Surpise! It’s School Time! Week # 12

It has been an exciting weekend and early in the  week. The farm itself is plodding along. We got quite a bit of rain yesterday, which was a surprise! The tomatoes are growing, the kale looks good again, we’re transplanting and seeding in the fields, and the weeds are continuing to try and take over the farm. You know, the usual.

The excitement started Friday afternoon, between my market in Lake Bluff and the CSA pickup in the afternoon. As I was taking time to catch my breath and eat a little I got a call from the Horticulture Department Chair at the College of Lake County. Turns out they are a little short staffed this fall semester and she was wondering if I would be available to teach a class on Organic Growing and Sustainable Methods in Horticulture, and by the way the class starts this Monday. Holy Smokes!

So after a crash course on the previous instructor’s plans, I have set out to teach a semester class on organics and sustainability at the local community college. I have to say I am very excited, scared, but excited. This will be a new experience! How do you like that? Your farmer just became an adjunct faculty member at CLC!

Enjoy the box!

What’s in the Box

Green Beans– once again we are getting green beans from the Learning Farm at Prairie Crossing. I don’t know how they did it, but they are having a bumper crop!

Italian Sweet Peppers-These are the long red peppers in this week’s box. They’re sweet!! Not hot at all! I have been waiting and waiting for these peppers to be ready. Now, they’re here!! They are by far my favorites. Enjoy

Shallots– These petite teardrop shaped bulbs pack in a whole lot of flavor. Shallots are often characterized as a cross between garlic and onion. They have a smooth delicious flavor that takes any dish to the next level!

Cucumbers– These veggies always have a refreshing effect on me. I love them, even when it isn’t 100 degrees outside.

Celery– This vegetable adds such a bright and fresh flavor to salads, soups, and stir fries. Though the stalks are small, they pack a punch. You’ll never want celery from the store again.

Potato– Another round of these tasty spuds!

Purslane– Remember this crazy green from two weeks ago? It has reddish stems with rounded green leaves. It’s high in beta carotene and omega 3 fatty acids. Chop it up into a salad or just lightly saute it. It can substitute for spinach in a recipe too.

Sweet Onion– I love these versatile onions. Sometimes I carmelize them, sometimes I roast them, sometimes I chop them raw into a dish.

Tomato– More tomatoes! Yay! Remember to store them stem side down on the counter. Enjoy the different colors!

Thyme– This is one of my all time favorite herbs, and it’s not just because the name lends itself to a world of puns. I love thyme in my soups, in potatoes, salad dressings and tomato dishes. It’s a major part of Italian seasonings. Nothing beats fresh thyme!

Recipes

Grilled Shrimp with Shallots and Fresh Thyme- from foodandwine.com

Gazpacho Recipe– from foodnetwork.com

Tomato, Cucumber, Purslane Salad– from simplyrecipes.com

Green Bean and Celery Salad– from foodnetwork.com

Roasted Thyme Potato Slices– from food.com

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