I want to start by welcoming the folks who are starting the Fall Only shares this week. It’s been quite a ride so far but we’re excited to have you join us for the rest of the season.
Last week was a stark contrast to recent weeks because we had some seriously cool temperatures, especially at night. It was our coolest week since early June and I even had to shut the hoophouses a couple of nights to keep those heat loving crops happy. There’s been some recent storms through the area in the last week but most of the rain missed us until last night and today. Even though the storm today was intense, it was much needed. The seedlings we planted last week and yesterday are extremely thankful and the crops that have been holding on in the field are over the moon with joy that they finally got a solid drink of water. (If you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a plant whisperer and have many conversations with them throughout the season. Or it could be that I’m losing my mind from lack of social interaction and I just think they are talking to me. You decide.)
In addition to getting farm work done, I got the chance to meet with my colleague Chef Amanda. We co-teach a Principles of Food Preservation course down at Coltivare and spent some time planning out our semester. We are really excited to have the opportunity to meet with our students in person this semester and go over the many food preservation techniques for seasonal fruits and veggies. One thing that we really love about this course is that it really ties together our Farm to Bistro mission and students in both the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems and Culinary Arts programs get to work side by side. For students on the farming side of things, this course will show them ways to create value-added products for their operations. On the culinary side, if students are hoping to have a truly farm to table business, this course shows them ways to preserve local products and have them available in the off-season. I’m sure that I’ll be sharing highlights of some of our successes (and failures).
I wouldn’t say our summer crops are in full swing yet because the sweet peppers aren’t here but they are extremely close to joining the party. But the tomatoes are really coming into their own, hence the cherry tomato options this week. If you have a dehydrator and can resist eating all the tomatoes, I highly recommend this. All of those sugars get packed into those tiny pieces of goodness. I usually will just store them in olive oil and then add them to crockpot recipes throughout the winter. Another thing that I’m going to try soon, is to make tomato jam. You can use heirloom, cherry or beefsteak tomatoes. I know these recipes talk about canning but if that’s not your thing, you can always freeze or it should last for a few weeks in the fridge. If freezing, just don’t fill to the top…. The basil is still looking good but it’s probably only going to be around for a few more weeks. The plants are so tall (over 4 feet) that they are starting to fall over. Speaking of tall plants, this is the nicest ginger crop that we have ever had at the TC3 Farm. I found a few plants that are over 5 feet tall. We usually start harvesting it in October but I think we’ll start in a few weeks, so be on the lookout for that in the share.
Have a great week!