I’d like to start this newsletter off with a happy birthday to my mom, Eve (aka Mema), 79 years young today. One of our most dedicated farm fans even if, 16 years in, she’s still skeptical about what to do with many of the vegetables she gets in her CSA share. And while her collection of Fiore bottles could keep a recycling center busy for a month, we appreciate all she’s done to support us — from sorting tomatoes in the early years, to caring for grandchildren beginning 15 years ago, to always bringing a suspicious and protective eye to anything vaguely risky. Happy Birthday, Mom!
What a wonderful couple days of rain we had last week! And then this week I’m so excited to finally be bringing you my favorite farm candy — Husk Cherries. If you haven’t had them before, we hope you love them. Pop the tiny fruit out of the papery husk and snack away — the more papery the husk, the more ripe they are. Let the green ones sit on the counter and they’ll ripen up in a few days, though I do like them a little under-ripe and tangy. I heard them once described as tasting like a cherry tomato injected with mango and pineapple juice. You can use them in a salsa, but I think they’re best as a straight-up candy treat.
Our biggest mystery of the 2020 growing season is… where did the eggplant go? We grow the variety we do, Swallow, because we think they are delicious and beautiful and usually produce plentiful fruit. Last year we had week after week of eggplant for all our members. This year, even though the hundreds of plants were gorgeous and lush, we barely saw flowers and had hardly any fruit. I figure that most things relate back to the drought this year (since vegetable production is one thing I can’t pin on Covid), but it is a mystery since eggplant generally do fine in hot and even dry conditions. I’ve heard, incidentally, of a few home gardeners who had a similar experience with their eggplant this year, so let me know if the same thing happened to you, too! And if you had a bumper crop of eggplant, brag away — I’ll be very glad for you and just a little bit jealous!
For those of you who end up with a bizarrely large beet in your share this week, the story is that I lost track of a planting behind a section of chard (the tops look very similar, especially while young). And then when I discovered them on Sunday… voila! Massive beets! The variety, Cylindra, should still be sweet and delicious, and this way, one beet will make a meal!
Have a great week, be in touch with any questions or comments, and see you soon!
Reba and the HCF crew
CSA Vegetables Week Twelve: Kale/Chard, Dill/Parsley/Cilantro, Husk Cherries, Green/Red Peppers, Beets/Celery, Tomatillos/Eggplant, Zucchini/Zephyr/Patty Pan Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicing Tomatoes, Garlic
Week 12 Add-ons: Cheese, Mushrooms, Fiore, Milk, Bread, Flowers
This week’s recipes: Tomatillo Salsa Verde, Best Gazpacho, Roasted Beet and Kale Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts