24 Aug Share week 15: Sweet Pepper Deluge!
This time of year is bittersweet here at the farm. The weather is cooler, the pace is back to reasonable, but with school just around the corner, there is some transition that happens on our farm crew. Our part time summer help typically ends this week and next, heading off in various directions, be it high school, college, or in one case, fourth grade (teaching, that is).
Jared Grace is a fourth grade teacher at Gayman Elementary, where he will use lessons learned at the farm in real-life math examples: “You have 20 bins of tomatoes, all weighing 25 pounds, and 150 CSA members- how many pounds of tomatoes go in the share this week?”….But in all seriousness, thanks to Jared’s passion for sustainability his school is composting on a small scale within the classrooms, and he hopes to get the cafeteria composting this year. His classroom students learn about local food production and CSA’s and his long term vision is to inspire the students through the creation of a school garden.
Mordan Pappas heads to Oregon for a year to study holistic health at Ananda College. Inspired by her season at the farm, Mordan then plans to study sustainability in natural building and design. Aaron Gunderson who is entering 12th grade at Pennridge High School and beginning his college visits, after two seasons at Blooming Glen Farm, has also decided to look into a Sustainability major. High School senior Kevin McDonald, despite morning and evening polo practice and weight lifting, still manages to come to the farm in between, lift heavy bins of produce, all with a smile on his face.
They all bring a wonderful inquisitive energy to the farm, and their hard work and smiling faces will be missed! We fired up the farm’s earthen oven for a farewell thank-you pizza party. We also welcomed some new fall help to the farm. Thanks Jack, Mordan, Jared, Aaron, Paul and Kevin and welcome to Lexi, Natalia and Tim!
This week an avalanche of sweet peppers descended on the farm. We love when crops do well enough that we are able to offer them in bulk for the preservers in the crowd. Many of you took advantage of the discounted 10 pound bags of assorted sweet peppers…and if you didn’t, we’ll have them again this coming week. Just send us an email and we’ll have them ready for you at your CSA pick-up.
I love to freeze sweet peppers for the winter- they are so easy to do, and the flavor (and price) can’t beat those shipped in sweet peppers you’ll see in the stores in the colder months. Just cut them into strips and flash freeze them on a cookie tray, popping them into freezer bags when finished. Then just grab a handful frozen, dice up and add to any saute.
Another option is to roast, pickle and can a batch (or make into fridge pickles)- you’ll be ready for your own antipasto platter. Click here for a recipe. A couple notes: I find it easier to cut the peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds before roasting (skin side up). When the skin is blackened, then it’s easy to just scrape off the charred skin with a knife and slice the peppers up. I like using this charring method even when I’m not going to can them, especially when making homemade pizza. I have been enjoying the sweet peppers grilled lately- the sweet smoky flavor has become a favorite in our house, and makes a wonderful sandwhich with other grilled veggies like summer squash and eggplant.
For even more sweet pepper ideas, keep an eye out for next week’s recipe from Mikaela which will utilize some of the fresh lemongrass from the Discovery Garden.
Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.