30 August 2019 07:46PM
It’s the halfway point of the delivery season this week. And it was marked by our first sweater morning in months. It was chilly and dark when Keri, Kyle, and I arrived at the farm around 5:30 am to prepare for the day. It felt like fall. Which was a welcome change over the hot, sticky mornings we have experienced over the last two months.
This week we are seeding down our early fall cover crops of tillage radish & lentils (a new mix for us) and a mix of oats, peas, and tillage radish. The tillage radish helps break up soil compaction with its long deep roots. In late winter the roots begin to rot, leaving empty spaces throughout the field. It’s not the best smell in the world but the soil structure after the tillage radish is worth the sulfur-stink for a few weeks. In the spring the soil is light and fluffy after we chisel plow. The lentils will fix nitrogen for next year’s tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. We’re looking forward to seeing how the lentils grow and flower. The oats & peas will protect the soil over the winter and the peas will fix some nitrogen for next season’s veggies.
On Thursday we mowed down and tilled under the last of the summer squash and zucchini. We started harvesting those crops the first of June and picked them six days a week. We enjoy having them in our share but our arms are grateful to not have to pick the spiny zucchini every day. As breeders develop new varieties of zucchini they continue to try to breed out the spines because they are very irritating to the skin. They haven’t been completely successful but the newer types are much less scratchy than the old ones. Thank goodness.
We planted the last of the 2019 transplants on Saturday. The last of the head lettuce and the fall sprouting broccoli went into the fields. Keri has been watering and caring for plants daily since March 1st so it’s a big milestone in the season for her. And now the greenhouses will transition to winter squash & sweet potato curing and winter equipment storage.
Farming is all about change and flow. Fortunately the change from summer to fall is a nice gradual one that holds both tomatoes and broccoli. September shares are a good mix of summer crops and the cooler weather loving arugula, broccoli, collards, kale, and cabbages. Here’s to another month of delicious meals!
COOKING TIPS AND RECIPES
CHILE-KALE SALAD WITH FENNEL
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mirin
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 hot peppers—1 stemmed, seeded and minced, 2 halved and seeded
4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup small cilantro sprigs plus 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and cut through the core into 1/4-inch wedges
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2/3 cup store-bought crispy chickpeas
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk the mustard with the mirin, lemon juice and minced chile. While whisking constantly, drizzle in 2 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil until incorporated. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season the dressing with salt and pepper.
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add half of the fennel and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, turning once, until the fennel is lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the halved chiles, crushed garlic and the remaining fennel to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the fennel is lightly browned on both sides, 5 minutes. Return all of the fennel to the skillet and roast in the oven until tender, 15 minutes; discard the garlic and chiles.
In a large serving bowl, toss the kale, red onion and cilantro sprigs with the dressing; season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the fennel and crispy chickpeas; serve. http://www.foodandwine.com
OVEN ROASTED TONATOES WITH QUESO FRESCO
5 to 10 plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup queso fresco
2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped cilantro
Preheat your oven to 400º F.
To prep the tomatoes, cut out the stem and the small dry spot at the bottom of the fruit with a tomato knife. Next cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise.
Lightly brush a cookie sheet with olive oil and then arrange the tomatoes on the sheet with the seed side up. Using basting brush, brush over the top of each tomato with olive oil.
Bake in a 400º F oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until most of the juice has evaporated off of the fruit.
Serve hot with 1/3 C of queso fresco and 2 Tbsp cilantro sprinkled on top. http://www.food52.com
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup arugula
3/4 cup precooked quinoa
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup chopped peaches
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons crumbled Cotija cheese
Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Place the arugula in the bottom of a medium bowl. Arrange the quinoa, avocado slices, peaches, and walnuts around the sides of the bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with cheese. http://www.cookinglight.com