Box 10-Revenge of the Salad

Hello all!  The good times keep rollin’ as we round the corner into the double digit boxes.  This week sees us leaving our steady supply of sweet corn for the summer (a small tear just fell), a return of salad greens (hoorah!) and the first of the watermelons.

Lindsey at the pack station before packing boxes
This past weeks temperatures have brought a taste of fall to come, and misted us with its seasonal sentiment and nostalgia.  As the school season starts for all the youngin’s out there, we say goodbye to Sienna who has helped us on harvest days up until now, as she returns to Morris for her junior year of college.   We will also be saying goodbye to our friend Lindsey who came up from Alabama to stay with us for the last two weeks as she returns home for her last semester.  So long friends!  We will miss you both dearly.

This weeks round up:

Lettuce mix or spicy salad
Melons! (more on varieties below) 
Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers or Bell Peppers
Broccoli or cabbage (full only)
Onions (Sweet Spanish Yellow)
Snap Beans

For your sake and mine, lets play a little game called, know-your-melons:  Take notes, there will be a vote for best melon at the end of the season.

On the top from left to right: Petite yellow watermelon, Honey rock Cantaloupe,   Tigger Melon, MN Midget Cantaloupe.

On bottom from left to right: Ha’Ogen (a green Cantaloupe!), Sakata sweet, Arava, Sugar baby watermelon.

There are two melons missing from the line up: Petit Gris de Rennes, a cantaloupe that has not started maturing yet (looks a lot like Ha’Ogen), and Golden Gopher, a larger oblong cantaloupe that some of you got in the box this week (in left hand corner in picture of Lindsey), bred by MN agronomists in the 1930’s and named after our state’s beloved mascot, it’s unbelievable flavor is hardly contained by its slightly netted exterior, often splitting when ripe.  Melons may split during transport, don’t worry, they are still delicious and is often a hazard of having heirloom varieties.  You will not run across many of these melons in your typical grocery because they are highly perishable and prone to bruising and cracking–but the flavor!  Oh, the flavor!  Luckily, all the melons you get from us are picked within a day or so of being sent to you.  None the less, keep an eye on yours, if you do not eat it within a few days I recommend cutting them up and storing in the fridge, removing any bruised or splits to prevent the spread of spoilage.

Some of them are surprisingly green inside like the Ha’Ogen and Arava (which is actually a hybrid between honeydew and cantaloupe known as a Galia–hence the cantaloupe netting but absence of cantaloupe ridges). Ha’Ogen may be my favorite melon this year, such a great texture, intoxicating scent, and pleasing soft texture…Mmmmm….The little Sakata Sweet is an Asian melon known as a Conomon, I don’t think I’ve harvested a single one that hasn’t already cracked at the top, but a great little early producer and oh so delicious.  I could go on and on, but will restrain myself, you’ll have to phone me or do a little research on your own if your further interested.  Remember though, there will be a vote.

Having salad greens and tomatoes together makes great potential for salads and sandwiches.  One of my favorite salads is a hybrid and a must with this combo: Bread Salad.  First, chop up your tomatoes, and put in a bowl with juices.  Second, spark that grill and toast up that bread and any other vegetables of your choosing (onions, zucchini, corn, etc).  Break toasted bread into bite size chunks, put in tomato bowl with oil and a little vinegar and a little salt.  Let the bread soak up the juices for a few minutes, then mix with grilled veggies and add to salad greens.  Add some fresh mozzarella and basil if you have some around still, delicious!  I can’t get enough of this salad lately. Another great salad we’ve been enjoying is a mint-melon-small grain combo.  We had muskmelon with mint and black quinoa for a refreshing side.  I’ve heard rumors that some some people like to toss tomatoes in when they have watermelons in this salad, can’t say I’ve tried it, yet, you’ll have to let us know how it goes.

That’s it, enjoy!


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