Summer CSA Week 3

Happy astronomical summer to you all! And what a nice start- with some rain and some cooler weather! We will need more rain than this to make a dent in what we’ve been lacking, but we can’t complain. And the cooler weather helps crops like broccoli and cool-loving greens stay sweet, and stay more predictable in their maturing (i.e., harvesting time!).

Hopefully you are getting into the swing of summer and in the rhythm of picking up and using your share. We’re getting into the rhythm of harvest on the farm. It’s a learning curve for new crew members as they learn what sorts of veggies we harvest into what sorts of bins and what gets banded, or bagged, or dunked to cool, or not. Those of us who aren’t new mostly remember how to do *most* of the things correctly- but there are many conversations to check in and make sure we’re not wrong (and by we, I mean me).

We trellised our snap peas last week. I don’t think it was anyone’s favorite project and I was trying to remember how to do it at the same time as telling the crew what to do. I commented that trellising peas is like riding a bike after getting amnesia and two prosthetic legs. But the peas are so tasty, and better off the ground than on. Worth it!

When people ask me how big the farm is, and I say we have about 15 acres in production a season, some people react in a way that I can tell they think that’s small. Perhaps they don’t know what an acre is -that’s not unlikely, but I think most people have a corn and soybeans sort of idea of all farms, regardless of what they grow. 15 acres in corn or soy would be tiny, why bother? But with the multiple varieties of multiple species of vegetables that we grow it is plenty to keep up with! Anyone with corn and soy on their mind wouldn’t be thinking of hand weeding, or hands-on pest management (potato bugs, ugh!). Or trellising once a year-only to forget how by the next season. Not to mention the added work of maintaining soil health and fertility as opposed to adding synthetic fertilizers each year. There is a lot to keep up with! And it’s all much tastier than feed corn and soy!

We hope you enjoy this week’s share, and the variety it brings to your table. As we delve into summer shares will have more variety, and your box will get heavier! We hope you enjoy it all -maybe even by bringing some to a friend to share! Remember sharing food with people? How fun!

For the farm crew,
Karin

P.S. There is a lot of lettuce in your share this week – don’t be afraid to dress it up, chop it up, and change up your dressings to use it all up and make it tasty! Maybe bring some lettuce wraps to work, just tell them it’s national lettuce wrap day or something.
There is also a lot of turnips, if you didn’t try last weeks recipe, check it out!


In your share this week:
Green-top Beets – Greens Mix – Kale – Lettuce – Green Onions – Turnips


Beet Salad

From Cookie and Kate
The recipe calls for spinach, but you could use the green tops from the beets -they’re related!

Salad

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen organic edamame
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 medium raw beet, peeled
  • 1 medium-to-large carrot (or 1 additional medium beet), peeled
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach or arugula, roughly chopped …or the tops!
  • 1 avocado, cubed

Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
  2. To cook the edamame: Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the frozen edamame and cook just until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. To toast the almonds or pepitas: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds or pepitas, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
  4. To prepare the beet(s) and/or carrot: First of all, feel free to just chop them as finely as possible using a sharp chef’s knife OR grate them on a box grater. If you have a spiralizer, you can spiralize them using blade C, then chop the ribbons into small pieces using a sharp chef’s knife. If you have a mandoline and julienne peeler (this is a pain), use the mandoline to julienne the beet and use a julienne peeler to julienne the carrot, then chop the ribbons into small pieces using a sharp chef’s knife.
  5. To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk together all of the ingredients until emulsified.
  6. To assemble the salad: In your large serving bowl, combine the toasted almonds/pepitas, cooked edamame, prepared beet(s) and/or carrot, roughly chopped spinach/arugula (see note above about leftovers), cubed avocado and cooked quinoa.
  7. Finally, drizzle dressing over the mixture (you might not need all of it) and gently toss to combine. You’ll end up with a pink salad if you toss it really well! Season to taste with salt (up to an additional ¼ teaspoon) and black pepper. Serve.

Mushroom and Greens Sheet-pan Quiche

From the Leek and the Carrot

Pie Crust:
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup water
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Filling:
2 tablespoons butter
2 green garlics (3-4 garlic cloves will work if you don’t have green garlic), white and pale green parts only, minced
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 cups arugula, roughly chopped
3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
3 cups other spring greens (turnip greens, beet greens, chard, kale, etc), roughly chopped
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

  1. Begin preparing your crust (if you plan to make it; if you don’t skip to step #8). Cut the butter into small cubes and place in the freezer until ready to use. Fill measuring cup with 1 cup cold water and place in the freezer.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. If you have a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt in there. This is my favorite way to make pie crust and it whips up in a snap!
  3. Add butter to bowl and use your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour (or add it to the food processor and pulse until the butter is mostly broken up). You will pinch the butter cubes into smaller pieces until they are about the size of peas and uniformly incorporated. Some pieces of butter will be small and some will be larger; that’s absolutely fine!
  4. Remove the water from the freezer and pour in half. Use a rubber spatula to press the dough together. If it’s still dry (it likely will be) continue to add water until the dough comes together. You may need to knead with your hands a little bit. (Here is where a food processor comes in great, turn the food processor on as you pour in about 3/4 cup of water and just leave it running until the dough begins to come together. It should take about 30 seconds, add a little more water if it seems to not be coming together).
  5. Wrap pie dough in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 20 minutes or in the fridge overnight.
  6. Remove dough from the freezer and roll out to an approximately 12×16-inch rectangle. Carefully, fold it in half and then in half again. Move the dough to a 10×14-inch baking sheet and unfold. Press gently into pan. Remove any excess dough from the edges. Prick the crust with a fork and place pan in the freezer.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and while you wait for it to preheat, begin slicing your mushrooms and chopping your greens!
  8. Once the oven is preheated, line your pie crust with foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans or rice you don’t plan to cook). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake 5 minutes longer. If using store-bought crust, follow package directions for pre-baking.
  9. While the crust bakes, melt the butter for the filling in a large, deep saute pan (the larger the better, you’re going to be throwing a lot of greens in here– if you don’t have a large saute pan use a soup kettle) over medium low heat. Add the green garlic and cook for a couple minutes until fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute until soft, about 10 minutes more. Add all the greens, water, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to your pan. Saute until the greens are well wilted.
  10. In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, two at a time, again whisking until smooth after each addition. Stir in sauteed mushrooms and greens along with the cheeses.
  11. Pour filling into the prepared, prebaked crust and bake until filling is set, about 30 minutes.

Summer CSA Week 2

I don’t think of myself as a superstitious person typically, but in the past couple weeks I have: left car windows open, left laundry on the line over night, left an open bag of potting soil on my deck (for days), not washed the car, left the garbage lid open, and left the deck chairs out instead of tipped up. This list isn’t just to show how lazy I am, it’s to show that I am TRYING to send a message (to whom it may concern) that we need rain! If I leave these things this way maybe they can be a sacrifice of sorts for rain. None of the passing showers that went through the area have hit the farm and we’ve had less than 1/4″ of rain in the last three scorching weeks, so I invite you all to participate in my efforts such as they are. Maybe the message will get through (and we’ll all have to take in that sopping laundry with joy).

These hot windy days are not only very drying, but also prevent us from irrigating during the day, so Janaki has been moving the irrigation around a lot at night (you know, in his spare time) to make sure all the plants get what they need, especially when so many are tiny seedlings without deep roots yet.

What can we say but say the so-annoying phrase “new normal”? Late spring used to bring rain fairly consistently, and in a soaking, spread out kind of way. And they sometimes still do. Sometimes there are still 45 and foggy days in the end of May- we had a few of those this year. Predictability and farming have never danced well together, but this new climate has scratched up the record we were trying to dance to. In the back of my head now I have a fear about dry-dry-dry and then a deluge of 5 inches of rain over night. It seems to be what happens.

On a sort of lame flip side – I think we’re staying on top of the weeds pretty well so far. Turns out they need water too (though somehow less…. how is that fair?) This past week saw the second and largest planting of potatoes in the ground, as well as the 5th and BY FAR largest planting of cabbage and some broccoli. Good luck out there little babies. We’re on your side!

We are happy to send a box that’s a little fluffier and fuller this week. It would have been a hot week to try to save the rhubarb and early spinach through -hopefully you found that harvest to be worth it! Each week -bit by bit there will be more variety in the boxes headed your way. As you get home with your share, especially on these warm days, a quick soak in a sink full of cold water can help prolong the life of many greens like pac choi and lettuce. They get cooled after we harvest them, but may warm up again at your pick up site. Cut-greens like this week’s greens mix could be put in the fridge with the bag open, but make sure to close the bag up again before night so they don’t dry out. If you use radish and turnip greens, good for you! They could also benefit from a cold soak, though I would really try to dry them well and then use them sooner than later.

Like greens, humans keep better with a good dunking now and then. If not that, maybe you can at least make time to dump some water on your head, or run your wrists under some cool water (trust me, it helps). And, if you do those things, maybe stand by a plant to share some of that water!

Enjoy the veggies!

For the farm crew,

Karin

Flying row cover!

Floating row cover!


In your share this week:
Greens Mix – Romaine Lettuce – Pac Choi – Radishes – Spinach – Turnips


Turnip and Kale Gratin
-From Bon Appetit

In the body of text about this recipe, it says that turnip greens can be used in place of the kale! Voila!

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
3 bunches Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn
4 medium turnips (about 1¾ pounds total), trimmed, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 cup)
8 ounces day-old white country-style bread, cut into ½-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Step 1

Bring garlic, cream, and thyme to a bare simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and let cream simmer 30 minutes. Let cool.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-low. Add onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a splash or two of water if onions begin to stick to pan, until caramelized and amber colored, 45–60 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Wipe out skillet.

Step 3

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in same skillet. Working in batches, add kale, tossing and letting it wilt slightly before adding more; season with salt. Cook until kale is wilted and tender, 5–8 minutes; transfer to bowl with onions.

Step 4

While kale is cooking, cook turnips in a large pot of boiling well-salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Drain; pat dry. Transfer to bowl with onions.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk eggs, Fontina cheese, Parmesan, and cooled cream mixture in a large bowl to combine. Add onion mixture and bread; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 13×9″ baking dish and press down on mixture with your hands to form a tight, even layer. Bake gratin, uncovered, until well browned, 40–50 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Gratin can be assembled 12 hours ahead. Cover and chill.


Pac Choi and Shiitake Stir-fry
From The Spruce Eats

3 to 4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup shiitake mushrooms (sliced OR 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms)
2 teaspoons canola oil or other high-heat oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or, use tamari)
1 pac choi
5 to 6 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (minced or grated)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Saute the garlic and mushrooms in oil for 3 to 5 minutes then add in the soy sauce, the bok choy and scallions, and cook for a few more minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add vegetable broth and ginger. Simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes. Finally, stir in the sesame oil and the optional sesame seeds and remove from heat.

Eat as is or enjoy over rice or another grain!

Summer CSA Week 1

Happy first Summer CSA 2021 to you all! -and what a summery start indeed! I trust if you are reading this you didn’t totally melt this past weekend. It’s a warm week for farming, and we’ll be staying hydrated while getting back into the swing of harvest and the rhythm that the CSA brings to our summer weeks. The farm crew will be moving from mostly greenhouse seeding, transplanting, and miscellaneous spring cleaning projects into a routine of harvest, weed, weed, plant, weed, plant, harvest, weed.

Aside from the weather weirdness, this farm season is feeling a little bit more normal since we are our own vaccinated bubble of sorts. We’re not quite back to sharing water out of the same cup yet (ever again?) but at least we can enjoy each other’s company a bit more. What a good feeling after a year of extra stress.

We’re glad you’re a part of our farm- all of your share memberships make what we do possible. Whether you’ve been with us for decades or this is your first year, welcome! If this is your first year, we hope you won’t hesitate to reach out with questions if any arise during the season.

Hopefully you all are also excited for the rhythm that the weekly CSA brings to your summer. We know it takes extra time to utilize whole food and to do the work of unpacking and repacking produce in a way that keeps it fresh. Thanks for taking on the food-work! Any time we don’t reach for convenience food shipped from miles and miles away we do something good for our community, planet and ourselves. Whole food is a counter-cultural act these days.

We look forward to growing (and mostly weeding) for you during the season. Thanks for choosing our veggies to feed yourselves with!

For the farm crew,
Karin

In your share this week:

Greens Mix – Kale – Rhubarb – Spinach – Oregano & Sage

Oregano and sage may seem like an odd addition to a spring share, but they were too pretty and fresh for us to ignore. They come from a little corner of the greenhouse and managed to survive the winter, got mowed to the ground, and have recovered with some beautiful spring growth so we hope you will enjoy them now or hang them up to dry for future use. 

This first box is significantly smaller than usual, but early shares generally include a goodly portion of greens. It can become easy to feel daunted by the volume in your weekly box. After a winter of store bought veggies (potato chips are veggies?) getting back in the swing of eating up a box of veggies can be a switch. No shame! I spent this winter eating bagels and pasta so it’s a switch for me too. A couple of things about greens: they all cook down. True, you may not be making lettuce soup this summer (please don’t), but all the other greens you get that seem like so much will disappear when stir-fried, tossed into a soup, cooked in an egg bake or made into a savory pie.

It also helps to have some dressings on hand that you LOVE for fresh greens. Adding a fat to salad is actually really healthy because that is what helps our brain recognize when we’ve eaten enough of something. So dressing, feta, avocado and things like that are perfect additions. You should add whatever you need to a salad to get you excited about eating it.

Here are some dressings that I am stealing from our friends at the Duluth Grill. Whip up a couple of these for your greens if you fancy!

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup (I bet you could use honey or agave nectar at about the same ratio)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp brown mustard

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in blender. Blend until smooth, then add olive oil slowly to emulsify. Yield about 1 1/12 cups.

Curry Sauce

1/4 cup seeded serrano chilies
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp black pepper corns
1/2 stalk lemongrass (the Co-op often carries this)
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 lime zest and 1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp diced onion
1 1/2 tsp aminos (or soy sauce might be fine)
1 1/2tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 -15oz can coconut milk

Toast coriander seeds and black pepper corns in a skillet. Trim and chop lemongrass. Combine all ingredients except coconut milk in a food processor until smooth.

Place puree into a medium pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, whisk and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve over greens (or anything)