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Archive for July, 2013

Things are looking very abundant in the fields these days! Some things to look forward to are Winter Squash, Cantaloupes, Honey Dews, and Watermelons!

One our children spotted and photographed this Sugar Baby Watermelon.

One of our children spotted and photographed this Sugar Baby Watermelon.

This week everyone will find a LARGE amount of Summer Squash. Our plants are producing faster than we can pick them. Looking over last year’s notes I see that the Yellow Crookneck was slow to grow but this year it’s over-producing! Perhaps it likes this strange Summer we’ve been having? Or these seeds from a different company are more vigorous? Or it likes it’s current position in the fields? There are too many variables to know for sure.

The good news is that the Summer Squash, at the larger size it currently is, will keep for several weeks. We did an experiment and left some in a basement and 3 weeks later only 1 of the dozen was rotted. So you don’t need to use all the Summer Squash up this week.

Don’t forget that you can grate it and freeze it for making Zucchini bread in the Winter. This week I grated it and added it to a Cherry Tomato salsa. You can also grate or cube it for salads, pasta dishes, casseroles, omelets… anything! Try adding small amounts to sauerkraut and other vegetable ferments.

Some more recipes for Summer Squash:

(Don’t forget to search the tags “summer squash recipes”, “zucchini recipe”, and “patty pan recipe” for more recipes.)

Top Summer Squash Recipes on Allrecipes.com

More Summer Squash Recipes, even desserts!, from Allrecipes.com

15 Spectacular Recipes for Zucchini, Patty Pan, Yellow Squash, and More!

How to use up Yellow Squash Recipes

There are many raw noodle recipes that use Zucchini instead of noodles for lasagne or other pastas. You can find a few here, here, here, and here.

This week’s harvest list includes:

– Summer Squash

– Cherry Tomatoes

– Snap Beans

– Eggplant

– Cucumbers

– Salad greens

– Kale, Collards, Chard

– Okra

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When we started putting up the Tomatoes using the Florida Weave, much too late to be honest, we discovered that there were ripe Tomatoes under the unruly plants!

Black Cherry Tomatoes have always been the big favourite so we planted a full row this year.

Black Cherry Tomatoes have always been the big favourite so we planted a full row this year.

There were some slicers ready, too!

There were some slicers ready, too!

And we noticed some strange Cucumbers in the row next door! These were a surprise for Wednesday Farm Members.

Suyo Long on the left, Poona Kheera on the right.

Suyo Long on the left, Poona Kheera on the right.

In an effort to have Cucumbers that aren’t as susceptible to pest and disease pressure we’re trialing all sorts of “strange” Cucumbers this year. I thought the yellow Poona Kheera were over-ripe pickling Cukes but to my surprise they were really sweet! Peel as you would a pickling Cuke. We taste-tested the Suyo Long and Lemon Cukes they are also sweet. Look for Striped Armenians and regular Armenian Cucumbers, too. Don’t be afraid to try something new as Cucumbers won’t last long!

At the downtown Windsor farmer’s market this Saturday you will find:

* a variety of Hot Peppers (limited quantities)

* Okra (green + red) (limited quantities)

* field-ripened Cherry Tomatoes (limited quantities)

* field-ripened Slicing Tomatoes (limited quantities)

* several varieties of Kale, Collards, and Chard

* Parsley (limited quantities)

* Basil (limited quantities)

* several varieties of Summer Squash – perfect for baking and making Zucchini bread! Grate and freeze the amount you need for recipes and you can make fantastic Zucchini bread all Winter long!

* Garlic

* fresh eating, hand-picked Snap Beans (Dragon, purple, yellow, red Swan)

* greenhouse-grown Certified Organic slicing Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Eggplant

* Certfied Organic Portabella Mushrooms and Brown Baby Bella mushrooms from Highline Mushrooms

Zucchini Bread Recipe

Prep: 15 min; Bake: 1 hr; Cool: 2 hr 10 min; 2 loaves, 24 slices each

3 cups shredded zucchini (2-3 medium)

1 2/3 cups sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose* or whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

1/2 cup raisins, if desired

1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat over to 350F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9 x 5 x 3 inches, with shortening.

2. Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide batter evenly between pans.

3. Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack.

4. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

*If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda, salt and baking powder

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This post has all kinds of recipe links in it that you’ll want to keep for future weeks. You can find them again by searching the tags I have set up for “summer squash recipe”, “okra recipe”, “eggplant recipe”, and “chinese eggplant recipe”. These crops are available now and won’t stop until we get a frost.

PRODUCE NOTES

SUMMER SQUASH. We grow a large variety of Summer Squash because there are so many different kinds to choose from! From week to week you will find:

Zucchini – Costata RomanescoZephyr, Dunja, Yellow Straightneck, Baby Tiger, Deema, Cocozelle

Patty Pan (aka, flying saucers) – SunburstYstar, Gstar, Bennings Green Tint (pictured below), and Patisson Panache Verte et Jaune. These are sweet and tender and perfect to eat raw when small. As they get larger their skin becomes hard and you can bake, or BBQ, as you would a Winter Squash.

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Crookneck – Yellow Crookneck. As seen in the picture below. They can get quite large and they look like (inedible) Gourds. They are only a bit harder to cut through than usual and if you remove the skin they are just as sweet and tender as a smaller Summer Squash. I wonder if they will keep longer with the harder outer skin?

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This post from last year has more information and pictures on Summer Squash.

OKRA. We grow 2 types – Clemson Spineless and Carmine Splendor (a red type we are growing for the first time) but with the way our luck went this year we lost of lot of the red variety so there are only a couple of plants. The way I prepare Okra is to dehydrate it and add it to a soup mix I make all Winter long, it’s a great thickener and is a beautiful star shape when cut. We have a friend who eats them raw or makes gumbo or curry. In the recipes section below you can find a variety of options on eating Okra and hopefully you discover your own favourite way to prepare Okra. You can find out what wikipedia has to say on Okra here.

CHINESE EGGPLANT. Not the same as the large Italian Eggplant (which will be coming along soon). Chinese Eggplant is long and slender and sweet. For our first year growing this type we chose Orient Express and Orient Charm. Some benefits of Chinese over Italian are discussed here.

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FRESH EATING SNAP BEANS. I can’t sing the praises of Dragon Beans enough. They take longer to ripen but they produce all Summer long, have the most beautiful colouring, and taste better the larger they are! Look for our 2 other new snap beans – Red Swan and a filet-type Coban – as well as our our regular yellow, green, and purple poded beans.

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RECIPES

Summer Squash: Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas, Zucchini Fritters, Sunny Summer Squash Soup, Summer Squash and Corn Chowder, Baked Summer Squash with Pesto Gratin , National Zucchini Day.

Eggplant: Eggplant Cornucopia, Chinese Sauteed Eggplant, How to Cook Purple Chinese Eggplant, 7 Asian Eggplant Recipes. I will add more recipes for Italian Eggplant when they start showing up in the baskets.

Okra: Crunchy Baked Okra, 10 Best Okra Recipes, Slime-free Okra, All Recipes has a plethora of suggestions.

Other recipes: 31 Things To Do With Confusing CSA Vegetables, Falling Hard for Chard.

Any of these veggies can be dehydrated or frozen and later added to soups and soups or stir fries. I had great success with freezing without blanching. Another idea is to grind the veggies after they are dehydrated to make a veggie powder that can then be added to anything and everything!

Wednesdays pick list (items may vary with availability and location):

Summer Squash

Snap Beans

Chinese Eggplant

Okra

Garlic

Chard

Salad Mix

Parsley

Please share your favourite recipes for Okra, Eggplant, Summer Squash, or anything else you get in your baskets. Are there preservation tips you have? We’d love to hear how you’re enjoying your produce and would love if you share your successes with other members.

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The “for certain” Harvest List (may vary depending upon location and availability)

Garlic

Summer Squash

Lettuce and Salad Mix

The “not certain” Harvest List

the last of the Peas

Beets

Onions

Kale / Collards / Chard

Basil and other herbs

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Pick List (for certain):

Please note that amounts and types of produce may change, are subject to availability, and when there is a choice, are first come first serve.

fresh uncured Garlic

the last of the Peas

Salad and Lettuce Mix with Nasturtiums

a mix of Kale, Collards, and Rainbow Chard

Carrots (for Regular and Large only)

Summer Squash (a large variety of Zucchini, also Yellow Crookneck and Patty Pan)

Pick List (maybe):

Daikon Radishes

Turnips and Beets

Broccoli florets

Recipe: Try this Massaged Kale Salad with shredded (or diced or sliced) Turnips, Daikon Radishes, Summer Squash, Peas, and Garlic.

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Please note: variations will occur to this list, when there is a choice of veggies it’s first come first serve.

SMALL BASKETS

1 Napa Cabbage $3.50

1 bunch of Carrots $3

1 Garlic $2.50

0.5 LBS Peas $3

0.3 LBS Salad and Lettuce mix (with Nasturtiums) $3

REGULAR BASKETS

1 Napa Cabbage $3.50

1 bunch of Carrots $3

1 bunch of Turnips or Beets $3

1 Garlic $2.5

1 LBS Peas $6

0.6 LBS of Salad and Lettuce Mix (with Nasturtiums) $6

1 bunch of Radishes OR 1 bunch of Cilantro $2

LARGE BASKET

1 Napa Cabbage $3.50

2 bunches of Carrots $6

1 bunch of Beets (or Turnips) $3

3 LBS of Peas $18

4 heads of Garlic $10

2 Summer Squash (Costata Romanesco Zuchini) $1

0.8 LBS of Salad and Lettuce mix (with Nasturtiums) $8

1 bunch of Cilantro $2

Need some recipes for how to use up all the fresh peas? This site has a large variety of recipes to try.

Ehow provides many recipes on blanching Sugar Snap Peas as well as freezing without blanching and canning Peas.

Courtesy: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to-buy-store-shell-cook-fresh-peas.aspx

  • When buying fresh peas, remember that 1 pound of peas in their pods yields about 6 ounces (1 cup) shelled peas.
  • Don’t throw those pods away—make broth. After you’ve shelled all those peas, save the empty pods for making a simple pea broth, which you can use to enhance the flavor of soups, stews, and braises, including the ones here. To make the broth, put the pods in a large pot and cover with water by at least 1 inch. Add a pinch of salt and a roughly chopped onion. Simmer for about 25 minutes, strain, and discard the pods. The broth will keep for two days in the refrigerator and for about a month in the freezer.

Our previous post has links to recipes for Napa Cabbage and information on the uncured, fresh Garlic you’re receiving this week. Personally we like to eat the Garlic fresh!

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