Hello CSA members!
This week we hope to bring you watermelon, new potatoes, onions, broccoli OR eggplant, zucchini OR cucumbers OR tromboncino squash, and green beans. Large shares will get broccoli AND eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Fruit share members will get peaches AND plums.
In this week’s newsletter:
- Farm Updates
- Magical Mystery Muffins
- Choosing a Watermelon
- Tromboncino Squash and Japanese Eggplant
- Grilling Vegetables
Posted by Maddie
As I’m sure you all know by now, we are in the middle of one of the driest summers on record. The drought is putting a lot of stress on farmers all across the United States, with Colorado being one of the hardest hit states. Wyatt, the farm managers and the farm crew are working hard to ensure that we have plenty of food despite some pretty tough growing conditions.
Fortunately, Wyatt was able to change some things around that have made a huge difference and we have so far been successful at producing a lot of delicious veggies.
Many of the crops that have been grown at the Teller Farm in years past are being grown at our 63rd Street Farm this year. If you attended our farm tour back in June, you probably saw a lot of these crops when they were young. Wyatt decided to grow some of the tomatoes, most of the green beans, and all of the eggplant and peppers at the 63rd Street Farm this year. This photo shows some of the rows of peppers and eggplant which are just starting to produce fruit.
The green beans you will get this week were harvested at 63rd Street.
Purple potatoes AND purple peppers?! Peppers are just for large shares this week but will be coming soon for everyone.
Here is Hannah harvesting some beautiful heirloom tomatoes from the hoop houses. Tomatoes for CSA may be a couple of weeks out, but they will be worth the wait!
We have an amazing share for you all this week and there is more great stuff to come. I hope you enjoy it!
Have a great week,
Posted by Maddie
Week 6 in a row for zucchini? I know, I know. And there’s more where that came from, trust me. But keep in mind, zucchini is one of the most versatile veggies out there. Need more zucchini ideas? Slice it into coins with some of your CSA onions, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill. Slice it into spears or halves and do the same.
And then of course, there are the easy to make, easy to eat and easy to share Zucchini Muffins. I know Mo gave you a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread last week (which was awesome, I hope you tried it) but I thought I’d give you a different take this week for fun. You can use either the zucchini you get this week, if you choose it, or some that you have left over from previous weeks. (Or you can use the zucchini your neighbor put in your car or on your porch while you were sleeping. Or the ones that fell from the sky…you get the idea.)
Here is an awesome, easy recipe for zucchini bread or muffins from the Smitten Kitchen. I have made this twice already this summer and it has been fabulous both times. The key is to share! My coworkers, who are also eating a lot of zucchini right now, really enjoyed these. You can even call them Magical Mystery Muffins if you want.
Magical Mystery (ahem..Zucchini) Muffins
Yield: 2 loaves of bread or approximately 24 muffins
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners (or grease and flour 2 8×4″ loaf pans).
Grate your zucchini using a box grater, or a food processor if you have one. 2 cups is about half of a big zucchini or a whole medium zucchini. If you have a big one on hand, make a double batch with 24 muffins and 2 loaves of bread and freeze the bread for later. It really freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap a few times, and will be great to have a few months from now when you’re in zucchini withdrawals.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then add to egg mixture.
Pour batter into muffin cups and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
How could you not love these?
Posted by Mo
Look at this week’s CSA share.
<img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-538" title="Share Week 11" src="https://redwagoncsa.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/share-week-11.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="426" /
I may weep.
Remember 11 weeks ago when we were explaining the possibility of a drought this year and the problems that go along with drought? We'll it's here. We are in one of the driest, if not the driest summer on record and look what Wyatt and the farm crew can produce.
How lucky are we to have Red Wagon be 'our' farmers? Let's have a big, big round of applause please for their knowledge, experience and commitment to growing fantastic food in some of the most challenging conditions in decades.
This week everyone gets a watermelon. Yea!
We grow several different varieties, all delicious. Big and small, they are all great. Pick one that will fit in your refrigerator. That's the biggest choice you need to make.
People always ask if the watermelons are ready, or if we can pick a ‘good one’. We are very, very careful to pick only ripe and ready melons so you can be assured that any melon you get will be wonderful. But, just for fun I’ll show you how to make sure a watermelon you get from someone else was harvested correctly.
First thing you do is roll the melon over to see it’s ‘tummy’. See the yellow? That is where it has been sitting on the ground in the field. If a melon is all green, pass on it and find one with a yellow ‘tummy’. When you find a yellow one put the melon in one hand and tap the top of the melon with your other hand like Erica is doing here.
Your bottom hand should be able to feel ‘water’ vibrating in the melon. Almost like a water balloon. If it feels dense with no movement, try another one.
Posted by Mo
We are bringing a choice of summer squash this week. Tromboncino squash are new this week. They are an Italian squash.
Tromboncino can be picked young as summer squash or left on the vine and picked as a winter squash. We pick them young. They are larger and more dense than the green and yellow zucchini we have been bringing you. I think they taste nutty and I find anything I can do with a winter squash I can do with a Tromboncino, except unlike most winter squash, you can use and eat the peel of the Tromboncino. So try out your favorite winter squash soup or casserole dish with a Tromboncino. I think you will love them. I really do.
They will keep well in the refrigerator a few days longer than zucchini, more like 10 days rather than 6 or 7 for zucchini.
The eggplant you are getting is a Japanese variety. It is more tender and sweet than the large, globe shaped Italian variety you will be getting later this year. Some recipes for eggplant call for salting and letting the salt draw out the bitterness of the eggplant or cooking the eggplant and discarding the peeling. With these small Japanese eggplant you don’t need to do either of those things. Just cook and enjoy them almost like you would a zucchini. There is a slight bitterness in the skin but there are almost no seeds and the inside of the eggplant is creamy and delicious.
Posted by Mo
I decided to grill my Tromboncino, eggplants, and grilling onions I got this week. While the grill was getting hot I cut the vegetables into roughly the same size pieces so they would grill about the same time. I rubbed them with olive oil and salt and wacked them on the grill.
When vegetables are this good I try to avoid any complicated cooking or additions. The one thing you want to do is grill them until they are truly done. “Crunchy” grilled vegetables are no bueno. We are about half way here.
See how the cell walls are collapsed? If the vegetables are firm you aren’t getting the flavor of grilling. Some charring is ok, too. Some of that black is the skin of the eggplant, not burned vegetables.
This made lot of vegetables. I used ½ for one meal and cut up the other ½ to use later in the week to add to some grains for eggs for a quick dinner.
We have some great food this week. Let us know what you do with yours! Have fun.