This week in the garden
First off, the CSA is a little larger this week to make up for the poor cucumbers from 2 weeks ago. I believe we had a post-harvest handling issue where the cukes were not cooled promptly, which caused too much condensation in the bin once the cukes were cooled. Apologies for the inconvenience!

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This past week, we put in lots of seeds and transplants including more radishes, arugula and spinach. We have started putting in some fall cover crops into beds including our former garlic patch. A cover crop is a forage crop that we plant to help protect our soil from erosion and to help add more organic matter and nutrients to the soil. In this case, we have been seeding a mixture of oats and peas. The plan is to let this crop grow until winter and then let it die off over winter to be incorporated in the spring. This crop should help hold the soil in place amid the spring runoff. Other areas will be getting cover cropped as well but as the weather turns cooler, we will switch to fall rye instead.

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This week’s share of the harvest
1 bunch Carrots
1 bunch Kale – or – 1 Cabbage
1 box Elderberries
3 Peppers
1 box Cherry Tomatoes
1 Eggplant
1 box Summer Squash
1 Melon (!!)
1 Onion
Large ONLY: choice shelf will be available

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Smoky Eggplant Soup

  • 2 pounds eggplant
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced white or yellow onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 6 cups chicken broth or mild vegetable broth
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar, available in Middle Eastern groceries
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  1. Poke 2 or 3 holes in eggplants with a paring knife, then place on a baking sheet under hot broiler, about 2 inches from flame. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, allowing skins to blacken and char. Turn and cook on other side until eggplants have softened completely, about 4 minutes more. Set aside to cool, then remove and discard skins and roughly chop eggplant flesh.
  2. Meanwhile, put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stainless or enameled soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and beginning to colour, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne and reserved eggplant and cook 1 minute more, then add broth and bring to a brisk simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Check seasoning of broth and adjust salt.
  3. Purée soup in batches in blender. Strain through fine-meshed sieve and discard solid debris and seeds. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice to puréed soup and taste again, adding more as necessary. Soup should be well seasoned and rather lemony.
  4. Mix lemon zest with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil for garnish. Ladle soup into small bowls, topping each bowl with 1 teaspoon lemon oil, 1/2 teaspoon za’atar and some chopped parsley. May be served hot or cold.

 

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