- Basil (the whole plant – keep the roots on and stick then in a jar of water on your counter for use all week)
- Broccoli (the last until the fall broccoli comes in (September or October)
- Cherry tomatoes – finally enough for everyone?
- Shiso or cilantro
- Onions (huge Ailsa Craig – use fresh, not for storage)
- Fresh beans – wax and green! The big green ones are “Fortex” they are sweet, never starchy or stringy
- Green peppers
- You pick blackberries – they are on! They are delicious in cobbler or crumble, make jam – you name it.
We had a visit this week from our friend Rigo, with his help Juvencio got one of the two new greenhouses staked out, leveled and bow posts planted. He hopes to complete the rest of the bow placing this week and start work on the end walls. This is so exciting as it provides new covered space for late fall lettuce and spinach and my favorite radishes!
Whenever we change focus on the farm some area gets neglected and the weeds come out to play. They loved the heat and took off. The flea beetles exploded and are creating lace out to the leaves of most plants. The aphids are enjoying a renaissance and we think we see evidence of the red spotted spider mite. AWK! The onslaught of insects is overwhelming, who has time for these pests? We will work to defeat them, but who knows if the battle can be won.
The onions keep on growing, as we wait for their tops to fall over and symbolize their readiness for harvest. We have overwintering broccoli and cauliflower ready to be transplanted but they need those onion beds! The broccoli from the spring is nearing the end and we will turn over those beds, but as the rules of crop rotation go, no more brassicas in those beds for 3 years (that doesn’t actually happen at La Finquita, but we aim for 2 years. With such limited space rotation schedules are tight and land is composted and amended in lieu of long rotation schedules. We pay the price in pest pressure for sure.
- Helvetia Culture festival August 14: 1-5 pm (take a postcard from the barn with all the details)
- La Finquita Harvest Festival: October 9: 2-6 pm
- End of the season: October 28th (we still have 14 more weeks – hurray for vegetables)
It is time for cucumbers so check out these family favorites, or just do what I do, eat a cucumber for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
CUCUMBERS WITH WASABI AND RICE VINEGAR
1 lb Japanese or Kirby cucumbers (about 5)
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer
Very thinly slice cucumbers crosswise with slicer; toss with 1 teaspoon salt and drain in a colander 15 minutes. Rinse cucumbers under cold water, then squeeze handfuls to remove excess water; pat dry.
Stir together wasabi powder and water in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Add cucumbers and toss well.
Cooks’ note: Cucumbers can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
In a bowl, combine 2 cups very thinly sliced peeled cucumbers and 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar. Slightly crush cucumber with your hand, and let stand at least 5 minutes. Rinse and core 1 crisp green apple (such as Granny Smith or Newtown Pippin; 1/2 lb.); thinly slice on a food slicer or mandoline. Add apple at once to cucumbers, and mix. Add 1/4 cup finely slivered fresh shiso leaves (green or purple); mix. Season to taste with salt. With a slotted spoon, mound salad on plates and garnish with fresh shiso leaves. Makes 3 cups, 4 servings.
CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSING
2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
6 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 heads iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 2-inch chunks
Whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth, then whisk in chives.
Put cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce into bowls and serve with dressing. Cooks’ note:
Buttermilk dressing (without chives) can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Whisk in chives before serving.
SOBA NOODLE SALAD WITH CUCUMBER AND MANGO
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 red jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel
12 ounces green soba or chuka soba (Japanese-style) noodles
1 large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 large ripe mango, peeled, halved, pitted, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped toasted salted peanuts
Warm vinegar, sugar, and salt in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic and jalapeño. Cool. Mix in lime juice, sesame oil, and lime peel.
Becca’s favorite Thai Cumber salad with Roasted Peanuts
¼ cup fresh limejuice
1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno chili (about 1 large)
2 garlic cloves
1 ½ English hothouse cucumbers, halved, seeded, thinly sliced
¾ cups sliced red onion
2 tablespoons fresh mint
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped lightly salted roasted peanuts
Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Place cucumbers, onion, and mint in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on peanuts and serve.
2 med. cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 pt. Cherry tomatoes, halved or 3-4 slicing tomatoes, thinly sliced
3-4 fresh mozzarella balls, sliced ¼ inch thick
6-8 basil leaves
salt and pepper
On a plate, layer cucumbers, tomatoes and mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and top with ribbons of sliced basil. For added tang, sprinkle lightly with balsamic vinegar.