Monday, July 23, 2007

Blackberries are here!

Week of July 23

Farm News. . .

Blackberries are starting to ripen. In past seasons, our harvest usually lasts over three to four weeks. However, we are hesitant to predict this year with our odd weather. As mentioned before, we have lost about one-half of the crop due to the freeze in April. These were the earliest ripening varieties. So, we are seeing our later ripening varieties just beginning to turn from red to black. The fattest, darkest berries are the sweetest, while those still half-red/half-black will be tart.
We invite you to the farm to u-pick berries starting this week. We have quart containers here and will have an honor system set up for payment. Since the berries are limited, we ask that you phone ahead to check availability before making the drive out. If several folks come the first picking, it will take a few days for more berries to be get the picture.
Our blackberry u-pick is only for our CSA members. Please, no dogs or other pets at the farm.
Days and hours this week for picking:
Wednesday, July 25th 4 pm- 7 pm
Friday, July 27th 10 am- 6 pm
Sunday, July 29th 10 am- 6 pm
Monday July 30th 4 pm- 7 pm during CSA basket pickup

For your convenience, please phone ahead. 859-621-0755

Our Requests

It has become necessary to send out reminders:

1. Return your baskets please - we had to resort to some older storage baskets this week.
2. Please pick up during your scheduled time. If you have a problem, you can let us know - but it is not fair to our homeowners to come at odd hours. If you come to the farm early, you may not receive all of your share as we harvest the same day and it might not be ready.
3. If you do need to cancel, please do so at least 2 days in advance of your pickup day so that we do not harvest your share.

In your Basket

Green Cabbage - organic
Our third cabbage variety has sized up nicely. It will store in your refrigerator for several weeks and makes a nice slaw.

Sweet Corn
This week's corn patch is the gold and white mixed color kernels. Our taste test last evening declared this harvest one of the best bi-color ever!

Broccoli- organic
Our members have told us that broccoli is one of the items that you desire more of each year. Although it does not continue making single large heads, we like this variety that continues to offer nice flavor even the warmer weather.

We have several gourmet melons planted including a French muskmelon, Charentais, and some specialty dessert type melons, Sensation and Canary. These are ripe, sweet, and not your traditional cantaloupes. Cut soon into bite-sized pieces put in a dish in the fridge and enjoy during the week for breakfast or dessert! The recent rainfall ( which we were happy to have) made over 150 of our melons crack. This is considered a weather related crop loss. We decided to offer you a choice among these not so perfect melons rather than omit them altogether from your share this week.

These slicing cukes have a thin skin and small seeds. Although nice attributes, we grow them for the tasty flavor! Remember that cukes are 95% water and need to be refrigerated.

Red and Heirloom Tomatoes - organic
You have a variety of tomatoes to choose from this week. In general our heirloom tomatoes are usually a different color than red. The varieties have a thin skin that makes them delicate, ripen quickly, bruise easily, but taste wonderful! The pinks, yellows, blacks, and stripeys contain less acid than red tomatoes. These are wonderful eaten fresh or made into sauces or salsa for freezing. However, low acid tomatoes are not suitable for canning.

Garlic - organic
We harvested garlic this past week and have included a bulb in your share. We plant in the fall, mulch for the winter, and water and cultivate for much of the spring and early summer. Our dry conditions have affected the outer bulb wrappers around your cloves. This should not change the flavor or your enjoyment, but the bulbs may not store as long. Store in a dry, airy place not too warm. It will lose flavor in the refrigerator.

Larger Baskets Only

Cauliflower - organic
We hope you are enjoying the colorful violet heads. Serve raw with dips to retain the bright color.

EXTRA Basket:

Hot Peppers
Jalapenos, Serranos, New Mexican Green Chiles, Poblanos, and Hot Banana Peppers are available. This is good week for homemade salsa, with garlic, tomatoes, and peppers all available!

Recipes to Enjoy

Spicy Cucumber Salad
From Asparagus to Zucchini, by MACSAC

2 cucumbers
1 T white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
2 T sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 T sugar
1 That Dragon or your preferred hot pepper

Peel the cucumbers, cut lengthwise in two, and remove the seeds. Cut cucumbers crosswise into half moons. Whisk the remaining ingredients but for the pepper together and toss with the cukes to coat them. Remove the seeds and membrane from the pepper to reduce the heat. You also can substitute hot red pepper flakes or hot sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Broccoli and Garlic Salad
from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa

1 head garlic, peeled
1 C olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
4 stalks broccoli, cut into florets

Put the garlic cloves and oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the garlic is browned and tender. (Be careful not to let it burn.) Turn off the heat and add the red pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt. Immediately pout it into a heat-proof container to stop the cooking. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the salad, blanch the broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, until crisp tender. Drain well and cool in a bowl of ice water until the broccoli is cooled. Drain well. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 C of the oil used to cook the garlic and the cloves of cooked garlic. Taste for seasoning. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tomato-Garlic Bruschetta

1 ripe large tomato
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 coves garlic
8 slices baguette, about 1/2 inch thick

Briefly plunge the tomato into boiling water, remove the skin and seeds, and chop finely. Mix with the olive oil, alt, and pepper. Peel the garlic cloves and cut in half lengthwise. Toast the bread, and rub with the cut side of the garlic cloves. Spread the tomato mixture on the slices of bread. Serve at once or toast lightly again, if desired, before serving.

Easy Tomato Salsa - Pico de Gallo

1 lb. tomatoes, halved, seeds squeezed out
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 T minced shallot or red onion
1/4 C cilantro leaves, chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes into even 1/4 inch cubes. Put all ingredients into a non-reactive bowl. Season to taste.