It felt a little bit more like the 4th of July yesterday than Labor Day! Summer holidays aren’t really a thing around the farm as the work goes on, but the one thing that separated the 4th of July from Labor Day weekend was the constant talk of pumpkins in the office. While the heat is hanging on for one more day, it looks like there is a cooldown in sight with some seasonal fall temperatures. After this last streak of heat, I think everyone at the farm is ready for some cool mornings that call for sweatshirts and maybe even an extra layer.
Although I’m really looking forward to the fall-like temperatures, I’m not quite ready to give up the goodness that summer brings. While we are still in full harvest mode harvesting all of the summer crops, it really hit me yesterday that we really only have 30-40 days left of our summer produce season. And honestly, that’s being generous…..it all depends on Mother Nature and when we get our first frost. Now, I don’t want to think about that word yet, but it’s reality. So, until then, I’m going to enjoy all the summer things I can, but hopefully in fall like temps instead of these ridiculous 95+ degree days.
You’ll notice your shares don’t include sweet corn this week but don’t worry, it will be back. We just took a one-week break so that we could fill the shares with other great produce like a giant bag of apples! Let’s dive in and take a look at what can be done with the share this week:
Zestar! Apples: A big bag of apples for everyone today. While these used to be quite popular and the earliest Minnesota apple, First Kiss has kind of kicked Zestar! to the curb. The demand for this variety has definitely declined, which caused us to rip out the majority of our Zestar! trees in order to plant more First Kiss trees instead. This apple has a great flavor, one that is sweet with a touch of tartness. The bite isn’t quite as crisp as First Kiss, but it’s still a great eating apple. Apples with peanut butter, cheese, or plain are great ways to enjoy these as snacks. If it’s too many apples for you to enjoy over the next week, try making a fresh batch of apple sauce or apple crisp. These apples will store in your fridge for about 2 months, although I wouldn’t recommend keeping them around that long.
Broccoli: While broccoli and cheese soup does not sound appealing to me right now as it is just too warm to think about, I could probably be talked into making a batch this coming weekend. This is the recipe I plan on using when I get around to it on Saturday or Sunday.
Romano Beans: My absolute favorite way to cook the Romano Beans is to snip the ends and boil until almost completely soft. That’s the important part….almost soft, not completely soft. While the beans are boiling, I like to sauté a couple of shallots in some butter or olive oil. I add the almost soft beans to the shallots and sauté for a few more minutes until they are to my desired softness. Delicious. Honestly, these could be a meal in themselves.
Cipollini Onions: Sweet and perfect for adding to kabobs. The share this week is actually perfect for making some delicious end of summer kabobs on the grill. Onions, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and protein of your choice…a fairly quick and easy dinner! These onions are also great for roasting as they are quite sweet.
Heirloom Tomatoes: Please note that the heirlooms in today’s share likely need to sit on your counter for two to three days to finish ripening. Once ripe, chop up and make a great salad! Chopped heirlooms, a bit of feta or fresh mozzarella cheese, olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and maybe even some fresh herbs like basil and mint.
Sweet Italian Peppers: While you can easily enjoy these peppers raw as a snack, they are also great on the grill. I think I will add mine to kabobs and if I don’t use them all that way, I’ll probably chop some up into small pieces and put them into a container along with some chopped onions and broccoli to add to some scrambled eggs one morning this week.
Rainbow Carrots: Roasted is the way to go for me. As always, I will peel these as soon as I get them home and honestly, I will probably toss them in olive oil and onto a baking sheet this evening. I like the roasted carrots warm right out of the oven, but cold roasted carrots on a salad are also delicious.
Green Peppers: If you haven’t added green peppers to your burgers or a BLT, what are you waiting for? Disclaimer, I only do this in the summer with homegrown peppers because I think the flavor is drastically different than the peppers you buy in the store during the winter months. These peppers are thick-walled and great for adding to salads, sandwiches, kabobs, or just eating with a little bit of hummus or veggie dip.
Zucchini: Green and yellow zucchini is here for you today. Sliced and added to kabobs or sliced and added to stir fry is a great way to use this up. Zucchini, onions, peppers-both Italian and green, diced heirlooms, and maybe a sprinkle of parmesan cheese is an excellent option for a pretty quick dinner this week.
Eggplant: A batch of baba ganoush, sliced and grilled, diced into chunks and added to kabobs, the options are endless. Oh, how could I forget…eggplant parmesan! So many options for this vegetable that sometimes gets a bad rap. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan the first or second time I ate eggplant, but it’s grown on me and it’s something I now look forward to eating a couple of times a year. We know it’s not everyone’s favorite, which is exactly why it’s only included a couple of times throughout the entire CSA season.
There you have it, week #12. Only 5 weeks to go! It’s kind of crazy to think that there are only 5 weeks left. Part of yesterday was spent mapping out what items we have left to send this season and there are A LOT! So many varieties of apples, lots of different winter squash, a few different kinds of potatoes, lettuces, tomatoes, leeks, and oh so many more things.
Make it a great week,