CSA (9/17/20915): Fall in the air

 September 17, 2015

carrots2As expected, it was another windfall week of tomatoes. The heat these last few weeks have given us a beautiful late summer boost in tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. This week, we disbursed over 200 pounds of tomatoes to our members. But production has fallen off significantly in the past few days. And while we expect our plants to hold on a bit longer, this will be our last big tomato drop of the season.

These are hands down my favorite days of the season. Months of 80 hour weeks have taken their toll, but the crisp mornings make it incredibly pleasant to be outside. Potatoes and winter squash that have been in the ground since May begin to get hauled in, the longer nights make the weed pressure ease a bit, and we start thinking about putting the farm to bed for the winter. We’ve still got loads of work ahead of us, but the prospect of a good rest after the season looms just past the horizon and helps propel us through the day.

butternutsquashThis week, we started getting serious about digging potatoes and nearly finished the winter squash harvest, most of which is now curing in the high tunnel. When the tomatoes and eggplant finally give way, we’ll be ready.

Tomato abundance overwhelming you? This easy shakshuka recipe can make use of all of them in one shot. Tunisian in origin, this tomato and egg dish has become hugely popular in recent years, and isn’t nearly as hard as it looks. Start by sauteeing onions and red pepper in olive oil along with 1 tsp. of ground cumin, 2 tsp. tomato paste and if you have it (which you should!) 2 Tbsp. of harissa. (A few drops of smoky hot sauce is a lesser, but still doable, substitute). After the peppers soften, throw in roughly 5 cups of chopped tomatoes, simmer for ten minutes or until the sauce thickens. Then make several divots in the sauce and gently break a whole egg in each one. Simmer for about ten minutes more until the eggs set. Serve with a little dollop of yogurt.