CSA Newsletter – Week 6
Mechanical Cultivation: Keeping our fields well groomed
In passing, our logistics coordinator and cultivator extraordinaire, Joey, was lamenting about not wanting to get back on the tractor to cultivate in the afternoon. I don’t blame him, long days spent in the hot sun; meticulously driving through row after row of crops is tedious and straining. However, cultivation is a very essential part of our weed management program and can make or break the success of a crop.
This time of year, we have a dedicated crew of cultivators who spend much of their days riding classic International and Farmall cultivation tractors, from the 50’s and 60’s, through fields, the walking the fine line of effective cultivation and uprooting the very plants we are trying to protect. Like so many things in farming, timing is everything. If a crop (or the weeds) grows too large, the cultivation implement may not be able to run through the crop safely. Alternatively, if a crop is too small when cultivated, the plants may get buried in the processes, adversely impacting their success. With new crops being planted weekly, there is never a shortage of things to cultivate. Often, the limiting factor is hours in the day.
Anything that does not get cultivated by tractor gets cultivated and weeded by hand. Our skilled field crew can knock out a weedy planting pretty quick if it’s all hands on deck, but with much of the harvest coming on, hand weeding often takes a back seat to harvesting mature crops ready for sale.
So thank you to the cultivation crew for taking one for the team and keeping our fields looking beautiful and weed free (reduced)!
Have a great week and enjoy those veggies.
-Lily, CSA Coordinator
Table of Box Contents
☐ Lettuce ($2.00)
☐1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Store in dry, cool, darkness. Don’t scrub until you’re ready to eat them.
☐ ¾ Lbs Green Beans ($3.00)
☐ Bunched Red Shallots ($2.50) – Delicious in eggs, salad, or grilled
☐2 Fresh Sweet Onion ($3.00)
☐1 Eggplant ($4.50) – Best eaten soon after harvest. Delicious roasted or charred, in dips, ragu, or as eggplant parmesan.
☐Bunch Carrots ($3.50) – Remove tops for storage
☐ Fresh Dill ($2.00)
☐ Green Bell Pepper ($1.50)
☐Dried Garlic ($1.50)
☐2-3 Summer Squash ($3.00) – Grill, sauté, or make zucchini bread.
☐3 Cucumbers ($3.00)
☐ 1 lb Tomatoes (2-3) ($3.50)
Box Market Value: $35.25
Lisa’s Turkish Eggplant Dish
Lisa, a dear friend of the farm and former CSA Coordinator, is also a wonderful cook. I remembered tasting her eggplant dip when she made it last year and I am so excited to share it with you this week (and to have the recipe for myself)!
- 1 eggplant
- 1 (plus a bit) tablespoons butter
- 1-2 cloves garlic (depending on size)
- 1/3 to 2/3 cup yogurt
- salt to taste
- Place whole eggplant on grill (even straight on the coals)or in very hot oven until black. Let cool.
- Lightly sauté garlic in butter not allowing it to turn brown or black.
- Peel eggplant and chop into chunks.
- Add eggplant to garlic butter mixture and cook on medium low for about 5 minutes.
- Add yogurt and salt to taste.
Mayonnaise is one of my favorite condiments for grilled or roasted vegetables. It is incredibly versatile and can be dressed up in endless ways. Make your own mayo or use the jar from the fridge. Don’t be shy, a little mayo never hurt anybody and you’ll be surprised at how delicious it tastes!
Flavors (try combinations too!):
- Roasted garlic (raw too!)
- Fresh Herbs: basil, parsley, dill, etc.
- Harissa: a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste
- Dry spices: curry powder, paprika, etc.
This very versatile dish is perfect for using up the abundant zucchini and tomatoes, at this time of year. Add dried or fresh hot pepper to taste. Eat this dish with fresh bread, over rice or pasta, or all by itself.
- 1 large globe eggplant, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
- ¾ cup olive oil, divided
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 1 large onion, halved, sliced ½ inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes divided (or use 2-3 whole tomatoes)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup torn basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°. Toss eggplant, zucchini, and 2 tsp. salt in a colander. Let sit 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high. Add half of eggplant and zucchini and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to take on color, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with ¼ cup oil and remaining eggplant and zucchini.
- Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in same pot and cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and thyme, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to brown and is softened, 8–10 minutes.
- Add half of tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and eggplant, then top with remaining 1 pint tomatoes (do not stir); season with salt and pepper. Transfer pot to oven and roast until all vegetables are softened and tomatoes have begun to burst, 15–20 minutes.
- Remove thyme bundle. Transfer to a serving platter and top with basil.
Read More: Bon Appétit