Week 18

IMG_2540Full Share (above)
 
 
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Medium Share (above)
 
 
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Small Share (above)
 
 

The last box of the season is here! What a year 2014 turned out to be. As we typically find upon reflection, we saw lots of changes on the farm this year. We got married during the biggest snowstorm of the year. We lost a beloved father. We built a fantastic greenhouse. We’re moments away from welcoming our first child. We grew from 100 members to 150. We saw the longest, wettest spring in the history of Polk County. We enjoyed a mild and not too dry summer. We witnessed the rapid arrival of a beautiful fall. We had many improvements and successes in our gardening, and a few disappointments as well. Most importantly, we had the honor of farming for all of you. Now that we’re here, it’s incredible to feel how long and how short 18 weeks can be.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of the Sleepy Root family for the year. We hope you enjoyed being a part of our CSA. We may enjoy growing vegetables but what really satisfies us is growing our community. It’s our sincerest hope that your boxes provided you not only with nourishment but with a sense of place, not only food for the dinner table but conversation to have around the dinner table. We hope that our boxes gave you some new vegetables to learn about, some old favorites, and a good reason to get in the kitchen and share and celebrate the fantastic world of good, healthy, responsibly raised produce. Thank you for being a part of our CSA for 18 delicious weeks!

unnamed-15 Ben and Michele bunching carrots
 
 

 

unnamed-13 A very bad photo of the moon during the eclipse…yes, some of us were talked out of bed at 5:45 am to do this! It was lovely, actually.

 

 
unnamed-12That tiny little speck in the photo? If you look really closely, you can see the red shading on the moon caused by the sun being directly behind Earth. Earth’s shadow causes the moon to turn red!
 
 
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The frosty morning revealed by the sunrise.
 
 
 
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Our three popcorn varieties, from left to right: Dakota Black, Pennsylvania Dutch Butter Flavored Popcorn (what a name!) and Calico
 
 
 
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Close up shot of the gorgeous colors in Calico
 

And now for the last time of 2014, here’s what’s in the box:

Kuri, Buttercup or Butternut Squash-one or two per share, depending on size
Delicata Squash-one for small and  medium shares, two for full shares
Popcorn-3 to 6 ears per share, depending on size
Celeriac- approximately 2 1/2# for small and medium shares, 3# for full shares
Carrots-2# bunches for all size shares
Kale- small bunches for small shares, regular bunches for medium and full shares
Romanesco or Cauliflower-small and full shares
Fennel fronds-medium and full shares
Beets or Romanesco-medium shares
Shallots-1/4# for medium shares
Pearl Onions-1# for full shares
Thyme-1 bunch for full shares
 

Kuri, Buttercup, or Butternut Squash-since the goal of the last box is to get everything we can out to our members, we decided to use a medley of the larger remaining winter squash. The kuri is a bright orange beauty, the buttercup is a charming turban-shaped squash with a dark green-grey exterior, and the butternut is that familiar pale orange, bell-shaped squash. All are great keepers and great eaters!

Delicata-This tubular, pale orange with green stripes squash is quickly becoming Heather’s favorite. The taste is truly sensational, rich, and creamy. It’s also fantastic to cook with since the skin is entirely edible. Split in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast cut side down. When the outer shell is tender to the touch, it’s done! Eat the whole thing, trust us, it’s so soft and delicate you’ll be amazed.

Popcorn-We had a lot of fun with this crop this year. Many of the members who came to the harvest party worked on pulling these out of the field. These ears of corn are designed to be popcorn.They still need to dry for a few more weeks before they’re ready to pop, though. When you take them out of your box, pull the husk and silks away from the cob. If you’d like to use them as decoration while they’re drying, tie the pulled back husks together and hang or place somewhere dry in your home. Otherwise you can remove the husks and silks entirely and again, place in a dry place indoors. In a few weeks’ time, shell off the kernels. You’ll know they’re ready when the kernels easily come off the cob. You can try popping them right away, or store them like you’d store any store-bought popcorn until you’re ready to eat! We’ve included a helpful video on how to shell the kernels.

Carrots-These might be the tastiest, sweetest carrots of the year, thanks to the multiple frosts we’ve had over the past few weeks. A combination of Purple Haze and Scarlet Nantes, we’re really proud of how beautiful they are!

Romanesco-Probably Brandon’s favorite brassica, these super-funky looking green spaceship broccoli can be treated just like any other broccoli! They tend to have a sweeter and nuttier taste than their more boring green cousins.

Fennel Fronds-The fennel didn’t have time to size up, but we were able to harvest lots of fronds! Think of these lacy fronds as you would dill or tarragon-they have a hint of anise, go great with seafood, and are best used fresh. They are a great addition to the vegetable stock pot, they’re really refreshing tossed into greens for a salad, and make into a pesto to use now or freeze for later. Pesto recipe below!

Beets-Definitely, absolutely, the most difficult crop of the year! The first three plantings got washed out entirely in our monsoon spring, and these are the only beets that made it to anywhere near normal size. Some bunches are baby beets, so they’d be great roasted whole or turned into gorgeous pickled beets. Some bunches are larger and can be diced or wedged before or after cooking. We’re shy on numbers for all the mediums, so some of you may find a romanesco in your box instead.  We’ve got big plans for you, beets, next year, so watch out!

Pearl Onions-Full shares get a real treat this box with a full pound of pearl onions. Ridiculously expensive to buy in grocery stores, these little cuties come in both red and yellow varieties. Best used alone to show off their sweet and mild taste. We’d recommend a creamed version  for your holiday table.

Shallots-Another special treat from the allium family! Medium shares get a quarter pound of this treasure of French cuisine, and we think you’ll love their richer, sweeter and fuller taste. There’s countless recipes out there that feature shallots, and you can always substitute for onions by using half as much shallot as you would onion.

 

Recipes

 

Fennel Frond Pesto

Yield 2/3 cup

Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roughly chopped fennel fronds
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Method
  1. Combine the fennel fronds, garlic, nuts and salt in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is chopped up.
  2. Add oil and process/blend until the mixture becomes paste-like. (You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.) Serve pesto at once, refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month.

Source: The New York Times

 

Winter Greens Pesto

Makes 1 1/2 cups, enough for 6-8 servings of pasta

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
8 ounces kale, trimmed, rinsed and chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast them in the oven until they are golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Have a large bowl of cold water ready. Drop the chopped kale into the boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, swirl the kale around a few times until it becomes limp.

Drain the kale and plunge it into the cold water. Drain again, then place the kale on a clean dishtowel and blot away the moisture.

Place the nuts, kale, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender and puree until uniformly smooth. You may need to add more olive oil to reach desired consistency.

To refrigerate, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto. Will stay fresh for up to 3 days. To freeze, place desired portions in small containers with plastic directly on the surface of the pesto, or place in plastic freezer bags, and freeze for up to two months.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 small delicata squash (about 12 ounces each), halved and seeded
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef (90% or leaner)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons toasted pepitas (see Tip)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place facedown on a large baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned on the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring bulgur and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
  4. Heat the remaining 4 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beef, chili powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bulgur and cook 1 minute. Stir in yogurt.
  5. Spoon about 3/4 cup filling into each squash half. Serve sprinkled with pepitas.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Tip: For the best flavor, toast chopped nuts or seeds: Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts or seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.
 

Delicata Squash with Orange and Pistachio

READER’S COMMENT:
“Made this exactly as written and it was fantastic! Even my squash-hating husband loved it. Can’t believe how tender the skin of the delicata got – I was skeptical that it would soften enough, but it wasn’t at all noticeable while eating…
Recipe
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Delicata Squash with Orange & Pistachios
Makes: 4 servings

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

NUTRITION PROFILE
Diabetes appropriate | Low calorie | Low carbohydrate | Low cholesterol | Low saturated fat | Low sodium | Healthy weight | Heart healthy | High fiber | Gluten free |

View Our Nutrition Guidelines » INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, halved and sliced
1 large delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped salted pistachios
MORE HEALTHY RECIPE IDEAS
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PREPARATION
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add squash, orange zest and juice, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring once, until the squash is almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the squash is tender and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes more. Garnish with pistachios.
NUTRITION

Squash with Orange & Pistachios

From EatingWell:  November/December 2009,November/December 2010

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Delicata Squash with Orange & Pistachios

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, halved and sliced
  • 1 large delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped salted pistachios

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add squash, orange zest and juice, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring once, until the squash is almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the squash is tender and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes more. Garnish with pistachios.

NUTRITION

 
 
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Week 17

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Full Share (above)
 
 
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Medium Share (above)
 
 
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Small Share (above)

Hello members, and welcome to week 17!

We are in awe of how quickly we’ve gotten to this point! We’ve got just one week to go and have really been enjoying how full and vibrant the fall boxes are.

Since there’s only two more weeks left, it’s really really important that members return all the boxes you’ve been hoarding in your garage, car trunk, hallway, etc. We’re getting down there in supply, so please bring your boxes to your drop site when you go pick up today or Thursday. Thanks so much for your help!

We had a fabulous Harvest and Member Party on Sunday! About 25 or 30 members came out and we had a great time outside. We picked all the popcorn, harvested and topped most of a bed of carrots, hauled about 300 pounds of rutabaga out of the field, and more importantly got to spend real time with some of you folks that honor us with their support over the course of the season. The food was fantastic, as CSA potlucks tend to be (you CSA types are always such good cooks!) and we can’t thank everyone enough for the major clean-up help too. We look forward to having next year’s party already, and look forward to seeing more of all of you throughout the course of the season next year. Don’t forget, you can always come out to see the farm, member party or not. We love visitors!

It’s such a strange feeling to be looking at the year’s box plan which details 18 weeks and realizing we have to divvy up everything left in the field and in storage between only two boxes! We’re really cramming the bounty in there, and the good news is that most of the produce you’ll be getting is intended to store well. Below are some general storage tips for the types of produce you’re likely to find this week and next:

Storage tips:

Roots: All root vegetables like carrots, beets, and rutabaga will keep best if  stored in a closed plastic bag in the refrigerator.   Root vegetables benefit from cold environments that have a high humidity.  Keeping them in a bag creates a humid microclimate which slows their respiration of water, keeping them crisp.   Removing any greens that may come with carrots or beets will slow down the loss of water as well since greens transpire water from the roots as well as themselves.

Potatoes and Squash: Potatoes are different than the other root crops (technically they are not really a root either, they are a tuber). They, as well as winter squash, want to be in a dry cool place–but not too cold!  Potato’s ideal temperature is between 45-50 degrees. Much colder than this and the texture of the potato will be compromised.   Remove your potatoes from the plastic bag they came in and put them in a dry bag with holes or a paper bag.  If potatoes or squash are in a damp or humid environment they will quickly rot.  We usually keep our potatoes in a basket in our pantry and leave our squash on display on our counter tops, never putting either in the fridge unless they’ve been cut open.  If you have a room in your house that is kept cooler during the winter but doesn’t freeze, this would also be an ideal place.

You may occasionally notice sap from your winter squash coming from the stem or a small cut on its body.  This is just sugars of the squash leaving from an open wound, much like maple syrup from a maple tree.  If your squash is doing this, it’s best to eat it sooner than later, as the sugars are likely to attract mold and is indicative of a wound, which are prone to expediate the spoiling of the squash. .  If you can’t get to eating it soon, at least periodically wipe off the sap to prevent molding.

Cabbage and Cauliflower: Both like similar conditions to root vegetables: cold and humid.  Use the plastic bag your potatoes came in or any other produce bag you have around to wrap up your cauliflower and cabbage and put in the crisper in your fridge.  The same principles of respiration apply: if they are not wrapped up they will soon become soft and spongy.  Your cabbage should keep at least until January (if not longer) if kept properly.  If you are delaying your cabbage gratification until early spring, check on it every now and then to cut off any damage or spoiling parts.

Herbs: Herbs like thyme and parsley can be kept in the fridge or on the counter. They have a tendency to dry well if they are kept on the counter or hung and can then be used later in the year.  After they are fully dry you can put them in a bag or bottle, or simply leave them out and use when needed.  Oregano, if wanted to be used fresh, should be kept in a bag in the fridge.  Its leaves are more prone to wilting while drying, making it not as usable in the stages between fresh and dried.  You can hang your bundle if you wish to dry it, or spread the individual stems out on the counter or on a ventilated surface (screen or cookie cooling rack).  Once dry, crumble the dried leaves into a container and discard the stems.

Without further ado, here’s what’s in the box this week:

Pumpkin (one or two per member, with the goal of everybody getting at leasat 4-5 pounds. Enough for pie!)
Cabbage (one per member)
Rutabaga (about 2 1/2# for small shares, about 3# or more for medium and full shares)
Pac Choi (3/4# for all members)
Carrots (1 1/2# for medium shares, 2# for full shares)
Oregano or Parsley (medium and full shares)
Cauliflower (full shares)
Leeks (full shares)
 

Pumpkin-Heather fell in love with a pumpkin last year by the name of Minnesota Sweet. It was maybe the best pie pumpkin she’d ever baked with. Alas, this year the seed was unavailable and we selected the New England Pie Pumpkin as a substitute. Guess what?! It’s great! It tastes wonderful and produces a good amount of silky pumpkin puree, enough for two pies, on average.

Cabbage-This dense, beautiful purple cabbage is called Ruby Perfection. If you place it in a plastic bag in the crisper of your fridge it will last for MONTHS! That is, if you can keep from eating it for that long. Our Monday savior helper, Ben, told us he roasts his chickens on a bed of shredded cabbage and that it gets tender and flavored with all the yummy chicken fat. Sounds good to us!

Rutabaga-These lovely golden nuggets will also keep for months in a plastic bag in your fridge. We really like to eat them at Thanksgiving, mashed with lots of butter, cream, and black pepper.

Pac Choi-There are a few holes in some of the leaves but the fall harvest of pac choi turned out really well, we think. We love being able to offer something green, crisp, and crunchy, even after a few frosts and one hard freeze. This is one of those veggies that just doesn’t get 100% clean until it gets cut up, so when you’re ready to cook it, cut it up and then give it a good rinse.

Herb bunches-Medium shares and Full shares will get a bunch of either oregano or parsley this week.

Cauliflower-The Purple of Sicily is still going pretty strong, although the production has decreased.

Leeks-Leeks are one of our favorite vegetables to cook with, and they take absolutely forever to grow. These are on the skinny side so we bunched them together-you should have plenty for a soup, cassoulet, or roast.

Farm happenings this week:

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In the popcorn field

 

 

 

 

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Carrot harvest!
 
 
 
 
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Rutabaga harvest!
 
 
 
 
 
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Rutabaga in the field, prior to trimming and cleaning
 
 
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One of our member families brought us this awesome fall bouquet!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Look at the tiny pumpkin-like fruits. Aren’t they adorable?
 
 
 
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Pumpkins and squash in the barn, waiting to get sorted by size
 
 

Recipes

Favorite Pumpkin Pie

My dad’s favorite pie in the world was pumpkin, so this one’s for him:

Pie dough: a.k.a. Pate Brisee

1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 T. sugar

1/2 cup butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, chilled

1/8-1/4 cup ice water

Sift the dry ingredients together. Place in food processor and add butter, pulse until the mix resembles coarse cornmeal. Add water, a few Tablespoons at a time, using as little as possible, until the dough comes together. Press into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Pie Filling:

2 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

Lightly beat the eggs. Mix the spices with the brown sugar, and add the spiced sugar mix to the heavy cream. Pour this over the pumpkin filling, add the eggs, and stir until just combined.

When ready to make pie, turn the oven on to 375 degrees, and when the oven is ready, pull your dough from the fridge. As soon as the dough is workable roll out and place in pie pan. Keep the edges plain, flute with a fork, or use any other decorative method you wish. Pour the pie filling in the unbaked shell, and bake 35-40 minutes or until the filling is just set. Don’t over-bake, or the the filling may crack. Allow to cool to room temperature, and if you like, serve with whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup.

 

 

 

 

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Week 16

IMG_2531Full Share (above)
 
 
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Medium Share (above)
 
 
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Small Share (above)
 
 

Happy Fall, members!

After a strange warm spell, it seems to be fall around here for sure! Yesterday’s harvest weather was cool and cloudy and felt like a late fall day, without a doubt. The boxes are quintessentially fall-like as well. They’re loaded with great beautiful and nutritious veggies-lots of oranges, purples, and greens for good health.

 

As the year is winding down we want to take another chance to thank all of our members, friends and family for their support this season! It’s been a long and at times very difficult one, but knowing we have you to work for and knowing we’ve had your support makes all the difference in the world. Thank you, members, we appreciate you! If you haven’t yet RSVP’d for the Member Harvest Party and Potluck, please do! If you’re on the fence and haven’t RSVP’d, go ahead and swing by. We’d love to see you, show you around the farm you’ve invested in for the season, and thank you in person. The party is Sunday October 5th. Harvest begins around 10 am, with the Potluck starting at 1:30. Feel free to come for just the potluck, just the harvest, some or all of the day.

We’ve got a special treat this week of the freshest potatoes you’ll ever eat. We spent the day on Sunday digging a few thousand pounds of potatoes at Threshing Table Farm, owned and operated by our friends Mike and Jody Lenz. They are expert potato growers, and have great equipment for planting and harvesting, so it made good sense to us to have them grow our potatoes this year. They turned out great, and we can’t wait for everyone to enjoy spuds that just came out of the ground!

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Mike driving his tractor with the super-awesome digger implement. It cuts underneath the potatoes, shakes them loose, and deposits them on top of the earth. SO MUCH BETTER than the hand-harvesting we did last year!
 

What’s in the box this week?

Squash-about 4# of acorn-either carnival or jester-for small and medium shares, about 8# of chiriman for full shares
Potatoes-2 1/2# for small shares, 3# for medium and full shares
Carrots-topped this week, 1# for small shares, 1 1/4# for medium shares, and 1 1/2# for full shares
Mustard Bunches-one bunch per share
Thyme-1 bunch per share
Cauliflower-Purple of Sicily, one head for small shares (to even out last week) and one head for full shares
Collards-one bunch each for medium and full shares
Celeriac-3# each for full shares
 

Squash-Small and medium shares will get a squash from the acorn family this week. Your beauties may include Jester, which is creamy with green in the grooves, Carnival which has awesome spots and freckles of green, orange, and black, or the odd bright orange one with green spots-a spontaneous hybrid that showed up this season. Full shares get to enjoy Chiriman, a neat Japanese heirloom. Chiriman has been around since the Edo period, (1603-1867 A.D.) and is an increasingly rare heirloom. Since we really like to keep the old, special, and at-risk varieties of fruits and vegetables going, we decided to grow this squash every year. The flesh is quite sweet, and it stores well in a cool, dry space.

Potatoes-either Russet or Satina. Both varieties are delicious and can be enjoyed in all your favorite potato recipes.

Carrots-as the carrots spend more time in the field, growing, the tops become less attractive and more tattered, so we decided to top them this week.

Mustard Bunches-a tasty bunch of mixed mustard greens, full sized. Enjoy them in a stir fry, saute, or try this interesting, gluten-free and vegetarian Indian recipe from Food and Wine.

Collards-These giant beauties are back! Collards are incredibly good for you, boasting tons of soluble fiber and lots of Vitamins C, K, and A. Store in a plastic bag in your crisper.

Celeriac-Full shares get celeriac this week, and as the bulbs continue to size up all other shares will see them as well. This ugly duckling of the veggie world has a lovely, sweet celery-parsley flavor. You’ll notice how rooty and knobby they are, so peel them and give them another good rinse before cooking. Definitely try them in last week’s root vegetable roast recipe. They should keep for several weeks in a bag in the fridge.

Farm happenings this week:

IMG_1361Celeriac field. Note the leaves changing color in the background!
 
 
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Celeriac bulb, before trimming
 
 
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Chiriman squash after harvest, waiting to be cleaned
 
 
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Michelle with piles of carrots to sort and bag!
 
 

Recipes

Collard Greens with Bacon, a classic!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 bunches collard greens, stemmed
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Working in batches, stack greens; cut crosswise into 2-inch-thick strips. Gather strips; cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Transfer to a large bowl of cold water; swish to remove grit. Transfer greens to a colander using a slotted spoon; let drain. Repeat until greens are free of grit.

  2. STEP 2

    Heat oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bacon; cook until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add greens; cook, stirring, until greens begin to wilt and are reduced in volume.

  3. STEP 3

    Raise heat to high; add vinegar. Cook, scraping up brown bits from bottom of skillet, until vinegar has evaporated, about 1 minute.

  4. STEP 4

    Add stock; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until greens are just tender, 12 to 14 minutes. If making ahead, refrigerate, covered; reheat over low heat.

SOURCE

Martha Stewart Living, May 2005

 

Sautéed Collard Greens with Raisins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds (about 2 bunches) collard greens, stalks removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast until golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add collard greens and raisins; cook, tossing occasionally, until collards are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Serve sprinkled with toasted almonds.

SOURCE

Everyday Food, October 2007

 

All the best from all of us at Sleepy Root,

Brandon, Heather, Baby Root (only 6 more weeks!), Ben, Michelle and Frank!

 

 

 

 

 

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Week 15

IMG_2521Full Share (above)
 
 
IMG_2523
Medium Share (above)
 
 
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Small Share (above)

Hello Sleepy Root Members!

Where has the season gone? It seems like just yesterday that we were harvesting spring lettuces and radishes, seeding beans every other day, and scrambling to fight the rain and the weeds. Now we’re facing only three more boxes after this week is over! We’re seeing a steady progression into fall now-there’s some type of winter squash scheduled into every box from now on, we’ve taken down all the dead tomato plants, the greenhouse is getting closed up for the winter, and we find true fall and winter root vegetable crops like rutabaga and carrots in the boxes.

Brandon’s parents came out for a quick weekend visit from South Dakota again, and we couldn’t have enjoyed them more. Lois showed up with a home-made apple pie, (always a good idea!) they helped us harvest and pack boxes on Monday, and they even got our temporary greenhouse torn down. Thanks so much, Richard and Lois, we couldn’t have gotten through some of these weeks without you!

We’ve been having a big gopher attack this month, and it turns out that our fabulous new employee Michelle counts gopher-trapping among her many talents. Hopefully this will help reduce some of the damage that some of the squash and root crops are experiencing. It hasn’t been too serious of a problem yet, but we’d love it if the gophers would move over to the DNR land next door and leave the veggies to you guys!

A word about the boxes this week and next: We’re doing a bit of a shuffle with small share box contents for this week and next. Despite planting over 300 cauliflower for this fall, they are maturing in small spurts instead of all at once. This gradual maturation is a common characteristic of heirloom varieties and is a major reason why many larger commercial growers have turned to hybrids-they really need dependable harvest dates. Since we enjoy the ability to customize our boxes on a weekly basis according to what’s actually ready, tasty, and beautiful, we often choose to grow the heirlooms which can be superior in taste and appearance.

To make sure our small share members get the best chance of getting one in their box this season, we are including them on Thursday of this week and Tuesday of next week. The bottom line? Between this week and next small shares should all see a beautiful Purple of Sicily cauliflower in their boxes!

Another note-we were planning on putting the butternut squash in a later box, but the light frost we experienced last week caused a little bit of damage to them, as they have the most delicate skins of the squash we grow. What you might notice is a little bit of discoloration in the skin color, which often appears as if it’s wet. There is absolutely no damage to the squash’s flavor, but we wanted to get them out to you sooner rather than later since they’ll be more likely to soften sooner. If you keep them in a cool, dry place and eat them within a week or two they should be just fine. Butternut is one of the most beloved of all squash for their sweet flavor and abundance of meat, so we’d be surprised if yours sticks around that long! All the other winter squashes should keep like usual, so depending on storage conditions you’ve got months to enjoy them.

What’s in the box this week:

Kale-Redbor, Vates, or a combination of the two (1 regular bunch for small and medium shares, 1 large bunch for full shares)
***Note-Tuesday small shares get kale this week, and Thursday small shares get kale next week. Thursday shares this week will see Cauliflower (maybe broccoli depending on what’s mature) and then Tuesday shares NEXT WEEK will see the same***
Butternut Squash- 1 squash per member!
Rutabaga-roughly a 2# rutabaga for small and medium shares, 2 1/2# or larger for full shares
Radishes-1 bunch per medium and full shares
Carrots-1 1/2# bunches for all members!
Cabbage-1 head for medium shares
Baby Pac Choi-1/2# for full shares
Broccoli-1 1/4# for full shares
Peppers-2# for full shares
 

Kale-these frilly beauties are from our second succession, and will continue to produce throughout the winter. We’ve included Redbor which is a deep purple (go phytonutrients!), Vates which is a deep green, or a combination of both.

Rutabaga-the giant, ugly, misunderstood member of the root vegetable family.  They look like a lumpy turnip, but peel them, roast or mash them, and enjoy them with seasoning like butter, cream, thyme or rosemary and you’ll fall in love with these giant misfits! They have a taste that’s like a cross between a carrot and a potato, with a texture like a carrot or turnip. They’re also rather rudely known as Swedes as they were long a staple crop for poor Swedish farmers. When Heather and Brandon go to her adopted Larson family’s home for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, mashed rutabaga is one of the most anticipated dishes on the table!

Cabbage-we continue to be in awe of the cabbage this year. The variety you’re getting is called Deadon. Terrible name, gorgeous vegetable. They have grown well, sized up nicely, and are stunningly colored with green and purple.

Baby Pac Choi-full shares will enjoy this delicate Asian vegetable this week. Some shares saw pac choi this spring, too. They enjoy the cooler weather of spring and fall, and are a welcome addition to the boxes this week.

Peppers-Full shares also get to enjoy the very last of the bell peppers this week. Goodbye, summer!

On the farm:

unnamedWatch out! Heather learned to drive the John Deere about 5 minutes before this photo was taken. What a trusting family! Richard and Lois are helping bring in the squash harvest.
 
 
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Frank on the prowl for discarded radishes, one of his favorite treats.
 
 
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Picking kale bunches
 
 
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Boxes loaded up and ready to go to the warehouse of the Hungry Turtle Farmer’s Cooperative in downtown Amery. The co-op is who we and several other farmers hire to deliver our boxes in the Twin Cities twice a week.
 

Recipes

Both of these recipes are from Nigel Slater’s famous vegetable cookery book, Tender. If you don’t have it, it’s probably the most valuable CSA member cookbook I can think of!

Perfect Mashed Rutabaga

Peel the rutabaga. Cut the flesh into large chunks and pile into a steamer basket or metal colander. Place over a pan of boiling water and steam for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. (Rutabaga will always have a certain amount of firmness to their consistency, but it should taste done). Put into a bowl and crush with a potato masher. Fold in some butter, salt and black pepper and beat hard with a wooden spoon.

A Slow Roast of Roots

This roast is one of the most pleasant ways to enjoy the goodies that are in your boxes this week and in the coming weeks. You will see celeriac, beets, rutabaga, and carrots in your futures, so keep this recipe around for the duration of the season!

Peel and chop an assortment of rutabaga, pumpkin or squash, carrots, beets celery root or turnips. Any root will do. Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add all the vegetables except the beets, and let them simmer for ten minutes. They should just take the tip of a knife. Drain.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm up plenty of butter (5 tablespoons for every 4 pounds of veggies) in a roasting pan with a good glug of olive oil to stop it burning. Add the drained vegetables and beets, if using, turn them in the butter, and scatter with any herb you like (probably thyme or rosemary) and a few squashed cloves of garlic. Roast 45 minutes to an hour, until the vegetables are soft inside, crisp and golden without.

Spicy Reuben Chowder with Rye Croutons

YIELD: Serves 6

PREP TIME: 20 Minutes

COOK TIME: 30 minutes

ingredients:

for the chowder:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups andouille sausage, sliced (optional, tastes pretty great without meat, too!)

1 1/2 cups ham, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3-4 cups shredded cabbage

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken stock (*add more if needed, use veg stock if you’d like)

1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

1/4 cup chives, green onions, or any other herb you like, garnish

Tabasco, garnish

for the rye croutons:

4 slices rye bread cut into cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

pinch of salt and pepper

directions:

for the chowder:
In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and let it cook for a couple of minutes until softened. Add the cabbage and cook until tender. Then add the andouille sausage and ham and brown for a few more minutes. Add the flour along with a little salt & pepper and stir. Let the flour cook out for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock to pot and bring everything to a boil, stirring constantly. Then reduce the heat to a low simmer and let cook gently for about 20 minutes. When you are about ready to serve, stir in herbs and creme fraiche. Serve in bowls and top with fresh herbs, Tabasco, and brown butter rye croutons!!!

for the brown butter rye croutons:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place rye cubes on baking sheet. Pour olive oil over bread along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

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Week 14

 IMG_2516Full Share (above)
 
 
IMG_2514Medium Share (above) 
 
 
 
IMG_2511
Small Share (above)
 
 

The return of the fajita box!

Well, members, as predicted we got a light frost out here in Amery and in preparation for that we picked all the sweet, bell, and hot peppers from the plants and you now have the fajita box! Luckily the cilantro made it through the frost in decent shape, so you’ve got peppers, onions and cilantro to form a really good base for fajitas.

We’ve been starting our fall clean-up, which includes starting the process of cutting all the winter squash off the vine, curing it outside for a week or so, and then bringing it all into the pack shed before a freeze hits. We’ve also started pulling plants out of the ground, pulling up plastic mulch and irrigation systems, and tidying up in preparation for winter. It’s an extremely big project to put a farm to bed for the winter, so it’s great that we have some nice weather to start early. Brandon also seeded some more winter greens for the final boxes, and we are keeping busy with general weekly harvesting, weeding, and maintenance. We’ve also been blessed with the addition of Michelle, a super-awesome mother of 5 who is helping us out part-time during the week. She’s an Amery native and we are so grateful to have her on board for the rest of the season!

A reminder that our annual member party will be a Work and Harvest Party on Sunday, October 5th. Feel free to come to some or all of the event, it should be a great time on the farm with fall walks in the woods, a tasty potluck and maybe even a fun market stand with items like organic, free-range chickens, maple syrup, and other local goods to take home. Stay tuned for details, but please RSVP so we know how much main course to make!

One more reminder-please return your gently unfolded boxes to your drop site each week. We’re starting to run low again, so if you all remember we should make it through the season. We’ve also had to throw away almost 2 dozen boxes this week because they’ve been ripped in the process of unfolding. We know they can be challenging to unfold, especially when they’re new and stiff, but please take care! Starting at $1.50 per box, this is a big expense for us that can be minimized with a little care on your part. Thanks so much for your help. We even talked Brandon into modeling the procedure for you in this video!

IMG_1298Sweet little bird’s nest in the squash
 
 
IMG_2519 Carnival Squash with Ben!
 

 

IMG_2512Meet your winter greens mix: from left to right, baby kale, hon tsai tai, green mustard, red mustard, and tat soi. 

 

Here’s what’s in the boxes this week:

Peppers (1# for small shares, 1 1/2# for medium and full shares)
Hot Peppers (2 for small and medium shares, 3 for full shares)
Onions (1# for all share sizes)
Cilantro (1 bunch for all share sizes)
Winter Greens (1/2# for small and medium shares, 3/4# for full shares)
Winter Squash (1 or 2, depending on weight, for all share sizes)
Cauliflower or Broccoli (1 head or 1#, medium shares)
Radishes (1 bunch, full shares)
Carrots (1 1/2#, full shares)
 

Peppers- The last of the year! An assortment of everything we’ve got, you’ll find sweet and bell peppers in your bag. Make some fajitas with these, the bell peppers, some of the onions and the cilantro. It might be one of your last (!) tastes of summer…

Hot Peppers- A mix of jalapeno and hungarian hot wax. These are loose in your box, so they should be easy to identify!

Winter Greens- A really neat winter braising mix that contains tat soi, red and green mustard, and kale. While designed to saute or stir-fry, they are still very tender and sweet so feel free to eat fresh like any other mixed greens.

Winter Squash-The first appearance of our winter squash! A sure sign of the transition to fall, your squash might be the lovely multi-colored acorn squash known as Carnival, or the more modestly colored yellow-orange acorn.

Radishes-Only in full share boxes this week, the radishes are a fun fall addition as they tolerate the cool weather well. We actually really like these shredded on top of our fajitas and tacos.

Recipes

Moosewood Cafe Squash Pancakes

Our neighbor and Monday helper, Ben, told us about these pancakes which he’s been eating all week. We made them last night and ate them with our winter greens as a side salad. Delicious, thanks Ben!

Ingredients

4 cups winter squash, peeled and grated (I used a food processor to grate them to speed things up)
1 onion, grated
4 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
fresh black pepper
 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place enough oil or butter in the pan to coat. Spoon the pancake mix into the skillet, smoothing and flattening the mix so that it’s about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Let cook on one side until browned, then flip and cook until the other side is browned. Place pancakes on sheet tray in oven to keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes.

Tastes great with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top and a big salad of winter greens on the side!

Quick Stir-Fried Winter Greens

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 lb. mixed baby greens for cooking, well rinsed and drained but not dried (see note above)
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

Place a wide, deep saucepan over medium-high heat until hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle and then immediately evaporate. Add the oil, ginger and garlic and heat just until the garlic begins to sizzle, about 10 seconds.

Add the greens all at once and, using tongs or 2 wooden spoons, toss and stir to coat with the oil and seasonings. Cover and allow the greens to steam with the droplets of rinsing water until tender, 9 to 12 minutes; the timing will depend on the varieties in the mix. Season with the salt.

Transfer the greens to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately. Serves 2-4.

 

All the best from all of us at Sleepy Root,

Brandon, Heather, Frank, Baby Root, Ben and MIc

 

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Week 13

IMG_2508Full Share (above)
 
IMG_2506
Medium Share (above)
 
IMG_2505
Small Share (above)

Hello everyone! We hope this newsletter finds you enjoying the weather-the word is there are some BIG CHANGES coming around the corner. We think most of our Twin Cities members escaped the majority of the serious storms that swept though a few days ago. We had a lot of corn get blown down in strong winds, fortunately the hardest hit was the popcorn (thats right–there will be popcorn in the boxes this year!) and it can continue to dry out whether it’s on bent over stalks or not. This is likely the last week for sweet corn, anyhow, so we guess we should give thanks that what got damaged was on the way out anyways!   IMG_1283Blown over pop corn This week marks a pretty big transition for the produce–we (or more accurately, the cool weather and rain) are ushering out the high season summer crops of corn, tomatoes, eggplant, melons, basil and beans and beginning to see fall crops mature such as rutabaga, winter squash, onions, kale and collards, carrots, radishes and more. There might be a precipitous farewell to summer crops this weekend depending on how much frost/freeze we experience. Paul Huttner of our very favorite weather blog, The Updraft, is saying we may get a frost on Friday or Saturday. If that happens, we will be saying goodbye to the tomatoes, basil, peppers and eggplants. The good news is that it just might mean the beloved fajita box will soon make an appearance: lots and lots of peppers, whatever tomatoes are left, onions, and cilantro. Keep an eye on the weather and stay tuned to see what goes on in next week’s box. IMG_1269 Fall onions were harvested this week.  Brandon spreading them out to dry on mesh tables before storing. IMG_1276 IMG_1288Cool bug of the week, found in the swiss chard patch during Monday’s harvest. This week’s box has a fun assortment of produce, so without further ado:

Tomatoes (1 1/2# for small shares, 2# for medium shares, 2 1/4# for full shares)
Sweet Corn (2 each for all shares)
Shiso (1-ish ounces per share)
Baby Kale (1/2#, small shares only)
Snap Beans (3/4# for small shares, 1# for full shares)
Eggplant (1 each, medium shares only)
Cucumbers (1 each for medium and full shares)
Swiss Chard (1 bunch for medium and full shares)
Head Lettuce (1 head for medium and full shares)
Hot Peppers (2 each, full shares only)
Melon (1 each, full shares only)
Cauliflower (1 each, full shares only)
 

Tomatoes-These may or may not be the last of the season, depending on the weather! Enjoy them! Sweet Corn-Same story, sadly. Didn’t it feel like summer lasted for only a few days this year? What a cool, wet, strange growing season. Shiso-This super-cool, very beautiful Japanese herb is just too lovely for us to resist growing for you.  Requested a few years back by member Peter Kim, we have finally had a successful crop of this difficult germinator to send out. A staple of Japanese cuisine, shiso has an herbaceous and citrusy taste, and this variety has striking two-tone leaves:  green on the top and deep purple on the bottom. It’s best used raw, and a good rule of thumb is to slice it thinly and use in anything you’d use basil or mint for. It is also most famously used to give umeboshi plum paste it’s gorgeous color.  This great blog has lots more info and ideas! We’ve given you several recipes below as well.

IMG_2510Shiso

Snap Beans-either the very fine haricots verts (albeit yellow) or the fat and wide romano bean. Cauliflower-This technicolor variety is called Purple of Sicily. IMG_2509 Melons-Although we tried our best to prognosticate our way into a great melon year, this season falls a little short of what I would call a true year-of-the-melon.  Not-so-hot weather and way way way too much rain has produced a short run of so-so melons whose sweetness was watered down.  Not bad by any means, but not great.  There’s always next year, right?

Recipes

Japanese-style Shiso Pesto (and Pasta)

Shiso-Pesto

  • 1 ounce shiso leaves
  • 1/4 c. raw pistachio nuts
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (any type)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1/2 c. olive oil

Pulse everything except the olive oil together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a smooth paste. Add salt to taste. Enjoy tossed with any shape of cooked pasta (soba noodles would be great!), diced raw tomatoes, and shrimp, chicken or tofu.  

Shiso Julep

So, summer may be on it’s way out, but say goodbye in style with a great take on the Mint-based Kentucky classic! julep_1490 Muddle 3 shiso leaves in a glass with 1 ounce lime juice and 1 ounce simple syrup. Add 3 ounces Maker’s Mark or any other fine Bourbon, shake with ice, and top with a bit of club soda.  

“Gazpacho” with Shiso Oil

from Ming Tsai

13-gazpacho-0220.4603dddd4a67492268c66ae0db7b650d1138

Ingredients

For the Gazpacho: 1  cucumber, peeled, and rough chopped 3 large red heirloom tomatoes, core removed and, rough chopped ¼ cup Wanjashan naturally brewed rice vinegar 1 tablespoon naturally brewed tamari 1 tablespoon Worcestershire 1 red onion, peeled, and rough chopped 4 cloves of garlic 1 jalapeño or other hot pepper, rough chopped 4 shiso leaves Kosher salt and black pepper to taste For the shiso oil: 1 small garlic cloves shiso leaves 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil dash of water if needed
 

Directions

In a blender combine the cucumber, tomatoes, rice vinegar, tamari, and Worcestershire blend to combine. Add  onion, garlic,  hot pepper, and 4 shiso leaves. Blend to combine. Check for seasoning.  Strain mixture. Chill well. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together the garlic clove, any remaining shiso and extra virgin olive oil and season.  Serve in chilled martini glass and drizzle in shiso oil.  Garnish with sauté mini croutons. Have a great week, everyone! All the best from all of us at Sleepy Root, Brandon, Heather, Frank, Ben and Baby Root    

 

   

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Week 12

IMG_2502Full Share (above)
 
IMG_2499
Medium share (above)
 
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Small share (above)

Hello members and friends!

We hope this week finds you well-rested after a holiday weekend and ready for more abundant produce! Even though labor day signals the end of summer and the beginning of fall, we are still in the lovely throes of lots of corn, beans, tomatoes and basil. The boxes are full and fun, and now that we’ve got a friend and neighbor farmer helping out once a week, our Monday harvest day is a lot more humane. Thanks, Ben!

It’s time for our annual member gathering, and we think the fall will be a fantastic time for one this year! We have set the date for Sunday, October 5th, from 10 am to 4 pm. Our plan is to all work together to bring in the fall harvest for the first half of the day, and then enjoy a big potluck and farm fun for the second half of the day, with plenty of time included for guided tours and self-exploration. Please feel free to join us for all or part of the day-we’d love to see you whether or not you can help haul in the winter squash and fall root crops in the morning. We’ve set the potluck lunch-time for 1:30 pm. If you plan to attend, please RSVP via email to sleepyrootfarm@gmail.com so we can plan accordingly. We hope to see lots of you there! Member gatherings are a really important way for us to build our Sleepy Root community, and you all are so important to us! We’d love to be able to see you and thank you in person.

On the farm this week:

photoWe’ve never seen so many grasshoppers in a season! This little guy hitched a ride in the truck with us.
 
 
IMG_1247Brandon found this little beauty in the corn.
 

Now, on to what’s in the box this week:

Melons (1 for each share again!)
Sweet Corn (4 ears for small shares, 6 for medium, 8 for full shares)
Tomatoes (a whopping 3# for smalls, 3 1/2# for mediums, 4# for full shares)
Basil (1 bunch per share)
Edamame (1/2# for each share)
Hot Peppers (1 for small and medium shares, 2 for full shares)
Sweet or Bell Peppers (1 for medium shares, 2 for full shares)
Haricots Vert (green and yellow mix, 1# for medium shares, 1 1/4# for full shares)
Baby kale (1/2# for medium shares, 3/4# for full shares)
Cucumbers (1 for small shares, 2 for full shares)

Everyone is receiving melons again this week, we hope you are enjoying them. The crop is doing well and Brandon is happy that his prophecy that 2014 is the year of the melon has come true! All members are getting a good amount of corn, tomatoes and basil again. We’re sure that you’re all coming up with great ways to use these summertime treats, if you have a great recipe send it on to us so we can share with the whole Sleepy Root family.

A special treat for everyone this week is a little baggie of Edamame. These are fresh soybeans, and a staple of most Sushi restaurants. Don’t let their weird shape and hairy pod scare you, they taste great and were a big hit at our employee meal on Monday. They are a great little appetizer! See method for eating below.

Edamame_by_Zesmerelda_in_ChicagoEdamame pods
 

Another fun item in the boxes is baby kale. We plant these seeds densely, the same way we plant our lettuce beds, and harvest them in the same manner as well. We love having smaller, cut greens year-round but lettuces grown in our region this time of year tend to be aggressively bitter. Baby kale is a super-nutritious, tasty and gorgeous alternative. Eat this fresh and raw like you would any other baby lettuce mix, or feel free to saute or stir fry it like you would full-grown kale.

Haricots verts are back! These gorgeous, slender yellow and green French beans are delicate and tasty. A staple of fine dining, they rarely show up on the commercial market because they need to be harvested by hand and take quite a while to pick. Treat them like you would any green bean, and just appreciate how tender they are to eat. We’ve got a few recipes below for you to try.

Recipes

Edamame, Sushi-house style

Ingredients:

Edamame

Sesame oil

Salt

Directions:

Steam edamame in their pods for about 10 minutes, or until the beans are tender when you slip one out of the pod to sample. Place the edamame in a bowl, toss with sesame oil, and sprinkle with salt. Place an empty bowl on the table as well, for people to put their discarded pods into. To eat, simply slip the beans out of the pods with your fingers, or for even more fun, place the pod in your mouth, holding on to the tip, and pull between your teeth. The beans will slide out, and you’ll have a tasty bean treat with the seasoning of the sesame oil and salt. Discard pod and repeat.

2013-0722_genius-beans-349_copy

 

Penelope Casas’ Garlic Green Beans (Judias Verdas con Ajo) 

Spanish cuisine is a favorite of mine, and Penelope Casas has written many definitive books on the food and wine of Spain. This recipe gets straight to the heart of what’s best about beans…

Author Notes: This technique looks embarrassingly simple, and it is. But it shakes up our habits, and with four ingredients, lets green beans become their best selves. Resist the temptation to add liquid. The beans will stew in their own juices, and their flavor will be completely undiluted. You could leave the garlic out, but its pushy sting will soften a little on the warmth of the beans. Adapted from The Foods and Wines of Spain (Knopf, 1982). 

Serves 4

  • 3/4pounds fresh green beans
  • 1tablespoon butter
  • 1clove garlic, crushed
  • Coarse salt
  1. Snap off the tops of the beans. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the beans, and cook them over a medium to medium-high flame, stirring, until they begin to brown.
  2. Lower the flame, cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beans are the desired tenderness, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix in the crushed garlic, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.

 

Haricots Verts with Mustard Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

Coarse salt

1/2 pound haricots verts trimmed

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped shallot

1 1/2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon grainy or smooth Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1-Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. Addsalt to boiling water, then add haricots verts; cook just until beans are bright green all over, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. STEP 2-Drain beans; rinse immediately with cold water. Transfer to ice-water bath. When chilled completely, drain; pat dry.

  3. STEP 3-Put shallot and vinegar in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes. Whisk in mustard. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified. Set aside until ready to dress beans; whisk before using.

All the best from all of us,

Brandon, Heather, baby Root, and Frank!

 

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