Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Big Red Farmstand, Wed. July 17 & Sat. July 20, 1pm to 6pm

Hello Friends,
Sungold cherry tomatoes

I am excited to report that the Big Red Farm is now on Facebook!  This is, of course, thanks to Vanessa, who is the only person making sure that we exist in the 21st century.  If Jake and I were in charge of such things, your weekly farm newsletters would probably be written with a quill pen, and hand-delivered by someone in an oxcart.  Charming as that might be, we're grateful as always to Vanessa for all the things she does to make us look good!  So be sure to check out the farm on Facebook, and do whatever it is you do there.

In other news, to those of you who have kindly offered yourselves (and/or your children) as farm helpers, watch out, because we're taking you up on it!  The Big Red Farm's first Work Day is scheduled for this Friday.  Scroll down to learn more.

Hungarian Hot Wax peppers
As for veggies, we have those too.  This week we're featuring hot peppers.  In a season that has been pretty frustrating so far in some ways, the hot pepper plants serve as an encouragement and a reassurance.  They look great; healthy, prolific, and ready to eat right now!  We're harvesting two kinds right now: Jalapenos and a variety called Hungarian Hot Wax.  They're nothing fancy; we're pretty unambitious when it comes to eating hot peppers, and we don't want to grow anything we have to harvest with gloves on, so we keep it simple.  Jalapenos and Hungarian Hot Wax both register quite low on the heat scale, but they'll add a nice bite to your next salsa or curry.

Senposai leaf
Also, new this week is my personal favorite cooking green, senposai.  Senposai is a member of the very large cabbage/kale/broccoli family, and looks and tastes much like collard greens.  However, unlike collards, senposai is quite tender and cooks up very quickly.  It doesn't need to be stewed; a few minutes' blanching is sufficient.  It can be used in any dish where you'd use kale, chard, or spinach; one possibility is below.

We also have the first of the okra and tomatillos coming in, as well as a few more of those purple peppers that surprised us last week.  We'll have a limited quantity of these items this week, with hopefully more on the way.


Hot peppers aren't for everyone, but they have their uses, even in relatively mild dishes.  In the summer when they're abundant, I like to slice them in half, scrape out the seeds and ribs to dial down the heat (again, I'm not the adventurous type), and freeze the halves in a plastic bag.  That way I have fresh hot peppers to add to chili and curry during the winter months.  And, if you are up for a little more spice, try some jalapeno "poppers" (you can use the Hot Wax peppers for this too -- they're a little bigger).  They can be cooked on the grill, so you don't have to heat up your house or spend time standing over a pan of hot oil.  I find it's helpful to remember, in weather like this, that the spiciest traditional foods come from cultures where the weather is sweltering.  Eating spicy food makes you sweat, and cools you down!  Keeping a cold beer next to the grill also helps...  (Grilled Stuffed Hot Peppers)

There are many ways to combine pasta with greens; here is one we like, using senposai, our favorite green.  (Penne with Senposai and Feta)

View of the barnyard on Saturday from
under Jake's rain jacket hood
We want to thank everyone who braved the stormy weather to come out to the farmstand on Saturday -- we even met some new people!  Maybe sometime we'll have several consecutive days without rain (fingers crossed for this week)...

Speaking of which, have you and your family been itching to spend more time outside in the sweltering heat?  Have you been envisioning us, working at the farm in the 90+ degree weather, cheerfully singing work songs and telling jokes, and wishing you could be there too?  Well, now's your chance.  We're pleased to announce the first Big Red Farm Work Day, this Friday, 7/19, from 2pm to 5pm.  I know, that's not really a day, but it's going to be hot, so we'll try for a few hours and see how it goes (feel free to come for all or any part of that time).  We'll provide a snack and something cold to drink; you bring a hat, sunscreen, a bottle of water, and your determination!  We'll be hoeing and pulling out weeds.  Sounds fun, right?  To entice you, here are a few of the crops that need your help to thrive: eggplants, golden beets, onions, flowers, sweet potatoes, leeks, beans, and basil.  We hope you'll come by to help ensure that we'll all be eating fresh and local well into the fall!


This week, we hope to have the following available on Wednesday and Saturday from 1pm to 6pm:
  • Basil - $2.50 bunch
  • Beets - $2.50 bunch
  • Carrots - $2.50 bunch
  • Chard - $2.50 bunch
  • Cherry Tomatoes (limited quantity) - $3.50 pint
  • Eggs - $5.00 dozen (limit 1 dozen per customer)
  • Flowers - $2.50 bouquet
  • Hot Peppers - 2 for $1.00
  • Kohlrabi - $1.00 each
  • Lettuce - $2.50 head
  • Napa Cabbage (back!) - $2.50 head
  • New Potatoes - $4.50 quart
  • Okra (new, limited quantity) - $2.50 pint
  • Purple Sweet Peppers (limited quantity) - $1.00 each
  • Scallions - $1.50 bunch
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini - $2.00 lb
  • Tomatillos (new, limited quantity) - $2.50 pint

Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar
found munching on celery leaves

Going North on 206, turn right at the Community Garden, and follow the gravel road back to the left. You'll see signs for parking. Bring your shopping bags and walk through the woods to the barn (there will be signs for that too).

Hope to see you at the farm!

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