August begins this week! We are now in the peak of the fruiting season of a vegetable farm in central Virginia. By fruiting, we mean harvesting things with seeds inside of them: Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants, Beans, and Watermelon are happiest this time of year on our farm. (We wish that Summer Squash and Cucumbers, which also are fruiting crops with seeds inside, were happiest this time of year as well! But the life cycle and timeframe of bugs and fungal disease make that not reality for us.) The result of this timing is that Farm Shares are much more dense this time of year. $4 of Tomatoes or Eggplants takes up a lot less space than $4 of Kale or Salad, for example. Spring and Fall shares are more fluffy; mid-summer shares are more dense.
In that density is incredible flavor. We highly recommend you combine these flavors to savor the season:
- Dice/slice Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers together with Garlic, Oil, and Sea Salt (plus raw Onions if you eat that way!). Serve as a relish or side dish All. The. Time.
- Saute up a mess of Onions and Garlic. Add chopped Okra, Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes. Add Salt and Pepper. Cook and cook until mixed together and delicious. Perhaps add Basil. Serve on its own or on top of or beside protein. Pasta or crusty bread is optional. Children may not recognize the Okra and Eggplant hidden in here! Make lots and freeze some for the future. Here's a good recipe for folks who want more detail.
- Slice Eggplants into thick slices as if Tomatoes for a BLT. Lay flat on a baking sheet with some oil, plus salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. Roast at 400 or so for 20 minutes or so (until soft). Layer on a sandwich (our bread is great!) with Tomato, Lettuce, and Bacon if you so choose (or Tempeh), and whatever spread you prefer (mayo, aioli, etc.).
- Make a raw asian-style salad of sliced Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Carrots, Cucumbers, Garlic, and Ginger, plus Scallions if you eat them raw. Drizzle on top sesame oil, rice vinegar, plus salt and pepper. Top with sesame seeds and chopped peanuts, plus red pepper if desired. Serve with noodles and protein.
- Make this Tomato Pie recipe from Southern Living: Recipe here. It may change your summer.
Enjoy the food and flowers we grow! And the bread we bake!
Janet & Dan