2 summer squash (zucchini and yellow crookneck squash)
1 pint cherry tomatoes or 1 head garlic
Sweet onions ready to dry down
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
With the calendar turned over to July we are starting to seed and prep for many of our fall crops. It seems a bit weird to be thinking of fall when we are smack dab in the middle of a summer heat wave, but this is the time to get certain crops started if we want to get a decent harvest in September, October and November. Today we seeded kale, chard and radicchio and later this week we'll start fall cabbage, including napa cabbage and some storage varieties that we're hoping will store for winter shares. Many of our early summer crops are finishing up and we are mowing and using tarps to smother those beds in preparation for transplants and direct seeding in late July through early September. The fall seeding period isn't quite as crazy as the spring, but it's still a decent lift to get everything going - especially since we are busy harvesting three times each week. This heat wave we're having is definitely making me long for the cool crisp air of fall, but honestly I've grown to appreciate the seasons for what they are. I think about all of the health benefits of having a good sweat. I love how good food and drinks taste when you've been out in the heat. I appreciate warm hands and warm muscles for getting work done. We do our best to work efficiently and to break up our work day so that we're never doing too much strenuous work in a day. It's been good. And as I sit here and write this, we've had a bit of rain to help cool things down.
We have another great share for you this week! More carrots, plus beautiful summer squash, the first bell peppers of the season, fennel, and either cherry or saladette tomatoes or garlic. I keep thinking that I have plenty of tomatoes planted, but the cherries never quite produce enough to get all of our members a pint in one week. These little sweeties are going to Tuesday and Saturday shares this week and we should be able to get Wednesday and Thursday shares next week. We are just starting to pick the first slicing tomatoes too. I'm putting up any inventory of slicing tomatoes on the farmigo site as we pick through the week, so Thursday and Saturday shares should check back if you are interested in adding or swapping those. I want to make sure that members get the first chance at tomatoes. I'm hoping to have enough of these to put in shares starting next week.
If you haven't used fennel before, or just haven't quite figured out what you like to do with it, I have a couple of suggestions. First, the light anise flavor of fennel is awesome with sausage. Cook it in a soup or pasta dish featuring sausage. Second, you can put fennel in almost any good veggie mix. Just dice up the bulb into small pieces and saute along with your onion or garlic. It would be great in the vegetable gnocchi recipe Maria has below. We just made a fritatta for dinner tonight with sweet onion, yellow squash, chard and turnips. I didn't add fennel to it because I didn't have any down at the house, but it would have been a tasty addition. Don't let fennel freak you out - it's really great in lots of stuff! Mostly you use the bulb part, but I often chop up a bit of the stem to cook as well, and the fronds can be chopped as an herb garnish.
Place a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil along with onion and garlic cloves. Cook until onion becomes translucent.
Add red bell pepper and cook for about 2 minutes, then add squash, and zucchini. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, until veggies are soft, then add plum tomatoes along with salt, oregano, sage, and garlic powder, and cook for another 2 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to burst. Remove veggies from pan and set aside.
To the hot pan, add olive oil and butter. Add the gnocchi and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side, until browned. Then add the veggies back to the pan along with lemon zest, juice, parsley and basil and mix. Sprinkle with a bit more salt before serving!