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Farmer Joel's Blog, Week 7: Extreme Heat Edition

03 Aug 2017 9:33 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

Greetings from Ffynnon Farm!  The high temperatures and smoky haze have affected just about every aspect of life in the area, and your CSA is no exception. Here's a rundown of what changes we're making to adapt to the situation, and some of the benefits of the heat:

No leafy greens this week

It's just a little bit too warm for us to guarantee that spinach or lettuce won't turn into a wilted prom corsage before you pick it up, and what we have in the field looks like it can benefit from watering and will hold out until next week, so we're just going to leave the salad greens where they are this time around.

Everybody dance:  it's tomatoes!

The heat, and particularly the overnight retention of heat, has brought on the tomatoes like there's no tomorrow.  While we can't guarantee that there will be tomatoes in every basket from here on out, things are looking good right now. Every member gets at least two tomatoes this week, and possibly more if the harvest is heavier than we expected.

Onions are curing nicely

And so we have more in your baskets.  These are still technically thinnings, but they are bigger than normal thinnings and also a bit more mature and drier, which means they'll last a bit longer.  The red ones are Red Hawk, and the yellow ones are a mix of Cortland, New York Early, and Zoey.

Green beans and broccoli (and berries)...Oh my!
...and zucchinis as well.  The zukes are a bit bigger this week, and we'll probably be giving you a break from them for a bit after this.  The broccoli, which is a blend of Belstar and Bay Meadows varieties, looks very good, but the purplish blush and the slight yellowing is a touch of sun scald. We tried it and it doesn't affect flavor at all--and I really like the texture.  The green beans are Caprice.

We also (finally) got a decent harvest from our everbearing strawberries this week.  Decent, but not prolific, which means that some of you will receive your basket of berries next week instead of today.  Please be assured that everyone will, in the end, receive the same amount of food as others with the same share.

Don't cook!
We're doing our utmost to not add heat to the inside of the house, and we encourage others to do the same.  One of my favorite not-cooking recipes is for:
Panzanella, or Italian bread salad.  

Core and peel a few tomatoes (ones that are both meaty and juicy are best).  Place them in a strainer over a bowl and break them up with your fingers. Sprinkle them with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and set aside, while preparing about 4-8 slices of crusty, maybe a little stale, bread: rub the bread with a cut clove of garlic and toast it under a broiler or in a toaster oven. Tear it into bite-sized pieces once it's nicely browned and cooled, then put it into a bowl with the strained juice from the tomatoes.  Discard the tomato seeds and chop the meat of the tomatoes into smaller pieces.  Add the tomatoes to the bread, along with about 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon good vinegar (red wine, balsamic, etc.), some herbs such as oregano or marjoram, and some freshly-ground black pepper. Toss, taste, and adjust seasonings; serve immediately. Or, do what I do: keep the bowl and eat the whole thing yourself. 

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Office: 503-429-1556

57009 Pebble Creek Rd
Vernonia, Oregon 97064

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