August 27, 2014

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • Valley Girl Tomatoes This is a great time for canning!  Order cases of valley girls and romas through our online market!  Get them before the season is over.
  • Heirloom TomatoHeirloom tomatoes lack a genetic mutation that gives tomatoes an appealing uniform red color while sacrificing the fruit's sweet taste.  Varieties bearing this mutation, which have been favored by industry since the 1940s, feature fruits with lower levels of carotenoids (powerful antioxidants that can help prevent some forms of cancer and heart disease, and act to enhance your immune response to infections) and a decreased ability to make sugar within the fruit.
  • Eggplant Make some eggplant caviar! Heat oven to 400° F. Using a fork, prick the eggplant all over. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until very tender, 50 to 60 minutes.  When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, halve it lengthwise and scrape out the flesh, discarding the skin. Finely chop the flesh and transfer it to a large bowl.  Add ½ a small chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic garlic, 2 tbs parsley, 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and mix to combine. Sprinkle with additional parsley and serve with the bread and vegetables, if desired.
  • Zucchini Store unwashed zucchini in perforated plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator; wash zucchini just before preparation.  For best quality, use zucchini within about three to four days.
  • Mixed Bell PeppersThe star of this week’s recipe!
  • Garlic A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.”  –Yiddish proverb
  • CayenneCayenne stimulates digestion and muscle movement in the intestines, which helps restore deficient digestive secretions and aids absorption of food nutrients. (Stomach acid tends to decline with age, and some cases of poor digestion are related to a lack of this acid.)  Cayenne also stimulates circulation and blood flow to the peripheral areas of the body. Therefore, cayenne is often added to a wide variety of herbal remedies; it improves the absorption and circulation of the other herbs throughout the body.

Egg Shares include eggs from our certified organic, pasture-raised, happy hens.


Don’t forget – you can always add extra items to your order at our Online Market.


Vegetable Forecast

Charentais Melon, Tomatoes, Almonds, Cucumbers and more of the  best of the week…



Enjoy the summer faire while it lasts!  We’re only weeks away from the return of greens: arugula, baby salad mix, braising mix, etc.  This is one of our favorite times of the year when greens and summer goods are on the same table.

We’ve seeded our fall/winter beets and carrots and are monitoring daily to use one of our favorite methods for growing roots.  We seed, irrigate, then wait until the day before we expect the carrot or beet seeds to sprout and then run a flame torch over the bed to knock back any of the faster growing weeds.  This gives the carrots and beets a good head start over the weeds before we have to cultivate mechanically and by hand.


Pics of the week

- Rex Dufour of ATTRA/NCAT led an entomology primer and field observation walk with our entire farm crew as Dusty and Ruben scour the beans with hand lenses

- During the field course, Alex finds a toad in the melons.  That’s a good sign of an organic farm.

- We’re on Instagam!! Get immediate, daily updates and pictures of the farm...



Turkish-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers (Zeytinyağlı Biber Dolma)

We had a dinner party recently and served this dish as a side.  It tasted delicious and people loved it!  Adapted from Almost Turkish.

  • 10 small bell peppers
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 medium size onions, finely chopped (you can use a food processor)
  • 2 Valley Girl tomatoes, grated
  • 1 Valley Girl tomato (this one is for covering the tops of bell peppers after stuffing)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mint flakes or ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • salt
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


Mix all the ingredients (except for peppers and 1 tomato) together well in a bowl.

Wash peppers and take out the top part and the seeds.  Stuff the peppers with the rice mix with a spoon or your hand.  Cut small pieces from 1 tomato to cover the top part of peppers. Press the tomato slice down a bit so that it won’t come out.

Place the dolmas in an oven-safe dish as tall as the dolmas and can be put on the stove top as well. Pour on top 2 cups of boiling water.  First let it boil for 5 minutes on the stove. Then, bake it in a preheated oven at 400F for 35-40 minutes until rice is cooked and tops are browned. Check them regularly if you don’t want to burn the tops and rice has enough liquid.

 It’s better cold, but good when it’s hot, too.


Entomology in Action

Toads in the Melons.

Instagram updates at market.