From the Farmer

Week 17 – 9/10/2014

Ah, you feel the change.  I think summer broke sometime on Saturday.  It won’t be unusual to see more hot days, but between the cooler temperatures at night (windows open!) and the shortening days you know it’s true.  Shares will be changing over the next weeks.  We may see a gap in tomatoes between our current and our last planting.  This week’s melons are likely the last of 2014.  But the transition will take us, in time, to fall crops like winter squash, kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes…

Pesto – in the box this week

The basil disease mentioned last week hit us harder and faster than we expected – plants that looked good at newsletter time took the dive and left us enough for garnish.  Does that mean no more pesto?  Heck no!  "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

This week Bonnie is all about Pesto.  What I love about pesto is that it’s not just for basil.  Pesto = Herb + Cheese + Nut + Oil. Cool weather herbs like parsley, cilantro, chervil, and fennel make excellent pesto.  This week’s herb is parsley.  Grab some Cherry Glen goat cheese and add almonds and olive oil – and done.

Special in the box this week: Molokhiah, Egyptian Spinach

The green this week is a summer green from North Africa and the Levant.  I love this plant.  Known as Egyptian spinach or Molokhiah, it has a high vitamin and mineral content.  It is one of the most widely eaten vegetables in Egypt and throughout its native range.  And it is old – history links it to the time of Pharaohs.

Egyptian spinach is usually sold in market places in bunches.  That’s how we give it to you – pinch or slide the leaves right off the stem.  They have been rinsed so wash again, then use in a traditional recipe, like this one on our recipe page from Abra Cosma, CSA member and maker of Zayna’s Delight humus and baba ghanouj (currently available at the Wellness Connection Farmer’s market in Aldie and the Bristow Farmer’s Market on Sundays).  Or, use it just as you would the more familiar spinach – in eggs, steamed or stir-fried, in beans or soup… soufflé, quiche… it has an easy, pleasant taste.  It’s a farm favorite.

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