Thursday, August 2, 2012

BGF News 7/31/12

In this week’s box:
Basil: Genovese or Italian Large Leaf
Cherry Tomatoes
Garlic: Northern White
Kale Mix
Potatoes: Purple Viking
Tomatoes, slicers
            and ONE of the following:
Eggplant: Orient Express (long, thin, purple), Summer Squash : Patty Pan (fluted), 8-Ball (round), or Sebring (long, yellow, Broccoli: Packman, Okra: Bowling Red or Mini Bell Pepper Mix

For those with the Cheese option: Herb Lemonade Chevre, Classic Feta & mystery bonus!
For those with the Egg option [full and half]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil: Red Rubin, tarragon & mountain mint

Featured Recipe(s) (see below):  Lemon Garlic Oil with Herbs
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges

Precipitation in the past week: 0.40 ”

What’s up on the farm?

Finally a bit of rain and a breath of fresh air and cooler temps! We are still about 5" short just for this month, but the rain shower was certainly a welcome change and we hope it is a sign of better things to come.  This past week we spent mornings in the field weeding and harvesting, the too-hot afternoons found us in the barn cleaning and sorting garlic. We also managed to dig the remaining potatoes in the south garden, some of which are appearing in your box today. This is a new variety for us (replacing Caribe which wasn't available) so we hope you'll let us know what you think of it. It is supposed to be good for baking, mashing and salads.
We are getting some really nice basil out of the recent crazy weather (who would have guessed?) and we wanted to pass along the suggestion by CSA member Donna M. whose family enjoyed BBT's a couple weeks ago, replacing the traditional lettuce in a BLT with basil. We haven't tried it yet, but it sounds amazing! We've been eating LOTS of pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil, feta and chicken sausage dressed with balsamic and garlic olive oil.

We are still tending the new cucumber transplants with hopes that they will survive and produce by the end of the season, but the older plants have just about given up. There are a few survivors in the high tunnel, but they are not long for the world, as the cucumber beetles have moved in with a vengeance. We finally gave up on the chinese cabbage this week and pulled them out to become chicken feed. They were so damaged and failing that we were just prolonging the inevitable by continuing to dump water on them. We already have the fall crop started and hopefully they will do as well in the late season as they did last year. The onions have started to dry down in the field and now that we've gotten the garlic out of the packing shed, we can harvest the onions and hang them to finish curing for storage.  While not many things have flourished this season, it was certainly the Year of the Allium (onion family). The shallots will come out next and then we can start focusing on the leeks.

Our Des Moines members will see two of our farm crew at the pick up this week. Kelsey and Chelsea have taken over the farm management and delivery duties while we attend Sean's Dad's funeral. We doubt that you will even notice our absence, but in the event that you need to reach us, feel free to call my cell 641/203-1709. And we'll do whatever we can from a distance. Also, this Friday is Sean's next (hopefully last) cancer surgery so we will be focusing on that for a bit, but we will be around, even if we are a little less "visible".  Again, call or email if you need to reach us. If you are interested in Sean's progress during/after surgery or wish to send him a message, you can follow his Facebook page at The Tall Farmer.

Finally thank you for your many kind words and support during this crazy, challenging season. What an honor to raise food for such a wonderful group of people.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Garlic: This is now fully cured, so just store on the counter for short term and in a dark place with good air circulation for long term storage. Keeps for 3-5 months.

Not much else new in the box this week.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures?  Follow us at our blog at and on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm.

That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 

Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue & Luci)

Lemon-Garlic Oil with Herbs

This dipping oil is equally good with bread or drizzled over sliced tomatoes, grilled summer squash, or just about any grilled meat or fish.
Yields about 3/4 cup.

2 small lemons
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tbs. minced garlic
Two 3- to 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

With a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the lemons in strips. Remove any white pith from the strips of zest, if necessary.

In a small saucepan heat the lemon zest, oil, garlic, and rosemary over low heat until the oil just begins to bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. The garlic should not brown, or it will taste bitter. Transfer the mixture to a small heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature. Remove the zest and rosemary sprigs with a fork or tongs. Stir in the parsley.

You can make and refrigerate this dipping oil (hold the parsley) up to a day ahead. When ready to serve, bring it to room temperature and stir in the herbs.

Recipe Source:  Fine Cooking 93, pp. 43

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

tomatoes - as many as you got
balsamic vinegar
brown sugar
olive oil
salt/ pepper

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut tomatoes in half, sideways, leave the stalks on. Lay them out on baking tray, with pip side showing up. Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over brown sugar. Throw in some garlic cloves, and thyme.

Bake at 160C for around 90mins or until tomatoes start to shrivel. Added bonus, this dish will make your house smell like your in Italy.

So what do you do with red and yellow tomatoes, You slow roast them, and enjoy them in a salad, on cous cous, on toast, add it to eggs and toast for breakfast, or serve them as a side for dinner.

Recipe Source:

Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges

6-8 yukon golds, (or other baking potatoes) cut into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons dried grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
smoked paprika seasoning (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a baking pan, place the potato wedges. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano, dried grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir them together by hand to make sure the potatoes are coated evenly with the oil and the seasonings.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes (it might take a little longer depending on what size potatoes you use) or until the wedges are cooked and slightly crispy.
  4. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and smoked paprika seasoning if desired.
Recipe Source:

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