whew

It was a big week for us.  Lots of new crops, lots of irrigation, lots of heat.  We hosted a farm tour on Monday for 60 – 70 farmers, aspiring farmers, students, grocery managers, ag professionals and even a few CSA members.  We’re glad to share our farming experience.  Some business owners hold their knowledge as trade secrets.  Not us.  In farming, knowing what to do is the first step.  Raising crops well takes many, many more steps.  Beth

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It was a good day, with nice turnout, although incredibly hot.  Almost everyone stuck around for the 3 hour tour, despite the heat.  We walked the length of the farm, stopping at individual fields to talk about each crop.  Photo credit, MOSES.

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Steve explained the details of growing carrots for fall harvest.  Seeded this time of year, so they need extra attention during hot, dry weather.

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I talked about onion diseases and insects. Photo credit, MOSES

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Alice in Dairyland (Ann O’Leary) attended!  She has a special connection to our area, as a graduate of both the Evansville High School and Evansville 4H club. From left; Beth, Alice/Ann, Steve.

Veggie list and veggie notes (July 14/15, 2016, week #9, green EOW)

Carrots, 2 lb
Swiss chard, 1 bunch
Green beans, about 0.6 lb
Green bell peppers, 2
Walla Walla onion, 1 lg or 2 med
Zucchini & summer squash, 4+ lb
Cucumbers, 2
(One #1 grade, plus one or two #2 grade)
Thai basil, 1 husky sprig
Fresh garlic, 1 bulb or 2 small bulbs

Next week’s box will probably contain green beans, Caraflex cabbage, cucumber, zucchini/squash, onions and more.

Carrots – Here we go … the first summer carrots of the year.
Swiss chard (pretty bundle of green leaves) – Our crew did a nice job mixing colors for pretty bunches.  Swiss chard is a close relative of spinach, but requires a bit more cooking.  Use as a substitute in any recipe that calls for spinach, just cook the chard a little longer. Both stems and leaves are delicious. The stems requite longer cooking, so cut them free from the leaves when preparing.  That allows you to cook the stems longer.
Green bell peppers –  We have the first bell peppers for you.  We harvested an early variety that tends to be medium or small.  There are some oddball-looking ones, as expected this time of year.
Walla Walla onion – Yeah for the first Walla Wallas!  These are sweet onions, crisp and very mild.  Wonderful raw or lightly cooked.  Do not try to fry these onions – it doesn’t work because of their high water content.
Zucchini and summer squash – We are sending a lot this week because the squash are at their peak production.  Wow, they love hot weather.
‘Thai Magic’ basil – Great in Thai and Indonesian dishes, this Thai basil is a fine substitute for Italian basil.  We really like this variety!  The flavor is excellent, with a mild hint of anise, but no bitterness.  The flavor is strong so try using half the amount you would add when using Italian basil.  Taste and add more if you wish.
Fresh garlic – Here’s a treat.  Harvested fresh this week and sent to you without drying, this garlic is super crunchy and tasty.  The succulent skins peel off readily.  Refrigerate.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

Sesame Noodles with Cucumber

Adapted ever so slightly from Smitten Kitchen
Takes 30 minutes
Makes 4 generous servings

3/4 pound dry rice noodles (I love the flat ones often used in Pad Thai)
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons tahini (more peanut butter is an acceptable substitution)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 1 medium-large clove)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced
1 cucumber, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
A handful of chopped fresh Thai basil
Sriracha or other garlic-chile paste to taste
1. Cook noodles according to package directions and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together peanut butter and tahini in the bottom of a small bowl until smooth, then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and green pepper. Stir until well-mixed. Adjust flavors to taste. It might seem a bit salty from the bowl, but should be just right when tossed with noodles.
3. Toss sauce with cold noodles in a large bowl.
4. Place a medium-sized knot of dressed noodles in each bowl, followed by a pile of cucumber. Garnish generously with peanuts and Thai basil. (When you serve, you are looking for a ratio of one: one in the noodles to crunchy delicious toppings department). Serve with Sriracha (or other garlic-chile paste) on the side.

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Sweet Onion & Chard Quiche

Takes 1 hour, 20 minutes if using store bought crust (about an hour longer if not)
Serves 4-6.

1/2 batch of my Favorite Pie Dough, chilled(or store bought pie crust)
All-purpose flour (for surface)
1 large Walla Walla onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 bunch chard, ribs removed, loosely chopped
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound summer squash, halved and sliced
6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup creme fraiche  (or sour cream)
3/4 cup heavy cream

  1. If preparing pie crust from scratch, preheat oven to 350 degrees and roll out chilled dough onto a well-floured surface. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Remove prepped crust from freezer, line with parchment or aluminum foil and fill with rice, dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes until just beginning to brown.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your filling. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add water and balsamic. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened considerably. Add chard and saute for 5 minutes until wilted. Add maple syrup along with salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes longer until liquid has turned a little syrupy. Remove mixture to a bowl (with any syrup) and wipe pan clean with a paper towel.
  3. Add remaining olive oil to pan. Add summer squash along with salt and pepper. Saute gently for 5 minutes until softened.
  4. Scatter cheese over the pre-baked pie crust. Top with summer squash followed by chard onion mixture, making sure to get any syrupy liquid into the quiche.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, crËme fraÓche and heavy cream. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour into quiche. Bake for 35-40 minutes until set and golden brown in spots.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

SoCal Pickled Carrots for Tacos
Baked Orzo with Chard
Sesame Green Bean and Pepper Stir Fry
Farro Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Outside the Box Recipes

Pennies From Heaven
Pasta Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese and Romano Dressing
Green Beans with Wild Mushrooms
Chicken Breasts and Zucchini with Herbs

Quick and Easy Meal

Thai Green Bean and Cucumber Salad

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One comment


  • Beth Behr

    Holy moly, Lauren- great recipes! I made both of this week’s suggestions, and while we did love the sesame noodles, the quiche BLEW US AWAY! Yum!! The flavors of the balsamic and maple syrup gave the delicious, fresh veggies the perfect kick!
    We Behrs were just on vacation in the northwest and visited Walla Walla, but had just missed the onion festival. I was so pleased to come home and find one in our box! 😀 Many thanks as always to Beth and Steve!

    July 22, 2016

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