Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Big Red Farm Stand, Wednesday September 10, 1-5pm

"Two Eggplants," watercolor by Jamie Greenfield
Hello friends,

It is a great compliment when our friends and colleagues take our produce home to share with their families, and we feel honored to be growing food for you all.  However, I think this might be the first time a customer has preserved the harvest via watercolor.  Our delighted thanks to Jamie Greenfield for sending us this photo of her painting; I always think eggplants look like pieces of art, and now here is a piece of art that looks like eggplants!

I know I always seem to open with some crack about the weather, but whoa.  Fall arrived this week and it is amazing.  I hope it sticks around.  A crisp, cool early-morning toddle around the Noyes quad with a hot cup of coffee and a tiny child in a sweater makes getting out of bed feel so worthwhile!  Summer crops are still going strong -- we have huge quantities of tomatoes and eggplant, with sweet peppers catching up fast, and, even though we advertised its demise last week, we WILL have lettuce this week! -- but this weather is making us look forward, with rumbling stomachs, to winter squash and broccoli.  Soups, stews, braises, and things roasted in the oven...  I'm getting ahead of myself, here, but I really love fall!
Butternut squash,
almost ready.

Speaking of fall, here's your weekly reminder that we're having a farm party and potluck dinner on Saturday September 20th, from 5:00 pm until dark.  Pick your own flowers and cherry tomatoes, taste a dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes, bring a dish to share, and who knows, there may even be some music.

Also, remember to let us know by email, any time during the week (but no later than 9pm Tuesday for a Wednesday pick up), if you are interested in ordering bulk tomatoes.  Minimum 10 lbs, $1.20 per lb for Big Red Farm Share members, $1.50 per lb for everyone else.

ON THE FARM: Welcome to the Fall 2014 Student Farm Crew!

Striped German heirloom tomatoes,
with a beer bottle for scale.  Really.  It's just there for scale.
Our fall farm crew got started with a bang at the end of last week, picking a hundred or so pounds of tomatoes in 90-degree heat (with, I would hazard, 90% humidity, and not a breath of wind).  This week has seen the student crew, in much cooler and more pleasant conditions, hoeing leeks, picking more tomatoes, harvesting onions, picking peppers and eggplants, cleaning garlic, digging potatoes, carrots and beets, moving sheep to fresh pasture, challenging each other to eat hot peppers, playing with the farm baby, and picking yet more tomatoes.  We are very excited to have them, and look forward to a fun and delicious fall term on the farm -- a few of those tomatoes are already finding their way into dorm rooms and dining hall meals!

The photo at right was inspired by the following conversation in the field:
Farm crew member A: "What is that, a pumpkin?"
Farm crew member B: "No, I think it's a tomato."

RECIPES: Special Bulk Tomato Edition

Sauce in a box
In honor of Bulk Tomato Season, I'll draw your attention to a non-Slow Cooker version of fresh tomato sauce, which is a little more time-consuming, but worth it!  {Fresh Tomato Sauce at}

I'll also point out, as I was reminded by a customer, that in the absence of a slow cooker, a low oven accomplishes much the same thing.  Just use a Dutch oven or oven-safe pot with a tight-fitting lid, and put the tomatoes in a 250 to 300-degree oven for several hours, until tomatoes break down, then proceed to puree by your desired method.

Sauce in jars
Additionally, this is an excellent set of instructions for canning whole, peeled tomatoes, which was my favorite way to preserve tomatoes back when I had a little more time!  I like having whole, peeled tomatoes on hand because they can become diced tomatoes, puree, sauce, or whatever you like.  This post gives you absolutely all the information you need, with helpful photos and tips, and her canning instructions are excellent for processing any kind of tomatoes, including sauce and puree.

Finally, in honor of the gorgeous eggplant coming in right now, and especially in honor of Jamie's painting, here is a lovely bread-less bruschetta, which also features tomatoes (check) and mint (check)!  Impress your friends with a new gluten-free option!  (Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Mint)


This week we hope to have the following available from 1pm to 5pm in front of Pop Hall:
  • Beets (red and gold) - $2.50 bunch
  • Carrots - $3.00 lb
  • Eggplant - $3.00 lb
  • Flowers - $5.00 bouquet
  • Garlic - $1.00 bulb
  • Red Russian Kale - $2.50 bunch
  • Green or Red Lettuce - $2.50 head
  • Romaine Lettuce (limited quantity) - $3.00 head
  • Mint - $1.50 bunch
  • Okra (limited quantity) - $2.50 pt
  • Onions - $2.00 lb
  • Sweet Peppers (limited quantity) - $3.00 lb
  • Assorted Hot Peppers - 2/$1.00
  • Red-skinned Potatoes - $3.50 qt
  • Rainbow Chard - $2.50 bunch
  • Cherry Tomatoes - $3.50 pt
  • Heirloom Tomatoes - $3.50 lb
  • 'Juliet' Mini-Plum Tomatoes - $4.00 qt
  • Roma Tomatoes - $2.50 lb
  • Slicing Tomatoes - $2.50 lb
  • Sweet Corn (from Village Farms) - 2/$1.00
  • Sweet Potatoes (limited quantity) - $4.00 qt


The farm stand is located right in front of Pop Hall, at the top of the stairs that lead down into the Bowl. Enter campus by the main gate on Route 206 (opposite the Lawrenceville Post Office and Craven Lane) and bear right into the circle. Bear right again at the fork in the road and continue straight until you see the Farm Stand signs.

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