Fern Creek CSA–Week 9

newsletter with photoMark and I ate our first BLTs of the season today using the first ripe Caiman tomato. Our heat resistant lettuce is holding up well, so this is also the first year we’ve been able to have a BLT with both Fern Creek lettuce and tomatoes. The Armarillo cherry tomatoes are ripening up as well, and a few will be in the Market this week. They are like candy so parents, you will be lucky to arrive home with any left in your crates. But more will be coming. The tomatoes and corn are loving the summer heat!

zrelishZucchini is in abundance just now. I’ve made two batches of relish (recipe just posted) and will have some available in the Market. Preservation Shareholders take home extra zucchini as part of their share, but if any of you want to purchase an extra 1/2 dozen (or more) to take home for relish making or however else you use it, let us know on pick up day and we’ll send some home with you. We’re asking $3 for 1/2 dozen. Otherwise, know that Fern Creek’s abundance is getting donated to Friendsview Retirement Community and the Local Food Bank. Along those lines, we’ll also have a bag or two of basil available ($3) every week for pesto making (or whatever).

This week Mark and I are disappearing to the coast for a few days to hike, walk along the beach, to read, rest, and play. We’ll be around for the Monday harvest, and then give Lisby, Jon, and Jenny a chance to run the farm and do the Thursday harvest by themselves. Adventures will be had all around!

And that’s the Fern Creek update this 9th week of the CSA.


Anticipated in the Market

Rattlesnake Beans

Rattlesnake Beans

Varieties of Head Lettuces (Muir Crisp, Romaine)
Kale (Dinosaur, Red Russian & Meadowlark)
Chard or Collards
Zucchini Squash
Yellow Summer Squash
Fortex and Rattlesnake Beans
Kentucky Wonder Wax and Scarlett Runner Beans
Yukon Gem Potatoes
Walla Walla Onions
Red Ace Beets
Sampling of first Tomatoes
Red Express Cabbage
Rosemary & Sage

New from the Field

Tomatoes are new this week, though not all of you will get them as they are just beginning to ripen. But so many are on the way!

Caiman Tomatoes

Caiman Tomatoes

We plant a number of different indeterminate tomatoes. Indeterminate refers to tomatoes that prefer to climb rather than sprawl. Since we also prefer to pick tomatoes standing  up rather than on our knees we like indeterminates, too. Besides, we can water and weed them more efficiently when they are staked up. We plant several different kinds of cherry, salad, beefsteak and paste tomatoes, and a combination of heirlooms and hybrids. The first to ripen tend to be the smaller cherry tomatoes, my favorite of which is the Armarillo, an heirloom we discovered last year. We loved them so much I tried seed saving to be sure we’d get them again this year, and these plants are a product of that process. We’ll see how true they breed, given they were neighbor to a couple other cherry tomatoes last year.

The Caiman is a hybrid (so we can’t save these seeds successfully). This beefsteak is deep red and shiny–and grows in delightful clusters like the one shown.

Keeping tomatoes: the main rule is DO NOT REFRIGERATE THEM. Set them on your counter and use them within the week for best flavor. Don’t pile them on top of each other either. Give them space to breath and they’ll continue to ripen on your counter without going soft. The heirlooms (like Copia) will not keep as well as the hybrids (like Caiman), so note that once the full variety kicks in. Use the heirlooms in the first couple days of taking them home.


Newberg Bakery Bread of the Week: Olive Bread

NOTE TO BREAD SHARE FOLKS: Next week Newberg Bakery is taking a week off, so those of you who get a full share will receive two loaves the following week instead of one next week. One of those will be a sandwich loaf. Those who get a half share will all get a loaf two weeks from now, and none of you will get one next week. You’ll have a choice between the two varieties Bruce sends to Fern Creek that week.


Recipe of the Week

I’m re-posting a recipe one of our CSA members submitted last year. It’s a reminder to you all that we love hearing what you are doing with your Fern Creek produce! If you have a recipe you’d like to share, send it my way and I’ll post it in an upcoming week. Meanwhile, don’t forget to pull out your Asparagus to Zucchini book for inspiration, or search the blog for recipes I’ve posted in prior years.

Joan’s Fern Creek Ratalouille
Spray a 13×9 casserole dish with olive oil.
Chop kale, cabbage, potatoes, white onions, and beans. Add broccoli and squash if you have enough room in your dish.
Pour one large can of diced tomatoes over the vegetables.
Stir about 1/4 c. of water into a Greek herb mix of garlic, oregano, rosemary, black pepper, red bell pepper, lemon juice and parsley (she puts this in the can the tomatoes had been in) and pour over the vegetables.
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
Add grated parmesan or mozzarella and let it bake for 10 more minutes.

Serve in bowls.


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