This Week on The Farm– July 17-20

This week is week number 2 harvest of the garden–Shares have been expanded to pick up more of the members, the summer squash is in full swing, and the cauliflower is coming to an end!

Here’s where we are:

  • First week of Deliveries to Thermopolis and Casper (Group B)
  • Second week for Weekly Shares this Thursday at The Farm, and First Week for Leap-Frogger’s Group C2 (Group C1 was last week)
  • First week the refrigerated truck went North for the Montana drop
  • First week we will make the trek over the mountain to Sheridan to drop Shares and make deliveries
  • Weeds are encroaching upon the fall Brassicas!
  • Fall root crops need to be planted (Farmer just finished haying so he can GET ON IT!) and if we are going to try for Fall Peas, they need to go in the ground now, too.
  • Radishes should be ready for next week, and the spinach is plugging along.  Lettuce is not quite big enough to transplant yet.  We are hoping for the Cherry tomatoes, too.

 

Here’s what’s in the Shares for this week:

  1. Broccoli heads or 1# bag of Florets, Cauliflower head, or a 12 oz bag of Cauliflower Mix– Flamestar and Bishop White
  2. Cortina Slicing Cucumbers or 1# bag of Harmonie European Pickling Cucumbers (AKA snack cucumbers)
  3. Summer Squash–Zucchini, Yellow, or Zephyr (yellow with a green tip)–either bag of small or mix of medium sized
  4. Eggplant–either Asian (long and skinny, eat the peel) or 12 oz bag of Mini Eggplant Mix (three varieties fingerling size)
  5. Kale–Red Scarlet this week (skipped for Casper Shares)
  6. Early Green Cabbage–small Gonzales or large Farao

 

Here’s some veggie info and storage tips:

  • Cucumbers will be the first to spoil–eat them first.  Store in the crisper in a loose bag.  Great sliced raw in vinegar/water and salt/pepper.  Grate cucumber into your Coleslaw for a mild surprise.  (Cucurbits family with melons and squashes.)  **Harmonie’s are so named because they make doubles–we have included some of the cute buggers in some of the bags for fun!
  • Eggplant is susceptible to refrigeration damage.  Store on the counter in a bag, but consume within the week.  Eggplant is mild and takes on the flavors around it, eaten cooked and not raw.  The Asian and Mini-Fingerlings do not need the skin removed–it is tender and cooks down.  (Nightshade family with tomatoes and potatoes.)
  • Some of the Cauliflower heads may be a little soft–not to worry…we had to harvest 160 at a time to get them out of the heat and prevent them from ‘reaching’ (you know, where they look like coral).  They cook up with full flavor and can easily be riced!  Store in the coldest part of your refrigerator in a tight bag.  They can sit in the fridge for a long time, but with each passing day they loose their sweet flavor and can become bitter.  FRESH IS BEST–
  • We have harvested all the Green Magic Broccoli heads and now will continue to harvest their side production (florets).  Yesterday we scored 55#’s!  Broccoli florets are tender and best eaten cooked or lightly steamed.  Broccoli contains a sugar that is hard for some folks to digest, so don’t eat it at night if you don’t want to burp it in your sleep.  Thursday’s group will get the first of the Imperial Broccoli which averages over a pound a head.  Because of its size and the size of the Thursday group (54 this week), we will most likely weigh, separate, and bag so everyone can get a good share. (Brassica family with the cabbage, kale, and cauliflower)
  • Kale is considered a nutrient dense food by the CDC.  Do not pass this bundle by–it is fresher than what you get in the store and better for you.  We try to combine older, more mature leaves with the smaller, more tender leaves.  Older can be cut into thin strips or pieces and added to salad, or cooked in just about any dish.  I like the older roasted in the oven as Kale Chips!  Incorporating kale into your meals provides natural vitamins and nutrition.
  • The Cabbage last week was small and loose leaved, but with each passing week the size increases as well as the firmness of the head.  The smaller heads this week are Gonzales, and the 4-1/2# heads are Farao.  Cabbage stores in the fridge in a plastic bag or closed container (not too tight)–with the larger head consider it the source of several meals!  Meal ideas–raw as coleslaw or thinly sliced into any tossed salad, cooked with Kielabasa or other sausages, Cabbage Burgers or Steamed Cabbage Rolls, or simply cut into a wedge and steamed.
  • Summer Squash–what can I say!  It is abundant and we will put it into the Shares for several weeks…then it will be relegated to the freebie table (if we can find a spot for the Extra’s table)!  We grow 5 varieties summer squash:  Zucchini, Yellow, Zephyr (Yellow with green tip), Costa Romanesco (Heirloom striped zucchini), and Patty Pan (not producing yet…hmmmm….weird).  We love summer squash chopped into slices or chunks and cooked with a little onion–bacon is a good addition, or grated carrot.  Smaller squash can be added to your tossed salads.
  • Shishito Peppers and/or Antohi Romanian Frying Peppers, but only for Group C on Thursday for this week–NEW ITEM!  These are both sweet peppers and good cooked.  The Shishito’s are great tossed in a little oil and seasonings and thrown on the grill (if you are a griller) or into the oven at a high temp (if you are a roaster).  They are paper thin and make a great snack!  Antohi’s are good raw or used in recipes that call for peppers.  They do not break-down like most bells and retain their shape and flavor.

 

That’s all for now!  Need to get out to the garden!  The Farmer’s Wife

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