Week #20

Week #20

  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Beans (a few)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Summer squash (Zucchini and the like)
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos
  • Stuffing peppers
  • Bartlett Pears or Asian pears
  • Apples
  • Prune plums

The farmers returned from their adventures in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks refreshed and then over heated! We had an amazing trip. We spent 3 days in Yellowstone immersed in the other worldly environment of bubbling mud pots, fumaroles and geysers. Every day was a new adventure with so much to see and experience. The last day was our “wildlife day” awe saw herds of buffalo, elk, deer, osprey and otter family. Fortunately we did not see any bears, but the bear spray was almost always on my hip.

We had no reservations but thanks to some great advise from members and friends we just drove into camp early in the morning and were able to find empty sites and set up camp before we headed to for  explore for the day.

We drove from Yellowstone to Glacier (not as close as it seems on the map or on the mileage marked by google). Glacier did seem to be the most popular park for 2016. We arrived late in the day and all sites were full so we drove another hour or two to a more remote area to find a place to pitch the tent. We were pretty sure bears had been around that area in the recent past and Juve spent the night in the car “guarding us”. We slept great in the tent. Glacier was beautiful, with a new lake at every turn. We took an amazing hike, and drove the “going-to-the-sun” highway. I didn’t get the memo that recommended taking the free tour bus to all the sites and getting off and on at the different “points of interest”. So, it was hard to park and see any sites as it was jam packed with other tourists who didn’t read that the tour bus was the way to go. It was impressive non the less.

We missed having Diego with us, but he did a great job holding down the fort at the farm and he managed to finish his summer school class. Dee managed the harvest with the help of many great member volunteers, a huge thank you to her and everyone else that lent a hand to make the farmer’s vacation a reality. We came back in the middle of the scorching heat wave that has stressed our plants to no end. Everything looks parched and wilty. It will cool off today but crank up again at the end of the week. We will have to spend some time today figuring out how to get more water to the plants that need it most. We have beautiful lettuce, but it may be bitter due to the heat. The cucumbers also tend to turn bitter with excessive heat. Take your first bites carefully, to see how they taste!

It has come to my attention that many people were not aware that the canning party will not happen this season. I mentioned it months ago, at the beginning of the summer and basically got zero response. It is a ton of work for Mary Kay and myself to put together and pull off and interest seemed minimal at best. We will consider having an event next year if people show  interest and step up to participate. I will do my own canning and have started slowly. Plums seem to be the top priority right now, they are falling off the trees!

We have 9 more weeks of harvest to go and another hoop house to get up and planted before the end of September. Juvencio will take a trip to visit his family in Honduras in mid Septmeber so we are stretched thin with tons to get done. The weeds take no vacations even in the heat. Please do sign up to help harvest. If those days don’t work for you there are always weeds to pull, felled apples to gather and throw to the goats and construction projects to make happen.

The Harvest Festival is slated for October 9th! This is our largest celebration of fall bounty and our community at La Finquita. Please plan on attending and sharing your farm with friends and family.

Have a great week! See recipes below for ideas on what to do with all those tomatoes!!

Julia’s cherry tomato notes:

-I like these as a snack as is.
-Basic (cherry) tomato sauce: Wash several baskets worth, then put in a pot with onion, garlic and oregano and cook down for about 1/2 hour over medium heat. (olive oil can be added if you like). Then let it cool some, put through a food mill, and voila: tomato sauce!
-Add cherry tomatoes halved to a grain salad such as couscous, rice, orzo or other pasta. I find them to be an essential ingredient!

Here’s a recipe from a 35 year old cook book called America’s Best Vegetable Recipes from the editors of The Farm Journal:

“Try cooking cherry tomatoes. Saute them in a skillet in butter for only 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of sugar to make them shine. A bright and tasty addition to a dinner plate.”

Cherry Tomato and Olive Relish from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 or 2 yellow or other tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
24 nicoise olives, pitted and halved (I use the already pitted kalamata from trader joes, I chop them roughly for this recipe)
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped parsley 
2 teaspoons chopped marjoram (I use oregano when I don’t have marjoram available)
basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
fresh lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper

Put the tomatoes in a bowl with the olives, capers, and herbs. Moisten with the oil, then season to taste with the S & P & lemon juice. Serve right away, or at least within the hour of making it.

Marinated Cherry Tomatoes 4 servings

2 baskets Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Finely chopped parsley 
1 Tablespoon Finely chopped rosemary 
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix tomatoes, onions, parsley, rosemary, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl and let tomatoes marinate at room temperature at least 1 hour, but preferably 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Stir occasionally. Enjoy with crostini or as a side dish.

Cherry Tomato & Avocado Salad

1 basket cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tablespoons chopped scallion or other mild onion
1 cup (approx.) chopped avocado 
2 tablespoons chopped herb (such as parsleycilantrodill….)
optional vinaigrette to coat (whirl 2 T lemon juice or vinegar, 1 small clove garlic, 1 t mustard, pinch salt and pepper, with 1/2 cup olive oil in blender.) Gently mix all ingredients. Serve. (The avocado is optional but delicious)

Blanched Broccoli with Basil Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes adapted from Pasta e Verdura by Jack Bishop

2 pounds broccoli di cicco
salt to taste
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves 
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbs. pine nuts
6 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 pound pasta (such as shells, or other open shape)

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil in large pot for cooking the pasta. Bring several quarts of water to boil in another pot. Chop the broccoli into small, bite-sized pieces. Add the broccoli and salt to taste to the boiling water. Cook until broccoli is tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside the broccoli. Place the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in the work bowl of a food processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the feed tube and process until smooth. Scrape the pest into a large bowl. Stir in the cheese and additional salt to taste. Cut the tomatoes in half. Add the tomatoes to the bowl with the pesto and toss gently. Add the broccoli to the bowl and toss gently. Taste for salt and adjust seasonings if necessary. While preparing the sauce, cook and drain the pasta. Toss the hot pasta with the broccoli sauce. Mix well and transfer portions to pasta bowls. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Maryanne’s Tian of Basil

  • 2 medium- small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 4 bunches basil, 4 cups loosely packed fresh basil, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup or less shredded kasseri, gruyere or Swiss cheese,
  • ¼ cup or less fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a shallow (about 2 inches deep) ovenproof serving dish.  Place the zucchini slices over the bottom and press chopped basil leaves firmly over the zucchini (the basil will cook down the way spinach does).
  2. Arrange the tomato slices over the basil. Then scatter the cheese evenly over the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and back about 35 minutes, until hot through and cheeses are melted


Roasted Tomato Salsa

8 to 10 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 poblano pepper, halved lengthwise (remove the seeds and ribs, if you’re concerned about heat)
1 jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise (remove the seeds and ribs, if you’re concerned about heat)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup roughly chopped red onion
2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
sea salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, peppers and garlic with the oil, salt and pepper. Transfer the oiled vegetables to the prepared baking sheet and spread them into a single layer. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes. At this point, start checking every 5 minutes and removing any vegetables that appear browned and softened (for me, this was the garlic first, then the peppers and finally the tomatoes). Once all the vegetables have roasted, allow them to cool slightly.

Transfer the slightly cooled vegetables to a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Add the cilantro, red onion and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Pulse about a dozen times, to achieve the texture of a chunky puree. If the salsa is too thick, add more lime juice. Salt to taste (this is very important; add a little bit, try it and repeat as necessary). Either serve immediately or cover the salsa and refrigerate it, serving it cold.




This entry was posted in Weekly Newsletter. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.