Echo Bend CSA Subscription Harvest, August 8, 2012


I’m taking a short break in the battle against bugs and weeds to do a little food preservation— pickles, soups, sauces, and jams are all on the agenda for the coming week. It’s a good way to justify procrastinating preparing for my class, which begins in less than 2 short weeks. Egad!

My tomato junkie habit is further fueled this week with a few more varieties ripening and undergoing the new variety taste test. Photos follow. If you want help identifying these babies in person, just let me know at pick-up time!

Wapsipinicon Peach Tomato
Sweet, mild, fuzzy little mater!
With no peaches growing on the trees this year, you can almost just pretend that you are eating a peach if you bite into one of these fuzzers whole…

Cherokee Purple
One of the first of the “black” cultivars of tomatoes — rumored to have originated over 100 years ago with the Cherokee.
Deep, dense, sweet.

Striped Roman

Amish Paste
Developed by the Amish near Lancaster, PA.
Meaty, low seeds/gel. Good for fresh eating or sauce. One of the varieties listed in Slow Food’s Ark of Taste.

Today while picking in the tomato vines, which are now over my head, I was overwhelmed today with a strong craving for gazpacho, so I grabbed a little of this, a little of that, and a lot of tomatoes and whizzed it all up in the blender for a cool, fresh, vibrant lunch…and dinner. So easy. To think I’d never eaten or made it before last year! Criminal!  I’m including a recipe this week so that none of you have the excuse of that transgression, either.

And hey, look!  Edamame!  This means “beer snack” or “beer friend” in Japanese, as they are regularly served lightly boiled and salted as the stand in for peanuts in bars in Japan. One of my kids favorite veggies. Recipe below!

You may also enjoy a sampling of ground cherries, which are the small, yellowish tiny-tomato-looking fruits encased in a yellow husk.  These are related to the tomato, but are sweet like fruit. We planted seeds several years ago after reading about them in Farmer Boy, and they spring up as volunteers all over the place now.

Do not confuse these with tomatillos, which you will also find as part of your Salsa Verde making bag.  These are larger than the ground cherry, green, but also encased in a little papery husk.  These make a killer green salsa (recipe below).  I packaged these in the same bag as the cilantro, as you can just throw both together in the blender to craft your salsa verde.

Sad news:  the squash bugs wiped out all of the summer and winter squash over the last week. I’m attempting to fight them in the melons and cucumbers, but they are voracious and destructive.  I was hoping to buy some squash from a nearby farm to give out to you at least once, but, unfortunately, I’m hearing similar stories from the other farmers I’ve checked with so far.  😦  It will be a rough winter for us, as we rely heavily on stored winter squash.

Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • broccoli, Blue Wind
  • carrots, Nantes  and Sugar Snaxx
  • cucumbers, Marketmore
  • edamame
  • garlic,  “Music”
  • Ground Cherries
  • Kale, Curly Winterbor or Lancinato
  • Onions, Copra sweet
  • Peppers, hot
  • Peppers, sweet
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes, Stupice, Violet Jasper, Sungold, German Orange Strawberry, Black from Tula, Purple Calabash, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Tigerella, Caspian Pink, Striped Roman, Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple, Wapsipinicon Peach
  • Cilantro

“Beer Friend” Salted Edamame:

Drop edamame pods in boiling, salted water. Boil just 5-10 minutes, until beans inside are just getting tender and the pod easily releases the beans.  Drain and salt well, toss.
Use your teeth to strip the beans right out of the pods.
Delicious snacking!

Gazpacho:  There are myriad versions of gazpacho. Take your pick from those below. But, really, don’t make it too complicated — just take fresh garden veggies and herbs and garlic and puree them raw, serve cold. A trick that friend taught me is to blend up some avocado in it, which makes it delightfully creamy.

Salsa Verde: — Delish with tortilla chips, over enchiladas, grilled chicken or steak, and eggs.
Remove husks from roughly a dozen tomatillos. Put in blender with bunch of cilantro, a clove or two of garlic, a squeeze of lime juice, and liberal sprinkling of salt.
If you like heat, add in some hot pepper, seeds removed.  Puree!
Add more salt, lime juice, or pepper to taste.
If too vibrant, you can puree in a little cucumber to mellow it out.

  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: melon and eggplant!

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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