Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #6

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July 24th 2012

 

In this week’s box:

 

Large share: lettuce, kohlrabi, curly parsley, beets, zucchini, shell peas, rainbow chard, purplette onion, carrots, yellow finn new potatoes, garlic, fresh lavender bunch

 

Small share: shell pea, curly parsley, kohlrabi, zucchini, rainbow chard, yellow finn new potatoes, lettuce, and fresh lavender bunch

 

Dear CSA members,

 

It’s 7 pm; the day is winding down here on the farm… Most folks in the valley, including my family, are headed over to a neighboring farm for a potluck. I’m at home getting the Monday night CSA business in order. I had an enjoyable afternoon harvesting lavender bunches with my kids (age 7 and 5) and then popped down to Wobbly Cart central to deliver the flowers.  From there I could see what a busy and long day Joe and the crew had at harvest today. It was close to 6 pm and the trucks were still rolling in with crates and boxes of produce for the cooler.

            Earlier this past weekend a farm walk revealed just how abundant the crops are out there! So, no wonder pea picking was just wrapping up at 6 pm! Particularly in the new fields we have recently put into production. After seeing how our crops look on the new ground, Joe commented,  “ We have been working WAY to hard these past 8 years.” As a new and upstart farm, we “inherited” fields that have already been farmed intensively, and organically for probably 30 years. As the owner Betsie DeWreede said to us at that time, “What this farm really needs is a good fallow”. It’s remarkable the difference in weed and disease pressure we see between the two sites. It really shows in the vigor of the crops coming out of the new site. It also shows the wisdom in giving the land and the soil a break, with long periods in fallow with beneficial cover crops planted over them.

            This week’s box looks so yummy! We have a few new crops to share with you, though nothing too surprising for this time of year. Rainbow chard is a new type for us. It is similar to the red chard, but with more exciting stems. The Yellow Finn new potatoes are immaculate and so delicious right now. The skins are super tender and nutritious, and the flavor is excellent. I roasted a bunch on Sunday in a large cast iron skillet, in the drippings of a roast chicken from August Farm with a little Celtic Sea salt, whole purplette onion and fresh rosemary. The family was raving about it! Curly parsley is similar to flat leaf or Italian parsley in flavor and nutritional value. It is a nutritional powerhouse rich in vitamin C, Iron, folate, and fiber to name a few. The difference to me is mainly textural. Parsley in any form is great in many sauces, pestos, garnishes and even juiced. Of course I’ll include a few recipe ideas for you. And last but not least is the Lavender bunch. I decided to plant lavender for CSA last spring. For one because it grows well here without much attention, and it is beautiful, smells amazing, and can be used both medicinally and in many fun recipes. I so enjoyed growing and harvesting it, so I hope you also enjoy it. You can keep it in a vase on your counter with water, or hang it upside down in a dark well ventilated place to dry it, and you can enjoy it’s fragrance for many months to come. Try some of the recipe ideas if you are feeling adventurous.

            We have a lot of kohlrabi out there, so you’ll all be getting generous portion. Remember that part about joining a CSA and sharing in the rewards and in the disappointments? Hope this isn’t a disappointment to you. Well, this may apply to the zucchini too. We have tons of both! One of these letters I’ll go over the several varieties we grow in case you are interested.

            Did you know that you can have pasture-raised chicken delivered with your Wobbly Cart CSA share?  Our long time employees Liza and Marianne have started their own farm, August Farm, specializing in pasture-raised chicken.  We are partnering with them this year.  There are two ways to purchase chicken from August Farm: pick-up on farm the day of harvest (July 29th is the next harvest) or delivered with your Wobbly Cart CSA through their Chicken CSA Program.  Check out their website for more information or email them at info@august-farm to place an order. The quality, taste and high animal welfare of their product are outstanding.       

 

 

Until next week,

 

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

P.S. We are now on week 6, 1/3 of the way through the summer season. Please check your balance due when you get your weekly pick-up reminders and keep those payments coming in! You can pay online or send us a check. Thank you so much!

 

 

 

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)

 

Kohlrabi Home Fries: Peel 1 ½ to 2 lbs kohlrabi and cut into thick sticks, about 1/3 to ½ inch wide and about 2 inches long. Heat 2 to 4 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil over med-high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is the best). Meanwhile, place 1 tbsp rice, chickpea or semolina flour in a large bowl, season with salt to taste and quickly toss the kohlrabi slices in the flour so that they are lightly coated. When the oil in rippling, carefully add the kohlrabi to the pan in batches so that the pan isn’t crowded. Cook on one side until browned. About 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the pieces over to brown on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The procedure should only take about 5 minutes if there is enough oil in the pan. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle right away with the seasoning of your choice ( chili powder, curry powder, cumin or paprika). Very satisfying and healthy! (from NY times).

 

Curly Parsley and Walnut Pesto: Combine all ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. 3 cups curly parsley leaves, ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp freshly ground pepper, 3 garlic cloves, chopped.

 

Lavender Tea Cookies: Ahead of time: prepare lavender frosting and set aside: combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers, let sit for 1 day, then strain out the flowers and combine the powdered sugar with 2 tbsp milk, and 2 tsp corn syrup. Set the frosting aside. Then, with a mortar and pestle grind 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers. In a medium bowl cream together 1 cup butter at room temp, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp lemon extract. Add 2 cups flour and 1/8 tsp salt. Mix until combined. Dough should be together, but not sticky. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from frig. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from pan and cool on wire cooling racks. When cool frost with lavender frosting. Makes 2 dozen.  (from whatscookingamerica.net)

 

Roasted Beet Crostini: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim greens from 1 bunch beets, reserving stems and greens. Place beets in a baking pan, cover with foil, and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on size of beets, uncover and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350. While beets cool, arrange 16 ½ inch slices of baguette in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, turning slices over once halfway through, until toasted but not browned, about 14 minutes. Thinly slice beet green stems and finely chop leaves; keep stems and leaves separate. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add greens, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp water and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender and liquid had evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in ¼ tsp salt and remove from heat. Peel cooled beets and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place ¾ cup beet pieces, 4 oz creamy goat cheese and ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth (reserve remaining beets for another use).  To assemble crostini, spread about 2 tsp beet-cheese spread on each slice of toasted baguette and top with sautéed greens. (lifescript.com)

 

Penne with Kalamata Olives, Feta and Chard: Mix 2 Tbsp chopped parsley with 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 clove minced garlic. Set aside.Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.Chop one bunch of Chard.Add the Chard to the water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Skim out the Chard and drain in a colander.Return the water to the boil and add 12 oz of penne and cook until tender.

Drain and reserve 3/4 cup water. Return pasta to the pot, add Chard and 3 Tbsp olive oil and toss.Stir in ½ cup chopped kalamata olives and 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese. Add reserved pasta water to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with 2 more Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with the parsley mixture and serve.

 

Summer Squash, white bean, and pesto soup:

Saute chopped onion and cubed summer squash in olive oil with salt and pepper until tender. Add chicken or vegetable broth, drained and rinsed canned white beans, and chopped fresh oregano and parsley. Bring to simmer. Top with a dollop of homemade pesto.

 

Oven Fries:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Peel 1 lb of potatoes and slice them lengthwise into french fry like sticks. Pour 4 Tbsp of Canola oil on a rimmed baking sheet and then toss the potatoes with oil to coat. Turn with a spatula when brown on top and continue cooking until the potatoes become crispy on the outside and soft inside, about 30 min. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.

 

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