Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Monday, July 19, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 13

Roots Farm CSA
Week 13: July 20 & 23

This Week:

-Melons: Hannah’s Choice, Lilly Crenshaws, Hearts of Gold, Sun Jewel, Honey Yellow
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Soleil Zucchini, Trombicino
-Cucumbers: Suhyo Long, Mid-East Prolific, Lemon
-Tomatoes: Big Beef, Brandywine, Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Jubilee, Tropical, Whopper, Juliet Roma
-Peppers: Carmen
-Herbs: Basil (Sweet, Lemon, Thai, Purple)
-Beans: Blue Coco & Marvel of Venice
-Kale: Winterbor, Red Russian

On The Farm . . .
It smells like melons. You know, I love growing cantaloupes: the vines look so pretty covering the beds with their lush green leaves; the fruits are large and exciting; they change color to let you know that they’re getting ripe; they slip (pull easily) from the vine when they’re ready; and they smell amazing. With cantaloupes ripening in the hoop house, the whole garden nearby smells like readiness, like ambrosia. It’s a lovely thing. So yeah, I love growing cantaloupes. Watermelons, however, are another matter. Mysterious, wild watermelons. Their vines take over the whole nearby world and those lovely large fruits mock you with their impenetrability. Are they ready? How to know for sure? Such a guessing game for watermelons. I wish they presented more obvious picking indicators, more predictability. So sad to pick an unripe watermelon; so decadently delicious to hear the rind pop when you slice into a ripe one, the mouth-watering anticipation of its juicy sweetness. Anyway, I wax poetic. Cantaloupes are coming your way in force this week, so you may want to flip back to the melon recipes I wrote up earlier this season for ideas (ginger-melon sorbet) and inspiration. Watermelons are coming soon. Just as soon as we can guess they’re ripe.

CSA Extension & Fall CSA
The rumors are true--we’ve decided to offer more months of CSA baskets this year! Here’s the breakdown: we’re running a September CSA Extension for the month of September that will include all the veggies of late summer and maybe some sweet potatoes, and we’re offering an October Fall CSA that will have some of those same summer veggies and some more fall-like stuff like radishes, lettuce, spinach, and broccoli to name a few. The September CSA is $100 for Full Shares and $48 for Half Shares (less variety translates into a lower cost for you) and the October is $124 for Full Share and $68 for Half Shares (same weekly price breakdown as summer). If you want to sign up for both, it’s $224 for Full and $116 for Half. Details should appear on the website this week. If you’re interested, sign up today! We’re offering a limited number of memberships for this new venture, so go ahead and reserve your share of the fall harvest soon!

Are in the recipe spotlight this week. It’s been an interesting year for beans. The deer browsed the first planting pretty hard, the second planting is producing oddly, and the third planting isn’t ready yet. Despite all that, I think we’re going to have a respectable amount of beans this week. So beans get the spotlight. Here goes . . . STORAGE: keep your beans in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. They’ll keep good for a week or so. You can also freeze them (blanch them first) or pickle them (dilly beans!). PREPARATION: I like to just steam them and eat them with butter and salt and pepper, and maybe some toasted almonds, but you can also add them to bean salads, casserole them, toss them in stir-fries and soups, roast them, and more! Here are some recipes for ya.


Green Beans with Tomatoes & Herbs
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sliced onions
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried ground thyme
1 lb green beans, ends clipped, beans cut in half
1 sprig rosemary, stem removed
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
salt or salted butter to taste

Heat olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes; saute until fragrant. Add onions; saute until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, the dried spices, and green beans. Stir, cover, and steam-cook beans until nearly done, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the rosemary and tomatoes. Cook very briefly, until tomatoes are warmed through and beans are done. Season with salt, or, if you prefer, melt salted butter over the beans before serving. Makes 4 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook.

Green Beans & Pasta Salad
1/2 lb green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 jar (6.5oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, quartered
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, halved, each half quartered
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup black olives, pitted, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp prepared Dijon mustard
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 tsp)
2 1/2 cups uncooked rotini or other pasta

Place the beans in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water and cover. Steam until just tender, 3-5 minutes depending on freshness. Drain and immediately run under cold water. Transfer the beans to a clean, dry dish towel or to paper towels and pat dry. Toss the green beans, artichoke hearts, eggs, bell pepper, onion, olives, and parsley in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, wine vinegar, basil, mustard, black pepper, and garlic until dressing is thick and the oil and vinegar no longer separate. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well. Add the pasta to the bowl with the green beans. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Makes 6 servings. From Farmer John’s Cookbook.

Vegetable Soup Provencal
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small leek, thoroughly cleaned and chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
8 cups water
2 tsp salt
(pinch of saffron threads)
1 can (15-19oz) white beans, rinsed and drained or 1-2 cups cooked beans
2 small handfuls broken thin spaghetti or macaroni
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1/2 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup pesto sauce
1 tsp black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, 5-10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, potato, water, salt, and saffron threads. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the can of beans or cooked beans, spaghetti, zucchini, and green beans. Simmer just until the pasta is tender. Stir in the pesto and pepper. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. Makes about 3 quarts. From The Joy of Cooking.

For more green bean recipes, click here. Enjoy!

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