week 8

a little bit of beauty goes a long way

It is Thursday siesta and I am facing my screen at an unusual time in the week. Tomorrow, Friday, we plan to hussle through the harvest and packing process so Paul and Kate can make it down to the Nashville in time for the Friday Night Market at 6:30 p.m. We attended some of these events last Fall and they were enticing enough to rally again this summer.
It has been a week of extreme weather on the farm. The heat and humidity on Monday was so high, the air had that horrible thickness that makes it truly hard to be working out doors. Tuesday, it seemed we might face another day of it, but alas, the storms came through with high winds and hail, cooling things down and clearing the air. Thankfully we had no damage, just relief.
July is a busy time on the farm, the summer plantings require attention: tri-weekly picking in the case of summer squash, zucchini, and cucumbers, mulching for the vining fruit crops, and cultivation for all. Once tomatoes start, this maintenance can take much of each day, and then the food preservation begins. In the meantime we must start to ready ourselves for Fall. Seeding trays once again for the field and later for the high tunnel, July is really the grand summer push. So far, so good. The frequent rains are keeping the pastures lush and the animals happy, it has dried out rapidly between rains to cultivate often enough to ensure the vegetable crops are in good order. Miraculously, given the craziness of the year, things are looking pretty darn good here in the hollow. The basket has some wonderful new flavors in it this week, just a taste of what is to come as summer truly arrives. As of this week, the newsletters will be posted on the Hill and Hollow blog. So if you miss a week or lose your sheet, check it out on hillandhollow.wordpress.com (should also be a link on the web site)
In your basket:
arugula
Swiss chard
basil
celery
garlic
lettuce
summer squash or zucchini
cucumbers
Arugula Salad with Feta and Fresh Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette
5 oz. Arugula
2-3 oz. Feta cheese
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Dressing (this is about twice as much as needed for the salad, but it’s good on lots of
things)
1 cup diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
3 T good quality balsamic vinegar
5 T extra virgin olive oil
Cut enough cherry tomatoes or tomatoes to make 1 cup. Put tomatoes into
bowl of immersion blender (or container of blender), add 3 T balsamic vinegar,
and blend until tomatoes are completely pureed. Pour tomato/balsamic
mixture into a small bowl and whisk in 5 T olive oil, a little at a time until
dressing is well emulsified. To serve, put arugula into large plastic bowl and
toss with about 1/4 C of the dressing. Arrange arugula on four individual
serving plates. Sprinkle desired amount of feta cheese over each salad, then
drizzle about 1 T more dressing over each salad. Grind black pepper over and
serve.

Cucumber Basil Salad
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in large bow, cover and let sit for one hour, serve

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