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 #13

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9-8-14   Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #13

Large Share: beets, watermelon radishes, arugula, 2 yellow onions, garlic, 1 lb green beans, 1.5 lbs Austrian crescent fingerling potatoes, large eggplant, red tomato, heirloom tomato, Italian parsley, purple beauty bell pepper.

Small Share: beets, ½ lb green beans, 1 yellow onion. 1 lb Austrian crescent fingerling potatoes, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, Italian parsley, summer squash, 2 lemon cucumbers or salad cucumber, garlic, small eggplant.

Dear CSA members,   Fall is definitely in the air around the farm! This morning at 6 a.m. it was quite crisp as I watched an enormous full moon setting behind the trees as the sun came up, revealing the golden glint some of the deciduous trees are starting to take on. As the morning grew close to noon, the sky took on the clear blue of a September day in Washington. So nice! There was great camaraderie around the barn as the crew went through the familiar motions of a busy Tuesday morning, packing CSA, organizing orders for restaurants and grocery stores, and preparing for the Chehalis farmers market. By this time of year, produce tends to be at its peak, and everyone who takes part in the farm we call Wobbly Cart knows their jobs and role quite well. It leaves room for a nice conversation/banter and cup of coffee as we go about our work. And certainly provides a sense of satisfaction of a summers’ work well done. (Though there is still quite a lot to come!).

We have some gorgeous green beans for this week, as well as 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.

As of this week we have 5 deliveries left for the summer CSA share. If any of you are interested in continuing on our Fall CSA share is a really nice way to continue your local eating well into the rainy months. We’ll have winter squash, leeks, shallots, garlic, peppers, daikon radishes, lettuce, cabbage, kale, herbs, and many types of root vegetables. The large share is $110 and the small is $66. Just go to www.wobblycart.com and click on become a member. Then choose the Fall CSA option and go through the steps. Hope to have you join us!

Also, August Farm’s Fall Chicken CSA starts this Sunday.  It’s not too late to join.  There are four share sizes to choose from, between two and five chickens a month.  The Fall Chicken CSA runs from September through November, with three monthly deliveries.  Check out their website to find more information and place an order. Are you looking to stock your chest freezer with meat for winter?  You can also order bulk chickens from August Farm. Their last two processing dates of the year are Sept 13th and Oct 11th. There is a four chicken minimum order. They are $6 per pound and weigh around four pounds each. Place your orders now before they’re all gone. They also have pork available by the half or whole. It will be ready in November, but its selling fast so place an order now to reserve yours.   August Farm chickens are humanely raised, outdoors on pasture and fed certified organic grain. They raise a slow growing breed of chicken that takes twice as long as factory raised chicken to reach market weight. This more natural growing period results in superior, old-fashioned tasting chicken with a deep rich flavor our grandparents would recognize.  Try it and taste the difference.

Have a great week!   Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

Fatima’s Salad: Boil 2 medium potatoes and cut them into thick slices. Boil 2 beets until tender, and then slip off their skins and slice. In a pot of boiling water, cook or steam 4 carrots, cut into ½ inch rounds, until tender. Then steam 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced until tender. On a platter, arrange all of the vegetables on a bed of lettuce or arugula. In a blender, whirl 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 ½ tbsp vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley. Pour the dressing over the salad. Decorate the salad plate with 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered and a few black olives. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper over the eggs. (From Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant).

Cherry Tomato Pie: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet cook 6 strips bacon until just done but not crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon drippings in a skillet; set aside. Prepare or let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes 1 15 oz pkg rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust. On a lightly floured surface, stack the two piecrusts. Roll from center to edges to form a 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry around the rolling pin; unroll into a 9-inch deep pie plate. Ease pastry into the pie plate allowing the edges to form a loose scalloped effect. Gently press into the bottom of the pie plate. Prick bottom of pastry. Line the pastry with a double thickness of foil; bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more. Remove, reduce oven temp to 375. Sprinkle ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese over the piecrust. Place ½ the bacon around the edge of the crust. Set aside. Cook ¾ cup finely chopped sweet onion in the reserved bacon drippings over medium heat until tender. Drain drippings; set aside. Halve 2 cups cherry tomatoes, leaving the remaining 2 cups whole. Place halved and whole tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil, ½ tsp kosher salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper; stir to combine. In a separate bowl beat together 4 oz cream cheese, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 egg yolk, cooked onion, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp minced fresh basil, 1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Spoon cream cheese mixture into piecrust. Top with tomato mixture. Nestle the remaining bacon slices among the tomatoes. Gently press tomatoes and bacon into cream cheese mixture. Bake pie until tomatoes just begin to brown, about 35 minutes. Loosely cover edges with foil if edges begin to brown too quickly. Let stand 60 minutes. Top with leaf lettuce and serve with lemon wedges.

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.

French Fingerling Potato Salad: Place 2 ½ lbs fingerling potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water by 1 inch and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Run under cold water to cool slightly, and then drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp Dijon Mustard, 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 small minced shallot, 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley, and 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes and ¼ of a sliced red onion and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. (To store, refrigerate, up to overnight.) Makes 6 servings. From Everyday Food.

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.      

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #11

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #11

8-26-14

 

Large share: green bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, cucumber, summer squash, 1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch chard, 1.5 lbs purple potatoes, 1.5 lbs heirloom tomatoes, 1 lb red tomatoes, yellow onion, red cipollini onion.

Small share: purple bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, 1 bunch chard, 1 bunch carrots, 1 lb purple potatoes, lemon cucumber, red onion

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Here we are in the time of the season when the boxes and crates just seem to get heavier and heavier. As our days shorten in length plants all around prepare for the cold to come by going into overdrive to complete their lifecycle. Winter squash ripening in the field are seemingly huge all of a sudden, tomatoes come off the vine over a pound each at times, and pepper plants start collapsing under their own weight. I have also noticed that as the surrounding natural landscape gets more and more dry, pressure from insect and mammalian pests increases as they loose natural food sources. I can see the beetles, deer and voles attraction to our lush irrigated produce fields! They do look awfully tasty!

 

I wanted to mention we have bulk quantities available of tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, garlic, dill, basil for pesto and more. Now is a good time to place an order if you are interested in doing any canning or preserving for the year. For the pickling cucumbers, your name will be added to the list and you will get a call when we can deliver your order. Harvest for these varies, and there is a lot of demand. Most everything else we can deliver with your CSA share on Tuesdays as long as we receive the order Sunday night!

If you would like to order please check out our web store:

 

http://wobblycart.smallfarmcentral.com/store

 

Or give Joseph a call at 208 512 3186.

 

Have a great week!

 

Asha Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini: Preheat oven to 375. Boil a small pot of water and blanche 1 lb whole cipollini for 10 seconds, then plunge them into cold water. Use paring knife to make a small slit in each, and slide them out of their skins and outer layer. Spread peeled onions and 1 lb chopped tomatoes in a roasting pan. Drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil and a few good pinches of coarse salt. Toss everything together until well coated and roast in oven for 45 minutes, reaching in every 15 minutes with a spatula to roll the tomatoes and onions around to ensure all sides get blistered. Just before you take the tomatoes and onions out, place 4 1-inch thick slices of country or ciabatta bread on the oven rack and let them toast lightly. You can rub the toasts with a halved garlic clove, if you like, while still hot. Use tongs to arrange the toast in one layer on a serving platter. Dump 1½ cups cooked white beans over the bread. You can also use 1 15 oz can of white beans rinsed and drained. Scrape the entire contents of the tomato- and -onion roasting pan, still hot, over the beans. Do not skimp on the juices that have collected, all of them – don’t leave any in the pan. Sprinkle the dish with a few slivered basil leaves and eat at once. Serves 4 as a small dish, 2 as a main. (From smittenkitchen.com)

 

 

Vegetable Kebabs with Mustard Basting Sauce: ( from Gourmet July 1995)

Prepare the Veggies: In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook 1 bunch of topped carrots for 1 minute. Add 1 ½ lb of whole summer squash and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking and then drain well in a colander. Slice the cooled summer squash and carrots into ¾ inch slices. In boiling water that remains in the pan cook ¾ inch chunks of one yellow onion or about 4 minutes. Transfer them into a bowl of ice water to cool and then drain well in a colander. Do the same for 2 sweet peppers cut in to ¾ inch chunks. These veggies may be boiled 1 day ahead and chilled in bags in the fridge.

For the sauce: In a small bowl whisk together 11/2 Tbsp of white-wine vinegar, 11/2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, 2 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. The basting sauce may also be made 1 day ahead and chilled covered in the fridge.

Heat your grill to medium-high: Thread the vegetables, alternating them, onto skewers. Brush one side with about half the sauce and grill, coated side down on an oiled rack 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 5 minutes. Brush kebabs with the remaining sauce and turn. Grill kebabs 5 minutes more, or until squash is tender.

Serves 4.

 

Potato-Swiss Chard Curry:

Cut 3 medium, unpeeled purple potatoes, into 1 inch cubes, Put in a large pan, cover them with water and bring to the boil. Boil them for 4 to 6 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the cooked potatoes, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes more. Stir in 3 cups chopped chard, and 1 lb diced tomatoes (canned is fine too). Reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer for 4-6 minutes. Serve over rice.

 

 

Mole de Olla:

In a stewpot or large saucepan, saute 1 cup chopped onion, 1 large clove garlic, and 1-2 Tbsp minced chiles in 3 Tbsp vegetable oil for about 5 minutes. Include the seeds from the chiles if you like a hotter stew, discard them if you don’t. Add ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, and 4 small potatoes that have been cut in to chunks (about 2 cups). Cook, covered for another 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of chopped tomatoes and 2 cups cut green beans. Cook 5 minutes more. Add 1 small zuccinni and 2 cups cut corn. Simmer, covered, on low heat until all the vegetables are tender. If the stew seems dry, add tomato juice or water. Add 1 -2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro and salt to taste. Serve topped with plenty of grated cheese or sour cream.

Serves 4.

 

Limonata Scozzese (Cucumber Cocktail):

Muddle 2 1 inch pieces of cucmber w/ peel in a mixing glass. Add a 16 oz glass of ice, along with 1 ½ oz of gin, the juice of one lemon, and ¼ oz cucumber infused simple syrup (recipe to follow) and shake well. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

 

Cucumber simple syrup: cut ¼ to 1/3 of a medium sized cucumber into large chunks. Boil 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of sugar and the cucumber chunks in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and liquid becomes syrupy, about 30 seconds after it comes to a boil. Strain out the cucumber and chill.

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #10

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8-19-14

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #10

Large share: 1 bunch spinach, 1 bunch arugula, 1 bunch red and orange carrots, fresh dill, Walla Walla onion, red onion, 1 lb Romano beans, sweet pepper, purple bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, lemon cucumber, 1 pint Italian plums, 2 pints cherry tomatoes

Small share: 1 bunch spinach, 1 bunch arugula, 1 bunch red and orange carrots, Walla Walla onion, 1 lb green beans, heirloom tomato, 1 pint Italian plums

 

Dear CSA members,

As I sit down to write after the busy activity at the barn this morning, I’m realizing what a nice crisp morning we are having today. It’s the kind of coolness that reminds me that fall will be here before we know it. I love having the sense of place that allows me to reference the subtle seasonal changes, and the sweetness of the shortening days. Just when we reach our peak in abundance, the pendulum swings us back to the colder and wetter days of fall. Actually, September and October is my favorite time of year on the farm. I enjoy the cooler days, and looking back with satisfaction at all the hard work already behind us. While at the same time enjoying the abundant produce in front of us!

 

I had a week vacation from the farm as well, and it’s nice to come back with a renewed sense of purpose and a little bit of a rested back. I visited the Salt Lake City Farmers Market and got to see what farmer’s there have to offer this time of year. While their market was nice, it made me appreciate the variety of produce we can grow here year round in the Pacific Northwest. While admittedly they grow a lot of nice peaches and cherries, we are lucky to have broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and spinach right now.

Thanks to everyone’s work on Monday, today’s box is extra pretty. Carrots are back and we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near the barn! Italian plums are dark purple plums with a slight powdery blush to them. Their flavor is slightly sweet and sour and is excellent for fresh eating, baking, drying and canning. These seem a little on the soft side and should be used up as soon as possible! We also have lemon cucumbers for the large share. These yellow round cucumbers are an heirloom variety with a thin yellow skin and a mild flavor (they do not actually taste like lemon though!). Store and use them as you would a regular cucumber. The sweet peppers are colorful and sweet tasting. We have several varieties of many colors but all are similar in sweetness and crunch. The large purple bell pepper is similar flavored to any green bell pepper but has an extra color punch. For Heirloom tomato descriptions reference a couple of newsletters back. Mild cracking and green shoulders are a normal feature for many of the heirloom tomatoes we grow. The flavor is what counts here!

I was pleased to find that we could skip lettuce this week and change it for arugula and spinach! The arugula has a less than perfect appearance, but the flavor is still nice for a change from lettuce. If you are not already familiar, Arugula is an aromatic salad green often found in Italian cuisine. It has a peppery and nutty flavor and is quite delicate, use it up as soon as possible. Also, I should mention the fresh dill. This frondy bundle of herb greens is delicious chopped in salads, pasta salads and added to fish, egg, cheese, and potato dishes. Store with the roots placed into a jar of water, and a plastic bag loosely tented over the top, then place in the refrigerator.

Enjoy your box,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Fleur’s Summer Plum Cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Blend 2 eggs, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ lb sweet butter, softened, 1 tsp vanilla in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add 1 cup flour and 1 tsp baking powder and stir by hand until just combined. Transfer the batter to a greased square baking pan. Place 20 plums that have been split in half and pitted into the batter on their sides, sleeping close together in rows (our plums are kind of big, so I would recommend slicing into smaller pieces). Combine ¼ cup sugar and ½ to 1 tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the batter and plums. Bake for 40 minutes. Do not over bake. Serve warm with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

 

Lemon Cucumber Spa Water: Slice a piece of fresh ginger, a lemon, and a couple of lemon cucumbers. Place in a pitcher and add water. The proportions can vary depending on your taste. Add a handful of mint leaves and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or more to make a refreshing and tasty summertime drink.

 

Indian Vegetable and Fruit Salad: Combine 1 cup each chopped pineapple and cucumber (lemon cucumber), ½ cup each chopped tomato, red onion, and cilantro leaves, 1 tsp minced jalapeno chile, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 2 tbsp lime juice in a medium bowl. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan until very hot, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add ¼ tsp mustard seeds and ½ tsp cumin seeds. When mustard seeds begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes, pour over vegetable mixture and mix well. Serve as a side dish with shrimp. ( from Sunset magazine September 2012).

 

Tomato, Red onion, and Purple Pepper Salad with yogurt dressing: Thinnly slice 1 medium red onion, place in a salad bowl, sprinkle on 2 tbsp fresh lime juice and 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes. Slice 1 hot chile into matchsticks and add to the onion, cut one medium purple bell pepper into ½ inch wide strips about 1 inch long and toss with the onions and chile. Just before serving add 2 to 3 tomatoes cut into ½ inch pieces and ¾ cup full fat yogurt and toss gently to mix. Taste for salt and adjust, if you wish, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 

Green (or Romano) Beans on the Grill: put 1 lb of green beans on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fold and seal. You may need to fold two sheets together. (you can also use one sheet of foil to set the pouch on. This way if any liquid seeps out or it pulls apart it dosen’t leave a mess.) drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the beans. Add 2 – 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Toss beans with tongs until well coated. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water and fold aluminum foil together at the top and pinch the sides closed. Cook the green bean pouch on the grill until the beans are tender. (food.com)

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

8/5/14

In this week’s box:

Large Shares: eggplant, 2 slicing cucumbers, 2 Walla Walla onions, lacinato Kale, romaine lettuce, summer squash, jalapeno pepper, 3/4lb heirloom tomato, 2 oz fresh basil, garlic, 1 lb romano beans.

Small Shares: romaine lettuce, cauliflower, 1 Walla Walla onion, lacinato kale, summer squash, ¾ lb romano beans, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, fresh basil

 

Dear CSA members,

We have such a nice box this week! The first pickings of lacinato kale, heirloom tomatoes already in early August, huge Walla Walla onions and the first fresh basil harvested for CSA. When the boxes get like this I know we are in the peak of summer! There is so much to choose from when making the harvest lists and the cooler is stacked to the ceiling on Monday harvest day.

This is also the time of year when we can start thinking about canning and freezing things for winter as the abundance is so great! If you are interested in getting bulk quantities of produce such as pickling cucumbers, beets, green beans, tomatoes and basil keep an eye on our web store. When you go to our website you will see the button just below “become a member” there you can place orders for many of these things, pay online and have the produce delivered with your CSA share.

This time of year I like to go over some of the varieties of heriloom tomato that we grow to give folks some background on their wonderfulness. Heirloom tomatoes are something we have done since the beginning of Wobbly Cart Farm and have put much time into selecting varieties that have exceptional color and flavor as well as grow well in our climate.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green: the large 12 to 16 oz , green to greenish yellow , sometimes rose tinted tomato. This heirloom has an outstanding flavor is sweet, tart, rich and spicy. I, and many others rate it as one of the best. It might look a little strange, but the taste is worth it! Introduced from Ruby Arnold’s German immigrant grandfather. Introduced in the 1993 Seed Saver’s exchange Yearbook. Also recently nominated to the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste.

Cherokee Purple: My favorite! I will quote from the Fedco catalog: “ No list of the best-tasting heirloom tomatoes would be compete without Cherokee Purple, an unusual variety from Tennesse, said to have originated with the Cherokee Indians. Fruits are globes to slightly oblate, averaging 10 to 13 oz, with dusky brownish-purple skin, dark green shoulders and brick red flesh, which has been described as “sweet, rich, juicy, winey,” “delicious sweet”, and “rich Brandywine flavor” by aficionados maintaining it in the Seed Savers Exchange.”

Cosmonaut Volkov: This red tomato has 2 to 3 inch slightly squat, deep crimson fruit with green tinged shoulders, and bright red interiors. The flavor is rich, deep, balanced, sweet and tangy. Delivers the “true” tomato taste. Another of my favorites, this one produces a lot of blemish free fruit that tastes awesome. Comes from the Ukraine.

Persimmon: This rose-gold beefsteak type is said by many to date back to cultivation by Thomas Jefferson. It is creamy, meaty and has a near perfect acid- to sweetness balance. I love it for the gorgeous color.

Paul Robeson: Another Russian heirloom that was named in honor of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), who befriended the Soviet Union. Robeson was a multitalented and outspoken crusader for racial equality and social justice. His namesake tomato has developed an almost cult following amongst seed savers. The maroon-brick colored fruit are 6 to 12 oz, oblate in shape and have green shoulders. This one has a distinctive sweet and smoky taste. From the Fedco catalog again: “A sandwich tomato with a tang, and extraordinary tomato for an extraordinary man.”

Rutgers: Not technically an heirloom, this famous New Jersey tomato was developed by the Campbells Soup co. in 1928. It was “refined” by Rutgers University in 1943. Long considered an outstanding slicing, cooking, and canning tomato, the medium sized 4 to 6 oz fruits are very uniform, with rich red interior and great old-time flavor.

Copia: This unique finely striped in yellow and orange heirloom is a cross between Green Zebra and Marvel Stripe. It’s new to us this year. I have found it both tasty and beautiful so far.

I hope you enjoy your box this week! One last note, it is best to use up your fresh basil as soon as possible. If you must store it, just leave it out on the counter. It will turn black in the cold of the refrigerator!

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 Halibut with Persimmon Tomato and Dill Relish: Prepare your grill. Combine 2 cups diced Persimmon tomato, 3 tbsp finely chopped red onion, 1 tbsp finely chopped seeded Jalapeno pepper, 1 tsp fresh dill, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, and ¼ tsp salt in a medium bowl and add ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently to coat. Brush 6 6oz halibut filets with 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle evenly with ¼ tsp more salt and pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with tomato mixture; garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.

 

Ham and Cheese Tartines with Cherokee Purple Tomato Salad: preheat broiler, to prepare tartines, place 4 1 ½ oz slices of ciabatta bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Arrange 1 of four Serrano ham slices and 1 or four thin slices of Manchego cheese on each bread slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tsp oregano. To prepare salad: combine 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots, 1 tsbp sherry vinegar, 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, minced in a bowl and stir well with a whisk. Arrange 1 cup torn boston lettuce on each of four plates. Top each with ¾ cup honeydew melon and ½ cup Cherokee purple tomato slices. Drizzle each with about 1 tbsp dressing. Place 1 tartine on each plate. (both from Cooking Light Magazine)

 

Heirloom Tomato and Eggplant Gratin: Preheat oven to 425. Brush a large oval baking dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Arrange 1 ½ lbs of Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick and 1 lb eggplant peeled and sliced into rounds ¼ to 1/3 inch thick, in overlapping concentric circles. Scatter with fresh thyme sprigs on top and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil over the top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is barely tender and the tomatoes have exuded their juices. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until juices have evaporated and vegetables are very tender. Sprinkle with ¼ lb coarsely crumbled goat cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm. (I have made a similar recipe but made the addition of lots of minced garlic and thinly sliced summer squash and potato. The kids and family loved it!) (from foodandwine.com)

 

Garlicky Roasted Romano Beans: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim 1 lb Romano Beans and toss whole with ¼ cup olive oil, 3 cloves smashed garlic, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until the beans are browned and tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Seashells with Basil, Tomatoes, and Garlic: combine 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped, and ¾ tsp salt in a large bowl. Chop 1 cup of 1 ¼ lbs cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl. Cut remaining tomatoes in half and stir into mixture; let stand about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook ¾ lb medium seashell pasta as package directs in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain pasta, saving 1 cup of water. Toss pasta with tomato mixture, then with ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese, and all but 1 tbsp of ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves. Mix in a little pasta water if needed for a looser texture. Sprinkle remaining basil on top and season with salt. (from same source as above)

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA newsletter #15

In this week’s box:

Large share: lettuce, bulk carrots, potato, cauliflower, sweet onion, red slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, Ring of fire cayenne pepper, garlic, Wild Garden kale, Romano beans, cilantro.

Small share: lettuce, cauliflower, bulk carrots, jalapeno pepper, Ring of Fire Cayenne pepper, Wild Garden Kale, red tomato, heirloom tomato, sweet onion.

Dear CSA members,

Tomatoes are finally here en masse! This gorgeous dry fall, and our large hoop-house is bringing on crates and crates of tomatoes. We grow many varieties, the vast majority we select for flavor and color rather than pack-ability or uniformity. We may have to wait a little longer for ours but we feel we more than make up for that with superior flavor! I wanted to go through some of the many varieties we grow to give you some background on them, the heirlooms in particular.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green: the large 12 to 16 oz , green to greenish yellow , sometimes rose tinted tomato. This heirloom has an outstanding flavor is sweet, tart, rich and spicy. I, and many others rate it as one of the best. It might look a little strange, but the taste is worth it! Introduced from Ruby Arnold’s German immigrant grandfather. Introduced in the 1993 Seed Saver’s exchange Yearbook. Also recently nominated to the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste.

Cherokee Purple: My favorite! I will quote from the Fedco catalog: “ No list of the best-tasting heirloom tomatoes would be compete without Cherokee Purple, an unusual variety from Tennesse, said to have originated with the Cherokee Indians. Fruits are globes to slightly oblate, averaging 10 to 13 oz, with dusky brownish-purple skin, dark green shoulders and brick red flesh, which has been described as “sweet, rich, juicy, winey,” “delicious sweet”, and “rich Brandywine flavor” by aficionados maintaining it in the Seed Savers Exchange.”

Cosmonaut Volkov: This red tomato has 2 to 3 inch slightly squat, deep crimson fruit with green tinged shoulders, and bright red interiors. The flavor is rich, deep, balanced, sweet and tangy. Delivers the “true” tomato taste. Another of my favorites, this one produces a lot of blemish free fruit that tastes awesome. Comes from the Ukraine.

Persimmon: This rose-gold beefsteak type is said by many to date back to cultivation by Thomas Jefferson. It is creamy, meaty and has a near perfect acid- to sweetness balance. I love it for the gorgeous color.

Paul Robeson: Another Russian heirloom that was named in honor of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), who befriended the Soviet Union. Robeson was a multitalented and outspoken crusader for racial equality and social justice. His namesake tomato has developed an almost cult following amongst seed savers. The maroon-brick colored fruit are 6 to 12 oz, oblate in shape and have green shoulders. This one has a distinctive sweet and smoky taste. From the Fedco catalog again: “A sandwich tomato with a tang, and extraordinary tomato for an extraordinary man.”

Rutgers: Not technically an heirloom, this famous New Jersey tomato was developed by the Campbells Soup co. in 1928. It was “refined” by Rutgers University in 1943. Long considered an outstanding slicing, cooking, and canning tomato, the medium sized 4 to 6 oz fruits are very uniform, with rich red interior and great old-time flavor.

Glacier: Ultra-early this little bite-sized tomato performs in even the dreariest and cold of Northwest summers. It is originally from Sweden. Has a great rich tomato flavor, much better than other ultra-earlies.

Ida-Gold: Nice, orange bite size fruits pair nicely with Glacier. They are low-acid, as many of the yellow and gold tomatoes are, but are early and prolific! Our first year growing this one.

We’re including a Ring-of-Fire Cayenne pepper this week. It’s very hot!!! You may want to wear gloves when chopping it to avoid burning your skin. Awesome for Thai, Mexican, and Indian cuisines!!!!!

Have a great week and enjoy! Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart.

Halibut with Persimmon Tomato and Dill Relish: Prepare your grill. Combine 2 cups diced Persimmon tomato, 3 tbsp finely chopped red onion, 1 tbsp finely chopped seeded Jalapeno pepper, 1 tsp fresh dill, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, and ¼ tsp salt in a medium bowl and add ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently to coat. Brush 6 6oz halibut filets with 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle evenly with ¼ tsp more salt and pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with tomato mixture; garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.

Ham and Cheese Tartines with Cherokee Purple Tomato Salad: preheat broiler, to prepare tartines, place 4 1 ½ oz slices of ciabatta bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Arrange 1 of four Serrano ham slices and 1 or four thin slices of Manchego cheese on each bread slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tsp oregano. To prepare salad: combine 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots, 1 tsbp sherry vinegar, 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, minced in a bowl and stir well with a whisk. Arrange 1 cup torn boston lettuce on each of four plates. Top each with ¾ cup honeydew melon and ½ cup Cherokee purple tomato slices. Drizzle each with about 1 tbsp dressing. Place 1 tartine on each plate. (both from Cooking Light Magazine)

Mexican Tomato Salsa: Combine in a large bowl and mix well: 6 tomatoes, diced, ½ turnip, finely chopped, 1 c. chopped cilantro, 1/3 cup finely chopped parsely, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 tsp Celtic sea salt, 1 tsp chili powder, and ½ tsp chopped chili pepper.

Black Olive Salsa: Stir all ingredients together by hand. Chill and serve. 3 tomatoes, chopped, 1 cucumber, chopped, 1 c. Moroccan olives, pitted and chopped, ½ cup fresh fennel, ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, 2 tsp cayenne pepper, chopped, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp lime juice, 1 ½ tsp celtic sea salt. (both recipes from Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine by Gabriel Cousens)

Heirloom Tomato and Eggplant Gratin: Preheat oven to 425. Brush a large oval baking dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Arrange 1 ½ lbs of Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick and 1 lb eggplant peeled and sliced into rounds ¼ to 1/3 inch thick, in overlapping concentric circles. Scatter with fresh thyme sprigs on top and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil over the top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is barely tender and the tomatoes have exuded their juices. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until juices have evaporated and vegetables are very tender. Sprinkle with ¼ lb coarsely crumbled goat cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm. (I have made a similar recipe but made the addition of lots of minced garlic and thinly sliced summer squash and potato. The kids and family loved it!) (from foodandwine.com)

Fresh Salsa: Chop 6 tomatoes, mince 4 garlic cloves, seed and mince 2 fresh Jalapeno peppers, plus 2 roasted, skinned and chopped jalapenos, dice 1 bell pepper, chop ½ red onion, 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 lime, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, fresh scallions and cilantro to taste, and 2 dry ancho chilies, seeded, cut into short strips and snipped into pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place in the fridge for up to 12 hours for flavor infusion. Serve with chips.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish. Place 3 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp minced garlic in a large resealable plastic bag. Add 1 large head of cauliflower, separated into florets. Shake to mix. Pour into the casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with parmesan cheese and 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown

Baked Kale Chips: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a non -insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems of one bunch of kale and tear into bite sized pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle the leaves with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Spread out on the cookie sheet in a single layer and bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, about 10 to 15 minutes. ( Like potato chips but way healthier!)

Heirloom Tomato Salad:
4 large Multicolored Heirloom Tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup diced onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
Remove cores from the tomatoes, and slice into 8 to 10 wedges each. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss to blend well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Serve over salad greens if desired.