Hard to believe we turned the corner towards August. All the summer favorites are coming in and by and large crops are growing well. We’ve had a few timely rains to buffer some intense afternoon heat.
Now that the garlic is in, the days have a more settled routine. We harvest the heat sensitive crops like lettuce, arugula, and kale early in the morning. As the sun and the temperature climbs, we hit the broccoli, cabbage, and carrot patches. Last but not least, we pick the tomatoes, squash and cukes. We’ve still got plenty of weeding fires to put out, and weekly plantings of lettuce and other succession crops to keep us busy in the afternoon.
The corona virus has added a new layer of complexity to the farm task list and made life a lot more difficult. It seems like everything has to be thought through to a very fine detail, and this has substantially increased the amount of work to put on a market or open the farmstand. Rebecca makes sure we get the right veggie to the right place and in the right (quickly grab-able) container each week- this often entails reinventing the wheel on crops we’ve grown and sold for nearly two decades.
We’re grateful to folks on our crew for doing a great job of adapting to our new reality, with surprisingly few complaints about wearing masks in 90-degree heat. We’d also like to thank all of you for making that extra effort to support our farm during this challenging time. We’re looking forward to brighter days ahead for everyone and the prospect of the farming with the normal level of craziness!
We hope you enjoy the farm and the harvest,
Paul, Rebecca, Lauren and the Fort Hill Farm crew
Featured this week:
Scallions: Having fresh scallions on hand amps up the flavors of summer salads, salsas, frittatas, etc., because scallions seem to intensify the flavors of its surrounding ingredients for minimum effort. As evidenced by the recipes below, this green onion is versatile! Scallions will store for about a week in your fridge.
Beans: the Pick Your Own patch is heating up this week with green and yellow wax beans. It is positively laden with perfect wax beans, and the green beans are on their heals. Don’t miss out! This crop doesn’t last long.
salad mix, arugula, head lettuce, curly green and lacinato kale, rainbow chard, fresh basil, red and French Breakfast radishes, Asian and slicing cucumbers, scallions, red beets, Chioggia and gold beets, Tendersweet cabbage, red conehead cabbage, carrots, rainbow carrots, fresh garlic, Patty Pan, Zephyr, Yellow Squash and zucchini, sungold and red cherry tomatoes, heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes, sweet corn
Pick Your Own:
Flowers – open for picking!
BEANS! Green beans and yellow wax beans are open! We’ve had a lot of requests this year.
Dill – snip the biggest leaves
Perennial herbs – for your fresh summer salads and grilling:
Chives– clip a few stems at the base
Oregano, Sage and Thyme – Trim the tops 4 ” down
PYO begins 30 minutes before and goes 30 minutes beyond barn hours.
Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie. For more recipes, check out the Fort Hill Farm Recipe Database
To mix things up, I’m going to try to feature one farm classic recipe and one new one this year …
Sweet and Spicy Green Beans
By Cooks of the House
¾ pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons canola oil
Arrange a steamer basket in a pot over boiling water, and steam the green beans 3 to 4 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, garlic chili sauce, and honey.
Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring 2 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Serve immediately.
By Matt Taylor-Gross, via Saveur
Butcher shops all across Sicily sell these bacon-wrapped scallions called Cipollate con Pancetta. Yield: serves 4
- 24 large scallions, trimmed
- 8 strips bacon or pancetta
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- Wrap 3 scallions together with 1 strip of bacon. Repeat with remaining scallions and bacon and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add bacon-wrapped scallion bunches, and cook, turning as needed, until browned and crisp on all sides, 6–8 minutes. Serve hot.