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SRJC Shone Farm CSA Newsletter             

                                              September 7, 2016


Sweet Corn

Watermelons sunning in the patch 

Leeks
IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Tomatillos
  • Cucumbers
  • Hot Pepper Medley 
  • Leeks  
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon!!! 
NEWS AND VIEWS  

You may notice some new faces working at the farm stand over the next few weeks, as we will have students from the  Direct Farm Marketing class joining us!

The class is taught by  Heidi Herrmann on Wednesdays at Shone Farm. The course is an overview of direct farm marketing principles and practices where students become versed in innovative marketing alternatives for the small to medium size grower, proven methods of product development, promotion pricing and distribution. 

While the classroom provides behind the scenes knowledge about the farming industry, selling in a retail environment brings the marketing education full circle.  In addition to in-class learning, students will also be getting hands-on retail experience through selling Shone produce, at our farm stand. Students will be rotating in shifts over the rest of the Fall semester. During their shifts, they will set up our farm stand structure, interact with customers, get a feel for our local community, and gain experience selling farm grown produce.

Tips & Tidbits
   

WATERMELON!

As you can tell with the changes in the box, we are moving towards our late summer/early fall abundance of heavy, juicy, brightly colored items!  We're happy to put our first watermelon of the year in your box this week - perfect for the hot weather in this week's forecast.  Our melons are a mix of "Sunshine" which are green on the outside and yellow on the inside and Golden Midget, which are yellow on the outside and red on the inside.  (What the heck?  I know - those are bizarre names AND the wrong colors for watermelon!) 
After a little taste test and found that the Sunshine were juicier and sweeter while the Golden Midget were "meatier" with a pronounced "watermelon" flavor.  At first we thought Sunshine were better, but due to the delicious aftertaste of Golden Midget, we think it's a tie.


EGGPLANT

Storing & Preparing Eggplant:
While eggplant does not store as well as other items, it can be kept in a plastic bag in the fridge for a short while. The fresher the eggplant, the tastier your meal!
 
To prepare eggplant, remove the top stem as well as the very bottom base.  Then the whole rest of the eggplant is delicious as it is.  Cut eggplant does oxidize and turn brown if not cooked immediately.  This is normal and will not affect the flavor at all.
 
Eggplant is very easy to cook.  Try adding it to stir fries or pasta.  Chop the whole thing up (peel and all) and then simply sauté it with a little garlic or onion.  Cover about 20 minutes or so, until tender, adding quicker cooking vegetables later in the cooking process.
 
It's also great thinly sliced, brushed with oil, and grilled, and it can be baked or roasted as well. 


TOMATILLO

Like salsa verde?  Well you have tomatillos to thank for that.  Though tomatillos are in the same family as tomatoes they develop in a papery husk, remaining green (sometimes purple!) even when fully ripe, and tend to have a tart, citrusy flavor. The fruit is most often cooked to develop its flavor, but can be used raw in salads, guacamole or as a garnish. 
Tomatillos

Storing & Preparing:
To store your tomatillos, leave the husks intact and refrigerate.

After husking you can eat tomatillos raw or boil them, but the most common (and  most flavorful) way to prepare them is to roast or grill them.
 

HOT PEPPER MIX

This week's hot pepper mix includes Serrano, jalapeno, and cayenne peppers.  According to the Scoville Hot Pepper Scale, cayenne is the spiciest in your mix, followed by Serrano, and then jalapenos.  If you're curious jalapeno about where other peppers fall on the hotness scale, check out the  Pepper Scale

Cayenne are easy to distinguish - they are long, red, and skinny while the other two peppers in the mix are both green. Jalapenos are shorter and more squat while Serrano peppers are a little longer and thinner.


Produce Family Facts:  This week's hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, and eggplant are all in the same plant family - Solanaceae.

And the cucumbers and watermelons are also in the same family - Cucurbitaceae

The Recipe Corner

Tomatillo Salsa

1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
1 fresh serrano chile, seeded and chopped
1/2 large white onion, cut into 4 wedges
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Coarsely purée tomatillos, chile, onion, garlic, water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender. Transfer to a large heavy skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, then stir in cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste.

Spicy Cold Tomatillo Soup

1 pound tomatillos, hulled and washed
3 garlic cloves
1 serrano chile
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped onion
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chicken stock, skimmed of fat
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup water
1 small avocado, cut into 1-inch cubes, for garnish

Heat broiler. Place tomatillos, garlic, and serrano chile in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast until tomatilloes are soft and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Turn all items; continue cooking until other side is soft and browned, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.

Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely. Peel garlic; place cloves in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add tomatillos, serrano, and any accumulated juices along with cucumber, onion, cilantro, stock, lime juice, and salt; blend until mixture is smooth. Add yogurt and the water; process until they are just combined.

Transfer to a large bowl or plastic storage container; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. To serve, ladle into bowls; garnish with avocado.

JESSICA SEINFELD'S ROASTED EGGPLANT AND CHERRY TOMATO RECIPE
 
1 large Eggplant (about 1 ½ lbs.)
4 cloves Garlic
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut off and discard the eggplant stem. Next, cut the eggplant into 1-inch-thick rounds. Stack 2 rounds at a time, then cut into 1-inch cubes. Smash the garlic and peel.

Place the eggplant and garlic in a 2 1/2- to 3-qt. baking dish. Add the tomatoes to the dish. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt, red pepper, and black pepper.  Toss together with your hands until the eggplant is coated with oil (a little overcrowding in the dish is okay).

Roast until the eggplant is really soft and tender, 50 to 60 minutes. (Set your timer, and at 40 minutes, give the vegetables a quick stir.)

Tomato, Cucumber and Corn Salad
 
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cucumber, peeled, cut in small dice
2 raw ears of corn, removed from the cob
1 to 2 serranos or jalapeño pepper, minced (seeded for a milder salad)
Salt to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 
Mix together all of the ingredients. Let sit in or out of the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving, then toss again.
 
Note:  Add feta or cotija cheese, a diced avocado, and/ or black beans or grilled chicken if desired.  Serve as a side or main dish, or over lettuce.

 

Eat Good. Do Good.