Week 6; July 23, 2015

What's in the box? 

medium share

medium share

Same in small shares, but lesser amounts

  • salad mix
  • green beans
  • broccoli or cauliflower
  • summer squash
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers
  • green top carrots
  • sweet onions
  • kale
  • basil
  • heirloom tomatoes
  • bell peppers

Notes on the box... 

We wash the Salad Mix, but suggest you give it another wash before eating just to be sure it's 100% dirt free.

Some of the Cucumbers may be a little large.  We culled out the largest ones (they were growing faster than we could pick them!), but there were some on the large size that still tasted wonderful.  Though you may want to scoop out the seeds if you find them unappealing.  The easiest way to do this is to cut them in half lengthwise and run a spoon down the center making a cucumber boat.  Easy.  There are quite a few this week.  We have been putting them on sandwiches, making cucumber water (just put some slices into your water and put it in the fridge for a few hours until it's nice and cold and so refreshing), making refrigerator pickles, adding them to every salad, enjoying them sliced in the morning with our eggs, and eating them whole fora  quick snack.  We really love them around here! 

Please remember to remove the tops from your carrots for the best storage.  If you don't get to it right away and find your carrots a little bendy, you can try soaking them in cold water for a half hour to see if they crisp up again. 

Sweet onions are sweet and mild.  They are good for fresh eating on burgers and in salads.  They are not cured (dried for long term storage) so you should keep them in your refrigerator.

  Bell peppers are here!  Hooray!  They will be coming weekly and as they ripen we will send red and yellow ones.  You can expect to see them until frost, so add them to your stir fry and with abandon!

It's the first of the Heirloom tomatoes!!  They will be coming on heavier and you will get more soon.  The first ones are so special and loved.  Best eaten all on their own with maybe a little salt to let the flavor shine.  Don't put tomatoes in the fridge unless you plan on cooking them. The cold makes the texture mealy and can lessen the flavor, too.  Store tomatoes at room temperature on their shoulders (that's stem end facing down). 

Recipes 

From members Charles and Shannon, a suggestion for what to do with your cabbage if you still have some from last week.  They said it's really good! Worlds Best Braised Green Cabbage

Ben's Everything Easy Salad

Ben took all the produce that was sitting on the counter and made a beautiful salad out of it.  So Summery and tasty.  Finely chopped broccoli or cauliflower would be nice in it as well.  You could serve it with your salad mix, too. 

  • zuchinni or summer squash, diced
  • bell pepper, diced
  • basil, cut into thin strips
  • sweet onion tops, cut into thin strips
  • carrots, grated
  • tomato, diced
  • dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

I will ill be testing this Meatless Greens Meatballs recipe this weekend using kale and carrot tops!  Wish me luck! 

  Zuchinni Pizza Crust  requires pizza stone

  Chilled Cucumber and Herb Soup 

Refrigerator Pickled Green Beans

Spicy Refrigerator Pickled Summer Squash and Zucchini
 Last season I was making pickles and had some leftover brine.  I sliced up some zucchini and summer squash and pickled them.  They were wonderful! 

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles
 For all those cucumbers!

Cheese Share

This week we have Antares (the cows milk Manchego) again.  It was made in a different wheel size for this batch.   I like this cheese on a fresh vegetable sandwich piled high with cukes, tomato, lettuce, and bell pepper.  I also like it on pizza and on its own for a snack.  Note that some of the wheels weighed less and so some people got a smaller wedge than others.  I tried to group the smaller wedges by drop site and made a note of who got smaller wedges so that I can give bigger ones later on.  Don't want anyone to miss out on cheese! 

You may have also seen on facebook or instagram the picture of the fresh mozzarella that I pulled for the farmers market.  It was well liked and I want to deliver it to the cheese shares, but I need to figure out how to get it delivered to you without the brine spilling everywhere or the mozzarella getting squished!  I also need a lot more practice at pulling so that I can make it more quickly without so many that don't pass quality control...  Keep your fingers crossed, or if you can't hold out, come to the Linden Hills Farmer's market where we will have the fresh mozzarella in limited quantities off and on in the coming weeks.

On the farm...

We harvested a beautiful crop of garlic this week.  It's curing in the barn and we will start adding heads to your box when it dries and gets cleaned up.  YAY! 

Ahhhh...  This time of year is so nice!  Everything is coming ripe and looking beautiful and vibrant.  Not many pests have found us and we've been getting enough rain.  There's still too much to do to stay on top of all the weeds, but we are happy to have a nice abundance to put in your boxes!  We hope that you are enjoying everything and making your way through the veggies before the next weeks delivery arrives. 

I have to say, seeing pictures on Instagram of the meals that you make with the veggies that we have grown is one of the best treats we get!  We are so grateful for all the feedback we are getting from our members. Here's a look at some of the lovely pictures of some truly yummy looking food that you all shared with us.  Please keep it coming!  It's really fun and motivating for your farmers to know about these amazing meals that you are putting love into for yourselves, your families, and your friends!  THANK YOU! 

And now the pictures from the farm...

 

Next Week

  • cukes
  • summer squash and zuchinni
  • tomatoes
  • bell peppers
  • sweet onions
  • carrots
  • celery?
  • new potatoes??

Week 1 delivery, June 18, 2015

Welcome to our new members and welcome back to our returning members!  We are happy to have the first box of the season out to you.  This is our online newsletter.  It will follow a format each week.  A picture and list of the contents of the weeks box followed by notes about the veggies and storage tips.  Next a few recipes focusing on veggies that you may not be familiar with or that we have in quantity.  Finally, pictures of what's been going on at the farm, musings from your farmers, and news about farm events or announcements.  Your CSA experience will be greatly enhanced if you look at the blog each week!  It will help you feel connected to the farm and use up your veggies.  So here we go...  

What's in the box?

All Shares -

  • herb pot
  • dino kale
  • salad turnips
  • radishes
  • spinach
  • arugula
  • garlic scapes

Medium and Large 

  • pac choi
  • green onions
  • vitamin greens

What's what with the green stuff?!

 

Notes on the box...

 This box has quite a few veggies that might be new to first-time CSA members.  We grew a lot of them after getting positive feedback last season from members.  They were enjoyed and we hope that you like them!  If a lot of these are new to you, we invite you to taste, try, and experiment.  

 Kale should be stored in the fridge in your crisper in an open plastic bag.  It will last for at least a week and likely closer to two.  If it seems a little limp from the heat or from sitting in your fridge too long,  you can soak it in cold water and it will perk back up.  Remove the stems before cooking.  Hearty greens like kale are great simply sautéed in butter or oil with some chopped garlic (or garlic scapes!) until it is bright green.  You can add leaves to smoothies.  Kale can be washed, de-stemmed, blanched and frozen.  If you have tried kale before and thought that you didn’t like it, we encourage you to try it again.  Sometimes people have tasted kale from the heat of summer when it is at its toughest and most bitter.  We won’t give you tough, bitter kale.  If our kids won’t eat it raw, it won’t go in the box! 

Arugula, vitamin greens, and turnip and radish greens should be stored in an open platic bag in your crisper.  They are tender leaves and all make wonderful pestos and additions to salads.  

Radishes These are called french breakfast radishes.  Take the tops off of the radishes and put them in a baggie in your crisper.  The tops are edible as well. You can add your radish tops to stir fry or salads.  Radishes are a great spicy snack and if you've never tried thinly sliced radishes on buttered bread with a little salt, now is the time to try it!  We’ve been enjoying radishes diced small and added as a seasonal replacement to celery in egg salad and pasta salad.  They add a nice crunch and a little spicy flavor.

The lovely white globes are hakuri or Salad Turnips.  The tops of the salad turnips are edible.  They are nice chopped and added to salads or you can saute them.  They are very mild for turnip greens.  The turnips themselves are so sweet and nice sliced and added to a salad.  We rarely do that as we mostly just eat them whole as snacks.  They can also be sauteed or roasted, but try them fresh first!  

Bok Choi is perfect for stir fry.  The key to good pak choi is to cook it briefly (we add it to the very end of a stir fry) so that the stems stay crunchy and the greens aren't mushy.  Try it!  Last season it was almost unanimous in our survey that people trying it for the first time liked it, so here we have it! 

Green Onions and Garlic Scapes can be paired together where you would use green onions.  Or you can substitute the scapes for green onions.  The garlic scape is the flowering part of the garlic plant.  We pull the scape off to enjoy before the garlic bulb is ready.  Pulling the scape off helps the bulb size up more.  The scapes can be made into a pesto, chopped and added to scrambled eggs or salads, or put into a vase and enjoyed for its beauty (before you eat it).  They can also be grilled or roasted whole till tender.  If you are intimidated by them you can keep them in your crisper drawer until you work up the courage to eat them, as they won’t go bad for a long time. 

Recipes

 

Garlic Scape and Arugula Pesto

several garlic scapes, cut into bits
1/2  bunch arugula (or spinach, kale, or turnip greens) chopped
1/2 c seeds or nuts (optional)
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1/4 – 1/3 c olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (or more)
1/2 t  salt
1/2 t chili pepper flakes

Combine the garlic scapes, arugula, nuts, and cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times. Let the machine run and slowly pour in half the amount of oil along with the lemon juice, salt and chili flakes. Slowly add the remaining oil until you’ve reached a good consistency (you may not need all the oil). Store in a lidded jar in the fridge for a week or freeze in small jars. Serve with pasta, spread on sandwiches, mixed into eggs, drizzled onto pizza, tossed with roasted potatoes.... 

Goodness Greenness Pasta

  • pasta of your choice
  • 1 bunch garlic scape cut into 1 inch pieces
  • avocado
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • fresh parsley, thyme, and/ or mint chopped
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup sour cream, quark, cream cheese, chevre, or greek yogurt
  • olive oil
  • spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 salad turnips, thinly sliced
  • chopped arugula, vitamin green, turnip greens, and/or spinach
  • salt and pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook 6 minutes. Add the garlic scapes and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Drain.
  2. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce: Add the avocado, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, and fresh herbs to a food processor or blender. Process on high for 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. Scrape into a small bowl and stir in the sour cream or your choice of creamy dairy. Set aside.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the spring onion and turnips and cook 2-3 minutes, or until soft. Add the arugula (and/ or other greens) and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the greens are wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked pasta, garlic scapes, and sauce. Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper.

 

Radiant bok choi, adapted from Vegetable Love

  • 1-2 heads of bok choi and a bunch of turnip greens or vitamin greens
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • fresh ginger, minced
  • A few mushrooms (shiitake or oyster are best), de-stalked and caps sliced
  • Tamari or umeboshi vinegar 
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Cut base from bok choi, seperate leaves and wash well.  Wash additional greens well and chop roughly.  
  2. Add the turmeric, sea salt, coconut milk and ginger in a lidded frying pan. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat down to medium. Simmer for 3 minutes.  Add bok choi and simmer 3 more minnutes with lid on. 
  3. Add the mushrooms, stir, and cover again. Simmer for 6 minutes.  
  4. Add aditional greens and cook til wilted.  
  5. Serve over rice with a little tamari or umeboshi vinegar and squeeze of lime.  

 

Cheese Shares!

Welcome to our cheese share members!  We have been really busy with getting this part of the farm up and running.  WOW!  We will tell you more about it in the coming weeks.  for now, we will let you know that the aged cheeses are ripening and so the first few weeks we will get to enjoy some fresh cheese. If you would like to add a cheese share, please contact us and we will be happy to pro-rate a share for you.  This week...

  • Cheese curds
  • Quark

These are cheddar cheese curds.  A Wisconsin classic.  If you like squeaky curds, allow them to warm up and the squeak will return.  If you don't like squeaky cheese, you can have them cold or let them age for a few weeks in the fridge.  At market we noticed that a lot of people said they don't like their cheese to squeak, but they still love these curds!  Curds are most commonly eaten just as they are as a snack.  They are also very popular fried (Dana likes to make a little batter out of flour, egg, a little baking powder salt and pepper then pan fries them in a little bit of oil.  SO yummy!)  And we love to float them in a vegetable or lentil soup!  We just throw them in at the end and they become soft while still holding their shape.  

The quark cheese is a type of fresh cheese very common in Europe.  It is versitile and can be enjoyed fresh or used in baking where you would cream cheese, but it has a slightly more tangy flavor.  We have made a garlic scape and arugula pesto and drizzled it over the quark and spread that on crackers or bread.  It's also nice on a baguette with thinly sliced radish and black pepper.  And a good friend suggests using it in a sauce for mac and cheese.  Hope you enjoy it!  

Want to see a cool time lapse video of boxes being packed??  Click the link at the bottom of the blog that goes to our facebook page to check it out!

First delivery information for new members: 

We are so happy to be your farmers!  Thanks for signing up.  A few things to remember to make your Summer of vegetables more enjoyable: 

1. Don't forget to pick up your box! We send an email when your box is delivered.  Picking up sooner on hot days will help keep your veggies fresh longer.  Always only take veggies from the box with your name on the label.  If you are unable to pick up, let your host know so that they may hold it for you until you can pick up or even better, arrange to have a friend or neighbor pick up your box.  Certain dropsites (such as the co-ops) are sometimes unable to hold your share.  If you have any problems or questions, please contact your host or the farm as soon as you can. 

2. If you are splitting a box it is your responsibility to decide how to divide the share.  Some members alternate weeks picking up.  Some members get together and decide who gets what.  Some members cook dinner together and then split up what wasn't used.  It's up to you!

3. We wash greens and lettuce before delivering them, but we suggest another rinse just in case of lingering dirt or sand.  

4. Some veggies hold for a long time, and others have a shorter shelf life.  When deciding what to cook, keep this is mind to get you box used up!  For certain crops such as tomatoes, we try to pack some of varied ripeness so that you have some to use earlier in the week and some to use later.  Try to use up veggies from the previous week before getting your next box so that you don't get overwhelmed and veggies don't get lost. 

5. Be sure to read storage tips to get the best flavor and value from your veggies.  Little things, like taking the tops off of radishes and carrots or putting a head of lettuce in a plastic bag will make these veggies hold a lot better. 

6. If you have any questions or issues or comments or suggestions, contact us.  We will do our best to get back to you right away.

 

Next week...

  • head lettuce
  • peas!
  • radishes
  • turnips
  • green onions 
  • garlic scapes
  • broccoli?