CSA Newsletter #12 September 7th 2012
In this week’s box:
Large Share: sweet corn (depending on a.m. harvest), beets, carrots, fingerling potatoes, butterhead lettuce, red and yellow onion, slicing cucumbers, Purple Beauty bell peppers, Wild Garden kale, green beans, slicing tomatoes, Italian parsley
Small Share: sweet corn (depending on a.m. harvest), fresh basil, beets, lettuce, Wild Garden Kale, yellow onion, pint of Glacier and Ida gold tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, green beans
Dear CSA members,
September days are upon us. And along with them we approach the peak of the summer crops like tomatoes, corn, and bell peppers. From here on out the boxes get heavier as we bring in tons and tons of produce from our three field locations. The weather has been gorgeous and I hope it holds out to make along season for our heirloom tomatoes, eggplants and peppers! I am hopeful there will be sweet corn in this box as well! We won’t know until the early morning, but if not this week then next.
The sweet corn that we grow is called “double standard” and it is an old open pollinated yellow and white variety that we grow for its hardiness and great flavor. It tends to be a little smaller, and less sugary than the “sugar enhanced” varieties that dominate the industry now. I find it has a more authentic corn flavor and is excellent for roasting whole. Seems like a good thing in our sugar overloaded food supply to go back to simpler tastes. Eat a.s.a.p for best flavor!
The purple bell peppers are a very productive type in our less than ideal pepper -growing climate. It is called “Purple Beauty”. They can be used like any other green bell pepper but just have a different color, I also find their crisp texture and somewhat thick walls make them great for stuffed peppers.
All shares will get either a large slicing tomato or a pint of smaller tomatoes of mixed colors. I am hoping as I said earlier that we’ll be getting a large harvest of heirloom tomatoes soon! Some of the later varieties that we grow (all with excellent and complex flavors) are Cherokee Purple, Cosmonaut Volkov, German Green, and Persimmon.
This week is the first picking for this planting of green beans so I expect them to be extra tender and flavorful. Also, this is the first week we will give out kale. This variety is called “Wild Garden Kale” from Wild Garden Seeds in Philomath, Oregon. It has a variety of leaf textures and is super high in vitamins and minerals. This is one crop that is going to improve in flavor as our nights get colder and especially after we see a few frosts. Not good for the tomatoes, great for the kale!
Much of what we have in this week’s box really exemplifies what Wobbly Cart was striving for as young and idealistic start up farmers. We really felt the importance of growing “open pollinated” crops (plants that we could successfully save seed from that would be true to it’s parent plant) as opposed to hybrids. We felt the necessity of promoting genetic diversity and the unique properties that many of these vegetables have to offer. All you need to do is check out Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Uprising Seeds, or Wild Garden Seeds to get an idea. Though some things have changed for us in the last seven years of farming, I think we will always stick with some of the original unique selections that we have become known for. Hope you enjoy, and hope to see you at the annual farm party!!
Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart
Seared Corn with Green Chile and Mexican Herbs: Husk 5 ears of fresh sweet corn, cut the kernels from the cobs. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the corn kernels and hot green chiles to taste (stemmed and sliced crosswise into rings, seeds and all) to the dry pan and stir for 5 to 10 minutes, until most of the corn kernels have browned a bit. In a cup combine ¼ cup water, ½ tsp salt, and 1 tbsp fresh lime juice stirring until the salt is dissolved. Sprinkle ¼ cup chopped cilantro over the corn, then drizzle on the liquid, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for several minutes, then taste and add a little more salt if needed. Serve with wedges of lime to squirt on the corn, if you wish. ( from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen)
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.
Beets with Tropical Flavors: Peel 1 lb fresh beets. Cut them into julienne strips by first thinly slicing them, then cutting into strips about ¼ inch wide. Set aside. Place a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid over med-high heat. Add 1 generous tbsp raw sesame oil, and when it is hot add 4 fresh curry leaves (available at Indian grocery stores), 2 tbsp minced jalapeno pepper and 2 to 3 tbsp minced shallots. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beets and stir, then add 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp salt, ¾ tsp sugar and stir and turn to mix well. Raise the heat to high and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. The beets will give off a little liquid as they cook. Mix ¼ cup canned coconut milk with ¼ cup water, then add to the pot and bring to a vigorous boil. Stir well, cover tightly, reduce the heat, and cook at a strong simmer until the beets are just tender, about 20 minutes or so. Check the water level after 10 minutes of cooking and add a little more if its almost dry. Add ¼ cup more coconut milk and 4 more curry leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle on coarse sea salt if you wish. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot or at room temperature. Can also substitute carrots for the beets.
Grilled Corn on the Cob: Heat your grill to high, about 550 degrees. Remove silks from 4 ears of corn but leave the husk intact. Place the husk-wrapped corn directly on the hot grill. Cover. Turn the corn occasionally, and grill for 15 minutes, until the husks are charred on all sides. Remove corn from the grill and let sit for 5 minutes or until cool enough to eat. Serve with butter.
Fresh Salsa: Chop 6 tomatoes, mince 4 garlic cloves, seed and mince 2 fresh Jalapeno peppers, plus 2 roasted, skinned and chopped jalapenos, dice 1 bell pepper, chop ½ red onion, 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 lime, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, fresh scallions and cilantro to taste, and 2 dry ancho chilies, seeded, cut into short strips and snipped into pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place in the fridge for up to 12 hours for flavor infusion. Serve with chips.
Fresh Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Sweet Onion and Tomato salad with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Cut 1 head lettuce into ½ inch strips then wash and dry. Take the kernels off of 2 ears raw sweet corn. Cut 1 cucumber in half, scrape out the seeds and dice it into ½ moon shaped pieces. Finely chop ½ a sweet onion and 1 tomato. Top the lettuce with all of the above. For the dressing: In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp stone ground mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake well. Dress the salad and toss. Top with ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, 2 tbsp chopped chives, and 4 tbsp chopped basil. This would be great with bacon or chicken added!
Chinese-Style Stir-Fry of Kale, Onions, and Marinated Tofu:
In a small container combine 1 tbsp tamari, 11/2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger, and ¾ tsp ground star anise. Marinate ½ lb of firm tofu that has been cut into 1 -inch cubes in this mixture for 5 to 10 minutes or longer. Meanwhile, trim the leaves of one large bunch of kale from the stems. Chop the leaves coarsely. Set aside. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp of peanut oil. Saute 2 coarsely chopped onions, 2 large cloves of finely chopped garlic, and 1 large bell pepper, seeded and diced, for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the marinated tofu with its sauce, the kale and ¼ cup water. Watch for sputtering oil. Cover and cook over med-high heat, stirring every minute or two, until the kale is tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add more water if it starts to dry out. Season with additional soy sauce before serving, if desired. Serve over rice.
Portugese Kale and Potato Soup: In a large saucepan, sauté 1 onion, minced fine and 1 garlic clove, minced, in 3 Tbsp olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add 6 potatoes, peeled and diced, and sauté stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Ass 2 quarts cold water or stock, and boil gently for 20 minutes, until potatoes are mushy. Meanwhile, fry 6oz dry garlicky sausage (chorizo, linguica, or pepperoni) sliced paper thin, in a skillet over low heat, until most of the fat has drained out. Drain well and reserve. When potatoes are soft, remove from heat and either mash them in the pan with a masher or puree them, then add the sausage, 2 ½ tsp salt and pepper to taste. Return to medium heat, cover and simmer for 5 more minutes. When ready to serve add 1 lb kale, washed, trimmed, and sliced into fine shreds, and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes-until they are tender. Mix in 1 mtore Tbsp olive oil and taste for seasoning.