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8-16-16

Large Shares: Lacinato kale, Romaine lettuce, slicing cucumbers, lemon cucumber, bell pepper, summer squash, carrots, Romano beans or green beans, yellow onion, red onion, cherry tomatoes, Penasco blue garlic, cilantro

Small Shares: carrots, golden beets, green cabbage, yellow onion, lemon cucumbers, kohlrabi, cilantro, green beans

 

Dear CSA members,

Week 10 and mid August! We are certainly in the peak of the summer season. With warm/hot temperatures forecast for some time to come we should indeed see a significant upswing in harvests in the near future. Everyone who ordered boxes of tomato seconds hang in there, they are coming! We may be adding quite a bit to the bulk order list including green beans and pickling cucumbers.

New this week is Romano Beans: Green Romano beans are broad and flattened in shape, averaging about five inches in length at maturity. The beans have a stringless seam that opens rather easily while still young. The pods cling loosely to a series of about six tiny lime green to white colored peas. The beans are crisp and fleshy in texture, extremely succulent, offering a subtlety sweet and grassy flavor. They are great both raw and cooked.

This week I wanted to share with you some thoughts on the benefits of organic agriculture, just to reiterate the reasons why we do what we do. As well as why you choose to spend your food dollars with us.

Soil. Soil building practices such as crop rotations, inter-cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers and minimum tillage are central to organic practices. Organic practices encourage soil fauna and flora, improve soil formation and structure and create more stable systems. In turn, nutrient and energy cycling is increased and the retentive abilities of the soil for nutrients and water are enhanced, and soil erosion is reduced. If we treat our soil right our crops will show it by increased vigor, flavor and disease/pest resistance.

Water. In many agriculture areas, pollution of groundwater  with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is a major problem. As the use of these is prohibited in organic agriculture, they are replaced by organic fertilizers (e.g. compost, animal manure, green manure) and through the use of greater biodiversity (in terms of species cultivated and permanent vegetation), The enhanced soil stucture and better nutrient retention and water infiltration of well managed organic systems  greatly reduce the risk of groundwater pollution.

Air and climate change. Organic agriculture reduces non-renewable energy use by decreasing agrochemical needs (these require high quantities of fossil fuel to be produced). Organic agriculture contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect and global warming through its ability to sequester carbon in the soil. Many management practices used by organic agriculture (e.g. minimum tillage, returning crop residues to the soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, and the greater integration of nitrogen-fixing legumes), increase the return of carbon to the soil, raising productivity and favoring carbon storage. A number of studies revealed that soil organic carbon contents under organic farming are considerably higher. The more organic carbon is retained in the soil, the higher the potential of agriculture to mitigate climate change.

Biodiversity. Organic farmers are both custodians and users of biodiversity at all levels. By utilizing traditional, heirloom and adapted seeds and breeds organic farmers choose varieties that have adapted resistance to diseases and climactic stress and therefore reqire less inputs to create a marketable crop. Organic farms also by and large maintain natural areas within and around their lanscapes, that combined with the absence of chemical inputs creates suitable habitats for birds, pollinating insects and other species that may benefit our crops. Many recent studies have concluded that organic farming produces more biodiversity than other farming systems.

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha

 

 

 

 

Oriental Cilantro Slaw: Shred 1 medium cabbage (6 cups). Place the cabbge in a large serving bowl. Mix in 1 large shredded carrot, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup thinnnly sliced scallions. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp canola oil, 3 to 4 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and finely chopped and sea salt to taste. Shake well to blend, pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Add more lime juice and tamari as needed.  Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped toasted and salted peanuts.

Sesame ginger Romano Beans: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium high heat, heat 1 cup vegetable oil. Add 3 small shallots, thinly sliced, and fry, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss 1 lb fresh romano (or green) beans (stem ends trimmed), with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, and 1 tsp salt to coat. Roast beans until tender but still green, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer beans to a serving dish and toss with sesame seeds. Top with reserved shallots.

Cucumber Salad with Caramelized Onions and Herbs: slice onions into ¼ inch thick slices (enough to yield 1 cup) and toss to separate into rings. Have a slotted spoon and double layer of paper towels ready. Heat 2 cups vegetable oil to 275 in a small, deep heavy saucepan and drop in onion rings. Cook onions, stirring often, until they turn a uniform light brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. They’ll brown faster toward the end, so be careful. Lift onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tsp onion oil for vinaigrette; let cool. For the vinaigrette: whisk together 1 tbsp each champagne and rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tp salt, and ½ tsp pepper together in a bowl until salt and vinegar dissolve. Add reserved onion oil and 1 tbsp minced onion and whisk well to blend. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice. Slice several fresh cucumbers into ¼ inch thick slices with a knife. Toss cucumbers and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp roughly chopped red or green shiso (optional). Arrange salad on a platter and top with finely diced mild cucumber pickles and fried onions.

Tomato, Red onion, and Purple Pepper Salad with Yogurt Dressing: Thinnly slice 1 medium red onion, place in a salad bowl, sprinkle on 2 tbsp fresh lime juice and 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes. Slice 1 hot chile into matchsticks and add to the onion, cut one medium purple bell pepper into ½ inch wide strips about 1 inch long and toss with the onions and chile. Just before serving add 2 to 3 tomatoes cut into ½ inch pieces and ¾ cup full fat yogurt and toss gently to mix. Taste for salt and adjust, if you wish, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Green (or Romano) Beans on the Grill: put 1 lb of green beans on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fold and seal. You may need to fold two sheets together. (you can also use one sheet of foil to set the pouch on. This way if any liquid seeps out or it pulls apart it dosen’t leave a mess.) drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the beans. Add 2 – 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Toss beans with tongs until well coated. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water and fold aluminum foil together at the top and pinch the sides closed. Cook the green bean pouch on the grill until the beans are tender. (food.com)

Roasted Golden Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens: trim one bunch medium beets with tops to 1 inch. Wash and chop greens and stems. Scrub beets and wrap tightly in heavy duty foil. Roast in the 400 degree oven until tender, 50 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into wedges. Sauté greens, stems and 2 tsp minced garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat until tender, 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, 2 tbsp each pistachios and goat cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. ( from Prevention magazine June 2012)

Lemon Ricotta Summer Squash Galette: thinly slice 2 medium zucchini ( about 2 ½ cups) and sprinkle lightly with salt. Transfer to a colander; drain for 15 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, on a large piece of lightly floured parchment, roll ½ of a 15oz package of refrigerated unbaked dough to a 12 inch circle. Transfer parchment and dough to a large baking sheet; set aside. For ricotta filling; in a medium bowl whisk together ¾ cup ricotta cheese, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, 1 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Using a spatula spread the ricotta filling over dough, leaving a 1 ½ inch border. Top with squash rounds. Drizzle with more olive oil. Gently fold over pastry edges, pleating as necessary. In a small bowl whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water. Lightly brush pastry edges with egg mixture. Transfer galette to oven. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh dill weed, if desired. Serve warmor ar room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

Cilantro Pesto: In a food processor or blender combine. 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, finely chopped, 2 large cloves roasted garlic, or 1 small clove raw garlic peeled and minced, 1 tsp mild chili powder, 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp sea salt.  Great served over beans and grains, bean and grain salads, this pesto is delicious brushed onto grilled corn on the cob or tossed with cooked corn kernels.

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8-9-16

Large shares: Italian plums, lemon cucumbers, snap peas, shell peas, red potatoes, Walla Walla onion, red onion, Italian parsley, gold beets, carrots, cabbage

Small shares: Italian plums, cucumber, new potatoes, red onion, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, Italian parsley, jalapeno pepper, summer squash

Dear CSA members,

Brr! It feels like September around the farm. The weather has been quite cloudy and cool. We have even had a significant ammount of rainfall for August! This is a little bit more normal as I’ve said before, but is actually starting to feel quite a bit cooler than normal.We are all quite amazed at the contrast from the previous two hot and dry summers. All our hot weather loving crops (tomatoes, peppers, melons, eggplant and sweet corn) that we have been so spoiled with in the last couple of years are certainly feeling the lack of sun and cold nights of late. All the plants are loaded with fruit, but it is taking a long time to ripen it! I think this is what the old timers around here would call a “cabbage year” – because cabbage loves cool steady temperatures!

The forecast looks pretty good with warm temps and sun ahead so hopefully we have plenty of time to ripen up those heat loving crops. This time of year there is so much to do around the farm, the harvests are heavy, the weeds are ever growing, the irrigation must be kept flowing day and night… We also feel the pressure of time, time enough to complete all that must be done as well as the count down to the first frosts of the season ( which around here has been known to happen as early as Septemper 15th) and when the summer crops begin to shut down with with shortening days. We will keep up our end of the bargain, never know what nature is going to do!

This week we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near our barn. Each year this tree produces enormous crops of these delicious plums and we get to share them with you! Italian plums are dark purple plums with a slight powdery blush to them. Their flavor is slightly sweet and sour and is excellent for fresh eating, baking, drying and canning. We tried to harvest a range of ripenesses so you wouldn’t have to immediately use them up. They do ripen off the tree so you may have a couple of days on the lighter colored plums. We also have lemon cucumbers for the large share. These yellow round cucumbers are an heirloom variety with a thin yellow skin and a mild flavor (they do not actually taste like lemon though!). Store and use them as you would a regular cucumber.

Large shares received gold beets. These are just like red beets but have a milder and sweeter flavor. They have an earthy nuttiness to them somewhat like a walnut and sweetness reminiscent of apples or apricots. The color is a phenomenal gold. The greens on these looked really nice and would be great to cook with as well.

Large shares also recieved snap peas – these can be eaten whole with out having to shell out the peas and make a great snack or addition to salads.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Shaved Summer Squash with Pecorino Romano: In a large bowl whisk together 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave a large summer squash into paper thin ribbons, about 1/16 of an inch thick, to yield 3 to 4 cups. Toss the squash ribbons with the dressing and marinate at room temperature for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, shave 2 ounces of Pecorino Romano into thin strips with a vegetable peeler to yield ¾ of a cup. Add to the squash and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice if desired. Garnish with thinly sliced basil and freshly ground black pepper.

Tabbouleh: Place ½ cup bulgur in a large bowl. Pour in 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice over the bulgur. Set aside for 10 minutes. Combine 3 medium tomatoes, cubed, 1 ½ cups finely chopped Italian parsley, 6 to 8 mint leaves, finely chopped, 2 scallions finely chopped, ½ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup cold water. Set aside for 2 hours or until the bulgur has softened to your preference. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, lemon juice, or olive oil as desired. Serve at room temperature. Keeps refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

Spicy Cabbage Slaw: combine the zest and juice of one lime, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 hot chilies (stemmed and seeded), 1 plump garlic clove, chopped, ½ cup packed cilantro leaves in a food processor and process until well combined. Mix 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight before serving.

Cucumbers Wedges with Chile and Lime: Wash 2 8 to 10 inch cucumbers and slice off the ends. Halve each crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise to make wedges. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Halve a lime and discard any seeds. Squeeze lime juice over the cucumber wedges and toss gently to coat, dust with salt and a spicy flavorful chile powder such as Chimayo. Serve immediately.

Marinated plums over pound cake: mix sliced plums with equal splashes of pomegranate molasses and brandy and a sprinkle of sugar. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Spoon onto grilled or toasted pound cake. Top with whipped cream and sliced almonds. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

Fleur’s Summer Plum Cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Blend 2 eggs, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ lb sweet butter, softened, 1 tsp vanilla in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add 1 cup flour and 1 tsp baking powder and stir by hand until just combined. Transfer the batter to a greased square baking pan. Place 20 plums that have been split in half and pitted into the batter on their sides, sleeping close together in rows (our plums are kind of big, so I would recommend slicing into smaller pieces). Combine ¼ cup sugar and ½ to 1 tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the batter and plums. Bake for 40 minutes. Do not over bake. Serve warm with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

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8-2-16

Large shares: cucumbers, summer squash, Yukon Gem new potatoes, Purplette onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, shell peas, fresh basil

Small shares: cucumber, beets, carrots, shell peas, purplette onion, garlic, kohlrabi, fresh basil

 

Dear CSA members,

August is here!

Here we are in the time of the season when the boxes and crates just seem to get heavier and heavier. As farmers, our bodies begin to feel the weight of all the work as well around this time of year. I have learned the importance of self preservation in this profession as heavy lifing and repetitive motions start to take their toll on the finite resource of the body. Anything we can do to make our work more efficient and reduce lifting and moving things by hand really makes a difference over the long run.

As our days shorten in length plants all around prepare for the cold to come (despite summer temperatures) by going into overdrive to complete their lifecycle. Winter squash ripening in the field are seemingly huge all of a sudden, tomatoes come off the vine over a pound each at times, and pepper plants start collapsing under their own weight. I have also noticed that as the surrounding natural landscape gets more and more dry, pressure from insect and mammalian pests increases as they loose natural food sources. I can see the beetles, deer and voles attraction to our lush irrigated produce fields! They do look awfully tasty!

We have also recently participated in a bird survey called WSU Avian Biodiversity: Impacts, Risks And Descriptive Survey. The ornitoligists that came out were really impressed with the diversity of species found in our fields as well as the grassland habitat the fallow areas of the farm provided. She said “This survey I observed very high densities of birds in the crop areas including song sparrows, American robins, killdeer, American goldfinches, barn swallows, violet-green swallows (my favorite swallows!), Wilson’s warblers, Western bluebirds, and Savannah sparrows. I’m not sure I’ve observed such a wide range of species in the row crops in one field.” It’s nice to know we are able to provide habitat/refuge for bird species that may have increasing difficulty finding food sources as our area becomes more densly populated.

This week we have several new crops for you to enjoy, cucumbers, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes and Yukon gem potatoes for the large share. I reccommend using the basil up asap and avoid putting it in the refrigerator as it has a tendenc to turn black with the cold. Yukon gem is a new variety of potato for us, it was actually shipped to us by mistake. The Yukon gem is very similar to it’s parent Yukon Gold with smooth tan skin and dense, buttery yellow flesh for baking, boiling and frying. But it has the added bonus of having pretty pink splashes of color around the eyes!

A couple of tips for the best uses of abundant and large summer squash ( these came from the August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine)
– grate it, let it sit, drain it, and freeze in 2 cup portions for zucchini bread
-slice it lengthwise on a mandoline and layer into moussaka, or substitute for noodles in lasagna
-make salt and vinegar zucchini chips in the oven or dehydrator. Thinly slice on a mandoline, toss with salt and vinegar and a bit of olive oil. Layer in the food dehydrator and dehydrate for 8 to 14 hours. Or bake in a single layer at 200 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. I’m going to make these tonight!

I also wanted to let you know: our neighbors at August Farm have pork shares available for their August harvest. Order a half or whole pig now before they’re gone and stock your freezer with delicious, pasture raised pork. Their pigs are hand raised on pasture and fed locally grown, Non-GMO grains. You can find out more information and place an order at www.august-farm.com.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

 

Algerian Carrot Salad: Thinly slice 2 lbs fresh carrots. Put the carrots and enough water to cover by 2 inches in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over mediums-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve until ready to use. Heat 2 tbsp of walnut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 medium choppedonion, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved carrots and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring often. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing in a small bowl; whisk together ¼ cup walnut oil, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1/8 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley until well blended. Combine the carrot mixture, dressing and 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates in a serving bowl, toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once or let cool to room temperature and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings. From Cooking in Cast Iron.

New Potato Salad: Place 2 ½ lbs new potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water by 1 inch and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Run under cold water to cool slightly, and then drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp Dijon Mustard, 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 small minced shallot, 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley, and 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes and ¼ of a sliced red onion and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. (To store, refrigerate, up to overnight.) Makes 6 servings. From Everyday Food.

 

Vegetable Kebabs with Mustard Basting Sauce: ( from Gourmet July 1995)

Prepare the Veggies: In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook 1 bunch of topped carrots for 1 minute. Add 1 ½ lb of whole summer squash and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking and then drain well in a colander. Slice the cooled summer squash and carrots into ¾ inch slices. In boiling water that remains in the pan cook ¾ inch chunks of purplette onion or about 4 minutes. Transfer them into a bowl of ice water to cool and then drain well in a colander. Do the same for 2 sweet peppers cut in to ¾ inch chunks. These veggies may be boiled 1 day ahead and chilled in bags in the fridge.

For the sauce: In a small bowl whisk together 11/2 Tbsp of white-wine vinegar, 11/2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, 2 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. The basting sauce may also be made 1 day ahead and chilled covered in the fridge.

Heat your grill to medium-high: Thread the vegetables, alternating them, onto skewers. Brush one side with about half the sauce and grill, coated side down on an oiled rack 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 5 minutes. Brush kebabs with the remaining sauce and turn. Grill kebabs 5 minutes more, or until squash is tender.

Serves 4.

 

Pistou: 

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

3 garlic cloves

sea salt

2 cups basil leaves

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

To make the pistou, pound the pine nuts and garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar. Add a few basil leaves and continue to pound. Alternating basil and olive oil, continue pounding until a smoothing past is achieved. Stir in any remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Makes about one cup. From thecooksatelier.com

Cucumber Lime Guacamole: chop 1 ½ cups seeded cucumbers. Place cucumbers in a colander, sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, toss to coat. Let stand for 1 hour. Pat cucumbers dry with paper towels. Transfer to a medium bowl. Chop 2 medium pitted and peeled avocados, and mash 2 more. Add the avocado, 2 thinly sliced scallion, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, and 3 tbsp lime juice to cucumbers; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3 cups Rose’ Cucumber Cooler: combine 1 bottle dry rose’ wine, 1 cup St Germain elderflower liqueur , ½ cup lemon juice, 1 thinly sliced lemon, and about 6 inches of a cucumber also thinly sliced.

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7-26-16

Large shares: Tokyo turnips, beets, new potatoes, Walla Walla onions, cauliflower, green beans, garlic, heirloom tomato, jalapeno peppers, butterhead lettuce, cilantro

Small Shares: Tokyo turnips, new potatoes, Walla Walla onion, cauliflower, red tomato, crisphead lettuce, cilantro, Round of Tuscany summer squash

Dear CSA members,

The busy, heavy weeks of summer are here. It seems like it has taken a while to really get to this point with the cooler cloudy weather and lighter fare of the early season. But we have at last arrived. We continue to have enormous harvests of giant cauliflower, which is in stark contrast to last season when we barely saw any the entire season! Green beans and tomatoes are coming on bit by bit, and I was excited to harvest those giant jalapeno peppers for the large share out of the high tunnel! I myself have been enjoying this milder summer we are having, it is so much easier to work in the greenhouses with the temperatures in the high 70’s as upposed to the high 90’s of last summer.

Next week we should have enormous quatities of peas as our third planting comes on, and perhaps a bit of cucumber and basil?! As a farm, Wobbly Cart seems to come on strong in the later part of the season. This is partially due to our slightly heavier soil and cooler spring temperatures which don’t allow us to till and work our ground until it is good and dried out! Once we get everthing planted though, we have a soil that holds nutrients and moisture quite well and allow us to continue harvesting right through the winter. We are finishing up our last rounds of transplanting in the coming week or two and are sure to have incredible crops available this fall.

If you are interested in continuing your CSA share to enjoy our abundant fall harvests we have a fall CSA option available for sign up if you haven’t already done so. The fall share will begin Tuesday October 18th and last for four weeks. The large share is $115 and the small $80. The fall share is great because most of the produce is hardy and will keep for some time so you can enjoy it for several weeks after the deliveries end. Think root crops, leeks, hardy greens, winter squash, and more! You can add this option to your membership on the website www.wobblycart.com

You can also place orders now for 20lb cases of heirloom tomato seconds. They are excellent for canning sauce and salsa! $20 for a 20lb case delivered with your CSA share.

I came across this interesting article about the changing atmosphere of CSA farming in response to competition from food delivery services that tout local sustainable products. I thought I would pass it on for discussion

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/dining/csa-farm-share-community-supported-agriculture.html?_r=1

Also, this one about today’s small farms stuggle to keep up with unrealistic expectations for pastoral nostalgia. Though I love a little pastoral nostalgia myself…

http://modernfarmer.com/2014/06/stop-romanticizing-farms/

Have a great week,

Asha

Quick Pickled Beets: Combine 4 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed, halved, and cut into ¼ inch slices. 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced. ¾ cup apple juice or water, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and a pinch of sea salt in a pressure cooker. Lock the lid into place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat by running cold water over the cooker in your sink. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. To serve, lift the beets out of the liquid with a slotted spoon. Serve warm or chilled. (from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).

Lemon Potato Soup with Feta: in a 4 quart dutch oven heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat, add 1 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups chopped potatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups chopped kale or spinach and 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until kale is wilted. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice and zest of one lemon and an additional tbsp of olive oil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with 2 oz crumbled feta cheese and additional lemon zest if desired. Serves 4.

Summer squash and pesto pasta: boil water for pasta and make a batch of pesto (see above). Saute I medium chopped onion and 3 + cloves of chopped garlic. Add 3 cups cubed summer squash and sauté until tender. When pasta is done, pile a generous helping on your plate and mix with the vegetable sauté and pesto.

Sesame ginger green beans: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium high heat, heat 1 cup vegetable oil. Add 3 small shallots, thinly sliced, and fry, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss 1 lb fresh green beans (stem ends trimmed), with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, and 1 tsp salt to coat. Roast beans until tender but still green, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer beans to a serving dish and toss with sesame seeds. Top with reserved shallots.

Cauliflower and Potato Curry: Cook for 5 min in a saucepan of boiling water 1 2 to 3 lb cauliflower, cut into florets. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Add to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes: 2 medium potatoes (or equivalent ) that have been cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain well again; transfer to the bowl of cauliflower. Process in a food processor until minced: 1 large tart apple ( peeled, cored and sliced) 3 large garlic cloves, 1 2 inch peice of freh ginger, peeled and sliced, 2 hot chile peppers such as jalapeno (seeded and sliced). Then heat a large dutch oven over medium heat; 1/4 cup vegetable oil or ghee, add 2 medium coarsely chopped onions,  add the apple mixture and cook, stirring, until the onions are softened and starting to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add: 2 tbsp curry powder, 1 tbsp all purpose flour. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes to lightly brown the curry powder and flour. Add: 1 14 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock, 1 tsp salt. Bring to gently boil over medium heat, then add the cauliflower and potatoes and add 1 16 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in, cover and cook until wilted 10 to 12 oz washed and chopped greens such as spinach, chard, turnip greens or kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked rice.

I also thought this recipe for Tokyo turnips looked good:

http://goop.com/recipes/brown-butter-roasted-turnips-and-greens/

 

7-19-16

Large shares: carrots, radishes, fresh Walla Walla onions, summer squash, chard, cauliflower, snow peas, dill, heirloom tomato, new potatoes

Small shares: carrots, radishes, summer squash, cauliflower, fresh Walla Walla onions, new potatoes, dill, fresh garlic

Dear CSA members,

Things are kickin’ into high gear this week at Wobbly Cart Farm. We have had continued cloudy coolish weather but are starting to see harvest volumes mount considerably. Over the course of the last 4 days we have brought in about 32 50 lb boxes of cauliflower, and 18 30 lb crates of summer squash! We are also getting our first harvests of Walla Walla onions, new potatoes and tomatoes, yay! Every one will get a share of new potatoes and large shares will each get an heirloom tomato. Soon we will be harvesting hundreds of pounds of tomatoes weekly and may actually get tired of them, but for now it is pretty exciting stuff.

This will be our last week of the summer for radishes so we thought we’s better get them to you one last time! The greens seem really tender and may lend themselves to a radish leaf pesto or the below recipe, this week.

For best flavor store your heirloom tomato at room temperature and use up within 2 to 3 days. For the new potatoes they are best stored in the refrigerator if they are not used up within 2 to 3 days. New potatoes have an amazing flavor, don’t need to be peeled and are best enjoyed with simple preparations; boiled til tender and topped with butter, fresh dill, salt and pepper.

Enjoy and have a great week,

 

Asha

Tartines with Gruyere and Radish Greens: Preheat oven to 375 and place rack in the top position. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese and 3 tbsp softened unsalted butter. Stir in 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, 1/4 cup finely chopped radishes, 1 tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley, 1 tbsp snipped chives, and 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper. Divide the mixture evenly among 4 1/2 inch thick slices of good bread, pressing it down slightly. Place bread on a baking sheet and toast until the cheese puffs up and is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp olove oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 cups packed radish greens, with some water still clinging to their leaves, to the sillet. Cook, stirring frequestly, until just barely wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the wilted greens evenly over cheesey toasts and serve immediately. ( From Grow Cook eat by Wili Galloway)

Chard Potato Scramble: Heat a large skillet with a generous dollop of olive oil. Saute 1 chopped medium Walla Walla onion, 4 cloves minced garlic, and 6 diced new potatoes in the covered skillet until potatoes are done. Stir occasionally and add a splash of water to help steam the potatoes. Add I bunch of chopped chard leaves and cook a few minutes more. In a separate bowl beat 2 eggs, and add in a splash of milk and mix. Pour this over the potatoes, add a pinch of salt, pepper and several tbsp chopped fresh dill,  and cook until the egg is done. Top with a 1/2 cup grated cheese, turn heat off, and cover so cheese melts.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup: In a soup pot saute in olive oil for 5 minutes: 1 chopped Walla Walla onion, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 large head cauliflower that has been broken into florets, 3 to 4 medium potatoes, cubed, 3 chopped carrots, 1 tsp caraway seeds. Simmer the veggies in just enough water to cover them, and cook until soft.  Puree the mixture until smooth. Return to the soup pot and add 1 cup milk, 2 cups grated sharp cheddar, salt to taste, and several tbsp chopped fresh dill. simmer very gently for 5 to 10 min more. Serve with toasted sourdough rye. (adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)

Eggplant and Zucchini Fries with Roasted Tomato Dip: Heat oven to 375. Toss 1 cup chopped heirloom tomato in 1 tsp olive oil and roast on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree with 1 cup greek yogurt, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and chill. Place 5 large egg whites in a bowl and beat, then place in a separate bowl and mix  2 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs and and additional 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Cut 1 medium yellow squash, 1 medium zuchinni, and 1 small eggplant into 1/2 inch fries. Dip in egg whites, roll in bread crumbs, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with Roasted Tomato Dip.

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7-12-16

Large shares: Carrots, Shell peas, Purplette onions, Green cabbage, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Fresh garlic, Eggplant, French Lavender

Small shares: Carrots, Snow or Shell peas, Purplette onions, Green cabbage, Kohlrabi, Lettuce 

Dear CSA members,

Well, its a little bit cool and cloudy around here! It has been a sharp contrast to last summers intense heat and drought. I’m ok with it, it kind of feels back to normal, and it is much easier to do manual labor when it is 60 -70 degrees than when it is 90 – 100. Normally,  this kind of weather usually leaves us after the 4th of July but this year it seems to be sticking around. But hey, this weater is great for cabbage, and we have some ginormous cabbages this week!

 

We completed the epic garlic harvest this week and hauled it all to our big barn to dry. We have all the varieties laid out with fans blowing on them to circulate the air and allow the heads to cure for storage.

Despite the cool damp weather I have caught sight of some ripening in the tomato patch and we have a first round of adorable little eggplants ready for the large shares this week! We will also almost definetly have new potatoes next week, who hoo!

We finally have peas for you! The first two plantings this year sustained heavy damage at seeding time from a pest called the “seedcorn maggot”. So there has been some delay in getting them to you but we are into the third planting now and things are looking good. I think we are on the produce upswing at this point and making the harvest lists will get lot more fun and exciting because we will have alot more variety to choose from.

Shell peas are the large, long, thick pods. You break these open to reveal the tiny little peas inside ( the pods are not edible). Shell them out with your thumb into a bowl. 1 lb will get you about 1 cup of fresh peas. They are excellent just lightly steamed with a sea salt and butter. Overcooking may turn them to mush! The small shares will receive either ½ lb of snow peas or a lb of shell peas, we came up a bit short in the harvest .The snow peas are the large flat pods. Snow peas are excellent for stir- fries and salads, you just snap off the stem end and pull the string to prepare. Farm fresh peas are one of the great benefits of buying local and farm direct, these are specialty items that you just can’t find outside of CSA or Farmers Markets.

 

This time of year we are also completing our last rounds of seeding and transplanting for the fall crops such as cabbages, rutabaga, broccoli, chicory, fall carrots. Once we are done with planting we can fully turn our attention to cultivating, harvesting and selling produce.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

 

Joie de vivre Lavender Infused Carrot Ginger Soup: Soak ½ cup lavender in ½ c. warm water for 15 minutes. Strain well, discard flowers and place water in a blender. Add 3 1/2 cups fresh carrot juice, ½ c macadamia nuts, ¼ cup avocado, mashed, 2 tbsp fresh ginger, juiced, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Add ½ tsp fresh dill, a pinch cayenne pepper, sea salt to taste, and black pepper ground to taste. Garnish with grated carrots, beets, zucchini, jicama or radishes. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Coleslaw: julienne 4 cups green cabbage, grate 1 cup of carrots, add in 2 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger. Place in a large bowl and mix well. In a small bowl whisk 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp stone ground mustard, 1 tsp minced fresh dill, 1 tsp celery seed, ¼ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp black pepper, pinch of cayenne pepper and 2 tbsp tamari. Combine all ingredients, toss well and enjoy.

Lavender and Honey Roasted Chicken: In a non-reactive bowl combine; 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, 1 tsp fresh lavender, ½ cup honey, 1 ½ tsp fresh marjoram, 1 minced garlic clove. 1 minced shallot, ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar and stir thoroughly. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Season a whole roasting chicken with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Baste the chicken with the lavender honey mixture every 5 minutes or so for an additional 30 minutes or until completely cooked. The bird is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Do not overcook. Once finished you can brush additional marinade over the flesh and skin. (from food.com)

Fresh Pea Salad: Combine ¾ cup fresh shell peas (shelled), ½ cup diced carrots, ¼ cup diced red bell pepper, ¼ finely chopped fresh cilantro, 2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 Tbsp flax oil (you could also use extra-virgin olive oil) and ½ tsp sea salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Peas with Prosciutto and Onions: heat in a large skillet over medium heat: 3 tbsp olive oil, add and brown slightly 1 cup thinly sliced purplette onion,  Add 3 tbsp water, cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in: 2 cups fresh shell peas, shelled, 4 oz prosciutto or ham, finely diced, 1 to 2 tsp water. Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

Ratatouille Provencal: Heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat; ¼ cup olive oil. Add and cook, stirring, until golden and just tender, 10 to 12 minutes: 1 medium Eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks, and 1 lb zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks. Remove the vegetables to a plate and reduce the heat to medium high. Add and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly softened: 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-½ cups sliced onions. Add a cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender but not browned, 8 to 12 minutes: 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks, 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add: 1 ½ cups peeled, seeded, chopped fresh tomatoes, or one 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained. 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini and cook until everything is tender, about 20 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in ¼ cup chopped fresh basil and chopped pitted black olives if desired. From the Joy of Cooking.

Pickled Cabbage: Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Core a cabbage and chop into large pieces, you will need about 4 cups. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, then drain in a colander. Let cool to room temperature. When cool enough to handle squeeze leaves to soften them and release some water. Meanwhile, combine3/4 cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar, and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar, and pour into a bowl to cool. When cool, add the cabbage and toss to coat well. Pour all of this into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for 2 days, turning the jar occasionally to coat all the leaves with the brine. Serve cold.

Smoky Eggplant Raita: Heat your grill t o 450 to 550 degrees with an area left clear or turned off for indirect heat. Peirce 1 lb of eggplant in several places with a knife. Grill Eggplant over indirect heat, covered, until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to touch. Meanwhile, toast about ½ tsp of cumin in a small dry frying pan over med. Heat until fragrant and beginning to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Pound fine with a motar and pestle. Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in pan over medium heat. Saute ¼ large onion for 3 minutes. Add 1 lg minced garlic clove and continue to sauté until both are softened, about 2 min more. Let cool slightly. Slit the eggplant lengthwise and scrape flesh from the skin. Chop flesh coarsely and set aside. Combine 1 cup whole milk yogurt, the onion mixture, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, ¼ tsp sugar. Add eggplant and stir gently. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and cayenne pepper. Garnish with a little more cilantro. From the September 2010 issue of Sunset

 

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7-5-16

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #4

Large shares: Tokyo turnips, Purplette onions, 2 heads fresh garlic, green cabbage, romaine lettuce, Italian parsley, kohlrabi, beets, French lavender

Small shares; Tokyo turnips, Purplette onions, fresh garlic, butterhead lettuce, mustard greens, Italian parsley, summer squash, French lavender

Dear CSA members,

I hope you have all had a nice holiday weekend and are ready to get back into the CSA routine. We have several new items to introduce this week. Tokyo turnips are a mild, tender and juicy variety of turnip. They taste like a cross between a radish and a turnip and you can enjoy both the greens and the roots. Most if not all root vegetables will store better if you separate the roots from the greens before wrapping and placing in the crisper drawer. Tokyo turnips are delicious raw in salads, sliced to eat with dips as well as cooked in miso soups, stir fries, and marinated in vinegar and salt for quick pickles. The greens are tender and spicy and can be prepared as other cooking greens.

Purplette onions: are a yummy and cute spring onion that is a nice change from scallions this time of year. You can cook them just like regular onions, roast them whole with your beets and garlic, add fresh to salads, or pickle them. The tops can be used like scallions but are a bit stronger in flavor.

French lavender: Both shares will receive a bunch of French lavender this week. You can keep the lavender as a flower arrangement, dry it and use it for teas and sachets, or cook with it. I have used lavender to make cookies, ice cream, and even for a honey lavender glaze for roast chicken. You can toss the stalks on the grill to add flavor and aroma to grilled meats. Lavender is a known medicinal herb with soothing and relaxing properties as well. I love this variety for its long full flower spikes and heady fragrance. Enjoy!

Next week we should have peas!

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Spicy Cabbage Slaw: combine the zest and juice of one lime, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 hot chilies (stemmed and seeded), 1 plump garlic clove, chopped, ½ cup packed cilantro leaves in a food processor and process until well combined. Mix 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight before serving.

Lavender Herb Butter This herb butter is good for toasted cheese sandwiches, veggies, boiled potatoes, or noodles.1 stick softened butter,1 tsp. Chopped chives, 2 tsp. dried lavender. (I pulse a batch ahead in my coffee grinder), 1tsp. chopped parsley. Mix together.

Lavender Coffee Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make the topping: 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tsp. cinnamon. Mix together and set aside. Make the batter: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tbs. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, mix and set aside. Cream ¾ cup butter,  add in 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp dried lavender buds (pulse this in blender with ½ cup of the above sugar), ½ cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 ½ cups buttermilk or sour cream or thin yogurt, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Put in pan. (See below) Put half of the batter into your pan, top with 1/2 of the topping. Swirl it in gently with a fork so it is just lightly blended. Repeat.

Pan sizes and baking times.
One 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan 50 to 60 minutes.
One 9-inch spring form pan for 60 to 70 minutes.
Two 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pans for 40 to 50 minutes.
Two 8-inch round or square cake pans for 30 to 35 minutes.

Bake until done. The top will spring back when pressed gently in middle or use toothpick or knife in center of cake, if it comes out clean, remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes before you remove it from your pan.

Italian Style Salsa Verde: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup coarsely chopped Italian Parsley, ¼ cup each coarsely chopped chives, fennel fronds, or dill, mint leaves, tarragon and shallots; 2 tbsp finely chopped capers; 2 tsp coarsely chopped sage leaves, and ¾ tsp kosher salt. Whisk in 1 ¼ cups fruity extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust salt. Chill overnight if possible, so flavors can marry. Makes 1 ¾ cups.

Quick Sauerkraut: Thinly slice 1 head of cabbage and place in a large microwave safe bowl with 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup apple cider, 1 tbsp crushed toasted caraway seeds, and 2 tbsp kosher salt. Cover with a large piece of plastic wrap and seal edges. Microwave on high, 4 to 5 minutes. Let sit, still covered, until cabbage has absorbed its brine and bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. (from Sunset magazine May 2012)
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