June 30 2016, final version


Tipi Field Day
Monday July 11, 1-4 pm.

We are hosting a field day organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES).  This is one of the responsibilities/opportunities of being chosen as this year’s Organic Farmers of the Year.  We get so much from visiting other farms during the growing season.  Now it’s our turn to show and tell.  We will walk our fields and discuss the nitty gritty of farming techniques.  With 45 crops and 350+ varieties, we make a lot of decisions.  The discussion is intended for farmers, but the general public is welcome.  Here is the official list of topics:
– CSA vegetable production
– Wholesale markets
– Pest and disease management
– Managing farm workers
– Whole Farm Revenue Protection — learn about this new USDA risk management option.
Visit the MOSES site to register.

Extra basil sales

We might have enough basil to sell extras to CSA members in the next two weeks. Could happen next week, could be the following week.  Watch for emails from us.  We usually offer it for sale on Wednesday or Thursday, for delivery with the CSA boxes that week.

Let’s review vacation rescheduling

Are you going on vacation and need to reschedule a CSA box? Let’s review the basics. This is the same information we provided in the CSA Handbook in spring.
– Go here to reschedule.
– Reschedule up to two boxes per season.
– Deadline = the Sunday before delivery, by midnight.
– Be prepared to choose your replacement date when you reschedule.  Otherwise, your change registers as simply a cancellation.
– FYI, I provide the rescheduling link at the bottom of my Wednesday night email each week.  Then you don’t have to hunt for it.

A last few u-pick photos

I want to share just a few more favorites, this time from our Sunday 6/26 u-pick.

IMG_7899 clare boyce
Here’s my favorite project.  Claire and mom Laurie made jam to give away as wedding favors at Claire’s upcoming wedding.  Awww, that makes me happy.

IMG_7914 cuties w mud boots
Talk about fashion sense!  Look at these cuties!  There was a beautiful parade of colorful mud boots at the u-pick.  That’s not surprising since it rained overnight.  Love the boots on these happy helpers.

IMG_7907 maggie
Check out Maggie’s farm fashion.  She came to help members during the u-pick.  After 20 years working on the farm, she knows how to dress for every occasion.

Veggie list and veggie notes (June 30/July 1, 2016, week #7, green EOW)

IMG_2954 caraflex pointy cabbage
‘Caraflex’ cabbage

We planned this delivery with your July 4th celebrations in mind.  You’ve got ingredients for …
– cole slaw (cabbage, scallions),
– cold salads (lettuce, fennel, peas, cucumbers, kohlrabi),
– grilling (zucchini, scallions),
– dessert (rhubarb), and
– pasta salad.  Almost everything in this delivery fits well in pasta salads, our go-to meal for picnics (fennel, grilled zucchini, peas, cucumbers, scallions, basil.)  You will find something festive to prepare.  Have a great 4th of July!

Caraflex cabbage, 2 small (or 1 medium)
Fennel, 1 large or 2 small
Snap peas, about 1/3 lb
Snow peas, a handful
(Both types of peas will be in one bag.)
Cucumbers, about 2
Zucchini and summer squash, 3 – 3.5 lb
Red bibb OR green leaf lettuce
Kohlrabi, 1 large or 2-3 small
Scallions, 1 bunch
Basil, 1 sprig
Rhubarb, 1.25 – 1.5 lb

Next week’s box will probably contain zucchini, cucumbers, scallions, basil and much more.

‘Caraflex’ cabbage – This ia a nice salad-type that we grow in summer.  Don’t you love the pointy shape?  It has thinner, more tender leaves than the usual green cabbage.  Great in salads and slaws but can also be cooked.  Here’s the description from the seed catalogue: “Inner leaves are tender, crunchy, and have an excellent, sweet and mild cabbage flavor.  Perfect for summer salads, slaws, or cooked dishes.”
Fennel (large vegetable with a fat bulb and lacy fronds) – Fennel is a ‘swing vegetable’; it can be used raw or cooked.  Clean well and slice as thinly as possible for use in raw salads.  It is good simply prepared with olive oil, lime or lemon juice, salt and shaved parmesan cheese.  Cooking softens and sweetens fennel, and mellows its anise flavor.  Both the bulb and leaves are edible.  Here are ideas from Alice Water of Chez Panisse about how to use fennel:  ‘It’s strong anise characteristic seems to suit fish particularly well.  … We use fennel all the time.  We add the feathery leaves to marinades for fish and to numerous salads, sauces and soups and we use them as a garnish, too. … The bulbs are sliced and served raw in salads in various combinations with other vegetables, parboiled for pastas; caramelized and served as a side dish; braised whole; or cooked in vegetable broths & fish stocks.”
Snap and snow peas – See last week’s newsletter for a photo to distinguish these two types of peas.  This is a disappointing pea year for us (and for you), and quantities are small.  Our first two plantings were hit hard by a soil-borne disease called Aphanomyces root rot, which weakened most of the plants before they set peas.  Ironically, this disease was the subject of Beth’s master’s thesis.  One thing she learned is that there is no ‘cure’ for this problem.  We’re debating which cultural controls to attempt next year.  We have a third planting in a different field that should be ready in mid-July.  Let’s hope it does better than the first two plantings.
Cucumbers – The first cukes, just in time for July 4th picnics!
Basil (curly-leaved sprig) – This is the variety ‘Napoletano.’  The leaves are larger and more frilly than most basils.  We like this variety because it remains tender and flavorful even as the plants mature.
Storage:  Basil will blacken if stored in the refrigerator.  It is best stored at room temperature with the cut ends in water, for example in a glass or teacup.  Give the stem a fresh trim.  You will receive one sturdy sprig this week.


Cucumber and Snow Pea Salad with Ricotta & Goat Cheese
This is a great (super quick, super simple) weeknight dinner, salad or side dish. It can very easily be scaled up or down, or adapted with any other raw veggies you have on hand. Kohlrabi, radishes or broccoli would all be great additions!
Makes enough for 4 as a side
Takes 20 minutes

1 cucumber, cut in 1/8-inch slices
10-15 snow or snap peas, ends removed, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup goat cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, goat cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork until smooth and well-combined. Add the dark green portion of the scallions to this mixture. Fold in gently.
  2. Place a scoop into the center of one, two or four plates (however many people will be eating the dish). Place cucumbers around the ricotta & goat cheese mixture. Top with snow or snap peas and the white and pale green portion of the scallions. Sprinkle with extra salt to taste.

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Summer Vegetable Strata
Adapted slightly from Alexandra’s Kitchen
If you are using a loaf of two-day old bread, you won’t need to take any further steps to dry them out. If it’s not old stale bread, you can toast it in the oven the day before, then slice and leave it out to dry overnight.†If you are using a rustic loaf with a thick crust, the texture of the dish will be better if you remove it.
Takes 90 minutes
Serves 8-10

10 eggs
2 1/2 cups whole milk (2% would probably be fine, too)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1 fennel, fronds and core removed
8 oz. cheddar or gruyere (or other favorite cheese)
1 loaf day old bread, see note above
5-6 basil leaves, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350oF. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and salt together. Set aside.
2. Using the shredder attachment of the food processor (or a cheese grater), slice up the zucchini, squash, and fennel. Send any cheese through cheese grater as well.
3. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to the bowl of eggs. Add the vegetables and basil to the bowl as well. Toss everything together until well-combined.
4. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Pour egg mixture into pan. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 40 to 50 minutes longer. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

– – – – – – –


Comforting Classics

Shanghai Noodles with Ground Pork (or chicken or tofu) and Cabbage
Lemon Basil Marinated Summer Squash
Roasted Fennel
Rhubarb Mostarda

Outside the Box Recipes

Indian Spiced Fennel and Cabbage
Pasta Salad with Summer Squash, Crushed Almonds and Parmesan
Spicy Fennel Kohlrabi Slaw
Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Rosé Sauce

Quick and Easy Meal

Fennel, Olive and Goat Cheese Flatbreads

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