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.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 9

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8-9-16

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

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

Dear CSA members,

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

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

This week we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near our barn. Each year this tree produces enormous crops of these delicious plums and we get to share them with you! Italian plums are dark purple plums with a slight powdery blush to them. Their flavor is slightly sweet and sour and is excellent for fresh eating, baking, drying and canning. We tried to harvest a range of ripenesses so you wouldn’t have to immediately use them up. They do ripen off the tree so you may have a couple of days on the lighter colored plums. We also have lemon cucumbers for the large share. These yellow round cucumbers are an heirloom variety with a thin yellow skin and a mild flavor (they do not actually taste like lemon though!). Store and use them as you would a regular cucumber.

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

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

Have a great week,

Asha

 

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

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

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

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

Marinated plums over pound cake: mix sliced plums with equal splashes of pomegranate molasses and brandy and a sprinkle of sugar. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Spoon onto grilled or toasted pound cake. Top with whipped cream and sliced almonds. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

Fleur’s Summer Plum Cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Blend 2 eggs, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ lb sweet butter, softened, 1 tsp vanilla in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add 1 cup flour and 1 tsp baking powder and stir by hand until just combined. Transfer the batter to a greased square baking pan. Place 20 plums that have been split in half and pitted into the batter on their sides, sleeping close together in rows (our plums are kind of big, so I would recommend slicing into smaller pieces). Combine ¼ cup sugar and ½ to 1 tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the batter and plums. Bake for 40 minutes. Do not over bake. Serve warm with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #5

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7-12-16

Large shares: Carrots, Shell peas, Purplette onions, Green cabbage, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Fresh garlic, Eggplant, French Lavender

Small shares: Carrots, Snow or Shell peas, Purplette onions, Green cabbage, Kohlrabi, Lettuce 

Dear CSA members,

Well, its a little bit cool and cloudy around here! It has been a sharp contrast to last summers intense heat and drought. I’m ok with it, it kind of feels back to normal, and it is much easier to do manual labor when it is 60 -70 degrees than when it is 90 – 100. Normally,  this kind of weather usually leaves us after the 4th of July but this year it seems to be sticking around. But hey, this weater is great for cabbage, and we have some ginormous cabbages this week!

 

We completed the epic garlic harvest this week and hauled it all to our big barn to dry. We have all the varieties laid out with fans blowing on them to circulate the air and allow the heads to cure for storage.

Despite the cool damp weather I have caught sight of some ripening in the tomato patch and we have a first round of adorable little eggplants ready for the large shares this week! We will also almost definetly have new potatoes next week, who hoo!

We finally have peas for you! The first two plantings this year sustained heavy damage at seeding time from a pest called the “seedcorn maggot”. So there has been some delay in getting them to you but we are into the third planting now and things are looking good. I think we are on the produce upswing at this point and making the harvest lists will get lot more fun and exciting because we will have alot more variety to choose from.

Shell peas are the large, long, thick pods. You break these open to reveal the tiny little peas inside ( the pods are not edible). 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! The small shares will receive either ½ lb of snow peas or a lb of shell peas, we came up a bit short in the harvest .The snow peas are the large flat pods. Snow peas are excellent for stir- fries and salads, you just snap off the stem end and pull the string to prepare. Farm fresh peas are one of the great benefits of buying local and farm direct, these are specialty items that you just can’t find outside of CSA or Farmers Markets.

 

This time of year we are also completing our last rounds of seeding and transplanting for the fall crops such as cabbages, rutabaga, broccoli, chicory, fall carrots. Once we are done with planting we can fully turn our attention to cultivating, harvesting and selling produce.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

 

Joie de vivre Lavender Infused Carrot Ginger Soup: Soak ½ cup lavender in ½ c. warm water for 15 minutes. Strain well, discard flowers and place water in a blender. Add 3 1/2 cups fresh carrot juice, ½ c macadamia nuts, ¼ cup avocado, mashed, 2 tbsp fresh ginger, juiced, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Add ½ tsp fresh dill, a pinch cayenne pepper, sea salt to taste, and black pepper ground to taste. Garnish with grated carrots, beets, zucchini, jicama or radishes. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

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.

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)

Fresh Pea Salad: Combine ¾ cup fresh shell peas (shelled), ½ cup diced carrots, ¼ cup diced red bell pepper, ¼ finely chopped fresh cilantro, 2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 Tbsp flax oil (you could also use extra-virgin olive oil) and ½ tsp sea salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Peas with Prosciutto and Onions: heat in a large skillet over medium heat: 3 tbsp olive oil, add and brown slightly 1 cup thinly sliced purplette onion,  Add 3 tbsp water, cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in: 2 cups fresh shell peas, shelled, 4 oz prosciutto or ham, finely diced, 1 to 2 tsp water. Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

Ratatouille Provencal: Heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat; ¼ cup olive oil. Add and cook, stirring, until golden and just tender, 10 to 12 minutes: 1 medium Eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks, and 1 lb zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks. Remove the vegetables to a plate and reduce the heat to medium high. Add and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly softened: 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-½ cups sliced onions. Add a cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender but not browned, 8 to 12 minutes: 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks, 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add: 1 ½ cups peeled, seeded, chopped fresh tomatoes, or one 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained. 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini and cook until everything is tender, about 20 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in ¼ cup chopped fresh basil and chopped pitted black olives if desired. From the Joy of Cooking.

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.

Smoky Eggplant Raita: Heat your grill t o 450 to 550 degrees with an area left clear or turned off for indirect heat. Peirce 1 lb of eggplant in several places with a knife. Grill Eggplant over indirect heat, covered, until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to touch. Meanwhile, toast about ½ tsp of cumin in a small dry frying pan over med. Heat until fragrant and beginning to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Pound fine with a motar and pestle. Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in pan over medium heat. Saute ¼ large onion for 3 minutes. Add 1 lg minced garlic clove and continue to sauté until both are softened, about 2 min more. Let cool slightly. Slit the eggplant lengthwise and scrape flesh from the skin. Chop flesh coarsely and set aside. Combine 1 cup whole milk yogurt, the onion mixture, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, ¼ tsp sugar. Add eggplant and stir gently. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and cayenne pepper. Garnish with a little more cilantro. From the September 2010 issue of Sunset

 

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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 #7

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July 29th 2014

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #7

 

Large shares: green leaf lettuce, 1 bunch multicolored carrots, cauliflower, 2 Walla Walla onions, 1 lb multicolored new potatoes, cilantro, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, patty pan or other summer squash, cucumber, garlic, 1 lb shell or snow peas

 

Small shares: red leaf lettuce, 1 bunch multicolored carrots, 1 Walla Walla onion, 1 lb multicolored new potatoes, cilantro, 1 red slicing tomato, cucumber, ¾ lb green beans or romano beans, garlic

 

Dear CSA members,

Such a nice box this week! I’m so happy to see the fresh Walla Walla onions, tomatoes of several types, and the first cauliflower of the season. With the cilantro too I’m thinking about making a zucchini frittata as well as some fresh salsa for dinner tonight. One nice thing about writing the newsletter and recipes is I get a slew of new ideas of what to make for dinner.

We had another great weekend at market this week as well as a smooth sailing harvest and packing for CSA. I was just thinking how great it is to have returning crew -members as well as a few awesome new folks. It really helps the farm flow so much more manageably. People who see the bigger picture, and pick up and do what needs to be done when they see the need are the best kind to have around a farm such as Wobbly Cart. I’m seeing a lot of that this year and I like it!

One thing I did notice this week is the carrot greens look a tiny bit wilted. I would attribute this to the intense heat we had on Monday. Our apologies! It’s probably best to break them off and compost them asap when you put your vegetables away tonight. Everthing else was looking just fine.

Some of the large shares will get 1 lb of snow peas instead of shell peas this week, and a few of the small shares will get romano beans instead of green beans. Our pickings came up a bit short so we had to improvise! Romano beans are a large flat podded fresh bean, with a robust flavor. Use and store just like green beans. The fresh Walla Walla’s are sweet, tender and delicious. Mild enough for fresh eating in salads and on sandwiches or burgers its great to have full size onions again!

Until next week, enjoy!

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Fresh Salsa: Chop 6 tomatoes, mince 4 garlic cloves, seed and mince 2 fresh Jalapeno peppers, plus 2 roasted, skinned and chopped jalapenos, dice 1 bell pepper, chop ½ red onion, 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 lime, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, fresh scallions and cilantro to taste, and 2 dry ancho chilies, seeded, cut into short strips and snipped into pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place in the fridge for up to 12 hours for flavor infusion. Serve with chips.

 

Green Beans and Olives: In a large skillet combine 1 lb fresh , thin green beans, trimmed, 1/3 cup water, 2 tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Bring to coiling, reduce heat to medium, cook covered, 5 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain if necessary. Transfer beans to a large bowl and cool completely. Add ½ cup pimento stuffed olives, ½ cup sliced celery, ¼ cup thinly sliced Walla Walla onion, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 ½ tsp finely shredded lemon peel, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

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.

 

Zuchinni and Tomato Frittata: preheat broiler. In a medium bowl whisk together 8 eggs, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp crushed red pepper. In a 10 inch oven going skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, layer in sliced of 1 small summer squash evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Cook 3 minutes, turning once. Top with ½ cup cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced lengthwise. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet. Top with 2 oz bite sized fresh mozzarella balls and 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until sides begin to set, lifting with a spatula to allow the uncooked portion to run underneath. Transfer to a broiler. Broil 4 inches from the heat 2 to 3 minutes or until set. Cut into wedges to serve. Serve with fresh tomato slices, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Cauliflower and Potato Curry: Cook 1 cauliflower cut into florets, for 5 minutes in a saucepan of boiling water. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Add to the boiling water 2 medium potatoes (or equivalent) that have been peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks, cook for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain well again; transfer to the bowl of cauliflower. Meanwhile, combine in a food processor; 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced, 3 large garlic cloves, 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced, and optionally; 2 hot chile peppers such as jalapeno or Serrano, seeded and diced. Process until minced but not pureed. Heat in a dutch oven over medium heat; ¼ cup vegetable oil, clarified butter, or ghee. Add 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped, and the apple mixture and cook, stirring, until the onions are softened ands starting to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 2 tbsp curry powder and 1 tbsp all purpose flour. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes to lightly brown the curry powder and flour. Then add 1 14 oz can of coconut milk, ½ cup water or chicken stock, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring, then add the reserved cauliflower and potatoes and 1 16 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in, cover and cook until tender 10 oz fresh shell peas. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve the curry over cooked rice and garnish with golden raisins and chopped cashews if desired.

 

Heirloom Tomato and Romano bean salad: bring a small pot of salted water to the boil, then blanch ¼ lb romano beans, tops trimmed, for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender. Transfer with tongs to a baking sheet to cool. Make balsamic vinaigrette: using a mortar and pestle pound 1 tbsp fresh oregano, ½ clove fresh garlic and a scant ¼ tsp salt to a paste. Transfer to a small bowl and pour in 2 ¼ tsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar. Whisk in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and taste for balance and seasoning. Whisk 3 tbsp roasted hazelnut oil, ½ tsp lemon zest, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Finely chop 1/8th cup skinned, toasted hazelnuts and stir into dressing; coarsely chop another 1/8th cup and stir in. drizzle hazelnut dressing over romano beans, season with salt and pepper, and toss together. Hold 1¼ lbs of heirloom tomatoes on their sides and slice into ¼ inch slices. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange slices on a large round platter, overlapping them, and spoon on about half of the balsamic vinaigrette. Scatter with ½ bunch baby arugula leaves. Stir1 cup of cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half, with remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Pile in center of platter, then top with romano beans. Spoon on a few dollops of crème fraiche and sprinkle about a third of pistou (recipe follows) onto and around salad. Serve the rest alongside.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #2

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6-25-13
Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box # 2

Large Shares: strawberries, 1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch radishes, scallions, garlic scapes, broccoli, green leaf lettuce, ½ lb sugar snap peas, 1 lb shell peas, 1 bunch Italian parsley

Small shares: strawberries, 1 bunch radishes, 1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch Italian parsley, scallions, ½ lb snow peas, 1 summer squash

Dear CSA members,

As I sit down each week to reflect, and write a bit, there is always a flood of thoughts to sort through and decide; what is most interesting, most pertinent, what do I need to explain about the produce…. This week the first thought is “thank everyone for the nice comments!”. And so I will. Thank you all who wrote and called in after last weeks’ delivery to let us know how much you enjoyed the boxes. The first CSA box is always a little stressful around the farm. We are working hard to make sure everything is properly organized, that we have enough produce to make the boxes, and also making sure that the quality is up to where we want it to be. So at the end of the day, it is so nice to hear the positive feedback! Thanks!
The weather this week has been challenging. We had one sunny warm day, but the rest has been cloudy, warm and moist! Unfortunately, the trend looks like it will continue for a while yet. In the high tunnels and greenhouses, as well as for the tomatoes, onions and garlic in the fields this can mean the onset of fungal diseases and other problems. Nothing dire by any means, but we definitely want to be ahead of the curve if necessary! It can be frustrating to work so hard to produce a quality crop, only to have it succumb to pests or disease due to factors beyond anyone’s control. One of the many difficulties of farming organically in the Maritime Northwest! Hopefully the sun will return to us soon.
In this week’s box we have all three types of peas that we grow at Wobbly Cart. Large shares will get 1 lb of shell peas, and ½ lb of sugar snap 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! The sugar snap peas are small and plump. You can eat these whole, out of hand, once the strings are removed, and they are excellent that way. Sugar snap peas are a favorite snack in my family. The small shares will receive ½ lb of snow peas. These are the large flat pods. Snow peas are excellent for stir- fries and salads. Everyone will receive a bunch of fresh carrots this week. I recommend breaking off the long tops before you store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. They will keep better this way. This is also true of the radishes. Italian parsley is best stored by freshly cutting the stem ends (just like a bouquet of flowers). Then stick the ends in a jar of water (like a vase). Make a tent over the top with a plastic bag and set it in you refrigerator. Most herbs will keep all week like this. Hope you’re not tired of strawberries yet, because they’re still coming. Check the recipe page for some yummy looking ideas!

Until next week,
Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart

Strawberry-Buttermilk Ice Pops: in a large bowl smash 1 cup fresh strawberries with the back of a fork. Add ¾ cup sour cream, ¼ cup buttermilk, 3 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze for 3o minutes. Insert a wooden stick into each pop; then freeze for at least 2 more hours.

Balsamic-Roasted Strawberries with Chevre Ice Cream: remove 1 gallon vanilla ice cream from freezer and let soften at room temp for 10 minutes. Transfer to a 1 ½ gallon plastic container. Stir in 6 oz fromage blanc (at room temperature) until well combined. Add 11 oz crumbled chevre, stirring gently so that the crumbles remain somewhat intact. Refreeze ice cream for at least one hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 2 pints hulled and quartered strawberries into a parchment lined baking pan, sprinkle with 3 tbsp raw sugar and drizzle with 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Roast until caramelized and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Serve over the ice cream. (from July 2013 issue Country Living magazine).

Herb butter: in a food processor, whirl ¼ cup butter, 2 tbsp chopped chives (garlic scapes?), a pinch of kosher salt, and 1 tbsp each of chopped fresh dill and Italian parsley. Use to spread on sweet corn or toss with freshly steamed peas.

Seared Sugar Snap Peas: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan for about 1 to 2 minutes over med-high heat. Add 1 lb sugar snap peas (strings removed). Toss to coat, and add sea salt to taste. Allow to cook, undisturbed for 1 minute. Add 3 to 4 sliced scallions and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Toss to coat and let cook for 1 minute. Toss again, and let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the zest of 1 lemon and 3 tbsp chopped mint. Then add black pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve at once. (from simplyrecipes.com)

French Breakfast Radishes and Avocado on Toast: Toast bread, top with thinly sliced fresh avocado, and thin, lengthwise slices of French Breakfast Radishes. Top with freshly ground Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Makes a great appetizer.

Orzo with Zucchini, Dill and Feta: preheat grill or grill pan to medium and oil liberally. Season 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise with ½ tsp salt. Grill until tender with golden brown marks, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer zucchini to a cutting board and slice into ½ inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 large shallot, thinly sliced. Cover and keep warm and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 lb orzo according to package directions. Drain and add to reserved zucchini. Add 3 tbsp olive oil, zest and juice of 2 lemons, and 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill. Top with 1/3 lb feta cheese and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper. (From May 2012 issue of Country Living magazine).

Peas with Prosciutto and Onions: heat in a large skillet over medium heat: 3 tbsp olive oil, add and brown slightly 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced. Add, 3 tbsp water, cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in: 2 cups fresh shell peas, shelled, 4 oz prosciutto or ham, finely diced, 1 to 2 tsp water. Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

Sauteed Snap Peas with Scallions and Radishes: Trim ¾ lb Snap Peas. Slice 8 scallions (white and pale green parts only) into 2- inch lengths. Trim and quarter 8 radishes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt 1 tbsp butter. Add the snap peas; cook stirring frequently, until just beginning to soften (do not brown), 3 to 4 minutes. Add the scallions and radishes; season with coarse sea salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until scallions soften and snap peas are crisp-tender. 1 to 2 minutes more. (From Everyday Food, June 2004)