Week #8, Steve’s odd ambition


The first bunched carrots from Tipi Produce in over 25 years.

Steve surprised us by announcing a plan to bunch carrots for the CSA.  “Bunched carrots” means carrots with the tops still attached.  We grow many carrots but harvest just the roots.  There are good reasons for that.  We have the right mechanical harvester.  It’s an efficient system that lets us grow lots of carrots without too much hand labor.  Carrots are heavy.

Our 20-year employees were befuddled – they have never bunched carrots.  Steve presented his arguments:
“We have a beautiful stand of straight, healthy carrots.”
“The sandy field they’re growing in is dry enough that the soil won’t stick to the roots.”
“These early carrots are precious and some would be lost during machine harvest.”

We pointed out the downside; it takes a lot of hand labor to do the bunching.

He maintained his arguments all week, but gradually the real reasons began to pop out.  “It’s time to run our new bed lifter through its paces.”  That’s a new piece of equipment we imported from the Netherlands. He’s itching to try it out.  Then a few days later, “Can’t we just try something new??”  There’s the real reason.  Steve has grown carrots for so many years, and just wanted to try something new.  We all gave in.  Beth


All hands on deck to bunch carrots.  From left, David, Simone, Billy, Alex, Ben, Michio, Kerry and Maggie.  Steve (yellow shirt, background) is headed to the tractor to dig more of the row.


This is our new bed lifter, a type of under cutter.  We bought it to ease our sweet potato harvests.  We’ve been using an older re-purposed implement.  This should be a big improvement.  We imported it from the Netherlands.  

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #8, July 11/12, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Carrots, 1 bunch
Swiss chard, 1 bunch
Cucumbers, 3
Zucchini &/or summer squash, 2.5+ lb
Broccoli, 1 or 2 small heads
Snap peas, ~2/3 lb
Lettuce, green leaf OR red bibb
Garlic scapes, 1 small handful
Parsley, 1 bunch

Next week’s box will probably contain cucumbers, kale/collards, beets, broccoli, Walla Walla onion and more.

Bunched carrots –  Here’s the kicker.  1. Pause and admire your pretty bunch of carrots.  2. Rip off the leaves.  If you leave the tops on, they pull moisture from the carrots.  If you’ve read this far, now you know my primary argument against bunched carrots.  Eat the carrots and feed the tops to your rabbit or your compost pile.

Swiss chard (pretty bundle of green leaves) – Our crew did a nice job mixing colors for pretty bunches.  Swiss chard is a close relative of spinach, but requires a bit more cooking.  Use as a substitute in any recipe that calls for spinach, just cook the chard a little longer. Both stems and leaves are delicious. The stems requite longer cooking, so cut them free from the leaves when preparing.  That allows you to cook the stems longer.

Cucumbers – I bet you all know what to do with cucumbers.  First of the season, these came from a field that was a terror to transplant.  Conditions were very rough and we doubted the plants’ survival.  We are amazed and relieved at how well the plants have done.  Storage: Cucumbers need refrigeration but do best at about 48 F.  Store in a warmer part of your fridge – that’s the best compromise.

Parsley – We have harvested flat-leaved Italian parsley for you this week.  It looks a bit different than curly parsley but they are used interchangeably.

RECIPES

Visit our 2019 Recipe Log or our 2018 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Bibimbap with Chard, Summer Squash, Snap Peas, Cucumber and Ground Pork
Chard Soup with Sausage, Scapes, Brown Rice and Chickpeas
Cannellini and Provolone Pasta Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing
Norway’s Cucumber Parsley Salad

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Herbed Ricotta Pesto with Linguine and Summer Squash
One Pot Chicken, Chard and Rice Dinner
Carrot and Cucumber Salad with Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing
Cucumber Parsley Buttermilk Dressing

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Shanghai Style Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

WILTED GREENS WITH POLENTA
I made and loved this with chard (especially because of the beauty of the chard stems), but you can absolutely make this dish with any leafy green (kale, collards, spinach). We consider it more of a side and usually serve it with grilled sausages for a simple summer meal.

Serves 4-6
Takes 30 minutes

4 cups water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 cup polenta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic scapes, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch chard, stems sliced and greens roughly chopped, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons butter

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, whisk in grits. Reduce heat to medium and continue whisking for a minute or two so there are no lumps. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a metal spoon (or your whisk) to prevent clumping/sticking.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your wilted greens. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, pepper and chard stems along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Increase heat to medium high. Add chard greens along with another generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir a couple times then add water. Let wilt down for 5-10 minutes until greens are cooked and tender. Add red pepper flakes, taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
  4. By now your polenta should be thick and nearly finished. Turn off heat and stir in butter. Taste and adjust these seasonings as well. Serve polenta warm with a pile of greens on top.

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SUMMER SALAD WITH BROCCOLI FALAFEL

Takes 1 hour
Serves 2-4

1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 garlic scapes
1/4 cup diced parsley
15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
6 tablespoons chickpea flour
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3/4 cup water, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch long pieces
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1 head lettuce
Kalamata olives
Feta cheese, optional

  1. Put broccoli into food processor and process until it resembles a rice. Place in a cast-iron or heavy skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat to release the liquid.
  2. Meanwhile process garlic scapes, parsley, chickpeas, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes. Process until very finely chopped. Add broccoli and process until just combined. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and chickpea flour and process until smooth and begins to come together. Remove blade from processor and roll the mixture into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer while you prepare the rest of your salad.
  3. Combine rice wine vinegar with 1/2 cup water, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk until sugar has dissolved. Add cucumbers and carrots. Let sit.
  4. In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup water, tahini, olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and dill. Whisk until smooth then taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Heat large pot filled with two inches of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Fry broccoli falafel balls for 3-4 minutes until browned but not burned. Drain the grease on a paper towel.
  6. Divide lettuce into four bowls. Top with quick pickled carrots and cucumbers, broccoli falafel, olive oil and feta, if using. Drizzle with tahini dressing.

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2 comments


  • Chris

    In the picture above what is the companion crop in the carrot beds? and is this for carrot fly prevention or weed control.
    Thanks
    Chris

    November 11, 2019
    • Beth Kazmar

      Chris, those are weeds in the carrot field, not a cover crop!

      November 11, 2019

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