Friday, July 9, 2010

July 9 - Summer Squash and Zucchini!!! Now it's summer!

Good evening all:
First of all, thank you to Emily for delivering the Bangor shares today. The coolers were very heavy! I had one of my quarterly board meetings for Food For Maine's Future (link at the right) and had to leave the farm by 10 am. Brittany and I started harvesting the peas yesterday afternoon and bagged all things but greens in the evening. Then we resumed for the lettuce, collards, radishes, etc. this morning. Great work all around!
Now onto the share. I will start by saying that this year contains many firsts. One of them is zucchini and summer squash before green beans. I put a lot of effort into these summer squash varieties this spring to make sure we got a crop even if the weather was like last year. As the weather is the opposite of last year we're getting a bumper crop way early. I hope everyone enjoys the first zucchini of the year! A great way to enjoy them is simply sliced and grilled. You can do the same with summer squash. The smaller squashes (zucchini is a summer squash) can be eaten raw with little effort but if you don't like to chew that much (and you will work harder with raw) you can cook them several ways. Keep in mind that the smaller your slices/cubes the quicker they will cook. Like many other things, the best way to ruin a good zucchini meal is to overcook. It turns them to a mushy consistency. Another great recipe is for fried zucchini. You can dip thin slices in whatever batter you would use to make fried chicken and fry them in oil or butter. Delicious and a welcome summer treat in my home.
We also have some very nice French Breakfast Radishes. Brittan harvested and bagged these so I didn't get to really look at them but what I saw was nice. It looks like they are coming in at just the right time and not getting too woody in this heat. Beautiful.
Other than that we included the usual fare. There are lots and lots of peas this week again and thank you to those of you who took us up on the offer of extra. One member pointed out that peas make great baby food (they have a beautiful 6 month old who is just starting to work on solid food) as they are interesting to pick-up and taste so sweet. Pod peas are great as a teething relief method when frozen. We used to give them to Lizzie and she would pop the whole thing in, chew it up, swallow and hold out her hand for another before I could blink. All the while forgetting about that pesky pain in her gums.
The peas will begin to lessen from now on as Brittany has been working on pulling vines for those that have gone by. We will compost them and put new crops in their places.
We also included:
Collard greens
Lettuce Mix
Broccoli (Newport and Winterport this week)
Purple Top White Globe Turnips
and Full shares got the last of the Nancy Head Lettuce.
Several people have indicated they were overwhelmed with lettuce and we cut back as you know. We got a call from one member requesting more lettuce! Turns out she has a great idea for it that is part of an healthy diet. Green Smoothies! Here's what she had to say:
"Victoria Boutenko has an excellent book on the subject. You basically take a type of green (or a few types),2 cups water, add some raw honey and a couple of bananas and you have a green smoothie...You can add whatever you like to the smoothie. My doctor recommended kale or cilantro because these help remove metals from the body. She also suggested a whey protein--but I usually just add soaked almonds, sunflower seeds, or ground flax. I've tried all kinds of fruit to help sweeten them up. Pineapple and coconut are especially yummy...Definitely short on looks, but long on taste and health benefits..."
I think we're going to try it in our home. I have never liked smoothies but Em and Lizzie both love them and I might be able to get on board if the ingredients are from my own garden. Hope everyone tries it. Let me know your thoughts and as always I welcome questions and feedback. Have a great weekend.

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