The harvest season continues to heat up here at Luna Bleu and you all are seeing it in your shares this week as we are beginning to get overwhelmed with squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. This always is a tricky time of year since we spend so much time harvesting that we sometimes can fall behind on other things (weeding, clipping up tomatoes, etc.). We’re doing our best to stay on top of it all, though, and so far we’ve avoided being overwhelmed at least.
Several weeks ago, I had a plan to introduce you guys to some of the animals on the farm (since many of them have names), a different one each week. At the time, I introduced Flo, the older of the 2 sows we have here on the farm, and since pigs are by far my favorite animals here this week, I’ll introduce you to Randy, one of Flo’s daughters from last year and our second sow. Randy was born last March along with 5 other piglets. She was given the name Randy after I got here last June. Flo had 6 piglets last year and when I got here I just assumed, based on the way they acted that they were all male. I simply didn’t consider the possibility that any of them could be female and so they all were given male names. I was pretty embarrassed when I finally found out that actually only 2 of them were male. The name Randy had stuck, though, and so that’s how we ended up with a sow named Randy (and yes, it’s Randy with a “y”, not an “i”). Randy was by far the biggest of the females and she had a good temperament so we decided to keep her to become a sow. She had her first litter on the last day of May. She gave birth to 10 piglets but 1 didn’t make it so we were left with 9 (4 boys and 5 girls), a good number for her first litter (pigs generally have 8-12 piglets per litter). Randy has been a great mother. She was quite protective during the first week but has mellowed out since then and her piglets are growing quite fast. Randy is quite social; she always greets me with a grunt whenever I walk by and she really enjoys having her back scratched. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to meet Randy if you’ve stopped by the farm and if not, find one of us the next time you’re here and we’ll introduce you to her.
Preparation Tips and Recipes:
Gazpacho – This refreshing soup is simple to prepare, uses many ingredients from your share is week and will help cool you off on a hot day.
4 cups cold tomato juice
1 small, well-minced onion
2 cups freshly diced tomatoes
1 cup minced green pepper
1 tsp. honey
1 diced cucumber
2 scallions, chopped
1 clove crushed garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 lime
2 tbs wine vinegar
1 tsp each, basil and tarragon
dash, ground cumin
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
dash, tabasco sauce
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients, and chill for at least 2 hours. (This soup can be pureed, if desired).
Recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook.
Chilled Cucumber-Yogurt Soup –
4 cups peeled, seeded, chopped cucumber
2 cups water
2 cups yogurt
1 clove garlic
1 tbs honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dill weed
several fresh mint leaves (optional)
chopped scallions or chives (optional)
Puree everything together in a blender, saving the scallions to garnish. Chill and serve very cold.
Another recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook.
Zucchini-Feta Pancakes – This is another Moosewoood recipe and is one of Suzanne’s staples during zucchini season and is another great way to use zucchini.
4 packed cups coarsely grated zucchini
4 eggs, separated
1 heaping cup finely- crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup minced scallions or onions
3/4 tsp. dried mint
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup flour
butter for frying
sour cream or yogurt for topping
Place the grated zucchini in a colander in a bowl, salt it lightly and let it stand for 15 minutes. Rinse it, and squeeze out all excess water.
Combine squeezed zucchini, egg yolks, feta, scallions, flour, and spices. Mix well.
Beat the eggwhites until they form soft peaks. Fold into first mixture.
Fry in butter, on both sides, until golden and crisp. Serve topped with sour cream or yogurt.
Pasta Primavera – This is a very versatile recipe that I often make during the summer. You can adapt to whatever vegetables you have/like the best.
Tomatoes, cut into chunks
Zucchini/summer squash, sliced thinly
Cook the pasta. Saute the onions and garlic in butter. Add the vegetables in the order of longest cooking time (I’d go broccoli, squash, peppers, then tomatoes). Add the white wine after you add the broccoli. Sprinkle with the basil/oregano and Parmesan cheese. Add the cream and reduce. When the sauce is a good consistency, combine with the pasta and serve with more Parmesan.