Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Week 7 CSA

From the Farm . . .

Though we are still cleaning up from the ice storm this past winter, we now have more to add to it after last Saturday morning’s blast. We have several more trees down, including a few across the livestock fences. We feel fortunate to not have lost any buildings, barns, livestock, or have any other serious damage.

Many of our trees are decades, even hundreds of years old. The tops get struck by lightening, and often part of the trunks are hollowed out over the years and years of storms. Heavy winds can uproot old roots or break off deadened branches. We are glad to have the firewood, but don’t have the extra time right now to spend with the chainsaw and ax. We will have to address the downed trees across the fences in order to keep using all of our grazing fields for cattle and sheep.

In Your Share . . .

Due to the everchanging conditions of growing plants, shares may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Each share may not have every item listed below.

Sweet Basil – organic
Enjoy the first basil of the season. Remember that the leaves don’t like temperatures above 90° or below 40° and will turn black. When storing in your refrigerator, double bag or put your bag inside a sealed Tupperware. Look on the 7/7/08 entry on this site for the recipe for Easy Basil Pesto.

Roma Green Beans – organic
These Italian style flat pod stringless beans are one of the earliest varie-ties in our area. We also transplanted them from the greenhouse for an early start and the spring rains have helped them along. Often it is the end of June before green beans make their first appearance. Store re-frigerated, steam or boil in water until tender.

Bok Choy – organic
We included a Martha Stewart recipe for your baby bok choy this week giving you a cold salad option. You can enjoy the bok choy in a sauté with broccoli or Swiss chard, or use in place of cabbage (it’s in the same brassica family) with radishes for a cole slaw.

Broccoli – organic
The hot 80’s every day are really pushing the broccoli to flower before it sizes up. Any yellow you start to see is from the broccoli flower, as we are harvesting the little heads daily. You can eat the whole head, including the stem. Soak in a little soapy water before eating to roust out any hiding caterpillars.

Swiss Chard – organic
Find a bunch of Rainbow Swiss Chard this week as your fresh green. You may recall that you can use the entire leaf including the stalk. Add the chopped stalks to cook a little longer than the more tender leaves. Try steaming like spinach or sauté with garlic in olive oil for an easy, healthy side vegetable. Add to egg omelets or use to wrap rice or meats.


Fennel – organic

Radishes – organic
This week’s share includes a late planting of Easter Egg and French Breakfast Radishes. The tops are edible if desired, but most people focus on the bulb. You can enjoy raw grated, sliced into bite-size pieces, or added to vinegar and water for a quick pickle with the cucumbers. If you have never tried cooking radishes, you may be in for a surprise. Oven roast with potatoes, beets or other root vegetables, add to a pot roast or roasting hen, try in an Asian stir-fry. Yummy! A farm recipe for a radish and cucumber quick pickle salad can be found on the 9-22-08 entry on this page.

Tomatoes, Green
Find the first tomatoes of the season – green, not red. To retain as a green tomato, store refrigerated. Other-wise, storing out at room temperature you will find they begin to ripen up. An online newsletter (7-10-2006 from Elmwoodstock contains two methods for preparing fried green tomatoes. Wonderful on a sand-wich with fresh basil.

Red Beets – organic
We have a bit of a time-gap between the first planting of beets and the next one since the spring rains prevented us from getting the planter back into the field when we intended. Enjoy the last harvest of the first planting, still small and tender.

Garlic Scapes – organic
Enjoy the last scapes of the season – if you have developed a taste for them go ahead and process into fine pieces, then stick in the freezer to pull out later. You also may want to use the chopped scapes as your garlic when making the first basil pesto of the season! Or, go ahead and enjoy them sautéed with the Swiss chard or bok choy as a fresh side dish this week. Finally, find a recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto under a 6-16-08 entry on this blog website.

Kohlrabi - organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Bok Choy Salad
from Martha Stewart Living, July 2009

4 tsp rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
¾ tsp sugar
5 C sliced, raw bok choy (about 1 ½ pounds)
2 T chopped cashews

Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Add bok choy. Top with cashews when ready to serve. Serves 4.

Fennel Braised in Broth and Wine
Thanks to a friend of the farm for sharing this easy and tasty recipe for fresh fennel. Save the stem and fern-like leaves for another dish. You can reduce or increase the ingredient amounts depending on the quantity of fennel you have, as this is a very forgiving recipe.

6 small fennel bulbs (equivalent of 2 of the large bulbs in your CSA share last week or this week)
1 C chicken stock
½ C olive oil
1 C dry white wine (French Riesling suggested)

Slice bulbs into desired shape and size. Add all ingredients into large pan. Cover and simmer gently for approximately 45 minutes, checking periodically as liquid will cook down. Can be served hot or cold.

Green Tomato-Fresh Herb Crostini
recipe adapted from Southern Living, May 2009

¼ C + 2 T olive oil, separate measures
¾ C garlic scapes, finely chopped (or 2 garlic cloves, pressed)
1 French bread baguette, cut ¼ inch slices
3 T fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 large green tomato, finely chopped
½ C chopped fresh basil
1/3 C crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir ¼ C olive oil with garlic. Brush mixture on 1 side of each bread slice. Place slices garlic side up on a baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes until lightly toasted.

Whisk together lemon juice, 2 T olive oil, salt, pepper in a large bowl. Add tomato and basil and gently toss to coat. Top each bread slice with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes about 20 bread slices.