Week 11

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Dear Members and Friends,

Welcome to Week 11, or, Holy Tomatoes, What Happened to Summertime?!?!?!

We are a little stunned by the sudden transition into fall-like weather over the past week. It has us dreaming of roasted winter squash and hearty soups.  Things look like they will warm up again soon, but a combination of events has conspired that will keep a few of our summer crops from making a come-back with the warm weather:

Eggplant: As you heard last week, out of the 300 some eggplant plants in the ground, we’ve gotten a whopping total of 5 or 6 eggplants this year.  Apparently this mysterious phenomenon is affecting other farms in our area as well and is assumed to be weather related.

Sweet Corn:We planted 6 different successions of sweet corn this year, each 7-10 days apart in when they were supposed to mature. They all matured fast, and three of them came to maturity at the same time.  So unfortunately six weeks of sweet corn has now been condensed to four.

Tomatoes: Say it ain’t so, not you too, tomatoes! Well, not quite yet, but the plants have been hit hard by all the excessive moisture. Rain spreads early blight on tomato plants (a disease that gets a lot of tomatoes in this part of the world even before the frost does) and the conditions for spreading have been ripe this year.  There are some plants still hanging on, but not for much longer.

Summer Squash: Nothing unusual about summer squash ending this time of year.  The plants usually start fizzling out around early September–see you next year Zucchini!

And so it goes: The highs of summer end sooner some years than others. And while some of our favorite summer crops ride into the sunset, cherished fruits of fall start coming into focus.  There is plenty of good stuff on the way!

In the boxes this week:

  • Sweet Corn: Silver Queen (4 small, 6 medium, 8 full)
  • Spring Greens (1/2 lb everybody)
  • Tomatoes (1# for small shares, 1 1/2 for medium shares, and 2# for full shares
  • Bell and/or Sweet Peppers (2 for everybody!)
  • Hot Peppers (1 med & full)
  • Potatoes (3 lb medium, 4 lb full)
  • Broccoli (1 lb small & medium shares, 2 lb full shares)
  • Oregano (1 bunch for full & medium shares)
  • Cilantro (1 bunch for small shares)
  • Melons (some smalls & the mediums who didn’t get melons last week)

Melons

We are continuing to rotate melons through the membership in order to make sure everyone gets some of the limited supply.  Mediums who did not receive a melon last week will be getting one this week. Small shares will be starting to get them, too.  If you’re a small share and did not receive a melon this week you will likely be getting one next week.

A special note about your Broccoli

Broccoli is back!  We recommend that you cut up your broccoli as soon as you get it.  The core of their main stems have been hollowing out as they are growing, removing the core once you get it will keep it from decomposing prematurely in your crisper and ruining the whole head.  By cutting the head in half lengthwise you will easily be able to tell what’s good to keep and what’s not.

Green Tomatoes

A lot of the tomatoes that have held up well in the wet weather are Aunt Ruby Greens or Great Whites.  There is a good chance you might get one this week–lucky you! They are two of my favorites! Both green and white tomatoes have a rich and sweet flavor with very low acidity. So if your tomato is green or whitish yellow, assume it is ripe or close to ripe. Go by touch not color–it should feel slightly soft and giving when gently (gently!) pressed.

IMG_2475Aunt Ruby (green tomato) with some other colorful friends

Recipes

This week I’ve really focused on the pepper. They’re so user friendly, and make a great snack raw, but I encourage you to explore some of the wonderful recipes we’ve gathered using cooked peppers. Cooking peppers enhances the sweetness. Many of the recipes use a broil technique that is really, truly, quick and easy, and produces a fantastic result. Start with the simple marinated pepper recipe, or go a few steps further for a great Farro and Pepper Salad or a Spanish Pepper, Tomato and Cheese Salad. Not coincidentally, they feature oregano, too! There’s also this recipe for a lovely little Broccoli, Pepper and Portobello Tartine, (a.k.a. French-style open faced sandwich) which we can’t get enough of.

Broccoli is one of the stars of the tartine mentioned above, but this cold weather also has me making soups again. You might like this Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Toasts on one of these incredible 40 degree nights forecasted for this week. This hearty Pasta with White Beans and Broccoli Pesto would be equally satisfying and warming for a weeknight supper.

Melons really don’t need anything but a knife and some eager eaters, but if you’d like to mess around with this beautiful fruit please try the Melon Sangria and give a toast to a lovely but all-too-brief summer!

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

  • Romano Beans
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cilantro (?)
  • Summer Savory Herb (!)

Here’s to hoping that we get a little more warm weather and a little more time with our summer friends!

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Frank, Maybelle and the crew

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Week 10

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Hello, hello good people,

The Summer hits keep coming this week, more sweet corn, more tomatoes, more peppers! The zucchini plants are starting to slow down, so this might be the last week for them.  It’s been really hot around here the last few days, though it sounds like cooler weather is on the way.  Don’t forget the member party is coming up Saturday Aug 29th!  Should be a lot of fun.  We’ll be grilling pizzas with all sorts of good things to put on them.  RSVP if you can make it!

The Bashful Eggplant

Our eggplant has been rather slow to develop fruit this year.  Maybe you’ve noticed the absence of those deep purple beauties.  Several area farmers are experiencing the same thing: lush, healthy plants and not many fruits! We are a bit puzzled by their hesitancy–we believe they are actually dropping their flowers before they develop. Hopefully they will be coming around soon…

The Rotating Melon

The melons are just starting to come into ripeness, but there aren’t quite enough for everybody to have them all in the same week. For this week, full Shares all got melons this week, and some of the medium shares did. We will rotate melons through all the medium share drop sites to ensure that everyone gets some!

 In the Box:

  • Sweet Corn (6 for small shares, 8 for medium, 12 for full)
  • Tomatoes (1 1/2# for small shares, 2# for medium, 3# for full)
  • Potatoes (2 1/2# for small shares, 3# for medium 4# for full)
  • Cilantro (1 bunch per share)
  • Peppers (1 for small, 2 for medium and full shares)
  • Hot Peppers (1 for small and medium, 2 for full shares)
  • Basil (1 small bunch for mediums, 1 large bunch for full shares)
  • Summer Squash (2 for full shares)
  • Cucumbers (1 for medium shares)
  • Melons (full shares, some medium shares)

Recipes

This is another great week to revel in the hits of the height of summer. The sweet corn will be gone before we know it, so be sure to enjoy every last drop. A tip for storage: if you can bear to eat less corn one of these weeks, cut the kernels off (raw) and freeze them in a plastic zip-top bag. Save the cobs and freeze them separately, they make a great corn flavored broth for a wintry chowder! When you’re ready to eat the corn, throw the kernels, still frozen, into a super hot saute pan with butter or olive oil and you’ll hardly know they weren’t fresh off the cob. I’d also recommend making some salsa with your corn this season, this roasted one is great! This raw corn and zucchini salad is tasty and quick.

New potatoes are a true summer treat, and everyone got lots of them this week. I’ve put a link to one of the very best potato salads ever right here. It’s a modern version of a French classic, and I think you’ll love it. Dairy free, too! Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy new potatoes is steamed and tossed with a little butter and salt, or steamed/roasted and tosses with crispy bacon bits and a little bit of the bacon fat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice or vinegar, and enjoy the simple beauty of this wondrous little tuber.

Sneak Peek of Next Week:

  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Corn
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant?
  • Melons

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Frank and the crew

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Week 9

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Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain and the Splitting Tomatoes

It has been wet! We’ve gotten close to five inches of rain on the farm in the last week.  The dry ground has been soaking it up well, but so much rain is a disaster for the tomato crop. Don’t worry, there are still a sizable amount of those delicious gems going out this week–just not as many as there might have been.  When there is excessive moisture, tomatoes will take up more water than the fruit’s outer skin can make room for and the skin will burst, causing splitting that severely impairs its ability to keep once picked.  So, needless to say, I’ve been pulling a lot of split tomatoes off of the plants this week.

Half-way there

Box 9 marks the half-way point of the season.  It seems the time has gone so fast this year. On the farm we are mainly done with seeding and transplanting save a few salad mixes here and there and weeding has slowed down quite a bit.  More and more time is spent harvesting bigger crops over the course of the week like tomatoes.  And sooner than you know it we’ll be pulling winter squash out of the field.

Back to School

With September nearing, it also means it’s the time of year we start losing our crew to their academic pursuits.  This week will be the last week for Liz who has been with us most of the season.  Liz isn’t going back to school to learn, but to teach! She is in the last stages of training, fulfilling her student teaching in Baldwin, WI.

Joe will also be ending his regular work days this week as he starts tech school for machining.  Joe has been working with us two days a week this year.

They both worked hard to grow your veggies and keep the farm in good shape. Thanks Liz and Joe for your great help this year, you will be missed!

IMG_2197Joe working on a blacksmithing project in his off hours

IMG_2206 Winter squash is getting mature. Watch out fall, here we come!

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What’s in the Box

  • Tomatoes/Cherry Tomatoes (1# for small shares, 1 1/2# for medium, 2# for full shares)
  • Sweet Corn (6 ears for small shares, 8 for medium, 12 for full)
  • Onions: Gladstone (2 per small share, 3 per medium, 4 per full share)
  • Carrots (1# for small shares, 1 1/2# for medium and full shares)
  • Green Bell Peppers (1 each for small and medium shares, 2 each for full shares)
  • Basil (1 bunch per share)
  • Cucumbers (1 each for small shares)
  • Beets (2# for medium shares, 3# for full shares)
  • Summer Squash (1 for medium shares, 2 for full shares)
  • Head Lettuce (2 for full shares)
  • Jalapeno peppers (2 for full shares)

Everybody Sweet Corn

Portraits of the crew that grows your CSA (and enjoys a few snacks along the way!)

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IMG_2719Maria

IMG_2714Michele 

IMG_2201Maybelle

IMG_2723Liz

IMG_2718Brandon

IMG_2725Joe

Sweet corn is one of my favorite crops that we grow.  It is certainly one that I eat the most of during the season, an especially fine treat right off the plant. This year we have more in the ground than we ever have, the weather’s been good, and there hasn’t been a coon in sight, so expect at least another four weeks of good sweet corn!

Once picked corns sugars start converting to starch, so the longer you wait to eat, the less sweet and more chewy it will be. So eat it soon! Keep it in a plastic bag if you aren’t going to get to it within a few days. This will keep it from drying out so fast.

If I am not eating it fresh in the field, I usually like to grill it.  Sweet corn can be put on the grill just as it comes, husk and all.  Some people like to open it up, take the silks out and close the husk back up before grilling (making less work when you’re eating it), and some other people even like to soak it in water before they grill to retain moisture (although I’m not convinced this step is necessary).  Either way, grilling it in the husk will keep it juicier.

Recipes:

Tomatoes are really stealing the show around the dinner table right now. There’s so much to do with them I don’t even know where to start! Sliced, drizzled with your best oil,  and vinegar, salt and pepper is really the way to get to know the very individual tastes of the different heirloom tomatoes. It’s really rather surprising how much nuance there can be in any given variety! For those of you who like to do a little more with their tomatoes, go a step further and layer those sliced and seasoned tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, laid out on a platter. There’s a reason why this is a classic!

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Caprese salad will be a smash hit with any crowd, and is such an easy, impressive centerpiece for summertime entertaining.

If you’d like to take your tomatoes a step further, try out a nice, classic Greek Salad, or this recipe from Jose Pizarro’s Seasonal Spanish Food: Tomato Salad with Smoked Paprika.

Carrots are making a lovely and colorful return this week, and I’d direct you towards a cool, crunchy Moroccan Slaw, with the added bonus of adding harissa to your life if you don’t already know it! There’s also a nice collection of carrot recipes on the website if you’re feeling adventurous.

Sneak Peek at Next Week

The summer hits keep coming next week:

  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Corn
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Cilantro

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle and Frank

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Week 8

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This week is incredibly exciting, as we really start to get into the warm weather crops. We’ve got sweet corn! Tomatoes! Garlic! Zucchini! Beans! Peppers! Melons and eggplant are just around the corner.

The heart of the summer produce season is just beginning, so rest assured that every member will get their fill of these crops by the time the weather turns cool and we begin to see the fall crops roll in. I know, it’s incredible that we’re even looking towards fall already, but we cleaned out the greenhouse today, we’re packing equipment up to bring to the new farm, and we’re watching the baby winter squash get bigger and bigger.

We’ve got a few exciting member events coming up this late summer/fall that we are eager to share with you. So, without further ado:

Fifth Annual Sleepy Root Farm Member Party!!!!

August 29th, 2015

11 am to 4 pm

Please join us on Saturday, August 29th from 11 am to 4 pm for fellowship, farm tours, lawn games, and homemade pizza on the grill. We’ll make the dough, set out some toppings, and do the pizza cooking. You’ll bring a side or topping to share, some stompin’-around-outside shoes, and your friends and family for a day of community building and later summer revelry. RSVPs are greatly appreciated so we know how much pizza to make, but come even if you don’t!

Fall Garlic and New Farm Housewarming Party!!!

October 24, 2015 

10 am to 5 pm

We’ll be planting a few thousand cloves of garlic at our new farm, hosting tours of the new place, and asking all who are interested to join us in some general clean-up and settling in at the new place. We’ll provide warm drinks and a hearty meal for all of our volunteers! Please RSVP if you’re interested in helping Sleepy Root snuggle in for our first fall on OUR VERY OWN FOREVER FARM!!!!! Even if you aren’t interested in cleaning out old barns or planting garlic (we get it!) we’d love to have all our members swing by and see what the new place is like. Our hacienda es su hacienda!

This Week’s Box:

  • Sweet Corn (3 for small shares, 5 for medium, 7 for full shares)
  • Onions (1 bunch for each share: 3 onions for small, 4 for medium, 5 for full)
  • Garlic (1 head per share)
  • Head Lettuce (1 for small shares, 2 for medium and full shares)
  • Snap Beans (1/2# for small shares, 1# for medium and 1 1/4# for full)
  • Zucchini (1 each for medium and full shares)
  • Dill heads (1 each for medium and full shares)
  • Tomatoes/Cherry Tomatoes (1# for small shares, 1 1/2# for medium shares, 2# for full shares)
  • Sweet Pepper (1 each, full shares only)
  • Hot Peppers (2 each, full shares only)
  • Cucumbers (2 each, full shares only)
  • Carrots (full shares only)

Tomatoes

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Our beautiful tomato plants are really starting to hit their stride. We grow about 80% heirloom varieties, 20% hybrid varieties (but all are 100% organic!), so that means that most of you will encounter strange colors, shapes, and a mix of sizes. If we’ve put a tomato in your box, that means it’s ready to eat over the next few days, so if your tomato is white or green, it’s ok, go ahead and eat it soon! You were just a lucky member who got an Aunt Ruby’s Green, or a Great White, or a Copia. Tomatoes are really the only thing you’ll get in a CSA box that needs a little discretion from you as to when to eat it. The best way to tell is if the tomato feels soft and slightly yielding when gently squeezed.  This is why heirloom tomatoes fetch up to $6 per pound at the coop: they are extremely fragile, can only be picked a day or two prior to shipping, require an intimate knowledge of varieties and their ripeness from the grower, and have a shorter shelf life overall to begin with. We are thrilled to be able to share such high-value crops with our members, and the ability to grow and eat such high-quality heirloom tomatoes is surely one of the biggest benefits of supporting truly local farming!

Recipes

Sweet Corn is here!!!! Seriously, I’d have a hard time recommending anything but steaming your corn and eating it with plenty of butter, but if you want to stretch out your corn-eating pleasure, we have some great recipes on the recipe page, such as the ever-popular bread salad (which we’re having for lunch today!) or  Mexican style with citrus and cream.

Snap beans are such a great summer crop since they can handle the heat, are so versatile in the kitchen, and freeze exceptionally well if they are blanched and well dried. This is the last week for beans for a little while, so have fun! For those of you who are interested in composed salads, check out this Spanish Green Bean and Olive Salad. With a 6 minute soft-boiled egg, it makes a handsome hot-day supper!

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If you didn’t get a chance yet to make the German Cucumber Salad from last week’s newsletter, you now have the chance to make a great version using a family recipe of one of our members. Thanks, Julie and Julie’s Mom!

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Photos from the farm:

IMG_2144We had a great visit the other week from Brandon’s parents and his Grandpa Cecil. Three, maybe four, generations of farmers!

IMG_2690 Dilly beans!

 

 

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Baby Rajah on her daily inspections

 

 

IMG_2702 No, not a trick photo! The corn really is dwarfing the truck!

 

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Future acorn squash

 

Next Week Sneak Peek:

  • more sweet corn!
  • more tomatoes!
  • peppers
  • carrots
  • broccoli (?)

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Frank, and the crew

 

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Week 7

Hello good people

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Garlic Harvested!

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The garlic has been harvested for the season!  We spent an afternoon last week digging up, bundling and hanging 1120 heads of garlic to cure.  A good chunk of those will make it in the boxes this year, but the majority will be used as “seed” for next years garlic.  Garlic does produce a flower and seed (remember the scapes earlier in the year? that was the flowering stalk) but new plants are usually grown from the garlic cloves.  In the fall we will take all the bulbs we saved, separate the individual cloves and plant them.  Each clove will sprout a garlic plant next spring and your one clove investment turns into a bulb with 4-6 new cloves.  Saving the bulk of the garlic will allow us to triple our garlic harvest next year and will eventually mean more garlic in the shares more often. Be looking for garlic to show up soon in your box!

  IMG_2170garlic hanging to cure

Baby Spotting in the Gardens

We’ve been hearing complaints from members that there have not been any cute baby-in-the-field photos the past two weeks–major omission! We’ll do our best to keep them coming. Here is Maybelle helping out with the bean harvest:

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In the box this week:

  • Scallions (1 bunch, all share sizes)
  • Kale (1 bunch, all share sizes)
  • Head Lettuce (1 for smalls, 2 for med, 3 for fulls)
  • Snap Beans: Green and yellow haricot (3/4 lb small, 1 lb medium, 1.5 lb full)
  • Basil (1 bunch, all share sizes)
  • Tomatoes!!!!! (Cherry or regular, medium and full shares)
  • Zucchini (2 each, medium and full shares)
  • Cucumber (1 each, medium and full shares)
  • Cabbage: Early Red (full shares)
  • Broccoli (1#, full shares)

Tomatoes!

Yes! Here come the tomatoes! Our apologies to small shares who will have to wait another week before their first taste of the tomatoes.  They start with a trickle but soon we will all be inundated with the tomato landslide that is on its way.

There appears to be some damage on the tomatoes from the last big storm we had and a little bit of blight effecting the fruit.  You may have a scar or black spot or two on your tomato from these but don’t let them ruin your tomato time.

Tomatoes are sensitive to cold temps.  Don’t store your tomatoes in the fridge! It will alter their texture and taste.  Keep them on the counter, shoulders down, not piled on top of each other (they bruise super easy) and out of their plastic bag (clamshell pints are okay because they have vents).

Basil

Basil does not like to be kept too cold.  Generally under 45 degrees F is the danger zone.  If you keep it in your fridge wrap it in a plastic bag and store it in a spot that doesn’t get too cold.  Keeping it on your counter in a jar of water like you would flowers works very well too, and makes an attractive display.

Haricot

Today I wrote this poem:

Haricot, Haricot where have you been?

Compared to most beans you are so thin

So tender to eat, I think you are French

Making you with this recipe is delish’ and a cinch!

Haricot is french for bean, and I’m sure every time I say something like “I really like haricot beans” or “lets go pick some haricot beans” some bilingual person somewhere is laughing at me for being ignorantly redundant. But I can’t help it. Calling the bean haricot in this country is done when it is a “french fillet” style bean, which are thinner and more tender than your standard green bean. I’m not sure what the French call a standard green bean–if anybody knows we would be interested in hearing about it.

The eating experience of a haricot bean that has been picked at just the right time is unmatched.  You’ll often find me out in the bean patch this time of year painstakingly surveying and sampling the beans to make sure we are getting them at the right time–full sized but with little to no bean formation inside the pod.

Recipes

Kale makes a glorious return this week. There’s a good reason why it’s the darling of the healthy eating set-it’s a part of the crucifer family which is packed full of glucosinolates and antioxidants. Kale has not had its nutritional value watered down by growers breeding sweeter and sweeter varieties over time (like corn!), but all crucifers are highly susceptible to nutrient loss through the process of picking, shipping and sitting on the store shelf waiting to go home with you. This is one of those veggies that is absolutely essential to buy local, and it doesn’t get more local than from our farm to your plate in 24 hours! There’s so many great ways to enjoy this leafy green, but some of our favorites are: Kale Caesar Salad, Kale, Sausage and Potato Stew (perfect for this rainy day!) and Kale Chips.

We’ve added a nice green bean recipe to the recipe page, Green Beans with Tomatoes, Italian Grandma Style.

One of our members made a beautiful German Cucumber Salad, using up her cucumber and onion (she used red) from last week. If you’ve got a red onion around, try this, if not, try the green onions from this week’s box. Here’s a link to a recipe, and we’ll add Julie’s if we can get ahold of it!

If you got tomatoes and basil in your box this week, we really insist that you make your inaugural bread salad of the year. The only groceries you’d need to pick up if you don’t have them already are a quality loaf of bread and some fresh mozzarella. We ate our first bread salad of the year a few days ago and it will be on our table for the rest of the season.

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

  • tomatoes/cherry tomotes
  • onions
  • haricot beans
  • sweet corn!
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Week 6

Hello all,

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It has been wet, wet, wet.  We’ve had seven inches of rain on the farm in the past two weeks alone! This is not anywhere near normal.  In fact, it’s nearly TWICE the amount of rain we see in the whole month of July. Our soil drains very well giving us the fortune of not having any standing water in the fields, though the rain has certainly kept us from doing some needed tilling, weeding and planting.  Cross your fingers that it stays dry this week so that we can catch up! We hope everyone was safe and sound after all the strong storms passed through over this past week. We had a little bit of hail damage and some more wind damage but escaped the worst of it.

In the box:

  • Snap Beans (Romano or Haricot) (3/4 # small, 1# med, 1.5# full)
  • Dill
  • Beets (med & full only)
  • Turnips (small only)
  • Fennel (med & full only)
  • Spring Greens (1/2# small, 3/4# med & full)
  • Summer Squash (2 med, 3 fulls)
  • Cucumbers (small share only)
  • Onions
  • Broccoli (1# med, 1.5 # fulls)

Recipes

We didn’t talk much about the beets in last week’s box. What a wonderful vegetable! Full of vitamin c, fiber, and phytonutrients that can help lower blood pressure, they are as beneficial as they are beautiful. They’d be great in your favorite juice recipe, but it’s hard to pass up culinary gems like quick-pickled beets, beet risotto, or a tangy and light salad with yogurt sauce. Do you avoid using beets because of the hassle of peeling? Try this: roast, boil, or steam your beets, whole, until tender when you poke a paring knife into the center. Allow them to cool long enough to handle, and then grab an old dishcloth or dishtowel and use it to rub the skins off. They come away in a jiffy and while your towel will forever be “the beet towel”, it’s worth it!

Dill is a fantastic, versatile summertime herb. Most famous for it’s use in pickles, it also adds a fresh, slightly bracing taste to all your potato salads and is a must-have ingredient for a classic Norwegian Salmon dish. Dill makes for a pretty awesome summer cocktail as well. Use the beets in your box and the dill to make this lovely summertime chilled beet soup.

Broccoli is back for medium and full shares this week. Here’s a link to our quiche recipe, in case you haven’t checked it out already. You can use almost any vegetable, meat, herb or cheese combo you’d like (hello, crisper clean-out!) but there is a good reason why broccoli and cheese are a classic quiche combo. We really like having quiche in the fridge in the summertime since it makes for a fast, light lunch or dinner after working outside all day.

Fennel is in the boxes again this week, and in slightly greater amounts. The crop has been wonderful this year, and we know how much it goes for at the co-op, so we are beyond pleased to be able to give you our bounty! We found a cool tutorial at Bon Appetit for how to prep fennel for cooking.

Next Week’s Sneak Peek:

  • Snap Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Collards/Kale
  • Head Lettuce
  • Onions
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Week 5

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Greetings all,

Yikes! Storms have been blowing through the last few days.  We’ve been lucky enough to dodge the nastiest of it so far.  We did have some heavy rain and some strong winds the other night. IMG_2121

Several of the corn successions were almost flattened and the head lettuce got a little torn up.  We think the corn will be just fine, maybe just a little awkward to pick.

In the Box This Week:

  • Beets!: Early Wonder (red) or Chiogga (pink and white bullseye)
  • Head lettuce: Adrianna, Lovelock, or Roxy
  • Fennel (2 heads full, 1 head medium and small)
  • Romano Beans: Capitano (yellow) & Roma II (green) (3/4 lb small, 1 lb med, 1.5 lb full)
  • Summer Squash (1 small, 2 med and full)
  • Oregano
  • Cucumber (med only)
  • Choi Sum: Gunsho (med and full)
  • Carrots (3/4 lb full)
  • Napa Cabbage (full only)
  • Turnips: Hakurei (full only)

Romano Beans

Romano Beans are a flat snap bean originating from (you guessed it) Italy. They have a heartier texture and sweeter flavor and can be used in the same way you would any snap bean. See some of the recipes at the bottom of the newsletter for more ideas!

Keeping Up With the Bounty

I’m sure by now you’ve established a good pattern for using your bounty of produce, but if you’re having trouble here are a few tips:

  • Eat a salad often, it doesn’t have to just be a side dish either, make a great big glorious lunch or dinner out of it.
  • Make a game plan when you unpack your share every week, make a realistic best-guess of what you will use and what you might not get around to using. Prep as much as you can for use later in the week (washing salad greens, removing greens from root crops, etc) If you don’t think something fits into your meal plan…
  • Preserve what you’re not going to use Most things like peas, beans and broccoli can be blanched and frozen.  Some leafy greens like chard, kale, collards and spinach can as well.  Other items you might want to fully prep and freeze for an easy meal later on, like roasting root vegetables or making a quiche with mustard greens.  Many things like beets, snap beans and cucumbers can be made into a quick “refrigerator pickle” or canned.
  • Clean out your crisper weekly it’s easy to lose track of what you have when you more produce and plastic bags keep piling up in the crisper. If you’ve got lots of odds and ends around, it’s time for a stir-fry, quiche, or a big entree salad loaded with chopped veggies and maybe some sliced ham, grilled chicken, or last night’s leftover pork loin.

Good Things Are On the Way

The heart of summer produce is just around the corner.  Sweet corn is tasseling,

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tomatoes are on the vine,

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Eggplant, peppers and melons are flowering!  Sooner than you know it they’ll all start showing up in the shares!

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Recipes

Fennel is one of the most delicious, most underappreciated vegetables in the culinary world! You really must try it a few different ways to discover how you most enjoy it. For those of you that are unsure of it’s anise-y tendencies, I recommend you roast it or grill it. This mellows the anise, brings out the incredible natural sweetness of the fennel, and is remarkably fast and easy. If you already know you like fennel, make this delicious fennel, olive and orange salad. The quality of the olives is key to this dish, so go to one of the special places that you can obtain a high-quality black olive, none of that canned stuff, please! Oil-cured black olives are even better. Anyone coming out our way can feel free to drop off a pound or two…

To us, snap beans are such a signal of summer and light, fresh, easy eating. Whenever I see a pile of them on the counter I always think of the wonderful times I had cooking them in Spain with my Dad. In honor of those fond memories, here’s two recipes that we made each time we were there. Judias Verdas con Ajo is simple and so flavorful, and the Green Beans with Serrano and Poached Egg is one of my top ten most beloved meals, ever. Please note, you may substitute any kind of snap bean (haricot, romano) for any other in all the recipes on the website.

I’ve also decided that zucchini/summer squash tend to be under-loved in our kitchens. The butt of endless jokes, a properly cooked zucchini is a thing of wonder. A badly cooked zucchini is enough to make you never want to eat them again. Generally speaking, SEAR the heck out of them. Whether grilling, sauteing or roasting, let them develop a beautiful, caramel color. This brings out the sweetness of the vegetable and provides a depth of flavor that can’t be beat. Try this Scandinavian Smorrebrod, understated, simple, stellar. They also play well with others, which is why they turn up so often in fritters, pancakes, breads, and the like. Re-examine your relationship with these guys, you won’t regret it!

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If you got turnips in your box this week, there’s a delicious new turnip and couscous salad on the website, perfect to enjoy on it’s own or as part of a light meal.

Sneak Peek at Next Week’s Box:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Spring Greens
  • Dill
  • Summer Squash
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