Notes from the Farm

“How is the weather impacting the harvest this year?”  This is one of the most frequent questions I get here on the farm, and there is always lots to say.  This year we had a cooler and wetter than normal summer, especially in comparison to the last two summers which were exceptionally hot and dry, creating drought conditions throughout the state.  There are crops that prefer the cooler, wetter conditions we’ve had this year, and crops that prefer the hot and dry conditions of the previous two years.  By growing a diversity of crops, we are nearly certain to have some crops that will thrive in whatever conditions we have, while other crops simply survive and others struggle.   This year we have been able

to enjoy harvests of cabbage, broccoli and now cauliflower, all members of the Brassica family, which prefer the cooler temperatures we have had this season. In fact, 2015 and 2016 were so hot and dry that most of our cabbage and cauliflower struggled, while our broccoli did not thrive until November.   While the brassicas have thrived this season, the heat loving crops of peppers and eggplants produced minimally in August, but have picked up for us in recent weeks.  Tomatoes also prefer the hot and dry conditions, so the varieties we planted in the field were less productive than usual, but planting tomatoes in the high tunnels where conditions are better allowed us a steady harvest nonetheless.  We will continue to harvest the heat loving crops as much as possible before turning them in and seeding cover crop to protect and feed the soil over the winter.  We’ll let the U-Pick cherry tomatoes rest this week and hope that the last flush of fruit size up to give us one or two final weeks of picking.
Best,
Farmer Steve and our Farmers: Adam, Alyssa, Ariana, Kayla, Sara, Shannon, TW and Tyler

In This Week’s Distribution

Our Harvest:  Cauliflower, Red Cabbage, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Scallions, Lettuce, Kale or Chard
U-Pick: Closed this week
Fruit Option: Apples or Pears

Recipes and Cooking Ideas

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
from NYTimes.com
  • 1 medium-size head of cauliflower
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small or 1/2 large red onion, cut in half or quarters (if using a whole onion) lengthwise, then sliced thin across the grain
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-2 large tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can 14 oz chopped tomatoes)
  •  teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ ounces soft goat cheese (about 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoon chopped chives
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Cut away the bottom of the cauliflower stem and trim off leaves. Cut cauliflower into 1/3 inch thick slices, letting the florets on the edges fall off. Toss all of it, including the bits that have fallen away, with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on baking sheet in an even layer.
  2. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and flipping over the big slices after 8 minutes, until the slices are tender when pierced with a paring knife and the small florets are nicely browned. Remove from oven and cut large slices into smaller pieces. You should have about 2 cups. Transfer to a large bowl. Turn oven down to 375 degrees.
  3. Oil a 1-1/2 to 2-quart baking dish or gratin. Heat remaining oil over medium heat in a medium-size skillet or a wide saucepan and add onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic and thyme and continue to cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add tomatoes, cinnamon, ground coriander seeds, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the sauce is fragrant. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add to bowl with the cauliflower and stir everything together. Scrape into prepared baking dish.
  4. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the goat cheese. Beat eggs, then add the remaining cheese and beat together until smooth. Pour over cauliflower mixture, making sure to scrape out every last bit with a rubber spatula. Dot top with small pieces of the remaining goat cheese and sprinkle on chives.
  5. Bake 30 minutes, until top is beginning to brown in spots. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Miracle Cauliflower and Cabbage Soup
from recipes.sparkpeople.com  

Ingredients

1 head of cabbage (about 10 cups)
1 head of cauliflower (slightly larger than cabbage, about 10 cups)
Enough low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth to almost cover veggies (about 6 14.5 oz ,cans for 20 cups of veggies)
1/4 cup, or less, blue cheese crumbles
freshly ground black pepper to taste- lots!
optional: up to 1/2 cup roasted red pepper

Directions

Chop cabbage and cauliflower and place in Dutch oven or large pot.
Pour enough chicken stock to ALMOST cover.
Bring to boil, then simmer, covered, until very tender, about 60-90 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese and pepper. (and red pepper, if using)
Puree in blender, processor or in pot with hand blender. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Note: freezes well.
Eggplant and Tomato with Israeli Couscous
from seriouseats.com

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, grated with a Microplane or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 large eggplant, diced (about 1 quart diced egg plant)
  • 8 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped (about 3 cups chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 6 to 8 picked basil leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat 1 ¼ cups of the broth in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until it reaches a boil. Stir in the couscous and season to taste with salt and pepper, reducing heat to bring it to a bare simmer. Cover, stirring occasionally, until the excess liquid is absorbed, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Wipe out skillet and add olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly 3 to 4 minutes, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
  3. Add the eggplant, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, remaining 1/2 cup broth, paprika, and chili flakes. Once the tomatoes begin to soften, gently break them up with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the eggplants are cooked through and the tomatoes have completely broken down, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the couscous and allow it to absorb the excess liquid and warm through, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and garnish with the basil leaves. Serve.
Cauliflower and Tomato Curry
from bbcgoodfood.com
Ingredients
  • onions, 1 quartered, the other thinly sliced
  • 5cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 green chillies, 1 halved and deseeded, the other sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 100ml tamarind purée
  • 400ml passata
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • cauliflower, about 500g/1lb 2oz
  • small handful coriander leaves, to serve
  • cooked rice, to serve
  • lime pickle and mango chutney, to serve

For the spice mix

  1. To make the spice mix, toast the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds, with the dried chilli for 30 secs, or until you smell them. Grind in a spice grinder until very powdery. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor, purée the quartered onion, ginger, halved green chilli and garlic to make a paste. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the sliced onion, paste and season well, then sauté for 12 mins until golden. Add the spice mix, turmeric, curry leaves and mustard seeds and sauté for about 2 mins. Add the tamarind, passata, stock and coconut, and bring to the boil.
  3. Cut the cauliflower into medium florets and add to the curry. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 mins until the cauliflower is tender. Serve with rice, coriander leaves, the remaining sliced green chilli and lime pickle and mango chutney, if you like.

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