|We've started harvesting the very|
first ripe cherry tomatoes! They'll
probably be ready for the shares
in about two weeks.
|We'll have this year's first green|
beans in the shares this week!
What to Expect in This Week's Share
- Choice of blueberries or snap beans
- Choice of beets, cabbage, or summer squash
- Choice of frisee, basil, or cucumbers
- Choice of 2 onions or 2 garlic (or you can mix and match!)
- Choice of bok choy, chard, or kale
- Choice of carrots or potatoes
- Choice of salad mix or head lettuce
Veggie Spotlight: Basil
Every summer we look forward to the strong flavor of our fresh basil. Lately we have been cooking a lot with it, and we have a couple new kinds this year as well. Basil originated in India where its cultivation began around 5,000 years ago. It was also referenced in ancient Egyptian writings about 1000 years later. Basil was well known in most of Europe for centuries but it did not arrive in Britain until the 16th century. After its appearance in Britain it came to the colonies in North America in short time. Basil’s place in human history is one that is steeped in folklore and religious traditions. It has played a role in many Christian, Jewish, and Hindu ceremonies and traditions over its several thousand year history. It has even been associated with the devil, and one of the most famous pieces of folklore was the belief in Europe around the 1500s that smelling basil would produce scorpions in the brain, a belief which was upheld by many physicians of the time. Incidentally, in Africa around the same era, they believed it would ward away scorpions. I guess we will let you folks try smelling it this week and see who’s right!
|Basil growing in our field.|
Basil has been used heavily in traditional medicine, and was also used in a lot of burial ceremonies of many different people groups over its several thousand year history. Today we know that it does have great antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Because it has antimicrobial properties, it can make fresh foods (like salads) safer to eat. This is more usually important in some of the really hot areas of the world, where there is usually more bacteria in the water and less desirable sanitation practices.
When it comes to our farm, in our fields we grow basil several ways. Early in the season, we start the seeds in the greenhouse, and then put these transplants out in our coldframes and field to get a jump on the season. In June/ July we often seed directly into the field with our 5-row seeder after germination temperatures are more ideal. As the plants grow, we harvest the sprigs off the plants and cut off the flowering heads to keep the plants producing new sprigs.
At home we have loved putting our basil in fresh salads, stuffed in grilled chicken, in pasta sauces, in curry dishes, on grilled fish (we use the lemon basil for fish dishes), and on omelets. This year we have 3 different types: Thai basil, Lemon basil (an heirloom variety), and Genovese basil, which is the type you commonly see at the grocery store. We will have some of each type at the drop-offs this week, and the Lemon and Thai basils will be labeled if you want to try them. We really love basil and are excited for this limited time of year that it is available. Enjoy!
|This pesto looks as lovely as it|
For as much of a basil enthusiast as I am, it is kind of shameful to admit that I have never made pesto. Fred has made it, and I love it on everything from pasta to sandwiches to chicken, but I have not actually made it myself. But with this easy recipe, I think this will be the week that I add pesto making to my list of stuff I know how to do.
|Pesto Chicken Tart|