Backyard Gardens’ CSA: Week 16- September 20, 2012

Summer meets Fall. That describes the juxtapositions around here.  We’re still harvesting loads of tomatoes from the greenhouses and Imnaha.  Ripe melons sweeten the air and our tongs.  And yet the first frost has nipped the beans and squash, bringing their production to a near halt.  And the shorter days of the equinox markedly slow new growth of fall greens and roots.   The season is definitely shifting, but remnants of summer still linger.  And we’re grateful for it all.

If you are missing the  lettuces, so are we.   We lost hundreds of heads of lettuce in the heat of the summer back in August.  And the grasshoppers, the worst I’ve seen in years, devastated many of our plant starts for new lettuces and fall crops.  Unfortunately, we can’t recover instantly when adversity strikes, so we are left to manage the challenges before us and to rely on the diversity of our crops to ensure that there’s something to eat!  We’re hoping that the warm weather we’re having now will help boost the new lettuces, broccolis, and chois that were effected, giving us a fall harvest of these crops.

We’re loading you up this week with tomatoes (while we can), potatoes, and the usual mix of summer crops.  A note on the sweet peppers.  In order to get sweet peppers to color up, you have to be patient.  Unfortunately, in this wait, many of the fruits get sun-blisters or marks, blemishing them to imperfection, but not to inedibility.  In order to give you more peppers, we are including some of these mildly blemished but otherwise delicious peppers in your bins.  This is part of understanding what it takes to grow your food.  We appreciate your understanding and hope that you enjoy the good eats!

Don’t forget to visit us at today’s Thursday market for the Tomato Tasting!  From 4-6 pm you can sample all the different varieties of tomatoes that we grow plus many from home gardeners.

Have a delicious week!

Beth

Full Share

3 lbs Tomatoes
2 lbs. Potatoes
1 bu Parsley
2 Sweet Onions – Ailsa Craig variety
1 bu Beet Greens
Sweet Peppers
handful hot peppers
2 oz. Basil
1 Cantelope

 

Half Share
2 lbs Tomatoes
1 lbs. Potatoes
1 bu Parsley
2 Sweet Onions – Ailsa Craig variety
1 bu Beet Greens
Sweet Peppers
handful hot peppers
1 watermelon (Enterprise shares, this week – patience Joseph and La Grande!)

Here are some recipe suggestions.  If you still have any squash floating around, here’s a combo with your tomatoes and potatoes.  Omit the squash, if you don’t have it:   Potato, Zucchini, and Tomato Gratin from Epicurious.

Years ago, in my first days of selling at the farmers’ market in Portland with Sauvie Island Organics, we used to vend next to Delfina’s Bakery.  We would trade bread for veggies and swap recipes.  Here’s a recipe for Panzanella, or Bread Salad, that I got from them that I continue to use from time to time at the height of tomato season and when I have some good crusty, day-old bread around.

Panzanella

4 thickly sliced country bread, toasted, in 1″ cubes
4 roma tomatoes (or your favorite), cut into cubes
2 stalks fennel, chopped (optional)
1/2 finely chopped red onion (may substitute sweet onion here)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 lb. cubed Italian cheese, such as mozzarella, asiago, parmesan
handful fresh basil, chopped

Mix all ingredients together.  let sit 5 minutes.  Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar.  Mix.  Let sit 2 hours.  Buen Apetito!