Happy Independence Day 2020
I apologize for the delay until Saturday the 4th delivery, but I’m adding as much value to the box as I can. I should be getting to you sooner than most delivery days as well.
A Little Bit of Farm News
There’s no breaking news, really, but I thought I’d share a couple of pictures. I’m seeding out a tasty variety of Kabocha winter squash called Sunshine that is the color of a pumpkin – and looks like a small pumpkin – but is absolutely delicious whether prepared with sweet or savory flavors in mind. One thing I always find interesting about large, fresh Cucurbitaceae seeds is that they germinate very well, and very quickly. Picture one is of these Sunshine seeds on their first day after being seeded into 50-cell trays the night before. The second picture is of day two, just 24 hours later. These will be harvested just in time for Halloween. Other Winter Squashes we are planting are Butternut, Spaghetti, Winter Sweet, and Delicata.
This Week’s CSA Box – Potatoes Galore! 🙂
Mixed Potatoes – Red Skin, Yukon Gold, and All Blue
If you’ve never had potatoes straight out of the ground, you’re in for a treat. Over time the sugars turn to starches so the sooner you eat them the better. Potatoes are in the solenaceae family along with tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. For the 4th of July, we are putting all three varieties in the box, All-Blue, Yukon Gold, and Red Skin potatoes. If you remember to think of it, I’d be curious to know everyone’s favorite variety.
I found a good looking red white and blue potato salad recipe online here that doesn’t require a bunch of mayonnaise – not that I’m against mayonnaise myself, mind you. One thing that I’d probably do differently is roast the potatoes instead of boiling them. Yes, it’s rustic looking, but I really prefer dry heat whenever possible.
We call this “green squash” on the farm 🙂 They are in another large, well-represented plant family, Cucurbitaceae, which includes summer squashes, winter squashes, and melons. This variety is called Green Machine. We plant them monthly since we get at least 30 days worth of harvesting from them. I have a friend who is the produce manager at a Food Lion and he gives me sales data. It’s surprising to me that yellow squash is 2 to 1 preferred over zucchini.
One of our awesome CSA Members, Jacqueline, has sent me some great pictures of her recent culinary creations. Pictured left is her broiled zucchini with radish – 4 minutes with simple drizzle of whisked to combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and S&P. Man that looks good.
She takes a nice picture, too. Soon, I’ll be writing about her improvements to our mayo, in both taste and method.
Lacinato (Dino) Kale
All the Kales are in the Brassicaceae family with the turnips, mustards, and cabbages. This is my favorite in the field and on the plate. It’s extremely hardy, both heat and cold tolerant, and bug and disease resistant. It’s also easy to harvest. Even when it bolts (goes to flower) the flowers are great tasting in a salad or even a wilt.
This week’s Dino Kale is very fresh new growth so you can easily use it as a salad green. You just can’t beat this particular kale for versatility and taste.
I’ll be making wraps with them in an upcoming video, but I’d love to know what our Members have come up with. The easiest thing to do is a light saute with olive oil and S&P.
Cucumbers are (surprise surprise) in the Cucurbitaceae family along with the squashes and melons. With the exception of the Brassicaceae, they are the most ubiquitous which can sometimes cause a plant family crop rotation conflict. We grow both field cucumbers and greenhouse/high tunnel cucumbers – the latter being the long Lebanese and English cucumbers. If you get some short “pickling” cucumbers in the box later this year, don’t fret. They can actually be some of the tastiest of all.
You know what to do with these! And, I’ll have some unusual Greek preparations soon from some of my chef friends.
Sweet corn, never to be confused with the huge fields of very tall feed corn, is a 4th of July staple. It’s a true grass in the Poacea family, just like your lawn grass.
I still think grilled corn in the husk is best, but there are so many great ways. Again, I hate to boil anything. If you want to see something that you’ll think is crazy but actually works really well, check out this wild post about dishwasher corn. I did it one time when using a small kitchen and I had no room on the stove top or oven to heat it. It came out perfectly cooked. If you’re preparing the corn ahead of time, don’t forget to stop the carryover cooking by dunking them in ice water. That will keep them from getting mealy later and you can always microwave them quickly right before serving.
This isn’t the best picture as our cabbage today is green, but it’s all I had!
Cabbages are another Brassica like the kale, and has similar health benefits, especially when combined with a mustard type to bring out the sulphoraphanes. I say that like I know what I’m talking about. Ha! But I know who does. I’ve linked this before, but one can never get enough Dr. Rhonda Patrick. She’s always fascinating.
Enjoy an easy warm or cold slaw for the 4th and send me some pics! Here are a couple of favorites- one warm and one cold. By the way, I have added shredded (chiffonade) kale to my cabbage for slaw before and it is really good, so try that if you aren’t sure what to do with the Dino (Lacinato) kale.
That’s it folks! If I have time to get to the greenhouse, I’ll add some cherry tomatoes, but I’m just not sure that will work out as I write this. Thanks for putting up with a bit of disruption this last week. My friend in Raleigh is home now – not a happy camper I hear, but home is good.