You MAY have these things: Summer squash of some variety or color, beans or cucumbers, chard, beets or kale, blueberries, tomatoes? peppers? potatoes?… It looks like you will have a week off from corn as the picking has slimmed down and we will be supplementing from another farm at a few markets for about 8 days or so. Of course we’ll see corn again, but we could use some more rain.
Italica or Cubanelle peppers
In the coming weeks you will be seeing peppers and hopefully lots of tomatoes. We have just started picking a few, so I cannot be sure when you will first get any in your box. The hot night-time temperatures may struggle with blossom set – some varieties will abort their blossoms or fruit in the heat or drought. The heat and humidity is also putting a lot of pressure on us to keep the peppers and tomatoes protected with spray. The spray we use is on the OMRI list of approved chemicals for organic production and because it is a protectant, it’s job is to coat the plant and fruits, providing a barrier to fungus and disease. The compound is mostly copper and it helps prevent some of the common diseases we see this time of year. The product we use has an LD50 of 15,000 mg/kg! [if this is a new term for you, the higher the number, the safer the chemical; aspirin has an LD50 of 250mg/kg, rotenone (commonly used by organic growers, which we do not use) LD50 of 132mg/kg]. A couple of interesting examples are nicotine 50mg/kg, caffeine 150mg/kg and sugar 1200mg/kg. Bottom line, rinse your produce, and by the time we harvest (days after spraying) any “danger” has been broken down by the sun and is even more inconsequential – if possible 😉
I make a lot of frittata. It’s simple, flexible, and adaptable for most any vegetable. I also like that it is portable and usually good cold too 🙂
Swiss Chard Fritatta
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 bunch swiss chard leaves chopped
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 pepper chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cream or sour cream or milk
- ½ tsp basil, oregano, thyme
- 1 c. shredded cheddar or parm
- Ground pepper to taste
In 9 or 10” oven proof skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil with seasonings for 5-8 minutes. Add zucchini and chard. Add pepper and mushroom in using. Beat eggs and add cheese, pour over veggies. Put in 400 degree oven and cook 12-15 minutes or until set.
If you are new to frittata, and you like eggs and cheese with stuff, you will find you can fry up most anything and pour eggs and cheese over it. Paired with a salad and you have a perfect supper!
Green beans (or anything) with Garlic
Saute 2 cups green beans in olive oil with cover on, tossing as needed. When almost tender, add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook another minute. Salt to taste.
(yep, what isn’t good sautéed in garlic and olive oil: squash, corn, eggplant, kale, chard….)
Pork Chops with Sautéed Zucchini and Mustard Butter
- This recipe was form Cook’s Country
4 Tb butter
- 2 Tb minced chives
- 1 Tb whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 4 bone in pork chops
- 1 ½ pound zucchini, sliced ¼” thick
Combine butter, chives, mustard, lemon juice, cayenne, and 1/8 tsp salt in small bowl and set aside.
Pat dry pork chops and season with S&P. Heat oil in large skillet, med-high until just smoking. Add chops and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes/side. Transfer to plate and tent with foil.
Add zucchini, ½ tsp pepper to the now empty skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer zucchini to platter, top with chops and dollop mustard-butter over chops and zucchini.
*My Mother made this last night for herself and it was quite tasty. She also had cooked some green beans and the butter was equally delish on them 🙂
It is so exciting when the tomatoes really start rolling in. Glenn spends a lot of time making assessments about tomato varieties based on all sorts of factors: productivity, disease resistance, prone to cracking, appearance, but it really comes down to flavor. We grow several varieties only for their phenomenal flavor. We’ve also grown some varieties in the past that had all those qualities, except no flavor, so those varieties didn’t get a second chance. Sometimes plant hybridizers get so caught up in designing the perfect fruit that they breed out any chance for good taste. Having said all that, if you pick a tomato before it is ripe, it will not be good and will resemble the things masquerading as tomatoes at the supermarket. 😉 Even some of the vendors at the markets buy in tomatoes to meet demand…our experience is that ultimately ruins the tomato market because people have a bad experience. 🙁
It’s hard to talk about anything but the weather sometimes. This is one of those times. I always say running a farm is like running any other business in MA, BUT, with the added crapshoot of the weather. If you have just returned from Seattle, you may not have realized it is very dry and hot. Is any of this alarming or wildly unusual, foreboding of Armageddon? No. But, it makes farming a more difficult than is already is. Instead of weeding the peppers, stringing up the hops, pulling radishes, we spend a huge amount of time moving irrigation pipe around the farm.
What’s that look like? Well, the metal pipes are 4”-6” in diameter and 20’ long, each pipe has to be separated from the rest, moved, and reconnected all the way back to the irrigation pump. We have many acres to cover, so basically every couple of hours the pipe has to be moved. Some crops, like the tomatoes, are on trickle irrigation, which is much easier and also more expensive. Bottom line: we’re working harder, getting less done, BUT, we are picking good stuff – so that’s great! Hang in there with us. 🙂