Newsletter: The Too Much Produce Edition - August 23, 2017

So, it’s 3:30 on Wednesday and we haven’t started a newsletter yet, because we are JUST getting done harvesting all the produce. Doesn’t get any fresher, eh?

So, instead of Aaron’s usual carefully designed newsletter, you get me and my pile o’ recipes.   — Annie


Ratatouille—this week we are giving you all the ingredients!

7 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium eggplant, diced

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 small zucchini, diced

2 small yellow summer squash, diced

4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Saute until browned, juicy, and cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a medium saucepan with a slotted spoon. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Saute the onion and bell peppers in the oil until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the saucepan with the slotted spoon. Return the skillet to the medium-high heat again and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the zucchini and the summer squash and season with salt and pepper. Saute until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the saucepan and add tomatoes and garlic. Simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. The flavor will improve if the ratatouille sits at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or warm.

Chilled Watermelon Soup—adapted from Martha Stewart

6 cups watermelon chunks, seeded

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded

Salt to taste

Put the jalapeno in the food processor and process until finely chopped. Add in the watermelon chunks and salt and process until smooth. Serve with minced mint for garnish. Alternatively, pour the finished soup into popsicle molds and freeze until solid, then enjoy! You can also make the popsicles with cantaloupe and mint instead of watermelon and jalapeno.


Roasted Green Beans—My favorite way to eat them. If you have the Dragon Tongue beans, this is a good way to cook them to preserve their color!

1 pound green beans                             

1/4 cup olive oil                                    

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the beans and arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the top, and roll the beans to coat them. Roast them for about 15 minutes, until they’ve started to brown. Remove them to a serving dish, and sprinkle on coarse salt.


Zoodles with Meat Sauce—This is what I served the crew on our last chicken processing day. It was very popular! You don’t have to use a spiralizer, you can also slice the zucchini using a food processor with the slicing attachment, a mandoline, or a knife, if you are good at slicing thinly.

1.5 lbs zucchini or summer squash

3 lbs tomatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks

1 large onion, chopped roughly

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 lb of ground beef

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 bay leaf


Brown the beef in a large saucepan. Once it’s brown, add the onions and cook until they are tender. Then add the garlic, tomatoes, and herbs and cook on low for as long as you can—I have done it as little as half an hour and as much as 4 hours. Longer will get you a thicker sauce. While the sauce is cooking, use a spiralizer or other tool of your choice to cut the zucchini and/or summer squash into noodles—long thin strips. The spiralizer is nice because the curls help it hold the sauce, but that is not necessary. I served the noodles raw, and let the hot sauce cook them a little. You could also brown them quickly in a dry skillet. Serve the noodles with the sauce on top, and add shaved parmesan on top if you wish.


The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

"Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" from The Country of Marriage, copyright ® 1973 by Wendell Berry