Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 13

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 13

9-19-17

Large shares: Charentais melon, romaine lettuce, summer squash, carrots, mixed fingerling potatoes, Romano beans, red onions, garlic, basil, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers  

Small shares: Charentais melon, Red Russian kale, cucumber,green beans, eggplant, red onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, heirloom tomatoes  

Greens share: Daikon radish bunch, kale, mustard greens  

Roots share: beets, carrots, Yellow Finn potatoes  

Juicing share: carrots seconds, beet seconds, tomato seconds, fennel, perpetual spinach, cucumbers

Dear CSA members,

We are really taking a turn towards fall this week! It’s finally raining again and we even had a very light frost last Thursday. Weather like this wreaks havoc on our tomatoes, melons, and peppers but will start to bring out the sweetness in the root crops and hardier greens. I’m still hoping to see more fully colored sweet peppers before we lose them to a frost! With our late start to the planting this year it seems we are running up against the clock to ripen peppers!

We’re loading you up with heirloom tomatoes again this week. Just by the lateness of the season and weather factors these tomatoes may not hold as long. It’s the time of the year to savor these while we still can. This is likely the last week to order tomato 2nds for delivery with your CSA box. web store Despite any cultural practices we may implement, eventually all our tomato vines face the dreaded late blight.

Late blight of potatoes and tomatoes, the disease that was responsible for the Irish potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century, is caused by the fungus-like oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans. It can infect and destroy the leaves, stems, fruits, and tubers of potato and tomato plants. Before the disease appeared in Ireland it caused a devastating epidemic in the early 1840s in the northeastern United States.  

P. infestans was probably introduced to the United States from central Mexico, which is its center of origin. After appearing in North America and Europe during the 1840s, the disease spread throughout most of the rest of the world during subsequent decades and had a worldwide distribution by the beginning of the twentieth century.

Late blight is favored during moderate (60 degree) wet weather and the spores can travel on the wind for several miles. It reproduces rapidly and can completely devastate potato and tomato crops relatively quickly if conditions are right. It’s always sad to see a crop that has been tended for months mercilessly and quickly taken down by disease. It is one of the difficult inevitabilities of farming.

Any small black specks you may see on fruit are likely the aforementioned late blight. The flavor of the tomato won’t be compromised at this point, I would just prioritize the use of these tomatoes.

Later this week we plan to harvest all our winter squash and potatoes and get them into storage. We’re talking about several tons of each! Winter squash and potato harvest is kind of a fun event where everyone works together to get a big job done. It can be hard work but satisfying once complete to have all this great food harvested for the fall and winter.

New this week:

Charentais Melon: A true French cantaloupe that originated in the Poitou-Charentes region circa 1920. Considered by many to be the most divine and flavorful melon in the world. Smooth round melons mature to a creamy gray or golden with faint ribs. Sweet, juicy, orange flesh with a heavenly fragrance. Store dry on the countertop until ready to eat, they don’t hold for long and so asap is best. . Small cracks are ok and just represent true ripeness. These are heirlooms that have been bred for flavor and not convenient pack ability for grocery stores.

Fingerling potatoes:   Fingerlings are potato varieties that naturally grow long and narrow, they often have a firm, waxy texture and a rich, distinctive flavor.

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha

Charentais Melon Salad: In a small bowl combine 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Halve and seed a large Charentais melon, then slice into 1-inch thick wedges. Arrange the melon slices over 6 salad plates. Top melon slices with a slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele, scatter basil leaves on top and dress with the balsamic vinaigrette and freshly ground black pepper. From thecooksatelier.com

Melon smoothie:     1 (1-1/4 pound) Charentais melon 1-cup low fat vanilla yogurt 1 teaspoon lemon juice ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom (or cinnamon or nutmeg) Peel and seed melon. Chop into large chunks. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes (don’t freeze completely). Place the yogurt in a blender. Place the chilled melon chunks on top of the yogurt. Add lemon juice and cardamom. Blend until frothy. Chill until ready to serve.

Spicy Cantaloupe Salad adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat   1 medium and very ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into strips 2 limes, zested and juiced 1-2 tablespoons sugar 2 drops Asian fish sauce Dash of cayenne pepper, or 2 dashes if you’re serious Salt and pepper to taste. Put everything in a bowl. Stir! Refrigerate for an hour or so to let the flavors meld.

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

Sautéed Daikon Greens with Onion, Garlic and Lemon 2 tsp sesame oil 1/2 onion, cut in thin half-moons pinch of sea salt 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped small 3 bunches daikon greens (1 bunch is the amount from 1 radish), washed and chopped a few slices of fresh lemon 1.  Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the oil. Add the onion and sea salt as soon as a little piece gently sizzles in the oil. Sauté, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until onion starts getting translucent.   2.  Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. 3.  Add the daikon greens and stir until the greens get coated with the oil and onions. Add a Tbsp or two of water. Cover and let cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. 4.  Remove from heat. Add squeezes of lemon juice when serving.

Parmesan Potato Gratin: preheat oven to 325. Brush the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish with 1 tbsp olive oil; set aside. Shave 4 cups Parmesan cheese into thin strips; set aside. In a small bowl combine 4 slices of crisp cooked and crumbled bacon, 2 thinly sliced green onions, 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives. In the prepared baking dish place 2 lbs peeled and finely sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with ½ tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper, half the bacon mixture and ½ tbsp snipped fresh rosemary and ½ tbsp snipped fresh thyme. Top with half the parmesan (2 cups). Dot with 2 tbsp unsalted butter. Repeat layers using 2 more lbs potatoes, and additional fresh herbs, and 2 additional tbsp butter. In a small bowl whisk together ¾ cup whole milk, ¾ cup heavy cream, and 3 tbsp all-purpose flour; pour evenly over potatoes. Bake, covered, for 1-½ hours. Increase temperature to 400. Bake, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown.

Holiday Kale Salad: Preheat oven to 375. Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil or parchment. Place 2 cups fresh cranberries and 4 to 5 cloves unpeeled garlic cloves on a pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil; sprinkle with ¼ tsp , each salt and ground black pepper. Roast, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until garlic is browned at the edges and wrinkled. Cool slightly. Remove garlic peels; finely chop garlic cloves. For dressing, in a screw top jar combine garlic, remaining 3 tbsp olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon-style mustard, and 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel. Cover and shake well. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. In a large bowl combine cranberries, 4 cups chopped kale, 2 cups cooked wild rice, 1 small bulb fennel, cored and shaved into thin wedges, 1 cup chopped walnuts, ½ thinly sliced red pepper, and ½ thinly sliced onion. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Makes 9 cups (about 12 servings).

Ginger, Carrot, Daikon radish salad: Use a mandoline shredder to shred 1 lb daikon radish and 2 large carrots into 4 cups total. Mix together 1 clove shredded garlic and 1 tbsp shredded ginger with the grated vegetables in a medium size bowl. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar and 1/2 tsp Sriracha or chili sauce or diced Czech black pepper. Toss the dressing with the salad and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 10

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8-16-16

Large Shares: Lacinato kale, Romaine lettuce, slicing cucumbers, lemon cucumber, bell pepper, summer squash, carrots, Romano beans or green beans, yellow onion, red onion, cherry tomatoes, Penasco blue garlic, cilantro

Small Shares: carrots, golden beets, green cabbage, yellow onion, lemon cucumbers, kohlrabi, cilantro, green beans

 

Dear CSA members,

Week 10 and mid August! We are certainly in the peak of the summer season. With warm/hot temperatures forecast for some time to come we should indeed see a significant upswing in harvests in the near future. Everyone who ordered boxes of tomato seconds hang in there, they are coming! We may be adding quite a bit to the bulk order list including green beans and pickling cucumbers.

New this week is Romano Beans: Green Romano beans are broad and flattened in shape, averaging about five inches in length at maturity. The beans have a stringless seam that opens rather easily while still young. The pods cling loosely to a series of about six tiny lime green to white colored peas. The beans are crisp and fleshy in texture, extremely succulent, offering a subtlety sweet and grassy flavor. They are great both raw and cooked.

This week I wanted to share with you some thoughts on the benefits of organic agriculture, just to reiterate the reasons why we do what we do. As well as why you choose to spend your food dollars with us.

Soil. Soil building practices such as crop rotations, inter-cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers and minimum tillage are central to organic practices. Organic practices encourage soil fauna and flora, improve soil formation and structure and create more stable systems. In turn, nutrient and energy cycling is increased and the retentive abilities of the soil for nutrients and water are enhanced, and soil erosion is reduced. If we treat our soil right our crops will show it by increased vigor, flavor and disease/pest resistance.

Water. In many agriculture areas, pollution of groundwater  with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is a major problem. As the use of these is prohibited in organic agriculture, they are replaced by organic fertilizers (e.g. compost, animal manure, green manure) and through the use of greater biodiversity (in terms of species cultivated and permanent vegetation), The enhanced soil stucture and better nutrient retention and water infiltration of well managed organic systems  greatly reduce the risk of groundwater pollution.

Air and climate change. Organic agriculture reduces non-renewable energy use by decreasing agrochemical needs (these require high quantities of fossil fuel to be produced). Organic agriculture contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect and global warming through its ability to sequester carbon in the soil. Many management practices used by organic agriculture (e.g. minimum tillage, returning crop residues to the soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, and the greater integration of nitrogen-fixing legumes), increase the return of carbon to the soil, raising productivity and favoring carbon storage. A number of studies revealed that soil organic carbon contents under organic farming are considerably higher. The more organic carbon is retained in the soil, the higher the potential of agriculture to mitigate climate change.

Biodiversity. Organic farmers are both custodians and users of biodiversity at all levels. By utilizing traditional, heirloom and adapted seeds and breeds organic farmers choose varieties that have adapted resistance to diseases and climactic stress and therefore reqire less inputs to create a marketable crop. Organic farms also by and large maintain natural areas within and around their lanscapes, that combined with the absence of chemical inputs creates suitable habitats for birds, pollinating insects and other species that may benefit our crops. Many recent studies have concluded that organic farming produces more biodiversity than other farming systems.

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha

 

 

 

 

Oriental Cilantro Slaw: Shred 1 medium cabbage (6 cups). Place the cabbge in a large serving bowl. Mix in 1 large shredded carrot, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup thinnnly sliced scallions. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp canola oil, 3 to 4 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and finely chopped and sea salt to taste. Shake well to blend, pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Add more lime juice and tamari as needed.  Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped toasted and salted peanuts.

Sesame ginger Romano Beans: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium high heat, heat 1 cup vegetable oil. Add 3 small shallots, thinly sliced, and fry, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss 1 lb fresh romano (or green) beans (stem ends trimmed), with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, and 1 tsp salt to coat. Roast beans until tender but still green, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer beans to a serving dish and toss with sesame seeds. Top with reserved shallots.

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.

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)

Roasted Golden Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens: trim one bunch medium beets with tops to 1 inch. Wash and chop greens and stems. Scrub beets and wrap tightly in heavy duty foil. Roast in the 400 degree oven until tender, 50 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into wedges. Sauté greens, stems and 2 tsp minced garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat until tender, 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, 2 tbsp each pistachios and goat cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. ( from Prevention magazine June 2012)

Lemon Ricotta Summer Squash Galette: thinly slice 2 medium zucchini ( about 2 ½ cups) and sprinkle lightly with salt. Transfer to a colander; drain for 15 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, on a large piece of lightly floured parchment, roll ½ of a 15oz package of refrigerated unbaked dough to a 12 inch circle. Transfer parchment and dough to a large baking sheet; set aside. For ricotta filling; in a medium bowl whisk together ¾ cup ricotta cheese, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, 1 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Using a spatula spread the ricotta filling over dough, leaving a 1 ½ inch border. Top with squash rounds. Drizzle with more olive oil. Gently fold over pastry edges, pleating as necessary. In a small bowl whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water. Lightly brush pastry edges with egg mixture. Transfer galette to oven. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh dill weed, if desired. Serve warmor ar room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

Cilantro Pesto: In a food processor or blender combine. 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, finely chopped, 2 large cloves roasted garlic, or 1 small clove raw garlic peeled and minced, 1 tsp mild chili powder, 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp sea salt.  Great served over beans and grains, bean and grain salads, this pesto is delicious brushed onto grilled corn on the cob or tossed with cooked corn kernels.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #4

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7-5-16

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #4

Large shares: Tokyo turnips, Purplette onions, 2 heads fresh garlic, green cabbage, romaine lettuce, Italian parsley, kohlrabi, beets, French lavender

Small shares; Tokyo turnips, Purplette onions, fresh garlic, butterhead lettuce, mustard greens, Italian parsley, summer squash, French lavender

Dear CSA members,

I hope you have all had a nice holiday weekend and are ready to get back into the CSA routine. We have several new items to introduce 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.

Purplette onions: are a yummy and cute spring onion that is a nice change from scallions this time of year. You can cook them just like regular onions, roast them whole with your beets and garlic, add fresh to salads, or pickle them. The tops can be used like scallions but are a bit stronger in flavor.

French lavender: Both shares will receive a bunch of French lavender this week. You can keep the lavender as a flower arrangement, dry it and use it for teas and sachets, or cook with it. I have used lavender to make cookies, ice cream, and even for a honey lavender glaze for roast chicken. You can toss the stalks on the grill to add flavor and aroma to grilled meats. Lavender is a known medicinal herb with soothing and relaxing properties as well. I love this variety for its long full flower spikes and heady fragrance. Enjoy!

Next week we should have peas!

Have a great week,

Asha

 

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.

Lavender Herb Butter This herb butter is good for toasted cheese sandwiches, veggies, boiled potatoes, or noodles.1 stick softened butter,1 tsp. Chopped chives, 2 tsp. dried lavender. (I pulse a batch ahead in my coffee grinder), 1tsp. chopped parsley. Mix together.

Lavender Coffee Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make the topping: 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tsp. cinnamon. Mix together and set aside. Make the batter: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tbs. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, mix and set aside. Cream ¾ cup butter,  add in 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp dried lavender buds (pulse this in blender with ½ cup of the above sugar), ½ cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 ½ cups buttermilk or sour cream or thin yogurt, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Put in pan. (See below) Put half of the batter into your pan, top with 1/2 of the topping. Swirl it in gently with a fork so it is just lightly blended. Repeat.

Pan sizes and baking times.
One 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan 50 to 60 minutes.
One 9-inch spring form pan for 60 to 70 minutes.
Two 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pans for 40 to 50 minutes.
Two 8-inch round or square cake pans for 30 to 35 minutes.

Bake until done. The top will spring back when pressed gently in middle or use toothpick or knife in center of cake, if it comes out clean, remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes before you remove it from your pan.

Italian Style Salsa Verde: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup coarsely chopped Italian Parsley, ¼ cup each coarsely chopped chives, fennel fronds, or dill, mint leaves, tarragon and shallots; 2 tbsp finely chopped capers; 2 tsp coarsely chopped sage leaves, and ¾ tsp kosher salt. Whisk in 1 ¼ cups fruity extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust salt. Chill overnight if possible, so flavors can marry. Makes 1 ¾ cups.

Quick Sauerkraut: Thinly slice 1 head of cabbage and place in a large microwave safe bowl with 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup apple cider, 1 tbsp crushed toasted caraway seeds, and 2 tbsp kosher salt. Cover with a large piece of plastic wrap and seal edges. Microwave on high, 4 to 5 minutes. Let sit, still covered, until cabbage has absorbed its brine and bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. (from Sunset magazine May 2012)

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 #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)