- Winter share members from Park School, Depew and East Amherst remember that your distribution day returns to Tuesday for the summer season.
- Members who “split” a share may consider alternating shares the next few weeks as amounts will be small.
- Please read weekly newsletters to get updates on shares and farm news.
- Remember that all share boxes are to be returned.
- Don’t panic if you miss your distribution; look at the “distribution” section of the newsletter from May 8th for details of whom to contact.
- This information is also archived @ http://promisedlandcsa.com/news/ for reference.
- Please email us if there is another address you would like to add to our summer contact list.
Farm News from Jane
And so it begins, a bit later and lighter than we would have hoped for but I guess that is the challenge of “seasonal” growing and eating! Night time temperatures in the low thirties have caused slow growth and even light frosts. We have been diligently using irrigation for frost control those chilly nights. Hopefully this week will stay warm and the lettuces, kohlrabi, kale and Swiss chard will grow a little faster! These are the veggies that will be next to harvest. We are extremely dry for so early in the season. We have been irrigating daily, rotating the reels and pipeline around the various vegetable plantings. We usually expect April and May to be rainier months but this year we have had only a half inch of rain in the past six weeks. Some things like strawberries need an inch of water per week for best yields. I was reminded yesterday that when the strawberries were ripe for picking last year heavy rains came then; perhaps when strawberries are ripe the weather pattern will change! The blueberries and strawberries are currently in blossom; what a pretty sight. Not to forget to mention those ever present dandelions blossoms! For those of you who have never visited the farm we alternate our vegetable plantings which we call “blocks” with cover crop blocks. The colors and patterns are beautiful as you gaze down the fields. Most of the first vegetables transplants are out in the field and the greenhouses look a bit empty temporarily. We are just beginning to seed winter squash and fall crucifers (Cole crops) and so the greenhouses will fill up quickly again. Enjoying our CSA share should give a good understanding of local cultivation and perhaps even a glimpse into climate change. We seem to be experiencing more extremes of temperatures and precipitation the last few years. Weather may be a bit more important to you as well as it relates to growing conditions. Right now we could really use a few rainy days if not a week of rain to help things grow. So hopefully when we do have a rainy day you’ll think of your happy vegetables and not be sad… Prayers for rain would be appreciated; enjoy your “first fruits”! Jane, Daniel & Ben
Produce: Rhubarb Asparagus Green Garlic Cooking onions
– Please refer to this section for the appropriate storage and prep for your produce. Not all things need refrigeration but others may need prompt “bagging” and refrigerating to prevent wilting.
– A good vegetable brush will come in handy for the season. They carry a nice small one at the Dollar Tree store. It will come in handy on your asparagus if you find a few small black dots which are asparagus beetle eggs.
– ASPARAGUS: tenderness is not determined by the diameter of the stalk but by the growing conditions. The slower the rate of growth the more fibrous it will be. So as the weather warms and the asparagus grows faster you will find it more tender. I generally use a knife to “trim” the cut end before cooking. If it feels hard rather than firm I cut it again about in inch up the stalk. Some people may have been shown to bend it to break it off; I think that’s quite unnecessary and a bit wasteful.
-RHUBARB: Rhubarb is generally more tender the thinner the stalk but as it is generally cooked before use it doesn’t really matter! The color is not an indicator of sweetness Red stalks are more “eye appealing” but does not indicate flavor or sweetness. Most of the rhubarb is a variety called Victoria and tends to be greener with red speckle or a red hue towards the bottom of the stalk. Last week we planted a new bed of another variety called Crimson Red and like its name it is redder in color. The planting however will take three years to establish; we hope that you will be enjoying it with us in 2019!
– GREEN GARLIC may be grilled/ roasted whole (coat with oil first) and served as a topping on steaks or chops. Or slice and sauté the tender shoots discarding dark green leaves) and cooked with the asparagus. Feel free to substitute it for green onions or chives in salads or egg dishes.
– The cooking onions are the last of the winter storage; Keep in a dark, cool place and use promptly as they will sprout quickly (they know it’s spring and they want to live again another season)!
1 T. olive oil or 1/2 T. oil and 1/2 T. butter 1 pound asparagus spears salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil and/or butter over medium-high heat until melted. Roll asparagus in oil until they are well coated. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until asparagus is bright green and still crisp. Uncover and increase heat to high; season with salt and pepper if desired. Cook until spears are tender and well browned along one side, using tongs to move spears from center to outside of pan to ensure all are browned and evenly done. The same may be accomplished in the oven at 450 or on the grill in foil or a foil pan. This is when you recycle your Chinese take-out pans! You may also cook them directly on the grill provided they are well-coated in olive oil first. Watch carefully.
1 10-inch unbaked pie crust, refrigerated 1 hour; Freshly ground pepper to taste or more; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard 12 to 14 asparagus spears, cooked; 1 1/2 cups firmly packed grated Swiss cheese; 2 tablespoons butter; 4 eggs 1 1/2 cups quartered, sliced onions; 2 cups half and-half; 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed; Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400°F. Cut 3 inches from tips of cooked asparagus and set tips aside. Coarsely chop remainder to equal about 1 cup. Melt butter or margarine in skillet; add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add chopped asparagus and continue to sauté, stirring for 10 minutes. Add basil, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Spread mustard on bottom of crust. Bake pie shell 10 minutes. Remove from oven; add onion-asparagus mixture. Sprinkle cheese over top. Combine eggs, half-and-half, cornstarch, remaining. 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a bowl; beat until well blended. Pour into pie shell and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and arrange asparagus tips on top of custard, in circular spoke fashion. Bake 20 minutes more until puffed, browned, and set in center. Coo] for 10 minutes before cutting into serving wedges. Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer
1-2 lbs. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces; 3 Tbsp. butter; 2 green onions or garlic, chopped; 12 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped; 1/4 cup flour; 1 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper; 2 1/2 cups milk; 8 oz. lasagna noodles, cooked; 2 cups cottage cheese; 2 cups shredded jack cheese (or more); 1/2 -1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or more); Black pepper to taste (optional)
Cook asparagus and drain; let cool. Preheat oven to 3250 F. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add onions and mushrooms and cook over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Blend in flour, salt, and cayenne pepper. Gradually stir in milk. Cook sauce until thickened for additional 5 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Layer noodles (season with pepper for more spicy flavor), asparagus, cottage cheese, jack cheese, a third of the remaining sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat to make three layers. Bake for 45 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes before cutting to serve. Serves 12
RISOTTO WITH RHUBARB AND ASPARAGUS
Ingredients for 4 persons: 9 ounces of risotto rice (Arborio type), 6 stalks of fresh rhubarb, cut in pieces, and skin removed, 10 stalks of asparagus, 5 scallions (or green garlic), 2 tsp pink pepper
1 glass dry white wine (use the rest to drink when serving the risotto), 8 ounces of cream, vegetarian bouillon, (follow recipe on the box), 1 T butter.
Steam the asparagus or blanch them for 1 minute. Sauté at medium heat the chopped scallions and the butter. When the scallions are wilted, add the rice and stir it gently so that the butter coats the rice. Add the wine, and let the alcohol evaporate. Finish cooking the rice as directed by substituting the vegetarian broth for water as needed.
SPRING VEGETABLE SOUP
2 T unsalted butter, 6 scallions (green onions) or green garlic , 4 C chicken broth, 1# small red potatoes, 1# asparagus cut into ¼ in slices on a bias, 1bunch of spinach or Swiss chard stem removed and torn, 2 C fresh or frozen peas, salt and pepper, 2 T fresh dill or cilantro. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add green onions or garlic whites and cook until softened about 4 minutes. Add broth, 4 C water, and potatoes to pot. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add asparagus and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in chard or spinach and peas and cook until wilted and peas are heated through, about 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper, stir in dill or cilantro and scallion greens before ladling into bowls. Recipe form Sarah Carey editor in chief of Everyday Food
¾ cup honey, ½ cup oil, 1 egg, 1cup buttermilk, yogurt, or sour milk, 1 T. soda, 2 1/2cups whole wheat flour, 1 t. salt 1-2cups or rhubarb, diced, ½ T vanilla, 1/2cup chopped nuts. Topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1t.cinnamon, 1 1/2T butter
Preheat oven to 325degrees. Mix honey and oil, add egg and beat well. Dissolve soda in buttermilk, and then set aside. Mix salt and flour and add to honey oil mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in rhubarb, vanilla, and nuts. Pour into a 9×5 greased bread pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake @ 325 for 1 hour. * If you are using white flour decrease soda to 1 t.
1 ½ cup sugar; ½ cup butter; 1 tsp vanilla; ½ tsp salt; 1 egg; 2 cups flour; 1 cup sour milk; 1 tsp baking soda; 2 cups rhubarb, chopped; ½ cup sugar; 1 tsp cinnamon
Cream sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Add egg; blend well. Add flour alternately with sour milk and soda. Blend in rhubarb. Pour into a 9×13 pan and sprinkle with ½ cup sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
2 cups rhubarb, chopped; 1/4 c. sugar; 2 T. water; 2 teaspoons cornstarch or clear jell (opt.)
Place chopped rhubarb in a saucepan and stir in water. Stir sugar and cornstarch together then stir into rhubarb. Cook over medium heat approximately 5 minutes or until tender. Refrigerate covered. It may be served warm or cold as a condiment for meat or as a topping for yogurt, cheesecake or ice cream. (I like it on a freshly baked scone or biscuit)!
RHUBARB SALSA 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. This is to stop the blanching process. Place rhubarb in a glass bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving to allow flavors to develop.
LENTIL AND RHUBARB STEW WITH INDIAN SPICES
3 or 4 stalks rhubarb, strings removed, chopped; 1 cup orange lentils, well washed; 2-3 T minced ginger; 1 T minced garlic; 4 cardamom pods; 1T mustard seeds; 2 cloves; 1 tsp cracked black pepper; 1 dried ancho or other mild chili, optional; salt; chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Combine all ingredients except salt and cilantro in a saucepan and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Cook at a steady simmer until lentils and rhubarb are quite soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove cloves and, if you like, cardamom pods. Add salt, then taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve. Yield 4 servings Time 40 minutesMark Bittman
Source: The New York Times