Farm Newsletter

Week #14, August 17 2017

Steve’s mother

Steve’s mother Shifra passed away this week, not unexpectedly, at age 90. We will travel to Philadelphia this weekend to be with family and to celebrate her energetic and generous life.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes (week #14, Aug 17/18, 2017, green EOW)

– Some sites get muskmelon. Some sites get orange watermelon.
– Most sites get globe eggplant.  A few sites get 2 ears of sweet corn.
Romano beans, 1.1 lb
Tomatoes, ~4 lb, mixed plum and slicing
Red bell pepper, 1 or 2
Red or green leaf lettuce
Beets, 2 lb
Cucumbers, 1 or 2
Silver Slicing cucumbers, 1 or 2
‘Zoey’ onion, 1
Oregano, 1 bunch

Italian Romano beans – This is Steve’s favorite type of bean.  They can be lightly cooked, e.g. Pat’s recipe this week for Romano Beans Sauteed with Oregano.  However, Romano beans (or Italian beans) really shine when braised for a longer time.  Their broad, sturdy shape allows them to cook to a velvety texture without becoming mushy.  Instead of a quick steaming or sautéing, braise the beans in a flavorful sauce until they are very tender and have taken up the sauce’s flavors.  See our recipe below.

Beets –  Storage:  Cover and refrigerate.  Beet roots last for weeks.  For all the cooking methods below, wash and scrub the beets but do not peel.  The skins slip off easily once the beets are cooked and cooled.
Cooking beet roots on the stovetop:  Slice or quarter, cover with water in a pot, and simmer until tender.  This will take from 25 to 45 minutes depending on how large the beet pieces are.  Drain.
Roasting beets:  Wash beets, but do not peel.  On a sheet of aluminum foil, put beets (halved or quartered if large), salt, pepper and a few sprinklings of water.  Seal the foil packet, and roast at 400oF until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Slip off skins once cool.
Microwave:  Slice beets in half and place in a large microwave-proof bowl.  Add ¾ inch water and cover with a plate.  Microwave on high until tender, about 9-20 minutes, depending on your microwave’s power.  Drain and slip off skins.
Uses:  Use cooked beets in cold salads, or dress simply with vinaigrette, onions, salt and pepper.  Beets are also good tossed with sour cream, minced onion, fresh herbs and walnuts.

Zoey onion – These large onions are moderately mild, more pungent than Walla Wallas.  They will brown and fry nicely, but not as well as the yellow onions we’ll send soon.  Basically, they are an intermediate step between Walla Wallas and pungent yellow onions.

Oregano – Cover and refrigerate.  Alternatively, you can wash your oregano bundle and hang it to dry in a dry spot.  Don’t try to keep at room temperature with the stems in a glass of water.  This is the second cutting so some of the stems are woody.

RECIPE LOG

Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes to date.

RECIPE FROM BETH (Lauren is on vacation)

Sausages and Summer Beans with Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions
Adapted from the New York Times.
This is our go-to recipe for braising beans.  The beans get tender and delectable, and the tomatoes+wine cook down to a glaze. You can use Romano or green beans; slicing tomatoes or cherry tomatoes.  Pre-cooked sausages make the preparation easy.  Beth
Serves 4.

1 lb pre-cooked turkey or chicken sausages
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar
1 cup dices ripe tomatoes
1 pound Romano or green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil (1/2 c) or parsley (1/2 c) or oregano (1/4 c)
Fleur de sel or coarse sea salt, for serving (optional).

1. Slice the sausages diagonally.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet with a cover.  Saute the sausages until the slices are browned on one side.  Remove sausages from the pan and set aside to cool.

2. Add another 2 Tbsp oil to the hot pan. Add onion, thyme sprigs (optional) and a pinch each of salt, pepper and sugar. Saute over medium-high heat until onions are golden in spots and browned around edges.

3. Add tomatoes and saute until they start to release their juices, 2 minutes.  Add beans and wine and toss to mix everything in the pan.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 3 minutes. Uncover pan, add herbs and continue to cook. Toss beans occasionally, until liquid evaporates and beans are done to taste, 5 to 30 minutes, adding water to pan if it dries out.  Return the sausages and any accumulated juices to the pan to re-heat.  Garnish with coarse salt if you like.  Can be served hot or at room temperature.

LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Sweet and Sour Stewed Eggplants, Tomatoes and Peppers
Romano Bean and Meatball Stew
Beet and Spaghetti with Poppy Seeds
Tomato Cucumber Relish

Outside the Box Recipes

Dengaku Style Eggplant
Romano Beans Sauteed with Oregano
Beet and Cucumber Salad with Feta and Couscous
Melon and Tomato Salad with Ricotta Salata

Quick and Easy Meal

Tomato Tarte Tatin with Fresh Herbs

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Two groups. Two worlds.

We hosted two groups of 40 people in the last week.  Both groups are important to our farm.  Otherwise, they could not be more different.


We hired a labor crew of 40 Mexican and Central American guys to weed our carrot plantings.  This is the third year this crew has worked for us, generally just one or two days per season.  A group that size can accomplish a lot in six hours.  They are professionals.  

There is need in agriculture for migrant work crews.  Think about apples.  Orchards cannot employ staff year-round if they only need workers during a short harvest season.  Similarly, when we grow enough carrots to store and sell through the winter, we need extra help.  Our big carrot fields are planted in a short window, meaning the weeding window is also short.  Our regular crew takes care of weeding the rest of the year but this is too big a job when we are also harvesting like crazy.

Who chooses to work on a migrant crew?  To leave their home and travel for months, doing seasonal, physical work?  In our experience, it’s immigrants.  I am not saying that Americans won’t do this work.  Ninety-six percent of our regular crew are American-born.  Their work is just as demanding but why would they join a migrant crew if good work is available locally?  It’s strivers and hard workers and people with fewer options who take this work.  We rely on this contract labor crew, and respect them for their hard work.  Again, they are professionals.

“Immigrants, we get the job done.”  Hamilton, the musical.

NSAC visits


National Sustainable Ag Coalition (NSAC) annual meeting participants visited our farm on Monday.  Friend Harriet Behar (with umbrella) is a longtime advocate/force in the local organic movement.  She is a member of the National Organic Standards Board.

On Monday, we hosted a busload of organic policy wonks.  They were attending the annual meeting of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), held this year in Madison.  NSAC is an alliance of more than 100 local and regional organizations that work together to advocate for federal policies favoring sustainable farming and healthy rural communities.

These people are immersed in the alphabet soup of federal and state ag agencies, regulation, price supports, and natural resource conservation programs.  They do an important job of bringing farmer and grassroots voices into policy discussions that are usually dominated by big business.  They keep us informed about government proposals and actions that could affect our farming lives.  For example, when the US government released a 548-page draft of the Food Safety Modernization Act, NSAC boiled it down into a workable version that we could address.  They’ve got our back.

Our farm needs both groups to function.  One group on the ground, and in the soil.  The other group at their computers, watching out for us at the national level.  Beth and Steve.

Sweet potatoes!



Three weeks ago I showed this pair of photos in the newsletter and gushed about how much the sweet potato vines had grown in the intervening three days.  A few of you said “Really Beth?  Really? There’s hardly any difference.”

This photo was taken 16 days after the initial photo.  Now are you impressed??  We are.  Sweet potato vines are amazing. Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
(August 10/11, 2017; purple EOW, sun SMP)

Sweet corn, 10 ears
Muskmelon, 1 large or 2 small
Slicing cucumbers, ~4
Silver Slicer cucumbers, 1 – 2
Tomatoes, ~2.5 lb
Red pepper, 1
Green beans, ~0.5 lb
Green leaf lettuce
Walla Walla onion
Basil, 1 robust bunch

Next week’s box will probably contain melon, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, lettuce, beets, an herb, and more.

Sweet corn – This week’s variety is called “Vision”.  It’s the same variety we sent two weeks ago.
Muskmelons – We pick muskmelons at field-ripe stage. However, Steve says they will be even better if you let them ripen further on your counter for a day or two. Watch for a slight ‘give’ when you press the blossom end of the melon (opposite the stem end). Check for fragrance too.  Eat or refrigerate when fully ripe.
Cucumbers – Our second cucumber field is very productive!  We’re sending 4 slicing cucumbers (dark green) plus one or two ‘Silver Slicing” cukes.  These smaller, white cucumbers must have some pickle genetics, as they are thin skinned with excellent crunch.  We’ll continue to send these in small quantities each week, as long as we have them.
Tomatoes – Your bag contains a mix of slicing and plum tomatoes.  Storage: Tomatoes retain their best flavor and texture when stored at room temperature, no lower than 55oF.  However, you should refrigerate your tomatoes if they are fully ripe and you don’t expect to eat them right away.  It is better to sacrifice a little flavor and texture than lose your tomatoes to rot.  Also, fully-ripe tomatoes are less sensitive to chilling injury.
Red Pepper – Some sites get one red frying pepper, some sites get one red bell pepper.
Basil – We’re sending a bigger bunch that usual this week.  As usual, store it at room temperature with the cut ends in a jar of water.  If you don’t expect to use it quickly, you can chop and freeze it.  I usually mix with olive oil to help hold it together.


Slicing cucumber (green) and Silver Slicers cucumbers (white)

RECIPES

Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes to date.

LOCAL THYME RECIPES

RECIPES FROM LAUREN


MUSKMELON GAZPACHO
I never thought I could like gazpacho. A cold soup of pureed veggies? It sounded absolutely terrible to me. Then I had gazpacho with melon. Beth and Steve remember this transformative moment. It was a watermelon gazpacho I made for a dinner we had together. It was sweet, savory, bright and flavorful. It wasn’t just pureed vegetables. It was wonderful. This muskmelon gazpacho is equally interesting and even more simple. This is the kind of dish you can throw together quickly after a long day and feel refreshed. This is summer eating at it’s finest. Hope you enjoy!  Lauren.

Serves 4-6
Takes 50 minutes

1/2 head muskmelon, seeds removed
1 large cucumber, seeds removed
1 large red pepper, seeds removed
2 pounds extra ripe tomatoes, cored
1/2 Walla Walla onion
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil

    1. Roughly chop muskmelon (I just removed pieces with a spoon in odd shapes), cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes and onion. Place in a large bowl or stock pot along with salt and vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes.
    2. Add olive oil and process until 90% smooth. You can do this several ways: blender, food processor, immersion blender. I mashed it with a potato masher first and then used an immersion blender.
    3. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

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TOMATO & SWEET CORN PASTA SALAD
We have entered the land of peak summer produce. There are melons, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn and so much more. The harvests are heavy and the eating is easy. With yummy summer veggies like this it’s important to just keep things simple. This pasta salad is as versatile as it is quick to make. I love the combination of tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumber, onion and basil, but you could easily add any cherry tomatoes, broccoli, or peppers you have laying around. Feel free to also use half the amount of noodles if you like more veggies than noodles in your pasta salad. Hint: a noodle with more nooks and crannies equals a better pasta salad. I love fusilli and orechiette.  Lauren.

Serves 8-12 as a side
Takes 40 minutes

1 pound pasta
1 silver slicer
1/2 Walla Walla onion
1/2-1 pound tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
4 ears corn, husks removed
1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped

Dressing:
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon white wine or white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil on the stove over high heat. Once boiling, add pasta and cook to al dente according to package directions.
    2. While pasta cooks, prepare your dressing by whisking together all ingredients.
    3. Drain pasta in a colander and let sit for a minute to lose some of the water, then add to a large bowl. Add dressing to noodles while they’re still warm and toss to combine. Set aside.
    4. Refill stock pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add sweet corn and cook for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, chop your other veggies. Rinse corn under cold water to cool and then cut off kernels with a knife. Add cucumber, onion, tomatoes, corn and basil to bowl. Toss to combine.
    5. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.
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Experimental Farm Habitat, week #12

I set out to establish an experimental patch of prairie this year.  Interspersing natural areas among our fields is an important practice of organic farming.  Our farm has a lot of land that is not in crops, mostly grassy field roads and untilled hills planted to alfalfa.  However, much of it is not quality habitat.  The blooming species are limited and the hills are getting overgrown with introduced grasses.  We need to do better.  Our goal is to have a long season of flowers to support our bees and the beneficial insects that protect our crops.  They are important pieces of the puzzle of organic farming.

Hiring Kristen Knoener abetted my interest in prairie.  She has many years experience working for a prairie restoration company.  She and I talk endlessly about prairie.  Thank goodness she’s here because Steve will no longer discuss prairie with me.  He’s heard enough.

Most modern prairies are established with heavy herbicide use, especially if weeds are already present.  Read extension manuals and they say “it can’t be done without herbicides.”  This cannot be true!  I began reading last winter and discovered there’s belief among biologists that prairie can be established using just fire to suppress introduced weeds.  I joined the local Prairie Enthusiasts chapter and found they are experimenting with the same idea.  There are tricks, such as burning in late spring, an unusual time of year but effective against some difficult weeds.  It also helps if you keep your expectations low.

Last fall, I collected seed from friends’ land and nearby prairies.  This spring, we started 2000 prairie seedlings in our greenhouse, using the same techniques we use to grow our vegetable seedlings.  In early July, we burned a small strip at the edge of a fallow area.  Kristen and friends with burning experience came to show us how to do this properly.  We planted more seed using our vacuum seeder, the one Steve plants carrots with.  Finally, we transplanted our seedlings in mid-July.  The timing was perfect, sandwiched between two substantial rains.  The plants are already growing strongly.

Will this work?  We are using an unusual technique.  I plan to keep my expectations low and will be content if we achieve a long season of bloom even if mixed with weedy species.  It will not be picture-perfect prairie but that’s OK.  It will make our farm a healthier ecosystem and a prettier place to live.  Wish us luck!  Beth


Even weedy areas can support bees and other pollinators. Most of the blooming plants in this photo are introduced species that linger on the edges of our farm. This little flowering strip bisects our farm and stays in bloom for almost two months.  It buzzes with bees from nearby hives.


Kristin looks through the area we chose to work in. We seeded this field to alfalfa 15 years ago but grasses have crept in. It’s a daunting area. That’s why this is an experiment.



We burned the area in early July.  Top, Kristin’s friend Nate Gingerich carries a water can, I move the fire around with a rake and Steve checks the edge.  Bottom, Ari, Steve and Kristin clean up unburned patches.  Nate and John Ischner in background.


We added seed, using our expensive vacuum seeder.  We own many tools for growing vegetables and may as well use them for this project.


Mixed flats of greenhouse-grown prairie seedlings. 


Transplanting the seedlings.


Three weeks later, the seedlings have already grown a lot!  The alfalfa and grasses are growing back too (as expected).  We’ll try to manage those by mowing and burning again next spring.  


If you are interested in prairie restoration, this is a terrific book.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes (Aug 3/4, 2017, green EOW)

Treat this as an approximate list.  We’re not sure each box will have all the items.

Sweet corn, 9-10 ears
Green beans, ~0.9 lb
Broccoli, 1 or 2 heads
Tomatoes, 2 or 3
Frying OR bell pepper, 1
Cherry tomatoes, 1 pint
Zucchini/summer squash, 1
Salanova lettuce, 1 small
Red onion
Walla Walla onion
Garlic, 1 bulb
Italian basil, 1 husky sprig

Some sites get watermelon.
Some sites get muskmelon.

Next week’s box will probably contain melon, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onion and more.

Sweet corn – Be prepared to cut off the tips of your corn. Almost all the ears have damaged tips, from bugs or birds or rain driving water into the tip. Sorry about that. Just chop the tips off before you peel the ears.
Green beans – Our beans are unusually late this year because we lost the first planting during cool, damp weather in May.  Anyway, enjoy these first beans.
Tomatoes – You will get 2 or 3 plum or slicing tomatoes.
Salanova lettuce – The lettuce heads are small.  We harvest lettuce small this time of year, before they get bitter or too big to fit in the CSA boxes.  This is the ‘Salanova’ variety that falls apart into salad mix when you cut the head at the base.  
Onions – We’re sending two types of onions this week. They are easy to tell apart. Everyone receives a sweet Walla Walla onion, the type we have sent in recent boxes. Wallas are best used raw. We are also sending a red onion so you have an onion that will fry well. They are also good raw but are more pungent than Walla Wallas.
Garlic – This week’s organic garlic is from our friend John Hendrickson at Stone Circle Farm.

RECIPES

Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes to date.

RECIPES FROM LOCAL THYME

Comforting Classics
Melon Granita
High Summer Vegetable Soup
Spice Rubbed Chicken and Zucchini, Pepper and Onion Tacos with Chipotle Cream
Beef or Cashew Broccoli Stir Fry

Outside the Box Recipes
Chilled Melon Soup with White Wine and Basil
Green Beans with Caramelized Red Onions
Triple Chocolate Zucchini Dessert Muffins
Roasted Broccoli with Pancetta

Quick and Easy Meal
Chopped Salad with Basil Buttermilk Dressing

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

GRAIN SALAD WITH BROCCOLI, BEANS & BASIL
Also known as the grain salad I’ve been attempting to make my whole life adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe
After making this grain salad, I finally realized what I’ve been doing wrong all along. Not enough veggies. Too much quinoa. No dressing. With the perfect balance of crunchy veggies (some raw, some blanched), nuts, grains and herbs, this grain salad has changed my life and I can’t wait to make it again and again.  Lauren.

1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
3/4 pound beans, ends trimmed
1 head broccoli, roughly chopped into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup diced Walla Walla onion (about 1/4 of one onion)
1/2 cup shelled, toasted pistachios, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil (about 1/2 of the leaves from your sprig)2
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine, chapagne or rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or brown sugar)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a small sauce pan combine quinoa, water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minute until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  2. In a separate large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat with remaining salt. Once boiling, add beans and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let sit in the colander while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, blanched beans, broccoli, and Walla Walla onions.
  4. In a food processor, combine 2 tablespoons pistachios, basil, olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper. Process until dressing comes together. It should be pale yellow and very creamy. If you don’t have a food processor, you can whisk the ingredients together in a bowl. Just make sure you very finely chop the 2 tablespoons of pistachios first!
  5. Pour dressing over quinoa and veggies. Add remaining pistachios and stir until dressing coats everything evenly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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TOMATO & BASIL PIZZA
This is an attempt to recreate a pizza I had at Sal’s in Madison a few weeks ago that my husband and I dubbed the best pizza we’ve ever had. It’s not quite as good as the real thing (because I have yet to master a crust that good), but it’s darn close. I love the combination of sweet, salty, creamy, and spicy.  Lauren.

Takes 90 minutes (if making dough from scratch), 50 minutes with store-bought crust
Serves 4-6

1 batch favorite pizza dough, I used this recipe but wish I would have planned ahead and made this one a couple days in advance (it’s way better!)
1 head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 Italian fryer pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
15-20 pepperoni slices
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
15-20 basil leaves (about half sprig)

  1. Prepare dough if making from scratch. Leave to rise on the warm oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I always usually use the toaster oven for this step to avoid turning the whole oven on early).
  3. Cut the top off the garlic and remove any excess paper (the stuff around the cloves is fine but remove the paper surrounding the whole bulb). Set on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil slowly so it soaks into the garlic. Wrap the entire bulb in the aluminum foil and roast for 35 minutes until softened. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. Preheat broiler of oven.
  5. Drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan. Add Italian fryer and pint of cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 10-15 minutes until charred all over and tomatoes have burst. Let cool and then slice Italian fryer, scooping out seeds with a spoon when you get to the top.
  6. When the pizza dough is doubled in size, roll out to approximately 10×14-inches in size and transfer to a baking sheet. Spread ricotta over crust with a spatula. Sprinkle pizza with pepperoni, sliced onion, cherry tomatoes, sliced Italian fryer and red pepper flakes. Scoop garlic out of the skin with a spoon and place all over the pizza in dollops. Top with mozzarella. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, add basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and another sprinkle of Kosher salt. Bake 5-10 minutes longer until both the crust and cheese is golden brown.
  7. Serve hot with more red pepper flakes based on your desired heat level.
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Week #11, July 27 2017

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
(July 27/28, 2017, week #11, purple EOW and moon Sampler)

Sweet corn, ~6 ears
Green bell pepper, 1 small
Walla Walla onion
Cucumbers, ~2
Carrots, 2 lb
Kale, 1 bunch
Cherry tomatoes, 1 pint
Tomatoes, 2 or 3
Globe eggplant, ~1 lb
Red leaf lettuce
Zucchini/summer squash, ~2ct

Some sites get another cucumber.
Some sites get broccoli.
Some sites get another ear of corn.
Some sites get another pepper.

Next week’s box will contain sweet corn, melon, tomatoes, peppers, onions, broccoli and more.

Sweet corn Storage. Sweet corn is best when fresh, so we encourage you to eat it asap. Store in the refrigerator, in the husks if you have the room.
Cooking.  It is quicker to steam sweet corn than to boil it.
1.) Stand ears of corn upright in a tall pot. Put one inch of water in the pot.
2.) Bring the water to a boil. If the corn is cold when you begin cooking, steam for 5 – 6 minutes. If the corn starts at room temperature, steam for 4 – 5 minutes. The cooking time will vary somewhat depending on how many ears are in the pot. Pay attention to how the corn smells. The scent changes once the corn is ready. Another clue: water will bead on the corn until it is cooked. Don’t overcook it.
Globe eggplant – Storage – Eggplant will store unrefrigerated for 3 to 4 days on your kitchen counter. If you need to store longer, keep in the warmest part of your fridge.  Eggplant does not store well for long periods of time.  Both our cooks included eggplant in recipes this week.

RECIPES

Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes to date.

RECIPES FROM LOCAL THYME

Comforting Classics
Ratatouille Provençal
Beer, Ham and Cheese Chowder
Slow Roasted Kale Chips
Creamy Corn

Outside the Box Recipes
Eggplant and Meatball Tagliatelle 
Slow Roasted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt
Marinated Kale and Carrots with Quinoa
Fresh Tomato Pesto Pasta with Corn, Broccoli and Peppers

Quick and Easy Meal
Hummus, Cucumber, Tomato, Lettuce Wraps

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

SUMMERTIME GREEN CURRY

Serves 4-6
Takes 50 minutes

1 cup brown rice
1-1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 tablespoon butter
1-2 tablespoons green curry paste
1/2 Walla Walla onion, diced
1-inch ginger, peeled and minced
1 eggplant, quartered and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 13.5 -ounce can coconut milk
2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
Fish sauce, soy sauce or tamari, optional
Lime juice, optional

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, water and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to low. Cook for 45-50 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile begin your curry! In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add onion and ginger. Saute for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until onions are just beginning to brown and bottom of pan looks dry. Add eggplant, green pepper, broccoli and syrup. Cook for 5-10 minutes until vegetables soften.
  3. Add coconut milk and stock. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook gently for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve over rice with a splash of fish sauce, soy sauce or tamari as well as a generous squirt of lime juice.

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ZUCCHINI, SWEET CORN & TOMATO CAKE

Takes 1 hour
Serves 4-6

1 cup sliced tomato, about 1-2 tomatoes
3 cups sliced zucchini and summer squash, about 2 medium summer squash
1/2 Walla Walla onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sweet corn, removed from ear (no precooking necessary), about 2-3 ears
1-1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

400 degrees, 35 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prep you veggies. Start with the tomatoes, slice them and lay them on a paper towel or cloth with a pinch of salt to drain some of the juice out while you work on the other veggies.
  3. Combine cornmeal, sugar, salt, pepper and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl.
  4. Combine milk and butter in a small pan. Heat it over high heat until it just begins to simmer and then pour into bowl with cornmeal. Let it cool for a couple minutes, then add the eggs. Stir until well-combined and smooth, scraping down the sides a couple times with a spatula, and then add all the veggies. Fold in gently. It’s ok if they get beat up a little bit.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×9 square pan or 10-inch pie pan and smooth with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, add parmesan and bake 5-10 minutes longer until center is set. Serve warm.
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Week #10, July 20 2017

Farm News

It has been a very wet week for us, as for most of you.  We did not suffer damage in the thunderstorms and hope you didn’t either.  All our fields are wet so we’ve had to grab opportunities between storms to do our field work.  What else can we do??  We have to be ready for any window that opens.  A big concern with wet weather is disease.  If the weather dries for a few days, things will be fine.  If it keeps raining, we’re sure to see diseases developing.  Let’s hope for the best.  Beth


Maggie and others weed Brussels sprouts.  First harvest isn’t until October but we must keep them weeded.  The woman of mystery is Charlotte in her mosquito net shirt.


Here’s a job we can do when the fields are wet.  Charlotte and Kristen transplant ginger into our smallest greenhouse.  The ginger will also be ready to harvest in October.  This little house is one of my favorite places on the farm.  It’s small but tight enough to grow spinach for our family in winter.  



For the most part, our crops love the heat and moisture.  This is our sweet potato field, photographed three days apart.  Three days!

What does ‘OR’ mean?

Often our Veggie List includes something like “globe eggplant OR cherry tomatoes, etc.”  Sometimes our crops ripen in fits and starts, eg. eggplant and the first harvest of almost any crop. When there are small amounts, we split them up among the sites. We make sure that all boxes at a site are uniform.  That lets us deliver cherry tomatoes in future to the people who received eggplant this week, and vice versa.

When our list says “xxx OR yyy” please do not open CSA boxes searching for your preference. All the boxes at your site are the same. Take your box off the top of the stack. When you open other members’ boxes, their produce warms up. No one wants that. Thank you for your help.

I will be away next week, leaving July 22.

I am taking our teenagers to visit family. Please limit communication with us until Sunday 7/30/17.  Steve is staying home to take care of everything.  If there’s an urgent issue, call or send an email and Steve will help you.  However, he already has a lot on his plate.  I will check in remotely when possible.  Thank you!  Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
(Week #10; July 20/21, 2017; green EOW)

Caraflex cabbage
Swiss chard, 1 bunch
Carrots, 2 lb
Green bell &/or green frying peppers, ~4
Zucchini & summer squash, ~2 lb
Cucumber, 1
Walla Walla onion, 1 large
Flat parsley, 1 bunch

We have small amounts of several new crops, and your site might get one of these:
Broccoli OR cherry tomatoes OR globe eggplant OR a slicing tomato OR an extra cucumber.  

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet corn, some kind of greens, carrots (unless it rains too much!), peppers, zucchini & summer squash, cucumbers, onion and more.

Carrots – The first carrot harvest!  Refrigerate.  We bagged these soon after washing (without much time to drain) so you might need to swap your carrots into a drier bag.  Use your judgement.
Green peppers (sweet) – You’ll get green bell peppers (blocky) and/or a green frying pepper (long, slender).  Both types are sweet.  Frying peppers have lower moisture which makes them particularly suited to frying.  Other than frying, the two types can be used interchangeably in recipes.  A lot of the bell peppers this week happen to be small.  They’ll reach a more typical size soon.

RECIPES

Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes. Check June 29 for other cabbage and Swiss chard recipes.

RECIPES FROM LOCAL THYME

Comforting Classics
Seared Cabbage Persillade
Provençal Chard and Zucchini Omelet
Zucchini Parmesan
Bean and Cabbage Soup a Le Marche

Outside the Box Recipes
Parsley Salad
Swiss Chard Carrot Juice
Chocolate and Zucchini Cake 
Braised Cabbage with Prosciutto di Parma

Quick and Easy Meal
Laotian Charred Beef on a Bed of Cabbage

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

ALMOND-CRUSTED TROUT WITH RAINBOW CHARD & GRITS
Adapted from Bon Appetit
This recipe is adapted from a Bon Appetit favorite. The grits are tasty with any number of veggies thrown in. If you happen to have some garlic or jalapenos laying around, feel free to toss that in as well.
Now trust me when I tell you that the grits and chard are super simple to make. The only thing that makes this recipe tricky is the trout so I want you to know I am telling you right now, I won’t be offended if you skip the trout entirely. I also won’t be sad if you buy store bought ground almonds so you don’t have to grind them yourselves or if you skip the almonds altogether. It’s a fun recipe to make to completion if you have the extra 15 minutes to make the fish, but if you don’t, plain ol’ baked fish (any baked fish) will work just fine.  Lauren.

Serves 4-6
Takes 50 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch chard, ribs removed and sliced, leaves torn, divided
1/2 Walla Walla onion, diced
1 green pepper, bell or fryer will both work fine, diced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup grits (not instant) or cornmeal
2 cups water
2 cups whole milk (or substitute more water if you prefer)
1 cup whole, skin-on almonds (see note above)
1 large egg
1 pound trout filets, skin on (preferably rainbow trout from a fish market you trust)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced parsley

  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add chard stems, onion and pepper along with 1-1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and saute for 10 minutes until very fragrant.
  2. Add grits, water and milk. Bring to a very gentle boil, reduce heat to medium low and gently simmer, whisking every couple minutes for 20-25 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Puree almonds in a food processor until texture of course breadcrumbs. Place in a shallow dish and season with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  4. In a second shallow dish, whisk egg. Going filet by filet, dip skin side of filet into egg and then into almonds pressing down gently so almonds adhere. Place each filet on a plate (skin side up) and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
  5. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add filets, almond side down, to the pan (as many as fit without crowding (for me it was just one at a time). Press it down so things brown evenly. Cook for three minutes, flip and cook on the other side for an additional two minutes. Repeat with remaining filets, removing any burnt bits from the pan in between batches and adding oil as necessary.
  6. When fish are finished cooking but the pan is still hot (and has lingering pieces of almonds, oil and fish bits) toss in the torn chard. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Saute for 2-3 minutes until wilted.
  7. Just before serving, stir parsley into the grits.
  8. Serve grits in a bowl with sauted chard and fish.

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PICKLED CABBAGE SALAD
Borrowed from the incredible Smitten Kitchen
This is a Smitten Kitchen masterpiece just as simple to make as it is to eat. I’ve simplified it a bit but largely kept her original recipe. The marriage of cabbage, carrots and cucumbers is a match made in heaven. I’ve also had cabbage salads with red cabbage, cauliflower or pepper so feel free to toss any of these in the mix if you have them lying around.
As for how to eat this, it may be pickled (and perfect on top of some fried fish tacos) but this is no side dish. I love to just eat a big bowl of it for lunch. Light, bright and crunchy, it won’t way you down. It’s also great on the side of rich dishes or as a topping for grain bowls. The possibilities are endless for this yummy salad. Hope you enjoy!  Lauren.

Makes 5-6 cups
Takes 20 minutes (mostly chopping) + at least one hour to rest in the pickling liquid

Brine:
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
1-1/2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons Kosher salt

Salad:
1 head Caraflex cabbage, cored and shredded
2-3 carrots, peel and thinly slice or julienne
1 cucumber, quartered and sliced

  1. Combine all brine ingredients in a large measuring cup or medium bowl. Whisk so sugar is well-combined. Whisk a few times if sugar and salt are not coming together.
  2. Add cabbage, carrots and cucumber to a large bowl. Pour brine over vegetables, toss to combine and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for at least 1 hour (and up to 1 week). The longer it sits, the more pickled it becomes.
  3. Eat on its own or with everything!

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