Monthly Archives: April 2018

Spring news

If you haven’t enrolled yet, we encourage you to sign up during the next two weeks.  We need to know whether to plant for you!  
– Returning Tipi CSA members, go here to enroll.
– New Tipi CSA members, go here to enroll.

CSA Updates (revised 4/14/18)

– We plan to delay our first CSA delivery by one week because of the cold spring weather.  The plants have to grow!  We’ll announce the delivery schedules during the first week of May.  Watch for emails from us then.
– A few members have contacted me in search of someone to split a CSA share.  If you are in the same situation, tell me your pickup site and I will try to match-make.
– Rebates for CSA share purchases are available to some people insured by the WEA Trust State Health Plan.  The rebate is $100 for individual plans and $200 for family plans.  Read more here.

Toasted Orzo Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Celeriac and Carrots

We are soooo close to our spring produce.  Let’s enjoy the last of our lingering winter stash, and start thinking about spring recipes.  Here is my current favorite winter recipe, which should adapt easily to spring or summer produce.  Soon, I’ll try the dish with steamed asparagus and minced green garlic added to the lemon dressing.  Olive oil is repeated multiple times in the ingredients list because it’s used in several steps.  The rich fragrance of this dish comes from toasting the orzo and from the sumac spice.  It’s worth hunting up sumac if you can find it.  (I bought mine at Basics Coop in Janesville.)  *Otherwise, substitute with paprika.  Beth
Adapted from Food52.

1-1/2 lb sweet potatoes
1 medium celeriac
2 large carrots
olive oil

Dressing ingredients
4 tsp dijon mustard
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 medium shallots, minced

2 cups orzo
1 Tbsp olive oil

Spices.  Combine in a small bowl.
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sumac*
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted and crushed

3 – 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
roasted cashews or your favorite nut

1.  Heat the oven to 425o.
2.  Peel the celeriac and carrots.  Dice the sweet potatoes, celeriac and carrots into bite-sized pieces.
3.  Oil a baking sheet (or two sheets).  Keeping the vegetables separate by type, toss with olive oil and spread into a single layer.  
4.  Roast, turning once, until fork-tender and blackened in spots.  The sweet potatoes will be ready in 20 – 25 minutes, the carrots and celeriac might take longer.
5.  Make the dressing.  Put the lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a pint jar.  Mix with a fork, then add the oil in a slow stream and whisk to combine.  Add the minced shallot.  Set aside.
6.  In one pot, bring 6-8 cups water to a boil.  In a second pot, stir the dry orzo over medium heat until it is lightly browned and smells toasty.  Turn off heat, wait 30 seconds, then add the boiling water.  Watch out for steam!  Be ready to stir!  Turn the heat back on and cook until al dente.  Drain, transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
7.  Sprinkle the spice mixture over the orzo and combine.  Add the dressing and combine.  Add the roasted veggies and mix gently.  Transfer to bowls and top with feta and cashews.

Hints to speed the process
– Make the spice mixture in advance and store in a sealed jar.
– You can prep the dressing the morning of.  The minced shallots pickle nicely in the dressing.

Farm News

The sunny greenhouses are my favorite place.  Above, Steve checks lettuce seedlings.  In a normal year, we might have transplanted two weeks ago.  Instead, we waited until the cold nights were over.  We’ve experimented over the years with how much cold these early seedlings can handle.  They are pretty resilient, and can tolerate temperatures down to about 20o if protected with floating row cover.  The recent 11 and 14 degree nights were just too risky.  

We transplanted lettuce, spinach, scallions and bok choy on Wednesday.  The time was right; we needed to get the plants in the ground before this weekend’s rain.  Everything is sheltered under row cover and will be fine, even if it snows.  From left, Charlotte, Raul and Kristen feed lettuce seedlings into the transplanter.  Maggie checks the planting depth.  Steve comes to see how the job is progressing.  Wow, it felt great to get so many plants in the ground.

From left, Simone, Kerry and Maggie move pepper seedlings into larger pots.

We’re raising an army of bell peppers.  Chiles and Italian peppers get planted this coming week.

Lush, beautiful onion seedlings.

Steve planted cold-hardy spinach, radishes, arugula and sweet salad turnips outside weeks ago.  The seedlings have slowly emerged.  They are covered with floating row cover for protection and to warm the soil on sunny days.

I am apprenticing with the local Prairie Enthusiasts to learn fire management.  It is both fascinating and scary.  Healthy caution is a good idea, right??  We are raising prairie plants from seed I collected with the Enthusiasts last summer.  The seedlings will go into our expanding habitat to support pollinators and beneficial insects.  I love this project.  Beth

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