Last week the main driver on the farm was HEAT. Since working in the field in the afternoon felt like wearing 20 pound weights on your legs, we got going an hour earlier to make full use of the cooler morning air, and carried on. We start harvest with lettuce, chard, kale, and herbs, since they are the most heat sensitive. After those crops get a dunk in cool water, we quickly pack them into the cooler and work our way up the list to carrots and beets, before moving onto squash, cukes, tomatoes and corn, which fare better in high temperatures.
We’ve got a stellar crew this year and heard no complaints about the heat. Everyone dug in and did their job, including finishing the garlic pull on a scorching Wednesday afternoon. Now that the garlic is in, we can finally turn our attention to cleaning up the farm. We took down the pea trellis and have turned in old lettuce and spinach beds to prepare them for late season plantings. We added taller posts for the high tunnel tomatoes, which are now over 6 feet tall, before turning our attention to this week’s main event, weeding!
July is the month where weeds often get ahead of us. The “to do” list is super long, and somehow weeding gets placed well behind the daily harvest, planting, irrigation, and farm stand/market tasks. It’s dangerous to do that, because of the astronomical growth rate of summer annual weeds like pigweed, crabgrass, and galingsoga at this time of year. Put off weeding the ginger for a week and what could have been cleaned up in hour now takes three. The cool front that blew into the farm on Monday with gusty winds and buckets of rain has removed “irrigation” from the to do list for four days, allowing us to put weeding one higher up on the priority list, not to mention a bit more spring in our steps
We hope you enjoy the farm and the harvest,
Paul, Rebecca, Lauren, and the Fort Hill Farm crew
Special Note: This Saturday is Fair Days on the Green, so there is no New Milford Market this week. Still want sweet corn and fresh veggies? Hop over the bridge to our Farmstand, from 8 AM – 12:30 PM.
Featured this week:
Sweet Corn: Our successions of corn are coming in nicely. This variety has bigger ears and a sweet, deep flavor. Best boiled for just a few minutes, or soaked in water and roasted on the grill. Corn should be eaten within 3 days, and stored in the fridge (with husks on). There is no such thing as ‘too much corn’ as it is super easy to freeze. Just blanch (dunk in boiling water for a minute, then immediately dunk in cold water to cool), cut the kernels off the cob and put in a zip lock bag. Your reward will be great on some freezing night this winter. Check out the fritter recipe below!
Kale: either the frilly green, or deep green Lacinato (aka Dinosaur Kale). We haven’t mentioned kale yet this year, but it one of those work horses on a vegetable farm. When planted in succession, barely a week goes by in which one can’t dine on kale if one chooses. It’s the meat and potatoes of the cooking greens world, if that makes any sense. Sauté with garlic and oil, try the tasty salad below, or try the classic Kale Salad recipe at www.forthillfarm.com. Both varieties can be used interchangeably in recipes. Store in a loosely closed plastic bag in your fridge for up to a week.
salad mix, arugula, pea shoots, microgreens, head lettuce, curly green and lacinato kale, rainbow chard, fresh herbs, scallions, salad turnips, French Breakfast and red radishes, Chinese Cabbage, Tendersweet cabbage, “conehead” cabbage, fresh garlic, garlic scapes, carrots and rainbow carrots, red, gold, and chioggia beets, cucumbers, zucchini, zephyr, and yellow summer squash, frozen baby ginger, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes
Red Gold potatoes
Pick Your Own:
Sunflowers have begun!
Flowers 🌸 are opening in earnest! Some folks wait all year for this moment!
Beans! The yellow wax beans and green beans are in!
Fresh herbs: parsley, cilantro, thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, chives, dill
*** Just like last year, CSA members may take a small (mixed or not) PYO herb bunch for free, one bunch per share per week! Please see sample sizes in the barn.
PYO begins 30 before and goes 30 minutes beyond barn hours.
Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie. For more recipes, check out the Fort Hill Farm Recipe Database
Vegan Corn Fritters
Adapted from theveglife
About 2 Cups of Fresh Frozen or Grilled whole Corn Kernels
2 Cups of Fresh Frozen or Grilled whole Corn Kernels
1/3 C Finely Ground Cornmeal
1/3 C Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbl scallions, minced
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp Paprika
2 Tbl Green Chiles with juices
About 1/4 C Chopped Italian Parsley
Vegetable Oil for frying
FOR “THE CREAMED CORN:”
1 Cup of Corn
2-3 Tbl Almond Milk
salt/pepper to taste
FOR THE TANGY DIPPING SAUCE:
4 Tbl Vegan Mayonnaise
4 tsp Dijon or to taste
2 tsp Grainy Mustard or to taste
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, seasonings, scallions, garlic, and parsley) with a whisk.
In a food processor, pulse together 1 C of corn with 2-3 Tbl of Almond Milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the corn mixture to the flour mixture until well blended.
Add the 2 C of whole corn kernels, folding to combine. Do not over work and do not add more flour or cornmeal. If will seem loose, but will firm up as they cook.
Preheat a skillet over medium high heat and then add about 1 Tbl of oil.
Using a cookie scoop, firmly pack the batter and place into the pan. Using a spatula, quickly flatten to form a patty shape.
Allow to cook on one side until golden and flip, cooking the other side.
Remove to paper toweling to remove any excess oil. Season with salt.
Stir together the dipping sauce ingredients and serve immediately.
Asian Kale Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing
By Jennifer Segal
FOR THE SALAD
4 cups chopped curly kale, thick stems removed (be sure it’s dry)
3 cups prepared shredded red cabbage
2 cups prepared shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, sliced into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
FOR THE DRESSING
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Bake the almonds until lightly golden and fragrant, 5-10 minutes. (Keep a close eye on them; nuts burn quickly.) Let cool.
Combine all of the ingredients for the salad in a large mixing bowl.
Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor or blender; process until smooth and creamy.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Serve immediately. Serves 6.