Sorry for the delay in posting this week. I forgot the camera at the farm yesterday in my rush to leave for Bangor deliveries! Got it today though after working in the garden. First, I want to let everyone know some exciting news. Johnny's Selected Seeds held a contest for the best farm stand marketing display...and I won! I just got the news this week that our farm stand will be featured on Johnny's blog this week. I've posted a link on the right and hopefully we'll be able to see it.
Now, onto the good stuff. This week's share has some firsts for the season. The first onions were pulled out of the field on Friday morning. Everyone should have a bunch of smallish onions in a bag with some carrots (pictured below). These are 'New York Early Onions'. These have not been cured (which means they haven't been dried) so they will not store in the root cellar for months or anything. They will last a long time in your crisper though.
Also, we've harvested the first of the eggplants from the garden. These are 'Diamond' eggplants. Delicious and beautiful. Eggplant is one of those crops that I rotate through the shares. So only Newport shareholders received eggplant this week. Next week it will be another group and so-on. Here is a link to a website that lists preparation tips for eggplant. I'm a huge fan of oven-roasted eggplant. It makes a meaty, creamy addition to any stir fry. http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to/cook-eggplant-to-perfection.aspx Scroll to the bottom and click on the 'next page' links to get to the actual prep. tips.
Also, we finally pulled enough Lillian's Yellow Heirloom tomatoes off the garden this Friday to allow for everyone to get one. Lillian's Yellow is my absolute favorite tomato. I absolutely love these tomatoes. They are meaty (meaning they don't have a lot of seed and seed-gel inside, just flesh) and one of the most unique, sweetest tasting tomatoes I've encountered. Plus, they are amazingly beautiful. I hope you enjoy. I just slice them and put a tiny bit of salt and pepper on them and eat them fresh. They are also the best tomato I've found for tomato sandwiches!
This is a photo of the carrots I mentioned before. These are just the carrots that were thinned from the patch. We take these out so the rest can mature and fill out completely. In the industrial food system these would be thrown away. They are 'too small', 'not uniform in size enough' to be marketable. Some of them would have been put into industrial, freezer bag 'meals, etc. but for the most part they would be discarded. Thank you for participating in a food chain that doesn't waste food simply because it doesn't fit some cookie-cutter, carbon copy idea of what is 'marketable'.
I'll make another post with some other photos but here is one of something you should know about tomatoes. Blossom-end-rot is a malady that hampers some tomatoes. We are able to cull most of them in the field but when you're dealing with the volume of tomatoes we do on a Friday morning, eventually one might get through. I would just compost the whole tomato if you get one of these. It's been my experience that the inside is usually rotten enough throughout enough of the tomato to make it not worth trying to salvage anything. You're welcome to try obviously.