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Aug. 18,2015

Posted 10/2/2015 2:32pm by Don Kretschmann.

Aug. 18, 2015

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

It’s getting downright dry, but on the other hand this is precisely the type of weather one wants in the heart of the tomato season.  Heat brings them on, and dryness keeps the plants from developing late blight which can end the season in a week.  With irrigation, we can optimize the water and keep the splitting of the fruit to a minimum.  Moisture we can’t control, like rain, is often problematic.   

We spent a good bit of the last week harvesting our early potato crop—and it’s a great one!  All those June rains pushed the yield to the max.  We’re so thankful that disease didn’t take hold.  Not so, though, with the carrots.  We’ve yet to dig them all, but at least one variety (Nelson) struggled all year with green leaves constantly dying off with a leaf blight.  The Yaya’s seem to have fared better, but we’ll see when we dig them this week.   

It appears we’ll have some serious “holes” in our season.  We normally purchase outstanding conventionally grown sweet corn from one of our neighbors.  But this year his low lying ground was so flooded early in the season that there’s not much excess to sell.  We’ve managed to get other corn from a nearby farmer.     

Our normal conventional peach supplier was devastated by extreme cold weather last January.  Hundreds of trees were killed and the survivors’ yield is down.  We have managed to get some peaches from our strawberry supplier, but we won’t be able to offer pecks of them as in past years.     

Sweltering, but enjoying summer, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

ID: Tomatoes—a rundown with some heirlooms.  Italian Gold, Arkansas Traveler (one of our favorite pinks), Green Zebra.  Those really yummy sweet tiny plums are Blush.  Other plums types- Juliet and San Marzano Then we have our own saved variety we call Big Pink.  Very dark ones are Black Velvet.  One we call Golden yellow.  And somewhere out there we’ve got a sweet striped yellow/red called Pineapple.  There’s several paste/roma types—Plum Regal, Tiren, andFolia.  Sometimes we have a hard time keeping track of them all.   

Special Orders: Tomatoes: $20 half bushel; Seven grain bread @$4/loaf; various cheeses; ground and whole bean coffee. Easy to freeze for the winter: Collards, kale, Swiss chard—12 bunch box $20.  We generally have lots of different herbs on hand—rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, dill w/heads.  If you have need of some for a special recipe, just let us know.   

Stuffed Tomatoes: Cut tops off 4 large firm tomatoes and scoop out insides.  Mix ¼ c. dry bread crumbs 1 beaten egg, 1 diced onion, 1/3 c grated parmesan cheese, 1 tbs basil, 2 cloves minced garlic, ½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 tbs parsley, salt pepper to taste. Pack tomatoes tightly, top with shredded mozzarella, bread crumbs, butter, and bake uncovered 25-30 min. @ 350 deg.

Dilly Slaw: Slice up red cabbage and 1 onion to thickness of a nickle.  Finely chop 2-4 tbs tender dill leaves. Toss with 1/3 c. mayonnaise, ¼ c. cider vinegar, ½ tsp. salt, 1 T honey.  Allow to marinate 10 min.  Variations/addition: add some finely shredded carrots, a tbs. of chopped parsley, and tbs. mustard.  Or go Greek-- substitute lemon juice and olive oil for mayo and vinegar; add crumbled feta cheese. Absolutely as good as it gets with a fresh tomato sauce…

Pasta a la Georgina:  Saute 2 lg. cloves chopped garlic and about an equal amount of finely diced fresh ginger in 2 T oil.  Add about 1# fresh ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks, and simmer.  (15 min+-)  Cook pasta, drain.  Add 1 c. chopped fresh basil to tomatoes just before serving.  Sprinkle pasta servings with grated mozzarella cheese and top with sauce.  A great 20 minute meal!