- Returning share boxes is an important part of our CSA model; please make every effort to remember your box.
- There are quite a few new veggies this week; please read the produce tips for helpful suggestions.
- Distribution for Thursday Week 7 falls on the 4th of July so your pick up will be on Wednesday July 3rd instead.
- A thoughtful CSA member reminded me that Swiss chard can wilt quickly in the heat when there is a lag time from pick up to refrigerator. Refreshing it in an ice cold water bath or cutting off the ends and placing it in a cup of water both work great. You can also use that method for the beet and kohlrabi greens or kale.
- Last call for fruit shares and payments. We will be contacting our growers with numbers soon. We will not begin a fruit share without payment.
- Heavy rains make cleaning produce difficult; please excuse our grit!
- We are hosting a farm dinner with Bistro Europa Sunday June 30th see http://europabuffalo.com/ for details.
Farm News from Jane
Rain, reigns so far this month! But we were fortunate to complete our harvesting before the heavy rains this afternoon. And we didn’t even have any bugs to contend with in the strawberry patch either! Not like those black flies while harvesting rhubarb. Speaking of rhubarb I’ve included one more recipe for anyone that still has rhubarb lingering around. I made a rhubarb crisp from the Betty Crocker cookbook the other day and it was quite a treat as I haven’t been doing much baking the last few months. Our rhubarb harvest is all done for this season and we are taking a break from asparagus for now. We may have one more week coming. This week we have almost an entirely different share; lots of new veggies and even a fruit. We do prefer to wash all our produce to chill it as well as clean it but rainy conditions are a challenge to remove all the sand so “pardon our grit” this week. It sure is a much different season than last year. We have now “caught up” with the deficit in rainfall that we carried over from last year. Mother Nature has a way of balancing the scales whether we enjoy it or not. This is when we are grateful that we are on sandy soil. The precipitation percolates down relatively quickly even when there is “standing” water in a field. The hot/cold conditions have made for interesting growing patterns. Vegetables like the beets and kohlrabi have fared fairly well but we were a bit disappointed at the yield on this week’s sugar snap peas. Our dog Zoe sat by my side this morning giving me those big brown eyes. However once you give her a pea she just keeps at your elbow for more! And Milton our black Lab/Beagle mix puppy was going to just help himself to my basket; I don’t think so… How do they know that they are so darn cute?
We have included the beet greens with the beets this week; they are very nutritious and delicious when wilted or even fresh in a salad. Sometimes the growing conditions do not lend the greens to be very attractive for use so we “top” them.
It is also quicker and easier to top them and put them through the vegetable washer. But this week’s greens are a “go” for you. If you are unfamiliar with kohlrabi it is a cruciferous vegetable from the cabbage family; power packed with antioxidants. Some people have referred to them as the alien vegetable because when they have their greens attached they look like something from outer space. The flea beetles took too many bites from their leaves so they were not included this week. In the fall when the flea beetles are gone their tasty greens will be included. If you are not much of a greens eater you may try adding them to a soup or mixing them with your other salad greens. The diversity of the salad greens will disguise them and mellow their heartiness. Andrew and Leslie’s son Levi has become our official bug patrol person.
He scouts the tomato and potato blocks looking for Colorado potato beetles. He is rewarded financially for each one and his visual acuity has become quite refined in the process. His dad received a penny per bug years ago. I guess inflation hits hard everywhere! He’s quite the entrepreneur though; “have goal, will succeed” must be his motto. At age five he drives a hard bargain. Well there should be lots of fun cooking and eating this week. Enjoy your bounty, Jane
Produce this week
- Chioggia Beets
- Strawberries Kohlrabi
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Garlic Scapes
- Green Onions
- Head Lettuce
- Strawberries should be washed just prior to eating; they will keep better unwashed.
- Beet greens are healthy and tasty; soak in water to clean and then take them wet and heat them in a fry pan until wilted.
- Kohlrabi should be peeled before using raw or cooked. Try shredding it for a slaw or slice and serve with a dip.
- Garlic scapes are the stalks which grow the seed pod; use them as you would green garlic or green onions or save them in a plastic bag in fridge until you have enough to make a pesto. Recipe next week.
- Sugar snap peas are edible pod peas; snap off the stem end and peel the string down before eating. Fresh is best!
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO
8 oz. scapes cut in 1 in. pieces and processed with 1 cup olive oil, 2 cups Parmesan cheese and ½ cup Lemon juice.
3 medium kohlrabi, trimmed of stalks and leaves; 2 T unsalted butter; 1/4 cup parmesan cheese; salt and pepper, to taste; 1 T minced parsley
Peel kohlrabi 1/8 in deep. Shred with grater or food processor. Cook kohlrabi in butter over medium heat, stirring often, until tender, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese, salt and pepper. Toss and cook just until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately. 4 servings.
SUGAR SNAP PEAS WITH MUSHROOMS
2 tablespoon oil; 6 mushrooms, sliced; 1/2 pound fresh sugar snap peas, cut into half crosswise; 2 teaspoons soy sauce; 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed
Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and stir fry until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 3 minutes. Increase heat, add peas and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce. Cover and cook 1 minute longer. Sprinkle with sesame seed and serve. 4 servings
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.
STRAWBERRY-CREAM CHEESE PIE
1 c sugar; 3 Tbsp cornstarch; 2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled, divided; 3 Tbsp strawberry gelatin; 4 oz cream cheese, softened; 1 (9-inch) baked pie shell; Whipped cream
Mix sugar and cornstarch; set aside. Crush 1 pt strawberries, and add enough water to make 1 1/2 c. Place in saucepan, and bring to boil. Stir in sugar mixture. Stir constantly until thick and clear. Remove from heat. Add gelatin; stir until dissolved. Set aside. Mix cream cheese and 1 Tbsp hot cooked strawberries; spread mixture over baked pastry shell. Stand remaining uncooked strawberries, pointed end up, on cream cheese. Pour hot mixture over. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Top with whipped cream. Makes 8 servings Recipe from Farm-Fresh Recipes.
STRAWBERRY CREAM DREAM
8 strawberries; 1/2 cup light cream, half-and-half or vanilla ice cream; Splash maple syrup; 5-6 ice cubes
Blend at low speed for 20 seconds, then at high speed for 10 seconds.
MARKET RAGOUT OF KOHLRABI AND PEAS
*substitute sliced sugar snaps peas for shelled peas
1 tbsp butter; 6 spring onions, halved; 1 large kohlrabi, peeled and chunked; 1 marjoram or thyme sprig; sea salt and freshly ground pepper; 1 pound pod peas, shelled; a few handfuls baby spinach; dollop crème fraiche; 4 large basil leaves, slivered
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions, kohlrabi, and marjoram or thyme. Add water to cover halfway and a teaspoon of salt. Simmer while you shuck the peas. As soon as the vegetables are tender, after 12 to 15 minutes, add the peas and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted down, a few minutes more. Stir in the crème fraiche and add the basil. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve this as a side dish or a course by itself. With a starch (puff pastry, ravioli, even buttered toast), it can be offered as a vegetarian main dish. SERVES 2
2 cups finely diced fresh rhubarb, ½ cup sweet red pepper, chopped,½ cup sweet yellow pepper, chopped, ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, 3 green onions, tops only, chopped, 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped, 2 T fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste, salt and ground black pepper to taste Blanch rhubarb in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove rhubarb promptly from heat, dump into a strainer, and rinse under cold water until rhubarb is lukewarm or cool. Place rhubarb in a glass bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving to allow flavors to develop.