Week 6 ~ July 2 – July 8, 2012 CSA Newsletter

This Weeks Share: Peas, Head Lettuce or Endive, Salad Mix, Big Green (Kale or Mustard or Rapini), Summer Squash, Radish Pops and bunch Cilantro.

Peas – More tender, tasty snow and snap peas for your table. Hope you are enjoying them as much as we are.

Head Lettuce or Endive – Every one gets a nice sized head of various lettuces or endive. The flavors are all sweet and mild, most completely vacant of any bitterness.

Salad Mix – Each half-share gets a tasty bag of mixed greens, pre-washed and spun dry this week. The mixed greens are sweet and non-bitter awaiting your favorite dressing. Your go-to salad for a meal just got easier.

Big Green – A big green is back this week. We are bunching kale stems or tasty mustard stems or both together. These greens are best with the mid-rib removed and warmly wilted, braised, sautee’d or boiled. Some stems are mild and soft, but take longer to cook than the leaf part, so we recommend removing them. Snack on them raw like celery. Some of you may also get rapini (raab) bunches. These will be from big-greens and will basically be treated the same. We like them best steamed and then tossed like asparagus in light seasonings. The stems on the rapini are succulent and tasty and don’t need to be removed except perhaps cut at the very base.

Basic Sautee’d Greens adapted from Food To Live By

  • 1 Tblspn toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tblspn peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (or a several garlic tops)
  • 8 slices (1/8-inch thick) fresh unpeeled ginger
  • Roughly a pound of fresh mustard (or chard, kale or collards cooking times will vary) greens, rinsed, tore in inch squared pieces, thick  mid-rib or stems removed.  Or you can also cook the stems, but keep in mind they will need to cook longer to fully soften.
  • 1 Tblspn soy sauce or Braggs or Tamari sauce
  • pinch of sugar or drop of honey
  • 1 Tblspn toasted sesame seeds
  1. Heat the sesame oil and peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the greens and 1/4 cup of water. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until water evaporates and the greens wilt and become tender, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add  your sauce and sweetener and stir to combine.
  5. Remove the ginger slices (if you don’t want to eat them). Transfer the greens to a platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Summer Squash – Yes, the very first pick of lovely little squash is finally coming out of the field. Many different types of zucchini’s, paddy-pans, crook-necks and Italian rounds will be present for your selection. Mostly Zuc’s this week. The skins are soft, the flavor perfectly tender and mild and the sizes wonderfully non intimidating. Here starts the season of many squashes to come, hopefully each week for a long spell. Perfect for sauces, or simply a light saute’, these little gems can find their way into almost any meal.

Simple Squash Saute  adapted from Recipe’s from America’s Small Farms

  • 2-3 young, tender summer squash
  • 2 Tblspn olive oil
  • 2 Tblspn chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 2 Tblspn chopped green garlic
  1. Rinse squash. Slice, dice, quarter or halve (very small squash) the squash.
  2. Heat the olive oil in  a skillet over high heat.
  3. Add the garlic and herbs and saute’ briefly.
  4. Drop the squash, small handfuls at a time, and let each batch gain a little color before adding the next. The squash will be golden and  done in about 7 minutes. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve as is, or over pasta, fish or rice.

Radish Pods – This is such a fun item for us and hopefully for you too. They are difficult to explain. Some call them rat-tail-radish. We like to call them radish in the sky. Basically they are the seed pods formed after pollination and flowering has ended. They are firm and tasty, like fresh radish. The are crisp and have a slight bit of heat too. They are an interesting and novel semi-spicy addition to your salad. Or simply steamed or sautee’d, you’ll have a delicious, more mildly flavored side dish. They’re a really good time. Here is a link which has an abundance of information http://kgi.org/rat-tailed-radish/ . There are 3 great recipes at the bottom of the link page. The White Cheese with Pod Radish recipe is unique and interesting, and the whey cheese is not hard to make. Also the Summer Vegetable… recipe looks good too, and utilizes your cilantro and squash as well. Hope you can find ways to enjoy them. They are not new, but remain little known, so now you have a tried a completely ‘new to you’ vegetable from your friendly neighborhood CSA. 🙂

Cilantro – A seasoning it is, but one that packs a punch. We are still harvesting off our plantings so you have more coming home. Hopefully you have used up the last of what you have got already and are ready for more. If not, it’s time to make Cilantro Pesto. Instead of garlic or parmesan, cilantro pesto utilizes the complimentary flavors of red onion and a serrano or jalepeno chile. Almonds for the nut addition seem to work best and not compete with it. The recipe is very basic….place items in food processor and process much like basil pesto. Ice-cube trays are a great way to freeze and then store your extra pesto. Since it’s made with olive oil it slides right out of the tray when frozen, and can easily be placed in bags to use a cube as needed. Here is a nice recipe, like a pesto, sent in by member Robynn.

Creamy Arugula/Cilantro Sauce   adapted from allrecipes.com.

  • 2 cups roughly chopped arugula
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed
  • salt to tasteground black pepper to taste
  1. Place arugula, cilantro, avocado, lime juice, and garlic in a food processor; pulse until creamy.
  2. Add water as needed to thin sauce.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook’s Note: Servings really depend on what you are using the sauce for. On pasta I find that it gives me 3 well-sauced pasta bowls. When I use this as a pasta sauce I also toss in bits of asparagus, artichokes and tomatoes. I doubled the recipe and have been using it as a sandwich spread.  I think it mostly tastes like guacamole.

Dairy Eaters – Add 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese.

Meat Eaters – This goes really well served with flank steak.

Salad-Share Members: We will provide an option of bagged swiss chard instead of doubling up on your mixed lettuces.

Berry-Share Members: It is frustrating and sad, but we still don’t have adequate ripening for berry-share fulfillment this week. I have tasted my first black raspberry and I found 1 blackberry starting to think about being black. We think we may be able to harvest some juicy black raspberries on Friday or Saturday, so that means we will definitely have them for you next week. If the weather forecast for the  coming week sticks, we will be, as they say, ‘in the thick of it’ regarding the blackberries. We are only hoping now, that we might get some tapering, rather than all at once. Either way, we will doubling up the share for you as soon as we can….a.k.a 4 full-pints rather than just two.

FARM NEWS: It looks like the weather will finally turn around, as expected, and Summer will ‘officially’ begin after the Fourth of July. We sure can use the heat! The warming sun needs to shine and heat the ground up so that the thousands of transplants of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and cucumbers can grow. They don’t do much of anything in soil less than 50 degrees, and in fact in the cold of recent nights can actually go backwards. We have seen slight die-back in our cucumbers already. The farm is ready for the sun. Almost everything that we wanted to seed and/or transplant is getting out. At least the weather has been cooperating well enough for us to work ground and prepare the beds. The well-rounded, full vegetable diet that we aim to provide each year, is a go and what needs to be done is mostly now in place.

If you didn’t know already, we want to tell you that the first weeks of an eating-in-season, local CSA share are the smallest. The selection is often mostly greens and often many herbs. When we started in early May, it seemed like week after week of only greens got very old, and we have moved our start date later because of that. With peas and fava coming on much closer to early weeks, it works much better for member satisfaction. Hang in there with us please. Your bags WILL grow heavier. As the season grows, so does your share.

We are trying our very best, to get more food out to everyone. We have been supplying your share’s slightly less than what we are comfortable with this Spring, but rest assured more is on the way! I certainly don’t want to barrage you with an idea that we are deficient or incapable. The opposite is true, as we have learned much about growing your food and can do it well. Over the years so many of you wonderful people have expressed total joy, amazing delight and complete satisfaction with the food and the share-size we provide. The comments of everything so far this season have mostly been positive as well, and that helps to soften our diminutive feelings of farmer/food  inadequacies. We strive for perfection, but don’t always get there, we’re human….what more can I say?

As usual, come on out and see for your self what is going on out here. You are welcome to come out, we just ask that we make an appointment. Our week day mornings contain a crazy, fast paced environment of flying vegetables and so we ask that your family visits be on weekends. However, if you want to get in on the action out here, we would love the help and can accommodate you, but ask that your children stay home if you are coming out to work. Berry season will truly be here next week, and we welcome our members and families to come out and u-pick fruit for your freezers at discounted rates on the weekends. We’ll try and squeeze in tours as well. Also don’t forget that we have our annual Harvest Party in October and that’s a great time to come out and look around as well.

Enough for now…..Have a safe and healthy Fourth of July and a wonderful week ahead.

Your loving farmer’s,

Kip and Amy


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