Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Freezing Herbs

How to: Freeze & Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

1. Choose fresh herbs from your CSA, the market or your own garden.

2. You can chop them well, or leave on branches and leaves. 
     In the photo, the herbs are finely chopped.
3. Place on trays of ice cubes (about 2/3 full of herbs).
4. You can mix herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary).
5. Place extra virgin olive oil or unsalted melted butter over the herbs.
6. Cover with plastic and freeze.
7. Remove frozen cubes and store in small containers or bags to freeze.
8. Do not forget to label each container or bag with the type of herbs (and oil) inside!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Russet Norkotah potatoes

A mild potato flavor with a soft texture and moderate denseness. Tends to bake up creamy and moist, not grainy. Moderatly chewy skin. White to pale-yellow interior.  It's good for frying, baking, roasting and  mashing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Beautiful Beet Dressing - one of our summer favorites!
1 beet, grated
3-4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Olive Oil
3 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tsp sea salt
4 pitted dates
2 TB honey (or to taste)
1/2 tsp rosemary (I forgot today)
Put this all in a blender and blend together well. I use an immersion blender. It makes about 1 1/2 cups of fuchsia dressing. You can also use a golden beet for variety.

Monday, August 13, 2012

How Do You Tell a Tomato Is Ripe?

Especially when it's green or pink or yellow or brownish when it's ripe?  Pay attention to softness, blush if it's not a red tomato, full-on redness if it's a red tomato.   Some of the Heirlooms ripen unevenly and keep green shoulders, or split as they ripen.   Softness is probably one of key signs of ready-to-eat. Read over the list of tomato varieties, too, as that will help.

Some of you have been forgetting your container of tomatoes at the Farm or at Sweetwater Market (not sure if that's happened at Fishmonger's, too).  Please remember to take them, and if you let us know you've forgotten them, we'll try to make it up to you.

Today's tomatoes: There are a lot of small, firm romas - Heinz variety.  They make great sauce or salsa as they are not juicy.  I love to make fresh tomato sauces once they are ripe.

If you are not a big tomato eater, you can roast and freeze them or dry them for winter flavor.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Here's an alphabetical list of the tomato varieties we are growing this year.

Amana Orange  ~ Huge heirloom beefsteak tomato named for the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Beautiful light-orange, irregular shaped (fluted) heirloom tomatoes that can grow to 2 pounds or more, with an average diameter of 5 inches. Excellent sweet, almost  tropical fruit flavors.  

Amish Paste ~ Very productive red heirloom from Wisconsin that produces up to 12 oz, deep-red oxheart-shaped, meaty fruit. (Probably one of the largest paste tomatoes) Lots of sweet, tomatoey flavors from this coreless meaty fruit. A great slicing and sauce tomato.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green  ~ Heirloom beefsteak variety from Ruby Arnold of Greeneville, Tennessee who passed away in 1997. Slightly flattened, 1 pound fruit that ripens to a pale greenish-yellow ("lime jello green") with a slight pink blush that extends to the inside. Superb, fruity sweet and slightly spicy taste.

Black Cherry  ~ The only truly black cherry tomato. 1", round, deep purple, mahogany-brown cherry tomatoes. Fruits are irresistibly delicious with sweet, rich, complex, full tomato flavors that burst in your mouth, characteristic of the best flavorful black tomatoes. 

Black Prince  ~ Purple-Black Heirloom, Originally from Siberia, this is one of the most popular and favored black tomatoes. Originally introduced from Irkutsk, Russia and is regarded as a "true Siberian tomato" that does very well in cooler climates. Until only recently this was considered a rare variety in the United States. However, it's popularity has grown so much in Russia that there is now a company in Volograd that is producing an extract of the Black Prince called "Black Prince Tomato Oil." The Black Prince tomato is said to have considerable health benefits beyond the presence of lycopene. These deep garnet round, 2-inch (2-3 oz.) tomatoes are full of juice and incredibly rich fruity flavors. Perfect for eating fresh, and in cooking in tomato sauce or other culinary wonders.

Blue Beech  ~ Large elongated paste, best taste.  Not seedy.  Adapted to colder climates.  6-8 oz. green shoulders

Bobcat  ~  10-13 oz main crop, excellent taste. Medium Red.

Cherokee Purple  ~ Purple-black Heirloom from Tennessee cultivated by Native American Cherokee tribe.  Very productive plants producing loads of dusky rose to purple colored, 12 oz.-1 lb., beefsteak tomatoes with deep red colors to the interior flesh and dark shoulders. A very popular market variety because of it's rich, complex and sweet flavors. One of the best tasting heirloom tomatoes.

Cosmonaut Volkov Red  ~ A Ukrainian heirloom variety named after the famous Russian cosmonaut who died while landing. Russians grow this variety for prize-winning, 1-2 pound fruits. Round, slightly flattened fruits have a full, complex flavor and nice acid/sweet balance.

Costoluto Genovese  ~ Italian, heat-loving, heirloom tomato that has been enjoyed for many generations along the Mediterranean. Large, deep-red fruits have a singularly fluted profile, are deeply ridged, and heavily lobed. Meaty, full-flavored, slightly tart, and delicious. Because of its scalloped edges, perfect for use in an arrangement of different colored sliced tomatoes. Makes a rich and pungent pasta sauce.

Glacier  ~ Heirloom.  Our earliest tomato, very flavorful 2 to 3-ounce, round, red tomatoes. 

Golden Jubilee  ~ Orange 8 oz fruit, sweet and mild.

Goldie  ~ Open-pollinated heirloom.  Deep orange beefsteak average 16-20 oz.  Has a rosy blush on the bottom.

Green Zebra  ~ Developed in 1985.  An unusual and exquisite green tomato chosen by Alice Waters for her restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. The 2-inch round fruit ripens to a yellow-gold with dark-green zebra-like stripes. The flesh is lime-emerald in color that has an invigorating lemon-lime flavor. A great green tomato for brightening up salads and other tomato dishes. 

Heinz Paste  ~ Open-pollinated amazingly early red plum type 2.5-3 oz fruits.

Jet Star  ~ Red. Indeterminate Hybrid; Dependable 7-8 oz globes of premium quality.

Juliet  ~ 1-2 oz grapes, red, good flavor

Lollipop  ~ 1-1/4 inch Cherry sized, almost translucent, creamy, yellow cherry tomatoes in clusters of 6-10, that hang on the plants like lollipops and have unique, fruity-sweet, lemony flavors unlike other cherry tomatoes. Produces fruit continuously, even under high temps. This is an excellent cherry tomato suitable for farmer's markets. Also great as a salad tomato, or as a snacking tomato, or for adding to culinary creations.

Mountain Fresh Plus  ~ Able to tolerate cool and wet conditions, this big red tomato produces attractive, 8-16 oz. slicers with good taste. 

Old German  ~ A Mennonite family heirloom from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  Fruit color is yellow with red mottling and striping on the outside and throughout the flesh.  Not a heavy producer, but fruit harvested is deliciously sweet and very decorative.

Opalka  ~ An heirloom originally from Poland.  (aka Polish Torpedo)  Vigorous vines produce some of the best tasting  red paste tomatoes with 5-inch long fruit shaped like a banana pepper with a pronounced tip on the bottom. Fruit has very few seeds, is extremely meaty and loaded with rich sweet flavors lending to its’ sauce appeal.

Principe Borghese  ~ Red Italian heirloom tomato. short determinate plants that prolifically yield big clusters of 1-2 oz. red, plum shaped, crack-resistant paste tomatoes that are a great substitute for Roma tomatoes. Tomatoes are prized for drying because they retain more flavor than most other drying varieties. Italians are known for hanging the whole plant, loaded with fruit, up to dry..A great sauce tomato or eating fresh in salads or canning. Also prized for reconstituting in olive oil or crushing dried fruit into flakes to add to a sauce for quick thickening.

Pruden's Purple  ~ Many folks find this tomato variety comparable in every way to the favorite Brandywine. It has even ranked higher at times in taste trials.  1-lb., slightly flattened, pretty, blemish-free, purple-pink fruits with few tomato seeds and excellent flavor.

Rose de Berne  ~ Open-pollinated medium-sized pink tomato with robust flavor

Rutgers Tomato  ~ Rutgers was developed by the Campbell Soup Company in 1928. 4-6 oz., dark-red tomatoes with thick walls that are loaded with delicious flavors. Excellent canning tomato. 

San Diego Paste  ~ Uniform, 2.5 oz paste tomatoes.  

Siletz  ~ The earliest larger Deep-red tomato we grow, excellently flavored.

Striped Cavern  ~ Prolific producer of medium (2 1/2 inch) fruit perfect for stuffing. Blocky, pepper-shaped, hollow, red fruit with orange stripes.

Sungold  ~ cherry tomatoes, deep sweetness, rich apricot color.  They tend to split, but we love them so much we grow them anyhow.

Supersweet 100  ~ Red Cherry 1” round, ripens in clusters.  

Taxi  ~  4-6 ounce, meaty, uniformly-round, delicious, bright-yellow  tomatoes that are very sweet (almost seem acid-free). A wonderful choice to add a zesty spark to tomato salads. or a splash of bright yellow color to your favorite salsas. Tomatoes hold up well to slicing as they are very suitable for sandwiches. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Shares this week!

The mint is from Patti's mom and her family home in Ohio.  Use it for iced tea, mojitos, tabouli.  
Melons:  Petite Yellow is one of our favorites!  The cantaloupes are either Hannah's Choice or Halona (can't remember from the kitchen).  We also have Jenny Lind (a green sweet melon) coming on.
Tomatoes!  I'll post all the varieties soon so you can know (guess) what you are eating.  These early ones are mostly Glacier, and there are a few Taxis, Sungolds, Sweet 100 Red Cherries, and Juliets.
Sweet Peppers:  Any pepper loose in your box will be a SWEET Pepper.  Hot peppers that we put in your box will be in plastic bags marked HOT.  Our sweet peppers come in many shapes, sizes and colors.

Patti Kreilick was born in Oceana County (I was at her birth!), but didn't live here for very long before she moved back to Ohio with her family.  We have stayed in touch with her parents through the years, and reconnected with Patti about 4 years ago.  She said then she wanted to come work on our farm!  Well, It didn't work out that summer, but the next summer she came, and has worked every summer since.  Patti met Andrew Skinner, Editor and photographer for the Oceana Herald-Journal, her first Fall, and they were soon an item.  Ahhh, what a perfectly lovely result!  We wish them many happy years of bliss!