Week 6. July 16.

picking up potatoes

picking up potatoes

What’s in the Box?

New Potatoes


Green Cabbage

Romaine Lettuce

Summer Squash


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. 


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



Spring Onions

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





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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