The heat is back! That makes our heat-loving tomatoes and other nightshades, as well as the cucumbers very very happy. The challenge for both of our farms now is keeping everything watered.
We received so little precipitation last winter, and I’m sure everyone’s noticing dry creek beds, low water levels in local rivers and stricter water restrictions in town. Here in Merville, where I live, the Tsolum is looking like it’s late August. The dry winter is certainly affecting the availability of water. Not only did the dry winter affect Mt. Washington and the ski season, it also means there is less snowmelt water to feed our wells and ground water tables. Both of our farms rely on wells (both deep wells and shallow groundwater wells), so we feel particularly vulnerable to the drought.
Growing veggies requires a good supply of fresh clean water, so we always have one eye trained on the water pump at this time of year. It takes a certain level of (healthy?) paranoia to make sure our water supply holds out till the end of the growing season. Pity the farm interns, who must take very short showers and bathe in rivers as much as possible! Sometimes this makes them feel a little crabby.
Work Parties – Opportunities to Get to Know Your Farms and Farmers
Thanks to all the folks who came to help us out with the Garlic Cleaning Party at Amara Farm last week!
Our next work party will be at Ripple Farm on Thursday, August 5 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM. Lunch will be provided and the work party task is TBA. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t already, please mark your calendars for The Second Annual Comox Valley Garlic Festival on Sunday August 10! It’s a great chance to stock up on your winter supply of flavorful local garlic, sample and pick up amazing garlic creations (like garlic scape jam and garlic braids!) and enjoy some local entertainment. It’s family friendly, so bring the kids!
What’s in the Share this week?
- Walla Walla Onions
- Fresh garlic
Here at Ripple. We eat zucchini for at least two meals a day! So we know lots of ways to use it. I promise we will include zucchini recipes every week that we put zucchini in your share!
This one’s just in time for the heat wave!
Chilled Zucchini Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 small zucchini (3 pounds), thinly sliced, plus long zucchini shavings for garnish
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded basil
- 2 cups ice
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups purslane or baby arugula
- In a large saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sliced zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the shredded basil.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Transfer the zucchini puree to a large bowl. Stir in the ice. Refrigerate the zucchini soup for at least 3 hours, until thoroughly chilled.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into shallow bowls and top with a small handful of purslane and zucchini shavings. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Swiss Chard Rolls
- 1 cup cooked bulgur
- 1 ½ cups lentils, cooked or canned
- 4 cherry tomatoes, diced
- ¼ cup parsley, diced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- Zest from 1 lemon
In a large bowl, gently mix all your roll ingredients except Swiss chard leaves being careful to not crush your tomatoes. Cover and put in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
While your filling chills, boil a pot of water. One at a time, dip your Swiss chard leaves into your boiling water while carefully holding onto the stem. Count to 15 and remove. Being careful to not burn your fingers, lay your leaves flat on clean dish towel to soak up extra water. Be careful not to tear your leaves as you flatten them out on the towel.
Once you’re done with all your leaves, it’s time to roll. One at a time, place your leaves flat on a cutting board with the flat – not spiny side down. Place 2-3 tablespoons of your filling in the center of the largest end of your leaf. Fold the side over your filling and then roll your largest end forward – rolling up your filling and tucking in any odd corners or edges to make a small fat cigar about the size of your hand.
Serve with some Annie’s Goddess Dressing.
Happy cooking everyone!