This "cold spell" in August is a visceral reminder that summer won't last forever. All of our summer crops are still doing very well, and the fall crops are looking nice in the field and in the greenhouse. (Pictured above is baby Dill plants waiting to get planted in the field.) We'll be able to harvest Kale soon-ish as the first fall crop. September is a month where there is a fabulous combination of summer and fall crops that we harvest. In October, fall crops really dominate. Fall crops are darker greens (Kale, Spinach, Hearty Greens Mix, plus a consistent return of our Salad Mix), things like Cabbage, Broccoli, Kohlrabi, and maybe even Brussels Sprouts. Herbs and Root crops also return (Radish, Turnip, Beets, Carrots), and we've planted a few hundred Butternut Squash and Acorn Squash and are crossing our fingers because historically those crops do not do well with our soil, climate, and organic management here on our farm. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, we encourage you to try some summer crops that you've maybe shied away from. Okra and Eggplant? No problem! They are both versatile and delicious. We love Okra either roasted whole (put on a baking sheet with some oil, salt, and pepper), or sliced and included in any stir-fry. The variety we grow is unique. Called Burmese Okra, it has instructions to start picking it at 9 inches long! We pick it starting smaller than that, but it is good at a variety of lengths.
Our favorite way to prepare Eggplant is to slice (lengthwise for the little Fairy Tale Eggplants, or into rounds for our Round Italian Eggplants), drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar, top with ground sea salt and black pepper, and roast (or grill) until tender. In the oven this is at 375 or 400 and watch them until they are cooked. You could then sprinkle some feta cheese on top if you wish.
Meanwhile, grilled squash is still a treat around our house, and we've been including squash as a pizza topping, in calzones, and in frittata. Historically in August our summer squash plants haven't lived to produce fruits very long, so we plant extra to make up for it. This year, the plants have stayed alive and producing twice as long as usual, so we have way more summer squash than usual! There is bulk summer squash available in the "Extras" section. You can grill and make zucchini bread (use them interchangeably!) to your hearts' delight, and you can shred it and freeze for making zucchini bread this fall and winter. (Pro-tip: freeze shredded squash in measured quantities that correlate with your favorite recipe, and label your freezer bag as such. Whoot!)
Enjoy your options this week, and let us know if you're making something you want to tell others about!
-Janet & Dan