Farm Newsletter

“To protest against injustice is the foundation of all our American democracy.”

Thurgood Marshall, US Supreme Court Justice
This captures how we feel.

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Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #3, June 4/5, 2020 (Th/Fr sites)
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

NOTE: Please work with us on the mushroom schedule.
We realize that the EOW/green group is getting two batches of mushrooms.  Six weeks ago, I made a mistake while harried with other worries.  In turn, I created trouble for our lovely mushroom suppliers Mary and Ed, so we have to take shiitakes this week instead of next week.  If we pack mushrooms again in fall, we’ll make sure they are delivered on an EOW/purple week.  Thank you.

Shiitake mushrooms, 8 oz
Asparagus, ~1/2 lb
Escarole
Amara kale, 1 bunch
Lettuce (red leaf or red Romaine)
White salad turnips, 1 bunch
Radishes, 1 bunch
Scallions, 1 bunch

Next week’s box will probably contain spinach, lettuce, white salad turnips, bok choy (maybe), scallions and more.

Shiitake mushrooms – These are from Hidden Valley Mushrooms, the same people who grow button mushrooms for us.  I love shiitakes cooked with spinach or other greens.  Shiitakes must be cooked.  A small subset of people can have a toxic reaction to raw or undercooked shiitakes.  Once cooked, they are harmless.  And tasty! Lightly sauté in butter and add to any dish.  We will use ours in a frittata, as well as sauteed and mixed into pasta salad.  Sauteed shiitakes and spinach are a great topping for rice bowls, e.g. bibimbap.
Storage, general: Refrigerate in a dry paper bag, but not in your crisper drawer with other vegetables, especially brassicas.  Do not cover the paper bag.  Mushrooms are perishable so use soon.
Storage, this week:  Check your mushroom bag as soon as you get home.  If the paper bag is wet, remove the shiitakes and put in a fresh, dry bag.  Our new liner bags trap water shed by our greens, eg kale, lettuce, turnip greens.  This is bad for mushrooms, so it’s worth a bit of attention when you get home.

Escarole (broad head of wavy green leaves) – This member of the chicory family can be eaten raw or cooked.  Its slightly bitter flavor is a good addition to mixed salads.  It is excellent cooked alone or mixed with other greens.  It cooks quickly, but not as quickly as spinach.  Cover and refrigerate.

Amara kale –  We’ve grown this variety just a few times and included it this spring for variety among cooking greens.  Here’s the seed catalog description: “While technically a mustard, Amara is known by several different names including Ethiopian kale, highland kale, Abyssinian mustard, and Texsel greens. The attractive, dark green leaves are tender, slightly savoyed with a wavy margin, and have an excellent rich flavor. Good in salads or as a cooked green.”  This stuff is pretty interesting. It has the texture of kale but the spiciness of mustard.  I’d say it’s about half as spicy as mustard greens.  The flavor is strong once cooked but quite good.
Use: Use like any kale or mustard green.  Eat the leaves and mid veins.  Discard the stems and petioles, which are too tough.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate.

White salad turnips (bunched white roots with green tops) – I know that returning members look forward to these sweet and delicious turnips, which taste nothing like the turnips that are harvested in fall.
– Storage: Cover and refrigerate.
– Uses: Both the turnip roots and tops are edible.  The roots are excellent raw; Slice and add to salads.  They can be cooked and are especially good when lightly sauteed in butter.  Stir as little as possible so they brown on at least one side.  The turnips greens are excellent cooked.  Treat them like mustard greens.
– Our favorite use:  Slice the roots very thinly and combine with a mixture of rice vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil.  Eat immediately or marinate.

Scallions (bundle of green onions) – These are useful raw or cooked.  Thinly-sliced raw scallions can be folded into biscuit dough or sprinkled on top of soups or salads.  Terrific garnish for pasta dishes.  Think pad thai. 

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Ethiopian Kale Caesar Salad
Braised Escarole and Radish with White Beans and Capers
Lettuce Wraps with Ground Pork, Shiitake, Radishes, Salad Turnips and Greens

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Black Eyed Pea and Two Greens Soup</a
Gulf Coast Gumbo Z’herbes
Early Summer Veggies Stewed with Roasted Red Chili Paste

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Teriyaki Beef, Shiitake and Asparagus Stir Fry

🥬

RECIPES FROM LAUREN



SPRING ROLLS (two ways!)
Two parts of this recipe are optional: 1) the sauce (this is just our favorite dipping sauce for spring rolls- feel free to find or use a favorite of your own!) and 2) the use of spring roll wrappers. I love a spring roll when I’m a little overwhelmed by the third head of CSA lettuce but with the prepping of vegetables and wrapping of delicate little pieces of rice paper, they can get a little frustrating. A spring roll salad (also pictured above) is a great easy alternative!
Serves 4-6.
Takes 20 minutes + time to wrap your spring rolls.

4 ounces rice noodles
1 head lettuce, washed and leaves torn apart
1 bunch radishes, cut into matchsticks
1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, divided
1/2 pound asparagus, shaved
2-3 avocados, optional
Spring roll wrappers, optional

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1-3 tablespoons water, as needed

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prep your veggies and get everything all together on a table or counter for easy assembly.
  3. Prepare your dipping sauce by combining all ingredients with half of the sliced scallions. If needed, add water to thin.
  4. Make your salad: Top lettuce with radishes, scallions, and shaved asparagus. Drizzle with sauce. Add salt to taste.
  5. Make your spring rolls: Submerge spring roll wrapper in water until pliable (but not super soggy/floppy). I typically fill a 9″ cake pan with an inch or so of water to easily do this. Place your spring roll wrapper on a plate and top with desired filling ingredients. I always put a bit of everything in along with a little of the dipping sauce. Wrap up like a burrito (or however you can get things contained). I usually tuck in either ends and then roll it closed. If this is too frustrating, opt for the salad option listed in step #4.

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ESCAROLE WITH SAUSAGE & WHITE BEANS
Adapted from Food Network

Serves 4-6
Takes 30 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork sausage
1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
8 ounces pasta
1 head escarole, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chicken soup base (or boullion)
15-ounce cannellini beans
1/2 cup – 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. In a large skillet (preferably cast-iron), heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook 5-10 minutes until well-browned and even a little crispy in places. Reduce heat to medium low, add scallions, and cook 5 minutes longer. You want them to also get a little crispy but not burn.
  2. On another burner, get a large pot of salted water boiling. When boiling, add noodles. Cook according to package directions then drain, reserve 1-1/2 cups of the pasta water for the sauce.
  3. Add escarole to skillet of sausage and scallions. Saute gently until wilted, about 5 minutes then add reserved pasta water, chicken soup base, and beans. Let simmer until reduced by half (5-8 more minutes). Add pasta along with the 1/2 cup of cheese and the red pepper flakes. Stir vigorously to incorporate all ingredients together. Add a little more water if you need to loosen the mixture.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings (and cheese) as desired.

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KALE WITH MUSTARD ROASTED TURNIPS & MUSHROOMS
Adapted from Grown & Gathered

Serves 2 for dinner, 4 as a side
Takes 1 hour

1/2 cup lentils (puy or brown will work best)
2 cups water (bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes (until tender but not mushy)
1 bunch turnips, greens removed for another use, roots quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounce shittakes, sliced
1 bunch Amara kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed
Kosher salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons mustard powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Turn on the convection if you have it.
  2. Prepare your lentils by combining lentils and water in a small pot with a pinch or two of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
  3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Toss turnips with half of the dressing on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, stir, and roast for an additional 10 minutes until beginning to brown. Some of the mustard may burn a little– just scrape it up and add it to the mixture.
  4. Meanwhile, combine garlic and shittake with the remaining dressing. Toss to coat. Add to turnips (after they have been roasting for the full 25 minutes) and roast an addition 15 minutes.
  5. Combine roasted turnips and mushrooms in a bowl with lentils and allow to cool slightly. Add mustard greens and toss to combine. Drizzle with additional olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste.

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Week #2; May 28/29, 2020


Transplanting zucchini on Friday night.

A round of applause

Let’s hear it for our incredible, hard-working crew.  The photo above was taken at 7:00pm on Friday, way past our usual 5:30 ending time.  Rain was coming, we were short-handed all week, and needed to get those zucchini plants in the ground.  Everyone stepped up, even while social distancing.  Powerhouse crew leader Maggie egged everyone on with speed competitions.  It was fun and got the job done, but we cannot end every week like this.  

Otherwise, I do not have anything coherent to report this week.  We are working so hard, figuring out new farm systems and getting your produce ready.  I will catch you up on farm news in a week or so.
Enjoy the produce this week.
Beth

June 1 checks

Many of you paid us with checks post-dated to June 1.  I plan to deposit the checks this coming week.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #2, May 28/29, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ sun

It’s another week for salad!  Please wash your greens and asparagus well, using the techniques we described in last week’s newsletter.  It rained a lot this week and rain splashes grit into asparagus tips and anything that forms a head (lettuce, bok choy).  

‘Goldrush’ potatoes, 3.3 lb
Asparagus, 0.9 lb
Romaine lettuce, 1 large
Bok choy, 1 medium
Spinach, 1 bunch
Arugula, 1 small bunch
Salad radishes, 1 bunch
Green garlic, 1 bunch
Rhubarb, 1.5 lb

Next week’s box will probably contain asparagus, lettuce, spinach, some kind(s) of greens, scallions and more.

See last week’s newsletter for storage and cooking information for these vegetables:
Asparagus, spinach, lettuce, arugula, salad radishes, green garlic, rhubarb

‘Goldrush’ russet potatoes – Please refrigerate these potatoes. They are in great shape now but will sprout within days if stored at room temperature. They’ve been stored all winter and want to grow. Store in a paper bag to protect from light, even in the fridge. We grow everything we send in our CSA boxes except potatoes and mushrooms and some asparagus, all of which we buy from organic growers that we trust.  We purchased these potatoes from Jesse Perkins at Vermont Valley Farm. ‘Goldrush’ are good all-around potatoes with outstanding flavor.  Jesse says the potatoes have a higher sugar content because of starch to sugar conversion during cold storage. The potatoes taste a bit sweet, and will blacken slightly when fried. It’s a harmless color change due to the sugar conversion.

Asparagus – This week’s asparagus is from our farm and from LOTFOTL Farm in Elkhorn, run by our friends Tim Huth and April Yuds.  Tim has planted an organic asparagus field larger than they need.  Our asparagus is less productive this year because of Japanese beetle attacks last summer.  We have the perfect joint solution; Karen, Kristin and Ben went down this week and harvested the asparagus, to deliver to you folks.  This week’s delivery is about half our crop and half LOTFOTL.

Romaine lettuce (upright head of lettuce with crisp leaves) – More sturdy and less fragile than our other spring lettuces.  Great for Caesar Salad or lettuce wraps.  If you’re intimidated by the amount of salad greens this week, Ceasar salad is a good option because it really shrinks a big head of lettuce and everyone will fight over the leftovers.  Poof, it’s gone.

Bok choy (large rosette with thick white stems and green leaves) – This Asian green is good for stir-frying or sautéing or in soup.  You can think of the stems and leaves as two separate vegetables.  The stems require longer cooking.  The leaves will cook almost as quickly as spinach.  Bok choy stores well, so feel free to pull off leaves as you need them, or use the whole head at once.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag or other container.

Rhubarb – If you are looking for rhubarb ideas, head over to our private Facebook group.  Wow, I am impressed with everyone’s creativity and energy, and not just with rhubarb.
Storage: Rhubarb is the easiest thing to freeze.  Wash, chop and pop it in a freezer bag.  That’s it; no need for blanching.  When baking muffins or cakes, just add the frozen rhubarb to the batter.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Pasta Salad with Feta, Asparagus and Arugula
Salmon with Bok Choy, Ginger, Garlic and Sesame
Garlicky Three Greens Soup

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Veggie Sauté with Bok Choy, Radishes and Asparagus
Soba, Pork and Bok Choy Stir Fry
Arugula, Radish Salad with Tuna

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meals
Lentil Soup with Rhubarb
Hot Pot with Tofu, Noodles, Spinach and Radish
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Recipes from Lauren


SPICY PORK TACOS WITH GREEN GARLIC CHIMICHURRI & RADISHES
Serves 4-6
Takes 15 minutes.

2-3 pounds pork shoulder, bone-in or out are both fine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12-ounce lager of your choice (does not need to be fancy; I usually keep a bunch of Miller Lite around for this purpose)
2 teaspoons favorite chili powder (the spicier the better)
1 bunch green garlic, white and pale green parts only, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
Tortillas
3-4 radishes, julienned
1/4 pound arugula, roughly chopped, optional
1-2 avocados, optional

  1. Season pork shoulder well with salt and pepper. Place in crock pot. Pour beer into crock pot and cover. Turn on low for 8 hours (longer is fine) or high for 4 hours.
  2. When you get home, remove the meat from the crock pot and allow it to cool while you make the chimichurri.
  3. Combine green garlic, vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt in food processor. Process until combined and finely chopped. Drizzle in olive oil with processor running until smooth.
  4. Shred the pork, toss it with chili powder and serve on tortillas with chimichurri and julienned radishes as well as arugula or avocado if using.

🌿

SHAVED ASPARAGUS, SPINACH & MUSHROOM QUICHE
One 9-inch quiche
Serves 4-6
Takes 1 hour if making crust from scratch (and if not made in advance)

1 cup cold water
2 sticks + 2 tablespoons butter, cold, divided
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
12 ounces button, cremini or shittake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 pound spinach, leaves torn or roughly chopped
1-1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 pound asparagus, shaved
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Now, let’s start your pie dough! Are you ready?! (If you used store-bought crust or have your own great pie dough recipe skip to step 5). Fill your liquid measuring cup with 1 cup cold water and place it in the freezer. Next get your butter out of the fridge and cut it into small cubes. Place it in the freezer until ready to use.
  3. Meanwhile, measure flour, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once or twice to combine. Add chilled cubes of butter and process for 10-15 seconds until butter is broken into smaller pieces. Drizzle in cold water while the processor is running, first 1/2 cup then a couple drops more. Let it keep processing for 10-15 seconds after you’ve added the water. Add a little more water if the dough isn’t coming together. It should form a ball in the processor. Immediately remove it from the food processor with a spatula, wrap in plastic and place in the freezer for 15 minutes while you slice your mushrooms, chop your spinach, shave your asparagus and grate your Parmesan. (If you made this in advance, it could be kept in the fridge and ready for you immediately).
  4. Remove the dough from the freezer, cut in half and roll out into a 14-inch circle. (The other half of the dough can be kept in the fridge about a week or just make a double batch!). Press the dough into a 9 or 10-inch pie pan, cover with foil and pie weights then bake for 15 minutes. If you are using a store-bought crust, follow package directions.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute for 5-10 minutes until just beginning to release their juices then add the spinach. Stir to combine and cover. Turn off the heat but leave pan on burner for five minutes just to steam the spinach. Add shaved asparagus along with remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then pour into pre-baked crust.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, cream and milk. Whisk until smooth then add Parmesan. Pour over asparagus mixture. Shake pan to even out the filling. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through.

🌿
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BEEF, POTATO & BOK CHOY BOWLS
Takes 40 minutes
Serves 2-4

4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound favorite steak (flat iron or skirt steak work great here)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1-1/2 pounds Gold potatoes
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 head bok choy, stems and leaves thinly sliced
Siracha mayo (recipe below), optional
Toasted sesame seeds, optional

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together first five ingredients. Set 1/3 of the mixture off to the side and pour the rest over steak. Let things marinate while you cook the veggies.
  2. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add two tablespoons until almost smoking and then add potatoes followed by 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Set the timer for 15 minutes and let those potatoes crisp up. You’ll want to use a metal spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan every 2-3 minutes or so.
  3. Remove the potatoes, reduce heat to medium low and heat an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet. Add mushrooms along with additional teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes until browned. Add bok choy and reserved marinade. Cook down until reduced slightly, about 3 more minutes.
  4. When everything is just about ready, cook the steak over a medium high grill until cooked to desired doneness.
  5. Serve steak, potatoes and bok choy mixture in a bowl with a drizzle of sriracha mayo and sesame seeds, if using. Add rice or another grain if desired.

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SRIRACHA MAYO

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 lime, squeezed

Combine together in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.

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First delivery!

Welcome to our CSA!  Deliveries begin this week for:
– Weekly members, and 
– Every-other-week/ green group
Go here to check the delivery schedule for other shares.

Things you need to know.

♦  We post this newsletter/blog each Wednesday night, with a list of veggies for the week, quantities, information about storage and preparation, news of the farm, recipes, and a forecast for the next week’s box.  We alert you by email on Wednesday night once the newsletter is posted and ready to read.
♦  Want earlier notice of what will be in the box?  Check the sidebar on our website homepage around 7 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday night.  I’ll post the list under “Box Contents.”  I also provide a tentative list for the following week in the Veggie List section of this newsletter.  The next week’s list is rarely complete but the items listed are ones we feel confident about.
♦  EOW, sampler and weekly members, we assume you read all the newsletters, even on your “off” weeks.  This newsletter (and our emails to you) are our means to communicate with you.
♦  The first few boxes of the season are often the lightest.  EOW members, do not worry that you have signed up for the wrong share!   Our deliveries get heavier and more abundant as the season progresses.
♦  Wash your produce well this week to remove grit.  It has rained a lot lately, driving grit into the asparagus and anything that forms a head (lettuce, arugula, spinach).  Our crew took extra care with washing but expect to wash everything.  You should always wash your produce!
♦  On Thursday, we deliver CSA boxes to Evansville, Fitchburg, Madison, McFarland, Middleton, Oregon and Verona.
♦  On Friday, we deliver CSA boxes to Brookfield, Janesville, Mequon, Milwaukee, Waukesha and Wauwatosa.

Mushroom experiment

We are experimenting with paper bags this year, instead of foam trays.  We arranged this in winter with Mary from Hidden Valley Mushrooms, our mushroom supplier, as part of an ongoing effort to switch from plastic to paper.  Now our plastic liner bags dwarf these efforts.  Sigh.  Anyway, you are part of the experiment.  We think you should keep the mushrooms in the paper bag, but cover it with a plastic bag to reduce moisture loss.  Handle as little as possible to avoid bruising.  I am curious how well they hold up for you.  After eating them, tell us your experience.

How to wash greens efficiently and to maximize storage life

Everything needs careful washing this week.  All the rain splashed grit into the lettuce, escarole, etc.  Here’s our approach.  It works.
1.  We have one kitchen sink so we use a 4 gallon Rubbermaid basin.  Fill halfway with cold tap water.  If you have two sinks, fill one sink partway with cold water.
2.  Chop your lettuce, spinach, escarole or other green to the size you wish.
3.  Dump it into the water and swish around gently but thoroughly.
4.  Working in two batches (for average lettuce head) or more batches (big spinach bunches, Romaine), pull handfuls out of the water and drain in the basket of a salad spinner.
5.  After all the greens have been rinsed one time, dump the water.  Rinse the basin and refill with cold tap water.
6.  Repeat the process.
7.  Spin your greens dry and store in a dry container.  They store much longer when spun dry.

This works because …
– pre-chopping the greens frees soil trapped in the head.
– the large amount of water washes and dilutes away the grit.
– By pulling the greens out of the water, you take advantage of the draining action to pull the grit with it.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
May 21/21, 2020 (Th/Fri sites)

Overall, quality of the produce is very nice, with a few caveats.  The greens have grown beautifully in the cool weather.  Notice how dense and tender your lettuce head is, and how lush and thick the spinach.  However, many crops show silvering on a few leaves.  Most of this is frost-damage, even on crops that were sheltered under row cover during recent cold nights.

Spinach, 1 big bunch
Green leaf lettuce
Arugula, 1 bunch
Button mushrooms, 12 oz.
Salad radishes, 1 bunch
Asparagus, ~1/4 lb
Green garlic, 1 bunch
Rhubarb, 1.5 lb

Next week’s box will probably contain spinach, lettuce, potatoes, asparagus, radishes, rhubarb and more.

Lettuce and spinach – Wash your greens to remove grit splashed into the heads by rain.  Cut to the size you like, submerge in water, swish gently, then pull from the water and drain in a colander.  Some weeks, you will need to repeat in fresh water.  I find it useful to use a kitchen tub for this job, so you don’t have to run an entire sink of water.
Storage hint – To extend the storage life of your tender greens, wash them, dry in a salad spinner, then store in a dry container or bag.  Lettuce, spinach and arugula last much longer when handled this way.

Arugula – (bunch of green leaves with pungent scent) – This is a spring treat!  Arugula is good mixed with lettuce or spinach in salads, or added to cooked dishes such as lasagne or quiche.  I love it on sandwiches.  This arugula is thin-leaved and tender and will not store for long.  Eat soon.  Cover and refrigerate.

Button mushrooms – These are from Hidden Valley Mushrooms in the WI Dells. As mentioned above, this is the first time we’ve delivered button mushrooms in paper bags. We suggest that you cover the entire paper bag with a plastic bag.

Salad radishes – These are so good right now; tender, crisp and not too spicy.  They are great in salads or thinly sliced on sandwiches.  A few years ago, I was served open-faced radish and butter sandwiches on toast and was impressed with how tasty they were.  Use good quality butter.
Storage: cover and refrigerate.

Asparagus – Asparagus has grown very slowly this week, following frost and cold nights.  There’s more to come in the next few weeks!  It’s a small amount this week, but let’s discuss how to use it well, for this week and future deliveries.
Prep: Wash your asparagus thoroughly to remove hidden grit.  Submerge in water with the tips pointing down, soak briefly, then swish vigorously and pull out of the water.  The draining action helps pull the grit out of the asparagus tips.  Repeat several times.
Storage: Asparagus is perishable, so eat it as soon as possible.  Store in a paper towel, cloth or paper bag, then wrap loosely in a plastic bag.  The paper bag protects the asparagus tips from direct contact with the plastic bag.  The plastic bag keeps the asparagus from wilting.
Preparation: We snap our asparagus at harvest, rather than cutting.  Therefore, there is no need to snap the stalks to remove fibrous ends.  For the same reason, it is not necessary to peel the asparagus stalks.  It’s OK to trim the cut end a bit.
Cooking:  If your asparagus stalks vary greatly in size, you will want to cook the thicker ones longer.  Put an empty steamer pot over water, and bring the water to a boil.  Add the asparagus.  Cover and steam over medium heat until just tender.  Use two forks or a spatula to turn the asparagus during cooking, rotating the bottom spears to the top.  Drain and serve.  Alternatively, you can lay spears flat in the bottom of a broad pan, with ½ inch of water.  Also excellent broiled or grilled.  Good dressed with vinaigrette, or with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Green garlic (looks like scallions, tastes like garlic) – Last fall, we planted garlic cloves that grew into the stalks we harvested this week.  If left to grow until mid-summer, the slim white bulb on this week’s garlic will divide and form the usual cluster of cloves in a garlic bulb.  This year’s green garlic is robust.
Preparation: Green garlic is more pungent than scallions, so slice thinly and use sparingly when raw.  It mellows when cooked.  Chop and add to any cooked dish that would benefit from garlic.  Use the white bulbs and pale green stems.  Avoid the dark green stems and leaves, as these are fibrous.

Rhubarb – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  FYI, 2 lb of rhubarb yields 6 – 6.5 cups when chopped.
Stewed rhubarb:  This is the simplest way to prepare rhubarb.  Chop rhubarb into one inch chunks.  Stir over medium heat with a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan.  The rhubarb will release moisture as it cooks.  Stew until it softens and falls apart.  Sweeten to taste with honey or sugar.  Eat warm on its own, over vanilla ice cream, on pancakes, etc.

Recipes from Local Thyme

Comforting Classics
Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Pappardelle Florentine
Gingered Rhubarbade
Outside the Box Recipes
Spinach, Radish,
Mushroom, Asparagus Salad with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Curried Spinach and Apples
Rhubarb Bread with Almonds and Orange Zest
🥬

RECIPES FROM LAUREN


SPRING HARVEST GRAIN SALAD

Serves 4-8 depending on whether it’s a meal or a side
Takes 30 minutes

1 cup quinoa
1-1/4 cup beef broth
1/3 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (spears halved if larger)
2 tablespoons butter
12 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
2 green garlic stalks, white and pale green portions only, minced
1/2 cup (or more) arugula
1 cup (or more) spinach
1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
1-3 avocados, optional
Extra sliced green garlic, optional

  1. This first step is my fool-proof method for making quinoa (learned from I am a Food Blog). If you have your own tried and true method, feel free to do that instead and ignore this first step. Rinse your quinoa is a fine-mesh strainer. Add to a medium saucepan and toast over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant but way before it begins to burn. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the burner and leave the cover on for 5 minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, steam your asparagus for 5 minutes until just tender (but still crisp). I don’t have a steamer so I put a metal colander with handles in a stock pot and cover it to get that steamed effect.
  3. Then in that same stock pot (if you used one), drain the asparagus water and melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and minced green garlic. Saute for 7 minutes until mushrooms begin to release their juices and are cooked but not too soft.
  4. Combine your quinoa, asparagus, mushrooms, and green garlic together in a large bowl.
  5. Cut your greens into a delicate chiffonade (roll a stack of leaves and slice them thinly; then roughly chop the thin strands of greens) and add them to your bowl.
  6. In a small bowl combine oils, vinegar, tamari and maple syrup. Whisk until smooth. Pour over salad and stir to combine. Serve right away or chill before eating. Serve with avocado slices (or cubes) and extra green garlic on top, if using.

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🌿

RHUBARB HAND PIES
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

Makes 20-30 (depending on  the size you make)
Takes 2 hours (30 minutes inactive)

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2-3/4 cup ice cold water
4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest, optional
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, optional
4 ounces cream cheese
1 egg, whisked
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

  1. Cut your butter into small cubes and place in freezer while you collect the rest of your pie ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt. Fill a measuring cup with 1/2 cup of cold water and add 3-4 ice cubes. Set aside.
  3. Remove your butter from the freezer and add to flour mixture. Use a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers to incorporate the butter and break it into small pieces. You are looking for a crumbly mixture with butter pieces no larger than the size of green pea. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t warm. Drizzle in cold water, stir to incorporate and then knead together gently with your hands. If the dough isn’t coming together, add a little more water to your ice cube measuring cup (to quickly chill it) and then add to your pie dough. A dry dough is better than a wet dough, but you do need the mixture to fully come together.
  4. Break the pie dough into two discs, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  5. In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb and remaining sugar over medium low heat. Reduce down for 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to ensure the mixture is not sticking. Remove from heat and add lemon zest and juice. If you don’t have a fresh lemon, just skip the lemon.
  6. Pour the rhubarb mixture in a small bowl and place in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes. Leave in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. When ready to bake your pies, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Flour your counter well and remove one disc of pie dough from the fridge. Sprinkle pie dough with more flour and roll out it out thinly (about 1/8 inch thick). Use a biscuit cutter or upside down glass to cut out the pie dough into small circles or squares. Use something between 2-1/2 or 3-inches in circumference. Use a knife to mark half of the circles with a small X.
  9. Cut your cream cheese into 1 x 1-inch squares that are about 1/4-inch thick. Don’t worry about getting too exact. What you really want is to divide the cream cheese evenly(ish) so you have enough for each of your hand pies. If you go to big and wind up using 6 ounces of cream cheese instead of 4, or run out and have some handpies without cream cheese, it is totally fine.
  10. Place a cream cheese piece on half of the dough circles (the ones WITHOUT the X’es). Remove the rhubarb mixture from the fridge and top the cream cheese with a tablespoon(ish) of rhubarb mixture (more if making larger pies, less if using smaller ones). Place the remaining circles of pie dough (the ones with the X’es) on top of the rhubarb (making a little pie sandwich). Use a fork to seal up the pies.
  11. Brush each pie with egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (regular sugar will also work fine). Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Repeat process with remaining pie dough, cream cheese and rhubarb mixture.

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🌱

SIMPLE SPRING SALAD

Serves 2-4
Takes 20 minutes

1 bunch radishes
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 head lettuce, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup toasted pistachios, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Flaky sea salt, optional

  1. Remove the greens from your radishes and trim the ends. Thinly slice half of the radishes and quarter the rest. Toss in a small bowl with salt and lemon juice. Gently massage to incorporate the salt and lemon into the radishes. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Wash and roughly chop the lettuce and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with  half the pistachios and Parmesan, and then drizzle with half the olive oil. Top with the marinated radishes and all their liquid. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil then sprinkle with the remaining pistachios and Parmesan. Finish with a little flaky sea salt.

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Sending love now, spinach in May


Greenhouse #1 is almost full with bok choy, scallions, onions, two plantings of lettuce and spinach, greens and more.  

Here’s a message we sent to our members yesterday.

Hello folks,
We have been thinking about all of you, and hope you are safe and well during these scary times.  Many of you have asked for CSA updates.

We are proceeding full speed ahead with the 2020 farming season.  This is the most important work we can do right now.  We expect to begin CSA deliveries in mid-to-late May, as usual, and will announce the delivery schedule in early May.

We have spent the last few years developing our food safety program, so we’ve thought about (and prepared for) how to keep the farm clean and disinfected.  We are closely following the CDC’s information, and will adapt our deliveries to match their recommendations.  We’ve got two months to hammer out the details.  We’ll keep you posted as we determine what changes are needed.

In the meantime, our greenhouses are filling and the perennial crops are awakening outdoors.  We hope you can find a bit of peace in knowing that local food will be available.  We’ll be thinking of all of you, and hope you stay healthy.  Feel free to contact us if you have questions of any kind.

Beth and Steve

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Storage Share, Nov. 21/22, 2019


We ended the season with all our equipment covered in mud, including this very muddy carrot harvester.


Steve takes our irrigator to overwinter in the neighbor’s shed.  It didn’t get much use this year.

Our season is DONE.  Often, we’re still harvesting in November but the cold weather ended our outdoor work.  We are very grateful for the recent warm-up.  It makes everything easier, including getting this Storage Share ready.  The warmer weather has given us a chance to clean equipment before putting it away in storage until spring.  We worried that we’d have to put everything away covered in mud.    

Now we look forward to winter, with lots of cooking, ice skating and skiing (we hope!) before planning next season.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Beth & Steve

Storage Share this week

DSCF8942-2 storage 2 boxes
Take one box labelled “A” and one box labelled “B”.

Things you need to know about your winter share

* Your delivery will consist of two different boxes, labeled “A” and “B”.  Take one “A” box and one “B” box.  The boxes contain different vegetables.
* Please pick up your boxes on the day of delivery, during the normal hours for your site.
* Outpost members, pick up your boxes on Friday.  This is the busiest weekend of the year for the Outpost staff, so they WILL NOT hold boxes past Friday, nor can they handle special requests.
* Members at unheated sites, please replace the blankets carefully.  That keeps everyone’s produce in good shape.
* Bring lots of bags to take your produce home.  It’s a lot of produce!

Veggie List and Storage Info (Storage share, Nov. 21/22, 2019)

We hope you enjoy this shipment of veggies.  Strategize to use them well, as some will last longer than others. 
* These are the most perishable vegetables: kale, the green parts of the leeks
* These are the next-most perishable: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, the white parts of the leeks, and onions.  Keep an eye on your butternut, potatoes and sweet potatoes.  The last two are susceptible to drying out.  Expect the largest butternuts to last the longest.
* These will last the longest: daikon radish, beets, carrots, celeriac, garlic, parsnips.

Box “A”
Refrigerate everything in this box.

Beets, 3 lb
Brussels sprouts, on stalks
Carrots, 6 lb total
….. orange ~4 lb
….. yellow & purple ~2 lb
Celeriac, 1
Daikon winter radishes, several
Green cabbage, 1 medium or 2 small
Kale “garnish”
Leeks, ~3 lb
Parsnips, ~3 lb

Box “B”
The Brussels sprouts need refrigeration.  Everything else in this box can be stored cool or at room temperature.  See notes below for more detail.

One more Brussels sprouts stalk
Butternut squash, 9 – 10 lb
Garlic, 3 bulbs
Onions, 5 lb total
….. ~1 lb red
….. ~4 lb yellow
Potatoes, russet, 5 lb
Potatoes, Satina, 5 lb
Shallots, 2
Sweet potatoes, ~10 lb

Beets – Refrigerate in a bag or container.  Beets will store for two months or longer.

Brussels sprouts – Pluck from stalks and refrigerate in a bag or container.  Do this the day you pick up your CSA boxes.  Eat within 2 to 3 weeks.

Butternut winter squash –  You will receive ~9 lbs of squash.  Store your butternut in a cool, dry place.  60 F is ideal.  Do not put in a plastic bag.  Expect the largest butternuts to store the longest.  Inspect your squash frequently and cook promptly if you see any soft spots developing.  You can cook, mash and freeze the squash for future use.  I find that you can refrigerate cut raw squash for up to one week.  This runs counter to the accepted way to store squash, but is useful if you want to cook just half a squash.  Try microwaving your squash for one to two minutes before cutting or peeling.  This softens the squash and makes a large butternut easier to handle.

Cabbage – Refrigerate.

Carrots, orange.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Will keep for several weeks.
Carrots, yellow & purple.  These varieties are pretty AND they taste good.

Celeriac – Will store for months in your fridge.  Cut off chunks as needed.  Peel before using.  I find it easiest to cut the celeriac into flat slices, then peel.

Daikon radishes (oblong, white or purple) – Refrigerate.  The interior color of the purple ones is lovely.  Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads.  We enjoy grated carrot and daikon salads all winter.

Garlic –  Store at room temperature.

Kale – It is tiny.  We rarely send something so small.  However, that was the last thing our crew harvested on a cold, dim, muddy day.  They were so proud of what they accomplished that now we have to use it.  Tuck it in a dish or use it as a garnish.  The crew brainstormed and they think it would make a great corsage for the Thanksgiving cook in your household.  Storage: Refrigerate and use soon.

Leeks.  The bottoms (white part) will store longer than the tops (green and pale-green parts).  We suggest that you cut off and use the tops first.  It’s unconventional but you’ll be able to store the bottoms for longer.  In general, leeks are not a long-storage crop.  You may need to strip off one or two outer leaves to freshen the leeks before you cook them.

Onions: Refrigerate or store in a cool, dark spot and protect from light.  Exposure to light stimulates sprouting.  If you have the room, it’s safer to store the onions in the refrigerator.  After the wet fall, they might not last as long as usual.

Parsnips (These look like large white carrots.) – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Parsnips will store for several months but will darken in color.  That is a harmless change.

Potatoes; russets and Satinas – Can be stored at room temperature or in a cool spot, but must be kept in the dark so they do not turn green.  A cloth or loose plastic bag draped over the paper bag will slow moisture loss, but do not close the plastic bag.  Both types will store longer if kept cool.  Around 40 – 50 F is ideal.  The potatoes were grown by the Igl family near Antigo.
Russets– We got the big ‘baking’ grade so you have nice bakers for Thanksgiving.  Excellent for baked or mashed potatoes.
Satinas– These are good all-purpose potatoes, everything from roasted to potato salad.  I really like this variety of yellow potato because they oven-roast so well and because they are less sweet than other yellow varieties such as Yukon Golds.

Shallots (look like small red onions) – Good for salad dressing.

Sweet potatoes – These are the Covington variety, with excellent flavor and sweetness.  Store at room temperature, no lower than 55 F, but 60+ F is better.  Keep them on your kitchen counter where it’s easy to keep an eye on them.  I like to keep ours in a paper bag so they don’t dehydrate.  Cook promptly if they start to soften.  The roots come in a wide ranges of sizes and all are good.

Recipe Ideas

I will not try to sway your Thanksgiving menus.  I bet you have your dishes chosen, perhaps based on family tradition.  However, this is a great time of year to gather recipes to enjoy all winter.  You should peruse online cooking sites while they are feature Thanksgiving menus, many of which are suited to your Storage share vegetables.  Bookmark the recipes soon; Thanksgiving collections are taken down quickly after the holiday.  I have a huge list of recipes bookmarked to delve into this winter.


One small corner of Food52’s Thanksgiving Menu Maker.

♦ Once again, the lively Food52.com site has outdone itself with a fantastic Thanksgiving recipe collection.  They call it their “AutoMagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker“.  It’s organized by type of dish, e.g.
.  “Gratins; Lots of creamy layers,” and
.  “Veggie Packed Stuffing; Bring on the fall bounty”, and
.  “Nothing but Brussels sprouts; Reporting for Thanksgiving Duty.”  
Section #6 (“Orange Sides”) is extensive.  I’m gathering a suite of recipes to try this winter.  First stop will be “The Absolute Best—& Worst—Way to Make Mashed Potatoes, According to So Many Tests.”  The tag line is “I spent 14 hours alone with only potatoes, and I did it for you.”  Yes, they are amusing.
♦ Smitten Kitchen is our go-to site for dessert recipes but has excellent veggie recipes too.  You can follow her Thanksgiving preparations or go straight to an amazing list of Thanksgiving recipes from previous years.  I’m itching to try her Roasted Cabbage with Walnuts and Parmesan recipe.  
♦ The Dishing Up the Dirt site doesn’t have a specific Thanksgiving section, but many of her recipes are tailored to Storage share produce.
Halfbaked Harvest has appealing dinner and salad ideas, and gorgeous food photos.
♦ Finally, remember that we can use Local Thyme recipes all winter.  Check them out for Thanksgiving ideas.

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