12 October 2017 03:48PM
Usually at this time of year we are checking the weather a few times a day to see if a frost is in our near future. When the temperature falls below 32 degrees that is the end of our tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil. (Remember when we used to be able to grow basil until mid-October? One of the effects of climate change is dealing with diseases like basil downy mildew that were not a problem this far north.) We usually have a few thousand pounds of green tomatoes left on the plants that we harvest and ripen in the greenhouse. This season all the tomatoes turned red on the vine. Last week we harvested the last of them.
The other farms in the area who grow tomatoes outside like we do had a similar issue. We all experienced that when the tomatoes began to ripen, they all turned red at once. And the plants began to die off faster than they normally do. The wet and cold spring didn’t provide the tomato seedlings the ideal conditions to start their lives in the field. The hard start made the tomatoes plants more susceptible to the fungal leaf disease alternaria (also called Tomato Early Blight).
Alternaria is a disease that can be brought in on tomato seed. Keri hot water treats all of the tomato seeds we purchase to remove any diseases that are on the surface of the seeds. That way when the tomato seedlings germinate they don’t bump up against fungus or bacteria coating the outside of the seed. Alternaria is also found in the soil and can splash up on the tomato plants during a rain storm or irrigation. To prevent this we plant our tomatoes in plastic mulch and spread straw in between the tomato beds. The soil in the tomato field is completely covered and protected. We also use drip irrigation under the mulch so we don’t get the tomato leaves wet unless it rains. Providing for good airflow around the plants can help prevent alternaria so we stake and trellis all of our tomatoes. We also rotate our tomato plants around the farm so that a field has at least a four year break between tomato plantings. In addition to all of these steps we apply a protective copper spray on the tomatoes each week to prevent fungal diseases from damaging the plants.
All of these practices help us provide a good environment for a healthy tomato plant and an abundant tomato crop. So, even in a season where the weather causes the plants to be stressed out we can still deliver over 30 lbs of tomatoes for each of your shares. That is lot of sauce, slices for your sandwiches, and fresh salsa!
Even though we won’t be harvesting many pounds of green tomatoes we will have one more harvest of red and yellow carmen peppers before the frost and a few more eggplant. It looks like this week we are still in for warmer than normal day & night temperatures. Right now the crew is wearing shorts because it is so hot and rubber rain boots because it is wet & muddy. We are always quite fashionable here on the farm.
THIS WEEK’S SHARE: head lettuce, tomatillos, onions, kohlrabi, carrots, sweet potatoes, cilantro, potatoes, spinach, tatsoi, tokyo bekana or broccoli rabe, and salad mix.
WINTER SHARE SIGN UP! You will receive 30 lbs of a mix of root veggies, onions, winter squash, and cabbage each delivery. Deliveries will be the weeks of Dec. 5-8, 2017, Jan.2-5, 2018, and Feb.6-9, 2018, – a total of 90 to 100 lbs of veggies. They will be delivered to the usual CSA sites on the usual day of the week. Support the farm and eat Roxbury veggies all winter long! Sign up: https://www.roxburyfarm.com/shop/winter-share
COMING NEXT WEEK: potatoes, winter squash, green cabbage, spinach, leeks, collards, tokyo bekana, salad mix, carrots, beets, and cilantro
SHAVED KOHLRABI WITH APPLE AND HAZELNUTS
½ cup blanched hazelnuts
2 medium kohlrabi (about 2 lb. total), peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, thinly sliced on a mandoline
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
½ cup torn fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz. Pecorino di Fossa or Parmesan, shaved (about ¼ cup)
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Toss kohlrabi, apple, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt. Add ½ cup mint and gently toss to just combine.
Toss toasted hazelnuts and oil in a small bowl to coat; season with salt.
Divide kohlrabi salad among plates and top with seasoned hazelnuts, Pecorino, and more mint.
LINGUINE WITH RED CABBAGE
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, very thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds red cabbage, thinly sliced (8 cups)
1 pound linguine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled (4 ounces)
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onions, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced red cabbage, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine until it is al dente. Drain the pasta well, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.
Scrape the cabbage over the pasta. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowls, top with the feta and serve.
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES AND CHICKPEAS
3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked (or regular) paprika
optional: Pinch of sea salt or lemon juice
GARLIC HERB SAUCE
1/4 cup hummus (or tahini)
juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
3/4 – 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin
optional: Sea salt to taste
1/4 cup (45 g) cherry tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup (15 g) chopped parsley, minced
2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
Chili garlic sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a large baking sheet with foil.
Rinse and scrub potatoes and cut in half length wise. This will speed cooking time. Otherwise leave whole and bake longer (approximately double the time (45 min – 1 hour).
Toss rinsed and drained chickpeas with olive oil and spices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Rub the sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and place face down on the same baking sheet (or another baking sheet depending on size).
While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding enough water to almond milk to thin so it’s pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more garlic for more zing, salt for savoriness, lemon juice for freshness, and dill for a more intense herb flavor.
Also prepare the parsley-tomato topping by tossing tomato and parsley with lemon juice and setting aside to marinate.
Once sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are golden brown – roughly 25 minutes – remove from oven.
For serving, flip potatoes flesh-side up and smash down the insides a little bit. Then top with chickpeas, sauce and parsley-tomato garnish. Serve immediately.
1 ½ to 2 pounds kohlrabi
1 tablespoon rice flour, chickpea flour or semolina (more as needed)
Salt to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed oil, as needed
Chili powder, ground cumin, curry powder or paprika to taste
Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thick sticks, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches long.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is good). Meanwhile, place the flour in a large bowl, season with salt if desired and quickly toss the kohlrabi sticks in the flour so that they are lightly coated.
When the oil is rippling, carefully add the kohlrabi to the pan in batches so that the pan isn’t crowded. Cook on one side until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the pieces over to brown on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The procedure should take only about 5 minutes if there is enough oil in the pan. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle right away with the seasoning of your choice. Serve hot.