Farm Share Week 8

Hello from the fields of Zephy Organics!

This week on the farm we had our classic Tuesday thunderstorm. It is funny how often the storms land on a Tuesday, so we were busily picking peas until the storm really looked like it was picking up. We ended up waddle-running (how one hurries while carrying heavy bushels) when the rain and wind really started pelting at us. Later, a young girl from my church came with her dad to help out. She slid around in the mud with me trying to harvest those delicious tomatoes in the rain (no lightning at this point, don’t worry). What a satisfying experience that was, after scouring the field weeks on end for that one red tomato here or there, to see the whole thing decorated with vibrant red bite-sized wonders! What a trooper she was, and what a blessing to have an extra pair of hands and some company. We had to laugh at how ridiculous it can get out there in the field sometimes.

Our watermelon aren’t quite at their full potential yet, but next week they should be a nice vibrant pink insiide (they start out white inside and just eadible in taste). The okra plants with their gorgeous cream and violet blooms are starting to produce a little more, and we harvested the first eggplants from the fields. Soon everyone will get a taste. Also, sweet peppers should be ready soon, just the green ones, as they take longer to ripen into the sweeter coloured peppers. Sadly, the beans are done for now- the field mostly has blemished and old beans now, in diminishing numbers.

In the spirit of Carribana coming to Toronto this weekend, we have okra and calliloo (large green leafy vegetable) which can be used in curries, done up like spinach stir-fry (calliloo) or made into soup. The Jamaican workers on our farm love these, and they are hard to come by in Canada, although they seem to thrive in our climate. Here are the best 2 recipes I found, one vegetarian http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Moosewood-Callaloo-Greens-Stew-Recipezaar and one traditional http://latinfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/Callaloo-Recipe.htm. I have not tried it yet but hope to soon.

On a positive note, we have lovely golden beets this week. The taste is slightly different, with a bright yellow hue when cooked. Beet lovers will tell you roasting is the way to cook them to bring out the flavour. I tried roasting some odds and ends this week in the oven, and found the same for the other veggies. I drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled them with seasonings and let them cook, covered at 400 degrees for 45 mins or so (they took a long time so I kept checking). Don’t forget to put a little water in the bottom- I think the lack of water made mine take longer to cook. You could also cut them into much smaller pieces so they are ready to go. That’s a glass baking dish I used with tin foil to cover.

Roasting brings out the best in many vegetables and it marvellously easy- I was playing at the nearby park with my son when our zucchini, potatotes, tomatoes, carrots and fennel roasted in the oven.

So, here are the fresh veggies looking to find a place in your bellies this week:

Half Share
-carrots
-golden beets
-sugar snap peas
-snow peas
-mini field tomatoes
-cucumber
-romaine lettuce
-red or green leaf lettuce
-garlic chives
-baby bok choy

Whole Share
-carrots
-golden beets
-sugar snap peas
-snow peas
-mini field tomatoes
-cucumber
-romaine lettuce
-red or green leaf lettuce
-garlic chives
-baby bok choy
-callaloo
-okra
-eggplant
-grape or saladette tomatoes
-zucchini

Here’s an idea for using many odds and ends at once- try with okra, zucchini or spanish onions (add when chicken is browning)

Eggplant, Carrot & Tomato Curry with Chicken

Eggplant, carrot, tomato curry with chicken (optional)

Serves 3

This was the recipe I did off the cuff- so use your own sensibilities along with it, please. I found it to be a little sweet and lightly spiced but I have a high spice tolerance.

Ingredients

  • chicken, cut into 1 1/2 in. strips (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small spanish onion (or use green onion after cooking)
  • 1 large eggplant peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 bunch carrots, grated
  • 1/2 clamshell mini field tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
  • 1/4 cup of water (or amount needed to make seasonings into a sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1-2 green onions or 1/4 cup garlic chives

Directions

1. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and stir frequently until lightly browned. Add spanish onion if using and sautee until translucent.

2. Add eggplant & grated carrots and more oil if needed and cook until lightly softened (about 5 mins). Add tomatoes, water and spices, turn to low temperature, cover and simmer for about 20 mins.

3. Stir in green onions or garlic chives and serve over rice. Flatbreads such as pita and naan make a nice side as well as a dollup of plain yogurt to cut into the heat.

Enjoy the fruits of the land this week 🙂

Jennifer

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