Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Notes From Your Farm



I’m pretty excited about the enhanced quality of our Harvest Ticket this week. Ever since starting our blog here at www.blogspot.com, we’ve had problems downloading images created in Word, which is where I’ve found it’s easiest to create our tickets. I’ve jumped through all kinds of hoops, and blogspot usually says it’s not in the right format. The only way I could figure out how to get blogspot to accept the image, was to scan and save it in a format blogspot would accept, with an unavoidable, ensuing quality reduction . I’ve just discovered Gimp2, which is a free software program that can change formats, and it works!

 

Passion fruit this week!
Passion Flower

For those of you who have been with us since last year, this is old news; but here’s what you need to know to enjoy your passion fruit. First, the uglier, and more wrinkled, the better. Where else are you going to hear that sentence? Yup, the smooth, fresh looking fruits should be left on your counter to “age” a little, although I often can’t wait and eat the unwrinkled ones anyway.  They sweeten a little as they wrinkle up. I cut the very top off each fruit with a serrated knife, and sprinkle a tiny bit of stevia in the cavity. Then just scoop out with a dessert spoon and enjoy. Although it won’t win any beauty awards, or even “smooth as pudding awards,” for that matter, the taste is explosive and the explosive taste is why people wait all year for the 2 or three week harvest we provide.  We grow the commercial Frederick variety, although if you can find “Bountiful” they are bigger and just as tasty. Passion fruit is an easy to grow vine for southern California, and offers one of the most beautiful flowers ever. The vine does require a fairly sturdy trellis. And keep an eye on it, because it will completely take over nearby structures or even fruiting trees.

Apples!

This week is the first of our apple harvest. You’ll find green cooking apples (the common Granny Smith) in your boxes this week.

We had plenty of Swiss Chard, or so we thought, for all boxes. Unfortunately; the row we had earmarked to harvest this morning has been impacted by aphids, so we could only harvest from yesterday’s row and not everyone got Swiss Chard.

Absolute last of the 2012 kumquats

OK, they aren’t gorgeous; as they’ve been hanging on the trees for months; but this is the time of year when I get excited about kumquats because they aren’t as sour, requiring less sugar or stevia in anything I use them for. Throw them in the blender with your next smoothie, slice over fish, add to a tomato chutney, or just enjoy out of hand. There’s always the kumquat reduction recipe (click on “Kumquats” at right.) I prefer the flavor of a cooked kumquat, and as a bonus; the aroma fills the kitchen and living area with a perfume I find irresistible. The very best use of a kumquat reduction is for a margarita!

 

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