Summer CSA Week 9

I was blathering on to my one-year-old over breakfast this morning, trying to describe the taste of the cucumber sticks he was eating. I seem to be driven by this need to cram as many adjectives into his first years as humanly possible. I think perhaps it will backfire someday, but I’m not sure how.

Anyway, the cucumber.
I was informing my son, that though I prefer most fruits (especially) and vegetables (generally) at room temperature, cucumbers are one I love right out of the fridge.
Cool, as they are generally thought of, they taste like the feeling of walking through the woods and noticing that there must be running water near by because of the coolness in the air. Maybe even such a small spring it’d be hard to pin-point, but the feeling in the air is still there.
He also got a short lesson in evaporation over breakfast, and I’m sure he understands it quite well now.

When my sister and I were kids, she was the reader. She always had her nose in a book, and read very, very fast. Like, the sixth Harry Potter book in a day kind of fast. But I’d watch her sometimes skipping whole pages at a time. She said it was “just” description, and she didn’t have the patience for that. I’m sure Tolkien was rolling in his grave.

I hope this week you can find ways to notice how things taste and feel and sound and smell and to be present in the here and now. Plenty of times (and reasonably) the here and now can be stressful, or boring. But even so, there can be a lot that’s worth pausing for and noticing.

We’d be lucky if you thought our veggies this week were some of those things!

For the farm crew,

Karin

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In your share this week:

Green Beans – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumbers – Lettuce Mix – Green Onions – Green Peppers – Kale – Jalapeno Pepper – Tomatoes – Zucchini


 

Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

From The Smitten Kitchen

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

Filling:
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Glaze:
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make filling: Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.

Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

 

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Pico de Gallo

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 medium jalapeño ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds ripe red tomatoes (about 8 small or 4 large), chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
  1. In a medium serving bowl, combine the chopped onion, jalapeño, lime juice and salt. Let it marinate for about 5 minutes while you chop the tomatoes and cilantro.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and cilantro to the bowl and stir to combine. Taste, and add more salt if the flavors don’t quite sing.
  3. For the best flavor, let the mixture marinate for 15 minutes or several hours in the refrigerator. Serve as a dip, or with a slotted spoon or large serving fork to avoid transferring too much watery tomato juice with your pico. Pico de gallo keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.

Summer CSA Week 8

We’ve gotten into a bit of a rhythm, our mid-summer rhythm, at the Food Farm the past few weeks. Broccoli harvest in the morning. Cucumbers and zucchini in the afternoon. Carrot weeding. Potato bug picking. Tomato trellising. Washing bins and buckets. Share harvest and packing. More carrot weeding. 

I have to say, carrot weeding may be my favorite summer farm job thus far. It’s definitely the most satisfying. When we see the carrots just popping up and the weeds breaking through alongside the carrots, we know it’s time to grab our close weeding knives and get to it! When the weeds are small, we scratch around the surface with our knives to cut what weeds are visible and disturb the soil enough to stop the not-yet-but-almost-germinated weeds. 

As we crawl up and down the field scratching the soil surface, we leave behind rows of soft green carrot tops uninhibited from growing up to be the most delicious carrots I’ve ever had! By weeding these carrots when they’re young, we give them all the space they need to soak up water and nutrients. No weeds hogging up their resources! 

One of the biggest challenges that I find this time of the season is remembering and taking the time to drink extra fluids! While last week’s cool weather brought some welcomed relief (I even wore a sweatshirt for half a day last week), the weather is quickly heating up again. Great veggie growing weather! Heat and water! However, it can be easy on the farm to get so caught up in what you’re doing that you forget about drinking water. I’m sure this is relatable for many people in the summer. 

So as the weather heats up this week, I hope that you stay hydrated and safe! 

For the farm crew,
Madison 

Baby chickens growing up! Day by day, week by week
Last planting of brassica seedlings ready to go
Honeybee friend tagging along for carrot weeding

In your share this week: 

Beets – Broccoli – Carrots – Cucumbers – Napa Cabbage – Onions – Peas – Green Bell Pepper – Hot Pepper – Tomatoes – Zucchini 

Classic Stir-Fry

Adapted from Jennifer Drummond

Ingredients

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup onion, sliced small

2 cups sweet bell pepper, seeded, sliced in thin strips

1 poblano pepper, seeded, sliced in thin strips

2 cups zucchini, sliced in thin strips

2 cup brown rice, cooked

Handful of peas

A few thinly sliced carrots

Sauce (more ideas below):

21/2 tbsp soy sauce, low sodium

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 tsp chili paste

1 tsp dijon mustard

Instructions: 

  1. Cook rice according to direction.
  2. In a large fry pan; over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Heat oil for about 30 seconds, add garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add onion and peppers, stirring occasionally and cook for about 4 minutes. Add zucchini, carrots, and snap peas and cook until slightly tender, but still firm, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in sauce.
  3. Divide rice between two bowls, and evenly divide vegetables. For a pinch of heat, I added sriracha sauce to the stirfry.

To make the sauce:

In a bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste and mustard; mix until combined.

Additional sauce ideas: peanut sauce, sunflower butter sauce (for nut allergy folks), or try the sauce included in this recipe! 

 

Beet and Corn Salad 

Adapted from The Food from Great Island

Ingredients

1 bunch of beets I had 3 medium sized beets

2 ears of corn kernels removed

1 cup of fresh peas if you have them

1 small red onion minced or a couple green onions minced

2 stalks celery minced

1 cup feta or goat cheese crumbles

olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper

Instructions

Trim the tops off the beets and put them in a pot of water just to cover.  Boil for 30-45 minutes until they’re just tender.  Check by sticking a sharp knife into the center of one.  Cool them while you prep the other vegetables. Instead of boiling the beets, you can pressure cook them if you have a pressure cooker or multi-use cooker like an InstaPot. Very easy!

Put the corn, celery and onion into a serving bowl. When the beets are cool enough to handle, trim off both ends and gently peel off the skin. Chop the beets into chunks and add to the bowl. 

Add salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to taste!

The salad will keep, refrigerated, for up to a week.

Share your Food Farm meals with us by using the hashtag #FoodFarm and/or tag us on Instagram or Facebook! We’d love to see how you use your veggies.

Summer CSA Week 7

I have had a bad case of “make hay while the sun shines.” I haven’t put away anything from the farm yet, but maybe some of you have frozen some broccoli or this and that from your weekly shares. I confess, what I’ve been after this past week is raspberries, cherries, a hill full of Juneberries and beach time! So much to do, so little time!

Such is summer. Summers always seem so rushed and full in the north, because we all know winter comes so soon. Many years summers rush by and it seems there is little time for rest, or reading in a hammock. For farmers this is especially true. Perhaps insulated hammocks for winter would be nice for farmers…?

For all of us, this summer has such a different feel with weekends free from weddings, grad parties or family reunions. Bitter sweet- to have some free time to stay in-town, but for such a sad reason.

In the spirit of the shortness of summer, I will leave you there. My baby is anxious to be outside (he also wanted to include “AAAAAAS” to share with you all, which I told him didn’t fit with the rest of the newsletter, but that’s the mind of a one year old for you).

I hope you all enjoy the mid-summer offerings this week, and the lovely weather too.

For the farm crew,

Karin
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In your share this week:

Basil – Red Cabbage – Carrots – Cucumber – Kale – Snap Peas  – Tomatoes! Just a few now, but more to come…


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Kale Peanut Salad

from the Leek and the Carrot

1-1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, divided
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound kale, ribs removed and very thinly sliced
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
4 scallions, trimmed
3 radishes, thinly sliced

  1. In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  2. In a large bowl, combine kale with the dressing, using half at first, tasting and adding more as you like. I often use the full amount for a pound of kale but you may not want to.
  3. Top with scallion, radish and remaining 1/2 cup nuts. Serve right away or store for 2-3 days in your fridge. The kale can stand up to being dressed in advance.

Red Cabbage date and feta salad

From The Smitten Kitchen

1 to 1 1/4 pounds red cabbage (1 small head or half of a large one), sliced very thin
3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (I use lime)
Salt and red pepper flakes (I used the mild Aleppo variety) to taste
About 1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped or sliced
4 ounces feta, crumbled into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons well-toasted sesame seeds

Toss cabbage with olive oil and first tablespoons of lime juice, plus salt and pepper, coating leaves evenly. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. I do this a few times, making sure I really get this base well seasoned because it will be hard to do it as well later.

Toss dressed cabbage gently with half of dates and feta. Sprinkle with remaining dates, then feta, then parsley and sesame seeds. Dig in.

Do ahead: The whole salad can sit assembled for at least an hour, if not longer in the fridge. Mine is going strong on the second day. You can also prepare the parts separately (feta, chopped dates, sliced cabbage) to assemble right before serving, if you’re planning ahead for Thanksgiving or a dinner party.

Summer CSA Week 6

It seems that somehow the weather has been colluding with current events – when it rains it pours. When it pours it also hails. If you haven’t yet read Janaki’s storm report from mid-week last week it’s worth reading through, just scroll down this page.

We take a lot of pride in the food we send in the shares each week. The plants get a lot of TLC around here between greenhouse time, or field weeding and hoeing time (not to mention the tractor time and watering time). Janaki and Dave are always considering this or that about the appearance of the leaves, or the way plants look when they sprout, or how to perfectly place pac choi in a box so it’s as unrumpled it can be. The care and precision for every aspect of a plant’s life is time consuming, and it rubs off on everyone who works on the farm.

Doing things to the best of our ability is all we can do, and there is so much that isn’t up to us.. It is disappointing, and a little nerve wracking to see plants we are counting on look like someone stepped all over them. We can still do our best to care for the plants and to harvest them tenderly, but nothing is going to change the pock marks in the peas, or the dead carrots or other crops now open to more pressure from pests or disease.

During this whole insane time we find ourselves in as a society, I have really struggled to pull myself back from the precipice of “everything-is-horrible-and-it-shouldn’t-be-and-if-only-people-had-done-the-work-in-the-beginning-or-at-least-tried-even-later-or-just-did-anything-at-all-even-small-things-this-wouldn’t-be-happening-and-if-I-get-mad-enough-at-strangers-in-the-grocery-store-will-that-fix-how-terrible-I-feel”. It’s a long name for a precipice. I should consider an acronym.

This year so far has been a lot of rubber meeting the road and wool being pulled from our eyes. It is a lot to digest, and it feels like it’ll digest us. It’s not easy to put one’s head down and keep doing right, and keep working for better when it seems like a hail storm is going to come along and undo whatever you’ve worked for. Or even trying again after a hailstorm of life- it’s hard to keep on when maybe the damage that’s been done won’t be out-weighed by the effort and vulnerability of our attempt for better.

In pulling myself back from the aforementioned precipice, I have to constantly remind myself that I am only in control of what I do and don’t do. I can not control most of what happens to me, or other people. I can not control what the weather does, or the climate, or the people in the grocery store.

On the farm, we’ll keep tending to the crops tenderly, even though (especially because) they’re in rough shape. We’ll harvest them well and pack them for you as gingerly as we can. That’s what we can do. We can keep on doing the right thing for the soil on the farm, year in year out and keep making choices that keep us as off the grid as possible.

Thanks for doing your part by using our vegetables, and for sharing in the ups and downs of farming and life with us. None of this would be happening without all of you choosing to eat our food for yourselves and your families.

For the farm crew,

Karin

 

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In your share this week:

Beets – Broccoli – Cauliflower – Carrots – Cucumbers – Head lettuce- Snap peas


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Straw all stacked -done and done!

Napa Cabbage Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

From The Smitten Kitchen

-I am including this recipe mostly for the dressing, because having a good dressing on hand can be a key part of getting veggies from your fridge and into your mouth! Also, did you know that Napa cabbage (should you have any left from last week) can be stored for quite a while, well wrapped in the fridge? Not maybe as long as hard cabbage, but for at least a month.

1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (or green onions!)
1 pound Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)
6 radishes, diced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced diagonally

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, shallot, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until sugar has dissolved, then whisk in chives.

Toss cabbage, radishes, and celery with dressing.

Storm Report

Well, I slept like a baby last night–in other words, I woke up half a dozen times screaming. After weeks of rain missing the farm, we finally got a solid two inches. Unfortunately, it came in a very short period of time and was accompanied by high winds and hail. It’s been about 20 years since we’ve had a significant hail event so I suppose we should be thankful about that, but it’s still sad to see plants that have been cared for so meticulously looking beat up and bedraggled.

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A beautiful crop of snap peas looking rather pockmarked.

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The early beet crop looking shredded.

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Sad onion field.

It remains to be seen how much of this damage will be permanent and which plants can grow out of it. Thankfully, no crop will be a total loss. I expect that early potatoes, beets, and those precious carrots will be delayed by a couple of weeks, and yield will be reduced. I think the snap peas that were not mature enough to be harvested today will turn brown or scab over as they age, but we have another planting that should come on soon. Whether the onions size up at all after that much damage is a big concern. We were just about to begin harvesting zucchini and those plants are also going to take awhile to look right.

Small seedlings of storage crops, such as fall beets and carrots, really took a beating and some percentage are actually broken off, but we’ll know better in a week if they can pick themselves back up and keep growing. We have an additional acre of fall carrots that were just seeded and soil compaction and crusting is a concern for emergence but I’m hopeful that they’ll be okay.

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The other real concern is disease. Any time plants like the potatoes above are beaten up this way it gives disease an opportunity to bypass the plant’s natural defenses and cause serious harm. Many of these diseases are soil-borne, so driving that much dirt into the plant’s pores is a recipe for bad things to come.

On a brighter note, some things are looking great, like the fall cabbage crop. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower in earlier plantings also appear to be okay, although the green cabbage definitely has some holes in it. Preserving share tomatoes and 2/3 of the winter squash are in a field that was protected by the wind so they fared much better than others. Another great thing is that the crew has really been on top of the weeding and field work, so we can afford to miss a few days in the field to give plants a chance to stand up and dry out.

Also, I am incredibly relieved to have a pause in what has been a grueling nighttime irrigation schedule. We really did need a good soaking rain, but could have done with a little less drama.

Thanks for your understanding and support, and we’re looking forward to more beautiful, bountiful boxes heading to your kitchen soon.

For the farm crew,

Janaki

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Summer CSA Week 5

Most years I have felt that if you blink after the Fourth of July, you may miss summer. Fortunately we have more summer left than we’ve experienced so far. I’d like it to include more rain than it has so far. This week seems promising.

This year we have a great crew with a few new people who are figuring out the pace of work on the farm and where everything is and how to do farm tasks just so. Kelly, Madison and Nick are all new this year and started between early May and early June. Jane has returned after her first season last summer. It’s always nice to have repeat people who know the ropes. Lizzy comes out on CSA harvest days, Teri does all the deliveries and joins us on projects when not on the road or harvesting. Of course Dave is out planting, running things in the greenhouses, keeping knives sharp and a myriad of other tasks that need doing. A couple of long-term volunteers have been joining us on harvest days. Usually we throw open the gates for volunteers -but with COVID19 we’ve been keeping it to a minimum. (Now that I’m going to list them, it sounds like a lot – but believe me there used to be more that would work a day or two here and there) Joe, Ki, Rollie, Sandy and Betsy and of course Patricia who keeps us all organized. I think Janaki is still working on the Farm too. We see someone driving tractors around throughout the day and moving irrigation around constantly. There is a good chance it’s him doing all that work, but with the clouds of dust following the tractor it’s hard to see.

I’m so glad we have a good number of (and just plain good) people working on the farm. There is always a lot to do. It’s way more than just a few people could manage. My first season was 2014 and there were roughly 11 acres in vegetables with the other 11 in a cover crop. Now there are at least 15 acres in vegetables at the peak of the year. When I tell someone I work on a farm, and then they hear the size of it sometimes they seem to think it’s small. But with forty plus varieties of vegetables in fields + greenhouses there is a lot of work and every crop needs something different.

I hope you enjoy some of that variety in your share this week. I love this kind of a share box -you could just chop everything up into a big bowl and eat it! Likely, you’ll eat some of this and some of that and maybe keep some for later.
However you eat it -we hope you enjoy it. We enjoy growing it.

For the farm crew,

Karin


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Potato bug larvae -shortly before their demise.


In your share this week:

Broccoli – Carrots – Cucumber – Garlic Scapes – Greens Mix – Lettuce – Napa Cabbage – Green Onions – Snap Peas


 

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Garlic Scape Salt

From Gutsy By Nature

(After hearing that a member made some last week I thought it’d be a fun item to include!)

Ingredients
  • 12 fresh garlic scapes
  • ½ cup coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
  2. Roughly chop garlic scapes, then place in bowl of food processor along with sea salt and process until it becomes an even paste.
  3. Spread the paste in an even layer on a small baking sheet. Place in oven and allow to bake for 1 hour, stirring and re-spreading in an even layer every 15 minutes, until the paste is uniformly dried.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  5. Using your hands, crumble the dried salt and garlic scape mixture into fine pieces. If you find you have very hard and large clumps, you may wish to return this dried mixture to your food processor (making sure you have cleaned and dried it first) and pulverize it even further.
  6. Transfer the resulting garlic scape salt into jars for storage.

Carrot Ginger Dressing

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup grape seed or another neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
    Whiz the carrots, shallot and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar and sesame oil. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the grape seed oil and the water.

 

Summer CSA Week 4

At the end of every CSA season we send out a survey to you our members to find out what you thought of your share boxes throughout the season. There are some general questions about how we did, how you felt about the season, and then line by line we ask if you thought you got too much, too little, or just the right amount of every item we send all season long. It’s a long list, as you can imagine.

We use all that information to try to see what, if anything we should change about what we send in the share boxes, and thus, what we should plant on the farm every spring. Over the years it seems like the farm has honed in pretty well to what works for many of you.

Every year though, there are always responses that lean more to the “too much!” side than “never enough!” (we sure don’t want anyone to feel like there’s not enough -except the snap peas – we can never grow enough of those!).

I seem to remember a couple of years back, many members feeling like they had received too many green onions. A few snipped on top of a baked potato won’t use up a bunch a week, but it seems like green onions are often thought of as a garnish in recipes as opposed to a component adding a lot of flavor. Throughout my week, I seem to always be chopping an onion up, even before I’ve fully decided what to make for dinner. I know whatever I make, it needs onion. You can do the same thing with green onions. Whatever recipe calls for onion using green onions would offer that same flavor punch so you can either substitute/or add green onions. Plus, if you’re cooking them down like in a stir-fry, soup or curry you can use a lot of them. It maybe doesn’t need to be said (but I’ll say it), that green onions won’t need to be cooked as long, and can’t be caramelized in the same way as onions can.

In other years I’ve recommended sharing food with friends or family as a way to use up a share if you’re struggling to finish it by the next week. Pot-lucks can be a great way to share and use up whatever you have laying around. This year the option of gathering around food is more complicated, and sharing more difficult. In spite of this, or because of this, I hope you are able to find creative ways to use, store and maybe even share the vegetables you get from our farm.

Feel free to reach out if you have pro-tips on using up a share, or if you have questions that you think others might like answered as well!

For the farm crew,

Karin

 

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In your share this week:

Broccoli – Cauliflower – Cucumbers – Garlic scapes – Head lettuce – Green onions – Pac choi – Radishes


 

Roasted Cauliflower Spread

From Food and Wine

-I’ve said it before that I’m not much of a recipe person, and my educated guess is that this recipe would be very flexible. You could add in some of the garlic scapes and green onions, and probably change up the spices and herbs and still end up with a tasty spread as long as your liquid to solid ratio stays about the same.

  • 1 head of cauliflower (2 pounds), halved crosswise and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame) paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil, ginger and coriander and season with salt. Spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots. Let cool slightly.

Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Add the tahini and lemon juice and pulse to a chunky puree; season with salt. Add the cilantro and pulse just until incorporated. Transfer the spread to a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm with pita bread or chips (or on toast!)


Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 Garlic scapes
  • 1/3 C Pine nuts or walnuts 
  • 1/3 C Parmesan, asiago or simply parmesan dice or shredded
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced
  • 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt or more to taste
  • A few grinds of Pepper
  • 1/3 C Olive oil

Trim the garlic scapes by cutting just below the bulb. Discard the bulb and set the remaining scape aside.
In a food processor, add the chopped scapes. Add the pine nuts, cheese, juice of the lemon and salt and pepper. Process by pulsing until the mixture begins to break down. Scrape the bowl down.
With the processor running, slowly add all the olive oil. Continue to process until all the ingredients are incorporated and broken down, about one minute. Taste for salt.
Store in a covered container or lidded jar in the fridge and enjoy within a week. Also, you can freeze the pesto in a jar or in an ice-cube tray. Once frozen, in the ice-cube tray, remove and place in a zip top bag in the freezer.
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Summer CSA Week 3

I love this time of year. The time of light. This year, with a little baby added into my evening and morning routines, I find myself wanting to loll in bed for a bit longer first thing than I used to. Even so, it is nice to wake up to brightness, and to have an evening of light.

Like my little one’s babyhood – I wish I could put some of summer in a bottle to take sips of later in the year.

On the farm we’ve been enjoying the lovely days -though we would rather it rained. When “nice” weather goes on and on, it becomes too much of a good thing–all of the recent rain showers have missed the farm so there has been no real moisture for two months. Janaki has been spending more time than he has (yes, there is a black-hole on the farm where time gets sucked up and obliterated) moving irrigation from one field to the next to keep up with the demands of new plants and sprouting seeds with very young (i.e., short and delicate) root systems. It’s like putting out acres of tiny fires. Oh gosh-what an image.

Not a small part of me feels like our country right now fits this description somehow: like things have gotten to hot and dry for too long, and too few people are running around trying to fix the problems. Maybe what we need is, metaphorically, a deep cleansing rain as a country to wash the dust off and wet our cracking mouths. Or maybe what we need is a salve of sorts. Something to heal. Or maybe we are in a time where we just need to let wounds see the light of day, and have time to air out and be seen before anything more can be done.

I don’t really know.

I do know that with how interconnected we all are (and boy, did we ever really realize how much until lately?), even “just” getting a share from a local farm is part of the healing work. Sustainable food is part of food fairness, just as climate justice is social justice, and healthy choices for an individual add up to being healthy choices for a community.

Thank you for being part of our farm and for participating in our work by gaining your daily sustenance from our food.

For the thirsty farm crew,

Karin

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In your share this week:

Beets – Greens mix – Lettuce – Green onions – Radishes – Spinach – Turnips


So many greens!

Does it feel like you are getting so many greens in your first shares this season? You are! That’s what the early shares are all about- and it feels good after a long season of fewer fresh salads!

It can feel like a lot to keep up with too. It doesn’t take more than a bag of sub-prime wilted greens in my fridge to make me feel discouraged about food choices I make during the week. Look no further than your freezer should you feel yourself drowning in greens. This week, beet tops, turnip tops and any spinach that feels like more than you’d use up this week can all be frozen.

Cut into 2″ square pieces, wash (per last week’s manifesto against gritty greens), blanch in a pot of boiling water for a minute and a half or so, dunk in an ice bath and then remove as much of the water as you can in a towel or by squeezing the greens. Freeze in a baggy or freezer paper for up to a year (but preferably less). Frozen greens work well for smoothies, adding to soups at the last minute or working into a meal of pasta or grains and legumes.

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Quick, spicy pickled radishes

From Cookie + Kate

Serving ideas- on top of or on the side of any thing you eat this week!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch radishes
  • ¾ cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this yields very spicy pickles, so use ½ teaspoon for medium spicy pickles or none at all)
  • ½ teaspoon whole mustard seeds (optional)
  • Optional add-ins: garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds

  1. To prepare the radishes: Slice off the tops and bottoms of the radishes, then use a sharp chef’s knife or mandoline to slice the radishes into very thin rounds. Pack the rounds into a pint-sized canning jar. Top the rounds with red pepper flakes and mustard seeds.
  2. To prepare the brine: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey or maple syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then pour the mixture over the radishes.
  3. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. You can serve the pickles immediately or cover and refrigerate for later consumption. The pickles will keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks, although they are in their most fresh and crisp state for about 5 days after pickling.

 

Summer CSA Week 2

Welcome to the early CSA season… you will be seeing many types of greens as these first weeks go by. If you are anything like me you may have a particular kind of excitement for tomatoes, snap peas and cauliflower, but sometimes greens can feel hard to use up, or use well. So, don’t feel bad if this is you- because it’s not just you! Here are my tips on using greens:

Making a point to eat greens earlier in the week while they’re still crisp makes them more enjoyable, and cleaning, storing and preparing them well is also key.

When you pick up your share and get it home, things like head lettuce, pac choi and kale bunches can benefit from a little trim off the bottom and a soak in cold water for a minute. Afterwards, dry them off a bit and put them into a bag with a flour sack towel (if you’ve got lots of tea towels, great, if not, I would highly recommend a 2-4 pack of flour sack towels to use this season). These steps will become more important as the temperatures go up.

Cut greens like our greens mix or loose lettuce mix shouldn’t get wet until right before use, and typically don’t need to be washed since we grow these in greenhouses to avoid rain splatter. You could leave the bag open in the fridge for an hour to cool them off, but don’t forget to fold the top back over or the greens will dry out.

All greens, including Napa cabbage, need to be stored in a plastic bag to avoid drying out and going limp. Same for broccoli and cauliflower. This is a great use for the bags we send some items in that don’t need to be kept in there to stay fresh (i.e., potatoes, tomatoes and snap peas because you’ll eat them all at once)

If you have a way to change the humidity of your fridge- they (and all the veggies in there) would appreciate being fairly humid.

The way I like to clean greens that might be dirty like head lettuce, spinach, kale (and cut greens only if they need it) is using a salad spinner. I’d recommend getting one if you don’t have one. Before I got one, I’d dunk greens in a large pot of water (this is not a time to skimp on water use!) 2-3 times (until it’s clear and grit free) spinning  the greens between each dunk outside in a towel. It was very satisfying, barbaric looking and worked fine. With a salad spinner I put my torn up greens in the basket, fill the base with water and gently agitate, lifting the basket of greens out, spinning, and re-rinsing 2-3 times. I always take the greens out of the water, then dump the water. If you just pour the wash water back through or over the greens into strainer you are just adding all that dirt back in. Maybe that’s obvious to you all, but I’ve seen some crazy stuff with how people “wash” greens!

I’m writing this because grit in greens is a pet peeve of mine. We do our best to clean and cool greens before they get packed in boxes, but the system is never perfect, especially if we have to harvest in the rain.

If using greens up is a struggle, I can’t tell you how amazing it is that most of them cook down to hardly anything at all. And if a pile of steamed spinach isn’t your thing, cut it up in to tiny pieces and put it in any sauce for pasta or other veggies, put it in eggs, just keep putting it in stuff! And don’t hold back on adding seasonings and dressings if that’s what helps you enjoy them. A spritz of lemon juice on bowl of fresh kale isn’t enjoyable for everyone–it’s OK in my book to load up on parmesan cheese and olive oil.

I hope some of these tips might help if you’re new to our Farm, or even if not. It’s nice to start off the season staying as on-top of the share as we can, and finding ways to creatively remove ourselves from the predominant culture of convenience.

Enjoy the food.

For the Farm crew,

Karin

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In your share this week:

Kale – Head lettuce – Green onions – Radishes – Spinach – Turnips


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Turnip Dhal

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 2-4 turnips
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne (to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • fresh lemon juice and rice for serving

 

  1. Mince the garlic. Peel and dice the turnips. Wash the tomatoes and dice them as well.
  2. Add 3-4 tbsp water to a pot, add the garlic and curry leaves and sauté for 2 min.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 min. Then, transfer the diced turnips to the pot, stir and cook covered for 2-3 min.
  4. In the meantime, rinse and drain the lentils. Add the lentils, spices, water and coconut milk to the pot and bring to a boil. Then, simmer slightly-covered on low for 17-20 min.
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and brown or basmati rice. Store leftovers in the fridge. As the dhal may thicken in the fridge, add a bit of water when reheating it on the stove.

Summer 2020 CSA Week 1

It’s the first week of the Food Farm Summer CSA share!

Welcome if you are new to this, and welcome if this is your 20th year! We are glad you’re here. Thank you for being part of our farm by choosing to participate in the farm this season. Using fresh, whole food is extra work, and we are grateful that you’ll do that work. It makes what we do on the farm worth it -indeed it’s the whole point.

The first week of deliveries is a truly exciting time here on the farm, especially this year. We have three crew members who are new to our farm and to vegetable farming in general, and you could just feel the excitement as folks showed up this morning. To those of us who have been around awhile this first box is pretty modest, and the anxiety of the season ahead sits heavy with us. Being able to see the beginning of harvest season through their eyes gives us renewed energy for the sweat and toil that lies ahead.

In that spirit, take this food, bless it in whatever way makes sense to you, and let the energy it gives you propel you into action that makes the world, and whatever you have agency over, more just, fair, and loving.

For the farm crew,

Janaki

 

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In your share this week:

Pac choi – Lettuce – Rhubarb – Spinach – Greens mix – Oregano


The secret to eating your veggies, especially greens? Drizzle something amazing over them! From our friends at the Duluth Grill (who know a thing or two about making our veggies taste extra good):

Curry Sauce!

  • 1/4 cup seeded serrano peppers
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1/2 stalk lemon grass
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 lime zest (use the other half of the lime to make a quarantini?)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp diced onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp aminos
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • One 15oz can coconut milk

Toast coriander and pepper corns in a skillet. Trim and chop lemon grass. Combine all ingredients except the coconut milk in a food processor until smooth.

Place puree in medium pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk, whisk and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve over greens or roasted veggies, keep sealed in the fridge!


Rhubarb Chutney -from Martha Stewart (she serves it along side thick cut bacon -yum!)

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 8 ounces rhubarb, cut into a 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 1 1/2-inch piece)
  • 1/2 habanero or Scotch-bonnet pepper, finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds extra-thick-cut bacon, halved crosswise
Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and boil until caramel turns medium amber, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully add vinegar (mixture will spatter and caramel will seize). Continue cooking, stirring, until caramel dissolves again.

Step 2

Stir in rhubarb, shallot, ginger, chile pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rhubarb is tender and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Strain chutney, reserving syrup, and transfer to a serving bowl. Return syrup to saucepan and simmer over medium heat until thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.