Week 10; August 20, 2015

What's in the box? 

these boxes were too expertly and carefully packed for me to do our usual "grab a packed box at random, take everything out, take a picture, and repack it" 

  • watermelon yellow and or red
  • sweet corn
  • bell peppers
  • zucchini / summer squash
  • cucumbers or broccoli
  • New red potatoes
  • heirloom and field tomatoes
  • walla walla sweet onions
  • garlic

Notes on the box. 

We are approaching what can be a difficult time in the garden.  A large rain event, followed by cooler temps means slow growth and petering out on the summer crops.  Summer squash and cucumbers days are numbered. A few more weeks on tomatoes at most and same for melons. Peppers until frost, which can be in 3 weeks. Sweet corn 1 or maybe 2 more weeks. Then we head back into the cool weather type crops again (radishes, cabbage, greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), but with some nice additions like Winter Squash, potatoes, more carrots, etc...  

The good news is, there is nothing too challenging in this box. It's most all the favorites of Summer in their prime.

The long, blockish lime green peppers are sweet frying peppers.  They are a new one that we tried out this season. 

The smaller long lime green (or orange or red) peppers that taper to a point are the hungarian hot wax.  If you cut out the seeds and ribs, they are pretty mildly spicy.  But if you leave them in, they have a good strong kick.  

For some reason some of the watermelons this season have way more than average seeds.  There's no way for us to know which ones they will be, so if you got an extra seedy one, we are sorry! Seed spitting contest time! 

Cheese Shares.

Cheese curds!  It's been a while since we had some.  If you like the squeak, let them warm up to room temperature.  If the squeak isn't your thing, eat them right out of the fridge. 

Also this week is Antares again, which I gave a few weeks ago, but we have a totally different cheese this week!  Why?  Well, the first batch was made earlier in the cows lactation when not much pasture had grown, so the cows were still getting a lot of hay.  The milk was quite a bit fattier and the cheese was a lot softer and more mild.  This batch was made a month later when the cows were further into their lactation and were grazing on some overwintered Rye cover crop on one of our vegetable fields that was out of rotation.  I sampled these two batches next to each other at the farmers market and had a great time showing people an example of how much a cheese can change based on the milk.  The cows were on the same rye grass when I made the cheese that I gave last week, and even though the cheese making process is very different between the two cheeses, I think they are more similar than the Antares made from the same recipe at a different point in the season. 

We are very excited that The Wedge & Wheel in Stillwater has 2 wheels of this cheese in their case right now!  Wedge & Wheel is a really fun cheese shop with a beautifully curated case.  If you are in Stillwater and want to taste some truly unique cheeses that you won't find many other places, you should check it out!  Local cheeses, obscure cheeses, famous cheeses, handcrafted, all kinds, and all so great!  It's so wonderful to have our cheese next to some of my favorites...  Oh, and right now Wedge & Wheel has a French cheese in the style of Morbier made out of goats milk that tastes like spring water!  It's astounding!  Worth the trip for sure. 

Recipes.

Freezing Sweet Corn Instructions - this is the "right way" to do it.  We cut it off the cob raw and freeze it just like that.  Works fine for us, but most everyone suggests blanching first.  Or you can make a big pot of corn chowder and freeze some for later. 

13 recipes that make the most of fresh tomatoes from the kitchn

Corn and Wild Rice Fritters

  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • oil for frying

Mix all ingredients except oil and salsa.  Add oil to a heavy skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch.  Heat over medium flame until oil looks shimmery and bubbles immediately when you drop a tiny amount of batter into it.  Drop small amounts (between 2 Tbsp and 1/3 cup) of the batter into the oil.  Cook a few fritters at a time to avoid crowding them.  Cook each batch until brown and cooked through.  Drain on paper towels and serve with salsa. 

 

On the Farm.

This Saturday is our Summer's End party.  it's an informal gathering of CSA members and their guests.  We will start around 4, have burgers on the grill around 6pm. Bring a side dish or desert to share, BYOB.  Self guided tours of the farm anytime.  If you want a more formal guided tour we are happy to do that as we are able to, just ask one of the farmers, we all have insight on farm happenings. There is a lot to see on our 80 acre farm, everything from grazing dairy cattle, and mobile chicken coops to fat pigs and tall weeds! 

We'll see how the weather shakes out but they are calling for rain Saturday night around 8, if it doesn't look too bad we'll light a bon fire, but who knows maybe we'll get to see the rainbow again either way.  Anyone is welcome to camp. We are looking forward to meeting anyone who decides they can make it. It is 60 miles from Minneapolis (hour and 20 min) You can search Turnip Rock farm on google maps and there we are. If you are planning on driving through Stillwater, check the traffic report first.  Stillwater traffic can be brutal on a Saturday!  Please let us know if you are planning on coming and how many you will bring.  Hope you can make it! 

We will be having another get together in September for those who can't make it this time. 

Oh, and if you'd like to order canning tomatoes or freezer corn to take home with you Saturday let us know by Friday Noon

20# box of tomatoes = 30$

1 1/9 bu. box of corn (about 4 dozen)= 25$

 

Next Week:

peppers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, broccoli, melons...

Week 9; August 13, 2015

What's in the box? 

medium share

medium share

 

  • sweet corn!
  • sweet onions
  • bell peppers (red for "eat like a farmer" shares)
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini / summer squash
  • new potatoes
  • broccoli
  • eggplant (large and medium)
  • celery
  • green beans (large and medium)
  • heirloom tomatoes / tomatoes
  • hot peppers (jalapeno and hungarian hot wax)

garlic for "eat like a farmer" shares

Notes on the box.

Hope you brought your muscles...  This is a heavy box!

If you can't eat your sweet corn right away, store it in the fridge.  Each day that passes makes it less sweet, so keep that in mind with your meal planning.  To freeze corn, I like to cut it off the cob, put it in a bag, and freeze it.  We don't bother with blanching. 

Sweet onions are uncured and are best stored in the fridge.  Good for frying, enjoying fresh in salads or burgers, or making into carmelized onions. 

New potatoes are unwashed because the skin is very thin and tender and was getting peeled off just from our sprayer during washing.  You are able to much gentler washing them at home. 

Eggplant is another veggie that is best when eaten fresh.  Bitterness develops as it is stored.  This is a nice small variety that holds its shape well through cooking.  Great for stir fries and curries.  Or see the recipe below for roasted veggies which is my new weekly plan of attack for easy instant meals.

I was just reading a bit about storing some of these summer veggies.  It seems that most (including cucumbers, eggplant, and summer squash) store the very best in a paper bag at warm refrigeration temperature or 45-55 F.  So if you have a cool basement or a wine chiller, that may be the best place to store these veggies!  I store them all in the crisper or the warmest part of the fridge. 

The hot peppers are pretty dang spicy.  Carefully remove the seeds unless you have a high heat tolerance.  The Hungarian Hot Wax are the long tapered ones.  Most are yellow, but there are a few red and orange ones out there.  Don't take a big chomp out of them or you might be hurting!  They aren't sweet peppers! 

Cheese Shares.

This week is a recipe that I'm working on for our own original cheese.  It is quite a tasty snacking cheese and also great for a grilled cheese sandwich.  It is yet unnamed, but we are thinking Perseid in honor of the meteor shower we have been enjoying at night.  A midnight snack of cheese and some stargazing?  Can't think of many better things to do! 

You know how sometimes the cheese or butter your see in the store is bright yellow or orange?  This is usually from added coloring like annatto.  It's trying to evoke what this cheese naturally has.  The intense yellow color of our cheese is because of the cows' 100% grass diet (this is different than dairy marketed as "pasture raised").  The cows give less milk eating all grass than they would if we were feeding them grain, but the milk and cheese is much better for us with high Omega 3s, healthy fats, and Vitamin K.  Here's an article that elaborates on these points.  I hope that you are enjoying the beauty and deliciousness that comes from our beautiful cows' milk! 

Recipes. 

Roasted Everything

Cut zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, onions, and bell peppers into slices.  Spread sliced veggies into a rimmed baking pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss gently to make sure all the veggies are coated in oil.  Roast in 450 degree oven for 10 min.  Remove from oven, flip veggies with a spatula and roast for 5- 10 more minutes until veggies are roasted to your liking.  Use these veggies to toss into cooked pasta, top a sandwich, have as a side dish,  top a pizza, or any other thing you can dream up.  Great thing to do to have veggies on hand for quick meals.  

Simple Potato Salad

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Wash and large dice your potatoes then add to the boiling water.  While potatoes are cooking, finely chop celery and sweet onion.  Mix a few big spoonfuls of mayo, a little vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add celery and sweet onion.  Drain potatoes when they are tender but not mushy.  Mix cooled potatoes into dressing and veggies.  Chill or eat at room temperature.  The wonderful thing about really fresh veggies is that they don't need much dressing up.  The flavor of the veggies themselves is so great that you can keep it really simple. 

Zucchini or Summer Squash Cinnamon Pancakes

Veggies for breakfast!  In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  Stir in 2 cups shredded zucchini/ summer squash.  Drop batter by the spoonful onto a hot greased griddle.  Cook for about 3 min or until centers start to firm up.  Flip the cakes over and cook for another 2 min or until the pancakes spring back when lightly pressed on top.  Serve with butter and honey or syrup.

Zucchini Corn Fritters

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups grated zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • oil for frying

in a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cumin, sugar, salt, and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and butter.  Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Stir in zucchini and corn and cheese.  mix well. 

Fill the bottom of a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil.  Fry in batches, adding more oil as needed until fritters are puffy, crisp and golden brown, turning once.  Remove to drain on paper towels. 

Sweet Corn and Pistachio IceCream

Sweet Corn and Coconut Milk Popsicles

Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie (savory)

Cucumber Salsa
 

On the Farm.

We are super happy to have Josh's dad and Rama's mom and dad visiting right now from Missouri and Texas!  Projects that we were unable to get to suddenly are getting done!  Things are getting fixed and cleaned up, rye is being harvested,  and the kids are having a ball.  We really wished we all lived closer.  Farming with family makes so much sense.  Someday they will realize how much nicer Wisconsin is during the summer than Missouri or Texas and our dreams of intergenerational farming will come true!   

Don't forget August 22 is a farm party here at Turnip Rock.  We will be eating as much watermelon as we can handle, climbing on hay bales and tractors, you-pick cherry tomato all you can eat buffet, cows, calves, sheep, pigs, chickens, and lots of FUN!  We will be grilling and we will have a potluck.  There may be an optional work time before hand if we can get it set up in time.   Come out starting at 3 and we will plan on eating at 5 or 6.  Come see where your food is coming from and meet your farmers!  We really love meeting our members and we hope to see you! 

Next week...  watermelons! 

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