Week 7; July 20, 2017

What's in the box?

Green Top Beets
cilantro
Summer squash/ zucchini
cucumbers
arugula
baby salad kale
sweet onion
fresh garlic
romaine lettuce - medium and large shares

Notes on the box.

The tops of the beets are edible.  Cook as you would chard or spinach.
The cilantro was ready and we had to pick it.  Kind of a weird box to put cilantro in since there's not a lot of obvious things to pair it with, but if you have cabbage left from a previous box you can make a nice slaw to go on tacos.  Or make cilantro lime rice to serve with burritos or stir fry.
This is your week to make Zuke-canoes!  and Zucchini bread.  and stir fry.  and Zoodles.  
Also quick pickles, cucumber salad, cucumber water, taziki sauce, cucumbers on sandwiches, etc...
Arugula this week! It's a spicy addition to salad or sandwiches. It might fall into the love it or hate it category. Expect it a few more times before the year is over. 
Baby kale has a nice brassica flavor and does well as an alternative to lettuce.  Combine it with the arugula for salads if you find an all arugula salad to be too spicy.
Sweet onions and garlic are both uncured and should be stored in your fridge.  
This is a good week for a big Caesar salad dinner with the fresh garlic and romaine lettuce!  

Cosmic Wheel Creamery Cheese Shares.

Fresh quark and Vega!  The quark is unflavored and can be used in baking.  You can use it anywhere that you would chèvre, but it's made from cows milk instead of goat milk.  You can mix in your favorite fresh herbs and spread it on crackers.  Add it to a roasted beet salad.  
The Vega is a cheese that I was developing to be similar to the Antares, but less piquant.  It's nice shredded or cubed and added to salads.  Also good for snacking.  Love it with crisp white wine or sparkling mineral water.  

Recipes.

Cilantro Pesto
1 bunch cilantro
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil (add more you prefer a more liquid pesto)
juice of 1/2 lime
Put all ingredients into a food prossessor and blend well.  Put pesto onto beans and rice, meat, mix into udon noodles and stir fried veggies...  Very versatile!  Freezes well, too.  

Overnight Bread and Butter Pickles

NYT Marinated Zucchini Salad (Thanks for the recipe, Paula!)

Garlic Parmesan Zoodles

Zucchini Fritters from Smitten Kitchen

Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad

 

 

On the farm.

Moderately warm temps and adequate moisture! Yay!  No weather complaints this week. :)
Big Fall plantings coming to a close in the next week. We will harvest the garlic and get it curing soon.  
Summer's main attractions are right around the corner: peppers, beans, new potatoes in the next few weeks. Followed soon after by corn, tomatoes, melons.
Its always the debate this time of year. How much squash is too much? 4? 6? 60?  Maybe you need a spiralizer. to make zoodles. the zucchini noodle.  This year one of our crew member Jeanne brought one and the main farm family chef is sold.  Perhaps to the dismay of the rest of the family...  Zoodles are being served weekly.  Otto has been trained on the spiralizer and enjoys making the zoodles, but is not quite as enthusiastic about eating them.  Zucchini bread is a whole other story, though.
Cucumbers are coming on strong!   After last years poor crop we are happy to see them and not all the beetles. Next time we'll trellis them since bending down that far to harvest that many is a pain in the back, for sure.

The farm tour was great. we had about 100 people come out from the twin cities and near by. We had no idea of what to expect or plan for, but it was a nice time. We got to meet a few CSA members and many people just excited about local food! That's our kind of people!  If you couldn't make it out for the farm tour, we will be having a harvest party sometime toward the end of the season.  We will let you know when we get it on the calendar.

Send us some pics or ideas of what you're cooking. We'd love to share it! 

Forecast for next week.

Cabbage
carrots
onions
turnips ?
cucumber
squash/zucchini
arugula
broccoli? 

Week 6; July 13, 2017

What's in the box?  

Salad mix
Carrots
Red curly Kale
Spring sweet onions
basil
Cauliflower
broccoli
squash and zucchini
cucumbers (English or several smaller cukes)
butter head lettuce - medium and large
Cabbage - medium and large
salad turnips- medium and large

Notes on the box.

You might be having a race to keep your crisper clear for next weeks box.  I like to wash the lettuce and have it ready to go for salads before it ever goes into the fridge. We serve EVERYTHING at this time of year with a salad.  Scrambled eggs, toast, and a side salad. Grains and meat are served on a bed of greens.   We eat a salad centered dinner at least once a week this time of year.  Keep your favorite dressings on hand.  Try to have all of the lettuces and tender greens eaten before your next weeks box arrives since these are the most perishable of the veggies.  Your cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc will hold.  
Basil is the most perishable and tricky thing to store this week.  Avoid getting it wet since it will turn brown and wilt.  You can store it in a plastic bag in the warmest part of your fridge.  Make a pesto or slice the leaves thinly and garnish cooked fish or chicken.  Or add it to stir friend veggies.  
To keep root veggies crisp and storing well, be sure to separate the leaves from the roots as soon as you get them home.  This is especially true of green top carrots.  They get bendy if you leave the tops on for very long.  But be sure to eat a carrot with the top still attached so you can work on your bugs bunny impersonation.  The leaves of the salad turnips can be cooked.  I was at a wedding this weekend and there was a dish with roasted salad turnips where the turnip had been quartered with the leaves left on and roasted that way. It was a little unwieldy to serve with the greens getting tangled up, but it was tasty and fun!
One of the most simple ways to eat your kale is my favorite.  Wash the kale, de-stem it by holding the stem in one hand and tiwh the other hand pull along the stem, stripping the leaf away from the stem.  It take a little practice, but once you get the hang of it you can make really quick work of a bunch.  Chop up the kale leaves, some garlic, and onion.  I like to sautée the kale in coconut oil because I like the nutty sweet flavor.  Sautee it, cover it to help it along.   When it's wilted but not yet a dark much, give it a little salt and squeeze of lemon juice.  Serve as a side or mix into pasta dishes or a grain based salad.  

Cosmic Wheel Creamery Cheese Shares.

This week we have feta and The Herdsman.  The Feta is in a little brick this time instead of crumbled.  You can cube or crumble it yourself this way. If you need to store it for an extended time, make a brine with 1 tsp salt dissolved in 1 cup of water and put the whole chunk in there and store in your fridge.  You can also cube it up and store it in olive oil with fresh herbs and garlic to elevate this utilitarian cheese to cheese plate status or to give as a fancy homemade gift.  This link has more instructions.  I sent feta this week thinking we were having beets in the box, but the beets weren't quite sized up.  But the Feta will go nicely on a salad with the cucumbers or on a flatbread pizza with the squash.  
The Herdsman is one of the first aged cheeses made for the 2017 season.  It's aged 3 months and the cows were still eating mostly hay, so it has a nice fresh lactic quality without the grassy flavors that happen when the cows get out onto pasture.  It's a great melter for a fantastic grilled cheese.  The rind is edible, but I usually trim it off.  You can have a nibble of it to see if you want to eat it or not.  

Recipes.

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Basil Bake  This would be good with Feta and Herdsman!  

On the Farm. 

What a light show last we had on Tuesday night. We dodged a bullet of severe weather.  Our friends just a little bit further north had trees downed and one of the roofs of a silo blew off.  Other friends said they watched with half sick stomachs as a mesocyclone slowly rotated the sky above their farm.  Here at Turnip Rock a few tree branches fell, crops were leaning, and 2 inches of rain fell. But! we had no weather damage to the crops and were dry enough this time to absorb most all the moisture to fall. And the pastures keep on growing! Phew!

The boxes are filling up easier, and coming in with some new crops and waiting patiently for some summer crops, namely peppers, tomatoes, and corn.  Melons have started to vine and have a few flowers, so we are a mear 5-6 weeks away from melon harvest.... 

Garlic will come out next week to cure!

Saturday is the Farm Open house, part of the Eat Local Co-op Farm Tour from 10-4
You can type in Turnip Rock Farm on google maps and we will show up for you.  You will also have the opportunity to tour our neighboring farm Bull Brook Keep where Sylvia raises 100% grass fed heritage cattle.  And a little further to the North is our good friends at Steady Hand Farm.  We will set up a little farm stand, have some cheese for tasting, and be giving tours or you are welcome to do a self guided tour.  

 

What's Growing On?

Cabbage? 
beets
carrots
squash
cucumbers
onions
cauliflower
Romaine lettuce
cilantro?