Summer CSA, Week 8

The agate; a treasure to find for north shore residents. We scavenge gravel pits and construction sites looking for those glossy banded rocks. We look with bent necks along the shores of Superior. And each time we come across an agate it’s an exciting surprise.

Some believe agates should go back where they were found, perhaps for the next person to find the joy. Others hoard them in jars around their homes or in the cup holders of their cars.

Our radionics padawan Garret, refers to them as energy boosters. Walking around the farm it’s common to find them piled up waiting to put a smile on someone’s face.

The last two weeks have been a collective effort to weed the 3rd and 4th planting of carrots. With burnt knees and blistered knuckles we damn near completed all 39 beds worth. By the time you read this we might have finished the last seven rows.

Sam and Garrett enjoy tucking agates between carrots. Someone will find it along the way and put it in a row next to them for someone else. Little energy boosters.

Medieval folklore suggests farmers in Europe believed agates could protect their dairy cows.

To prevent milk from spoiling during lightening storms they would hang agates inside barns. This had the added benefit of keeping the witches away from riding their cows at night. A witch will not enter a building protected by an agate.

Agates were also fastened to equipment to ensure a healthy productive crop.

As much as I’d love to see a witch riding a cow, I’d rather have a glass of unspoiled milk.

From a witch weary farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA Box: Broccoli – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumber – Dill – Napa Cabbage – Green Onion – Peas – Green Pepper – Jalapeño Pepper – Tomatoes – Zucchini


Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 1/2 large Napa Cabbage
  • 1/2 cup peanuts-roasted
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or some scapes if you have them from last week
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut or canola oil

Chop cucumber and Napa cabbage into thin elongated slices. Dress with cilantro roasted peanuts. Combine peanut oil, lime juice salt sugar and garlic powder to drizzle over slaw.

Summer CSA, Week 7

This week I’ve been thinking about life in miniature.

What would life be like as a carrot? What does a potato bug think about?

When a human is thundering towards you, hunched over and wielding a bent steak knife as a carrot, I would be terrified. Standing at a height of no more than 4 inches tall carrots line up in rows. They stand together through wind whipping across a field, giant rain drops, humans with knives, and absent minded deer.

I imagine those little carrots are scared out of their minds by all the gigantic things that could hurt them in this world. But I also imagine those little carrots working through that fear, talking to each other with their little voices and radiating confidence. The more confident the carrot the tastier it is, obviously.

However I do not think that same theory applies to a potato bug. Do not eat potato bugs, gross. We spent a lot of time with potato bugs this week. Leaving much opportunity to mull over the possibility of them being some sort of indestructible super bug.

So what does a potato bug think about? Their whole world is around a couple of potato plants. Until they are adults they can only inch along like slugs. So do they chit chat with their friends while munching and destroying precious potato leaves? Do the adult bugs whisper sweet nothings into each others ears?

I don’t imagine a potato bug being afraid of much. They seem like simple minded creatures. Worry is low on their list of priorities. The potato bug is more into socializing, gluttony, and hibernation.

Seeing the world through a miniature perspective is a helpful reminder of how lucky we are to not be so mini. The wind across a field won’t blow us down. I cannot be shaken off a plant and put in a 5 gallon bucket.

That is pretty cool.

From a larger than life farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA box: Basil – Beets – Broccoli – Carrots – Cauliflower – Cucumbers – Garlic Scapes – Lettuce Mix – Green Onions – Zucchini – and a few surprise tomatoes!


To throw everyone for a loop I went with sweet treat recipes.

Zucchini Brownies

  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil or Olive Oil
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded Zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine oil, sugar, vanilla in medium bowl.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl.

Combine flour mixture to sugar mixture. The batter is crumbly.

Stir Zucchini into batter. Batter should now be moist and thick.

Place batter into 8 x 11 inch baking dish.

Bake 25-30 minutes. Or until brownies are firm on edges of dish.

Flourless Orange Cauliflower Cake

  • 1-1/2 cup cooked puréed cauliflower
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2-1/2 cups ground almond meal
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a spring foam baking pan. This is a sticky cake you need a spring foam pan.

Purée cauliflower and combine eggs. Mix until fully combine. Add sugar, zest, almond meal, corn starch, extracts, salt and baking powder.

Bake in prepared pan for 50-60 minutes or until set. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar and orange zest once completely cooled and serve!

Summer CSA, Week 6

What a week!

The weather is scorching hot and vegetables are growing like crazy. The bounty of food we harvest everyday takes my breath away.

You want to know what else takes my breath away? More or less out of primal hunger …LUNCH and how good everyone on the Food Farm is at cooking! It’s kind of a job requirement.

Each day someone on the farm crew is designated to make lunch. And each day the arrangement of vegetables grows more and more impressive. On a hot, hot day caring for cabbage or carrots it is so wonderful to eat a cold salad with cold dressing and drink a glass of ice cold water.

So the salad bar has become a staple during lunch. It is common place to lay out a cornucopia of choices so we can all free range. Shredded turnips or beets, chopped cucumber and carrots, sun gold tomatoes and a pile of greens mix. Of course one cannot survive the rest of the day purely off of a salad.

Sam likes to bring bread he made over the weekend. He is an incredible baker and the bread does not last long. Jane makes kombucha and a delicious hard boiled egg. Teri often dazzles us with a quinoa dish she prepared the night before. She sometimes will even bring homemade ice cream! I constantly want to make cookies. And Garrett made an impromptu tofu beet salad this week that was stellar. Oh and Patricia likes to bring watermelon or mango from her backyard.

The possibilities of what to do with a refrigerator full of vegetables can be overwhelming. Attempting to create a new and exciting dish to please the masses can be challenging. Luckily out here when we file in for lunch no one is picky and we are all purely grateful food is made and it’s time to relax.

When food tastes this good who needs fancy sauces and spices. Wash that carrot off and start munching!

Above is Garrett, who landed a hitchhiker while hoeing in the squash field. Also in the squash field are a lot of rouge milkweed plants. Bless their hearts they didn’t realize they were growing in a field so now Janaki will have to drive around them when cultivating. Thankfully everywhere you look around the farm is milkweed. And if you look close enough you might find a caterpillar enjoying their lunch.

From a lunch happy farm crew

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Broccoli – Carrots – Swiss Chard – Cucumber – Napa Cabbage – Garlic Scapes – Green Onions – Lettuce


Spring Rolls!

You can make spring rolls with so many different ingredients. Now that napa cabbage is ready though mmmmmm they sure sound delicious.

Thinly slice into small elongated pieces

  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Napa Cabbage

You could also add

  • Avocado
  • Rice Noodles
  • Tofu
  • Beets

The list goes on and on….

Place hot water in a bowl or cake pan, submerge one spring roll rice paper at a time for about 20 seconds. Take out and apply vegetables, roll like a burrito. Don’t forget to tuck the ends in!

Add a tasty peanut sauce for dipping and you’ve got yourself a delectable summer meal.

Garlic Scape Hummus

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup chopped garlic scapes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a food processor pulse scapes, lesson juice and salt

Add chick peas and blend, adding olive oil as you go

Top with herbs and spices such as dill and sumac

Summer CSA Week 5

Here comes summer

Here comes summer

Chirping robin, budding rose

Here comes summer

Here comes summer

Gentle showers, summer clothes

Here comes summer

Here comes summer

Whoosh–shiver–there it goes.

–Shel Silverstein

I was laid up for a few days this past week recovering from a tick born illness. When I came back to work on Wednesday I felt like I’d been gone a week!

The tomatoes in the green house are taller than I am. The cucumbers have become wildly prolific. All the row cover is off the cabbage and the broccoli are beautiful.

This season is what I live for. The warm air when the breeze blows. The sweltering heat when the sun is high in the sky. Sun burnt shoulders and tan faces. Bare feet in warm fields.

Summer can fly by in the blink of an eye if you aren’t careful to pay attention. We all get caught up in the work, because we are farmers and can’t help ourselves. There is a mile of cabbage to weed. There are tomatoes to trellis and boxes to wash. There is grass to mow and sunscreen to apply and water that needs to be drank.

I have to remind myself to pay attention, to stay conscious of what’s going on around me. Sam started harvesting a ton of cucumbers each day. I noticed that. But I had to pay attention to see it. The sun golds started turning yellow. I bet a I’ll get to eat a handful in a few days.

Dave planted basil in every nook and cranny of the green houses. But you have to look down for just a second to appreciate that.

We farmers do a special kind of dance. We all have different roles to play, different songs to sing. I like to imagine us from a birds eye view. Little objects floating around the farm, accomplishing so, so much.

From a tender loving farm crew

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Carrots – Beets – Cucumbers – Broccoli- Green Onions – Romaine Lettuce – Garlic Scapes!


Broccoli Fritters

  • 8 oz broccoli including stem cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (if you’re into that)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne

Steam broccoli until tender. Drain excess water and pat dry. Toss broccoli in flour and cayenne. Combine egg to broccoli, then the cheese. Mix completely.

Place pan on medium heat. Add oil. Divide mixture into fourth and spoon into pan in patty form.

Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes

Asian Cucumber Salad

  • 4 cups VERY thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add cucumber, onion, red pepper and sesame seeds to medium bowl. Set aside

In small bowl mix rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and salt.

Add dressing to veggie mix, serve immediately raw let sit in fridge for a while to let the flavors meld

Summer CSA, Week 4

Let’s think about the joy in life.

NPR is not currently broadcasting about the member drive and I find myself still not able to turn the news on. Between the debates and the eminent war updates I quickly fall under a rain cloud. So this week I went searching for some joy.

Periodically throughout the week I asked folks where they found some joy. These are their thoughts:

Sandy told me he enjoyed going to the Huskies game with Annie, Truman and Ellis. Sandy also caught a skunk in a live trap and re-homed it away from their property. I assume that brought him some bittersweet joy.

Dave himmed and hawwhed then finally said he was very grateful for the water that fell from the sky this week.

Teri eagerly listed off turnips, radishes, and lettuce as things that brought her joy. But ultimately finally getting to wear shorts and a cold glass of lemonade brought her the most joy.

Jane initially said going to the beach after work with her kids one night was wonderful. Later in the week she got out of going to the mall with her parents and decided that was more joyful.

Garrett expresses some frustration in the carrot field about being under a rain cloud. But the carrot field is a magical place where worries wash away after you talk about them. And through much reflection and venting Garrett said he was reminded to be at peace with the world.

Karin said Joel has started talking to their baby (in utero) more! Maybe by the time you read this she will have had her baby! [editor’s note: nope]

Patricia thought for a moment and gleefully said she saw some work being done to her house. This is very exciting!

Sam told me carrots. I did not wish him a Happy Friday, he does not enjoy that.

As for me the heartwarming feels I got from all the farm crew leading up to my race have been wonderful. Dave making lunch on Friday brought me so much joy. Sam made me granola bars!

I left the farm Friday with a happy heart knowing our farm crew is a joyful bunch.

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Carrots – Green Top Beets – Green Onions – Radishes – Lettuce – Turnips – Pac Choi


*This is likely the last week your carrots will have green tops on them. You can wash and use those greens! We recommend a carrot top pesto.

Roasted Beet and Carrot salad with Burrata Cheese

For the salad

  • 5 or 6 Red Beets with tops
  • 6 carrots halved lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

For the dressing

  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Honey
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp minced rosemary
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the tops of the beets, reserving the beet greens. Scrub the beets clean, half and slice. Clean ribs off the beet greens and tear the greens into pieces. 
  3. Set aside. Keep the red beets separate from the rest of the vegetables if you don’t want the colors to bleed. Toss beets and carrots in olive oil with salt. Spread in one layer on sheet pan. Again keeping red beets separate from the rest of the vegetables if you don’t want the colors to bleed. 
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender and browned.
  5. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  6. Right before the vegetable are read from the oven heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. 
  7. Quickly sauté the beet greens, about 2 minutes or until lightly wilted. Transfer to platter. 
  8. Top with roasted vegetable, burrata cheese and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Crispy Turnip Fries

  • 4 Turnips, peeled and cut into fries (our turnips are smaller and don’t need to be peeled, so add in the ones from last week if you have them still)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.
  1. Toss the turnips with olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  1. Place in one layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes until nice and crispy. If needed you can broil them at the end to help crisp them up.

Summer CSA, Week 3

How do you prepare for something you’ve never done before; Knowledge, hydration, relaxation and one metric ton of good faith?

I’m participating in a 100 mile bike race next week and I’m kind of freaking out. I’ve never biked that far before. I’ve raced my bike countless times but never that far.

Thankfully I’m finding a bit of solace in the farm. During lunch Sam whipped out a couple of cookbooks. One stood out to me: From Asparagus to Zucchini. According to Sam this book came to fruition when CSAs started becoming more popular around the US. People were excited to get a CSA box but were left overwhelmed with what to do with all the veggies.

How do you all prepare for a CSA box every week? Mix up lots of dressings for salads I hope! Perhaps clear shelves in the refrigerator? I feel that committing to a Summer CSA share is more impressive that completing a 100 mile bike race. Summer CSA share season is a marathon not a sprint.

Thank you for eating veggies you might not have tried before and experimenting with recipes new to you. Thank you for reminding me a 100 mile bike race is a walk in the park compared to eating a farm load of veggies, you are the real athletes!!!

Also if you are having trouble eating all of those mixed greens some fun ways to use them up could be:

  • Put them on a sandwich
  • Mix in with scrambled eggs
  • Add to lentil or miso soup

The carrot field is a beach where the carrots soak up the sun all day. This past week more cucumbers went into the ground, more potatoes went into the ground and the onion field got a cozy layer of mulch. Weeding continued throughout the farm; the bright sunny days have been prime weed killing weather.

The deer fence across the road got one step closer to being finished. Garrett and I post-pounded many T-posts. Additional support wood posts were added to the fence lines. The next step is to hang the gates and roll out the fence!

A friendly reminder the Free Range Film Festival is this weekend. See you at the big red barn!

From a film hungry farm crew,

Tiffany


In your share this week:

Green Onions – Carrots – Greens Mix – Kale – Butter head Lettuce – Pac Choi – Radishes – Turnips


Carrot and Beet Kale Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Tofu

For the roasted potatoes

2 russet potatoes chopped (about 1 cup chopped per salad) seasoned with salt and pepper, olive oil and chili powder (if you’re into that)

Roast potatoes at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes

For the Tofu

1 package of firm Tofu cut into cubes and seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Bake Tofu along side potatoes at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes

For the salad (per serving)

  • 1/2 cup Grated Carrot
  • 1/2 cup Grated beet
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tahini sauce

  • 6 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Whisk sauce ingredients together and top over salad, potatoes and tofu!

Pac Choi stir fry with Turnips and Carrots

  • Pac Choi chopped into even square pieces
  • Turnips and carrots chopped into quartered pieces similar to pac choi

Cook veggies over medium heat in olive oil with soy sauce and fish oil until veggies are tender. Top with mixed greens and enjoy!

 

Summer CSA, Week 2

Summer Solstice is days away and the sunlight feels infinite.

This time of year everything looks so vividly green. The woods are thick with lush leaves and grass seems to grows back over night after its been mowed. The farm is fast paced here on out till after fall harvest. So it’s easy to get caught up in the work and forget to take a moment and breathe it all in.

I’ve seen three different mama ducks on the pond in the back with little babies. I always update the farm crew after I’ve seen them. I saw a great horned owl this past weekend fly in front of me and perch in a tree around dusk.

We’ve had a handful of sweltering day in June so far. But for the most part it’s been a mild end to spring. I keep saying I’m waiting for those hot days, those sleep with the windows open and run around in a tank top and shorts kind of days. But of course when those hot days do come a knocking I’ll be ill prepared without a hat or sunscreen. Inevitably getting oddly placed tan lines all across my body. So this is my public service announcement to be prepared, summer is coming.

Karin will be taking a baby sabbatical this summer starting hopefully on the solstice (then I win the pool) while the rest of us on the farm crew attempt to fill her shoes. I’m confident we will make her proud.

This week the farm crew began the season of weeding, the first planting of carrots got weeded along with many other rows, beds and aisle ways. The fields across the road have irrigation now and a mountain of seed potatoes was conquered.

Food is starting to leave the ground and enter your homes! I’m constantly amazed at just how much food we harvest in a season and how many people get to eat these wonderful veggies.

So thank you for being the consumer and thank you for putting up with me writing the newsletter in Karin’s absence. I’ll try to be as witty and well spoken as she is.

With fists fulls of greens,

Tiffany


In your share this week:

Green Onions – Greens mix – Rhubarb – Lettuce – Radishes – Spinach – Turnips


Spinach and Quinoa Patties

1 cup – uncooked quinoa OR 2 ½ cups pre-cooked quinoa, (black, white or red)
¾ cup – rolled oats
4 eggs
7 oz – feta cheese
4 cups – fresh spinach, chopped
sea salt & pepper
coconut oil, butter, olive oil or ghee for frying

Cook quinoa: Place 2 cups water, rinsed uncooked quinoa and a pinch of salt in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a bare simmer and gently cook for about 15 minutes, or until you see small tails on the quinoa seeds. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, place cooked quinoa, oats, eggs, feta cheese, chopped spinach, salt and pepper and combine until all is mixed. Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
Take out the mixture and form 10 to 12 patties with your hands. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the patties and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, soft boiled eggs, beans and sprouts or micro greens. The patties keep for 3-5 days in the fridge and freezes well.

Garlic Roasted Turnips (also works with radishes)

Turnips from CSA box! 2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter (melted) 1 teaspoon garlic power 1 teaspoon Oregano Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove greens and ends of turnips. Quarter turnips. In a mixing bowl mix ingredients together. Place turnips on baking sleet cut sides down. Roast 30-35 minutes or until fork tender and golden brown.