Monday, July 20, 2015

CSA Week 12

Spreading the Word

As new-this-season Elmwood Stock Farm farm share members are finding out, we work hard to educate our “people” about the virtues of organic farming and eating through our CSA newsletter. We have been writing these newsletter posts weekly, for many years, the majority of which can be found on our Elmwood blog. We hope to help ya’ll know more of what we know, and you can then spread the word to friends and family. A recent posting about pesticides and genetic engineering of food crops seems to have resonated with several of you, and you may want to learn more, and know more about how to deal with such issues.

First we suggest you take a few minutes to search some websites like the Non-GMO Project Report, or google “Dirty Dozen Foods”. A consumer watchdog group, Beyond Pesticides, works tirelessly to educate folks about how food is raised and processed. Did you know that unless you are eating organic zucchini, yellow squash, or sweet corn, there is a good chance it will be a GMO? One needs to be careful about the accuracy of online research, but as we stated in an earlier post: there is a preponderance of evidence that such crops are not good for the environment or the consumer of these foods. There are no labeling requirements, so the grower or the retailer don’t have to tell you, in fact the farmer may or may not know themselves if a crop is a GMO unless they have asked for confirmation one way or another.

Dig a little deeper into the scary toxins out in the environment and you will find a recent Harvard Study about the use of a modern day class of insecticides, neonicotinoids. Used by many grain farmers, it is now believed to be responsible for the decline in the honey bee population, as well as the development of chemical-resistant weeds that can only be controlled by mechanical methods. These things do impact the environment, if not you directly. Every time you buy commercially raised beef, pork, chicken, or milk you are supporting the use of these chemicals and GMO technology.

The Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) is adding consumer education to its Mission, alongside its ongoing work of helping farmers adopt organic production practices. In fact, there will be several consumer sessions at the annual conference next March 6-7, held just south of Louisville in Shepardsville, KY. OAK plans to offer seminars on home cheese making with dairy farmers showing the quality difference of organic versus commercial milk. Sessions on fermenting and preservation of organic foods will be popular, to learn how to eat local, organic foods all year. We think it will be great to have organic farmers and consumers breaking bread together with opportunities to network and learn from each other.

In its other work, the OAK board of directors is developing a set of talking points that allows any of its board members to deliver a wealth of information to school groups, civic or church groups, book clubs, or any other collection of interested individuals. Dates are booked at wellness centers, environmental conferences, and neighborhood associations; and OAK will gladly make time to present at meetings or conferences you may be organizing. OAK’s farmers are targeting the medical community this winter because of the obvious link between diet and health.

Once you delve in and learn a little more, we know it will motivate you to eat organic foods. Every time you take a bite you can marvel at the flavor, know you are doing your part to help the environment, and don’t have to worry about what else might be in there affecting your health. Thanks for your support by partnering with an organic farm, and eat in Peace.   

In Your Share :


Green Beans

Savoy Cabbage

Sweet Corn



Fresh Herb

Fresh Onion

Yellow Squash OR Zucchini


Red Russian Kale


Braised Chicken with Kale, serves 4-6 (adapted from
2 T olive oil, divided
1 cut-up whole chicken or 4 each Elmwood thighs and drumsticks
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb kale, trimmed of any tough stems
1 jar Elmwood salsa
2 C chicken broth
1 T red wine vinegar
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and use to dredge pieces of chicken. Brown chicken in olive oil (reserving 2 tsp for kale) in Dutch oven, about 1 ½ minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add remaining oil and garlic to pan and cook briefly, until fragrant. Add kale and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Cover and bake at 325°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove chicken and stir in vinegar. Serve chicken over kale mixture. 

Easy Squash Chips, makes about 1 C, recipe from Persnickety Plates
1 yellow squash or green zucchini
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Any additional seasonings
Preheat your oven to 250°F and line a baking dish with aluminum foil; set aside. Slice the squash very thinly, either by hand or with a mandolin. Put the squash disks into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, as well as any additionally seasonings (herbs, seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, etc.) Lay the squash in a single layer on the prepared baking dish and bake for 2 hours.

You can make the recipe as large as you want by increasing the number of squash or zucchini used.

Bread Salad with Corn, Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs, serves 4-6, adapted from Fresh
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small garlic clove
Salt to taste
2 T red wine vinegar
½ C packed fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, mint, or your favorite)
½ loaf rustic French or Italian peasant bread (something firm and chewy), crusts trimmed and bread cubed
½ C plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Corn kernels from 4-6 ears of corn (about 3 C), blanch ears in boiling water for 1 minute before cutting away from husks
1½ C cherry or plum size tomatoes, cut in half and lightly salted, or 2 small beefsteak tomatoes, cut into large dice and salted
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the onion slices in a bowl filled with ice water. Mash the garlic clove with a pinch of salt and whisk the paste into the vinegar. Bruise 1 T of fresh herb leaves and add to the garlic/vinegar. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet, toss with 2 T olive oil, and bake until crisp and golden brown on outside but soft inside, about 10 minutes; let cool. Drain the onions and remove/discard the bruised herb leaves. Whisk the remaining oil into the vinegar mixture and toss with the corn, onion, tomatoes, and bread. Check for seasoning. Let sit between 15-30 minutes. Roughly chop the remaining herbs and toss with the salad just before serving. 

Coleslaw with Fennel, adapted from Simply in Season, serves 4-6

½ head savoy cabbage, shredded
1 bulb fennel, cut in quarters, cored and thinly sliced
2 carrots, shredded
¼ onion, thinly sliced
¼ C mayonnaise
1 ½ T apple cider vinegar
1 ½ T honey
1 t fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp Dijon type mustard
½ tsp fennel seeds
Toss together cabbage, fennel, carrot and onion in a large bowl. Whisk together other ingredients in a smaller bowl. Pour dressing over vegetables. Toss well to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Roasted Squash & Fennel with Thyme, 4 servings, about 2/3 C each, our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this tasty recipe!

2 small summer squash
1 ½ cups sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb), plus 1 T chopped fennel fronds, divided
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T chopped fresh thyme
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
¼ C thinly sliced garlic

Preheat oven to 450°F. Quarter squash lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Combine the squash with sliced fennel, oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the mixture evenly on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and roast until the vegetables are tender and the fennel is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Stir in fennel fronds and serve.

Fennel Cucumber Salsa, makes 4 C, from

1 cucumber, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
½ red onion, chopped
½ C pickled banana peppers, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 T local honey
3 T fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and let sit at least 20 minutes. Serve with tortillas or sliced baguette or as an accompaniment to grilled meats.


The original Benedictine recipe is said to have been created in Louisville by Jennie Benedict. When folks move away from KY, they are surprised to learn that this popular creamy spread used for sandwiches or as a dip is not known in other parts of the country. The version below makes quite a bit (3-3 ½ C), you can reduce to meet your needs if desired; keeps very well refrigerated.

1 ½ lb cream cheese, softened to room temperature
4-6 cucumbers, depending on size; peeled, seeded, pureed
1 medium yellow onion, grated
1 tsp salt
1-2 T mayonnaise
5-7 drops hot sauce

Peel, seed, crude chop cucumber. Puree. Strain through cheesecloth. Gently squeeze out all possible liquid. Return to rinsed and dried food processor with remaining ingredients. Adjust salt and hot sauce to taste.