Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 3

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7-11-17

Large shares: carrots, lettuce, snow peas, scallions, broccoli, mustard greens, Italian parsley, summer squash, radishes, French lavender  

Small shares: lettuce, cabbage, beets, Italian parsley, summer squash, shell peas, French lavender  

Dear CSA members,

Here we are at week 3 of the csa and we are starting to get into the groove of how our summer weeks will pass. We hope you are getting into the groove of things as well!. Part of joining a csa is making a commitment to support local agriculture as well as a commitment to yourself to cook and eat fresh and healthy food at home. So, I thought I would share a few tips on making the most of your csa membership this summer.

1. Read the newsletter and recipes: reading the newsletter will give you not only quick updates on what we are doing around the farm but also information about new and different vegetables, storage tips, as well as recipes to try.

2. Join the Facebook group and share recipes and ideas! The idea here is for you all to share and inspire each other with how to best use your csa share. https://www.facebook.com/groups/558968384285129/

3. The night before your pickup, take inventory. I recommend going through your fridge and making use of anything leftover from the previous week so you don’t end up with a ton of back stock clogging up your fridge. I like to make a soup stock or pesto (both freeze well) for later use or juice any leftovers for a quick nutrient dense snack.

4. When you get home with your share do some prep-work. Remove any greens from root crops that you won’t be using. Cutting off radish, beet and carrot tops helps the roots stay fresher longer. If you are going to use the greens pre soak them in cold water, drain, and pack in a separate bag. Soak your lettuces and then spin them dry in a salad spinner. They will also keep better when clean and dry. I like to keep my herbs in a jar of water with a plastic bag tented over it on the self in my fridge. Change the water every couple of days. Later in the season, onions, garlic, tomatoes will keep better when they are dried thoroughly and placed on a shelf in a cool dry location.

5.Try out pickling, freezing and canning. There are many great books and blogs out there that have amazing suggestions.

6. And last, enjoy eating more and different vegetables! The less processed foods you eat the better fresh fruits and vegetables taste – replace processed foods with whole foods. I like to add vegetables into breakfast scrambles, green juices, make oven roasted chips out of summer squash and kale… find ways to increase your intake of fresh produce, its good for you! Or, make a meal for someone in need of some good food and share the wealth.

Feel free to add to this list via email or on the facebook group if you have come up with other tips and solutions that work to your lifestyle.

With that, here are a few bits of information on new items this week:

French lavender: Both shares will receive a bunch of French lavender this week. You can keep the lavender as a flower arrangement, dry the blossoms 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!

Shell peas: For those who don’t know the shell peas are the large, long, thick pods. You break these open to reveal the tiny little peas inside. Shell them out with your thumb into a bowl. 1 lb will get you about 1 cup of fresh peas. They are excellent just lightly steamed with a sea salt and butter. Overcooking may turn them to mush!

Snow peas are also known as Chinese pea pods since they are often used in stir-fries. They are flat with very small peas inside; the whole pod is edible, although the tough “strings” along the edges are usually removed before eating. Snow peas are mildly flavored and can be served raw or cooked.

 Italian parsley (which is also known as flat parsley or flat-leaf parsley) has dark flat leaves and slender stems, with a bright and slightly bitter flavor. Amazingly, the stems have more flavor and aroma than the leaves! Parsley stems are one of the traditional ingredients in the bouquet garni and sachet d’epices, which are used for flavoring stocks, soups and sauces. Parsley is also very nutritious and is very high in, iron, calcium, folate, and vitamin K, C and A.

Mustard greens are delicate and peppery, but less bitter than kale and collards. You can use them sauteed, in fried rice, in soups , and as a minor addition to salads. See recipe below.

Have a great week,   Asha

 

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)

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.

Mustard Greens: In a large saute pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute 1 1/2 cusp thinnly sliced onions, over medium heat until the onions start to caramelize and brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced fresh garlic and coook a minute more. Add in 1 lb mustard greens that have been washed and torn into large peices, and 2 to 3 tbsp chicken broth and cook until the greens are barely wilted. Toss with 1/4 tsp sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Zuchinni Oven Chips: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp finely chopped green garlic, 1/8 tsp black pepper and mox together in a bowl. Place 1 cup milk in a shallow bowl. Slice 2 summer squash into 1/4 inch thick slices. Drip slices into milk and then coat with the crumb mixture. Place on an oiled baking rack that is set over a baking sheet. Bake for 30 min or unitl browned and crisp.

Nori Radish Toasts: Slice a 12 in. section of baguette in half length-wise, cut into 2-in. pieces, and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on edges. Using scissors, snip 1 large sheet toasted nori into bits, then pulverize in a spice grinder. Mix nori powder with about 5 tbsp butter; smear thickly onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radishes and radish greens. (daikon would work great). (from the November 2011 issue of SunsetMagazine).

Lavender and Honey Roasted Chicken: In a non-reactive bowl combine; 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, 1 tsp fresh lavender, ½ cup honey, 1 ½ tsp fresh marjoram, 1 minced garlic clove. 1 minced shallot, ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar and stir thoroughly. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Season a whole roasting chicken with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Baste the chicken with the lavender honey mixture every 5 minutes or so for an additional 30 minutes or until completely cooked. The bird is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Do not overcook. Once finished you can brush additional marinade over the flesh and skin. (from food.com)

Roasted 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)

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.

Quick sesame snow peas: Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a large skillet. Add in ½ lb snow peas that have been washed, stringed and patted dry and cook stirring and tossing for 1 ½ minutes until the snow peas are just barely cooked but warmed through. Remove from heat and toss the peas with 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Cover and let rest for several minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste and toasted sesame seeds.

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 2

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7-5-17

Large shares: broccoli, chard, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, fresh garlic bunch, butterhead lettuce, greenleaf or romaine lettuce, scallions, cilantro

Small shares: broccoli, chard, carrots, fresh garlic bunch, greenleaf lettuce, scallions, cilantro

Dear CSA members,

We hope you all had a lovely 4th of July holiday. It was certainly nice for us to have the extra day to prepare for CSA this week! Mondays are our busiest harvest day and it was nice to spread out the workload a bit. Our Chehalis market was also cancelled this week which made things even mellower. The fireworks out here are not mellow though! I am slightly sleep deprived as we are very near the Chehalis tribe casino that does an rather loud and large fireworks show, that with the neighbors and it seemed to go on forever last night.

June and July are such busy months on the farm. We are still busy seeding and transplanting, our new crew members are still getting trained, CSA and markets start up and there are so many details to work out, there is so much weeding and irrigating to do, ground must be worked up for fall plantings and fertilized and amended, tomatoes need to be trellised and pruned, harvest needs to be done, the mowing never ends… You get the idea. With the long hours of day light we often find ourselves working 14 hours a day or more!

We look forward to a few weeks from now when things settle into a bit more manageable routine… But by then orders and harvest lists ramp up in a big way as we reach our peak in August and September. Our crew is doing awesome though and things have been relatively smooth for a transition year where we have quite a few new folks on the farm. So it should be no problem when we get to those weeks.

We have some pretty gorgeous broccoli this week. I am always happy when the early broccoli plantings work out nicely. Once you chop up the florets, I reccommend peeling the stems and chopping them too. I think they are the most delicious part of the broccoli.

Fairly soon we will be harvesting our garlic crop. This week we have bundles of freshly harvested garlic for you. Fresh garlic is not dried and cured like you may be used to buying at the store, but it is sought after by chefs for its milder flavor when raw. You can peel the cloves and use just like any garlic but I would reccommend storing in the refrigerator and using up sooner than later.

The rainbow colored green is Swiss chard. This member of the beet family is bred for its greens, not roots. It is tender, delicious and nutritious. Chard is high in vitamin C, A and B’s as well as iron, calcium and phosphorus. I reccomend it stirfried, steamed, or added to soups and stews. You can store chard in the crisper drawer for about 1 week. Finely chopped, the stems are good and add pretty color to a dish.

Cilantro is an herb that has been used in cuisine from Asia to the new world and has been cultivated for 3000 years or more. The seeds, known as coriander are also used as a spice. Apparently, coriander seeds have even been found in Egyptian tombs! Cilantro is great in salsas, dressings, to season beans, as topping for chili and burritos, or in Indian and Thai dishes. Store by placing the roots in a small jar of water and tenting a plastic bag on top, then place in the refrigerator. It will keep a long time like this.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Honey roasted carrots: preheat oven to 425. Twist the tops of 16 carrots, leaving a 2 inch nub; wash and scrub the roots. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tsps olive oil. Roll the carrots back and forth to coat before placing them in the oven. Melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp honey together in a small saucepan and keep warm. Shake the carrots occasionally as they roast. Remove from the oven when they are browned in spots and a sharp knife easily pierces them ( 15 to 20 minutes). Drizzle with honey butter over the carrots, roll them around to coat and place them back in the oven. Shake the baking sheet frequently and remove the carrots when their skin begins to caramelize and a knife easily slides through them, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Swiss Chard Quesadillas: Wash but do not dry 1 bunch of chard. Cut off the stems and slice them 1/4 inch thick; cut the leaves into 1/4 inch ribbons. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely chopped scallion and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 3 min. Add the chard stems and cook, stirring often, until they are tender but retain a slight bite, 6 to 8 min. Add the leaves and cook, stirring, until they wilt and become quite tender, 3 to 5 min. For each quesadilla, spread 1 tbsp sour cream on a flour tortilla. Top with 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese, 1/4 of the chard mixture, and 1/4 cup Cotija. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, and a dash of hot sauce. Squeeze lime juice over the top. Fold the tortilla in half to enclose the filling. Brush a large skillet with vegetabl oil and placeover medium heat. Place the quesadilla in the pan and cook, turning once, until the tortilla is golden on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas.

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.

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.
Coleslaw: julienne 4 cups green cabbage, grate 1 cup of carrots, add in 2 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger. Place in a large bowl and mix well. In a small bowl whisk 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp stone ground mustard, 1 tsp minced fresh dill, 1 tsp celery seed, ¼ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp black pepper, pinch of cayenne pepper and 2 tbsp tamari. Combine all ingredients, toss well and enjoy.
Easy Roasted garlic: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel outer skin off a head of garlic, leaving the cloves exposed in their wrappers. Chop the top off the garlic, leaving the cloves open at the top. Place the garlic head in the middle of a foil square and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in the foil. Roast for 40-45 min.  Remove from the oven and cool. The roasted garlic will be caramelized and soft.
Garlicky Roasted Broccoli: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a blender or food processor, puree 6 cloves roasted garlic with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 tsp soy sauce. Add more garlic to taste. Chop up one large head of broccoli ( 4 cups) and drizzle with 3 tbsp of the garlic oil. Toss to coat in a bowl. Spread the broccoli onto a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with red pepper and salt to taste. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is fork tender and quite brown and crispy in spots. 15 to 18 min.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #3

6-28-16

Large shares: baby lettuces, scallions, mustard greens, 2 fresh garlic, chard, summer squash, cilantro, radishes, 1 pint strawberries

Small shares: lettuce, fresh garlic, summer squash, cilantro, radishes, beets, kohlrabi

Dear CSA members,

We have had a very interesting week to say the least! Last week it was the hail damage and tractors pooping out. But that is nothing compared to the events of last Tuesday evening/Wednesday. An armed felon in a stolen pickup was chased by 3 police through our and neighboring fields that night. At times they were nearly airborne and at other times they were snapping off irrigation hydrants while weaving in and out of crop rows. Several fence lines later he was caught in a pasture down the way. His truck and at least one police vehicle were totaled. Following the tracks over crushed cabbage and Walla Wallas made for an exciting and somewhat dumbstruck morning. We lost some infrastucture, some supplies and some crops but we are getting it figured out now.

New this week is freshly harvested garlic! You can use it just like cured garlic, but it is more tender and slightly more mild. This garlic wont keep well as it is green and fresh and has lots of moisture so you will need to use it up. It is very beautiful and fresh so hopefully this will not be a problem for you!

Mustard greens are delicate and peppery, but less bitter than kale and collards. You can use them sauteed, in fried rice, in soups , and as a minor addition to salads. See recipe below.

Last call for strawberries!(Large shares)

Next week, keep an eye out for fresh French Lavender, maybe Cauliflower and pearl onions too!?

Enjoy the fresh veg,

 

Asha

 

 

 

Ginger Scallion Sauce: 2 1/2 cups thinnly sliced scallions (greens and tops), 1/2 cup finely minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil, 1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce, 3/4 tp sherry vinegar or mirin, 3/4 tsp kosher salt. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Add additional salt if needed. Excellent with soba noodles, in miso soup, with chicken etc.

Mustard Greens: In a large saute pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute 1 1/2 cusp thinnly sliced onions, over medium heat until the onions start to caramelize and brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced fresh garlic and coook a minute more. Add in 1 lb mustard greens that have been washed and torn into large peices, and 2 to 3 tbsp chicken broth and cook until the greens are barely wilted. Toss with 1/4 tsp sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Fresh garlic toasts: Heat the broiler, place crusty slices on bread on a baking sheet and broil them, flipping halfway through the cooking time until golden brown on both sides, keep warm. In a bowl stir together 1 stick softened butter, 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, 2 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic, 1 tbsp minced chives, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and a pinch of red chile flakes if desired. Spread the toasts with the butter mixture. Broil again for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Zuchinni Oven Chips: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp finely chopped green garlic, 1/8 tsp black pepper and mox together in a bowl. Place 1 cup milk in a shallow bowl. Slice 2 summer squash into 1/4 inch thick slices. Drip slices into milk and then coat with the crumb mixture. Place on an oiled baking rack that is set over a baking sheet. Bake for 30 min or unitl browned and crisp.

Baby lettuces with goat-cheese dressing, pistachios, and pink peppercorns: for the dressing: in a food processor puree 4 oz goat cheese, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey and 1 tsp salt until smooth. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use. Divide up 4 cups of lettuce leaves amongst 4 salad plates. Drizzle each serving with ¼ of the dressing and sprinkle with roasted and salted pistachios, fresh tarragon leaves, and coarsely crushed pink peppercorns. Serves 4. (From May 2013 issue of Country Living Magazine)

Nori Radish Toasts: Slice a 12 in. section of baguette in half length-wise, cut into 2-in. pieces, and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on edges. Using scissors, snip 1 large sheet toasted nori into bits, then pulverize in a spice grinder. Mix nori powder with about 5 tbsp butter; smear thickly onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radishes and radish greens. (daikon would work great). (from the November 2011 issue of SunsetMagazine).

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #2

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6-21-16

Large shares: carrots, beets, butterhead lettuce, garlic scapes, summer squash, scallions, cilantro, 2 pints strawberries

Small shares: carrots, chard, baby lettuce, garlic scapes, summer squash, cilantro

 

Dear CSA members,

Happy summer solstice! We enjoyed our longest day of the year and the full strawberry moon on the farm yesterday. It is fitting that we still have strawberries to give our large shares this week! The summer solstice and our 16 1/2 hour long days mark the peak of vegetative growth for most plants for the season, from here on out the shortening days will initiate flowering, fruiting and reproduction.

For us farmers, June is also an incredibly busy time, days are so long that it is easy to just keep working and suddenly we realize its like 930 pm! We must balance growing Spring crops, weeding, sowing summer crop successions (beans, corn, lettuce etc) , watering, trellising tomatoes and beginning to seed all our fall brassicas (kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower etc), chicories (raddicchio etc) and root crops (carrots, parsnips, storage beets etc) so that we have them in October, November and December. Not to mention our CSA deliveries begin and markets start up so we can sell all this gorgeous food.

We’ve had a few set backs this week. Last Tuesday’s hail storm has cause some damage to crops and you may notice some pock marks on the summer squash and greens. Looking everything over we have decided that the damage is mostly cosmetic and shouldn’t effect the flavor or storageability of the food. So we are sorry that things aren’t 100% up to our quality standards, but again, we felt like it is all still good food and can be utilized.

Also, our big tractor the David Brown 996 ( 1970’s era) needs a rebuilt engine this week! Joseph was able to do a last round of tilling to get some beds ready for transplants before it completely went kaput last night. We are also down our old Ford 8n due to a steering column rebuild. We’re not sure how long they will be out of commission but we will certainly be hoping for the best.

If you would like to join our Wobbly Cart Farm CSA facebook group email me at info@wobblycart.com and I will send you the link.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Strawberry and Cornmeal Crostatas: Whirl 2 1/4 cups of flour, 2 tbsp medium grind cornmeal, 5 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 3/4 tsp kosher salt in a food processor to blend. Add 1 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp cold unsalted butter to bowl and freeze 20 minutes. Pulse until butter is a little smaller than pea size. Add 1/4 cup ice water and pulse until evenly distributed; the mixture will look dry. Pour ingredients onto a work surface. Press and squeeze with hands untl dough holds together. Flatten into a 6 in disk , wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator 1 hour. Set out 12 4 in. flan molds or tart pans, preferably nonstick. Butter and flour pans if they are not non stick. Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough a bit bigger than a 12 x 16 in rectangle, lifting and reflouring as needed to prevent sticking. Cut 12 even 4 in squares. Gently set each square onto a flan or tart pan. Set pans on 2 rimmed baking sheets. If needed, chill until dough is cool but still flexible, 5 min. In a medium bowl gently combine 3 pints hulled and halved lengthwise strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar. Let stand until sugar looks wet but before syrup starts to pool, stirring occasionally, 5 min. Scoop 1/3 cup strawberries onto each dough square. Fold dough corners over berries by 1/2 to 1 in. Brush corners with milk and sprinkle lighty with sugar. Bake crostatas until pastry is deep golden brown and crisp, about 35 minutes, switching pans halfway through. Set baking sheets on a rack and let crostatas stand until just cool enough to touch, 10 min. Loosen crusts from pans with a knife. Carefully invert each pastry onto your hand, then set right side up on a plate. Serve warm or cool with whipped cream. ( from July 2016 issue of Sunset)

Swiss Chard Quesadillas: Wash but do not dry 1 bunch of chard. Cut off the stems and slice them 1/4 inch thick; cut the leaves into 1/4 inch ribbons. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely chopped scallion and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 3 min. Add the chard stems and cook, stirring often, until they are tender but retain a slight bite, 6 to 8 min. Add the leaves and cook, stirring, until they wilt and become quite tender, 3 to 5 min. For each quesadilla, spread 1 tbsp sour cream on a flour tortilla. Top with 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese, 1/4 of the chard mixture, and 1/4 cup Cotija. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, and a dash of hot sauce. Squeeze lime juice over the top. Fold the tortilla in half to enclose the filling. Brush a large skillet with vegetabl oil and placeover medium heat. Place the quesadilla in the pan and cook, turning once, until the tortilla is golden on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas.

Garlic Scape Pesto: Place 8 10 inch long garlic scapes in a food processor and chop into small peices. Sdd 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup shelled walnuts, zest and juice of one large lemon. Process into a rough paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the blade running, slowly drizzle in 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil. Process unil the oil is thoroughly incorporated and the pesto is fairly smooth, about 30 seconds. Season with seas salt to taste.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #4

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“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” -Robert Louis Stevenson  

 

Large shares: French lavender, lettuce, cucumber, purplette onions, carrots, Italian parsley, red cabbage, chard, shell peas

Small shares: French lavender, Italian parsley, scallions, fresh garlic, red cabbage, summer squash

 

7/7/15

Dear CSA members,

Thank goodness for cooler temperatures! Today is forecast to be dry and sunny, but only 81 degrees. After such a long stretch in the high nineties I feel we are justified in breathing a sigh of relief. I for one, who works often in the greenhouses, have been rising at 430 to work until noon or one and beat the very hottest part of the day. In my propagation house, temperatures have been up to 120 degrees by the afternoon, and that is just too hot. I am familiar with the nausea and headache that comes along with working for more than a few minutes in that kind of heat, and know when to say when! I have also been sneaking out around 730 or 8pm to work until dark to finish up tasks that are still to be done.

The quote by RLS is apt this week: as our work, watering, weeding, and harvest are seemingly endless each day. But there are yet so many seeds to plant! All the fall and winter crops we will be enjoying later in the cold dark months must be planted in July and early August. If we miss this time before the days shorten noticeably the plants are unlikely to size up to a marketable size. I have been trying to keep my head down and get the planting done, and not get too distracted by those ripening peppers, green beans, and cherry tomatoes!

We are almost done harvesting the garlic crop and have some really nice hard neck heads for the small shares. Hard neck garlics have a hard stalk in the center, usually have larger, easier to peel cloves, and a spicier more “garlicky” flavor. Hard neck garlic grows better in colder winter climates whereas the softneck garlic you received last week can tolerate warmer winter temperatures. We are luck in the PNW to be able to grow both types successfully! The soft neck garlic is nice for making garlic braids, has more cloves per head though they are often smaller and harder to peel, and has a lighter more vegetal flavor. For both varieties the flavor will intensify the longer the garlic “cures” after harvest.

Look in the next few weeks to see a transition from peas to green beans, to see pearl and sweet onions, cherry tomatoes, new potatoes and basil. Yum!

Thank you all,

 

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

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.

 

Chard and Penne Soup: This recipe was shared by CSA member Lois Long. Thanks Lois!

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic (I used about half of the garlic scapes we received instead)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bunch chard

3 Tbsp olive oil

6 cups vegetable broth

3 cups water

1 cup tubular pasta (I used cellentani)

15 oz can white navy beans (or other white  beans of your choice), drained

1/4 tsp fennel seed

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

To taste:  Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

 

Cut the stems of the chard into about 1″ pieces.

Chop the garlic scapes and the onion (about a medium chop)

Heal oil in frying pan. Add garlic, onion and chard stems. Cook until soft, about 15 minutes.

Put stock and water in soup pot,  bring to boil. Add pasta and cook for about 5 minutes.

 

In the meantime, roll chard leaves and cut into about 1″ strips.

 

Add contents of frying pan to soup pot along with chard leaves, beans and seasonings.

 

Bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes, until pasta is tender.

 

Keep warm until ready to serve. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

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The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it, we have no community, because without proper care for it we have no life.

-Wendell Berry

6-30-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #3

Large Shares: broccoli, fennel, lettuce, scallions, kohlrabi, sugar snap peas, radishes, garlic, zucchini, French lavender

Small Shares: broccoli, fennel, lettuce, radishes, shell peas, garlic

 

Dear CSA members,

A quick walk around the farm recently, got me thinking about a few things this week. One, the summer crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash are going to come on early this year and be very abundant. Two, I feel great full to live in a river valley with such deep and fertile soil and abundant water. Our soil is primarily loam and clay loam, so it holds nutrients, organic matter, and water exceptionally well. We certainly farm in a manner that is respectful to our soil by not tilling and plowing when the soil is too wet or too dry, cover cropping with rye, vetch and clover in winter and buckwheat in summer where ever there is barren ground, and then incorporating those cover crops back into the soil to add nutrients and organic matter that we may remove by growing crops.

However, we also feel that by continuously cropping the 10 acres that we have access to we are likely doing our soil a disservice. We do rotate the crops that we grow so that no crop is ever repeated on the same ground within 3 to 4 years’ time, but as we know from experience all ground needs fallow time to recover from our invasive methods of tilling, fertilizing, planting and harvesting. Ideally, within the next couple of years we would hope to be leasing another 10 acres or so, to ensure our sustainability as a diverse organic vegetable operation. And also to give proper respect to our soil!

The health of our soil is certainly reflected in the vitality of our crops this week! We have gorgeous heads of broccoli, crispy fresh lettuce, the last of the radishes for the summer, and the first of the garlic bulbs! New this week we have bulb fennel. Fennel is in the carrot family and is closely related to carrots, parsley, and dill. The crunchy white bulb, as well as the stalks and fronds are edible and are often found in Mediterranean cuisine. I have served fennel in salads, braised, roasted, and au gratin just to name a few ways! The flavor is reminiscent of anise or licorice, but mellows with cooking.

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

Have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Caramelized Fennel: Wash and trim a large bulb of fennel, removing the root and stems. Slice diagonally as you would an onion into thin slices. Discard any tough core if present. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add fennel and ¼ cup chopped onion. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until fennel softens. Add 1 tsp sugar and ½ tsp kosher salt and continue to cook until fennel is caramelized and tender about 7 to 10 more minutes.

Honey Lavender Butter: This butter is so great on scones, toast, muffins, or coffeecakes.  1 stick softened butter, 4 tsp. dried lavender (pulsed or chopped), 4 tsp. honey. Mix together and enjoy!

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

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

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

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

Garlicy Roasted Broccoli: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a blender puree 6 large cloves garlic with ½ cup olive oil and ¼ tsp soy sauce. Chop one large head of broccoli into florets, peel and chop the stems too. Place the broccoli in a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tbsp. of the garlic oil. Toss until the florets are well coated. Spread the broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is fork tender and quite

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #1

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6-16-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #1

 

Large shares: strawberries, garlic scapes, scallions, chard, dill, broccoli, snow peas, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and radishes

Small shares: strawberries, garlic scapes, chard, dill, carrots, sugar snap peas, crisp head lettuce, and radishes

 

Dear CSA members,

Let the harvest season begin! Here we are at the first week of CSA deliveries for 2015. We want to first recognize and THANK you all for your support this spring. As you know by signing up for a CSA you are investing your food dollars in a small, local, organic, farm. By providing us with upfront money to keep the farm and our 10 employees going in the late winter and early spring when we don’t have produce to sell, you truly help sustain our business. Now it’s our turn to return the favor with all the fresh organic goodness that we spend so much time, care and energy producing for you!

It has been a warm, dry and busy spring here at Wobbly Cart. Days have been long and hot, more like August than June. This unseasonably warm and dry weather has been pushing our crops ahead of normal, which is great, IF we can keep up with the irrigation and demanding harvest schedule. Which can hard when the staff and infrastructure aren’t quite at August levels yet! Luckily we have hired several new crew members this week, and are rolling out a lot of brand new drip irrigation to help keep up with the watering.

I am very pleased that the early onset of strawberry harvest was not mutually exclusive with CSA receiving a taste of our small strawberry plot! We don’t dedicate a lot of land to strawberry production, and mainly have them around to add fruit variety to our CSA boxes. I was worried that they were going to come on early and be done before we had enough produce to begin CSA. It all worked out pretty well, as the Monday morning picking was bigger than expected!

Some of you who are to the world of CSA and/or local, seasonal eating may not be familiar with the garlic scapes that are in this week’s box. Garlic scapes are the elegant goose necked flower stalks of the garlic plant. They emerge this time of year as the garlic matures and it is best for the final product of the bulb if we snap them off. As an added bonus they are delicious to eat and can be chopped and used just like garlic in any recipe, blended up into a pesto, braised whole and much more. They keep for a long time in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator so no need to worry about using them up right away.

Speaking of using things up, we thought we would share some suggestions for using up the produce in your CSA box each week. Amazingly, one of the biggest complaints (and there are very few complaints) we get from CSA customers is that it is difficult to use up all the produce from week to week! We all know that eating more organic fresh produce is certainly in accords with living a long healthy life, so it’s great we have all taken a first step in getting there, by joining a CSA!

Next, be creative and inspired. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Cook at home with our recipe suggestions, or check out new cookbooks and food blogs. We will try to make suggestions for good books and other resources throughout the season. Sautee vegetables with your eggs in the morning, make a green juice or smoothie, have a salad for lunch! If you have time to prepare a lunch for yourself the night before to take to work, you can avoid eating out in restaurants and use up more of your vegetables

You might be surprised with how your tastes change when you get a weekly (and daily) dose of ultra fresh organic vegetables. Suddenly over processed and fast foods don’t taste so great any more… you can really taste the excessive salt, sugar, and artificial additives. I also find my kids will quickly devour our farm fresh produce while shun grocery store stuff. It works well for me to set out a snack tray with fresh carrots, radishes, snap peas etc. and allow them to graze on it throughout the day. I am actually amazed at how quickly a large share disappears in our house of four! As well as how much the grocery bill goes down once the harvest season begins again.

We would love to have you all share ideas, storage tips and recipes with us, as well successes and failures you’ve had with the produce you have received. It would be nice to have a lively discussion with interested CSA members and also get new ideas for good recipes to try! Maybe a face book CSA group would be the way to accomplish this dialogue? I will work on setting one up this week for us all to share on!

Thank you so much and have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

Garlic-braised broccoli: Bring 4 qts of water to the boil in a stockpot, and add 11/2 tsp of salt. Cut 1 lb of broccoli into 1-inch pieces (stems peeled if desired). Add to the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes, then drain and cool slightly. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the broccoli. Heat in a large skillet over medium heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, add: 1 thinly sliced garlic scape, and 1 small red chile pepper if desired. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove and discard the chile. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. (Serves 4). (Adapted from the Joy of Cooking.)

 

Roasted Garlic Scapes: Preheat oven to 350. Rinse scapes and pat dry. Cut into smaller pieces of desired size, or leave whole, and place in a 9×13-roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with good sea salt. Optional: add cracked pepper or other herbs/spices. Roast for 24-35 minutes, until softened, browned and just slightly crispy to your liking. Remove from oven and enjoy hot or chilled.

Brown Sugar Strawberry Tart: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor whirl 1-cup flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1/8 tsp salt. Add ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, and ½ tsp vanilla and pulse until fine crumbs form and dough just begins to come together. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 -inch round tart pan with a removable rim. Bake until the edges are golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then gently push tart crust from pan rim; set on a plate. In a bowl with a mixer on high speed, beat ½ cup crème fraiche, ½ cup whipped cream, 2 tbsp sugar and ½ tsp vanilla until thick. Spread in the cooled crust. Arrange 12oz of hulled and sliced fresh strawberries in circles on top. Chill loosely covered, up to 4 hours and serve. (From the April 2010 issue of Sunset Magazine.)

 

Simple Stir Fried Snow Peas: rinse and trim ends from 8 to 10 oz of snow peas. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok, over medium high heat. When oil is hot add several tbsp chopped garlic scapes or to taste. Stir-fry briefly, and then add snow peas and ¼ tsp salt. Stir-fry briefly then add 1 to 2 tbsp soy sauce or to taste. Stir-fry for another minute and then serve over rice. (Total stir-frying time is 2 minutes).

 

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar: 30 minutes to an hour before serving; thickly slice 2 pints of fresh strawberries, add 2 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Set aside at room temperature. When ready to serve place a serving of strawberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Top with freshly grated lemon zest. Serves 4.

 

Baby lettuces with goat-cheese dressing, pistachios, and pink peppercorns: for the dressing: in a food processor puree 4 oz goat cheese, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey and 1 tsp salt until smooth. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use. Divide up 4 cups of lettuce leaves amongst 4 salad plates. Drizzle each serving with ¼ of the dressing and sprinkle with roasted and salted pistachios, fresh tarragon leaves, and coarsely crushed pink peppercorns. Serves 4. (From May 2013 issue of Country Living Magazine)