Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CSA Harvest Week 16: 4th of July Lettuce

Here's some pictures that Hannah took of the garden!

Hey! Does anyone remember when it rained and rained and rained? Which time am I talking about?  The 4th of July was very rainy and cool.  No one got to go swimming or watch fireworks due the days and days of storming.  However, here at the farm, we did plant some lettuce seeds and they germinated (sprouted and grew), which is usually an impossible gardening feat in the summer.  Lettuce does not sprout very well when the temperature is in the 80’s.  It will usually just stay dormant.   And if you do get it to germinate or sprout during the months that we receive 90 degree weather, the mature heads or baby lettuce usually tastes very bitter.  But it was never terribly hot this summer, so my little 4th of July experiment worked though! 

We have tender, delicious lettuce for you! 

This is head lettuce that will be full size in a couple of weeks. 

Personal Pumpkin patch
Arugula for the CSA is coming soon!

Thanks to Hannah for the awesome farm pics!

Farm Fresh Harvest
Basil- Yay! We got enough to harvest!  The basil is having a hard time problem that makes the leaves turn black, but there is a bit of pretty leaves out there on the basil plants.

Hannnah harvesting basil.

Keegan and Hannah harvesting

Keegan inspecting plants for healthy basil stems to add to his bunch.
Finished basil bunches

Cinnamon basil flowers- a good pollinator insect attractant- bee food!

Lettuce- Gourmet Salanova mix.  This gourmet lettuce mix consists of the tender little leaves of miniature heads of lettuce.  William and I prefer the taste and texture of this new gourmet blend.  We think you will too!
Beans, Chinese Red Noodle Beans ( and a few long green pole beans)- These long meaty beans cook just like green beans.  They grow on a pole or trellis and the beans hang down like red noodles!  The Greek Style Green Beans are a great recipe for these tasty beans. Or you can sauté them in olive oil with some garlic and onion for about 10 minutes.  Then I add a splash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Bell peppers- Crunchy!  They are turning red and sweet! They ripen with sunshine in late August and September!
Tomatoes- The tomatoes have full ripe flavors since we grow them under the hoophouse, which keeps the rain from watering the flavor down.
Cherry tomatoes- Little gems of sunshine!
Summer squash and Zucchini-  The squash and zucchini harvest is a bit less right now.  We have some silly caterpillars that are munching the flower buds, which prevents the squash and zucchinis from forming.  The plants grows flowers, the flowers open, and then the vegetable forms from the flower. 
Cucumbers- The harvest is a bit smaller right now.  Our last plants of the year are producing, but a critter is munching the cucumbers on the vine.

Beautiful big slicing tomatoes

Delicious little cherry tomatoes

The tomatoes in this hoophouse will start producing soon!

Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad (from From Asparagus to Zucchini: A guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce)
This great pasta salad recipe can be made with a variety of summer vegetables.  It is easy to mix and match ingredients based on seasonal availability.
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 eggplant
4 tomatoes
4 portobello mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
Olive oil spray
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne, cooked, rinsed, and cooled
4 oz. mozzarella, sliced
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Approximately 1 cup vinaigrette made with balsamic vinegar

Heat/prepare an outdoor grill.  Slice zucchini, squash, and eggplant into long ½ inch thick “planks.”   Cut tomatoes in half.  Remove stems from mushrooms.  Cut pepper into quarters; discard core and seeds.  Spray veggies with light coating of oil.  Sprinkle with minced garlic; season with salt and pepper.  Grill until lightly charred and barely tender.  Chop and place in large bowl with pasta, cheese, nuts, and basil.  Toss with vinaigrette.  Season with salt and pepper.  6-8 servings.

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