Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Monday, June 7, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 7

Roots Farm CSA
Week 7: June 8 & 11

This Week:
-Yukon Gold Potatoes
-Red Russian Kale
-Head Lettuce: Nevada (green), Cherokee (red)
-Carrots: Napoli, & Bolero
-Beets: Detroit Dark Red
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Magda, Flying Saucer, Jackpot Zucchini, Cocozelle Zucchini, Soleil Zucchini
-Cucumbers: Suhyo Long, Mid-East Prolific, & Lemon
-Herbs: Basil (Sweet, Lemon, Thai, Purple)

In The Field . . .

Cabbages are sizing up, the green tomatoes get fatter, the pole beans are flowering, blackberries and blueberries are ripening from green to red to almost ready, and I see young melons on the vines. More food is on the way! Work-wise, it's weeding time. And also planting time--we just got our sweet potato slips in and we'll be transplanting them this week. We're also planting a cover crop of cowpeas and buckwheat out in the upper pasture, hoping to lure the deer away from our food crops. Those deer. They're persistent. Most recently the chard and beets have come into their awareness, and their bellies. And the pole beans and squash are still under attack. Yikes. We also discovered the tomato fruitworm hard at work, mining green tomatoes and tomato stems. And the squash bugs and cucumber beetles are multiplying like cockroaches. Looks like we're not the only ones who find our veggies delicious! Let's just say our pests are challenging my pest management skills. Looks like I might have to learn something new this year, but that's farming for you. Both maddening and enriching at the same time.

Saturday Workday, June 12, 8am-noon -- THIS WEEKEND!

Hey folks, just another reminder that if you want to come out to the farm and get your hands dirty growing the veggies that grace your plates, we've got another weekend opportunity available for you. This weekend we'll be out here, weeding and trellising, mulching and weeding, planting, thinning, and processing. Come join us for a lovely morning on the farm. Get up close and personal with the plants that produce the veggies that fill your baskets from week to week. We'd love to have you out!

Beaverdam SlowDown, June 19 & 20 -- NEXT WEEKEND!

There's still some seats available for the Saturday, June 19th dinner. So if any of you are interested and haven't reserved your seat yet, now is the time. It promises to be a beautiful, delicious night. What it is: a sumptuous five course vegetarian meal served over a leisurely two hours filled with a short farm tour where you can see where your dinner came from, discussions of local food and farming issues, great opportunities to learn more about sustainable farming, time to connect with fellow community members around food, and slow foods from local practitioners. Come join us. Check out the link on our webpage.


Are here! I'm super excited about the potatoes this year. Let me tell you why . . . You see, I love love love potatoes. I probably eat them every week of the year. And so I've been excited to grow potatoes for a while now. Last year, we planted them in a new field intending to hill them, to use them to make way into a new production area. But that area got away from us and those potatoes never got hilled and when we went to dig them, it was sad. Hard, hard ground. Few potatoes. Sad. We barely got more pounds of potatoes than we planted. Sad. Not this year. This year, those potatoes went in a piece of ground right by the hoop house where we go every day. And yes, finally, a dream come true, we did hill them! Yay. What's this hilling thing? You see, potatoes only produce more potatoes ABOVE the piece of potato that you plant. But you don't want to plant them two feet deep to begin with. So you plant them a foot deep, wait for them to grow a foot tall, then pile six inches of dirt up against the plant. Then wait for them to grow another foot, then pile more dirt. Hopefully, the potatoes will just continue growing up the higher you pile the dirt. So on Tuesday we will dig one of the three rows of potatoes we planted this year and see what sorts of yields we get from the hilling treatment. I already know that the digging will go easier. It's just a question of how many potatoes we get . . .

Lettuce Again?

Well, turns out I was wrong about last week being the last round of lettuce. We had some later-planted starts of the same variety as last week that are still hanging in there. So they're coming out to you this week. Toss them in with some of that yummy arugula and call it a salad!

Cucumbers . . .

All of a sudden, there are a lot of them. We've got 3 different varieties planted this year. Suhyo Long is an Asian variety, spiny, long, and a little puckered. It slices into beautiful rounds and is crunchy and delicious, as well as sometimes fancifully shaped. Mid-East Prolific is more of your typical cuke with smooth sides and a shape that just says "cucumber". These are indeed prolific and we like them so far. The Lemon cukes are an old favorite of ours. Small, round, and pale green to lemony yellow, they rate at the top of the flavor list in my books. They're also snack-sized, an attribute I take full advantage of out in the fields. You may not know it, but cukes are quite versatile--both raw and cooked! I've got some recipes for ya to help expand your cucumber horizons. Storage: fresh cukes need to be refrigerated to maintain their moisture. Cukes that you buy at the store are usually waxed to keep the moisture in, but these come to you straight from the field (sometimes with spines included!) Keep them in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator for up to a week. Cut cukes degrade quickly, so use them ASAP. And speaking of using them, you can dice or slice them into green salads or chilled vinaigrette-style salads, use them in sandwiches, munch them as a snack with dips, grate them and add yogurt and spices to make a refreshing side dish, blend them with cream and make a chilled summery soup, make refrigerator pickles, and more!


Spicy Cucumber-Cashew Salad
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and sliced
1/2 cup cashews, toasted
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar or honey
1 Thai Dragon hot pepper or 1/4 tsp ground cayenne, red pepper flakes, or hot pepper sauce (regulate your own level of spice, here)

Combine the cucumbers and cashews in a bowl together. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour over the cukes and cashews. Toss gently. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Adapted from the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook with inspiration from the Serving Up the Harvest cookbook. Sounds yummy to me.

Cucumbers Sauteed with Fresh Dill
2 large or 3 medium cucumbers
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp minced shallots or chopped green onions
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
salt & pepper

Peel cucumbers and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds with a spoon. Slice into about 1/4 - 1/2-inch thick slices. Heat butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium flame. Take care not to let the butter brown, but get it good and hot. Add the cucumbers and shallots and cook, tossing often, until cucumbers begin to get tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the dill and slat and pepper to taste. Continue to toss and cook until crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes longer. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Honey Lemon Refrigerator Pickles

6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
2 cups thinly sliced onions
3/4 cup honey
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp kelp powder
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Place cucumbers and onions in a large glass bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil Cook and stir until honey is dissolved. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and onions, toss well, and let cool. The cucumbers will give off some of their juices. Keep them submerged in the liquid while they cool. Transfer pickles to 3 pint jars, cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. They will keep for a week or so. Makes 3 pints. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

And if that's not inspiration enough for you, I've got plenty more recipes for cucumbers here. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Michelle on Wednesdays said...

I am so happy that you've got Yukon Gold potatoes. They are the greatest; they changed my culinary life. They cook in no time and have such lovely flavor. The perfect potato.