Farm Share Week 11

Well it’s week 11 and it’s at the point that you may be thinking of back to school for your kids, or maybe just trying to squeezing some more enjoyment out of the warm, sunny days and cool nights of August. I think this may be my favourite weather combination that our varied climate has to offer.

Along with the cooler nights, the first brave few fall items are appearing. The first few cabbages and even the odd squash was harvested. Look for cabbage next week in your box. I am also hoping that the celery will be ready next week, with a little water and sunshine, and that the skinny carrots will fatten up nicely. Soon as the peppers will be becoming even sweeter and taking on some colourful hues. Though I have not harvested many yet, we grow quite a lot of shepherds peppers, which taste just like the bell peppers but have an elongated form, reminiscent of hot peppers. The sweet peppers are much larger, wider and deeper green or red.

Here are your items this week:

Half Share


Heirloom tomatoes: sometimes striped, yellow, greenish, orange, uniquely shaped or marked with seams- sometimes surprising, always delicious!

  • Grape tomatoes (great for snacking or in salads)
  • Field or heirloom tomatoes (super for sandwiches or burgers)
  • Romaine lettuce (back to it’s big and beautiful self this week)
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Green and yellow beans
  • Cucumber
  • Baby boy choy
  • Radish (remember, you can cook them if you find them too spicy)
  • Green peppers
  • Cantaloupe (or watermelon)

Whole Share

  • Grape tomatoes (great for snacking or in salads)
  • Field or heirloom tomatoes (super for sandwiches or burgers)
  • Romaine lettuce (back to it’s big and beautiful self this week)
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Green and yellow beans
  • Cucumber
  • Baby boy choy
  • Radish (remember, you can cook them if you find them too spicy)
  • Green peppers
  • Cantaloupe (or watermelon)
  • Eggplant
  • Red kale
  • Watermelon
  • Rhubarb
  • Hot Chili Peppers (I harvested them a little early so they are mild)
  • Spanish onions (dry out if you are want them to last longer)
  • Golden beets
  • Roma tomatoes (excellent for cooking or canning

Some cool appetizer ideas:

Tomato, Cucumber & Melon Skewers (adapted from www.bettycrocker.com)

Ingredients

  • 6 saladette tomatoes, halved
  • 12 balls or cubes (1 inch) cantaloupe
  • 12 balls or cubes (1 inch) cucumber
  • 12 bamboo skewers (or toothpicks)
  • 1 tablespoon real maple or maple-flavored syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Thread 1 cantaloupe ball/cube, 1 cucumber ball/cube and 1 tomato onto each skewer.

2. In small bowl, beat syrup, vinegar, oil and parsley until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over skewers.

Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers from www.foodnetwork.com (if you have leftovers from last week) I think I am going to try these as samples for the “Meet Your Farmer” event Thursday August 23 at the Uxbridge Arena.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) watermelon, cut into 32 (1 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 32 small basil leaves (or torn larger leaves)
  • 16 saladette tomatoes, quartered or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Special equipment: 16 (6-inch) skewers (or use toothpicks)

Directions

1. Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

2. Starting with the watermelon squares, push the watermelon to the very tip of the skewer. Then skewer a basil leaf, then a tomato half. Continue with another watermelon, basil leaf, and tomato half. Place the skewer on a serving platter so it stands upright, using the lowest watermelon square as a base. Continue with the remaining skewers.

3. Drizzle the skewers with the reserved balsamic syrup and the olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve.

Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Bruschetta (this one’s original so the quantities are approximate) Who doesn’t love bruschetta? I wanted to make this restaurant favourite and wondered, why can’t the cucumber join in too?

Ingredients

  • 1 small loaf whole grain fresh bread, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 clamshell saladette or campari tomatoes, cut into 1-in pieces
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter (enough to spread over bread)
  • garlic, chopped, to taste
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar (if desired- I wanted to add a pickle taste to the cucumbers, marinating the cucumbers for a few hours first would have been tastier).
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Pepper and other seasonings (ie. basil and oregano) to taste)

Directions

1.  Butter bread and let it crisp lightly in the oven on broil (watch closely!)

2. Mix tomatoes, cucumber, cider vinegar, garlic, seasonings and feta together in a bowl. Take lightly toasted bread out of oven and spread mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle grated mozzarella on top and broil till cheese is melted and lightly browned. The tomato and cucumber ended up very lightly cooked, which suited me fine.

Serves 6 as an appetizer.

Below: Why not add seasonal items to your go-to recipes? Some summer chili with fresh heirlooms, zucchini, eggplant and green peppers in the slow-cooker made a nice meal to come home to after a long day at the farm.

Enjoy all!

 

 
Sheppard peppers: We’re sweet, not hot!

 

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