Week 5, July 16, 2015

What's in the box?

 Medium Share

Medium Share

  • green beans
  • green top carrots
  • spring onions
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage
  • zucchini/ Summer squash
  • cucumbers
  • fennel
  • head lettuce
 Small Share

Small Share

  • same as above, but in smaller quantities

 Notes on the box...  

The Green Beans were picked just after a very heavy rain and were splashed with dirt.  We don't wash them, so you should give them a good rinse right before using them.  

The tops should be removed from the carrots as soon as you get them home.  The carrots will get rubbery if you leave the tops on.  Remove the tops and store the carrots in a plastic bag.  The tops are edible, as well if you need more greens in your life!  They can be blanched and made into a pesto or used in place of parsley in some recipes.  Taste it and see if you like it.

Fennel may be new to some people.  It was well received last season, so we thought we would send it out again this year.  The bulb, stems, and fronds are all edible.  I suggest removing the tops from the bulb for ease of storage.  Nibble the leaves to get an idea of the flavor of the rest of the plant.  It's like anise.  Check out this tutorial on how to prep fennel from Bon Appetite.

Cheese Share  

This is a cheese we are calling moon shadow.  It will mostly be aged to a dry jack, but we thought we would have you try it young.  All of our cheeses are young right now since our cows freshened in March and April and our facility was just licensed in May.  This cheese has the characteristic lactic tang that comes with younger cheeses and that mellows out over time.  You can enhance the bitey tang by pairing it with an IPA, or you can balance it with a farmhouse ale, a fruity chardoney, dried apricots, or smoked fish.  Or you can keep it simple and make a great cheese sauce for your cauliflower or broccoli!  Let us know what you think!

Recipes

Ginger Garlic Sesame Green Beans

Rinse beans (however many you want to eat) and remove the stem ends.  Heat a Tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet or wok.  Add the beans, some minced or grated ginger and garlic and cook over high heat until bright greeen, but still crisp.  Remove from heat and drizzle with a little toasted sesame oil and salt to taste.  You may also garnish with sesame seeds.  

Fennel, Cabbage, and Cucumber Slaw

  • 1/2 a cabbage, very thinly sliced 

  • 3 spring onions or 1 sweet onion, very thinly sliced 

  • 1 fennel bulb—very thinly sliced or grated

  • 1 -2  cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly crosswise

  • salt

  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 cup chopped dill or fennel leaves

  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Mix crème fraîche or sour cream, vinegar, dill or fennel leaves, and poppy seeds in a large bowl.  Add cabbage, onions, fennel, and cucumbers and toss to combine.  Season to taste with salt and serve.  

Quick Pickled Fennel with Carrots

  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, very thinly sliced or grated

Place the first four ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Then pour into a large bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  When the mixture is still warm, add the fennel and carrots.  Allow to steep for 20 minuets.  Drain and use or store in the fridge for later.  These pickles are great with fish, on burgers or brats, or mixed into pasta, egg, or potato salad.  

Smitten Kitchen's Green Bean Salad with Fennel 

On the Farm

This week seemed to have a lot of potential to get smashed by some harsh weather.  We prepared for the worst and were pretty sure we were getting hammered as we watched an amazing amount of lightning flashing while we hunkered down in the basement.  When we went out to see how things fared, we were relieved to see everything just where we left it.   We were really lucky, though.  We got a text from a neighboring farm saying their sweet corn was all blown over, and another farm whose packing shed was a total loss.  That punched in the gut feeling of defeat came welling up in empathy so easily.  When your livlihood is dependent on the weather, it only takes a couple of years to experience it multiple times.  When a piece of equipment breaks down or a hoophouse gets taken down by wind or snow, our brains translate the loss into how many CSA shares or bunches of carrots worth of dollars was lost.  We ponder what we could have done wrong to deserve the beating from the universe.  We ask a few big questions about The Creator, karma, our place in the world...  Then we mope around and cuss and kick dirt for a while, think about what we can do without to make up for the loss so that we stay out of the red.  Then we take a breath, look at the sky, look at the ground, try not to take it personal, and start cleaning up and getting back to work. We've been hit in the past, and we are so glad that it missed us this go 'round, but we won't take it for granted!  Looks like potential for more weather this weekend... eek!  

And along with the wind came some rain that is making all the crops grow at an incredible rate.  Everything is looking very lush and healthy and the coming weeks look like more delicious and healthy bounty.  We hope that you are enjoying your Summer and eating lots of veggies and that none of you were affected by the bad weather!  

Let us know if you have any questions and thanks for all the nice emails and comments and instagram pictures of your amazing meals!  Keep them coming!  If you have any recipes to share, please do!  

Picture time...