Roots Farm CSA
Week 10: June 29 & July 2
-Melons!: Sun Jewel Asian & Honey Yellow Honeydew
-Blackberries & Blueberries!
-Famosa Savoy Cabbage or Bright Lights Swiss Chard or Winterbor/Red Russian Kale
-Blue Coco & Marvel of Venice Pole Beans or Kennebec White Potatoes
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Magda, Jackpot Zucchini, Soleil Zucchini, Trombicino
-Cucumbers: Suhyo Long, Mid-East Prolific, & Lemon
-Eggplant!: Hansel (purple), Gretel (white), Fairytale (streaked), & Pingtung Long (lavender)
-Tomatoes: Big Beef Slicers, Juliet Romas, Golden Rave Roma, Black Cherries
-Herbs: Basil (Sweet, Lemon, Thai, Purple) & Parsley
On the Farm . . .
Well, summer is finally here. We’ve had sweet corn come in and now it’s time for melons and berries, eggplants and tomatoes. It’s interesting to watch the seasons roll along. The greens and roots are beginning to peter out while the fruits are really beginning to hit their stride. This is the earliest we’ve ever had eggplant, by weeks! I’m not sure if it’s the new hoop houses or the fact that we didn’t have a late freeze or perhaps that we seeded a little earlier than usual or maybe that these eggplant are minis and therefore ready earlier, but for whatever reason, eggplant is in! And the peppers are coming right along, looking to also be earlier than ususal! Yay! Unfortunately, the tomatoes look a bit unhappy and we’ve really been struggling to get any this year. First caterpillars, then blossom end rot, and now something is causing the leaves to die back in a way that looks like bad news to me. We’re continuing the investigation; in the meantime, please pardon any tomato shortages and eat another slice of melon.
Most of the eggplant appearing in your baskets this week are minis--they’re full grown at 4 inches! Hansel, Gretel, & Fairytale are all supposed to be bitter-free with great flavor and few seeds. Even the names are adorable, not to mention the cute little eggplants themselves. And Pingtung Long is a long-time favorite of ours. An Asian eggplant, I find them sweet, tender, and delicious. Great in a stir-fry or on pizza. Enjoy these summery treats as we welcome their early arrival in our baskets!
Weekend Workday, July 10
Mark your calendars now, our next weekend workday is coming soon! Not this weekend, but the one after, we’ll be hosting another Saturday workday out on the farm. We’ll be out here 8am-noon again, and we’ll see if we can find some shadier work for the next-to-noon time cause goodness knows it’s been hot lately! We’ve got weeding to do, trellising, garlic to process, and much more! Get here early to enjoy the day while it’s still fresh and cool out. See you soon!
Are here! I’m always excited about melon time. The fact that sprawling, delicate-looking little squash-like vines can produce large round balls of sugary-sweet goodness is nothing less than miraculous. Wow. This year, we’re growing six different kinds of melons, two of which are coming out this week. The Sun Jewels are oblong, yellow-&-white-striped melons that have a sweet, crunchy, white flesh somewhat reminiscent of Asian pears. They’re delicious and I highly recommend them. The Honey Yellow Honeydews are a new addition this year, and I must say I’m impressed. They’re such rich, round yellow-skinned melons out there in the field. And our taste-test today reveals them to be extraordinarily sweet, with a slightly firm pink inner flesh. Who knew honeydews could be pink inside and yellow outside? Not this gal. Enjoy these new additions to your baskets and know there are more to come. STORAGE: If your melon seems a bit short of ripe, keep it at room temperature for a few days or until there is a sweet smell coming from the stem end. Once the melon ripens, keep it in the fridge. Most of these melons will keep refrigerated for at least a week. Cut melons, however, should be covered in plastic wrap or sealed in an airtight container and eaten ASAP. I’ve got some melon recipes for you below if you decide to go beyond fresh slices and into melon cuisine . .
Ginger Melon Sorbet
1 medium cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch cubes (~ 4 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (~ 1/2 lemon)
2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
fresh mint leaves (optional)
Combine the melon, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and puree just until smooth. Add the ginger and pulse briefly to combine. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. (If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a tray or zip-top bag and freeze it on a flat surface in your freezer. Remove the frozen mixture from the freezer and let it thaw out, then return it to the blender or food processor and process again until smooth. Repeat this process at least once more (two times total does the trick) or until the mixture is very smooth and blended with no separation. Spoon into individual glasses or serving dishes and garnish with mint leaves. Makes 4 servings. This is the perfect celebration of the cantaloupe—sweet and gingery, wholly refreshing, and a great palate cleanser after a heavy meal. Don’t skip the ginger; it makes this recipe shine! And also don’t overdo the ginger, or your sorbet becomes more of a digestive tonic than a dessert (believe me, I made this mistake--more is not necessarily better). Farmer taste-test approved! From Farmer John’s Cookbook.
1 1/2 cups seeded orange pulp
1 cup cubed melon, such as cantaloupe or honeydew
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender or juicer until smooth. Makes 2-4 servings. From The Joy of Cooking.
Avocado and Cantaloupe Salad with Creamy French Dressing
6 cups baby arugula leaves
1/4 cantaloupe - peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and cubed
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Place the arugula leaves into a salad bowl, and sprinkle with the cantaloupe and avocado pieces. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, paprika, salt, mustard, vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper together. Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil while whisking rapidly until the salad dressing is thick and creamy. Lightly dress the salad and then sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve. Makes 4 servings. Cook's note: you could shorten the prep time by using bottled French Dressing. Baby spinach could be substituted for the arugula, but other greens take away from the subtle flavors and creamy textures of the avocado and cantaloupe. Enjoy! From Allrecipes.com.
Cantaloupe & Cardamom
1 medium cantaloupe (3-3 1/2 lbs), cut into 1-inch cubes (~4 cups)
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (freshly ground is best!)
1-2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (~1 medium lime)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes 4-6 servings. Cardamom brings to cantaloupe a certain sophistication that will dazzle you. It’s preferable to grind the cardamom fresh using a mortar and pestle (you can get fresh cardamom at specialty ethnic food stores and I really recommend it!), but any ground cardamom will do. Make an elegant dessert by serving it over vanilla ice cream. For a sweeter version, add 1 tsp maple syrup. Enjoy! From Farmer John’s Cookbook.
For more recipes and ideas on using your melons, click here.