Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

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8-4-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

Large share: heirloom tomato, Italian plums, Walla Walla onions, lemon cucumber, slicing cucumber, summer squash, beets, carrots, butterhead lettuce, fresh dill, garlic, jalapeno or Czech black pepper, romano beans

 Small share: Romaine lettuce, cucumber, Walla Walla onion, summer squash, eggplant, bell pepper, cilantro, red or heirloom tomato.

 “To husband is to use with care, to keep, to save, to make last, to conserve. Old usage tells us that there is a husbandry also of the land, of the soil, of the domestic plants and animals – obviously because of the importance of these things to the household. And there have been times, one of which is now, when some people have tried to practice a proper human husbandry of the nondomestic creatures in recognition of the dependence of our households and domestic life upon the wild world. Husbandry is the name of all practices that sustain life by connecting us conservingly to our places and our world; it is the art of keeping tied all the strands in the living network that sustains us.

 And so it appears that most and perhaps all of industrial agriculture’s manifest failures are the result of an attempt to make the land produce without husbandry.”

Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food

 

Dear CSA members,

Well, we survived the latest heat wave. I’m pretty sure we hit 100 here on Saturday. Yikes! Thankfully we now are back to some “normal” summer weather again this week. Some tree species up and down our valley are turning yellow and brown with the drought conditions in a way that is a bit alarming. Heirloom tomatoes are coming in en masse on harvest days, at least those that have survived the sunburn. When temperatures climb into the mid 90’s and higher exposed fruits of delicate tomatoes, peppers and eggplants will literally scorch and cook to the point we can no longer market them. Crazy but true, it is actually too hot for tomatoes in Western Washington this summer!

We also have an enormous abundance of cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, and summer squash happening. If you are interested in bulk quantities of pickling cucumbers we are taking orders now. You can order on our web store http://www.wobblycart.com or call Joe 208 512 3186 and we can deliver with your CSA share or you can pick up on the farm or at our market stands in Olympia and Chehalis.

I took a quick field walk after packing CSA with the intention if checking out our melon crop. This is the first time we have attempted to grow melons on any sizeable scale. And what a great year to do so! We have both a French cantaloupe and a baby size watermelon out there and both are looking amazing. The vines are loaded with sizeable fruit and I’m guessing in a few short weeks we will be enjoying them! I’m very excited about having new and interesting crops around. These melons are fulfilling that need right now!

Also, every year the amazing Italian plum tree that grows by our barn produces a ton of fruit. When the landowner has had her fill, we get to harvest them for our own use. Addison was able to procure enough plums this year for the large shares to get a taste of them! I have vivid fond memories as a child climbing up into large Italian plum trees on my parents’ property and eating myself sick each summer. You wont receive enough plums today to achieve that state, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

Another new item for the large shares is the lemon cucumbers. These small, light yellow, lemon shaped (but not flavored) cucumbers are an heirloom variety. They are tender and thin- skinned and have a nice small serving size.

Some large shares received a jalapeno pepper, and some a Czech black pepper. The Czech blacks are black and red in color and have a sweet flavor that is similar in heat to the jalapeno.

Large shares also received fresh dill. This amazing dark green frondy herb is the same plant that we sell for pickling, just not in its flowering state. As a fresh leafy herb, dill has a mild licorice and parsley flavor and is delicious with egg, cheese, vegetable, potato and fish dishes.

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!

Hope you enjoy this week’s box,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

 

Takeout style sesame noodles with cucumber: from the smittenkitchen.com

Serves 4, generously, and up to double that if served as shown, with lots of cucumber, peanuts and herbs

3/4 pound dried rice noodles (see notes up top)

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus a splash to loosen noodles

2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini (see note up top)

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar

1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 1 medium-large clove)

Chili-garlic paste, to taste

1/2 pound cucumber, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped

A handful of chopped fresh herbs, such as mint and cilantro, for garnish

Cook noodles according to package directions and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Drizzle with a tiny splash of toasted sesame oil to keep them from sticking until dressed.

Meanwhile, whisk sesame paste and peanut butter in the bottom of a small bowl, then whisk in soy sauce, rice vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, sugar, ginger, garlic and chile-garlic paste to taste until smooth. Adjust flavors to taste. It might seem a bit salty from the bowl, but should be just right when tossed with noodles.

Toss sauce with cold noodles.

Place a medium-sized knot of dressed noodles in each bowl, followed by a pile of cucumber. Garnish generously with peanuts and herbs. Serve with extra chile-garlic paste on the side.

Butter lettuce and egg salad: from myrecipes.com

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 heads butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 qts.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill fronds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Herb or edible flowers (optional)

Preparation

  1. Put eggs in a medium saucepan, cover with 1 in. water, and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and let sit 9 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, and oil together.
  2. Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water and let cool a minute. Crack gently all over, then return to water for 5 minutes. Peel and cut or break into quarters.
  3. Put lettuce in a large bowl and toss gently but thoroughly with dill, chives, and most of dressing. Add eggs and gently toss again. Top with flowers if you like.

 

Roasted Italian Plums: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and pit 2 ¾ lbs of Italian plums. Toss in a bowl with 2 tbsp melted butter and ¼ cup brown sugar. Place cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and slighty caramelized 15 to 20 minutes. From marthastewart.com

 

Braised eggplant and broccolini with fried ginger: in a bowl blend 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp sesame oil, ¼ tsp red chili flakes, ½ cup chicken broth, 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger; set sauce aside. Cut 1 lb eggplant into 1 ½ inch chunks and set aside. Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a 12 inch wok or frying pan over high heat. Add ¼ lb slender broccolini , cut in half crosswise. Cook, covered, until stems are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water; when cool, drain and set aside. Drain and dry wok, ass 3 tbsp canola oil, and heat over high heat. Add 1/3 cup finely slivered ginger matchsticks, and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Transfer ginger to a paper towel to drain. Pour oil into a bowl; return 1 tbsp to the wok. Add half of the eggplant to wok over high heat. Cook, turning often, until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil to the wok with remaining eggplant and ½ cup finely chopped shallots. Cook as before. Return eggplant to the wok with the sauce. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft when pressed, 8 to 15 minutes. Lay broccolini on eggplant, cover, and heat 2 minutes. If needed, cook, uncovered, over high heat until most of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Stir in 1 tbsp each of chopped cilantro and mint and top with the fried ginger. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

 

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

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #16

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #16

9/30/14

Large share: mixed red and gold beets, yellow finn potato, Czech black hot pepper, shallots, arugula, green cabbage, spaghetti squash, 1 pint cherry tomato, green leaf lettuce, garlic, rosemary

 Small share: mixed red and gold beets, fingerling potato, Czech black hot pepper, shallot, green beans, eggplant, spaghetti squash, garlic, rosemary

 

Dear CSA members,

Here we are at week 16. It’s amazing how the week’s fly by and suddenly the summer CSA is drawing to a close. I suppose it is the life of a vegetable farmer to have the summer blow by in a whirlwind of bountiful produce. It’s like go go go until the summer crops give out. Our fields are looking just like that after last week’s cold rains virtually shut down the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil and what is left of the pickling cucumbers. The high tunnel is still holding out with an abundance of red and cherry tomatoes as well as beautiful peppers and eggplant.

This week you will receive a bit of what is left of summery vegetables, as well as our first taste of winter squash and shallots. The eggplants are from the last of the field planting and do have some relatively minor blemishes. We were careful to limit it to those with only cosmetic flaws, and wanted to be sure the small share got eggplant one more time before the summer CSA is over.

Spaghetti Squash: this large yellow football shaped squash is an excellent grain free substitute for pasta. It is very low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients. Halve it and bake or steam it until tender. Then use a fork to tease out the long strands of flesh that can be used just like pasta. The squash itself will keep for many weeks if kept cool and dry.

Shallots: Shallots are like onions and garlic, but their flavor is richer, sweeter, and more potent. They add great depth of flavor to sauces, soups, sautes and stews. Shallots can be used interchangeably with onions in a quantity about half that of onion.

Rosemary: This fragrant evergreen herb is used for seasoning a wide variety of dishes, particularly those of Mediterranean or Italian origin. Rosemary is excellent for seasoning stuffings, sauces, and compliments roast meats such as chicken and lamb. for cooking you will want to remove the leaves from the woody stems before chopping. If not used right away you can allow your rosemary to dry and use it for seasoning later by just leaving it out in a dry place.

Czech black pepper: this pepper is an heirloom from Czechoslovakia. it is very similar to a jalapeño in heat, but quite a bit sweeter. store in the fridge until ready to use.

I hope you enjoy this week’s box. Also, as we are winding down the summer share please remember to send in final payments and also to return any and all CSA totes to the drop sites.

 

Thank you,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 Blueberry, Beet, and Basil Summer Salad: cook about 4 cups halved gold and red beets in lightly salted boiling water 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool. Remove skins, cut into wedges. Finely shred the peel of one lemon; juice lemon. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the beets, 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1 cup arugula, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 medium fennel bulb (trimmed, cored, and cut into wedges), 1 medium red onion sliced, and reserved lemon juice. For dressing: in a small bowl stir together 1 6oz carton plain greek yogurt, lemon peel, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper. Whisk in 1 tbsp olive oil. Serve dressing with the salad. Makes 6 servings.

 

Arugula Walnut Pesto: place in a food processor 3 to 4 cups fresh arugula, ½ cup walnuts, toasted, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, ½ cu olive oil. Process until smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt.

 

Caramelized Shallots: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium low. Thinly slice 6 to 8 oz of shallots and saute them in the oil for about 2 min. add 1 tsp salt and saute for 5 min more, or until soft. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent them from browning too quickly. Add 1 tsp sherry or apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp sherry or white wine, 2 tsp brown sugar, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sautee for another 20 min, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to prevent sticking and burning, about a tsp at a time. Remove sprigs of thyme before serving.

 

French Shallot Soup: Prepare 2 batches caramelized shallots and/or onions (see above). Melt 2 tsp unsalted butter over med-low heat in a deep pan or dutch oven. Add the caramelized shallots and stir to warm through. Add 1-quart beef stock, at room temperature and 1 cup red or white wine. Simmer at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes. Near the end of cooking preheat the oven broiler. Divide the soup into 4 oven-proof bowls, and stir in 1 to 2 tsp cognac into each bowl. Gently float a thick slice of day old baguette in each and top with 4 oz slices of Gruyere cheese. Broil until golden and bubbly about 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Rosemary Roasted Potaoes: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Quarter 1 ½ lbs potatoes and place in a bowl with 1/8 cup olive oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, ¾ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper, and 2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary. Mix to coat the potatoes. Dump into a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for at least one hour, or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula to promote even browning. Remove from oven and serve.

 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Shallots, Parmesan and Herbs: halve a med/large spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash halves face down on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash flesh is tender. In a large sauce pan melt 1 ½ tbsp butter over medium heat. Add 2 diced shallots and 2 diced garlic cloves. Cook until softened. Stir in 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, and ¾ tsp chopped fresh rosemary and cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Add in 6 cups spaghetti squash that has been scooped from the rind and toss to combine. Cook until warmed through. Stir in ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley and 2 tbsp grated parmesan and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6.