THIS WEEK'S HARVEST
Arugula, Spinach, Little Gem Lettuces, Carmona Butter Lettuce, Bok Choi, Red Russian Kale, Dino kale, Rainbow Chard, Olympian Cucumbers, Summer Squash and Zucchini, Slicing Tomatoes, First Field Heirloom Tomatoes, Pink Ladyslipper Radishes, Scallions, Fresh Cabernet Onions, Freshly Dug Creole Garlic, Baby Rainbow Carrots
Frying Peppers: Shishito, Black Hungarian, Padrón *See last week's newsletter for harvest tips
Pickling Cucumbers: *See below for instructions
Herbs: Italian Basil, Tulsi Basil, Thai Basil, Purple Basil, Italian Parsley, Rosemary, Lemon balm, Lemon Verbena, Perennial Cilantro, Annual Cilantro, French Sorrel, Onion Chives, Garlic Chives, Shiso, Tarragon, Oregano, Thyme, Camomile, Mints
U-pick Limits: Please always respect the weekly u-pick limits posted on the board in the barn. They are in place to insure that you, and all the members that pick after you, can get some!
PRESERVING THE HARVEST
*This section of the newsletter is to let you know of bulk or preserving crops available this week to help you stock your larder!
Loose Hakurei Turnips: We're clearing out our first planting of Hakureis and will harvest loose turnips available for pickling. Check out the pickle recipe below from Kate Seely, which can be used to pickle just about anything!
We plant a large bed of pickling cucumbers each year so that members can u-pick them fresh off the vine to take home to pickle! They are starting to produce! If you're interested in pickling cucumbers this year, please sign up on the pickling cucumber interest list next to the sign-up sheet in the barn. We'd love for about 4 people people to pick soon as tomorrow (Saturday)! After that, we'll let you know via email when you're next on the pick list based on order of sign-up. There will be plenty for everyone. The season limit this year will start at 1 gallon of pickling cucumbers per share.
See below for instructions on how to pick pickling cucumbers and a great pickle recipe from CSA member Kate Seely.
Picking instructions: Bring a bag or gallon container from home to pick into. Find the pickling cucumber bed out on the farm. It will match the flag color on the u-pick chalk board. Comb through the plants doing your best not to step on the vines or the adjacent bed. The ideal sized pickling cucumber is around 4 inches long and 1 inch thick. Please don't pick them much smaller than this. Bigger is fine. Please pick big ones so the plant can focus on growing more cukes for the next pickers!
Kate Seely's Amazing Cucumber Pickle Recipe: Kate Seely makes the best homemade pickles we've ever had. She generously shared her secrets below. Thank you, Kate!
For crunchy pickles, Kate has found that the trick is simply to get them pickled as soon after harvesting them as possible. The salted ice water helps, too. People talk about grape leaves and citric acid, but she hasn't really found those to work.
For the Brine:
1:1 Ratio Water : Organic Distilled White Vinegar
1/3 cup pickling salt for every 8 cups liquid
**If you like it a little less vinegary, go 2/3 water : 1/3 vinegar instead of 1:1. Also, you really can use this brine to vinegar pickle any vegetable, like Hakurei turnips**
Fresh spicy pepper (a jalapeño would work, but any spicy pepper is great) OR red pepper chili flakes
Yellow mustard seed
Fresh dill (if you don't have fresh, dried is fine)
Pint Jars (or Quart if you want to go big!)
New lids for sealing
Tongs and/or can removers
Step One - Soak Cucumbers
Cut cukes, removing ends and sizing the slices to the size of the jars you will use, and set in water, salt and ice. Use about three TBSP of salt for 5 pounds of cukes. Let sit anywhere between 4 and 24 hours.
Step Two- Make Brine
Begin this step when you're ready to pickle. Put the brine measurements into a separate pot and bring to a boil. 1:1 water to white vinegar, and 1/3 cup salt for every 8 cups of liquid. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer.
Step Three - Sterilize Jars
Fill canning pot with water, bring to a boil. To sterilize, wash jars with soap and water, then place in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Be mindful not to touch the insides of the jars with your hands as that will de-sterilize them. Sterilize lids in a smaller pot as well
Step Four- Fill Jars
Drain cucumbers. Trim them to the length of the jar if you haven't already, if they are not already short enough. Jars should have 1/4 inch of space between liquid and jar top.Pack cucumbers, dill (1-2 sprigs), and garlic (one clove for a pint jar). Really, PACK them in there.
Add spices: Pour 1 tsp yellow mustard seed, 3/4 tsp (or more or less depending on the spice you want, I like them spicy!), 6 peppercorns on top of cucumbers.
Pour brine over pickles, covering them, but leaving 1/4 inch until top of jar.
Remove lid from small pot with tongs, being mindful not to touch lids. Screw on cap so that it is not tight, so that air can escape from jars as you water process them.
Place jars in canning pot and water process for 15 minutes. (If you do not have a canning pot with a metal insert to hold cans, make sure to put a buffer between your glass jars and the bottom of the metal pot, like an old dish towel. Your jars will break if they touch the hot metal. Heck, they might break anyways if you're reusing jars. That's just the way it goes sometimes.)
WEEDING WEDNESDAYS, 8:00-10:00 am
Interested in some farm therapy? Come hang out with us on a Wednesday mornings as we tend garden and farm beds and take a bite out of weed crime. Great conversation to be had. Find us in the garden or out in the main fields on Wednesdays from 8:00am 'til 10:00 am!
As you know by now, this here Farmer's Log is a journal of whimsical and practical musings and a good way to get to know your farm and us farmers a little better.
We thought we'd offer a little compendium this week, for members old and new, of past Farmer's Logs.
Have you ever wondered about your farmers' super hero powers and their favorite Spice Girls, when they fell in love with farming, what they talk about in the field, or what a week in the life is like?
Ever wondered if there is a ghost on the farm?
The answers to your questions are at your fingertips as we finally got around to uploading old Farmer's Logs to the website.
Enjoy the stories and as always...
See you in the fields,
David & Kayta