ATHENS HILLS SUMMER CSA:
It finally felt like summer this week on the farm. The long hot days don't stop the crew from their daily routines of picking, weeding and harvesting. They have been picking a ton (literally) of tomatoes lately, and you are getting a bountiful bag of the red slicers in your share this week. And with the introduction of our Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers this week, fresh summer salsa is calling! (warning: Use rubber gloves when processing the hot peppers. Don’t touch your eyes after using them.)
Speaking of the Hot Peppers, we have noticed a wide range of heat in our tastings of these peppers. If you are sensitive to heat, then we suggest you try a small sample of each pepper first. You should also discard the seeds if you are wanting a milder taste.
With our tomato harvest thriving, we want to offer our CSA members the opportunity to purchase tomatoes in quantity for canning and preserving. We are offering a 25# box of our red slicing tomatoes for a special CSA price of $25! Please contact us by the Sunday before your CSA delivery, and we can bring them to your pick-up site. Feel free to call or email Becky or me with any questions. (Don’t want to can yourself, come and give a hand in our canning, and take home some for yourself. Call Becky to coordinate. 740-448-4021)
Even with as busy as the summer days are, we are continuously planning and planting for the fall gardens as well. The beets have been planted, and the rutabagas have germinated. All this, and planning for the Winter CSA! It's hard work, but it's good work, and we thank you for the opportunity to do it.
Rob (on behalf of Kip & Becky, Dan, John, Cale, Claudia, Penny, Eric, and our interns: Corey, Becky, & Julia)
Check out the previous newsletters (on our blog) for serving suggestions, storage advice, etc. for each of these vegetables.
Tomatoes: You're receiving a healthy portion of our slicer tomatoes this week. After a few weeks of relishing the fresh taste of raw tomatoes, maybe you're ready to cook with this batch?
Beets: You know these delicious roots by now. Lots of beet recipes in previous newsletters.
Cucumbers: Crisp and crunchy! This is our first season to offer these summer taste treats, and we are excited!
Green Peppers: Sweet and crunchy.
Summer Squash: Zucchini and Patty pans coming your way this week. Try stuffing them with the other veggies, cheese, breadcrumbs, etc.
Basil: This summer herb is good for so much more than just pesto. Try it in marinades, pasta sauces and with your morning eggs. Always add just before serving, so the flavor doesn't get cooked out.
Green Beans: Our first offering of these sweet summer treats this season. This is a variety called Provider; we guess because they do. Great to snack on while you're preparing dinner!
Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers: These summer beauties come in shades of orange, yellow, red and every hue in between. A true hot pepper, though not the hottest. If you want less heat, remove the seeds.
Cilantro: A staple in fresh summer salsa. Also see last week's newsletter for a recipe for Cilantro Pesto.
Local Pork, Chicken and Farmstead Goat Cheese Available to Order
We mentioned last week that we would be sending you information about special ordering some goodies from other Athens-area producers. We will be sending that out very soon, so be sure to look in your email inbox this week. These items will be delivered with your CSA on August 19th.
Recipe: Beet and Cucumber Gazpacho
2 large or 4 small beets, trimmed
2 bell peppers
2 cups cold water
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro or basil
1 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
6 Tbs. yogurt or sour cream
If beets are large, cut them in half. Put beets in large stockpot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, and simmer until beets can be pierced with a butter knife (25-45 minutes). Drain beets and squeeze off skins while running under cold water, then cut into quarters.
Place beets in a food processor or blender. Add peppers. Add ½ cup of the water. Process until large chunks are gone, but not to a smooth puree. Transfer to a large bowl.
Combine the cucumber, onion and tomatoes in the blender/processor. Process until slightly chunky. Add this to the beet mixture. Add the remaining 1 cup of water, the olive oil, the cilantro or basil and salt and pepper. Chill for at least one hour. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a tablespoon of yogurt or sour cream.
Variation: You can add hot peppers instead of bell peppers if you like more heat. Chop them finely instead of pureeing.-Adapted from Vegetarian Planet--Didi Emmons 1997