>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Green Beans
• Summer Squash or Zucchini
• Tatsoi or Chicory
• Italian Parsley
Ripe Cantaloupe from Tonnemakers Orchards in Royal City and
(I spent two hours picking berries Tuesday, and then we forgot to load them in the car on Tuesday. Tuesday people will get them next week.)
U-PICK THIS WEEK:
Green Snap Beans
School is just around the corner. I succesfully advocated for my child in the school system for the first time–got the bus to stop in front of our house, instead of having my little girl walk down to the corner by the junkyards. I don’t even like to walk down our road. Those of you who pick up here know how crazy the traffic can be, and there are no shoulders. And that’s on a sunny day. Really, it’s not about the walking, it’s about having a near-death experience every time I cross the street to go to work! The bus folks were very understanding, and I was happy they listened to me.
Last night was my soccer coaching debut. I signed Cosmo up for soccer through the Kent Parks & Recreation. Then I got a letter that said they had 25 teams and only 10 coaches. So I volunteered. I get a team shirt and a whistle, and it looks a lot like herding little pigs with shorts on. It looks fun to me, but I really don’t know what I’m doing. How will I teach them to run toward their goal while the other team is running against them? One little boy just wanted to pick blackberries, another cried and didn’t want to go on the field. Personally, I think it will be a miracle if anyone scores a goal. We’ll see–The Hawks play their first game a week from Saturday. Go Hawks!
The mists of fall are here already. If we get up early (at dawn, which is not as early as it used to be) the fields are coated in fog. I love to look at it from the house, but it’s cold to harvest in. And wet. I’ve noticed the leaves starting to change colors, and the first thing I notice is the shift of light. Fall is my favorite season, but it stresses me out. I worry every day if all our fall crops are going to be ready in time. Remember, we only have until mid- to late-October for growing. After that the daylength is too short to support growth, the plants just maintain whatever they’ve done to that point. But, with only a bit of salad greens, spinach and arugula left to plant by the greenhouse, there’s not much more that can be done about it. Our winter squash has absolutely thrived this year though, so that’s exciting. Nothing makes me happier than a big field of different winter squashes. Except a pumpkin patch. We’ll have that too, but not until October.
I can’t believe the tomatoes. It seems like they’ve been hanging out in the greenhouse, green forever. But at last, Mike asked me if we should give the CSA tomatoes. I said, I don’t know. Are there enough? I don’t want to give everyone one tiny tomato. So he picked a box (about 25 pounds) and said that he didn’t even move his body to pick the box. I thought we’d be ok picking a bunch. So, happy days–the tomatoes are ready! Many more to come as well.
Oh, if anyone has access to a bulldozer, we’re hoping to get one here for a few days in September. We have a lot of chip-moving to do, and I have wanted to excavate by the greenhouses for years, making a nice truck-sized road in front of the doors so it’s easier to walk and drive by. We really need to get the chip mountains in the front of the farm moved so we can use our other gate. Then we can get gravel to fix the holes in the entry gate and parking area.
4 medium zucchini, (6 to 8 ounces each), halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
7 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 1/2 cups)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 cups of chopped tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Using a tablespoon, scoop out zucchini centers to form “canoes,” leaving a 1/4-inch border. Roughly chop centers; set aside.
2. Arrange zucchini, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet; bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chopped zucchini, and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Fold in feta and tomatoes.
4. Turn hollowed-out zucchini cut sides up, fill with vegetable-feta mixture, and bake until top is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Lift zucchini from baking sheet with a wide spatula, and serve.
I usually just sauté my beans in butter, but this is a good one:
GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH WALNUTS AND SHAVED PARMESAN IN LEMON DRESSING
1/4 cup Coarsely Chopped Walnuts
pound Green Beans
1 tsp. Salt, plus more to taste
Freshly Ground Pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 1/2 big lemon)
3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 ounces Parmesan (or Pecorino) Cheese, thinly shaved (about 1/2 cup)
1. Toast the waonuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) overh igh heat until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant. Be careful not to overtoast them, as they will burn very quickly once toasted. Immediately transfer the nuts to a dish to cool.
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the beans and salt, cook until tender but still firm, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the beans to a colander in the sink and run cold water over htem. Trim the beans if necessary.
4. Toss the beans and walnuts in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the mlemon juice and olive oil untilwell combined. Pour this mixture over the beans and toss until well coated. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or to individual plates. Gently scatter the cheese shavings on top.