Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 7

 

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8-8-17

 

Large shares: Arugula, lacinato kale, red onion, yellow onion, new potatoes, summer squash, shell peas, lemon cucumbers, jalapeno pepper, garlic, sungold cherry tomatoes, basil

 

Small shares: Arugula, lacinato kale, green cabbage, yellow onion, cucumber, shell peas, new potatoes, summer squash, garlic

 

Greens shares: Arugula, romaine lettuce, mustard greens

 

Roots shares: carrots, turnips, Walla Walla onion, beets

 

Juicing shares: red cabbages, cucumbers, beet seconds, red carrot seconds, Italian parsley

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Hope you are all weathering these hot smoky conditions well enough. I work outside all day and I must say I have developed some mild throat and lung irritation due to the smoke. We are certainly hoping for a nice westerly wind sometime soon to clear things out a bit, and of course that the fires are over soon for the forests of British Columbia.

 

Though things have been pretty hot temperature wise it thankfully didn’t reach the 105 to 107 that was originally forecast for last Thursday. I have been continually amazed by the extreme weather fluctuations we now seem to experience with regularity. This year we went from the wettest rainy season in 60 years to one of the longest stretches with out precipitation ever recorded for the area. We have also had consistent high temperatures above 80 degrees for 15 days or so… also unusually warm for us. I guess we can just expect the unexpected when it comes to climate conditions.

 

Out in our fields the crew has been working super hard as our harvest volumes increase by the week. They have been doing a great job getting the produce harvested, washed and to the cooler in the extra hot and dry conditions. We have a picking of the last of the shell peas for the year, tomatoes beginning to ripen, fresh onions being harvested, and even a jalapeno pepper for the large shares. The Heirloom tomato plants that are so loaded with fruit are starting to get color, so it won’t be long until we have enough for CSA. We managed to find enough Sungolds for the large share this week as well as a generous portion of fresh basil.

 

Sungold cherry tomatoes are bright tangerine orange cherry tomatoes that are citrusy and sweet with floral and grape notes. Considered by many to be the best cherry tomato, Sungolds are delicious raw in salads, grilled on skewers with other vegetables, or cooked into a relish or jam. Store cherry tomatoes at room temperature and use up within 3 or 4 days. Sungolds have a tendency to crack when ripe so watch out for that.

 

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.

 

Large shares also received a jalapeno pepper. The jalapeno is considered the most popular hot pepper in the world and is considered mild to medium in hot pepper terms. About 2500 to 8000 in the Scoville heat units classification. By contrast a Cayenne pepper has about 25,000 to 30,000 SHU! You can use a jalapeno to spice up salsas, pickles, marinades, dressings, a quesadilla or meats and beans for burritos. Not using the seeds will reduce the heat.

 

Everyone received Arugula this week. 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!

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sungold Tomato Caprese Salad: Combine 3 cups halved Sungold cherry tomatoes, 1 cup chopped Cherokee Purple tomato, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3 oz. fresh mozzarella balls, ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper. Mix gently and top with 1/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves.

 

Arugula, Onion and Citrus Salad: wash and trim a large bunch of arugula. In a medium bowl drizzle the arugula with ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, gently toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 salad plates and top with the divided segments to 2 oranges or grapefruits and thinly sliced red onion to taste. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of additional olive oil.

 

 

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.

 

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

 

Cucumbers Wedges with Chile and Lime: Wash 2 8 to 10 inch cucumbers and slice off the ends. Halve each crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise to make wedges. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Halve a lime and discard any seeds. Squeeze lime juice over the cucumber wedges and toss gently to coat, dust with salt and a spicy flavorful chile powder such as Chimayo. Serve immediately.

 

Summer Squash and Arugula Pesto Pasta: boil water for pasta and make a batch of pesto (see above). Saute I medium chopped onion and 3 + cloves of chopped garlic. Add 3 cups cubed summer squash and sauté until tender. When pasta is done, pile a generous helping on your plate and mix with the vegetable sauté and pesto.

 

Pesto Potato Salad 

4 pounds fingerling potatoes, quartered

1 pound green beans, cut into one-inch segments

1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled

2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)

1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

¨6 tablespoons (or more to taste)

mild vinegar, such as champagne, white wine or a white balsamic

1/4 cup chopped green scallions

1/2 cup pine nuts toasted

Parmesan cheese to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans; cook four minutes longer. Drain well and let cool, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl. Wash and dry the basil. Puree in a food processor with garlic, drizzling in enough olive oil that it gets saucy. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. Toss the beans and potatoes with pesto. Stir in vinegar, green onions, pine nuts and season with salt, pepper and/or additional vinegar to taste. Finally, shave some parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately, or make this up to two hours in advance. It can be stored at room temperature.

 

Cucumber Salad with caramelized onions and herbs: slice onions into ¼ inch thick slices (enough to yield 1 cup) and toss to separate into rings. Have a slotted spoon and double layer of paper towels ready. Heat 2 cups vegetable oil to 275 in a small, deep heavy saucepan and drop in onion rings. Cook onions, stirring often, until they turn a uniform light brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. They’ll brown faster toward the end, so be careful. Lift onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tsp onion oil for vinaigrette; let cool. For the vinaigrette: whisk together 1 tbsp each champagne and rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tp salt, and ½ tsp pepper together in a bowl until salt and vinegar dissolve. Add reserved onion oil and 1 tbsp minced onion and whisk well to blend. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice. Slice several fresh cucumbers into ¼ inch thick slices with a knife. Toss cucumbers and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp roughly chopped red or green shiso (optional). Arrange salad on a platter and top with finely diced mild cucumber pickles and fried onions.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 6

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8-1-17

 

Large share: beets, carrots, lettuce, new potatoes, Tokyo turnips, purplette onions, cucumber, cilantro, green beans, ruby streaks mustard greens

 

Small share: beets, carrots, lettuce, snow peas, new potatoes, Tokyo turnips, purplette onions, basil

 

Greens share: chard, lettuce, cilantro, ruby streaks mustard greens

 

Roots share: carrots, Tokyo turnips, new potatoes, yellow onion

 

Juicing share: 5lb carrot seconds, beets, green cabbage, lacinato kale, cucumbers, cilantro

 

Dear CSA members,

 

We are finally facing a bit of a heat wave this week! With temperatures projected to reach the 100’s Wednesday and Thursday we are trying to work a 5 am to 12 noon schedule, and only do the essentials until things cool down. When temperatures get this hot not only is it a challenge for us physically, it can be very challenging on the crops as well. Our tomatoes tend to get sunburned and must be covered with row cover or shade cloth, lettuces start to get tip burn, other greens bolt ( try to go to flower) , and keeping up with irrigation – especially in the green houses- is very challenging. Temperatures in the greenhouses will easily soar into the 110’s to 120 at times even with the shade cloths on.

 

Harvest becomes very challenging as we must cut crops and get them moved to the cooler as quickly as possible. Our fields are a couple of miles from the cooler so regular truck runs are essential! Otherwise product quality will suffer greatly. We can’t even think about transplanting new seedlings either, it must wait until next week. Hopefully, our shares going out today will weather the heat in their tote boxes – not a great week to get to the drop site late!

New crops this week:

 

Tokyo turnips are a mild, tender and juicy variety of turnip. They taste like a cross between a radish and a turnip and you can enjoy both the greens and the roots. Most if not all root vegetables will store better if you separate the roots from the greens before wrapping and placing in the crisper drawer. Tokyo turnips are delicious raw in salads, sliced to eat with dips as well as cooked in miso soups, stir fries, and marinated in vinegar and salt for quick pickles. The greens are tender and spicy and can be prepared as other cooking greens.

 

We have harvested our first Yellow Finn new potatoes this week! New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully-grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch, and are therefore particularly suited to salads.

 

You don’t need to peel new potatoes; just rinse to remove any dirt and cook whole. To boil, place potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, simmer until tender (about 10 minutes) and drain. Dress new potatoes as soon as they are cooked to help them absorb the flavor of the butter or oil. This would be an excellent week for a cold potato salad with green beans! Store new potatoes in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use up within a few days.

 

Mustard greens: These Ruby streaks mustard greens are very young and tender and can add a wonderful peppery dimension to many dishes. You can temper the pungency of mustard greens use a combination of heat, salt and fat to cook them. Mustard greens are found in Southern American, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and African cuisines. The link below has an in depth write up on the many health benefits of eating mustard greens.

 

Enjoy and have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

Wilted greens: Cook in a large skillet until crisp 4 to 5 slices bacon. Drain on paper towels, cool and crumble. Pour all but 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings out of the pan. Reheat and add ¼ cup cider vinegar, 2 to 3 tsp sugar, the bacon and 2 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp minced onion. Mean while place in a salad bowl al large bunch turnip or mustard greens, coarsely chopped. Pour the hot dressing over the greens and toss. Serve at once garnised with 2 sliced hard boiled eggs.

 

Quick Pickled Beets: Combine 4 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed, halved, and cut into ¼ inch slices. 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced. ¾ cup apple juice or water, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and a pinch of sea salt in a pressure cooker. Lock the lid into place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat by running cold water over the cooker in your sink. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. To serve, lift the beets out of the liquid with a slotted spoon. Serve warm or chilled. (from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).

 

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.

 

Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Olive Dressing: Place 1 lb tiny new potatoes (halved or quartered if large) in a 4 qt dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 lb thin green beans, stem ends trimmed. Cover, simmer 5 minutes or more or until potatoes and beans are just tender. Drain well. Meanwhile for Olive dressing; place ½ cup pimento stuffed green olives, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, and ½ tsp pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Drizzle dressing over potatoes, green beans, and 1 12oz can solid white Albacore tuna, drained and broken into large chunks. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh thyme, and additional olives. Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Refrigerator Dilly Beans: place 2 pint sized canning jars and their lids in a pot of boiling water and heat for 1 minute. Lift out, drain and place on the counter. Divide 1 bunch fresh dill, 2 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp dill seeds, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed between the 2 jars, packing beans in lengthwise. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, and 1 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour boiling liquid over the green beans and seal. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 2 days before serving.

 

Braised pearl onions: remove tops from pearl onion bunch and drop into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and cool slightly, then trim off ends and slip off skins.

Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large heavy saucepan and sautee the onions in one layer until slightly browned. Then add chicken or vegetable stock , until it comes halfway up the onions in the pan, add salt to taste and 1 tsp sugar. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and boil off excess liquid, add 1 more tbsp butter if desired.

 

Late Summer Vegetables with Aioli: Preheat oven to 450. Blanch ½ lb green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, plunge into a bowl of ice and water, then drain again and pat dry on a kitchen towel. Toss 1 lb of new potatoes, halved lengthwise, and 3 small summer squash, sliced diagonally, separately with 2 tbsp olive oil each, some sea salt, and about 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast separately in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 20 to 25 for potatoes. Make aioli: in a bowl whisk egg with a pinch of fine sea salt and 2 tsp champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice until thick. Whisk in 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil gradually, drop by drop for the first ¼ cup or so (until the mixture is emulsified) and then in a thin stream until aioli is nice and thick; you may not need all the oil. Sprinkle 2 to 4 garlic cloves with ½ tsp fine sea salt. Mince with a chef’s knife, then use the side of the blade to crush garlic into a paste. Stir garlic paste into the mayonnaise. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if you like. Arrange cooked vegetables as well as lettuce leaves, thin wedges of fennel, and halved cherry tomatoes on a large platter or ling board, top with more fresh thyme sprigs, and serve with aioli. (from August 2013 issue of Sunset Magzine).

 

Thai Cucumber Salad: in a strainer, allow 3 thinly sliced cucumbers and 1 tsp Celtic sea salt to sit for 1 hour while water drains. Combine ½ cup finely chopped onion, ½ cup sesame oil, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 T fresh basil, finely chopped, and ½ tbsp fresh ginger, minced with the cucumbers in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Basil Vinaigrette: Mash to a paste 1 small peeled garlic clove and 2 to 3 pinches of sea salt. In a small bowl add 1/8 tsp black pepper, ¼ cup red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp minced fresh shallot, ¼ to ½ tsp Dijon mustard. Whisk until blended and then add gradually and whisk constantly after each addition ¾ cup olive or walnut oil. Then add in 12 cup thinly sliced basil and whisk again.

Three pea salad: Prepare the dressing: whisk together 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 ½ tsp sugar, 4 tsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar, 4 tsp soy sauce, and 4 tsp toasted sesame seeds. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 cup sugar snap peas, add: ½ cup snow peas and ½ cup fresh or frozen shell peas. Cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry. Toss the peas in a a bowl with the dressing and 6 cups pea shoots or bean sprouts. (both recipes from the Joy of Cooking)

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 9

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8-9-16

Large shares: Italian plums, lemon cucumbers, snap peas, shell peas, red potatoes, Walla Walla onion, red onion, Italian parsley, gold beets, carrots, cabbage

Small shares: Italian plums, cucumber, new potatoes, red onion, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, Italian parsley, jalapeno pepper, summer squash

Dear CSA members,

Brr! It feels like September around the farm. The weather has been quite cloudy and cool. We have even had a significant ammount of rainfall for August! This is a little bit more normal as I’ve said before, but is actually starting to feel quite a bit cooler than normal.We are all quite amazed at the contrast from the previous two hot and dry summers. All our hot weather loving crops (tomatoes, peppers, melons, eggplant and sweet corn) that we have been so spoiled with in the last couple of years are certainly feeling the lack of sun and cold nights of late. All the plants are loaded with fruit, but it is taking a long time to ripen it! I think this is what the old timers around here would call a “cabbage year” – because cabbage loves cool steady temperatures!

The forecast looks pretty good with warm temps and sun ahead so hopefully we have plenty of time to ripen up those heat loving crops. This time of year there is so much to do around the farm, the harvests are heavy, the weeds are ever growing, the irrigation must be kept flowing day and night… We also feel the pressure of time, time enough to complete all that must be done as well as the count down to the first frosts of the season ( which around here has been known to happen as early as Septemper 15th) and when the summer crops begin to shut down with with shortening days. We will keep up our end of the bargain, never know what nature is going to do!

This week we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near our barn. Each year this tree produces enormous crops of these delicious plums and we get to share them with you! 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. We tried to harvest a range of ripenesses so you wouldn’t have to immediately use them up. They do ripen off the tree so you may have a couple of days on the lighter colored plums. 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.

Large shares received gold beets. These are just like red beets but have a milder and sweeter flavor. They have an earthy nuttiness to them somewhat like a walnut and sweetness reminiscent of apples or apricots. The color is a phenomenal gold. The greens on these looked really nice and would be great to cook with as well.

Large shares also recieved snap peas – these can be eaten whole with out having to shell out the peas and make a great snack or addition to salads.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Shaved Summer Squash with Pecorino Romano: In a large bowl whisk together 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave a large summer squash into paper thin ribbons, about 1/16 of an inch thick, to yield 3 to 4 cups. Toss the squash ribbons with the dressing and marinate at room temperature for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, shave 2 ounces of Pecorino Romano into thin strips with a vegetable peeler to yield ¾ of a cup. Add to the squash and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice if desired. Garnish with thinly sliced basil and freshly ground black pepper.

Tabbouleh: Place ½ cup bulgur in a large bowl. Pour in 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice over the bulgur. Set aside for 10 minutes. Combine 3 medium tomatoes, cubed, 1 ½ cups finely chopped Italian parsley, 6 to 8 mint leaves, finely chopped, 2 scallions finely chopped, ½ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup cold water. Set aside for 2 hours or until the bulgur has softened to your preference. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, lemon juice, or olive oil as desired. Serve at room temperature. Keeps refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

Spicy Cabbage Slaw: combine the zest and juice of one lime, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 hot chilies (stemmed and seeded), 1 plump garlic clove, chopped, ½ cup packed cilantro leaves in a food processor and process until well combined. Mix 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight before serving.

Cucumbers Wedges with Chile and Lime: Wash 2 8 to 10 inch cucumbers and slice off the ends. Halve each crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise to make wedges. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Halve a lime and discard any seeds. Squeeze lime juice over the cucumber wedges and toss gently to coat, dust with salt and a spicy flavorful chile powder such as Chimayo. Serve immediately.

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

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.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #11

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #11

 

8/25/15

 

Large shares: yellow doll watermelon, oak leaf lettuce, eggplant, red tomato, Romano beans, sweet pepper, sweet corn, lemon cucumbers, yellow onion, cilantro, arugula

 

Small shares: yellow doll watermelon, sweet corn, chard, new potatoes, cilantro, romaine lettuce, salad cucumbers, garlic, either Romano beans, green beans or sweet onion.

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Watermelon harvest worked out really well on Monday afternoon. I was pleased that we were able to get enough small and large melons all at once for CSA this week! The variety is called “yellow doll” and has a bright lemon yellow flesh with a sweet, dense and crisp flavor and mouth-feel. This variety is good for our climate because they are small in size and mature quickly. This has been an excellent summer for melon growing, and despite this being our first effort at a large scale melon planting the vines are producing more and larger fruits than the average (at least as described by the seed company). Some of the small shares have a melon that is just touching the lid, so I hope they make it to you in good enough condition! We tried very hard to size them to fit the boxes, but like I said they were certainly above average size all around!

 

While washing CSA boxes this morning in preparation for packing I came a cross a plant tag stuck to the inside of one of the boxes. I pulled it out, and being naturally curious, read the tag. It was from a home depot plant of some kind, but I went on to read. “This plant has been treated with neonicotinoids to protect it from aphids, mites, whiteflies and other insect pests”. Wobbly Cart has been supporting a WSU native pollinator project that has been studying native bee populations of organic farms for the past couple of years. Through this project we have been learning a lot about honey bee and native pollinator declines and the link between this and the increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

 

Neonicotinoids are systemic insecticides that are taken up by a plant through either its roots or leaves and move through the plant just like water and nutrients do. These insecticides provide very effective control of piercing and sucking insects in this manner. There are currently around 465 products containing neonicotinoids approved for use in the state of Washington. Approximately 150 are approved for use in the home or garden. The systemic action of this insecticide is what makes it a problem for honey bees and other pollinators; because the pesticide spreads withing the entire plant, it can also be found in the nectar and pollen of the flowers.

 

Ongoing research is being conducted to learn more about Colony Collapse Disorder and the long term effects neonicotinoids can and will have on bee populations. There is increasing evidence that these pesticides could have a “sub-lethal” effect on bees and other pollinators by imparing their learning behavior, reduced reproduction, memory loss, reduced immune function, and altered foraging behavior. Due to this evidence the European Union has suspended use of neonicotinoid pesticides until impacts on bees can be further assessed. The United States has yet to take action, though I did hear that the State of Washington has banned their use on state property landscapes. These products are not allowed in organic production. I urge you to be cautious in purchasing plants and look for tags that indicate they have been treated with neonicotinoids and or in using insecticides in your landscape, you may be having a far reaching effect beyond just the pest you are trying to eliminate.

 

Thanks for supporting farms and enjoy this weeks’ box,

 

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Potato Salad with Herb and Caper Dressing

 

Tender new potatoes

Mixed Herbs, such as basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, and tarragon

1 T capers

Juice and zest of one lemon

2-3 t Dijon mustard

1 T red wine vinegar

½-3/4 cup Olive Oil

Salt and pepper

 

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Slice while still warm. Meanwhile, make vinaigrette. Put a bunch of mixed herbs in a food processor. Add capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running. Taste for salt, acid, and balance. Add more oil if necessary. Toss dressing into warm potatoes.

 

Watermelon, Cucumber and Lime Salad

 

Watermelon

Cucumber

Salad greens

Feta

Lime, zest and juice

Olive oil

Agave

Salt and pepper

 

Toss watermelon slices, cucumber slices, salad greens and diced feta with lime zest, juice, olive oil, agave syrup, salt and pepper to taste. Correct seasoning.

The previous two recipes are from our NE Portland dropsite host Santha Cassel!

 

Watermelon Margaritias: bring ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water and 3 strips of orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved about 3 min. remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Place 2 cups peeled and seeded watermelon in a blender and pulse until pureed. Stir watermelon puree into a large pitcher with ¾ cup white tequila, the simple syrup and ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice. Place a small amount of salt or sugar on a saucer. Moisten glass rim with lime juice and press into the salt or sugar to coat the rime. Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour margarita mix over the ice. Serve with additional lime wedges.

 

Red chard and Rice: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepot over medium heat. Add 4 slices bacon, finely chopped. Cook 2 minutes. Add 2 cloves garlic and stir 1 minute. Add 1 small bunch red chard, stemmed and chopped, season with a little nutmeg, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika. When the chard is wilted add 1 cup white rice and stir 1 minute more. Add 1 ¾ cups chicken stock or water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and serve

 

Baked Eggplant Sandwiches: Slice 2 eggplants into ½ inch thick rounds and lightly salt them. Set aside for at least 20 minutes. Mix together; 1-cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsely, and black pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set up a work station with a plate of ½ lb sliced provolone or mozzarella, a plate with the eggplant slices, a bowl of flour, a bowl of beaten eggs, and a bowl with the bread crumb mixture, and an oiled baking sheet. For each sandwich, place a slice of cheese between two slices of eggplant. Hold the sandwich firmly and coat the sides with flour. Dip the sandwich first into the eggs and then into the bread-crumbs to coat both sides. Place the finished sandwich on the baking sheet. Continue assembling the sandwiches until you have used all the eggplant slices. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. These are best served bubbly hot.

 

Green Salad with Spicy Thai Citrus Dressing: For the dressing: in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, ¼ brown sugar, 1 tsp soy sauce, ¼ tsp black pepper. Cover and shake well until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1 Tbsp minced Jalapeno Pepper, 1 tsp minced fresh garlic, and 3 Tbsp vegetable oil and shake again. For the salad: In a large bowl, combine 6 oz Romaine Lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces, 1 ripe tomato cut into bite sized chunks, 3 small cucumbers, peeled and cut into thick rounds, 2 thinly sliced scallions, and a handful fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped. Drizzle on about 1/3 cup of the dressing. Toss well and serve at once. (From Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott).

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #7

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7-28-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #7

Large shares: chard, new potatoes, salad cucumbers, purplette onion, cilantro, purple bell pepper, snow peas, red tomato, eggplant, garlic, oak leaf lettuce

Small shares: chard, carrots, new potatoes, purplette onions, Italian parsley, ½ pint sungold cherry tomatoes, garlic, shishito peppers

 

Bread and beauty grow best together. Their harmonious integration can make farming not only a business but an art; the land not only a food-factory but an instrument for self-expression, on which each can play music to his own choosing.

Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac

 

Dear CSA members,

The week has seemingly flown by as I find myself sitting down to write this weeks’ newsletter! We have certainly enjoyed some cooler temperatures, and crystal clear blue skies this week. The way the grasses and landscape have dried out in the drought I keep thinking this is September… The seasonal fast forward has been a perpetual problem for me this whole season with the unusual weather patterns.

A lot of fall planting got done this last week. We have been transplanting thousands of brassica starts such as cabbage, kale and kohlrabi, as well as seeding the final successions of carrots, beets, turnips and other root crops. I have also seeded a lot of raddichio and endive in the greenhouse, and will continue to seed successions of lettuce for a while yet. It has been nice to bust out all this work in the more reasonable temperatures we have been experiencing.

If you are interested in continuing your CSA share to enjoy these abundant fall harvests we have a fall CSA option available for sign up if you haven’t already done so. The fall share will begin Tuesday October 20th and last for four weeks. The large share is #115 and the small $80. The fall share is great because most of the produce is hardy and will keep for some time so you can enjoy it for several weeks after the deliveries end. Think root crops, leeks, hardy greens, and winter squash.

In the years when we first began farming, our season was essentially over by late October. We didn’t have the land, nor did we plant crops that would last us through the winter months. These days, we are farming and going to market year round, barring a flood or a long stretch of super cold (single digit temperatures) weather! It is kind of awesome to be out in the field harvesting carrots in the dead of winter with just a few folks, often with supplemental light from tractor mounted LED’s and a lot of slippery mud! But it is just so great to be able to produce crops year round.

Meanwhile, the summer harvests are coming on strong as the weather looks like it is going to heat up again this week. The tomato, pepper and eggplant crops are starting to fill up the back room of the cooler. As well as seemingly endless mountains of summer squash and cucumbers! Large shares will get their first tastes of cilantro this week. Normally, we would have plenty of cilantro in the early season, but we had a mix up with old, poorly germinating seed this year so the early plantings were a failure. We also have eggplant, red tomato and bell pepper for the first time.

Small shares will get Sungold cherry tomato and Shihito peppers as new items this week. Shisito peppers are a Japanese frying pepper that is iconic to izakaya (Japanese tapas/appetizers/bar food). They are mild, and prized because they are thin, delicate and thin-skinned and thus blister and char easily in the pan. Occasionally one of the peppers may be spicy instead of mild, but there is no way to tell until you taste it. For many, this is part of the enjoyment, but you may want to taste carefully before you dig in. Usually, a small hole is poked to keep the pepper from bursting and then pan fried whole in oil until wilted and slightly charred. Shisitos are often served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce. I just had some for lunch and they were delicious!

That’s all for this week, enjoy!

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Blistered Shishito peppers: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.

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.

Cucumber Salad with caramelized onions and herbs: slice onions into ¼ inch thick slices (enough to yield 1 cup) and toss to separate into rings. Have a slotted spoon and double layer of paper towels ready. Heat 2 cups vegetable oil to 275 in a small, deep heavy saucepan and drop in onion rings. Cook onions, stirring often, until they turn a uniform light brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. They’ll brown faster toward the end, so be careful. Lift onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tsp onion oil for vinaigrette; let cool. For the vinaigrette: whisk together 1 tbsp each champagne and rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tp salt, and ½ tsp pepper together in a bowl until salt and vinegar dissolve. Add reserved onion oil and 1 tbsp minced onion and whisk well to blend. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice. Slice several fresh cucumbers into ¼ inch thick slices with a knife. Toss cucumbers and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp roughly chopped red or green shiso (optional). Arrange salad on a platter and top with finely diced mild cucumber pickles and fried onions.

Moroccan Carrot Dressing: In a blender, process 2 cups carrots, chopped, 2 tomatoes, 1/3 cup flax oil, 1 peeled orange, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp black pepper until smooth and creamy

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.

Swiss chard with lentils and feta cheese: heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic, and 2 purplette onions chopped. Sauté until tender. Add in 1 cup brown or green lentils and stir. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 min. meanwhile, wash 1 bunch of chard and trim off the stem ends. Chop the stems into ¼ inch pieces, and the leaves into bite sized pieces. In another sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add the chard stems and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until tender, about 5 min. add the chard leaves and cook until wilted, about 2 min. stir in 4 tsp red wine vinegar and the reserved lentil mixture. Sprinkle with about ½ cup feta and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box # 5

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #5

 

Large share: fresh garlic, pearl onions, ½ lb green beans, green cabbage, romaine lettuce, summer squash, 1 ½ lb yellow finn new potatoes, beets, cucumber, kohlrabi, fresh thyme

 

Small share: fresh garlic, pearl onions, ½ lb green beans, romaine lettuce, summer squash, 1 lb yellow finn new potatoes, chard, rosemary

 

Dear CSA members,

 

I’m so glad the weather has cooled back down! It has been hot hot hot and tough to work in the fields and greenhouses. We were hitting mid-nineties by 5 pm here, and in the greenhouse that means well over 100. Keeping up with watering the transplants and irrigating the fields can become an all –consuming task during weather like that! And keeping oneself hydrated is just the same. I am very happy we live on the Chehalis River and can head down for a swim after a long hot day.

 

This week we have yellow finn new potatoes for you to enjoy. They are very delicate and the skins are tender and peel off easily. Their flavor is exceptional, tender and sweet. It is best to eat them up as soon as possible, but if you need to store them the refrigerator is the best place. In contrast, potatoes that are more mature and “cured” are best stored in a cool, dry and dark place, but not the refrigerator. Last week the variety “red norland’ was a bit of a disappointment, and I was glad to see the yellow finn’s were better quality. They aren’t perfect, as organically grown potatoes on our soil rarely are, but they are very delicious nonetheless.

There is tons of romaine in the field right now, so both share sizes will get a head. It’s so crunchy and scrumptious. To me romaine is a quintessential summer lettuce. It stands up to the heat and is very versatile; great as a ceazar salad, on a sandwich, or even grilled and then dressed with vinaigrette made with fresh thyme.

We also have pearl onions coming on. These are little tear-drop shaped onions that can be boiled whole, caramelized, or used as you would any regular onion. A nice change from scallions until the big onions such as Walla Walla sweet come on. We’ll probably have them next week, as well as cherry tomatoes, and I’m hoping fresh basil. Yay summer!

Things are going to ramp up for us from here on out, as harvests come quicker and heavier, until the first frosts of fall. We’ve got a packed schedule of CSA, markets, restaurant and co-op orders, harvesting, watering and weeding just to name a few of the things we must manage as a small, diverse organic farm. We’ll do what we can to keep up and in the meantime, thank you for your support!

Until next week,

 

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Olive Dressing: Place 1 lb tiny new potatoes (halved or quartered if large) in a 4 qt dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 lb thin green beans, stem ends trimmed. Cover, simmer 5 minutes or more or until potatoes and beans are just tender. Drain well. Meanwhile for Olive dressing; place ½ cup pimento stuffed green olives, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, and ½ tsp pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Drizzle dressing over potatoes, green beans, and 1 12oz can solid white Albacore tuna, drained and broken into large chunks. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh thyme, and additional olives. Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Refrigerator Dilly Beans: place 2 pint sized canning jars and their lids in a pot of boiling water and heat for 1 minute. Lift out, drain and place on the counter. Divide 1 bunch fresh dill, 2 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp dill seeds, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed between the 2 jars, packing beans in lengthwise. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, and 1 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour boiling liquid over the green beans and seal. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 2 days before serving.

 

Braised pearl onions: remove tops from pearl onion bunch and drop into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and cool slightly, then trim off ends and slip off skins.

Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large heavy saucepan and sautee the onions in one layer until slightly browned. Then add chicken or vegetable stock , until it comes halfway up the onions in the pan, add salt to taste and 1 tsp sugar. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and boil off excess liquid, add 1 more tbsp butter if desired.

 

Late Summer Vegetables with Aioli: Preheat oven to 450. Blanch ½ lb green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, plunge into a bowl of ice and water, then drain again and pat dry on a kitchen towel. Toss 1 lb of new potatoes, halved lengthwise, and 3 small summer squash, sliced diagonally, separately with 2 tbsp olive oil each, some sea salt, and about 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast separately in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 20 to 25 for potatoes. Make aioli: in a bowl whisk egg with a pinch of fine sea salt and 2 tsp champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice until thick. Whisk in 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil gradually, drop by drop for the first ¼ cup or so (until the mixture is emulsified) and then in a thin stream until aioli is nice and thick; you may not need all the oil. Sprinkle 2 to 4 garlic cloves with ½ tsp fine sea salt. Mince with a chef’s knife, then use the side of the blade to crush garlic into a paste. Stir garlic paste into the mayonnaise. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if you like. Arrange cooked vegetables as well as lettuce leaves, thin wedges of fennel, and halved cherry tomatoes on a large platter or ling board, top with more fresh thyme sprigs, and serve with aioli. (from August 2013 issue of Sunset Magzine).

Thai Cucumber Salad: in a strainer, allow 3 thinly sliced cucumbers and 1 tsp Celtic sea salt to sit for 1 hour while water drains. Combine ½ cup finely chopped onion, ½ cup sesame oil, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 T fresh basil, finely chopped, and ½ tbsp fresh ginger, minced with the cucumbers in a mixing bowl and mix well.