Just a reminder for those of you who pick up at the farm, Brad will not be there today. Your container will be just inside the walk in cooler on the left. It will have your name on it and of course it will be full of yummy vegetables. Please leave your empty container just outside the cooler. If you pick up in downtown Concord please remember to bring your empty container as well. A few of you have been slacking off. ;-)
Speaking of slacking off, several of you have forgotten to pick up your full container entirely during the last few weeks. If we have someone who forgets to pick up a container we take it back to the walk in cooler at the farm. We leave it there until Saturday. If it is still unclaimed we donate the food as hunger relief. You are welcome to come and pick up your container at the farm. It's about 5 miles from downtown Concord. Here's a link for directions. Just give me a call to make sure someone is out at the farm before you stop by. 704/305.6654 It is quite a bit easier on us though if everyone picks up at the right time and the right place. If you know ahead of time you're going to miss the pick up give me a call and I'll try to work something out with you.
Yesterday we got our first taste of cooler weather. I put on a long sleeve shirt so I could pick okra comfortably (okra is covered with little itchy hairs) and I left that shirt on all day without getting hot. Last night we opened up the windows and cooled the house down quite a bit. I like summer but I admit I'm ready for fall.
This past week we transplanted broccoli, collards, cabbage and kohlrabi into the field. I seeded radishes, lettuce, spinach, kale, mizuna, turnips, and beets. I would like a little rain now please.
We might have a few slow weeks coming up as we transition from summer crops to fall crops. We put extra vegetables in last week's containers and this week you'll get extra as well; partly because we have so many frickin' tomatoes and partly because we might have less in coming weeks. We're also going to pick apples this week which will help fill up the containers during the next few weeks.
Let us know if you can come out to the farm this week or weekend to pick cherry tomatoes. We'll send you home with plenty and sadly we can't get them off the vine fast enough. I picked 25 lbs yesterday evening and it was hard to tell I had even been in the field!
If you're feeling slightly overwhelmed by the tomatoes I suggest making sauce as if you're going to feed 15 people and then freezing it or canning it in small containers so you can have a taste of summer during the colder months ahead. I've heard that some of you are already doing this. Don't wait, the tomatoes won't last many more weeks, at least not in quantities like this. I'm including a glut sauce recipe below that will help you if you're not used to making sauce from scratch. It's from El at her blog, Fast Grow the Weeds.
Tomatoes! (slicing and cherry tomatoes)
Peppers (green, red and maybe brown- remember brown is good)
Grapes (last week on the grapes)
Hummm, tomatoes, okra and garlic... can anyone say gumbo?
By the way the garlic will hold for many months if its kept in a dry location so don't feel the need to use it right away. You can stockpile a little for use later this fall and winter.
Joan's Tomato Glut Sauce (adapted from the NYTimes)
Preheat oven to 400*.
Put into a large roasting pan:
6 pounds tomatoes cored and quartered
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrots (optional)*
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped celery (optional)*
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
9 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons each fresh thyme, oregano, basil, parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt...or less
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Roast 45 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Process briefly to leave slightly chunky, and freeze in 2-cup portions. Makes 2 quarts (4 pounds).
* Very optional. I used pepper, eggplant and yellow squash in mine (it's a color thing) and I used all the tomatoes that happened to be fresh TODAY. It's Glut Sauce, you know...
3/4 - 1 lb. fresh okra, sliced
1 lg. onion or 6 green onions, chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 or 3 cloves garlic
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Other spices to taste
Sm. amount olive oil
1/2 c. rice, uncooked
Start cooking the rice while preparing the Gumbo mixture. Wash and cut okra. Clean and chop onions, also garlic. Wash tomatoes and dice. Use a non stick skillet. Add olive oil. Stir fry the above. Add a small amount of water. Add seasonings. Cook until tender. Serve over cooked rice.
Chicken Gumbo (yes local chicken is available and really yummy)
3 1/2 pounds frying chicken
1 onion, cut in chunks
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups reserved broth
6 slices bacon, diced
1 pound smoked andouille or smoked sausage, sliced 1/4" thick
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes
1 can (approx. 15 ounces) tomato puree
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced okra, thawed
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
Combine chicken, the onion chunks, celery leaves, and salt in a Dutch oven or large kettle; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 45 minutes. or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken, reserving 5 cups of the chicken broth; discard onion and celery leaves. Remove chicken from bones; cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
Cook bacon and sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon and sausage, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in Dutch oven. Crumble bacon; set bacon and sausage aside. Add onion, pepper, celery, and garlic to Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender. Add chicken, bacon, sausage, reserved broth (should be approximately 5 cups), tomatoes, and remaining ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2