Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 11 or 14 Last Box of the Year

Thank you all for doing the extended share this fall!  I hope you enjoyed it. 
Contents of the last box:  1 bunch multicolored beets, 1 head of frisee, 2 heads of "little gem" lettuce, 1 head of napa cabbage, 3 #s of carrots, 5 #s of carolina ruby sweet potatoes, 1 # of japanese sweet potatoes, 1 bunch of parsnips, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 garlic bulbs.

The parsnips we grow are crazy looking because we transplant them which disturbs their taproot.  It has proven very difficult for us to have success with directly sowing parsnip seed so we do it by transplanting them.  You can use all parts of the root.  Just pull it apart so you can wash in all the little bends and folds.  The leaves are not edible and should be removed for storage.  I just thought it might be interesting for you to see the leaves.  Parsnips will keep for a month or more in a bag in your refrigerator drawer.
Napa cabbage makes excellent slaw, great stir-fry, and is really good as a fermented pickle.
We enjoy making a simple pesto of parsley, garlic, olive oil and salt to dip fresh carrots and turnips in.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 4 or 7

Box contents:  1 head each of jericho and winter density romaine, 1 bunch of komatsuna, 1 bunch of tonda di parigi carrots, 1 bunch of purple haze carrots, 2 rutabaga, 1 long island cheese pumpkin, 1 bunch of hakurei turnips, 2 baby fennel bulbs.


The little round carrots are another good cooking carrot.  I most love them roasted.  The purple haze carrots are sweet and crisp used fresh.  I am always amazed by their smell.  The purple ones in particular give off this knock my socks off sweet aroma when I'm pulling them out of the ground.  Both of these varieties will keep well in your refrigerator if you remove their tops and store them in a bag with the air squeezed out.  On that note, you will get a 5 pound bag of carrots in the last box next week.
The rutabaga will keep well in the same manner as the carrots.  Remove the tops.
Komatsuna is an asian green that is great stir-fried, added to soup, or eaten raw in a wilted salad.
Long Island Cheese pumpkins make good soup and pie.  Their flesh is a bit watery so needs straining after roasting to get rid of some water prior to making pie.  They keep well so you can wait awhile to eat it.

Following is a recipe from Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield
Carrots and Swede
2 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
4 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 stick of butter, unsalted
1 to 2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a Dutch oven, combine the prepared rutabaga and carrots.  Cover with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Drain the vegetables in a colander for 5 minutes.  Return them to the Dutch oven and add the butter, 1 tsp salt, nutmeg and pepper.  Mash well with a hand masher.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October 28 or 31 Extended share

1 bunch Juane du Doubs yellow carrots, 1 bunch red beets, 1 head of sugarloaf radicchio, 1 # arugula, 1 bunch radish, 5 # carolina ruby sweet potatoes, 1 bunch of thyme.

The yellow carrots are an heirloom variety from France.  Their flavor is best when cooked.  We love them and hope you do too. 
Roasted Carrots with onion and thyme
1 bunch of carrots, tops and root tips trimmed off)
1 small red onion, diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 T olive oil
Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and scrub the carrots.  Slice the carrots in half or quarters the long way.  In a mixing bowl, combine the carrots, onion, and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper and toss with olive oil.  Spread in a single layer on baking sheet and roast until tender and slightly caramelized, 15 to 30 minutes.

Sugarloaf Radicchio is a chicory so is somewhat bitter.  It is good fresh in salads, grilled, an excellent wrapper.  We like to wrap chicken or egg salad in a leaf and use it like a tortilla.

If the arugula is more than you can eat fresh, it makes great pesto that you can freeze for later use.  Just substitute arugula for basil or combine with parsley.


 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 21 or 24 Extended Share

1 bunch Hakurei turnip, 3 Kabocha Squash (1 dark green, 1 gray, 1 orange), 2# russian banana fingerling potatoes, 1 head of cabbage, 1# broccoli, 2 small heads of romaine, 1 bunch black radish, 1 bunch mustard greens, 1 bunch kohlrabi, 3 bulbs garlic, 1# red sweet peppers.

Last of the peppers as we had a killing frost over the weekend.  The kabocha squash are very sweet, dry fleshed winter squash.  They will keep well so no hurry on eating them.  Potatoes need to be refrigerated because we washed them.  The black radishes are good keepers if you take the tops off and store in refrigerator drawer.  Cabbage and kohlrabi will keep for 3 weeks in fridge.
Click on this link for: Great recipe with radishes.  This recipe calls for any radish but the black radish is good in it. 

Kabocha squash make really good pie and soup and are also good by themselves roasted.

We have been enjoying slaw made with cabbage and shredded kohlrabi with radish greens and a mustard vinaigrette dressing.
Digging forks taken by Marc LeMauviel

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 14 or 17 Extended Season Box

There is only 1 size box in the extended share.  This week is a lot of fresh foods.  The future 4 weeks will be fresh foods and storage items.
Box contents:  1 bliss pumpkin, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 head of frisee, 1 head of radicchio, 1 bunch of amethyst radishes, 1 bunch of kale, 1 bunch of baby bok choy, 1 pound of red onions, pears!

The pears are from a tree Aaron's Dad planted and it is loaded for the first time this year.  I'm not sure of the variety name but they are delicious.  They are hard pears that will keep well in cold storage but are ready to eat now too.
We put radicchio in the box so you could make one of our favorite salads.
Cut or tear the radicchio into 1 inch pieces.  Toast 1 to 2 cups of walnuts. Cut 1 to 2 pears into 1/2 inch chunks.  Crumble some or a lot of blue cheese.  Combine all and dress with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

The bliss pumpkin some of you will remember from last year.  They are great keepers, so you can enjoy it as a decoration until you're ready to eat it.  They have a rich, sweet flavor and dense, creamy flesh.  They make great soup.  We are in love with this squash!
A recipe for stir-fried Baby Bok Choy

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 7 or 10, Last CSA box of 22 week share

Party reminder!  October 10, 4 pm and on!  222 Sluder Branch Rd. Leicester 28748.  Bring a friend!

If you want to leave your wax boxes with us, bring a bag and unload.  If not, you can bring the box back next week or to the party Saturday.

Small boxes:  3 # Carolina Ruby sweet potatoes, 1 head escarole, 1 head bok choi, 1 bunch pink beauty radishes, 1 mix root bunch, 1 celeriac, 1 garlic, 1 bunch carrots.
Regular boxes:  All the above plus 1 more garlic and celeriac, 1 bunch baby beets, 1 # broccoli, 2 fennel bulbs.

Storage:  everything except the sweet potatoes and garlic need to be refrigerated.

The mix root bunch in small boxes is 1 watermelon radish, 1 scarlet turnip, 2 hakurei turnips.  In the regular boxes, it is 1 watermelon radish, 1 scarlet turnip, 1 rutabaga, 4 hakurei turnips.  These roots are good used together with the celeriac and some potatoes in a root roast or a soup.  Use the greens too!  If roasting, toss with some oil and salt and just roast for the last 5 minutes or so.  If making a soup, add them in the last 20 minutes or so.
The Carolina Ruby has deep orange flesh and is sweet.  These are ready to eat but will also keep for months under proper storage (60 degrees, dry, darkish).  They are great for savory dishes and mashed.  Taste is similar to pumpkin.

Escarole is a mild flavored relative of the chicory family.  Eaten raw in a salad it has a slight bitter flavor.  Cooked, the bitterness fades to barely noticeable. I like it in soup, raw, braised with white beans.  I'll give you a recipe to which I add 1 can of cannellini beans and top with grated parmesan.
WILTED ESCAROLE
1T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt
crushed red pepper flakes
1 head of escarole, washed and cut into 1 inch square pieces
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
juice of 1/2 lemon
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes to taste, salt.  Saute until the onion is translucent (5 minutes).  (If you're adding cannellini beans, do it now and let them get warmed thru before moving on with the recipe.)  Add the escarole and saute briefly (2 minutes).  Add the stock and stir until the escarole is wilted slightly (1 to 2 minutes).  Squeeze the lemon over the greens, taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

Following are pictures of everyone's hands that have been bringing the food to you for 22 weeks.  There are a few pairs missing because they've already left.  I got this idea from John Fleer at Rhubarb and thought it a cool idea to show you. 
THANK YOU for being in our CSA this year and giving something to do!  We really appreciate your support and the challenge to keep it all going.  We hope to see you at the party and in the future!  If you have credit to spend, come see us at North Asheville market Saturday mornings or the RAD market Wednesday afternoons.  If you got the extended share, we'll see you again next week at the same place.

Catherine with radish mud

Maddy with turnip mud

Hayley with clean Carolina Rubies

Anne with mixed root mud

Paul with tractor grease (he's been grading all the roads after the rain).

Aaron!  He does most of the washing, hence the cleanliness...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 30 or October 3

I'm reminding you about our party.  Its on October 10 starting at 4.  We'll make food and have some beer and non alcohol drinks.  Please come and see where your veggies have been growing and visit a while!  If you do think you'll come, please let us know so we make enough food.  Thanks to those who have already RSVPed!  We're looking forward to it!  The address for the party is 222 Sluder Branch Rd. Leicester NC 28748.  We'll send another reminder next week.

This week is the second to last box for 2015.
Small boxes:  1 bunch of green kale, 1 head of romaine, 1 bunch of french breakfast radishes, 1 bucnh of white salad turnips, 1 small head of celery, 2 pounds each of japanese and purple sweet potatoes.
Regular boxes:  all the same contents as the small box plus 1 head of green cabbage, 1 bunch of baby carrots, 3/4 pound spinach, 1 pound papa cacho fingerling potatoes.

Storage:  Sweet potatoes like warm, dry, dark for storing.  These sweet potatoes will be at their best flavor if you wait a week to start eating them and under proper conditions will keep all winter so there is no hurry to eat them.  You will get orange ones next week.  The Japanese sweet potatoes are white fleshed and have a nutty flavor.  The purple ones are purple all the way thru and have a dry, starchy flesh.  Both are less sweet than the orange ones.
All other veggies this week need to be stored in the refrigerator.  The turnips are a delicious addition to salads or good all on their own.  They have a mild, sweet turnip flavor.  The greens are great too, either raw or cooked.  The celery is full of flavor and a little goes a long way.  It is excellent in soup.

KALE AND WALNUT PESTO (adapted from Seed Savers Calender, 1998)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 T plus 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 bunch of kale, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1.  Toast the walnuts in a dry cast iron skillet over high heat, stirring constantly, until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant.  (Be careful not to over toast them as they burn quickly.)  Immediately transfer toasted nuts to a cool dish.
2.  Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.  Add 1 T salt, then add the kale.  Cook kale until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain.
3.  Put the garlic, walnuts, and kale in a blender or food processor; pulse until well combined.  Witht he blender or food processor running, pour in the olive oil in a steady, smooth, pencil-thin stream.
4.  When the ingredients are thoroughly combined, transfer to a bowl.  Stir in the cheese, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper.    Serve hot with good, crusty bread or as a dip for other vegetables (like salad turnips!) or on pasta.
Addiebelle taking a turn hoeing endive with a scuffle hoe.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

We are having a PARTY! for you.  On Saturday, October 10 starting at 4pm.  We will make food and have drink.  We'd love for you to come and see where your food has been coming from all summer!  We'll show you around as much or as little as you want to see.  It will get dark probably by 7:30 so come before then if you want to see the farm.  If its nice out, we'll have a fire and hang out.  Please let us know if you're able to come so we make enough food.
Above is the list of box contents this week. To the left are the contents of small boxes; to the right the contents of regular boxes.  Just thought it would be interesting to show it to you as we see it written on the chalkboard in the packing room.
Storage:  Okra needs to be transferred to a paper bag if you're going to wait a few days to cook it.  Keep everything in the refrigerator except the garlic and butternut.

FRIED RICE WITH BROCCOLI AND MUSTARD GREENS
this recipe is from an awesome new cookbook by Steven Satterfield called Root and Leaf
4 servings
2 cups broccoli florets (about 1 small head)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (1 rib)
1/2 cup thinly sliced raw carrots (about 2)
1 bunch scallions, roots trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T minced fresh ginger
1 small hot pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 pound mustard greens, washed and roughly chopped
5 large eggs
5 cups cooked rice, chilled
3 T soy sauce
1 T sriracha sauce (or Hot Sauce)
Juice of 1/2 lime
4 T peanut oil
1. Wash and thinly slice lengthwise the broccoli.  In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, celery, and carrot.  In a small bowl combine scallions, garlic, ginger, and hot pepper.  Place mustard greens in a separate bowl.  Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and lightly whisk.  Break up the cold rice in a bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sriracha, and lime juice.  Set all of these bowls near your stove.
2.  In a large, wide skillet or wok, heat 1 T peanut oil over high heat.  When the oil begins to shimmer, add the broccoli mixture to the pan and quickly toss to coat.  Add about 1/3 of the scallion mixture and toss well.  Add 1/3 of the soy mixture and toss well.  Remove all from the pan and spread out in a wide dish in a single layer to cool.  Do not pile vegetables in a mound or they will continue to cook.
3.  With the skillet or wok still on high heat, put in another T of peanut oil.  Add the mustard greens to the hot pan and add 1/3 of scallion mixture and 1/3 of the soy mixture.  Toss well to coat and spread out over the broccoli mixture.
4.With the skillet or wok still on high heat, put in another 1 T peanut oil.  Add the eggs to the pan and quickly swirl them against the hot surface with the back of a spoon or spatula to make as thin a layer as possible.  Remove the egg as soon as it solidifies, and add to the vegetable mixture.
5. With the skillet or wok still on high heat, put in last 1T of peanut oil.  Add the cold rice to the pan.  Add the remaining scallion mixture and soy mixture to the rice and stir frequently to prevent sticking.  When the rice is hot, return the cooked ingredients to the pan and stir well to combine.  Serve immediately.  (add more hot sauce and soy sauce to taste)
Trailer full of sweet potato harvest.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September 16 or 19


Romaine lettuce just before harvest
Small boxes: 1 delicata squash, 3 pounds Red Maria Potatoes, 1/2 pound red onions, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 red tomato.
Regular Boxes: 1 delicata squash, 5 pounds Red Maria Potatoes, 1/2 pound red onions, 1 head of romaine and 1 head of bibb lettuce, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 bunch of dill, 1 bunch of hakurei turnips, 1 red tomato.

Saturday boxes will get German Butterball potatoes instead of Red Marias.

Storage:  Tomatoes can be kept on counter and could use a day or 2 to fully ripen.  Everything else should be kept in your refrigerator.

I thought you might enjoy making (and eating) Pico de Gallo one last time before the tomatoes are done.
PICO de GALLO
1 tomato
2 to 3 red onions
1/2 bunch cilantro
juice of 1 lime
salt
1. Wash and cut away the stem end of 1 ripe red tomato.  Cut into 1/4 inch cubes.
2. Peel and dice the onions into similar size pieces as the tomato.
3. Place in a bowl together.  Chop or tear the cilantro into small pieces. (you don't want to cut it tiny because the flavor will disappear)
4. Squeeze the lime juice over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt.  Gently mix together with your hands or a spoon and taste.  Add more salt if you need to.
Eat with tortilla chips, on eggs, on tacos.

Here is a recipe for a soup my Mom likes well and shared with me:
GARLIC SOUP
3 T butter
1 large or 3 to 4 small onions, coarsely chopped
2 heads of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 large or 6 small potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (or cayenne if you like spicy)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. melt 3 T butter in large, deep pan.  Add onion and garlic and sautee until onion is translucent.
2. Add potatoes, stock, salt and pepper.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Process the soup in batches in a blender or food processor until desired consistency.  Return to pan and heat thru, adding cream and parsley.
Sweet potatoes in foreground, cover crop of buckwheat in middle and backdrop of sunflowers in the fog.

Harvesting winter squash, Anne and Catherine

Harvesting winter squash, Paul and Hayley

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September 9 or 12

Small share:  3/4 pound green kale, 4 pounds sweet dumpling squashes, 1 bunch of pink beauty radish, 1/2 pound french green beans, 1 garlic bulb.
Regular share:  3/4 pound green kale, 4 pounds sweet dumpling squash, 1 bunch pink beauty radish, 1 pound french green beans, 2 garlic bulbs, 2 baby fennel, 1/2 pound yellow onions, 1 large slicer tomato.

Storage:  squeeze the air out of the kale bag and tie and keep in refrigerator.  Put the radishes in their own bag and do the same.  Beans and fennel in fridge too.  Sweet dumplings, garlic, and onions can be kept on counter or cabinet.

Sweet dumpling squash is in the acorn family.  It has a nutty sort of flavor and isn't as sweet as the delicata you had a couple weeks ago.  It is a short term keeper so eat it within a month.
If you haven't tried before, try eating the radish greens.  They are a little spicy.  Wilt the greens with a little salt and massage then thinly slice the radishes, add a little red wine vinegar or lemon juice and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and eat as a salad on its own or add to lettuce.
Honey bee on Squash flower (Marc LeMauviel)

INDIAN SQUASH and SPLIT PEAS
This is good served with basmati rice and greens
serves 4 to 6
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup very hot water
1/2 cup split peas (yellow or green)
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 cups water, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
2 pounds winter squash ( about 2 sweet dumpling or 1 average butternut or 2 small), peeled, seeded,  cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 T ghee or oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1. Stir the coconut and cumin into the hot water, set aside.
2. Combine split peas and fenenl seeds in saucepan.  Add 1 cup of water.  Partially cover and boil until peas are soft, about 30 mins.. (Most of the water will be absorbed.)  Remove from heat.  If necessary, add more water to reach the consistency of oatmeal.  Add 1/2 tsp of the salt to the cooked peas and stir well.
3. Place the winter squash in a large skillet.  Add the remaining 1 cup of water and the turmeric.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, and cover.  Simmer for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer until most of the water has evaporated and the squash  is soft, 10 to 20 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1/2 tsp salt.
4. Puree the coconut and its soaking water in a blender or processor until very smooth.
5. Combine the peas, coconut, and squash in a saucepan over medium-high heat: simmer until mixture is heated through, about 3 minutes.
6. In a small, heavy pan, heat the ghee or oil over medium-high heat; add the mustard seeds and red pepper flakes.  When the seeds start popping, turn off the heat; cover and let stand until the popping stops.  Add the seeds to the squash mixture.  Stir well.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September 2 or 5

Small boxes:  2 pounds purple Viking potatoes, 1 chesnok red garlic, 4jimmy nardello peppers, 1 head of Bok choi, 1 bunch of arugula, 1 celeriac.
Regular boxes: 4 pounds purple Viking potatoes, 2 chesnok red garlic, 4 jimmy nardello peppers, 2 Bok choi, 1 bunch of arugula, 1 bunch French breakfast radishes, 2 celeriac, 3/4 pound French green beans.

Storage:  garlic and peppers can be kept on the counter or in a cabinet.  Arugula, bok choi, and radish kept in refrigerator in a bag with the air squeezed out.  Potatoes can be kept loose or in a bag, refrigerated.  Celeriac tops should be removed from the bulb if you don't plan to use them within 3 days.

Celeriac is a close relative of celery.  The tops are very flavorful but also very fibrous.  They are great for making soup broth, great with roasted vegetables or meat, a good substitute for celery, chopped very finely, in sauces.  The bulb has an earthy celery flavor and is a great addition to any soup, great with potatoes in a mash or homefries, great shredded finely and added to salad.
The garlic in your box this week is a different variety.  It is an heirloom variety that is widely grown in the northwest.  The cloves are generally smaller and there are more of them to a bulb.  See what you think about flavor difference.
Bok choi is great sauteed with jimmy nardello peppers and garlic and eaten along with eggs for breakfast...
The radish tops are quite mild on this variety and a great addition to salad.

CREAMY CELERIAC SOUP
serves 4 to 6
3 T butter
1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
2 pounds potatoes (purple vikings preferred)
3 onions, peeled, quartered, and sliced
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 tsp mace or nutmeg
1/2 cup cream, milk, or unsweetened rice or almond milk
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions; cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the celeriac, potatoes, stock; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 25 minutes.
2.  Let the soup cool slightly and then puree in a food processor or blender.  Return to the soup pot, stir in the cream, salt, mace or nutmeg, and pepper to taste and heat on low until heated through.
Bok Choi waiting to be washed

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26 or 29

Small boxes:  3 small butternut squash, 3 pounds of beets, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1/2 pound antohi romania pepper, 1/2 pound red onion,1 bunch of chard.
Regular boxes: 2 large butternut squash, 3 pounds of beets, 1 yellow bell, 1/2 pound antohi romania pepper,1 pound red onion, 1 bunch of chard, 1 pound of okra, 2 pounds of mountain magic/ clementine tomato mix.
(Saturday boxes will have a bunch of kale rather than chard.)

The butternut squash is ready to eat now or can be stored for later use. To store, keep on your counter or in a cabinet.
The antohi romania peppers are an heirloom variety.  They have thick walls and are excellent roasted as well as any other way you enjoy sweet peppers.

Roasted Beet Salad
3 pounds of beets
3T olive oil
2 T minced red onion
1-2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sesame seeds
lettuce, arugula, any salad green
1. in 425 degree oven, roast beets for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (until soft). ( it is recommended to wrap the beets in foil but i always toss them in a little oil and roast uncovered on a sheet pan because I try to avoid using foil)
2. While the beets are cooking, toast the sesame seeds in a hot skillet on the stove top until they start to pop.  It takes only a few minutes.  Remove from the skillet.
3. Prepare the dressing by combining all other ingredients and shaking in a jar with the lid on.
4. When the beets are done and have cooled enough to handle, slip the peels off and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Pour the dressing over them and toss. (The beets can be stored like this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.
5. To assemble the salad, put the greens in a bowl, add the beets and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on top.

Some of the winter squash curing in the barn.  This winters' hay and our All-Crop Combine are in the background.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 19 or 22

Small box:  2 1/2 pound Nicola Potato, .60 pound okra, 3 Delicata Squashes, 3 bulbs garlic, 2 pounds Sweet Peppers, 1 bunch parsley, 1 fennel bulb, 1 pint cherry tomatoes. 
Regular box:  5 pounds Nicola Potato, 1 pound okra, 5 delicata Squash, 5 bulbs garlic, 3 pounds Sweet Peppers, 1 bunch parsley, 2 fennel bulbs, 1 celeriac, 2 Italian Eggplant, 1 pint cherry tomatoes. 

Storage: delicata squash and garlic in dry and dark(no direct sun) place on counter or in a cabinet.  Peppers on counter if you're going to use them within 3 days.  Otherwise, in the refrigerator with everything else.  Parsley, fennel, and celeriac in a bag with the air squeezed out.

Sweet Pepper Sauce
Wash, de-seed, and coarsely chop all the sweet peppers.
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat with 1 T lard or safflower oil.
When it is hot, add the peppers and
1 to 3 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 to 3 T oregano
Let all this sizzle and blacken a little, stirring once in awhile.
I let it cook about 30 minutes until the peppers are soft and their skins somewhat blackened.
Remove from heat and run through the food processor to the consistency you desire.
Return to the skillet and season with salt and black pepper or a little cayenne or some other hot pepper if you like.
We like this sauce with roasted eggplant, on pasta, on sandwiches, with beef roast.

I know some of you have voiced being tired of tomatoes. Some of you buy more tomatoes than we put in your box. The tomatoes are coming to a close so we're putting cherry tomatoes in this week for those of you who are still in love with them. If you're tired of them, give them to a friend or neighbor. A salad of cherry tomatoes, parsley, and hard boiled egg with a red wine vinegarette is yummy. 

The delicata squash is a sweet squash, enjoyed best roasted in the oven and eaten plain.  We don't put anything on it and our kids eat a whole squash each when we make it.  It is not a good keeper so eat them within a month.  The garlic is cured and will keep through December atleast if you keep it in a coo,l, dry, dark spot. 
The Nicola Potatoes are of a waxy texture and make a really great potato salad.  They are also good in soup or stew where you want the potato chunks to keep their shape.  The fennel is a nice change from celery in potato salad if you like the flavor...
View from bridge over Newfound Creek.  We grow crops on both sides of the creek and our cows sometimes live in distant pasture.


August is the most difficult month on the farm.  The days are still hot, we are tired, the days are shorter, the failures of the season are felt.
The huge amount of time and effort required to grow field tomatoes, eggplant, onions and peppers well left us and the crew little time for else in June and July and so now we feel that loss.  The beds and beds of carrots and beets and lettuce that were sown directly into the field during June and July failed to germinate well because the soil was hot and rain was sparse and so effort was not rewarded with carrots to dig now.
Subsequent seedings were buried too deep by pounding rain and did not germinate.
Now we have a good stand but they will be late Septembers' carrots.
It is a trick that asks for patience and prayer, at this hot cusp of fall, to get food growing now that prefers cooler weather...but things look good.  Kale is growing.  Arugula and Radishes are sprouting under row cover (to keep the bugs at bay) in the field.  Peas are 2 inches tall.
Tomatoes are dying.  Summer squash is gone.
Some winter squash is curing in the barn and ready to eat.  Lots is still in the field growing.  Weekly, more is ready to harvest.  We will pick a couple truckloads today.
Garlic looks good.  Onions onions onions.  Some varieties are a total loss due to disease.  Some varieties, mostly the red ones, look good.
It may feel like the CSA boxes haven't been full lately but the value of what is in them is greater that that of head lettuce and greens.  (Both in terms of effort put in and $ value in the marketplace.)
If you grow your own garden your successes are similar to our successes.  All of ours' success is tied to the weather.
All of our success with the CSA is tied to your ability to see it as a whole when it comes to you in parts.  Some weeks are thinner than others.  Some weeks are a feast.  You have to be willing to eat what we succeed in growing.  It is an adventure that we are involved in together.  Thank you for making the journey with us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12 or 15


Cyril sampling the honey from the extractor
Small boxes:  1 pint edamame, 1 pint juliet roma tomatoes, 1 pound bell peppers, 2 pounds beets, 1 garlic, 1/2 pound cipollini onions, aji dulce peppers.
Regular boxes:  1 pint edamame, 2 pints juliet romas, 1 pound bell peppers, 2 pounds beets, 2 garlic, 1/2 pound cipollini and 1/2 pound sweet onion, 1 pineapple-bi color tomato, 1 canteloupe, aji dulce peppers.

Storage:  edamame, beeets, onions in refrigerator.  Garlic, peppers, tomatoes on counter.  Canteloupe, eat within 2 days.
Pineapple bicolor tomatoes, because of their size, split even before fully ripe. They are still good to eat!  You may want to keep it in your fridge if you're not going to eat it right away so the fruit flies don't find it. 


The kids and Aunt Renee and I had a monumental experience Monday of extracting honey made by bees living here on our farm.  It was really cool to be part of the process and never would have happened without the great mentoring of Dave Cowart.  We got 2 gallons.  Maybe we'll be able to keep them healthy thru the winter and harvest enough honey to put in the csa next year!

Aji dulce peppers look like habaneros but are different.  They have very little to no heat and a very fruity flavor.

Edamame needs to be washed before cooking.  To cook, get 3 cups of water boiling and pour the washed edamame into boiling water and let cook 5 to 10 minutes.  Strain and salt to taste.  To eat, break open the pod with your teeth and eat the beans inside.  Discard the pods.

Try oven roasting your beets. If you got big beets, cut them in quarters. Smaller beets can be roasted whole. I toss them in a little oil, salt, and pepper and roast in 450 degree oven until tender (20 to 30 minutes).   We like to put 1 T of horseradish in 1/2 cup sour cream and dip the roasted beets in that. 

Following is a favorite recipe here at the farm.  A women named Gabriel who worked with us here in 2009 got this recipe from her Mom.

Tomato upside down Cornbread
Heat oven to 400
Slice and have ready:  1 large tomato or several romas in 1/4 inch thick rounds
In a cast iron skillet on low:
heat 3 T olive oil and saute 1 1/2 tsp oregano, 2 cloves garlic sliced thinly, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper
While above ingredients slowly saute, Mix:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose or whole wheat flour (I've also made it with 2 cups cornmeal and no flour)
1 T honey
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 to 2 aji dulce peppers or 1 bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp oregano
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil or 1 stick of butter, melted

over the ingredients in the hot skillet place the tomato slices and then pour the batter over
Bake  for 25 to 30 minutes.  Check at 25 minutes to see if the center is cracking slightly(remove from oven) or still wet(let bake a few minutes more).
Use a knife to loosen the bread from edges of the skillet and turn upside down on a plate or cutting board.

we eat this warm from the oven, cooled off, or reheated in the skillet for breakfast the next day.



Unusual Ant hill

Pepper Field

Aaron and Cyril pulling edamame from the stalk

Princess Addiebelle pulling edamame

Ellen with Pepper harvest

Addiebelle watering tiny lettuce seedlings

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5 or 8

Cherry Tomatoes in the morning sun
Small boxes:  1/2 # Jimmy Nardello sweet Italian Frying Peppers, 2 yellow bell peppers, 1 # Machiaw Eggplant, 1 # pungent onions, 1 garlic bulb, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, 1 pint okra.
Regular boxes:  1/2# Jimmy Nardellos, 3 yellow bell peppers, 1 # Machiaw Eggplant, 1# pungent onions, 2 garlic bulbs, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, 1 pint okra, 2 fennel bulbs, 2 # Satina potatoes.

Storage:  onions and garlic can be kept on the counter.  Cherry tomatoes and peppers that you'll eat within a couple days can stay out, everything else will keep best in the refrigerator drawers.  Okra stores best in a paper bag.

Vegetable Curry Recipe using okra, eggplant, and tomatoes

It is strange and surprising that it can start to feel like fall when the days are still so hot and the workload still so great.  I suppose the workload feels great because of the heat.  Anyway, the tomatoes are dying back, the crickets are singing late into the morning, the quail call to their young with a different song that the characteristic "bobwhite" we've been hearing them use to call their mate up to now.  There is a lull between summer crops and new fall crops.  We spend time in the barn cleaning cured onions and garlic and we will begin the winter squash harvest today of butternut, kabocha, and acorn squashes. Kale, cabbages, broccoli, carrots, lettuces are being planted.  We are eying the sweet potato rows with interest in seeing if tubers are developing.  You'll see more peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant over the next few weeks.  We hope the 2nd planting of canteloupe will yield well and we can put them in your box again.  You are welcome to have hot peppers any time you want them as long as we have them.  We won't put them in the boxes because so many people don't eat them but if you want to eat them, please help your self!
Preparing to transplant fall crops of broccoli, kale, cabbage

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29 or August 1


"Juliet" Tomatoes on the vine
Small boxes:  2 1/2 pounds brandywine tomatoes, 2 1/2 pounds juliet tomatoes, 1 garlic, 1 pound "Ophelia" eggplant, 1 red bell pepper, 1 bunch of italian parsley, 1 canteloupe.
regular boxes: 4 pounds brandywine tomatoes, 2 1/2 pounds juliet tomatoes, 2 garlic, 2 pounds ophelia eggplant, 3 red bell peppers, 1 bunch italian parsley, 1 canteloupe, 2 pounds cucumbers.

Storage:  Garlic out of direct sunlight on your counter.  Tomatoes that you'll eat within 2 days, store on the counter.  The others should be refrigerated.  All else in the fridge.  Eggplant and parsley in bags.

The Brandywine tomatoes make for great fresh eating on sandwiches, in salads, all by themselves.  They also make great soup.  The Juliets are at their best as a cooked tomato.  I like them oven roasted or grilled and then eaten plain or used in pasta sauce, as a pizza topping, on sandwiches.  Ophelia eggplant is a small variety of the "Indian" type used well in curry cut in half or whole.  I also like these oven roasted.

The offer for the $30 25 pound tomato box still stands thru the coming weekend.  We may still have an abundance next week but I can't be sure right now.

Roasted eggplant:
Wash eggplants and cut away the stems.
Cut each one in half and place in a bowl altogether.
Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano (or any herb you are fond of).
Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven until soft and lightly browned on top.

When I do this, I leave the skin on.  It is good to taste one and be sure the skin isn't bitter.  If it is, scoop the "meat" out and discard the skin.  After I've roasted the eggplant, I add it pasta or grind it in the food processor and use the paste in baba ganouj or as a sandwich spread.  I also sometimes freeze it and use later. 
One method for Roasting Tomatoes

A baby bird!  From the nest in last weeks' picture.

Ellen and Anne loading the truck with the pepper harvest

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22 or 25 Tomatoes! Tomatoes! Tomatoes!


A nest of baby birds in the cherry tomato row

Up close...a full nest!
Small Boxes:  1 bunch of shiso, 1 pound of torpedo onions, 2 1/2 pounds of "Paul Robeson" tomatoes, 1 italian eggplant, 1 canteloupe melon, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes.
Regular Boxes:  all of the above plus 1 pound of yellow wax beans, 1 pineapple bi-color tomato, 1 bunch of gold beets.

Storage:  Tomatoes will have best flavor if kept out of the refrigerator, but it means they will need to be eaten within 3 days or so.  Keep them in fridge if you won't eat them that quickly.  The melon is ripe so keep it refrigerated until eating.  All other items will keep best in the fridge as well.

Shiso is an herb with a mild cumin flavor.  It is good in salad, hummus, with beans, in baba ghanouj.

Here is the description of the Paul Robeson tomato from the FEDCO seed catalog that led me to start growing this one:  "This Russian heirloom was named in honor of Paul Robeson (1898-1976) who befriended the Soviet Union. Athlete (15 varsity letters at Rutgers!), actor (played Othello in the longest-running Shakespearean production in Broadway history), singer (world famous for his vibrant baritone renditions of Negro spirituals), orator, cultural scholar and linguist (fluent in at least 15 languages!), Robeson was an outspoken crusader for racial equality and social justice. Revered by the left, reviled by the right, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy Era and beyond, harassed by the FBI, his passport revoked for eight years, his career stifled. He died broken and almost forgotten, his life a testament to lost opportunities in 20th-century American history. His namesake tomato developed almost a cult following among seed savers. The maroon-brick 6–12 oz oblate often bi-lobed fruits with dark green shoulders come closest in flavor to Black Krim, but claim their own distinctive sweet smoky taste. A sandwich tomato with a tang, an extraordinary tomato for an extraordinary man."
See what you think!  Also makes good soup and a good canning tomato as well.

On that note, we are in the tomatoes right now and have more than enough.  If you would like tomatoes to can or freeze or just eat a lot of fresh, we will sell you 25 pound boxes for $30.  (At market they are $2.50/pound.  This is a special deal for csa customers!)  Just let me know by email or let us know at market that you want to do this.  It needs to happen this week as they'll slow down again probably by end of July.  If you just want to try some other variety this week in addition to what is in your box, grab it from us at market "on the house".   Also, we don't put hot peppers in the box because so many people don't eat them.  If you want hot peppers, help yourself at market or if you pick up elsewhere, let me know and i'll send you some.

Shiso and Lemon Dressing
juice from 2 lemons 
5 to 10 shiso leaves
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T rice vinegar
1/2 T maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

this dressing can be made in advance and kept in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator.  It is good on fresh tomatoes, on potato salad, on bean salad.

The following recipe is for a huge batch, so you'll have to cut down the amount of ingredients or ask us for extra eggplant if you want a huge batch!
Eggplant salad recipe
 
Tomatoes on the vine

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 15 or 18


Beets with mud, before cleaning.

Our godson, Henry, on his last day working with us.
Small boxes: 2 pounds red hybrid tomatoes, 1 1/2 pounds of green cucumbers, 1 head of "cured" garlic, 1 bunch of red beets, 2 fennel bulbs, 1 head of green cabbage.
Regular boxes:  2 pounds red hybrid tomatoes, 1 1/2 pounds of green cucumbers, 2 heads of cured garlic, 1 bunch of red beets, 2 fennel bulbs, 1 head of green cabbage, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 bunch of root parsley, 1 bunch of leeks, 2 pounds of fingerling potatoes.

Henry is our 14 year old godson who came to live and work with us for 5 weeks.  He was an absolute champ!  He got up for work at 6 am everyday and worked right along with the crew all day doing whatever the task was with a cheerful countenance.  He made us laugh and gave us some new perspective.  Thank you Henry!  Now he's back to Blacksburg VA to enjoy the rest of his summer in a more relaxed schedule and start high school this fall.

Thank you to all who responded with words of support and enthusiasm to our email on Sunday!  We really do want to fix what we can when you have problems with our CSA.  Let us know if you get something that's not good and we'll replace it.  If you have dietary restraints, let us know and we'll do what we can to change out vegetables.  Those of you who pick up at Catawba rather than a market have a bit less flexibility in this matter but I will try to fulfill your requests.

Storage:  garlic and tomatoes can be kept on the counter and used this week.  Everything else needs to be refrigerated.  If you aren't going to eat the beet greens within 2 days, cut them off of the beets and store in a separate bag with the air squeezed out.  Parsley root is usually long like a carrot but ours is knobby because we transplanted it.  The greens on top are stronger than parsley grown for leaf use.  You can use it in small quantities raw or you can make a pesto with it mixed with basil and/or other herbs.  The root is good cooked in soup, stew, or roasted vegetables.  You can eat it raw in salad or slaw too.
 "Cook (almost) Anything" is an interesting blog with many good ideas in addition to the recipe I linked below.
Parsley Root and Leek Soup Recipe
Here is a link to fennel ideas:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/11/fennel-recipes_n_1152097.html

Have a great week!
If you look closely, there is a newly fledged kestrel chick on the left sprinkler.  We got to watch them for a few days as they learned to fly.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8 or 11 CSA

PLEASE RETURN CLOTH BAGS!!!
Small boxes: 1 pound tomatoes, 1 bunch of basil, 1 head of garlic, 2 red onions, 1 head of celery, 1 pint of baby squash, 1 eggplant.
Regular boxes: 2 pounds tomatoes, 1 basil bunch, 1 garlic bulb, 3 red onions, 1 head of celery, 1 pint of baby squash, 2 pounds of cucumbers, 1 bunch of dill, 1 eggplant.

Storage:  Tomatoes will have better flavor if you store them outside the refrigerator.  Basil will keep in a cloth or paper bag in fridge or with stems in a glass of water on the counter.  Everything else will keep best in the refrigerator.

The garlic is "uncured" still and needs to be used this week or kept in the refrigerator.  It is likely to mold if kept out on the counter.  The tomatoes in the box this week are a hybrid variety called "New Girl".  They are best for fresh eating but can be cooked with too. 

I like to eat eggplant roasted the best of all.  Slice in 1/4 inch slices, toss in olive oil with salt and pepper and roast in a single layer at 450 degrees until lightly browned.  I know there are many other things to do with eggplant and the epicurious site has some good ideas:
An Eggplant Idea

The cucumbers in the regular boxes are from a new planting and are crisp and delicious.  We make cucumber salad with them using fresh dill, an onion, apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper.
This blog post is short and hurried because we are burning up the daylight right now with onion harvesting, tomato trellising, preparing beds for fall crops (can't believe its time already to think about this!), moving cows to green pasture.  I hope you have a good week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1 or 4

Small boxes:  2 pounds of Satina potatoes, 1 pound of green snap beans, 1 pound of zephyr squash, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 green cabbage,1 bunch of torpedo onions, 1 bunch of red beets.

Regular boxes: 2 pounds of Satina Potatoes, 2 Pounds of snap beans, 2 pounds of zephyr squash, 1bunch of parsley, 1 green cabbage, 1 bunch of torpedo onions, 1 bunch of red beets, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 1/2 pounds of small slicer tomatoes.

Storage:  Everything except tomatoes will keep best in the vegetable drawers of your refrigerator.  Parsley and beet greens need to be wrapped in a cloth or in a bag with the air squeezed out.

We thought that folks might be celebrating July 4th with potato salad and cole slaw so we hope you are!  The potatoes are similar to yukon golds in color and texture with a sweet flavor since they are freshly dug.  We had a discussion about whether parsley or dill was the important herb for these dishes and consensus was parsley.  I hope you agree...
The following link has a recipe for an unusual potato salad.  I omit the sugar in the dressing because the potatoes have plenty sweet flavor on their own:
  Beet and Potato Salad

The torpedo onions are really good grilled if you are firing up the grill.  We marinate them in salt, pepper, olive oil, and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar.
The cabbage is an heirloom variety called "flat dutch", due  to it's sat-upon look. 
The zephyr squash has a different appearance than normal because it is from a new planting and the first squash produced on the plant is mostly light green instead of the usual green and yellow.  These are also delicious sliced thin and grilled with the same marinade as the onions. 

Steamed Squash with Mint
4 cups of squash, sliced thin
1 T water
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1 T oil
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
a sprig of mint
a dash of red wine vinegar

1. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan with a lid.  Add the squash and mint.  Steam until soft (about 5 minutes).
2. Strain off excess water and remove the mint sprig.  Saute the garlic in olive oil for a minute or so and add the squash, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Freshly harvested garlic laid out in the barn to "cure".

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 24 or 27


Harvest of the storage onions has begun
Small boxes:  1 pound green beans, 1 head of purple cabbage, 1 bunch of sweet onions, 1 pound of zucchini, 2 cucumbers, 1 pound of white carrots, 1 head of celery.
Regular boxes:  all the above and 1 pint of blueberries, 1 head of romaine, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 fennel bulbs, 2 white cucumbers.

Storage:  everything will keep best in refrigeration.  Celery needs to be wrapped in a damp cloth or kept in a bag with the air squeezed out.

The celery is different than what you buy in the store.  It is more flavorful and much smaller.  A little bit goes a long way.  Use the leaves as well as the stalk.  It is great added to potato salad, egg salad, pasta sauce, soup. 
The white carrots were harvested yesterday.  We cut the tops because the greens aren't very pretty now.  Use the same as you use orange carrots.
The sweet onions are very mild.  I think they are best used raw in salads.  We've been eating a lot of coleslaw made with purple cabbage and sweet onions.  Delicious!
Loading the onions into the barn loft

Paul in motion

The onions will sit with a fan blowing on them for a few weeks and then we'll cut the tops off and begin eating them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June17 or 20

Small boxes:  2 green cucumbers, 1 yellow cucumber, 1/2 pound spinach, 1 bunch of red scallions, 2 fennel bulbs, 1 bunch of basil, 1 pound patty pan squash, 1 pound new potatoes.
Regular boxes:  4 green cucumbers, 3 yellow cucumbers, 1 head of red butterhead lettuce, 1 head of treviso radicchio, 1 bunch of red scallions, 2 fennel bulbs, 1 bunch of basil, 1 pound of patty pan squash, 1 pound of zucchini, 1 pound of cauliflower, 2 1/2 pound new potatoes.


 Storage:  all the vegetables this week need to be kept in the refrigerator drawers.  We did not wash the basil because it tends to turn black under refrigeration when wet.  I suggest washing it, letting it drip dry awhile and storing in a paper bag or towel in the fridge.

Zucchini

Fennel and Potato Gratin
(from Farmer John's cookbook) serves 4 to 6
butter for greasing the baking dish
2 small fennel bulbs, cut crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices
2 cups thinly sliced potatoes
salt and pepper
2 cups half- and -half
2 T butter
1. preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly coat a shallow 2 quart baking dish with butter.
2. cover bottom of dish with a layer of fennel slices.  cover with half the potato slices.  sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  repeat with layers until all slices are used.
3.  bring half-and-half to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.  pour over fennel and potatoes.
4.  press down on top layer until submerged.  dot with butter.  bake until potatoes are tender and top is golden, about 1 hour.

The potato digger in action

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 10 or 13


Freshly harvested onions heading back to wash shed to be cleaned
Small Boxes:  1 bunch of purple carrots, 1 large red beet, 1 head of romaine, 1 bunch of swiss chard, 1 green garlic, 1 bunch of cipollini onions, 1 pint of snow peas, 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash.
Regular Boxes:  1 bunch of purple carrots, 2 large beets, 1 head of romaine, 1 bunch of swiss chard, 1 green garlic, 1 bunch of sweet onions, 2 pints of snow peas, 1 red cabbage, 1 bunch of komatsuna, 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash.

Storage:
carrots and beets:  cut tops off and keep in a cloth or plastic bag in refrigerator drawer.  (use tops in a soup stock or compost)
onions, romaine, komatsuna and chard:  store in a cloth or plastic bag with the air squeezed out in fridge drawer.
snow peas:  eat right away or keep in a bag.  (they will become less crisp in storage but are still good to eat!)
garlic:  use this week.  fresh garlic doesn't keep well.  we keep it in our fridge just on the shelf but you may want to enclose it to keep it from flavoring everything in the fridge.
cabbage:  store in drawer of fridge uncovered.
squash:  in fridge drawer uncovered or in cloth or paper bag.  (plastic will make them rot sooner)

Purple carrots!  Their flavor is strong and less sweet when eaten raw.  Roasted, they become much sweeter.

The beets are giant but still very good.  I cut ours in quarters and boiled until tender, slipped the skin off with my fingers, dressed with a little bit of red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and added to a lettuce salad.

Swiss chard is good all the way spinach is good (they are family members).  I like to add it to pasta while the pasta is still warm enough to wilt it and then add sauce.

Cipollini onions are on the sweet side of the onion spectrum.  Use them fresh or in cooking.

I love to stir fry snow peas with fresh garlic, salt and pepper and eat by themselves.

The small boxes all have 1 dark green zucchini and 1 lighter green with ribs.  The lighter one is an heirloom variety with a great, nutty flavor.  All the zucchini and squash are good sauteed with garlic, onion, salt and pepper.

Komatsuna is an Asian green, similar to tatsoi and bok choi in flavor.  It is good lightly sauteed.  It would be good with the snow peas.

There is a Carolina Wren nesting in a box on a high shelf in our wash shed.  I peeked in the nest weeks ago and saw that it was lined with a shed snake skin.  The eggs have just hatched and all day yesterday while we cleaned vegetables we saw the parents coming with spiders, worms, beetles to feed the babies.  It was cool!



Directions for transplanting the winter squash

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June! 3 or 6

Small boxes:  1 head of napa cabbage, 1 head of green bibb lettuce, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 bunch of garlic scapes, 1 head of frisee, 1 kohlrabi, 1 bunch of dill, 1 # of corn grits!
Regular boxes:  1 bunch of carrots, 1 # of sugar snap peas, 1# of small zephyr squash, all the same stuff in the small boxes except napa cabbage.

Grits! grits! grits!  We hope you are as excited about the grits as we are!  This a dream realized that we can put them in your box.  We grew this corn, a strain of "Trucker's Favorite", last summer, dried it in our greenhouse for the fall, and traded half of it with Farm and Sparrow Bakery so that they would mill the other half for us to put in CSA boxes!  It needs to be stored in your freezer and the sooner you use it, the more of a treat it is.  Freshly milled grain is more flavorful.  The proportions for grits are 4 to 1 water to grits. 

Kohlrabi Slaw
1/2 half a napa cabbage, cut into thin strips
1 kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
2 scallions, green part too, cut in thin rounds
1 bunch of dill, chopped small
juice of 1/2 lemon
1-3 T of mayonnaise
1/2 - 1 T mustard
salt and pepper to taste

If you make this an hour or 2 in advance, it is more flavorful

Napa cabbage is also good as a cooked green.  We like it sauteed with onions and garlic and white beans and served with crushed red pepper and romano cheese on top.

Garlic Scapes:
We are at the point in the season where we need to remove all the remaining garlic scapes from the plants in a day.  It is more than we know what to do with.  We extend the invitation to you to try pickling some.  If you're interested, let us know by email or at market how many you want and we'll give them to you!

Kohlrabi in the field

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 27 or 30 BoxGarlic scapes

This weeks' small box contents:  1 head of "winter density" lettuce, 1 bunch of kale, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 bunch of garlic scapes, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 pound of broccoli heads or 3/4 pounds of florets.

This weeks' regular box contents:  all the above and 1 head of napa cabbage, 1 bunch of "early wonder tall top" beets, 1 pint of sugar snap peas.

Those of you who pick up on Saturdays, I am sorry you got less strawberries last week.  They have just come to a screeching halt.  We put in a half pound of spinach to make up for it. 

The lettuce in your box is a romaine/bibb cross.  It is a delicious, crisp lettuce.
Kale, kale, kale.  Its growing so well this spring that we're putting it in the box again.  Next week we'll pick you a different green.
The garlic scapes are what would become the garlic flower if we left them on the plant.  They have a very mild garlic flavor.  They are excellent sauteed and added to anything you put garlic in, or a pizza topping, or pesto.

Garlic Scape and Cilantro Pesto
Wash the cilantro well! (it was muddy in the field today)
Rinse the garlic scapes
Put both the cilantro and scapes in food processor with:
2 to 4 T olive oil
salt to taste
juice from 1/2 lemon

This is a good dip, spread, or sauce for chicken or steak.

Click on this link for some kale salad ideas:
Several Kale Salad Recipes
Garlic Scapes

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20 or May 23

This weeks' small share contains:  1 bunch of siberian kale, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 head of bok choi, 1 head of frisee, 1 head of lettuce, 2 pints of strawberries.
The regular shares contain:  1 bunch of siberian kale, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 head of bok choi, 1 head of frisee, 1 head of lettuce, 3 pints of strawberries, 1 pound of broccoli, 1/2 pound of spinach, 1 bunch of oregano.

The kale and scallions are together in one bag and the bok choi, frisee, and lettuce are together in another bag.  You either got little gem lettuce or romaine.  The little gem is a very compact, crisp lettuce that makes a great salad.  The frisee is the light green, very frilly head and is a mild endive that is great raw in salad.  The siberian kale makes good kale chips as well as steamed or sauteed greens.

Here are 2 salads we've been enjoying this week:
Frisee Salad:
1 head of frisee
1/2 head of lettuce
ume plum vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1 scallion
pecans
molasses
strawberries or raisins
salt and pepper
1.cut the frisee into individual leaves and wash
2.tear half a head of lettuce into individual leaves and wash
3.while waiting for the greens to dry, heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and toast 1 to 2 cups of pecans until they start to brown and become fragrant.  while still in the warm skillet, sprinkle with salt and drizzle lightly with molasses, stirring to evenly coat.  remove from skillet and let cool.
4. make a dressing of equal parts extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a dash of ume plum vinegar and 1 to 2 scallions, white part only, sliced thinly. (use the green part of the scallion with the greens in the salad)
5.combine all ingredients with 1 cup of raisins or a few strawberries sliced thinly and freshly ground black pepper and enjoy!

Bok Choi Salad
1.Cut 1 head of bok choi into individual leaves, wash, and shake off excess water.
2.Slice thinly across the grain all the white part and the leaves.
3.Place in a bowl along with 2 scallions white and green parts sliced thinly.
4.Chop 2 dried chiles de arbol or use crushed red pepper.  sprinkle over salad.
5.Drizzle 1 tablespoon of tamari, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar over the salad.
6.Toast 1/2 cup of sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat until they start to pop and pour over salad while still hot.  Toss the salad and enjoy!

Winter Squash seed just germinating.  Notice how the seed casing still clings the edge of some leaves.

Monday, May 18, 2015

CSA LOGISTICS

I will try to impart details and information here that you may need to refer back to over the season.

WAX BOXES and CLOTH BAGS:
Wax boxes and cloth bags need to be returned empty each week when you pick-up your new box.  The wax boxes cost us $1.50 each and are meant to be re-used all season.   They are coated in wax to protect the vegetables and to increase their life span.  The wax will melt and render them useless if you leave them in the hot sun!  Also, if you have pets who shed, please store your box where their hair won't get stuck to the box; it is nearly impossible to get it off.  The cloth bags we made to cut down on use of plastic bags.  Please please please return them every week!  We will wash them and reuse them the following week.

MISSING A PICK-UP
If you know you are going to be gone and can't pick up your box, you have options!
1.  Have someone else pick it up.  Be sure they know your name and our farm name so they come to the right market stand. 
2.  Email or text Anne that you won't be getting a box.  For Wednesday pick-ups you have to let me know by 6pm Monday.  For Saturday pick-ups you have to let me know by 6pm Thursday.  We will then give you credit for that box and you can  choose to get an extra box later in the season or use the credit at the market stand.  It will have to spent all at once ($15 for small shares, $24 for regular) so that I don't have to keep up with nickels and dimes.

CATAWBA PICK-UPs
If you are picking up at Catawba, you'll talk to the bartender who will check off your name, give you your box and tell you where to put your empty box.  If you don't pick-up your box, the bartender will take it home at the end of the shift.  We do not go back there and get full boxes that didn't get picked up!  They are open 2pm to 10pm and you can go any time during those hours.

MARKET PICK-UPS
If you send someone else to get your box, please be sure they know our Farm's name and your name.  It eliminates much confusion!
If you fail to get to market for your box, we bring it back to the farm and keep it in the walk-in cooler until after the next market.  IT IS UP TO YOU to make arrangements to come get your box or have it brought to the next market.  If it's still in the cooler after the next market, we compost the contents.
If the pick-up you have chosen isn't working for you, please let us know and we'll switch you to another one!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 13 first CSa of 2015!

First Box of the Year Contents:
small:  1 pound of broccoli, 1 bunch of dill, 1/2# of arugula, 1/2# of spinach, 1 bunch of kale, 1 pint of strawberries
regular:  1 pound of broccoli, 1 bunch of dill, 1# of arugula, 1# of spinach, 1 bunch of kale, 3 pints of strawberries, 1 purple kohlrabi, 1 bunch of mustard greens.

If you don't eat your arugula and spinach right away, they need to be spun or strained to remove excess water or they won't keep well.  We try to pick the berries at peak ripeness so please enjoy them today or freeze them.  You will notice little holes in the kale, arugula, and mustards.  These are caused by a little insect called a flea beetle.  They are tiny and love to eat members of the brassica family just as much as we do.  They will not harm you in any way.  We choose not to spray anything to kill them because it would require what is called a "broad spectrum" insecticide.  These would kill all insects present including lady bugs, honey bees, spiders.

We harvested broccoli from a few different varieties in order to have enough for all the boxes.  You may have broccoli with a few leaves attached or very small florets on long stems.  These two varieties are meant to be eaten stem and leaves and all either steamed or sauteed!
We have been enjoying arugula pesto as a pasta sauce, sandwich spread, pizza topping, dip for carrots and broccoli.   Arugula Pesto Recipe
I am going to post this so you can know what to expect in your boxes.  Look for another post today or tomorrow with important details about the CSA!
Catherine, Hayley, and Geff harvesting Kale