Peregrine Farm News Vol. 8 #16, 7/6/11

What’s been going on?

Well we made it to July, hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. We are in tomato mania at the house right now. The counter is covered in those tomatoes that are not “stable” enough to go anywhere but from the field to the house and then into our stomachs. It is a tomato (at least) at every meal and then other uses are dreamed up as we go along. Hot weather and a house full of cookbooks can lead one into dangerous territory.

Just in the last week we have made Betsy’s favorite Tomato and Basil risotto, several different batches of salsa (with our red onions and serranos), a yellow gazpacho, oven roasted some Blush tomatoes for later use on dishes, Betsy has made a huge pot of tomato sauce (to be frozen for all year consumption) from the new Slow Food Presidia variety we brought back the Torre Canne from Puglia, sandwiches, tomato salads and just plain eating as one walks by. If you want to try more of our varieties and not cook yourself, there are at least three tomato dinners coming up using our tomatoes and at least five restaurants using our toms.

The turkeys graduated from elementary school yesterday. Three weeks old and growing fast, we let them outside for the first time. This group is not timid, usually when we open the front ramp of the brooder they all mass at the opening, blinking at the new world and wait around for the one brave soul who will actually walk out there. Sometimes it takes them an hour or so to get the courage up. Not this group, they were down the ramp and into the grass in minutes! I take that as a good sign that they will be good foragers when we finally take them to the field in two weeks.

They will spend a week running in and out to the new mothership, protected by the chicken wire surround. Next week we will move the mothership back and surround it with the electric net fence to give them more room and to get used to the mild shock of the fence, this is like moving from middle school to high school. Finally the last night or two they will sleep out in the mothership. At five weeks of age they will graduate from high school and go to college, into the blueberry field and on to greater and more interesting things. When you are a turkey, you grow up fast.

Picture of the Week

A turkey’s eye view of the new world

What’s going to be at the market?

Betsy is so excited that the first big week of the crazy Crested Celosia is here, the felt like heads in yellow, pink, red, crimson and more. Lisianthus, the queen of all the cut flowers, moslty in deep purple. Zinnias are here for the summer along with the Gloriosa Daisies (Black Eyed Susans). Sunflowers are back. A little more Plume Celosia. The fragrant Oriental Lilies and more Asiatic Lilies too. Betsy will have mixed Bouquets as well.

We are nearing the peak of our Tomato season. In reds we have plenty of Big Beef and our early red Ultra Sweet (which are slowing down finally). A good supply of all the heirlooms except for the big bi-color Striped Germans. Cherokee Purples and Cherokee Greens, pink German Johnsons, yellow Kellogg’s Breakfast, Orange Blossoms and the higher acid Azoychkas. Oxhearts (not as many, the plants look weak) and Romas for sauces. Lots of Sungolds and some of the bi-colored elongated Blush.

We are into the summer selection now. Basil to go with the tomatoes. Plenty of our cured sweet Red Onions. A few of the aromatic green fleshed Galia Melons are here for a week or so. The first smatterings of peppers, Purple Bells, Shishitos and Padrone, Jalapenos and Serranos too. Cukes!

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

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