delay--berry season goes fast!
Eggplants this week...Top: Galine--your standard looking, but above standard tasting (since it was grown here at Little Ridge!)

Bottom: Ping Tongue: Heirloom from Taiwan.  Great for stir fry and grilling.

The turkeys are out!  I let them out last week and they are so happy exploring their new outdoor life.  They are innocently stupid, very cute and noisy!  Some are finally getting big enough that they can't squeak through the fence...and luckily I think they are big enough that the cats won't get them if they do (although the cats are still lurking about with interest!)
The piggies are in a new spot!  Don't forget to visit them.  They are way out back beyond the hoop house.  From here you will see the bee hives too!
The cooler weather has brought relief to both the farmers and animals.  All were much friskier this week : )  The plants responded well too, the tomatoes are ripening nice, the green beans are pumping out beans and the cukes and zukes have slowed down to a reasonable harvest (ahh thank you!). 
This week's bounty: lettuce, purple bunching onions and scallions, tomatoes/eggplant/peppers for some, carrots, beets, green beans, cukes, zukes, summer squash, basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, cutting celery
Two great sites for recipes--
kitchen magpie does nice step by step photos and nouveau raw is all raw foods
...someone also mentioned she made zucchini parmesan....mmmm.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 23rd and 26th: ahhhhh


ahh the cooler/dryer weather is so welcomed!  Looks like we are in for some rain this week too, which in small doses will be nice.  The harvest just keeps getting more and more bountiful, sometimes even I am overwhelmed with the bounty of the farm.  Know that each season is different and I pass whatever the gardens grow on to you.  Sometimes the weight I say you may take home may seem like too much for your family to eat in a week, please do not feel burdened by your share, but rather just take what you can and enjoy!
Harvesting is daily task these days.  Cukes, zukes and summer squash already grow fast but the heat we were having made them explode.  Picking cucumbers is sort of like Farmer Twister.  The plants are thick and trailing and we try to step between the leaves and cukes, not on them.  Sometimes we get our legs so stretched out, it is hard to stand back up!
I wanted to give you a tutorial on the cukes, zukes and summer squash we grow, so you can try the different varieties and see which are your favorite...
All of these cukes are great for fresh eating and pickling:
Far Left: Cross Country pickling cuke
Middle: Phoona Keerna (an heirloom from India that grows from light yellow to looking like a russet potato. Crisp and sweet at any stage.  The more mature fruits can even be used in stir-fries and noodle recipes, chutneys and long marinades)
Far Right: Tasty Jade, thin skinned Japanese cuke

From the Left:
Safari, Sebring, Costata Roamnesca, Noche, Jackpot
Summer Squash:
Zephyr and Sunburst Patty Pan
Both are sweet and nutty, can be used for fresh eating, grilling, stuffing...

Orient Express Eggplant.  Not for eggplant parm, but great for stir fry or frying in a light batter.  Because a few shareholders twisted my arm, I have been experimenting with eggplant these past couple of years.  I know not everyone likes them, so I only grow a few.  If you don't get any at this week's pick up--there will be more to come!

The PYO garden is bursting with color, even the cherry tomatoes are starting!  Please know that the herbs, flowers and fruits in this garden are free with your share and for your enjoyment!
This Week's Bounty: lettuce, beets with greens, cukes, zukes, summer squash, green beans, green cabbage, scallions, eggplant/tomato for some, garlic scapes (sorry i didn't have them last week, I ran out of time to harvest them!)basil, dill, cilantro, cutting celery (an herb with great celery flavor)
super fast super tasty super crunchy salad
Mix and match cukes, zukes, summer squash, scapes, scallions, basil, dill, cilantro, cutting celery
chop and mix
add salt/vinegar/oil ... or not

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 16th and 19th: The lettuce and I are melting!


Well the peas didn't amount to much this year (not that I didn't try...three times I seeded them), but the zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers are well on their way!  ...and green beans are not too far behind!!!  It is too hot out there for peas anyway...and dogs...and farmers.  (Yes I will admit, I was thinking about my AC bedroom today as I was harvesting cucumbers at 8am in the 106 degree hoop house!)
Well the tomatoes are happy in the hot hoop house!  This week is the first tomato harvest and they will grace the plates of those who helped build the house this spring (THANK YOU!) 


Cool down with an ice cream cone this week at pick up...all proceeds go to, LACO, our area food bank.

Bring yourself, your kids, your grandkids, your neighbor's grandkids...

This week's bounty: lettuce, scallions, chard, Chinese cabbage, pac choi, cucmbers, summer squash, zuchinni, carrots, garlic scapes, basil, dill, cilantro and oregano
Next week's possibilities: lettuce, green cabbage, beets with greens, carrots? cukes, zukes, ss, herbs...


Pac choi Recipe:



Both the white base and the green stalks of a scallion are edible. They can be cooked whole the same way you would cook a leek, chopped and served raw in soups and salads, or lightly cooked.

CHIMICHURRI *(parsley/cilantro)
Traditionally served with grilled steak, and is an essential part of the Argentinian parilla, but it goes great with chicken and fish too.
Works well as a marinade, and is also delicious on vegetables. 
  • 2 cups fresh parsley and/or cilantro, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (optional)
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
  • Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Pulse the garlic and onion in the food processor until finely chopped.

  2. Add the parsley and/or cilantro, and oregano if using, and pulse briefly, until finely chopped.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl. Add the olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar, and stir. (Adding the liquids outside of the blender gives the chimichurri the correct texture. You don't want the herbs to be completely puréed, just finely chopped).

  4. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.

  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.



Stir Fried Chinese Cabbage and Zucchini

1/2 head of napa cabbage, chopped
1 zucchini, halved and cut into half moons
1 inch ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp olive oil
splash chicken broth or veggie broth
1-2 tbsp oyster sauce (use vegetarian if you are one)
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
salt and pepper
Heat oil in pan. Sautee garlic and ginger, along with white scallion parts, for one minute. Add zucchini, season w/ salt and pepper, and brown on both sides. Add cabbage and green parts of scallions, and stir fry with oyster sauce and soy sauce. Add a splash of chicken broth if you need to.

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 9th and 12th: Some like it Hot

Rainy, Hot and Humid

"Romaine lettuce with a twist"

Notes on how the weather is affecting the farm:

The crops---the lettuce is growing like mad and is having a hard time knowing how to grow.  Of course the berries got a little moldy and overripe sooner than we could pick.  But most everything else is quite happy and bursting with growth.  Yeah!

The animals--the turkeys love it hot.  If they are not skipping around their pen, they are prostrate on the floor all stretched out.  The pigs don't like the heat, but the LOVE the puddles I make during their daily hose down.  The cows are happy with the rain because it makes their pasture regrow faster, although I think they themselves would be happier with less humidity. 

The farmer--she is surviving, although very hot.  It is hard to get the list done in a day because she is noticeably working at a slower pace.  Prioritizing has been difficult as the things to do increase and the excessive rain and heat keep throwing in an added hurdle. Thankfully the newly purchased AC unit for the bedroom at least gives her a full night's rest and dries her out a bit.

A garlic scape is the flowering stalk of garlic.  It emerges from the top of the plant and curls forming a yummy, juicy, garlic flavored treat.  If the scape were left on the plant, eventually the white tip at the end would form a flower (like a chive flower) and seeds.  These seeds could be used to grow more garlic, however most growers use individual cloves.  (It is easier and the plants mature faster.)  Many believe that by removing the scape before it flowers, one is allowing the plant to use more energy to grow the bulb rather than a flower.  Plus the scape tastes amazing so why not snap it off?

There are many uses for the scape--chopped raw in salads, stir fry, pesto...we like to puree it with olive oil to make a spread for sandwiches or the start to a sauté pan.

Drat!  It looks like another rainy week!  There is one variety, Jewel, 2nd row from the right, that is just starting to ripen.  Picking is harder, but still so worth it!
This week's bounty: lettuce, pac choi, Chinese cabbage, beet greens with baby beets, hakurei turnip, shell peas?....broccoli/zuchinni/fennel (pick one)...parsley, cilantro and mint
this crunchy Asian green is awesome chopped thin and used as the topper to tacos.  you can make a raw salad with it, or stir fry it--it is a great vehicle for peanut sauce...