In your box:
- Cabbage or head lettuce
- Cucumber or Summer Squash
- Sweet corn
- Sweet onion
I wouldn’t really be doing my job as a farmer if I didn’t talk about the rain we received this week: a very welcome inch and a half. Even though we had record-breaking rains in May and June, rain water doesn’t really “bank” that well and we were starting to get rather dry around here. Certainly nothing like the drought plaguing so much of the U.S., but dry enough to slow down a lot of vegetative growth and to limit the production of fruiting crops. So it was a most welcome rain this week, as we look to kick-start our summer production.
This week we are thrilled to introduce Sweet Corn into the boxes. A mainstay of summer, corn doesn’t really offer much nutritionally unless it is smothered in butter and salt, in which case it offers heart attack. Corn can actually be eaten raw, but only if it is consumed within a few minutes of harvest. Otherwise, the sugars in the kernels turn to starch and the experience is much too chewy. By the time you get them, they can be cooked, steamed, or grilled. To cook, you can follow either my mother-in-law’s method (place the shucked ears in a pot of water, bring to boil, turn off the heat, and serve promptly) or my preferred way (bring a pot to boil, throw the ears in for 4-6 minutes, and serve), or whatever secret family tradition you’ve inherited. To roast it, leave the husks on and throw them in the oven or over a campfire for about 20 minutes. Corn should be kept in its husk while stored, and keeps for a few days in the fridge.
We also offer Carrots and Basil for the first time this week. The carrots are not yet full grown, of course, but they’re delicious and a welcome addition. We have four different varieties of basil this year, including the basic green and a purple variety that has a similar flavor. Additionally, we have a cinnamon/anise flavored breed and a sweet lemon basil. Basil does not keep well for very long, but it can be kept in a bag or lightly dampened paper towel in the fridge. Basil is a great ingredient in pesto and is also delicious in pasta dishes and on pizza. If you don’t get to it quickly, it can be easily dried by hanging upside down in a cool, dark room. Once the leaves turn brittle, rub the flakes into a container and use as a seasoning throughout the winter.
I’m not really sure what is behind our pathetic Green Bean and Zucchini harvest thus far. The plants look good and are flowering well, but they simply aren’t putting out much to pick. This happened last year around this time as well, when we had several weeks of hot weather. I’m hoping that this rain and a pattern of more reasonable weather will really kick them into gear as we enter into August. We still had a bountiful harvest of beans last year in late August, so there is still much hope for them.
Every picking yields a greater harvest of Tomatoes, and it’s been exciting to see their bounty increase. We’re well ahead of last year’s pace, though we still don’t have enough to give everyone tomatoes. My guess is that we’re still two or three weeks out from substantial harvests, but the plants are really looking good. We do have a few Eggplants, those funky-looking cousins of tomatoes starting, ripening this week. I’ll write more about eggplant when we get more into their season, but you can read more about them here: https://foxandfawnfarm.com/2009/08/21/getting-the-flavor-of-eggplant/