Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 20

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11-7-17

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 20

 

Large share: Black Futsu winter squash, January King cabbage, arugula, Italian parsley or cilantro, red cipollini onions, red carrots, purple potatoes, turnips

 

Small share: Black Futsu winter squash, January King cabbage, arugula, Italian parsley, red carrots, purple potatoes, turnips

 

Greens share: red Russian kale, rapini, chard

 

Roots share: beets, purple daikon, red cipollini onion

 

Jucing share: Beet seconds, red carrot seconds, red Russian kale, Italian parsley, cilantro, celariac

 

 

Dear CSA members,

 

I’m finding it hard to believe that we are already in November! Where exactly did the last couple of months go? The rhythm of our farming year propels us rapidly into the winter season and the last couple of boxes of the CSA. We are going extra late this year with the late start to the season this spring. But, before we know it it will be holiday time and we the farmers will get a bit of a much needed break!

 

Last week we saw some pretty chilly temperatures and even a bit of snow! Those of us that remain on the crew at this point in the year have had to work extra hard to get everything done this week and deserve extra props for doing it during a very cold and wet week. The days are pretty short now and we have to start later and work fast to get our days work done before we lose the light. Challenging to say the least.

 

As I have mentioned before most of what we do during the later part of the season is harvest and wash enormous amounts of root vegetables. We dig, grade and sort thousands of pounds each week. I really enjoy taking crates of mud-covered roots and running them through our root washing machine and seeing how beautiful they come out on the other side. It is quite a transformation.

 

I also love how hearty all the winter crops, even the cabbages, herbs and greens are to withstand freezing temperatures, driving rain and wind and come out looking so beautiful by the time they make it to the pack shed and into your CSA shares. All tese crops ( aside from arugula which is quite delicate and tender) will keep exceptionally well for you either in the pantry (squashes and onions) or in the crisper drawer (everything else) should you need to delay eating any of them.

I think it is extra important to eat local nutrient dense foods and lots of greens to stay healthy during the winter months. Not only are they extremely rich in nutrients and antioxidants its almost as if they impart some of their inherent hardiness to us.

 

Storage of hearty crops reminds me that next week we will be delivering the storage shares to those that have ordered them. Look for two waxed cardboard boxes each storage share labeled with your name at your drop sites next week. Each storage share will be about 50lbs worth of crops divided into 2 25lb boxes so be ready for that!

 

New crops this week,

 

Black Futsu winter squash: This amazing squash, also known as Japanese black pumpkin, is a rare Japanese heirloom variety. Unusual deeply ribbed and warty surface with a powdery blue/orange rind color. This squash starts out a deep green almost black color and then gradually matures to the powdery blue/orange color. Flavor has compared to chestnuts or hazelnuts. Stores well, edible & highly ornamental. These squash are amazing keepers and will keep up to 8 months. The flavor will continue to improve over the next several weeks.

 

January King cabbage: This variety, developed in northern Europe, is one of the most winter hardy of all cabbages. It is a semi-savoy type with a slightly flattened head that is blushed with purple. January King cabbages are known for their excellent flavor and crisp texture.

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha

 

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

 

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)

 

Braised Turnips: Cook in boiling water, uncovered, over high heat for about 6 minutes: 1 ½ lbs turnips. Peeled, left whole if small, quartered if large. Drain. Melt in a large, heavy skillet over high heat 3 tbsp butter. Add the turnips and cook, stirring, until coated with butter, about 5 minutes. Add 1-cup chicken stock, ½ tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. The stock should come to bout ¾ inch up the side of the turnips; add more stock or water if needed. Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and simmer until the turnips are tender but still slightly resistant to the tip of a sharp knife, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the turnips to a serving dish. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until reduced to a thin, syrupy glaze. Pour it over the turnips and serve immediately.

 

Caramelized Onions: Heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat until the butter is melted. Add 3 lbs yellow onions, thinly sliced. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Cook stirring constantly, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and brown, about 40 minutes. Add ½ cup dry white wine or water. Stir and scrape the pan to dissolve the browned bits. Remove from heat and season well with salt, black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage and Scallions (Colcannon):

Place in a large saucepan or Dutch oven: 2 lbs fingerling potatoes peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks. Add cold water just to cover, pile on top of the potatoes: 2 bunches scallions, white part only, sliced and 1 small green cabbage ( about 1 lb) cored and chopped into 1 inch pieces. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes, cabbage and scallions to the pot. Mash the mixture over low heat adding: ½ cup milk or half and half, warmed. ¼ cup butter, softened, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. When the mixture is coarsely mashed, taste and adjust the seasonings.

 

Black Futsu squash with Jasmine-Kale Rice: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and quarter and clean seeds (reserve the seeds) from a Black Futsu squash, then slice into thin slices. Arrange the squash pieces (skin on) in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Transfer to the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the squash has softened and easily peels away from the skin, rotating halfway through. Meanwhile cook 1 cup brown Jasmine rice or other fragrant variety according to package directions, but add in 2 to 3 whole cloves, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, salt and pepper to taste and a touch of olive oil. In a small skillet over low heat, add your rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds. These will toast up quickly and can burn if you don’t watch them closely. Stir them often until just barely browned, then remove from pan and set aside. When rice is just about done, stir in 1 ½ cups finely chopped kale. You just want to wilt it down, not cook it, so wait until you’re just about ready to serve. Toss is ¼ cup golden raisins. Serve along side the slices of black futsu and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

Italian Parsley Pesto: In a food processor place 2 cloves peeled garlic, 2 cups packed, stemmed Italian parsley, a pinch of sea salt, ¼ cup walnuts, ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. Process until they form a paste. Gradually drizzle in 2/3 cup olive oil while blending. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Great with pasta, poultry, vegetables and rice.

 

 

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Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA week 3

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11-3-15

Large shares: delicata squash, leeks, kale, turnips, carrots, radicchio, purple potatoes, garlic, thyme

Small shares: delicata squash, leeks, kale, radicchio, red fingerling potatoes, broccoli or extra red fingerling potatoes, garlic, thyme

Dear CSA members,

The final weekend of October finally brought us some serious fall weather here in our river valley. The storm brought close to 5 inches of rain over three days and wind gusts up to 30 mph! Our beautiful Chehalis River went from low-looking, to almost bank-full within 24 hours. She is now a muddy beast rolling and foaming along at great speed with logs and debris along for the ride as well.

This time of year we will begin to keep an eye on the hydrograph projections to watch what the river will be doing in regards to flooding, so we can plan ahead if and when crops and equipment need to be moved to higher ground. This is simply a fact of life in a river flood plain. While inconvenient at times, I do appreciate the powerful force of our river and the need to keep a respectful and watchful eye on her. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in grief over lost equipment and crops that could have been saved. In return, the flood waters will bring us a fresh supply of nutrients and topsoil when they do come. The river is what built the soil we farm on after all!

Our fields didn’t flood this time, but we certainly are getting used to being back in muddy conditions (something we havent had a whole lot of this season). Heavy wet rain gear and mud laden boots weigh us down, boxes are slippery, and trucks must be parked strategically so as not to get stuck when heavily loaded with produce. Not to mention the fact that washing the bunches is extra difficult when there is so much mud stuck to them.

November brings with it stormy weather, but also a nice reduction in work load. We are officially down to just two market days per week (Saturday and Sunday at the Olympia Farmers market). Additionally, after this week, there will be just one remaining CSA delivery! Setting the clocks back this last Sunday gives us an extra hour of sleep, and as it is dark so early, we are forced to come in for the day by 6pm. More dark hours means more rest, and more rest means happier farmers. We will also have more time to plan for next season and catch up on paper work. Whoo hoo!

Delicata squash: is the queen of the winter squash in my opinion. They are a nice size, easy to cut and clean, have a thin, edible skin and excellent flavor. Delicata is excellent roasted, caramelized, made into soups or baked into a pie! Most people think they are even sweeter and creamier than butternut squash. This squash will also keep for a several weeks in a cool dry place or just out on the countertop to be admired.

Purple potatoes: these beautiful tubers originate from heirloom varieties that have been cultivated for thousands of years in the Andes mountains of South America. Purple potatoes are beautiful in color and very high in an anti-oxidant called anthocyanin that is a known cancer fighting substance. Their flavor is slightly mealy and dry compared to a yellow finn or a fingerling but they are nonetheless excellent roasted, fried or used in soups and stews.

Radicchio: this hardy winter green is in the chicory family, it has a bitter taste that mellows with the onset of cold weather and also when you grill or roast it. Raddichio is an excellent addition to salads particularly when paired with cheese, fruits and toasted nuts.

Leeks: Leeks are a member of the allium family of onions, garlic, scallions etc. They are milder, sweeter, and more delicate in flavor than onions are are often used in soups and broths. To clean, cut the leek in half vertically, and fan out the sheaves under running water to get out any dirt that may be hiding there. The white part is the desirable portion, as the green leaves tend to be tougher and stronger flavored. You can store leeks in the crisper of the refrigerator for several weeks if they are left untrimmed.

Thyme: is an herb from a low growing woody perennial plant. This aromatic herb can be used for cooking, medicine, and aromatic purposes and stands up very well to our robust fall and winter vegetables. The leaves are excellent fresh added to your dishes near the end of cooking to preserve the delicate flavor. Also, you could easily dry your thyme for later use by spreading the sprigs out in a warm dry location for a few days, then stripping the dry leaves off into a storage container.

Enjoy and have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

Grilled Chicory: heat grill to high heat. Slice your chicory vertically, and discard any bruised leaves. Brush the greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with good sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Turn grill down to med-low. Place the greens on the grill and cook turning every 1 to 2 minutes until the leaves turn a rich crusty brown on both sides. 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the greens into 4 to 6 servings and serve warm or at room temperature with additional vinaigrette.

Radicchio salad with goat cheese and hazelnuts: In a large bowl whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp sugar and season with salt and pepper. Tear up about 1 pound radicchio into bite sized pieces, add 1/3 cup blanched and toasted hazelnuts (almond and walnuts would work too) chopped. Serve salad topped with 1-cup goat cheese.

Potato Leek Soup: Melt 3 tbsp butter in a soup pot over low heat. Add and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned about 20 minutes 2 large leeks, chopped. Stir in 1 1/4 lbs peeled and thinnly sliced yellow finn potatoes. Add 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until the potatoes are soft about 30 minutes. Puree until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme to taste.

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

Leek and Potato Gratin: Preheat oven to 375. In a large pot of salted boiling water, parboil 3 lbs red potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick, for 5 minutes. Drain potatoes well and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Saute 10 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces (washed thoroughly), and 4 chopped garlic cloves until leeks are tender about 7 minutes. Set aside. In a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish, arrange half of reserved potatoes in an overlapping pattern. Pour 1 cup cream and ½ cup milk over the top and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Top with reserved leeks and arrange remaining potatoes. Pour another cup of heavy cream and ½ cup milk and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Bake until potatoes are tender, top of gratin is golden brown, and most of the cream and milk have been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Garnish with parsely. Serves 12. From November 2011 issue of Country Living magazine).

Frizzled Leeks: Cut 2 leeks (white and very light green parts only) into 2 inch lengths and then cut lengthwise into very fine shreds. Rinse the shreds thoroughly, using your fingers to separate the pieces and remove any grit hiding there. Drain thoroughly and blot dry with a clean towel. While the leeks dry, heat 2 to 4 cups canola oil in a deep pan. The pan should hold about 1 ½ inches deep of the oil. When the oil surface is shivering, add a few leek shreds and fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the leeks to a paper towel lined platter to drain and cool. The oil should be hot enough to crisp the leeks golden brown in about 10 to 15 seconds, adjust temperature as needed. Fry the leeks in small batches until all are golden and crisp. Lightly season them with salt and use for snacking or to top salads and creamy soups. They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days at room temp.

 Baked delicata squash with brown sugar and butter: Preheat oven to 400. Cut 1 delicata squash in half and scoop out seeds. Mix together 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp softened butter, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Rub the inside of the squash with this mixture. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet and bake the squash for about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #17

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October 7, 2014

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA Box #17

 

Large share: broccoli, oakleaf or crisphead lettuce, yellow onions, garlic, cayenne peppers, sweet pepper, red tomato, turnips, chard, Italian parsley, carrots, red kuri squash.

 Small share: cauliflower, oakleaf or crisphead lettuce, yellow onion, cayenne pepper, sweet pepper, red tomato, chard, carrots, red kuri squash.

 

Dear CSA members,

This last week has been a busy time of fall chores that prepare us, and the farm for winter. We dug our last beds of potatoes and bagged them for storage, mowed down summer crops like basil and cucumbers, got ground prepped and garlic seed ready for planting this week, and planted cover crops on all bare areas where crops are finished for the year.

Walking around the fields you can see that we truly are in the late season as far as crops go. The shining stars are now cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, parsnips, endive, escarole and leeks, all vegetables that can hold up to the cold temperatures and heavy rains to come. This week have some very nice broccoli and cauliflower for you. Our earlier plantings this year have not been successful due to various factors, but I am happy to say that the late planting is doing very well!

We also have a red kuri squash. The red kuri is an orange somewhat pumpkin like squash with a nice dense chesnutty flavored flesh. You can store this squash for many weeks in your pantry or a cool dry place, until you are ready to use it. I particularly like this squash in soups.

The tiny long red pepper is a Ring of Fire Cayenne pepper. It is VERY hot. Use caution when chopping, and most people will want to remove the seeds as they will add considerably to the heat factor!

Large shares will also receive a large bunch of turnips. Turnips are a versatile and delicious root vegetable, the greens are also edible and very nutritious. I would recommend removing those huge greens and cooking asap if you plant too, or just compost them. Then you can store the roots in the fridge easier, and they will last longer with the greens removed.

Enjoy your box. Also, next week will be the last share of the summer season. We would love to have you join us for the Fall share which begins Tuesday October 21st. You can extend your membership on our website http://www.wobblycart.com

Thanks,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Buttered Turnip Puree: peel and chop 3 large turnips. Combine with 1 quart milk, 3 fresh thyme sprigs, and 1 clove of smashed garlic in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the turnips are tender. 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, discarding the thyme but reserving the liquid. In a food processor, puree the turnips with 1 stick butter and 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

 

Easy Turnip Greens: wash and chop 1 large bunch turnip greens (discard stems). Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add 1 chopped shallot, 1 clove chopped garlic, and 1 tsp chopped cayenne pepper (or to taste) and sautee until tender. Add the washed and chopped turnip greens and cook down for 3 minutes. Season with pepper. Mix together 1 cup chicken stock and 2 tbsp Dijon mustard. Add to the turnip greens and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add 1/3 cup toasted pecans and serve immediately.

 Winter Squash Shepherd’s Pie: Preheat oven to 400 with rack in top third of oven. Put 2 ½ lbs cubed, peeled winter squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast squash, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, wide pot over high heat. Add 2 lbs lamb stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until meat is browned on all sides. Add 1 medium onion, cut into wedges, and 3 chopped garlic cloves and cook until vegetables are starting to soften, about 2 minutes, transfer lamb mixture with juices to a bowl; add 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks and 8 oz medium mushrooms, stems removed. Reduce heat to medium low. Add ¼ cup flour to the same pot and cook, whisking continuously, until flour smells toasted, about 1 minute. Pour in ½ cup red wine and 1 cup beef or chicken broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour over the lamb mixture and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into 6 individual ramekins. Mash the squash in a bowl with 1 tsp salt, and 1/3 cup cream, adding more cream if needed until mixture is consistency of mashed potatoes. Dollop over the lamb. Bake until browned and sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes; sprinkle with 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley. Serves 6. (from Sunset October 2012)

Roasted Winter Squash and Beet salad: Preheat oven to 400. Tightly wrap 1 lb small beets in aluminum foil bundles. Place on middle shelf of oven. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside. Place the slices of 1 ¼ lb of winter squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on middle shelf in oven; roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup maple syrup over the squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool. To make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and ¼ cup maple syrup together. Add 1/3 cup olive oil and whisk until smooth. Season to taste. To assemble, place 3 cups mixed salad greens in the middle of a large plate. Arrange beets and squash on the greens. Pour half of dressing over salad. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing. Serves 6 to 8.

Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint: Halve 1 2 lb winter squash (red kuri), scoop out strings and seeds, and peel. Then cut into 1 inch cubes. Heat 2 tbsp light sesame oil or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add squash, 1 onion chopped, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon stick, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp ground chiles, followed by 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock and a cheese cloth sachet containing 12 coriander seeds, 12 black peppercorns, and 4 cloves. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook, partly covered, until squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove spice sachet and cinnamon stick. Using a stick blender, puree the soup, and season to taste with salt. Ladle soup into bowls. Swirl 1 tsp or so of heavy cream into each, leaving it streaky. Finish with a pinch of ground chiles.

 Creamy Barley and Chard Dressing: Preheat oven to 325. Cook 1 ¼ cups pearled barley in 4 cups chicken broth according to package directions and add ¾ tsp cracked black pepper. Meanwhile in a large skillet cook 2 cups chopped onion, and 1 ½ lbs winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces in ½ cup butter over medium heat, covered, until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked barley, 5 cups chopped Swiss chard, 1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts, and 1 ½ cups finely shredded Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a 3- quart rectangular baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 servings. (From BHG magazine November 2013)