Sept 13, 2022
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX Tomatoes, Apples, Sweet Peppers, Basil, Serrano peppers, Cucumbers, and Zucchini.
Bread this week: Puligese OR Lavain, your choice of one
Fall Break for Good Humus
NO CSA DELIVERY TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 20TH OR SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24TH
SLEWS Needs Mentors—at Good Humus and beyond!
The Student Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship (SLEWS) program works with groups of high school students on habitat restoration projects on regional farms and ranches. Over the last 20 years, they've planted over 140 miles of hedgerows, including some at Good Humus.
SLEWS will be planting another hedgerow here at the farm this year, and they are seeking adult mentors to work with the students. SO if you're interested in connecting with the youth in your community, planting habitat for wildlife, capturing carbon from the atmosphere and working in some beautiful places, this is the volunteer opportunity for you! Besides the project at Good Humus, there will be projects in Sacramento, Solano and San Joaquin counties.
No experience necessary! There's an info session at noon on Thursday, Sept. 15. If you're interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week on the farm
A Run for the Roses
…. And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
You fate is delivered
Your moment's at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And it's high time you joined
In the dance……
And it's something unknown
That drives you
And carries you home…
Songwriters: Dan Fogelberg
We are so close yet so far from the ribbons end, our hearts are pumping hard, muscles are tiring, and the mind is numb, but there is still that one last push at the turn to then go full out to the finish.
This last Friday night after the week of inferno we gathered round the charcuterie board which has become a beacon of light for a very long day, of a very long week, at a point in a very long season. Friday nights for probably 40 years was a bleak point; with a dinner of popcorn and sardines…if we were lucky there might be a Tupperware of leftovers to look forward to. Now instead of a dismal end to an exhausting day, if there are left over’s they are reconstructed into a creative unique dish and are joined with special cheeses, olives and salamis, fun crackers, and some crostini concoction with seasonal toppings presented in the most artistic beautiful fashion along with fresh fruits or some delectable abundance from the farm. With a toast of four glasses of wine Ali, Claire, Jeff and I gave the most grateful thanks for surviving the week of Hell. The 115 degrees
temperatures meant that the crew was asked to go home at 1pm, leaving what did not get finished for us. We cut back as much as possible on orders, took less to the hot market, but there has been an incredible abundance of harvest, beautiful tomatoes, squash and peppers, now coming into fall with the reds, yellows and gold peppers which is one of my favorites.. And the cucumbers, oh the cucumbers, are the main stay of almost every meal as the foundation ingredient in the cucumber, tomato, and onion salad garnished with an avocado and mozzarella cheese.
So here we are at the large curve in the race track, rounding the corner towards fall and we are starting what is the third planting of summer. Beautiful fields produce tender squash, cucumbers that had to be battled from rabbits, deer, squirrels, skunks, turkeys and who know what else is lurking out there in the wild parts of Good Humus looking for fresh tender food. We are tired, but with the new planting it is rejuvenating to see, fresh to the eye and knowing that we will have a harvest of produce into the fall.
That is not where it ends, a sneak peak of that ribbon, as Ali and Jeff working diligently to get the winter planting in the ground. With the ever present looming knowledge of water depletion they have brought in not new systems, but doing an incredible job of setting up the field’s with drip irrigation before the first seed is sown. Usually there is reliability with the rainbird sprinklers to bring up the seeds, but they take a lot more water to run, bring up more weeds, compact the soil and you have to move them to get the entire field irrigated. The drip tape is time consuming, and limiting when doing tractor cultivation, but the water goes right where needed, on the entire field any time. It is a two to three week process getting the fields ready and planted and the heat came just at the end. The fear was that the heat would just kill anything that was trying to germinate in the 40 beds of winter plantings. The stadium was on the edge of our seats, wondering if those little seeds would emerge round that corner. The crowd was standing with cheers when they saw the little heads coming up, radishes and lettuce always in the lead with kale, broccoli, cabbages, kohlrabi, and carrots following in the end. To make sure that all is for not, fences had to be moved and to deter those smaller critters a second fence was placed round the bottom. Last week during the heat, all of this was of immediate importance to ensure that we would have a winter harvest and not only were the girls seen working late but also out on Saturday or Sunday to make headway on these tasks.
As we raised our glasses in celebration of yet another week’s end, especially during some of the hottest days ever, I was a proud parent of two incredible daughters. They could have chosen to be an artist on the east coast, or an event planner extraordinaire, or a photographer for National Geographic, or an investigative journalist or who knows what else. Yet there they are taking on this farm, knowing what it takes, and it sure isn’t for the faint of heart. Taking the lead when the two old horses are flagging, wondering if they can see to the end of this season. Our daughters too wondering why they are working so hard, yet they can carry this farm like no others could, they have seen it done, have their own minds for change, and their unique strengths that combine to make a duo team that will bring this farm to new exciting evolutions. Glasses poised with a depth of gratitude that cannot be truly spoken~ Annie
Prawns in Apple Basil Curry
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
20 large prawns, peeled, deveined and tails removed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1 onion, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves, stems removed, plus a few sprigs for garnish
Rice, for serving
Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the prawns, sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute until the prawns turn bright red and the edges are golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm. Add the butter to the prawn pan and when it begins to foam, add the ginger, apple slices and onions. Cook until the apples are caramelized, about 10 minutes, stirring to break up the apple chunks. Add the garam masala, coriander seeds, paprika, turmeric, chili flakes and a pinch of salt and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the apple cider and chicken stock and reduce by one-third, about 10 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, stir well and continue to reduce until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon; this should take 3 to 5 minutes. Add the prawns and stir to heat through. At the last minute, stir through the basil leaves until they are just wilted. Serve the curry with rice and garnish with fresh basil sprigs.
Zucchini Tomato Casserole
8 ounces whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 average-size zucchinis, sliced (you'll need about 6 to 7 cups of sliced zucchini)
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
4 cloves garlic, divided (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, divided
1 cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
2 tablespoons butter, cut up into 1/4-inch slices
chopped fresh basil, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
Grease a 9-inch baking dish with a little butter. Set aside.
Prepare the cream cheese mixture by combining cream cheese, milk, basil, and ground nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside. Layer half of the zucchini slices on the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Add a layer of sliced tomatoes over the zucchini slices. Sprinkle with half of the garlic and half of the fresh basil.
Add a layer of HALF of the cream cheese blend over the tomatoes; sprinkle with half of the shredded Italian cheese. Repeat one more layer of zucchini slices; add a bit of salt and pepper. Repeat one more layer of tomato slices; add the rest of the garlic and fresh basil. Spread a layer of the remaining cream cheese mixture and sprinkle the rest of the shredded Italian cheese. Dot with slices of butter. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly, browned, and veggies are tender. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.
Garnish with fresh basil; cut and serve.
4 tomatoes - skins removed and chopped up
2 large green peppers (roasted - will describe in directions)
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 cup olive oil
To Roast Green Peppers:
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. and 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. Saute 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.