Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 11

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9-5-17

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 11

 

Large share: beets, fennel, carrots, Yellow Finn potatoes, Yellow onions, green beans, Italian parsley, Purple Bell pepper, Shishito peppers, cherry tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, arugula

 

Small shares: beets, fennel, Yellow Finn potatoes, Purple bell pepper, Italian parsley, Heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplant, arugula

 

Greens shares: Arugula, mustard greens, red Russian kale

 

Roots shares: carrots, gold beets, shallots

 

Juicing shares: carrots, beets, green cabbage, Italian parsley, tomato seconds

 

Dear CSA members,

 

September is here and we have had some productive time on the farm. Our entire onion crop has been harvested and spread out to cure in the barn, tomatoes are finally ramping up production, we purchased our garlic seed for next years crop and we are finally done with seeding and transplanting for the season.

 

Now that we have plenty of tomatoes I thought I would go over some of the varieties that we grow as well as a bit about their characteristics. Many of these varieties are among the originals that we chose when starting Wobbly Cart Farm and a few are new to us in recent years.

 

Cherokee Purple: Dates to 1890 or before. Dusky purple pink in color. Superb sweet smoky flavor.

 

Persimmon: Dates to 1781 or before. Supposedly grown by Thomas Jefferson. Bright orange gold large in size. Creamy low acid flavor, few seeds.

 

Aunt Ruby’s German Green: Large beefsteak size with excellent citrus, melon and old fashioned tomato flavor.

 

Green Zebra: small but beautiful chartreuse with lime green stripes. Very rich flavor, sweet with an acid bite.

 

Cosmonaut Volkov: Originally from the Ukraine this large red tomato is sweet, tangy, balanced and complex in flavor. Often has green shoulders.

 

Pork Chop: True yellow tomato with light green stripes that ripen to gold. Citrusy flavor.

 

Japanese Black Trifele: smaller pear shaped fruit, dark chocolatey brown to brick red when ripe. Almost never cracks. Flavor is rich and chocolately

 

Prudens Purple: Pruden’s is early for its size and makes a great sandwich tomato. Irregular pink 1 lb fruit with very few seeds, a silken texture and rich tomato taste, nicely tart with a balanced undertone of sweetness neither insipid nor cloying.

 

There are literally thousands of tomato varieties from around the word. Tomatoes are actually native to South and Central America. In Mesoamerica, the fruit was used in cooking and by 500 BC being cultivated in Mexico. In the early 1500’s, Spanish conquistadors starting exporting tomatoes, beginning the global exploration of the tomato as food.

 

The Latin name for tomato is Solanum lycopersicum. Interestingly, the scientific epithet lycopersicum means “wolf peach”. The German werewolf legends said that deadly nightshades were used by witches and sorcerers in potions to transform into werewolves, so the tomato’s similar, but much larger, fruit was called the “wolf peach” when it arrived in Europe, which may be one of the reasons why tomatoes were used only ornamentally in Europe until the 1700’s.

 

Heirloom refers to the seeds being true bred and open pollinated. Traditionally, it refers to seeds that get handed down from generation to generation. These seeds saved from these fruit will produce fruit alike to their parent’s plant year after year. In contrast, Hybrid seeds which are more commonly used today are seeds that are cross pollinated to create characteristics best representative of two different parent plants. The seeds from these fruit cannot be used to grow plants that will express the same characteristics year after year. Whereas with an open pollinated or heirloom variety you can save the seeds and expect it to grow out like its parent.

 

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A, C, B2, folate, chromium, potassium and are high in fiber. The vitamins act as anti-oxidants and the minerals help our bodies function well. Tomatoes have a variety of carotenoids which are thought to help chronic disease prevention. Lycopene is more readily absorbed by cooking the tomatoes! Store your tomatoes out on the counter for several days. Some more firm tomatoes may benefit from a bit of ripening time.

 

If you are interested in getting some boxes of #2 heirloom tomatoes, we have them priced at $20 lb for $20. We can deliver them with your CSA share or you can pick up at the farm. It’s a great deal if you are into making sauce or salsa. You can order on our webstore. http://wobblycart.smallfarmcentral.com/store/wobbly-cart-farm

 

Have a great week and enjoy,

Asha

 

 

 

 

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad

serves 4

 

Cut 3 lbs of tomatoes into large chunks, a variety of colors will make for a pretty salad.

Add coarse sea salt to taste.

Stir in 1 Tbsp of good olive oil.

It’s ready to eat or let marinate in its juices for awhile and it will be even better.

 

Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup

serves 4 

 

4 lbs Heirloom Tomatoes or Roma Tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 c olive oil

salt

1 sprig rosemary

6 tbsp heavy cream

  •  Black Pepper, coarsely ground
4 sliced of rustic bread toasted with olive oil for serving

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lay the tomatoes cut-side up. Add the garlic cloves (with skins on). Sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Add the ¼ cup olive oil, the rosemary and thyme to a small saucepan and place over low heat. Let warm until you begin smelling the herbs, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Peel the tomatoes and add the pulp and juices to a soup pan. Squeeze the garlic from its skin and add it to the pan. Place the pan over medium heat, and begin mashing the tomatoes with a potato masher until it’s pulpy, but not chunky (if you prefer to use a food processor, go ahead – just make sure you leave it pulpy). When the mixture is hot but not boiling, stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt. Add a pinch of sugar, if needed. Ladle into bowls and season with pepper. Sprinkle a little herb oil on top of the soup. Pass the toasts at the table.

 

 

Roasted Tomato Jam

makes about 3 cups

 

2 cups sugar

3 lbs tomatoes, sliced thinly 1/4″

large pinch of salt

grated zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed

2 cayenne peppers or chiles

 

  1. Pour 1/3 of the sugar over the base of a 12-inch braising pan or other baking dish. Layer half the tomatoes, overlapping the slices, in the pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar, and top with the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, and chiles. Top with the remaining tomatoes, followed by the rest of the sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the pan, uncovered in the oven and let cook for 1 hour. The tomato juices should simmer actively. Check every 20 minutes, spooning the juices over the top tomatoes, and removing the chiles if they char.
  3. Continue roasting and checking every 20 minutes — the tomato juices should begin to gel at 2 hours, but it could happen a little sooner or later. Test the juices by spooning a little onto a plate, letting it cool, and running your finger though it. If it holds the line, the jam is ready. Remove the jam from the oven and let cool. I eat this jam fresh so I put it into jars and keep it in the fridge.

 

Arugula Pesto: in a food processor combine, ½ cup walnuts, 1 large garlic clove, 2 cups packed arugula leaves, ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup olive oil and kosher salt to taste. Puree until smooth. You can also cut back the arugula and substitute in some basil leaves. From epicurious.com

 

Peach and Tomato pasta: Prepare 12oz of spaghetti or linguine according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the spaghetti cooking liquid. Drain spaghetti and return to pot. Keep warm. Meanwhile, in a 12 inch skillet cook 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic in 1 tbsp hot oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 1 pint cherry tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add 2 lbs of pitted and sliced peaches. Cook for 4 minutes or more until peaches are just soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in ½ cup halved, pitted kalamata olives, 1/3 cup chopped basil leaves, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp crushed red pepper, 1/8 tsp black pepper; heat through. Add Peach mixture to cooked spaghetti along with reserved spaghetti cooking water. Toss to combine, season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperatiure garnished with slivered toasted almonds. From Better Homes and Gardens August 2010 issue.

 

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.

 

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)

 

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

 

Tabbouleh: Cook 4 cups coarse bulgur or quinoa, and cool slightly. Combine bulgur or quinoa, 1 large grated carrot, 2 cups tightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and 2 tbsp dried currants. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 large clove roasted garlic, 1/3 cup fresh mint, minced, 1 tbsp lemon zest, and ½ tsp sea salt. Shake well to blend. Pour the dressing over the bulgur mixture and toss to thoroughly coat the grains. Taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice, mint or salt as needed.

 

Eggplant Caponata: peel and cut into cubes 1 medium (1 lb) eggplant. Sprinkle generously with salt, place in a colander, and let stand for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about four minutes. Add 1 medium onion, finely chopped, 1 garlic clove, minced, and cook, stirring often until onion is soft and lightly colored, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a bowl; add to the skillet 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the eggplant cubes and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the celery mixture, along with 1 ½ cups canned plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, 12 green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped, 1 ½ tsp drained capers, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp minced fresh oregano or ¼ tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with additional salt, pepper, and or vinegar if needed. Remove to a serving bowl, let cool and garnish with 2 tbsp minced parsley.

 

 

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 15

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9-22-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week #15

Large shares: fennel, carrots, lacinato kale, summer squash, potatoes, shallots, sweet pepper, Poblano peppers, cayenne peppers, garlic, purple mustard greens, salad cucumbers, dill

Small shares: fennel, carrots, lacinato kale, shallots or small sweet onions, purple beauty bell pepper, potatoes, jalapeno pepper, czech black pepper, garlic, dill

 

 Autumn Movement

 

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

 

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

 

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.

 

-Carl Sandburg

 

 

Dear CSA members,

The heavy lifting days of late September are here. Cold, crisp night last night, near 38 degrees and Orions’ belt peeking over the horizon. We are near the Autumnal equinox and our days will grow short again. I have been hearing the calls of snow geese over -head as they begin the fall migrations to the south and love seeing fresh snow on the slopes of Mt. Rainier. Now is the time that we must bring in all the winter squash, tons and tons of it. The squashes must cure in a warm dry place on order to be stored for the winter months to come. Once cured, we will move them into an insulated room to protect them from freezing. Within the next week or so will be the big potato harvest as well!

In the fields, the late cauliflower and broccoli plantings have been looking really amazing. However, we have been disappointed to find an outbreak of aphids that is really cutting the harvest down. I was hoping to have cauliflower for CSA this week, but it is not to be. We do have some really nice kale instead.

Each share will get a couple of our hot peppers. The large share will have cayenne peppers. These are really hot! I use them for Thai and Indian dishes ( in small quantities). They dry really well and you can grind them easily after they are dried. Small shares get a Jalapeno pepper (mildly hot) which is excellent for salsa and a Czech black pepper. The Czech black pepper starts out black and then ripens to the gorgeous dark red color. They are similar in heat to the Jalapeno, but have a sweeter more complex flavor.

Large shares received a couple poblano peppers. These are the block, conical dark green or dark red peppers. The flesh of these peppers is mildly hot, sweet, and savory. These peppers are excellent for stuffing, chile relleno style.

Both shares received fresh dill this week. This fern like herb has a nice sweet licorice and parsley like flavor. I think it is delicious with potatoes, in green and pasta salads and in creamy dips. Also, new this week is shallots (some of the small shares did not receive shallots). Shallots, like onions and garlic, are a member of the allium family, but their flavor is richer, sweeter, yet more potent. Shallots add a great depth of flavor to pan sautés, soups, sauces, and stews, and pair especially well with chicken and fish. To substitute one for the other in recipes, use half the amount of shallot that you would onion.

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

 

Greek Spinach Dip: heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, add ¼ cup chopped shallots, 4 chopped green onions, 1 tbsp minced garlic. Sauté 1 minute, stir in 12 oz. spinach leaves. Cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Add in ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp lemon zest, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 cup greek yogurt, ½ cup feta cheese, 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse just until combined.

 

Grilled Potatoes with Fresh Dill: preheat grill to 350 degrees. Slice thinly 2 lbs potatoes. Toss with ½ tsp salt, 4 tbsp olive oil, and pepper to taste. Lay out 2 large sheets of foil 12x 26 inches. Oil the foil and arrange the potatoes in a single layer over one side of the foil. Fold the foil over and crimp the edges forming a packet. Grill the packets, covered, rotating once, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and browned. Open packets and transfer potatoes into a serving bowl. Toss with 2 tbsp butter and ¼ cup chopped fresh dill. Sprinkle with coarse salt and serve.

 

Kale Caesar Salad: Preheat oven to 300. For croutons, mince 2 garlic cloves, in a medium saucepan warm ¼ cup olive oil and the minced garlic over low heat; remove. Add 4 cups bread cubed into 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Stir to coat. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely. Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a blender combine 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup olive oil, 6 anchovy filets, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 egg yolks. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove stems from 3 large bunches of lacinato kale and thinly slice the leaves. Add the dressing, and using your hands work the dressing into the kale. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and top with croutons.

 

*a variation is to add thinly sliced fennel and chopped pistachio nuts.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 #15

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9-23-14

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #15

 

large shares: cilantro, butter head lettuce, kale, bulk carrots, sweet onions, garlic, green bean, fennel, bell peppers, kohlrabi, red tomato

 

small shares: cilantro, lettuce, kale, bulk carrots, sweet or red onion, fennel, bell pepper, kohlrabi, ½ pint sun gold or mixed cherry tomatoes

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Happy Autumnal equinox! Today with the darkness at 7 am and the rain falling down on us, it certainly seemed as if summer has come to its end. Trees are rapidly turning red, orange and gold, while the grasses will be starting to green back up with the moisture. In the last weeks we have brought in the onion crop, all the winter squash, and a good portion of the potatoes to the big barn we are renting up the road. It’s good to have them under cover and out of the frosts and rain and ready for market and CSA.

 

This week we have bulk carrots, instead of bunches, and the last of the sweet onions. We still have tomatoes for you, but we’ll see after the next few days of rain! Also this we have bulb fennel. With its wispy fronds and bulbous base, fennel looks like a feather-topped, potbellied cousin to celery. But its flavor is remarkably different. The white bulb and bright green fronds have a gentle, slightly sweet anise flavor. The stalks of fennel are tough and usually not eaten. Fennel can be used chopped or sliced for stir fries, salads and cooked vegetable medleys. It is also excellent roasted or baked in gratins. The fronds can also be added to salads or used as a garnish.

 

As we transition into fall you may find a selection or hardier vegetables in your box. Things like fennel, leeks, winter squash, cabbage, kale, and root vegetables of all kinds. We are lucky in our climate to be able to continue to grow and provide you with delicious local vegetables for such a long season! There is so much more to come. We have just three more weeks of the summer season, but four more fall season weeks if you care to continue on! We left some fliers at the drop sites so please feel free to fill out the form and mail it in, or sign up on the website http://www.wobblycart.com

 

 

Fennel Gratin with Pecorino and Lemon: lightly oil a shallow 2 quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Heat 5 tbsp oil in a large wide pot over medium heat. Add 1 sliced onion and 3 cloves minced garlic; sauté until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add 5 large fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and cut into ¼ inch slices. Increase heat to medium high and saute until fennel is slightly softened and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 18 minutes. Stir in ½ cup chicken broth, 2 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley, and 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer until most of the broth is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the baking dish. Make the crumb topping: melt 3 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ¾ cup panko bread crumbs and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Stir in 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, 1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley, and 1 ½ tsp finely grated lemon peel. Preheat oven to 425. Sprinkle panko mixture over fennel. Bake until gratin is heated through and topping is deep golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Roasted carrots: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss together 1 ½ lbs carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks, olive oil to coat, several sprigs fresh thyme, and salt and black pepper to taste. Spread the carrots in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden and tender, about 1 hour.

 

Spanish omelet: heat ½ cup olive oil in a 8 to 10 inch skillet. Add 1 cup peeled thinly sliced potatoes. Turn them constantly until well coated with the oil. Reduce the heat and turn them occasionally, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat in a large heavy skillet: 2 tbsp olive oil, add and cook about 5 minutes ½ cup thinly sliced onion and ½ cup julienned strips bell pepper. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1/3 cup chopped peeled , seeded, and drained tomato, and salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to cook about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes to the onion mixture and keep hot. Beat 8 eggs with a fork, add ½ tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper. Melt 1 tbsp butter in an 8 to 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. For each omelet pour in ½ cup of the egg mixture. Add about 2 tbsp of the vegetable filling for each one. Also top each omelet with 2 additonal tbsp of the vegetable filling. Serves 4.

 

Salsa Fresca: combine in a medium bowl: ½ small sweet or red onion finely chopped, rinsed and drained, 2 tsbp fresh lime juice, 2 large ripe tomatoes seeded and finely chopped, ¼ to ½ cup chopped cilantro, 3 to 5 jalapeno peppers (or to taste) seeded and minced, also optional 6 radishes, finely minced and 1 medium garlic clove finely minced. Stir together well and season with ¼ tsp salt or to taste.

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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #18

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #18

10-15-13

Large Shares: Lettuce, Potatoes, Yellow Onion, Beets, Italian Parsley, Spaghetti Squash, Carrots, Rutabaga, Red Cabbage, Fennel, Hot Chile Peppers, Escarole, Garlic

Small Shares: Watermelon Radishes, Parsnips, Lettuce, Beets, Spaghetti Squash, Italian Parsley, Yellow Onion, Garlic

Dear CSA members,

We have arrived at the last CSA delivery for the summer season! What a gorgeous day to celebrate the closing of your 18- week journey with us. A perfect fall afternoon unfolds as I finally sit down here to write a bit after a very hectic morning. I truly hope you have enjoyed the produce this year, and have found yourselves happier and healthier for it.
With the break in the weather we have been busier than ever wrapping up some very important fall tasks. Garlic will be planted this week and a lot of vetch and rye cover crop will be planted in our fields, in all areas where the crops have been harvested and are out of the fields.
Also, I just met with Ryan from the Whitewood Cider Company who toured the fields with me looking for apples for their cider press this fall. There is such an abundance of old orchards around our valley it’s exciting to find some outlets for the tons of fruit that is hanging on trees right now! Ryan pointed out some interesting cider varieties that are hidden in the hedge rows around the farm and we did a little taste testing and assessment of ripeness. Really cool, and I learned a few things. I plan to pick Jonagolds and Akanes from my orchard for the first box of the Fall CSA this Monday, then, the rest will be for cider and drying!
As far as the produce this week we do have a few new crops to explain:
Spaghetti Squash: this large yellow football shaped squash is an excellent substitute for pasta. 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.
Rutabaga: this cross between a cabbage and turnip is one of the many edible manifestations of the brassica family. Rutabagas have been eaten for centuries by humans and are excellent roasted and mashed. They are very high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories.
Escarole: these hardy and bitter greens are one of our fall and winter stars. Escarole is much like lettuce in texture but adds a very nice bitterness that pairs well with sweet flavors of fruit and balsamic vinegar. You can also grill or braise them and then dress with a vinaigrette. I have also heard that soaking the greens in water for a few hours will reduce some of the bitterness if so desired.
Also, a quick note about potatoes. It seems that some of the beds that did not get dug before our huge rainstorm got some blight on the tubers. It has been very laborious sorting through them. But thought you might want to know this is not our normal quality for potatoes!
That’s going to be all. Thank you so much for supporting local organic agriculture! It has been a pleasure growing and harvesting for you. Please remember to return your boxes to the drop site if you will not be joining us for the fall csa option.

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

Carrot Souffle: heat oven to 350. Butter a 2 to 2 ½ qt shallow casserole dish. Cut 2 lbs carrots into ¼ in rounds (6 ½ cups). Cover carrots with about 1 inch of salted water in large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are very tender when pierced with a fork. About 15 minutes. Drain carrots and transfer to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup whole milk, 1 cup saltine crumbs, ¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup minced onion, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp kosher salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Beat 3 large eggs in an large bowl until foamy. Fold into carrot mixture. Bake in prepared dish until puffed and light golden brown, about 40 minutes. Turn oven to broil. Broil 8 inches from heat until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm.

Garlic Roasted Root vegetables: Split 1 lb carrots in half lengthwise. Quarter 1 lb of peeled parsnips lengthwise. In a Dutch oven bring salted water to boiling. Add carrots and parsnips and simmer for 5 minutes; drain. In a very large skillet heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced and cook until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add carrots, parsnips, and 8 oz mini cipollini onions, peeled to skillet. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until coated in oil and beginning to soften. Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes covered with foil at 350 degrees.

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 (delicata or butternut) 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.

Rutabaga and Carrot Soup: In a large saucepan, sauté 1 medium onion in 1 tbsp butter for 5 minutes. Add 3 small carrots and 1 small rutabaga peeled and chopped. Add ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground ginger, and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock and cook covered, on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and tender. Puree the soup with 2 cups orange juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with unsweetened whipped cream and a dollop of cranberry sauce.

And here’s a great Spaghetti Squash recipe shared by Lisa Little:

http://paleomg.com/spaghetti-squash-crusted-quiche/

Wobbly Cart Farm 2013 CSA Box #1

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #1

6-18-13

Large Shares: 2 pints strawberries, radishes, garlic scapes, 1 lb broccoli, butterhead lettuce, 2 kohlrabi, 1 bunch scallions, snow peas, 1 bunch spinach, 1 medium summer squash, bulb fennel

Small Shares: 1 pint strawberries, radishes, garlic scapes, 1 lb broccoli, butterhead lettuce, kohlrabi, spinach, bulb fennel

Dear CSA Members,

It has been a great day of harvesting for the first CSA box of the season! Thanks to our fantastic crew and a “relatively” excellent spring we have nice first box in store for you. Tons of strawberries, summer squash for the large shares (thanks to our high tunnel) as well as 1 lb of tender broccoli for both share sizes. Considering planting started in February, it is so nice to see all the planning come together to bring you and your families fresh, local and organic produce. With our new fields and high tunnels I think this is going to be an extra abundant year for Wobbly Cart. I have fantastic looking tomatoes, eggplant and peppers in our largest high tunnel that should bring us an early crop to enjoy! Next week, I’m sure we’ll have more strawberries as well as bunched carrots and more peas. We grow three types; shell, snow and sugar snap and we’ll be sure you get your share of all three types. Hope you enjoy the bounty!
For each letter, I like to go through and explain any unusual produce to help you use it better. I also will have a full page of recipes to try. Some things probably look really familiar to you, while others may be a bit mystifying if you haven’t had a CSA share before. The long pointy curly green things are called garlic scapes. They are the flowering part of the garlic plant that emerges this time of year. They can be broken off the plant without any harm and make a delicious substitute for bulb garlic. They are a bit milder, but for some that may be a welcome trait. Another strange but wonderful vegetable in your box is the purple or green bulb with leaves growing from it. This is a kohlrabi. All you have to do is peel and slice. The inside of the bulb is sweet and tender, a bit like turnip, but yummier fresh. My kids are known to fight over these when they see me peeling one. I have ideas for cooking them on the recipe page, but they are also delicious raw, and grated into coleslaw-like creations. Bulb fennel is a herb/vegetable most commonly known in Italian cuisine. It has a distinct anise- like flavor that mellows with cooking. The white bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. The frondy parts are used for garnishes and to add flavor to salads and sauces. Everything else seems (hopefully) pretty self- explanatory and delicious this week! Everything in your box will store well wrapped in plastic and in the crisper of your refrigerator. Strawberries should not be wrapped, and should only be washed right before use to prevent mold. Though I doubt there will be any problems with using them up a.s.a.p!!!

One last note, please bring your plastic box back each week! We have to have them returned to keep our CSA running and we would really like to reduce our waste by having these reusable boxes. Thank you!!! And thank you again for supporting a small, local and organic farm.

Have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart

info@wobblycart.com
360 273 8008
http://www.wobblycart.com

Grilled turkey and zucchini burgers: heat grill to medium (350-450) mix 1 lb ground turkey, 1 medium zucchini, shredded, 5 large cremini mushrooms, chopped, 1 tsp each salt and pepper, 1 tbsp each ketchup and Dijon mustard, and 1 tbsp water in a medium bowl. Form into 6 patties. Brush patties and rings from one medium onion with 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Grill both, turning once, until burgers are cooked through, about 8 minutes, and onion rings are starting to brown, about 3 minutes. In the last few minutes toast 6 sourdough English muffins, split, on the grill. Addemble burgers on muffins with lettuce, onion, and any additional toppings you like. (from the September 2012 issue of Sunset Magazine).

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. Dirizzle each serving with ¼ of the dressing and sprinkle with roasted ans salted pistachios, fresh tarragon leaves, and coarsely crushed pink peppercorns. Serves 4. (from May 2013 issue of Country Living Magazine)
Spinach salad with bacon, blue cheese, and bourbon vinaigrette: in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring bourbon to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced to about 2 tbsp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a ramekin and refrigerate until well chilled. In a small bowl, whisk together ¾ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp maple syrup, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and reserved bourbon. Set aside. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, cook 9 slices bacon , cut into small pieces, until crispy, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine 8 oz fresh spinach, ½ cup pecans, 1 green apple, cored and cut into matchsticks, several thinly sliced radishes, 4 oz mild blue cheese, and reserved bacon. Toss gently with reserved vinaigrette. (from May 2013 issue of Country Living Magazine)

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.)

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.)

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.

Kohlrabi Coleslaw: peel and shred 2 kohlrabi and 2 carrots, combine with 2 tbsp chopped scallions in a bowl. Combine 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar, 4 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp celery seeds, and 1/8 tsp black pepper, blend well. Pour over the shredded vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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, 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).

Sauteed Garlic Scapes: heat 2 tbsp olive oil and a large heavy sautee pan, and add 2 tbsp dark brown sugar. Stir to caramelize the sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes and then add 8 oz of garlic scapes with tips and tails trimmed. Cover and sautee over med-high heat for no more than 3 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to prevent scorching. After 3 min, add 1½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes, and ¾ cup dry white wine. Stir, cover and cook over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until the scapes are tender, but not soft. Season with 1 tsp salt or to taste, then add 1 tbsp chopped parsely, and ½ cup grilled Haloumi cheese (or other salty cheese). Serve at room temperature. Also, greatly improves if served the next day. (recipe from Mother Earth News)

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.