We've had a hot, sweaty week at Victory Farm, which one of us LOVES and the rest are ready for cooler temps already! We've been spending our time weeding, trellising tomatoes and cucumbers, harvesting, and braiding garlic. We grew a TON of softneck garlic this year and so are up to our soft necks in garlic to braid! But it's totally worth it 'cause look at these beauties! Stick that gorgeous braid on your kitchen wall, start at the top and use that garlic all the way down the braid and into the winter. If anyone is interested in purchasing a garlic braid, they can do so at our farmers market stand and we'll start bringing them to CSA distribution as well.
This week your share contains Swiss chard, beets, cauliflower, heritage tomatoes, basil, Asian eggplant, cucumber, jalapeño, and zucchini.
Asian eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables of all time! I love to grow it, I love to eat it, and I love to share it! These special eggplants have a thinner skin and sweeter flavor than their Italian cousins and are, therefore, in my opinion, easier to cook. You can just sauté, roast, or grill them without having to worry about peeling or salting to remove the bitterness. Here are some recipes, but you can seriously just throw them in any of your veggie sautés and they'll be super yummy!
Since we're well into tomato season now, I wanted to take some time this week to celebrate tomatoes and dig into some of the unique characteristics of the funky varieties we grow.
We like to grow heirloom and heritage varieties of tomatoes 'cause they're tastier, funkier, cooler, prettier, and way more fun! An heirloom variety is one that was developed more than 50 years ago, while heritage varieties are usually developed using older heirloom and then breeding for additional vigor and disease resistance. Despite all the amazing characteristics of heritage and heirloom tomatoes, they are very sensitive to moisture and, therefore, susceptible to cracking. As the weather gets a cooler, they should crack a little less, but, for now, we all get to embrace the cracks and imperfections! (I know I feel pretty cracky and imperfect after a long season)!
This lovely, sunny tomato is a member of a French Heirloom variety series. Marigolds have a peachiness to them; think super sweet flavor and juice dripping down your chin.
A child of Cherokee Purple, one of the most well-known, and well-loved heirlooms, this funky green guy takes its complex flavor from its famous parent while bringing its own brand of sweetness.
Another French Heritage, Marbonne is not your everyday red tomato. With fruits averaging 1 lb, these monsters provide a classic red tomato flavor: acidic, slightly salty, slightly sweet; but there is a depth of flavor and meaty, juicy texture that sets Marbonne apart than its less Parisian relatives.
This French Heirloom is the t-bone steak of tomato varieties. Marnero's texture is dense, juicy, and beefy. Purple tomatoes are lower in acid than other tomatoes and Marnero's is savory, sometimes even smoky.