Today was labour day, and we certainly laboured – in the heat & humidity!
The last of the Bartlett pears were picked today. It was a good crop so there are lots of pears for our CSA shares, and to sell at the markets.
The Seckel pears are also picked. These are a very small pear compared to a Bartlett.
Pears are always picked rather green & hard, and then ripened once picked. A Bartlett will get sweeter & sweeter as it softens & turns yellow. A Seckel stays firm (it will never get soft), but tastes sweet – but probably not as sweet as the Bartlett.
I continued to cut down sweet cherry trees today. Once the trees are gone it gives the farm a whole new look – one that takes a bit of getting used to!
The heat & humidity cause an increase in mildew on the squash, gourds & pumpkin plants. As their leaves get diseased and then dry up the squash is revealed, and we finally see what sort of crop there is. We will begin harvest in a week or so.
What’s in the box?
Seckel pears, Bartlett pears, Damson plums, tomatoes, sweet peppers, garlic.
extras – hot peppers …
- Seckel pears (see brief description & picture above) are the perfect fruit for lunch boxes! Small, firm & tasty, they take up little room, are not easily bruised, and taste great!
- Bartlett pears are a favourite pear for many people! They are great for eating fresh, baking, cooking, jam, sauce … The pears in your box this week have been ripening in the barn for about a week already. Some will still be a bit firm while others are beginning to soften. We recommend you check them over. If you prefer a firm pear, store them in the fridge immediately. If a soft & yellow pear is your choice, let them sit out on the counter for a day or so – but keep your eye on them. Pears change from almost ripe to over-ripe very quickly! It may be better to keep them refrigerated & bring them out a day or so before you will eat them.
- The only plum variety that had much of a crop this season was the Damsons. In fact we’ve never had so many Damsons! They are a small, round, somewhat tart plum – especially amazing in jam or baking! But let them get slightly soft & they sweeten up & taste great. There will be some damsons in your CSA share this week. Give them a try & see how you like them!
- Along with the fruit, your box will also contain tomatoes, sweet peppers & a bulb of fresh garlic. The garlic is dried, so store it at room temperature in a dry place. It is not necessary to keep garlic in the fridge.
- Hot peppers are an extra again this week.
Here is a Damson plum recipe that a customer from market recommended. She also brought us a sample – it was great!!
Original Plum Torte
- Time1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield 8 servings
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 24 halves pitted purple plums
- Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamonfor topping
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
- Spoon the batter into a spring form of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with (about) 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
- Bake one hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream.
- To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.
- To freeze, double-wrap the tortes in foil, place in a plastic bag and seal.
Not everyone was labouring today!