Welcome to the Fall!
Ok, admittedly it doesn’t feel much like fall… It’s still 95 degrees, the chief producers on the farm are principally okra, eggplant and peppers. Despite the ever-present heat, the feeling of fall is just starting to break underneath it all. The nights are coolish, in the seventies, and the mornings are staying tolerable almost until noon. It might not seem like much, but that is just enough to give our young fall plants a chance at producing wonderful crops once the weather turns a bit milder. Soon we will be swimming in greens. Collards, turnips, mustards, choi, cabbage, lettuce, chicory, endive, arugula, varieties of Asian greens that I sometimes still can’t name… And the roots are coming up as well. Carrots, beets, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potato, radishes (12 varieties!) are all in the field in various stages of growth. Fall doesn’t come all at once like spring, it is long, worthwhile descent.
August is a difficult time to grow food in Georgia. The lack of regular rain notwithstanding, it tough business out there for the plants. The deer are getting hungry, the grasshoppers are voracious, and the squash bugs are spreading disease to every cucumber and zucchini they can sink their mandibles into. The beginning of fall is a risky time for the farmer, and we utilize every tool in our arsenal to produce a wide variety of foods. We cover up the baby squash to prevent access to the bugs, we water and water and water the fields, begging to see the tender sprout of a carrot seed, and we devise ridiculous schemes to keep the deer at bay (if you ever find yourself moving around birthday balloons in the middle of a field at night, you know you’ve arrived…).
Even through the heat and the panicky planning, fall remains my favorite season to grow food in the south. Eventually the bugs will abate, the heat will become a memory, and for a brief while a second surge of summer fruits (tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and beans), will coincide with cool weather staples such as broccoli, sweet potatoes and carrots. We can’t wait!
In The Box
We are pretty pleased with the diversity of this week’s harvest, considering the time of year. Almost by miracle, the first crop of arugula made itself ready as if it knew it needed to provide the CSA with a nice green counterpoint. We are also really excited to offer a preserve of this spring’s strawberry harvest for you to enjoy. We don’t make a habit of offering canned items, but we thought that strawberry preserves where vastly superior to 2 extra pounds of eggplant… Enjoy!
-1# Chinese Eggplant
-1.5# Sangre Potatoes
-1 bunch Arugula
-1# mixed Peppers (hot and sweet)
-1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
-1 head Garlic
-1 pint jar Strawberry Preserves
-1 bunch herb mix (basil, lemongrass, tarragon, rosemary)
Eggplant and Arugula Salad
-1 large eggplant
-2-3 cups arugula
-½ cup raisins
-2 tbs olive oil + 3 tbs olive oil
-2 garlic cloves, crushed
-3 tbs balsamic vinegar
-Salt & pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400 F
Peel the eggplant and chop it in bite sized square pieces
Toss the eggplant squares with olive oil and salt; put eggplant pieces in an ovenproof pan
Bake for about 15-20 minutes
Meanwhile prepare a salad dressing with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper
Toss the arugula with half of the dressing
Toss eggplants pieces and raisins with the other half of the dressing
Arrange the arugula leaves on a flat serving platter and place eggplant pieces in the center, sprinkle with grated parmesan if desired
Serve warm or cold
Take Care and Eat Well!
Burge Organic Farm