Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 6

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7-17-18

Large shares: Cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, purplette onions, shell peas, lettuce, fennel, summer squash/zuchinni, fresh garlic, dill

Small shares: green cabbage, beets, kohlrabi, snap peas, summer squash/zuchinni, lettuce, dill

Greens shares: green cabbage, lettuce, chard

Roots shares: carrots, fennel, purplette onions

Juicing share: carrot 2nds, red cabbage, chard, dill, fennel

 

Dear CSA members,

Well, we survived some pretty intense heat these last couple of days. Highs have been in the high nineties – and on the ground in the open field and inside the greenhouses it is much hotter than that.  I’m guessing 105 degrees or more. Yikes! The crew gets a shout out for working a very long day yesterday. That intense afternoon heat really takes it out of you. I am hoping for cooler temps in the next week.

We have harvested our first cauliflower of the year. It looks pretty nice though a bit smaller than usual for us. Next week the small shares should get cauliflower.

Bulb fennel is the large white bulb with abundant green fronds. From the same family as as the herb and seed of the same name, bulb fennel has an assertive anise like flavor, and is excellent shaved fresh into salads and roasted until caramelized. The fronds can be used in salads and as a garnish.

Purple Kohlrabi is part of the Cruciferous family of vegetables, scientifically known as Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes. The word ‘Kohlrabi’ comes from the Germanic words for cabbage, ‘kohl’, and turnip, ‘rabi’. It was given its name for the close resemblance to both a cabbage, and a turnip, with its bulbous stem sitting on top of the ground. To eat you must peel off the slightly tough outer skin in order to enjoy the crisp sweet interior that is best eaten raw in slices with a dip or grated into a salad.

Summer squash is coming on strong with the heat. We harvested many hundreds of pounds yesterday. I tried to give everyone a generous portion without going overboard.

Peas are on their way out with this heat. We should have greeen beans soon though!

I have been seeing ripe cherry tomatoes as well of hints of color on the large tomatoes. The heat and warm nights is helping kick them into ripening mode.

The next month we will be entering into the peak of summer crops. Compsing the harvest list is so much fun this time of year and you can expect your shares to get a bit larger!

Have a great week,

 

Asha

Creamy Cauliflower Soup: In a soup pot saute in olive oil for 5 minutes: 1 chopped Walla Walla onion, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 large head cauliflower that has been broken into florets, 3 to 4 medium potatoes, cubed, 3 chopped carrots, 1 tsp caraway seeds. Simmer the veggies in just enough water to cover them, and cook until soft.  Puree the mixture until smooth. Return to the soup pot and add 1 cup milk, 2 cups grated sharp cheddar, salt to taste, and several tbsp chopped fresh dill. simmer very gently for 5 to 10 min more. Serve with toasted sourdough rye. (adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)

Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break 1 2 lb head of cauliflower into bite sized peices. Toss the cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp kosher salt and 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Pickled Cabbage: Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Core a cabbage and chop into large pieces, you will need about 4 cups. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, then drain in a colander. Let cool to room temperature. When cool enough to handle squeeze leaves to soften them and release some water. Meanwhile, combine3/4 cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar, and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar, and pour into a bowl to cool. When cool, add the cabbage and toss to coat well. Pour all of this into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for 2 days, turning the jar occasionally to coat all the leaves with the brine. Serve cold.

Cauliflower and Potato Curry: Cook for 5 min in a saucepan of boiling water 1 2 to 3 lb cauliflower, cut into florets. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Add to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes: 2 medium potatoes (or equivalent ) that have been cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain well again; transfer to the bowl of cauliflower. Process in a food processor until minced: 1 large tart apple ( peeled, cored and sliced) 3 large garlic cloves, 1 2 inch peice of freh ginger, peeled and sliced, 2 hot chile peppers such as jalapeno (seeded and sliced). Then heat a large dutch oven over medium heat; 1/4 cup vegetable oil or ghee, add 2 medium coarsely chopped onions,  add the apple mixture and cook, stirring, until the onions are softened and starting to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add: 2 tbsp curry powder, 1 tbsp all purpose flour. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes to lightly brown the curry powder and flour. Add: 1 14 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock, 1 tsp salt. Bring to gently boil over medium heat, then add the cauliflower and potatoes and add 1 16 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in, cover and cook until wilted 10 to 12 oz washed and chopped greens such as spinach, chard, turnip greens or kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked rice.

Beet salad: Scrub 2 to 3 large beets, place in a large pot and cover with water; boil until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, add 2 thinly sliced purplette onions to a medium sized bowl. Combine together in a saucepan ½ tsp ground cardamom, ½ cup red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp agave nectar, and 3 tsp salt; bring to a boil and pour over the onions. When the beets are cooked, strain them and allow to cool. Slice off the tops and tails and use your hands to slide off the peels and discard. Slice the whole beets into rounds, sticks or cubes, and place in a large serving bowl. Add the pickled onions, ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, a handful of golden raisins, and a handful of arugula or dandelion greens. Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste, toss and serve. (above recipes from the Olympia Food Co-op)

Lemony Fennel and Radish Salad: Wash 1 bunch of radishes and remove the green. Zest ½ of a lemon, and juice the whole thing. Put the zest in a salad bowl and toss with 3 thinly sliced scallions. Trim a fennel bulb and slice as thinly as possible. Quarter the radishes, and toss both with the lemon zest and scallions. Add the lemon juice and 5 tbsp olive oil and toss with salt and pepper to taste.

Honey Balsamic Beet Salad: place 2 lbs trimmed and scrubbed baby beets in a baking pan. Combine ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp olive oil; pour over the beets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. On a platter combine ½ cups cooked quinoa, 2 cups watercress or arugula, and the beets and roasting juices. Top with chopped fresh tarragon.(from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine November 2012)

Cabbage with dill and fresh peas: chop one small onion into half moons, heat 1 tbsp butter in a medium saute pan. Add in onions and a pinch of sea salt, allow to cook 4 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in 8 cups shredded cabbage and another pinch of sea salt. Stir throughly to combine. Allow to cook for 6 to 8 minutes before adding in 1 cup fresh shell peas or snap peas with stems and strings removed. Cook another 5 to 8 minutes or until peas are cooked through and cabbage is wilted and a little browned. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted fennel with Parmesan: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9 x 13 inch pan. Chop 2 large fennel bulbs into 1/3 inch slices and reserve some of the fronds. Place fennel bulb slices into the pan and cover with salt and pepper to taste, 4 tbsp olive oil, and 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Roast until tender and golden brown about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to make about 2 tbsp and sprinkle over the roaste

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 5

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7-10-18

Large shares: French lavender, Italian parsley, lettuce, purplette onions, beets, snow peas, kohlrabi, summer squash

Small shares: French lavender, Italian parsley, purplette onions, carrots, shell peas

Greens share: turnips, lacinato kale, lettuce

Roots share: beets, carrots, turnips

Juicing share: green cabbage, carrot 2nds, beet 2nds, Italian parsley, lacinato kale

 

Hello everyone,

It has been a very busy start to our week at Wobbly Cart. We have been putting in some long hours as things are starting to ramp up a notch around here. We begin the add-on shares this week and also start twice weekly deliveries to our wholesale customers.

If you ordered an odd on share or juicing share you will find them at your dropsite in a separate box labeled with your name. Greens shares have a green dot, roots shares a red dot, and the juicing shares will have a blue dot.

Out in the fields the shell pea planting is coming on, garlic is almost all harvested and I saw and tasted ripening cherry tomatoes in the green house as well as the field! Also, the potatoes are flowering which means new potatoes in the near future.

I had the pleasure of harvesting the lavender rows yesterday! It is always one of my favorite jobs of the year to harvest and bunch the wonderfully fragrant flowers. These plants are over 6 years old and it is hard to believe- still producing!

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!

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.

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.

Kohlrabi: this bulbous member of the same family as broccoli and cabbage is amazingly delicious when peeled. The inside is very tender, sweet and crisp. You can eat raw, grate it into a salad or slaw or saute with olive oil and garlic. greens are also edible and are good sauteed. You should separate the greens and store the root for a week or more, and greens for a couple of days.

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.

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)

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.

Kohlrabi Home Fries: Peel 1 ½ to 2 lbs kohlrabi and cut into thick sticks, about 1/3 to ½ inch wide and about 2 inches long. Heat 2 to 4 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil over med-high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is the best). Meanwhile, place 1 tbsp rice, chickpea or semolina flour in a large bowl, season with salt to taste and quickly toss the kohlrabi slices in the flour so that they are lightly coated. When the oil in rippling, carefully add the kohlrabi to the pan in batches so that the pan isn’t crowded. Cook on one side until browned. About 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the pieces over to brown on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The procedure should only take about 5 minutes if there is enough oil in the pan. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle right away with the seasoning of your choice ( chili powder, curry powder, cumin or paprika). Very satisfying and healthy! (from NY times).

Summer Squash, white bean, and pesto soup:

Saute chopped onion and cubed summer squash in olive oil with salt and pepper until tender. Add chicken or vegetable broth, drained and rinsed canned white beans, and chopped fresh oregano and parsley. Bring to simmer. Top with a dollop of homemade pesto.

Lavender Tea Cookies: Ahead of time: prepare lavender frosting and set aside: combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers, let sit for 1 day, then strain out the flowers and combine the powdered sugar with 2 tbsp milk, and 2 tsp corn syrup. Set the frosting aside. Then, with a mortar and pestle grind 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers. In a medium bowl cream together 1 cup butter at room temp, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp lemon extract. Add 2 cups flour and 1/8 tsp salt. Mix until combined. Dough should be together, but not sticky. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from frig. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from pan and cool on wire cooling racks. When cool frost with lavender frosting. Makes 2 dozen.  (from whatscookingamerica.net)

 

Roasted Beet Crostini: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim greens from 1 bunch beets, reserving stems and greens. Place beets in a baking pan, cover with foil, and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on size of beets, uncover and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350. While beets cool, arrange 16 ½ inch slices of baguette in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, turning slices over once halfway through, until toasted but not browned, about 14 minutes. Thinly slice beet green stems and finely chop leaves; keep stems and leaves separate. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add greens, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp water and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender and liquid had evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in ¼ tsp salt and remove from heat. Peel cooled beets and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place ¾ cup beet pieces, 4 oz creamy goat cheese and ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth (reserve remaining beets for another use).  To assemble crostini, spread about 2 tsp beet-cheese spread on each slice of toasted baguette and top with sautéed greens. (lifescript.com)

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 7

 

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8-8-17

 

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

 

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

 

Greens shares: Arugula, romaine lettuce, mustard greens

 

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

 

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

 

Dear CSA members,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Another new item for the large shares is the lemon cucumbers. These small, light yellow, lemon shaped (but not flavored) cucumbers are an heirloom variety. They are tender and thin- skinned and have a nice small serving size.

 

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

 

Everyone received Arugula this week. Arugula is an aromatic salad green often found in Italian cuisine. It has a peppery and nutty flavor and is quite delicate, use it up as soon as possible!

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Kale Caesar Salad: Preheat oven to 300. For croutons, mince 2 garlic cloves, in a medium saucepan warm ¼ cup olive oil and the minced garlic over low heat; remove. Add 4 cups bread cubed into 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Stir to coat. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely. Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a blender combine 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup olive oil, 6 anchovy filets, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 egg yolks. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove stems from 3 large bunches of lacinato kale and thinly slice the leaves. Add the dressing, and using your hands work the dressing into the kale. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and top with croutons.

 

Arugula Pesto: in a food processor combine, ½ cup walnuts, 1 large garlic clove, 2 cups packed arugula leaves, ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup olive oil and kosher salt to taste. Puree until smooth. You can also cut back the arugula and substitute in some basil leaves. From epicurious.com

 

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

 

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

 

Pesto Potato Salad 

4 pounds fingerling potatoes, quartered

1 pound green beans, cut into one-inch segments

1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled

2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)

1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

¨6 tablespoons (or more to taste)

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

1/4 cup chopped green scallions

1/2 cup pine nuts toasted

Parmesan cheese to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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

 

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

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 8

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8-2-16

Large shares: cucumbers, summer squash, Yukon Gem new potatoes, Purplette onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, shell peas, fresh basil

Small shares: cucumber, beets, carrots, shell peas, purplette onion, garlic, kohlrabi, fresh basil

 

Dear CSA members,

August is here!

Here we are in the time of the season when the boxes and crates just seem to get heavier and heavier. As farmers, our bodies begin to feel the weight of all the work as well around this time of year. I have learned the importance of self preservation in this profession as heavy lifing and repetitive motions start to take their toll on the finite resource of the body. Anything we can do to make our work more efficient and reduce lifting and moving things by hand really makes a difference over the long run.

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

We have also recently participated in a bird survey called WSU Avian Biodiversity: Impacts, Risks And Descriptive Survey. The ornitoligists that came out were really impressed with the diversity of species found in our fields as well as the grassland habitat the fallow areas of the farm provided. She said “This survey I observed very high densities of birds in the crop areas including song sparrows, American robins, killdeer, American goldfinches, barn swallows, violet-green swallows (my favorite swallows!), Wilson’s warblers, Western bluebirds, and Savannah sparrows. I’m not sure I’ve observed such a wide range of species in the row crops in one field.” It’s nice to know we are able to provide habitat/refuge for bird species that may have increasing difficulty finding food sources as our area becomes more densly populated.

This week we have several new crops for you to enjoy, cucumbers, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes and Yukon gem potatoes for the large share. I reccommend using the basil up asap and avoid putting it in the refrigerator as it has a tendenc to turn black with the cold. Yukon gem is a new variety of potato for us, it was actually shipped to us by mistake. The Yukon gem is very similar to it’s parent Yukon Gold with smooth tan skin and dense, buttery yellow flesh for baking, boiling and frying. But it has the added bonus of having pretty pink splashes of color around the eyes!

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!

I also wanted to let you know: our neighbors at August Farm have pork shares available for their August harvest. Order a half or whole pig now before they’re gone and stock your freezer with delicious, pasture raised pork. Their pigs are hand raised on pasture and fed locally grown, Non-GMO grains. You can find out more information and place an order at www.august-farm.com.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

 

Algerian Carrot Salad: Thinly slice 2 lbs fresh carrots. Put the carrots and enough water to cover by 2 inches in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over mediums-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve until ready to use. Heat 2 tbsp of walnut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 medium choppedonion, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved carrots and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring often. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing in a small bowl; whisk together ¼ cup walnut oil, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1/8 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley until well blended. Combine the carrot mixture, dressing and 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates in a serving bowl, toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once or let cool to room temperature and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings. From Cooking in Cast Iron.

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

 

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

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

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

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

Serves 4.

 

Pistou: 

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

3 garlic cloves

sea salt

2 cups basil leaves

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

To make the pistou, pound the pine nuts and garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar. Add a few basil leaves and continue to pound. Alternating basil and olive oil, continue pounding until a smoothing past is achieved. Stir in any remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Makes about one cup. From thecooksatelier.com

Cucumber Lime Guacamole: chop 1 ½ cups seeded cucumbers. Place cucumbers in a colander, sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, toss to coat. Let stand for 1 hour. Pat cucumbers dry with paper towels. Transfer to a medium bowl. Chop 2 medium pitted and peeled avocados, and mash 2 more. Add the avocado, 2 thinly sliced scallion, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, and 3 tbsp lime juice to cucumbers; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3 cups Rose’ Cucumber Cooler: combine 1 bottle dry rose’ wine, 1 cup St Germain elderflower liqueur , ½ cup lemon juice, 1 thinly sliced lemon, and about 6 inches of a cucumber also thinly sliced.