Week 1; June 7, 2012

What’s in the box?

full share

strawberries

eggs

curly kale

spinach x2

radishes

green garlic

herb pot with sage, thyme, and oregano

single share

spinach

curly kale

herb pot with thyme and mint

eggs

strawberries

green garlic

radishes

Notes on the box….

Spinach is a nice variety that stays very tender and quite sweet even at full size.  When you get it home, place it in a plastic bag and store it in your crisper until you are ready to use it.  When you are ready to use it, fill your sink with cold water, remove the rubber band from the bunch, and swish it around a little in the water.  Let it soak and allow any dirt or sand to sink to the bottom of your sink.  Remove from the cold water, remove the stems by cutting the bunch about even with the bottom of the leaves.  The stems are still quite tender and not stringy, so you don’t need to worry much about getting rid of all of the stems.  Put the leaves in a collendar and allow them to drain.  You can either cook your spinach or chop it and use it as you would salad greens.

Curly Kale is here again!  If you are a new member and you haven’t even encountered kale, here’s your chance to try it!  Kale should be stored in the fridge in your crisper stored in an open plastic bag.  It will last for at least a week and likely closer to two.  If it seems a little limp, you can soak it in cold water and it will perk back up.  Remove the stem before cooking.  Kale is often quite toothsome, but this young kale is super tender and if you want to try it raw, I’ve included a recipe for a raw kale salad.  If that is too much too soon, kale is great simply sautéed in butter or oil with some chopped green garlic until it is bright green.  If you want to consume your kale, but you don’t like it’s flavor you can add a few leaves to a smoothie.  It’s VERY good for you and is among one of the most nutrient dense foods, so eat it up and know that you are treating your body to something healthy!

Radishes store best with the tops removed.  Take the tops off and put them in a baggie in your crisper.  The tops are edible as well.  If you use your spinach fresh like a salad green, you can wash your radish tops and treat them the same way.  You can add them to a spinach salad to add a little bit of spice.  The radishes themselves are very yummy this time of year.  We grow French Breakfast (the long pink with white tips) and a red globe radish.  They are a great spicy snack.

Green Garlic is simply garlic that has not yet matured.  You can use it as you would a green onion or you can cook with it as you would garlic.  It has a more mild flavor than bulb garlic, so it’s great to eat fresh.  You can put it straight into your crisper.  When you are ready to use it, cut off the rooty part at the end and slice all the way up to where the leaves start to separate.  You can cut up into the leafy part, but watch out for dirt that likes to hide between the leaves and the stalk.  Green garlic is a seasonal treat.  We hope you enjoy it!

Strawberries have not been sprayed with pesticides, so you can feel fine about eating them right away without even washing them.  If they make it all the way to your home, store them in the fridge and congratulations on your self-control!  They are best fresh and we pick them ripe, so they won’t last for more than a couple of days in your fridge.

Eggs are from our lovely layers.  They range in the pasture with our cows and eat an Organic grain ration along with whatever looks yummy out in the field.  The small eggs are from the younger hens and will be a one time treat for folks who don’t have an egg share.  Our only recommendation with the eggs is to not try to use them for egg salad or hard-boiled because they are too fresh for that and won’t peel easily.

Herbs can be kept in a sunny spot and watered regularly or they can be replanted into a garden or flowerbed or window box if you want to let them get bigger. Take off a few leaves at a time to use in you cooking.

Clockwise from noon: Sage, oregano, Thyme

Recipes….

Spinach, Green Garlic, and Ricotta Fritatta  

Raw Kale Salad – 

1 bunch of young kale, washed, dried, de-ribbed and chopped into bite size pieces

2 tablespoons pine nuts, walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds, toasted

Parmesan shavings, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

Salt, to taste

Clean and chop kale and put in salad bowl. Toss with nuts and Parmesan.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, honey and salt, and toss with salad. Let sit for about 20 minutes before serving.

Green Garlic Pesto-

3-5 stalks green garlic chopped into rounds (about 1 cup)
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts, pinenuts, or sunflower seeds
½ cup fresh parmesan cheese, finely grated juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. fresh herbs  (parsley, basil, mint, dill, cilantro, Oregano, Sage, or a combination), finely chopped
1 Tbsp. capers, sautéed anchovies, or chopped olives (if desired)
Salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and  red pepper flakes to taste

Saute the chopped garlic in 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse sautéed garlic and the rest of the ingredients until well combined but not entirely smooth. Adjust seasoning as desired AFTER adding whatever salty ingredients you’d like.  Salt adds depth, lemon adds acidity,  walnuts and cheese thicken and add creaminess, and olive oil can balance overly sharp flavors. The pesto is best fresh but will keep in the fridge for a week or so.  Mix with cooked pasta or use as a spread on a sandwich.

Best Radish Snack Ever

Wash radishes, slice thin and put slices on top of buttered bread (baguette or crusty wheat works well) sprinkle with a little salt.  Yum!  Springtime!

On the farm…..

Getting Green Garlic

Radish heap

Strawberries and Spinach before harvest

Peas Climbing and Peas Flowering

Tomatoes Flowering and Tomatoes Tomato-ing!

Notes from the field….

The weather out here has been dry for a change. we’ve been running irrigation and staying on top of weeds. We have very heavy soil so it holds water well. BUT when it is wet you can almost make pots out of it. We also have plenty of irrigation capacity so we can fair a drought very well.

Every season holds its own unique challenges. This season was the warm weather speeding up garlic and berries while everything else we planted was about a week behind, even though it looked like we would even out. This is why you didn’t see any head lettuce in the box, and why the radishes may seem small. Things will catch up, but we couldn’t pass on the berries and spinach that were ready to go now. The current broccoli and cabbage crops are looking great, no bugs (so far), perfect temps, large healthy plants… We are excited to get into that.

The strawberries… well, out in the field many of them are small and cat-faced (puckered on the end with a seed ball). We have to do some research to find out why this is.  We aren’t sure how many more we will be getting out there. We retired a three year old patch and have planted a patch that is almost twice as large for next year. I know most everyone LOVES berries and would probably be thrilled with just a big box of berries, but they are extremely time consuming to harvest and keep up, plus very temperamental from year to year. This is why we diversify and we hope that next season the yields will be better.

What’s in the box next week?

green garlic

herb pot part 2

head lettuce

radishes

greens

strawberries? (keep your fingers crossed)

sugar snap peas?

broccoli?

Remember to leave your box behind at the drop site if you can. If not, try to remember to bring them back with you sometime, we will reuse them. Don’t rip them or we will have to throw them out. If you are not sure how to unfold your box, check out the step by step we made on doing so (scroll back to the last post) or ask someone at your drop.

Farm events..

We will be having a pizza eating contest here on the farm this summer. Maybe in July. It’s actually not a contest, but  we are building a wood fired earth oven and thought we would make some pizzas featuring some of our very own farmstead cheese.  Stay tuned as we fine tune the date on that…

Happy eating!

3 Comments »

  1. Cathy said

    Our first box! I sauteed the green garlic and spinach as soon as we got it unpacked, and cooked a couple of eggs overeasy. Cracked pepper and some sea salt and a splash of rice wine vinegar-delish!

  2. Mandi said

    We are first time CSA members this year and so far, the blog updates have been really great. It’s nice to know what to expect in the box this week and I love the suggestions on how to eat/cook with them. Very impressed so far….and we haven’t even picked-up our first delivery.

  3. Breena said

    I have so been looking forward to this! Picked up the box, ate all the strawberries (delicious!), and whipped up some green garlic pesto to go with dinner. It’s all wonderful stuff but I have to add that I really like the herb pot- it’ll be nice to have around for awhile.

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