In this week’s box:
Beets: Chioggia &/or Golden
Chard: Bright Lights
Cherry Tomatoes Mix
Leeks: King Richard
Watermelon: Moon & Stars (green w/ yellow spots, red flesh) or Cream of Saskatchewan (striped w/ white flesh)
For those with the Egg option [full]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil: Lemon/Lime, garlic chives, oregano
Featured Recipe(s) (see below): Swiss Chard Wraps
Risotto with Leeks and Beet Greens
Watermelon Agua Fresca
Precipitation in the past week: 1.60 ” (.6” on Sat and 1.0” the previous Sunday)
What’s up on the farm?
I hardly feel qualified to address what’s been up on the farm for the past week, as most of my attentions have been divided between funerals and hospital rooms, in fact I am writing today’s newsletter from the ICU where Sean is healing from his liver surgery, after which the surgeon declared him disease-free! We hope to have him back up on the 8th floor in the next day or so and back at the farm 7-10 days from now. Maybe I should have had the farm crew write this part of the newsletter, regardless, we have gotten some nice rain in the past 10 days or so. Not enough to make up for the deficit (we’re about 7” below average for the season) but enough to make the crops, chickens and the farmers feel a bit better about things. The crew harvested all the remaining onions, shallots and potatoes over the past week, while trying to keep up with the crazy tomato production. As the mid or long season crops are finishing up, we are re-prepping the gardens and sowing a number of fall or cool weather crops. Among those already sown include: turnips, beets, choi and carrots. The weeds have also appreciated the recent rains, so we will have to attend to those in the coming week as well. We were very pleased to have missed our first farmers market in 8 years, as this Saturday’s storms wreaked havoc with the tents and wares of many of our friends. From the windows in the ICU, it looked pretty wicked out there!
Early in the season our melons were doing so well, it was the best looking crop we’d ever had, but the lack of moisture and hot temps were really hard on the vines. Most of them are dying back, so the harvest is now or never. We did not get enough for everyone to have a whole melon, besides some of them were so huge that we couldn’t get them in the box anyway, so some of you will be receiving half of a large melon, wrapped in plastic. Please note that one of our varieties has white flesh, so don’t be dismayed if yours isn’t the standard red, our experience is that the flavor is out of this world. Please put them (cut or whole) straight into the fridge as melon is very perishable.
A little detail on your produce this week:
Watermelon: Handle watermelons carefully. When harvested at their peak ripeness, they can crack or split easily if bumped. Refrigerate watermelons right away. (Watermelons do not ripen off the vine and do not impart a ripe smell.) Cut melon should be covered in plastic wrap, and chunks or slices should be kept in an air-tight container. We suggest eating melons within a week.
Leeks: Loosely wrap unwashed leeks in a plastic bag and store them in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for at least a week. Cut the leek about 1 inch above the white part, where the leaves begin changing from dark to light green. (Save the unused greens; they’ll give great flavor to your next vegetable stock.) Fan the leaves under running water to dislodge any dirt collected there, then pat thoroughly dry. You can julienne a leek by cutting it lengthwise, or slice it crosswise. If you want to clean a leek that you will be cooking whole, make a slit down one side to within an inch or two of the root end. Then spread the leaves under running lukewarm water to clean the leek. During cooking the leek will stay whole. For a quick supper idea, leeks, tomatoes and chard will make a wonderful quiche!
Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures? Follow us at our blog at http://beyondthebluegate.blogspot.com/ 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)
SWISS CHARD WRAPS
Large tomato, sliced and cut in half
9-10 Swiss Chard leaves, at least 9 inches
1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese, grated
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
1 teaspoon of Onion flakes
1 pinch of Salt and pepper
Steam Swiss chard for a few minutes. Do not overcook. Open leaves and brush on olive oil lightly. Put tomato slice in center of leaf - top with pinch onion - salt and pepper and one tablespoon cheese. fold leaf around tomato - this will hold together well.
Put on grill until hot - can turn once. Works best if you use a 2 sided grill that holds food in place. This can also be cooked in oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet.
I've tried goat cheese, but mozzarella works best, and a little feta is good also.
I've put squash, corn, eggplant, tomato and basil leaves and fold like a burrito.
Recipe Source: www.dinnertool.com/
Watermelon Agua Fresca
5 cups fresh, seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
1/2 cup water
2 T. sugar or agave, or to taste (optional)
Juice of 2 fresh limes or to taste
Puree first 4 ingredients in a blender
Pour into ice filled glasses and garnish with lime slices