Farm News Week Six

Greetings farm share members. Is seems as though summer has been with us for quite some time now. There are a lot of transitions happening at the farm at this point in the year. Almost all of our spring planted crops are already to come out and be replaced with fall and overwintering crops. Hot weather summer crops are being harvested in earnest at this point in the season, especially the tomatoes.

We have been working a lot with the tomatoes this year keeping them trimmed and trellised. They grow so fast, however, that it is tough to keep up with them and hoop houses begin to look like jungles very quickly. Keeping them orderly produces much better fruit, with more air flow to help the ripen and keep pests at bay. It also saves us a lot of time while harvesting with them easy to access.

The cooler weather has not only made our harvests easier but has allowed for more transplanting. This later planting of peppers has gone out in from of hoop houses to ensure more warmth in the event of those later summer nights that are no longer quite as warm that give way to cooler early fall mornings. The warm air from the covered areas filters into the open space where the peppers are on mulch to extend pepper season through the fall. We are excited about some new sweet varieties this year and some cool back to school lunch items.


But, back to summer. We are harvesting more heirloom tomatoes every week. Tomatoes will be a mainstay in the shares for a while now either in the form of cherries, slicers or heirlooms. They are good just about any way you use them and are best eaten pretty soon after you get your shares. If any seem underripe, place them n a window sill or fruit bowl to ripped at room temperature. This week’s share also has new head lettuce, green and red little gems. These taste just like a romaine lettuce, just smaller. They can be used any way you would use lettuce, and their crunchy texture lends to heavier dressings if desired. Cauliflower and broccoli are good cut as snacks, in fajitas and sti-frys, in pastas, grilled on the barbeque or roasted.
Kale and cucumbers make a great salad with an Asian inspired dressing such as rice vinegar, chili flakes and toasted sesame oil. Massage thinly sliced kale or collards and toss with the above and season with salt and pepper. Add thinly sliced cucumber rounds and refrigerate before serving. The kale or collards will wilt a bit and flavors will blend. Try making a slaw of thinly sliced fennel with lemon, salt and pepper as a topping for grilled fish or add to sauteed shrimp.

Orzo and Roasted Cauliflower Salad

1 1/2 cups orzo, cooked
1 cup cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (parsley or basil works too)
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of one large lime
1/3 cup olive oil plus one tablespoon
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Cook orzo according to package instructions, keep warm.
Chop cauliflower and toss with one tablespoon olive oil and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Roast till soft and lightly browned, usually about twenty minutes.
Chop cilantro, parsley or basil.
Halve cherry tomatoes.
Mix roasted cauliflower with orzo, tomatoes and herbs. Toss with remaining olive oil and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust flavors as you like or sub lemon juice or or vinegar for different flavors. Broccoli works well in this salad too. Serve warm or cold. If making ahead, wait to add lime juice and love oil till ready to serve as the orzo will soak up extra liquid. This salad travels well for outdoor picnics.

Thanks again for your support and send us any ideas or questions you may have.

-The Simington Gardens Team