2016 CSA – Week 14: Tomatoes Aplenty

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CSA Newsletter – Week 14


Tomatoes Aplenty

Put plainly, this has been a bountiful year for tomatoes. We planted the same amount of row feet in tomatoes as we did last year but this year we have so many more! The variables that contribute to the success of a crop are numerous, including location, fertility, plant variety, and even weather.

Grafting has been an ongoing project in which we improve our process each year. The grafted root stock can improve disease resistance and vigor over the course of the season resulting in healthier, higher producing plants. Additionally, the scion (vegetative, fruiting part of the plant) variety selection plays a large role in disease resistance and ultimately yield. This year, we grafted varieties that are bred for improved disease resistance in greenhouse conditions and we are certainly seeing some great results!

Even with 9 markets a week, restaurant orders, and the CSA, and our own tomato roasting efforts, we still have tomatoes galore!

A few folks have asked about ordering additional produce for canning and preservation. I am extending the invitation to all CSA members that we are taking bulk orders for tomatoes and some additional produce. Email Chris at gtf@gatheringtogetherfarm.com to place an order.


Table of Box Contents

☐  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25)

☐  1 Red Watermelon ($6.00)

☐  2 Colored Bell Peppers ($4.00) – Delicious sautéed with onions and garlic and served with eggs. Also, try adding them to cornbread, see recipe.  

☐  1 Bunch Carrots ($3.50)

  Green Kale ($3.00) – Sauté with onions and garlic, use in soup, or make a kale and cabbage salad, see recipe.

2 Dried Sweet Onions ($2.25)

☐  Red Cabbage ($6.00) – Try making coleslaw with fresh mint and golden raisins or make kale and cabbage salad, see recipe.

☐  Italian Parsley ($2.00) – This bold, hearty herb is delicious in salads and dressings and it also makes a nice pesto, see recipe.

☐  2 lbs Big Beef Tomatoes ($6.00)

Box Market Value: $37.00

 

Recipes

Loaded Cornbread

I made cornbread for the first time in a long time last week and I forgot how delicious it is! I adapted the recipe by adding grated cheese, fresh corn cut off the cob (raw), scallions, and chipotle powder. I don’t often cook with buttermilk but it is worth getting for this recipe. Incorporate chopped peppers, onions, herbs, dried spices or other flavors. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.
    In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I prefer to bake cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Leave it in the oven as it preheats and pour the batter in when the skillet is hot out of the oven.

Read More: FoodNetwork

 

Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw with Turmeric Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 Red cabbage
  • 1 bunch Fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup Toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon Poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Organic raw honey
  • 1/2 cup Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder

Preparation

  1. Chop the red cabbage in the food processor and use a knife to roughly chop the kale (do not remove the stems, as they’re also loaded with nutrients). Place both in a big bowl. Serve garnished with toasted hazelnuts.
  2. Place the dressing ingredients in a blender and process to obtain a smooth paste.
  3. Pour it over the veggies, add the poppy seeds and stir to combine.

Read More: Food52

 

Parsley Thyme Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Preparation

Combine parsley, thyme leaves, lemon zest, Parmesan, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor. When finely chopped, add olive oil in a steady stream until pesto is smooth. Season to taste with salt.

Read More: Food52

2016 CSA – Week 5: Cultivating a Tomato Forest

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CSA Newsletter  – Week 5


Cultivating a Tomato Forest

I was walking through one of the greenhouses a few days ago and couldn’t believe the size of our tomato plants. It was like walking through a tomato forest. Plants towering over my head and branches the circumference of a shovel handles. These tomatoes aren’t messing around!

The genesis of these tomatoes began in the early months of the year in our propagation house. When they are about the size of a toothpick, scion stems are meticulously grafted to separate rootstock plants. The seeding, grafting, and healing process of the tomato plants takes about 4 weeks of diligent care in the propagation house.

Once the tomatoes are planted in the high tunnels or in the field, they are “trained” by wrapping the leading stems with twine.  This supports the plants vegetation and fruit as they grow larger. Each week, the plants are pruned and shoots called suckers are removed.

In the high tunnels, the tomato plants can reach the high tunnel ceiling, up to 15 feet high. If the plants remain healthy throughout the season, fruit can be harvested up to the first hard frost, usually into November. That is some serious growing power!

Have a great week and enjoy those veggies.

-Lily, CSA Coordinator

 

Table of Box Contents

Lettuce ($2.00)

Red Scallions ($2.50) – Delicious in eggs, salad, or grilled

☐ Fresh Sweet Onion ($1.50)

☐ Bunch Carrots ($3.50) – Remove tops for storage

Italian Parsley ($2.00) – Substitute for basil in your favorite pesto recipe or try this one from SimplyRecipes.

Radicchio ($3.00) – Delicious in salad or grilled. Pairs well with balsamic and an aged cheese such as parmesan.

Swiss Chard ($3.00) – Sauté with onions and eat with eggs or top over a grilled sausage.

Green Cabbage ($5.25) – Coleslaw is a wonderful summer salad. See recipe.

2-4 Zucchini ($3.25) – Grill, sauté, or make zucchini bread.

4 Cucumbers ($4.00) – Try them smashed! See recipe.

1 lb Tomatoes (2-3) ($3.50)

 

Recipes

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Smashing cucumbers is fun and it makes a delicious salad! I made this last week and it was so tasty, and refreshing. Definitely a new summer staple for me! Use as few or as many cucumbers as you like and season to taste.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-4 cucumbers
  • salt
  • Chili oil or toasted sesame oil
  • rice vinegar (optional)

Add-ons: toasted sesame seeds, scallions, garlic, red pepper flakes

PREPARATION

  1. Smash the cucumbers, one at a time, using a rolling pin. Smash on one side, flip, and smash on the other.
  2. Tear cucumbers into chunks, place in a colander, and salt. Let drain for 10 minutes.
  3. Drizzle with the oil and add any other additional flavorings to taste.

Watch this fun Bon Appetit video for a visual recipe.

 

Quinoa Tabbouleh

This twist on the classic Middle Eastern salad is delicious using quinoa but you can also use the traditional grain, bulger. This is one of those dishes that just taste better the longer the flavors meld so make a large batch and eat it all week!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Scallions, thinly sliced

PREPARATION

  1. Bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing.
  6. Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.

Read More: Epicurious

 

Coleslaw with Mint and Golden Raisins

This is one of my go to salads. The mint is so fresh and the raisins add a hint of sweetness. Make a day ahead to let the raisins plum up and for the flavors to meld. Quantities are flexible depending on how you like your coleslaw. Season to taste.

INGREDIENTS

  • Green or Red Cabbage
  • Mayonnaise (or veganaise)
  • Fresh Mint
  • Golden Raisins

PREPARATION

  1. Chop Cabbage into long, thin strips. Chop mint.
  2. In a large bowl, mix cabbage, mint, and golden raisins.
  3. Add enough mayonnaise to coat. Enjoy!

Parsley: Italian or Moss?

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Parsley we often think of as a useless herb, aside from the hint of healthy green added to our plate. The reason parsley makes our food look so healthy is because parsley is actually very healthy for us. But you don’t get healthier by looking at parsley, now do you?

Parsley contains two major components that are particularly healthy for us: volatile oils and flavonoids. Volatile oils tend to inhibit tumor formation, and the flavonoids act as antioxidants. This dark green herb is also a great source of Vitamins A and C.

Throughout the year, our farm offers two varieties of parsley as well as parsley root. But what is the difference between parsley variants? Why would we choose one over the other?

The name parsley comes from the Greek work for “rock celery,” and it is in fact related to celery. Parsley hails from the Mediterranean and comes in over thirty varieties. Its main categories are flat-leaf (also called Italian) and curly. Here at GTF we grow both types: Italian parsley and Moss parsley (which is a type of curly parsley). The main difference between them is that the flat-leaf parsley usually has a more robust flavor. Curly parsley can be flavorless or more bitter, depending on the plant. Both types can be used for cooking. Simply taste the parsley first in order to get a feel for its flavor, then decide how you’d like to use it.

Instead of throwing out the stems, which have stronger flavor than the leaves, use them in a bouquet garni, add them to soup stocks, or add when cooking beans.

When buying parsley: Choose a bunch that has bright green leaves and shows no signs of wilting.

To store parsley: Wash fresh parsley, making sure to shake off excess moisture. Wrap it in paper towels, followed by wrapping it in a plastic bag. A fresh bunch of parsley can be refrigerated in this way for up to one week.

Parsley Recipes:

Tabbouleh or Quinoa Tabbouleh

Moroccan Potato Salad

11 Ways to Cook with Fresh Parsley

 

References:

Wikipedia

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