2015 Summer, week 8

Summer 2015 – September, Week 8

What’s in the Box:

Red & White potatoes, Italian zucchini, Crookneck squash.
Broccoli, Carrots, Sweet onion, Bell Pepper, Cucumbers,
Escarole, Spinach, Apples, Flowers

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BUNCH OF SUNFLOWERS

Thank you to those of you who said hello at the Tilth Fair.  It was a great chance for Mike and I to see so many familiar faces and connect with new people too.  Natty focused her good time on running everywhere and climbing trees.

Please note that the potatoes are unwashed. White potatoes particularly seem to bruise with handling, so we have elected to send them unwashed so that they keep better for you.

I went a little crazy on recipes this week.  Hopefully this will inspire you in the kitchen.  I’m also hoping it will inspire me!  So many ideas, so little time…

Yours,

Heidi
Zucchini Latkes
Adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/zucchini-latkes/print

3 medium zucchini, shredded (about 4-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, grated (be careful with grating if you have sensitivity to onions-I usually cry)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Oil for frying

Sour cream and basil, optional

Toss the zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze zucchini dry. Stir in the eggs, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, pepper and remaining salt.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil; press lightly to flatten. Fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream and garnish with a sprig of basil. Yield: 16 latkes.

Sautéed Potatoes and Sweet PeppersAdapted from: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7633-sauteed-potatoes-with-sweet-red-peppers

Farmer’s note: this recipe originally calls for a non-stick skillet.  I don’t own one, as I’m a fan of cast iron, but you may need more oil if using a cast iron skillet-the potatoes will definitely want to stick.

1 ¼ pounds potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large sweet red pepper, seeds and veins removed, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Add potatoes to a saucepan with just enough water to cover.  Add salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes, and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the skillet and stirring occasionally so that the potatoes cook evenly. Cook for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown.

Add the pepper, onion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring until the potatoes are nicely browned.

Add the butter. Cook for a few minutes, shaking the skillet and/or stirring. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Escarole and Beans
Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/82078/escarole-and-beans/

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large head escarole, roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
16 ounces cannellini beans, undrained
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender.

In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Apple Spinach Salad
Adapted from: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/spinach-apple-walnut-salad

1 medium apple, cored, cut into large dice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Toss apples with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Place spinach in a large bowl; remove long stems and bruised leaves. Whisk together remaining juice, olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and ground pepper to taste. Toss spinach with apples and dressing. Divide between four bowls. Top with cheese and walnuts.

 

2015summer_week5

Summer 2015 – August, Week 5

What’s in the Box:

Green, purple & yellow wax beans
Sweet onion, Zucchini & Summer squash
Snow peas, Cucumbers, Broccoli
Basil, Peaches
Lilies

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE TWO STEMS OF LILIES

I woke to hazy skies this weekend and my first thought was there’s something wrong with my eyes.  The haze settled, almost like mist, which is not completely uncommon for this time of year, but it hovered in the distance, making me wary.  Mike opened the door and looked back warningly at me.  ‘Something’s on fire.’

Right now it feels like everything’s on fire.  I have volunteered as a firefighter for our community for a couple years now, and every day I hope for rain, and wait for the emergency pager to go off.  With so little water, it’s difficult not to be unnerved by the wind and smoke, even if it isn’t near our farm.

As I’m sure most of you already know, over 30,000 firefighters are currently deployed in Washington State, coming from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, trying to stop the progression of the fires.  More than 250,000 acres have burned, and many of these fires are less than 50% contained.  Here are a few resources to keep you updated.  I linked directly to the morning brief for Monday to give you a glimpse of the statistics.

http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/content/products/intelligence/MORNINGBRIEF.pdf
www.dnr.wa.gov/wildfires

http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/firemap.aspx

I am clearly preoccupied by this situation.  Towns have been evacuated and firefighters have lost their lives.  It’s hard to focus all my attention on the farm, even when the season demands it.  The earth is so very dry, and the grass is so much fuel to burn.  We have heard of farms who narrowly escaped fire damage, and those who were not so lucky.

We need rain, and I’m not sure when we’re going to get it.  The first responders have a lot of work ahead of them.

For those of you who have been a part of our farm family for many years, you will know that our home and farm flooded catastrophically in 2007.  Our local grange members opened up the hall to feed our community every single day, for months after the flood, as our community rallied and came together to slog our way through our ruined homes and possessions. Having somewhere to go for a warm meal when we were feeling desperate, defeated, and alone made a real difference in our ability to rebuild our farm. So I am sharing some info about a non-profit group who is helping to feed the first responders in the Okanogan, in case you are inspired to join me in donating:

Soup Ladies http://www.soupladies.org/

Be safe, and be well,

Heidi

2015summer_week4

Summer 2015 – August, Week 4

What’s in the Box:

Broccoli, Turnips, Baby bok choy, Zucchini
Green cabbage, Lettuce, Snow peas
Chives, Nectarines
Snapdragons

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BOUQUET OF SNAPDRAGONS

As you can imagine, it’s a busy time of year for the farm.  Everywhere we turn, something is begging for attention, water, trellising, fertilizing, cultivating…  The field is full of vegetables and lots of other opportunists, or what we refer to (rather unkindly, I suppose) as weeds.  Weeds are weeds by our definition: they’re growing somewhere that we haven’t planted them, and where we don’t want them to grow.  They compete with our crops for water and light, and provide us with an abundance of extra work through the Summer.  We try to take care of the weed pressure before it’s a problem, by getting the weeds out while they’re tiny, or, when that fails, by removing weeds before they go to seed.  Inevitably, there’s a time of year where the weeds seem to be winning the race, and we’re all just plain tired.  That time for us is right now.  Weeds, weeds, in all directions.  Too bad they aren’t more delicious…

The good news is that in the end, we seem to do all right, if not triumph, and we will all happily cross that finish line this year.

We’re excited to send you broccoli with today’s share. With such a hot July, I wasn’t sure if the broccoli would mature nicely, but it has finished with flying colors.  The cabbage is also cute and sweet, and will make a great salad.

We have added organic nectarines from Central Washington.  They are a bit firm (they bruise terribly when they’re fully ripe, and they don’t last long), so leave them at room temperature to allow them to ripen for best flavor and texture.

I’m adding a few recipes and heading back to the field to finish my day.  Enjoy!

Heidi

 

2015 Summer, Week 3

Summer 2015 – Week 3

What’s in the Box:

Bunched beets, Baby bok choy, Sweet onion, Summer squash,
Red Chard, Nectarines, Basil, Snow Peas,
Flowers

PLEASE TAKE ONE LILY BOUQUET!

Dear Members,

Finally a little burst of Summer today, with more to come soon.  The cool mornings and evenings really give the vegetables a chance to thrive, and things are looking healthy and strong in the field.

We are excited to have snow peas in today’s boxes, as well as baby beets, basil, and the first taste of Summer squash.  The organic nectarines are also a treat that we are thrilled to have.

Our surviving lettuces are growing beautifully in the field, and with the right conditions, will be harvestable in a week or two.  If you didn’t receive our update this Spring, our lettuce, peppers & tomatoes (if you can believe it) were the most beloved Spring treat for mice and slugs who must have made their way into the greenhouse from miles around.  I imagine tiny posters hung up in the mouse community, inviting them to the feast…improbable, but it certainly felt that way this Spring, as thousands of seeds were dug up and disappeared in the night.  At any rate, the lucky survivors are coming along nicely, and we’ll have some beautiful greens to share soon.

Yours,
Heidi