Summer CSA Week 7, 2022

Sugar snap peas below solar panels in the front of the farm.

Can you believe we’re already at the end of July?! We can’t! We are approaching harvest time for our preserving shares, one-time bulk produce boxes made specially for canning and freezing. We have shares of canning tomatoes, basil, garlic, green beans, juice carrots, and leafy greens. Get your preserving share order in now at foodfarm.csaware.com! These preserving shares are distributed via our CSA pick-up sites, so you can pick up with your regular summer share. The one exception is our green bean share, which you pick yourself; a fun excuse to come see the farm and get into the field. If you already have a preserving share, we will contact you in the coming weeks via email to schedule pick up.

New in the box this week is zucchini and snap peas. Snap peas are a favorite for fresh snacking.

Peas on the vine

In your share this week:

Napa Cabbage – Zucchini – Lettuce – Cucumber – Green Onions – Carrots with Tops – Snap Peas – Cauliflower – Broccoli


Zoodles – Zucchini Noodles

Here are some tips for making great zoodles or zucchini noodles. Zoodles are a healthy gluten-free alternative to pasta!

Ingredients

Zucchini

Salt

Olive oil (about a tablespoon)

Pasta sauce of your choice

Finished spiralized zoodles

Instructions

  1. Cut the zoodles: Wash your zucchini, but don’t bother peeling. You may have seen or tried long curly zoodles before (image below). These are made with a spiralizer. If you have this tool, follow the manufactures instructions to slice up your zuc. If you don’t have a spiralizer, have no fear! A basic kitchen peeler will work just as well. Just keep peeling past the skin and peel the whole zucchini into long strips. Watch out for your fingers at the end.
  2. Remove excess moisture: Pat your zoodles between paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and allow to rest for 10-20 minutes. This will draw out excess moisture. Press into the paper towels one more time then you’re ready to cook your zoodles.
  3. Cook the zoodles: Saute your zoodles in a pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until the zoodles become tender. For the best non-watery results. Do not cover with a lid. Do not overcook. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.

Try zoodles with Carrot Top Pesto, from the week 4 newsletter!


Two members of our farm crew harvesting green onions in the greenhouse.

For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 6, 2022

Cucumbers ripening in the greenhouse

It’s hot and the CSA boxes are bursting! New in the box this week is Swiss chard and napa cabbage. We hope you’re staying hydrated and wearing plenty of sunblock and enjoying the heat!


In your share this week:

Swiss Chard – Napa Cabbage – Lettuce – Cucumbers – Green Onions – Broccoli – Carrots with Tops – Beets – Parsley – Garlic Scapes


Vegan Borscht

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium beets

3 small carrots (~1 1/4 medium carrots)

2 medium red-skinned potatoes

2/3 medium onion diced (approximately 2/3 cups, try substitution with the green onions in your box!)

2 stalks celery, diced

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

5 cups vegetable stock

1 1/4 cups shredded red cabbage

1 1/4 cups chopped beet greens or chard

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste

freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1/4 cup sour cream vegan or regular (optional)

Instructions

  1. Begin by prepping your vegetables. Peel the beets. Scrub the carrots and potatoes. Dice everything up. It’s best if the beets are a slightly smaller dice than the rest as they take a little longer to cook (you could also shred them in a food processor).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and celery and sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the diced carrots and cook for an additional minute or two.
  3. Tumble in the beets and the potatoes. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until root vegetables are al dente.
  4. Tip in the cabbage and beet greens. Bring soup back up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.
  5. Sprinkle in the dill and the vinegar. Season the borscht to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle borscht into bowls and serve with a dollop of vegan or regular sour cream.

Notes

Cool completely before refrigerating the leftovers in airtight containers. Borscht will keep for up to five days in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.

Based off a recipe from Simple Bites.


Beets and Chard

Did you know beets and chard are actually the same plant, Beta vulgaris? If you’ve grown both in your home garden, you may have noticed the similarities between the seeds and the leaves. The difference is that Swiss chard has been bred to favor leaf production, while beets have been bred to favor sweet fleshy roots.

The vegetables we eat didn’t just appear in the wild one day. Desirable traits have been “selected” for thousands of years to develop the tasty crops we enjoy today. Seeds are saved from plants that show the genetic variations we enjoy (more leaves versus fleshier roots) and then crossed through pollination with other plants with desirable traits so the offspring are better and better for human production and consumption. Please note, this is different from genetically modified which is done in a laboratory versus going through the generations of plants crossing for desirable traits already present in the species.

Rows of chard in the field

Resources for Veg Care and Use!

Remember to use the Vegetable Guide! Click the link below to see a pdf that describes most of the Food Farms crops and how to best care for the produce:

For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 5, 2022

We love fresh produce any time of the year, but early summer is particularly special. There’s something magical about the first time in a season we’re able to share a vegetable. We have several firsts this week: cauliflower, kale, cucumber, AND garlic scapes. We’re watching our harvests diversify and we love it!

Pictured to the right: the crew weeding carrots in a wet fog on the 4th of July.

We’ve had some more storms and wet weather this past week, but fortunately nothing severe, and the moisture levels aren’t excessive. A word of advice to home gardeners: stay out of your gardens as much as possible in wet weather. Stepping in wet mud will cause compaction and be detrimental to your soil’s health. Plant diseases spread more readily in wet weather and your hands and tools could make that worse. On the Farm, have to keep working, even when it’s rainy, but we’re very selective about the tasks we do and how we harvest. Keep dry!


In your share this week:

Broccoli – Cauliflower – Lettuce – Green Onions – Carrots with Tops – Kale – Garlic Scapes – Cucumber


Forager’s Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter (use olive oil for a vegan alternative)

1 cup diced onion

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or hot water

1 1/2 cups whole milk (optional)

1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

~4 cups (8 oz) mixed chopped spring greens, include scapes, kale, green onions, carrot tops, and/or broccoli (use whatever is on hand!)

3 tablespoons olive oil (to cook meat)

3 oz chorizo or bacon, finely diced (optional)

Preparation

  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once the butter foams add onion and potato and stir to coat butter. Add salt and pepper. Turn down heat and sweat the onions and potato on with a tight fitting lid for 10 minutes. Vegetables should not brown.
  2. Heat the stock (or water) in a saucepan until simmering. Add hot liquid to potatoes and onions and simmer 5-10 minutes more until vegetables are completely cooked. Add greens and simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes more. (Don’t over cook the greens!)
  3. Blend with a blender or hand blender. Puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir or blend in milk and cream.
  4. If adding meat, heat olive oil in a small skillet. Add chorizo or bacon and cook until fat is rendered and meat is crisp, 5-10 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Reserve the oil for a garnish or other cooking projects.
  5. Serve soup hot with the above meat and a few drops of the cooking oil to garnish.

This soup can be made a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator! Just gently reheat on the stove top, uncovered. To make this recipe vegetarian, use vegetable broth and skip step 4. To make vegan, also exclude the milk and cream, or substitute with vegan milk option.

*The above recipe is adapted from “Forgotten Skills of Cooking” by Darina Allen and has revisions from volunteer Deb Rausch to better suit our boxes this week. *(Source of recipe previously listed incorrectly.)


garlic scapes ready to go into share boxes

What are garlic scapes?

Scapes are the curly stems produced by hardneck varieties of garlic. We prune off these scapes so the garlic plant puts more energy into producing the garlic heads we all enjoy. If left on the plant these scapes would produce bulbils, which are like seeds that produce a clone of the parent plant.

Lucky for us, scapes are super tasty and get us through the early summer before the garlic crop is ready! Scapes are have a hot garlic flavor when eaten fresh and are a great garlic replacement in pesto. When cooked, the flavor mellows out. Try grilling garlic scapes or adding them to soups.


Still looking for recipes?

Use the Tag Cloud below to find archived recipes from past years. Just click an ingredient below and you’ll be taken to a list of all posted newsletters with a recipe that includes that vegetable. The larger the text below, the more posts there are including that vegetable.

Arugula Basil Beet Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Cabbage Carrot Carrot Leaf Celery Chard Chives Cilantro Cucumber Delicata Squash Dill Dressing/Sauce Egg Garlic Garlic Scape Green Bean Green Onion Kale Leek Lettuce Mint Napa Cabbage Onion Pac Choi Parsley Parsnip Pepper Potato Radish Red Onion Red Potato Rutabaga Scallion Shallot Spinach Thyme Tomato Turnip Winter Squash Yellow Onion Zucchini

The farm crew admiring dramatic cloud formations on 7/11 just before being pelted with rain.

For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 4, 2022

We have fun, even when mulching tomatoes on a hot day.

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you enjoy some family time, great food, and protect your dogs from the scary firework noises.

On the farm we’re celebrating with our first harvest of carrots! The carrots in the share this week are coming with their tops ON because carrots greens are edible and TASTY. See below for a carrot top pesto recipe.


In your share this week:

Green Onions – Broccoli – Lettuce – Carrots with tops – Radishes


Carrot Top Pesto

Ingredients

1/3 cup pine nuts (try substituting cashews, walnuts or sunflower seeds)

2 small cloves garlic, peeled

4 cups lightly packed, well washed and dried carrot top greens (from 1 1-pound bunch of carrots)

1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus more as needed (NOTE: If your bunch of carrots yields less than 4 cups of greens, add as much basil as you need to get a total of 5 cups of greens.)

1/3 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
  2. In a food processor, process the pine nuts with garlic until minced. Add the carrot tops, basil, cheese, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper and process until finely minced. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and process until well blended.

Radish Salad

1 serving

Ingredients

6 radishes

1/2 tablespoon salt, plus more to season

vinaigrette or orange juice

olive oil

pepper

red pepper flakes (optional)

mint or parsley (garnish)

Preparation

  1. Cut about radishes into matchsticks or sliced very thinly and placed in a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of salt. Let the radishes soak for about 15 minutes, drain them, and rinse them well.
  2. Dress the radishes with a vinaigrette or orange juice and a bit of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of hot pepper flakes if you like them and garnish with mint or parsley.


Last week we mulched the field tomatoes (pictured above). These tomatoes are paste type tomatoes for sauces and will go towards the canning tomato preserving share. Food Farm preserving shares are one-time boxes made specially for the canning crowd. Whether you want to stock up on freezer pesto, make all your family dilly beans for Christmas, or perfect your marinara recipe, the preserving shares are ideal for community members who want bulk orders of the freshest local produce. Canning tomatoes will be ready for pick-up between the beginning of August and the first frost, but you can (and should!) get your preserving share order in now at foodfarm.csaware.com .

We are fortunate at the Food Farm to have enough space and appropriate equipment to grow our own mulch. Other farms have to buy in straw. Janaki cuts fields of tall rye cover crop and then the crew tucks in the tomatoes using sleds and pitchforks. It’s like sledding, but all uphill and a lot more itchy! The mulch will suppress the weeds and keep in soil moisture so our tomatoes grow big and strong.

Golden hour on the farm.

For the farm crew,

Starr