Second, sorry for no newsletter last week- it was a busy one. Hopefully you could figure out everything in your share. The one thing that may have required some explaining is Beet Greens. You'll see more of these as we continue to thin the fall beets. Prepare them exactly like spinach or chard- and yes, you can leave the baby beetroots on; at that size they cook as quickly as the greens. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly-- lots of crevices for dirt to hide in!
Third, YOU are invited to a bunch of farmy EVENTS coming up soon, including a pickling and canning workshop (Sun, Sept. 14), our annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting (Tues, Sept. 16), Grawndezvous (a fall celebration at the Grawn farm, Sat, Oct. 4), and more. Please see Announcements for details.
What's In Your Share This Week
It's an Asian-inspired share this week, full of good things to stir-fry and/or make slaw, soup, or snacks.
Beans- is anyone tired of beans? I know our crew is getting tired of picking them ;) What's your favorite so far? Regular green beans? Purple? Yellow? Exra long yellow Romano pole beans? Fortex (super long, twisty green pole beans)? Purple Romano pole beans? Other? Just trying to get a sense of what to plant more of next year. If you're ever faced with more beans than you can use, or if you LOVE dilly beans, please join us and ISLAND for the Dilly Bean and Cucumber Pickle Canning Workshop Sunday. Sept. 14! Also, it's super simple to freeze them: blanch for 1-2 min in boiling water, cool quickly under cold running water or plunge into ice water (to stop cooking). Drain/dry thoroughly, de-stem, cut if necessary to fit into freezer bags, bag, seal, and label. Voila. Pop into freezer. They're wonderful in winter stew and vegetable soup.
Napa OR mini cabbages- The summer Napa cabbage grew sweet and small, due to the drought, as did the mini cabbages (even more "mini" than we'd planned!). Hopefully the fall Napa will size up with the sufficient moisture we've had lately. These two varieties this week are interchangeable in recipes- Napa tend to be more tender and cook more quickly; mini cabbage tend to be firmer and require slightly longer cooking, BUT both can be used in a fresh Asian-ish slaw (see recipe below), or egg rolls, or any way you like cabbage.
Scallions/bunching onions- white OR purple. And yes you can use the whole thing! bulbs, greens, all of it. Like ALL leafy green veggies, store in an airtight container in the fridge (like a sealed bag) until using.
Potatoes OR Edamame-- I know, a weird choice, right? We figure some people love potatoes and some love edamame. We had a limited amount of edamame thanks to deer and drought, so some folks get to make appetizers, and some get to make chowder ;) If you are new to edamame, they are edible soybeans popular in Japanese cuisine. A simple preparation: Boil heavily salted water (1/4 c. or more salt to 2 qts water), drop beanpods in (remove pods from plant but leave beans in pods), boil til tender. Eat similarly to artichoke- holding the pod in your thumb and forefinger, close your teeth almost all the way around it, then pull it through your teeth and out of your mouth, leaving the beans and possibly some of the skin of the pod in your mouth. Enjoy! Be sure to boil thoroughly and test for doneness-- I usually leave them in 15 min or so, to make sure they are melty-soft. It's more pleasant AND easier to digest a thoroughly cooked soybean than a slightly crunchy one.
Beets! Lovely red, purple, or golden roots with delicious greens. Our fave beets: scrub a whole beetroot (or several) well, do not remove skin or tails. Coat completely in olive oil, wrap airtight in foil. Throw on the grill (if already grilling) or in the oven or toaster oven at 450-500 for 45-60 min, depending on size of beets. The super high heat combined with sealing in all the juices results in a thoroughly steamed beet with amazing flavor and texture, and super moist. Skins will slip off, or you can eat them. Serve with a knife for slicing-- they should be so well cooked that a spoon would do fine, too. If you need to store beets for more than a day, be sure to SEPARATE greens from roots- just chop off and store in two separate airtight containers (e.g. sealed bags) in the fridge.
Lettuce- heads of green or red leaf, butterhead, or romaine. Try lettuce wraps for a new twist on spring rolls! (wrap rice noodles, protein and/or veggies of your choice, cilantro, etc. in a lettuce leaf instead of a traditional spring roll wrapper) Dip in some hot sauce or sweet-and-sour sauce. Voila. The trick is in the wrapping of course- you can use a toothpick to hold it together if you like.
Peppers- sweet or hot. Different harvest days will get different varieties. You may see Hungarian Hot wax (pointy, yellow, turning to orange), a sweet-hot pepper that can be eaten fresh or cooked. Or any number of green, red, brown, or orange bells. Or Carmen, a long, pointy red sweet pepper, or perhaps Pimiento, a Cinderella-pumpkin-shaped thick-walled sweet red or orange pepper. Or any number of hot red or green chiles- cayenne, jalapeno, Thai hot, serrano etc.
Tomatoes-- a nice mix of heirlooms from the field and/or hoophouse
Cherry tomatoes- another box of irresistible sweeties
Herbs: Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, or Basil
Announcements1. Dilly Beans and Cucumber Pickles workshop here at Birch Point, hosted by ISLAND's Preservation Station:
but we haven't been infected here yet , we may go ahead and spray copper (an organic fungal control) on our tomato plants to prevent infection. We never normally use any fungicide, but late blight is so devastating that we may just do it to help protect the last few weeks' harvest, since the tomato harvest window has been so short this year. We'll keep you in the loop about what we decide to do.
Grawndezvous- Y'all are invited to the annual fall festival held in Grawn at the farm where Brenin's been farming the past four years. Brenin and his dad Tom host a mean potluck, grill-out, and singalong under a big tent and/or around a fire, weather permitting. Save the date: Sat. Oct. 4. More details to come soon!
Michelle's favorite Asian-ish Slaw
4-5 cups shredded Napa cabbage, bok choi, daikon greens, or any green Asian (or not) leafy thing you've got around
2-4 grated carrots OR beets (beets will turn the slaw pink!)
2-3 diagonally sliced scallions/bunching onions (greens and bulbs) OR 1 finely sliced sm. onion
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
equal amt of fresh ginger, also minced (if you have none, put in 1 tsp ground ginger to dressing)
at least 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 generous handful coarsely chopped fresh herbs: cilantro OR lemon basil OR Thai basil OR dill/parsley if you preferoptional: 1-2 fresh hot chiles, minced
toasted sesame oil
rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
cayenne and/or your favorite hot sauce (I like Ray's Polish Fire)
pinch ground coriander
salt and pepper
Mix slaw ingredients well. Mix dressing ingredients well, then mix w/ slaw. Enjoy! Top with a good squeeze of fresh lime and/or bean sprouts and/or pea shoots and/or fried tofu and/or anything else you like.