In the share this week: 1 lb mixed slicer tomatoes 1 pint cherry tomatoes (full shares) or 1 bag filet beans (half shares) 2 bell peppers 1 lb sweet onions 1 head garlic 1 bunch basil (lemon or sweet) 2 slicer or 3 cocktail cucumbers 1 bag salad mix Thoughts from Farmer Anna: My thoughts are really drifting toward fall as we near the end of July. We are busy getting beds tarped, turned over, and prepped for our many fall plantings. This week we'll plant fall broccoli and a late planting of summer squash, and continuations of lettuce and salad mix. In the next week or two, lacinato kale and fall cabbage will go in. Over the next month, we'll do our fall seedings of beets, carrots, turnips, radishes and baby greens like arugula and red russian kale. Fall is my absolute favorite season of the year. The weather is perfect and my work load is waning. I know we still officially have almost 2 months of summer left, but I can feel the beginnings of the shift. Turning to our present harvests, we are well into the heart of the summer shares. This week we are starting to pick bell peppers and they are gorgeous. You'll get two in your share this week. Right now we have green, purple, and yellow bell peppers. There are lots more peppers on their way, most of which will be on strong after our mid-season break in August (sweet italian frying, lunchbox, banana, poblano, shishito and jalapeno peppers). We are drying and processing more of our onion varieties, so this will probably be the last week of sweet onions in shares. Next week will be either red or pink onions. Basil is on again this week because it is so lovely and abundant right now. If you find you have more than you can use, we like to blend our extras with olive oil and freeze in a zip top bag. We then use this mixture for winter pesto, sauce or soup. The struggle on the farm this week is that some deer are managing to breach our fencing. July is typically the month when this will happen. So far they haven't done a huge amount of damage, but it will start to add up if they continue to get in and munch. We are constantly scouting and fixing the fence, but I'm realizing that the best approach will likely be to have a more permanent metal wire fence installed. Most likely that will be a fall project and we may decide to have professionals do the installation. It will certainly be an investment, but very worthwhile for the peace of mind and longevity of a better fence. Recipes from Maria: CHICKEN SHAWARMA SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING Ingredients Chicken Shawarma 2 lemons juiced 1/2 c. olive oil 3 garlic cloves minced 1 tsp kosher salt 2 tsp cracked black pepper 2 tsp cumin 2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 1.5-2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs Salad 1/2 head romaine lettuce 1/2 head butter lettuce 1/2 c. fresh parsley chopped 1/2 c. fresh mint chopped 2 c. cherry tomatoes halved 1/2 english cucumber seeded and sliced 1 small onion thinly sliced Lemon Tahini Dressing ½ c. tahini ¼ - ½ c. water ¼ c. olive oil 1 lemon juiced sea salt to taste cracked black pepper to taste Instructions In a small bowl, add the lemon juice, avocado oil, salt, pepper, and spices and whisk. Place the raw chicken thighs into a gallon-sized zipper bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Rub the marinade into the chicken with your (clean) hands, then press the air out of the bag, seal, and place in the fridge. Marinate at least a few hours, and up to overnight. I prepare the marinade first thing in the morning for an evening meal. When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pour any excess marinade over the chicken. Roast for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked throughout. Set aside to cool slightly, then slice into 1/2" strips. While the chicken is roasting, prep the salad. Chop the lettuce and herbs, then toss to combine. Chop the tomatoes and cucumber, and slice the onion. Place the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a blender along with 1/4 cup of water to start. Blend until emulsified. Add additional water to reach desired consistency. For salad dressing, vs. a dipping sauce, I use closer to half a cup, sometimes a bit more. Layer the tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions over the herb salad base. Top with the chicken, and then dress with tahini to taste. Serve immediately. Salad Addition Ideas: Steamed green beans cut into 1-inch segments, raw, chopped olives, pita chips, grilled eggplant, marinated chick peas, or feta cheese. Serve with pita bread, super smooth hummus or yogurt dip. CHICKPEA ORZO SALAD RECIPE Ingredients 1/2 lb. dry orzo (cooked to package directions) 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes 1 cup raw, chopped kalamata olives 3/4 cup loosely packed, chopped basil 1 cup diced cucumbers 11/2 cup diced red peppers 15 oz. can chickpeas (drained and rinsed - 1 1/4 cups home cooked chickpeas) garlic lemon vinaigrette to taste: 3/4 cup oil (extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed works well) 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 tsp. garlic powder (use 2 tsp. if you like a strong garlic flavor) salt and pepper to taste Instructions Cook the orzo to package directions, drain and set aside. Drizzle a little oil over it if needed to keep it from sticking together. It's best cooked slightly al dente. Prep all the remaining ingredients and toss with the orzo in a large mixing bowl. Adjust the vinaigrette, salt and pepper to taste before serving.