See below for recipes and “Our Magical Mountains & Chanterelles!”
LETTUCE & STIR FRY MIX Our fall greens are starting to come in. We didn’t want to wait until next week for the whole lot, so some of you will get salad and some stir fry this week. Our Kale & leafy greens are free of the toxic pesticides that placed them in the “Dirty Dozen,” most pesticide-laden conventionally-grown fruits & veggies (see last week’s post)!
GOLDEN LITTLE JENNY MELON! this sweet dumpling of a melon will melt in your mouth. Great for single folks or small families. Little Jenny came through despite the rains and cool nights of this season!
GROUND CHERRIES - These sweet pineapple flavored fruits, also called husk cherries, come in their own little candy wrappers (paper husks). We love them as a snack, in desserts, jams, or salads. They are a sweet member of the tomato family--but not tomatillos!
TOMATOES - Heirlooms, Plums, Pastes, Cherries: choose 1.5# of your favorites - or try a new one! Ask us about the different varieties at the market: from the yellow-gold Pineapple or Garden Peach, German Pink or Pink Plop Plum, to the dark purple Cherokee Purple or Black Krim (to name just a few). Sometimes wild looking, their flavor is so much richer than the uniform standard red. Many old-time heirloom tomatoes have “green shoulders” and a larger core when ripe (which was bred out of standard industry tomatoes. We also have cherry and plum tomatoes, which are the best for sun-dried tomatoes in our solar dehydrator. See our past recipes for our favorite summer salads and natural homemade ketchup! If you wonder if choosing organically-grown tomatoes is important, take a look at the “Dirty Dozen” list of most pesticide-laden fruits & veggies (August 6 post). I personally experienced extreme nausea after 10 minutes in the greenhouse of a local grower, shortly after the commonly-recommended fungicides were applied. Do not refrigerate tomatoes--it nullifies tomato flavor and turns the flesh mealy. Keep them on your counter with stem-side down, covered with a cloth. Use according to ripeness--within a few days to a week. To ripen further, leave in a sunny windowsill (covered with a cloth). Remember that if you want to process (freeze, can, make ketchup or juice), our CSA members can purchase additional tomatoes at the market at a discount ($1.50 lb).
CUCUMBERS tender, well-nurtured and freshly harvested cukes do not have to be peeled, and are wonderful fresh in salads on hot days. See our previously posted favorite summer recipes (tomato-basil salad, yogurt/cucumber/mint, Tabouli salad). The “Dirty Dozen” list of most pesticide laden fruits & veggies might explain why most commercial cucumbers a have a bitter skin!
GREEN BEANS take your pick again this week from 3 local heirloom pole beansor stringless snap beans (1.5#): Heirloom pole beans have a heartier, sweeter flavor than stringless snap beans. More than a vegetable, they provide a substantial amount of protein as well. Harvested when the inner bean seeds have started to fill out, they can be a meal in themselves! The larger beans need “stringing” before cooking (pull off the string along each seam from each end of the bean). Cook about 12-15 minutes (the fatter the bean, the longer the cook time). Heirloom beans with a pot of potatoes, pearl onions, butter & salt makes a simple, hearty meal with unmatched flavor! Heirloom pole beans were also traditionally eaten at the “shucky bean” stage--harvested after the beans in the pod fill out and the pod yellows on the vine--and shelled out for soup beans. Crucial to sustaining pioneer families through the winter, the rich flavor of heirloom pole beans is still treasured by their ancestors. Today we have Half Runner, Elkins, & Preacher (Rattlesnake Pole) Beans. See the fascinating story of the Elkins Bean in August 6 post! Stringless SNAP BEANS are picked when the inner bean seeds have not had a chance to form, they need little cooking nor stringing. Eat raw in dips, put into stir-fries, egg dishes, steam or cook with butter & salt. Additional beans for freezing or canning: if you want to process green beans for winter, use our CSA member discount ($1.50 lb.) Ask us for processing tips.
“Liberty” APPLES - select what you will use at the market. A smaller, old-time heirloom apple that stands fairly well to the vast array of pest & disease problems here in the east--without ANY pesticides or fungicides. They have a thick green-yellow skin, but are surprisingly sweet and crisp. We eat them fresh and make into delicious apple crisp (see Susana’s family recipe, below). They also make a great apple butter.. Like the peaches, the plum curculio has bored into some fruit and some have scars from cedar apple rust. But the rest of the fruit is delicious--not cosmetically perfect means safe to eat! If you think you’d rather have a cosmetically perfect apple, it may change your mind to see the top of last week’s “Dirty Dozen” list of most toxic, pesticide-laden fruits & veggies. If you’d like more to can or make apple butter, our CSA discount applies to apples, too!
CORNO DI TORO SWEET PEPPERS - (“Horn of the Bull” in Italian) these are sweet in any dish, even raw in salads. In a warmer, sunnier season they would have turned yellow-orange by now; with the cool rainy weather this year, we aren’t waiting for all of them to do that. Peppers are another “Dirty Dozen” toxic special when grown conventionally.
BANANA PEPPERS - these hardly classify as hot peppers, so even if you don’t like your dishes too spicy they will add some spice to your life!
POTATOES - Take your choice of quart boxes (1.5#) of Austrian Crescent fingerlings or Kennebecs this week! Austrian Crescents are small & tender yellow-fleshed tan potatoes look like fingers. “Like morsels of butter,” they’re a hit in gourmet restaurants and are perfect for roasted potatoes with meat or just with olive oil, rosemary & salt. YUM! Kennebecs are a favorite all-purpose white potato that Maine folk love for home-fries. We are sad that we lost some of them to the flooding rain and frosts in May. We also have Purple Viking potatoes--a white potato with pink-splash purple skin which is also very versatile, with a texture like the Kennebec (for colored home-fries!) With the unprecedented rains this season, we have found the potatoes (which survived standing water and a late frost) to be more watery than normal and may not store as long. Many folks are surprised to learn that potatoes are on the“Dirty Dozen” list of most toxic, pesticide-laden fruits & veggies; non-organic farmers spray spuds at all stages of their life--even after they are harvested! At Salamander Springs Farm, we never use these fungicides, pesticides, or sprout inhibitors.
SWEET CANDY YELLOW & RED ONIONS - various sizes for various recipes. Both the Yellow & Red Candy are very mild and sweet and don’t make you cry (less sulfury than our winter storage onions, which is why they don’t store as long). We’ll give you sweet onions now and storage onions in the fall, unless you prefer otherwise. Let us know how many you can use each week. (Good Foods Coop and Stella’s Deli in Lexington have bought most of our red, white and pearl onions, so we will soon be out of those).
SUMMER SQUASH Summer is still here! See our egg frittata, Morning Glory muffins, or pan grilled squash recipes; use in roasted veggies, casseroles, rice or stir fries. Summer squash store best dry & cool but not too cold. Wash just before use, water causes it to spoil more quickly. A perforated bag is best to provide some air circulation. Conventionally grown summer squash also made the 2012 “Dirty Dozen” list because they are “commonly contaminated with pesticides exceptionally toxic to the nervous system.”
FRESH BASIL With tomatoes, grilled squash, pesto and sauces, fresh basil adds great flavor to so many dishes.
FRESH PARSLEY, MINT or CILANTRO - so tasty the summer salad recipes we’ve posted with tomatoes and cucumbers. Parsley is also an excellent herb for the potato salad recipe posted below. If you’d like cilantro for salsa, we have some of that, too. See our earlier posts for nutritional info on why these greens are so good to include in your diet and some of our favorite recipes.
Last but not least...
FRESH BAKED BREAD & SPECIAL TREATS from Drew & Lindsey at Clementine’s Bakery!
Blackberry season is over, but you can still come pick blueberries! Give a call 893-3360 to let us know when you’d like to come and bring a bucket.
September 14-15, Permaculture in Practice Workshop at Salamander Springs Farm. We’ve posted & sent out fliers this week. Join us or forward to friends who would like to learn more about growing food & living by cycling resources, nutrients, & energy. Let us know if you would like a flier at the market.
POTATO SALAD -Inspired by the “Lebanese Potato Salad” in the cookbook, Extending the Table.
about a quart of potatoes; boil until tender, then slice into bite sized chunks.
1/2 cup fresh parsley,chopped
1/4 cup onions finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt & dash of pepper
A garlic glove, minced (or try fresh horseradish root which we have available at market).
CHILL, SERVE & ENJOY!
SUSANA’S FAMILY APPLE CRISP (I grew up with some big old apple trees, and this was our favorite late summer & fall dessert. So simple to make and so good with ice cream!
7-8 cups apples, chopped (cut out any bad spots & cores)
1/2 cup+ butter
1 cup flour (whole wheat flour works fine; gluten-free flours like almond would work, too)
1 cup rolled oats
1+ cup brown sugar (organic turbinado or raw sugar)
1 T cinnamon
Melt the butter in a 13x9” (or 9x9”) cake or brownie pan. Mix a few tablespoons of the flour and few tablespoons of the sugar (and a few dashes of cinnamon, if you like) with the apples. Pour the melted butter into a bowl and mix it with everything else. Spread apples on the bottom of the pan and spread the oats mixture on top. Bake in 375 degree oven about 40 minutes. Enjoy!
********************************************************************************************** “Our Magical Mountains & Chanterelles!”
-from Kayla Preston, Salamander Springs Farm apprentice and CSA co-manager
It’s Kayla here-writing to you this week while sitting in a reclining chair staring out at the marvelous mountains that surround this entire farm--the mountains that filter the purest, most divine water I have ever tasted, the mountains that help feed the soil and the people of this farm...and the fruits, vegetables and the air! The gratitude that I have to be surrounded by these diverse, breathtaking mountains is strong and deep.
We have been spending time lately wandering off into the woods of these mountains that surround us with one goal: wild mushrooms! With the large amount of rain and cool nights we have been experiencing up here on Salamander Springs Farm, the woods are full of spores of all different types. Some lime green, some tall, some microscopic, some fat, some dangerously beautiful. All the different mushrooms in the woods right now seem like a fairy tale or a scene from Alice in Wonderland. Mainly we are looking for Chanterelles, orange trumpet-shaped mushrooms with “false” gill-like grooves under their usually convex cap. These mushrooms have very abundant this year, and grow in communities with living trees throughout lower slopes of our mountains. Some the size of a dinner plate, some the size of saltshaker. Hands-down, chanterelles are the tastiest wild mushroom I have tried. And to think that the forest produces them on their own! Whoa, now that is what I call magical! It is such a joy to me to go out into the woods that feeds the farm I grow food on and harvest something that it grows naturally that I turn into food! And if it doesn’t get harvested, then it goes right back into the soil for future chanterelles to come.
The mountains that surround Salamander Springs Farm ROAR. They are absolutely magical. Words do not explain the beauty and respect I have for these powerful, intimidating mountains.
I love our Mountains!
See past blog posts for nutritional benefits of this week’s fruits and veggies.
For the “The Dirty Dozen” conventionally-grown fruits & veggies most laden with toxic pesticides (2012 results of the Environmental Working Group’s annual testing of pesticide levels in fruits & vegetables), see the August 6 post.
Autumn is introduced
again, like an old friend
by the cool morning air of early August.
It has brought along a suitcase
filled with magic and with memories
that it will unpack slowly over the next few months;
colors it soon will throw upon the forest
inspiring the artists by humbling them,
sounds by the darkness choir
seduce the ears of trained musicians,
smells that bring the old and faded back to youth.
In the fields, Autumn shows itself
in the greatest collaboration and
communion between man and nature;
the single seed we planted in Spring,
Summer has grown to a plant,
bearing the fruit that Autumn now cures, sweetens,
holding in each a thousand seeds,
a thousand plants tomorrow.
How can we be hopeless
when there so much hope found in one tiny seed?
like an old friend,
what is possible.
-Douglas DeCandia (farmer, former Salamander Springs wwoofer)