Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25 or 28

Castelline harvesting in the early morning light
Box contents:  1/2# spinach, 1/2# lacy arugula, 1 bunch of garlic scapes, 1 head of green bibb lettuce, 1 small bunch of chinese celery, 1 head of frisee, 2 pints of strawberries.

Storage:  Berries will keep best in refrigerator, unwashed.  A market customer told me she keeps hers in a tupperware container with a paper towel on the bottom and between layers of berries with the lid on and can keep them a week... All other vegetables in the box will keep best in a bag with the air squeezed out in the refrigerator.

The cloth bags we ordered should be here next week...until then, you can bring your own bag and leave the empty box with us or please remember to bring back your box from last week.

The exchange box:  If you have something you don't want in this weeks' box, you can exchange it for something you do want in the exchange box.  Please DO NOT bring back things you didn't eat last week to exchange for something this week.  

Frisee is a very mild member of the chicory family.  We eat it raw in salad.  It is also good added to soup in the last few minutes or sauteed with onion and garlic and eaten with beans.

The arugula has a lacy appearance because we didn't get the bed covered with row cover and there are some insects that like it as much as we do.  It has been washed twice and tastes great!  You can eat it as is in salad or wilt it in some warm pasta or make Green Goddess Dressing and eat it over your spinach.

Green Goddess Dressing
1 to 2 cups arugula leaves
1 to 2 chinese celery bunches
2 to 6 garlic scapes
1 T lemon juice
1 T champagne vinegar
1 to 2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp black pepper
1 anchovy or 1 T anchovy paste (optional)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Combine everything in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.  ( Use within a week).

Frisee and Martine in the distance

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18 or 21

Please return your empty wax box and paper berry containers!
Box Contents:  1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 head of red butterhead lettuce, 1 bunch of siberian kale, 1 bunch of garlic scapes, 1/2# of broccoli, 3 pints of strawberries.

Remember to use the exchange box if you'd like.  Ask Martine at market today or Anne at Saturday market where it is.

Storage:  Refrigerator for everything.  Lettuces, kale, and broccoli in a bag with air squeezed out.  Garlic scapes are fairly tough but will last longer if you keep them in the fridge.

The Siberian kale makes great kale chips, great massaged kale salad, and is yummy in white bean soup.
Garlic scapes are what would become the flower of the garlic plant if left on.  We remove them so that the plant focuses its energy on developing the bulb.  It is a happy coincidence that they are delicious!  If you like to grill, try them on the grill with a little olive oil and salt and pepper brushed on.  They make a great pesto. And, if you have a food processor, you can make a garlic green goddess type dressing that is a great spring treat.
Recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto on Epicurious

Now that we are past the frost free date for this area, we are feverishly planting peppers, tomatoes, eggplant.  We are preparing beds for okra and sweet potatoes.  The winter squash seeds are germinating.  The potatoes are making little new potatoes under the soil.  Exciting times!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

First CSA box of 2016!

Box contents:  3 pints of strawberries, 1 pound of chinese broccoli, 2 purple kohlrabi, 1 bunch of kale, 1 head of green butterhead lettuce, 1 green garlic.

Storage:  strawberries should be kept, unwashed, in the refrigerator until you're about to eat them.  Everything else will keep best in the refrigerator in bags with the air squeezed out, preferably in one of the drawers.

Chinese broccoli is a tender, mild broccoli that is best cooked whole with stem and leaves as it is all good and good for you.  We usually steam it lightly and add a little lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, and salt.  It is good warm or chilled.

Green garlic is a mild form of the dry garlic most commonly used.  It is still tender enough to use all parts. You can use it anywhere you would use cured garlic.

Here is a recipe from Steven Satterfield's cookbook Root To Leaf 
Sauteed Kohlrabi
If kohlrabi is cooked just until tender, it can be delightful, but if its cooked too long, it tastes and smells like overcooked broccoli stems.  If any leaves happen to be attached, chop them up and add to the pan at the last minute.  Do not overcrowd the pan.  It may be necessary to cook the kohlrabi in batches, depending on the size of your skillet.
1 T unsalted butter
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 orange

In a wide skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil.  Add the kohlrabi slices in a single layer across the bottom of the pan and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook on one side for 1 minute.  With tongs, turn each piece over and cook on the opposite side for 1 minute.  Then add the lemon and orange juices and cook until the kohlrabi pieces are tender but still have a little crunch.  Remove from the pan and repeat if cooking in batches.

Some logistical information:
We haven't gotten the cloth bags yet, so this week and probably next also, you will take the box and return it empty the following week.  Eventually, when we have the bags, you will be responsible for bringing the bag each week and unloading your box into the bag.  

If you haven't paid yet, please bring a check with you this week when you pick up.  If you are picking up at Catawba, please mail your check.  There will not be anyone from the farm at that pick-up.

If you are picking up at Catawba, you go to the bartender and tell them your picking up a CSA box and give them your name.  They will get it from the cooler for you.  Please get in touch with us if you have any issues at Catawba.  The bartender is doing us a favor and cannot help with issues you have related to the box. Also, YOU MUST get your box on Wednesday at Catawba.  They do not keep them in the cooler for you longer than that.  They do not have enough space to store them overnight and we do not go back there and get boxes that weren't picked up.

If you are picking up at market, look for Gaining Ground Farm and speak with Anne or Martine.  We will get you your box and show you where the exchange box is.  If you don't make it to market to get your box, we bring it back to  the farm and put it in our cooler.  It is up to you to arrange to come get it at the farm or have it brought to the Saturday market.

If you have someone picking up your box for you, PLEASE be sure they know our farm name and your name.  There are many farms doing CSA pick-up at market and it is confusing if they don't have the proper information.

THE BEST WAY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH US IS:  email: OR call or text Anne at:  828-545-2362

If there are other people sharing your share with you that would like the weekly emails, please let me know!

Thank you Thank you Thank you!   We are excited to begin again and thank you for joining us!  Cheers!