Farm Newsletter

Week #9; Cold Spring + Blazing Summer = Normal??


Alex helped me harvest sunflowers this week.  Does he remind you of anyone?  Van Gogh, of course, without the happy smile.

Cold Spring + Blazing Summer = Normal??

The current weather is overcompensating for our cold spring.  Are any of you familiar with “degree days”?  Basically, it’s a measure of heat accumulation.  Farmers use degree days to gauge a season’s warmth and development.  They are useful in many ways, e.g. for predicting when pests will emerge.

During the cold spring, we were lagging below normal, by about 25%.  We have accumulated so much heat in the last few weeks that our degree days have almost caught up; we are currently just 6% below normal.  We are likely to surpass “normal” with the current heat wave.  I say “normal” because, with climate change, any standards of “normal” are shifting.

Our summer crops are primed to use the heat.  They were well-established with strong roots before the weather turned hot.  Tomatoes, sweet corn, melons – they all love hot weather.

We are doing our best to keep up with the explosive tomato vines.  We trellis varieties that are expected to have a long harvest season.  It keeps the tomatoes off the ground so they don’t rot, makes them easier to find, and keeps paths open so we can get into the fields.  Smitty and crew are keeping up with trellising.  It’s an on-going job.

Watch out for the heat on Friday.  We’re hustling to get our farm work done so everyone can go home early on Friday.  It’s going to be a scorcher.  Beth


Smitty winds twine around the tomato plants in a figure eight pattern so they are supported on both sides.


We need many posts keep the plants upright.  These plants will be ready for a third string in a few days.  See the taller posts in the row to the right?  Those support cherry tomato plants which get quite tall.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #9, July 18/19, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ moon

Tipi tomato juice, 1 qt
Walla Walla onion
Green peppers, 2
Cucumbers, ~4
Zucchini &/or summer squash, 2.5+ lb
Collard greens, 1 bunch
Broccoli, several medium heads
Flowering dill, 1 small bunch
Sunflower
– Some sites get 1 green frying pepper.
– Some sites get 1 pt cherry tomatoes.

Next week’s box will probably contain Caraflex cabbage, cucumbers, Walla Walla onion, zucchini and more.

Tipi tomato juice – At peak season, we take our ripe tomatoes to a small batch processor in East Troy, to make into tomato juice for all of you.  It’s a great way to capture ripe tomatoes when abundant.  Drink the juice or try making an easy soup.  Simmer your choice of vegetables from the box in the juice (diced zucchini, bell peppers, &/or broccoli).  Add minced Walla Walla onion near the end of cooking.  If you have some basil or parsley to add, that’s good but optional.  Voila!  Soup! 
Storage: Store the juice out of sunlight at room temperature when unopened.  Refrigerate after opening.  The juice is already seasoned so do not add salt if you cook with it.
Ingredients: organic tomatoes from Tipi Produce, salt, organic garlic, organic onion, organic black pepper.  Nutritional information is posted here.

Walla Walla onions – These fat onions are sweet, crisp and very mild.  Wonderful raw or lightly cooked.  Try cutting into wedges, threading on a skewer and grilling.  Do not try to fry these onions – it doesn’t work because of their high water content.  Storage:  It’s OK to store at room temperature for up to one week.  Otherwise, refrigerate.

Green peppers – Here are the first bell peppers.  Refrigerate but in a warmer part of your fridge.

Flowering dill – We’ve timed the dill for delivery with lots of cucumbers, so you can make refrigerator pickles.  Both leaves and flowers can be used as an herb.  Storage: Refrigerate.  Wash and freeze if you don’t plan to use within one week.

Sunflower – Trim your sunflower stem once you’re home and put in a jar or vase.  The sunflower is for beauty and joy, not to eat!  If you re-trim the stem and change the water a few times, the flower should last about one week.

RECIPES

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

Grilled vegetables

This is a great weekend to throw vegetables on the grill and avoid heating up the house!  Add your grilled veggies to pasta, rice or grain bowls, or make Lauren’s Noodle Bowl recipe below.  Beth

Zucchini – Slice lengthwise, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Marinate in your favorite sauce for 15 minutes. Make sure the marinade contains some oil.  Grill until soft and a bit charred, flipping once or twice.  Return to the marinade to soak up flavor.  
We use this mixture: 2 Tbsp soy sauce + 2 Tbsp rice vinegar + 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil.
Walla Walla onion – Cut in wedges.  Thread onto skewers.  Rub or spray with oil.  Grill, turning occasionally, until nicely charred and sweet.
Peppers – Even green peppers are delicious when roasted!  
1.  Instead of roasting intact peppers, I prefer to cut each pepper into 3 or 4 slabs (depending on the pepper’s shape), oil the pieces, and lay them flat on the grill.  Start with the skin side up, then flip and grill with the skin side down until lightly charred.  Do not blackened the entire skin.  Place in a bowl, cover with a cloth for 5 minutes, then peel off the skins.
2.  Alternatively, you can thread bite-size pepper pieces onto skewers and grill.  You’ll have to pull off some charred edges but you get roasted pepper flavor, without the hassle of peeling the skins.

LOCAL THYME RECIPES


Puff Pastry Quiche with Broccoli

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Spiced Chickpea and Chopped Vegetable Salad
New and Improved Zucchini Bread
Spiced Tomato Juice Stewed Greens
Puff Pastry Quiche with Broccoli

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
German Braised Cucumbers
Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Glaze
Slow Cooker Pork Stuffed Collard Rolls
Broccoli, Cucumber and Pepper Salad with Sesame

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Szechuan Grilled Zucchini and Pepper Kebabs with Shrimp

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

CREAMY CUCUMBERS

Serves 2-4 as a side (though I am known to eat the whole bowl for dinner)
Takes 15 minutes (but gets better the longer you let it sit)

4 cucumbers, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 Walla Walla onion, halved and sliced
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Dill, optional

  1. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers and onions.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayo, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth. Pour over cucumbers and onions and toss gently to combine. Garnish or season with dill (if you like).
  3. Serve immediately or chill for an hour to let the flavors really meld together.

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MISO ROASTED VEGGIE NOODLE BOWL
Adapted from Sweet Lizzy

Serves 4-6
Takes 1 hour

1-2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
1-2 pounds diced zucchini and/or summer squash
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon white miso paste
2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 cups roughly chopped mushrooms (I used a mixture of shittakes and cremini)
8-10 ounces rice noodles (I love the Lotus Foods Millet & Brown Rice Ramen)
1 bunch collards, stems removed and cut into very thin slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 avocados, sliced
1/2 cup Almond Miso Dressing (see below)
2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds, optional
Kimchi, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread out zucchini and broccoli on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If you decide to use the full two pounds of each vegetable, you may want to use two parchment paper-lined baking sheets for more even browning.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, white miso paste and 1 tablespoon maple syrup until smooth. Brush broccoli and zucchini with this mixture then roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss veggies and then roast 20 minutes longer.
  4. In a medium saucepan, mix together soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Add mushrooms and toss until they’re well-coated. Cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes. The mushrooms will first release a lot of liquid, then reduce down. Once fully cooked and soft, remove from the heat.
  5. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  6. Divide collards evenly into dinner bowls. Add a bit of lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt to each bowl. Gently massage collards until they turn a brighter shade of green (about a minute). Top with noodles and miso roasted veg. Spoon mushroom mixture (sauce and mushrooms) over noodles. Add 1/2 avocado to each bowl. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of Almond Miso dressing and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Add kimchi to your preference.

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ALMOND MISO DRESSING
1/2 cup almonds
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a food processor, process almonds until finely chopped (so it looks roughly like minced garlic). Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. You may have to scrape down edges a couple times.
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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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Week #7, Honorary farmhands


Strawberry u-pickers, toiling in the heat.

The stars aligned for our strawberry upick last weekend.  We had a lot of ripe berries and just the right number of people to pick them.  It balanced perfectly, with enough berries for everyone who visited.  This is unprecedented.  With a big crop like that, we could easily end the day with unpicked berries that would be over-ripe by this week’s delivery, and therefore wasted.  Fortunately, it all worked out.  Honestly, strawberries are our riskiest crop because they are so easily damaged by the weather.  It’s been wet this year but the thick straw mulch saved the berries.

It was hot during the u-pick.  If you visited on Saturday, then you have experienced a challenging harvest day in the fields and can now call yourself an honorary farmhand.  I think everyone left the farm happy with their berries, and slightly dehydrated.  Beth

More milkweed next year

Demand was high for the milkweed seedlings I offered for retrieval at the u-pick. We have given them all away.  I am pleased to know that many of you care about supporting monarch butterflies.  I will grow a bigger batch of seedlings next year, enough for everyone.  Sorry to disappoint some of you.  Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #7, July 3/5, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ sun

Folks, do not be surprised if quantities in your box are different from the list below.  I had to guess.  Our harvest schedule is weird this week because of the holiday.

Strawberries, 1 quart?
Caraflex cabbage, 1 head
Sugar snap peas, 1.2 lb
Romaine lettuce, 1
Zucchini &/or yellow squash, 2.5 – 3 lb
Kohlrabi, 1
Fennel with fronds, 1 large or 2 medium
Garlic scapes, a handful
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Basil, 1 or 2 husky sprigs
Some sites get 1 sunflower per box.

Next week’s box will probably contain carrots, sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, zucchini & summer squash, lettuce, garlic scapes, an herb and more.

Strawberries – These are ripe. Eat soon.

‘Caraflex’ cabbage – This is a nice salad-type that we grow in summer.  Don’t you love the pointy shape?  It has thinner, more tender leaves than the usual green cabbage.  Great in salads and slaws but can also be cooked.  Here’s the description from the seed catalogue: “Inner leaves are tender, crunchy, and have an excellent, sweet and mild cabbage flavor.  Perfect for summer salads, slaws, or cooked dishes.”  We’re sending it this week so you can make slaw for your holiday picnics.

Kohlrabi (pale green, round vegetable with thick skin) – Crunchy and sweet, kohlrabi is a great addition to salads.
Storage:  Kohlrabi bulbs will store for a month in the refrigerator.
Uses:  Kohlrabi are good peeled and eaten out of hand, or added to sandwiches, or added to salads.  It makes a nice salad on it’s own.  You can grate it, slice it, or cut it into matchsticks.  It’s also good cooked.  If you have it, the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook has a long list of kohlrabi suggestions.

Fennel (large vegetable with a fat bulb 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.”

Garlic scapes (curly green things) – Garlic scapes grow at the top of garlic plants.  They look like flower buds but are actually clusters of tiny bulblets.  We snap off the young scapes to direct the plants’ energy into forming garlic bulbs underground.  Use scapes as a substitute for garlic cloves.  They can be minced, mixed with olive oil, and added to stir fries or simple pasta dishes.  The scapes can be sautéed, but will not brown like garlic cloves.  Expect them to retain their crunch even when cooked, and to be milder than garlic cloves, closer in pungency to the green garlic we’ve sent.

Cilantro – Used in both Mexican and some Asian cuisines.
Storage: Refrigerate.

Basil  – Yum, the first tender basil, perfect to combine with garlic scapes, zucchini, snap peas, etc.
Storage:  Basil will blacken if stored in the refrigerator.  It is best stored at room temperature with the cut ends in water, for example in a jar or vase.  Treat it like a flower.  Give the stem a fresh trim and change the water every day or two.

Sunflower (for some sites) – We continue experimenting with sunflowers.  They are one of the few flowers that we can send in the CSA boxes.  This cheerful variety ‘Vincent’s Choice’ does not produce pollen, making it a good choice to pack with vegetables.  Trim the stem and place in water.  Give the stem a fresh trim and change the water every day or two.  It might last 5 – 7 days.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Paprika and Oregano Roasted Kohlrabi
Lamb, Kohlrabi and Fennel Curry
Smoked Trout, Snap Pea and Basil Pasta Salad
Cabbage Kohl Slaw

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Kohlrabi Gorgonzola Gratinée
Fennel Summer Squash Slaw
Burrata Snap Pea Salad
Southwestern Slaw

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Creamy Zucchini and Spaghetti
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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

PARCHMENT PACKET SALMON WITH SUGAR SNAP CILANTRO SLAW
Inspired by What’s Cooking Good Looking

Serves 4-6
Takes 45 minutes

1 pound salmon
1 lime, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 cups snap peas, ends trimmed and sliced lengthwise (about 2/3 pound)
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
2-3 garlic scapes, minced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take a piece of parchment and lay it on a baking sheet. Place lime slices in a row on the parchment paper and top limes with salmon. Drizzle salmon with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper before laying a couple more lime slices on top.
  3. Fold up the parchment into packets by taking the two long sides and bringing them together in the middle, folding it so it seals. Take both ends and twist tightly. Fold parchment ends under salmon. Bake the salmon for 20 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your slaw by combine peas, cabbage, cilantro and scapes in a large bowl. Toss to combine then add mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Stir until veggies are well-coated.
  5. When salmon is ready serve warm with slaw on top or on the side.

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ZUCCHINI, KOHLRABI & FENNEL FRITTERS

Takes 30 minutes
Makes 8-10 fritters
Serves 2-4

1-1/2 pounds zucchini, shredded (about 4 cups)
1 large kohlrabi, shredded (about 3 cups)
1/2 fennel, cored and shaved
1/4 cup chopped basil and/or cilantro
2-3 garlic scapes, minced
1/2 cup flour
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil

  1. Place shredded zucchini, kohlrabi and fennel in a large cheese cloth and squeeze to remove most liquid.
  2. Add drained veggies to a large bowl with basil and/or cilantro, garlic scapes, flour, egg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. In a large heavy skillet, warm 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat. Reduce to medium low and add mixture in 1/3 cup portions to the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown on one side and flip. Press mixture into a patty and cook additional 4-5 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  4. Serve warm with yogurt, ketchup or hot sauce.

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Week #6, Strawberries & Peas


We picked many, many pails of berries this week.

Strawberries & peas – that’s all we can think about right now.  They take over our lives for a few weeks each year.  We can barely spare a few thoughts for spinach, scallions, world events.  The strawberries you receive this week are ripe and some were picked on a rainy day.  This means you need to eat them soon.  They are perishable.  And delicious.


Steve volunteered at a community event last week, the local Strawberry Festival.  Even there, he couldn’t escape strawberries.

Farm Recipe; Strawberry Cannoli Cake

I tried a new cake to celebrate Steve and Maggie’s half-birthdays.  It’s an annual tradition.  Born on December 25 and December 31, their birthdays are neglected so we celebrate again in June.  This creation combines vanilla cake, ripe strawberries and cannoli cream.  I’ll show you the cake recipe I used, but you could use any cake recipe you are comfortable with.

Cake
Choose and prepare your cake recipe.  I followed this recipe for Easy Sponge Cake, but was intimidated about trying to cut a baked cake into layers.  Instead, I baked the batter in an 11 x 17 rimmed pan lined with ungreased parchment paper.  This is a half baking sheet, with a 1-inch rim.  I baked it at 350 F for 20 minutes.  Cooled fully, then cut in half.

Cannoli Cream
1.5 lb whole milk ricotta (I used a supermarket brand)
3/4 to 1 1/8 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 oz mini chocolate chips

Starting with 3/4 cup powdered sugar, mix all ingredients together.  Taste and gradually add more sugar (up to 1 & 1/8 cup total) until the flavor ‘pops.’  You’ll know when this happens.  The ricotta mixture suddenly changes from bland to flavorful.

Strawberries
Slice strawberries and refrigerate.  I used an extravagant amount of berries.  If you are short on berries, slice and top the cake with a single layer in a pretty pattern.

Assembly
– Spread half the cannoli cream on one cake layer.  
– Top with the second cake layer.  I used the underlying parchment paper to flip the second layer onto the first.  Peel off parchment.  Carefully flip the layered cake onto your serving plate or pan.  Peel off the rest of the parchment.
– Spread with the remaining cannoli cream.  
– Refrigerate until just before serving.  
– Top with sliced strawberries and serve.

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Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #6, June 27/28, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Strawberries, 2 quarts
Snap peas, 1 lb
Snow peas, ~0.9 lb
Zucchini &/or summer squash, 2.5 – 3 lb
Spinach, 1 medium bunch
Lettuce, iceberg or red leaf
Scallions, 1 bunch
Oregano, 1 small bunch
– Some sites get 1 medium broccoli
– Some sites get 1 modest bunch lacinato kale
Note: All boxes at each site are identical, i.e. they all have broccoli or they all have kale.  Please do not open boxes looking for a different selection.

Next week’s box will probably contain strawberries, Caraflex cabbage, snap & snow peas, zucchini & summer squash, Romaine lettuce, kohlrabi and more.

Strawberries – Refrigerate and eat soon. You will receive two quarts. Judge which quart looks the most perishable and eat that one first.
♦  Most berries are quite clean.  If you want to clean your berries, rinse gently.  Don’t soak them, just rinse.
♦ Please recycle your strawberry containers.  We no longer collect them for re-use.  Please don’t return them to your pick-up site.

Snap peas and snow peas.  Both types have strings to remove.  Snap off the stem end and pull the string down the concave side of the pod (the inward-curing side).  Throw away the string and eat the pod.  The thicker pea pods will usually have a string along both edges. Remove them when you snap off the stem.
– Snap peas (plump pea pods) – These peas should be eaten pod and all.  They are delicious raw, or very lightly cooked or stir-fried.  Preparation: They will need a quick rinse to remove faded gray blossoms.  Storage: Refrigerate.
– Snow peas (larger, flatter pea pods) – These are excellent stir fried or in raw salads.

Greek oregano – To store your oregano, you can …
– Wrap in a cloth or paper towel, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate.
– Alternatively, you can wash it well then hang it up to dry in a place with good air movement.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics

Strawberry Truffle Pie
Squash Enchiladas
Snap Pea Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Snow Pea Salad with Scallion Chili Garlic Sauce

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Lettuce, Pea and Strawberry Salad
Lemon Oregano Marinated Zucchini and Lamb with Red Quinoa
Grilled Salmon with Summer Squash, Oregano and Snap Pea Relish
Charred Snap and Snow Peas with Spicy Buttermilk Aioli

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Chicken Soup with Spinach, Peas and Oregano

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

GRILLED ZUCCHINI & SPINACH SALAD with WALNUTS

Takes 30 minutes
Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side

1-2 pounds zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices (this is easiest with a mandolin if you have one)
1 bunch scallions, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
All spinach, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons diced fresh oregano
1 cup toasted walnuts

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  2. On a large sheet pan, combine zucchini slices with scallions on a large sheet tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt and a good amount of freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to evenly coat.
  3. Place veggies on grill and cook on each side 3-5 minutes until grill marks appear and veg are well softened. Return to sheet pan and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of your salad.
  4. In a large bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, remaining 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and a bunch more freshly ground black pepper. Whisk to combine until smooth. Add in spinach and using your hands, toss to coat with dressing.
  5. Remove scallions from pan and roughly chop. Add to dressed spinach along with grilled zucchini, fresh oregano and walnuts. Toss gently until well-combined. Serve immediately.

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STRAWBERRY, SNOW PEA & KALE SALAD

Takes 15 minutes
Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side

3/4 pound snow peas, ends trimmed
1/2 pound snap peas, ends trimmed, optional
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch lacinato, cut into small, bite-size pieces
1 quart strawberries, sliced
2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, add peas and cook for three minutes. Drain and rinse well under cold water until cool to the touch. Let drain.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey or maple syrup, salt and pepper.
  3. Before serving, divide kale, peas, strawberries and goat cheese into 2-4 large salad bowls. Dress right before serving.

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Week #5, A Beeautiful Field

The bok choy we intended for last week’s CSA boxes flowered prematurely.  It was disappointing but not unexpected following the temperature swings we’ve seen this spring.  It’s been years since we lost an entire planting like this.  

The plants are in full, glorious bloom, and we plan to keep them as long as possible.  What value do they have now?  The bok choy flowers are loaded with nectar and pollen, scarce commodities when few plants are blooming in spring.  Beneficial insects and pollinators need food this time of year.  Look at that field – it’s a smorgasbord.  Walk in and it is filled with buzzing, frantic insects.  I don’t get stung and haven’t observed territorial behavior.  There’s enough food to share.

Happily, this is National Pollinator Week.  Do the insects know?

I decided to identify species visiting these plants, to test our theory that a planting like this is valuable.  I sent photos to P. J. Liesch of the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab.  He was very helpful, even though exact identification wasn’t possible with photos.


Honeybee, coming in for a landing.  
We rent hives from a local beekeeper, to ensure pollination of crops like zucchini, cucumbers, etc.  However, honeybees are not our only pollinators.  Our strawberry field was loaded with wild bees during bloom this year, well before the beehives arrived.  Good pollination increases strawberry yields so this is valuable.


P. J. says the two insects on the left “are definitely wild bees of some kind.  Spring often sees a spike in wild bee activity once flowers pop out.”  Take a look at how much pollen each bee carries.  The two insects on the right are likely types of hover flies, beneficial insects whose larvae eat tons of crop pests.  These are all ‘good guys.’  

For those interested, the top right insect “appears to be the European Drone Fly (Eristalis arbustorum) from the hover fly family or a very close relative. The adults go to a wide range of flowers.”
Bottom right “also looks like a hover fly. The general appearance and banding on the legs reminds me of some of the species from the genera Chalcosyrphus or Xylota.”


What about crop pests?
They are there, including flea beetles and cabbage maggots that damage radish and turnip roots.  Take a look at the fly in this photo.  It’s dead, handing upside down, glued to a flower at the top of the plant, and covered in fungal spores.  P.J.: “Looks like a fly taken out by the Entomophthora fungus. Not too surprising given our rainy start to the growing season! Could be cabbage maggot or another Muscoid type fly.”  

This fungus is so cool!  We find infected flies like these in onions and in flowering brassicas, and appreciate any reduction in crop pests that results.  Read an excellent and gruesome short article about Entomophthora here.  

These photos show a fraction of the insects in the bok choy field, just a few of the ones slow enough to photograph.  We are more than happy to keep this field intact.  We’ll do the same throughout the season, allowing finished crops to flower for a few weeks.  Building habitat for beneficial insects has become an important part of our farm.  Thanks for reading and geeking out with me.  Beth

Reminder, July 3 delivery for Thursday sites.

Let’s review our schedule during the July 4 holiday week.
– Thursday sites, we will deliver on Wed. July 3 to avoid the holiday.  No changes in site hours.  This affects Weekly EOW/purple, and Sampler/sun members.
– Friday sites, we will deliver on Friday July 5, as usual.
– Here is our calendar, in case that helps.
– Need to reschedule?  Go here.  Deadline = Sunday night before the week of delivery.


We have just enough strawberries for everyone to get a paper cup of berries.  We picked these in the rain, which means they are perishable and you should eat them right away.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #5, June 20/21, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/purple
– Sampler/moon

Strawberries, 1 paper cup
Sugar snap peas, ~1/2 lb
Zucchini, 2 to 2.5 lb
Napa cabbage
Spinach, 1 big bunch
Broccoli, ~ 1 lb
Lettuce, iceberg OR red leaf
White salad turnips, probably 2 – 3 big roots without greens
Scallions, 1 bunch

Next week’s box will probably contain strawberries, sugar snap peas, zucchini, spinach, lettuce, scallions, garlic scapes and more.

Sugar snap peas (plump pea pods) – These peas should be eaten pod and all.  They are delicious raw, or very lightly cooked or stir-fried.
Preparation: They will need a quick rinse to remove faded gray blossoms.
Remove the strings before eating: snap off the stem end and pull the string down the concave side of the pod (the inward-curving side).  Throw away the string and eat the pod.
Storage: Refrigerate.

Zucchini & summer squash – This is the first picking, so a few will be lumpy, the result of incomplete pollination while the plants were under row covers.  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.

Napa cabbage (large, pale green cabbage with crinkled leaves) – This week’s napa might have an internal flower stalk, also the result of fluctuating temperatures this spring.  Cut it lengthwise and you’ll find out.  The stalks are still tender (and surprisingly sweet) so there’s no harm including them in your dishes.
Napa cabbage is an interesting vegetable, useful for both fresh, raw salads and for cooking.  Its most famous use is fermented kimchi.  I like to prepare a fresh, unfermented kimchi.  Same seasonings, but it’s ready to eat right away.  You will be amazed at how much shredded napa cabbage shrinks when prepared this way.  See here for an example, but cut the salt in half (or less): Grilled Flank Steak with Kimchi-style Coleslaw.
Storage:  Napa stores very well.  Cut off wedges as needed and keep the rest covered and refrigerated, and it will keep for several weeks.  Peel off the outer layer and it will be ready to use.  Here are a few preparation ideas from the ‘Asparagus to Zucchini’ cookbook.
– Chop raw napa into green salads.
– Substitute napa in traditional coleslaw.
– Chinese cabbage cooks quickly.  Steam 3-5 minutes, or until leaves are wilted down but remain slightly crisp.
– Substitute napa cabbage for common cabbage in recipes, but reduce the cooking time by 2 minutes.
– Napa cabbage is the main ingredient in egg rolls.  Try making an egg roll mixture to eat as a cooked side dish instead of preparing time-consuming egg rolls.

Broccoli – Refrigerate in a plastic bag or a container.  Make sure there’s no free water puddled in the bag or container, to avoid rot.  It’s a bad idea to store broccoli uncovered in the fridge; it will wilt.

White salad turnips – This is our third delivery of white salad turnips. They are incredibly sweet this year. If you are tiring of them, check our Facebook discussion page. People are coming up with lots of creative ways to use the turnips. Also, Pat and Lauren have given us turnip recipes the past two weeks. Peruse the recipes in our 2019 Recipe Log.
Storage: Refrigerate in a bag or box. These keep quite well, now that the greens are removed. Should store without trouble for three to four weeks.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Braised Napa Cabbage with Prosciutto
Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry
Spinach Gomae
Broccoli, Zucchini and Cabbage Curry

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Chickpeas and Veggies Makhani
Kimchi-Style Sauteed Cabbage
Warm Spinach Salad with Smoked Trout
Ground Turkey and Vegetable Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Hoisin Sauce

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Stir Fry of Snap Peas, Zucchini and Ground Meat atop a bed of Napa Cabbage

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

SPICY NAPA CABBAGE SALAD WITH TURNIPS & PEANUTS
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Let me just begin by saying this recipe does not need to be spicy. It will only be spicy if you use the full amount of red pepper flakes but if you’re a person who knows they don’t like things with spicy in the title by all means leave them out or perhaps halve the amount called for.*

1 medium head Napa Cabbage, shredded (6-8 cups)
3 turnips, shredded (with a cheese grater) (approx 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
Zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar (champagne or apple cider vinegar would both also work)
2 tablespoons white miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less if you don’t like things spicy)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 scallions, ends trimmed and sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped salted, roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

  1. Toss cabbage, turnips and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Place in a colander to drain while you prepare the dressing. Pour out any liquid that remains in your bowl.
  2. Mix together lime zest, lime juice, vinegar, miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar in the large bowl you tossed the cabbage in earlier. Whisk until smooth and then slowly whisk in oil. Add cabbage and turnips back in along with scallions and toss to combine*.
  3. Serve salad topped with peanuts and season seeds.

*Feel free to also add sliced radishes from last week along with any herbs you have lying around (parsley, cilantro, or mint would all be welcome additions). You can also add thinly sliced snow or snap peas if you didn’t immediately devour them. If you want this to be more of an entree style salad you can consider adding some shredded chicken or turkey to the bowl as well!
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GREEN MACHINE FRITTATA

2 tablespoons butter, olive oil or coconut oil, divided
1-2 zucchini, diced
1 pound broccoli, florets roughly chopped
2 scallions, sliced (white and pale green portions only)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups roughly chopped spinach
8 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk 
1/2 cup favorite cheese, optional (I love feta or an aged Cheddar)

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter (or oil) in a large (at least 10 inches wide) non-stick or cast-iron skillet that is oven proof. Add zucchini, scallions and broccoli along with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until broccoli is pretty tender and bright green.
  • Add spinach to the pan and continue to saute veggies over medium heat until spinach has wilted. It will likely release some water. Don’t worry about this too much.
  • In a large bowl whisk together eggs and cream. Using a spatula, remove the veggies from the pan and pour them into the egg bowl. Stir to combine. Wipe out the skillet with a towel and heat remaining tablespoon butter or oil over medium-low heat. Pour the egg/veggie mixture into the pan and sprinkle with cheese if using. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat until the edges begin to firm.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your broiler to low. Once frittata edges have begun to firm, transfer to the top rack of your oven and broil for 5-10 minutes (making sure to check after 5 minutes as every broiler has a different intensity level!) until the eggs are set and golden brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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