From the Garden this Week…
From the Garden this Week…
Tomatoes, Green, Yellow Beans and Dragon’s Tongue Beans, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, Basil, Lettuce Heads, Bell and Hot Peppers, Cilantro, Garlic, Peaches, Pluots and Grapes
Coming Soon… Apples, Eggplant and Crenshaw Melons
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This week we have more peaches coming and we are also going to send a few grapes to everyone. The grapes come from vines that don’t have a designated watering system, so they have experienced some cracking this year. I suggest eating them right away. They are super sweet and a nice addition to the baskets.
By my request, and Anna’s shade cloth set up, we have been able to grow cilantro in the heat of the summer. I always have found it mentally challenging that when I have tomatoes from the garden, to make salsa, I have to go buy the cilantro from the store. I recently ran across this Thai salad, also needing cilantro, and it looked like a good fit for the cucumbers. You could throw in some tomatoes in the recipe too, if you have them.
Thai Cucumber Carrot Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
½ teaspoon lime or lemon zest
1 teaspoon sugar
1 hot chile pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
1 large cucumber, chopped
5 carrots, shredded
3 green onions, sliced
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add in the cucumbers, carrots, green onions, cilantro and basil leaves and toss to combine. Let the salad sit for 15 minutes and then enjoy.
We are starting our
Call or Text Cindi
We have tomatoes, peppers and eggplant available.
Let us know when you can come out to visit!
Tomatoes and Tomatoes…
Being home on a Saturday morning, means I get to watch my favorite cooking show, America’s Test Kitchen. Last week they were making a tomato gratin, and I happen to have a few pounds of tomatoes hanging around, so I decided to try it out. Use the heartiest bread you can get so that the croutons hold up to the sauce.
Tomato Gratin (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups rustic bread, cubed
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
3 pounds tomatoes, cored and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Heat oven to 350 °F. Heat ¼ cup oil in 12-inch oven safe skillet over medium low heat until shimmering. Add bread and stir to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, until bread is browned and toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer bread to bowl. Return now empty skillet to low heat and add remaining 2 Tablespoons oil and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until garlic is just starting to brown, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have started to break down 8 to 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and gently stir in 3 cups toasted bread until completely moistened and evenly distributed. Using spatula, press down on bread until completely submerged. Arrange remaining 1 cup bread evenly over surface, pressing to partially submerged. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake in the preheated oven until top of gratin is deeply browned, tomatoes are bubbling, and juice has reduced, 40 to 45 minutes, after 30 minutes, run spatula around edge of skillet to loosen crust and release any juice underneath. Remove skillet from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle gratin with basil and serve.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul….by Anna Hazen (republished from August 2019)
Here in the Central Valley we are right in the middle of sweet, juicy peach season. And humans aren’t the only ones enjoying the peaches! Many critters recognize the value of a nice ripe peach - beetles, ants, birds, even a spider now and then nestled in a hollow carved out by an earlier visitor.
As a human who plants and tends the trees in my backyard, it is easy for me to wish these various creatures away, calling them pests and seeing them as valueless nuisance. But is it presumptuous of me and us as humans to claim the whole harvest for us? How much of the earth’s bounty is “enough” for us? How much are we willing to share?
The earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of pretty much every category of living things - from insects up to mammals. While the idea of not having pests that feed on “our” peaches might seem like a good thing, it is all too easy to forget who and what actually makes the peaches grow. It is not us as humans but the very Spirit of God who works through billions of bacteria, fungi in the soil, pollinating and decomposing insects, rays of the sun and the composition of air—all these things make the peaches grow! I think of sharing part of the harvest with the rest of the ecosystem (yes even the bugs) as an act of gratitude for all the earth has given me, and all that God has given all of us. So the next time you see a bug in your bag, whisper a word of gratitude for its part in the growth process!