news from the farm…

hi friends!  i’m thankful today to have a couple of drier days – this past week of rain has made for some wet field slogging and challenging cultivation on the farm!  as with all weather, some of our crops are loving all the moisture, and others are not.  the tomatoes are coming in strong, sweet and juicy.  the cantaloupes don’t like so much rain, and were a bit soft and less sweet than we like.  our sweet italia peppers are starting to ripen up and you’ll be seeing them sometime soon in your shares.  fortunately, the garlic harvest is all in and happily curing in our garlic barn, and we started our bulk harvest of storage onions on friday in order to sneak it in before the next set of rains.  we’re in high summer now, and full harvest swing for the rest of the season!  i hope you’re getting to enjoy some leisurely summer days and of course, all the bountiful vegetables!

your farmer,

in the share this week:

  • in the share room:
    • tomatoes
    • melons
    • head/leaf lettuce
    • mix & match:
      • squash
      • zucchini
      • onions
      • cabbage
      • beets
      • scallions
      • carrots
      • peppers
      • eggplant
  • pick your own:
    • herbs
    • green beans
    • flowers

tips for using this week’s veggies!

tomato season is upon us now, and what a beautiful fruit!  there are so many ways to enjoy abundant tomatoes; here are a few of my favorites:

*make fresh salsa (see recipe below)

*add sweet tart cherry tomatoes to pasta dishes

*layer slices with fresh mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil, and top with salt, pepper and basil ribbons (or skip the mozzarella and just use tomato!)

*make tomato sauce

* wash and freeze them whole for use in the winter (the easiest, most versatile way to preserve tomatoes if you have the freezer space)

*and of course, make tomato sandwiches!  slice thick rounds and lay them on hearty toast or english muffins slathered with mayonnaise, seasoned with salt and pepper, and eat them hot and open-faced.  that’s it.  just tomato.  if you haven’t tried this summer delight, please do yourself a kindness, and make it right away.

did you know that the stems of cilantro and parsley are equally as flavorful, tender, and delicious as their leaves?  no need to remove those yummy stems – just chop them right up and use them with the leaves!

recipes by mira

fresh tomato salsa

growing up, my mom always grew a vegetable garden wherever we lived.  her grandmother, with whom she was very close and who helped raise her, kept a little garden in their tiny patch of yard when she was small, and taught my mom about growing food.  when i was a child, i would work with my mom to plant seeds, weed the rows and pick the harvest.  i learned how to identify all the kitchen herbs – she would send me outside to pick basil, or cilantro, or thyme, and so on, for whatever she was cooking.  every summer around this time, when the tomatoes were in full swing, we would pick them hot and ripe, gather cilantro, jalapeños, onions and garlic, and make a big bowl of fresh salsa.  with a few of my own amendments, this is our family recipe.

*in a medium size mixing bowl, combine the following:

*wash and dice 3 large, ripe tomatoes

*finely dice 1/2 of a fresh white onion

*peel a clove of garlic and mash it into a paste with a large, clean stone on a wooden cutting board, or mortar and pestle if you have one

*remove the seeds and stem from 1 small jalapeño, and dice it very finely (use more or less jalapeño depending on the heat of the pepper and your personal preference.  if you want it spicier, leave the seeds in.)

*chop a generous handful of cilantro, stems and all

*juice one whole lime

*1/2 tsp sea salt (or more, to taste)

*1/2 tsp ground cumin (if starting with whole seeds, toast them in a skillet until they start to brown and smell fragrant, them grind them to a powder in a mortar and pestle, or with your stone and cutting board)

*mix everything together, taste for acid and add more lime juice if needed or a pinch of sugar if it’s too tart.  let it sit for 15 minutes to marry, then taste and adjust again if needed before serving.

**fresh salsa is best eaten day it’s made, or the next!**

get your corn chips ready and enjoy some delicious dunking!

above: early morning dew lighting up a web on a cabbage ~ these moments are a taste of what makes this work so magical
below: some of the flowers growing so beautifully at the home barn