Summer CSA Week 17

I hope everyone’s fall equinox was filled with fall festivities. Leaf watchers should be infiltrating the region en masse in the coming weeks. Luckily we don’t have to go very far at the Farm to see the beautiful colors of fall. For those who have been out to the Farm, you know what I mean. This is also the week where onion cleaning is in full swing which means that the falling leaves will become mostly indistinguishable from onion skins that are left to the ground.

Onions are one of our main storage crops for the winter. Last week we harvested several thousand pounds of storage crops. These include squash, potatoes, cabbage, and daikon radish. Speaking of… daikons will be making an appearance in your shares this week. The following recipes are heavily influenced by daikons as they are probably not used as often in people’s cooking routines.

This is a really nice time on the farm.  The weather is not too hot, and not yet cold. The weeds and bugs have slowed, and we are no longer planting vegetable starts or seeds into the field with the exception of cover crop seed. The frost seems to be keeping its distance and we received a 3/4″ of rain this week. All of our “free time” is pretty focused on harvesting storage crops.

Also, this week we will be sending out pumpkins! Farmer Janaki notes that although these are technically edible, the texture and flavor is not as good for eating. This variety is mainly used for carving. Let the fall festivities ensue.

Thanks for reading,

Emily

Terri hauling pumpkins while wearing her pumpkin colored overalls.

In your shares this week: Pole Beans – Carrots – Celery – Cilantro – Cucumbers – Greens Mix – Onions – Red Peppers – Hot Peppers – Fingerling Potatoes –  Daikon Radishes – Spinach – Delicata Squash – Tomatoes – Zucchini

Beans in the greenhouse.

This recipe is good for a quick addition to anything that might need the crunch of a pickle (salads, grilled items).  The original recipe also called for carrots. 


Daikon Radish Quick Pickle (Modified from The CSA Cookbook (Ly)


1/2 lb daikon cut into 2-inch matchsticks

1tsp salt

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp sugar


Toss the daikon with the salt and let it sit in a colander in the sink for about 30 minutes.  Toss once or twice to remove as much liquid as possible.  Combine the vinegar, water, and sugar in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Let the brine cool to room temp.Rinse the daikon under cold water to remove the salt and pack into a container.  Cover the daikon matchsticks with the brine and let them stand for at least 4 hours at room temperature.  Pickles are best if refrigerated overnight.

Spicy Chinese Slaw (The Joy of Cooking)


Slice into 2-inch matchsticks- Daikon, cucumbers and cabbage (to equal 3 cups)

Place in bowl and toss with 4 tablespoons of salt.  Let stand to drain for 30-45 minutes. 

Rinse veggies with cool water to remove the salt.  Drain well and place into serving bowl. 

Stir in: 1 tsp minced garlic Red pepper flakes (to taste)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1.5-2 tablespoons of sesame oil

salt to taste. Marinate for at least an hour.  

The 3rd recipe I chose should use some of the root veggies in this share…YUMMY!


Roasted Roots with Vinaigrette (modified from The Smitten Kitchen)


1 cup of cooked grains – quinoa, barley, couscous, farro (your choice!)

salt

3 small shallots or 1 small garlic clove

olive oil

3-4 cups mixed root vegetables (possibilities:  radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, potatoes, squash, cabbage, zucchini) – you can also include any non-root veggies from your shares.

2 tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel shallots (or garlic), break the shallot into clove-sized portions and wrap in aluminum foil with a few drops of olive oil. Place in oven. Coat baking sheet or roasting pan lightly with olive oil. Arrange the root veggies in one layer and drizzle with as much olive oil as you like to use (at least 2T). Sprinkle with lemon juice, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper to taste. Add roasting pan to oven. Roast veggies for 20 minutes, flip them over and roast for 10-20 more (until tender and slightly brown).  Remove both veggies and foil packet from oven.


Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons mild vinegar (sherry is good)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp olive oil

pepper to taste


Remove the shallot or garlic from the foil packet and toss into blender with the vinegers and salt.  Drizzle in olive oil and sample the dressing.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  
To assemble:  spoon the grain onto a platter.  Arrange roasted root veggies over the grains and drizzle with the dressing.    

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 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 11

I am sure I have said in newsletters of yore that recipes aren’t really my thing. Finding them for the newsletter – I just do the laziest thing which, depending on what I’m looking for, is either just googling “spinach recipes” or whatever, or going to a couple of my go-to sites for ideas and seeing what they say. Recipes aren’t really my thing, but I do like pretty pictures of food, and being forced to look up new ideas for the newsletter does help me snap out of a rut (re: last week’s zucchini fritters comment).

A lot of the way I cook (when I’m not “cooking” eggs and toast) feels like just throwing what I have lying around together, often in one or two pots and then eating all of whatever it is in a bowl. Sometimes I don’t feel like it counts as a “meal”- the Midwest concept of what a meal is has imbedded itself in my brain. Sometimes I don’t feel like it counts unless there’s meat (duh) and two sides (one being potatoes) and dessert. I’ll skip the glass of skim milk at dinner… but thanks for offering.

With shares like this week’s especially, I feel like all the food is just waiting to be chopped up and eaten together. I do recommend cooking the potatoes first. All these veggies would be great in a grain bowl for example. Is that so 2017? 2017 BCE? I just made a salad that is not unlike the quinoa chickpea salad below, but instead of a mustardy dressing, I used a huge scoop of fresh basil-pesto in the dressing. So good.

You also don’t have to chop all the veggies and mix them all together this very night. So much chopping! So much time! No matter what I do, I don’t feel like I get any faster at processing whole veggies and working with any whole food takes time. You’re allowed to cut a zucchini in half, cover it in cheese and store bought sauce and roast the living daylights out of it. You can even call that dinner. No milk and no meat, no problem!

All of this is partially a pep talk to myself to get me to do something with the cauliflower in my fridge before another one ends up there!

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this week:
Basil – Beans – Cabbage (Monday), or Cauliflower (Thursday) – Carrots – Cilantro – Lettuce Mix – Melon – Onions – Sweet and Hot Peppers – Red Potatoes – Tomatoes – Zucchini


Zucchini Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • ¾ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs, or you could use seasoned
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

FOR THE NOODLES
2 medium zucchinis, zoodled with a spiralizer (or…https://topwithcinnamon.com/lazy-girls-zucchini-spaghetti-no-fancy-tools-required-with-peas-creme-fraiche-and-pesto/)

Your favorite pasta sauce


Line a large baking sheet with wax paper.
Place all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Using your hands, gently work all the ingredients together, careful to not overwork the meat.


Using a two tablespoons, scoop meat into individual balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Once all is scooped, form the meat into balls. Freeze 20 of them in a freezer-safe plastic bag or container and place 10 of them onto a plate to set aside to cook.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil.


Once the oil is hot, carefully place the meatballs into the skillet and let brown on one side then turn with tongs. Continue cooking until meatballs are all cooked through, about 7-10 minutes.
For the zoodles, you can either just blanch them in hot water and add sauce on top along with the meatballs or you can throw them into the same skillet and cook them until softened and pour sauce on top along with the meatballs.
Serve warm!

The meatball mixture makes roughly 30 meatballs. They freeze really well and I love having the ability to pull them out of the freezer during busy work weeks! 🙂

Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Summer Veggies!

From the Crowded Kitchen

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced (1 small onion)
  • 2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • 1 cup finely chopped spinach (or any leafy green)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, finely diced
  • ¾ cup grated carrot
  • ¾ cup finely diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 14.5 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed well
  • ¼ cup grated vegan parmesan (or regular)

VINAIGRETTE:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions and add ½ teaspoon of salt to the water.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, add olive oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, until softened and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 
  3. Once the quinoa is done cooking, transfer to a bowl to cool slightly (you can place in the fridge or freezer to speed this up). 
  4. Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
  5. Prep the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, pepper and parsley.
  6. Add all ingredients (cooked quinoa, onions/garlic, vegetables, parmesan) to a large mixing bowl and toss well with the vinaigrette.
  7. Optional: refrigerate for 30 minutes-1 hour before serving (or enjoy right away!).

Summer CSA Week 8

We’re grateful for the half inch of rain we got on Saturday- and we’d like to place an order for more on Monday… but no hail this year please! It is hard to know the total of what damage the hail did last year exactly – but it definitely made the 2020 season feel more Biblical than ever- and not in a nice way.

I am excited for potatoes this week. New potatoes are so extra tasty, tender, and fresh feeling. You could do anything you want with them and it would be delicious. However – if I were you, I’d keep it simple with the potatoes the first few weeks. You have all winter to cover them up with mayonnaise, cheese, or gravy. These first potatoes are so good roasted and then smashed with herbs and butter, or in a potato salad with a bright dressing as opposed to something creamy. Of course- if you’ve been waiting months for local-cheesy hashbrowns, I won’t stand in your way.

Potatoes are such a great vegetable. Even people who don’t like vegetables like them, that’s how great they are. And, while fries and potato chips are not sustainable every day options, potatoes really are quite nutritious as an every day food. They are such a staple of so many recipes from European countries, but they really only made it from the Americas to Europe around five hundred years ago, give or take. In some ways, that isn’t really so long ago.

The share is moving in a particularly American direction this week with the addition of potatoes, peppers and of course the tomatoes and zucchini. What a tremendous amount of work and attention must have happened to breed otherwise poisonous plants into what would become near-global staples. I feel grateful, but of course the how and why these vegetables made it halfway around the world and back is not a happy one for the people who originally bred and worked over plots of potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and squashes. I wish there was a word that mixed joyful gratitude with un-payable debt.

Whatever that word would be, perhaps it will hover over you as you prepare meals from your share this week. I am sure they will all be delicious.

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this week:
Broccoli – Carrots – Cauliflower – Cucumbers – Dill – Lettuce – Green Onions – Parsley – Peas – Peppers – Potatoes! – Tomatoes – Zucchini

How to Freeze Broccoli

Janaki is feeling super guilty for sending so much broccoli, so here’s a quick tutorial on how to freeze it so it’s not so overwhelming. You can certainly find videos on YouTube for how to do it, but a lot of them seem too fussy. We like to get things done fast here at the farm, so here’s the farmer way:

Supplies:

1 large stockpot or saucepan, ideally with a steamer basket

Colander

Ziploc quart freezer bags

Ice (optional)

Salad spinner (optional but awesome)

Broccoli (not optional)

Cut the broccoli into smallish similarly-sized pieces, I usually shoot for around 1.5-2″ diameter. Stems can be used as well, though they’re more dense so should be cut smaller/thinner so they blanch in the same amount of time. I only use the tender part of the stems, but you can use the lower part as well if you want to peel to remove the tough skin.

Once your pot of water is boiling well, fill the steamer with broccoli pieces. (Boiling also works, but I prefer steaming). If you cram it really full they don’t cook evenly, so you’ll have to judge the right amount based on the size of your pot. For mine it’s about enough for 1 1/2 bags.

Set a timer for 3 minutes and fill both sides of your sink with water. Put in ice on one side. When the timer is done, dump the steamer basket into the colander. Put that into the side without ice. Refill the steamer basket and reset the timer.

After about 90 seconds, move the colander to the ice bath. Just before the timer goes off, dump the colander into the salad spinner and take the broccoli out of the pot, into the sink, etc.

Spin the broccoli in the spinner to remove excess water. If you don’t have one, just shake the excess off in the colander. Some people pat it dry with a towel but I don’t think you need to be that finicky. Take it out of the spinner and stuff it into bags. Put the bags in the freezer.

Label the bags first so you know what year it’s from. If you forget that part, don’t worry just eat it faster. If you only have a single basin sink, don’t worry, just use more ice. If you don’t have ice, don’t worry. The faster you cool it down the longer it keeps, but I’ve eaten broccoli that’s several years old and it’s usually fine.

If you get really fast/impatient like me, you can have two steamers going at once and still keep up as long as you don’t have any “helpers” in the kitchen.

Final step: make someone else clean up, you’ve done your part. (I still haven’t figured out that step yet.) That’s it, good luck!


Tzatziki Sauce

From Cookie and Kate

  • 2 cups grated cucumber (from about 1 medium 10-ounce cucumber, no need to peel or seed the cucumber first, grate on the large holes of your box grater)
  • 1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint and/or dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. (Karin’s side note on straining: I would use either cheese cloth, a clean flour-sack towel or a sturdy strainer you could push against to strain water out… or, do it her way): Working with one big handful at a time, lightly squeeze the grated cucumber between your palms over the sink to remove excess moisture. Transfer the squeezed cucumber to a serving bowl, and repeat with the remaining cucumber.
  2. Add the yogurt, olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to the bowl, and stir to blend. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and add additional chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice, and/or salt, if necessary (I thought this batch was just right as-is).
  3. Serve tzatziki immediately or chill for later. Leftover tzatziki keeps well, chilled, for about 4 days.

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 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.

Summer CSA, Week 6

What a week!

The weather is scorching hot and vegetables are growing like crazy. The bounty of food we harvest everyday takes my breath away.

You want to know what else takes my breath away? More or less out of primal hunger …LUNCH and how good everyone on the Food Farm is at cooking! It’s kind of a job requirement.

Each day someone on the farm crew is designated to make lunch. And each day the arrangement of vegetables grows more and more impressive. On a hot, hot day caring for cabbage or carrots it is so wonderful to eat a cold salad with cold dressing and drink a glass of ice cold water.

So the salad bar has become a staple during lunch. It is common place to lay out a cornucopia of choices so we can all free range. Shredded turnips or beets, chopped cucumber and carrots, sun gold tomatoes and a pile of greens mix. Of course one cannot survive the rest of the day purely off of a salad.

Sam likes to bring bread he made over the weekend. He is an incredible baker and the bread does not last long. Jane makes kombucha and a delicious hard boiled egg. Teri often dazzles us with a quinoa dish she prepared the night before. She sometimes will even bring homemade ice cream! I constantly want to make cookies. And Garrett made an impromptu tofu beet salad this week that was stellar. Oh and Patricia likes to bring watermelon or mango from her backyard.

The possibilities of what to do with a refrigerator full of vegetables can be overwhelming. Attempting to create a new and exciting dish to please the masses can be challenging. Luckily out here when we file in for lunch no one is picky and we are all purely grateful food is made and it’s time to relax.

When food tastes this good who needs fancy sauces and spices. Wash that carrot off and start munching!

Above is Garrett, who landed a hitchhiker while hoeing in the squash field. Also in the squash field are a lot of rouge milkweed plants. Bless their hearts they didn’t realize they were growing in a field so now Janaki will have to drive around them when cultivating. Thankfully everywhere you look around the farm is milkweed. And if you look close enough you might find a caterpillar enjoying their lunch.

From a lunch happy farm crew

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Broccoli – Carrots – Swiss Chard – Cucumber – Napa Cabbage – Garlic Scapes – Green Onions – Lettuce


Spring Rolls!

You can make spring rolls with so many different ingredients. Now that napa cabbage is ready though mmmmmm they sure sound delicious.

Thinly slice into small elongated pieces

  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Napa Cabbage

You could also add

  • Avocado
  • Rice Noodles
  • Tofu
  • Beets

The list goes on and on….

Place hot water in a bowl or cake pan, submerge one spring roll rice paper at a time for about 20 seconds. Take out and apply vegetables, roll like a burrito. Don’t forget to tuck the ends in!

Add a tasty peanut sauce for dipping and you’ve got yourself a delectable summer meal.

Garlic Scape Hummus

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup chopped garlic scapes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a food processor pulse scapes, lesson juice and salt

Add chick peas and blend, adding olive oil as you go

Top with herbs and spices such as dill and sumac

Summer CSA Week 5

Here comes summer

Here comes summer

Chirping robin, budding rose

Here comes summer

Here comes summer

Gentle showers, summer clothes

Here comes summer

Here comes summer

Whoosh–shiver–there it goes.

–Shel Silverstein

I was laid up for a few days this past week recovering from a tick born illness. When I came back to work on Wednesday I felt like I’d been gone a week!

The tomatoes in the green house are taller than I am. The cucumbers have become wildly prolific. All the row cover is off the cabbage and the broccoli are beautiful.

This season is what I live for. The warm air when the breeze blows. The sweltering heat when the sun is high in the sky. Sun burnt shoulders and tan faces. Bare feet in warm fields.

Summer can fly by in the blink of an eye if you aren’t careful to pay attention. We all get caught up in the work, because we are farmers and can’t help ourselves. There is a mile of cabbage to weed. There are tomatoes to trellis and boxes to wash. There is grass to mow and sunscreen to apply and water that needs to be drank.

I have to remind myself to pay attention, to stay conscious of what’s going on around me. Sam started harvesting a ton of cucumbers each day. I noticed that. But I had to pay attention to see it. The sun golds started turning yellow. I bet a I’ll get to eat a handful in a few days.

Dave planted basil in every nook and cranny of the green houses. But you have to look down for just a second to appreciate that.

We farmers do a special kind of dance. We all have different roles to play, different songs to sing. I like to imagine us from a birds eye view. Little objects floating around the farm, accomplishing so, so much.

From a tender loving farm crew

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Carrots – Beets – Cucumbers – Broccoli- Green Onions – Romaine Lettuce – Garlic Scapes!


Broccoli Fritters

  • 8 oz broccoli including stem cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (if you’re into that)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne

Steam broccoli until tender. Drain excess water and pat dry. Toss broccoli in flour and cayenne. Combine egg to broccoli, then the cheese. Mix completely.

Place pan on medium heat. Add oil. Divide mixture into fourth and spoon into pan in patty form.

Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes

Asian Cucumber Salad

  • 4 cups VERY thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add cucumber, onion, red pepper and sesame seeds to medium bowl. Set aside

In small bowl mix rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and salt.

Add dressing to veggie mix, serve immediately raw let sit in fridge for a while to let the flavors meld