10th Harvest Week: Wednesday/Thursday Delivery, August 17th & 18th, 2011
Vegetable of the Week… Eggplant
By now, you have received several eggplants, and perhaps you are running out of ways to eat them. As a child, I thought the only way to eat eggplant was to slice it, dip it in beaten egg, dredge thru flour that was salt & peppered, and fry in butter. I was then introduced to Baba Ghanouj. This is one of those dishes that you wonder why you have never had it before. The following recipe for Baba Ghanouj is from http://www.epicurious.com
2 1-pound eggplants, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, chopped
Pita bread wedges
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously oil rimmed baking sheet. Place eggplant halves, cut side down, on sheet. Roast until eggplant is very soft, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly. Using spoon, scoop out pulp from eggplant into strainer set over bowl. Let stand 30 minutes, allowing excess liquid to drain from eggplant. Transfer eggplant pulp to processor. Add 1/4 cup oil, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic; process until almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Serve with pita wedges.
If you have more Baba Ghanouj than you can use, try using it to replace the meat in your favorite lasagna recipe. This week’s oregano, onions, tomatoes and even carrots can be used to update your traditional lasagna recipe into something even more special. Enjoy!
Farmer John Writes…
Greetings from Angelic Organics
Every day at the farm brings a host of challenges, joys, regrets, and mysteries. We’ve completed our last harvest of zucchini and probably our last harvest of cucumbers: this is about the time of the season when these crops typically play out. We have more melons than ever before, and you’ll be receiving at least one melon in your box for the next few weeks. Sweet corn will end this week or next.
I’ve mentioned that our brassica/mustardy crops have been infested with flea beetles, even after we have gone through the very labor-intensive process of covering them with Reemay. It’s the first year that we have not been able to effectively deter the flea beetles with row covers. Alas, time marches on, and we believe the 2nd generation of flea beetles is subsiding.
As the season progresses, we have found an increasing number of ugly, squishy corn earworms infesting the tips of our sweet corn. This problem varies from year to year and variety to variety. This year the earworm problem is particularly bad, and we have been inspecting each ear of corn, and cutting off the tips if they are ugly with an earworm. This is a long process, and, of course, a disappointment to us at the farm.
There is a new organically certified spray, Entrust, which allegedly controls flea beetles and corn earworm. Entrust’s active ingredient, spinosad, is biologically derived from the fermentation of Saccharopolyspora spinosa, a naturally occurring soil organism. It’s too late to control this year’s plague of corn earworm, but in another year we will use it on our corn, in the hopes that you will have nicer corn. As for flea beetles, we’ve plowed under many beds of mustard greens that are simply too damaged to put into your box. When we seed mustard greens, we plan to harvest them; we’re not great sports about losing a crop that we’ve been imagining going into your box. We’ll do what we can within the framework of organic and Biodynamic standards to supply you with these delicious peppery salad greens in the future.
In case you think we’ve been putting too much corn in your box, the yield this year is stupendous, plus we can’t store the corn for very long in the cooler. It has to be eaten soon after it is harvested, or it will turn starchy.
From a shareholder:
… I did want to mention that the corn on the cob last week was outstanding! My wife and I loved it. So good.
Young Farmer Gathering, August 13-14
This past weekend, the Biodynamic Initiative for the Next Generation (BING) and Upper Midwest CRAFT hosted a summer gathering of young (and young at heart) farmers and friends. We hosted about 75 people; many of them camped on the farm Saturday night. (One enthusiastic farm family from Colorado arrived early Friday morning to help pack and to see our farming operation in action.) After the torrential rain, I gave a tour of the fields. There were round table discussions on topics relevant to beginning farmers, such as working with chefs and how to secure land tenure; a film about beginning farmers; live music…and…well, you know…it’s a group of young, buff, tan people…maybe some flirting.
The new documentary, Farmageddon–the Unseen War on American Family Farms is coming to Chicago. The 5-day premiere begins August 26. Panel discussions, workshops and great food will be featured during a number of special “Meet the Filmmaker” screening events. You are cordially invited! For details, see the Meet the Farmageddon Filmmaker Chicago Events. See the movie trailer at FarmageddonMovie.com.
Angelic Organics Learning Center is hiring a fulltime Office and Program Administrator.
Very Cool Upcoming Programs at the Angelic Organics Learning Center
August 27: Ice Cream, 10am to noon: In this family program, kids and adults together will learn to milk a goat and make ice cream using ingredients mostly from the farm.
August 28: Farm Animal Day for Families, 10 am to 3 pm: Learn all about the farm animals, help the crew care for the livestock, and make a delicious treat.
September 3-4: Family Farm Overnight
Register at least one week in advance. This takes you to the Learning Center August calendar, which has links to all of their programs.
Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.
Fruiting Crops – Eggplant, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Sweet Peppers & Watermelon or Cantaloupe
Alliums – Onions
Salad Greens –Head Lettuce
Root Crops – Carrots
Herbs – Anise Hyssop, maybe Oregano