CSA Week 6

You may have these things in your box: lettuce, kale, summer squash, cucumbers (slicing, Kirby, Lemon), beans? berries, tomatoes! Shunkyo radish or Hakurai turnip? Fennel? Corn?
TOMATOES! Woot woot! Nothing like a home-grown tomato 😊 We grow a myriad of red tomatoes and are excited that the weather warmed up to ripen these beauties. Farm snob alert: If you are new to fresh, local tomatoes, you cannot handle them as those rock-hard things masquerading as tomatoes at the supermarket. Be very gentle with them, knowing that they don’t like being squeezed, dropped, or having other produce piled on top of them. Also, wipe from your mind that a tomato is supposed to be firm, or soft for that matter. We have been programmed to squeeze produce to check for ripeness. Just don’t. Also, I have observed people over the years that pick up a tomato and if it gives to the touch (because it’s being squeezed), they put it back, as though it is supposed to feel like a supermarket tomato. Wrong. Just remember that the supermarket tomatoes, even those labeled “vine-ripe” are NOT. “Vine-ripes” are harvested when “pink” starts to show at the blossom end versus being harvested at “mature green”. Then they run the tomatoes through sorters to grade them by size, then pack them. Usually they are refrigerated (a huge no-no for any unripe fruit); then they are shipped and gassed with ethylene during their journey to “ripen” them. By the way, ethylene is the natural gas produce by fruits to ripen, so it’s not harmful, just leaves me with the feeling of lab created. How on earth can you do all that to a ripe tomato…you can’t. And why would you want a fresh, harvested by hand, ripe tomato to feel or resemble those sold in the super? You don’t, it’s not real. OK, tomato rant off. If you love supermarket tomatoes or the hard, pink circles on your sandwich, I am truly sorry if I offended…
but you’re probably not going to like our tomatoes then 😉
There may be a gap in corn this week, but if you don’t see any this week you are sure to next week. Most of you have seen some sort of summer radish in your share, now we get into some interesting territory with the Shunkyo radishes (a long red radish with lots of greens) and the Hakurai turnips (a round white globe with lots of greens). They share many similar qualities (they are both Brassicas after all) and can be enjoyed fresh in salad, sautéed, or roasted…and, by all means, use the greens! I don’t think fennel is happening this week, but if you see a kind of  white, flattened, celery-stalk-looking thing with frondy tops that smell like anise/licorice, you got fennel.
Sautéed Turnips or Radishes (or both!)

Remove tops from bottoms, wash both carefully. Cut the roots into half inch pieces (usually halving the Hakurai, then quartering the half is fine; halve Shunkyo the long way and cut into ½” pieces). Discard most of the stems, and roughly chop the leaves.
Melt 2 TBS of butter in skillet, when foaming add the roots, sauté for about 10 minutes, add greens, stirring until they look tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Enjoy as is, or embellish with a little acid (vinegar of choice, lemon juice, mustard).

Delicious roasted too!

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad

  • 1 bunch of beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • mixed greens as needed

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash and trim the beets. Chop in halves or quarters if the beets are large. Place the beet pieces into an oven safe pan. Add about 3 tablespoons of water to the pan. Drizzle one tablespoon olive oil on the beets. Cover the pan with foil and put into the oven. Wash the fennel. Separate the bulb from the stems. Thinly slice the fennel into 1/8th inch slices. Place the slices into another oven safe pan. Drizzle the remaining oil on the fennel. Cover the pan with foil and place into the oven.  Bake fennel for 20 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered. The slices should start browning at the edges. Bake the beets till they are easily pierced by a knife; about 30 – 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices. Chop up the leaves of the fennel – about 1/2 cup. Mix the fennel and beets together with the dried thyme.

Place beet mixture on top of a bed of mixed greens or lettuce. Sprinkle the fennel leaves on top. Serve with a vinaigrette dressing. This is great with oranges too!

Make cucumber water – it’s so refreshing and good for you on these hot days!
On the blog:Summer Squash, Cucumber, and Fennel SaladRoasted Beets and FennelZucchini Recipes (cakes, fritters, soup)Cucumber Drink
Simply click the  in the upper right of our website and type in whatever you are looking for, i.e. “chard recipe”

Farm Dirt
     Glenn finished planting corn for the season! Yay! We still have lots of other planting to do, but these things are mostly succession plantings so we can continue to provide you with greens and the like. Peppers are starting to size up and I saw my first few eggplants. So those should both be happening soon for CSA too.
There are turkey moms with their poults everywhere you look. So sweet. They have managed to stay out of the newly sprouting corn thus far, so that makes them extra adorable. Glenn and I sat on the porch the other night and observed all the birds that come to drink or bath in the fountain. Within the hour we had several Robins, Goldfinches, House Finches, a Catbird, a Hummingbird and an Indigo Bunting! Most amazingly, he sat on the very top of the fountain, where the water dribbles from and hung out for about five minutes, drinking and picking something of interest out of the pipe.
Did you see our Facebook or Instagram post of the baby frogs and toads?

Eat well, Geneviève Stillman
Next week: corn, tomatoes, lettuces, kale, summer squashes, berries, cucumbers, peppers. Fennel? Kohlrabi? Potatoes?…

Audubon Field Guide photo