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Aug. 28, 2013

Posted 9/9/2013 8:11am by Don Kretschmann.

Aug. 28, 2013

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

   Late summer, tomatoes are king and almost too good to be true.  How could this little veggie/fruit be our longing all winter yet so plentiful in season?  We hope you are enjoying the variety.  This year we have Juliette (cherry type), Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, Italian Gold (plum), Arkansas Traveler, Sunkist, San Marzano, Plum Regal, Granadero (plum), Speckled Roman, and our own "Big Pink" (you'll know why the name when you see one) randomly distributed. In addition, there are seven varieties of slicing tomatoes.

   We're right at the halfway point in the season--12 more weeks after this.  Likely, you're wondering, "Where's the sweet corn?"  We get corn from our neighbors, the Brenkles, who grow about the best corn you can get.  They have nearly all "bottom ground", much of it where Brush Creek curves around in a big oxbow.  With all the rain in the spring, it was impossible to work the fields early.  Tom says they will have corn at some point, probably two weeks.  It will likely be a very short corn season because that low ground is the first to suffer a frost as well.  We likely could have gotten corn elsewhere, but think best to stand by our neighbor and friend.

   Last week we finished digging the early potatoes and pulled up the plastic mulch into which we had planted early zucchini and cucumbers.  Then the first of the winter cover crops were seeded.  We also seeded radishes, turnips, and mesclun greens for the fall.  After this August crescendo of plantings, we begin to faintly sense how it will gradually tame down, as one field at a time is put to rest for the winter .  Two weeks ago we seeded new alfalfa in fields going out of rotation for a few years.  This deep rooted perennial legume fixes lots of nitrogen from the air with the help of bacteria in the root zone.  It's virtually free, doesn't require large amounts of energy like commercial nitrogen fertilizer production, and there's free shipping delivered right to where it's needed.

  In comings and goings to fields afar, the late summer moisture seems to have brought out the wild field flowers in particular abundance.  Last week I just had to halt mowing a fallow field to pick an armload of Queen Anne's lace for Becky to use as filler for boquets of the tall gladiolus she loves to vase up this time of the year.  Pictures hardly do justice to the deep purple blooms of giant Ironweed against the deep green backdrop of Penn's woods (and the deer within!).  Goldenrod is just beginning--always a big honey flow for the bees to stock up for the winter.

   Enjoy the abundance of lettuce.  We won't have any for a few weeks as there was a mid-summer gap in the seedings.

   Co-feasters at the August tomato extravaganza, we are, your farmers 

               --Don, Becky & the Farm Crew

Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash—Halve acorn squash and scoop out seeds.  Saute ½ onion diced in 3 tbs butter until tender then stir in ½ tsp. curry.  Add 1 c. diced apples, ¼ c. raisins, and 1/3 c. cider; continue to cook until cider is nearly evaporated.  In oiled baking dish arrange  squash and brush with melted butter, salt and pepper.  Place filling in squash and bake covered @350 about 40 min. or until tender.  (Or slice squash in 1” thick rings and stuff these)

Roasted Tomato Pizza:  Brush a cookie sheet with oil.  Lay tomatoes sliced 3/8-1/2" thick on the cookie sheet.  Brush with olive oil and dust with garlic powder and bake about 1/2 hr at 350 deg. until they start to dry out a little.  When the pizza crusts are ready, carefully move the tomato slices with a pancake flipper and arrange to nearly cover the pizza.  Sprinkle a small amount of grated mozzarella on top and then top with vegetables sauted slightly in olive oil with garlic  (suggestions: peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, and onions).

Tomato Bruschetta  (“Italian salsa”): Dice up tomatoes, peppers, and onions.  Mix with shredded basil. Salt and pepper to taste. Toast your favorite bread or ideally, French baguette, rub with garlic and top with mix. 

Caprese Salad: There are few more delicious and easier salads than this.  Simply slice some fresh tomatoes and fresh mozarella cheese, combine with fresh basil leaves either arranging attractively on a plate or tossing.  Dress with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  It's nice too with some thinly sliced onion.

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!


Billing Note: Payments for the remainder of the season are now due.  We've updated our database to give credit for missed boxes and to add in other adjustments which aren't already in the accounting.  We don't go though the entire list every week and enter charges.  So if you cancel a box and ask for a credit, this won't likely appear until we readjust again in Dec.  At that time you can either roll it over into a deposit for next season, or we'll send a refund check.  All is eventually credited so you pay only for what you get. Remember to let us know if you want to donate a canceled box and if you are a light share, whether you want to miss three weeks in a row or to swap cycles and just miss two.

ID: Apples are Primas--very similar to the old Summer Rambo.  Juicy, a little tart, good for table or baking.  The trees are loaded and picking on a tall ladder is one of the most enjoyable views on the farm. (I see what Adam and Eve were getting at...)

Special OrdersHungarian Hot Wax peppers--$25/half bushel  Always our favorite for canning year in and year out as pickled Italian hot pepper ringshttp://www.kretschmannfarm.com/store/csa-extras