Hello Friends and Members,
It has been a busy week on the farm. (Do we sound like a broken record?) This is probably pretty close to the most hectic time of year on a vegetable farm. We're still busy planting things like the second round of squash and cucumbers, our weekly lettuce, and round four of broccoli. We're also still trying to get control of our struggle with the weeds, which seem to return after every pass with the hoe or cultivating tractor. The weeds that have gotten past our defenses are going to seed, so they have to be pulled from the ground manually, removed from the field, and deposited in the nearest hedge-row. We're also spending a lot of time trellising our tomatoes. This is essentially a process of using string to keep the plants supported and to keep them from coming in contact with the soil. The support is for their ever-increasing fruit load. And, the reason to have the plants avoid the soil is in order to prevent the spread of diseases which splash out of the dirt onto the leaves. In case you are wondering, we grow a lot of tomatoes...and we mean A LOT: three and a half greenhouses full, four long rows in the field, and your U-pick cherry tomatoes. It shouldn't be too long now until we're enjoying their much anticipated arrival. The last thing that is keeping us hopping is getting our fall crops seeded and planted. While it is hard to believe it is that time already, we know from experience that it is: last chance for carrots, broccoli and lots of other tasty treats. And despite our talk of Fall, don't worry-- there is lots more summer in this summer! We're just preparing. If our season was a baseball game, this would only be the third inning.
A few members sent us the following link to a great New York Times article on CSA's. If you are interested here it is:
This week's share:
Lettuce, greens, squash & zucchini, cucumbers, scallions, radish, new potatoes (we hope!), eggplant (we think!), scapes, beets
Peas, flowers, herbs, and maybe beans
Happy Summer, D, E, & e
This recipe was sent to us from a creative member. It is based on a Rachel Ray creation, but has had an extensive Stony Loam make-over. Beautiful (see photo we attached). Seems like a good way to get some kids to eat their beets, too. Enjoy!
One bunch beets
6 TBS olive oil
1 lb rigatoni with ridges or gemelli pasta (or what you have at home)
One bunch green onions, chopped
Handful of garlic scapes, chopped
One pint peas (out of the pod) and/or 1-2 squashes cut into rounds (or whatever other Loam veggies you want to add)
salt and pepper
1.5 cups ricotta cheese
zest and juice of one lemon
Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
.5 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Heat the oven to 375F. Peel and quarter beets. Coat the beets in a drizzle of olive oil and place in a roasting pan. Cover the pan with foil and place in oven. Roast the beets for about 30 minutes (test with a fork for softness), then remove and let cool for 15 minutes.
Just before the beets come out, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water, add the pasta, and cook al dente. Heads up: you will need to reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water before you drain the pasta.
While the beets cool, heat 3 tbs of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions and scapes for a few minutes until they start to soften, then add remaining vegetables. Gently cook until everything softens (3-5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
Add beets to food processor/blender with the ricotta cheese. Process until it becomes a smooth mixture. Transfer to large pasta bowl and season it with 2 tsp zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, the parsley, and Parmigiano. Add the starchy water, the hot pasta, and sauteed vegetables. Serve immediately.