Monday, July 4, 2011

CSA News with a Bang! 4th of July, Week 9

From the Farm . . .

Let’s take this 4th of July holiday week to look around the farm and give you a crop update. After the agonizing late start, the warm dry spell gave us time to get all the transplants out of the greenhouses and into their blocks of rows in the field. John has developed some good weed control techniques to help the direct seeded crops off to a vigorous start. We were fortunate to receive several good soaking rains in late June. The irrigation water we delivered gave the young plants enough water to establish and grown, but there is nothing like several inches of rain to promote plant growth.

Cecil was able to cut, rake, and roll the first cutting of hay around the farm. That dry spell allowed the alfalfa, clover, and grasses to cure properly before being baled, which will deliver the protein and energy to the cattle and sheep through the winter.

The grass finished beeves and the cowherd are making their third trip in their rotational grazing scheme. Pastures are vibrant and lush for this time of year. With multiple grazings and one clipping, weed pressure seems to be diminishing each year, with a few exceptions of course. We had a good turkey hatch and those of you that pickup here at the farm will see them go out to pasture this week in the new and improved turkey trailer. Eggs are prolific and the broiler chickens quite content with their clover.

John will be running the combine to harvest the “small grains,” i.e. wheat, barley, and oats. These crops not only provide grains for us to cook and eat, but make excellent livestock feed, control weeds by smothering them out, control soil erosion, and return nutrients back to the soil.

The garlic has been dug and is now hanging in the barn to cure. The kids have been looking for berries ripe enough to eat, but most of our black-berry crop should be ready mid to late July. You are seeing new items ready each week including cucumbers, summer squashes, peppers, cabbages, and onions. Tomatoes, green beans, and sweet corn did not ripen by the 4th of July this season, but they are not far off now. We are looking forward to the melons and new potatoes later this month also. Winter squash and pumpkins have been planted, along with several fall items that take a longer growing season.

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

Broccoli - organic
This favorite veggie is a great source of phyto-nutrients that protect against disease and pro-mote health. The leaves and stalk, along with the florets, are packed full of Vits. A and C, beta-carotenes, folates, and even omega 3’s. Steam, sauté, bake, or raw, refrig-erate before preparing.


Daikon Radish – organic
The Japanese Daikon radish is relatively mild in flavor due to its slower growth in cooler times of the year. Daikon is great in a cold salad or slaw and is easily grated. It can be sautéed or steamed on its own, but often is added to soups, stews, or oven-roasted to include in a root veggie mash. Refrigerate.

Kale Greens - organic

Romaine or Butterhead Lettuce - organic

Yellow Onion – organic
These onions over wintered so should be very flavorful. Store in the pantry to let dry, or use within the week.

Green Bell Pepper - organic

Purple Top White Globe Turnips – organic
Store refrigerated until ready to use; oven-roast with sweeter vegetables or try a new recipe below. For other recipes on Elmwood’s blog – enter “turnips” into the search feature at the top to bring up several tasty tried and true options.

Napa Cabbage - organic
Full of antioxidants, Vit. C and carotene, your Napa cabbage can be used in the same manner as the more familiar round head. Pull away the outer leaves used to protect the inner creamy white ribs & leaf. Low in calories and high in folic acid, this cabbage is one of the healthiest of the leafy greens. Can be stored refrigerated several weeks.

Salad Mix - organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Kayla’s Seasonal Stir-Fry
Each workday all the farm crew gathers for a mid-day meal prepared by Elmwood’s farm chef, Sarah, and assistant, Kayla. We all eat the organic bounty of the farm freshly prepared; for some of us it may be the first time trying a kohlrabi or Daikon or turnip, but the farm’s “test kitchen” puts out some delicious and tasty meals and we often find we do like something that we always though we didn’t. It is amazing to find the change when it is prepared a new way.

Below is an easy recipe shared by our assistant farm chef, Kayla. She interchanges all of the chopped veggies depending on what is harvested that day, but always uses onion and some type of fresh greens.

1 to 2 onions, peeled and chopped in smallish pieces
2-3 turnips, peeled and chopped in smallish pieces
1 Daikon radish, chopped in smallish pieces
1-2 bell peppers, seeds and center removed, cut up
1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bunch kale greens, remove stem ends, then slice leaves into thick ribbons

Cover bottom of sauté or fry pan with olive oil and turn up to high. Add onions and let caramelize a few minutes. Turn down to low and add a little salt and pepper. Add in other chopped vegetables (not the kale). Stir around the pan and allow all the vegetables to cook well, about 30 minutes.

Then add the kale greens and let cook down. Once veggies and the kale are cooked, add a small amount of salt and pepper. Add soy sauce or other stir-fry sauce to your liking, stirring around all the veggies. Serve warm.

We’ve been known to enjoy the leftovers stuffed in a tortilla wrap the next day – it makes a healthy cold lunch when you are on the go but still want to eat well.

Greens in Peanut Sauce
Adapted from Marty Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert’s Simply in Season. Can be served as a side dish, or served over polenta as a main course; can substitute curry powder for the spices for a different take altogether.

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 bunch kale or collard greens, stems cut away, tear into pieces if desired, or can use whole leaves
½ C water
2-3 T chunky peanut butter
1-2 tsp hot water

In a large soup pot with 1T oil, sauté onion and garlic about 2 minutes. Stir in spices and cook 2 minutes more. Add greens and the ½ C water and steam until the greens are soft but not mushy. Avoid overcooking. Stir occasionally to coat greens with the spices.

Meanwhile, combine peanut butter with ½ tsp hot water, and add to greens towards end of cooking time. Serves 4-6.

Herbed Broccoli Sandwich
Another Lind and Hockman-Wert recipe that can be easily adapted to however many people are eating and however much broccoli you have on hand.

2 C broccoli, finely chopped
½ C onion, finely chopped
few dashes each of dried basil, thyme, pepper
½ tsp salt
4-6 slices French bread
¾ C shredded cheese

In large fry pan, sauté broccoli and onion in 2 T oil until broccoli is bright green. Mix in spices.

Top bread with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top and broil in oven until cheese melted. Serve immediately.

Farmer’s Cabbage and Mushroom Pie
A rustic, delicious pie from Angelic Organics Kitchen. Use either your Napa cabbage or your small size cabbage from last week if you still have it. Optional to add crispy bacon to top of pie if desired.

2 unbaked 9 inch piecrusts
2 T olive oil
½ C chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 ½ C chopped mushrooms
1 tsp fresh or ½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp lemon juice
2 C chopped cabbage
4 ounces farmer’s cheese or softened cream cheese
freshly ground black pepper
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced

Place one of the piecrusts into the bottom of a pie pan, making sure to leave at least ½ inch of dough hanging over the edge. Refrigerate both top and bottom crust until you are ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, thyme, and lemon juice. Add the cabbage; cook until tender 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.

Layer half the cabbage mixture in the piecrust. Add a layer of sliced eggs. Top with remaining cabbage mixture.

Moisten the overhanging edge of piecrust with water. Cover the pie with the top crust, sealing the edges with your fingers. Bake until crust is browned on top, 30 to 40 minutes.