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July 17, 2020

This Week's Share

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It must be summer now! All our "hot crops" are starting to roll in! Lots of pretty bell peppers in all sorts of colors, purple, green and cream, plus some jalapenos and serranos. We're also looking at our first high tunnel tomato pick this week.  I even spied the very first cherry tomato ripening in the field. Just one. I snatchd it up and ate it and it was tasty.

Fruiting crops particulary like the cold. Peppers do fine in the fridge but eggplants and tomatoes don't really want to be in there. They prefer a cool 50 degree environment. Most of us don't have that in our house, so just note the eggplants won't hold for long in your fridge and tomatoes degrade quickly in texture in there. Cook those eggies up this weekend on the grill, just brush with some oil and a little seasoning and they are delish.

The tomatoes are coming from our high tunnel (an unheated greenhouse where you plant directly into the ground). It is very limited space so there will be just a few in the beggining.They should kick in sometime this week, so I am a little hesitant to list them, but I am feeling optimistic we'll have enought for everyone to atleast get one.  Have no fear though, once the field tomatoes roll in, we will be up to our eyeballs in tomatoes.

Recipe of the Week: 

Stuffed Eggplant parmesan

Ingredients: 
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 3/4-pound each); use more if fairytale (small) eggplants
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 pound ground sausage meat 
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato marinara sauce, prepared
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons panko-style breadcrumbs
  • 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) low-moisture mozzarella, coarsely grated, divided
  • 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) finely grated parmesan, divided
Directions: 

Prepare your eggplant: Heat oven to 400°F. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Use a paring knife to outline a 1/2-inch border all around the eggplant half, then use a spoon or melon baller to remove the eggplant flesh, being sure not to cut through the bottom as you create boats out of the eggplant halves. Rub each half with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange halves cut sides up in a lasagna pan, 9×13-inch baking dish, or 3-quart casserole dish and roast until eggplant is tender and browned at edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Leave oven on.
Make the filling: While the eggplant roasts, prepare the filling. Chop the scooped-out eggplant flesh into about 1/2-inch chunks and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add sausage meat and use your spoon to break it up and cook it just until no longer pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chopped eggplant, season the mixture well with salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring as needed, until eggplant is soft and wants to stick to the pan, about 7 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of prepared marinara sauce and a bit of the basil and warm through. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and mix in half the mozzarella and parmesan.

Assemble and finish: When eggplant boats are soft, remove them briefly from their dish and pour remaining 1 cup prepared marinara sauce in the bottom and stir remaining basil into it. Arrange eggplant boats back in dish and stuff them with as much filling as you can (you’ll probably have a little extra which can be baked in a smaller dish). Sprinkle stuffed eggplants with remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil and pinch of salt over the breadcrumbs and stir to evenly coat the crumbs, then sprinkle them over the cheese.

Bake stuffed eggplants for 10 minutes, just to marry the flavors, and then run under your broiler until brown and blistered on top, anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how robust your oven is.

SServe: Let eggplant rest for 5 minutes before serving, spooning some extra sauce from the pan over each.
Do ahead: You can assemble this dish up to two days before baking it, and it also reheats well, keeping in the fridge for 2 to 4 days (the smaller length of time if you assembled it two days earlier). I haven’t frozen this dish but expect it to freeze well.

Credit: 
Smitten Kitchen

Who needs to think when your feet just go?

Lots of great food rolling in now!
Lots of great food rolling in now!

Dear Friends,

 

If last week was a big week, this week was just a blur. To be honest, it feels like yesterday that I wrote the last newsletter and I’m not really sure what happened between then and now. We are hitting the frantic, frenetic point of the season. This is the time of year when the farm slips out of our control a bit. I mean it’s never really in our control but in the spring we’re able to do a decent job keeping up with the weeds, the field edges are mowed and I can even find time to harrow around the fields and keep everything nice. We put stuff on the weekly list, we do the stuff and we move on.

 

All of the sudden around the beginning of July we start putting stuff on the list and for whatever reason we stop getting to it. We have needed to pull weeds out of the sweet potatoes for the past 3 weeks and now it looks like we’re just going to have some weedy sweet potatoes. In a lot of ways it is my goal to put this inevitability off as long as possible. This year it was July 17th, other years it’s definitely been way earlier. When July and August hit us in earnest all we can do is put our seat belts on, take our hands off the wheel and hope for the best. We harvest a lot, we prioritize, we are careful about the angles when we take pictures(you can't have weedy fields on instagram) and we triage. 80% is better than nothing and we will do a lot of quick and ugly weeding. We do what we can and we move forward.

 

That being said, this is a wonderful time of the year. Especially if you’re a fan of The Genius of Love by the Tom Tom Club. Who needs to think when your feet just go? It’s a wonderful time of year if you like early mornings, working in the evening and sleeping like a rock. No time for existential crisis’s when you have asiatic garden beetles eating your Brussels sprouts and massive holes in your irrigation hose. 

 

So what did we actually do this week? We planted another half acre of brassicas, seeded a half acre of carrots, planted beets, lettuce, chard and scallions, bulk harvested 3,000 pounds of spring carrots, mowed the early crops, cut down the pea trellis, cultivated everything we can fit a tractor over. I’m probably forgetting half of it. It was a lot and I’m happy its over.

 

Your farmers,

Anya, Bonnie, Erica, Hannah, Jordan, Larry, Marycia, Max, Meredith, and Tori

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