This share feels so classically mid-summer this week. All of the tomato family (solanacae) crops are here: two types of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant + zucchni + green beans + the first garlic of the year. The share is practically begging you to make ratatouille. And since the weather has cooled off a touch this week, you probably won't mind steaming up your kitchen for a bit to make this delicious dish. You can use your cherry tomatoes or big ones (or both!) in this recipe:
I thought I'd show you how one of our hoophouses is looking in mid-summer with the tomatoes and peppers in full swing (pic above). The tomatoes are trellised on lines attached to hooks that hang on a wire that runs the length of the hoophouse. We heavily prune these plants to keep the leaf and fruit production balanced. I told you last week that I was worried that the shade cloth might be negativity affecting fruit production, but we've been seeing lots of smaller tomatoes near the tops of the plants now, so no worries there. If we care for these plants properly, they should continue to produce until frost. It can be tough to find the time to do all of the maintenance and continued fertilizing that would keep the plants producing optimally, so we generally do what we can and find that production slows down quite a bit as the season wears on. At that point most people have had their fill of tomatoes anyway, so not a big deal.
We are excited to be giving the first of the garlic crop in this week's share. Fresh hardneck garlic is so intensely flavorful compared to what you can find at the grocery. You might see a tough of mold on the papery wrapper of the garlic head (this is hard to completely avoid in storage), but the cloves are beautiful and fine! If you need to bring an app to a gathering this weekend, I'm thinking you could use some of your garlic and tomatoes to make some bruschetta:
The green beans this week are very nice and we are doing our best keeping up with those darn bean beetles so we can at least finish harvesting this planting before the leaves are toast. We made the classic green beans, potatoes and ham this week since that is a favorite meal of our kiddos.