12 Sep Share week 18: Fried Green Tomatoes?
In the height of tomato season we wouldn’t dream of stealing a tomato’s destiny to become juicy ripe and red, but at some point in the fall the harvest of unripe fruit is inevitable, typically because we are facing frost. Our last planting of field tomatoes were all killed by late blight, but the dead plants are still loaded with the green fruit. Tomorrow’s recipe by Mikaela will feature these green tomatoes. I do look forward to the day Tom gives the go ahead for the green tomato harvest because it means it’s time for my mom and I to get together, make a big mess in the kitchen and a big pot of my grandmother’s green tomato relish. It’s a tradition that neither of us would miss, and a winter pantry staple for our family. You can find Nanny’s relish recipe on our website.
The share is reflecting the changing of the seasons- all the wonderful nourishing fall greens are here- cabbage, escarole, bok choy, kale. (**Feeling overwhelmed by the bounty? Come to nutrition counselor Patti Lombardi’s class on greens here at the farm September 26th.)
You’ll also notice the addition of celeriac, or celery root, in the share. Before I started farming I had no idea that this vegetable exisited. Now I can’t imagine fall or winter without it. Its bright celery flavor enlivens any soup, it is delectable roasted with other vegetables, or boiled and mashed with potatoes. You’ll find quite a few recipes on our website, as well as plentiful use and storage information in the cookbook “From Asparagus to Zucchini”, for sale at the farm.
It’s September and our crew is working together like an orchestra- everyone knows their roles, and the jobs to be done are familiar. With cooler nights and shorter days come a more relaxed pace, and in general a more pleasant climate to do outdoor work. The leeks have been weeded- they stand tall and stout, and they’ll begin to be harvested next week. We have begun to tackle the big task of digging the remainder of our potatoes (actually the tractor does the digging, and we do the gathering). Next task on the list: getting all our bundled and dried garlic trimmed and processed.
This week the strawberry plugs, purchased from a farm in New Jersey, went into the ground. Next year’s strawberry crop begins its long nine month journey to harvest. We treat our strawberries as annuals, and plant them new every fall. This helps us to deal with the weed and disease management issues facing organic strawberry growers. Ultimately it is the weather during harvest of these spongy permeable fruits that determines their quality, but we baby the plugs now, carefully planting thousands by hand.
Looking ahead to the fall fest- we are seeking donations of yarn. Artist Katia McGuirk will be leading a community “yarn bomb”, an all-age art installation along the deer fence bordering the fall fest. Please bring your unwanted yarn to the farm to be turned into art. There will be a collection box in the distribution room. Thanks!
Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.