>Summer Week 10: Cucumbers

Summer Squashes
• Broccoli
• Catalogna Radichetta, for salad
• Garlic
• Basil
• Cucumbers

Red Haven peaches from Rama Farms in Bridgeport

No U-Pick right now, we’re waiting for the beans.

Green and Yellow Snap Beans
Green and Yellow Romano Beans

We have officially reached our half-way point for the summer, week 10 of 20 weeks. Looking back at last year’s posts and previous newsletters, it’s pretty obvious that we’re behind where we were in previous years on nearly all the crops. But the good news is that we should have broccoli off and on for several weeks, and the beans are finally getting going. We’ll have them for sure next week, at least a little for everyone. The cucumbers have finally kicked into gear, and we have BASIL! It finally is summer. If you’re interested in any quantity of basil for pesto-making, we’ll be ready in about two weeks, we think.

The rain has been amazing. And even though it feels like fall, as soon as the sun comes out we know it’s still summer. It heats up to 80° awfully fast. Since we’re in the process of getting all of our winter crops in the ground, the rain couldn’t have been more perfect. A very efficient way to water the entire farm, and much cheaper. Remember, we’re on city water, and it takes two weeks to get everything wet. So, we’re well on the way to fall greens. It didn’t hurt the beans, broccoli, or squash any, either. So, “yay” for the rain, and let’s get back to summer heat!

The lettuce is finished for a while, thanks to our water constraints (although we will have salad mix again in a few weeks) but the chicories are coming into season. This week’s selection is an interesting combination of lettuce and dandelion—the seed catalog isn’t sure what it is exactly. But it looks like an oakleaf lettuce, nice and crunchy with a little bite of bitterness. Try a vinaigrette if it’s too bitter for you au naturel.

Basil is good with anything—in salad, thrown in with some sautéed vegetables ( like beans or squash), but we like pesto. It’s a great quick dinner, and it makes any vegetable edible for the kids. When they don’t want to eat broccoli, squash, or beans, put pesto on top and some cheese and they’ll eat it up.

1 or 2 bunches of fresh Basil
1 or 2 cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1. If the basil is young and fresh, throw the whole bunch (minus rubber band) into the food processor or blender, along with the peeled garlic cloves. If it’s a little more mature, remove and use only the leaves, not any tough stems.

2. Turn on the machine and slowly pour in olive oil until the mixture blends nicely and is slightly runny. You want it to pour and blend easily.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Top with grated Parmesan or Pecorino (our favorite) cheese. (Our favorite brand is Fulvi, from Italy. You can find it at Whole Foods or at DeLaurenti at Pike Place Market. Some people find this brand too strong, though—we like stinky cheese and salty olives in our house.)

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