Share Notes July 22 & 24
CSA Share Notes:
This summer weather has been so strange- we welcomed a wonderful rain shower this week that ushered in cool weather. As the rain arrived, we rushed to harvest tomatoes and squash, knowing the rain could cause many of them to burst or spoil. We got as many as we could between showers, but the yield was a lot smaller on almost everything than we had hoped this week. We chose to halt delivery to about 1/3 of our members that live furthest from the farm (with no charge, of course!), and only provide shares to a smaller group this week to make sure your shares are great (and that choice meant your shares are really huge this week!). When we need to make these kinds of adjustments, we always try to ensure to spread the losses around so everyone is getting equal treatment. This means if you ARE receiving a share this week, you might anticipate that you WON’T get one later this season if we have to make this choice again.
And the slow summer crops keep rolling in little by little. This week we are harvesting our very first Orange Valencia tomatoes and San Marzano tomatoes!
Here’s this week’s vegetable line up:
- Slicing Tomatoes — For the Large shares. You may have received Orange Valencia or Big Beef. Some of these will need a few days on the counter to complete ripening. The 4.5 inches of rain we received Monday afternoon caused many, many of our tomatoes to split too badly to send to you, which meant much of this week’s harvest was lost. There are lots more ripening, so we are eager for next week to see what we get.
- Cherry Tomatoes — This week we have enough of our famous, sungold cherry tomatoes to send them to all the Regular shares. These plants are absolutely covered in flowers and little green fruits so we should have huge bounty soon.
- San Marzano Tomatoes — for all the Mini shares. These ripen unevenly, from the bottom up, as do many of the heirloom varieties. And it can be a bit tricky to find the sweet spot of when to eat heirlooms. You may need to give them a couple of days to ripen on the counter if you have a good amount of green on the top of the tomato, but know that you should not expect them to be fully red, tip to toe. There will likely still be a little bit of under-ripness near the top when the majority of the tomato is at perfect eating ripeness, and you’ll just cut that part off and discard. If you wait until they are fully red at the top, the bottom half may be over ripe.
- Bell Peppers— For everyone! A bit of purple and a bit of green.
- Italian Peppers— For the Large and regular shares. These ultra long slender peppers are sweet, like a bell, though they resemble certain spicy pepper types. We love these in fresh salads with olives and feta, for snacking with hummus, or atop a home made pizza.
- Jalapenos— A nice handful for everyone this week.
- Poblanos— enough for the Large shares this week. Remember, we never know just how spicy these are going to be until we cut into them, so watch out! We love these in a batch of southern cheesy cornbread. If you’ve got some fresh local purple hull peas you’re enjoying, whip up a skillet of our favorite cornbread recipe from Dallas area chef, Graham Dodds to go with it! This recipe divides into thirds with very little brain power, and 1/3 batch makes a perfect 9in cast iron. We do make two adjustments for our family’s preferences: We cut the sugar down a LOT, using 1/4 c, rather than 1 c., and it’s still plenty sweet enough, and we swap in Bobs’ Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free baking flour for the white flour to make this dish gluten free. Best cornbread ever, no lie.
- Zucchini— Just enough for the Regular shares this week. The zucchini declined a lot recently so we aren’t sure how much longer we will have it, but we just started a whole bunch more. We could have them ready in the late summer CSA or they may not produce till early fall, we’ll see!
- Summer Squash— Pattypan for the regulars, then a few yellow for everyone. There are three different types, crook neck, straight neck, and Zephyr, which is half lime green, half yellow. The zephyr are not only beautiful, but our new favorite in the kitchen.
- Cucumbers— plenty for everyone. If any of your cukes are too large for slicing and eating, don’t toss them! They’ll make a delicious pitcher of refreshing cucumber water to help you hydrate in this heat.
- Basil—Enough for the A few leafy stems of Italian Genovese basil for everyone. **READ BASIL STORAGE TIPS BELOW** Today’s lunch at Red Moon Farm is peach, cucumber, tomato, and basil salad with, pine nuts, goat cheese, and lots of olive oil and balsamic. Such a treat every summer!
- Onions— A few for everyone!
Veggie Storage tips:
Remember, treat basil like flowers, not vegetables: *do not store it in the fridge.* It prefers to be in a nice cool spot in your kitchen, away from the sun, stem down in a fresh glass of water. Trim the stems and refresh the water each day, and your basil will last at least a week or more. If it’s wilty when you receive it, fully submerge it in a sink of cold water for an hour or two to help it perk up, then trim the stem before putting it in a glass of water.
All your peppers, squash, zucchini, and cukes will keep longest stored in the fridge sealed up in produce bags. Potatoes, tomatoes, and onions prefer a dry, room temperature spot, away from direct light (but don’t put your potatoes in the complete dark or they’ll sprout!). Everything will need a thorough washing before cooking, but leave the dirt on until you’re ready to use them to prevent spoilage.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Send us a note or post a comment of how you’ve used your CSA share.
Your farmers, Jess & Justin
Regular Share top left to right: Basil, bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, (2nd row) Italian Peppers, Jalapenos, white kennebec potatoes, peaches, (3rd row) Garlic, onions, pattypan squash, sungolds, and cucumbers