Week #18 (9/20 & 23)

This week your basket contains: sweet corn, zucchini, Swiss chard, onions, cucumbers, rainbow carrots, cherry tomatoes,basil, sweet peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes.

We are fully into the transition from summer to fall.  As you can see, the summer squash and cucumbers have slowed production significantly, and we have started harvesting the winter squash.  We’ve dug all our storage potatoes and started to cover crop areas for winter. We are also close to broccoli and Florence fennel harvest.  Another sure sign that fall is near is that we have set the date for our PUMPKIN PICK-UP WEEKEND!  October 22 & 23 from 11:00 to 3:00 will be the time to come to the farm, choose your CARVING PUMPKINS, get corn stalks and gourds for decorating, do some gleaning, and share a potluck lunch with us and other subscribers.  We will fire up the pizza oven for both savory pizzas and PUMPKIN PIE PIZZA.  This is our favorite event of the year and hope to see you all here.

Another sign of seasonal transition is that it is time to harvest all our basil in the next few weeks.  Today you have enough to make pesto for freezing.  This is the recipe we use.


4 c. fresh basil leaves

2 cloves garlic

½ c. pine nuts

½ c. olive oil

¼ c. melted butter

3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

Put basil leaves, garlic and nuts in bowl of food processor.  Process until finely chopped.  With machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil and melted butter.  With a spoon stir in the cheese, salt and pepper.  This can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks.  We have also had good luck freezing pesto in ice cube trays, which gives you quick easy pre-portioned pesto cubes.

The recipe below is one of our favorite chard recipes.  We often use fresh tomatoes instead of the tomato paste.


(North African Chickpeas and Swiss Chard)

¾ lb. swiss chard leaves, stemmed, washed and torn

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground coriander seeds

1 small red chile

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ c. minced onion

2 tsp. tomato paste

1 cup cooked chickpeas

¾ c. vegetable broth

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Steam or blanch Swiss chard until tender, about 5 minutes.  Set leaves in colander to drain, squeeze out excess moisture, and coarsely shred.  Crush garlic in a mortar with salt, coriander seed and red chile until a thick crumbly paste forms.  Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onion; saute until pale golden, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic paste and tomato paste; stir them in oil until sizzling.  Add Swiss chard, chickpeas and broth; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand until ready to serve.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, with lemon wedges.  Serves 4.  Adapted from Mediterranean Cooking by Paula Wolfert.

As we harvest larger numbers of peppers, this amazing sauce comes to mind (with or without the hot peppers).  Pepper roasting can be done on a grill or under a broiler.  Place the peppers close enough to the heat source to thoroughly char the skins, turning so that they are pretty uniformly black.  Let them cool in a paper sack for about ten minutes.  At this point, the skin should come off fairly easily.


3 jalapenos, seeded and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon toasted ground caraway seeds
1 tablespoons toasted ground cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
2 large roasted red pepper, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper

To prepare the sauce, place the jalapenos, caraway, cumin, garlic, red peppers, tomato sauce, vinegar, smoked paprika and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running slowly add the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.