Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week 13 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,                                                     

The upcoming week is forecasted to be in the 80's and possibly the low 90's. It should help to ripen the melons and germinate seeds that were recently planted in the hoophouse. I have heard positive comments about the lettuce this season and plan to provide you with both mixed greens and lettuce heads this time around. I hope you are able to get outside and enjoy the warm temperatures and savor the end of summer with easy to prepare meals.

What to expect to find in you bin this week:

Nectarines/ Peaches


Mixed Greens








Here are some recipes that include items that you will find in your bin this week.

Couscous With Eggplant

PIERRE FRANEY  Time 15 minutes  Yield 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots or scallions
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup diced eggplant cut into 1/4-inch cubes
 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup water
1 cup precooked couscous
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the shallots, onions, turmeric, coriander, eggplant, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until wilted, but do not brown.

Add the water, bring to a boil, add the couscous and blend well. Cover tightly, remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Add the butter and lemon juice, stir and blend with a fork to separate the grains. Keep warm.

Tomato, Squash and Eggplant Tian

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time 2 hours  Yield 6 servings

This is one of the simplest Proven├žal gratins, a dish that takes a little bit of time to assemble, then bakes on its own for 1 1/2 hours. It tastes best the day after it’s made.


2 pounds ripe, firm tomatoes, round or Roma, sliced thin

1 red torpedo onion, sliced thin
½ to ¾ pound zucchini, preferably mixed green and yellow, sliced thin
1 long, thin eggplant, sliced thin (if all you can find is a bulbous eggplant, cut in half or in quarters and slice it thin)
 Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus a few sprigs
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart rectangular or oval baking dish.

Combine the vegetables in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, chopped rosemary and thyme leaves and toss gently.
Arrange the vegetables in rows in the baking dish in this order: tomato slice, eggplant slice, tomato slice, squash slice, onion slice, tomato slice, eggplant slice, tomato slice, etc. Each slice of eggplant should have a tomato slice on either side. The vegetables should not be lying flat; they should be arranged in the dish as if you had stacked them, then lay the whole stack in the dish, all of the rounds slanting slightly to one side. Insert the herb sprigs into the dish. Pour any juice left in the bowl on top. Cover tightly with foil.
Place in the oven and bake 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the vegetables are thoroughly tender and lightly colored on the edges.

Advance preparation: You can assemble this and refrigerate for a day before baking, or bake a day or two before serving. Reheat in a medium oven or serve at room temperature.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Week 12 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,

 It is time for eggplant!

We’re growing three different varieties of eggplant on the farm this season. The first variety is a Black Beauty, it is cylindrical shape and a blackish purple color. We will try our best to get the other varieties to you, but each week’s harvest will differ and some of the varieties are more plentiful than others.

The way it looks out there now, there are enough eggplants for many weeks to come. There are fruits that are mature now, some that are still growing, and some that are only beginning.We sure hope you like eggplant! No worries if you don't’ know what to do with it! Over the next few weeks we’ll provide you with the resources to have an eggplant party in your kitchen! For starters, see this week’s recipes.

What to expect to find in you bin this week:



Mixed Greens



Summer Squash/ Zucchini




Here are a couple of recipes that include items from your bin this week.

Broiled Eggplant With Parmesan

PIERRE FRANEY  Time 30 minutes  Yield 4 servings


2 eggplants about 3 inches in diameter, total weight 1 1/4 pounds

 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to broil.

Trim eggplants and cut into 16 slices of equal thickness.
Arrange eggplant slices in one layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush both sides with olive oil.
Place eggplant under broiler about 4 inches from heat source. Broil about 3 minutes, and turn slices and broil for 3 minutes more.
In a small dish, blend garlic with Parmesan, and sprinkle mixture evenly over eggplant. Place under broiler until bubbling. Serve immediately.

Pan-Cooked Summer Squash With Tomatoes and Basil

  MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time 15 minutes  Yield 4 to 6 servings

This Proven├žal summer dish is delightful as a starter or as a side dish with fish, chicken or cooked grains.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ pounds medium or small zucchini or other summer squash, thinly sliced or diced depending on what shape squash you use
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ripe tomatoes, grated on the large holes of a box grater, or peeled, seeded and diced
 freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped or slivered fresh basil (to taste)


Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy skillet. Add the zucchini. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan, until the zucchini is lightly seared and beginning to soften, three to five minutes. Remove from the pan, and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, then the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant -- less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have begun to cook down, about five minutes. Return the zucchini to the pan, add salt and pepper to taste, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is tender and translucent and the tomatoes have cooked down to a fragrant sauce. Stir in the basil, and taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from the heat and serve hot, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.

Advance preparation: You can make this a day or two ahead of time. Keep refrigerated, and reheat gently on top of the stove. The dish is also good cold, doused with a little lemon juice.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Week 11 Newsletter 2015

Hello Tomato Lovers,              

 It really seems like summer when the tomatoes turn red on their vines. Last week was a teaser with a couple of tomatoes and if the weather holds up they should could continue to appear in your bins the rest of the season. The first variety you are sampling are Early Girls. They have the perfect name and always seem to be the first to show their color.

I hope you enjoyed your quart of cherries in last weeks bin. The large cooler in the packing shed was turned off and the last few boxes of cherries were moved to the small CSA cooler. It just seemed right to pass on another quart of cherries.

Our crew on the farm has been busy putting the orchards back together after the storm. There were many downed limbs and even a few trees that went down with the strong wind. The bins and pails that were used for hand picking have been power washed, stacked, wrapped in plastic and tucked away for next year. The bean counters are sifting through all the paperwork and organizing the production records. We call all of this activity the post-harvest clean-up.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:




Green & Purple Pole Beans




Swiss Chard

Hungarian Peppers

Zucchini With Fresh Tomatoes and Mozzarella

  MARK BITTMAN  Time 30 minutes


1 ½ pounds zucchini

1 ½ pounds tomatoes
1 pound mozzarella
 Olive oil
 Balsamic vinegar
 Salt and pepper
 Basil, for garnish


Heat a charcoal or gas grill; the fire should be medium-low and the rack about 4 inches from the heat.

Cut 1 1/2 pounds zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Rub zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper; grill, turning once, until nicely browned and tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
As zucchini cooks, slice 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes and 1 pound mozzarella into 1/4 inch rounds.
Toss (or layer) with the zucchini, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with basil.

Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts

  MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time About 40 minutes  Yield Serves 4

This is a popular dish throughout the Mediterranean, particularly in Catalonia, Provence, and the Italian Riviera. It is often made with spinach, but I prefer to use Swiss chard, because the chard stands up to the cooking but still has a delicate flavor.


3 tablespoons currants, raisins, or golden raisins

2 pounds Swiss chard, stemmed and washed in several changes of water, stems diced and set aside
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
3 tablespoons pine nuts
 Salt and freshly ground pepper


Place the raisins or currants in a bowl and pour on hot water to cover. Soak 10 minutes and drain.

Fill a bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and add the chard. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to the bowl of ice water and let sit for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop coarsely.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the chard stems and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, until they begin to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, just until the garlic begins to smell fragrant about 1 minute. Add the chopped greens and raisins or currants and toss together until they are well coated with oil and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Week 10 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,                                                            

Oh, what a week! Many of you noticed that last week's newsletter arrived on Monday morning rather than Sunday evening. The storm last Sunday caused a power outage at our farm and our top priority was setting up a generator to keep harvested produce cool. Luckily we have a couple of refrigerator trucks and the remaining fresh black sweet cherries were moved to the trucks. It was a powerful storm that left us counting our blessings that although we lost produce and trees we "survived" the storm.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Summer Apples

Oakleaf Lettuce




Green Beans

Red Onions


Fingerling Potatoes

Here are a couple of recipes that include items that will be in your bin.

Haricots Verts, Corn and Carrot Salad

MELISSA CLARK  Time 10 minutes  Yield 6 to 8 servings

This is a sturdy, appealing picnic recipe made from haricots verts, corn and carrots. Haricots verts, by the way, are skinny green beans, but you can use regular ones instead. This salad gets even better the longer it sits, and is relatively indestructible. With all the contrasting colors, it’s pretty, too.


½ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup minced fresh chives
 Black pepper, as needed
1 pound haricots verts, trimmed
2 ⅔ cups cooked fresh corn kernels (from about 4 corn cobs)
½ pound carrot, peeled and coarsely grated (2 cups)


In a small bowl, whisk together salt, vinegar, garlic and mustard. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk in oil until incorporated. Whisk in chives and pepper.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in haricots verts and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, cool and chop into bite-size pieces.
In a large bowl, toss together haricots verts, corn and carrot. Toss in dressing and season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Zucchini & Pesto

From EatingWell:  August/September 2005, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)

Roasted and tossed with your favorite pesto, zucchini turns into an almost-instant summer side dish.

Makes: 4 servings, about 1 cup each

Active Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


2 pounds zucchini, (about 4 medium), trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste


Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 500°F.

Toss zucchini with oil in a large bowl. Spread the zucchini on the preheated baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the zucchini and continue roasting until just tender, 7 to 9 minutes more. Return the zucchini to the bowl. Add pesto, salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 9 Newsletter 2015

First there are blossoms

....then there are cucumbers!
Hello Everyone,

We can see light at the end of the tunnel! If all goes as planned, we will be wrapping up the cherry harvest very soon. The hot and dry weather was  perfect for the fresh sweet cherries this year. You may have noticed how beautiful the tart cherries were in your bin last week. Luckily we harvested the tarts before the "big" storm.

The main garden has transformed and the sunflowers are beginning to bloom as well as a few zinnias. The finches have discovered the Swiss chard in the hoophouse and I am continually shooing them out. Do have any tried and true tactics for theses persistent little birds?

Here are the items to expect to find in your bin this week:


Sweet cherries



Yellow beans

Dragon Tongue or Roma Beans

Basil & Dill



The yellow beans have arrived

Here are a couple of recipes that include some of the items you will find in your bin.

Pan-Roasted Green Beans With Golden Almonds

TARA PARKER-POPE  Time 30 minutes  Yield 4 servings

This simple almond-shallot topping goes with just about any simply cooked vegetable, but it tastes best with green beans. Instead of simply blanching the beans, they can be charred until they develop a smoky richness.


 Kosher salt
8 ounces green and/or wax beans, trimmed
¼ cup blanched whole almonds, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, thinly sliced
1 lemon
 Freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add salt (a teaspoon or so, or to taste). Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until bright green but still firm, about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice water. When cool, drain again. Pat dry with paper towels until completely dry.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the almonds and the oil, adding more oil if needed to just cover the almonds. Cook over medium heat until the almonds are golden, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shallot. It will cook in the residual heat.
Coat a large skillet with oil. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the beans and season with salt. Cook, tossing frequently, until charred dark brown in spots and tender-crisp, about 7 minutes.
Top with the almond mixture, then the parsley. Grate the zest from a quarter of the lemon directly over the beans, then cut the lemon into wedges for serving. Season with pepper and serve.

Summer Pasta With Zucchini, Ricotta and Basil

  DAVID TANIS  Time 30 minutes  Yield 4 to 6 servings

A summer pasta should be simple and fresh, ideally made with vegetables straight from the garden or market. 


 Extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 pounds zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (for larger zucchini, cut in half lengthwise before slicing)
 Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced, or 2 tablespoons chopped green garlic
1 ounce basil, about 2 cups loose leaves
1 pound ziti or other dry pasta
8 ounces ricotta, about 1 cup (see recipe)
 Pinch of crushed red pepper
 Zest of 1 lemon
2 ounces grated Parmesan, pecorino or a mixture, about 1 cup, plus more for serving


Put a pot of water on to boil. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onions in 3 tablespoons olive oil until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat as necessary to keep onions from browning. Add zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until rather soft, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, basil and a little salt into a rough paste (or use a mini food processor). Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Salt the pasta water well and put in the pasta, stirring. Boil per package instructions but make sure to keep pasta quite al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.

Add cooked pasta to zucchini in skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 cup cooking water, then the ricotta, crushed red pepper and lemon zest, stirring to distribute. Check seasoning and adjust. Cook for 1 minute more. Mixture should look creamy. Add a little more pasta water if necessary. Add the basil paste and half the grated cheese and quickly stir to incorporate. Spoon pasta into warm soup plates and sprinkle with additional cheese. Serve immediately.