Monday, June 27, 2011

CSA News, Week 8

Soul of the Soil

Last week we described the geologic weathering of the limestone bedrock and the physical characteristics of the soil here at Elmwood Stock Farm. The biological activity within the soil is the heart of all the production on the farm.

The complex array of microorganisms that colonizes the soil determines the productive capacity of that soil. It is estimated there are 10-15 thousand species of bacteria and 20-25 thousand species of fungi each with their own requirements with respect to pH, temperature, moisture, etc. As these organisms multiply, vast quantities of nutrients are consumed and released back into the soil. Flashback to high school biology of mitochondria and the Krebs cycle. Leaves photosynthesize nutrients to feed the roots and this jungle of life beneath the surface we see.

The mycorrhizal fungi that act as the tollgate for nutrients in and out of the roots depend on the microbes as a reservoir of these nutrients. Our job as farmers is to optimize the diversity and overall capacity of this ecosystem to maximize plant growth.

Much like the diversity we know to live in the rain forests around the world, an equally complex environment lives within the soil. Along with the microbes are nematodes, single cell organisms, insects, and earthworms. Larger, more complex organisms have a higher carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N). The bacteria and fungi have a C:N ratio of 1:1, which is really juicy. When an organism that has a C:N ration of 5:1 consumes bacteria, it must eat five of them to meet its demand for carbon, which leaves 4 units of nitrogen for the mycorrhizae to feed the plant. This is known as the soil food web, which is continually being altered. Different plants have differing nutrient requirements and provide you with diverse nutrition for a balanced diet.

As we manage the fields through cultivation, planting, and crop rotation, every consideration is to culture this activity beneath the surface. It is the essence of being organic farmers, as we would never introduce pesticides, salt or petroleum based fertilizers into this ecosystem, which would compromise the productive capacity of the soil. The more diverse an ecosystem is, the more stable it is. Here at Elmwood, this diversity that is encouraged with a steady mix and rotation of food crops, forage crops and livestock, is the soul of our soil, and we strive to improve it as we produce your fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs.
In Your Share
Items in shares may vary depending on share size and harvest day. Every share may not contain each item listed below.

Red Beets - organic
The rain has helped the early beets to size up nicely this week. Consider oven roasting this week and adding to fresh salads. A popular beet and feta recipe is below.

Green Cabbage– organic
The first cabbage of the season is a new variety that makes a very small head. With the 2 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, many of the heads are starting to split – you may have seen this in tomatoes, melons or other ball-like produce items – the inside grows faster than the outside and splits the outer layer or skin. Cabbage will keep quite awhile for you refrigerated.


Red Leaf Lettuce- organic

English Garden Peas – organic
We did all the work for you on these peas! Well, not the cooking, but you only need to steam, sauté, or boil for just 2-3 minutes – enjoy with salt, pepper, or butter. Refrigerate and use soon.

Yellow Squash and Green Zucchini
Find some tender green zucchini this harvest. You can prepare with the yellow squash, or use on its own. Enjoy raw in dips, grated into salads, steamed, fried, sautéed, stir-fry, baked in casseroles, or try some zucchini bread.

Lacinato Kale – organic
Try the very popular recipe for Kale Chips, easy to find several versions with an internet search.

Baby Leeks – organic

Salad Mix – organic

Recipes to Enjoy

Salad Mix with Beets and Feta
adapted from Rock Spring Farm

Wash, dry, and tear your lettuce ready for salad toppings. Plan ahead to roast beets in advance.

2 tsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbs. olive or nut oil
1 lb roasted red beets
3 cups salad mix
1/4 lb feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk together the vinegar and oil to make vinaigrette. Add salt to taste. Slice the beets thinly and toss with a little bit of the vinaigrette. Combine the greens with the vinaigrette, and arrange over the beet slices. Crumble feta on top.

To Roast Beets:

Scrub beets and trim tops to 1 inch (leaving a little stem prevents the bleeding common with red beets). Place in foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly. Oven roast 350-400 degrees or put on grill for 30 minutes – 1 hour depending on size of beets. Beets are done when can be easily pierced with a fork. Let cool and remove skins.

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.

Red Curry Beef, serves 4
We are bringing back this recipe again after a special request. Our thanks to a CSA membe a couple of years back who shared this versatile and tasty recipe. She reported, “I have found this to be the best way I can use large quantities and wide varieties of greens. Amazingly, our 7 and 10 year-old kids even love it! I have also added other veggies thinly sliced.”

2 T canola oil
1½ T red curry paste
1T soy sauce
1T sugar
1 lb. ground beef
¼ C coconut milk
6 scallions, thinly sliced
5 oz. baby spinach (I also use Swiss chard, turnip greens, other root tops, etc.)
Zest and juice of ½ lime
½ C shredded fresh basil
½ C crushed unsalted peanuts

In skillet over medium heat, combine oil, curry paste, soy sauce & sugar. Cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add beef and sauté until cooked through. Stir in coconut milk and reduce to a simmer. Mix in scallions and spinach until just wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in limejuice & zest and basil. Serve over cooked rice, garnished with peanuts, or drain juices and serve in tortillas.

Squash Fritters
recipe from Sue McCoy

3 T vegetable oil, divided
1 egg, beaten
2/3 C milk
½ C self-rising cornmeal
1 C packed grated yellow squash or zucchini
2 T grated onion
2 T sour cream
2 T finely shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
prepared salsa

Combine 2 T oil, egg, milk, cornmeal, squash, onion, sour cream, cheese, cayenne, salt and black pepper; mix well. Add additional milk for a thinner consistency or another tablespoon of cornmeal if batter is too runny.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Spoon ¼ C batter per fritter into skillet. Cook until golden, about 4 minutes on first side and 2 minutes on second side. Repeat, with remaining batter.

Serve with salsa. Serves 4 as an entrée, 8 as a side.

Monday, June 20, 2011

CSA News, Week 7

Soil: Where it all begins . . .

Let’s explore the ground we grow your food from. The predominant soil at Elmwood is named Maury Silt Loam, which lays over a Karst geologic structure. The properties of each of these formations have unique physical, chemical, and biologic characteristics and are the foundation of our productivity.

Karst topography describes the geologic weathering of the various layers of limestone. Rather than evolve into a series of tributaries, streams, and rivers, the rainwater drained through a series of fractures in the rock layers forming depressions, which drains away the rains into a series of underground streams. Most of our depressions are covered with soil, which we pasture, or crop.

After an exceptionally large rain event a couple of years ago, one of these sink holes suddenly opened up into a 15 foot wide hole over 40 feet deep. Another notable sinkhole is one surrounded by old trees that have a cave opening about 20 feet wide and 6 to 8 feet high.

Our topsoil is described as a silt loam. If you picture a complicated ven diagram with sand, silt, clay at each corner of the triangle, the mixture of these particles changes the deeper you dig with more clay the deeper you go. Clay particles (the smallest) are flat platelets, silt (middle size) is powder like, and sand (the largest) is pebbles. Combined, they create microstructures that allow tiny channels and pockets for water, roots, air and microbes to live. Each of these particles also has unique chemical properties related to ion exchange of plant nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and more.

USDA has mapped all the soils in the state with their structural and chemical properties described in detail. This information is used by engineers and farmers in decision-making.

How we manage the plants and tillage practices has a dramatic effect on the organic matter component of soil life. We grow certain cover crops to incorporate into the soil to add vast amounts of organic matter. In general, most plants have an equal amount of root mass that mirrors the shape and struc-ture of the above ground part. When a plant is cut or trimmed, an equal amount of roots die because there is less photosynthesis potential to support all the roots. This root loss helps feed more organic matter into the soil, and forms channels and pockets for air, water, insects, microbes, etc.

As we consider all this in producing your produce, it is fascinating to think about the geologic time it took to be like this. Look closely at the road cuts going down towards the Kentucky River, and see the layers of rock. Some flaky, some solid, cracks that go up and down, layers turned sideways. It all supports one of the keys to growing good food, the soil.

In Your Share . . .
Items in shares may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Every share may not contain every item listed below.

Carrots - organic
Enjoy the first harvest of sweet, crunchy carrots. Use the tops for juicing or making stock.

Swiss Chard– organic
Any thing that you might do with spinach, you can try with Rainbow Swiss Chard.

Cucumber–New this week!

Kohlrabi – organic
You can use the leaves of your kohlrabi as you would kale or collard greens: steam, sauté, juice, use in soups, quiches, wraps, or chop finely for cole slaw. The ball-like kohlrabi itself will keep well for you when refrigerated.

Red Leaf & Red Oakleaf Lettuces - organic

Green Zucchini – New!

Green Garlic – organic
Mustard Greens and either Green Curly Kale or Red Russian

Kale – organic
For optimum health, we are all advised to eat our greens, everyday. Steam, sauté, bake in a casserole or lasagna, blend in a smoothie, finely chop for a salad, add to zucchini bread, make kale chips, and just imagine the possibilities!

English Shell-Out Peas – organic

Shell the green peas out before preparing. Lightly blanch or steam, then enjoy in a cold salad or with your favorite seasoning.

Salad Mix – organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Sweet and Savory Kale Greens

We shared this recipe in a prior season, but had a request for it just last week, so thought we’d include it again as it might just become your favorite too! Our thanks to a CSA member who first shared it with us. You can use most any cooking green, just remember that the more tender chard, beet greens and spinach will cook faster than kale, collard, turnip, kohlrabi or mustard greens.

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Dijon mustard
4 tsp white sugar
1 T cider vinegar
1 ½ C chicken broth
4 C stemmed, torn and rinsed kale
¼ C dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste
¼ C sliced almonds

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, sugar, vinegar, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the kale, cover, and cook 5 minutes until wilted. Stir in the dried cranberries, and continue boiling, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by about half, and the cranberries have softened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sliced almonds before serving.

Zucchini-Lettuce Salad

2 cups shredded lettuce
½ cup shredded zucchini
½ cup sliced ripe olives
1/3 cup chopped red onion
½ cup Italian salad dressing
¼ cup shredded Parmesan

Combine veggies. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Swiss Chard Bruschetta

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz Swiss chard, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
2 Tbsp water
Salt and pepper
6 slices French bread, cut diagonally ¾-inch thick
2 oz. garlic-and-herb feta cheese (used Asia go)

In small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp oil and vinegar. Set aside.

In large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil and stir fry chard over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add water and cook 2 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

To serve, divide chard among pieces of toast. Drizzle with oil-and-vinegar mixture. Top with arugula and cheese. Toast under broiler in oven until cheese melted. Serve immediately. Makes 6 side-dish servings.

Greens and Goat Cheese Scramble
This and the following recipe are both from Bert Greene.

6 eggs
¼ C heavy or whipping cream
2 T butter
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or chopped
½ C fresh greens, chopped in ribbons, stems removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Beat the eggs with the cream.

Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over low heat. Pour in the eggs and cook, uncovered, whisking frequently, until they are velvety, about 25 minutes. Eggs can be removed from the heat to hold, or to keep from cooking too quickly. Stir in the cheese and greens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 2 to 3 for brunch.

Green Quills
At the farm, we have made a similar version of this recipe for years, preparing the stems of chard first then adding the leaves when Bert adds the fresh herb. To prepare leaves, roll them cigar-like and cut in ½ inch section, resulting in ribbons. It is nice to offer you his more complete recipe to follow.

3 T unsalted butter
2 shallots or green onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound stems from fresh greens (best is Swiss Chard, but any stems you remove from greens can be used – cut into pieces ½ inch wide and no more than 2 inches long)
½ C chicken or vegetable stock
3 T chopped fresh parsley or favorite fresh herb
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the shallots; cook 1 minute. Stir in the garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the chard stems, tossing well to coat with the mixture. Stir in the broth. Cook, covered, until tender, 15 minutes.

Remove the cover and raise the heat. Stir in the fresh herb. Cook over medium heat, tossing constantly until all the excel liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 as a side dish.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Week 6, CSA

Water: Too much – not enough – just right

Remember the record setting rainfall in April? It was not only the most, but fell over so many days, our soil did not dry out enough to “work” (we wrote about this in an earlier newsletter). However, no one at Elmwood Stock Farm said “I wish it would quit,” because we know that once it stops, it might be for a really long time.

We are blessed with a farm that has Maury silt loam soil. It possesses many quality traits, one of which is that it is moderately well drained. This means the structure of sand, silt, and clay particles combined with the soil food web of microbes and insects, provides a series of channels and cavities to hold water as well as roots but drains away excess water rather quickly. The root hairs have a symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi partnership that captures nutrients from the soil and sends them into the roots to be carried up to the leaves and fruit with the water. Though manipulating the soil under wet conditions disrupts this structure and microbial activity, soils high in organic matter can tolerate a little wet handling and even foot traffic. Now that it has dried out, that same organic matter in the soil is holding water for the root hairs to capture as we irrigate.

When planning what crops go in which fields, there is usually no need to plan on irrigation for fast maturing spring vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and peas because spring rains are enough to provide all their needs. However, this year, many of these plants went out after the five-week deluge, and the only water they have had is from our pump, filters and pipe system utilizing either Elkhorn Creek or the municipal water we purchase. We use a trickle irrigation tape under four foot mulch strips for the mid summer crops. We have a hose and overhead reel system, called a traveler, for shorter season crops. This device uses its own water pressure to walk itself the length of the field spraying water some 120’ wide swath as it goes. It can get quite tricky managing soil moisture that is optimum for plant growth, yet allowing opportunity to cultivate and harvest your produce.

We are fortunate to have access to Elkhorn Creek and the old mill dams that established the 5-8 foot deep pool of flat water to draw from. The pipes go under the highway through the culverts and we have trenched a main trunk line to feed water to the crop fields well away from the creek. Right now the pumps are running 24 hours daily to water existing crops with highly efficient drip lines and to establish new crops with overhead water to ensure a strong supply of produce to nourish you and your family. This is why we never said, “…Wish it would quit raining.”

In Your Share
Items in share may vary depending on your harvest day and share size. Each share may not have every item listed below.

Red Beets - organic
The first beets of the season! Remove the roots from the stems and use the greens either raw in a fresh green salad, or cook with your kale. Beets are known to be good for anemia, your heart and circulation. They also contain notable amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium & phosphorus.

Refrigerate for storage; the root will keep for several weeks, the greens should be used within a few days. Recipes can be found on our online web blog, and included here.

Kale Greens Bunch – organic

Kohlrabi – organic
The round, ball-like item with just a few leaves coming out is kohlrabi. It contains a lot of fiber and is high in Vits. A and C. You do want to peel the outer tough skin, then either plan to enjoy raw or cook. Kids, especially, seem to like the raw, sweet kohlrabi sticks – but you can also add to fresh green salads or coleslaw.

Try sautéing in a little butter or olive oil then eating as a side dish topped with black pepper or other seasonings. The kohlrabi has an unexpected sweetness that you really have to try to appreciate! It has a short season and is only available here in the spring and fall.

Green Butterhead and Red Leaf Lettuces - organic

Sugar Snap Peas – organic
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve harvested 2 plantings of peas, and now the third is ready as wellsugar snaps to resemble a shell-out pea, and you can enjoy them either way. Some of the pods are starting to dry from the hot conditions in the field, so you can shell those peas out. For the others, just snap off the stem from each end, and eat the whole pea and pod.

Steam or sauté just a few minutes for the most nutrition and a crispy texture. Find a new recipe included.

Yellow Squash
First of the year – Enjoy!

Garlic Scapes – organic
This will be the last week on the garlic scapes this season. Use this special veggie in any manner you would use garlic cloves, chop finely or use a processor. Store refrigerated for several weeks.

Salad Mix – organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Our thanks to a CSA member for sharing both of the next two recipes. She adapted from some ideas found online and reports, “The lettuce wraps recipe may seem imposing with such a long list of ingredients, but it came together quickly and really was simple to prepare.”

1 lb ground chicken breast
2 t minced ginger
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 T rice or red wine vinegar
½ c pine nuts or chopped peanuts
2 t Asian chili pepper sauce
2 T minced garlic
8 oz. water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 T soy sauce
1 bunch green onions
¼ c hoisin sauce
2 t sesame oil
Lettuce leaves such as butterhead or Bibb

Cook chicken in large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break up. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin, ginger, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook until meat is crumbled and brown. Add water chestnuts, pine nuts or peanuts, and green onions. Cook until onions wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in sesame oil. Cool slightly.

Assemble by scooping a small amount of chicken mixture into a lettuce leaf and rolling leaf around filling burrito style.

Asian Sugar Snap Peas

1 lb. sugar snap peas
¼ C soy sauce
¼ t sesame oil
a few drops Asian chili sauce
½ t packed brown sugar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 T sesame seeds, toasted

Wash and trim peas. Combine remaining ingredients, except sesame seeds, and toss with peas. Pour mixture onto a foil lined baking sheet and broil 3 minutes, or until peas are tender. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Whole Beet Skillet
Recipe from Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert

4-6 medium or 3 large beets with fresh greens
1-2 T butter
1-2 T lemon juice
1-2 tsp ginger root, peeled and minced
1-2 tsp honey

Cut greens off beets, leaving about 1 inch of greens on beets. Place beets in large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beets are tender when pricked with fork, 15-30 minutes, depending on size.
While beets are cooking, remove stem from beet greens. Chop stems in 1inch pieces. Chop greens separately.
Drain the cooked beets and rinse with cold water. When beets have cooled enough to handle, slip peels off with fingers. Cut beets in slices.

In saucepan sauté stems in 1-2 T butter until tender. Add greens and sauté until bright green and just tender. Add sliced beets and heat through. Stir in other ingredients and serve immediately. Serves 2-4.

Crock Pot Chicken Broth
Our thanks to a CSA member who shared this recipe, originally her mother’s. Her directions are well suited to those with a busy lifestyle and may be of use to CSA members with an Elmwood chicken share.

Every time I cook an Elmwood chicken, I throw the bones and unused bits, such as the backbone, in a plastic bag in the freezer. At the same time, I also add any leftover veg--that half an onion, pepper, tomato, leek, or parsley that has been languishing in the bottom of the fridge--in another bag. When the bags are full, I pull out my slow cooker, dump the bags out frozen and all), cover with water, and add a bay leaf or two, peppercorns, and a bit of Kosher salt. Flip the switch to high for as long as you want (usually 6-8 hours does the trick), and go about your business. If you are so inclined, skim off any crud that appears on the top, but it isn't the end of the world if you have better things to do. (I usually do.) When the broth is ready, let it cool, strain it (twice, and maybe even a third time for good measure), and put it in plastic containers overnight in the fridge. Skim off any fat the next morning, close tightly, and freeze. You will end up with at least 2 1/2 quarts of stock, or, about $8-10 worth, which, of course, has cost you nothing but your freezer leftovers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

CSA News Week 5

Animal, Vegetable, Insect??

Just like the animal kingdom, the insect world has herbivores and carnivores. At the farm, we minimize vegetable robbing pest problems by using crop rotation, interplanting species, soil building . . . basic tenets of organic production. Some of your produce is particularly inviting to specific insects, and we use those plants as indicators for activity elsewhere on the farm. Some insects chew, some have a pointy snout to pierce and suck, some lay eggs inside a plant leaf and hatchlings eat their way out. Adults eat little compared to all their babies.

In a healthy organic system, we have less herbivores (predatory insects) to deal with. With a diversified mixture of plant species, along with various stages of plant maturity, the carnivores (beneficial insects) can find their niche in this environment. The insect-eating beneficial creatures also chew, pierce and suck, and lay eggs inside their prey. One of our favorites is a tiny brachonid wasp that lays her eggs one at a time in adult aphids. When the egg hatches, the tiny wasp eats the aphid insides out leaving a dried mummified aphid shell. Another favorite is the green lacewing. She lays her eggs atop a hairlike structure because her babies aggressively eat the first bugs they find, so she hides them from each other.

We know when to expect certain pests on produce throughout the growing season. We are constantly watching for signs of activity, as your vegetables are being grown, harvested and washed. The beneficial insects are also adjusting as the availability of their food source increases and decreases. There are many decisions regarding what is the threshold level of damage to the plants that can be tolerated.

If it appears the pests will overpopulate the ability of the beneficials to restrict damage, certified organic farmers have access to an arsenal of inputs.

* Purchase beneficial insect eggs to equalize the population.

* Pheromone traps to confuse pests, or attract beneficial adults to stimulate mating activity.

* Spray plant or insect based com-pounds that target specific pests at a specific stage of maturity. Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) is a common example as it only affects a class of loopers, common in broccoli and cabbage, by infecting the looper with a virus that erodes the lining of its stomach after ingestion.

Managing all of this is not only challenging, it is fascinating to watch the balance of nature in action.

In Your Share . . .
Items in shares may vary depending on harvest day and share size. Every share may not have each item listed below.

Butterhead Lettuces and Oak Leaf Lettuce - organic
The butterhead lettuces (both a green and a red variety) are in the same family as Bibb lettuce with very tender leaves. Remember that the more color in your vegetables, the more nutrition in each bite – your red oak leaf is high in potassium and calcium.

Kale, Collards, and Turnip Greens Bunch – organic
Fresh greens are one of the healthiest items in your share this time of year. Kale contains calcium, iron, Vits. A and C, and is said to offer protection from both macular degeneration and colon cancer. Turnip greens, like many others, are high in calcium and Vit. A.

There are many choices for preparation:
(1) the old KY standard recipes of simmering on the back of the stove for a couple of hours seasoning with bacon grease, peppers, or an onion for extra flavor;
(2) steam until wilted and serve sprinkled with vinegar;
(3) sauté with garlic or onion until tender.

With any recipe, remove any thick stems by tearing the stalks out of the leaves. And be sure to cook your greens long enough to ensure they are cooked through and tender.

Sugar Snap Peas – organic
The entire pod and peas inside are edible. Our hot temperatures make this week’s harvest a little sweeter – moisture evaporates resulting in the sugars becoming more concentrated; the peas are more flavorful then earlier when we had lots of rainfall. You are familiar with this already in berries and cantaloupes. To prepare, break any stem end away and any developing string also. This variety is a string less type, but we have learned in hot, dry weather it does try to produce a string along one side that should be removed for a better eating experience.

Steam or sauté/stir fry, and try not to overcook or the texture can become a little mushy. Store refrigerated in a closed container and use fairly soon as they will lose crispness over time. Sugar snap peas can be frozen after blanching.

Spinach – organic

Purple Top White Turnips – organic
Find the first bulb turnips of the season, tender and not very spicy as they get later on with all the heat. You can peel and eat raw (the texture is like an apple) as a snack or sliced with a dip; peel, cube, cover with olive oil and oven-roast at 400° for 30-45 minutes; or boil or steam then enjoy with black pepper and a little butter. Finally, you can enjoy grated on top of a lettuce or spinach salad. Refrigerate and the turnip roots will keep for you up to a month if desired.

Garlic Scapes – organic
A garlic scape is the center stalk of a hard neck garlic plant. Use this special veggie in any manner you would use garlic cloves. Chop finely or use a processor. The flower head is also edible. You can make pesto; chop in salads; or sauté similar to green onions. Store refrigerated or in water in a vase.

Salad Mix – organic

Recipes To Enjoy . . .

Pasta with Lettuce and Peas
Adapted from Mark Bittman

2 T butter
1 lb pasta (shells work well)
1 green garlic or garlic scape, minced
½ C organic broth or dry white wine
2 C fresh or frozen peas (break ends and check for strings if using sugar snaps)
6 - 8 oz lettuce
2 - 3 T bacon bits
1 C grated Parmesan

Cook pasta; drain, reserving some cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook about 1 minute.

Add peas, lettuce, and stock or wine to skillet and cook until peas turn bright green and lettuce is wilted, about 5 minutes (If lettuce is very young and tender, wait to add it until the last minute or so of cooking).

Add pasta to pan and continue cooking and stirring until everything is just heated through, adding extra stock or some reserved cooking liquid if needed to moisten.

Toss with Parmesan cheese, garnish with bacon bits, adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

Summer Vegetable Risotto
Our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this wonderful recipe, her tips are included within. With these quantities, it can serve 1 as a main or 2 as a side.

¾ C Arborio rice
2¼ C chicken broth
½ C dry white wine
few handfuls of asparagus, the tough parts removed and chopped into small pieces
few handfuls of fresh sugar snap peas
fresh herbs, whatever you have
½ bulb of fennel and some fennel fronds
½ an onion
green garlic
black pepper
a few handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese
2 T butter

Sauté the asparagus and sugar snap peas in the butter for 3-4 minutes until tender but still crisp. (Use less butter or substitute olive oil if you are feeling virtuous. I never am.)
Remove vegetables and set aside.

Heat the broth in another pan until it is simmering--keep at a low simmer while you proceed.

Sauté onion, green garlic, and fennel on medium-high heat until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Continue to cook the risotto by adding ½ C of the hot broth to the rice and stirring constantly (this is the temperamental part) until absorbed. Continue to add the hot broth; ½ C at a time, in the same manner, until the broth is gone and the rice is cooked. (Start tasting at 15 minutes--depending on your stovetop, the rice could be done at 15, 18, or 21 minutes.) Stir in cheese, black pepper, vegetables, and fresh herbs.

Serve immediately with a crisp Riesling and a simple salad.

Sweet Spicy Turnips
Serves 4, from recipezaar . com

1 T brown sugar
2 tsp butter melted
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 dash ground allspice
3 turnips peeled and each cut into 6 wedges (6 ounces each)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400° F. Combine first 7 ingredients in a jelly roll pan or shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray, toss to coat. Bake for 35 minutes or until tender, stirring every 10 minutes.