Week #18, 2019

Week #18

  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Cucumber
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant or poblano stuffing peppers
  • Apples
  • You pick blackberries – they are “on”

It has been a week of catch up. Juvencio has been wildly harvesting potatoes, weeding beds, then tilling them, composting them so I can rush out after work and transplant more fall and overwintering brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and the like). We hope to have a great selection of cool weather crops established now so that in the fall, when the first frost comes it can sweeten them for cozy fall meals. We plant “over wintering” cauliflower, kalettes and broccoli as well as long season cabbage and brussels sprouts so that we have a steady supply of vegetables for our winter share. “What?? We did not know you offered a winter share, tell us more.” We have offered a limited (meaning the number of people we will have in the winter share) winter share of vegetables where we harvest every other week for 12 weeks during the late fall and winter for over 10 years. Many of our subscribers have been with us year-round. If you are interested sign up early to be part of the amazing experience of eating the local bounty on the back side of the calendar.  

We continue to transplant lettuce, radicchio and green onions pretty much on a weekly basis. Although seeding has slowed down, farming is never done until it is done (December maybe?) and then we pick right back up again at the end of January. I am busy canning left over tomatoes and turning them into our family supply of tomato sauce for the fall, winter and spring next year. I will force myself to pickle another round of cucumbers so that Diego has some of his favorites when he gets home from Costa Rica. The canning party is quickly approaching. We are scheduled to can our hearts out on August 25th. There is still room if you want to learn about preserving the bounty of  the land and have a start on your pantry. We will start at 0900 and finish by 1700 (5:00 p.m. for those not familiar with military time). We will work together in teams to harvest, then chop and prepare recipes. Each team will complete their recipe and then can them in the water baths. We lay out all of the product and distribute it among participants. There is a list of supplies to bring, no previous canning experience required! Mary Kay our resident chef and all around cooking expert will help me pull off this feat of coordinating 10-12 recipes and 20 people in 8 hours of work. Check your email last week for the list of items to bring and get ready for a fun day.

I have been relatively quite on the political front this year, frankly I am exhausted, as I am sure you are as well. This past week was unbearable. The horrific mass shootings, targeting Mexicans and immigrants juxtaposed with the president’s mass targeted immigration raid on Mexican immigrants sent me into a rage. There is action we can take, we can stand up with our fellow human beings and say enough is enough. After Friday, where I heard 6 stories of family separation, generational trauma, and personal PTSD from my patients, I could hardly continue working. I vowed to reach out to my senator at the end of the day. I called our Washington County representative for Ron Wyden and told him of the anguish I see every day in our community. There is human toll this horrific immigration fiasco takes on families. Young children, adults, grandparents are all affected by the separation from their loved ones with no end in sight, no ability to hold one another in an embrace across country lines. When will White America wake up and realize that there is no immigration process, no line to get into to “get legal”! There is no system other than to keep people out! We have a white supremist in the White house, he and his cronies are making it blatantly clear. Here are a couple of quotes from this week:

“I will never get over the fact that Eupopeans just came over unannounced and have the audacity to deport people indigenous to this land” #MMIW @MariahGracex3

“People say all the time “I would kill for my child”, but somehow, “I would cross dangerous borders for a better life for my child” is incomprehensible and looked down upon.” Devin Michael Lowe

Listening to NPR made me outraged, the racist Missisipi governor saying he was sorry for the children whose parents were arrested in the massive immigration raids, “I hate it when children have to suffer for the illegal actions of their parents” on and on.

So, what is the action? Donate to Raices: https://www.raicestexas.org/donate/families-together-fund/

Stand up to gun violence with action: https://act.everytown.org/event/august-recess-2019/25246/signup/?

Stand up in Washington County tomorrow against ICE presence at our court house:


Sign a petition! Here:


Alright, now recipes:



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

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.

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille
As envisioned by Smitten Kitchen

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant” that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.

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