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June 27,2017

Posted 7/10/2017 9:42pm by Don Kretschmann.

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,  

Zucchini is still king along with greens and coles, though we’re excited to see many different veggies on the horizon now. 

A golfcart ride around the farm on the gorgeous Sunday revealed cucumbers were starting to form, cabbage heading up, green beans flowering (2-3 weeks out), onions starting to bulb, eggplant flowering, and beets sizing.  Coming and going to fields one always has an eye out for the wild rasberries which occupy the field/forest margin.  One tends to be territorial about this too, as in, “I have my secret patch of rasberries; no, not telling you.”

We’ve moved on to our second planting of lettuce.  The smaller tender heads will be a change from the tremendous ones last week.  We’re looking forward this week to pleasantly cool weather so we can stake and tie all the tomatoes we mulched last week.  Hard squashes were seeded Monday; the fall potatoes to be planted next (the early ones are flowering and should yield the first new potatoes in just a few weeks) . This will be the end of the strawberries.  All the rain late last week caused many of those last berries to deteriorate.    Most years zucchini starts out with lots of male blossoms and after a week or so, the females with zucchinis.  This year there were zucs right out of the gate, but now there’s a lul with many many male flowers.  There are all sorts of ways to make them, most popularly deep fried coated with batter.  But there’s also soups and stuffing with sausage etc.    

If greens—chard, kale, collards—are getting ahead of you, they are very easy to blanch in boiling water, drain, chop and freeze for use later on.  We typically freeze lots of them for use at our church’s monthly breakfast frittata. Same for zucchini.  Any size can be shredded and frozen for making holiday zucchini breads.   

It’s mushroom and coffee week.  If you were supposed to get these and didn’t, let us know.     

Enjoying these long days of solstice, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky,Maria & the Farm Crew       

ID: Herb is basil. We like to call basil the queen of the herbs.  It’s unique and pleasing.  Flowers are squash flowers—edible and choice.     

Pesto:  1 c. fresh basil leaves, pinch salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp finely chopped garlic, 2 T pine nuts (or walnuts), 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese.  Combine in blender or food processor until texture is slightly grainy.   Mix well with your favorite pasta.  It’s also great on pizza.     A favorite sweet pickle recipe from years ago in the Ball Blue Book.  Becky used to make these and sell them at the farmers’ markets.  Made with zucchini, they are much firmer than pickles made using cucumbers.     Zucchini Pickles:  Cut up 2 lbs. zucchini in thin slices.  Peel quarter and cut 2 small onions into thin slices.  Cover onions and zucchini with water, add ¼ c. pickling salt, and let stand 2 hrs. Drain thoroughly.  Bring 3 c. cider vinegar, 2 c. sugar, 1 tsp celery seed, 1 tsp tumeric, 2 tsp mustard seed to boil and pour over zucchini and onions. Let stand 2 hrs. then heat everything to boiling for 5 min. At this point, you can put pickles in jars and refrigerate when cool, or pack into pint canning jars and process in boiling water bath for 15 min.   One subscriber put it: “Zucchini on the grill with the oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper with our burgers tonight.  Delicious:-)”    

Another subscriber recommendation...    

New Mexico style Calabacita:  Saute 2 c. diced zucchini, 1 c. diced onion (or green onions), 2 cloves garlic (or equiv. scapes) until zucs start to soften and brown.  Add 1 minced jalapeno or other chili (Poblano), for a minute.  Sir in 2 c. corn kernels—fresh, frozen or canned and 2   diced  tomatoes (or 1/4 c. tomato sauce), 1tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. oregano.  Stir and cover until warmed.  Season with 2 tsp butter, salt and pepper.  Make a great side dish topped with shredded cheese if desired, or can be used as taco, enchilada, or burrito filling. –thanks Natalie   

Just in case one of those buggers continued to size up after it got into your box J...   

Zuccanoes: Scoop out several large zucchinis leaving about 1/4" shell.  Finely mince the insides.  Saute one onion minced onion and two cloves garlic per zuc in olive oil 5 min., add minced zucchini, and 1/4# mushrooms and saute another 8 min.  Mix 1 c. rice with the sauted veggies, add 1   tbs lemon juice, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste (parsley, thyme, basil..).  One can also add 1/2 minced almonds, sunflower seeds, or other nuts if you like a little crunchy texture.  Top with grated swiss cheese.  Bake @350 deg. 40 min   

Squash Blossoms in Beer Batter: Remove stems from blossoms. Wisk ¾ c. cake flour with ¾ c. beer and salt.  Dip blossoms in batter and deep fry.    Italian Greens and Beans: Steam 1 large bunch collard, kale, or swiss chard until tender.  Meanwhile sauté 1 clove garlic, 1 c. chopped onions, leeks, or scallions, in 4 tbs. olive oil.  Add 1 large tomato chopped or 4 tbs tomato sauce, the greens, 2 c. drained white beans, and if desired ½#   Italian sausage. Cook well.  Season w/salt,pepper, hot pepper flakes to taste, toss well.      And from Becky’s side of the family... 

Haluske: Saute a shredded cabbage and several sliced onions in oil or butter.  Add a pound or so of your favorite pasta.  Noodles or spaghetti work well.  Salt to taste.