Monday, August 2, 2010

Journal Post for the week of August 2, 2010


This weather has been wonderful. Everything is growing and growing strong. We are truly blessed with the help and eagerness of our apprentices and working members, the weather that is making everything thrive and family and friends who have come to help out. Today is our 7th wedding anniversary - and we are blessed with so much - we are grateful. It is an amazing trip these last seven years - an organic farm with produce, sheep, a bunny and chickens, land, Sadie and now a little healthy baby on the way due to grace us at Thanksgiving time, our CSA friends and family, and our community we live in. When Adam and I met 10 years ago this December, who would have ever thought we would be here, in this moment with all of you. Wow. Thanks for being part of our dream. Thanks for being part of our journey here on Quaker Road.

The melons are getting bigger by the minute. I think this year will be the best year we have ever had for melons - we have 3 kinds. I think they should be ready in a week or two - the early ones the Sun Jewels - they are yellow and shaped like a football. The field heirloom tomatoes are ripening faster and we have 3 kinds of tomatoes for you this week - sungold cherry tomatoes, Romas, and variety of slicing heirloom tomatoes. Hmmm...Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella sandwich anyone? Some of the romas and slicers maybe a little underripe when you get them - just put them on your counter and let them ripen up. the heirloom slicing tomatoes are ripe when their bottoms are little soft and a deep yellow, burgundy, red or rose - depending on the variety. Below is a description of all the tomatoes we are growing:
Sungold - Hybrid Exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomatoes .
Cherokee Purple: Heirloom. Medium-large, flattened globe fruits. Color is dusky pink with dark shoulders. Multilocular interior ranges from purple to brown to green. Relatively short vines. Indeterminate.

Moskovich: Heirloom. Fruits are early, deep red, and cold tolerant. Rich taste. Smooth and globe-shaped, 4-6 oz. with a small stem scar.
Rose: heirloom. Rose is a deep rose-red color, usually smoother than Brandywine, and every bit as large and meaty. Normal-leaf plants out-yield Brandywine.
Striped Cavern: heirloom. A striking, unique variety. Small, bell pepper-like tomatoes, red with gold stripes, avg. 8 oz. Hollow inside except for a small cluster of seeds. Perfect for stuffing, cooked or raw.
Valentino- a San Marzano type. Heirloom. Seed saved from a friend from her Grandfather from Italy from 1906. Large paste tomatoes that are slightly more pear-shaped . The 4-6oz. fruits are tasty and make good sauce.
Roma: producing heavy yields of picture-perfect, thick-walled fruit with deep red color and mild flavor - . Fruits average 4-6 oz.

Black Krim: Heirloom. Named for the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea. Slightly flattened 4-5" globes with dark greenish-black shoulders, turns almost black with enough heat and sun. Excellent full flavor.

Mexico Midget: Heirloom. Very prolific plants continue producing throughout the entire growing season. Hundreds of round ½" fruits give an incredible flash of rich tomato flavor, great for salads or selling in pints. One of the best.
Great White: heirloom. Big yellow-white fruits with mild taste. Fruit is meaty with few seeds, a mild non-acid taste, and creamy texture. The medium-tall plants are less viney and mature earlier than other "whites".


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Pictures of our farm can be seen and shared on the following website:
From Fiona - one of our working members - On Monday we were chatting about photos. Seems that several people have been taking photos of the farm/farm stand/wonderful veggies etc. etc. People enjoy sharing their photos (its another good way to build community). So I agreed to set up a photo sharing site for the farm. Take a look and see what you think.

Island Blueberries is Open
We are lucky on this little road of ours. Raspberries next door, veggies and eggs in the middle and blueberries up the street on the corner of Quaker and Adam School Road. Kathy and Steve have their blueberry field open usually Thursdays through Saturdays and sometimes other days of the week - 9-5. Call before you go to pick, 372-5656 for open details. PYO is 2.80lb- bring your own container or they have containers you can purchase there. I think we have about 20 qts frozen already. They are so sweet. Also, they are raised organically - they are not sprayed with pesticides.

We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs that are brown, green and blue – with the brightest yellow/orange yolks you ever seen. The eggs are $5.00 a dozen.

Fresh Tomato Storage: I know I know - In the grocery store you buy tomatoes and they are sometimes in the cooler section - but PLEASE Keep these fresh tomatoes on the counter until you use them. Don't put them in the fridge! It makes them mealy, mushy and less tasty. Just keep them in a bowl or line your counter with them - very festive for this August.
Pesto Tortellini – Terrific for Summer Entertaining - shared by Caroline BHF CSA member
by Dawn on June 22, 2010

2 packages (9 ounces each) refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 small garlic clove, crushed with garlic press
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, each cut in half or into quarters if large

In sauce pot, prepare tortellini in boiling water as label directs. Drain tortellini, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return tortellini to saucepot. In blender, combine basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and reserved pasta cooking water and blend until mixture is smooth, stopping blender occasionally and scraping down sides with rubber spatula. Add basil mixture and tomatoes to tortellini; toss until evenly mixed. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Preparation Time: 15 min. Cooking Time: 25 min. Serves 6

Ricotta and Tomato Toast from Everyday Food

1 thick slice whole-wheat bread, lightly toasted
¼ cup part skim ricotta cheese
½ small heirloom or beefsteak tomato, sliced
Fresh basil leaves
¼ teaspoon olive oil
S & P to taste

Spread bread with ricotta; top with tomato and basil. Drizzle with oil, and season with S & P.
Fudgy Zucchini Muffins - The Washington Post, August 29, 2007
These are worth making even when you don't have too many zucchinis on hand.The muffins are best eaten within 2 days. They can be individually wrapped, gathered into a heavy-duty resealable plastic food storage bag and frozen for up to 1 month (expel as much air from the bag as possible before sealing). Makes 12 large muffins

2 1/2 cups flour (may combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup corn oil or other flavorless vegetable oil
2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, in pieces or coarsely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 pound zucchini, peeled, trimmed and finely chopped (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup chocolate morsels

Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking oil spray or line with paper muffin cups.In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and mix well; set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil and chocolate just until the chocolate has melted, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, zucchini and yogurt, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the eggs, stirring vigorously until well blended. Add the flour mixture and chocolate morsels just until evenly incorporated. Use a large spoon or half-cup measure to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups; they will be full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the center muffin comes out clean -- except for the bottom 1/4 inch, which should look wet. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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