It’s the same every year.
And every year I mutter & whine about it – how messy & disheveled the farm looks at this point in the season.
Harvest is a busy time and always take priority over other work, especially farm maintenance and just making things look nice. So the weeds grow, the wild areas become a little wilder and we pretend we don’t see it.
Or rather, we try to look beyond the mess & find beauty anyways – ignoring the big picture & focusing in on the details.
In the peach orchard there are now more empty trees, than trees with fruit.
Many of the vegetable fields are mowed down or worked up and ready for a cover crop to be planted, with only a row here & there of vegetables waiting to be harvested.
But there is beauty here too!
The tomato patch has become a jungle – a jungle producing an abundance of amazing fruit!
The cabbage is forming nice, firm heads.
And the Bartlett pears are making their final growth spurt before harvest.
What’s in the box?
Cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, collards, pears, peaches.
Extras – white peaches, eggplant.
- The first of the cabbage is in your box this week – a mini head called Tiara. The seed catalogue describes it as a lettuce-like cabbage called “lettage” – good tasting, tender, crisp & juicy, excellent for coleslaw or salads. We’ll see if it is an accurate description.
- Sweet peppers are in short supply – thanks to the mice that keep nibbling on them as they ripen! But there will be at least 1 for every share.
- Tomatoes on the other hand are plentiful! The possibilities are endless – tomato sandwiches, roasted tomatoes, tomato soup, tomato salad … Our favourite tomato salad includes lots of chopped up tomatoes, some onion, a drizzle of vinegar, a sprinkling of sugar, and lots of dill.
- Another bunch of collards is part of this week’s share. We have included a recipe below for collard greens with pears.
- This week’s pears are called Harrow Delight. Similar to the pears in last week’s box, they are sweet & tasty now – don’t wait for them to turn yellow & get soft. They are best eaten while still firm.
- Peaches! There will be another basket of peaches in your box this week. For some there can never be enough peaches, but others are telling us that they are getting “peached out”! How about peach smoothies on a hot day, or peach cobbler for dessert? Grilled peaches are a favourite of ours (just cut the peach in half and put it on the grill cut side down until soft. Then flip it over until warmed through). Surplus peaches can be sliced, laid out on a baking sheet & frozen overnight. Then bag up the frozen peaches & use them throughout the winter for smoothies, on oatmeal, cereal or yogurt …
- White flesh peaches might be new to some of you. Like the name suggests, they are white inside, instead of yellow. They have almost a floral fragrance, and are very sweet & juicy. We will have some #2 grade white peaches ready for you to try.
- An assortment of eggplant will also be available.
*** We are pleased to offer extra fruit or vegetables for our shareholders when available. However we ask that you only take enough for your own family’s use – not for other relatives or friends.
Collard greens with spiced pears
2Tb unsalted butter
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch ground cloves
1-2 pears – peeled, seeded, and cut lengthwise into thin slices
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot or onion
2Tb olive oil
1 bunch (or up to 8 cups) collard greens – trim & cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips
freshly ground pepper
Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in cinnamon, cayenne, and cloves
In a medium bowl, gently toss the pear with the spiced butter mixture and 1/4 tsp salt.
Arrange the pear slices in a single layer in a 12″ skillet and sprinkle the shallots in the spaces between. Cook undisturbed over medium-low heat until the pears are golden on one side, 3-5 minutes.
Gently turn over the pears and stir the shallots. Cook until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Gently transfer pears to plate, leaving the shallots in the pan. Add 1/3 cup water to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. Transfer the shallots and any liquid to a small bowl.
Heat the oil in skillet over medium heat and add half of the green, quickly stirring and turning with tongs. Once the greens have just started wilting, add the remaining greens. Pour the shallots and liquid over the greens. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover with a tight lid. Braise until the collards are tender, about 5 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the pears.
Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
(adapted from fine Cooking magazine)
Oliver out to save the crops from marauding mice!