August 3rd, 2021

 

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Eggplant, Green Beans, Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onion and Potatoes

 

Bread this week: Asiago OR Whole Wheat, 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 one week off in the coming quarter, date is To Be Determined

 

 

This Week on the Farm

It appears we may have a welcome cooling trend on its way starting next week.  Little more hot weather to the end of the week and then cooler.  Used to be that watching the weather was an art form that meant that someone who did it for a living might have something people didn’t already know, but now we all have the latest from around the world at our fingertips.  But here on the farm, we still take all the predictions with a grain of salt.  At a Peach Party a few years ago, I was talking to the weather anchor at Fox News (!) (Nice guy) and he said the models were pretty good out to 4 days and beyond that it is a toss of the dice.  Watching the predictions and realities since, I tend to agree with him with the caveat that I won’t bet the farm on that four day window of ‘pretty good’ at predictions. 

One of our best tools on the farm is emphasizing flexibility, as in ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’.   A couple of new ways of increasing flexibility and decreasing flexibility that we have begun to discover in these times of weather extremes have been to not plant all of a crop in the same area or at the same time.  Who knows what might happen at any specific place or time?  Record heat, sudden drought, new ground squirrel or jackrabbit populations, broken fencing, sudden power outage, sudden health changes, all these are part of our reality these days.  So we work to spread out the danger of crop losses to a wider diversity of crops.  Still, many of the summer crops that you are used to seeing from us are just gone.  Some of you noticed the loss of the mulberries.  They have been followed by a non-existent plum crop, very low volume of peaches, small and skimpy figs, and Asian pears and quince grazed halfway up the tree.  At times like this, I am so glad for the diversity and bounty of the farm, while in no way complacent.  We still have plenty

 

for your boxes and plenty to keep us busy!  One mental note for the coming years is emphasizing care and upkeep of our fruit trees.  They have really taken a hit from the drought and the resultant desperation of a large population of deer, ground squirrels, turkeys and jackrabbits.

We got some bad news about the old Royal Blenheim apricot trees on the banks of Putah Creek that we have leased this past year.  We are old friends with these trees, having farmed them for probably ten years in the last forty.  They provided a great crop of tasty apricots that many of you will remember from the May produce deliveries, as they have for anywhere from sixty to a hundred years.  Being on the banks of Putah Creek, the land they are planted on comes with pretty ironclad old time riparian water rights.  But in these trying times, nothing is the same.  It appears that the Solano Water District has the right to turn off even those water rights, for the first time in history, as far as I know.  As of late August, pumping from the creek into adjacent agricultural lands will no longer be allowed.  This puts those old trees at risk for several dry months, and it requires some new efforts on our part.  So we will be spending the next two or three weeks disking on the grass and weed cover, irrigating as close to the proposed termination as possible and then disking and cultivating the soil to create dust mulch over the entire orchard to conserve every drop of water under the soil surface for the trees.  We will see how it all turns out.  Stick around to see it all!  Meanwhile, it is certainly our pleasure to be able to bring you a full box of summer produce.  Enjoy it all.  Have a great week~ Jeff

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Grilled Zucchini

Source: Nancy Zimmerman from Taste of Home

 

4 medium zucchini

5 teaspoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-in. shells. Brush with 2 teaspoons oil; set aside. Chop pulp. In a large skillet, sauté pulp and onion in remaining oil. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add bread crumbs; cook and stir until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the mozzarella cheese, mint and salt. Spoon into zucchini shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Grill, covered, over medium heat until zucchini is tender, 8-10 minutes

 

Green Bean Potato Salad with Feta and Olives

Source: Adam and Joanne from Inspired Taste

 

1 pound small yellow or white potatoes

1 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (~4 cups)

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved

1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Salt and fresh black pepper

Cook Potatoes and Beans: Add potatoes to a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Season with salt — 1 teaspoon for every quart of water. Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Cook 15 to 20 minutes or you can easily pierce them with a fork. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. When the potatoes are done, transfer them to the ice bath. When cooled, remove potatoes from the water and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Bring the water that potatoes were cooked in back to a boil then add green beans. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green and crisp-tender. Set up a second ice bath. Transfer green beans to ice bath. Make Salad: Combine potatoes, green beans, olives, spring onion and the parsley in a large bowl. Make the dressing by whisking vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and olive oil until creamy. Add the feta cheese, stir well then season with salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Set the salad aside and wait 15 minutes before serving.

 

Sparkling Peach Cucumber Lemonade

Source: Pure Flavor

 

1 Cucumber, 2/3 coarsely chopped and ¼ sliced for garnish

2 Peaches

1 cup fresh lemon juice

2-3 mint leaves plus additional for decoration

¾ cup sparkling water

1 cup, plus 1-2 tbsp. of water

¾ cup sugar

In a small pot add the water, sugar, and mint leaves. Bring to a boil, then cook for a couple minutes until sugar dissolves, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside to let cool. In a blender, add almost all the peaches (leave a handful out for garnish), the coarsely chopped cucumber and water, blend until smooth. Strain the purée to remove any large chunks. In a pitcher, add the simple syrup (too taste), lemon juice, and peach purée. Stir to combine. Add sliced peaches, sliced cucumber and 5-6 mint leaves. Store in fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving add the sparkling water and serve over ice.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

Source: Marilyn Blankschien from Taste of Home

 

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream peanut butter, butter and brown sugar until blended. In another bowl, whisk 1-1/4 cups flour, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture. Beat just until mixture is sandy. Remove 1/2 cup crumb mixture for topping. To remaining mixture, beat in remaining flour, egg, vanilla and buttermilk. Stir in zucchini. Spread into a greased 9-in. round baking pan. Stir cinnamon into reserved topping. Sprinkle over batter; top with chocolate chips. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs, 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

 

Fresh Peach Crumb Bars

Source: Tricia from saving room for dessert

 

For the crust:

1 cup granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the peach layer:

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 large peaches, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For the icing: (optional)

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon milk (more or less for desired consistency)

Preheat oven to 350°F if using a glass pan, or 375°F for a metal pan.  Lightly grease or spray a 13x9-inch baking pan and set aside. For the crust: In a medium bowl whisk together 1 cup of sugar, 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter, blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the lightly beaten egg and mix until the dough starts to hold together, but is still crumbly. Gently press a little more than half the dough into the prepared pan.  OPTIONAL: you can also process the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the egg and pulse until the dough starts to hold together. For the peach mixture: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Add the diced peaches and toss to combine. Drizzle the lemon juice over the peaches and toss to coat.  Pour the peach mixture over the crust and spread evenly. Using your hands, press together handfuls of the remaining crumb topping to create clumps. Scatter the clumps and remaining crumbled topping over the fruit layer leaving some peaches showing through. If using a glass pan, bake at 350°F degrees for 50-55 minutes or until lightly browned.  If using a metal pan, bake at 375°F degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely then chill before cutting and icing. To prepare the icing: Whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract and milk. Drizzle on the bars just before serving.