CSA – Week 13

In This Week’s Share

  • braising mix
  • kale and chard
  • red giant mustard greens
  • summer squash or cucumbers
  • eggplant or peppers (see recipes for details on peppers)
  • rainbow carrots
  • tomatoes
  • parsley
  • basil

packed together in a little bag:

  • salad turnips
  • purple potatoes – these beauties are called Magic Molly and this is the first year the seed has been available to growers!

packed together in another little bag:

  • jalapeño peppers
  • tomatillos
  • gherkins
  • ground cherries

Every other week half share members: this week is an “A” week.

 

Farm News

We mentioned at the onset of the season that some of your veggies may have a few blemishes, a common fact for organic produce due to the lack of chemical pesticides and fungicides. We appreciate your tolerance – here’s a bit more detail on why and how these cosmetic defects come about:

  • Tiny holes in salad/braising mixes, kale, red giant mustard, turnip greens. These are caused by flea beetles, teeny little bugs that hop from leaf to leaf, leaving a trail of small holes in their wake. Since we prefer not to spray any of our crops, even with organic solutions, we go the non-chemical route and cover all of our greens with floating row cover. This lightweight fabric helps to protect the tender greens from these beetles, but some still sneak in.
  • Cracks in your tomatoes. These occur when the internal growth of the tomato exceeds the growth of the skin. Extreme fluctuations in temperature (remember that heat wave in July?) and extreme fluctuations in soil moisture (4 inches of rain in one morning a few weeks ago) are the main causes of tomato cracking. The little black spots on some varieties of tomatoes are also caused by extreme moisture. The black spots are fine to eat and the cracks should be relatively easy to cut around.

 

Recipes

Your purple potatoes will make striking and healthy potato chips. Just slice them on a mandoline (or very thinly by hand), toss generously with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 12 or 15 minutes. Do the same with your kale leaves and then make some Baked Carrot Oven Fries to make a colorful cooked veggie platter. Serve with a yogurt dipping sauce by combining yogurt, lemon zest and juice, some minced garlic, chopped basil, salt and pepper. See, even chips and fries can come from a CSA.


Basil-infused olive oil is delicious and versatile – the little buds on your lemon basil are especially well-suited for infusing.


If you got a bag of long, slender red peppers this week, they are called Jimmy Nardello’s after an Italian immigrant and his wife who brought seeds with them when they came to Connecticut in 1887. Even though they look a little bit like chiles these are sweet Italian peppers, great fried in a pan with olive oil and garlic. Or try them in a Lentil and Sweet Red Pepper Soup. If you didn’t get these peppers this week do not worry, you will get them soon.


If you got a bag of small green peppers this week, they are called padron peppers after the region in Spain from which they originated. The absolute best way to enjoy these is very simple: throw them whole (stems and all) in a skillet of hot olive oil and cook until they are blistered on all sides. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Pick them up by the stem and enjoy. The smallest ones are very mild but the larger ones can be pretty spicy.


If you didn’t get peppers this week that means you got our first beautiful eggplants of the season. We are growing Italian globe eggplants, long Asian eggplants and slender white eggplants this year. Any of them can be enjoyed in the following recipes: Thai Red Curry Eggplant and Mustard Greens; Honey Roasted Eggplant with Chiles; Spicy Sesame Eggplant; Eggplant Caponata Crostini.