Dear Farm Members,
As we enter this driest time of the year, I wanted to share with you a few things we are doing to cope with and adapt to the drought. Since the driest time is August and September, we plan so that several large important crops are planted very early and either able to be cut off water or reduced watering by early August. Potatoes and onions got their last watering about 10 days ago. They have been curing in the ground and we’ve started harvesting and storing them for the rest of the season. Hard squashes, like acorn, delicata, and butternut were planted extra early this year and are almost mature. We’ll water them for another couple weeks and then let them dry down also. Tomatoes, which are possibly our most popular (and thus important!) crop, have an amazing ability to stay alive with very little water once they have sized up. The tomatoes also taste better with less water, although their yield does drop. Every year we let them start producing and then shut off the water. The early tomatoes will get their last water this week and the main season and later tomatoes will get just a few more weeks water. We also planted a large patch of dry beans this year (like pinto beans) partially as drought insurance. They are also almost done with irrigation. This way, no matter how dry the fall is, we will still have plenty of food for everyone to eat!
Next week I’ll write about some of our other water saving strategies including a very exciting partnership with a new Silicon Valley startup that is developing a great irrigation monitoring system.
Thanks for your support,
IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:
Corn – you may have noticed that we chose not to cut the tips off the corn last week as we had previously promised. The worm damage in this succession wasn’t too bad…we’ll see how the next ones fare.
Tomatoes – we are in a slight lull with the tomatoes, but in a couple weeks there will be many more coming
Herbs – dill, cilantro, OR Basil – Please note that basil and dill dry very easily. If you have more than you need and would like to save them for later, just hang the bunch somewhere out of direct sunlight for a few days. Once the herbs are crispy dry, store in a plastic bag.
Hot peppers. You will start to see a few hot peppers in your boxes: fresh salsa time!
Onions OR scallions
Eggplant – globe types this week
Coming soon: edamame, green bell peppers, beans
IN YOUR FRUIT BOX (if you get it!)
Pears, Peaches and Pluots
Grilled Corn with Basil Butter
Start the grill so it gets medium hot. Shuck as many ears of corn that you want to eat. Roll the corn in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When the grill is hot, add the corn and close the lid. Rotate the corn a few times until a few kernels start to blister (shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes). Be careful not to overcook, this dries out the corn.
While the grill is cooking, add 2 sticks of unsalted butter to a food processor with a cup of basil and a tablespoon of sea salt. Process until the butter is a green tint and the basil is finely chopped. You may have to scrape down the sides of the processor. This butter stores well in a fridge for a week.
When the corn comes off the grill slather with basil butter and enjoy!
Savory Baked Pancake with Chard
Adapted from greenkitchenstories.com
2 C milk
½ C almond flour
½ C buckwheat flour (the almond & buckwheat flour can be replaced by 1 C whole wheat flour)
½ tsp sea salt
4 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. butter
1 bunch chard
½ C chopped tomatoes
1 hot pepper minced (optional)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Preheat oven to 400. Place an 8×10 inch backing dish in the oven. Thinly slice the onion and chard. Heat oil in a skillet and stir-fry the onion, chard, thyme, and garlic on medium heat to low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to beat the eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add milk, flour, and sea salt. Keep whisking until smooth. Add the stir-fried chard, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Put a piece of butter on the baking dish and melt it in the oven. Once it’s melted take the dish out of the oven and pour the batter into the dish. You could sprinkle some grated parmesan on top if you’d like. Bake for around 30 minutes, until nicely browned and set. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before enjoying!