Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 9 -- Carrots

Roots Farm CSA Week 9: June 28 & July 1

This Week:
-Carrots: Napoli, Bolero, Nelson, Yaya
-Kale: Winterbor, Red Russian, White Russian, Rainbow Lacinato
-Sweet Onions (“Vidalia-type Yellow Granex)
-Potatoes: Pontiac Red
-Cucumbers: Lemon
-Beans!: Rattlesnake Pole Beans
-Okra!: Burgundy & Clemson Spineless
-Berries: Blueberries, Blackerries, Wineberries
-Melons: Diplomat, SunJewel
-Tomatoes!: SunGold Cherry, Juliet Roma, various hybrids

On the Farm . . .
The heat has really taken a toll on things, but we’ve got hope that the afternoon rains and lower temperatures may help bring the crops back around. In the meantime, we’re working on some infrastructure and we just installed some drainage pipe in our processing area and covered it with gravel, so muddy driveway and walkway, be gone! For those of you who pick up on farm, you’ll notice the disappearance of the sketchy tin-covered hole with the broken PVC pipe--part of our drainage system that has now been repaired and tied into the new stuff and re-buried underground. Hopefully later this week, we’ll be installing quick hoops in the big upper field to cover the sweet potatoes that are outside the fence. The quick hoops are new, 4-foot tall hoops that can be used in place of a greenhouse or to cover large plants with fabric, which is what we plan to do. New experiments in farming. Also going on and experimental, we’ve seeded more okra for the late summer season, as well as pinkeye purplehull peas and butter beans. This heat is really working our current crops, so we’re trying to find other things to take their places that will hold up better. We’ll let you know what happens.

Workday Saturday, July 9th!
Come on out and join us for our July workday--Saturday, July 9th from 8-11am. That’s slightly earlier than we have been hosting them, but it’s July, so let’s beat the heat a bit. As always, we’ll be serving you up some home-cooked, farm-fresh BRUNCH afterwords. So get your sunhat and roll on out to the farm. We’ll be weeding, seeding, processing garlic, and who knows what all else. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks!

Bitter Cukes
So it’s come to our attention that some of the regular green cukes, the Marketmores to be specific, are bitter. Inedibly bitter. I was hoping it was a fluke cuke here and there, but survey says folks have gotten more bitter than not. Why, you say? Again, it’s the heat. Apparently when it’s too hot, cucumbers produce more cucurbitacins, a bitter chemical that usually is more confined to the stem end and skin, and those can infiltrate the whole fruit making it too bitter to eat. The Marketmores are planted in the hoop house, which gets pretty darn hot, so that’s not a total shock. Our apologies if you’ve gotten some of those bitter fruits. We’re now culling all the Marketmores from the share boxes and making them available as seconds if you want to try your luck with them. We’ll be handing out more Lemon cucumbers now, and some of the outdoor-planted (versus in the hoop house) Sultan cukes, both of which seem to be bitter-free for now. I recommend that you enjoy them while they last. The Marketmores and Sultans are beginning to fail. We’ll be seeding more soon, but there may be a stint of time when we have to go cucumber-less.

In Your Share
We’ve got lots of new stuff coming out, and some old stuff finishing up. New out--Rattlesnake Pole Beans: a purple-streaked bean, these are tender and delicious even large. It’s our first year growing them and so far, I have to say I’m impressed. Lovely lime green vines with lavender flowers and streaked beans. I don’t know if the streaking holds when cooked since I haven’t cooked any yet, but I can testify that they are sweet and delicious raw. New out--Burgundy & Clemson Spineless Okra. The okra is now beginning and we’re pretty excited to see it start appearing in your baskets. I eat it raw as well as cooked and recommend pan-frying it without breading or grilling it as my favorite approach . . . well, or making veggie gumbo. New out--Tomatoes. Finally, the tomatoes begin. It’s just a small bit this week. I expect to see a continuous trickle from the hoop houses until the outdoor plantings catch up with us--those seem hardier and more full of fruits. Please be patient while we wait for these summer staples to arrive in force. In between--the melons are seemingly on break for this week with just a few trickling in, though there are many more on the vines that I think will be ready next week. Ending--carrots. It’s been a long, wonderful couple of months of carrots coming out and now we’re running out of them. Love them this week because I think it’s their last. Ending--potatoes. Our supply dwindles; so it goes. Ending--blueberries. For real? Yep, it seems like we just haven’t had as big or long of a harvest this year and they’re really slowing down. For those of you still interested in getting your blueberry fix, we’ll be offering pints from our neighbor Jim’s Farm for sale at pickups for $5/pint, which is a steal, below their usual going rate. They’re amazing, fat berries, highly quality controlled and well worth the money. Check your email for more details on that front. . .

Are returning to the spotlight this week. You’ve been getting a lot of them, so hey, perhaps you’d like more carroty inspiration. Here goes . . .

Creamy Dilled Carrot Slaw
4 medium carrots, grated
1-2 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped dill
1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt & fresh ground black pepper

Combine the carrots, garlic scapes, and dill in a medium bowl. Add the oil and toss to coat. Add buttermilk and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. Stir well and adjust seasonings. Enjoy! Makes 2 servings.

Stir-Fried Cabbage & Carrots
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium cabbage, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp peanut/vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced and peeled
2 cups shredded carrots
salt & pepper
minced parsley or cilantro

Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add peanut/veggie oil, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds, without allowing the garlic to brown. Add carrots and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add cabbage and stir-fry until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture and heat through, stirring to coat vegetables thoroughly. Serve immediately, sprinkled with parsley or cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Potato Cakes with Carrot
2 eggs
1+ Tbsp minced fresh dill
¾ lb carrots (4 carrots)
½ lb Yukon Gold or other potatoes (3-4 medium)
salt & pepper to taste
4 Tbsp flour
oil for cooking
sour cream or butter

Beat eggs and dill in mixing bowl. Grate potatoes, sweet potatoes, and/or carrots. Squeeze excess liquid from grated mixture (I use my hands and do it in batches, or you can use a colander and press it, or a towel and wring it out). Place in bowl with eggs and dill and add salt and pepper and flour. Stir well. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add oil of your choice for cooking. Cook potato cakes in batches. I usually spoon cakes about 2-3 inches in diameter and ½-1 inch thick in size into the pan and fit 3-4 cakes per batch. Fry until cakes are browned on one side and flip to brown the other. Add additional oil as needed. Serve hot with sour cream or butter—I like to chop more dill to add to the sour cream and use that as a spread for the cakes. Makes 4 servings.

Carrot Almond Cake
1 1/2 cups steamed, pureed carrots
6 eggs, separated
2 cups honey or sugar
2 Tbsp ground almonds or flour
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp ground cardamon
cream cheese frosting (optional)

Head oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch cake pan. Combine pureed carrots with egg yolks and honey or sugar. Mix in ground almonds, orange zest, salt, and cardamon. Beat egg whites in clean, separate bowl until stiff and fold into carrot mixture. Spread in pan. Bake until springy, about 45 minutes. Cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired. Makes 8-10 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

No comments: