Monday, July 29, 2013

BGF News 7/16/13

Volume XXI, Number 7

In this week’s box:
Beans: mix (Empress (green) & Carson (yellow))
Beets: Chioggia & Golden
Choi: last of the season
Sweet Onions: Ailsa Craig (fresh)
Sweet Pepper: Islander (purple)
and at least one of the following:
            Broccoli florets
            Cucumbers: Suyo Long (Asian-style, long & bumpy) or Diva (English-style, torpedo-shaped, smooth)
            Eggplant: Orient Express (long, purple) or Listada de Gandia (oblong, purple/white striped)
            Summer Squash: Patty Pan(dk green/yellow/ round, flattened) or Yellow (bumpy, pear-shaped)
            Peas: Snow

For those with the Cheese option: one plain chevre and one Cheese Maker's Choice
For those with the Egg option [full & half]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil: Thai Magic, tarragon, lovage
For those with the Honey option:  choice of liquid or comb honey

 Featured Recipe(s) (see below): BGF Garlic Roasted Beans
Tangy Cucumbers and Sweet Onions

Precipitation in the past week: 0.12”

What’s up on the farm?

This past week has been largely about irrigation work and weed control. We unrolled what felt like miles of irrigation lines and tested them all. Its good hot weather work, since you spend about half of the time getting wet, it seems. That taken care of, we went after the weeds with a vengeance. Spent salad, carrot and head lettuce beds were cleared, tilled down and made ready for their next crops. We have started finding sporadic tomato hornworm damage, mostly in the tomatoes, though also in peppers and eggplant as they are all related. So the farm crew has started their hornworm vigil and check the plants daily. We found two Sphinx moths (adult hornworm aka hummingbird moth) in the high tunnels so we anticipate finding more of those ornery, tomato-munching creeps in the weeks to come. Speaking of tomatoes, they are doing quite well in the field and in the tunnels. We have started finding just a very few ripe fruits, cherry tomatoes mostly, this week and anticipate in a couple of weeks you will start seeing them in your boxes. We have a wonderful array of colors, sizes and flavors to look forward to. Next week we'll include a list of varieties and descriptions of the tomatoes, just to whet your appetites a bit. The ripe eggplants are just trickling in but there are lots of immature fruits growing on the plants and we should have lots of red, yellow and purple peppers coming in, but they do take some extra time to ripen so everyone is getting one Islander pepper just as a teaser of what is to come.

We had a wonderful day for the Ice Cream Social this past Sunday. The weather was perfect, the ice cream cold and tasty and the kids, ridiculously cute! We hope to get some photos posted on the BGF Facebook page later this week. If you have any pictures of the day that you'd like to contribute, please send them in! Thanks to everyone who made the trip out to share the farm for an afternoon.

Honey Share members are receiving their first of four deliveries today. We are trying a new jar style for the liquid honey as our previous bottles have been discontinued. The shape is very different, but the volume is the same. We'd love to hear feedback on the new jars and would be more than happy to take back your empties when you are finished with them.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Fresh onions: As you might note from their name, these are young, freshly pulled, uncured onions. They can be used as you would any onion, the difference is in the storage. Since they don't have a layer of dried skin to protect them, please store in a sealed bag or container in your refrigerator and plan to use within 2 weeks.

Sweet Peppers: Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us at our blog at and on Facebook (just search Blue Gate Farm) and “Like” us.

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)

BGF Garlic Roasted Beans

1 lb Haricot Vertes (or other fresh beans), washed and dried
4 tbs olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs seasoned rice vinegar
¼ c. sesame seeds, roasted
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss beans with 1 tbs. olive oil. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and roast 15 minutes, stirring after 8 minutes. Stir garlic and salt together, add vinegar and remaining oil. When beans are roasted, toss with dressing and top with sesame seeds and Parmesan.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

based on a recipe from Angela Tedesco, Turtle Farm

Tangy Cucumbers and Sweet Onions

1 large Suyo Long cucumber or 2 medium cucumbers, peeled
1 small to medium sweet onion
2/3 c. cider or seasoned rice vinegar
¼ c. water
2 – 4 tbs. sugar (to taste)
¼ - ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbs chopped fresh fennel leaves (or dill), optional

Thinly slice cucumbers and onions. Separate onions into rings.
In a medium bowl with a tight fitting lid, combine remaining ingredients. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add cucumbers and onions to bowl and stir to coat. Seal lid and place in refrigerator for at least an hour before using. We eat this as a side dish, with the vegetables simply lifted out of the vinegar mixture when serving.  It can also be used as a condiment on sandwiches & burgers, as a salad topping or chopped into egg, chicken or ham salad.

Recipe Source: Blue Gate Farm

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