Week 12 ~ August 8 – August 14, 2011 CSA Newsletter

This Week’s Share: Lettuce, Beets, Carrots, Collards or Chard, Garlic, A Brassica (Broccoli or Cauliflower or Cabbage), Summer Squash, Cucumber, and a Summer Farmer’s Choice item.

Lettuce: Still some heads rolling around out there…and some mixed bags of lettuce greens getting together too.

Beets: We have some good looking and great tasting beets to eat this week for you all. The greens are a nice little ‘chard greens’ bonus.

Carrots: More less than mammoth carrots getting plucked, scrubbed and bundled for your family’s finger foods this week. Delicious they are.

Collard or Chard Greens: The beautiful braising greens you have come to love from the farm are tasting deliciously full of vital vitamins. How about some down-home southern style collards? This recipe is for traditional southern greens served with meat….pork or chicken makes a good choice. Wash collards well and cut out thick stems before preparing…

Fresh Southern-Style Collard Greens

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 6 pounds greens, such as mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, kale, or spinach; cleaned and stemmed
  1.  Fry bacon until it is crispy, cut up and add bacon and some of the drippings to large pot. Add the onions and cook for about 6-7 minutes or until the onions are wilted. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce.
  2. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the beer, vinegar, soy sauce, and molasses. Stir in the greens, a third at a time, pressing the greens down as they start to wilt. Cook the greens, uncovered on medium-low for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender.
  3. Mound the greens in the center of the platter. Spoon the sauce over the top and serve.

A Brassica: Most of our members have had the botany lesson laid down at least once by now, but for those of you not in the know the Brassica’s include the plants in the Brassicaceae family. These are specifically, as it applies to our share this week, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Every half-share will get a crown or two or a mixed bag.

Garlic: More tasty garlic, freshly harvested and on the curing road.

Summer Squash: These tasty gems have been with us a couple weeks now. Have you made everything from zucchini bread to a pasta primavera? Well if not, you’ll get more chances. By the way, the yellow zucchini and summer squash is just as tasty as the green in your breads and muffins. Here is a tasty, quick and easy, recipe that is an interesting and delicious variation on the Middle-Eastern bulgur-and-parsley salad known as tabbouleh.

Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Bulgur Salad with Fresh Parsley and Dill from Farmer John’s Cookbook

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 2 small or 1 medium yellow summer squash, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced, or 2 scallions minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot, then add the bulgur. Leave uncovered; cook the bulgur for 1 minute. Remove pot from heat, cover, and set aside until the bulgur has absorbed the rest of the water, about 15 minutes.
  2. Fluff the cooked bulgur with a fork until the grains are well separated; transfer to a large bowl. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, and onion or scallions. Toss until well combined.
  3. Whisk the dill, parsley, olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the bulgur and toss until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Cucumber: We grow many wonderful, crisp and sweet cucumbers for the share and they are all finally coming on nicely. We don’t have any bitter types again this year, so even the big ones have a consistently clean flavor. Size matters when it’s time for Gazpacho. Here is Farmer John’s version with cucumber’s minus the tomatoes.

Chilled Cucumber-Mint Soup with Yogurt or Sour Cream from Farmer John’s Cookbook

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (or 1 cup plain yogurt combined with 1 cup sour cream)
  • garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • several fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1Tbsp honey
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  1. Combine the chopped cucumber, 1 cup water, yogurt, garlic, mint, dill, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor. Puree the ingredients, adding more of the water until the soup is a consistency you enjoy. Season with more salt to taste.
  2. Transfer the soup to a large bowl and chill for several hours. Garnish each serving with chopped scallions.

Summer “Farmer’s Choice” item: This week is a transition week into some of our early summer crops. Each day will get either bell-peppers, beans, eggplant or maybe a tomato.

Berry-Share: So here we are down to week 7  for our berry-share this season. That leaves 3 more after this one. However, due to a short and sweet season of Oregon berries, we will be doubling up this week and possibly the next. Those of you with berry-share have 8 pints of beautiful berries to yet receive (2 pints @ 4 weeks), so you are getting 4 of those this week and we are counting it as two. Clear as mud? I’ll explain when I see you. For most all of you, your 4 pints will be our amazing blueberries. Yum.

FARM NEWS: Sorry about the absent news of last week. My days ran away without me and here we are at a brand new week already! My baby turned two, we had lovely house guests and a full schedule of must do’s. Week 12 is our half-way mark of this season. A nice way to look at it is you still have just as much yet to come as you have had already. But more than likely, you will have much more!  We hope that your CSA experience thus far has been a great one. If we can somehow make it better for you please let us know how. It is because of you that this relationship is working for all of us.

We had a great weekend of many of you coming out to the farm to pick the beautiful, no-spray Berkeley blueberries.  Some of our ‘regulars’ were up to 200 lbs. this year! It was very nice weather and a great turn-out….thanks friends!

I am feeling almost prepared for the pickle-party on Saturday. I need those of you who want to come to confirm in an email your head-count. Friends and family members are most welcome. That includes your well-behaved children under your direct supervision. We are asking 5$ a head. Please bring your own jars w/lids (up to 1.5 gallons per person) and have them clean and ready to go. Pints or quarts are best. We will supply all the pickles, dill and garlic, onions if needed, brine’s, vinegar’s and have places to chop and a water bath to seal if needed. We may do some with fermenting brine, hot-brine with vinegar and maybe even some bread and butters just depending on how many are coming and our combined interests. So let me know. It’s this Saturday morning at 9:30.

The weather is finally lovely and summer-like. Hope you all are getting plenty of opportunities to get out and make the much needed vitamin D for yourselves. We have reached the time of year when we must let our help go so to conserve our funds for the rest of the year. We are sad to see those helpers go. It makes more hard work for the girls and I as well as Farmer Kip, but it’s still a ‘labor of love’. Our plans to make it into the local farmer’s market seemed to fade as of late, but maybe we’ll try again next year. We really enjoy the CSA model and it’s been working for us. It can be hard to transition into new territory on top of the already extremely busy schedule and crop plan we have now. First and foremost is to keep you all happy.

Thanks again for your support friends!

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