Farm Newsletter

Week #13; Garlic harvest!

We have a beautiful crop of garlic this year.  The bulbs need to dry for a few weeks, then we’ll start packing them in the CSA boxes.


Above, Steve loosens the garlic with our imported undercutter, the new tool I wrote about last month.  I rolled my eyes when he suggested it for this job but it worked amazingly well.  In the photo above, he has already undercut the bed of garlic.  The undercutter lifted the plants up enough to loosen them, then dropped them back in place, still standing upright.  We pull the garlic by hand when the ground is moist but (at that moment) it was too dry.  This was an excellent moment to use the undercutter instead of digging the garlic up with shovels.


 Above, Karen lays harvested garlic in shallow piles.  Our barn loft stays very dry, a good place to cure the garlic.


It looks like we standing on the floor but we’re actually five feet in the air, standing on overturned wooden bins.  We store carrots and other roots in these bins in winter.  They are empty right now, a great surface to spread the garlic.  The bins have slatted sides, so air circulates through them.


We ran out of room in the barn and filled some empty benches in the greenhouse.  The friend who grew half our garlic in past years has retired from farming, so we planted much more than usual this year.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #13, August 15/16, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ moon

Sweet corn, 9 or 10 ears
Muskmelon, green or orange
Yellow or green beans, 1/3 lb
Tomatoes, mixed slicing & plum, ~ 2.5 lb total
Pepper, 2 red or green, bell or fryers
Cucumbers, ~2
Walla Walla onion
Red onion
Parsley, 1 bunch
Basil, 1 small sprig
Jalapeno chile (HOT), 1
Some sites get a Silver Slicer cuke OR orange snack pepper (Oranos)

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


Ripe (top) and less ripe tomatoes (bottom).

Tomatoes – As usual, we pack a mix of ripe and less-ripe tomatoes so you can stretch them through the week. The top tomatoes in the photo are ready to eat. The bottom tomatoes can ripen at room temperature for a few days.  Put on your counter or keep in a brown paper bag.
Storage: Tomatoes retain their best flavor and texture when stored at room temperature, no lower than 55 F.  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.

Sweet corn – There are not many caterpillars at the tips this week.  Nonetheless, if you are squeamish about bugs, I suggest that you cut off (and discard) the tips of the ears before you husk them.  That way, you can avoid seeing the bugs.

Muskmelon – Everyone gets either a green or an orange muskmelon.  The green variety is new and unusual but tastes like a typical orange melon.  Both types have the typical netted exterior.  Storage: Some are ripe and ready to eat.  Some need to ripen a day or two on your kitchen counter.  Keep at room temperature but refrigerate if not eaten within 2 – 3 days.

Jalapeno chiles – These are hot.  

Cucumbers – We now have both normal and Silver Slicer cucumbers to share.  We’ll scatter the Silver Slicers among the boxes as they are ready.  They are medium-sized white cucumbers with thin skins.  They can be used interchangeably with slicing cucumbers in recipes, or mixed together.  However, their best use is as a snack.  Hand these to the kids on the ride home from picking up your CSA box.  There’s no need to peel them.  As usual, store all types of cucumbers in the warmest part of your fridge.


Some sites get slicing cucumbers (top).  Some sites get a mix of slicing cucumbers and ‘Silver Slicer’ cukes (bottom).


Everyone gets a green or orange muskmelon.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Tomato Gazpacho with a Kick and Polenta Croutons
Grill Blistered Italian Frying Pepper Salad
Tuscan Rigatoni with Tomatoes and Pancetta
Velvet Chicken and Corn Soup

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Quinoa Tabbouleh with Corn
Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
Spicy Chicken Paella
Mustardy Grilled Corn and Sausage Kebabs

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Spiced Shrimp with Corn Cakes

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

SWEET CORN FRITTERS
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Takes 30 minutes.
Serves 2-4.

1 green frying or bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarters
1 jalapeno, seeded, cut in half
1/2 Walla Walla, roughly chopped
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sweet corn kernals (not cooked!)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
Basil Yogurt Sauce (recipe below)
Hot sauce, optional
Diced tomatoes, optional
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided

  1. In a food processor combine peppers and onion. Process until finely chopped. Add flour, eggs, parmesan, salt and pepper. Process until eggs are fully incorporated. Add corn and pulse 3-4 times until uniformly mixed throughout.
  2. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Warm a tablespoon of oil for about 5 minutes. When the pan is quite hot and the oil is glistening, add a scant 1/4 cup of batter to the pan. You should have room for 3-4 fritters at a time. Fry for 4 minutes per side and until nicely browned. Set on paper towels so that most of the oil drains off. Continue cooking until you get through all your batter, adding more oil when the pan gets dry and adjusting the temperature as needed.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce.
  4. Serve 4-5 fritters on a plate with a heafty dollop of sauce, some hot sauce and diced tomatoes.

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Basil Yogurt Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small spring basil, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Few grinds fresh black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to combine.

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HEAPED HUMMUS
Adapted from the amazing Smitten Kitchen
Below you will find links to my favorite simple hummus and pita recipes. You absolutely can make them from scratch. I have. It can be very fun if you have the time, but it’s also really fun to get a vat of incredible hummus and pile of pita from a great Mediterranean restaurant (like Banzo in Madison), whip up this quick salad, and pour it on top of the hummus for a very simple, very affordable, very fresh dinner.  Do not feel like you need to avoid making life easy.
Also, if you still have any eggplant left in your box from last week, feel free to chop that into large chunks and toss it with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and roast it for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve on the side of your heaped hummus plate. It will pair beautifully.

Serves 8-12 (as a snack) or 4-6 (as a meal).
Takes 20 minutes (if just making the salad) or 2 hours if making hummus and pita from scratch.

3-4 cups diced tomatoes
2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, diced
1 red fryer, diced
1/2 cup diced parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drilling
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 batch ethereally smooth hummus, preferably at room temperature
1 batch whole wheat pita, cut into triangles

  1. In a large bowl, combine all veggies with parsley, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Stir well, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  2. Prepare you hummus and then spread it out (or maybe 1/3 of it out if not serving all 8-12 people at once) on a large platter. Using a slotted spoon, heap hummus with veggies placing them on top and in the center (so some hummus is still visible on all sides). Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy with pita triangles!

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Week #12

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #12
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

2 – 2.5 lb tomatoes, mostly slicers + some plums
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1.6 lb beets
2 – 3 cucumbers, green or Silver Slicer
3 – 4 zucchini/ squash
2 green + 1 purple bell peppers
Walla Walla onion
red onion
a red or yellow watermelon
a yummy Korean melon, crisp and sweet
1 nice bunch basil

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

Tomatoes – Tomatoes fare best if stored at room temperature, in a paper bag or laid on a plate with the shoulders down. We send a mix of ripe and ready to eat, as well as a few that are slightly less ripe. This helps extend your tomatoes through the week.
Watermelon – Can be stored at room temperature. Refrigerate once cut.
Korean melon (yellow, oblong) – These unusual melons are sweet and crisp, reminiscent of a good honeydew. This new variety ‘Torpedo’ is an improvement over last year’s Korean melons. They are ready to eat. OK to store at room temperature for up to three days (they will continue to ripen). Refrigerate once cut.
Red onion – This week’s red onions sunburned while curing in the field last weekend. We can’t throw these beautiful onions away. Please cut off the flat , sunburned area before using; the rest of the onion is in good shape. Refrigerate and use soon. We don’t know if storage is affected.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Sweet Zucchini Pickles
Spice Rubbed Chicken and Zucchini, Pepper and Onion Tacos with Chipotle Cream
Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya
Bruschetta with Beets and Goat Cheese

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Zucchini Brownies with Chocolate Chips
West Indian Kebabs
Hoppin John
Jade Rice Bowl with Grilled Beets, Pork Tenderloin and Feta in a Stone Ground Mustard Vinaigrette

LOCAL THYME/ Quick and Easy Meal
Cherry Tomato Pasta Puttanesca

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

ZUCCHINI & BURST TOMATO PIE
Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Takes 1 hour, 30 minutes
Serves 6

2-3 cored and sliced tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups zucchini, cut into thick matchsticks
1 red onion, diced
1 green or purple pepper, diced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
7 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 or 10-inch pie plate with butter. Line the bottom and sides of the pie plate with sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil, zucchini, onion, pepper, salt, oregano and thyme. Saute for 5 minutes until zucchini is just beginning to get soft. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are bursting, about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, flour, basil, pepper and another pinch of salt until combined. Add in the tomato zucchini mixture and remaining 1/2 cup grated cheese. Toss it together well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan with tomatoes and cheese.
  4. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the center isn’t jiggling and the top is golden. Remove and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve warm.

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RAW BEET & CUCUMBER SALAD

Takes 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

2 pounds beets, peeled and very thinly sliced (ideally on a mandoline)
1 Walla Walla onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 cucumbers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-2 avocados, cubed, optional

  1. In a medium bowl, combine beets, onion, vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Toss to combine and leave to sit for at least 20 minutes to lightly pickle.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler and peel strips of skin away from each cucumber so it has kind of a striped pattern. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut into 1/4-inch slices and place into large bowl.
  3. Right before serving, use a slotted spoon to remove beets and onions from pickling liquid and add to cucumbers. Toss gently and then drizzle the whole thing with two tablespoons olive oil, a tablespoon of the pickling liquid, red pepper flakes, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Toss again and then add avocado, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. It may need more vinegar, oil, salt or maple syrup according to your preference.

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Week #11

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #11, August 1/2, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ sun

Quantities might not be exact.
sweet corn ~9 ears
green beans ~1 lb
carrots 2 lb
red Summercrisp lettuce
eggplant 1 or 2
cucumbers 3
Silver Slicer white cucumber 1
muskmelon
Walla Walla onion
basil 1 sprig
There might be zucchini.

Next week’s box will probably have melon, tomatoes, pepper, beets, cucumbers, onions and more.

Muskmelon – Ripe and ready to eat. Refrigerate.
Sweet corn – There are fewer caterpillars at the tips this week.  Last week’s bugs were unusually early.  Nonetheless, if you are squeamish about bugs, I suggest that you cut off (and discard) the tips of the ears before husking them.  That way, you don’t have to even see the bugs.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Salad with Cucumber, Tomato, Corn, and Fresh Mozzarella
Pancetta Braised Green Beans and Tomatoes over Mascarpone Polenta
Thai Vegetable Fried Rice
Pugliese Stuffed Eggplant

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the box recipes
Sweet Corn and Basil Lasagna
Thai Cucumber, Green Bean and Tomato Salad
Shrimp with Carrots, Green Beans and Zucchini in Tikka Spice
Basil Pesto Pizza with Grilled Eggplant

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Tomato, Cucumber, Corn Panzanella

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

LAUREN/ SWEET CORN & GREEN BEAN SALAD
Adapted every so slightly from Food & Wine No worries if you can’t find hazlenuts, almonds are an absolutely fine substitution.
Takes 20 minutes
Serves 4-6

1 cup hazelnuts
8 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 Walla Walla onion, diced
1 pound green beans
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Toast hazelnuts on the stove or in a 350 degree oven until they smell delicious and are golden brown. Let cool, the rub the nuts in a kitchen towel to remove their skins. Transfer to a work surface and coarsely chop.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ears of corn and boil them over moderately high heat until just tender, about 4 minutes. Using a tongs, remove to a colander and rinse under cold water until cool to the touch. Move to a cutting board and remove kernels from the ear. Place in a large bowl with diced onions.
  3. Bring the water back up to a boil and add beans. Boil for three minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry. Cut the beans into 1-inch lengths. Add to large bowl.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add hazelnuts and toss to combine before serving.

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LAUREN/ ROASTED EGGPLANT GYRO
Inspired by Bon Appetit
Takes 1 hour
Makes enough for 6-8 pitas

1 pound eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground corinader
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
Pinch Kosher salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
6-8 pitas or flatbreads
1/2 cup favorite hummus (I love the Supremely Spicy hummus from Sabra)
1 cup finely chopped lettuce, optional
Hot sauce, optional

Tomato Salad
3 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 Walla Walla, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and garlic with cumin, coriander, thyme, paprika, sesame seeds, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Place eggplant on a baking rack that fits over a baking sheet. Pour one teaspoon of the oil mixture onto each eggplant slice. Rub in gently. Bake for 25 minutes, flip and pour teaspoon of oil mixture on other side. Rub in gently and bake for another 15-20 minutes until eggplant is dark brown (but not burnt) and very tender. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes then cut into thin strips.
  3. While your eggplant cooks you will have plenty of time to make your tomato salad and cucumber sauce.
  4. For the tomato salad, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. The tomatoes will release a LOT of juice as they sit. After 10 or 15 minutes, feel free to drain the salad so it’s not so juicy.
  5. For the cucumber yogurt sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes. As the cucumbers release their juice, the mixture will become more saucy and less like cucumbers just stirred into thick yogurt.
  6. To serve, toast a pita or flatbread for 1-2 minutes to warm. Spread one half of the pita with a bunch of hummus. Top with sliced eggplant, followed by tomato salad and lettuce, if using. Spread cucumber yogurt on other side of pita along with hot sauce, if using and fold close. Devour immediately and don’t stress the mess. It will definitely drip all over your hands.

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Week #10; Trust


Raul cultivates cucumbers.

Employee Raul Casique Montes came to us with 17 years experience on vegetable farms in Illinois.  He quickly took over most of our cultivation work.  This is a high-skill job.  Over the past few years, we’ve invested in a suite of modern, European-made cultivating tools, which we then mount on 65-year-old tractors.  We trust Raul to decide when and how to cultivate each crop.  It takes finesse and attention to the weather, soil, and how the crops are growing.  There are tools to choose, plus fine adjustments to get as close as possible to the crop without damage.  On a farm of our size, Steve and I cannot make every decision.  We need this kind of expertise and independent decision-making.  It’s such a relief to have someone trusted in this role.

Let’s explain why cultivation is so important.  The #1 pest on every organic farm is weeds.  If diseases or insects run amok, we might lose part of our yield.  If we lose control to weeds, we lose the entire field.  That happened last year for celeriac and leeks. It was too wet to cultivate in June and July, and that was the end of those crops.  Keeping weeds at a tolerable level is a constant job, first with cultivation by tractor, then hoeing, then finer hand work close to the plants.  Hand-weeding is expensive!  And arduous!  And no one likes doing it!  We have to be deliberate about hand labor we assign to our crew because of the expense.  The more we can accomplish mechanically, the better.  We prefer to save our crew time for harvest and other jobs where their expertise is essential.

Let’s take a look at a few crops we won’t touch with a hoe at all this year.  Beth


This is a small planting of direct-seeded cucumbers.  Instead of growing the plants in the greenhouse, then transplanting as seedlings, we sowed the cucumber seed directly in the ground.  If we can control weeds, this is a good approach because it saves the effort of transplanting the seedlings.  Unlike the earlier cucumber fields, these plants don’t need protection from cold spring weather.


These are our fancy German-made finger weeders in action.  This tool showed us how close we can cultivate crops without damage.



Look at how clean this basil field is after cultivation.  We will begin harvest within two weeks, and will complete the crop without any weeding by hand.  Basil is tricky.  We’ve changed how we grow basil in response to a disease that showed up in the Midwest in 2010.  We can no longer grow large bushy basil plants – they are too susceptible to disease.  Our solution is to establish sequential plantings for harvest while the basil is young, before disease is a problem.  It’s an excellent approach, as long as we don’t invest time weeding by hand, a perfect situation for close cultivation.   FYI, we’re testing new disease-resistant varieties in this planting, to give us more options.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #10, July 25/26, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Sweet corn, 8 or 9 ears
Caraflex cabbage, 1 head
Green beans, ~2/3 lb
Broccoli, several medium heads
Green leaf lettuce, 1 medium
Cucumbers, ~3
Zucchini &/or summer squash, 1 – 1.5 lb
Walla Walla onion
Purple bell or frying pepper, 1
Cherry tomatoes OR a small bag of plum or slicing tomatoes

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, green beans and more.

Sweet corn Now it’s summer!  Some ears have bugs at the tip.  I suggest cutting off the tips before shucking the 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.

Caraflex cabbage – This ‘salad’ cabbage is great for slaws but also handles light cooking.

Green beans – We packed the beans in a paper bag but they will wilt if left in paper.  Either transfer to a container, or cover the paper bag with a plastic bag, e.g. a bag you saved from a previous CSA delivery.  Store in the warmer part of your fridge.

Broccoli – This is probably the last broccoli until fall. We’re pleased with how productive this field was.  Much of this week’s broccoli has uneven heads, the result of last week’s hot weather.  The unevenness does not affect flavor.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts
Southwestern Black Bean, Corn, Zucchini and Tomato Salad
Shrimp, Cabbage and Refried Bean Tostadas
Chickpea, Chorizo and Vegetable Soup

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Marinated Broccoli and Tomatoes on a Bed of Lettuce
Blistered Cherry Tomato and Corn Salad
Cabbage Slaw with Cashews and Raisins
Green Beans Sautéed with Garlic, Anchovies and Cherry Tomatoes

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Maque Choux

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

SUMMER FIESTA SALAD
If making this dressing just seems like to much keeping you from dinnertime, feel free to us something bottled. You are looking for something creamy, tomato-based if possible, and a little spicy. This one isn’t tomato-based but I do adore it.

Serves 4-6
Takes 30 minutes

8-12 pieces thick-cut bacon
1/2 head Caraflex cabbage, shredded
1 green pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt
4 ears corn, cooked 5 minutes in boiling water and kernels removed
1/2 Walla Walla onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
2-4 avocados, cut into cubes

Smoky Tomato Dressing
6 dried morita chiles (I highly recommend you find them at an ethnic grocery if you have the time)
4 garlic cloves
2 crushed tomatoes, cored (about 1/4 cup if using canned stuff)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup olive oil

  1. Place bacon on a baking sheet. Put in the oven and turn temperature to 400 degrees (do NOT preheat ahead of time, just start the preheat process once the bacon is in the oven). Set time for 20 minutes and let cook until fully browned and crispy.
  2. In a food processor, prepare your dressing by combining all ingredients except olive oil and process until combined. It will be a little chunky but don’t worry about that. Scrape down the sides and get the processor running again. Drizzle in olive oil slowly until it becomes emulsified (aka begins to look a little creamy). Pour into a mason jar.*
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cabbage and peppers. Toss with olive oil, lime juice and a couple pinches of salt.
  4. To prepare your salad, combine a cup or so of chopped lettuce with a couple handfuls of slaw in a dinner bowl. Top with corn, onion, cucumber, avocado and bacon. Drizzle with dressing.

*If you don’t use this dressing right away, keeping it in a mason jar makes it easy to shake and re-emulsify whenever you are ready to serve.
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SHREDDED ZUCCHINI PIZZA
Adapted from Food52

Serves 4-6
Takes 1 hour (plus time to make the dough if preparing from scratch)

1/2 batch pizza dough (my favorite recipe is from Pioneer Woman and I always make it 2-4 days in advance for the best texture)
1-1/2 pounds shredded zucchini and/or summer squash (about 5 cups)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
6 ounces shredded mozzarella, fontina or gruyere cheese
1/4 Walla Walla onion, sliced
1 green pepper, finely diced
3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs

  1. Place zucchini or summer squash in a large colander with salt. Toss it gently and then let it sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven as hot as your oven with go (usually 500 or 525 degrees).
  3. Once time has passed, use hands to squeeze out a handful worth of zucchini at a time. Place in a large bowl and add cheese.
  4. Roll out pizza dough to fit a baking sheet. It might be thin and need to be seriously stretched. Don’t worry. The thinner the crust, the better the outcome. Spread zucchini mixture over crust going all the way to the edges (not leaving a crust like you would in a regular pizza). Sprinkle with onions and peppers followed by breadcrumbs.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown throughout. Cut and enjoy!

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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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