This week's share will include...

on Thursday, July 8, 2010

Some new stuff, and some old stuff!

Unfortunately this heat's just about fried the lettuce - although I was able to pick some of the lettuce I intentionally grew in the shade, so there's smaller amounts of salad mix this week.

The cucumbers are really starting to set, just as the cucumber beetles are infecting them and killing off some of the plants. I'll have to apply an organic spray to them this weekend to try deterring the beetles, and have already had to remove a couple plants that've died off. Mary gave me sticky mouse traps this spring in the hope they'd capture/kill the beetles, but they're not working. (more on the beetles later) In the meantime, here's what a baby cuke looks like:

This week's share includes bundles of herbs, and since there were a lot of questions about what's what the last time, I figured I'd give you a quick breakdown. I'll list some things I know they're good in - and that'll usually be a meat dish. No offense to the vegetarians - I'm guessing you can use these all with tofu, grains, beans, etc as you like.

First is the greek oregano - it's getting a bit woody and starting to flower, but is ooooh so good in many chicken, pork and egg dishes. A little of this can go a long ways.

Sage - three types, from top to bottom: plain, golden, and purple. They're all pretty much the same, only the plant sizes are very different right now (so the full shares only got the purple this time). Good in poultry and pork dishes...

Lemon grass - yup, looks just like grass, but smell it. Often used in Indian or Thai dishes, but try steeping it and the lemon verbena in hot water for about 5 minutes and drinking the tea. SOOOO good!

Here's the lemon verbena - smells really good. I only know of using it in the tea I mentioned above. Mary could probably offer more tips. Looks similar to basil in a picture, but note the leaves are longer and narrow, and they feel a little coarse to the touch.

Dill - you love it or you hate it. Good with cucumbers! Good in sour cream, yogurt or other dairy based sauces.

Rosemary - nice refreshing pine-like sent. Good in pork, chicken and beef dishes.

Cilantro. There's no parsley this week, which is cilantro's look-alike, so there's no risk of confusion. Like dill, you love it or hate it. Some say it has a soapy smell. I say it's got funk. But it's great in salsa and mexican dishes.

Lemon balm - we haven't given you this one before. Looks a bit like a yellowy catnip leaf. Feels just a little fuzzy. I've never used it in anything, but Mary says people use it to make tea. She also says she doesn't like the flavor in tea - so she doesn't mix it with her lemon grass/lemon verbena in tea.

Basil - there's TONS of basil this week. Both Mary and I provided basil (plus cilantro and dill). You better start making some pesto! And since you'll probably have more than you need to use in the next few days, store it in the fridge with a layer of olive oil on top of it, or freeze it. It's easy enough to freeze it in a zip lock baggie, spread thin in the bag, and then you just break of chunks as needed.

Squash! Yup - we're getting them! Everyone gets one squash in their bag this week, whether you're a full or half share.

Cucumbers - sorry, there were only three this week....but there's lots of small ones on the vines. I've had to start new cucumber seeds since the initial planting hasn't done so well (especially with the cucumber beetles)...

UPDATE: Mary's brought in her stuff - there's more herbs! More flowers! And she brought in radishes, plus a stir fry mix of greens. It's an interesting week this week...let us know how you use the stuff.

Take note: Some of the stuff is now bundled in twine. We're already running out of rubberbands, so if you could bring those back, we'd really appreciate it. And you definitely need to bring back the containers we send your stuff home in....I know we keep saying it, but we have an absolute shortage of the containers.


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