2015_summerweek13

Summer 2015 – October, Week 13

At a Glance:

Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Sweet Onions, Savoy Cabbage, Cucumbers,
Italian Zucchini, Green Beans, Yellow Beans, Bell Pepper,
Dandelion, Yellow Chard

 

 

Dear Friends,
There is a saying among firefighters:

Firefighting is easy; it’s like riding a bike, except that the bike is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire, and…well, you get the picture.

I feel that way about farming sometimes, it’s easy, like riding a bike, except that the bike is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire.  Then, it’s October.

October for me is all about cleaning up. I would like to simply say it’s easy, like cleaning your kitchen, except your kitchen is 70 acres and you need trucks and loaders and your help is already working full time and then some and if you’re lucky you’ll get everything in before the mud makes the fields impassible. But then all the pipe and pumps are in the barn, and the fields are covered with rye and vetch and clover.

This year, barring early rain, I have just enough time to get all the open areas cover-cropped before it gets too cold for a solid stand of rye. A well orchestrated Fall plan is a work of art in early spring. Lush green fields passively creating tons of material to add tilth to next year’s soil, feed next year’s crops, retain nutrients, prevent erosion, and feed pollinators.

Wish me luck!

Mike

We harvested an abundance of Italian zucchini this week (truly surprising this time of year!), so I have included my favorite zucchini bread recipe.  Give it a try and freeze what you don’t eat!

 

Zucchini Bread

Julie Sochacki, One United Harvest
Makes two large loaves
3 eggs

1-3/4 cups sugar

1 cup light vegetable oil

2-1/2 cups peeled, grated zucchini

2-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 c walnut or hazelnut oil
Beat the eggs, then add sugar, mixing well. Add the oil, zucchini and vanilla, mix well. Sift the dry ingredients and slowly add to sugar mixture. Stir until well blended. Add the nut oil and stir.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 55-60 minutes in two greased (9x5x3) loaf pans.

Cool on wire racks and freeze or refrigerate.

Hot and Sour Cabbage Salad
Adapted from Gourmet, December 2001

1 lb Savoy cabbage, thinly shredded

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon sugar

1 pepper, very thinly sliced

Put cabbage and scallion in a large bowl.

Bring vinegar, ginger, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot dressing over cabbage, peppers, and onion, tossing to combine.
Dandelion Greens with a Kick

Adapted from recipe by TTV78
Recipe found at: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222744/dandelion-greens-with-a-kick/

1 teaspoon salt

1 bunch dandelion greens, stems trimmed, washed well, torn into 4-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Soak dandelion greens in a large bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon salt for 10 minutes. Drain.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook greens until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and red pepper flakes until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Increase heat to medium-high and add dandelion greens. Continue to cook and stir until liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle greens with Parmesan cheese to serve.

2015_summerweek12

Summer 2015 – October, Week 12

At A Glance:

Spinach
Green Beans
Purple Beans
Yellow Beans
Green and Purple Kohlrabi
Edamame (edible soybeans)
Red Russian Kale
Purple Carrots
2lbs Rose Finn Potatoes
Leeks

Greetings Friends,

The weather today was perfect. There was a fog so thick you could cut it early this morning, which gave way to a beautiful afternoon. I watched most of it go by through the office window as I diligently took care of all the odds and ends, big and small, which go along with any business. I am always grateful for fair weather even if I do not get to enjoy it firsthand. When I am warm and cozy and it is blustery out there I cannot help but feel the sting of guilt, knowing that our field crew is braving the elements to harvest produce for delivery. On a day like today I can almost enjoy the envy I feel, knowing that this same crew is working under reasonable conditions and without the headache that comes with muddy vegetables and stuck field trucks.

As promised, the contents of this delivery are beginning to represent the more savory vegetables that Fall has to offer. Nothing says stew or roast like a combination of leeks and potatoes. Edamame make an appearance this week as well. The word Edamame means “Beans on Branches,” and they grow in clusters on bushy plants which deer LOVE. In East Asia the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. We can barely get them to finish this far north, and it was quite a feat considering the late start we got this year. If not for this long dry season it would not have been possible. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers-the pods themselves are not edible. If you have not tried them before, you are in for a treat. I think them the pretzel of vegetables; simple preparation instructions follow.

A quick word too on the purple carrots. Purple Haze by name, they are the best purple carrots we have ever grown. They do have an orange core unlike some others, but they also have a great carrot taste, and they grow to maturity without bolting (going to seed), which is saying something if you have ever tried to grow them. We trialed at least three other varieties of purple carrots, unsuccessfully, before finding this one. We just love them, and hope you will too.

Mike

 

 

 

Edamame
Gourmet  | August 1998

Soybeans in the Pod

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, add the beans and boil over high heat for about 5 minutes. Just before serving, toss edamame with salt to taste.

Or for a little more zing-
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the edamame, some lime juice and salt

Coax the beans out as you would eat an artichoke, by gently scraping the pod with your teeth


Simple Stew

You’ll be surprised how savory and satisfying this simple vegetable stew is! Serve with quinoa, millet, or steamed rice.

3 to 4 servings

1 large bunch of kale
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium leek (white and pale green), thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
4-5 fingerling potatoes, cut into ½- to ¾- inch cubes
1 low sodium bouillion cube (we like Rapunzel brand)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Strip the thick stems off the kale leaves. Cut the leaves crosswise into ¼-inch strips.
In a medium stew pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the kale in 2 or 3 handfuls, stirring to wilt. Add the broth and bouillion and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove and blend in a blender about ½ the stew then return it to the pot. Stir.  Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Adapted from The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health by Thomas Rau, MD, with Susan Wyler. Berkeley Books 2009.

 

2015 Summer CSA Share

Summer 2015 – September, Week 10

What’s in the Box:

Green, Yellow, and Roma Italian beans
Austrian Crescent potatoes
Swiss Chard
Beets
Cucumbers
Crookneck Squash
Sweet onions
Cherry tomatoes
Thyme

 

Greetings Friends,
Mike here! In the office by dim light hustling to finish the notes I promised to write this morning then promptly forgot about. Ooops.

Fall is officially here and we will soon be saying good bye to the summer squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. We have bumper crops of all the fall favorites, and frankly this is my favorite time of year to eat out of the field. You can still have a ripe tomato, or scrounge a little basil, and the cabbage and other cole crops are huge and lush. The greens are not stressed by hot days, and the potatoes have been in storage just long enough to sweeten up a bit.

On the subject of Fall, please remember that because of our late start this season, if you purchased the summer share, you will be receiving the two holiday deliveries; one in late November, the other in late December. These are usually offered separately. We will be marketing these ‘holiday’ shares to others outside our Summer membership. So, if you receive an offer to purchase them, kindly disregard it. You are in like Flynn. These two deliveries are among my favorites. They are a bit larger than our usual weekly deliveries, and the fall and winter vegetables are soooooo sweet after a frost.

When I looked over the contents of this week’s box I got hungry for pasta. I have included a recipe for Pasta Primavera, I cannot stress strongly enough what a great catch-all dish this is. You can use nearly any vegetables that are in the fridge. I love a plate of Pasta Primavera especially with a good sharp cheese; and it’s easy, and it’s fast, and if you do it right you only have two pots to wash! I enjoy cooking, especially for friends and family, and few recipes garner so much praise for so little effort.

Enjoy!
Mike

 

Pasta Primavera
A few things you should know:

Water and Salt: Always add a big pinch of salt to the pasta water and do not skimp on the amount of water used to cook pasta. I use about a gallon/pound and probably a big tablespoon of salt. Heat the water to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook UNCOVERED. Use tongs to stir it occasionally and after about 7 minutes start checking it by pulling a strand out and cutting it. In cross section you will see a white core indicating that it is not quite done, as this core vanishes your pasta is ready. Al dente pasta will have just a hint of white in the center. For this dish, because you are going to cook the pasta a bit more, you will want a noticeable but barely so white core.

Sautee: Vegetables while the pasta cooks. Have them all prepped and ready to go before you drop the pasta in the water. If you are sharp and focused you can do this while the water heats. I have used just about every vegetable imaginable, but this week’s box has some of my favorites.

Slice one of the onions paper thin. Snap the stems from the beans and cut into bite size pieces. I especially like the Roma beans for this dish. Cut summer squash into bite size chunks. Thinly slice a good handful of chard leaves. Strip about 3 tablespoons of thyme from its stems. You can use anything that sounds good… anything. I have used beets, rutabaga, turnip, you name it. The traditional Italian vegetables are always a hit.

Sautee: the vegetables in olive oil in a large cast pan while the pasta is cooking; when they are tender turn off the heat.

Scoop: And here is the secret… scoop a mug full of the starchy pasta water off before draining the pasta. Pour this into the pan of vegetables and simmer to create a light sauce. At this point add the thyme and thinly sliced chard and sauté until the chard is just wilted.

Toss: Add the pasta to the pan of vegetables and toss as you would a salad using the tongs over medium heat for a few minutes. Add more pasta water if necessary. You can also toss this all in a large bowl if your pan isn’t large enough.

Stir: In some butter or olive oil and a generous handful of grated sharp cheese; quality counts on the cheese.

Toss again and you are ready for the plate. When you serve this dish serve it hot. Grab a healthy tong-full, hold it over the plate and lower it slowly as you turn the plate and the tongs in opposite directions. This will leave a pyramid of pasta Primavera.

Throw: A few grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved, on top of each plate.

Serve with grated cheese and coarse salt.