The rain had been circling around and around us for days. The humidity had been building to a truly uncomfortable peak. We were at the point where we needed, really needed, a rain. Needless to say when the thunder started rumbling in the distance yesterday afternoon while the sweat was literally pouring off our bodies, we were thrilled beyond measure. The storm came through strong for sure but the lightning show was nothing short of spectacular and as of now it appears that we have no damage and a lovely, wet farm. It’s been a hot and successful week here in the hollow. We completed the garlic harvest, planted some critical summer crops, caged the better half of the tomatoes, and marched swiftly towards our goal of having a farm in order (by the way, this never really happens, but we hold it as our goal nonetheless). We welcomed a new member of our farm crew a week ago. Curtis arrived just in time for last week’s harvest and has been a wonderful addition to our scene. His enthusiasm for the gardening is contagious and his Michigan accent reminds me of my northern roots. Add to that he smokes a fine smelling sweet tobacco pipe and really, he is a great guy to have around. (not to promote smoking here, but a fine pipe smell on a summer’s evening is rather pleasant). This was an unexpected pre dawn pre tea writing session, now the day calls out to me, there is lettuce to bag, beets to dig, green beans to weigh and a whole bunch of harvesting and market prep ahead. I hope you all enjoy this first taste of basil and a delightful summer salad, you never know what that lettuce will do!

week eight in your basket:
summer squash or zucchini
green beans

Garlic Sauteed Green Beans
1 pound green beans, ends popped or chopped off
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper
Prepare green beans and bring a pot of water to a boil. Allow green beans to boil for 4-5 minutes, ensuring they don’t change color and lose their crispness.
Drain green beans and add to an ice bath. Drain and set aside until ready to saute
Heat a sauce pan or skillet on medium heat with olive oil for at least 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 60 seconds. Add green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin from martha stewart
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium zucchini (about 7 ounces each), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
2 medium yellow squash (about 7 ounces each), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup panko
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; add zucchini, yellow squash, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini and squash are crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add cream, and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in 1/2 cup panko and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
Spoon mixture into a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining panko and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Bake until top is golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

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