Cover Crops - Buckwheat
We have been trying out several varieties of cover crop to help improve our soil and suppress weeds. This is a picture of buckwheat in one of our rows. It has done a remarkable job of suppressing the weeds and now it will be tilled in as a "green manure" to increase the organic matter and nutrients in our soil. The other good thing about buckwheat as a cover crop? It is easy to kill - which seems like a strange trait for a farmer to look for in a plant! It just means it won't get out of control and become a problem weed like some types of clover or other cover crops.
CSA Basket - Week 11
Your CSA basket this week includes the following:
Zucchini - Black Star or Costata Romanesco. The Romanesco is the ribbed version - it has a firmer flesh and holds up to roasting better than the Black Star
Tomatoes - a few more varieties this week - mostly yellow and orange heirloom varieties - Enjoy!
Lettuce - Some members have a single large head, others have our more standard multiple small head mix
Cascade Glaze Collard Greens - this variety we chose have beautiful shiny leaves compared to the standard dull color of collards
Shintokawa Cucumbers - We find that the flavor and texture of these make for a great snack
Tri-Color Carrots - add a splash of color - grate them onto your salad, if you don't just eat them whole first
Purple Top Turnips - We've enjoyed these roasted in the oven, cubed and drizzled with honey.
Broccoli - my favorite is a broccoli salad with raisins and BACON!
Listadia de Gandia Eggplant - The skin is so tender that there's no need to peel that pretty layer - the sad part is the purple turns brown when cooked
Rainbow Potatoes - These were the specialty of our 12 year-old: he planted them, mounded and weeded them, and finally harvested them as well!
Veggie of the Week:
Botanical Facts - And yet another member of the nightshade family! This one is less photogenic since it is the tuber we eat and not the fruit. Potatoes are a perennial plant but are grown like an annual for harvesting of the tubers. Potatoes are propagated by planting cut pieces of tubers in well-worked soil just before the last frost. As the plants grow, soil is mounded around the plant to encourage tuber production. Tubers are harvested after the plants flower and begin to die back.
Historical Origins - Potatoes originated in South America's Andean region where they have been cultivated for over 7,000 years. Early potatoes were small, knobby, and usually purple with yellow flesh. Many cultivars exist today of all colors and sizes. The potato was brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the fifteenth century. It was readily adopted as standard fare aboard ships as it helped to prevent scurvy on long voyages. European settlers brought the potato back to the New World when they introduced it to North America in the sixteenth century.
Tomatoes and Potatoes Drizzled with Basil Yogurt
- 2 red onions
- 1 1/2 lbs of small new potatoes
- 1 1/2 heirloom tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup dry white win
- 1 cup plain greek-style yogurt
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- small bunch of basil leaves
- salt and pepper
1. Heat oven to 400F. Cut onions and potatoes into wedges (3/4 inches at the thickest part). Toss with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.
2. Arrange onions and potatoes on a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the roasting pan skin side down and roast another 15 minutes.
3. Pour white wine over the pan and roast until wine boils off - another ten minutes.
4. Mix the yogurt with lemon juice and basil. Serve over potatoes and tomatoes.
Here is my version of the recipe from last week - Eggplant, Tomato, and Pesto Stacks. It was pretty and delicious! Did anyone else try the recipe from last week? We would love to see pictures of the food you fix with farm fresh ingredients on Facebook!
Still to come.....MELONS
The melons continue to ripen in the hoop house. This one is called Prescott Fond Blanc and is a true cantaloupe with a deep orange flesh. I can't wait to taste them! I did some market research this weekend at the U District Farmer's Market in Seattle (that's why your newsletter is late!) - there were lots of farmers with melons already - but I didn't see any of these beauties! Don't forget to stop by and say HELLO at the market!
Your SVF Farm Team