We managed to get a nice bit of cover crop seed planted between rain storms last week. The crimson clover is already germinating and should make some good green growth this fall. This is one of my favorite cover crops because it is versatile and beautiful! Don’t confuse crimson clover with red clover which actually has pink flowers and runners which make it hard to kill once it gets established in your garden. Crimson clover grows well in the cool fall weather and will protect the soil from erosion and compaction caused by the rain over the winter. The growth really takes off in the spring and if left to flower it attracts a million beneficial insects to the field. It is a legume so if tilled in after it reaches maturity it can contribute up to 125lbs of nitrogen per acre too. We bought our seed from directly from Jim Bronec at Praying Mantis Farm in Canby. Naomi’s Farm Supply and Portland Nursery also both have a good selection of cover crop seed if you what to try some in your garden.
This week your share may include…
- Cilantro: These are tiny little bunches, but they’ll make a nice addition to salsas or southeast asian dishes.
- Daikon Radish: These look really good! I like to grate them raw into salads, but they make a mean pickle too. This recipe is easy & awesome with Bánh Mì, the spicy Vietnamese baguette pork sandwich.
- Eggplant: The long skinny asian varieties are tasty and more productive for us than the traditional italian vareities. Most of what you see in the share will be the dark purple Orient Express and the pink Orient Charm. These varieties can be used exactly as you would use the regular eggplant. I’ve posted one of my favorite recipes for a simple spanish eggplant salad here. Last Sunday’s NY Times magazine had several nice variations on the eggplant theme here.
- Fennel: The mild anise flavored bulb is very versatile – it can be shaved into salads and is also great in gratins. Today I grated it into a salad with the napa cabbage, lots of cilantro, and jicama with a lime vinagrette. It went great with the burritos I made for the farm crew lunch. More ideas here.
- Napa (Chinese) Cabbage: We’ve had a bumper crop this year and these nice big heads are the grand finale!
- Peppers, Anaheim: These peppers have just a hint of heat and they really shine in traditional southwest and mexican cooking. I made some great corn & roasted chile salsa last week. This is a good recipe for stuffed peppers and once you have the basics you can get creative and come up with lots of variations on this theme. In this taco filling recipe from Rick Bayless I use anaheim chiles as a substitute for fresh poblanos.
- Peppers, Green: These are nice thick walled sweet bell peppers.
- Peppers, Jalapeno: Time for salsa!
- Tomatoes, Stupice: These small early tomatoes continue to be tasty and productive throughout the season.
- Tomatoes, Heirlooms: This is probably the last week of red tomatoes. We have Brandywine, Moskovitch, Azoychka, German Striped, Black, Zapotec Pleated and more varieties to chose from. The rain has caused many to split so take them home and eat immediately!
Coming soon… Green Tomatoes!!