What a strange and beautiful day it has been on the farm today. This morning I awoke to a lightning streaked sky in the east. I remembered waking up in the middle of the night and hearing it rain and thunder a little. I was shocked to see it still somewhat stormy, plus I thought I had dreamed the rain. Inwardly I was groaning since today was a big harvest day. Rain has a way of making everything muddy. We were going to get muddy, the truck was going to get muddy, and the vegetables were going to get muddy. It was just going to be a tough harvest day.
Yet, as usual, the day was unlike what I was expecting. The sun came out as we gathered our harvest tools and supplies. The fields were a little slippery and the veggies were definitely on the muddy side, but nobody fell over in the mud. That is definitely a plus! Then this afternoon I found myself picking tomatoes in the hot sun with sweat dripping down my face. Quite the opposite of what I had thought today would bring.
Sometimes I dread the tomato harvest, only because there is so much to pick. It’s a big job and usually takes two afternoons to complete. But it can also be one of my favorite tasks on the farm. Right now the heirloom tomatoes are going crazy. Well, actually all the tomatoes are going crazy, but I’m most excited about the heirlooms. They take the longest to ripen and the skins crack easily. You only have a short window to pick an heirloom tomato. Today all the varieties of heirlooms were heavy with fruit. I couldn’t believe it. This is an excellent tomato year for me, maybe the best of my farming career. I thought I knew the varieties I been growing for 4 years, and I thought I knew them well. Yet, this year I feel like I’m meeting them for the first time! There’s a pink variety I grow called Rose de Berne. Every year it’s been a small to medium tomato that has either cracked before I picked it, or been too soft to take to market. I don’t know why I’ve kept it around all these years. Yet, each year I plant more Rose de Bernes. This time they paid off! The Rose tomatoes are amazing. They are twice the size they usually are and I’ve been taking more to market than all the previous years combined! Just when you think you know a tomato . . .
As the weather’s cooled down we’re starting to get some crops reappearing in the box. This week we have a small amount of broccoli and haukeri turnips! Pretty soon we’ll have lettuce and spinach again, maybe in a few weeks. Enjoy the box!
What’s in the Box:
Haukeri Turnips– Remember these!? Well, after a long, hot & dry summer these wonderful snacking turnips are back. They’re great for dipping into hummus or any of your favorite veggie dips. They have a great nutty flavor. Eat them raw in a salad or cook in a stir fry.
Chard– This leafy green sautes nicely with olive oil, garlic and onions. Just add some scrambled eggs and you have a healthy breakfast!
Broccoli– Thanks to the cooler weather we have broccoli again! It’s just starting to be ready so these heads of broccoli are somewhat smaller. But as the fall approaches we’ll be getting bigger heads. This is just the first! Yay for fall!
Potatoes-Enjoy these creamy potatoes!
Sweet Onions-Store these onions in the fridge. They have great flavor and can go in any dish.
Celery– This is the last of the celery for the season. I hope you haven’t grown tired of it! I’ve been using it in soups and I’ve been dehydrating some for the winter. You can use the tops to make a soup stock as well!
Tomatoes– More and more tomatoes! Enjoy the mix of heirlooms and slicing tomatoes!
Peppers– All the tomatoes in your box this week are sweet ones, no matter what shape they are. The long ones are Italian sweet peppers and the others are bell peppers.
Chives– these will go great with the potatoes or in the salad recipe below. Enjoy!
Cumin Scented Stir Fried Beef with Celery– from epicurious.com, feel free to add more veggies, like the onions and sweet peppers!
Frittata with Swiss Chard, Potatoes, and Fontina– from myrecipes.com, you can use whatever cheese you want in this recipe. Parmesan is always good!
Chard Enchiladas– from gourmetveggiemama.com
Stoplight Salad– from thelocalcook.com, my favorite summer salad, bar none. Use parsley, basil or cilantro for the herb. You can also use lime juice for the balsamic vinegar. Absolutely awesome