newsletter #10 8/13/12

13 Aug

Hello Two Black Sheep members – today is August 13th, our 10th week and the halfway point of our 20-week season. It’s going by fast, but there are still many bountiful weeks ahead of us. We hope you are enjoying our little CSA so far. As always, feel free to send us emails with questions and comments – or perhaps leave us a comment on the website here or on our Facebook page.

We hope you enjoy this week’s assortment!

 

Peppers treated

Pick-a-peck…

Large Shares:

Large Flower Bouquet
Carrots
Slicer tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Salad tomatoes
Green bell pepper
Summer squash
Sweet corn
Potatoes
Cabbage

 Small Shares:

Small Flower Bouquet
Carrots
Slicer tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Green bell pepper
Summer squash

 

Storage Tips:

Potatoes

Potatoes will store perfectly for 3-6 months or longer given the proper conditions.

First, never wash potatoes prior to storing. Moisture is the enemy, and no matter how well you dry them, you’ll still leave small pockets of moisture which can start mildew growing.

Second, potatoes should always be stored in a cool, dark place. Exposure to light causes potatoes to turn green (and toxic!). Ever noticed green-edged potato chips? Don’t eat those!

Don’t store potatoes in the fridge either. That causes the starch to convert to sugar and the potato to turn dark. The ideal temperature is 45-50º F, and the potatoes should have plenty of breathing room for air to circulate. Storing them in brown paper sacks, or other moisture-absorbing material (not plastic) will also prolong their life.

 

The Weekly Recipe:

Heirloom Tomato Salsa Fresca from Williams Sonoma:

  • 1 ear of sweet yellow corn, shucked and cleaned
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. ripe heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced plus 2 slices avocado for garnish
  • 1 to 3 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice (or more to taste)
  • Salt to taste

Preheat your grill on medium heat. Coat the corn lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the corn on the grill and let it grill, giving a quarter turn every 4 to 5 minutes, till the corn is tender and lightly charred (about 20 minutes total).

While the corn is grilling, chop up your heirloom tomatoes, red onion, avocado, jalapeño, and cilantro. Use 1 jalapeño for a mild salsa, or 3 for a kick. Alternatively, you can substitute 1 serrano chile to make it spicy. Place all of the chopped vegetables and cilantro into a medium mixing bowl.

When the corn is finished grilling, let it cool enough to comfortably handle. Cut the corn off of the cob using a sharp knife. Add the grilled corn kernels to the mixing bowl. Add fresh lime juice and toss to mix the vegetables. Season the mixture with salt to taste. Let the ingredients macerate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, or chill in the refrigerator till ready to serve.

Before serving, taste again and adjust seasonings by adding more lime juice or salt to taste, if desired. Flavorful liquid will collect in the bowl over time; you can leave it for dipping (it tastes delicious) or drain it off for a cleaner appearance.

 

 

News From The Farm:

I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a soaking rain in a long time. To be sure, we’d had a few occasions of 30 minute, moderate to light rain in the past two weeks, but a real “gusher” had eluded us for a long time.

At one point in the afternoon on Friday it was a wall of water falling for 15-20 minutes…and even that didn’t puddle the soil, so quickly did the rain soak into the soil. The sheep, who were munching in their outer enclosure, never made a sound to be let back into the barn. It was clear the coolness of the rain was something they were enjoying. It was as if, with the rain, the grass could almost be heard growing again.

A down side to the inconsistent rains this season is a multitude of split tomatoes. After a dry period, when deluged with a watering, tomatoes will send all that moisture to the fruits and they will expand so quickly that the skins burst.

And when I was digging potatoes (our favourite Red Norland variety) this morning, the soaking extended down into the soil about 6-7 inches. But below that, the soil was still dry. amazing how vegetables below the soil line can make the best of a situation lacking this essential element for growth over time. Folks living on the land are not always so optimistic or patient. I know a group of farm folk who were ecstatic to see the rain come back!  My mantra is “Keep on raining!”

 

That’s all for this week. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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