Week #6, U-Pick Analysis


I did not have time to take photos during the u-pick!

We were not sure what to expect for the farm u-pick this past Sunday.  We rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday at the last minute to avoid thunderstorms.  On the one hand, we thought you might already have Father’s Day plans and be unable to come to the u-pick.  On the other hand, we suspected interest would be strong, based on the experiences of other farms in the area, plus emails from some of you.

Turns out you all wanted to get out of the house, come to the farm and enjoy the day outside.  Many people said they were eager to do anything new and outdoors. This was the highest participation we’ve ever had at a berry u-pick.  Our field was full of ripe berries that needed to be picked, so it was a good match.

However, we were swamped.  Almost everyone arrived during the first hour.  This has never happened before.  We’ve run u-picks for many years, learning and tweaking the format.  For example, member u-picks used to be three hours long.  When we switched to four hours, people naturally spread themselves out over the longer time period, making the whole day more manageable for us.  That did not happen this time.  

We were short-staffed.  Our crew did not want to help at the u-pick.  They work hard all week and find that they are more tired than usual because of wearing masks.  Plus it was Father’s Day.  That left just me, Steve, Ari and our young employee Chance.  With normal pacing, that would be fine.  I apologize for the lines to enter the field and to pay for your berries.  Fortunately, everyone was in a great mood and I did not hear a single complaint about the wait.  I wish I’d been able to visit with some of you!  I look forward to the u-picks for that but needed to focus and get everyone’s berries weighed and tallied.

We want to thank all of you who complied with our COVID-19-related requests.  Almost everyone wore masks and the few people who did not really stood out.  As far as we could tell, everyone practiced social distancing while in line.  Steve flagged the field in a new system to maintain greater distance between groups but we’re not sure if that played out as expected with so many people arriving at once.

Overall, we thought it was a good day.  We loved everyone’s enthusiasm and appreciation and relief at being outdoors.  If/when we offer another u-pick we’ll incorporate what we learned on Sunday.
Thank you,
Beth & Steve

Deliveries will be scheduled as usual the week of July 2/3.

See calendar below.  If you need to change your schedule because of the holiday weekend, please use our vacation rescheduling tool at http://tipiproduce.csasignup.com/members/scheduleactions.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #6, June 25/26, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ sun

Strawberries, 1 pint
Snow peas, ~2/3 lb
Snap peas, ~2/3 lb
(Both types of peas will be in one bag.)
Green zucchini
Yellow summer squash or patty pan squash
(Combined, squash is 3 – 3.5 lb total)
Fennel, 2 – 4 bulbs with fronds, depending on size
Broccoli, 1 small head
Scallions, 1 bunch
By site: Swiss chard OR lacinato kale

Next week’s box will probably contain sugar snap peas, zucchini &/or summer squash, kale or Swiss chard, scallions, garlic scapes and more.

Peas – It’s a pea-palooza week.  Peas are slow to pick but the patch was ready so we swarmed the field and picked lots for you.
Zucchini & summer squash –  Zucchini and summer squash need refrigeration but do not do well at very cold temperatures, as they will soften and form pits in their surface. Refrigerate these squash but in the warmest part of your fridge.
Fennel (bulbs and lacy fronds) – Fennel is a ‘swing vegetable’; it can be used raw or cooked.  Clean well and slice as thinly as possible for use in raw salads.  It is good simply prepared with olive oil, lime or lemon juice, salt and shaved parmesan cheese.  Cooking softens and sweetens fennel, and mellows its anise flavor.  Both the bulb and leaves are edible.  Here are ideas from Alice Water of Chez Panisse about how to use fennel:  ‘It’s strong anise characteristic seems to suit fish particularly well.  … We use fennel all the time.  We add the feathery leaves to marinades for fish and to numerous salads, sauces and soups and we use them as a garnish, too. … The bulbs are sliced and served raw in salads in various combinations with other vegetables, parboiled for pastas; caramelized and served as a side dish; braised whole; or cooked in vegetable broths & fish stocks.”


A few sites will get this Cavendish variety, that often ripens with one side still white. The berry in the photo is fully ripe.

Scallion Pancakes

I love scallion pancakes and have tried many recipes over the years.  I notice that several of you shared scallion pancake recipes in our Facebook discussion group this past week.  Here are some of the recipe links.  I am not sharing posters names here (I haven’t asked) but you can view the full discussion and photos in our Facebook group page.
Korean Pancakes with Scallions (Pa Jun) – “So many scallions, so little time. Make Pa Jun, Korean scallion pancakes. There were a few different recipes in the newsletter but I like this one! Simple, fast, and delicious!”
Extra Flaky Scallion Pancake Recipe – This recipe makes layered pancakes.
Kimchi, Pork + Scallion Pancakes – Beth’s comment: This is our household’s favorite, but we add bay scallops instead of pork and skip the relish.  These are hefty and filling.
Avoid this recipe! Easy Shortcut Scallion Pancakes – Beth’s comment: I thought this was going to be a good kitchen hack but they just taste like crackers.

Scallion Ideas

We have sent scallions for many weeks in a row.  They are the best seasonal allium (onion family plant) this time of year and have been unusually productive this year.  Let’s share a few of our favorite ways to prepare them.  This is the same list as last week’s newsletter but I’m repeating it because some of you read my post before I added the list.
– Scallion biscuits (slice and add to your usual biscuit recipe)
– We have a favorite scallion dressing for adaptable pasta salads.  We use it with spinach and asparagus in spring, then switch to grilled vegetables and sweet Walla Walla onions once those are available.
– Egg drop soup with spring greens, topped with sliced scallions
– Grilled scallion, asparagus and turnip salad
– Sliced scallions are good on sandwiches and salads
– Grilled beef bulgogi wrapped in lettuce leaves.  Easily adapted to tofu.
– Salmon patties with minced scallions mixed into the batter.

RECIPES

Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Greek Snow Pea and Zucchini Soup
Sweet and Sour Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry
Fennel Summer Squash Slaw
LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Lemon Chicken Velvet Soup
Orzo Salad with Grilled Summer Squash
Fennel and Sausage Risotto
LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Chicken Breasts and Zucchini with Herbs

RECIPES FROM LAUREN


ZUCCHINI & GREENS PANCAKES
Eight cups of shredded zucchini is a LOT of zucchini. It will use a significant portion of what you received this week. I recommend using a food processor for shredding (if you have one). I’m slow to use my food processor unless it’s a big batch. This is a big batch. It’s worth it.

Makes 20 (ish) pancakes
Serves 4-6
Takes 45 minutes

8 cups grated zucchini
1 bunch scallions
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale (or chard), stems removed, finely chopped
5 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter

HERB SAUCE:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 small lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon hot suace
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh herbs (dill, chives, basil, mint, cilantro all work great), optional

  1. Lay out your shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze to drain out some of the liquid. You can also do this by
  2. Combine zucchini, scallions, garlic, kale (or chard) in a (very) large bowl. The bowl of a stand mixer works great if you have one. Add eggs and stir until the veggies are well-coated with the eggs. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Again, stir until everything is well-coated. Finally, add the butter and stir to combine.
  3. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil (or another neutral cooking oil). Add 1/4 cupfuls of zucchini pancake batter to the pan (as many as fit without crowding– for me that was three). Cook on each side until a dark brown, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter until you make all 20 (ish) of your pancakes, adding oil as needed.
  4.  In a small bowl, combine yogurt, mayo, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then add in fresh herbs (if you’ve got them).
  5. Serve warm fritters with several dollops of herbed yogurt sauce.

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PASTA WITH BROCCOLI, SNOW PEAS, SAUSAGE & WHIPPED RICOTTA
Adapted ever so slightly from the incredible Six Seasons cookbook

Serves 4
Takes 45 minutes

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1 pound broccoli
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
8 ounces pasta of your choice (we used penne)
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 cup whole-milk ricotta
Freshly ground black pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  1. Put the sliced garlic in a small bowl and cover with 4 tablespoons olive oil.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water.
  3. While waiting for the pasta water to boil, prepare you broccoli. Cut the top into bite-size florets. Push to the side. Peel the stem with a vegetable peeler and then cut the stem into 1/4-inch thick coins. Keep the stems separate from the florets (you are going to cook them differently).
  4. Your pasta water is likely boiling now. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. When there are just 3 minutes left in the cook time for the pasta, remove 3 or 4 ladle-fuls of pasta water to a small bowl or measuring cup for later use. Then, add the broccoli florets and snow peas to the pasta kettle. Drain the pasta, broccoli and snow peas.
  5. Shape the sausage into four patties (like you are going to make hamburgers). Heat  a cast-iron or other large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once oil is hot and just beginning to glisten, add the sausage patties. Cook, without moving, for 4 minutes so they patties can get nicely browned on one side.
  6. Flip the patties and pour the garlic (with all of that yummy infused olive oil) over top of them. Add the broccoli stems as well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more without moving. Then uncover, and break up the sausage into bite-size pieces. Add red pepper flakes and a ladle-ful of that reserved pasta water. Stir gently to get all those crispy brown pieces from the bottle of the pan into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and add the pasta and veggies. Pour another ladle-ful of reserved pasta water and stir everything to combine.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon of the pre-ground stuff) until fluffy. Add to pasta along with the Parmesan.
  8. Stir once or twice to incorporate and then shake the pan to further combine ingredients. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper (or the remaining 1/4 teaspoon). Add more pasta water if you want a looser (thinner) sauce.
  9. Serve warm and enjoy!

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SHAVED APPLE & FENNEL SALAD:
This recipe is simplest with a mandoline. If you don’t have one, just practice your knife skills making the thinnest slices you can.

Takes 15 minutes
Serves 2-4

1 tart apple (Granny Smiths work great)
1 large fennel bulb
Apple maple vinaigrette (below)
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup halved walnuts, toasted

  1. Cut unpeeled apple into 1/8-inch thick slices (with a mandoline or fancy knife skills). I sliced one side until I reached the core and then continued on another side and continued all the way around the apple until only core remained. This yielded slightly different size pieces, but it didn’t seem to matter much.
  2. Cut the stems and base off your fennel so that you are only left with the bulb. Cut it in half lengthwise and remove the core (it will be in the middle and kind of triangular; it will be much harder than the rest of the fennel and pretty obviously inedible). Cut each half into 1/8-inch thick slices (again mandoline is preferred but fancy knife skills will work too).
  3. Throw apple and fennel into a medium bowl. Toss with half of the vinaigrette and red pepper flakes. Taste and add more vinaigrette according to your preference (I used it all). Add toasted walnuts and serve at room temperature or cold.

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Apple Maple Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Few grinds freshly ground black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk vigorously until well-combined and slightly opaque in color (this means it’s emulsified!).
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Don’t forget that the apple will add quite a bit of tartness and sweetness to the overall salad.

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