December Winter CSA

One of the highlights of my life the last few months is food preservation. It looks me right in the face every time I step foot in our amazing root cellar at the farm. From seed to storage, there is nothing more satisfying than preserving the bounty of the season, especially when you can watch a crop throughout its entire lifetime. My shelves are full of some amazing local produce thanks both to my job at the farm and having friends in the farm community. I am still relatively new to food preserving. The volume needed for a highly self-sustaining lifestyle hasn’t been attainable quite yet, so it seems like less of a chore and more of an experiment. We all know there are much less time-strenuous ways of getting and keeping food but I’m enjoying honing the craft of putting up food for the winter.

When I’m sweating over a hot stove by myself I often thing about the times when people would participate in community canning parties. It seems like a big stretch to organize events like that today, but it seems like such a great thing and I love hearing stories about farm members getting together with friends and family to process food together! It’s so great to know exactly what you’re eating and where it comes from, and doing the work with others makes it an occasion rather than just a chore. Plus, the apple fruit roll-ups I made with local apples taste much better than Betty Crocker’s.

Preserve (ca. 1917-1919) by Carter Housh

After last week’s storm the fields are covered in snow, though it looks like we may lose it all this week. A good hard freeze gives our soil a nice reset each year and can kill invasive pests, so we’re hoping that we do get some extended winter weather soon, and we sure could use some moisture in the ground. Towards the end of this harvest season, we removed all of the plastic walls from one of the greenhouses to give the soil inside a much-needed snow treatment this winter. While the plastic stays up on most of the greenhouses every winter, we try to leave it off over winter when it needs to be replaced. This helps wash away mineral build ups from many seasons of irrigation, loosen the soil with a few good freeze-thaw cycles, and build up the subsoil water reserves. I have a feeling that one of the first tasks to happen on the farm this spring is reassembling the greenhouse. I hope we have some calm days this spring, because any breeze can get pretty exciting when you’re holding a 48×150 foot kite! If you see us hitchhiking back from Wisconsin in April you’ll know what happened.

From Food Farm to you, enjoy this holiday season!

Queue “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Bing Crosby

For the farm crew, Emily


In your shares this month:

Beets – Green Cabbage – Orange and Purple Carrots – Garlic – Onions – French Fingerling and Yellow Potatoes – Sunshine and Delicata Squash


Beet, Apple, and Walnut Salad – The Book of Salads by Sonia Uvezian

  • 2 large, cooked beets – peeled and chopped
  • 2 tart apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 small clove of garlic – crushed (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Combine apples, beets, celery and walnuts in a bowl. 
  • Beat together the oil, vinegar, juice, salt, pepper, and garlic with a fork and whisk until well blended. 
  • Pour over salad.  Toss gently but thoroughly.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Creamy Garlic Dressing – Moosewood Cooks at Home

  • 3 garlic cloves – minced or pressed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Put garlic, oil, vinegar, basil, salt, Parmesan, and pepper into a blender or processor and whirl for a couple of seconds. 
  • With the blender still running, slowly add the milk, whirling until the dressing is thick and smooth. Covered and refrigerated, this will keep a week.

Roasted [Sunshine] Squash Soup – Simply Recipes

  • 3-4 lbs. sunshine squash, seeded (about 1 large squash)
    • This squash is in your share this month!
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 2 cups chopped or sliced onions
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Lime juice, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Roast the squash: Preheat oven to 400°F. Use a heavy chef’s knife or cleaver (it helps if you have a rubber mallet as well) to cut the kabocha squash half into a few large pieces. (Kabocha squash is thick and meaty and can be a challenge to cut. Make sure the squash is stable on your cutting board before you start to cut it.) Scoop out the seeds (you can toast them like pumpkin seeds!) and stringy insides. Place the squash pieces on a foil or Silpat lined roasting pan.
  • Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over all sides, and sprinkle with salt. Put the squash pieces skin side up on the pan. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until completely cooked through, soft, and caramelized at the edges. Remove from oven and let sit.
  • Sauté onions, celery, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander: Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a large (4 to 6 quart) thick-bottomed pan. Add the onions and celery. Lower the heat to medium and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander and cook 2 minutes more.
  • Add squash, stock, salt, pepper, then simmer: Once squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Place the roasted kabocha squash flesh into the pot with the onions and celery mixture. Add the stock, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to low, partially cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Purée the soup: Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender (or work in batches with a standing blender, only filling the blender bowl 1/3 of the way each time) to purée the soup.
  • Add more salt to taste. Sprinkle with lime juice and chopped cilantro to serve.

November Winter CSA

Welcome to the first winter share of the season! There is no better time to receive your first dose of winter veggies than right after daylight savings time. Personally, after a long season here at the farm an extra hour of sleep is more than needed, even though we have to put up with Janaki complaining that his kids now wake up at 4:30 in the morning. This is also the final week of the season for many of our farm hands, some of whom have their own winter adventures ahead of them. Lucky for me, I get to stick around the farm this winter to help pack your winter shares and local wholesale orders.

If this is your first share with us, thank you for choosing local and organic. If you have been a member here for years, thank you for continuing to support our mission. Although we farm hands don’t interact with members very much, we definitely keep all of you in mind when doing various tasks on the farm. As we ventured through the great carrot and potato harvests of 2021, I considered how many mouths these crops will feed through the winter and it made the work more fulfilling.

The last few weeks have been really busy here at the farm to get us set up for the winter. We have cleared many fields of the crops they have been growing all season long. We harvested so many tons of carrots, potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, and Dave’s favorite crop: rutabagas. Among these harvests, Janaki has a plan for exactly which crop is going where this winter. Many carrots will end up in your winter shares. Others will be on the shelves at local grocery stores. The odd shaped and broken carrots even get sold to local businesses to make things such as kimchi. If it’s in the root cellar, it has a plan.

Also, be sure not to forget that it’s officially SOUP SEASON! I know I said that right at the turn of the first leaf this fall, but now it’s more relevant as we have finally experienced cooler temperatures. As a disclaimer, you’ll probably see many soup recipes in these newsletters this winter. A staple in the diets of many Minnesotans, soup may be the defining soup of the winter season. Luckily for you all, many (if not all) of our winter crops are perfect for soup makin’.

Your local soup enthusiast,

Emily

In your shares this month:

Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Celery, Onions, Russet and Red Potatoes, Rosemary, Spinach, and Delicata and Kabocha Winter Squash

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Indonesian Carrot Soup (from New England Soup Factory Cookbook, Druker and Silverstein)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1.5 lbs carrots (we also use winter squash), peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 16 oz coconut milk (one can)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat stockpot over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, garlic, ginger, onion, celery and carrots/squash.  Sauté for 10 minutes.  Add curry, coriander, cumin, pepper flakes, stock and sherry.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med and simmer 30-40 minutes (until carrots and/or squash are tender).  Remove from heat and add honey, coconut milk, cilantro, salt, and pepper.  Puree the soup using immersion or conventional blender.  Makes 5-6 servings.

Spanish Tortilla (New York Times, Mark Bittman)

  • 1.25 lbs potatoes (3-4 medium)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 extra large eggs

Peel and thinly slice potatoes and onions.  Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  After 3-4 minutes, drop in a potato slice.  When tiny bubbles appear around its edges, add potatoes, onions, salt and pepper.  Gently turn mixture in oil with a wooden spoon and adjust heat so oil bubbles lazily. Cook, turning potatoes every few minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a knife.  Adjust the heat.  If potatoes begin to break, they are overdone.  As potatoes cook, beat eggs with salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Turn oven on to 350 degrees F.  Drain the potatoes in a colander.  Wipe out skillet and heat over medium heat for one minute.  Add 2 tbsp. of oil.  Gently mix warm potatoes with eggs and add to skillet.  As soon as edges firm up, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes.  Finish cooking in the oven.  Bake until firm (appx 10-15 minutes).  Serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature.

Summer CSA Week 14

This week was a big week for our dear friends the alliums. Alliums are a genus of plants that include onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots. Onions! Enough to make a grown man cry. To say that these crops are the very backbone of savory dishes in the Midwest is an understatement. Not only do they provide great flavor and texture to our food, they also make the air smell great when you harvest them for several hours. And what do you say to a small onion that has helped you? Thanks shallot. We also started to sort out seed garlic which involves picking out the most perfect heads of garlic to use for next years garlic crop. This process, over the course of years, helps us yield the best looking heads of garlic to give to our dear members and the community.

Soup season is just around the corner, unless you’re like me and believe soup shall not be limited to colder weather. Either way, I feel compelled to throw in a decent soup recipe in these newsletters each week. They’re great for many things but amazing for using up random veggies in your fridges. Great for budgets and your stomachs. This may very well be the beginning of canning season for your household, for which soup is a fantastic candidate. Our dear friend the leek has been patiently waiting it’s arrival in your shares. And you had better believe there’s a soup recipe in this newsletter whose sole intention is to use a decent amount of leeks. Personally, I think the leeks this year look way bigger than last years. This is probably due to the warmer temperatures we have been experiencing.

This weekend you’ll find the Food Farm crew at the Sustainable Farm Association’s annual Harvest Festival at Bayfront Park in Duluth. Have you been wishing to have just a few more heads of broccoli this year? Perhaps you’re wishing for some more tomatoes? Fear not, as we will likely have a wide variety of food available to you. My favorite thing about these festivals as a consumer is seeing the value added goods that people create. Every year there is something new to try and it’s even better knowing it’s local. The annual Harvest Festival is a fun and great way to connect producers directly to consumers. Aside from these newsletters, there are only a handful of ways in which we are able to directly connect with our share members and the general public. We hope to see all of you there! We’ll be there from 10am – 4pm.

Some exciting news from our newest farm hens, they’ve laid their first eggs! These relatively tiny eggs will not be included in the egg shares yet. However, they are a reminder that these chickens play a valuable role on the farm. They provide our members with food and our fields with fertility. Plus they’re cute and full of personality – what more could you ask for in your coworkers?!

If anyone has a soup recipe suggestion, please do not be shy. We must all prosper in the richness that is liquid food.

Your local soup enthusiast,

Emily

In your shares this week:

Broccoli – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumbers – Garlic – Greens Mix – Leeks – Onions – Hot Pepper – Red Peppers – Potatoes – Tomatoes – Zucchini

Bumble bees are fond of our bean plants and their flowers. I call this photo: “Bumble Bean”

Potato Leek Soup from Tasty

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large leeks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs potato, cubed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
  • hot sauce, to taste
  1. Melt butter on medium heat in a large pot. Add the chopped leeks and stir until coated with butter.
  2. Cover the pot and lower heat, cook for around 10 minutes until the leeks have softened.
  3. Increase to medium-high. Add garlic, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, then add vegetable broth, water, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  4. Lower heat and cover pot with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and easily speared by a fork.
  5. Uncover and remove thyme and bay leaf.
  6. Use an immersion or countertop blender to blend the soup until smooth.
  7. Stir in chives and hot sauce (optional).
  8. Allow to cool 2 minutes and serve

Cucumber Avocado Salsa by To Simply Inspire

  • 1 large cucumber peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 avocado finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato finely chopped and seeded
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the first six ingredients and gently toss
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and salt.
  3. Pour over cucumber mixture and gently toss to coat.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.

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)

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 4

At the end of every CSA season we send out a survey to you our members to find out what you thought of your share boxes throughout the season. There are some general questions about how we did, how you felt about the season, and then line by line we ask if you thought you got too much, too little, or just the right amount of every item we send all season long. It’s a long list, as you can imagine.

We use all that information to try to see what, if anything we should change about what we send in the share boxes, and thus, what we should plant on the farm every spring. Over the years it seems like the farm has honed in pretty well to what works for many of you.

Every year though, there are always responses that lean more to the “too much!” side than “never enough!” (we sure don’t want anyone to feel like there’s not enough -except the snap peas – we can never grow enough of those!).

I seem to remember a couple of years back, many members feeling like they had received too many green onions. A few snipped on top of a baked potato won’t use up a bunch a week, but it seems like green onions are often thought of as a garnish in recipes as opposed to a component adding a lot of flavor. Throughout my week, I seem to always be chopping an onion up, even before I’ve fully decided what to make for dinner. I know whatever I make, it needs onion. You can do the same thing with green onions. Whatever recipe calls for onion using green onions would offer that same flavor punch so you can either substitute/or add green onions. Plus, if you’re cooking them down like in a stir-fry, soup or curry you can use a lot of them. It maybe doesn’t need to be said (but I’ll say it), that green onions won’t need to be cooked as long, and can’t be caramelized in the same way as onions can.

In other years I’ve recommended sharing food with friends or family as a way to use up a share if you’re struggling to finish it by the next week. Pot-lucks can be a great way to share and use up whatever you have laying around. This year the option of gathering around food is more complicated, and sharing more difficult. In spite of this, or because of this, I hope you are able to find creative ways to use, store and maybe even share the vegetables you get from our farm.

Feel free to reach out if you have pro-tips on using up a share, or if you have questions that you think others might like answered as well!

For the farm crew,

Karin

 

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In your share this week:

Broccoli – Cauliflower – Cucumbers – Garlic scapes – Head lettuce – Green onions – Pac choi – Radishes


 

Roasted Cauliflower Spread

From Food and Wine

-I’ve said it before that I’m not much of a recipe person, and my educated guess is that this recipe would be very flexible. You could add in some of the garlic scapes and green onions, and probably change up the spices and herbs and still end up with a tasty spread as long as your liquid to solid ratio stays about the same.

  • 1 head of cauliflower (2 pounds), halved crosswise and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame) paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil, ginger and coriander and season with salt. Spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots. Let cool slightly.

Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Add the tahini and lemon juice and pulse to a chunky puree; season with salt. Add the cilantro and pulse just until incorporated. Transfer the spread to a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm with pita bread or chips (or on toast!)


Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 Garlic scapes
  • 1/3 C Pine nuts or walnuts 
  • 1/3 C Parmesan, asiago or simply parmesan dice or shredded
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced
  • 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt or more to taste
  • A few grinds of Pepper
  • 1/3 C Olive oil

Trim the garlic scapes by cutting just below the bulb. Discard the bulb and set the remaining scape aside.
In a food processor, add the chopped scapes. Add the pine nuts, cheese, juice of the lemon and salt and pepper. Process by pulsing until the mixture begins to break down. Scrape the bowl down.
With the processor running, slowly add all the olive oil. Continue to process until all the ingredients are incorporated and broken down, about one minute. Taste for salt.
Store in a covered container or lidded jar in the fridge and enjoy within a week. Also, you can freeze the pesto in a jar or in an ice-cube tray. Once frozen, in the ice-cube tray, remove and place in a zip top bag in the freezer.
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Summer 2020 CSA Week 1

It’s the first week of the Food Farm Summer CSA share!

Welcome if you are new to this, and welcome if this is your 20th year! We are glad you’re here. Thank you for being part of our farm by choosing to participate in the farm this season. Using fresh, whole food is extra work, and we are grateful that you’ll do that work. It makes what we do on the farm worth it -indeed it’s the whole point.

The first week of deliveries is a truly exciting time here on the farm, especially this year. We have three crew members who are new to our farm and to vegetable farming in general, and you could just feel the excitement as folks showed up this morning. To those of us who have been around awhile this first box is pretty modest, and the anxiety of the season ahead sits heavy with us. Being able to see the beginning of harvest season through their eyes gives us renewed energy for the sweat and toil that lies ahead.

In that spirit, take this food, bless it in whatever way makes sense to you, and let the energy it gives you propel you into action that makes the world, and whatever you have agency over, more just, fair, and loving.

For the farm crew,

Janaki

 

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In your share this week:

Pac choi – Lettuce – Rhubarb – Spinach – Greens mix – Oregano


The secret to eating your veggies, especially greens? Drizzle something amazing over them! From our friends at the Duluth Grill (who know a thing or two about making our veggies taste extra good):

Curry Sauce!

  • 1/4 cup seeded serrano peppers
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1/2 stalk lemon grass
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 lime zest (use the other half of the lime to make a quarantini?)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp diced onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp aminos
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • One 15oz can coconut milk

Toast coriander and pepper corns in a skillet. Trim and chop lemon grass. Combine all ingredients except the coconut milk in a food processor until smooth.

Place puree in medium pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk, whisk and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve over greens or roasted veggies, keep sealed in the fridge!


Rhubarb Chutney -from Martha Stewart (she serves it along side thick cut bacon -yum!)

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 8 ounces rhubarb, cut into a 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 1 1/2-inch piece)
  • 1/2 habanero or Scotch-bonnet pepper, finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds extra-thick-cut bacon, halved crosswise
Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and boil until caramel turns medium amber, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully add vinegar (mixture will spatter and caramel will seize). Continue cooking, stirring, until caramel dissolves again.

Step 2

Stir in rhubarb, shallot, ginger, chile pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rhubarb is tender and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Strain chutney, reserving syrup, and transfer to a serving bowl. Return syrup to saucepan and simmer over medium heat until thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.

November Winter Share

farm to table (1)

 

Welcome to the first Winter Share of the season! The warm and colorful part of the autumn is very much past, the evenings are dark and it is time to start getting in the wintery culinary mood!

I love this time of year, and I know I’ve said so every winter newsletter for a couple of years now. It’s still true. I love the subdued colors of everything, and cold wind on my face and snow falling in the sunshine. I love planning exactly what I should wear outside, and thinking about how I’m so great at planning outfits for winter activities… until I start shedding extra layers along a trail to retrieve on my way back.

I love eating as many potatoes as I want (job perk!). I love getting into a different “breakfast rut” each winter. Two years ago it was hash browns. Last year it was carrots, parsnips (stay tuned for them in later shares!) and potatoes all cooked in a pan with yogurt or ketchup on top.

This year my favorite part of the season will be coming up in just a couple of months: my infant son’s first bites of food. I am so excited for him to eat with me out of the root cellar at the farm. I haven’t decided which of the veggies will be his first. Probably carrots or squash. Or parsnips. Or potatoes. Or rutabaga. I feel so lucky to start him off with such wholesome, good quality food. What a blessing.

Thinking about my boy, and what and how I want him to eat as he grows has been fun, and also challenging for me. It has required me to look at how I eat and my imperfect relationship to food. I want him to have good food, the best food. Healthy and as much organic as possible. But that’s not really all of it. Not at all. I also want food to be something that he sees is worth spending time planning, preparing, and sitting down for.  I want to show him that there is value in investing time and money in food. I don’t want to treat the preparation of food like an inconvenience that just needs to be got over as quickly as possible. And by the time he’s taking his first bites I want to do less eating above the kitchen sink, and more sitting down. Even if it’s just for a fried egg sandwich in the morning.

I say that now. But I recognize that our meals won’t always be balanced, or include a complete protein, or be organic or mostly local. Maybe sometimes they’ll be mostly take-out pizza. And, I want him to see that too, and not see it as a thing of shame. There should be so much LESS shame and embarrassment around familial and personal food choices. Because it isn’t easy to always make the ideal choices we’d like to imagine ourselves making.

At the end of it all, I want him to learn joy- the joy of food in our lives. Food is work, fun, tasty, beautiful, communal, and sustaining.

So thank you for taking on a counter-cultural approach to food with us this winter season. Thanks for being willing to slow things down a bit and put your money down on something of quality.

Whether this is your first or tenth Winter Share with us, welcome or welcome back! I hope this season of local produce finds you well, and keeps you trying new ways of cooking with old staples.

With joy,

Karin


Potatoes with Shaved Celery Salad

(I think in newsletters of yore, I have mentioned that I don’t tend to be much of a recipe follower. Perhaps some of you are though, and perhaps you also got celeriac instead of celery. Ah! If I were you, I’d still give this recipe a whirl, but I would roast scrubbed and halved celeriac until tender (an hour or so) and chop it after that to toss with the salad. But I am not you, so perhaps you’d like to simply roast it with oil and salt and enjoy as is!)

  • 2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated red onion
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups thinly diagonally sliced celery
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring 12 cups water and potatoes to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Add vinegar; simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Drain. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet; cool.

Combine buttermilk and next 8 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Stir in potatoes. Stir in celery and pepper. Chill at least 1 hour.

 

Curried Carrot and Coconut Soup

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • ¾ pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch coins
  • 1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander, to taste
  •  Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  •  Juice from ½ lime
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper
  •  Cilantro, if you have it
  1. Heat the butter until the foam subsides. Add the diced chopped onions, sprinkle with salt, stir to coat with butter. Add the chopped carrots along with the spices. Stir and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the stock; there should be enough to cover the vegetables. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the carrots are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. If you have an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot. If not, wait until the soup cools slightly, and purée in a food processor. Add enough coconut milk (and a little more stock or water if necessary) to bring the soup to the consistency you want. Adjust the seasoning (depending on the stock you use, you may need more or less salt), and lime juice to taste. Garnish and serve.

Summer CSA, Week 17

Rain rain go away,

Come again another day,

Rain rain go away,

We’d like to harvest our vegetables someday

So after the CSA on Monday I think we are going to start building an ark. Two of every vegetable of course. Two Astro vans, thank goodness. Wouldn’t want those to die off.

After a summer of wishing it would rain Mother Nature has decided now would be a much better time to challenge us. The thing is it’s way more fun to get rained on when it’s 70 or 80 degrees as opposed to 40 or 50 degrees.

Endless showers, impeachment headlines and vegetables that need harvesting. If you can find the joy then that could be a recipe for success.

Most of the week was spent harvesting the second planting of carrots. We also picked the last of the outside tomatoes and stacked the squash to store for winter. We took the new potato harvester for a test run. Little tweaks and improvements were made to the design. And it works great!

A ray of baby sunshine came out to the farm on Friday. Bosen and Karin lent a hand and all seemed right with the world again.

From a farm crew out finding the joy,

Tiffany


In Your CSA box:

Northeastern Pole Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumber, Lettuce, Yellow Onion, Parsley, Red-ish Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Delicata and Sunshine Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips


Breakfast Huevos Rancheros

Lots of people have very different meanings for huevos rancheros. I like to keep it simple.

  • 2-4 medium potatoes (depending on number of people eating), shredded.
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Shredded cheese
  • Eggs and or meat of choice.

Shred potatoes and squeeze as much water out of them as possible. Heat skillet (cast iron is ideal) to medium high heat with olive oil. Test skillet with sample of potatoes or water to see if it sizzles.

Once skillet is hot place shredded potatoes evenly on skillet about 1-2 inches thick. Salt and pepper top. Drizzle olive oil over top as well.

Leave alone for 5 minutes. Check the bottom often to make sure it isn’t sticking to pan. Flip once golden brown. Salt and pepper other side. Wait another 5 minutes and turn off heat.

Fry eggs to desired consistency. I would recommend over medium-hard. Place shredded cheese on hash browns. Place cooked egg on top of cheese. Apply more cheese. Add a dollop of sour cream and salsa. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Add ground beef or shredded pork if you are into that for a different flavor.

Autumn Harvest Salad

  • Delicata Squash
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 cooked beets
  • 1 raw onion
  • 1 bunch of crunchy kale
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup farro- cooked
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Parsley for garnish

Set oven to 400 degrees. Cut delicata into slices. Dress with olive oil, salt pepper and chili powder. Roast for 15 minutes.

Cut beets into small cubes. Toss in olive oil place on baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Cook farro by directions and cool. Whisk together ingredients for dressing: apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl add kale, squash, farro, beets and chopped raw onion. Add dressing and mix well. Top with goat cheese and a garnish of parsley.

Summer CSA, Week 8

The agate; a treasure to find for north shore residents. We scavenge gravel pits and construction sites looking for those glossy banded rocks. We look with bent necks along the shores of Superior. And each time we come across an agate it’s an exciting surprise.

Some believe agates should go back where they were found, perhaps for the next person to find the joy. Others hoard them in jars around their homes or in the cup holders of their cars.

Our radionics padawan Garret, refers to them as energy boosters. Walking around the farm it’s common to find them piled up waiting to put a smile on someone’s face.

The last two weeks have been a collective effort to weed the 3rd and 4th planting of carrots. With burnt knees and blistered knuckles we damn near completed all 39 beds worth. By the time you read this we might have finished the last seven rows.

Sam and Garrett enjoy tucking agates between carrots. Someone will find it along the way and put it in a row next to them for someone else. Little energy boosters.

Medieval folklore suggests farmers in Europe believed agates could protect their dairy cows.

To prevent milk from spoiling during lightening storms they would hang agates inside barns. This had the added benefit of keeping the witches away from riding their cows at night. A witch will not enter a building protected by an agate.

Agates were also fastened to equipment to ensure a healthy productive crop.

As much as I’d love to see a witch riding a cow, I’d rather have a glass of unspoiled milk.

From a witch weary farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA Box: Broccoli – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumber – Dill – Napa Cabbage – Green Onion – Peas – Green Pepper – Jalapeño Pepper – Tomatoes – Zucchini


Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 1/2 large Napa Cabbage
  • 1/2 cup peanuts-roasted
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or some scapes if you have them from last week
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut or canola oil

Chop cucumber and Napa cabbage into thin elongated slices. Dress with cilantro roasted peanuts. Combine peanut oil, lime juice salt sugar and garlic powder to drizzle over slaw.