Archive for August, 2011

Week 10; August 25, 2011

If you ordered canning tomatoes, freezer corn, or cukes, or melons, please find the extra boxes or bags with your name on them at your drop site.  Thanks!  

Harvest Party will be on Sat. September 17th!  Potluck, hayrides, bonfire…FUN!

What’s in the box?

full share 

sweet corn

cantaloupe (or watermelon)

green beans

green peppers

onions

garlic

cukes

cherry tomatoes

single share

sweet corn

melon

garlic

onion

cukes

tomatoes

green peppers

cherry tomatoes

Notes on the box….

Wow!  Everything is ripe all at once!  We had to make some tough decisions about how much of one thing or another to put in your boxes this week.  More corn and less green peppers?  More tomatoes and less cukes?  Put in the melon and hold off on carrots?  More green beans and call it quits on the zukes and summer squash?  We hope you like what we decided to put in the boxes.  We think they are quite nice.

We didn’t have enough of one type of melon to give to everyone, so you all got farmers choice of the mix that were ready to go.  The cantaloupe are ripe and ready to eat!  If you can’t get to them right away, put them in your fridge.  They are super sweet and will attract fruit flies if left out.  Did you get an oblong melon that when you cut it open is a cream or slightly beige color?  That is an heirloom watermelon called sweet Siberian.  Sorry that we didn’t have enough of these to go around, but the germination on these heirlooms can be pretty spotty.  Anyway, they are delicious with a nice almost floral flavor.  The dark, round watermelon that is ripe inside is tasty as is, or makes a great watermelon lemonade (seed the watermelon then put it in the blender and mix with some lemon juice and dissolved sugar or honey), OR you can make some sort of watermelon cocktail.  There are a million amazing sounding watermelon drink recipes out there.   Summer only lasts so long, enjoy it while it’s here!

We tried to put as many tomatoes as possible in everyones box without crushing them.  If you find a tomato that is squished or split, eat it first.  Tomatoes and garlic should be stored outside of the fridge (If any of your tomatoes are split or very very ripe and you can’t eat them right away, put those in the fridge and then use them in a cooked tomato recipe like tomato tarts or the baked stuffed tomato recipe from last weeks blog).

We skipped green beans for half shares this week in order to give you more corn and melons and tomatoes.  We can only fit so much into the boxes!

Recipes….

Three Bean Salad

Summer Corn Salad from 101cookbooks

These recipes are from the dinner on the farm.  We had requests for them so here they are even though they include things that are not in the boxes this week:

Josh’s Mustard Coleslaw

1 large head cabbage, shredded (mix of green and red is nice); 1 large red onion, diced; 1/4 cup white sugar; 1 cup white vinegar; 3/4 cup vegetable oil; 1 tablespoon salt;  1 tablespoon dry mustard; black pepper to taste.  Mix it all up.  Just gets better as it sits, so feel free to make it a several days before serving or keep serving it over several days.

Tomato Tarts

Heat oven to 350.  Flour your work surface.  Roll out some thawed puff pastry till thin.  Prick all over with a fork.  Put about a Tbsp grated cheese in a clump every four or five inches.  Slice your tomato into thin rounds.  Place a round on top of each clump of cheese.  Cut around each tomato (either by cutting out with a round cookie cutter or cutting into squares that the tomato sits in the middle of) leaving some dough around the edges of the tomato.  Season with a little drizzle of olive oil and some salt and freshly ground pepper.  Place tarts onto a cookie sheet with parchment and bake until edges are brown and tomato looks kind of dried out (about 25 min).  Garnish with fresh basil or oregano before serving.

Melon Sorbetto  we made this for desert, but we made a batch with watermelon and one with cantaloupe and then mixed them together.  We cut the sugar in half.  Served with

Fairy Gingerbread  this recipe is great and the link provides you some photos that will be super helpful.

On the farm…..

We had a really great time at the fundraiser dinner for Harvest for the Hungry last Saturday.  We had near to 50 visitors and raised over $700 for Harvest for the Hungry.  That means 1400 pounds of food will be donated from our farm to the foodshelf.  We could not fit any more food into the boxes or into the van this week; but still, we have quite a lot left over that we already harvested.  We are happy to bring this surplus to the food shelf in order to help those who need healthy, fresh food but otherwise do not have access to it.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for making this possible!  Meeting our members is a great treat for us.  We are so lucky to have such enthusiastic eaters who are so supportive and who really believe in what we are doing.  It makes the hard days a lot easier when we think of you and your families enjoying what we grow.  I don’t know if you all have noticed it, but the days are getting shorter, the air crisper, and the sun lower in the sky.  This weeks CSA box will help you enjoy a nice summery weekend…..

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Week 9, Aug 18

If you ordered canning tomatoes, freezer corn, or cukes for pickling, please find the extra boxes or bags with your name on them at your drop site.  Thanks!  

Harvest Party will be on Sat. September 17th!  Potluck, hayrides, bonfire…FUN!

What’s in the box?full share:

sweet corn!

canteloupe melon

slicer and heirloom tomatoes

onions

garlic

green peppers

beets

cukes

zuke, patty pan, summer squash

cherry tomatoes

single share:

sweet corn!

cherry tomatoes

cukes

slicer tomatoes

peppers

onion

garlic

canteloupe melon

Notes on the box….

Sweet corn is bigger and better this week.  This is my favorite variety.  It’s nice and sweet,  but also good corn flavor and bicolor makes it pretty.  You have quite a bit in the box, so enjoy corn on the cob several while it’s here!  If you have corn left over from last week, try cutting it off the cob and adding it to corn pancakes or corn bread.  Or cut it from the cob, roast it in a skillet, tp with a little salt, chili powder, lime juice and mayo and add as a topping for tacos.

We are so excited to be putting canteloupe in the boxes!  This is a crop that we plant every year and this is the first time at this farm that we have had a crop to harvest!  And it’s a BUMPER.  If the boxes were bigger we could have put 2 melons in each box.  But as you will notice, space was tight in the boxes already.  These melons are picked ripe and should be enjoyed soon so that they don’t continue to ripen and loose their good texture.  If you do let them go, try making melon sorbet.  Yum!  Some people say they don’t like canteloupe.  Give this a try, it makes a big difference to have them picked ripe instead which the ones at the store rarely are.

We’ve gotten a few people say they have been having a hard time eating all the cucumbers.  I suggest slicing them up along with some tomatoes and putting them out while you are making dinner or bringing them to the table.  The are really good snacks.  There’s also cucumber water and fridge pickles and cucmber and yogurt sauce and cucumber onion salad and if you are exhauseted from dealing with cucmbers, cut them up and put them on your eyes cucumber spa style.  Does anyone have any other ideas?

If any of your tomatoes have splits (some get splits after we pick them as a result of too much rain) eat them ASAP.  They might start to attract fruit flies.  Always eat your ripest tomatoes first. We will continue to give you as many tomatoes as we can fit in the boxes until the first frost.  Most members can’t get enough.  If you are not a tomato person, now is a good time to make friends with neighbors by bringing them tomatoes.  See storage tips from last week.  Add fresh tomatoes, herbs (orageno or basil), and shredded parmesan to pasta at the end of cooking for some thing very quick and easy  (throw in some sauteed zukes and summer squash and garlic, too!).

Try slow roasting your cherry tomatoes.  Heat oven to 350 and cut tomatoes in half and put in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour.  They become very sweet.  Good in pasta or on pizza.  Cherry tomatoes can also be halved any put in salads.

The tops of the beets don’t look so hot.  They’ve been beat up by the rain quite a lot.  We would have topped them, but decided to leave them on as a way to keep the cherry tomatoes from jumping out when we are moving the boxes around.  You might be able to salvage some for eating.  Otherwise, top the beets and store the roots in your crisper.  The beets are great roasted and then added to salads.  You can peel them, but you don’t have to.

Recipes

Anne’s Cucumber Slaw  

Dice cucumber, summer squash, green pepper (tomatoes, too, if you like them). Mix lemon juice and mayonnaise to make a nice sauce consistency. Toss with the vegies (Thanks Anne!)

Tea Scented Melon From Martha Stewart

Seed and slice melon, soak a few jasmine tea bags in 2 cups warm water, mix in 2 Tbsp. honey, put the melon in a baking dish and pour the tea and honey over the melons.  Put some fresh mint leaves in there.  Let soak for an hour, flip the melon slices over and soak for another hour.  Serve with the syrup.

Provencial Stuffed Tomatoes from John Besh

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut 6 medium tomatoes in half cross wise and place in a baking dish with cut side up.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In a food processor combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cups breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup parmesan, 4 garlic cloves, and a handfull of fresh basil.  Process till combined (wet and crumbly consistancy).  Top each tomato with some of the breadcrumb mixture and bake until tops are browned and tomatoes are warmed through, about 20 min.

On the farm….

We are looking forward to the farm dinner this weekend.  If you’d like to come, please RSVP.  It’s Saturday, come at 3, farm tour at 4, dinner at 5, byob.  Harvest for the Hungry fundraiser.  Pay what you can.  Grilled pork chops, coleslaw, tomato tarts, sweetcorn with homemade butter, and desert!

We had a really good melon harvest.  We love harvesting anything that involves throwing and catching.  Especially with melons that might fall, crack, and have to be eaten on the spot.  We ate 4 melons in less than an hour yesterday.  Quality control is a hard job.

just picked sweet corn for breakfast!

Corn smut, a fungus that grows on corn. It's edible, but we didn't put any in the CSA boxes, sorry!

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Week 8, August 11

What’s in the box?

full share

sweet corn!

watermelon!

potatoes

zucchini

summer squash

cucumbers

patty pan squash

sweet onions

garlic

green peppers

tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

single share

sweet corn!

new potatoes

green peppers

zucchini

patty pan squash

green beans!

onions

garlic

tomatoes

Notes on the box….

Sweet corn is best eaten as soon as possible.  Store it in your fridge with the husks on.   To eat, husk the corn, remove silks, drop into boiling water for 2-3 min. Serve warm with butter and salt.  Sweet corn begins turning its sugars into starch as soon as it’s picked, so I suggest eating corn on the cob asap. If you don’t get to the corn within a day or two, use the corn in a salad or salsa.  Something that the flavor of the corn isn’t as much of the focus.  It will still be tasty, but not as good as on Thursday.  More sweet corn coming next week and the week after that….

Tomatoes should not be stored in the fridge!  They get mealy.  Leave them on your counter.  Store them on their shoulders (that’s the stem end) because that side ripens last on the vine and is less prone to bruising than the other side.  tomatoes every week from now until frost!

Garlic also should not go in the fridge.  Keep it on your counter or in your pantry.

Sweet onions are not “cured” like regular storage onions and should be kept in your fridge.

More melon next week!  We will see if we have any smaller melons that will fit into the single shares.  We grow small “icebox” melons which we think should be called “CSAbox” melons since they fit in the box, but leave room for other goodies.

Everything else can go in the fridge, but the watermelon doesn’t need to until you cut it if you have limited space in your fridge (and with all that cabbage, cukes and zucchini, we are guessing you might be running into limited space).

Recipes….

Cucumber, tomato, and watermelon salad

seed and slice a cucumber, slice a couple of tomatoes, cube up some watermelon, thinly slice some sweet onions and toss gently together.  Dress with a vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add fresh basil or mint leaves before serving.

Tomato Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

This was shared by one of our members.  Credit to the Star Tribune.

In a blender combine 1/2 cup. fresh parsley, 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic, salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth.  Drizzle over tomatoes and serve.

Potato Salad 

Make the vinaigrette above and drizzle over boiled and drained (cooled or warm) new potatoes and finely chopped sweet onions and chopped green beans if you got those in your box.

or check out this amazing selection of potato salads from Martha Stewart  there’s a good one with olives and even one with golden beets and walnuts!  Speaking of Martha Stewart, I’ve been told that the new issue of Living has a whole lot of good zucchini recipes!  Anyone tried any of them yet?  Or you can pick from one of the many zuke/squash recipes on the website.   zucchini Quesadillas for lunch here at Turnip Rock!

PattyPan Mini-Pizzas

Here is a good way to get your kids to eat some squash or a good way to enjoy some pizza if you are gluten-free!  This works with the large patty pan squash.

Turn the oven to 400, Slice patty pan so that it is in rounds about 1/4 inch thick.  While you are getting your pizza toppings ready, roast pattypan slices in the oven with nothing on them (the idea is to get them to dry out a bit) leave in about 10 min.  When you have your toppings ready , put them on the “crusts” and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.  We topped our pizzas with tomato sauce, grated cheese, some feta, sausage, green peppers, and olives.  They were a hit!

Veggies for Breakfast

Just a reminder that you can add zukes, squash, tomatoes, onions, garlic, potatoes, and green onions in any combination to eggs or tofu for breakfast.  One of my all time favorite breakfasts is a bagel and cream cheese with cukes, tomatoes, and onion on top.

On the Farm….

Last Saturday when we went to Minneapolis, we visited with some friends and enjoyed a super lovely sunny day.  We came home to wet streets in New Auburn and learned that we had gotten 3/4 an inch of rain while we were gone.  REALLY?!?!!  Ugh….  BUT we are SO HAPPY to report that it hasn’t really rained (besides a sprinkle here and there)  since then.  So now we are really enjoying some beautiful sunny, dry weather.  And we’ve all been noticing the underlying nip of fall.  We think we should have several more weeks of nice warm weather, though.  We are looking forward to the dinner on Saturday the 20th.  Please feel free to RSVP.  Dinner will be served at 5 PM.  We are also working out the date for our harvest party.  We will let you know soon!  Now for some pictures….

the crew playing our favorite game "rock or potato?"

Larry shows how the potatoes grow.

Otto says "Growing teeth was so worth it!"

loading up the sweet corn

bringing it in

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Week 7, Aug 4

We will be heading to the twin cities this weekend, so if anyone wanted to order pork last week, but didn’t get around to it, you can order now for a delivery this Saturday!

What’s in the box?

Full share

beets (some are golden)

cauliflower

sweet onions

parsley

garlic

a wee bit of tomatoes

patty pan squash

summer squash

new potatoes

zucchini

cucumbers

cabbage

Single Share

beets (some are golden)

parsley

patty pan squash

cucumbers

a little bit of tomatoes

onions

zucchini

cauliflower

garlic

Recipes….

I think this chilled sesame noodles with zucchini sounds great, and you can substitute beet greens for chard.

Also thought I’d pass this along.  Apparently it’s zuchinni week!

and this zucchini fritter recipe

Sorry to let the food blogs do the work, but here’s several options for the beets and the beet greens.

Hope to add a few more recipes soon.  Check back!

Some notes on the box….

The cauliflower, again, may have cabbage loopers in it.  Our apologies.  It’s proof of our guarantee that we don’t use chemicals.  If you soak the cauliflower in cold salted water before cooking, any worms should hopefully fall out.  We always dunk the produce in cold water to get off dirt and bugs, but there may be a few hangers-on.  We also saw a few slugs because of the unbelievably wet weather.  This cauliflower is slightly less beautiful than last weeks, but it is still tasty.  This will be the last of the cauliflower until fall.  Eat it up soon, it’s better the fresher you enjoy it.  If you are unable to get to it in 2 weeks, you can freeze it by cutting it into small florets, blanching it for 3 min, rinsing with cold water, drain, and put into freezer bags.  Best used for soups or stews after it’s been frozen.

This is the first time we have grown golden beets and we think they are very beautiful.  The greens are edible, but look a little worse for the ware also because of the rain.

Sweet onions are a summertime favorite.  They can be eaten fresh on burgers or put into potato salad or other salads.  They are less pungent than storage onions.

New Potatoes are another treat for this time of year.  We wanted to give you more, but we were unable to get out into the field because of the rain.  Wash them well, but be careful with the skin. It’s pretty delicate.

Hope you enjoy this small sample of tomatoes.  You can expect to get more next week and more the week after that and more the week after that and on and on in increasing quantities until the first frost.  That is if all this rain doesn’t cause them all to split.

On the farm….

So maybe you have noticed that the rain has put a real damper on things.  Last month we got over 7 inches and the first two days of August brought us another 2 inches.  We have standing water in the fields.  Harvesting is much more difficult when we sink above our ankles into the mud with every step we take.  Just a few weeks ago we were musing on how our Summer crops looked the best that we had ever seen them look, and now we watch them wilt sadly as they drown.  BUT, that’s just what it looks like from here.  We think that the boxes will fill up nicely because we over planted quite a bit just in case something like this happened.  Next week we will have sweet corn in the boxes!  This week is looking like it’s supposed to stay nice and dry and sunny.  Plants are amazingly resilient, so we think a lot of things will bounce back.

hopefully the onions are cleaner than this when you get them.

looks like you got some dirt on your shoes

vegetable maths

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