This week, we had to extract veggies from the massive weeds that are overtaking this part of the world. The rain and heat have made crops bump into serious production but unfortunately, the weeds are out of control too! Here are some common weeds one might find in the Detroit garden:
Queen Ann’s Lace
Now that you know which weeds we are battling, you might want to know what is in the box this week.
These beans are best shelled and cooked for 30 minutes or more.
This box makes me crave minestrone. Get some good parmesan. Substitute fresh tomatoes for the canned and the cranberry beans for the canned beans. Yummy!
It has been suggested also, that this is a ratatouille box. Maybe you are already familiar with this dish or maybe you know nothing about it! Now is a great time to try out a recipe. Here’s one from one of my favorite chefs, Jamie Oliver. Try it and report back!
Do you have more vegetables than you know what to do with? Consider processing some of your harvest and storing it until the winter when vegetables are scarce. One obvious idea is to can your excess tomatoes. You could also try drying extra tomatoes in a low temperature oven, then storing them in oil and herbs and salt. Herbs are one box item that may come faster than you can use them. Try drying extra bunches of herbs. Leave them bunched and hang them upside down in a well ventilated area. Too many eggplant? Roast them in the oven, and make baba ganouj Baba ganouj can be frozen and stored until later. Potatoes can be kept in a cool, dry and dark place until needed. Garlic and onions can be stored similarly. Zuchini is delicious pickled, as are beets, carrots and radishes. Basil, steamed spinach, steamed swiss chard, cilantro and parsley can all be ground together with oil and salt (and anything else you want) and stored in the freezer until needed.
In this week’s box:
Basil From Occupy Yourself, Singing Tree Garden
Cherry Tomatoes and Big Tomatoes From Iroquois Ave and Food Field
Salad Mix From Dulce Diamante
Swiss Chard From Occupy Yourself and Fields of Plenty
Eggplant From Iroquois Ave and Fields of Plenty
Hot Peppers From Food Field
Fresh Garlic From Iroquois Ave
Flowers From Singing Tree Garden and Fields of Plenty
NOTE: This week’s garlic is fresh garlic and has not been dried. This is meant to be used within a few weeks and not to be stored for the winter.
Finally, the rain came. They said it was coming and it did. The growers at City Commons are more than happy, we are back in business. Let’s just hope it stays wet. Of course the subject was brought up while we were packing boxes today and we realized something spectacular. Seeds that we had planted long ago, forgotten about and planted over have started to grow again. Luis said some seeds she sowed in March are sprouting amongst her broccoli. As for me, my basil, which I had given up on, is coming up! Tons of little green leaves are sprouting two-by-two. For you all, that means our fall crops are coming right along so you will be able to enjoy our harvests into the cooler months.
In this week’s box:
Big tomatoes (Heirloom in most cases)
Herb Bouquets (Winter savory, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil, sage, oregano and mint)
Eggplant or Peppers
Try roasted tomatoes with rosemary and garlic over pasta or brown rice.
Try making parsley pesto with plenty of lemon and a little bit of anchovy.
Try cutting your summer squash lengthwise, scooping out the seeds with a spoon and filling with mixed herb and garlic goat cheese. Bake in the oven at 375 until done.
What ever you choose to do with your veggies, enjoy!
Week 9 brings beautiful bounty to your table. In this week’s box you’ll find:
One of my favorite dishes to make in the summer utilizes many of the ingredients from this box. This dish is pretty too!
Heat two tablespoons or more of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add thinly sliced summer squash (one or two) depending on size of squash/pan) let it cook, making sure the squash turns brown on skillet side. Add soy sauce or tamari. Add two cloves of garlic rough chopped. Let cook. Add tomatoes, either cherry or chopped large tomatoes, two handfuls. Tomatoes will break open and juice will cook down. Remove from heat, toss with one bunch of basil rough chopped. Stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Over at Iroquois Ave I’ve been seeing signs of hornworms for the last few weeks, but it wasn’t until today that I finally caught one. Hornworms eat the foliage and flowers off tomato plants and if there are enough of them can do serious damage to tomato plants. Luckily I haven’t seen much damage, but as you can tell from the photos they’re not easy to spot. Both Food Field and Buffalo St. have had serious infestations in their hoophouses. Luckily they haven’t done enough damage to prevent you from seeing the first tomatoes of the season in your boxes for the last few weeks.
Luckily nature provides us farmers a parasitic wasp that feed off of the juice of hornworms by laying eggs on the worms. So far I haven’t seen any signs of the eggs, so for now I’ll continue to look for and pick off the worms by hand.
While the rain was much needed, the return of these hot days has definitely helped all our hot crops along. There’s so much to do this time of year the list is endless – it really never gets 100% done, we just prioritize the best we can. Besides spending lots of time harvesting all our summer crops, we’re also putting in fall crops, and trying to stay on top of the weeds as much as possible.
This week’s box is what I like to call a ratatouille box (possible recipe inspiration for some of you:
Cherry Tomatoes – Iroquois Ave Farm
Tomatoes – Food Field
Cucumbers – Fields of Plenty and Food Field
Summer Squash – Food Field and Iroquois Ave Farm
Scallions – Iroquois Ave Farm
Garlic – Food Field
Sage or Oregano – Fields of Plenty and Singing Tree
Japanese Eggplant or Sweet Peppers (Tuesday only) – Iroquois Ave Farm
Cabbage (Saturday Only) – Iroquois Ave Farm
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