July 8, 2009: This week’s featured fruits and vegetables are: leeks, onions, potatoes, beans, zucchini, cucumber, beets with tops and salad mix.
Farmer Pam writes with news from the farm
Good morning – a cool quiet morning – we are in the changeover time of the year – planting the fall crops and getting ready for the hot July and August weather.
We have been busy at the farm – putting a new addition to the barn and getting ready to build a new walk-in cooler – many hands are helping. Volunteers are always welcome.
Calvert Farm was visited by the Cecil Whig – our local daily paper – they came to take pictures of our tomato crop. There is a severe late blight in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania that is affecting tomatoes and potatoes – we have been very lucky not to be affected – yet – it is decimating the commercial crops – ‘maters will be scarce this year.
Here is the link to the article – but not sure it will show.
Indeed, while nonsubscribers to the Cecil Whig can only see two paragraphs of the blight story, LancasterOnline.com carries this story, which is scary enough. This fact sheet tells more about this blight, which is the same one that caused the Great Potato Famine in Ireland in the 1800s. These are the perils of farming. Cherish your potatoes and tomatoes, everyone!
Recipes: Unbeatable Beets
My “Eureka” discovery this week: beet cake! Who knew?
I confess – beets are a vegetable I’ve had to work hard to like (perhaps like you work hard to find something to like in certain neighbors or family members, because you know that they’re not going away!) The good news: I’ve worked through a number of beet recipes until I’ve found ones I like.
That list now includes recipes for beet cake! I like the look of this one for Chocolate Beet Cake, though I haven’t actually tried it yet. But I can personally vouch for this non-chocolate version, to which I just added 2/3 c of unsweetened cocoa powder. It came out great: chocolaty but not too sweet, with just a hint of cinnamon in the background – and no beet taste at all. Lazy baker that I am, I also liked that I didn’t have to puree the beets, only peel and grate them.
This week might also be a good time to try Beets and Green Beans in Walnut Vinaigrette, another tasty beet recipe. Or to take advantage of both beets and beet greens, try Risotto with Chicken and Beet Greens.
(The irony is that I may never make any of my tasty beet recipes again. Beet cake – mmmmmmm….)
Food For Thought: Organic-Related Articles in the Washington Post
On July 3rd, organic food made the front page of the Washington Post, with a thoughtful article outlining the concerns about the integrity of the federal “organic” label. While searching for this article, I also found some other recent articles that may be of interest:
- a related article detailing what various “organic” labels actually mean,
- an article on the planned overhaul of food safety rules, which may or may not be economically problematic for small farmers, depending on the details of the overhaul,
- and a new bi-weekly column, Gut Check, that promises to focus on the politics of food.
Some interesting past and future reading!