It is a delicate and deft dance that farmers must do.
Balancing the harvest time of a crop between bouts of rain and sun, heat and humidity, farmers must read the land as often as the forecast. Too much rain can cause a crop to rot. Too little moisture and the melons might be puny or the okra too woody-tasting. Given the weather extremes of this past week, we’re grateful to have timed our harvests well.
We think you’ll taste that perfect timing in the watermelons and snow leopard melons from our own Harpersville, AL farm. The same can be said for the heirloom tomatoes and our signature pepper mix. And to be sure, the okra stands out this week as well!
Speaking of okra – an informal polling we did of friends of family last week, on the best way to enjoy okra, created quite a bit of controversy (albeit lighthearted controversy). There was the faction who only wanted theirs fried while others were staunchly in the roasting camp. Still others like to nibble on theirs fresh (well, just the tender little pods). The picklers in the group just want to pack every pod in a vinegary brine with garlic and herbs and put up jars for later. While it was fun to watch the fur fly over okra opinions, we just like being a part of the conversation.
Honestly, we like them every which way. Last week we offered a recipe for frying (drenched in buttermilk!) so this week, let’s give the roasting fans what they calmor for: Okra prepared this way are terrific on their own but some friends like a dipping sauce, one akin to aioli. For that, mix together a quarter-cup good mayonnaise with a tablespoon of one of our apple-cider-vinegar-based drinking vinegars. Season to taste with fresh herbs or a dried seasoning blend. Mix to combine and chill until ready to serve.
Clayton Farms shares their peaches this week – sweet and tart and juicy – there is no wrong way to enjoy these. But if you choose to eat them just out-of-hand, make sure you do it over the sink or you’ll make a mess for sure!
Grandview Farms has more gorgeous mushrooms for us this week – oyster and shiitake blends. We like sauteeing these in a little leftover bacon fat for flavor, with sliced shallots and garlic and fresh thyme. Once everything has gotten good and softened, deglaze the pan with a little white wine and add a quarter cup of whipping cream. Stir to combine and then toss with freshly cooked pasta. These mushrooms are so meaty you won’t want for much else.
We hope the rain and sun of this past week have been good to you too – we could all use a little bit of each. We look forward to seeing you at pick-up at Farmstand!
What is in the box?
French Bread | Corey Hinkel
Peaches | Clayton Farms
Oyster and Shiitake Mix Mushrooms | Grandview Mushrooms
FROM STONE HOLLOW FARMSTEAD
Whole Milk | Working Cow Dairy
Hen Eggs | Stone Hollow Farmstead