Sunday, July 31, 2011

Trying Something New?

We like to grow unique varieties of typical vegetables to delight and excite. Not only are they delicious and fun to look at, but also bring out creativity in the kitchen. The varieties getting the most attention at markets the last few weeks are the
Lemon Cucumbers 

Eight Ball Zucchini

Lemon cucumbers are deliciously sweet and the tender skin offers a delightful crunch. They are great sliced into a pitcher of cool water or just to top off a salad. My favorite thing to do with these cucumbers is to make up a batch of mint-marinated cucumbers.
1 pint of Lemon Cucumbers                           pinch of salt
1 cup vinegar                                                 1 cup sugar
1/2 lemon                                                      chopped mint leaves
Slice cucumbers, place in a covered dish, and sprinkle with salt. Refrigerate for several hours to pull out water, overnight is ok. Pour off water. Mix 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup sugar, juice from 1/2 lemon and mint leaves. Stir until sugar dissolves.  Pour mixture over cucumbers and refrigerate overnight.

8-Ball Zucchini is a great, tender zucchini, typically picked small about the size of an 8-ball, that is great for stuffing. The possibilities for stuffing zucchini are endless, but here is the link to one of my favorite recipes: Provencal style stuffed zucchini

I hope you enjoy our harvests as much as I enjoy delivering them to market each week. We will continue to grow and expand our knowledge of the best varieties for our growing conditions and the tastiest veggies for your dinner (breakfast, lunch, brunch, and supper!)
See you at markets this week. Did I mention tomatoes are starting to ripen?? Matt and I had a nice sungold cherry tomato break this afternoon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

the rain will bring new harvests...soon

1/2" of rain this morning felt pretty good! Too bad it didn't lower the temperature or cut the humidity at all! And I hear we are heading for a mid-week heat wave! But, while I weaved twine around the tomatoes this evening I saw (in flowers and green tomatoes) how happy they are to have this heat. And I remembered, the first tomato sliced on fresh bread with a bit of homemade mayo makes it all worthwhile!

Next up on our harvest list is the garlic! I have been questioning whether it was ready (aka pushing it back on the to do list) and with this bit of rain and hot temps I think the time is now...well, after market on Tuesday perhaps. We will have more pictures and info on the garlic harvest later this week.

We are also starting to pull onions for sale at markets this week. We will have Gold Coin and Red Marble Cipollini onions. Try them roasted on the grill whole for a sweet. delicious treat!

I believe it's understood by most that this has been a tough year on farmers (throughout the whole country) with heavy rain and flooding delaying planting in the Spring and now a Summer void of rain. But these past few weeks have been really hard on me to see our crops just sitting in the fields waiting for rain. I know it is part of the learning process and to add to my experience, but this work is very intimate and all farmers feel tremendous pride over their work and harvests. So in a hard year, we have little choice but to take it personal. However, we will endure and put our struggles in perspective and rejoice in a bountiful harvest...eventually!

pictured above: NY Early onion, German Hardneck garlic, Cabernet Onion, My hat
I think it's time for a new hat!