17 Aug August Heat Wave
As you can probably imagine, this has been a challenging few weeks (month??!) working on the farm. Whether in the fields, the pack house or at the farmers markets, it has been incredibly hot and humid. And August is a pretty busy and bountiful time at the farm so there isn’t really an option to close up shop and take it easy. The summer crops are rolling in- especially the tomatoes, peppers and melons. Unfortunately the greens have suffered- lettuces that usually hold up to the heat have bolted, though with temperatures feeling like 110, that’s really not a surprise. We do plant lettuce every 10 days, so hopefully the next rotation will make it to harvest (this heat wave has to break soon, right?!). As we are harvesting the summer crops, we are also harvesting our winter squash, before it literally bakes in the field. The acorn squash will be picked today, followed soon by the delicata squash and butternuts.
We are also trying to plant and nurture more crops for the fall. Bug pressure was severe and we lost our cabbage planting, but the beets and carrots that were direct sown at the end of last week are already up and growing (thank goodness for those late day thunderstorms…even though we did get some crazy wind and a few minutes of hail, the cooling drench of rain for the plants was worth it), and the fall kale and chard is looking promising. Fennel is in and growing, as are turnips and fall radishes, and our late planting of tomatoes should have us enjoying them until the first frost.
You may hear a loud boom going off periodically while you are here at the farm. This is our noise-making corn cannon. This is the only effective prevention we have found to keep the flocks of blackbirds from chomping on the tips of sweet corn. It’s amazing how quickly and how extensively they can decimate a ripe field of sweet corn, as we saw with the last planting, where we were only able to give out 3 ears to each CSA member, and had none for market :(.
A number of our summer employees head out this week and next, back to school (and air conditioned classrooms?!). A big thanks to college students Clayton, Ian and Matty and elementary school teacher Mr. Grace, for all their hard work this summer, as well as high school students Ryan and Spencer.
Thank you all for supporting our farm- for coming out to the farmers markets even when it’s hot (because let me tell you it was an effort these past few weeks to get it all picked and packed, and there’s nothing worse than no customers at the market!), for our neighbors for visiting our little roadside farm stand and introducing themselves and sharing their appreciation, for our CSA customers coming out to the farm with smiles each week, for heading out into the heat to do your pick-your-owns (and getting a tiny taste of what a farmer’s work day is like), for sharing your recipes and cooking successes, for taking home our produce and eating it!
In the share this week: Spaghetti squash! Check out this previous blog post, Spaghetti Squash 100 ways, for cooking suggestions. The delicious sweet frying peppers are back- such a great raw snack, or add to your sautés. And have you tried the Eggplant Basil Sandwiches in From Asparagus to Zucchini? (Check out the farm copy in the distribution room, or purchase one for your reference- only $20 each). These “sandwiches” are a favorite of farm volunteer Megan Clymer!
The plum tomatoes are prolific- these we reserve to sell in bulk as a nod to all the canners and preservers in our community. They are still available in 25 pound boxes for $25. A steal for certified organic delicious roma tomatoes, these will be available for at least another week (email us to order). Be sure to try my favorite technique of halving, tossing in olive oil, sprinkling with salt and oven roasting at low heat (@225 degrees) for a number of hours or all day. Then put the whole tray in the freezer and pop them into freezer bags for those winter months when you want a little taste of summer.
A favorite recipe of mine using ingredients from this week’s share: Creamed Sweet Corn with Poblanos . This recipe was posted in our blog a few years past by Jana Smart, a former employee who worked with us for two years. She met her future husband here, Dave Koschak, and they are now living, working and homesteading in Vermont. Jana just opened a food truck in East Albany, Vermont selling her delectable farm to table meals and baked goods: check out her mobile cafe’s facebook page for a little envious drooling. As a recipient of many of her wonderful creations when she lived here at the farm, I am sure she will be a smashing success! Many of her recipes are featured on our blog- I encourage you to search by ingredient to find lots of tasty ideas.
Closer to home, Kristin Moyer who also cooked and blogged for us two years ago has started a pop-up kitchen in Perkasie on Tuesday nights. She sources her ingredients locally- most of her veggies are from our farm- and posts her menu on Friday on her website, Carcass and Roughage. You can also sign up on her website to be on her email list. You can then either pre-order (or not) and pick-up a delicious dinner at Down to Earth Café in Perkasie (the site of her pop-up kitchen) Tuesdays from 6-8 pm. What a wonderful community resource! We hope to have her back at the farm soon doing a cooking demo and tasting.
The creators of our favorite farm to table cookbook, From Asparagus to Zucchini has a new cookbook out! I just got a copy, Farm-Fresh and Fast: Easy Recipes and Tips for Making the Most of Fresh, Seasonal Foods, and I’m so excited to order a bunch to offer for sale to you all. This one even has seasonal cocktails, like one called Sungolds. So if you’re not sure what to do with all your cherry tomatoes, well this is certainly a new twist!
Ingredients (makes one)
4 sungold cherry tomatoes
1-2 thinly sliced jalapeno rings
3 teaspoons honey syrup (3:1 honey and water- combine in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until incorporated. Stir excess in fridge)
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces gin
1 sprig cilantro, for garnish
Muddle the sungold cherry tomatoes, jalapeno and honey syrup in a cocktail shaker. (*To muddle is to crush ingredients to release their flavors into a drink. The technique is similar to using a mortar and pestle to crush herbs for cooking). Add the lemon juice, gin and some ice and sharply shake. Double strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish with a sprig of cilantro.
Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.