Many of our fall transplanted crops, like broccoli and cauliflower, have been tended this week with weeding. Sometimes we have to weed crops by hand, but other times we can utilize our tractors and implements to do the job of weeding more efficiently. One such implement is the “finger weeder” which runs right next to the plant’s stem to get rid of weeds.
Tiffany in the “hot seat”: getting ready to steer the finger weeder
Our student apprentices are also back in class, which means it is quieter around the farm. Their exodus also signals to us that autumn is around the corner. A preview of fall is in your share this week: greens and winter squash.
We have numerous changes to our U-Pick offerings. Please read the information below, as some items will be disappearing after this week and other items in different locations are available. As always, if you have questions about U-Pick items, don’t hesitate to ask a farm staff member. We ask that you refrain from driving your vehicle to the fields.
What’s In Your Share
For August 28th, you’ll receive:
+ Greens Mix (Kale, Collards, Chard)
+ Delicata Winter Squash
The following crops are available for U-Pick:
+ Flowers – LAST CHANCE! Most of the flowers will be mowed by Tuesday. A few flowers, like Zinnias, may still be around a little longer, but everything else will be gone.
+ Okra – LAST CHANCE! These will be mowed by Tuesday.
+ Basil and Dill Flowers (both in 5th field on left) – LAST CHANCE! These will be mowed by Tuesday.
+ Cherry Tomatoes – These plants are loaded with fruit! Now is the time to get them!
+ Hot Peppers – NEW! Hot Peppers are in the 7th field on the right side. The row with Hot Peppers will be clearly marked with a U-Pick sign. We collect data on the harvests of other pepper varieties, so ONLY HOT PEPPERS may be U-Picked at this time! See map image below.
+ Eggplant – NEW! Eggplants are in the 7th field on the right side. This is the same field as Hot Peppers. Again, other peppers between eggplant and the hot peppers are NOT for U-Picking! See map image below.
+ Green Bush Beans – NEW! Beans are located behind the tunnels for picking. See map image below. They are young and tender!
+ Basil – NEW! This basil is also located behind the tunnels. See map image below. While the plants are fairly diseased, you should probably be able to find a few nice leaves to enjoy with your tomatoes.
Please refrain from driving your vehicles to the fields as we often need the drive-rows for tractors and you may not be aware of irrigation crossing the drive-rows that should not be driven upon.
Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!
+ Radishes make their way into the share again. French D’Avignon Radishes are 3-4″ long, slender, and mostly red in color but with a white tip. Radishes are a good source of vitamins A, C, potassium, zinc, and dietary fiber. Roasting radishes will bring out their sweetness, or add them raw to salads for more “crunch and punch.” Try radish crudités (a raw appetizer combined with a dipping sauce) — soak them in ice water for 20 minutes, drain and pat dry. Then dip the radishes in softened butter followed by coarse sea salt, and enjoy! You can also try pairing them with chives or parsley from our U-Pick herb field. Don’t forget that the radish greens are edible! Mix them with the Arugula for a spicy salad or mellow these peppery greens by sautéing them (see recipe below).
+ Delicata Squash is the first winter squash for your share this year! This sweet squash contains lots of beta carotene, vitamins A and C, and only has 20 calories for half a cup. Unlike many of the other winter squashes, Delicata has a thin skin that doesn’t need to be peeled off if you don’t want to go to the trouble. Try it roasted with salt or cinnamon, or stuffed (see recipe below),
Stuffed Delicata Squash
From Eating Well magazine
2 small delicata squash, about 12 oz each, halved and seeded
6 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
8 oz lean ground beef (90% or more)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup nonfat or low fat plain yogurt
4 tsp toasted pepitas
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 2 tsp oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Place facedown on a large baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned on the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring bulgur and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
4. Heat the remaining 4 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beef, chili powder, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bulgur and cook 1 minute. Stir in yogurt.
5. Spoon about 3/4 cup filling into each squash half. Serve sprinkled with pepitas.
Serves 4, 1/2 squash each.
Sauteed Radishes with Radish Greens or Arugula
From Farmer John’s Cookbook
This is a fantastically simple recipe, because we rarely think to COOK our radishes, let alone eat the radish greens. Both of which can spice-up your dinner table. The peppery bite mellows when cooked, but if you want the best of both worlds (the succulent sweetness of cooked radishes and the bite of raw radishes) add some mustard or horseradish or cayenne to the dish.
1/4 cup butter
1 pound radishes, quartered
4 cups radish greens or arugula
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the radishes; cook, stirring constantly, until tender but still crips, about 5 minutes depending on size. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
2. Put greens in skillet with the wash water still clinging to the leaves. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until wilting, 2-3 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and radishes to the skilet; stir until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Smoky Tomato Salsa
The season for making fresh salsa will soon be past! Take advantage of the tomato and peppers in your share while you can.
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and quartered
2 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, parsley, or basil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the tomatoes, green onion, bell pepper, garlic, and your herb of choice in a food processor or blender. Pulse to blend and chop the ingredients. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large bowl. Mix in the olive oil, vinegar, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to blend the flavors.