Produce Basket(s)

Good afternoon everyone! I just dropped off a basket on the picnic table with a little sign attached. If you have any spare produce, herbs, lettuce, seeds, etc, leave them in the basket. And if you’re looking to get extra produce, take anything in the basket home with you (just leave the basket there please!)

Also, on the picnic table seats I left a bunch of spare wicker baskets that are free to take home. I got them from a ‘freecycler’ knowing that they’d make great garden produce baskets for you all. Just leave the big on one the table for community use (it has the sign attached to it).

Enjoy!

Summer squash recipes

Featured

The zucchini are coming in, and once they start, they can get overwhelming. I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to make use of the abundance: zucchini corn soup. It tastes like a chowder but without any dairy because the zucchini thickens it when pureed.

Zucchini Corn SoupZucchini Corn Soup
(adapted from Love & Olive Oil)

1 pound yellow summer squash
2 ears corn (shucked, and kernels cut from the cob, KEEP cob)
3 large shallots (diced)
2 large garlic cloves (minced)
1 fresh jalapeño chile (diced)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
To cut the kernels from the cob, work over a bowl or a pie tin. Be sure to keep the cob.

In a 5-quart heavy kettle combine all ingredients (including cobs) except broth and cook over moderate heat, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in broth and simmer mixture until squash is very tender, about 20-30 minutes. Discard cobs. In a blender puree mixture in batches until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), or use an immersion blender. Season soup with salt and pepper. Divide soup between 2 bowls and garnish with extra corn, chiles, cilantro, and squash.

This is a good base that can be adapted with many different spices, like a southwestern corn soup, or a much spicier version.

It freezes very well too! I tend to make a triple batch with all my zucchini and freeze it.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Use a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons out of your zucchini. Then toss them on the grill or in a fry pan for just a few minutes. Toss it with some salad greens, feta cheese and your favorite vinaigrette. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started.

And here’s a few recipes that I haven’t tried yet, but will this summer:

Zucchini Walnut Thyme Soup

The “creamy” here comes from souped and blended walnuts. Use good quality nuts: they are important for taste as well as texture. I have written this up with walnuts and thyme, but I just know it would be fabulous with mint, basil and pine nuts.”

View recipe

 

 

Carrot Zucchini Bread

 

“This bread is a little bit denser than a carrot cake and not quite as sweet, but it tastes just as incredible.

It has such a soft and moist crumb thanks to all the moisture from the shredded carrots and zucchini. It also has just the right amount of sweetness and the perfect touch of cinnamon.”

View recipe

 

Have a favorite zucchini recipe? Leave a comment and share it :)

Squash Bugs: How to Get Rid of Them

Squash bugs are officially in full swing. We’ve seen then in a lot of plots, but we can still keep them under control! For future updates, enter your email in the box to the right of this post!

Squash bugs mating

Why are they bad?

They multiply FAST and feed on the sap of squash plants (summer squash, pumpkins, etc). If left unchecked they will affect the quality of the squash as well as the yield. And it is not uncommon for them to completely kill a plant if they aren’t kept under control.

How do you find them?

You might look at your plant and it seems fine. That’s because they hide at the base and blend in with the dirt. But they are very easy to find: soak the base of the plant and they will crawl up the plant to the leaves. They are slow and very easy to catch. I squish them between 2 wood chips.

Do this every time you water! Last year I would find 5-10 bug each time I watered – I couldn’t seem to fully get rid of them (perhaps they migrated from other gardens, perhaps they were just clever little buggers). But if there are only a handful on your plants at a time, your plants will be perfectly healthy. Let it go unchecked for even 7-10 days and you’ll get squashing dozens.

Check the leaves!

Squash bug eggs

Check the underside of each squash leaf for copper colored, oval eggs. Smush them with your hand. There aren’t that many leaves on a squash plant, so it’s fairly quick and easy to check.

You’ll also want to check each time you’re in the garden so those eggs don’t hatch!

Are there organic sprays?

Honestly, finding and squishing them is the easiest and most effective method. Since they are so slow they are easy to catch when they crawl up the leaves from a watering.

More info:

Check out this thread on gardenweb for more information.