In your box:

  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Head lettuce
  • Kale, “Red Russian”
  • Salad mix
  • Snap Peas
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet Onion
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Farm News

Thanks to everyone who made it to the farm last Saturday for the Eat Local Co-op Farm Tour! About 85 people braved the humidity and deerflies for a day of exploring the farm and building community around local foods. We are still planning to have an onion- harvesting work day in mid-August and a year-end harvest party in September, so we hope to see you at the farm this season! More details and specific dates will come your way soon.

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This week’s box

Fennel is a close relative of carrots and celery, and it has a strong taste of licorice. Both the leafy fronds and the central bulb can be eaten, and are tasty either raw or cooked. The fronds tend to wilt quickly, so they should be kept in a plastic bag or container and used within a few days. The bulbs are a bit heartier and should last 7-10 days. The fronds are best chopped fine and added to salads, while the bulbs are great as a crunchy, flavorful addition to a stir fry.

We’re also excited to start picking our first broccoli. So far the cabbage moth season hasn’t been too bad, so hopefully there won’t be any tiny green looper worms that made it into your box. If so, soaking the broccoli in salted water will help remove them.

Now that the heat of summer is firmly established, I’m afraid we’ve reached the end of the road for salad mix and peas, although we have another planting of salad mix for the fall. We do attempt to provide heads of lettuce throughout the year, but it can be a little tricky in hot, dry years like this one. But surely tomato season can’t be too far down the road….

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Fennel Tomato Sauce

From Asparagus to Zucchini, 3rd ed.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs Italian Sausage links (hot or mild)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped fennel stalk
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 cans (each 28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed, or 7-8 cups peeled, chopped, fresh tomatoes.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • pinch sugar
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fennel leaves (optional)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat one TB olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame.

2. Add Italian sausage links and brown on all sides.  Drain on paper towels.

3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add onion, garlic, chopped fennel stalk, and fennel seed.  Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender.  Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, sugar, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.  Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally 20-30 minutes.

4. Slice sausages into rounds and add to sauce. Continue to simmer 30 or more minutes.

5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in minced fennel leaves just before serving, if desired. Toss with hot, cooked pasta (use a short, thick type like penne or corkscrew) or serve over hot polenta, with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 8-10

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Coming up

Next week, we are expecting endive, cabbage, green onions, summer squash, cucumbers, beets, broccoli, basil and tomatoes

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