Summer CSA Week 2

I don’t think of myself as a superstitious person typically, but in the past couple weeks I have: left car windows open, left laundry on the line over night, left an open bag of potting soil on my deck (for days), not washed the car, left the garbage lid open, and left the deck chairs out instead of tipped up. This list isn’t just to show how lazy I am, it’s to show that I am TRYING to send a message (to whom it may concern) that we need rain! If I leave these things this way maybe they can be a sacrifice of sorts for rain. None of the passing showers that went through the area have hit the farm and we’ve had less than 1/4″ of rain in the last three scorching weeks, so I invite you all to participate in my efforts such as they are. Maybe the message will get through (and we’ll all have to take in that sopping laundry with joy).

These hot windy days are not only very drying, but also prevent us from irrigating during the day, so Janaki has been moving the irrigation around a lot at night (you know, in his spare time) to make sure all the plants get what they need, especially when so many are tiny seedlings without deep roots yet.

What can we say but say the so-annoying phrase “new normal”? Late spring used to bring rain fairly consistently, and in a soaking, spread out kind of way. And they sometimes still do. Sometimes there are still 45 and foggy days in the end of May- we had a few of those this year. Predictability and farming have never danced well together, but this new climate has scratched up the record we were trying to dance to. In the back of my head now I have a fear about dry-dry-dry and then a deluge of 5 inches of rain over night. It seems to be what happens.

On a sort of lame flip side – I think we’re staying on top of the weeds pretty well so far. Turns out they need water too (though somehow less…. how is that fair?) This past week saw the second and largest planting of potatoes in the ground, as well as the 5th and BY FAR largest planting of cabbage and some broccoli. Good luck out there little babies. We’re on your side!

We are happy to send a box that’s a little fluffier and fuller this week. It would have been a hot week to try to save the rhubarb and early spinach through -hopefully you found that harvest to be worth it! Each week -bit by bit there will be more variety in the boxes headed your way. As you get home with your share, especially on these warm days, a quick soak in a sink full of cold water can help prolong the life of many greens like pac choi and lettuce. They get cooled after we harvest them, but may warm up again at your pick up site. Cut-greens like this week’s greens mix could be put in the fridge with the bag open, but make sure to close the bag up again before night so they don’t dry out. If you use radish and turnip greens, good for you! They could also benefit from a cold soak, though I would really try to dry them well and then use them sooner than later.

Like greens, humans keep better with a good dunking now and then. If not that, maybe you can at least make time to dump some water on your head, or run your wrists under some cool water (trust me, it helps). And, if you do those things, maybe stand by a plant to share some of that water!

Enjoy the veggies!

For the farm crew,

Karin

Flying row cover!

Floating row cover!


In your share this week:
Greens Mix – Romaine Lettuce – Pac Choi – Radishes – Spinach – Turnips


Turnip and Kale Gratin
-From Bon Appetit

In the body of text about this recipe, it says that turnip greens can be used in place of the kale! Voila!

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
3 bunches Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn
4 medium turnips (about 1¾ pounds total), trimmed, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 cup)
8 ounces day-old white country-style bread, cut into ½-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Step 1

Bring garlic, cream, and thyme to a bare simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and let cream simmer 30 minutes. Let cool.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-low. Add onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a splash or two of water if onions begin to stick to pan, until caramelized and amber colored, 45–60 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Wipe out skillet.

Step 3

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in same skillet. Working in batches, add kale, tossing and letting it wilt slightly before adding more; season with salt. Cook until kale is wilted and tender, 5–8 minutes; transfer to bowl with onions.

Step 4

While kale is cooking, cook turnips in a large pot of boiling well-salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Drain; pat dry. Transfer to bowl with onions.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk eggs, Fontina cheese, Parmesan, and cooled cream mixture in a large bowl to combine. Add onion mixture and bread; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 13×9″ baking dish and press down on mixture with your hands to form a tight, even layer. Bake gratin, uncovered, until well browned, 40–50 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Gratin can be assembled 12 hours ahead. Cover and chill.


Pac Choi and Shiitake Stir-fry
From The Spruce Eats

3 to 4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup shiitake mushrooms (sliced OR 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms)
2 teaspoons canola oil or other high-heat oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or, use tamari)
1 pac choi
5 to 6 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (minced or grated)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Saute the garlic and mushrooms in oil for 3 to 5 minutes then add in the soy sauce, the bok choy and scallions, and cook for a few more minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add vegetable broth and ginger. Simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes. Finally, stir in the sesame oil and the optional sesame seeds and remove from heat.

Eat as is or enjoy over rice or another grain!

Summer CSA, Week 3

How do you prepare for something you’ve never done before; Knowledge, hydration, relaxation and one metric ton of good faith?

I’m participating in a 100 mile bike race next week and I’m kind of freaking out. I’ve never biked that far before. I’ve raced my bike countless times but never that far.

Thankfully I’m finding a bit of solace in the farm. During lunch Sam whipped out a couple of cookbooks. One stood out to me: From Asparagus to Zucchini. According to Sam this book came to fruition when CSAs started becoming more popular around the US. People were excited to get a CSA box but were left overwhelmed with what to do with all the veggies.

How do you all prepare for a CSA box every week? Mix up lots of dressings for salads I hope! Perhaps clear shelves in the refrigerator? I feel that committing to a Summer CSA share is more impressive that completing a 100 mile bike race. Summer CSA share season is a marathon not a sprint.

Thank you for eating veggies you might not have tried before and experimenting with recipes new to you. Thank you for reminding me a 100 mile bike race is a walk in the park compared to eating a farm load of veggies, you are the real athletes!!!

Also if you are having trouble eating all of those mixed greens some fun ways to use them up could be:

  • Put them on a sandwich
  • Mix in with scrambled eggs
  • Add to lentil or miso soup

The carrot field is a beach where the carrots soak up the sun all day. This past week more cucumbers went into the ground, more potatoes went into the ground and the onion field got a cozy layer of mulch. Weeding continued throughout the farm; the bright sunny days have been prime weed killing weather.

The deer fence across the road got one step closer to being finished. Garrett and I post-pounded many T-posts. Additional support wood posts were added to the fence lines. The next step is to hang the gates and roll out the fence!

A friendly reminder the Free Range Film Festival is this weekend. See you at the big red barn!

From a film hungry farm crew,

Tiffany


In your share this week:

Green Onions – Carrots – Greens Mix – Kale – Butter head Lettuce – Pac Choi – Radishes – Turnips


Carrot and Beet Kale Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Tofu

For the roasted potatoes

2 russet potatoes chopped (about 1 cup chopped per salad) seasoned with salt and pepper, olive oil and chili powder (if you’re into that)

Roast potatoes at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes

For the Tofu

1 package of firm Tofu cut into cubes and seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Bake Tofu along side potatoes at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes

For the salad (per serving)

  • 1/2 cup Grated Carrot
  • 1/2 cup Grated beet
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tahini sauce

  • 6 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Whisk sauce ingredients together and top over salad, potatoes and tofu!

Pac Choi stir fry with Turnips and Carrots

  • Pac Choi chopped into even square pieces
  • Turnips and carrots chopped into quartered pieces similar to pac choi

Cook veggies over medium heat in olive oil with soy sauce and fish oil until veggies are tender. Top with mixed greens and enjoy!