Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 17

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10-4-16

Large shares: Delicata squash, red onions, beets, watermelon radish, Purple mustard greens, Italian parsley, sweet peppers, cauliflower or broccoli, red potatoes, summer squash

Small shares: Delicata squash, red or yellow onions, watermelon radish, beets, green or romano beans, cauliflower, cucumbers

 

Dear CSA members,

It’s hard to believe we are at week 17 and next week will be the last delivery for the summer share! There are a couple of things I wanted to go over from the last couple of weeks. I received quite a few comments about the corn earworm damage to the sweet corn and wanted to let you know that we are really sorry about that! We have never had an infestation quite like that before and there is no way to tell unless you open up each ear one by one! We generally try to minimize any type of organically approved insecticide spraying due to their impacts on our pollinators and other beneficial insects, but will have to consider one for this pest next year.

Also, some mold issues with onions and shallots. Our alliums have not been keeping well this year due to alot of humidity and moisture during certain parts of this summer and the curing time of the onions ( the joys of farming in the maritime northwest!). Often times it is extremely difficult to tell if there is mold starting under the skin of an onion or shallot – so we may miss a few here and there.

I wanted to be sure to assure you all that the dollar value of the produce you receive over the course of the season is generally 15% more than what we have accounted for in the share price. Not that we are happy with the quality issues with the corn and onions  – but just to assure you that you are not losing out in dollar value!

Part of the journey of choosing a farm to support through a community supported agriculture progarm is to share in the successes and failures of each season. Each year brings up new challenges as an small organic farm with different pests, diseases, weather and climate challenges. We work to adapt to the problems and highlight our sucesses, and try to create a well balanced and delicious selection of vegetables for you each week.

New this week we have:

Watermelon radishes: This large turnip looking thing is green and white on the outside, but when you slice it watch out! The center is a gorgeous watermelon shade of pinkish red. This heirloom type of the Chinese Daikon radish (called shinreimei in China) is at its best in fall when the weather starts to cool down. Unlike many radishes the intensity of the flavor decreases as it matures. It is mild and delicious served raw, and its color is best preserved when it is served uncooked. Though they are also good sautéed or roasted.

Purple mustard greens: is a Japanese green that has a mild earthy, peppery taste. It is very tender and makes excellent salads and stir-fries. It will keep for 3 to 4 days loosely wrapped in plastic and stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Delicata Squash: These are, in my humble opinion, the best winter squash there is. Delicata have excellent sweet flavor, tender skins, and a very manageable size that make them easy to transport and process. Kept cool and dry, these squash will keep for several weeks and possibly months. Their flavor will improve over time if you can hold off from eating them tonight!

I have enclosed our flyer for sign up for our fall CSA share that will continue immediately after our 18th week of summer share as well as a brochure for locally raised Icelandic lamb from our friend and neighbor Selma. Selma is a long time farmer here in our valley, who raises mostly Icelandic sheep. This spring her ewes gave birth to more lambs than ever before. Many ewes had triplets. Selma thinks this had to do with the very nice pastures they grazed on in last summer and fall. As a result she has many more lambs to sell. If you are into lamb, Icelandic lamb is considered one of the best in the world because of its fine texture and mild flavor. Here is a link to her meat brochures on her website.  If you are interested you can contact her by email Selma@bonedryridge.com or give her a call 360 273 1045 or just send in the order form.

Also, now is the time to finish up any payments still due on your account and return any boxes that you may still have. Next week will be the last delivery for the summer share!

Thanks and have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

Delicata squash with rosemary, sage and cider glaze: Peel 2 medium delicata squash, cut lengthwise in half, scoop out the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise again, and then into 1 1/2 inch slices. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a large heavy skillet over low heat, add in 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage, 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary and cook 3 to 5 minutes, just until the butter begins to brown. Do not brown the herbs. Add the squash to the skillet, then add 1 1 /2 cups fresh apple cider, 1 cup water, 2 tsp sherry vinegar, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is reduced and the squash is tender about 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad: Slice 1 small sweet onion into thin rounds, slice 1 large watermelon radish into thin rounds, Add 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Toss well. Place in fridge to chill overnight. Serve!

Watermelon Radish Chips with Cumin Salt: Peel 4 to 6 Watermelon Radishes and thinly slice. If you have a mandolin, this is ideal for getting the most uniformly thin slices. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a small pot. When hot, toss a handful of radish, making sure you don’t crowd the pot. Fry for about 8 t 10 minutes until really brown. You’ll be tempted to take them out earlier, but you need them to crisp up. They do take longer than potato chips. Continue until done. Season each batch separately and set aside. To make cumin salt – add one tsp salt and ½ tsp cumin and mix in a small bowl, season the radish chip with this. Makes a great appetizer. (From janespice.com.)

Delicata Squash Rings: Preheat oven to 375. Take a whole delicata squash and slice it across sideways. This will make ring shapes out of it. Scoop the seeds out of the middles of your squash rings. Lightly oil a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Lay the rings out in a single layer across the skillet. Place in the hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then flip the rings with a spatula. Bake the other side until both sides are lightly browned and the squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve.

Mustard Greens turnovers (could use rapini, vitamin green, or mizuna here): prehat oven to 400. place 1 lb mustard greens (stems removed) in a colander, rinse with cool water, and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 1 garlic clove, minced, and cook 1 minute more, add the chopped greens and cook unitl they wilt and are tender, about 5 minutes. transfer the green back to the colander and press to extract any extra liquid. place them in a large mixing bowl and stir in 5 oil-cured black olives that have been chopped, 8 slow-roasted tomato halves that have been finely chopped, and 1/4 cup feta cheese. You should have about 1 1/2 cups filling.

Unfold 2 sheets frozen puff pastry that has been defrosted onto a lighty floured surface. depending on pastry size, cut each sheet into four 4 inch squares. Divide the filling amongst 8 pastry squares, leaving a 1 inch border. Fold each square into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and seal the pastry by firmly pressing fork tines along the open edges. Use a sharp knife to make 2 1/2 inch long vents in the top of each turnover. Place the turnovers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush their tops with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Nori Radish Toasts: Slice a 12 in. section of baguette in half length-wise, cut into 2-in. pieces, and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on edges. Using scissors, snip 1 large sheet toasted nori into bits, then pulverize in a spice grinder. Mix nori powder with about 5 tbsp butter; smear thickly onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radishes and radish greens. (watermelon radishes would work great). (from the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine).

Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break 1 2 lb head of cauliflower into bite sized peices. Toss the cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp kosher salt and 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

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).

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 12

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8-30-16

Large shares: carrots, red potatoes, red onions, summer squash, Italian parsley, beets, cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic

Small shares: carrots, red onion, summer squash, Italian parsley, cauliflower, 1/2 pint sungolds and 1 heirloom tomato, or 1 pint heirloom tomatoes, arugula

Dear CSA members,

The final week of August already! As I have iterated in the last couple of weeks  – the bounty of the harvest season is here. We are starting to have mature sweet and hot peppers as well as more quantities of eggplant and tomatoes. We eagerly await the arrival of sweet corn and watermelons in the next couple of weeks to come. We are a little later on those crops this year as there were early on  problems with mice eating the seeds as well as cooler overall temperatures.

Fruit trees around the farm are loaded with apples, pears, grapes and plums in an amazing way that I can’t say I have seen before. Trying to imagine attempting to process it all makes my head spin!  It seems every year I wait non-chalantly until the excitement to preserve sets in, and then I cant seem to stop myself! Interestingly, my canning and preserving fervor seems to set in just as my kids head back to school and I have a little more free space in my brain.

Fall is certianly in the air and we have gorgeous cauliflower and broccoli again. Last year we had very little of either of these crops with the excessive hot and dry conditions so we are glad to have them back in abundance.

Eggplant: In Italian it is known as “Melanzana”, which originates from it’s Latin name which translates to “Apple of Madness”. Whoa! This terminology is believed to have originated with the poisonous nature of some members of the nightshade family – which also includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. I assure you none of what is in your box is poisonous however! Eggplant and and like have been eaten around the world for hundreds if not thousands of years. Believed to have first been cultivated and eaten in India or China, with written accounts of it dating to the 5th century,  Eggplant didn’t make it to Europe until the 1500’s and wasn’t recognized as an edible food until the 1600’s.

Store Eggplant at room temperature and use up as soon as possible. Salting and then draining the cubed, sliced or halved fruit will help it to absorb less oil in cooking. According to the Joy of Cooking Eggplant goes well with lamb, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, cheese, cream sauces, oregano, marjoram, soy sauce and garlic.

Hopefully, small shares will get sweet pepper and eggplant next week!

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Red Curry with Eggplant and Sweet Peppers:

2 cans unsweetened Coconut Milk

2 to 3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (see recipe below)

1 lb Eggplant (cut into bite sized pieces)

12 lime leaves

2 Cups vegetable stock

1 Tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

1 ½ tsp salt

1 lb firm tofu cut into chunks

1 sweet bell pepper cut into 2 inch strips

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Shake the coconut milk can well. Spoon out 1/3 cup into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and releases its sweet fragrance, about 3 minutes.

Add the curry paste and cook for about 3 more minutes, mashing, scraping and stirring often to soften the paste and combine it with the coconut milk. Add the eggplant and stir gently to coat it with the curry paste. Add the remaining coconut milk, half the lime leaves, the vegetable stock, sugar, soy sauce, and salt and stir well. Bring to an active boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the eggplant is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the tofu, the sweet peppers, the remaining lime leaves to the curry and stir gently. Let the curry return to the boil and then remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the cilantro leaves, and serve hot or warm over rice.

 

Home-made Red Curry Paste:

20 Ring of Fire chilies

1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

10 white or black pepper corns

3 stalks lemongrass

¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup coarsely chopped shallots

2 Tbsp coarsely chopped garlic

1 tbsp coarsely chopped, peeled fresh ginger

1 tsp grated lime zest

1 tsp salt

Stem the chilies and shake out and discard a lot of the seeds. Break into large pieces. In a small skillet over medium heat, dry fry the coriander sees, until they darken a shade or two, shaking the pan often, 2 to 3 minutes. Tip out into a saucer. Toast the cumin seeds in the same way, until they darkens and release their rich aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the saucer along with the peppercorns and then grind the spices to a fine powder in a mini-processor or a mortar and pestle. Set aside. To prepare the lemongrass, trim away and discard any root section below the bulb base, cut away the top portion, leaving a stalk about 6 inches long, including the base. Finely chop the stalk. Combine the chilies with the lemongrass and the toasted spices and the remaining ingredients in a blender. Grind everything to a smooth puree’, stopping often to scrape down the sides and adding a few tbsp of water as needed. Makes one cup.

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

Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break 1 2 lb head of cauliflower into bite sized peices. Toss the cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp kosher salt and 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

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).

Lemony pasta with cherry tomatoes: in a large bowl, whisk together the zest and juice of one large lemon, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ tsp sea salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in ¼ cup finely chopped basil leaves, ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, and 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes, and set aside. Cook 1 lb penne pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and immediately place the pasta in the bowl on top of the tomato mixture. Let sit for 1 minute to soften the tomatoes, then toss until well combined. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp red pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
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.
Arugula, Beet and Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese: Preheat oven to 375. In a small baking dish rub 1½ lbs medium beets all over with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the beets are tender. Uncover the dish and let the beets cool slightly. Peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch wedges. Meanwhile, spread ¼ cup pine nuts in a small baking dish and bake for about 7 minutes, until golden. Let cool completely. For the dressing: with a sharp paring knife peel 1 whole lemon, removing all the bitter white pith. Cut in between the membranes to release the sections; cut the sections into small pieces. In a small bowl, whisk the ½ tsp lemon zest and juice of the lemon with 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon pieces. In a large bowl toss 2 Hass avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces, and 4 cups lightly packed baby arugula. Toss with half of the lemon dressing and season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates. In the same bowl, toss the beets with remaining dressing. Spoon the beets over the salad, top with the toasted pine nuts and 4 oz shaved semi-firm aged goat cheese and serve.

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The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it, we have no community, because without proper care for it we have no life.

-Wendell Berry

6-30-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #3

Large Shares: broccoli, fennel, lettuce, scallions, kohlrabi, sugar snap peas, radishes, garlic, zucchini, French lavender

Small Shares: broccoli, fennel, lettuce, radishes, shell peas, garlic

 

Dear CSA members,

A quick walk around the farm recently, got me thinking about a few things this week. One, the summer crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash are going to come on early this year and be very abundant. Two, I feel great full to live in a river valley with such deep and fertile soil and abundant water. Our soil is primarily loam and clay loam, so it holds nutrients, organic matter, and water exceptionally well. We certainly farm in a manner that is respectful to our soil by not tilling and plowing when the soil is too wet or too dry, cover cropping with rye, vetch and clover in winter and buckwheat in summer where ever there is barren ground, and then incorporating those cover crops back into the soil to add nutrients and organic matter that we may remove by growing crops.

However, we also feel that by continuously cropping the 10 acres that we have access to we are likely doing our soil a disservice. We do rotate the crops that we grow so that no crop is ever repeated on the same ground within 3 to 4 years’ time, but as we know from experience all ground needs fallow time to recover from our invasive methods of tilling, fertilizing, planting and harvesting. Ideally, within the next couple of years we would hope to be leasing another 10 acres or so, to ensure our sustainability as a diverse organic vegetable operation. And also to give proper respect to our soil!

The health of our soil is certainly reflected in the vitality of our crops this week! We have gorgeous heads of broccoli, crispy fresh lettuce, the last of the radishes for the summer, and the first of the garlic bulbs! New this week we have bulb fennel. Fennel is in the carrot family and is closely related to carrots, parsley, and dill. The crunchy white bulb, as well as the stalks and fronds are edible and are often found in Mediterranean cuisine. I have served fennel in salads, braised, roasted, and au gratin just to name a few ways! The flavor is reminiscent of anise or licorice, but mellows with cooking.

This week the large shares will receive a small bunch of French lavender. Next week there is going to be a lot more for both large and small shares! 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!

Have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Caramelized Fennel: Wash and trim a large bulb of fennel, removing the root and stems. Slice diagonally as you would an onion into thin slices. Discard any tough core if present. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add fennel and ¼ cup chopped onion. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until fennel softens. Add 1 tsp sugar and ½ tsp kosher salt and continue to cook until fennel is caramelized and tender about 7 to 10 more minutes.

Honey Lavender Butter: This butter is so great on scones, toast, muffins, or coffeecakes.  1 stick softened butter, 4 tsp. dried lavender (pulsed or chopped), 4 tsp. honey. Mix together and enjoy!

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.

Garlicy Roasted Broccoli: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a blender puree 6 large cloves garlic with ½ cup olive oil and ¼ tsp soy sauce. Chop one large head of broccoli into florets, peel and chop the stems too. Place the broccoli in a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tbsp. of the garlic oil. Toss until the florets are well coated. Spread the broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is fork tender and quite

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #1

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6-16-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #1

 

Large shares: strawberries, garlic scapes, scallions, chard, dill, broccoli, snow peas, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and radishes

Small shares: strawberries, garlic scapes, chard, dill, carrots, sugar snap peas, crisp head lettuce, and radishes

 

Dear CSA members,

Let the harvest season begin! Here we are at the first week of CSA deliveries for 2015. We want to first recognize and THANK you all for your support this spring. As you know by signing up for a CSA you are investing your food dollars in a small, local, organic, farm. By providing us with upfront money to keep the farm and our 10 employees going in the late winter and early spring when we don’t have produce to sell, you truly help sustain our business. Now it’s our turn to return the favor with all the fresh organic goodness that we spend so much time, care and energy producing for you!

It has been a warm, dry and busy spring here at Wobbly Cart. Days have been long and hot, more like August than June. This unseasonably warm and dry weather has been pushing our crops ahead of normal, which is great, IF we can keep up with the irrigation and demanding harvest schedule. Which can hard when the staff and infrastructure aren’t quite at August levels yet! Luckily we have hired several new crew members this week, and are rolling out a lot of brand new drip irrigation to help keep up with the watering.

I am very pleased that the early onset of strawberry harvest was not mutually exclusive with CSA receiving a taste of our small strawberry plot! We don’t dedicate a lot of land to strawberry production, and mainly have them around to add fruit variety to our CSA boxes. I was worried that they were going to come on early and be done before we had enough produce to begin CSA. It all worked out pretty well, as the Monday morning picking was bigger than expected!

Some of you who are to the world of CSA and/or local, seasonal eating may not be familiar with the garlic scapes that are in this week’s box. Garlic scapes are the elegant goose necked flower stalks of the garlic plant. They emerge this time of year as the garlic matures and it is best for the final product of the bulb if we snap them off. As an added bonus they are delicious to eat and can be chopped and used just like garlic in any recipe, blended up into a pesto, braised whole and much more. They keep for a long time in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator so no need to worry about using them up right away.

Speaking of using things up, we thought we would share some suggestions for using up the produce in your CSA box each week. Amazingly, one of the biggest complaints (and there are very few complaints) we get from CSA customers is that it is difficult to use up all the produce from week to week! We all know that eating more organic fresh produce is certainly in accords with living a long healthy life, so it’s great we have all taken a first step in getting there, by joining a CSA!

Next, be creative and inspired. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Cook at home with our recipe suggestions, or check out new cookbooks and food blogs. We will try to make suggestions for good books and other resources throughout the season. Sautee vegetables with your eggs in the morning, make a green juice or smoothie, have a salad for lunch! If you have time to prepare a lunch for yourself the night before to take to work, you can avoid eating out in restaurants and use up more of your vegetables

You might be surprised with how your tastes change when you get a weekly (and daily) dose of ultra fresh organic vegetables. Suddenly over processed and fast foods don’t taste so great any more… you can really taste the excessive salt, sugar, and artificial additives. I also find my kids will quickly devour our farm fresh produce while shun grocery store stuff. It works well for me to set out a snack tray with fresh carrots, radishes, snap peas etc. and allow them to graze on it throughout the day. I am actually amazed at how quickly a large share disappears in our house of four! As well as how much the grocery bill goes down once the harvest season begins again.

We would love to have you all share ideas, storage tips and recipes with us, as well successes and failures you’ve had with the produce you have received. It would be nice to have a lively discussion with interested CSA members and also get new ideas for good recipes to try! Maybe a face book CSA group would be the way to accomplish this dialogue? I will work on setting one up this week for us all to share on!

Thank you so much and have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

Garlic-braised broccoli: Bring 4 qts of water to the boil in a stockpot, and add 11/2 tsp of salt. Cut 1 lb of broccoli into 1-inch pieces (stems peeled if desired). Add to the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes, then drain and cool slightly. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the broccoli. Heat in a large skillet over medium heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, add: 1 thinly sliced garlic scape, and 1 small red chile pepper if desired. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove and discard the chile. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. (Serves 4). (Adapted from the Joy of Cooking.)

 

Roasted Garlic Scapes: Preheat oven to 350. Rinse scapes and pat dry. Cut into smaller pieces of desired size, or leave whole, and place in a 9×13-roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with good sea salt. Optional: add cracked pepper or other herbs/spices. Roast for 24-35 minutes, until softened, browned and just slightly crispy to your liking. Remove from oven and enjoy hot or chilled.

Brown Sugar Strawberry Tart: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor whirl 1-cup flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1/8 tsp salt. Add ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, and ½ tsp vanilla and pulse until fine crumbs form and dough just begins to come together. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 -inch round tart pan with a removable rim. Bake until the edges are golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then gently push tart crust from pan rim; set on a plate. In a bowl with a mixer on high speed, beat ½ cup crème fraiche, ½ cup whipped cream, 2 tbsp sugar and ½ tsp vanilla until thick. Spread in the cooled crust. Arrange 12oz of hulled and sliced fresh strawberries in circles on top. Chill loosely covered, up to 4 hours and serve. (From the April 2010 issue of Sunset Magazine.)

 

Simple Stir Fried Snow Peas: rinse and trim ends from 8 to 10 oz of snow peas. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok, over medium high heat. When oil is hot add several tbsp chopped garlic scapes or to taste. Stir-fry briefly, and then add snow peas and ¼ tsp salt. Stir-fry briefly then add 1 to 2 tbsp soy sauce or to taste. Stir-fry for another minute and then serve over rice. (Total stir-frying time is 2 minutes).

 

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar: 30 minutes to an hour before serving; thickly slice 2 pints of fresh strawberries, add 2 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Set aside at room temperature. When ready to serve place a serving of strawberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Top with freshly grated lemon zest. Serves 4.

 

Baby lettuces with goat-cheese dressing, pistachios, and pink peppercorns: for the dressing: in a food processor puree 4 oz goat cheese, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey and 1 tsp salt until smooth. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use. Divide up 4 cups of lettuce leaves amongst 4 salad plates. Drizzle each serving with ¼ of the dressing and sprinkle with roasted and salted pistachios, fresh tarragon leaves, and coarsely crushed pink peppercorns. Serves 4. (From May 2013 issue of Country Living Magazine)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #18

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #18

October 14th 2014

 

Large share: Delicata squash, Jonagold apples, cauliflower, kale, cipolinni onion, sweet peppers, beets, carrots, yellow finn potatoes, cherry tomatoes

Small share: Delicata squash, Jonagold apples, broccoli, cipolinni onion, kale, Italian parsley, sweet pepper, garlic

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Wow, it’s the last box of the summer season! First and foremost I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for joining us on this 18- week local eating journey. It is so fantastic to think back on the all the hard work behind us, and the seasonal progression of the fruits and vegetables that have made it all possible. From the first tender lettuce, and garlic scapes, through all the heat loving summer crops like tomatoes and cucumbers and now on to winter squash and luscious Jonagold apples.

As always there are successes and failures throughout the season, and there is not always time to reflect on them, but overall it seems that our land and hard work has provided us with such a dazzling array of beautiful, tasty and nourishing food. I feel a great sense of satisfaction to have provided so many people with locally grown, fresh and organic vegetables. I hope you all have enjoyed the season and have the same sense of satisfaction at having contributed to helping this small organic farm remain sustainable.

This week’s box has some absolutely gorgeous and delicious produce. The Jonagold apples are a special project of mine (36 trees in all). They are about 35 years old and need lots of tender loving care. (read lots and lots of work!). The orchard produces a ton of fruit, but in this climate it is difficult to produce blemish free apples organically. Lets just say of the 750 lbs my husband and I harvested Sunday about 230lbs were deemed worthy of CSA. The rest will go to our personal cider for the winter! Normally I give them to the fall CSA share but this year they are ripened 2 weeks early. That’s what a long lot summer will do for you. They are very delicious and juicy and also are tree ripe and thus bruise easily – it will be best to enjoy them a.s.a.p either fresh or baked into a dessert.

 Delicata squash is my family’s favorite winter squash. The flesh is uber sweet and the skins are tender enough to eat! It bakes quickly and the seeds are great roasted too. This squash will keep for several weeks in a cool dry place, but I doubt it will last that long!

We continue to have beautiful broccoli and cauliflower from our late planting, as well as sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes in the big high tunnel. They should all hold out for some time. Unfortunately though, we are all out of garlic for the year. Last week we planted our beds for next year and are really excited because it will be our largest garlic planting ever. Here’s looking forward to next season!

If you haven’t already done so, I hope you will join us for the Fall share. It begins next Tuesday October 21st and will go for four weeks until November 11th. We will have many amazing fall/winter vegetables that haven’t been available for the summer season. For example; leeks,celeriac, sunchokes, several varieties of winter squash, asian greens, rutabaga, burdock, endive and escarole and lots more! The small share is only $66 and the large $110. Please sign up on our website http://www.wobblycart.com.

 

It has been a pleasure growing for you this season. Please take care of any remaining payments you need to and also remember to return your empty boxes so that they may be reused.

Thank you all,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Broccoli with Green Herb Sauce: Break 1 large head of broccoli into florets, peel the stalk and chop into chunks. Steam in a steamer basket over simmering water, covered, until tender to the core when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Put in a serving dish. Meanwhile mix ½ cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves, 1 tsp each fresh thyme and oregano leaves, zest of 1 large lemon, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp brined capers, rinsed and chopped, 2 tbsp finely diced shallot, 1 small garlic clove minced, ½ cup olive oil, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about half the green herb sauce over the broccoli and turn gently to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature, with extra sauce on the side.

 

Delicata Squash with Thyme and Cider Glaze: Peel 2 medium Delicata squash with a vegetable peeler, cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece in half lengthwise again, then crosswise into ½ inch thick slices. Melt 3 Tbsp unsalted butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add and 1 Tbsp coarsely chopped Thyme and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture. Add the squash to the skillet, then 1 ½ cups unfiltered apple cider or juice, 1 cup water, 2 tsp sherry vinegar, 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper and additional salt if needed. ( from The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld).

Delicata Squash Rings: Preheat oven to 375. Take a whole delicata squash and slice it across sideways. This will make ring shapes out of it. Scoop the seeds out of the middles of your squash rings. Lightly oil a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Lay the rings out in a single layer across the skillet. Place in the hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then flip the rings with a spatula. Bake the other side until both sides are lightly browned and the squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve.

Fall Salad with Apple Dressing: prepare the dressing: combine 2 small apples, peeled and chopped, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup good cider vinegar, and ½ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until apples are translucent, 25 minutes. Puree in a blender, slowly adding 1 ½ tbsp St-Germain elderflower liqueur. Adjust with more vinegar or liqueur to taste. Chill. For the salad: toss 4 cups loosely packed fall greens (arugula, escarole, kale, frisee, lettuce) with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and ½ tsp kosher salt. Spoon dressing onto plates, divide salad among plates and top with 1 large apple that has been cut into thin wedges, 6 tbsp shelled pecans and 1 ½ oz shaved Pecorino cheese (divide amongst the plates). Serves 8

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #17

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October 7, 2014

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA Box #17

 

Large share: broccoli, oakleaf or crisphead lettuce, yellow onions, garlic, cayenne peppers, sweet pepper, red tomato, turnips, chard, Italian parsley, carrots, red kuri squash.

 Small share: cauliflower, oakleaf or crisphead lettuce, yellow onion, cayenne pepper, sweet pepper, red tomato, chard, carrots, red kuri squash.

 

Dear CSA members,

This last week has been a busy time of fall chores that prepare us, and the farm for winter. We dug our last beds of potatoes and bagged them for storage, mowed down summer crops like basil and cucumbers, got ground prepped and garlic seed ready for planting this week, and planted cover crops on all bare areas where crops are finished for the year.

Walking around the fields you can see that we truly are in the late season as far as crops go. The shining stars are now cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, parsnips, endive, escarole and leeks, all vegetables that can hold up to the cold temperatures and heavy rains to come. This week have some very nice broccoli and cauliflower for you. Our earlier plantings this year have not been successful due to various factors, but I am happy to say that the late planting is doing very well!

We also have a red kuri squash. The red kuri is an orange somewhat pumpkin like squash with a nice dense chesnutty flavored flesh. You can store this squash for many weeks in your pantry or a cool dry place, until you are ready to use it. I particularly like this squash in soups.

The tiny long red pepper is a Ring of Fire Cayenne pepper. It is VERY hot. Use caution when chopping, and most people will want to remove the seeds as they will add considerably to the heat factor!

Large shares will also receive a large bunch of turnips. Turnips are a versatile and delicious root vegetable, the greens are also edible and very nutritious. I would recommend removing those huge greens and cooking asap if you plant too, or just compost them. Then you can store the roots in the fridge easier, and they will last longer with the greens removed.

Enjoy your box. Also, next week will be the last share of the summer season. We would love to have you join us for the Fall share which begins Tuesday October 21st. You can extend your membership on our website http://www.wobblycart.com

Thanks,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Buttered Turnip Puree: peel and chop 3 large turnips. Combine with 1 quart milk, 3 fresh thyme sprigs, and 1 clove of smashed garlic in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the turnips are tender. 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, discarding the thyme but reserving the liquid. In a food processor, puree the turnips with 1 stick butter and 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

 

Easy Turnip Greens: wash and chop 1 large bunch turnip greens (discard stems). Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add 1 chopped shallot, 1 clove chopped garlic, and 1 tsp chopped cayenne pepper (or to taste) and sautee until tender. Add the washed and chopped turnip greens and cook down for 3 minutes. Season with pepper. Mix together 1 cup chicken stock and 2 tbsp Dijon mustard. Add to the turnip greens and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add 1/3 cup toasted pecans and serve immediately.

 Winter Squash Shepherd’s Pie: Preheat oven to 400 with rack in top third of oven. Put 2 ½ lbs cubed, peeled winter squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast squash, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, wide pot over high heat. Add 2 lbs lamb stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until meat is browned on all sides. Add 1 medium onion, cut into wedges, and 3 chopped garlic cloves and cook until vegetables are starting to soften, about 2 minutes, transfer lamb mixture with juices to a bowl; add 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks and 8 oz medium mushrooms, stems removed. Reduce heat to medium low. Add ¼ cup flour to the same pot and cook, whisking continuously, until flour smells toasted, about 1 minute. Pour in ½ cup red wine and 1 cup beef or chicken broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour over the lamb mixture and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into 6 individual ramekins. Mash the squash in a bowl with 1 tsp salt, and 1/3 cup cream, adding more cream if needed until mixture is consistency of mashed potatoes. Dollop over the lamb. Bake until browned and sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes; sprinkle with 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley. Serves 6. (from Sunset October 2012)

Roasted Winter Squash and Beet salad: Preheat oven to 400. Tightly wrap 1 lb small beets in aluminum foil bundles. Place on middle shelf of oven. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside. Place the slices of 1 ¼ lb of winter squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on middle shelf in oven; roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup maple syrup over the squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool. To make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and ¼ cup maple syrup together. Add 1/3 cup olive oil and whisk until smooth. Season to taste. To assemble, place 3 cups mixed salad greens in the middle of a large plate. Arrange beets and squash on the greens. Pour half of dressing over salad. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing. Serves 6 to 8.

Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint: Halve 1 2 lb winter squash (red kuri), scoop out strings and seeds, and peel. Then cut into 1 inch cubes. Heat 2 tbsp light sesame oil or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add squash, 1 onion chopped, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon stick, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp ground chiles, followed by 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock and a cheese cloth sachet containing 12 coriander seeds, 12 black peppercorns, and 4 cloves. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook, partly covered, until squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove spice sachet and cinnamon stick. Using a stick blender, puree the soup, and season to taste with salt. Ladle soup into bowls. Swirl 1 tsp or so of heavy cream into each, leaving it streaky. Finish with a pinch of ground chiles.

 Creamy Barley and Chard Dressing: Preheat oven to 325. Cook 1 ¼ cups pearled barley in 4 cups chicken broth according to package directions and add ¾ tsp cracked black pepper. Meanwhile in a large skillet cook 2 cups chopped onion, and 1 ½ lbs winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces in ½ cup butter over medium heat, covered, until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked barley, 5 cups chopped Swiss chard, 1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts, and 1 ½ cups finely shredded Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a 3- quart rectangular baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 servings. (From BHG magazine November 2013)

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #2

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June 24th 2014

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #2

 

Large shares: garlic scapes, scallions, carrots, Merlot lettuce, oak leaf lettuce, rainbow chard, radishes, fennel, 1 lb shell peas, 1 lb broccoli

 

Small shares: parsley, snap peas, ½ lb broccoli, scallion, oak leaf lettuce, rainbow chard, carrots, and radishes

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Welcome to week two of the summer CSA share! I want to thank every one for the nice comments from last week and we are so glad you enjoyed your boxes. With 16 more weeks to go there is so much to look forward too! As of now, we are done planting all our summer crops and are moving on to fall and winter. It’s always amazing to me that right when we begin harvesting the first of our crops, we are seeding the last of our crops!

 

We have a nice box for you again this week. The broccoli keeps coming so both share sizes will get a nice quantity, as well as carrots and radishes like last week. The latest planting of lettuce yielded some nice oak leaf lettuce, as well as a darker lettuce called “Merlot” for the large shares. We also have sugar snap peas for the small share and shell peas for the large! For those who don’t know the shell peas are the large, long, thick pods. You break these open to reveal the tiny little peas inside. 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 sugar snap peas are small and plump. You can eat these whole, out of hand, once the strings are removed, and they are excellent that way. Sugar snap peas are a favorite snack in my family.

 

The long frondy herb with the large flat white bulb on the end is fennel. (This is in the large share box only this week). It is one many may be unfamiliar with but is very delicious if you give it a try. Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with a licorice or anise flavor. It is often used in Mediterranean cuisine, especially in Italy and France. Store your fennel in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use as soon as possible as it rapidly begins to loose its flavor once harvested.

 

Hope you enjoy!

 

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

Sauteed Snap Peas with Scallions and Radishes: Trim ¾ lb Snap Peas. Slice 8 scallions (white and pale green parts only) into 2- inch lengths. Trim and quarter 8 radishes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt 1 tbsp butter. Add the snap peas; cook stirring frequently, until just beginning to soften (do not brown), 3 to 4 minutes. Add the scallions and radishes; season with coarse sea salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until scallions soften and snap peas are crisp-tender. 1 to 2 minutes more. (From Everyday Food, June 2004)

 

Roasted Fennel: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stalks off of 2 bulbs of fennel. Half the bulbs lengthwise and slice into 1-inch thick pieces. Rub the fennel with just enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat. Sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar, also to coat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (or skip if you don’t mind scrubbing pans). Lay out the fennel, and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the fennel is tender and cooked through and beginning to caramelize.

 

Broccoli with Green Herb Sauce: Break 1 large head of broccoli into florets, peel the stalk and chop into chunks. Steam in a steamer basket over simmering water, covered, until tender to the core when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Put in a serving dish. Meanwhile mix ½ cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves, 1 tsp each fresh thyme and oregano leaves, zest of 1 large lemon, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp brined capers, rinsed and chopped, 2 tbsp finely diced shallot, 1 small garlic clove minced, ½ cup olive oil, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about half the green herb sauce over the broccoli and turn gently to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature, with extra sauce on the side.

 

Swiss chard and white bean soup: heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium pot over high heat. Add 2 chopped garlic scapes, ½ bunch of scallions, chopped, and 1 medium carrot, chopped. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped, 1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed, and 1 qt vegetable broth. Cover and cook until very hot. Serve with cheese.

 

Nori Radish Toasts: Slice a 12 in. section of baguette in half length-wise, cut into 2-in. pieces, and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on edges. Using scissors, snip 1 large sheet toasted nori into bits, then pulverize in a spice grinder. Mix nori powder with about 5 tbsp butter; smear thickly onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radishes and radish greens.(from the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine).