Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 11

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Large shares: broccoli, red carrots, red onions, lemon cucumbers, slicing cucumber, costata romanesco squash, green beans, heirloom tomato, red tomato or cherry tomatoes, red fingerling potatoes, sweet corn, cilantro, garlic

Small shares: broccoli, cauliflower, red carrots, red onion, slicing cucumber, sungold cherry tomatoes, yellow finn potatoes, lacinato kale, cilantro

Greens share: lettuce, chard, red russian kale

Roots share: beets, carrot seconds, shallots, garlic

Juicing share: chard, lacinato kale, fennel, cucumbers, cilantro, romaine lettuce

 

Dear CSA members,

Hope you are having a great Tuesday. It’s hard to believe but with this week we are half way through the CSA season! We are really at the peak of summer crops and their availability. I am really impressed with the variety and abundance of crops we have for this share. I wasn’t sure that we would have enough sungold cherry tomatoes or heirlooms for you all this week but the plants seem to be finally kicking into gear. I got a hundred and forty pounds or so of seconds that we sent out to those of you who have ordered. I am filling the orders in the order they were received. There will definitely be more next week so we will keep picking away at our backlog of orders.

Out in the field are busy bringing all the onions and shallots from the field to cure in our big barn, keeping up with irrigation which is no small task with the high temperature and drought we are experiencing, and harvesting non stop! I am seeing signs of ripening melons and sweet peppers too.

All of us are feeling the effects of the intense wildfire smoke as most of us are outside 10 to 12 hours a day working hard and breathing it in. I have never experienced anything like the smoke this year. I truly hope we will get some relief soon – as I am sure you are feeling as well.

New crops this week:

Red carrots: Orange carrots are actually a relatively new breeding development in the history of the cultivation of carrots. Orange carrots were apparently developed in Holland in the 17th century, while carrots in general have been cultivated since around 900 and probably originated in the Middle East. Originally carrots were probably yellow, purple and red like these carrots. Red carrots are higher in vitamins and lycopene than orange carrots, are slightly less sweet and have stronger flavor than what we know as regular carrots. They are excellent roasted and cooked into stews as they are more robust and hold up very well to cooking.

Sweet corn: Sweet corn is best eaten asap! You can store it in the fridge but the flavor will diminish over time. This crop is looking really good and tastes amazing too.

Red fingerling potato: This variety is called Amarosa. They are small in size and oblong and slender in shape. The thin skin is smooth with a deep red to burgundy coloring with some brown spots and patches. The flesh is firm, dense, and marbled with light pink and red. When cooked they have a velvety texture and a sweet creamy flavor.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Spectacular fingerling potatoes: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place 1 lb red fingerlings in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat cover and cook 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer the potatoes to a greased baking pan. Combine 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary, 1 tbsp melted butter, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/ tsp salt. Drizzle over the potatoes and toss to coat. Bake, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, stirring once.

 

Fried Squash Blossoms with Corn and Mozzarella: mix ¼ lb fresh mozzarella cut into ¼ inch dice, kernels from 1 ear fresh corn, 1 tbsp minced red onion, 1 tsp minced fresh garlic and ¼ tsp each sea salt and pepper. Gently stuff 18 zucchini or butternut squash blossoms with about 1 ½ tsp of the filling and twist ends of the petals closed. Pour canola oil into a medium, heavy pot or saucepan about 3 in deep. Heat over med-high heat until a deep fry thermometer registers 360 to 375. Put a ½ cup each buttermilk and rice flour in separate containers (loaf pans work well). One at a time dip each stuffed blossom into buttermild and let excess drip off. Dip in flour, coating lightly but evenly. Shake off excess flour and fry blossoms in small batches until golden brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Gently submerge blossoms with a slotted spoon to cook tops. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt, sprinkle with chives, parsley or basil and serve with lemon wedges if you like.  ( From Sunset August 2013)

 

Corn Chowder with Wild Rice: remove the kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn, reserve. In a stock pot over medium heat, combine the halved cobs of the corn and 7 cups of water, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove cobs with tongs and discard; reserve stock. In a stockpot over medium heat, cook 6 slices diced thick cut bacon, stirring often, until cooked through but not crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Add 1 peeled and diced large carrot, 1 large red onion, diced. And 3 tbsp butter. Season with ½ tsp salt and cook until carrot and onion soften, about 15 minutes. Add 4 minced cloves of garlic and 2 tsp fresh minced rosemary, and cook for 1 minute. Add corn kernels, 5 cups of reserved corn stock, ¼ tsp pepper,  and 1 tsp salt and bring to a simmer. Transfer half a cup of soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a fine mesh sieve, transfer pureed soup back into stock pot. Stir in 3 cups cooked wild rice and reserved bacon into soup. Serve immediately.

Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup

serves 4 

 

4 lbs Heirloom Tomatoes or Roma Tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 c olive oil

salt

1 sprig rosemary

6 tbsp heavy cream

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

 

 

Roasted Tomato Jam

makes about 3 cups

 

2 cups sugar

3 lbs tomatoes, sliced thinly 1/4″

large pinch of salt

grated zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed

2 cayenne peppers or chiles

 

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

 

Caramelized Shallots: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium low. Thinly slice 6 to 8 oz of shallots and saute them in the oil for about 2 min. add 1 tsp salt and saute for 5 min more, or until soft. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent them from browning too quickly. Add 1 tsp sherry or apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp sherry or white wine, 2 tsp brown sugar, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sautee for another 20 min, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to prevent sticking and burning, about a tsp at a time. Remove sprigs of thyme before serving. French Shallot Soup: Prepare 2 batches caramelized shallots and/or onions (see above). Melt 2 tsp unsalted butter over med-low heat in a deep pan or dutch oven. Add the caramelized shallots and stir to warm through. Add 1-quart beef stock, at room temperature and 1 cup red or white wine. Simmer at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes. Near the end of cooking preheat the oven broiler. Divide the soup into 4 oven-proof bowls, and stir in 1 to 2 tsp cognac into each bowl. Gently float a thick slice of day old baguette in each and top with 4 oz slices of Gruyere cheese. Broil until golden and bubbly about 3 to 5 minutes.

Fall Potato Salad: Toss 2 lbs cubed potatoes with salt and olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Combine with various fall vegetables of your choice; onion, shallot, garlic, carrots, roasted winter squash,celariac or parsnips for example. Toss with fresh tomato wedges, basil, thyme or other herbs of your choice. Dress with ¼ cup olive oil whipped with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.

Mixed Vegetable Curry: Combine 1 cup chopped cabbage, 1 cup green beans, 1 cup cauliflower, chopped, 1 cup green peas, and 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced into cubes. Add just enough water to cook without burning and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain. In another pot, heat 3 Tbsp vegetable oil and fry 1 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, and 2 tsp green chili, fry until golden brown. Add 1 tbsp ground coriander, ½ Tbsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cardamom, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, ½ tsp ground red chili, ½ tsp fresh grated ginger. Add in the cooked vegetables and salt to taste. Cook for several minutes, stirring frequently. Add in 1 ½ cups thick coconut milk. Simmer gently until vegetables are tender, watching to prevent burning. Remove from heat and add juice of ½ lemon. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with Rice

Cucumber Cuchumber: Combine all ingredients and mix well. 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced. I small onion finely chopped, 1 fresh green chili seeded and finely chopped, 1 tsp salt, juice of 1 lime, and 1 ½ Tbsp chopped Cilantro.

 

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week #18

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10-13-15

Day in Autumn

by Ranier Maria Rilke

After the summer’s yield, Lord, it is time 

to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials 

and in the pastures let the rough winds fly. 

As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness. 

Direct on them two days of warmer light

to hale them golden toward their term, and harry 

the last few drops of sweetness through the wine. 

Whoever’s homeless now, will build no shelter; 

who lives alone will live indefinitely so, 

waking up to read a little, draft long letters, 

and, along the city’s venues, 

fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.

Large shares: Delicata squash, red fingerling potatoes, yellow onions, Korean red garlic, mizuna, rapini, eggplant, watermelon radishes, cherry tomatoes, butterhead lettuce, rosemary

Small shares: Delicata squash, red fingerling potatoes, cabbage, vitamin green, yellow onion, Korean red garlic, sweet pepper, green beans, rosemary

Dear CSA members,

We have, at long last, arrived at our 18th and last delivery for the summer CSA. It has been an amazing journey from the delicate lettuces and strawberries of early summer to the heavy cabbages and winter squash of this last box. It all seems to have gone by so fast, and yet mid June seems so long ago at the same time. We, as a farm crew, are all ready for a bit of respite. But we will also be sad to see the season end, as many of our long time crew members will be moving on to bigger and better after this season.

This, being our 11th season as a small organic farm, in some ways blends together with the many seasons we have behind us. A few things stand out in my mind however.  It was the hottest, driest spring/summer that I can ever remember. In years past, we have always worried that we could get enough warm, sunny dry weather for our heat loving crops to mature. In fact too much water has always been a bit of a problem around here (big floods of 2007 ring a bell?) This year we had the opposite, with crop failures/yield reductions due to the hot dry conditions. Beans dropped blossoms during the hottest part of the summer, tomatoes experienced sunburn, sections of the potato and winter squash didn’t get the water they needed and had a smaller yield or in the case of the potatoes that did get water, grew so fast they developed hollow centers. Overall though, these crops as well as most of the fall greens and root crops experienced a nice comeback once we got that big rainstorm in late August and things cooled down a bit.

Second: we have some serious disease challenges that weren’t around when we started farming in this area 15 years ago. We have experienced an upswing in major diseases such as downy mildew in the onions, leaf rust fungus in the garlic, and clubroot in the brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc.). We trialed some new onions varieties with the help of High Mowing Seeds that are possibly disease resistant and are working on solutions for the club root as well as other pests such as flea and cucumber beetles that are continuous challenges for us. One thing that I know will be a positive for us is leasing 5 new acres for next year! Good crop rotation/fallow cycles are of the utmost importance when it comes to pests and diseases, as well as fertility management of our soil.

Third; thanks to you, our CSA had its most sucessful year ever! Our membership increased to the largest yet, and we had a higher percentage of folks pay in full, which really helps out our finances in the early season. We also had a higher percentage of returning members than ever, which is always a great feeling. Despite the challenges of the hot, dry season, and Joseph breaking his ankle, we were still able to deliver 18 weeks of gorgeous produce, with the large share receiving 15% more than they paid for in produce.

We are certainly appreciative of the support you have given us by becoming members of our CSA, and hope that you have been satistifed with your experience and the produce that you have received. We will be continuing on for four more weeks with our fall CSA option if you are interested in joining us and haven’t already done so. The majority of the crops that we produce in the fall can be stored for several weeks if not longer, so it is a great way to stock up on local produce for the winter months.

Wobbly Cart will also continue to be at the Olympia Farmers Market  through October Thursday through Sunday. November and December Saturday and Sundays. We offer 15% off for all our CSA customers at the market stand so come on down and see us this fall and winter!

I also thought I would go over a couple of crops that may be unfamiliar to you:

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

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

Vitamin green: this asian green is similar to bok choy but more delicate in texture. I noticed that this batch is extra tender and likely to get slightly bruised. I would attribute this to the warm growing conditons we have been having this October. That said, you should probably use these up very soon! Vitamin green is also very sweet and delicious so that shouldn’t be a problem. They are great sautéed, or eaten fresh.

Rapini is essentially the Italian equivalent to turnip greens. Used extensively in Italian and Chinese cooking, it is not as popular in the United States but is gaining popularity. The stems are generally uniform in size (hence cook evenly) and need not be peeled. Clean it as you would other greens, removing the bottom portion of the stems which appear tough (sometimes the stems are tougher than other times depending on the age of the rapini). They stems can be removed up to where the leaves begin, and sautéed before adding the leaves to the pan. This vegetable is a source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium.  To maintain crispness, refrigerate, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag or wrap for up to 3 days.

Thank you all and we hope to see you in the Fall CSA as well as in the 2016 Summer CSA!

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

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

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

Rapini and garlic: Chop 3 cloves garlic. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet add the garlic and then the bunch of rapini that has the bottom of the stems removed and then been chopped. Turn the greens to wilt them and coat with the oil. Add 1 cup chicken broth, cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve.

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

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

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

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