Summer CSA Week 14, 2022

The whole crew picking green beans.

It has been an exciting week! Saturday was Harvest Fest at Bayfront Festival Park. It was great seeing all of you that stopped by our booth. We have also had a new crew member join the gang and an old crew member move on to great new things.

A note about peppers: The large pointy red peppers are a SWEET pepper variety named Carmen. The smaller yellow pointy pepper are a HOT pepper variety.

In your share this week:

Green Beans – Carrots – Celery – Cilantro – Cucumber – Garlic – Onion – Red Pepper – Green Peppers – Hot Peppers – Potatoes – Tomato – Zucchini


Here are pictures from our Harvest Fest booth! We moved a lot of produce on Saturday. Thank you to everyone who came out. Harvest Fest is hosted by the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association.


Tomato and Pepper Chunky Salsa

Salsa is one of the joys of summer. It’s great as a snack with tortilla chips or on top of eggs. Luckily, salsa is very easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 7 medium tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper (the long pointed one)
  • 1 small diced red onion
  • 1 hot pepper
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1–2 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Finely dice the tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, hot pepper, garlic and cilantro. Combine in a large bowl and add lime juice and seasonings.
  2. Alternatively, process all ingredients in a food processor for 30 seconds.
  3. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe based off the green creator..


Congrats to our former crew member, Emily, who is moving on to a great new job in her field. Emily has been with the Food Farm for two years and wrote last year’s newsletters.

This beautiful key lime pie was made in Emily’s honor by Charlie, a fellow crew member.


A great morning for spiders!

The first spider is a funnel-weaver spider with in her name-sake funnel web beautifully outlined in morning dew. This spider was found next to our celery rows. The picture doesn’t do justice to the unique 3D tunnel structure this spider builds. The second spider is a black and yellow argiope, also called a black-and-yellow garden spider, which may be the largest web-building spider in the northern United States. She was a big one! She was found feasting on a fly in her web that spanned one of the green bean paths. (We made certain not to disrupt her.) Many think because this spider is so colorful and large it must be dangerous, but in reality, they are shy and rarely venture off their webs. We appreciate these spiders eating the more annoying bugs for us!


For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 10, 2022

The crew preparing to harvest carrots with THE HARVESTER.

Last week was a big week for the Food Farm crew: we harvested our long awaited garlic! You’ll find more pictures and descriptions of that process below. We also brought out the carrot harvester, which is efficient but requires many hands to run smoothly. Boxes are filled with high summer bounty. New this week you’ll find green peppers and GARLIC! The garlic in the box this week is “green” or not yet cured. It should be left out on the counter with good ventilation so it does not mildew.

Would you like to come see the farm at peak season? You’re in luck! We are hosting a farm tour and pizza dinner on Saturday, August 27th! Come by the farm at 2612 County Road 1, Wrenshall from 4:00pm to 6:00. We’ll be serving pizza hot from our wood fired oven and giving farm tours. Free for all to attend, we’d love to see you!


In your share this week:

Basil – Beets – Cabbage – Carrots – Cucumber – Dill – Green Garlic – Green Pepper – Green Onion – New Potatoes – Parsley – Tomato – Zucchini


What am I looking at?

This is a swarm of honey bees seen near the farm hives recently. When a hive gets large enough it splits into two distinct colonies. During this process, part of the hive leaves as a swarm to find a new home. These swarms are often very docile because they are not guarding honey or a queen, but always be careful around bees, especially if there there is a chance you could be allergic.


Cucumber and Tomato Salad

From Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • Cucumber (peeled, seeded and cut into pieces)
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and cut into pieces
  • green onion
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • small handful of fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, dill, cilantro) chopped

Instructions

  1. Put cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to make a dressing. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Sprinkle with the herbs and add feta if you like.

Basic Pesto

We have garlic AND basil in the box this week. The only option is to make pesto 😉

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Combine basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
  2. With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

From NYT Cooking


What is Harvesting Garlic Like?

Step one: Janaki uses the tractor to mow and subsoil the garlic. The subsoiler has big hooks that dig down between the garlic rows, loosening the soil and lifting up bulbs.

Step two: Bring in the farm crew! We pull the garlic and stack it up in piles. These piles are then loaded on a trailer and brought to the wash station.

Step three: Scrub-a-dub. The garlic is washed, removing any dirt that’s still on the bulbs.

Step four: Stack and cure. In order for garlic to last into the winter it must “cure” or partially dry for a few weeks.

Garlic takes at least three weeks to cure. Then, if stored properly, garlic should last through the next spring!


For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 9, 2022

Emily, Ellis and Janaki packing Monday CSA boxes

We have full and diverse box for you this week. We had all hands on deck to harvest everything in time for Monday deliveries! Annie and Ellis were even helping packing boxes. This week new in the box we have cilantro, dill, onion, hot pepper, and new potatoes. “New potatoes” are young tender potatoes.


In your share this week:

Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumber – Dill – Greens Mix – Lettuce – Onion – Snap Peas – Hot Pepper – New Potatoes – Tomato – Zucchini


Terri harvesting dill in the field.

Georgian Cilantro Sauce

This sweet, pungent sauce is a mainstay of Georgian national cuisine, often served with grilled meat, chicken or vegetables. It’s great way to use fresh summer herbs!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dried apricots
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ⅓ cup shelled walnuts (1 ounce)
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), halved, green shoots removed
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves (2 good-size bunches), coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups parsley leaves (1 1/2 bunches), coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped mixed basil, tarragon, and dill
  • 5 tablespoons walnut oil (or more, to taste) (substitute with unrefined peanut oil, or olive oil)
  • ½ cup soaking water from the apricots, as needed

Instructions

  1. Place the dried apricots in a bowl and pour on the boiling water. Let sit for at least an hour, more if possible, even overnight. Drain over a measuring cup and retain 1/2 cup of the soaking water.
  2. Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and drop in the garlic. When it is chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl. Add the walnuts, and process with the garlic. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the drained apricots, the lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne to the bowl, and process to a puree. Add the cilantro and other chopped herbs, and puree, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides several times. Combine the walnut oil and soaking water from the apricots, and with the machine running, gradually add it to the puree. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and let sit for one hour. Taste and adjust salt. Serve with beans, chicken, meat or fish, grilled or roasted vegetables, or grains.

From the New York Times.


Crushed New Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 grams) baby potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon parsley or basil
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Boil slightly salted water, then throw your baby potatoes into the pot. Leave them to cook for 15-20 minutes or until they’re cooked through and soft.
  2. Grease your baking tray with olive oil, and get the potatoes out of the pot and onto the baking tray.
  3. Lightly crush the potatoes with a fork or a potato masher, but make sure not to over do it as you don’t want really flat pieces of potato all over your baking sheet.
  4. Using the excess olive oil on the baking tray, light brush the potatoes with the olive oil.
  5. Season with freshly ground black pepper, and sea salt.
  6. Sprinkle with either dried or fresh herbs and garlic.
  7. Bake in the oven for 10-15 more minutes at 200°C (392°F). The baking time depends on the size of your potatoes, so keep checking on them as they bake.
  8. Served Immediately. 

From Little Sunny Kitchen.


Janaki and the farm crew bagging up snap peas. Yes, he is indeed that talll!

For the farm crew,

Starr

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.