FarmShare August 9, 2017

Herbal Iced Teas
A great way to use a lot of the herbs in the picking garden is to use them in infusions or tisanes— herbal teas. In the heat of summer, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold, flavorful, refreshing glass of iced tea.
It’s a simple technique: you get a handful of stems of your desired herbs (harvest 5-10 stems with 4-10 leaves apiece, depending on the size of the herb), put them in your jar, add the sweetener of your choice (¼-½ cup of sugar or honey for ½ gallon container), and pour boiling water over the top. Let it steep for five minutes or so— some herbs, like tea, get bitter if they sit too long, and some don’t— and then either fish the herbs out with a spoon, or pour the whole thing through a mesh strainer into another container of the same size. (This method cools it down faster, too; brew it in a jar, then pour it over ice into a pitcher to serve promptly. Also good if your favorite pitcher is too delicate for boiling water.)
Some recipes can be unsweetened, but some really don’t taste right without at least a little sweetener of some kind.
Tip: Trim long stems, but leave leaves and stems together so you don’t have to strain the tea afterward.

A simpler alternative: Cold infusions. Some herbs, you can just put into a pitcher of cold water and leave in your fridge for several days, and you’ll enjoy a much subtler flavor. This is a good
way to avoid using sugar or sweeteners.

A FINAL NOTE: Some of these herbs have medicinal properties. For the most part, an occasional drink with them as an ingredient won’t harm you, and some herbs have positive medical uses— like thyme, which can ease congestion— but if you have a specific situation, it’s wise to look it up first. For example, mint and fennel both tend to suppress milk production,
so nursing mothers should avoid them.
— Bridget, Annie’s sister

Two Herbal Teas We Like
1. Mint Sage Tea. Sage in tea?
Sounds weird but is very good with lots of mint. Great with a bit of honey.
2. Lemon Basil Lemon Balm Lemonade. To make this, you first make lemon basil and
lemon balm tea with some sweetener, then add the lemon juice once it’s cool. Lemongrass would work as well.


"Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer's queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam
with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth
appear."
- R. Combe Miller

Tomato Galette with Parmesan Whole Wheat Crust
Crust: 1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
3/4 tsp salt
8 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ice water, more as needed


Filling: 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
salt (for the tomatoes)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 large egg, well beaten with 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish


1.Combine flours, cornmeal, parmesan and salt. Add butter and toss to coat, then freeze 30 minutes.
2. Add mixture to food processor and give 4 or 5 long pulses until butter is cut into small bits. Drizzle in the water and pulse until it looks moistened. If dough seems too try add a little more water. Press dough into a disc and chill for half an hour.
3.Spread tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with a towel. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Let stand while dough chills. Blot dry before assembling galette. Heat oven to 425.
4.Roll dough into a 15 inch circle, transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle parmesan in a 11 inch circle on the dough. Arrange 2/3 of the tomatoes cut side up over cheese. Sprinkle with thyme. Fold
edges over tomatoes, pleating as necessary. Brush crust with egg.
5.Bake 30 minutes. Scatter reserved tomatoes over top and sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm or at room temp.
recipe from simplyrecipes.com

Vegetables
Summer Squash/Zucchini
Cucumbers
Sweet or Red Onions
Tomatoes
Bok Choi
Tokyo Bekana
Mountain Rose Potatoes
Carrots, Eggplant or Peppers
Sun Jewel Melon or Tomatoes


Herbs
Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Flowers
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies, Cleome, Zinnia

Important Dates
August 16: Fresh chicken pickup

FarmShare August 2, 2017

Busy week
We are all a little distracted this week, because Stephanie, our illustrious Assistant Livestock Manager, is getting married this weekend. We have been talking wedding plans for weeks, and are finally starting to work towards making the wedding happen. We have already started on harvesting the flowers to make the special day even more special. Even our littlest farmer gets to participate - Stephanie asked Willa to be her flower girl! So, please excuse our distraction and excitement.


Flower Bouquet tips
If you have been harvesting bouquets, and have not been happy with the vase life of your flowers, try these tips:
- Make sure to remove any leaves on the stem that will be below the water line in the vase.
- Get your flowers into cool water as quickly as possible, giving the stems a fresh cut just before you put them in.
- Change the water daily. You can try adding a teaspoon of vodka to the water to discourage microbial life.
-Try storing the arrangement in the fridge overnight; I find the flowers easily keep a week if they have been well-chilled, but keep more like 4 days without chilling.
-Annie

Sauteed Carrots
4 cups sliced carrots (about 1 1/2 lbs)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
Scrub the carrots and cut them diagonally in 1/4-inch slices. Place the carrots, 1/4 cup water, the salt, and pepper in a large (10- to 12-inch) saute pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are just cooked through. Add the butter and saute for another minute, until the water evaporates and the carrots are coated with butter. Off the heat, toss with the dill or parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
-recipe from Ina Garten

Asian greens with garlic sauce
1 1/2 lb small bok choi
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Trim ends from bok choi. Blanch until just tender, 1 minute. Drain and set aside on a plate. Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute until lightly browned. Add soy sauce and 1 tbsp water. Pour overgreens.
recipe from Saveur

Vegetables
Lettuce
Summer Squash/Zucchini
Cucumbers or Eggplant
Sweet Onions
Tomato
Corn
Bok Choi
Carrots


Herbs
Mints, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Flowers
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies, Cleome, Zinnia


Important Dates
August 16: Fresh chicken pickup

FarmShare July 29, 2017

All About Artichokes
The artichoke is a perennial plant in the thistle family native to the Mediterranean which was cultivated for its edible flower buds. Artichokes need mild winters (no colder than 20 degrees),
and mild summers (no hotter than 90). It usually sends up flower buds the second year. This confines most U.S. production to the central coast of California. However, there are some varieties that have been bred for annual production (flowering the first year) that can succeed in the northeast. Plant breeders select for a short vernalization (winter-chilling) requirement of about one week of night time temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees. This means that we can trick the plants into behaving as if they are entering their second year of growth, and thus flowering the year of planting. By timing things just right the plants will be exposed to the correct number of chilling hours and will produce flower buds this year. I use tree pots to accommodate the long taproot, plant them with mulch to keep the soil cool and moist and fertilize liberally. From an early May transplanting we see our first artichokes the beginning of July. The plants do seem stressed by the heat and humidity this week so I am giving them seaweed and fish emulsion sprays with the goal of getting them through the summer weather and into fall.
I am planning to increase the number of artichoke plants next year since everyone seems to enjoy them. Feel free to come out to the garden and see what the plants look like. They’re right near our hoop houses next to some tall sunflowers.

How to prep artichokes for cooking
If you are planning on cutting the buds into halves or quarters, have a bowl of water with a few tablespoons lemon juice at hand. First, cut off the top third of the artichoke. Then, if there are
thorns on the petals, slice those off. If you are going to steam them whole, slice off the stem so it will sit upright. You are now ready to steam them.
To quarter artichokes, you can leave the stem on. Take off a few layers of the outer petals since they are tough and inedible. Cut in half or quarters, then, use a spoon to scoop out any hairs if there are any. Drop into the acidulated water until ready to use.
-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager


My favorite zucchini bread
3 to 4 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9” by 5” loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs slightly, then add sugar, vanilla, butter and zucchini. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently with a rubber scraper. Once it’s almost mixed, add the nuts and dried fruit or chocolate and fold together. Divide batter into the two pans and spread it out so it’s evenly distributed. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn out to a wire rack to finish cooling.
recipe adapted from simplyrecipes.com

Japanese Pickles
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
1 mild sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 red or green fresh chile, seeded and finely sliced
Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat just enough to dissolve sugar. Let cool to room temperature. Combine vegetables with the vinegar and toss gently. It will seem dry but the cucumbers will create more brine. Cover and refrigerate at least 30
minutes before serving. These will keep up to 6 weeks.
recipe from Serving Up The Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Vegetables
Lettuce
Summer Squash/Zucchini
Cucumbers
Eggplant, Beans or Artichokes
Sweet Onions
Tomato
Corn or Carrots
Kale


Herbs of note
Mints, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram,
Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Cut Flowers
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies, Cleome, Zinnia


Important Dates
August 1: Fresh chicken pickup

FarmShare July 22, 2017

First cherry tomatoes
Two new items in this week’s share are sweet onions and savoy cabbage. The sweet onions we grow are Ailsa Craig, which is a white Spanish onion that was developed in Scotland. Sweet
onions aren’t exactly sweet but they are mild and are great in sandwiches and salads. I don’t recommend cooking them, since they are so mild. Store them in your refrigerator since they have not been cured and won’t last too long at room temperature. We’re still offering a selection of cabbage this week, with savoy cabbage added to the mix. If you’ve never used it, savoy cabbage is great in soup or stew because the leaves add a pleasing texture
and flavor. Not as tender as smooth cabbage, so it’s best cooked.


Cherry tomatoes
The first ripe cherry tomatoes are here! This year we have three kinds of cherry tomatoes. Our red variety is Peacevine, which is an open pollinated version of Super Sweet 100, the red cherry
tomato we have grown in the past. The orange variety is Sungold, a very sweet flavor that we never tire of. We also have a few sun-drying tomatoes in the picking garden. They look like
elongated cherry tomatoes with a point on the end. They are excellent for drying, because, like a paste tomato, they have a low water content.


Garlic harvesting
We’ve started pulling our garlic this week, which you’ll see in the farm stand. We will be bunching the garlic and hanging it to cure. If you have a few minutes, help us out and tie up a bunch or two!
-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

Simple Summer Squash Pasta
4 zucchini or summer squash, about 8” long, cut into coins or 1” wedges
1 onion, sliced
a few garlic cloves, sliced
8 oz penne or similar shape pasta
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
4 basil leaf clusters, chiffonade
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil
salt & pepper
In a large ovenproof pan, cook onion in about a tablespoon of oil. Cook until soft and starting to brown. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, toss squash on a baking sheet with a few tbsp of oil, salt and pepper. Broil until well browned and fully cooked, tossing
them around a few times. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the onions along with
the squash, garlic and basil. Season with salt, pepper. Mix together, then top with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted and the cherry tomatoes are
bursting. Serve warm or chilled.
How to chiffonade basil:
Pluck leaves from the stems and stack about 5 leaves. Roll them up using the long side. Hold the basil cigar down with one hand and make thin slices with a very sharp knife.
- recipe I made a few days ago on a whim

Easy Refrigerator Pickles
These pickles are best after chilling for a day.
8-10 pickling cucumbers or 4-5 slicers
1/2 cup white vinegar
3-4 dill flower heads
1/4 cup sliced onion
3 tsp salt
Slice the ends off the cucumbers, and slice them thinly. I like using a mandolin but a food processor or your knife would work. Pack the cucumbers, dill and onion in a big jar and pour
vinegar and salt in. It will seem like there’s not enough liquid, but the cucumbers will release
enough. Shake it up to mix and keep at room temperature for a few hours. Slosh around a few times. Then store in the refrigerator, mixing every so often.
recipe from smittenkitchen.com

Vegetables
Lettuce
Summer Squash/Zucchini
Cucumbers
Green Beans or Artichokes
Cabbage- Napa or Savoy
Sweet Onions
Kale


Herbs of note
Mints, Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Cut Flowers
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies, Cleome, Zinnia


Important Dates
August 1: Fresh chicken pickup

FarmShare July 8 2017

Transitioning to summer
It’s early July, which means we are in the midst of moving from our cool-weather early crops to the heat-loving midseason crops. It can be a tricky time, so thankfully cabbage is here to fill the gap!
We are also clearing out some beds to make room for fall crops. That’s why we’ve got a little of this and a little of that in today’s share.
This week is our first U-Pick! We have snap and snow peas in the main garden that you can pick. For most crops like peas and beans, there aren’t any limits on how much you can pick.
More flowers, herbs ready - It’s worth mentioning that there are many more flowers ready for
picking this week. Shasta daisies, amaranth, black-eyed Susans and sunflowers are all ready to pick. Peony Poppies are also ready. There’s a trick I came across to make poppies last
longer once cut- burn the end of the stem with a lighter until it turns black. Poppies exude a milky sap when cut and searing the end keeps it from escaping. Using this method, unopened buds can be cut and are supposed to open later.
Basil is just big enough so that we can start picking it lightly. There’s a proper way to pick basil so that it makes more shoots and leaves instead of flowering. Just pick the topmost cluster of
leaves from the plant instead of individual leaves. That way the plants become bushier and last longer.
-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

Lemon Tahini Dressing
A creamy, dairy-free dressing good on just about anything!
1/3 cup well stirred tahini
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves or scapes,
chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
epicurious.com

Easy Pickled Carrots
Makes one pint jar
1 pound carrots, peeled
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves or scapes, lightly crushed or chopped
optional: 1 1/2 tsp fennel or dill seeds (can use dill flower heads)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 bay leaf
Cut carrots into sticks. Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
Drop in carrots and simmer one minute. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Heat the remaining ingredients. Once it begins to boil, reduce and simmer two minutes. Remove from heat and add carrots.
Cool until room temperature, then pack into jars and chill. These pickles should be made at least a day in advance and keep for a month in the fridge.
recipe from davidlebovitz.com

Vegetables
Carrots
Kohlrabi or Napa/Red
Cabbage
Lettuce
Summer Squash
Kale
Green Cabbage


Herbs of note
Mints, Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil***
Cut Flowers
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies


Important Dates
July 19: Fresh chicken pick-up


"I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the
summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It
is a fire that solitude presses against my lips."
- Violette Leduc

Today's inspiration

Planting the Meadow

By Mary Makofske

I leave the formal garden of schedules

where hours hedge me, clip the errant sprigs

of thought, and day after day, a boxwood

topiary hunt chases a green fox

never caught. No voice calls me to order

as I enter a dream of meadow, kneel

to earth and, moving east to west, second

the motion only of the sun. I plant

frail seedlings in the unplowed field, trusting

the wildness hidden in their hearts. Spring light

sprawls across false indigo and hyssop,

daisies, flax. Clouds form, dissolve, withhold

or promise rain. In time, outside of time,

the unkempt afternoons fill up with flowers.

FarmShare June 28, 2017

Lettuce

In your share this week we’ve got two types of lettuce, romaine and Mikola red butterhead.  The romaine we grow is a bit different from the supermarket types which have closed heads. Ours has an open head with flavorful deep green leaves and a substantial crunch.

Also in your share this week is cabbage. Cabbage will keep for weeks in your fridge with little loss of quality, so don’t feel pressured to use it right away. If you take a napa cabbage, you should use it in a week or two, and keep it in a bag so it doesn’t wilt.

No fresh chicken next week

Due to the whims of nature, we won’t have fresh chicken next Wednesday. We will have frozen chicken available at $4.50/lb for that day.

Edible flowers

There are some edible flowers growing in the picking garden. Borage is a blue star shaped flower which tastes a bit like a cucumber. Calendula are short orange and yellow daisy-like flowers which look great next to borage. Bachelors buttons are also edible with a slight wintergreen flavor.

-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

 

Vegetables

Carrots
Snow or Snap Peas
Lettuce
Garlic Scapes
Chard
Green or Napa Cabbage
Scallions

Herbs of note

Mints, Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil  

Cut Flowers

Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons,

Important Dates

July 19: Fresh chicken pick-up

 

Not Your Mama’s Cole Slaw

2 cups mayonnaise or half yogurt is fine
1/4 cup smooth Dijon mustard
3 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese (optional)
1 small head green cabbage or a mix of red and green
1 large carrot or 2 medium, shredded
1 cup chopped fresh parsley or kale leaves

Mix mayo, mustards, vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese if using.

Halve the cabbage, and cut out cores. Slice thinly. Add to a large bowl with the carrot.

To serve, add the dressing to taste with the parsley.

recipe from smittenkitchen.com

 

Okonomiyaki

Half a small head of cabbage
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
9 slices bacon

Finely shred the cabbage and combine with the scallions and flour and toss to distribute everything evenly. Add eggs and water and whisk together until it’s all evenly incorporated. If you want to add other ingredients, this is the time to add them.

Lay out the bacon in a cold pan, overlapping the slices slightly. If you aren’t using bacon then add a few teaspoons of oil.

Add enough of the cabbage mixture to cover the bacon about 3/4 inch thick. Cover with a lid and cook until well browned, 7 minutes.

Flip the okonomiyaki and cook uncovered another 7 minutes.

I like this served with tamari or a mixture of tamari, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

FarmShare June 24, 2017

Garlic scapes

This week’s featured vegetable is the garlic scape. We did give some out last week, but this week we’re offering them in bulk. Many wonder what exactly is a garlic scape? It is the fl0wer stalk of the garlic plant. Hardneck garlic produces a flower stalk in late spring following fall planting. Softneck or Artichoke garlic, the type commonly available in supermarkets, does not usually produce a flower stalk. We pull these flower stalks so that the garlic plant redirects energy from flowering to bulb formation. It is a happy coincidence that these stalks are not only edible but delicious!

More herbs ready in picking garden

This week Cilantro and Parsley are ready for picking! The plants aren’t huge yet but can still be picked. You’ll find two kinds of parsley, curly and flat leaf. Both have a similar flavor, but some of us have a preference for one leaf shape. The basil is still too small to pick.

Deer destroy strawberries

Returning members know that we usually have strawberries in the first weeks of Farmshare. This past winter, the strawberry plants were eaten by deer, and about 90% of this years crop has been lost. This makes us very sad that we aren’t able to include strawberries this year, however we are planning on planting a new strawberry bed for next year.

-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

 

Vegetables

Bok Choi
Peas or Broccoli
Lettuce
Garlic Scapes
Fennel or Beets
Cabbage
Scallions

Herbs of note

Mints, Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro  

Flowers

Sweet Peas, Foxglove, Poppies, Yarrow, Calendula

Important Dates

July 19: Fresh chicken pick-up

 

Fennel slaw with mint vinaigrette

Sugar helpsbring out the natural sweetness of the fennel, so don’t skip it!

1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tsp minced shallot, onion or scallion

Make the vinaigrette: Blend lemon juice, shallot, mustard, salt, sugar and mint in a blender briefly to combine. Drizzle in olive oilwith the motor running until well combined.

Shave fennel into 1/8 inch thin slices starting from the base of the bulb. Chop a few fronds to toss in the salad.

Toss fennel with dressing and marinate at least one hour. Can be served cold or at room temperature.

recipe from Simplyrecipes.com

Garlic Scape Pesto

10-15 garlic scapes, cut in half
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sunflower seeds or walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, process garlic scapes until finely chopped, scrapping down the sides as needed. Add sunflower seeds or any of the various nut options (get creative!) and blend well. While running the food processor, add the olive oil and blend well. Add more oil to give your pesto a more mild flavor. Again, scrape the sides down as necessary. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese, mix well. Enjoy!

I like to make this as my base (freeze a few cups for later) then go back and add additional flavors, such as curry or add in a few spinach leaves to make it more mild.

Love, Your Farmer, Stephanie <3

 

"And so it criticized each flower,

This supercilious seed;

Until it woke one summer hour,

And found itself a weed."

-  Mildred Howells, The Different Seed

 

FarmShare June 14, 2017

More about mint

Chocolate mint is a low growing mint with small purple and green leaves. It has a very sweet flavor reminiscent of York peppermint patties or those Andes chocolates. It’s suitable for sweet or savory use, as it doesn’t really taste of chocolate.      

Apple mint doesn’t taste of apple but has a sweet fruity flavor. It’s not as abundant as the other mints right now (we need to move it to a sunnier area). Since the leaves are fuzzy I think it’s best for infusing rather than adding raw to dishes.


 Not technically a true mint, Mountain mint is a very tall pungent plant that has a strong mint flavor but also a slight camphor odor as well. I suggest using this one as filler in flower bouquets to add a refreshing fragrance.

Spearmint has a strong wintergreen flavor that some love and others loathe. This mint is a bit aggressive so if you like it, please cut as much as you can.

Flowers

A few of the flowers in the picking garden have just started to bloom, adding bursts of color. Sweet Peas can be found growing on a trellis in the lower picking garden. Foxglove also known as Digitalis is in the upper perennial garden. Tall spikes of flowers tempt with bright colors, but remember, they are very poisonous if ingested.

Can’t make it for pickup time?

Summer can be a busy time. If you can’t come to pick up your share, please give us a call or email. If you’re going out of town, please let us know. We can donate your share to Capital Roots, or you can have a neighbor or friend pick up your share.

-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

 

Vegetables

Bok Choi
Turnips or Beets
Lettuce
Garlic Scapes
Fennel
Kohlrabi
Broccoli

 

Herbs of note

Mint (Chocolate, Apple, Mountain, Spear-), Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram  

Flowers

Sweet Peas, Foxglove

Important Dates

June 21: Fresh chicken pick-up

 

Fennel, Chicken & Kohlrabi Pasta Salad

2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 kohlrabi, thinly sliced into small rectangles
kohlrabi leaves, thinly sliced
5 scallions, chopped
2 garlic scapes, chopped
8 oz fusilli pasta
1 large chicken breast, cooked (or other chicken part)
2 tbsp rosemary or thyme
juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup kalamata or oil cured olives, pitted

Rub the kohlrabi leaves with your hands until they darken in color. In a large bowl, add the sliced fennel, kohlrabi base, scallions, and garlic scapes.

Cook the pasta and rinse well with cold water. Add to the salad. Cut chicken into pasta size pieces and add to salad.

Make the dressing. In a jug, mix chopped herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil.

Now put it all together. Pour dressing over salad, toss together then garnish with some chopped fennel leaves, the olives and a dusting of Parmesan.

a salad I made with some leftover chicken last weekend

 

Barley Broccoli Salad

1 cup pearl barley
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 lb broccoli, stems peeled and diced and florets broken into small pieces (about 6 cups)
2 scallions, chopped
1 carrot, diced
3/4 cup Black and Green Olive dressing (below)

Combine barley, water, salt in large saucepan. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed (30 mins). Turn into large bowland let cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add broccoli and boil until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water then drain again.

Transfer barley to large bowl. Add broccoli, scallions and carrot and toss well. Pour over vinaigrette and toss.

Black and green olive vinaigrette

1 garlic clove
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1/4 cup black olives
1/4 cup green olives
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
black pepper

In a blender or food processor, process garlic and oregano until finely chopped. Add olives and process. Scrape down sides, add vinegar and process to mix.

With motor running add oil slowly and process until smooth. Season to taste.

recipe from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

FarmShare June 7, 2017

Slow Growing

With such a cool and rainy spring, our crops are looking very healthy and lush, but they are significantly behind where we would like them to be. What a contrast to last year’s drought and heat that began in mid June! While we have to make the most of every dry day this year, I am glad not to need to worry about watering much.

This week we are letting our lettuce catch up so that we can give you full size heads next week. It looks like warmer weather is imminent, which will help everything grow at a faster pace.

New herbs to try

Every year we try a few new herbs and flowers in the picking garden, or bring back old ones we haven’t grown in awhile. Bronze Fennel is a beautiful leaf fennel that gives a sweet anise flavor to salads. Salad Burnet has graceful small leaves that taste of cucumber, which can be used in salads. Lovage has a strong flavor of celery; just a leaf or two will add lots of flavor to stocks. Garlic Chives have long flat strap-like leaves which taste like a combination of onion and garlic. They are very tender and not too spicy.

Looking for a way to get involved?

Help keep our picking garden beautiful! We are looking for members to adopt a bed in the picking garden. You would be responsible for weeding that particular bed, probably no more than 20 minutes of work per week. If you are interested, sign up on the bulletin board.

-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

 

Vegetables

Scallions
Kohlrabi
Kale
Broccoli Raab or Turnips
Pac Choi “Prize”

Herbs of note

Mint (Chocolate, Apple, Mountain, Spear-), Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel  

 

Kohlrabi Salad

kohlrabi, leaves reserved
scallions
a few kale leaves
your favorite vinaigrette or creamy dressing
salt and pepper

Slice the kohlrabi bulbs into small pieces and reserve. Slice kohlrabi and kale leaves into thin ribbons. Put the leaves into a bowl with a little salt and dressing and massage them with your hands until they are limp. Toss with the kohlrabi pieces and scallions.

recipe based on the salad Annie made for dinner yesterday

 

Soba Noodle Soup with Chicken and Pac Choi

8 cups chicken broth
1 chicken breast (or other chicken part), about 12 oz, cooked
2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
3 tbsp Thai sweet red chili sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
8 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
2 pac choi, cut into 1 inch slices
6 scallions, thinly sliced
a few sprigs Thai basil, mint (I’d use the chocolate mint) or cilantro for garnish
lime wedges to serve
red pepper flakes for garnish

Bring chicken stock to a simmer. Add ginger, lime juice, fish sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar. Taste and add more chili if you want. Simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook about 6 minutes, until tender. Drain into a colander. If the soup isn’t ready run under cold water and toss with a little oil to keep noodles from sticking.

Add the pac choi and scallions to the broth and simmer for 1 minute.

Divide the noodles among 4 bowls and top with chicken. Ladle the broth and vegetables over and garnish with herbs. Serve with lime wedges and red pepper flakes.

recipe from SimplyRecipes.com

 

 

 

"I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn."

-   A Chief from Nigeria

 

FarmShare June 3, 2017

Welcome new (and old) members!

For those members who renewed, welcome back to the Laughing Earth Farm Share! And we also welcome all of our new members for this year. In this weekly newsletter I keep you up to date with what’s going on around the farm, draw your attention to anything notable in this week’s share or the picking garden, and provide a few new recipes to help you use your share.

In this week’s share is a bunch of green garlic. This is immature garlic that has not yet formed a bulb. It looks like a leek and you can cut it the same way. It has a fresh somewhat mild garlic flavor that’s nice in salad dressings or anywhere you’d use garlic.

Napa cabbage is also in this week’s share. It is pleasant in a salad where it adds crunch and volume, and softens quickly when cooked, practically melting into soup or stirfrys.

The picking garden (included in your share) is looking lush; do take a stroll and pick yourself some fresh dill or garlic chives! Many herbs have just been planted, so please pick lightly if the plants are very small. I list which herbs are ready for picking under Herbs of note to the left.

-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

Vegetables

Napa Cabbage
Green Garlic
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Red Russian Kale
Spinach

Herbs of note

Mint (Chocolate, Apple, Mountain, Spear-), Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel  

 

Farmer’s Salad

1/2 head napa cabbage
3 stalks green garlic
handful cilantro
few sprigs broccoli raab
1 large bunch kale
assorted sprouts

lemon juice
rice vinegar
olive oil
salt

Slice the green garlic into thin rounds and sauté them in oil for a few minutes to soften. Set aside.

Chop cabbage into thin ribbons, add to serving bowl. Chop the raab, tear the cilantro leaves and chop the kale into thin slices. Add the green garlic.

Drizzle on a few tablespoons lemon or lime juice, a few teaspoons vinegar and a few tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and toss to combine. Top with some colorful sprouts or microgreens.

recipe based on the salad Annie made for lunch today

 

Chinese Noodle Soup with cabbage

8 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce to taste
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or sherry
6-12 dried wood ear mushrooms, chopped if large
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic minced (or green garlic)
3 scallions finely chopped
salt and pepper
3/4 lb Chinese egg noodles
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
2 cups cooked chicken or 1 lb tofu, cubed
4-6 cups chopped Napa cabbage, pac choi or other Chinese green
1 carrot, julienned
Chinese chili paste with garlic (optional)

Combine broth, soy sauce, rice wine, mushrooms, ginger, garlic and scallion in a large saucepan. Simmer 25 mins.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles and sesame oil and cook until noodles are barely tender. Drain and return to pot to keep warm. Add chicken, cabbage and carrots to broth and simmer 10 minutes.

To serve place a nest of noodles in each bowl. Ladle over the broth, veg and chicken. Top with chili paste if desired.

recipe from Serving up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Spring Share newsletters

Spring Share Newsletter  May 3 2017

Welcome to our first-ever spring share! We are delighted to offer you fresh greens a month earlier this year. In your share this week, you’ll find the following:

•     Leeks: overwintered in our garden, these are Siegfried Frost leeks, a German variety known for hardiness

•     Dill: A generous bunch of fresh dill.

•     Lettuce: One head of Prizehead lettuce, for a little color.

•     Bok Choi: One head of Shuko Bok Choi, my favorite for its thick and crunchy petioles.

•     Mustard Greens: Japanese Mizuna, a wonderfully mild green that we use in our daily salads.

•     Spinach: Sweet and mild, good raw or cooked.

•     Garlic: We still have some garlic in storage from last year. Help yourself!

Thanks for your support!

Your farmers,

Aaron, Zack, Annie & Stephanie

 

Fresh Dill Salad Dressing

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp minced shallot or other onion

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients except oil into a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, add oil in a slow trickle until emulsified.

Recipe from Bobby Flay, foodnetwork.com.

 

Garlicky Bok Choi

1 large bok choi or several baby

1 1/2 tsp neutral flavored oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

3 tbsp broth or water or wine
salt to taste

1/2 tsp sesame oil

Trim the stem end slightly, separate out the leaves but keep the center intact and clean under running water. Drain.

Place wok or frying pan on your stove and add the oil, garlic and ginger. Turn on heat to medium high. When fragrant, add bokchoi leaves and toss for 15 seconds. Add liquid and cover immediately for 1 minute. Season with salt and drizzle sesame oil on top.

Recipe from Jaden Hair,

 

Spring Share Newsletter

May 10 2017

Last Friday’s windstorm did a little damage to the hoop house, but all of the veg inside is just fine. Watercress was omitted because it is starting to flower and is probably a bit too spicy, so we’ve got some piquant arugula for you instead. Here’s what’s in your bag this week.

•     Rhubarb- Well known for use in desserts, but also is fantastic in a beef stew!

•     Scallions- A bunch of scallions ready for stir fry, salad…

•     Cilantro- This herb thrives in cool weather, despite its association with tropical places.

•     Dill- Yes, we may have grown too much dill, but I’ve included some ideas to use it.

•     Radishes- These say spring to me!

•     Bok Choi- Another big delicious choi for you.

•     Arugula- It’s a spicy one. Would make a nice punchy pesto.

•     Lettuce-Our choice of red Prizehead or green Buttercrunch

Check out the picking garden while you’re at the farm to cut some fresh herbs, such as thyme, mint, sorrel, chives or sage. Explore, there’s more than what I listed available.

Thanks for your support

Your farmers,

Aaron, Zack, Annie & Stephanie

 

Yogurt Biscuits with Dill

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup yogurt

1/4 cup fresh dill

Heat oven to 450. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add to food processor with butter and pulse to combine. Stir in yogurt and dill. Knead ten times and press to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut and place biscuits on baking sheet and bake 7 to 9 minutes.

Recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

 

Potato Salad with Yogurt, Arugula and Dill

1 1/2 pounds potatoes

salt and pepper

1/2 cup yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 large shallots (or 4-5 scallions), thinly sliced

1 large bunch arugula, roughly chopped

1 small bunch dill, finely chopped

Cook potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and return to cooking pot. Use a fork to pull out a hot potato and slice into quarters. Repeat with all potatoes, adding them to a large bowl.

Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise and toss with potatoes. Then toss in onions, arugula and dill. Season to taste and chill at least one hour before serving

Recipe from thekitchn.com.

 

Spring Share Newsletter

May 17 2017

I’ve really been enjoying all of the fresh produce that we’ve grown for the Spring Share. It’s been a great excuse for me to have fresh food earlier in the season than we usually do. Thanks for joining us in this season extension experiment! Here’s your share:

•     Radishes - one bunch of Cherry Belles

•     Dill - one modest bunch

•     Cilantro - one bunch

•     Turnips - If you’ve never had Japanese turnips, you’re in for a treat! These are crisp, fresh and mild, wonderful fresh or quickly cooked. The greens are good quickly cooked.

•     Bok Choi- these are smaller and more tender than last week

•     Mesclun Mix- A mix of small greens for salad.

•     Lettuce- Buttercrunch (green), Prizehead (red) or Flashy Butter Oak (red/green speckled)

•     Scallions - one bunch

 

We are still accepting members for our summer Farm Share, so please pass the word along to your friends and colleagues. If a new member writes your name on their application, we will give you a free Thanksgiving share!

Your farmers,

Aaron, Zack, Annie & Stephanie

 

Creamy Cilantro Dressing

This is from a taco salad recipe. Toss with lettuce, bok choi, cooked black beans, diced avocado, tortilla chips, scallions, olives and shredded cheese for a delicious salad.

1 cup loosely packed cilantro (stems removed)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tbsp fresh lime juice (half a lime)

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tsp mild vinegar (rice, white wine, or sherry)

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until well combined and smooth. If it seems too thick add water a tablespoon at a time. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Recipe from Megan Gordon at thekitchn.com.

 

Sauteed Japanese Turnips with Greens

kosher salt

1 1/2 lbs (one bunch) Japanese turnips with green tops

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile cut tops from turnip roots, leaving a little stem. Wash and slice roots top to bottom into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Add greens to boiling water and cook until just tender, 1-2 minutes. Drain and chop into small pieces.

Heat oil over high heat and add turnip slices. Season and toss until well browned in spots, 3 mins. Add greens to warm through, drizzle on oil, season and serve.

Recipe from seriouseats.com.

 

Spring Share Newsletter

May 24 2017

Here in the vegetable garden we are entering the peak of our season - transplanting, trellising, weeding are all at their maximums for the next few weeks. Crops can sneak up on me and the Broccoli Raab and Arugula were surprises this harvest day.

•     Radishes - one bunch of French Breakfast

•     Broccoli Raab - one bunch. Tangy Italian green is great lightly cooked for pastas, pizza etc.

•     Lettuce - Yugoslavian Red or Flashy Butter Oak

•     Scallions - one bunch

•     Napa Cabbage - one large head, mild and crunchy goes well in salad

•     Baby Beets with Greens - use the greens as you would Swiss chard

•     Arugula - is spicy. I recommend cooking it or cutting it with a milder green.

See you next week for the first Summer share!

Your farmers,

Aaron, Zack, Annie, Monica, and Stephanie

 

Steamed beets and greens with tahini sauce

1 bunch small beets and greens
Salt
1 plump garlic clove
1/4 cup tahini
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste

2-4 tablespoons chopped parsley

Cut greens off beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub beets. To steam beets, place in a steamer above 2 inches water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cover. Turn down heat to medium. Steam beets for 30 minutes, until you can pierce the beet to the middle with a knife. Remove from heat. When beets have cooled, cut away ends and slip off skins. Slice in rounds or cut into wedges. Steam greens for 2 minutes, using tongs to flip the greens over top to bottom halfway through, for 2 minutes, or until wilted. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop coarsely. To make sauce, purée garlic cloves with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in tahini. Whisk in lemon juice, beginning with smaller amount. The mix will stiffen up. Gradually whisk in up to 1/4 cup water, until sauce has consistency of thick cream or runny yogurt. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice. Line a platter with the beet greens and arrange beets on top and around greens. Drizzle on tahini sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

 

Broccoli Raab
 

Unlike many greens, broccoli raab tastes good overdone, so don't worry about overcooking!

1 lb broccoli raab

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

salt (to taste)

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)

1/4 cup water

Clean and trim broccoli raab as necessary. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (with a lid). Cook garlic about 1 minute, until tender. Add the broccoli raab, season lightly with salt and crushed red pepper, and stir.  Add 1/4 cup water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan tightly. Cook, lifting the lid occasionally to turn stalks, about 12 minutes, or until the broccoli raab is tender. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Careening toward the year's end

Fall seems like it should be a time of winding down on a farm ... but it doesn't quite feel that way here. I feel inspired to write a blog post because there are just too many things still to talk about!

First off, pork is coming soon! The pigs are FAT and HAPPY!! I will be contacting the lucky recipients of these delicious creatures very soon, to make arrangements to get them into your freezers.

Second, our turkey pre-orders are filling rapidly. If you haven't reserved your Thanksgiving turkey yet, get to it NOW! They are also growing quickly, and passing from gangly youths into more majestic adults. Still goofy, but majestically goofy.

Then, on to the garden. The FarmShare still has 3 weeks to go, but now I am gearing up to sign you up for NEXT year! Get your renewal forms starting on 10/19, and your new-member forms shortly after.

Garlic planting is coming up - 10/20 from 9 til noon. Don't miss the fun!

WinterShare sign-ups are in full swing. If you are interested in 3 (or even just 1) boxes of delicious, nutritious storage crops over the winter, get in touch! The pick-up dates will be 12/1/16, 12/15/16, and 1/12/17. A 25 lb box is $75, and will contain a variety - some combination ofonions, winter squash, rutabaga, turnips, beets, leeks, daikon radishes, and watermelon radishes.

It is time to start thinking about holiday decor - I am taking pre-orders, at a 5% discount, until November 15th. Wreaths, kissing balls, swag, roping ... get in touch with your requests.

Additionally, I am excited to announce that in April 2017, we will be having a Spring Share for those of you who really love the tender spring crops. Four extra weeks of FarmShare! Keep your eye out for details.

-Annie

FarmShare Week 18

Issue #17 September 28, 2016


The Share

Winter Squash/Pumpkin
Red Onions
Arugula
Lettuce
Pepper/Eggplant
Tomatoes
Radishes

Picking Garden

Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Summer Savory Marjoram
Zataar Oregano Parsley
Basil Cilantro Borage
Shiso Hot Peppers Cherry
Tomatoes Tomatillos Husk
Cherries Red Noodle Beans

Flowers

Zinnias Ageratum
Bachelor’s Buttons
Nasturtium Amaranth
Cleome Tithonia Statice
Strawflower Sunflower

 

On Pumpkins

Thanks to everyone who helped with the pumpkin and squash harvest last week! The pumpkins and squash are now in our greenhouse, where they will finish ripening and “curing”. Curing means that the squash stem dries out, which seals off the insides.

We have three kinds of pumpkins this year. The large pumpkins are for carving, so if you want to make a jack o’ lantern, those are your pumpkin. Their flesh tends to be watery and insipid in flavor. The small, round pumpkins are pie pumpkins. They tend to have drier, less stringy flesh with more flavor. Something new this year is the Long Pie pumpkin. It looks like a stretched out pumpkin, and it’s great for cooking and keeps well.

What if your pumpkin is still a little green? No problem, it will probably ripen in a few weeks in storage. Just keep it somewhere cool and dry, about 55 degrees is perfect. If you’re thinking of using your pumpkin for thanksgiving, I recommend cooking and freezing it, since it might not keep for two months.

A touch of frost

There was a little bit of frost Monday morning! We usually get frost first in the picking garden, which is in a frost pocket. The rest of the farm was unaffected. It looks like we won’t have another frost for at least a week or two.

Final chicken day

Our last group of chickens will be processed for pick up on Wednesday, October 12th. Don’t forget to pick up your chickens!

-Aaron

 

How to cook a pumpkin

There’s nothing difficult here, but if you want to make pumpkin pie later, it’s a sure way to preserve your pumpkin.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut your pie pumpkin in half, scrape out seeds and place on a
baking sheet, cut side down. You might need to remove the stem. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the pumpkin slumps. If it looks like it's too dry, add a little water to the pan.

Once it’s cooked, take it out of the oven and let it cool in the pan. Often if juices have seeped
out, they will be reabsorbed once it’s cool. Once it’s cool, scoop out the flesh. For perfectly smooth pumpkin, run it through a ricer or food mill. Freeze if not using in a few days.


Garlic Planting

We are looking for help with garlic planting in October. Date and time TBA, we will probably
post it next week.

 

Pumpkin butter with fresh ginger

8-10 lbs pumpkin or winter squash, 14-16 cups cooked
4-5 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup honey
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice or cider vinegar
2-3 cups brown sugar

Refer to directions above to cook the pumpkin. Mix the soft pumpkin, ginger, honey, spices, salt and lemon juice. Add the brown sugar a cup at a time until you like the sweetness. Puree the pumpkin in batches, getting it as smooth as you can.

Pour the puree into several baking dishes and bake at 325 for an hour. Stir it every 20 minutes. Let it bake until it’s the consistency you like. This can be canned in a boiling water bath as for any other sweet preserve. It can be frozen up to 6 months, or refrigerated up to two weeks. If canning, you’ll need about 12 half pint jars.

recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure


The summer ends, and it is time
To face another way. Our theme
Reversed, we harvest the last row
To store against the cold, undo
The garden that will be undone.
We grieve under the weakened sun
To see all earth's green fountains dried,
And fallen all the works of light.
You do not speak, and I regret
This downfall of the good we sought
As though the fault were mine. I bring
The plow to turn the shattering
Leaves and bent stems into the dark,
From which they may return. At work,
I see you leaving our bright land,
The last cut flowers in your hand.


The Summer Ends, by Wendell Berry

FarmShare Week 17

Issue #16 September 24, 2016


The Share

Winter Squash
Garlic
Potatoes
Celery
Escarole
Lettuce
Peppers
Tomatoes
Radish

Picking Garden

Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Summer Savory Marjoram
Zataar Oregano Parsley
Basil Cilantro Borage
Shiso Hot Peppers Cherry
Tomatoes Tomatillos Husk
Cherries Red Noodle Beans

Flowers

Zinnias Ageratum
Bachelor’s Buttons
Nasturtium Amaranth
Cleome Tithonia Statice
Strawflower Sunflower

 

Summer into fall

The summer to fall transition is a wonderful time for us. We are still harvesting tomatoes, peppers and other warm weather crops, but since the heat has diminished, lettuce and greens are again abundant. Long season crops, such as celery, are also at their peak. Winter squash are also beginning to tumble in. It’s my favorite time of year. Here are a few highlights this week.


Escarole

A fall favorite, escarole appears to be a kind of lettuce, but it’s so much more. It is in the chicory family, best known as roadside weeds with azure blue flowers. Escarole has a bitterness and depth of flavor that lettuce does not, and is best cooked. It cooks down like spinach, and is great mixed with potatoes or pasta.

Celery

We’re all familiar with this one, but celery is a fall-only vegetable for us, since it takes such a long time to grow (we start celery in March!). Our celery tends to be more fibrous than commercial celery, and has a much stronger flavor. The outer ribs are the toughest, and are best for cooking. The inner ribs, or the heart, are tender and good to eat raw.

Winter Squash

We will be harvesting our squash and pumpkins a few hours after I write this, a much anticipated event around here! Some kinds of squash (butternut) have to cure for long term storage, so you won’t see them until October. Others (acorn, delicata) don’t need to cure and we’ll give them out right away.

-Aaron

 

Celery Tonic

I haven’t tried this but it sounds good.

Makes 1

1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1 oz lemon juice
2 oz gin
lemon twist

Muddle celery with sugar and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker for 1 min. Add gin, fill with ice
and shake about 30 seconds. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with lemon twist.

recipe from bonappetit.com


"Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the Stooks arise
Around; up above, what wind- walks! what lovely behavior
Of silk-sack clouds! Has wilder, willful-waiver
Meal-drift molded ever and melted across skies?”

- Gerard Manly Hopkins,
Hurrahing in Harvest, 1918

"Crown'd with the sickle, and the sheaten sheaf,
While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow plain,
Comes jovial on."
-James Thomson, Autumn, 1730

 

Utica Greens

1 head escarole
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c prosciutto or bacon, diced
1/2 c onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 hot pickled peppers, chopped (fresh peppers use less!!)
1/2 c water
salt and pepper
1/3 c bread crumbs
1/4 c romano cheese, grated

Rinse escarole and chop into small pieces. Bring salted water to a boil and blanch 2 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water.

Heat oil in large pan. Add prosciutto and onion and cook 5 mins. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add drained escarole, peppers and water. Stir and salt to taste. Cook until escarole is wilted, about 7-8 mins.

Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese and broil 2 minutes to brown the top.

recipe from upstateramblings.com


Creamy Celery Soup

1 head celery, chopped, leaves reserved
1 large waxy potato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter
salt
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup heavy cream


Combine celery, potato, onion and butter over medium heat, season with salt. Cook until onion is tender. Add broth, simmeruntil potato is tender. Puree in blender with dill, strain. Stir in cream. Serve topped with leaves, sea salt and olive oil.

recipe from bonappetit.com

FarmShare Week 16

Issue #15 September 14, 2016


The Share

Winter Squash
Onions
Lettuce
Kale
Fennel or Celery
Green Beans or Eggplant
Peppers
Tomatoes


Picking Garden

Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Chamomile Summer Savory
Marjoram Zataar Oregano
Parsley Basil Dill Cilantro
Borage Shiso Okra Hot
Peppers Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatillos Husk Cherries

Flowers

Zinnias Ageratum
Bachelor’s Buttons
Nasturtium Amaranth
Cleome Tithonia Statice
Strawflower Sunflower


Preserving Herbs

September is a good time to dry a few herbs to enjoy through the winter. Many herbs are at their peak in terms of pungency, so here’s what information I was able to find.

AIR-DRYING: Works with oregano, thyme, marjoram, summer savory and sage. Hang small bunches in a well ventilated dark room away from light. Once dry, store in air tight jars, or freeze.

DEHYDRATING: You can use an electric dehydrator for just about any herb, but it is a must for those with thicker, succulent leaves such as basil, dill, lovage and parsley. If you have a gas oven with a pilot light, you can use your oven as a dehydrator.

FREEZING: Almost any herb can be frozen, with a few caveats. Dill, savory, marjoram and thyme can be frozen without picking the leaves off the stems. For other herbs, the stems should be removed. Just place on a baking sheet and freeze individual leaves or clumps. Store in plastic bags. Basil will discolor and is best blended with oil before freezing, or as pesto. Any herb can be blended with oil, then frozen, and you can make mixtures. Or, instead of oil, blend herbs with butter and freeze herbal butters!

MICROWAVE: This works with any type of herb, and since the drying happens so quickly, much of the color is retained. To dry herbs this way, line a plate with two paper towels, then scatter the herb leaves on top. Add another paper towel to cover. Then, microwave for one minute for heartier herbs, 40 seconds for delicate herbs. Check for dryness and continue at 20 second bursts until the herb crumbles easily. Herbs can be stored whole or ground into powders.

-aaron

 

Potato and Squash Harvests

Just a little reminder, tomorrow, Thursday the 15th is our potato harvest! Show up at 9 in the
driveway.

The squash harvest date has been bumped up because the squash and pumpkins are ready
sooner than we anticipated. The harvest will now take place at 1:00 on Wednesday the 21st!

 

Apple and Celery Salad with Gruyere

3 oz Gruyere
salt and pepper
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, diced
1 tbsp walnut oil
1 tbsp sour cream or mayo
1 cup finely diced celery heart
2 crisp apples, unpeeled and diced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts, roasted
2 tbsp chopped parsley or celery leaves

Dice cheese into small cubes and put in a large bowl. Season with a little oil and plenty of pepper. Cover and let stand at room temp 1 hour.

Combine vinegar, shallot, pinch salt and pepper in another bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Whisk in oil and sour cream. Add apple, celery and nuts to the cheese, pour over dressing, add parsley and toss well.

 

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup

about 3 pounds tomatoes, preferably paste
2 red peppers
2 1/2 onions, cut in half
one head garlic
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk
splash hot sauce
bay leaf

Heat oven to 400. Cut tomatoes, onions and peppers in half. Remove outer skin from garlic and slice off the very top. Place all on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour. Check to make sure onion and garlic don’t get too dark.

In a large pot using an immersion blender, blend the tomatoes, onions and peppers and 8 peeled garlic cloves, spices, milk and maple syrup. Simmer 5 minutes with the bay leaf and season to taste.


Recipe from Annie Metzger adapted from cearaskitchen.com

 

"A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of the year."

-William Longgood


"By all these lovely tokens September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer."
- Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885

FarmShare Week 15

Issue #14 September 7, 2016


The Share

Garlic
Summer Squash
Corn
Green Beans
Peppers
Tomatoes
Watermelon or Muskmelon
Arugula
Pac Choi

Picking Garden

Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Chamomile Summer Savory
Marjoram Zataar Oregano
Parsley Basil Dill Cilantro
Borage Shiso Okra Hot
Peppers Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatillos Husk Cherries

Flowers

Zinnias Ageratum
Bachelor’s Buttons
Nasturtium Amaranth
Cleome Tithonia Statice
Strawflower Sunflower

 

Harvesting

Late summer is here and we are spending the majority of our time harvesting and preparing for winter. The summer crops are still at their peak, and I can’t quite believe that we will have frost in a month. We’re giving out the last of our watermelons and muskmelons today— they have been so bountiful and delicious this year!


Potato Harvest Day

We are looking for help with our big potato harvest. Join in and help harvest the rest of our potatoes! The date is Thursday,
September 15th. Rain date is 9/16. We’ll start at 9 and plan to finish around noon.

Winter Squash and Pumpkin Harvest Day

Come and help us bring in the squash and pumpkins! On Wednesday, September 21, we will start at 2 and plan to be done by 5. Rain date 9/22.


Upcoming Events at the farm

This Friday, there will be a native plant walk to Fred’s Falls led by David Hunt. Come and learn about our native flora and see our hidden waterfalls. Meet in the farm driveway at 5:30.


This Saturday the DEC will be sampling the Quackenkill for invertebrates. Come over Saturday morning to help out!

-Aaron

 

"Lord, it is time.
The summer was very big.


Lay thy shadow on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the
winds go loose.


Command the last fruits that they
shall be full; give them another
two more southerly days,

press them on to fulfillment and
drive the last sweetness into the
heavenly wine."

- Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Corn-Tomato Relish

Try with black bean cakes or savory corn waffles!


Kernels from 2 ears corn, about 1 1/2 cups
1 paste tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 small onion, diced
1-2 serrano chiles to taste, chopped
juice of 1 lime or to taste
salt
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Blanch corn in a small pot of boiling water about 30 seconds; drain and dry. Toss corn with
tomato, onion and chile. Add lime juice to taste, season with salt and stir in cilantro. Cover and
refrigerate 30 minutes before using.


Fresh Corncakes

I know we’re only giving out 4 ears but I think the recipe will still work since you only need 1 1/3 cup. I bet a diced red pepper would be a nice
addition for a savory version.

6 ears corn, husked
milk
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 tbsp oil
maple syrup, warmed

Grate the corn in a bowl using a box grater. You should have 1 1/3 cups. Add enough milk to make 2 cups.

Stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well and add eggs, corn and oil. Stir well.

Heat oven to 200. Place 4-6 plates in oven to keep warm, if desired. Heat a cast iron or nonstick pan over medium heat. Slick
with oil.

Pour batter onto griddle to make 4 inch cakes. Cook until bubbles appear and bottoms are browned, about 2 mins. Turn and cook another minute. Keep warm in the oven before serving.

adapted from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

 

FarmShare Week 14

Issue #13 September 3, 2016

 

The Share

Potatoes
Red Onions
Summer Squash
Carrots
Sweet Peppers
Chard
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Watermelon or Muskmelon

Herbs & Veg

Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Chamomile Summer Savory
Marjoram Zataar Oregano
Parsley Basil Dill Cilantro
Borage Shiso Okra Hot
Peppers Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatillos Husk Cherries

Flowers

Zinnias Ageratum
Bachelor’s Buttons
Nasturtium Amaranth
Cleome Tithonia Statice
Strawflower Sunflower

 

Pepper Primer

They’re not all producing yet, but I thought I’d write a guide to the hot peppers growing in the picking garden.

JALAPEÑOS AND CZECH BLACK: A moderately hot pepper, with thick walls, blunt and tapered, both of these peppers are great for fresh use. Jalapeños are the classic pepper in salsa fresca. Czech Black tends to have a little less heat. Both of these peppers can be used in their “green” stage, but the Czech Black will ripen to a beautiful dark purple-red.

SERRANO AND MATCHBOX: These assertive little peppers pack a lot of heat in a small package. They are commonly used in Asian cuisine, but can add considerable heat to any dish. They are usually cooked into curries, or stir fries. About 1-2” in size, they can be used green or red.

CAYENNE: Long and thin, the Cayenne pepper should be red when picked. Cayenne peppers dry well and make a good crushed red pepper. They can be extremely hot.

HABANERO (TOBAGO, ZAVORY): Typically the hottest pepper, our Habaneros are heatless. They have all the floral flavor of a Habanero pepper but no heat. A new kind of pepper for us this year. Let us know if you like them.

Pepper Precautions

When working with very hot peppers, the oils from them will be on your hands. Don’t touch your face without washing your hands! (I know this from personal experience!) If you want to dial back the heat, cut out the seeds. Hot pepper heat can vary considerably; it’s a good idea to taste a tiny bit before adding the pepper to a recipe.

-Aaron


"When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Baked tomatoes with goat cheese

Serves 4

4 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves or 1 shallot
leaves from 1 sprig basil
1 slice bread
4 oz goat cheese

Heat oven to 400. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer in a 1 qt gratin dish. Drizzle oil over
tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake 15 minutes until they become juicy. Mince garlic and basil in food processor. Add
bread and process until they are fine crumbs.

Remove tomatoes from oven. Crumble cheese over tomatoes and sprinkle seasoned bread
crumbs over. Bake 5 more minutes, until cheese melts and crumbs are golden.

recipe from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

 

Summer Squash Pizza

1 tbsp olive oil
1 recipe pizza dough
2 1/2 lbs summer squash or zucchini
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese
2-3 tbsp bread crumbs

Heat your oven to 500°F with a rack in the center. Brush either 1 13×18-inch rimmed half-sheet pan or 2 9×13-inch quarter-sheet pans with olive oil. Divide your dough in half and use oiled fingertips to pull, stretch, nudge and press the dough across the bottom of the pan. The dough will be thin and imperfect; just try to get it even. If holes form, just pinch them together.

Use a food processor with a grater attachment or the large holes of a box grater to grate the zucchini. In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini and salt. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes (more, if you have the time), until the zucchini has wilted and released its water. Drain the zucchini in a colander and then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible, a fistful at a time. Back in the large bowl (wiped out if still wet), toss the zucchini with the gruyere shreds, being sure to break up any clumps of zucchini.
Taste the mixture; it should be seasoned enough from the salt, but you can add more, plus ground pepper or pepper flakes if desired.

Spread the zucchini mixture over the dough(s), going all the way to the edges of the pan and piling it a bit thicker at the edges,
where it will brown first. Sprinkle messily with the bread crumbs.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is golden. Remove from oven, cut into squares and dig in.

recipe from smittenkitchen.com

 

FarmShare Week 13

Issue #12 August 24, 2016


The Share

Red onions
Summer squash
Melon
Tomatoes
Peppers
Carrots or Beets
Lettuce
Kale

Herbs & Veg

Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Chamomile Summer Savory
Marjoram Zataar Oregano
Parsley Basil Dill Cilantro
Borage Shiso Okra Hot
Peppers Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatillos Husk Cherries

Flowers

Zinnias Ageratum
Bachelor’s Buttons
Nasturtium Amaranth
Cleome Tithonia Statice
Strawflower Sunflower


Seed Saving

Did you know that there are many plants right in the picking garden that you can easily save seed from? Here are some easy to grow plants to get you started.

FOUR O’CLOCKS: In the fairy garden, the 3’ plants with red, magenta and yellow flowers. A night bloomer with a sweet fragrance. Their seeds look like a small black grenade. Collect from old flowers or look on the ground.

CLEOME: This plant makes long seed pods which appear after the flowers are gone. Collect seed pods when they are dry and brown.

NICOTIANA: Oval seed pods appear after a flower drops. Collect when dry and brown.

POPPIES: Perhaps the most unusual looking seed heads, they look like a sphere with a saucer on top. Pick the seed head and shake out the seeds into a bag- they’ll fall out from the small holes.

MORNING GLORIES: Seed capsules appear after a flower drops. Pick when dry and brown. Usually 2-4 seeds per capsule.

NASTURTIUM: Seeds look like brown wrinkled brains. Look around the base of plants for dropped seeds.

HUSK CHERRIES & TOMATILLOS: Seeds from these plants can be saved from ripe (yellow) fruits. For tomatillos, look for the overripe fruits on the ground. To extract seeds, place fruits in a blender with water and blend briefly. Pour into a jar then carefully pour off water and pulp. Seeds will be at bottom of jar. Dry thoroughly on towels.

-Aaron

 

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it." - Russel Baker

"Before falling to the scythe the weeds
enjoy a little breeze."

-Peter Levitt, 100 Butterflies


Lebanese-style tabbouleh

Heavy on the parsley and mint, this is my favorite summer salad.

3 tbsp fine bulgur
3 medium tomatoes, diced small
2 scallions, thinly sliced (or onion)
2 big bunches parsley (14 oz)
2 cups mint leaves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp black pepper
salt
juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup olive oil

If you can’t find fine bulgur, just grind medium bulgur in a coffee grinder.Rinse bulgur in several changes cold water. Drain well and fluff with fork now and then.

Put diced tomatoes in a strainer and set aside. Slice parsley and mint as thinly as you can.

Drain the tomatoes of their juice and put in a large bowl. Add onion and herbs, then sprinkle
bulgur all over. Season with spices and salt to taste. Add lemon juice and oil. Mix and serve.
adapted from davidlebovitz.com


Fermented salsa

A great way to use up a glut of tomatoes, fermented salsa tastes like fresh salsa but with more zing. It also keeps in the fridge for weeks.

4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
juice of 1 lime, about 2 tbsp
2 tsp sea salt
1 jalapeño pepper, minced, optional

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Transfer to 2 large mason jars or other jar. Press down so the liquid covers everything. Loosely screw on lid. Place in a dark cool spot for about 2 days. If you stir the salsa, it will bubble. That means it’s ready.

 

Zucchini pizza with cherry tomatoes and goat cheese

makes one 10” pizza

Your favorite pizza dough, 1/4 recipe
3 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 basil leaves, torn
2 oz mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 500, stretch dough into 10” circle and let rest.

Sautee zucchini in 1 tbsp oil until tender. Slice tomatoes in half and toss with garlic, a little oil, pepper and half the basil.

Arrange mozzarella and zucchini over the dough, then add tomatoes. Bake 5 minutes then add goat cheese and bake 3 minutes. Remove, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle remaining basil.

FarmShare Week 12

Issue #11 August 17, 2016


The Share
Scallions
Squash
Cucumbers/Green Beans
Eggplant/Pepper
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Chard

Herbs & Veg

Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Chamomile Summer Savory
Marjoram Zataar Oregano
Parsley Basil Dill Cilantro
Borage Shiso Okra Hot
Peppers Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatillos Husk Cherries

Flowers

Zinnias Ageratum
Bachelor’s Buttons
Nasturtium Amaranth
Cleome Tithonia Statice
Strawflower Sunflower

 

Melon Season

The melons are ripening and to some of us this is the pinnacle of
the season. The watermelons seems to be a little earlier than the
muskmelons and cantaloupes. Watermelons are a little tricky to
know when they’re ripe. We look for a yellow spot on the bottom,
a dried up tendril near where the melon connects to the vine, and
sometimes thump the melon to hear if it sounds somewhat
hollow.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green tomato

It looks like an unripe green tomato, but Aunt Ruby is a delicious,
ripe heirloom tomato that has a nice acidic bite and a juicy
texture. Looks fabulous sliced on a plate alongside Goldie and a
red tomato. Try one!

Garden update

What a difference some rain makes! Everything is growing with a
feverish vigor; every time I look the plants are larger. Thanks to
your scarecrows along with the rain the deer seem to be leaving
our garden alone. Our biggest challenge now is keeping up with
weeds and the harvesting, which is normal for August.

-Aaron

 

Tomato pesto tarts

2 pounds tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4” thick
1 tsp salt
2 unbaked 9-or 10-inch homemade or store bought pastry rounds
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 cup grated mozzarella

Cover a large surface with a double layer of paper towels.
Arrange tomatoes on the towels and sprinkle evenly with salt.
Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375, line a baking sheet with foil. Place pastry
round on the sheet. Brush with the egg, leaving a 2 inch border.
Sprinkle half the parmesan over each. Spread 1/4 cup pesto over
the parmesan.

Place a double layer of paper towels over the tomatoes and press
to dry. Arrange tomatoes on top of pesto in overlapping circles.
Sprinkle mozzarella over tomatoes. Fold the dough up to
partially cover the filling and crimp to finish the edges.

Bake 25-25 minutes or until golden. Let stand 5 minutes before
serving in wedges.

recipe from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

 

Chile Lime Melon Salad

4 cups chopped or balled melon
juice of half a lime
coarse salt
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp cojita cheese (feta or ricotta salata work)
1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

You can use any type of melon for this salad. This is a common way to season fruit in Mexico.

Place melon in a bowl or on a platter. Squeeze half the lime juice over then add more to taste.
Sprinkle with salt and chile powder. Sprinkle on the cheese, pumpkin seeds and cilantro.
Serve within 2 hours.

recipe from smittenkitchen.com

 

Basil Vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 small shallot, peeled and sliced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups fresh basil leaves

Put oil, vinegar, water, shallot, mustard and salt in a blender. Coarsely chop basil and add to
blender. Mix on high speed 15 seconds until smooth. Add oil or water if you like a thinner sauce.
Keeps for 1 week refrigerated.

from davidlebovitz.com

 

"And now the cordial clouds have shut all in,
And gently swells the wind to say all's well;
The scattered drops are falling fast and thin,
Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.

I am well drenched upon my bed of oats;
But see that globe come rolling down its stem,
Now like a lonely planet there it floats,
And now it sinks into my garment's hem.

Drip drip the trees for all the country round,
And richness rare distills from every bough;
The wind alone it is makes every sound,
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.

For shame the sun will never show himself,
Who could not with his beams e'er melt me so;
My dripping locks--they would become an elf,
Who in a beaded coat does gayly go."

- Henry David Thoreau, The Summer Rain