THE PICK LIST:
STRAWBERRIES - LETTUCE - ZUCCHINI - PATTY PAN - CUCUMBERS - SWISS CHARD - BROCCOLI - CAULIFLOWER - DILL - CILANTRO - PEPPERS
I think i’m in real denial about strawberry season. Right now we are in our 4th week of picking and I feel like we should have at least another 2 weeks to go… but the berries are getting soft due to the hot July sun mixed with the constant rain. Today, the COOP sent back 14 Flats claiming them unsellable. This put a little gloom in the day knowing that the berries are no match for this unrelenting Summer of terrible weather. As a result, many of the folks on field crew got to take home flats of berries to process and freeze for their own chest freezer. Last night Ray and I put up 6 flats feeling grateful to not pick any more berries for the day, but a little sad as we analyzed nearly every berry while we halved and bagged them. We are not upset with the COOP, we understand their reasoning- this happens with our flats every year towards the end of berry season (particularly when we pick in the rain which we did yesterday morning), but we did not anticipate it happening so soon… If you do not understand what I mean by soft berry, see your quart- sweet tasting, but soft so quick to mold.
That said, there is still a ton of fruit in the field- I’m not kidding- people are still walking away from our PYO patch grinning ear-to-ear over their harvest- but it is unknown how much longer we will keep the Pick Your Own Patch open.
So, just to be on the safe side- let’s all go glean some berries!
Join us Sunday Night for the annual CSA pop-up Strawberry Glean
Pick all you want, for free and enjoy this New England past-time.
WHO: Open to the entire Edgewater Farm C.S.A. community
WHAT: A Strawberry Gleaning takes place towards the end of a crop's productive season. The purpose of the glean is to invite the C.S.A. community down to the farm to pick off any extra berries for their own kitchen. The gleaning will take place rain or shine (preferably shine). The field is yours to pick through and whatever berries you can find are yours. The berries are free- and the experience is priceless.
WHERE: at Edgewater South (the old Putnam Farm in Cornish, NH)
THE ADDRESS for all your googling: 949 NH Route 12A/ Cornish, NH
WHEN: This Sunday Night, July 16th... 5:15 pm- 7:00pm
HOW: You pick. Bring containers!!
WHY: Because it's awesome, and the berries are free and delicious and there is still some really nice fruit out there.
WARNING: As it is the end of the season, you are likely to find rot... good luck and enjoy!
SEE YALL SUNDAY!!!
TIPS - TRICKS - RECIPES:
Dear CSAers, I swear I’m not trying to be the CSA that loads you up with zucchini week after week- it’s just been a hard summer and crops are slow to ripen… but the zucchini crop is coming in hot… so, get together all your zucchini recipes- breads, on the grill, fried, etc… and let’s be thankful for this one crop that just won’t quit.
Zucchini SWISS CHARD Fritters
Yield: About 10 2 1/2 inch fritters
1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini 1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying
½ bunch of swiss chard leaves chopped
To serve (optional)
1 cup sour cream or plain, full-fat yogurt 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest Pinches of salt
1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic fresh dill!!!
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet ready.
Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor. The latter is my favorite as I’m convinced it creates the coarsest and most rope-like strands and frankly, I like my fritters to look like mops.
In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. You’ll be shocked (I was!) by the amount of liquid you’ll lose, but this is a good thing as it will save the fritters from sogginess.
Return deflated mass of zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from more salt (most rinses down the drain), add a little bit more; we found 1/4 teaspoon more just right. Stir in scallions, chard, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.
In a large heavy skillet — cast iron is dreamy here — heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter. I like to make sure that the fritters have at least 10 minutes in the oven to finish setting and getting extra crisp.
For the topping, if using, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, zest, dill, salt and garlic and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving. These fritters are also delicious with a poached or fried egg on top, trust me.
Do ahead: These fritters keep well, either chilled in the fridge for the better part of a week and or frozen in a well-sealed package for months. When you’re ready to use them, simply spread them out on a tray in a 325 degree oven until they’re hot and crisp again.