Greetings friends! We had a wacky week on the farm, receiving a record overnight rainfall of 6+ inches last Wednesday evening which flooded the low-lying areas of the farm and even crept into some of our fields. I woke up Thursday morning and looked out our window which overlooks much of our fields to the east. My mouth fell open and my stomach dropped to see a huge pool of glittering water in the middle of the farm, lapping up at the bottom of the eggplant and pepper rows. As farmers we know that weather is our biggest uncontrollable variable and risk. Comes with the territory of this profession. Nonetheless, it feels devastating when a weather event can come in overnight and turn a lot of hard work on its head…or sink it in this case. Adam said wisely to give it a few days and then re-assess. Sure enough by Saturday, the water had receded out of the fields and back to the natural waterway. All the crops on raised beds and plastic mulch looked pretty decent. Several bean plantings, salad mix, and beet plantings are totally beat up or dying from oversaturated soils. The French Fingerling potato yields were way down and disappointing. Some of the ripe melons turned to mush. All in all though, we will be just fine and have plenty of other crops for our boxes. One of our greatest goals as CSA farmers is that we can work with nature and our climate-changing weather to produce high-quality, nourishing produce to feed our family and community. I hope that, for the most part, you can’t tell in your box each week what a challenging weather year we have had. But the defining aspect of the CSA relationship is that you have a direct relationship with the farmer and farm where your food comes from. Thanks for keeping it real, stepping outside the supermarket, and caring about where and how your food is grown. And although I miss all the lettuce that got shredded for our summer BLT’s, it will return this fall in cooler times with (hopefully) less torrential downpours. Thank goodness for those hoop house tomatoes and peppers. If you are overwhelmed at the quantity in your box, let us remind you that they freeze well (just de-core, chop and freeze!). Also, did you try the candied tomato recipe yet? (On our website). Or even more fun: make SALSA!! Thank you for eating along with the season, the changing climate, the vagaries of the weather, for sharing the risk of farming with us. Amidst all the tomato sorting and watermelon tapping, we are celebrating big and little things this week. Adam is making his famous homemade pizza for a farm crew pizza party on Wednesday to thank them for all their work in the muddy, hot, mosquito mess of late, and on Saturday we get to celebrate Farmer Eli turning 5 years old! -Laura Next week’s box: potatoes, cucumbers, summer squash/zucchini, sweet pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and more. LOONLetter 2

Recipe Corner 

Grilled Eggplant with Basil 

Eggplant is best when it’s fresh! There are many different varieties and colors of eggplant. You probably received a Globe eggplant (either purple or striped) and/or Japanese eggplants (the skinny lavender ones). Cook all varieties of eggplant the same. We like to grill or roast slices of eggplant. Top with pesto and fresh tomato for an amazing sandwich. 

1-2 Globe eggplants and/or 2-3 Japanese eggplants ••• cup olive oil ••• cup chopped basil (leaves and stems are fine) 1 large clove garlic, minced Salt Heat your grill to high heat. Slice Globe (tear-drop shaped) eggplants into rounds about •••” thick. Slice the Japanese eggplants length-wise also about •••” thick. Combine chopped basil, minced garlic, olive oil in a small bowl or puree together in a blender. Rub or brush eggplant slices on both sides with the olive oil mixture, but do not dip the eggplant into the mixture otherwise it will absorb too much oil and become soggy. Salt eggplant slices generously and grill for 5-10 minutes on each side or until outsides are lightly golden brown and slightly charred. Eggplant should be melt-in-your-mouth tender. If not, keep grilling! When cooked, remove from grill and eat immediately. Or spread eggplant slices with pesto and put on bread, top with fresh tomato and melted parmesan cheese (optional) for an open-faced pesto eggplant sandwich. Yum!

Eggplant Parmesan 

This recipe is how we fell in love with eggplant. You can too grow to like egpplant! You can also use a 16 oz. can of chopped tomatoes if you dont want to use up your fresh tomatoes., but you do have quite a few tomatoes to use up. Leftovers are wonderful the next day. 

2 pounds eggplant (4 small eggplant or 1-2 large), ends trimmed and cut lengthwise into quarter-inch slices 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled 1 cup olive oil 1-2 small, fresh hot peppers, smashed 2 pounds assorted tomatoes, chopped 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil 1 cup grated parmesan cheese 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chopped into bits In a large skillet or sauté pan, pour all of the oil except for 1 Tbsp. and warm over medium heat. Fry the eggplant, 1 or 2 slices at a time, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm together the remaining olive oil, the garlic and hot peppers to flavor the oil. When the garlic is pale gold, add the tomatoes and salt. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Remove from heat, remove and discard garlic cloves and hot pepper. Stir in the parsley and basil. Preheat the oven to 375°. Cover the bottom of a large, shallow baking dish with a layer of tomato sauce. Add a layer of eggplant, another layer of tomato sauce and a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Continue layering as so until all the ingredients are gone and sprinkle the top with parmesan. Dot the top with butter. Bake until the sides are bubbling and the cheese has melted and is slightly golden, about 30-40 minutes. Allow to rest a few minutes before serving. You can top with a few bits of chopped basil. Recipe adapted from Contorni:Authentic Italian Side Dishes  Enjoy your box and thanks again from all of us at Loon Organics Farm! Your farmers, Adam, Laura, Eli, Willie + Crew