August 10th, 2021

 

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Green Bell Peppers, Peaches, Green Onions, and Shishitoes.

 

 

Bread this week: lavain OR Rosemary Foccacia, your choice of one

 

 

!!!! NEW QUARTER !!!!

 

Fall Quarter Payment is Due August 9th

 

~The new quarter starts August 17th and ends November 9th

~Please let us know if you DO OR DO NOT plan on continuing.

~Please let us know as soon as possible

~Please do not leave payments at drop sites

 

We will be taking the Week of September 14th off

 

 

 

This Week on the Farm

Happy (almost) mid August! For me August is the most challenging month in summer. The initial thrill of stone fruit coming and the arrival of summers numerous gifts has started to wane. The peach season is starting to end, the days of Apricots are long past, and the excitement at the amount we are harvesting has turned to exhaustion at the amount we have to sort each evening. My thoughts start turning to fall, my mind is thinking that soon it will be September, and maybe this September will be cool, and shoot- after that is October, and things are definitely winding down by then. So here I am on the 10th of August, thinking I’m almost to Halloween, conveniently forgetting that August and September are long, hot months.
              August also brings tomatoes. Last year I was the primary tomato harvester. This meant I spend many an 8-10 hour days bent over the plants, rooting through the leaves to find the big fat fruit. Lugging my 5 gallon buckets up and down the rows and sweating out more than I could possibly drink thanks to the humid microclimate that you find in a field of tomato rows. But this year is different! In June a crew of 3 guys helped us harvest our Apricot crop in Winters, and then they come to our trees and picked that fruit too. It felt a bit like a miracle swooping in at the last minute. Last year, as many of you know, was a HUGE year, and we asked a lot of our crew and ourselves. My dad picked zucchini for about 70 days straight, without more than 2 or 3 Sundays off in total. I spent my time in the trees, flowers, and then of course the tomatoes. Claire, mom, and Celia were round the clock in the shop, sorting, packing and selling. It was monumental, and this year was shaping up to be the same, and I think we were all bracing for it, but were unsure as to whether or not we could pull it off for another year. My dad had already said that he didn’t think he could spend those two months in the squash again. Last year I was excited by the challenge of harvesting all those tomatoes, but this year, knowing how hard, long, and hot the job was, felt a lot less excited. On top of that, Celia has had to stop working here to support her husband during a health crisis.
              So when the crew of guys, led by Francisco’s son Arturo, finished the Apricots and asked what else they could do, we all let out a huge sigh of relief. With 3, sometimes 4 guys, they have come in and in shifted the workload in a very significant way. They are harvesting the tomatoes every 2-3 days, they have been diligently keeping our pepper and eggplant rows clean and harvested. Francisco has a companion in the cherry tomatoes, and they are bringing in 15-20 boxes a day! Rogelio, whom historically has borne the brunt of our workload, has been free to work in the irrigation and maintenance of our crops. I have pivoted into the shop to help fill Celia’s role, and help Claire manage the sorting and packing.
              The added help has been so important for us both mentally and physically, that I have found myself thinking about the universe and fates. About how, in only the last 5 years, I have seen us face seemingly impossibilities before us and just as I begin to don my stubborn face which I will ride head on into failure, someone or something appears to aid us. It is an amazing and terrifying feeling to begin to allow myself to begin to trust that things will work out. Serendipity is a slippery slope leading away from own-ness and control, and not a place I feel terribly comfortable in. However, in these moments, when I can see all the cogs of the farm moving, and we are once again miraculously surviving the dog days of August, it is almost impossibly not to consider that there is someone looking out for us and ensuring our survival for another day. Have a great week~ Alison

 

 

Moroccan Taktouka

Source: Amanda from MoracMama

 

4 tomatoes - skins removed and chopped up

2 large green peppers

1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped or pressed

1 teaspoon salt)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/3 cup olive oil

Traditionally these are roasted over an open gas flame until the outside is completely black. My mother in law then tosses them into a plastic bag that is sealed until the steam inside loosens the skins and it can easily be pulled away from the flesh. On gas stoves in the US this works great. This is how I generally roast these peppers. You could also do them under the broiler of an oven on a cookie sheet but make sure to watch carefully and turn them often so that they do not catch on fire. To Remove Tomato Skin: If you are good at peeling these with a paring knife go ahead, unfortunately I am not so good. Instead place a pot of water on high until boiling and score each tomato with an X. Once water is boiling put the tomatoes in and cook for 2-3 minutes. The skins will become loose and peel right off. You do not have to peel the tomatoes if you don't want for this recipe. Once the skin of the vegetables is removed, chop both the tomatoes and peppers into small pieces. In a large pan pour 2/3 of the olive oil and bring to medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes and then add the green peppers and tomatoes. Add the spices to the tomatoes and peppers. Continue to cook on medium high stirring occasionally until the the tomatoes are very soft and can easily be mashed. This may take less time depending on whether or not the tomatoes were soft from removing the skins. Mash the tomatoes with a fork or spoon and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced. If it becomes to dry add the leftover oil. Once it has reached a consistency you like remove from heat.

 

Creamy Cherry Tomato & Summer Squash Pasta

Source: Cookie+Kate

 

½ pound whole grain rotini or fusilli or penne pasta

1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes

2 medium yellow squash, quartered vertically and then sliced into ¼-inch wide wedges

1 medium zucchini, quartered vertically and then sliced into ¼-inch wide wedges

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled

1 small clove garlic, pressed or minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. On the baking sheet, toss the whole cherry tomatoes and sliced zucchini and squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as possible). Roast for about 25 minutes, tossing halfway, until the cherry tomatoes have burst and the squash is tender. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. While the pasta is hot, add the lemon juice, butter, goat cheese, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot. Add about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and gently toss the pasta until the ingredients are evenly mixed together and the pasta is coated in a light sauce (add more reserved cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Once the tomatoes and squash are out of the oven, add them to the pot along with all of the tomato juices. Gently toss once again to combine. Season to taste with salt (I added more than ½ teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper, then sprinkle chopped basil over the pasta and divide into individual serving bowls. Serve immediately.

 

Cucumber Tomato Curry

Source: thesteamingpot

 

2-3 Cucumbers

3 Tomatoes

1 Green chili

1/2 teaspoon Red chili powder

1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon Sugar

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds

a pinch Asafoetida powder

2 teaspoons Oil

Cut the cucumber into 1-cm cubes. Cut the tomato into similar sized chunks. Chop the green chili finely. Heat the oil in a pan. When hot, set heat to low and add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and asafoetida powder. When the cumin seeds have crackled, add chopped green chilies. Add turmeric powder next, follow immediately with the chopped cucumber and tomatoes. Stir the vegetables. Add red chili powder, salt and sugar and mix well. Cook covered on medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of water if it gets too dry. Stir a couple of times in between to make sure the vegetables cook evenly. Take cucumber tomato curry off the heat when the vegetables have softened but still retain their shape. This should take around 6-7 minutes. Cucumber tomato curry is ready to eat. Serve hot with chapatis.

 

 

Potato-Scallion Latkes

Dource: Lisë Stern from Cooking Light

 

 ½ cups shredded peeled potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)

½ cup finely chopped green onions

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 

¾ teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites 

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Combine potato and onions; squeeze moisture from potato mixture over a sieve. Combine potato mixture, flour, salt, and egg whites in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 12 equal portions, and squeeze out any remaining liquid. Discard liquid. Shape each portion into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 6 patties to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 6 patties.

 

Peach Jalapeno Margaritas

 

For the jalapeño simple syrup:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 of a fresh jalapeno, sliced in half

For the margaritas:

2 ripe peaches, pitted and diced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup jalapeño simple syrup

1-2 shots of silver tequila

optional:

extra lime juice for the rim of the glass

salt or sugar for the rim of the glass

make the simple syrup: in a small saucepan combine the sugar, water and jalapeño. Bring to a simmer while smashing the jalapeño with a wooden spoon to extract the flavor. Once it boils, remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a container and chill in the fridge until ready to use. To make the margaritas: blend the diced peaches, lime juice, 1/4 cup of the jalapeño simple syrup, and tequila in a blender. Add a handful of ice cubes and blend until slushy. Enjoy garnished with lime and jalapeño slices.