It's true, times are getting cooler (just a bit!) and this has paved the way for a bigger array of produce in the CSA for all you folks...as well as at the Farmer's Market stand for our other loyal buyers! Receiving a full day of rain was a huge boost to all the brand new babies that have sprouted or have been transplanted just recently. It has been pleasantly brisk the nights since, leaving lots of dew on the plants in the morning. We've come a long way from that long, harsh drought! It's back to our cool and colorful salad mixes, tangy arugula, crispy radishes, beets and more varieties to accent our braising mixes. Bok choy, broccoli, kale, spinach, turnips and more peas are yet to come, announcing Summer CSA's finale of delicious local, organic fare. But don't worry, we still have potatoes and garlic aplenty, and August surely isn't over. 80 degree days are encouraging for tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and basil, while the nights are cool and reassuring to cool crops. Great heat for the ones that like it hot, but not too rough on the ones that like it a bit milder. In fact, August and September are the months that we can give all you folks the widest variety of what we could possibly grow! Enjoy it while you can.
We've got an excellent crew working on the farm now to meet up with the challenges of managing such a wide collection of vegetables for all you members and organic supporters. Hannah, my sister, is our newest face and she is throwing herself into the game with a lot of energy and optimism. She is already proving herself to be a great help even within the couple days she has been here! There is Louie, our longest standing worker, who probably knows this farm better than anyone else. His long and steady work ethic is very admirable, going to bed early and rising early to work an amazing amount without stopping. Then there is Randall, also a long-standing worker of three years, who contributes much to the farm with his knowledge of nature, biology, ecology and handy-man skills. Next is Mike, who really knows how to set the pace. He tackles a good load of tractor work and hard labor, getting a lot done in a day. He is also quite a wheeler-dealer at the Farmer's Market in Cedar Rapids! We can't forget the other Mike, a certain Michael Webb, who is the mechanic and technician genius here at the farm, making sure all the vehicles and appliances run at their best. Laura is our part time worker, adept at farm stuff manual dexterity and detail, such as picking, pruning, weeding and seed-starting. She greatly enjoys transplanting. Then there is Derek of course, the gel that holds it all together and makes it happen!
Reminder to you all to sign up for Fall CSA soon if you want to take part! Remember we can't serve as many CSA members then as we can now, so membership is limited! Sign up online by clicking the tab above!
Enjoy the cooler summer nights, eat great and enjoy the variety! See you at market!
On the table this week:
- Kale bunch
- Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
- Summer Squashes
Arugula Pesto, Ricotta, and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza (www.huffingtonpost.com)
- Cornmeal, for dusting
- 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
- 1 packed cup (1 ounce) arugula
- Flour, for dusting
- 1 (1-pound) ball store-bought pizza dough
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- In a food processor, blend the ricotta, garlic, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the smoked mozzarella and arugula. Pulse until just combined but still chunky.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle, 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Spread the ricotta mixture on top, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange the tomato slices on top and drizzle with olive oil.
Hard-Cooked Eggs with Radishes and Anchovy-Butter Crostini (www.marthastewart.com)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 large hard-cooked eggs, cooled and halved
- 2 to 3 bunches radishes, such as French Breakfast and Easter Egg, washed well
- 1 medium baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and toasted
- Flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel, or coarse salt, for sprinkling
- Stir together butter, anchovies, and garlic. Serve eggs, radishes, and baguette rounds with anchovy butter and a small pile of salt, for sprinkling.
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!