In the share this week:
1 bunch rainbow carrots
1 bunch badger flame beets
1 lb sweet onions
1 lb slicer tomatoes
1 head summer crisp lettuce
1 lb green beans
1 pint peppers (banana, jalapeno, poblano or padron)
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
We are in the heart of summer and it certainly feels like it as we sweat through our days here. We are continuing to seed our fall transplants and water all the crops a few times each week. It's looking hopeful for a bit of rain this week - fingers crossed we'll get a decent amount soon. Our primary soil working machine, the two-wheeled tractor, is in the shop this week getting some repairs to the PTO engaging system. We love that we are able to run our farm without big equipment and we are incredibly lucky that we have the best two-wheeled tractor dealer in the country just over an hour away in Owenton. The folks at Earth Tools are always so helpful whenever we need to troubleshoot a tractor problem and they have most of the parts for these machines in stock so that we can typically get back to work pretty quickly. While mechanics aren't my strong suit, I've learned quite a lot over the years of taking care of this little tractor. I'm also really lucky that our apprentice Cole does have mechanical experience and he's really been invaluable in keeping the equipment running smoothly.
We have some new and fun items in your share this week: the rainbow carrots pictured above and a new variety of golden beet called badger flame. The carrots bunches include orange, yellow, red and purple with orange core carrots. They are really fun to eat raw with dip or in a salad such as the one Maria has for us below. You can definitely cook them too, but the colors tend to fade a bit with cooking, especially the purple. The badger flame beets were developed by a plant breeder at the University of Wisconsin in the department that Steve got his Masters degree. These beets are lower in the geosmin compound that makes beets taste really earthy (interesting side note: geosmin is the same compound that is released by certain bacteria when it first starts to rain, giving off that special rain smell). We just started harvesting them today, so I haven't tasted them yet - we'll have to be guinea pigs together :) I will say that these beets are somewhat crazy shaped. They are supposed to be cylindrical beets, but because we grew them from transplants and it's been really dry, they aren't all perfect cylinders. If you are a beet lover, let me know what you think of this variety. Also, if you don't typically like beets because of their earthiness, give these a try and see what you think.
This will be the last of the sweet onions this week, but we'll have some more awesome red onions coming your way next week, and we're about to pull and dry our yellow storage onions so those will be up after that. Oh and shallots too! Lots of onion love. We have some really solid green beans for everyone this week and it looks like our roma beans might be on the following week. I'm excited about the peppers for this week too. We have a number of different specialty peppers growing this year, so each share day is getting a different type - sweet banana, jalapeno and poblano are peppers that most of you will have heard of previously. The padron peppers might be new for some - they are a spanish pepper that is often grilled or broiled to blister them (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/blistered-padron-peppers-51149050) and served as an appetizer. They are very similar to the Japanese shishito peppers that we've grown in past years. Most aren't so hot, but a small percentage are quite spicy. So it's a bit of russian roulette when you eat them. Poblano peppers have a reliably mild heat and jalapenos are decently spicy. We don't grow anything hotter than a jalapeno, because in our experience, those are hot enough for most people :)
Recipes from Maria:
Kale, Carrot and Beet Salad
2 beets julienned (food processor or spiralizer)
2 carrots julienne (food processor or spiralizer)
1 cup kale shredded (food processor)
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
2 tbsps dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsps raw honey
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Add the vinaigrette ingredients into a mason jar, shake until mixed.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix until evenly coated.
The longer this recipe “marinates” the better.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a few hours before serving, if possible.
If you wish the vinaigrette to be a little sweeter add extra honey.
Easy Stuffed Poblanos
4 poblano peppers
2 c chicken shredded
1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz.
1 can black beans 15 oz.
1/3 c cilantro chopped (plus more for topping)
1 c corn kernels
2 c rice (already cooked)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
salt to taste
1 jalapeno or padron pepper (small diced and seeds removed)
1 c shredded monterey jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a medium bowl, combine chicken, rice, beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapeno or padron, cilantro, and spices. Stir to combine. (I drain the tomatoes almost all the way but leave a small amount of liquid in them which helps keep this mixture the right consistency.)
Cut each poblano pepper in half and remove seeds and membrane. Line them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon equal amounts of the chicken mixture into each pepper.
Bake for 15 minutes. Top each pepper with cheese and bake for an other 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. I like to broil mine for a couple minutes as well after the cheese melts for a touch of crispiness but this is not necessary.
Allow to cool for several minutes and then sprinkle with more cilantro and serve