Archive for July, 2009

Week #8:

Happy Week Eight, Everybody!

DSC01156

ˆa whole lotta love 

 

    We’re glad to say we are Back Up and Running, as far as our transportation goes.  Van has been re-vamped and should ensure that we get your veggies to you on time from here on out.  Thanks again for your patience.

 

Even though you who are in the cities have seen a couple inches of rain in the last week or two, we out here in Sunny New Auburn, have seen under a 3/10ths… it’s dry, and cool. which makes for slow growing conditions. Irrigation is underway, and as we speak we are being sprinkled on. 

My prediction for tomatoes will be about 2 weeks assuming the weather cooperates. Sweet corn hasn’t yet tassled… we are usually knee deep in sweet corn about this time because we always plant way more than anyone can eat. Unfortunately we still aren’t there yet and it’s looking like this year’s crop will be a small one.  I assure you next year this will not be the case. I personally hate failing at sweet corn because it not only lets me down, it also lets my heritage down as a I come from a long line of corn and beans that were grown in the Fertile Missouri River valley in SW Iowa. But, bad years happen. Those of you that have been with me for many years know that a poor corn year has yet to be witnessed until now. We’ll see what we can do to get you some corn though. 

We are moving into the sweet onions, some zuchinni, and more potatoes. We tried mowing the tops on the potatoes and letting the skins dry a bit before diggin with the machine, but still came out abit Tattered. We’ll keep working on that. DSC01164

NOW, FROM AN OUTGOING LETTER WRITTEN BY FARM INTERN ADAM PATTERSON:

Dear Mom and Dad,

 

Things have really gotten underway at Camp Turnip Rock.  I have met so many great people.  My socks got wet one day, but the counselor didn’t even get mad.  I play with the goats sometimes, and I must tell you that I really like baby pigs, too. (“Piglets” is the proper term I learned.  Did you know that?)

 

The other day we had a picnic for lunch, maybe the best meal I’ve ever had (no offense, Dad).  It consisted of hamhocks with freshly picked beans from Josh and Rama’s friend’s farm, German-style potato salad, and very fresh, hot biscuits.  I can only hope that all people have a meal this good at least once in their lives.  They let us have seconds AND EVEN THIRDS if we wanted!

 

The sunshine here in New Auburn is special: it makes our food grow.  You couldn’t ask for nicer days than the ones we’ve been having, because they are mild, breezy, and sunny.  I have never wished for rain much before, because it inhibits my skateboarding and basket ball [and other activities that well-adjusted young people do].  However, I do hope the rain falls a little more, because in conjunction with the aforementioned sunshine, it helps our food to grow quickly and strongly.

 

You can see pretty much the entire sky (like 360 degrees) when you’re working out in the field in the morning, and it is the best.

 

See you in a few weeks!

 

love,

 

Adam 

 

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What’s in the box?

Spring Onions

Summer Squash

Cucumbers

Green Beans

Carrots

Potatoes

Parsley

Sunflowers!

Recipes:

   
 

COLD CURRIED CARROT AND COCONUT MILK SOUP:  

Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a saucepan over moderately low heat. Add a couple of chopped onions  and 1 Tbs minced fresh ginger.  Mix in 1 tsp. curry power, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add a bunch of washed and thinly chopped carrots and 2 1/2 cups chicken or veggie stock (you can add carrot tops to veggies or chicken when making stock) and simmer, covered, until carrots are very soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.  Carefully puree mixture in batches with 1 can of coconut milk in a blender until very smooth; transfer to a bowl. Stir in 1 Tbs. lime juice and cool, uncovered. Refrigerate soup until cold.  Just before serving, thin soup to desired consistency with ice water and season with additional lime juice, salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with sliced scallions, chives or basil.   It is really really good.  

Parsley and Garlic Frittata

Preheat your broiler. Beat 4 eggs well with a little salt and pepper and stir in 1/2 cup of crumbled feta and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Melt about 2 Tbs. butter or olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Cook 4 cloves of chopped garlic slowly over medium heat until soft and golden.  Turn the heat to medium high and pour in the eggs. Cook for about four minutes, or until the bottom is set.  Put the pan in the oven and broil for another four minutes or until set through and lightly browned on top.  That was quick!

 

Chicken in Cucumber and Lemon Sauce

    Ingredients: 

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved, appox. 4 cups (less is bad, more is fine)
  • 7 tbs. butter
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or any skinless, boneless chicken)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1 c whipping cream
  • 2 tb plus 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs minced dill

Place cucumbers in colander. Sprinkle with salt, toss, and let drain 1 hr. Pat cucumbers dry. Melt 3 tbs butter in heavy lg skilet over med. heat. Add cucumbers and saute until light brown, about 7 min. Set aside.

In small cup, mix 1 tbs flour and 1 tbs butter to smooth paste, set aside. Place remaining 1/2 c flour in shallow baking dish with pepper and season with salt. Coat chicken and shake off excess. Melt remaining 3 tbs butter with oil in another heavy large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and saute until brown. Add 1/2 cup stock. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 4 minutes). Transfer chicken to platter.

Add remaining 1/2 cup stock to chicken skillet. Increase heat to high and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Add cream & bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened to sauce consistency (about 2 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in lemon juice and 1 tbs dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add chicken and cucumbers to sauce, heat through. Transfer to plates. Spoon sauce & cucumbers over chicken. Sprinkle with tbs. dill.

 

 

 

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Week 7: Root Party!

What’s in the box?

Week 7 Box

Week 7 Box

 

Green Top Carrots

Green Top Beets

Potatoes

Spring Onions

Mixed baby greens (aka braising mix)

Summer Squash

 

Some notes for this week:  

Take the tops off those carrots right away.  Just twist and pull.  Put the carrots in a plastic bag in the crisper.  The carrot tops can be chopped and thrown into stir fries or veggie soups!   Try it!

Take the tops off the beets, too.  The beet tops can be eaten.  Add the tops to the mixed baby greens, if you like.  Some of the beets are big and some are baby beets this week.  They are all really tasty.  You can cut off the tails the roast or boil them whole, halved, or quartered depending on the size.   Boiled beets are great chilled and added to a salad.  Or you can shred them and eat them raw with salads.  They pair well with nuts and blue cheese.  These are young beets and don’t necessarily need to be peeled.  I never Peel them.  To help the beets color not stain your hands too badly, either wear rubber gloves when cutting them or rub a tiny bit of olive oil on your hands (not enough that you are going to make the knife slip out of your hands) before you handle them.  It makes the stain easier to wash off.

We dug the potatoes by hand this week!  Don’t they look much more lovely?

Diggin diggin diggin potatoes!

Diggin diggin diggin potatoes!

 

 

Recipes:

What do I do with beets?   Boil the beets. Sautee the mixed baby greens and the beet tops, mix them together and chill.  Put a nice vinaigrette on the whole thing for a really delicious take on a cold salad.  It’s  so good!

Roasted Roots:  Wash and cut some potatoes, beets, and carrots into pieces all about the same size.  Keep beets in a separate roasting pan (unless you don’t care that they color everything pink).  Drizzle olive oil over all the roots.  Add the bottom part of the green onions, chopped to one of the roasting pans.  Salt.  Cover Roasting pans with foil and roast at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Uncover the pan with potatoes after 20 minutes so that they get brown.  Mix all together just before serving.  

Raw Mixed baby greens salad:
Wash the bag of mixed baby greens.  Add 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive oil and 1/4-1/2 tsp. Salt and massage together for a few minutes until greens look wilty.  Let it rest for about 1/2 hour.  Mix in 1 or 2 grated carrots, some grated beets, some chopped green onion tops and a sliced avocado. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Dressing: juice and zest of a lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tsp agave nectar or honey, salt, pepper.   

beets!

beets!

This week we have been busy irrigating everything.  Moving drip tape here and there…  It’s our version of a raindance.  Nothing is looking too dry, though.  The cool weather is making the hot weather crops grow s-u-p-e-r-s-l-o-w-l-y, so we are again giving you not too many summer squash.  They will come eventually, right?

We spent quite a day shoveling a semi-load full of compost onto the area where we had the broccoli and onto the new ground that we turned over for next year.  We loaded the compost onto a hay wagon with the front end loader of the tractor and then we pulled the hay wagon over the fields and pitched the compost out by the shovelfull.   We get our compost from an organic dairy.  It’s good stuff!   After it was all out we dug it into the ground with digger pulled with the tractor.  It’s going to really help the organic matter in the soil.  We are very excited about it and we want to get a few more semi loads out.  (I know a few folks that work out here on the farm that probably aren’t as excited about this prospect as we are.  Pitchin a semi-load of compost makes people sore.  But everyone really gave it all they had and even imagined all the benefits that adding the compost onto the fields were having.  Not the easiest task to put your intentions into the soil as well as the hard physical work!  Thanks Adam, Annie, and Jeanette!!!)

Rama, Annie, and Jeanette pitchin the compost

Rama, Annie, and Jeanette pitchin the compost

A little side note, the ever popular and addictive sungold cherry tomatoes have begun going out.  We will be delivering them drop site by drop site.   B Natural in Eau Claire got them last week, this week River Market and NorthEast get them.  Don’t worry, if you aren’t at these sites, yours are coming soon!

 

THE BEST CHERRY TOMATOES IN THE WORLD!

THE BEST CHERRY TOMATOES IN THE WORLD!

Also, we are sorry for the lateness of the deliveries again this week.  Happy to report that the van is fixed and we will be a lot more consistant and early with the delivery times from here on out (knock on wood).  Lots of love from your farmers at Turnip Rock!DSC01135

Comments (1)

Week 6. July 16.

picking up potatoes

picking up potatoes

What’s in the Box?

New Potatoes

Parsley

Green Cabbage

Romaine Lettuce

Summer Squash

Recipes

I have to say that I am fully addicted to this website.  It has some really wonderful recipes.  Good friends/hosts, Melinda and Jaron have Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Cooking and it is so beautiful and has so many good ideas.  Melinda reccommended Swanson’s website to me and it has yet to let me down.  The recipes can get a little bit fancy or have too many ingredients that I don’t have around,  but substitution always works out fine.  I made the Summer Squash and Potato Gratain for lunch yesterday and it was a hit, even without the bread crumbs (and I used butter because we love that stuff).  Here is that recipe as I adapted it (you can find the original here- http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/summer-squash-gratin-recipe.html):

Summer Squash Gratin Recipe

Be sure to slice your potatoes as thin as possible. They get all melty and creamy. Slice them too thick and you’ll have trouble cooking them through because the zucchini cooks up more quickly.

1 1/2 pounds summer squash or zucchini, cut into 1/6th-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 pound new potatoes sliced transparently thin
1/4 cup of Parmesan

3/4 cup of milk 

Preheat oven to 400F degrees and place a rack in the middle. Rub a 9×9 gratin pan (or equivalent baking dish) with a butter and set aside.

Place the zucchini slices into a colander placed over a sink, toss with the sea salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes (to drain a bit) and go on to prepare the oregano sauce.

Make the sauce by finely chopping the oregano, parsley, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and mix it all up with the olive oil. Set aside.

Transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and the oregano sauce. Toss until everything is well coated. Add the cheese and mix more.

Transfer the squash to the pan, top with more Parmesan (or other grated cheese) and pour milk over it all. Bake for somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes – it will really depend on how thinly you sliced the squash and potatoes. You don’t want the zucchini to go to mush, but you need to be sure the potatoes are fully baked. Yum.  

Parsley New Potatoes

This is my re-creation of a side dish from Mimosa Park Elementary  School lunches in Luling, LA.  I loved this when I was a little kid.

Boil small New Potatoes whole and cut bigger ones in halves or wedges.  Boil till tender and douse in melted butter and chopped fresh parsley.  Add salt to taste. 

Streetfood Annie’s Homemade Falafel:

This is a great recipe from one of our agri-prentices, Annie.  She got the name “Streetfood Annie” based on her panache for making streetfoods of the world on her cooking days.

Falafel with Tahini Garlic Sauce

This recipe can make enough falafel for a few meals for 4 people, if you fry all of the mix you can save the falafel balls for several days in the fridge.

Falafel Balls

2 cups dried chick peas

8 cups of water

Put the chick peas in a bowl with the water the night before you intend to make falafel. Most of the recipes I’ve read say that you need to soak them for 24 hours but I’ve had no trouble with a 12 hour soak. I don’t think the quick soak method will work for this, so plan ahead.

Into a food processor put:

a bunch of parsely (The exact amount depends on your preference. About a cup of loosely packed leaves will give you good flavor).

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

Blend this up as well as possible. There might not be enough stuff in there yet to fully chop it up.

At this point put a cast iron pan on the stove and fill it with about 3/4  inch of vegetable oil. Turn the heat on medium high. You want the oil really hot or you’ll get oily balls of mush. 

Drain and rinse the soaking chick peas. Test one by biting into it. If you can chew it like a tough green pea, they’re ready. If not, you might have to soak them a few more hours. Put the chick peas into the food processor and blend until the mixture looks like large grains of sand. Here is the tricky part.  The mixture needs to be of a consistancy that is easily formed into shapes that don’t fall apart, but also are not runny or sticky. To do this, I fill a small glass with water, pour about a tablespoon into my food processor, blend, then test the consistancy by picking up a spoonful and trying to form it into a ball with your hands. It’s really hard to do this step without touching the mixture, so don’t be afraid to stick your hands in and test it. It usually takes only 2 or 3 tablespoons of water.

Prepare a plate with a paper towel or some leaves of lettuce on it to set the falafel on when it’s done frying.

Form one ball about golf ball size and flatten it slightly. Lower it into your hot oil. If it sizzles, the others are ready to start going in. The falafels will be about half covered with oil, so when you see a golden brown color on the sides, you will need to flip it. Depending on how hot your oil is, this can take between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. The second side usually fries faster, so check them earlier than that. You’ll get the best tasting falafel if you let them get dark golden brown. It takes a little practice, but don’t give up. When they’re done, put them on your paper towel/lettuce plate.

Serve on pita bread with cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, lettuce, and don’t forget yogurt sauce or:

Tahini Garlic Sauce

Put 4 cloves garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a food processor. Blend. Then add 1/4 cup tahini and blend. Add juice from one lemon and blend. Now check the consistancy. You want it to be like a salad dressing, easily flowing but not watery. If it’s still like peanut butter, add a 2 tablespoons of water. Blend again. Keep adding small amounts of water and blending until you have the right consistancy. Add salt to taste. 

Enjoy!

Peanut Coleslaw

Here’s a delicious salad recipe that could even be simplified with just peanut butter, chiles/chile oil, and vinegar; makes almost a meal in itself:

1 head cabbage (about 1 1/2 lb.)

3 tbsp. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c. Aisan-style sesame oil
1/3 c. smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
1 c. mayonnaise or high quality commercial real mayonnaise
1 tbsp. soy sauce
About 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
About 1 tsp. hot chile oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 c. unsalted roasted peanuts
Pesticide-free edible flowers such as borage, dianthus, or nasturtium for garnish (optional)

Any variety of cabbage may be used alone or combined with different types for some diversity in color and flavor. I like to serve the slaw nestled inside a collar made from the leaves of savoy cabbage or colorful edible kale.

Discard any wilted outer leaves of the cabbage. Rinse the head under cold running water. Using a food processor or a sharp knife, shred the cabbage and place it in a large bowl.

In a food processor or blender, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, peanut butter, mayonnaise, and soy sauce. Blend well. Season to taste, pepper, and chile oil. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage and toss thoroughly. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about 2 hours, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Return the coleslaw to room temperature before serving.

In a skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the peanuts and cook, stirring frequently, until the peanuts are golden brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes; watch carefully to prevent burning. Transfer to paper toweling to drain and cool.

Just before serving, stir in most of the peanuts, saving a few to sprinkle over the top. Garnish with flowers, if used. Serves 8 as a salad course or accompaniment.

 

digger in action

digger in action

 

 

 

A few notes about the Box

The new Potatoes, are alas new, and therefore have tender skins, and they were rubbed off during the great journey from underground where they were nested in soft moist dirt, into your boxes. Not to mention the great encounter with all the rocks on their way up the potato digger.  They will not keep as long as fully cured potatoes, but if you know new potatoes like I know new potatoes, you will not be let down by the moist and creamy quality they bring to your mashed potatoes. With perhaps some garlic and parsley.

Rama with the new Potatoes

Rama with the new Potatoes

 

 

The squash is slowly excalating, the quantity was a bit of a dissappointment for us leaving the field, but the nights have been cool out here ( got down in the 40s this week). Squash doesn’t grow unless it’s 70 or above. But rest assured you’ll get your fill by the end of the summer. It seems no matter  what,  I always get tired of it after the 6-8 week season of squash. 

We are in a bit of a transition time here, moving out of the spring into summer,  it’s challenging. Juggling all the summer crops that should be coming on strong but, just seem to be slowly creeping up on us.  Yesterday I pulled 4 cucumbers out of the whole patch. Roughly 1500′ of cucumbers. But it’s  a sign none the less that cucumbers season will be upon us shortly. Also, we are adding to this dilema the fact that we over came the biggest hurdle and our name sake this summer. The rocks. With the help of Randy K. who brought his great rock picking machine out and help clear some field for us. Although we are greatful for this, it happened about 2 weeks later than I would have liked, so all the corn, beans, and some of the other summer things are just a week or so behind schedule. Bear with us as we get through this, we will finish strong. Our fall crops are looking nice. 

 

potato rock mountain.

potato rock mountain.

 

 

 

What’s growing on?


Salad mix

Summer Squash

Beets

Potatoes

Spring Onions

The piglets are growing fast. if you haven’t resreved a pig, or a portion of a pig. You still can.

piglets

piglets

 

 

Also, it isn’t too late to be thinking about a winter share as well. We still have 20 more available.

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Just a note…

We have been delayed on posting, sorry for this. But we figure, hey would you want your farmer pulling weeds, or BLOGGING?   We decided after much debate, heh, that the correct answer was indeed Blogging. I mean pulling weeds. 

What follows is an email converstaion between me and a gracious member.

“Josh, I have been a little disappointed in the quantity in the boxes.  Has this just been a bad growing year or can we expect our boxes to get a bit fuller as the summer goes on? ”

………..

I really appreciate your question.  This season, so far, is much less quantity than we hoped to be putting in the boxes. Despite our best attempts at over planting, i.e. 1200 heads of cabbage for 160 boxes seems like enough right? We have been plauged with a surprise we could not have foreseen. Half of the field we are growing in has a low PH, which can be corrected over time, but hard to correct when planting has been done already. We did test our soils last summer and all the tests came up fine on PH, so this just was out of the blue. In the end it cuts our yields in half right off the top. So if we are to harvest 300 heads of cabbage one week we might not have  but only 150. this is why you might have seen some smaller heads of lettuce, or cabbage.

     We are hopeful and confident we will be able to fill up the boxes more as the summer goes on. The tomatoes and peppers are shaping up to be great looking. If we have to, we will attempt to buy in from other organic growers to round out your boxes more. We really don’t like to do that, but we also don’t want you as a member to leave the season feeling you were shorted on vegetables or paid too much. 

As for the future we are in the process now of turning over some new ground that has been in soil building for awhile and will be spreading a lot of compost this fall. As well as doing soil tests on everything and getting that PH situation under control. It’s just some of the first season things we are figuring out. I really appreciate your comment and would invite you too keep the conversation going if you like. We like to recieve feed back of all types, afterall you are our audience and we aim to please, if we aim at all. 

Thanks, Josh

……..

Since I did grow up on a farm, I completely understand.  And, I have to say that I admire you for even attempting to start something like this from scratch.  I am pleased that you acknowledge that things have been a bit skimpy this spring, and maybe it would be good to spread that word.  Thanks for the response.

…….

I don’t like to complain, and I dont think people like to hear complaining, some things effect everyone directly and I can’t avoid telling you the hard facts. Like the van needs a new engine, and deliveries were late for a couple weeks. And the ph (ph is acid/alkaline, scale, ours is low, meaning slightly too acid) is low on half the field so boxes are lighter than we hoped. But I don’t like to hear farmers cry about the weather all the time, or complain about how hard farming is. You know about those things and I’ll mention them, and boarderline complain about them, but  only so you know, and not to gain sympathy. We are obligated to bring you produce and I like that. In the face of adversity we won’t back down or make excuses. we’ll do our darndest to make it right .

If anyone wants to know more about the things we are doing to get through this ph problem let me know.  As for now we are taking it week by week and hoping that things shape up with our summer crops.

It just goes to show, in my book, science can’t tell you everything. Getting to know your soil is the best way to build it back up. 

So please let us know if there is anything else you’d like to know.

 

Whats next?

Blogging or Weeding?

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What color!

What’s in the box?  Week Five

Week #5 Box

Week #5 Box

 

Purple Cabbage

Romaine Lettuce

Garlic Scapes (the long twisty things)

Sugar Snap Peas

Summer Squash (a few boxes got broccoli instead)

 

We’ve gotten requests to put the recipes online instead of in the box so we are trying it online this week. Plus, this lets us introduce you to more recipes.

The Cabbage.

 Isn’t it gorgeous?!  We’ve been eating cole slaw all week and still aren’t tired of it.  Here’s our recipe (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

Cole Slaw

Finely chop one small head of red cabbage.  Stir together 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 Tbs sugar.  Add enough dressing to the cabbage to moisten it and season with salt and black pepper to taste.  For variation and any of the following: fresh parsley, crumbled crisp bacon, grated carrots, fresh tarragon.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Good for those colder stormy days that still keep cropping up. 

You’ll need: 1 small head of red cabbage (about 2 pounds) thinly sliced and placed in cold water, 2 slices bacon, 3-8 Tbs chopped onions, 1 large green apple peeled and cut into matchsticks, 3 Tbs red wine vinegar, 2 Tbs honey, 1/4 t-1 tsp salt. 

In a large skillet fry the bacon or 2 Tbs butter.  Add the onion and cook until golden (you can’t go wrong with too much onion).  Remove the cabbage from the water and add it into the pan with the rest of the ingredients.  Cover pan and cook over medium low heat until cabbage is very soft. 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  You may need to add boiling water while cooking.

Quick Red Cabbage Soup

I love cabbage in any soup, especially minestrone, but it goes well in any vegetable soup.   You’ll need: 1 Medium onion chopped, 2 apples peeled and diced, Small head of cabbage finely chopped, 1 tbs pickling spice (optional, or sprinkle in cinnamon, cloves and allspice)) 2 Cups Chicken broth (or water and bouillion seasoning), 1 can crushed tomatoes, Salt and pepper.

Heat a deep pot over medium to medium high heat.  Add 1 tbs olive or vegetable oil and onion and apple.  Cover and cook five minutes stirring occasionally.  Add cabbage, pickling spice, stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer ten minutes before serving.  

 

The Broccoli

Think you’re tired of it?  This recipe will change your mind.  The favorite Turnip Rock way to prepare Broccoli (and also Kale).  The broccoli is also good added raw to the cabbage cole slaw.

Roasted Broccoli

Take two large bunches of broccoli (don’t wash them for this recipe, the high heat of roasting will clean them) and cut them into small pieces.  Put onto a baking pan and toss with 5 tbs olive oil, salt and ground black pepper, and 4-8 peeled and sliced garlic gloves.  Roast in an oven preheated to 425 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until some of the tips are browned.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with lemon peel, squeeze the juice of one small lemon over the broccoli, add 3 Tbs pine nuts (or sunflower seeds, or pepitos, or leave out) and add 1/3 cup of fresh grated parmesean.  It is delicious.  I may run out to the fields to harvest more broccoli and make it right now for a second breakfast. But Deep Fried Summer Squash Fritters also sound great. 

The Summer Squash.

These plants are just starting to come on full force.  Once the weather heats up we’ll be up to our knees in squash.  They taste excellent raw (don’t peel them) and have a mild sweet taste to them that goes well with most every flavor and are good on salads or in vegetable trays.  A quick way to prepare them is just by sauteeing.

Sauteed Summer Squash with Parsley and Garlic (Joy of Cooking)

Give the squash space in the skillet so it can brown.  Slice the squash into 1/2inch thick or smaller rounds and add it to 3 Tbs of olive oil already hot in the skillet.  The squash takes about seven minutes to brown.  Place squash in serving bowl and toss with fresh chopped parsley, chopped garlic (or chopped garlic scapes) and salt and black pepper to taste.

Fried Squash

My mother’s favorite recipe, this is a weekly meal in her house when the summer squash is in full swing. Here are two versions:

You’ll need: Olive oil, Parmesean cheese, Breadcrumbs, Salt, Eggs, and Summer Squash

Heat the oil in a pan.  Beat two eggs in a bowl.  In seperate bowl, combine the 1 3/4 cups grated parmesean, 1 1/2 cups Bread Crumbs (if you don’t have breadcrumbs, use crumbled saltine crackers) and 3/4 t salt (reduce salt if using crackers).  Cut the squash into long strips and dip in the egg mixture and then the breadcrumb mixture.  Once the oil is hot place the strips in and fry til golden brown, about 3 minutes.  

For this version, you will shred the squash and fry it into a batter making a fritter.  You’ll need:  1 1/2 cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 c milk, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup shredded squash.  MIx the the dry ingredients together and then add the milk egg and shredded squash and stir til just moistened.  Drop by tablespoons into the hot oil or grease and fry til golden brown, 3-4 minutes.

The Garlic Scapes

Oh man, if you are a garlic fan, you will love these.  They look excellent, and taste better.  The scape is the part of the plant that would turn into a flower, but we pick it so the plant will focus more on the garlic bulbs.  Use as you might a green onion, but it’s garlicy instead of oniony.  A suggestion from Dr. Amy is to sautee and add to pasta with some cheese.  YUM!  

This week on the farm:

 

Mama Lilac with her new piglets!

Mama Lilac with her new piglets!

 

PIGLETS!

PIGLETS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To counter the disappointment of needing to have a new engine put into the delivery van, this Tuesday the piglets arrived.  We were ready to go to sleep (Annie was already asleep) at about 10 PM.  Josh heard some squealing coming from outside and shouted “SHE”S HAVING THE PIGLETS!”  So once again we all stumbled out of bed to witness the miracle of birth.   We got outside and saw that she already had 6 piglets lolling around wearily making suckling sounds and searching for the milk.  It’s truly amazing that they know what to do right away.  We stayed out and she continued to have babies.  We were out until 12:30! That is a late night for us,  and for Lilac, too.  We were all pretty tired the next day, but happy to be able to check up on the 10 tiny piglets.  They will be gaining a pound a day soon.  

Farmer Josh and a piglet

Farmer Josh and a piglet

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Farmer Rama and a piglet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s been a lot of hoeing going on.   The Amish neighbors are working on getting the stakes for tomato trellising cut for us at their saw mill.  They have also been singing a lot.  It’s pretty magical for us to be out in the fields working and then hear some really amazing half singing half yelling coming from a distance.  We can’t make out the words or even tell if it’s in English or not, but it’s very soulful and surprising.  Sometimes when we are working we look up and notice a line of tiny Amish kids watching us.  We wave and they wave back and continue to watch.  We always wonder what they are thinking.  They are really great neighbors.  

What’s growing on?

New Potatoes

Parsley

Summer Squash (hopefully more as the weather warms up!)

Green Cabbage

Spring Onions

Peas? (They are pea-tering out. ) 

Rainbow Chard?

Am I forgetting something?  We’ll see!

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The dog days of summ…Wait, why is it so cold? (Week 3/4)

What’s in the box?  (week 4)

Green Onions

Kale

Collards

Lettuce

Peas!

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What was that in the box? (week 3)

Annie washing lettuce

Annie washing lettuce

 

 

rainbow chard

green onions

lettuce

spinach 

broccoli

(Sorry to those members that didn’t get recipes in the boxes.  Our printer broke!  We had a bad week for machinery!)

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Life on the farm….

Rama read this poem to me the other night, 

“Don’t worry or fret about the crops. After you have done all you can for them, let them stand in the weather on their own.

If the crop of any one year was all, a man would have to cut his throat every time it hailed..

But the real products of any one year’s work are the farmers mind and the cropland itself. 

If he raises a good crop at the cost of belittling himself and diminishing the ground, he has gained nothing. He will have to begin over again the next spring, worse off than before.

Let him receive the season’s increment into his mind. Let him work it into the soil. 

The finest growth that farmland can produce is a careful farmer.

Make the human race a better head. Make the world a better piece of ground.”

-Wendell Berry

Farming is a slow process. If you’re not careful it can burn you out. You have lists that are years long. You look one day ahead, one week ahead, one month ahead, and one year, and one decade ahead everyday. One year from now I hope we are knee deep in a strawberry patch filled with red fruit to put into your boxes. We did plant 4000 plants, that should be enough, if the weather treats us right. 

We are careful as the poem suggests, the rocks humbled us and forced us to kneel, and now we are learning the details of our soil. What it needs, where the best parts are, and the parts that need our attention. The soil isn’t different than livestock in that it requires certain care, and thoughtful attention. But it is different than livestock because it doesn’t bellow or grunt or limp around to let you know something is wrong. It just stays the way it has been treated. It takes the abuse to you deal it, and says nothing. Only next time it doesn’t reward you with a big crop. It will let you believe you are winning the battle between human and earth. But, if you continue to abuse it the human will always loose. 

Building soil takes time, and careful observation.

Last week we didn’t have  an official Entry for the blog. two reasons. 

First I burnt my hand badly on a burning pan of grease.  So, recovery has been slow and painful, Thankfully we have a naturopath for a neighbor/member. Emu oil is a great thing for burns.  Thanks Dr.Amy!

Next the delivery van’s engine over heated and seized up. Now we are looking to have that swapped out. Until then we are renting a van.  It isn’t available until late in the morning, which means delivery will be later than normal by a few hours.  Ugh.  Sorry if it’s an inconvenience to anyone!  Please be in contact with your dropsite host or us if you need to pick your box up on Friday.  We don’t want anyone to miss out on the veggies!  

So here we are another exciting week in the life of a CSA farm.

We had high hopes for all the summer squash we see in the field as tiny yellow runts, waiting for the warmth of the sun to make them into those delicious first fruits of the summer. But now here we are the last day of June and we are all bundled up like it’s September. And needless to say that put the growing of those heat loving fruits to a stand still. I regretfully have to tell you that we are having another week of greens. But we figure, by now you will all be familiar enough with them to know exactly what to do with them. (Perhaps that includes giving them to someone else? We hope not.)  The plus side is the kale goes great in soups and it’s suddenly soup weather again…  Not for long we hope!

 

Loading straw for mulching.  96 degrees!

Last Tuesday: Adam, Annie, Jeanette loading straw for mulching in 96 degrees!

 

This Wednesday: Erica and Jeannette pea pickin in sweatshirts!

This Wednesday: Erica and Jeannette pea pickin in sweatshirts!

What’s growing on?

On a high note we are waist high with peas. They are good. They are coming on strong and should be here for the next couple weeks.

Broccoli is all but done. 

We have another week or two of Romaine Lettuce coming 

Garlic Scapes (flowering part of the garlic plant) are getting big, perhaps next week.

Summer squash is almost certain for next week.

New Potatoes are the size of a golf ball. 

Cabbage is starting to firm up. 

Good things are a-foot. 

 

GROW GROW GROW!

GROW GROW GROW!

 

 

The tomato plants are starting to lean over, which means, staking tomatoes is in our near future. We use slab wood pieces and T posts and bailing twine. In a manner some call the stake and weave method. An art in itself. 

The battle with the weeds continues. But I must say, we are winning this year… so far. 

Fall crops are near planting and we should be done with planting for the year by the end of July. 

While commiserating with a fellow CSA farmer friend, we both acknowledged that even though we are on week 4 we are well over half way through the season, since we started the process way back in Feb. in the greenhouse. For you, the member, the journey has just begun.  

We are expecting our first piglets this weekend!  

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Farm Dogs hard at work.

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