DIGGING DEEPER

Farm NewsLetter 08/06/07

August 6th, 2007

Work Party Thank You!!

What an amazing work party we had a Luscher Farm this weekend. Usually there are many different tasks, but this Saturday we had a single focus… ONION HARVEST!!
It was time to get the onions out of the field and into the barn to dry. A few weeks up there with the fans running and they should be sufficiently dried down and ready to pack up for storage. It was a big job!! Growing enough onions for all the shareholders to have 2-4 onions every week for most of the year translates into about 2/3rds of an acre planted. Of that, a quarter is harvested as spring onions and the rest- 4676 lbs of onions this year- were brought into the barn on Saturday. This will assure us a continuous supply of red, yellow and white onions through the summer, fall and into the winter season. Thanks to everyone pitched in to help!

Slow Food Portland is coming to Luscher Farm

This Saturday August 11th from 4:30-7:30pm Portland Slow Food is hosting a tour at Luscher Farm called “Farming on the Urban Fringe”. It will start with a walk around the fields where we’ll talk about the nuts & bolts of sustainable farming, and some of the benefits & challenges of being on public land at the edge of the urban growth boundary. As shareholders, you are well aware of the benefits- great veggies, positive environmental impacts, and opportunities for farm education and outreach. The challenges faced by urban farmers include prohibitive land costs, pressure from development & other competing uses- all of which are complicated by the uncertain future of the land use laws. It should be a lively discussion and I would encourage shareholders to come! It would be great to hear your perspective on why this particular farm is important to you.
The evening will conclude with a potluck picnic. Bring a dish to share that does not require heating. Also, be sure to bring your own wine or other drink, plates, utensils, glasses, etc., and a blanket to sit on.

Please RSVP to rsvp@slowfoodportland.com

Weather: Overcast mornings, warming up in the afternoon to the low 80’s
Thanks to everyone for all your help!
Your share this week may include:

Arugula Great for zesty summer salads!
Green Beans The first beans of the season are these flat Italian Romano’s. Forget tiny haricot vert, these are substantial beany tasting beans that are great on their own and also stand up to a substantial sauce like the olive tapanade below.
Beets All shapes and sizes of beets this week. The greens took a beeting (ha!) in the heat, but the bulbs are still really good. Choose from dark red, golden and the Italian heirloom striped Chioggia.
Carrots Seems like we can never grow enough of these sweet baby carrots. They should be around for a few weeks and we just seeded more, more, more!
Cilantro One of my favorite herbs for its intercontinental versatility. A staple in Mexican cooking and also pervasive in dishes through Asia and India.
Mustard Greens A staple summer green, these are really spicy raw, but mellow considerable when sautéed. .
Red Onions Their beautiful color shines through- perfect thinly sliced in summer salads.
Summer Squash So much variety in the squash world- yellow, dark green, and striped patty pan, crooknecks and zucchini. Most are quite petite, but for those of you who like to make zucchini bread or baked zucchini boats, we also picked some lunkers.
Hakuri Salad Turnips Another favorite for summer salads. Don’t forget to cook up the greens too!

Coming Soon… Purple Beans & Eggplant!!

Green Beans with Olive Tapanade
From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
By Deborah Madison

Cook beans uncovered in salted boiling water until slightly resilient to the tooth. Start tasting them after 3-4 minutes, though they may take longer. When they’re done, drain, then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Toss 1lb beans with 1/3 cup Hot and Spicy Tapanade

Hot and Spicy Tapanade
1/2 lb mixed olives, mostly Kalamata
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, to taste, finely chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon chopped green peppercorns, drained
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

If the olives are excessively salty, rinse them in several changes of water. Remove the pits, then chop them by hand and mix with the remaining ingredients. Stored in the refrigerator, it will keep well for up to 2 weeks.