Summer CSA Week 4

When I was somewhere between a child and an adult, I always felt like summer really started with the Fourth of July, but would also be over in a blink of an eye. We didn’t have many 80 degree and dry Junes in my childhood, I guess, to kick-start summer with. It’s the time of year to soak it up!

When living in Texas, I came home one August for a visit, and was thrilled with the 80

something degree weather Duluth was experiencing. What a nice 20 degree dip! So I made bread, to my mother’s horror upon arriving back home after work. Oops. Though I don’t run the oven “unnecessarily” it is such a short summer and pies and summer quiches can’t bake themselves!

At some other point between childhood and now, the Fourth of July was my second favorite holiday. I loved everything summery about it, the cookouts and the stay-up-late night and the careful clothing selection to find the reddest, bluest and whitest combinations I could muster out of my closet.

My relationship to the coming holiday is more complicated these days as, more and more, America feels like a child whom I will love no matter what, but who can also break my heart. Despite that, it is still nice to gather with friends and family. Soaking up the nice parts of the day is my goal. Maybe a nice part of the day will be a fantastic salad you make to impress all your friends with!

Whatever you make of the coming weekend, and whatever you make of your CSA share, I hope it is good despite any imperfection you feel in the mix.

For the farm crew,

Karin

P.S.
Dave wanted me to note that our first greenhouse cucumbers are not quite as glamorous as we usually expect. Hot winds from the south has brought added pest pressure, and consequently mesh screens have been put up around the openings to keep them out. That also cuts way down on air circulation so they are feeling the heat! We don’t know if the cosmetic issue will go away as the plants grow, or if it’s with us to stay.


In your share this week:
Broccoli – Cucumber – Garlic scapes – Lettuce – Green Onions – Pac Choi – Radishes – Parsley


Dave’s garlic scape recipe:

Dave recommends prepping your scapes this way to preserve them, and make them easy and fast to use for flavor in you meals for the week and beyond.

  • All your scapes (loosely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup (or more for consistency and/or longer storage) oil of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp or more salt to taste
  • Optional add ins: pepper, nuts (to make a pesto) any spices you’d like

    Blend all together in a food processor until smooth. If you use nuts in your batch, put them in after you’ve partly blended the other ingredients together.

    Store in a jar and use as a spread, or tossed into salads, with pasta, in eggs, mixed into rice or grain dishes, or as a facial scrub (wanted to see if you were paying attention).
    The possibilities are almost endless.
  • You can also freeze some to throw in dishes in the coming months!

Creamy Avocado Dressing

For all that lettuce salad! Keeps 3-4 days. Try using some chopped garlic scape instead of a clove!

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • water, as needed (I add up to 1/4 cup)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a mini food processor add the peeled clove of garlic, avocado, lime or lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with a little bit of water (1/4 cup or more) until it reaches a desired consistency.
  3. Keep in an airtight container for at least a week, but 3 to 4 days is best.

Summer CSA Week 5

Most years I have felt that if you blink after the Fourth of July, you may miss summer. Fortunately we have more summer left than we’ve experienced so far. I’d like it to include more rain than it has so far. This week seems promising.

This year we have a great crew with a few new people who are figuring out the pace of work on the farm and where everything is and how to do farm tasks just so. Kelly, Madison and Nick are all new this year and started between early May and early June. Jane has returned after her first season last summer. It’s always nice to have repeat people who know the ropes. Lizzy comes out on CSA harvest days, Teri does all the deliveries and joins us on projects when not on the road or harvesting. Of course Dave is out planting, running things in the greenhouses, keeping knives sharp and a myriad of other tasks that need doing. A couple of long-term volunteers have been joining us on harvest days. Usually we throw open the gates for volunteers -but with COVID19 we’ve been keeping it to a minimum. (Now that I’m going to list them, it sounds like a lot – but believe me there used to be more that would work a day or two here and there) Joe, Ki, Rollie, Sandy and Betsy and of course Patricia who keeps us all organized. I think Janaki is still working on the Farm too. We see someone driving tractors around throughout the day and moving irrigation around constantly. There is a good chance it’s him doing all that work, but with the clouds of dust following the tractor it’s hard to see.

I’m so glad we have a good number of (and just plain good) people working on the farm. There is always a lot to do. It’s way more than just a few people could manage. My first season was 2014 and there were roughly 11 acres in vegetables with the other 11 in a cover crop. Now there are at least 15 acres in vegetables at the peak of the year. When I tell someone I work on a farm, and then they hear the size of it sometimes they seem to think it’s small. But with forty plus varieties of vegetables in fields + greenhouses there is a lot of work and every crop needs something different.

I hope you enjoy some of that variety in your share this week. I love this kind of a share box -you could just chop everything up into a big bowl and eat it! Likely, you’ll eat some of this and some of that and maybe keep some for later.
However you eat it -we hope you enjoy it. We enjoy growing it.

For the farm crew,

Karin


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Potato bug larvae -shortly before their demise.


In your share this week:

Broccoli – Carrots – Cucumber – Garlic Scapes – Greens Mix – Lettuce – Napa Cabbage – Green Onions – Snap Peas


 

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Garlic Scape Salt

From Gutsy By Nature

(After hearing that a member made some last week I thought it’d be a fun item to include!)

Ingredients
  • 12 fresh garlic scapes
  • ½ cup coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
  2. Roughly chop garlic scapes, then place in bowl of food processor along with sea salt and process until it becomes an even paste.
  3. Spread the paste in an even layer on a small baking sheet. Place in oven and allow to bake for 1 hour, stirring and re-spreading in an even layer every 15 minutes, until the paste is uniformly dried.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  5. Using your hands, crumble the dried salt and garlic scape mixture into fine pieces. If you find you have very hard and large clumps, you may wish to return this dried mixture to your food processor (making sure you have cleaned and dried it first) and pulverize it even further.
  6. Transfer the resulting garlic scape salt into jars for storage.

Carrot Ginger Dressing

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup grape seed or another neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
    Whiz the carrots, shallot and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar and sesame oil. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the grape seed oil and the water.

 

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 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