Monday, July 6, 2009

CSA News, Week 9

Local First

Is it the economy? Or, did we just hang around long enough to finally see “buy local” move from a concept into an action plan? By even bringing it up in a CSA newsletter, it’s a little like “preaching to the choir.” Members of a CSA have already made the decision (and financial commitment) to source some of their food from a local farm. An egg share, or meat share, or weekly trip to the farmers market is a little bigger commitment. Some folks even move further along the spectrum to shopping locally for other needs besides food – independent local businesses rather than national chains. This can be retail stores (clothing, books, hardware), services (hair salon, tax advisor, automotive needs), products (restaurants, food shops, newspapers, or farm supplies.) Lexington has an organization to help promote locally owned businesses - Local First Lexington. Other area towns are in different stages of something similar. It does seem a little odd to have to “think and remind ourselves” about sourcing our household or business needs from friends and neighbors in our community, rather than patronizing a national (or international) business – but it shows just how the habits of a society change in only one generation. So, hold on, habits are changing again – get ready for the Eat Local Challenge coming up soon!

To continue and expand your local sourcing for farm products, visit
Local Harvest
Kentucky Proud
Local chapter of Slow Food USA

In Your Share . . .
As always, items in your share may vary depending on your share size and your harvest day. Each share may not have each item listed below.

Half Runner Green Beans – organic
These fat pod beans are one of the most popular in Central Kentucky originating in the rural and mountain areas of the Eastern US. The flavor is well loved, the process of stringing and breaking beans is passed down through generations who celebrate family through their loved local foods. Store refrigerated, then boil in water until tender – be sure to pull the strings along each side (like you did with the peas) before breaking into bite-sized pieces, and be sure to allow enough cooking time. A recipe is below.

Roma Beans - organic

Green Cabbage – organic
New this week is the first cabbage of the season. Cabbage will keep well for you refrigerated, so you may choose to prepare it later in the week. Julia Child’s method for cabbage advises trimming the stem end, cutting into 4 wedges, arranging cut sides up in a steamer rack with 2 C chicken stock and steaming until tender (15-20 minutes). Once done, remove cabbage,/ boil remaining liquid with 1-2 T butter and season. Drizzle over cabbage to serve 4.

Sweet Corn
This week’s corn harvest is a white super sweet variety. There could be a few yellow kernels from cross-pollination. As last week, store refrigerated in the husk until ready to prepare.

English Burpless Cucumber

Small Cucumber
Have you made homemade Benedictine? It is great for a summer sandwich or as a dip for veggies or crackers. Find a recipe on the website, 9-5-05 news.

Herb, Sweet Basil – organic
Take care when storing your basil to make it last – temperatures less than 40° (or above 90°) will turn the leaves black. Cover with a bag or container to protect from your fridge’s cold air blower. You can store at room temp if your stems are in water.

Lettuce Greens – organic
We are so excited to find our summer lettuces did germinate with the May-June rain and we have some little leaves to harvest. You may not have enough for a big salad, but you will for that fat tomato sandwich (think BLT), or to put on burgers and buns. Still have some green tomatoes? try a fried green tomato sandwich with Benedictine and lettuce.

Potatoes – organic
The first potatoes of the season, Caribĕ, are ready to dig. These purplish skin, white flesh, early potatoes are smooth fleshed, and will hold their shape when cooked. They are a good all-purpose potato for baking, boiling, or potato salads.Any variety of potato freshly harvested is considered a New Potato (not just the red skinned found in the supermarkets). Large baking or boiling potatoes are stored over winter for year-round sales and are not considered new. Freshly dug, ours have a tender skin that is entirely edible (and contains much of the nutrition). Store refrigerated and keep out of light or the skin will turn green. Organic potatoes are not treated with a chemical to prevent the skin from turning color – if you do get some greening, cut away before preparing.

Baby Squash Mix

The tiny multi color patty pan and round squashes are one of the most popular items at the farmers market. By only removing the stem, you can enjoy whole squashes raw in salad or as a snack, steamed or sautéed lightly with olive oil or butter (try pesto!) or put on skewers for a nice shish kabob grill. The small squashes will keep less time than larger ones since the moisture dehydrates quickly. Refrigerate.

Tomato, Red – organic
The cooler nighttime temperatures (57°-58°) do not help tomatoes to ripen up but the full moon does. We probably will be overloaded in a couple of weeks, but for now, we harvested several. Enjoy tomatoes on BLT’s or use in the simple salad recipe below.

Broccoli – organic
The new variety seems to be handling the hot days and rainy weather better than others. It has much smaller beads in the head and is a little lighter in color, but great flavor!

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Simple Tomato Salad with Corn and Basil
recipe adapted from Janet Fletcher’s Fresh From the Farmers’ Market, can be used with any size or type of tomatoes as the season expands

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced (can use green onion or piece of small sweet onion or shallot)
salt and pepper
1 pound tomatoes
½ C corn kernels
1 dozen fresh basil leaves

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, wine vinegar and garlic/onion. Season highly with salt and pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes for flavors to blend.

Core large tomato. Halve through the stem end, lay cut side down and slice thinly. Arrange tomato slices attractively on a large serving platter. Sprinkle corn kernels over the tomatoes. Tear basil leaves in small pieces and scatter over all. Spoon dressing evenly over the salad. Can serve 4.

Julie Rosso recipe of Silver Palate Cookbooks

3 T apple cider vinegar
1 T plus 1 tsp sugar

3 T sour cream
1 ½ C shredded cabbage
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar and sour cream and mix until smooth. Add the cabbage and toss to coat well. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend before serving.

Country-Style Green Beans and Potatoes
In country cooking, the beans cook for a long period
of time and have a rich, wonderful flavor.

1 1/2 lbs white half runners
salt pork
salt to taste
1/2 cup water
3 or 4 potatoes

Wash and string the green beans and break them into one-inch pieces. Wash them again. Place in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Add a piece of salt pork bacon that has been scored with a knife in several places. Pour water over the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about an hour. Wash the unpeeled potatoes and put them on top of the beans. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes. Salt to taste and cook another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.