Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25 CSA

     These are the people who start at 6 am every morning and work all day to grow food for your boxes.  They work in the heat and rain to grow the veggies, harvest them, wash them, and put them in your boxes.  They work hard and complement each other very well.  We feel so lucky to have them to work beside.  They come to us from Northern Virginia, Chicago, Baltimore, and Vermont.  They bring with them many different experiences to share, and insights into what's going on around us.  We don't believe everything that they have to say, but some of it isn't half bad.  You might have seen them at market, but here is your formal introduction:


Garrett and Daniela


Peak shares begin today for those who bought the shortened CSA version.
Please return any boxes you have.  We are running low ...

Boxes this week have:  1 Italian eggplant, 1 bunch of basil, 1 garlic, 1 red onion, 1 bunch of leeks, 2 lbs. of purple potatoes, 2 Paul Robeson tomatoes, 1 Brandywine tomato, 1 Cherokee purple tomato, 1 1/2 lbs. of new girl tomatoes.  Regular shares also get:  1 cantaloupe, 1 Charentais melon, 1 bunch of beets.

   The tomatoes are hanging in there so the boxes have alot this week. We hope you enjoy them! The melons may be less sweet than last week because we have had so much rain the last few days. 


Potato and Leek Soup

1 bunch of leeks, roots and tops removed, chopped in thin slices and washed
2 lbs of potatoes, washed and chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped or 1 tsp celery seed
2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of cream, milk, or water
2 tblsp of butter

1.  melt butter in a large pot and add leeks and celery.  saute until leeks are translucent.
2. add potatoes and stock and simmer until potatoes are soft enough to put a fork thru.
3.  puree the contents of the pot, adding cream, milk, or water to make consistency of soup desirable to you.  return to the pot and add salt and pepper.
4.  let all ingredients cook on low for 15 minutes to bring out flavors.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18 CSA

Yellow Onion crop hanging in barn to cure
 As of today, we have all the yellow onions harvested and hung in the barn.  It's about 40 bushels or 2000 lbs.  though they won't all be good...some will rot.  We are 1/3 thru with the red onions which will probably be about 70 bushels.  It is a monumental job and we'll all breathe a sigh of relief when its finished!
The rain of last week has brought some challenges with it though it was good to have the water.  The tomatoes do have some late blight and we're not sure if we can control it so there may not be alot of tomatoes...enjoy whats in your box this week and keep your fingers crossed for more!  We are combating powdery mildew in the winter squash and melons.
The  eggplant, okra and celeriac absolutely loved the rain/heat combination and are thriving!  
Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes!
 Your box this week:  small shares: 1 lb. tomatoes, 1 lb. chinese and fairytale eggplant, 2 lbs. tomatillos, 1 jalapeno, 1 bell pepper, 1 savoy cabbage, 1 canteloupe melon, 1 head of garlic, 1 sweet onion.  Regular shares:  3 lbs. tomatoes, 2 lbs eggplant, 2 garlic, 2 sweet onion, 1 lb. squash.

The bell peppers all have a blemish of some kind but are mostly edible.  I didn't attach a monetary value to them, but thought you might be able to use / enjoy one and there were more than we could eat.  More peppers will be coming later!
The fariytale eggplant can be used the same as any other.  They are especially good in stirfries and curries.
We hope you enjoy the melon as much as we do.  It is a welcome treat in the middle of a hot job of harvesting to find a ripe melon and break it open to share right in the field.
Tomatillos are a relative of tomatoes that possess a flavor like sour green apples on their own.  Most commonly they are used to make salsa verde, a Mexican food staple.  I will attach a recipe that can be used for salsa or cooked a bit more and used for chili sauce.  They are also a great additon to roasted chicken or pork.
Fairytale Eggplant

                                  SALSA VERDE

2 lbs. tomatillos

1 to 4 jalapeno peppers, peeled, seeded, minced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 cup finely chopped onions

2 cloves garlic

Juice of a lime (more or less)

1. peel husks off tomatillos and wash

2. Boil in lightly salted water for 7 to 10 minutes or until just soft.  Drain, puree in blender.

3. Put ground tomatillos and all other ingredients together in a bowl and let sit 1 hour before serving.  Add more salt and lime juice to taste.

This salsa makes a great enchilada sauce when you leave out the lime juice and let all ingredients simmer together for 45 minutes.

For a more robust flavor, roast the tomatillos in a hot oven until brown and soft (about 20 minutes at 450).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 11 CSA

The first planting of cucumbers has stopped producing and the squash is slowing down just in time for us to shift to picking tomatoes, eggplant, and tomatillos.  We are almost done harvesting and hanging the shallot crop that will hang for about 5 weeks to cure and then be good eating until next spring.  Next will come the red and yellow storage onions.  The weeds are giving us a run for our money and there are definately things beyond saving...there's not enough time in a day sometimes.

The small shares this week have: 1 lb of green beans, 1 lb of patty pan squash, 1 lb of fingerling potatoes, 1 head of garlic, 2 onions, 2 japanese eggplant, a handful of beets.  Regular shares have:  1 lb green beans, 2 lbs of patty pan, 1 lb of fingerlings, 2 heads of garlic, 4 onions, 2 eggplant, 1 lb of carrots, 1 bunch of young leeks, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 heirloom slicer tomato.

Fingerling potatoes have unequaled flavor and great texture for roasting, boiling, soups, or frying.  Leave the skins on and cook whole or cut in half.  Store them in the refrigerator until use.  Our favorite way to prepare them is roasted.  We toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbs and roast in a 4oo degree oven until soft when pricked with a fork.  These are teh last green beans you'll get for awhile because we are late with our second planting.  The eggplant most of the boxes have is a japanese variety but works fine in any recipe calling for eggplant.

Italian Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

Serves 4

  • 4 small to medium-sized Patty Pan Squash

  • 1/2 pound Italian Sausage or Ground Beef

  • 1 cup marinara sauce

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozarella cheese
To prepare the patty pan squash for stuffing, wash and then cut a circle around the stem, leaving a bit of the edge - as you would cut open the top of a pumpkin. Use a small spoon to scoop out the seed cavity and dispose of the seeds. The inside should now be hollow. In a pan, brown the meat. Then add the marinara and stir to combine. Stuff the marinara sauce into the hollowed-out patty pan squash. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the squash is soft. To eat, cut with a knife and fork, eating the squash along with the stuffing. Enjoy!

Quick Pickled Squash and/or Eggplant

1 lb. summer squash or eggplant
1 T salt
 1/2 tsp sugar
1 T minced fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill
2 tsp any vinegar

1. Wash the veggies and slice them as thinly as possible.  Place in a colander and salt them.  Toss the slices with the salt, kneading the salt into them with your hands for a minute.
2.  Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes, tossing and squeezing every few minutes.  When little or no liquid comes out of the veggies, rinse well in cold water.  Place in a bowl.
3.  Toss with the sugar, dill and vinegar; serve immediately; this does not keep well.

Patty Pan Squash


Friday, July 6, 2012

July 4 CSA

I hope everyone had  a good fourth of July!
The box this week contains:  1 red celery, 3lbs red maria potatoes, 1 lb. green beans, 2 lbs. zephyr and patty pan squash, 1 head of garlic, 1 bunch of red torpedo onions, 1 head of green cabbage.  Regular shares also get:  1 bunch beets, 2 lbs. new girl tomatoes, an extra 1/2 lb. beans.

The celery has some blemishes on the leaves that are the result of a huge rain we had sunday night.  You can just cut the leaves away and use the stalks.  It has a stronger flavor than green celery and is great in potatoe salad and any other place you'd use celery but use a smaller amount.
The zephyr and patty pan squashes are both sweeter than zucchini and yelloe squash.  We use them the same way, our favorite being just sauteed with onion, salt and pepper.
The green cabbage is great for cole slaw and also makes good kraut.  There is a great and easy method with good directions in Sandor Katz' book "Wild Fermentation".

Asian Cabbage Slaw (from Farmer John's Cookbook)
serves 2 to 4
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/2 minced red onion
2 T fresh mint minced
2 T fresh cilantro minced
2 T rice vinegar
2 T peanut oil
1 T rice wine (mirin or sake)
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper

1. combine cabbage, carrot, onion, mint, cilantro in large bowl and toss well.
2. mix vinegar, peanut oil, rice wine, honey, sesame oil in  asmall bowl until well combined.  pour over the cabbage mixture; toss.  season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Jesse and Ally washing Red Maria potatoes

Things to look forward to:  canteloupe melons, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos.