As far as what we've been up to this week, our cover crops (rye, vetch, clover, buckwheat, etc.) have all been sowed and disc-plowed into our summer fields. The remaining tomatoes have all been pulled off of their vines, which now wait to be pulled and removed from the field to avoid the spread of various tomato blights that we have in our region. We've also finished digging and curing our sweet potatoes, which we're excited to be able to start giving out. You will be getting them weekly, we hope They are a TN/KY heirloom variety called "Golden Nugget" that has superior flavor to the commercially-grown varieties. After rinsing the dirt off, try cutting them into "logs" of about .5" by .5" by however long the potato is, toss them in oil and a little bit of salt, and then roast on a baking pan or cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until they're soft inside. They could use a flip or stir once or twice throughout the cooking process. These sweet taters also roast whole, make a fine sweet potato stew, mashed potatoes, etc. You won't be disappointed!
Acorn Winter Squash: The Acorn Squash has more of a savory flavor. They are great roasted and halved. The seeds can be toasted like pumpkin seeds for a great snack.
Pears: These mystery-variety pears are the hard type that grow well here in Middle Tennessee. They come from a friend's farm and were grown using non-certified organic methods. If you prefer soft pears, set them out at room temperature for a few days and they will be softer, but also may develop bad spots, which you can just cut around. Eat these pears in hand, in salads, or bake into a crisp.
Greens Mix: Our mix of Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Tatsoi, and Arugula. Use for salad or toss a handful in with a stir-fry or omelet!
Radishes: We have several types that we will be harvesting: Daikon, Watermelon, Helios, French Breakfast, Black Spanish, and Easter Egg. If you don't usually like radishes, toss them with oil and spices before roasting them. Any spiciness that they have is overpowered by sweetness.
Kale/Bok-Choy/Broccoli Raab Greens: Surprise greens this week! These are larger bunches, intended for cooking, but try them raw if you dare! Ask us if you're unsure of what you're getting or if you need cooking tips. Broccoli Raab is closely related to Turnip Greens, but there will be small "broccoli-looking" stalks included with the greens. This is an Italian favorite.
Peppers: These sweet peppers will either be the bell shape that most people are used to or the "bull nose" shape, which are longer and used just the same. Stuff and bake them, eat them in salads, cut them into long pieces for dipping, pickle them, etc. We have greens, reds, oranges, etc.Okra: This southern crop is delicious and underappreciated by many. A favorite way to cook it is to slice pods in half, toss with salt and spices and oil, and roast in the oven. We grow "Red Burgundy", "Hill Country Red", "Clemson Spineless", and "Star of David". Try boiling, pickling, stirfrying, etc.Green Tomatoes: Now is the time for your fried green tomato, green tomato pie, pickled green tomato, or green tomato marmalade recipes. These will sometimes ripen if left in a sunny windowsill for a few days.
Sweet Potatoes: Our first sweet potatoes of the fall. The variety is "Golden Nugget". Bake 'em, fry 'em, saute 'em, or mash 'em.
Okra: You're not tired of okra yet, are you?! In a week (?), it will likely stop producing, so enjoy it while you can!
Hot Chili Peppers: We will not include these in our boxes, so be sure to let us know if you want some. We have red serranos and both green and red (ripe) jalapenos.
Basil: The basil has been struggling with the cool/wet weather, but hopefully we'll have some for you. It is the classic summer herb! Goes great with tomatoes. Blend up with garlic, nuts, and oil to make pesto. To maintain freshness for longer, store at room temperature in a jar with an inch of water in the bottom.