2020 CSA Newsletter #10

Well, it was a fairly quiet week on the farm last week. These few weeks in between semesters is all about maintaining and keeping the ship afloat while I wait for reinforcements when the fall semester starts. I didn’t get nearly as much done as I would’ve liked in regards to farm work because I had my first visitors of 2020 to the farm for farm tours two of the mornings last week. In addition to the farming and classes that happen out here, I usually have over 150 folks throughout the growing season out to the farm from area schools, organizations and classes from TC3 for tours and work parties. The groups that were out here were Food Service providers from school districts across Tompkins County. I think there were 7 districts represented over the two days. We had some great conversations about how local food can be used in their meal prep and how it’s feasible for these schools to start growing some of their own food to be used in the cafeterias. I’m looking forward to the future opportunities that may present themselves after having these groups out. It was the most I’ve talked in months and I even lost my voice a bit after the group on Thursday.

Even with that activity, I was still able to get a little planting for the fall done, some bed prep for plantings in the coming weeks and the work that needed to be done in the greenhouse and hoophouses.

This week’s share sees the return of garlic. As I mentioned previously, after we harvest all the garlic it gets cured upstairs in the barn. Since it’s been so hot, it was ready a little earlier than expected . Even though it’s a bit smaller than I’d like (definitely due to the lack of rain), it’s got some really good flavor. We roasted some over the weekend and it was great. Remember how I said it was tomato time? Well, those little suckers took off this past week. I harvested over 200 pounds of heirlooms today and probably around 15-20 pounds of cherries. The beefsteaks are still a little behind but the 2 weeks of thinning of the clusters really helped. There are lots of fruit that are starting to blush and they should be full throttle soon. So, what are ya gonna do with your maters? We love making sauce in our house. A real simple recipe is to cut your tomatoes in fairly large chunks and season them with some oregano, salt and pepper and top with a little basil. Place them on a baking sheet and roast them for about 30 minutes or so. After they’ve been in the oven, then put them on the stove top and slow cook them on low for about another 30 minutes. The skins fall off fairly easy after the oven or you can leave them on. After they’ve been in the pot, we use an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce. We’ll freeze some in mason jars or use the Foodsaver, aka, the sucky-freezy. I also have a subscription to the NYTimes Cooking site and found two other heirloom tomato recipes for you. I think there may be a paywall on the site, so if you can’t open the links but are interested in the recipes, just let me know and I’ll print them out for you and put them in your bag. The first is an heirloom tomato tart. I’m really interested to find out if this second recipe is any good. I’ve never been a fan of gin but I know lots of folks enjoy it. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. This week also has some of my favorite peppers in the entire world. Shishito peppers are the simplest thing to prepare. In a cast iron, you just throw the peppers in whole with some olive oil and over medium heat keep them going until they start to blister. After they’ve blistered a bit, pull them and top with some coarse salt. They go great as a side to a steak dish.

Have a great week folks!