Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain and the Splitting Tomatoes
It has been wet! We’ve gotten close to five inches of rain on the farm in the last week. The dry ground has been soaking it up well, but so much rain is a disaster for the tomato crop. Don’t worry, there are still a sizable amount of those delicious gems going out this week–just not as many as there might have been. When there is excessive moisture, tomatoes will take up more water than the fruit’s outer skin can make room for and the skin will burst, causing splitting that severely impairs its ability to keep once picked. So, needless to say, I’ve been pulling a lot of split tomatoes off of the plants this week.
Box 9 marks the half-way point of the season. It seems the time has gone so fast this year. On the farm we are mainly done with seeding and transplanting save a few salad mixes here and there and weeding has slowed down quite a bit. More and more time is spent harvesting bigger crops over the course of the week like tomatoes. And sooner than you know it we’ll be pulling winter squash out of the field.
Back to School
With September nearing, it also means it’s the time of year we start losing our crew to their academic pursuits. This week will be the last week for Liz who has been with us most of the season. Liz isn’t going back to school to learn, but to teach! She is in the last stages of training, fulfilling her student teaching in Baldwin, WI.
Joe will also be ending his regular work days this week as he starts tech school for machining. Joe has been working with us two days a week this year.
They both worked hard to grow your veggies and keep the farm in good shape. Thanks Liz and Joe for your great help this year, you will be missed!
Joe working on a blacksmithing project in his off hours
Winter squash is getting mature. Watch out fall, here we come!
What’s in the Box
- Tomatoes/Cherry Tomatoes (1# for small shares, 1 1/2# for medium, 2# for full shares)
- Sweet Corn (6 ears for small shares, 8 for medium, 12 for full)
- Onions: Gladstone (2 per small share, 3 per medium, 4 per full share)
- Carrots (1# for small shares, 1 1/2# for medium and full shares)
- Green Bell Peppers (1 each for small and medium shares, 2 each for full shares)
- Basil (1 bunch per share)
- Cucumbers (1 each for small shares)
- Beets (2# for medium shares, 3# for full shares)
- Summer Squash (1 for medium shares, 2 for full shares)
- Head Lettuce (2 for full shares)
- Jalapeno peppers (2 for full shares)
Everybody Sweet Corn
Portraits of the crew that grows your CSA (and enjoys a few snacks along the way!)
Sweet corn is one of my favorite crops that we grow. It is certainly one that I eat the most of during the season, an especially fine treat right off the plant. This year we have more in the ground than we ever have, the weather’s been good, and there hasn’t been a coon in sight, so expect at least another four weeks of good sweet corn!
Once picked corns sugars start converting to starch, so the longer you wait to eat, the less sweet and more chewy it will be. So eat it soon! Keep it in a plastic bag if you aren’t going to get to it within a few days. This will keep it from drying out so fast.
If I am not eating it fresh in the field, I usually like to grill it. Sweet corn can be put on the grill just as it comes, husk and all. Some people like to open it up, take the silks out and close the husk back up before grilling (making less work when you’re eating it), and some other people even like to soak it in water before they grill to retain moisture (although I’m not convinced this step is necessary). Either way, grilling it in the husk will keep it juicier.
Tomatoes are really stealing the show around the dinner table right now. There’s so much to do with them I don’t even know where to start! Sliced, drizzled with your best oil, and vinegar, salt and pepper is really the way to get to know the very individual tastes of the different heirloom tomatoes. It’s really rather surprising how much nuance there can be in any given variety! For those of you who like to do a little more with their tomatoes, go a step further and layer those sliced and seasoned tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, laid out on a platter. There’s a reason why this is a classic!
Caprese salad will be a smash hit with any crowd, and is such an easy, impressive centerpiece for summertime entertaining.
If you’d like to take your tomatoes a step further, try out a nice, classic Greek Salad, or this recipe from Jose Pizarro’s Seasonal Spanish Food: Tomato Salad with Smoked Paprika.
Carrots are making a lovely and colorful return this week, and I’d direct you towards a cool, crunchy Moroccan Slaw, with the added bonus of adding harissa to your life if you don’t already know it! There’s also a nice collection of carrot recipes on the website if you’re feeling adventurous.
Sneak Peek at Next Week
The summer hits keep coming next week:
- Sweet Corn
All the best from all of us,
Heather, Brandon, Maybelle and Frank