July 14, Week 4

What’s in the box?
Full Share:

Green Leaf Lettuce

Green Onions


Sugar Snap Peas

Garlic Scapes

Summer Squash


Rainbow Chard

Single Share:

Sugar Snap Peas


Summer Squash


Garlic Scapes

Rainbow Chard

Some notes on the box….

Sugar Snap Peas will need stringing this week.  How do you do that?  Break the end with the leafy thing up towards the flat side of the pea and pull towards the opposite end.  This is a good activity to do with kids.  You don’t have to shell the peas, but stringing them will make a more enjoyable meal.  This is the last of the peas for the year.  You can tell by the size and color and flavor.  These will taste better cooked than raw.  Blanche, steam, or saute until tender and bright green.

Broccoli and Chard stems can be eaten!  When cooking either, chop the stems and start cooking them a few minutes before the tops (put them in with the onions when cooking them in a saute recipe).  Wash the chard!  We had rain and it may still have dirt splashed on it.

Summer Squash and zucchini are light in the boxes.  Just enough to add to some eggs or pasta.  Not enough for a whole squash starring dish, yet.  Don’t worry, soon enough you will be grilling, stuffing, and making zucchini bread.

Cucumbers are getting their start in the field.  The warm weather should push them along so that you get multiples soon.

Garlic Scapes can be made into a pesto, chopped and added to scrambled eggs or salads, or put into a vase and enjoyed for its beauty (before you eat it).  They can also be grilled or roasted whole till tender or pickled.  I like to cut them about an inch long, saute them, and add them with broccoli and toasted nuts to pasta.  It’s great warm or as a cold salad.  If you are intimidated by them you can keep them in your crisper drawer until you work up the courage to eat them.  They won’t go bad for a long time.


Chard Sesame Balls and Onion Jam 

This one is for a nice appetizer or snack. Adapted from Jessica Theroux’s Cooking with Italian Grandmothers

Put 1 cup finely diced onions (you can add some red chard stems finely diced for color) with 1/4 cup sugar and salt and cayenne pepper to taste in a small pan and bring to a boil over med-low heat.  Boil till thick (5-10 min).  Remove from heat and stir in 1 T red wine vinegar.  For the Chard Sesame Balls, heat oven to 400.  Lightly oil a baking sheet.  Steam the chard leaves for a few minutes.  Squeeze the chard well until it’s dry.  Finely puree the chard along with some roughly chopped garlic scapes in a food processor.  Put the chard in a mixing bowl and whisk together with 1/3 cup ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, 1 large egg, 1 tsp. lemon zest and slat to taste.  Put some olive oil in a bowl and some sesame seeds in another bowl. Roll the chard into balls (about 2 Tbsp. per ball).  Then roll the balls in oil and then sesame seeds.  Bake for 20 min.  Serve with the Onion Jam.

Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts (or sunflower seeds)

Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet.  Add some chopped onion and chopped chard stems and cook till onions are golden and stems tender (10-15 min).  Stir in some minced garlic or chopped scapes and cook for a minute more.  Add the rinsed and chopped chard leaves a handful at a time, covering the pan between additions.  When wilted, stir in 1/3 cup raisins, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or sunflower seed meats), some lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve as a side with most anything or put it on a grilled cheese sandwich!

Cottage Cheese and Chard Gratin

Heat oven to 350.  Wash and chop chard (remove stems).  Cook chard until wilted.  Remove from skillet and press out liquid, but reserve it.  Finely chop chard.  Beat 5 eggs with 2 cups cottage cheese.  Add some chopped herbs of your choice, and 1/2 tsp of dill seeds and 1/2 tsp ground coriander ans salt and pepper.   Stir in chard and reserved liquid.  Pour into an oiled 8×10 baking dish and bake until set (45 min).  Cool for a few minutes and cut into triangles.

Shells with Broccoli, Scapes, and Capers 

Mix 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup rinsed capers.  Chop scapes.  Peel and chop broccoli stems and chop brocoli crowns into bite size pieces.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for pasta.  When it boils, add the pasta and cook a few minutes then add the broccoli and scapes and cook till pasta is al dente.  Strain the pasta/broccoli and mix in the oil/capers dressing along with some grated parmesan.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add chopped fresh herbs if you like.

GARLIC SCAPE AND ALMOND PESTO from http://www.doriegreenspan.com

Makes about 1 cup

10 garlic scapes, finely chopped

1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)

1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you’d like)

About 1/2 cup olive oil

Sea salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle).  Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese.  If you like the texture, stop; if you’d like it a little thinner, add some more oil.  Season with salt.

If you’re not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by which time tomatoes should be at their juciest.

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On the farm….

The hot days have been good for the summer crops. We are now phasing into transitional weeks.  The summer crops are not yet ready, but the spring crops are  maturing VERY quickly.  It does affect the flavor of crops that prefer moderate temps and some may not be as delicious as we would like them to be (but still tasty enough).  The bummer about it is that it was such a late start getting those spring crops going, it feels like they didn’t really get their time under the spot light. That is the nature of things I guess.

We have a lot of weeding to do yet, but we are slowly getting ‘out of the weeds’ with this battle. Many crops now are what we call ‘made crops’. The planting, fertilizing, covering and uncovering, checking for pests, and cultivating is done. Now it is up to the weather to stay favorable and bring in a good crop.

Here is a list of the made crops at Turnip Rock Farm:

winter squash, Melons, Tomatoes, Potatoes (kind of, maybe one more hilling) summer squash, cucumbers, sweet corn, Garlic (lots of garlic), Greens, Cauliflower, Cabbage, peppers and a few more I can’t think of right now.

Then there are the crops we had to replant… Carrots, beets, beans, spinach.  It was a tough one this spring.  So, we didn’t hit those crops out of the park mostly due to the wet cold spring we had, but hey, 4 out of 40 aint bad. CSA farming is more like a bating average than anything. Some years you hit a few crops out of the park, and some years you just miss them or only get a single (I don’t even watch baseball). Point being, this year I feel like we have a fairly good batting average. The crops are growing big and uniformly, somewhat bug free, mostly not weedy, and the bees showed up to pollinate. Not too bad compared to other years where the sod would grow up in the crops,the soil wasn’t as fertile, the ph was low, or the grubs would eat the potatoes after we picked all the potato beatles off by hand…..  I guess overall I feel like we finally have enough years on this farm to know what problems to look for, what answers are out there, and how to implement those answers.  Ahh, the boring stories I could tell about vegetable production…

This weekend we had near to an inch of rain in ten minutes!  The wind was blowing so hard that two trampolines blew over from our neighbors’ homes!  One ended up in the middle of the pasture and the other was found in the potatoes.  It was raining so hard that we couldn’t see the flowerbed behind the house.  We were quite happy when it was all over to see our greenhouses still standing strong and our tomatoes which had just been trellised were also nice and upright.   The corn was leaning sideways, but it stood back up straight by Tuesday.  Phew.  We’ll take boring farming over exciting farming anyday.

On Tuesday our cow Sunflower had a bull calf.  We named him Jojo Potato.  We are now milking two cows and are excited for our future endeavor into cheesemaking!

Next week…

Cabbage, Summer squash, zuchinni, green onions, Kale, baby beets? cucumbers,


  1. Kris Gendreau said

    Thank you! Went right home and made the most wonderful pasta with scapes, onions, chard, squash and broccoli….a little olive oil and cheese and it was amazing….the chard is gorgeous – wish I did watercolor so I could capture its beauty….someday….

  2. rio said

    This is our first time ever with CSA and we are loving it.
    We did not know that veggies can taste so much better, it is such a learning experience every week.
    My husband is already sad thinking about winter when you will not bring us this awesome goodness.

    Just wanted to say thanks.

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