Our newsletter from August 2:
Dear CSA members,
August already! This week’s share marks the half-way point of our distribution season. We hope you’ve enjoyed the produce thus far. This morning as I was looking up recipes to go with your veggies, I stumbled on a Facebook post from a farmer friend in New York state. She shared that it has been such a tough year for them, with awful weather resulting in so many lost crops, that she is ready for the season to be over and done with. I felt so sad for her, because I too have felt that way at the beginning of August, exhausted and heartbroken that even with my best efforts, the season didn’t produce the bounty I was hoping for. Those are the Augusts when I wonder if it makes sense to plan for another season or if I should till all the gardens under and plant wildflowers.
I’m feeling very grateful that I don’t feel that way this year—at least not this week! Despite a challenging beginning to the year and those weeks of extreme heat that made everything less fun, I’ve felt a lot of satisfaction in our work this year. Of course there are crops that haven’t turned out the way we hoped they would, but I feel good about what we’ve grown and how we’ve grown it. Next Spring might seem a long time away, but we are already starting to plan and prepare by sowing cover crops and spreading mulch on beds where we have harvested out early season crops. This helps keep weeds from taking over and also gives the soil a chance to replenish itself by building up healthy microbial populations that will break down organic matter and make nutrients available to next year’s crops.
Tomatoes are starting to color up! I hold to my prediction that next week will be the first tomato harvest. I can’t wait! A few of the plants are starting to show signs of early blight, but that’s pretty normal this time of year. As long as late blight doesn’t show up, we should be good with tomatoes. The cucumber and zucchini plants are starting to look a little weary from producing so many fruits, but they still have abundance to offer you this week. A couple of you shared recipes with me for using up your over-abundance of cucumbers, so I wanted to pass those along in case other folks need some help dealing with all of the cucumbers!
From Zinta and yummly.com:
Ingredients: 1 medium cucumber (peeled and cut into chunks); 3 green onions, chopped; 1 (8 Oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened; 1 tsp. worchestershire sauce; 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
To make in the food processor: Place prepared onions in food processor. Add chopped cucumber; cover and process until coarsely chopped. Add cream cheese, worchestershire sauce and salt. Cover and process until smooth or a little chunky. Transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate overnight.
If preparing by hand, finely chop the cucumber and the green onions. In a medium bowl combine cucumber, green onions, cream cheese, worchestershire sauce and salt. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight for flavors to blend. Serve on a toasted bagel or crackers . . . or cucumber slices!
From Sarah and www.badtothebowl.com:
Cucumber Salsa (Dairy Free)
Ingredients: 2 cups cucumber, peeled, deseeded and chopped; 1 jalapeño, finely chopped; 1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine; 1/4 cup vegan sour cream (recipe below); 2 Tblsp minced fresh cilantro;1 garlic clove, minced; 1 tsp lime juice; 1/4 tsp cumin; 1/4 tsp salt
Directions: Place all ingredients in bowl, stir to combine. Chill until serving.
Vegan Sour Cream Recipe
Ingredients: 1 12.3 oz package silken tofu; 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice; 1 Tblsp apple cider vinegar; 1 Tbsp green onion, finely chopped; 1 garlic clove, minced; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp garlic powder
Directions: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
The basil plants are starting to flower so I thought this was a good week to cut them back and fill your shares up with basil so that you can make pesto with the garlic that’s in your shares as well. Or you could try this recipe from Jennifer and onceamonthmeals.com:
Paleo Tomato Basil and Beef Soup
Ingredients: 30 ounces Diced Tomatoes, Canned; 1 cup Coconut Milk, Canned; 1 tablespoon; Coconut Oil; 1 cup diced Onion; 3 teaspoons minced Garlic; 1 teaspoon Salt; 1 cup Chicken Broth/Stock; ¼ cups chopped Basil, Fresh; 1 ½ cups cooked Ground Beef
Add diced tomatoes and coconut milk to a blender and blend until smooth. Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Pour in tomato/coconut milk mixture, salt and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer 10-15 minutes. Mix in fresh basil and cooked ground beef. Cook until heated through.
Enjoy! Amy & John