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

Summer CSA Week 13

Every day was super eventful on the farm this past week. The crew adjusted the solar panels along the driveway to match the sun’s fall position in the sky. We are also gearing up for the fall harvesting that will be happening soon, especially for the storage crops. On Wednesday we harvested about 13 tons of carrots – all before lunch. It’s days like those that really make us realize the impact we have on the local food system. Also, not to scare anybody but there are at least 30 more tons (hopefully) that still need to be harvested before late October. And those are just the carrots. Our list of things to do seems like it should be getting smaller but let’s be honest – it’s definitely going to get bigger.

Early this week we said a heartfelt goodbye to Karin who has been the backbone of the farm crew for 7 seasons. She will be deeply missed, but we all wish her the best of luck with this transition in her life. In her honor we built a huge shrine with some parts we found laying around in the barn and it’s just outside the pack shed so she is never forgotten. It doubles as a second bucket-drying rack. Just kidding – that’d be weird. But truthfully, she deserves the recognition for being so cool.

As many of you probably experienced this week, the air quality was very poor from the wildfires burning north of us. As a farmer, I never realized how much I had been taking good air quality for granted. Luckily, wearing a mask helps a lot. There was some rain at the end of the week (yay!) that helped improve the air quality. As a bonus we got to finally experience some autumn-ish weather that the storms brought with them – cool breezes and chilly mornings. Rain also gives us all some excitement knowing that our veggies will be that much happier.

Our newer hens have been adjusting nicely to their new home in the last month. They live on the far side of the farm in a mobile coop that gets moved every few days. This ensures the field they are in is getting an equal distribution of fertilization from the chickens. Earlier this season Farmer Janaki taught us that the fields that have had chickens rotated around in them are significantly more fertile than their non-chicken bearing neighbors. This is just another way the Food Farm builds soil and improves soil quality. What that means for our share members is more nutrient dense veggies.

Thanks for reading my first newsletter, I am excited to carry on this task.

Emily

In your shares this week:

Cucumber – Zucchini – Potatoes – Carrots – Hot Peppers – Red and Green Peppers – Onion – Dill – Tomatoes – Greens Mix – Beans – Beets

Zucchini Lasagna from PBS

  • For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 – 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or about 4 pounds of fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seed, crushed slightly to release the flavor
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • For the Cheese Filling:
  • 1 pound of ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For the Vegetables:
  • 2 to 3 medium-sized zucchinis, no bigger than 4 inches diameter (or 4 to 5 small zucchinis)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard or spinach (about 4 cups, chopped)
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour (can be gluten-free flour)
  • A dozen or so fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella (about 1 pound)
  1. Slice the zucchinis lengthwise to between 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Use a mandolin if you have one, it will help you slice the zucchini faster and in perfect consistent slices. Otherwise, slicing with a knife is fine too. Place the slices on a clean towel and pat the zucchini very dry. Rub 1 Tbsp of olive oil onto an extra-large baking sheet (or 2 smaller ones) and place the zucchini slices in a single layer. Roast in a 375F oven for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. If using fresh tomatoes, deseed the tomatoes (if you wish remove the skins). Bring the tomatoes to a boil and add the minced garlic, chopped basil, crushed fennel seeds, ground oregano, olive oil, sugar, and salt to taste. Simmer until thick and reduced. It’s important to use a thick lasagna sauce in this recipe because the lasagna can otherwise be on the soupy side without the pasta to soak up the extra liquid as it bakes.
  3. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté the onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking. Once the mushrooms are soft, add the chopped swiss chard. When the chard is cooked, remove from heat and drain any juices (save these for great soup stock). Add 2 Tbsp flour to the mixture and mix well to incorporate.
  4. Oil a 9 x 13 inch lasagna dish and spread about one third of your sauce on the bottom. Add a layer of roasted zucchini to cover the tomato sauce. Add the ricotta and parmesan cheese mixture and spread evenly. Add another layer of zucchini slices. Add a second round of tomato sauce and spread evenly, followed by the vegetable mixture and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Add a last layer of zucchini slices followed by the third and last round of tomato sauce. Place the twelve basil leaves on top of the sauce and sprinkle the rest of the shredded mozzarella on top. Pro tip: place a baking tray on the rack beneath the lasagna pan to catch any bubbling juices from falling to the bottom of your oven. Bake for about 40 minutes at 350F until the cheese is melted.

Cucumber Tomato Salad from Spend With Pennies

  • 2 cucumbers (sliced)
  • 2 large tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon of dill
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a boil and toss well.

Summer CSA Week 7

It isn’t an easy summer to be a plant – or someone trying to grow plants. All the trees around town look tired and soft, like a sweaty brochure being used as a fan. Janaki is spending his time running irrigation around to keep vegetables alive in their turn, constant triage ensuring that every crop has what it needs. There are around 42 fields now, some quite large. Wow, I had never counted. No wonder I still get “lost” with the field numbers.

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There is something daunting about the weather this year. It’s not a good rain year. Last year wasn’t a good rain year, nor particularly snowy. Who can say if this is a trend, but who can say what a trend is other than unusual and more intense. It feels unsettling to know that the rest of my life will be marked by these changes. Perhaps some more “normal” feeling seasons or years will still happen- but I fear for more winters with little snow (what is the point of winter if there is no snow!?) and more growing seasons that are hot and dry. And what all will that change? In my life time will pine trees become more rare, will more invasive pests and plants make their way north, will all the ash trees die? Probably. Maybe I’ll find myself accepting change and growing a patch of lavender in my 70s. Or maybe I’ll move somewhere I can still ski.

Going down either an emotional or intellectual rabbit hole of climate worry will drive anyone insane after a while. Beyond my worry is grief, which is easier to be with than worry in the long term, but still not easy.

The other day I found myself thinking how hard it would be to plan and build for these changes we see. From air conditioning in schools to making changes to river banks – a lot could get done and some of it is a guessing game.

On the farm Janaki is continually making those guesses as well as he can in an attempt to mitigate risk and maintain some level of sanity in our work. We can’t make it rain, but he is in the market for a more sustainable and efficient irrigation system. And when (not if) the 5 inches of rain in a weekend fall, he has drain-tile now throughout the fields, to give the water somewhere to go instead of sitting and rotting carrots. We use refrigeration in the root cellar now, instead of solely relying on cold fall air to cool the old cellar for winter storage. Many changes in the past 8 seasons I have known the farm – and many of them just in time. We’re trying, folks. Thanks for coming with us on the journey.

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this week:
Broccoli – Carrots – Cucumbers – Lettuce – Green Onions – Peas – Tomatoes


Carrot and White Bean Burgers

From The Smitten Kitchen

  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko-style breadcrumbs
  • 3 shallots, or 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed grated carrot (from 2 medium carrots)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Two 15-ounce cans cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Burger accompaniments, as you like

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the panko and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl, then return the pan to the heat.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet, followed by the shallot or onion. Cook until softened and lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and carrots and stir frequently until the carrots are soft and a bit blistered, another 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, scraping up all the browned bits until the pan is dry. Remove from heat and add the bowl with the toasted panko. Add beans and use a wooden spoon or spatula to very coarsely mash the mixture until a bit pasty and the mixture coheres in places—there should still be plenty of beans intact. Add pepper, and more salt if needed, to aste. Stir in the egg. Shape into 6 patties (I used a 1/2 cup measure as a scoop) for the size burger you see here; 4 patties for really large burgers (to warn, I found this size a little unwieldy), or 8 to 10 for slider-size.

To cook the veggie burgers, heat a thin layer of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat and carefully cook until browned and slightly firm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes per side. It may be necessary to cook in batches. Serve hot or at room temperature, with whatever you like on or with veggie burgers.

Quinoa Broccoli Salad

From Cookie and Kate

Slaw

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 ½ pounds broccoli (about 2 large or 3 medium heads)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil

Honey-mustard dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or more lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, optional (for heat)
  1. To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 ½ cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the quinoa until it has absorbed all of the water. Remove the quinoa from heat, cover the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
  3. To prepare the broccoli slice the florets off the stems into manageable pieces. Feed the broccoli florets through your food processor using the slicing blade, then switch to the grating blade to shred the stems. Alternatively, you can shred the broccoli with a mandoline or by hand with a sharp knife.
  4. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and whisk until emulsified. The dressing should be pleasantly tangy and pack a punch. If it’s overwhelmingly acidic, add a little more honey to balance out the flavors. If it needs more kick, add a bit more mustard or lemon juice.
  5. Add the shredded broccoli slaw, cooked quinoa and chopped basil to your large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss until well mixed. Let the slaw rest for about 20 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Summer CSA Week 15

There is no denying: fall is in the air. Mornings and evenings are cool, and dark. The first few red and yellow leaves are turning with the cold nights, and the ones that have fallen already have that spicy-autumn smell. I love that smell. I love fall arriving, and picking up a caramel apple, making soups again (after a too-hot for soup summer!) and maybe having a back-yard fire to two.

I also have some trepidation about this fall. As far as the farm goes, we have seen a lot of rain towards the end of the season many years in a row, and it leads to some nail biting when thinking of getting into the fields to harvest our main storage crops. We’re hoping for a drier fall this year, but it’s quite dry right now so we wouldn’t mind a little rain.
We are also hoping for a full and healthy crew. It is hard to not look ahead, as if through a fog, and worry about what will happen when, inevitably, people start coming down with colds or worse and are waiting for COVID tests back.

Looking ahead to fall is difficult this year, because of all the uncertainty. The cold will bring more distance between friends and family, and many of the things we look forward to about this time are not happening (like Friday football and Harvest Fest). I am resolute to find fun where I can, and to sit around with friends outside while I still can, too.

I hope your week, and first bit of fall, start off well as you are replenished with fresh veggies. Maybe you will turn them all into a healthy, hearty soup to warm you and yours up.

For the farm crew,

Karin

In your share this week:

Green Beans – Broccoli – Carrots – Chard – Cucumbers – Dill – Onions – Red Peppers – Russet Potatoes – Daikon Radish – Tomatoes – Zucchini


Vegan Zucchini Fritters from The Crowded Kitchen

For the Lemon Cashew Cream:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour and up to 4 (the longer the better)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp white miso paste
  • You may need ¼ cup cashew soaking water or more, to blend

For the Zucchini Fritters:

  • 4 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 tbsp scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plain gluten free regular or panko style bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt plus 1/2 tsp more to season mixture
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil for cooking

For the Lemon Cashew Cream:

  1. Drain the cashews, reserving soaking water in case you need it to blend the sauce. 
  2. Combine the cashes, garlic, all the lemon zest, juice from one lemon, salt, and miso in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding cashew soaking water one tablespoon at a time if necessary to achieve a creamy sauce.  

To make the fritters:

  1. Grate zucchini. Place in a mesh colander inside a bowl and toss well with 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Let sit for about 35 minutes. Be sure to toss and squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini 3-4 times while it is sitting. (The zucchini will release a lot of moisture!) After 35 minutes, transfer zucchini to a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much remaining moisture as possible.
  2. While the zucchini is sitting, mix together the flour, bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp of salt, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp of pepper.
  3. Add flax meal to a bowl with water, stir and let sit for 20 minutes. Stir once or twice.
  4. Add zucchini to a bowl with scallions and basil. Mix well, then add in all of the dry ingredients. Add flax + water mixture and mix well. Let mixture sit at room temp for 20-30 minutes so the flax egg has some time to bind the mixture together. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if desired.  
  5. Heat a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup so patties are the same size. Form into a ball in your hand and press flat, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cook for 4- 5 minutes on each side over medium heat, until golden brown and crispy.

Gluten-Free Pan Pizza from King Arthur Flour

Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, for the pan
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Topping

  • 6 ounces mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/4 cups, loosely packed)*
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup tomato sauce or pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • freshly grated hard cheese and fresh herbs for sprinkling on top after baking, optional*
  • Veggies from the Food Farm!!

Instructions

  1. To make the crust: Place the dry ingredients (except the yeast) into the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly blended.
  2. Place the warm water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, yeast, and a scant 1 cup of the dry mixture into a small bowl. Stir to combine; a few lumps are OK. Set aside for 30 minutes or so, until the mixture is bubbly and smells yeasty.
  3. Add this mixture to the remaining dry ingredients and beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. The mixture will be thick and sticky, but not elastic; it won’t feel like regular yeast dough. Note: You must use an electric mixer to make this dough; mixing by hand doesn’t do a thorough enough job.
  4. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes or so.
  5. Pour the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil into a cast-iron skillet that’s 10” to 11” diameter across the top, and about 9” across the bottom. Tilt the pan to coat the bottom with the oil. This heavy, dark pan will give you superb crust; but if you don’t have a cast-iron pan, use a 10” round cake pan, a 9” square pan, or other oven-safe, similar-sized, heavy-bottomed skillet.
  6. Scrape the dough from the bowl into the pan. Starting at the center of the dough and working outward toward the edges, use your wet fingers to press the dough to fill the bottom of the pan.
  7. Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  8. While the dough is resting, place one rack at the bottom of the oven and one toward the top (about 4″ to 5″ from the top heating element). Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  9. When you’re ready to bake the pizza, scatter about three-quarters of the mozzarella (a scant 1 cup) evenly over the crust. Cover the entire crust right to the edge, so the cheese will become deep golden brown and crispy as the pizza bakes. Dollop small spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese (putting the cheese on first will prevent the top of the crust from getting soggy under the sauce) then sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella.
  10. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 to 22 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom and edges of the crust are golden brown (use a spatula to check the bottom). If the bottom is brown but the top still seems pale, transfer the pizza to the top rack and bake for 3 to 5 minutes longer. On the other hand, if the top seems fine but the bottom’s not browned to your liking, leave the pizza on the bottom rack for another 2 to 4 minutes. Home ovens can vary a lot, so use the visual cues and your own preferences to gauge when you’ve achieved the perfect bake. You’ll notice the pizza has shrunk away from the sides of the pan, and perhaps deflated a bit; that’s OK.
  11. Remove the pizza from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Carefully run a spatula between the edge of the pizza and side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. If desired, sprinkle freshly grated hard cheese and fresh herbs over the hot pizza. Let the pizza cool briefly, and as soon as you feel comfortable doing so transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. Serve pizza hot or warm.
  12. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a day or so; freeze for longer storage.

Summer CSA Week 9

I was blathering on to my one-year-old over breakfast this morning, trying to describe the taste of the cucumber sticks he was eating. I seem to be driven by this need to cram as many adjectives into his first years as humanly possible. I think perhaps it will backfire someday, but I’m not sure how.

Anyway, the cucumber.
I was informing my son, that though I prefer most fruits (especially) and vegetables (generally) at room temperature, cucumbers are one I love right out of the fridge.
Cool, as they are generally thought of, they taste like the feeling of walking through the woods and noticing that there must be running water near by because of the coolness in the air. Maybe even such a small spring it’d be hard to pin-point, but the feeling in the air is still there.
He also got a short lesson in evaporation over breakfast, and I’m sure he understands it quite well now.

When my sister and I were kids, she was the reader. She always had her nose in a book, and read very, very fast. Like, the sixth Harry Potter book in a day kind of fast. But I’d watch her sometimes skipping whole pages at a time. She said it was “just” description, and she didn’t have the patience for that. I’m sure Tolkien was rolling in his grave.

I hope this week you can find ways to notice how things taste and feel and sound and smell and to be present in the here and now. Plenty of times (and reasonably) the here and now can be stressful, or boring. But even so, there can be a lot that’s worth pausing for and noticing.

We’d be lucky if you thought our veggies this week were some of those things!

For the farm crew,

Karin

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In your share this week:

Green Beans – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumbers – Lettuce Mix – Green Onions – Green Peppers – Kale – Jalapeno Pepper – Tomatoes – Zucchini


 

Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

From The Smitten Kitchen

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

Filling:
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Glaze:
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make filling: Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.

Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

 

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Pico de Gallo

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 medium jalapeño ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds ripe red tomatoes (about 8 small or 4 large), chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
  1. In a medium serving bowl, combine the chopped onion, jalapeño, lime juice and salt. Let it marinate for about 5 minutes while you chop the tomatoes and cilantro.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and cilantro to the bowl and stir to combine. Taste, and add more salt if the flavors don’t quite sing.
  3. For the best flavor, let the mixture marinate for 15 minutes or several hours in the refrigerator. Serve as a dip, or with a slotted spoon or large serving fork to avoid transferring too much watery tomato juice with your pico. Pico de gallo keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.

Summer CSA, Week 14

Much of this week was spent conversing around the carrot box. Filling an infinite amount of bags. Some for you, our trusted CSA members. Some for the co-ops and some for Harvest Fest.

I met many a wonderful faces at Harvest Fest this year. I was lucky enough to stand next to John Fisher-Merritt most of the afternoon. To my perception everyone knew John and those who didn’t found themselves buying peppers from him. After he sliced them a sample with his pocket knife of course.

This week I listened. Chose to speak less and absorb more. I gathered from my listening around the carrot box and reading this or that before bed that we are Earth.

Everyone that I talk to and experience daily knows this. Everyone that went to Harvest Fest knows this. Perhaps even those who disagree with us understand this as well.

We are Earth. Everything we created came from Earth. Everything we use today is derived from Earth.

This very broad statement can send you into a head spin. It can make you think of all the ways humans are ruining Earth and causing her pain. Or you can think of all the ways humans can be kind to the Earth and show our appreciation everyday.

Talking nice to the carrots as we put them in their bags. Telling the beans they are growing great and we are happy to be harvesting them in the rain. Listening to the coyotes and wolves roam in the distance. Choosing in any certain moment not to add your own two cents but rather to absorb what others have to say.

We are Earth. Our journey with Earth to grow and evolve has not always been beautiful. But I’m grateful.

I’m grateful someone invented a carrot harvester and that we used it this week. I’m grateful the mini-Food Farmers went back to school and are enjoying learning! I’m grateful the new laying hens are starting to lay little eggs.

But most of all I’m grateful I get to spend each day working with people who make me smile and laugh.

From an Earthly farm crew,

Tiffany

P.S. The Thyme would enjoy it if you hung it in a place in your kitchen with airflow. Maybe a window or such. It would enjoy making your kitchen smell lovely and not being in your refrigerator.


In your CSA Box:

Yellow Beans, Carrots, Cucumbers, Leeks, Onions, Green Pepper, Hot Wax Pepper, Potatoes, Thyme, Tomatoes, Zucchini


Zucchini Muffins

  • 2 Small zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop zucchini into small pieces and purée in food processor. Combine zucchini purée with sugar, eggs, vegetable oil. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine wet and dry mixtures together. Add chocolate chips for pazazzz.

Line a muffin pan with cute liners or grease. Place batter in pan and cook 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Roasted Carrot Soup

  • 1-1/2 pounds of carrots
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp minced basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin two cooking sheets. Enduring the veggies do not crowd each other roast carrots, onion and garlic for 25-30 minutes.

Working in two batches add half the veggies to a food processor. Add half the tomatoes and purée until smooth. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Add both batches into a large pot. Add basil and remaining salt. Bring to a simmer and let sit for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Summer CSA, Week 12

No need for witty banter or endless anecdotes about potato bugs. This week has been a whirlwind of excitement and organized chaos.

When Janaki starts out the day on Monday saying “It’s going to be a big week” you know we are in for a wild ride!

Thankfully our farm crew is loaded with young blood. We are the next generation of farmers, we are full of energy and excitement.

As the summer winds to an end the cultivating season does as well. We shined up the cabbage field. Pulling weeds, wheel hoeing and spot hoeing.

This week also saw lots of trailer loads of vegetables. The potato washer came out of storage after Patricia and I tucked it away so nicely. The pack shed is a professional game of Jenga now.

We loaded and unloaded carrots, potatoes and onions all week long. With lows getting into the high 40s dare I say it, we are all thinking about fall.

The Food Farm made an appearance at the State Fair! Janaki, Annie, Truman and Ellis along with many other cast members of the Food Farm crew made the pilgrimage down to the great Minnesota get together. Truman and Janaki made it on stage to talk about good food alongside Tom Hanson from the Duluth Grill.

Work around the farm went from zero to 100 real quick this week. We all know the further into the season we get the more work and the faster the pace. However I don’t think anyone was ready for it to happen this fast!

I personally love the fast paced energetic days. The go-go-go feeling keeps you on your toes. I love thinking about the people picking up their CSA boxes and smiling after seeing the beautiful vegetables waiting for them to enjoy.

As always from a fantastic farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA box: Beans, Broccoli, Basil, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Garlic, Lettuce Mix, Onions, Red and Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Parsley, Tomatoes, Zucchini

Perfect Potato Salad

  • 1 lb red potatoes
  • 1 fresh small onion
  • 2 tbs parsley
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2-4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 2 spoon fulls of dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Cube potatoes and steam until fully cooked. This takes about 20 minutes but keep watch. Potatoes are easy to over cook. Also boil water to cook corn. Once water has come to boil place corn cobs in water for 4 minutes.

Chop onion, celery and parsley. Cut corn from cob. Rinse potatoes in cold water to cook them down. Place potatoes in large bowl for mixing. Combine onions, celery, corn and parsley to potatoes.

Add mayo and Dijon mustard to mixture. Add extra mayo as necessary and salt and pepper to taste.

Tomato Peach and Cucumber Salad with Pistachio Vinaigrette

  • For vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios

    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    2 tbs white wine vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    Ground pepper

For the salad

  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 peaches
  • 1/4 cup mixture of mint and basil

For vinaigrette roast pistachios for 5-10 minutes in oven at 350 degrees. Transfer all but two tbs of nuts to food processor (save 2 tbs for garnish!) combine olive oil, wine vinegar and 1/2 cup of water to food processor as well. Mix until smooth. Also add basil, salt and pepper to mixture until smooth.

For salad slice tomatoes into large slices of using large tomatoes. Peel cucumber and chop into slices. Peel peach and cut into 1/2 inch wedges. Layer tomatoes, cucumber and peaches onto plate. Drizzle with dressing and top with pistachios!

Summer CSA, Week 10

The smell of new babies and milk weed is in the air. Fresh cabbage, new potatoes and a delightful week of rain.

Above is a photo Janaki took harvesting kale in the pouring rain for Monday’s share box last week!

Janaki took a hiatus from the farm this week while the rest of us tried to fill his shoes. Also Karin greeted us with her baby boy!

We are entering the tomato season. Outside tomatoes are starting to ripen and the greenhouse tomatoes are taking off. If you are wondering what to do with all the tomatoes in your box…..you should try sun drying them!

I experimented with sun drying tomatoes in my car this weekend. It worked great. I would recommend using slicers because cherry tomatoes take twice as long as slicers do. Also place them on parchment paper. If you place them directly on tin foil them will likely stick.

The sun gold tomatoes were not completely dried after 12 hours in the car. The slicers and Juliet’s that I cut into 1/4s were!

To minimize strange looks and bugs avoid driving your car with tomatoes on the dash board.

With gratitude and grace we thank you for finding creative ways to eat tomatoes, greens mix and all the other delightful veggies we put in your box week after week.

From a smiling farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Green Beans, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Dill, Greens Mix, Lettuce, Onions, Snap Peas, Green Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper, NEW Potatoes, Tomatoes, Zucchini


Turmeric Roasted Potatoes with Green Beans

  • 4 cups potatoes chopped into small cubes
  • 1/2 lb green beans chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs finely chopped basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbs turmeric (for some spice in life!)
  • Salt and pepper

Place oil in pan on medium heat. Once pan is hot place potatoes in pan. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and add green beans, herbs and spices. Cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately for maximum deliciousness.

Tomato Tart

  • Use your favorite pastry dough recipe or buy some ready to bake stuff at the co-op
  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced thin
  • Fresh chives to garnish
  • Salt and pepper

Prepare dough and place in refrigerator for later. Slice tomatoes into colander, sprinkle salt over them and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.

Roll dough out into a 14 inch round circle. Spread olive oil over it and the ricotta cheese. Add the garlic and place sliced tomatoes on top. Fold over the edges to keep everything in place.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes and enjoy!