Good day to you all. I hope you’ve been enjoying the cooler nights and days–I know we have! As you can imagine, the heat and sun are welcome around these parts, but it sure gets a little tiresome when its so relentless. Besides a few sprinkles here
and there, we’ve seen little rain the last several weeks and have been running the sprinklers and drip irrigation to keep everything going. The nice thing about a drought this time of year is that about half of the fields have already been put to rest for the season and don’t need to get watered.
The root crops are starting to bulk up, kids are going back to school, the pumpkins are turning orange, and–a sure sign of fall around the corner–I’m digging up last years records, asking when we put the first winter squash in boxes (last year it was next week’s box). Well, summer is still around for a few more weeks in my opinion…
This weeks summer vegetables:Onions Sweet Corn Tomatoes Eggplant Peppers: Bell or Sweet Hot Pepper: Purple Jalapeno Snap Beans Cilantro Cucumber (medium and small) Zucchini (medium and full) Lemon Balm (full) Cabbage (full) Melon (full)
This is it folks–the last week of sweet corn. Enjoy it while you can! Savor the sweetness! Soak in every last juicy kernel as the sun sets on our corn patch for the year. This last round is the variety Ambrosia, a favorite of the bi-colored corn. Remember, sweet corn won’t keep as well as other veggies, it quickly loses its sugars within several days of being harvested–so eat soon for best flavor! See corn salsa recipe below for an off the cob treat.
Corn is also one of the easiest things to freeze. If your like us you start panicking this time of year and squirreling away every edible excess you can find. Cut corn off the cob, put in a bag in the freezer. Corn will freeze well even without blanching. Mixing in diced peppers is a also a nice treat and the flavors are oh-so welcomed in the heart of winter.
Cilantro is back in town, just in time for salsa season. I cannot say enough good things about this delicious, pungent herb. Cilantro is the Spanish term for Coriander, which the herb is commonly referred to in other parts of the world. In North America, when we refer to coriander, we are talking specifically about the seed the plant produces which we use as a spice. Despite being known as a staple of Mexican cuisine, Cilantro/Coriander is actually an ancient old world plant.
Spanish Conquistadors brought cilantro to South America and Mexico where it became a major part of the diet. It was originally introduced to the Spanish by the Romans, apparently went out of style, and was reintroduced by the Muslim Moors during their take over of Spain around the 700’s (The Moors also brought to Spain other notable agricultural items such as rice, citrus, cotton, and figs and were pioneers in water channeling for irrigation). More recently, Cilantro has continued its culinary conquest of the world by breaking past the southern borders and making its way North through America. Some people cannot fully taste Cilantro, only picking up on the volatile compounds that impart a “soapy” flavor, literally not being able to sense the other compounds that blend with it/mask it to make the pleasant flavor many of us love.
Cucumbers are (finally!) making their first appearance for many members this week and melons are showing up for full shares for the first time. Every year there is always a problem crop or two, cucumbers and melons were unfortunately both on the losing team this year. The cucumber numbers are climbing and will make a modest show before the first frost as our replacement plants are starting to come on-line. But the melons…well…I’m afraid there is no hope for the melons. This is particularly heart breaking for me–and I have shed many a salty tear–as they are one of my favorite rewards of farming and the pride of our curations (we attempted over 20 varieties this year). However, there are a few intrepid melons out there, resolute on making it, and we will do our best to get a melon in every box at least once this year even if its piecemeal. Despite not being able to fully guarantee this, I will promise that next year will be the year of the melon! (this year was the year of the broccoli in case you didn’t know)
Another new comer for the season is Lemon Balm. This wonderful herb can be chopped and used like any other herb to meat or veggie dishes and salads, and is particularly good as a tea with some honey. The heavenly smell alone is enough to want to have this pleasant green around.
Recipe: Corn Salsa
Great in tacos, mixed with beans, in a salad or even as a side. Tomatoes can also be added for a heartier salsa.
- 2 cups corn kernels,
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped bell or sweet pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Chop it up and mix it in a bowl. Done!