CSA Week 12: August 17th
Happy Friday everyone!
We hope you’ve had a stellar week filled with lots of veggie filled meals! Thank you so much to everyone who has completed our Mid-Season Survey. If you have not filled it out yet, please do so in the next couple of days as we will be closing the survey and analyzing the results at the beginning of the coming week. It is so helpful for us to know what parts of our CSA program are working for the members.
This week is maybe a little lighter than the previous, but we have WATERMELON! That’s right, Detroit grown, big, green, sweet watermelons. Also there’s some vegetables:
Full shares also get:
An Additional Onion
This is a newsletter about watermelon
I hope everyone is as excited for watermelon as I am, but I’ve also been anticipating it for so long, watching them slowly grow, and I’m just obsessed with melons. This is the first year we have grown watermelon for a few reasons. They take up a lot of space for a small amount of product. This year we planted them over at our space in West Village since we don’t activate that space for intensive crops any more. We used landscape fabric on pretty much the entire growing space, then burned holes into it to transplant the watermelons along with some winter squash. This allowed them to not get swallowed by weeds but not force us to make the trek over there for cultivation. I’ll be honest, we did not pay a lot of attention to them and only watered them a hand full of times. But, the earth was kind to us and now we have some delicious melons to share with you all! We had barely enough for everyone to get one, so this is the one and only week for them!
I have yet to do a tomato focused recipe, so this week I looked through this cute cookbook my mom gave to me called “You Say Tomato,” which is all tomato recipes. Since you have all been getting tomatoes for several weeks, maybe you want a way to spruce it up beyond a caprese. This is a rice-stuffed tomato, which I think would be just a delicious with parsley as with basil:
Miss Judy’s Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes:
6 large ripe tomatoes
¾ short-grain arborio rice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut a ¾-inch slice off the stem of each tomato; save the tops. With a spoon, scoop out the pulp. Chop it and set it aside in a bowl. Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with salt and place the tomatoes upside down on a paper towel to drain for 1 hour.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the rice, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, until rice is almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the rice.
Combine the rice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic gloves, basil, oregano, the reserved tomato pulp, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Mix well and let sit for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle the inside of the tomato with pepper. Remove the garlic cloves form the rice and distribute the rice evenly among the tomatoes. Cover with the reserved tops. Place in a baking dish, drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and bake until soft, about 45 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
This week was a lot of heavy lifting for harvest. We harvested all of the watermelon and most of the winter squash, for probably around 1,000 pounds of produce between the two crops. I know what you’re thinking, don’t say the word winter, it’s August. But these squash are a little on the early side and still need time to cure and get sweeter flesh before they are ready to go into shares. Delicata squash may sneak into shares in the next couple of weeks but they are basically the bridge between summer and winter squash. So rest assured that it is still summer!
The farm has felt a bit like business as usual. I had some mismanagement issues in the greenhouse that caused some fall transplanting to get delayed, but we are still confident that cabbages, broccoli, and fennel will be a part of our fall harvests. Today I will plant some late season gherkin cucumbers that will be perfect for pickling. Fingers crossed that they are better producers than our early summer crop! We’ve begun brainstorming for a fall/early winter CSA, so stay tuned on news for that. It will be a smaller member amount, but we are excited to show people the possibilities of four season farming in Michigan.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy week,
Amy and Andy