The beginning of summer is a pretty exciting time in the farming world – not only is the frantic planting frenzy of spring slowing down and mellowing out, but we are starting some of the big harvests of the season. Last week we pulled around 28,000 heads of garlic from the ground and reorganized our work spaces as much possible in order to hang them from the rafters of every barn on the property so that they can “cure,” or properly dry from storage. Garlic is seriously everywhere – the handrail on the staircase up to the farm office looks like a tunnel made to ward off vampires and evil spirits.
This week marks the beginning of our storage onion harvest. Like garlic, onions are a member of the Allium family, and also need to cure in order to store properly for months at a time. The onions in your share this week are sweet and fresh, just harvested from the ground yesterday. They will certainly keep on your counter for a week or so, but you may want to consider keeping them in the fridge if you want them around longer than that. Curing is an important part of the onion harvesting process as we are preparing to share our harvest with you for the rest of the season! Onion curing is a little different than garlic curing, however. The soft neck of the onion plant and heavy bulb is not a combination conducive to hanging the bulbs from the rafters to cure like garlic, so instead we are curing our onions in our mostly empty greenhouse. Typically there is a break in the greenhouse seeding schedule around the time the onions need to be harvested so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The harvested onion plants are laying on empty tables in the greenhouse, which also has a large shade cloth secured to the roof – this prevents the bulbs from getting burned by the sun. In about a week they will be ready to go into storage!
The start of summer also brings some of our favorite veggies. This week in shares we have eggplant and basil! Eggplant is delicious and filled with fiber, vitamin B,1 and Nasunin, which stimulates new growth of blood vessels and blood supply. I always chop up my eggplant, salt it and let it set for about 15 minutes. If you do this you’ll notice the flesh of the eggplant begin to sweat. This process tenderizes the flesh of the plant and reduces the bitter taste from the skin. I make sure to rinse the brine off the eggplant and then sauté with garlic, spices and other veggies, and serve with rice, pasta or on top of pizza!
Thanks so much and we will see you at the Farm Stand or at the Boat House for pick up this week!
Anya, Deb x 22 goats, Dan and Ann, Lex x 800 laying hens and x 17 hogs, James and Rocko, Nate, Christina, Kate, Amanda, Julia, Anna, Radish the feline queen