Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4 baskets and farm notes

A little bit of summer crept into today's baskets. Yes, heirloom tomatoes are now beginning to appear, as well as peppers, summer squash/zucchini, some nice heirloom beans. Also broccoli, cutting celery, African Blue Basil, peppermint, collards or New Zealand Spinach.
I hope folks tried the Rich Zucchini Soup recipe, if not, it is worthwhile. I have made all the other recipes to date on the blog, but my sister chastised me for not making that one, so I did. Yum...it was good, and Gary even looked forward to the leftover soup the next night.
I hope you like the variety of beans. Clearly I like to grow some that are a little bit different, but please use them all in the same manner. My favourite bean always used to be Dragon Tongue, that marvellously fleshy pale yellow bean with purple striping. Great to snack on raw even! But I think the last several years of growing Bobis Albenga have convinced me to give it the number one spot. Great green bean flavour, slim with purple striping. I love this bean! It is quite a rare bean- if I don't save my own seed I won't have it.
One great way to enjoy beans other than the obvious steaming or boiling is roasted. Coat them with a bit of olive oil, add sea salt and roast in a 400 degree oven until cooked through. Also try the following recipe from "Farmer John's Cookbook"


1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 lb green(or any colour) beans
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
3 TBSP olive oil
4 oz Parmesan cheese , thinly shaved, about 1/2 a cup

Toast the walnuts in a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant. Transfer nuts to a dish to cool.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the beans and salt and cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the beans to a colander in the sink and run cold water over them. Trim the beans if necessary.
Toss the beans and walnuts in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, whisk the lwmon juice and olive oil until well combined. Pour this mixture over the beans and toss until well coated. Transfer to a salad bowl and sprinkle cheese over top.

Farm notes
Again, a difficult growing year with cool temperatures and rain pummelling us on a regular basis. Lots of new plantings have been washed away, and the soil isn't really having a chance to dry out before the next rain comes along. The garden was reasonably well weeded 3 weeks ago, but now is very weedy and I can't take the tiller into it because of the wet soil. So hand weeding, an impossible task is taking up some time, but I won't get ahead of it.
Because of this, I won't be having my farm open house...it ain't pretty here!
But some crops do seem quite okay with it all, particularly the potatoes, which need to grow a bit more before they appear in your baskets and the cole crops seem to like it too. Oh yes, and the tomatillos which are sprouting like crazy everywhere on this property! When they come, they will really come, so start looking up recipes now!
If anyone has any recipes they would like to share, or comments about the ones I have posted, please be my guest. My preference is for vegetarian recipes, in case you didn't notice.
Stay well and eat your veggies!


Brooke said...

Do you have any suggestions for how best to preserve tomatoes (diced, sauce, etc ...)? I'm learning how to do canning but freezing might work too.

This is the first year in 10 that I've tried growing tomatoes that I actually have a real harvest, almost too much in fact, and I am so excited! I don't want to waste a single one.

Many thanks!

sarahjane said...

Hey Brooke - I am really lazy when it comes to preserving - I lost a few jars one year and just couldn't do it again! - I wash them, take out the stem and then throw them whole in to the freezer. When I go to make sauce or casseroles, I take them out, the skin peels right off easy as can be and I cook them up fresh right then - no fuss! Enjoy!

Linda said...

Hi Brooke, sorry I am just seeing your comment now-probably too late, but I agree..freezing is the way to go then when you have the time you can create sauces, etc with the thawed fruit.