- We do not know as yet if sweet cherries will be ready from our grower to begin tree fruit shares next week. Please look for update in next week’s newsletter. (Summer Share Eight)
- Our friends at Thorpe’s Organic Family Farm are having a stellar strawberry season. We went and picked the most beautiful organic strawberries in a beautiful new weed free planting. Here is a link to their website for more information: http://thorpesorganicfamilyfarm.com/description
- Please remember to refer to our website if you need distribution site information. The weekly newsletters are also archived there for reference.
- Reminder for next week: Tuesday share members will be pick up on Wednesday July 5th.
Farm News from Jane
Asparagus season has come to an end and I’m not ashamed to say that we finally had a Sunday morning to sleep in an extra hour! And at just the right time as my index finger was beginning to peel from the callous that forms every season from the daily picking. Although as I was trellising tomatoes today I was thinking perhaps it would benefit me a little while longer… Picking asparagus is good for breaking in those “squatter” muscles for the season. Now we’re ready for the pea picking and the beans to come.
The first planting of peas had a fairly reasonable yield for all the variable weather conditions. We had assumed that the cool and wet spring would bring a great pea season. But the ground may have been a tad too cool and wet as they have come along a bit slowly like most of the spring crops. I think that the only veggie that has had a great yield was the rhubarb. Perennials are more forgiving than annual crops when it comes to weather because their soil conditions are more established and the mulching seems to help whether it is a wet or dry year. The asparagus yield was fair but we were extremely pleased with the very small amount of asparagus beetle pressure. Since we have discontinued cultivating it mechanically and allowed a “green walkway” to grow up between the rows which attracts beneficial insects and causes the asparagus beetles to have more “work” to get to the plants. Nature at its finest!
We are thankful for all the vegetables we have for harvest this week and also for your patience and understanding with this very unique start to our growing season. The Swiss chard has just begun with a bunch of smaller leaves. As the season continues we will have bigger bunches and lots of recipes to try.
The golden beets this week are a bit small but the Chioggia beets are the same size so we had to choose one the harvest or they’ll get too large in two weeks! July is at our door and I don’t think that I feel quite ready for it. Perhaps the cooler weather has lulled me into a protracted spring mode. But summer is here and the kids are finally finished with school so let’s get them outside to enjoy the outdoors and discover what’s happening in the natural world. A friend with a bike or some water to splash in and they’re happy for hours. Oh the joy and the freedom of childhood… Till next week, Jane
Produce: Red Romaine lettuce Sugar snap peas Golden beets
Garlic scapes Head lettuce Scallions Swiss Chard
- Sugar snap peas have edible pod. Just snap off the stem end and they’re ready to pop in your mouth. You may decide to utilize them in a recipe if you can keep yourself from eating them all raw first!
- Golden beets are mild in flavor; these are smaller, sweeter and will make a lovely addition to a salad. Because they are milder they are nice to eat raw on a salad. Their color is exquisite and will make your dinner plate look gourmet!
- Swiss chard is small and not only tender but also more mild that the coming mature leaves. They can add some color to a stir fry or salad. Chop stems and chiffonade the leaves. (Make ribbon slices cutting horizontally) This variety is called rainbow chard for its rainbow of colors and hopefully you’ll receive a colorful sample. See recipe section for ideas!
- Red Romaine is vibrant and very tasty. Anytime you have more variety of color there is a corresponding variety of nutrition also.
- Rhubarb: there is one more great recipe I forgot to include last week if anyone still has some lurking about!
RHUBARB BAKED BEANS (Thanks Erin’s mom!)
4 slices thick-sliced bacon, 1+1/2 C chopped rhubarb, 1 C chopped sweet onion, 1t grated fresh ginger (I substituted ground dry ginger), ½ t salt, 1 15 oz cans navy beans, drained and rinsed, 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce, ½ C packed brown sugar, 2 t yellow mustard.
Preheat oven to 3500. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove with slotted spoon. In reserved drippings cook rhubarb and onion 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in slat and ginger; cook one minute more. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and cooked bacon. Transfer to a 11/2 qt baking dish. Cover and bake for 125 minute. Uncover and bake 20 minutes more or until surface loses wet appearance. Makes 8-10 servings; Recipe form MidwestLiving.com
TWO-WAY STREET BEETS
1 bunch small beets; juice of 1/2 orange; 1/2 tablespoon butter, softened; pepper; 1/2 teaspoon peanut oil; 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil; 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil; 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Cut beets off stems. Gently scrub beets: Wash the greens. Cut stems into 3-inch pieces and coarsely chop the greens; set aside stems and greens in separate piles. Steam beets until tender, 20-30 minutes. Cool briefly, slip off skins, and cut into wedges. Toss with orange juice, butter, and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat heavy skillet over medium flame. Add oils. Add stems; sauté 2-3 minutes. Add greens; cook, tossing often, until limp. Toss in soy sauce and pepper to taste. Arrange beets over greens on platter. Makes 3 servings; Recipe from MACSAC
1/2 pound beets, cooked; 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger; 1/2 tsp grated orange rind or 1/4 tsp ground ginger; 1/3 cup orange juice; Salt and freshly ground pepper; 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice to taste; 1/2 tbsp cornstarch; 1/2 tbsp butter or margarine; 1 tsp sugar; Grated orange rind for garnish
Cut cooked beets in julienne strips; set aside. In small bowl mix orange rind and juice, lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar, ginger, salt, and pepper to taste. Melt butter or margarine in saucepan; add orange juice mixture. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils; reduce heat. Add beets and return to boil again. Remove and serve with sprinkling of grated orange rind for an extra touch. Serves 2
WARM GOLDEN BEET SALAD WITH GREENS AND ALMONDS 1 bunch beets, both tops and roots, olive oil, Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled, 2/3 cup toasted almond slivers.
Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan or cake tin with a big square of foil, large enough to complete enclose the beet roots. Lightly rinse the beet roots to remove any really clumpy dirt and pat them dry. Place them in the foil square and lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil and crease to seal. Bake the beets for 60 minutes or until they can be just pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, chop the beet greens into bite-size ribbons. Discard the stalks between the roots and where the leaves start, but chop the leaf ribs along with the leaves. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of dirt and grit. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook on low for about 5 minutes or until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Add the chopped leaves and stir to coat with the garlic. Cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes or until the leaves are soft and tender. Remove from the heat. When the beets are cool, rub them with a paper towel to remove the skin. Then chop into bite sized pieces and toss with the cooked greens, goat cheese, and almonds. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold. (This also makes an excellent pressed sandwich filling, especially with some extra goat cheese.)
MICAH’S YUMMY CHARD PIE
1 Tbsp olive oil; 3/4 cup chopped onions; a few chopped garlic scapes; 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped; 3-4 eggs; 1 cup milk or half and half; 1/2 tsp salt; 8 -inch pie shell; 1 cup grated cheddar or swiss cheese; chopped ham; cooked bacon; diced tomatoes, chopped basil, blanched peas, or green beans (optional); 1 tsp dill
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in large skillet over medium flame. Add the onion and scapes; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add chopped greens and cook, stirring often, until they wilt. Turn off heat. Beat eggs, milk, and salt in a bowl. Spread chard mixture in bottom of pie shell. Add cheese. Pour egg mixture over top. Add optional ingredients, if desired. Sprinkle with dill. Bake at 400 degrees until the pie are no longer jiggly in the center, 30 -40 minutes. Makes 8 slices
SWISS CHARD OMELET WITH MIDDLE EASTERN SAVOR
For each omelet: 1-2 teaspoons olive oil; 3 eggs, beaten; 1/2 cup chopped, cooked chard leaves and/or stems, warm or at room temperature; 1 tablespoon currants; 1 tablespoon finely chopped kalamata olives; I tablespoon toasted pine nuts; lemon juice; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; herb sprig (rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.)
Heat olive oil in small nonstick skillet over high flame. Add beaten eggs-they will immediately begin to set on bottom of pan. With a spatula or nonstick egg lifter, pull the cooked egg from outer edges of pan toward center. The uncooked egg will spread and cook. Use spatula to help spread the liquid egg off top of cooked egg and onto exposed sections of pan bottom. Continue to do this until nearly all the liquid egg is set. Reduce heat to very low. The egg will continue to cook as you layer the following across the omelet: chard, currants, olives, and pine nuts. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, hold a plate close to the edge of skillet and, shaking skillet slightly, slip omelet onto the plate, either rolling it into a cigar shape or folding it over into a half-moon. Serve immediately. (Or, since this entire process takes only 2-3 minutes, you can keep the omelet warm in the oven while you make more of them.) Garnish with an herb sprig. Makes 1 serving. *This is best if the chard has been cooked with garlic and onions.
Recipe from MACSAC
1 bunch Swiss chard, cleaned; 1 tablespoon peanut oil; 1 tablespoon minced garlic scapes; 1 tablespoon soy sauce; freshly ground black pepper
Cut off and discard thick stem ends of chard. Cut out ribs; chop ribs into 2-inch pieces; set aside in a pile. Stack the leaves in small piles; coarsely chop them. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high flame. Add ribs; toss and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Add leaves and garlic; continue to cook, tossing often, until chard begins to wilt, 2-3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce; cook until chard is tender, 1-3 minutes longer. Add pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Recipe from MACSAC
LEAF LETTUCE AND MANDARIN SALAD
1 bunch leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces; 2 cups thinly sliced celery; 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley; 4 green onions, thinly sliced, including some greens; 2 11-ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained;
Dressing: 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar; 1/4 cup vegetable oil; 1/2 teaspoon salt; freshly ground pepper to taste; 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce
Garnish: 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Combine lettuce, celery, parsley. Green onions and mandarin oranges in salad bowl. Combine dressing ingredients, mixing well. Toss salad with dressing just before serving. Sprinkle almonds over top. Serves 8 to 10
Layered salad is pretty self-explanatory; the idea of layering whatever veggies over greens and topping with cheese or even julienne strips of meat garnish with olives or hard boiled eggs. So be creative and if you’re also entertaining start with a glass bowl. Start with your greens then layer with shelled raw peas, zucchini, and celery if it’s on hand, and green onions. Add a layer of Swiss cheese or meat julienne or finely chopped. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of sugar. Mix together 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1 T. of horseradish if desired until well blended. Spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Romano cheese. Cover and chill overnight. Serve with the following Vinaigrette dressing if desired. 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil 3 T wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt. Pepper to taste (freshly ground is always a nice touch), and 1/2 tsp. of dry mustard. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well. Serve over layered salad. Garnish with black olives and sieved hard-boiled eggs. You may always substitute yogurt for some of the mayo or sour cream if you’re watching your fat intake.
SALAD GREENS WITH JOHN’S OIL AND VINEGAR DRESSING
1 cup red wine vinegar; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 cup olive or canola oil; 1 pinch salt; 1 tablespoon horseradish mustard; 1 pinch pepper; 5 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste); salad greens
Mix all ingredients (except greens). Toss with greens. This recipe was inspired by Rob Summerbell.
Makes about 3 cups dressing. Recipe from Zephyr Community Farm
Makes about 3 servings
3 c mixture of three kinds of lettuce, such as red leaf, romaine and Boston, washed and torn into bite-size pieces;
1/2 c cashews
For dressing: 1/4 small red onion, grated; 1/8 c vinegar; 1/4 c sugar; pinch of ground black pepper; 1/2 tsp celery seed; 1 tsp prepared mustard; 3/8 c olive oil;
Toss lettuce with cashews. Place onion, vinegar, sugar, pepper, celery seed, mustard and oil in jar with tight lid. Shake vigorously to emulsify, or blend in blender. When ready to serve, toss salad with half the dressing, then add more, to taste, or serve dressing on side.
FRESH PEA POD, BROCCOLI, AND RICE SALAD
1 package (6 ounces) long-grain and wild rice mix; 1 tablespoon lemon juice; 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli; 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper; 1/3 cup sliced red or green onions; 1-1 1/2 cups edible pea pods; 1/4 cup bottled clear Italian salad dressing; 1/3 cup slivered almonds
Prepare rice mix according to package directions. Cool slightly. Steam broccoli until crunchy-tender. (For a variation, substitute uncooked sweet peppers for the broccoli) Toss with remaining ingredients and refrigerate 2-24 hours.
Makes 4 servings
SUGAR SNAP PEAS AND RED GRAPES
3/4 lb. sugar snap peas, strings and stems removed; 1 tbsp. unsalted butter; 1 shallot, finely chopped; 1/4 tsp. salt; freshly ground black pepper; l-2 cup seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise; 1 tbsp. dry white wine
Blanch the peas in boiling water for two minutes. Drain the peas, and then refresh them under cold running water until cool. Drain them again and set them aside. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Cook the shallot until soft – about two minutes. Add the peas, salt and pepper, and cook until the peas are heated through – two to three minutes. Add the grapes and wine, and cook until the wine has evaporated – about one minute. Serve immediately.
*Snow peas work equally well in this recipe. Blanch them for 30 seconds only. Serves 4
CHILLED SUGAR SNAP PEA SOUP WITH FRESH MINT
1 large Vidalia onion, minced; 1 tablespoon butter; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock; 1 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves, plus small sprigs for garnish; salt and cracked pepper to taste; Crème fraiche, clotted cream, or sour cream for serving; Minced radishes for garnish
In a heavy stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onion in the butter and oil until translucent. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Drop in the sugar snap peas and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Puree the soup and stir in the cream, mint, and salt and pepper. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche in the center of the bowl. Garnish with minced radish and mint sprigs. Recipe from The Café Pongo Cookbook
SESAME GARLIC SNAP PEA SALAD
1 lb. fresh sugar snap peas, 6 Tbs. toasted sesame oil, 2 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar, 1 tsp. Aleppo chili flakes, 1 clove of garlic, mashed, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. sesame seeds
Put the snap peas in a medium bowl or a gallon size zip-top bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili flakes, garlic, and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if you’d like it a little saltier, etc. Pour dressing over the snap peas and toss to coat well. Sprinkle on sesame seeds and toss again to distribute them. Keeps well in the fridge for a day. Serves about 4 as a side salad. Recipe from The Hungry Mouse website