Sweet Rain

On the Farm

I am listening to the rain as I write. It’s soft, but it is a start. Our area was designated as a severe drought over the last week. I don’t keep up with my rain gauge enough to know for certain, but looking back through my notes from the summer, I don’t know if we have gotten more than a few inches since June. Anyone reading local to Fitzwilliam that has an accurate gauge?

What we got today will have to suffice for the veggies, but it isn’t doing much to saturate the soil. Most of this light rain never makes it past the surface. A fellow frisbee player mentioned “hydrophobic soil conditions” yesterday due to the drought. When the soil dries out completely, it is not readily available to take on moisture, and actually prevents the rain from penetrating deep into the ground. Instead water tends to bead off the soil and pool. I cross my fingers for a light rain before any downpour because it primes the soil to take on a heavier water load. If we get the projected thunderstorms tomorrow, today’s rain is perfect for priming the soil to capture more moisture below the surface. If not, the little water will help, but it will be out of the soil in a day or two.

Regardless, I planned for rain and we will be spending the day planting tomorrow. We’re a couple weeks late on our planting schedule for fall because of the lack of moisture in the soil. There was no point risking transplant loss without any rain in the forecast, and we gave the starts a healthy dose of fish fertilizer to keep them happy in their pots. Now, though, we don’t have much of an option than to plant and cross our fingers for favorable weather. The crew handled harvest in the morning while I started prepping beds to be planted in. I wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to be using the tractor later in the day when the fields would be wet. Tomorrow and later this week we will spend the days planting beets, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, bok choy, cabbage, and lettuce.

More on what is in shares this week below

SUMMER SHARES WEEK 11!

A reminder that we are on the even week schedule for half shares. FULL SHARES receive a basket every week. HALF SHARES receive a basket every other week.

EVEN WEEKS

Week 2 – 6/22 Week 10 – 8/17
Week 4 – 7/6 Week 12 – 8/31
Week 6 – 7/20 Week 14 – 9/14
Week 8 – 8/3 Week 16 – 9/28

ODD WEEKS

Week 1 – 6/15 Week 9 – 8/10
Week 3 – 6/29 Week 11 – 8/24
Week 5 – 7/13 Week 13 – 9/7
Week 7 – 7/27 Week 15 – 9/21

Cabbage is a new addition for this week. Carrots will be in shares again. We are working through the end of our smaller early carrots before we move on to the next bed. The new bed is sizing up nicely and should be in shares by next week. Hopefully we’ll get some rain to help. Celery is back in shares as we finish of the bed. Eggplant is going to shares. We grow a Japanese eggplant that is long and skinny, and the classic Italian eggplant. They can be used the same. Garlic is a staple. Head Lettuce is back in shares. Peppers, Summer Squash, and Zucchini are all staples. Tomatoes will finally be ready! Both cherries and slicers should make it into shares this week.

It looks like we have seen the last of our cucumbers for the season. There may be some in our store, and we’ll put them on the swap table as well for members.

Check for recipes below!

Shares Week 11:
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Eggplant
Garlic
Head Lettuce
Kale
Onions
Peppers
Summer Squash and Zucchini
Tomatoes

Egg Share: CHECK LIST FOR NAME
Bread Share: Red Pepper Cheddar CHECK LIST FOR NAME

LINK: RATATOUILLE

A member recommended ratatouille for one of the recipes this week. It’s a perfect dish for the farm share!

Ingredients

Veggies

2 eggplants
6 roma tomatoes
2 yellow squashes
2 zucchinis

Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, from 8-10 leaves

Herb Seasoning

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, from 8-10 leaves
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven for 375˚F (190˚C).
Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into approximately ¹⁄₁₆-inch (1-mm) rounds, then set aside.
Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch (30-cm) oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the crushed tomatoes. Stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Remove from heat, then add the basil. Stir once more, then smooth the surface of the sauce with a spatula.
Arrange the sliced veggies in alternating patterns, (for example, eggplant, tomato, squash, zucchini) on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the middle of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the herb seasoning: In a small bowl, mix together the basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spoon the herb seasoning over the vegetables.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, then bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
Serve while hot as a main dish or side. The ratatouille is also excellent the next day–cover with foil and reheat in a 350˚F (180˚C) oven for 15 minutes, or simply microwave to desired temperature.
Enjoy!

LINK: FRENCH ONION KALE SOUP

Another one from a member! This is for anyone that is still using up their beets from last week.
Thank you, Julie!

Ingredients

1 big bunches green kale (6-8 stems)
8 cups water
3 big yellow onions
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon of kosher salt for cooking the kale + a little more for the onions
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons cognac
1 cup white wine ( i used cono sur viognier)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme or more to taste
6 tablespoons liquid chicken broth concentrate (like Bovril)
11/2 to 2 cups fresh grated cheese, i used half gruyere half parmesan, but a old cheddar might be good too!
4 cloves of garlic
4-6 slice of rustic bread, sliced one inch thick
1 dash freshly grated nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Wash kale and make sure its really clean, since we will use the cooking liquid for the soup broth and we don’t want to find a little bug or fly in there 😉 . Remove stems and cook uncovered in 8 cups of salted water for about 12 min or until tender
Cut onions in half and thinly sliced them, in a large pot (i used my large creuset) melt butter, add onions and bay leaves, sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook for about 15 min on low heat until translucent and very soft
Deglazed with cognac cook for a min and then add white wine and cook on high heat for 5 minutes
take the Kale out of the cooking liquid and add liquid to onions mixture. Set kale aside, it will be added to the soup later
add maple syrup, thyme and cayenne pepper to the soup and cook uncovered for 25 minutes, then add the chopped cooked kale to the soup
in the meantime toast the bread and rub each slice with garlic clove, set aside until soup is ready to assemble
in oven proof bowls add one tablespoon of cheese to each bowl, add soup, top with a garlicky crouton and cover with cheese, broil in the oven until gold and bubbly. Add fresh black pepper and a dash of fresh nutmeg before serving, Enjoy!

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