This week’s share features the return of the sweet onion!
- Sweet Onions – “Ailsa Craig”
- Collard Greens
- Lettuce – “Samantha”
- Summer Squash
- Tomatoes – Slicers & Larger Heirlooms
- Sweet Peppers
Summer is in full force still with good quantities of tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers and squash cruising into the packing shed. Peppers are starting to ripen up as well. Note that peppers with green on them will ripen into a fuller color if you leave them at room temperature for a few days. The flavor improves with the color. We pick them a little early because there is more chance of pest, disease, or rot issues if we let them get to full maturity on the plant.
Collards and kale don’t usually love the summer heat. They tend to get tougher and less sweet. However this summer I’ve been giving them extra water recently and the collards and some of the kale is coming back nicely. Also, the variety of collards we’re growing (‘Yellow Cabbage Collards’) is actually supposed to reach peak flavor during late summer. That would be now! So I figured we should give it out in the share and see what everyone thinks. My take was that they are pretty sweet raw right now, so hopefully that translates when cooked.
Josh recently brought one of his new farm hand carts to the farm to try out. It’s super light and easily maneuverable. One of the unique things about it is you can make different tops for it depending on what you want to do with it. Here it is pictured with just a flat top – good for carrying bins of produce or tools.
Some folks have mentioned wanting to pickle the cucumbers in the share but not knowing where to start. Here are a few options:
- Cookwithwhatyouhave.com has a recipe for quick refrigerator pickles – click on “pickles” on the right hand tab once you’re logged in.
- I love this site thekitchn.com and here is there take on easy refrigerator pickles –http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-refrigerator-pickles-83971
- Bounty from the Box Cookbook has this simple quick pickle recipe:
Barely Pickled Cucumbers
Makes about 3 cups
Author Note: Kids love these crisp, salty, slightly acid, and yet sweet cucumber slices, which make excellent refreshers on hot summer days. You can make this recipe with whatever ingredient proportions best tickle your taste buds.
- Several large cucumbers
- 3 parts water
- 1 part white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt, to taste
- Sugar, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Generous amount of fresh dill, slightly crushed
- Fill a large container that has a cover about half full of water. Add the vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper, and dill in the proportions desired (taste a few times to check acidity, sweetness, and saltiness).
- Wash and dry the cucumbers (peeling is optional). Slice the cucumbers as thinly as possible and add to the brine.
- Cover and refrigerate. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. These cucumbers taste better on the second day, and will keep for 3 to 5 days. As you use up the slices, you can add fresh cucumber to the brine.
Variation: For spicier cucumbers, add 2 or 3 slices of jalapeño pepper.
— Mi Ae Lipe, as appears in Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook, by Mi Ae Lipe
And if you’re feeling adventurous, here’s a recipe for Lacto-Fermented Pickled Vegetables: