Hooray! It looks like summer is back again! We had our doubts as fall seemed to be edging in early this past week.. not yet!! We have not even started harvesting our heirloom tomatoes yet. We checked our blog from week 13 last season and sure enough we had been harvesting heirloom tomatoes for three weeks already. We have to remind ourselves and you that for a month after we planted the tomatoes earlier this spring they just sat in the mud and cold rain not growing at all. On the other hand the seascape everbearing strawberries are sure living up to their name! They are rearing up for at least another month of picking after taking only a small midsummer nap. We already see more flowers and fruit forming after two weeks of more relaxed harvests.
Asinete and I have been scrambling around the farm to get fall crops in as we are running out of time.. our days of sun and warmth for optimum growing are limited and we were reminded of that this morning when I went out and could see my breath it was so chilly. Not only have we been busy planting (arugula, broccoli, head lettuce. daikon radish, violet cauliflower, savoy cabbage, two kinds of kale, beets, storage carrots, hakurei turnips, and much more!)
Also we have been seeding vacant areas of the farm with a cover crop mix of crimson clover, fava beans and annual rye grass. Last year in the fall we dutifully planted in our fava bean cover crop and it had only come up a few inches before the week long weather of 8 degrees killed it all. This winter we are not putting all of our eggs in one basket! If the fava beans freeze out we will still have the annual rye and the crimson clover. Cover cropping is an important element of sustainable agriculture. Cover crops protect the soil from washing away and eroding during our heavy winter rains. Cover crops provide habitat and nectar for insects and other animals. Cover crops add nutrients to the soil when the are tilled in leaving the soil richer and healthier. Plus seeing a healthy stand of cover crop coming up just makes us feel good! It is our way of giving something back to the land and knowing the land can rest for a few months without us tilling, digging, poking, and compacting it.
Here's to another wonderful 13 weeks of fresh, Big Lick produce! Please don't forget to mark your calendar for September 12th (Sunday) from 2-6pm we will have the farm potluck/tour.. we hope you can all attend! Please email Suzie at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be attending and how many in your party.
Thank you for eating locally!
Suzie, Asinete, M.A., Violet and Sally
Harvest This Week Includes:
Asinete's famous, Luscious Bi-Color Sweet Corn
Maxibel Haricot and Royal Burgundy Beans
Cherry Tomato Mix
Cucumber medley (lemon, white Boothby blonde, green marketmore)
Red Torpedo and Walla Walla Onions (we've got lots and lots of onions so you can expect them every week from here on out)
Glacier Tomatoes AND (hopefully!) some heirlooms! (may include Cherokee purple, brandywine, pruden's purple, green zebra, striped German or Black Krim)
How to Cook it and Store it!!!
Forget about storing that sweet corn! Corn begins losing its sweet taste as soon as it is picked. Once picked the sugars in the corn begin turning to starch. If you do need to store it for one or two days at the most keep the husks on the corn to keep fresh and wrap in plastic bag and place in fridge until ready to use.
Cooking Corn on the Cob
When it comes to cooking, corn is very versatile. After husking, cook corn by placing ears upright in a stockpot with 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water and a tablespoon or two of sugar. Cover the pot and let it steam for about 7 minutes after boiling begins. Or... lay the ears in a pan, with two to three quarts of water and about 3 tablespoons of sugar, and boil for about 4 minutes. Never add salt to the water since that can make the corn tough. Do not overcook.
Corn can also be microwaved. For the best flavor, remove the outer husk, letting the inner husks remain. After microwaving, pull the husks downward to remove them along with the silk. Or... you can clean and husk the corn first, wrap it in waxed paper or plastic wrap and cook for about two minutes per ear.
Grill corn by wrapping individual ears in aluminum foil after cleaning and husking. Add a small amount of butter and seasoning and wrap the corn in the foil. Grill for about 15 minutes, turning a few times.
Honey Roasted Sweet Corn
* 6 ears corn
* 1/3 cup honey
* 1/3 cup water
* salt and pepper to taste
On each ear of corn - Pull the husks back partially but do not remove them. Remove the silk; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the honey and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 4 minutes. Brush the corn with the honey and water mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pull the husks back on the corn. Wrap each ear in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped ears on the grill and cook for about 15 minutes, turning frequently.
Herbed Corn on the Cob
* 6 ears corn
* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 T. fresh parsley - minced
* 1/2 tsp. thyme
* 1/4 tsp. pepper
Clean and husk the corn. Mix the parsley, thyme and pepper with the melted butter. Lay each ear of corn on a piece of aluminum foil. Brush each ear with the butter mixture. Wrap carefully in the foil. Grill for about 15 minutes, turning frequently.
Basil time at Big Lick! We hope you like it as much as we do! We love it and consequently it did wonderfully for us with basil now protruding from all corners of the farm. The basil will keep best in the plastic bag in the warmest part of your fridge (which may be up on the shelves inside door). Here are some basil ideas for you!
BASIL WALNUT VINAIGRETTE
1/2 cup chopped garlic
white wine vinegar
Whirl together the above ingredients, and toss with lightly steamed green beans and/or cooked potatoes, or? Then toss with: chopped walnuts and 3 sliced scallions
A Simple TOMATO AND BASIL SAUCE
The Top 100 Italian Dishes, Diane Seed
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled
8 basil leaves
Heat the oil and gently fry the onion and garlic until they are
transparent. Add the tomatoes and cook quickly in a shallow uncovered
pan so that the sauce thickens and remains a bright red. Season to
taste then puree with the basil leaves.