Box 6

IMG_2450
Small Shares
 
IMG_2454
Medium Shares
 
IMG_2456
Full Shares

A third of the way through the season! Wow! Where is all the time going? We’re really enjoying the boxes this week, as totally new crops are now ready and there’s more change happening in the boxes. Making their debut this week are Romano beans, Cabbage, Fennel and Collards.

We hope all of you are doing well with the sudden heat wave-after so much time in cooler temps it’s been a real challenge here on the farm to not wilt under the heat and humidity. Luckily for us Brandon took everyone out for ice cream after we unloaded the boxes at the Hungry Turtle Farmer’s Co-op warehouse.  It looks like the rest of the week should be a little cooler.

A few cucurbit (squash and melon family) pictures from the week:

IMG_1079 We have 6 different zucchinis this year that you may find in your box, from left to right: Zephyr, Costata Romaesca, Benning’s Green Tinted Patty Pan, Midnight Lightning, Butter, Cocozelle

 

IMG_1069 Pumpkin on its way

IMG_1072Baby Watermelon, protected by its fortress of vines, worries only about diligently working toward fulfilling the prophecy of the Year of the Melon.

You’ll probably notice how much green is going on with the boxes this week-almost everything shares some shade of one of nature’s best colors. Green is a really important color, nutritionally, in vegetables, since it indicates the presence of some amazing, powerful, naturally occurring chemicals that are really good for us. These chemicals exist in the plants to help protect them from insects and disease, and are believed to aid those of us who eat them in fighting disease as well. Collards are credited with having strong anti-cancer properties, are incredibly high in Vitamins A (healthy skin and vision) and K (increases bone mass and limits neural damage in patients with Alzheimer’s ), and have lots of folates, which play a major role in preventing neural tube defects in fetuses. Go collards! Those beautiful Romano Beans are a good source of zea-xanthin, thought to aid in prevention of age-related macular degeneration. They’re also high in fiber and packed with minerals like iron and potassium. Broccoli is amazing–it’s loaded with phyto-nutrients that help protect from prostate, colon, pancreatic and breast cancers. It’s also quite rich in Vitamin C (anti-oxidants and immune system modulation) and folates.

Here’s what’s in the box this week:

Cut lettuce (1/2# small and medium shares, 3/4# full shares)
Fennel (1 portion per share. For some it means two slender heads and for some it’s one larger head)
Collard Greens (1 regular bunch for smalls, 1 large bunch for medium and fulls)
Broccoli (approximately 1 1/2# per share)
Zucchini (2 for medium shares, 3 for full shares)
Snap Beans: Green Romano or Yellow Haricot (1# medium, 1.25# fulls)
Cucumbers (small shares)
Red Express Cabbage (1 head per full share)
Red zeppelin spring onions (1 bunch per full share)
 

Fennel–an often under-used vegetable, these lovely specimens are tender, delicate and have a pleasant mild anise flavor. The crunchy, slightly sweet bulb is eaten raw or cooked in a myriad of ways. One of the simplest ways to prepare fennel is to cut off the stalks and shave the bulb into paper thin slices, using a knife or a mandolin if you have one. See this basic video for more help on how to do this. We often toss the shaved fennel with our salad greens and add some feta cheese, sliced kale or other raw veggies we have around to make a great hot-weather lunch salad. Don’t forget to use the fronds and stalks as mentioned!  Keeping this crop in a plastic bag will help keep it crisp.

Collards-another favorite around here! Store them in a plastic bag in the crisper when you get them home. We cook and eat them much like we would kale or spinach, namely by taking the leaf off the stem/rib and stacking the leaves on top of each other. We then roll the whole thing up like a Cuban cigar, and slice ribbons as thick or as thin as you’d like. We usually saute them in a very hot pan with a bit of olive oil and garlic, but there are so many great ways to cook them. Here’s a good video on how to chiffonade, just ignore the terrible music! See recipes below.

Broccoli is back again, looking as lovely as ever. Our partner farm in the crop swap, Turnip Rock, really knows what they’re doing when it comes to growing this brassica. Broccoli would also prefer to be stored in a plastic bag like everybody else. Hopefully you’ve been saving those lettuce bags!

Romano beans are making their first appearance! These fantastic, flattened beans are one of my favorites to cook and to pickle. I’m repeating my favorite romano bean recipe below.  Most medium and full shares will receive Romano this week, a few might get an early tasting of the yellow french fillet bean Soleil in its place.  We try not to put our beans into water before we give them to you so that they will last longer. Excess moisture can cause them to “rust” prematurely, giving them an undesirable appearance. Because of this you may notice that a number of the crumpled expired flowers have taken a ride with your beans.  Simply rinse them off before using, if you want to wash the whole batch of beans, let them drain well and return them to their plastic bag with a folded paper towel or cloth to absorb any excess moisture.

Recipes

Romano Beans with Serrano and Poached Egg

A favorite that Dad and I always cooked together when we were in Spain, one of the few places broad beans can be found in abundance:
2 1/2 cups romano beans, ends trimmed
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
7 oz. serrano ham, diced
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
 
Cook the beans in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and plunge into ice water. Drain again once cool.
Heat the oil in a pan and saute the garlic until it begins to brown. Add the beans and saute for a minute, then add the ham.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a simmer. Add the vinegar. Crack the eggs into a ramekin and slide them one at a time into the water. Cook for about 4 minutes, scoop out and drain on a towel.
Divide the bean and ham mixture onto plates, topping each with an egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
 

Fennel, Olive and Orange Salad

This would make a lovely little salad to top a piece of grilled chicken or fish, or just serve on that side with any meal for a fresh, crunchy, alternative side dish.
 
1 fennel bulb, shaved thin
a handful of fennel fronds, chopped
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
a handful of black olives-oil-cured would be awesome here!
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice
red pepper flakes, to taste
 
In a medium bowl whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Add the shaved fennel and toss to coat well.
Add the oranges, olives, fennel fronds and as much red pepper flake as you’d like.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
 

Spaghetti with Collards and Lemon

2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
a pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch collard greens, chiffonaded
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
grated zest of one lemon
the juice of that lemon
12 oz. spaghetti-be adventurous! Try a farro, spelt, or whole-grain variety! The nutty taste and stronger flavor pair really well with the collards and lemon. Of course a traditional spaghetti will be delicious…
1/4 cup pecorino romano, grated
salt and black pepper to taste
 
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and pepper flakes until tender. Add collards and cook until tender. Remove from heat and add pine nuts, lemon zest and lemon juice.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and then drain.
3. Add the pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat. Add reserved water if needed to adjust consistency. Sprinkle with lemon zest and cheese, serve immediately.
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Box 5

full 5 2014full share (above)

medium 5 2014 medium share (above)

small 5small share (above)

 

Hello all,

What a crazy little cold snap we are having in the midst of usually one of the hottest months of the year.  I heard the weatherman tossing around the phrase “polar vortex” again the other day.  Looks like things should be warming up as the week goes on and we can pack up the winter sweaters for storage again.

The Hungry Turtle Learning Center hosted a beautiful dinner this past week at the farm.  Thanks to Tony Tushar of Brasa for making such an awesome meal, Bobby Maher for putting the event together and all the volunteers and people who worked the event to make it happen.  Everyone had a great time! Below are a couple photo highlights.

IMG_2407 hams roasting on cinder block smoker oven put together by fire-pit master Mark

IMG_1039turnips added to the fire to char, later peeled and added to a cooked chard + turnip greens salad

IMG_2419 flower arrangements by Stefanie

IMG_2428 group for pre-dinner field tour

IMG_2433 Inside the barn between courses

 

IMG_2435Outside the barn after dinner

 

In the box this week:

Broccoli (1 lb small & medium, 1.5 lb full)
Carrots (1.25 lb small, 1.5 lb medium & full)
Summer Squash (2)
Oregano
Napa cabbage (medium & full)
Spring Onions: red zepplin (medium & full)
Pea tendrils (5 oz medium & full)
Turnips (full)
Head Lettuce (full)
Cucumber (full)
 

Broccoli!  We are doing a crop swap with neighboring farm Turnip Rock this year, most of the broccoli going out this week is from their farm and boy does it look good!  Don’t forget to toss them in a plastic bag to help them stay fresh longer.

Carrots are making a return appearance this week for those of you who can’t get enough. Removing the greens and bagging your carrots in a plastic produce bag will help keep them crunchy and fresh longer as well.  We have a friend who likes to use the greens to make a carrot-green pesto with if anyone is feeling experimental.

Our Napa Cabbage crop is coming in spurts, so this week mediums and fulls will receive this beautiful airy treat, smalls will find it in their boxes likely next week or the following.  Great lightly cooked in stir fries or left raw for a light and crunchy coleslaw. Some people like to remove individual leaves to to cut up and work their way to a preserved middle, I prefer to set the whole head on its side and chop away from the top to the bottom to get a mix of the crunchier outer leaves and the softer inner leaves.

You may also know napa cabbage as one of the main ingredients in the spicy Korean pickled condiment Kimchi.  Check out this great video if interested in seeing how it’s done.   We aren’t giving out the “10 lbs” of Napa Cabbage used in the video, but you can always make a smaller version or request some extra Napa on the side once the rest of the crop comes in in a few weeks.   Maybe Brian, who worked on the farm last year, will post a video of his own famous secret Kimchi recipe…

I’m going to link another video for our second recipe this week to make a napa cabbage salad with a sweet dressing and crunchy ramen noodles and almonds.    This video is corny but does a good job of showing some techniques for chopping the cabbage and making a nice homemade vinaigrette.

 

IMG_2445

The Pea Tendrils have been so good lately that we just had to put them in the box for a second time.  This batch still has the edible flowers attached, so use soon, they are an ephemeral treat that won’t keep for too long.  With the flowers on they can be eaten raw or slightly cooked to wilt the stems, or you may just find yourself snacking away the whole bag.

Until next week, enjoy!

 

 
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Box 4

full week 4 full share (above)
IMG_2402 medium share (above)
IMG_2405small share (above)

 

Hi members! Hopefully this finds everyone well and rested after a holiday weekend. We had so much fun in the Little Falls parade-the green John Deere we rent from our neighbor was resplendent in flag bunting, flags, cute kids, and lots of bubbles!

IMG_6837    IMG_6819

Ben and Maddox in the bucket of the tractor (left), Esme and Heather on the transplanter behind the tractor blowing bubbles (right)                                    
 

 

We borrowed the cute kids from our town’s newest VIPs, Roger and Elsah Payne, who are opening the much-awaited Farm Table restaurant in downtown Amery. They have great plans for local, seasonal, delicious food with plenty of local beers on tap, and we cannot wait for it to open! Rumor has it that fantastic, hand-crafted, seasonal food will be available in Amery sometime in September…We will keep all of you updated on the progress, and if we weren’t enough good reason for you to get in the car and take a pleasant country drive, this place will be. We’ve had the pleasure of many long chats with Roger and Elsah about food, their vision, and how they want to use the bounty of this region and these great area farms–plus we’ve gotten to eat a few delicious meals to boot. Maddox, 10, and Esme, 7, have been particularly helpful around the farm, assisting us with weeding, harvesting, and packing produce this past week. Megan’s sister, Marley, has joined us for the month of July, and we are thrilled to have more hands on deck to try to get caught up. We’ll try to get her to hold still for a photo!

We’d like to tell everybody about an opportunity to add to their CSA experience. We are fortunate enough to have a talented and lovely herbalist who is setting up her new farm less than half a mile down the road from us. Her name is Nancy Graden and her business is Red Clover Herbal Apothecary. Her daughter and son-in-law run an excellent CSA nearby , and we are so excited to have someone like her in the neighborhood. She is offering her own Herbal CSA share, and we encourage you to visit her website to learn more. If you wish to receive Nancy’s high-quality products, they would simply be delivered on the same day of the week and to the same place as you currently receive your boxes. Please visit her site here to learn more.

IMG_1035Esme was in charge of putting the finishing touches on Tuesday’s box, packing the onions, cress and thyme.
 
 
IMG_1025 Summer cabbage starting to form its head.
 
 
IMG_1031 Chef Tony Tushar prepping for the upcoming farm dinner, injecting brine into the pork.
 
 
IMG_1013 Ben and Megan on what seems like an all too typical off-and-on rainy day transplanting celeriac for the fall.
 
IMG_1019Found this guy and a bunch of its friends in the fennel patch.  Entomology becomes a necessary hobby for many a farmer.  This caterpillar will be even more charming once it changes into a Black Swallowtail Butterfly.
 
IMG_1014
 
I just had to show off this cake Heather made for the 4th.
 
 

The box is a little skimpier this week than we’d normally like.  The broccoli that was planned for this box was coming from a neighbor farm as part of a crop-swap, and it is a little late coming, (through no fault of theirs) due to how ridiculously wet it was this spring.  But fear not, broccoli is on its way soon for everybody!

Here’s what’s in the box this week:

Spring Onions-Walla Walla (small, medium and large sized bunches)
Head lettuce (2-3 for smalls, 3-ish for mediums, and 4 for large shares, depending on their size!)
Carrots (1 1/4# for small, 1 1/2# for medium, 1 3/4# for large shares)
Wrinkly Crinkly Crumpled Cress (1 1/2 oz. for small shares, 2 oz. for medium and large shares)
Zucchini or Cucumber (1 per box for small and medium shares, 2 per box for large shares)
Spring Greens (1/2# for medium and 3/4# for full shares)
Snap Peas (1 1/4#, full shares only)
Thyme (1 bunch, full shares only)
Radishes-Cherry Belle (1 bunch, full shares only)
 

It’s always exciting when carrots make their first appearance.  Such a colorful treat. This variety is called Napoli. When they are this size we love to roast them whole or halved!

A sure sign that summer is in full swing is the arrival of Zucchini.  Most shares will be getting their first for the season today, in small numbers as they first develop. They will ramp up production over the next few weeks, so expect a steady stream of this versatile vegetable throughout the warm part of the season. See below for a recipe for Heather’s Mom’s awesome zucchini fritters.

Wrinkly Crinkly Crumpled Cress is a wonderful pepper cress that will astound you on first try.  Use like an herb or a micro green to add zest to a salad, side or entree.  It’s also great sauteed and tossed into scrambled eggs. This little crinkled up herb has all the kick of a hot mustard plus the sweetness that is reminiscent of nasturtium flowers.

The onions can be used from top to bottom.  Both the immature white bulbs and the green stems are very desirable at this stage, especially when added raw to a salad or, one of my favorite ways, on tacos.

Recipes

Mom’s Zucchini Fritters

Yields 10-12, depending on size

3 cups shredded raw zucchini or summer squash (1 medium zucchini is usually plenty)

¼ cup chopped spring onion (use the whole thing!)

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ cup all purpose flour

2 eggs

2 T melted butter

¼ cup grated cheese (we like cheddar, anything will be great!)

freshly cracked black pepper

oil or butter for sautéing

 

Combine the zucchini, onion, salt and flour in a medium bowl and mix well.

Add the eggs, butter, cheese and black pepper. Mix well. Batter will be on the thin side.

Heat a saute pan over medium high heat and add a film of oil or butter.

Place spoonfuls in the pan, and allow to become golden brown before flipping and cooking to golden brown on the other side. (This process is much like making pancakes)

 

Thyme Roasted Carrots

This takes almost no time to prep, and leaves you free to make the rest of dinner while they’re roasting away1

1-2 pounds carrots, left whole if thumb-width or smaller, cut in half if larger

1 ½ T. olive oil

1 ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 ½ T. butter

salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss carrots, olive oil and thyme in a large bowl.

Place on roasting pan and dot with butter.

Roast until slightly caramelized and tender when pierced with a knife. The tips will develop a lovely, caramel taste and color, while the fatter ends will be lighter.

 

Sesame Cucumber and Carrot Salad

1 cucumber, sliced thinly. No need to peel these beauties!

½ cup raw, peeled carrot, shredded

1 T. grape seed oil or any other oil that has a light, clean flavor

2 T. rice vinegar (You can substitute cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, too)

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. soy sauce

1 T. toasted sesame seeds

 

Place cucumber and carrot in a medium bowl.

Make vinaigrette by whisking together the grape seed oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and soy sauce.

Toss the veggies with the vinaigrette. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

When serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 

Spring Onion and Cress Soup

This soup is super fast, tasty, and easy to throw together!

12 ounces chicken stock (Feel free to use beef or veggie)

2-4 spring onions, thinly sliced (Use the green and white parts!)

1 cup cress, roughly chopped

salt and pepper to taste

 

Bring the stock up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.

When ready to eat, toss in onions and cress. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Optional-toast a few slices of bread and top with cheese, melt under broiler to make a complete meal!

 

All the best from all of us at Sleepy Root,

Brandon, Heather, Frank, Ben, Megan, and Marley

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Box 3

full share 3full share (above)

medium share 3 medium share (above)

small share 3small share (above)

 

Hello members!

We hope this week’s newsletter finds you well, and maybe even dry?!

We think the theme of this spring is going to be rain. And more rain. And flooding. And the closure of the Stillwater Lift Bridge. And washouts in the field. And friends’ fields being so flooded that they’re just tilling them in and calling it a day. And the list goes on…

We got another 1.4 inches of rain in the storms on Friday and Saturday. That brings us to well over 6 inches of rain for the month of June, which is nearly twice the average rainfall in June. This year to date is actually the wettest year since recorded history. That’s right. Recorded History. As farmers we really feel the impact of the weather, especially when it’s in such an extreme such as the past month or two. We are amazed that we aren’t in a total disaster situation here in Amery. We’ve got wet fields, and the weeds are aggressive and harder to tame than usual, but overall we are in decent shape. When the soil is really wet it’s very damaging to work it, so we have to wait at least 24-36 hours before hoeing and weeding and you can just forget about getting the tractor in there to do anything.  Also, when we weed, and it rains right away, those little guys just put their roots right back in! I think we feel a member work party coming on…

We do have some damage to report from the torrential rains of late-we had some wash-outs in the field over the weekend. Some sections of the cut lettuce that I seeded on Friday night have been damaged, as well as a portion of crinkly cress. Not a crop failure, we think, but probably a somewhat lower yield than we’d hoped for. You’ve also experienced more minor problems like head lettuce with leaves that have been a little damaged by heavy rain.

We hope you are all enjoying the boxes so far. This is definitely a year in which our dear members are sharing in some of that risk that we all talk about with CSA farming-the understanding that sometimes bad things happen and we have some crop damage or lower yields, and that it occasionally means a little difference between the boxes we planned for and the boxes we send you. Rest assured, we do our very best to give you and your shares all the beautiful, delicious, nutritious organic produce we can. The benefit of this risk-sharing is that when things are plentiful, we don’t hold back. We really thank you for your support and your understanding, please know that this is what makes small-scale family farms like Sleepy Root thrive. We expect a great bounty of harvests to come, and we just have to get through this wet, wet, wet, wet, Spring!

IMG_0990eggplant starting to flower

We are lucky enough to have Brandon’s parents volunteer to come out for a few days from South Dakota to help us catch up with farm work. The weeds, the rain, and being gone 8 of the past 30 days has been so hard on us, and every last bit of help is great. They are a blessing to us and we’re so happy to have them come visit. I even had the luxury of putting my feet up on the couch after dinner while Richard and Lois did the dishes! (Thank you!) Of course, the promise of their first glimpse of the grandbaby bump must have some pull…(that’s right, in case you didn’t know, a little girl is on the way in November!)

A reminder, all, please please please return your folded flat boxes to your pick-up site when you come to get your new box. Part of Sleepy Root being a sustainable farm is not having to buy new boxes for every member for every week (That would be something like 2700 boxes! At $1.50 a pop, that’s a huge expense that is totally avoidable with your kind co-operation) We budget 2-3 per member, so you really only have a two week leeway. If remembering the boxes is a challenge, try bringing one of your re-usable grocery bags to your drop site to put your produce in and then you can just fold flat and leave your box there. Thanks so much for your help!

Last but not least, it’s almost time for the Sleepy Root Farm Dinner featuring member and friend, Chef Tony Tushar of Brasa. If anyone has eaten there, you know you’d be a fool to miss out on Tony cooking the best produce we have to offer with lots of tasty meat from neighboring farms. This evening promises to be one to remember, with a tour of the farm, dinner in the historic barn, and lots of food and fun to be had. Rumor has it there might be some pit-roasting going on! The dinner is being organized by the Hungry Turtle Learning Center, so please visit their website for more information and to sign up. While you’re at it, please check out the class schedule-there are so many things going on this summer that you’re sure to find something that appeals to you, your friends and your family. We are teaching a few Turtle Scouts classes in the future, as well as a cooking class! Sleepy Root is pleased to be able to offer access to this incredible set of activities as a benefit to being a member of our CSA. We really appreciate you all, and thank you for your membership and support.

We’ve got some fun things in the box this week, so let’s get to it:

Salad Turnips: Purple Top
Spring Salad mix (1/2# small shares, 3/4# medium and full shares)
Snap Peas (3/4# small shares, 1# medium shares, 1 1/4# full shares)
Chard (small shares)
Kale: Red Russian (medium and full shares)
Radishes: Cherry Bell or French Breakfast (medium and full shares)
Thai Basil
Garlic Scapes (full shares)
Cucumbers (full shares)
Broccoli: Rosalind (full shares)
 
IMG_1006

The spring mix is always much anticipated around here. We love making our own custom blend of seeds to create the mix we like best. This year I’ve chosen nearly a dozen. The leaves are looking really beautiful right now, and we are so excited to give you this pretty, lovely, tasty bit of spring. For an employee meal last week we had greens with a very light balsamic vinaigrette, sliced radishes, chopped fresh snap peas, and grilled steak. It was a hit!

IMG_1009Heather cleaning salad mix in the packshed (note the washing machine in the background–it has been repurposed to spin large amounts of salad greens dry)

The salad turnips are called purple top. You’ll notice a beautiful blush of purple on their shoulders. These gems are not to be confused with the turnips we roast in the winter. They are sweet, crunchy, and juicy. We like to eat them sliced raw, radish-like in our salads, but they are incredible if you cut them in half and saute them in a really hot pan with a touch of olive oil and salt. They pickle really well, too. See below for some recipes.

Scapes-Garlic scapes are a real treat! They are the flower stems that come up from the garlic growing underground, and we snap them off so the plant puts more energy into growing bulbs instead of flowers. They have all the great garlic taste and the bonus of being lovely and green. They are really neat when tossed with olive oil and salt and grilled, and scape pesto will get you through the harshest winter, if you can stand to freeze it instead of eating it all at once.

We’ve had an amazing harvest of peas this week, so everyone is getting a ton in their boxes. One of our members, Jacalyn, sent several recipes that make the most of peas, kale and mint, so if you have any leftover try some. Feel free to use your thai basil in place of the mint this week, or maybe you’re lucky enough to  have some leftover. We are really excited to add the kale salad to our repertoire. As soon as we get our new recipe page up and running we’ll add them all. Thanks, Jacalyn!

Kale and Fresh Mint Salad

  • bunch (large) lacinato kale, chopped very small, almost minced
  • cup fresh mint, minced
  • cup walnuts, chopped

Spicy Peanut Dressing (or other nut butter)

  • tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
  • tablespoons warm water
  • tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • tablespoon soy sauce
  • teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • teaspoon sesame oil
  • teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  1. Toss the chopped kale, chopped mint and the walnuts together. If you haven’t made the dressing yet, do that next.
  2. Put the peanut butter, warm water, garlic, rice wine vinegar, pomegranate molasses, soy sauce, minced ginger, sesame oil and red chili flakes into a blender and whirl away at high speed until everything is smooth.
  3. Toss the dressing with the salad. Maybe not all at one time. Pour and toss about half of the dressing and then decide if it needs more.

Warm rice, mint and pea salad

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (or diced pea shoots)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add onion and shallot. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook until grains are well-coated with oil, about 1 minute. Pour in the stock, 1 1/4 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 14 minutes. Uncover pot, scatter peas on top of rice and cover again. Continue cooking until rice is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • While the rice cooks, whisk together the lemon juice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Whisk in the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil.
  • Spoon rice and peas into a serving bowl. Pour vinaigrette over rice and toss well. Toss in mint. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Spring Turnip Salad with Greens and Prosciutto

Ingredients

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pepper

4 small turnips, about 5 ounces, peeled

spring greens, any amount

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces.

Method

1. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and salt until the salt dissolves. Whisk in the honey, oil and pepper.

2. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the turnips into paper-thin rounds. In a large bowl, combine turnips, arugula and prosciutto. Toss with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Pickled Turnips from Momofuku in NYC:

NGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound turnips, peeled and sliced paper thin
  • 2 (4-inch-by-2-1/2-inch) pieces kombu
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the turnips and kombu in a 1-quart jar, leaving at least 1/2 inch of room at the top of the jar.
  2. Make the brine: Place the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan, whisk to dissolve the sugar and salt, and bring to a rapid simmer.
  3. Immediately pour the brine over the turnips, making sure to cover them completely but leaving 1/4 inch of room at the top of the jar. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
  4. Cover the jar with a tightfitting lid. Shake the jar or turn it upside down to evenly distribute the brine, then place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 day and preferably 1 week before using. (The pickled turnips can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.)

 

Garlic Scape and White Bean Dip

imgres-1

Ingredients

1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste

Ground black pepper to taste

1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling.

Method

1. In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add cannellini beans and process to a rough purée.

2. With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired.

3. Spread out dip on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more salt.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

 

Garlic Scape Pesto

imgres

This freezes beautifully, just omit the cheese. You can leave it out altogether or stir some grated parm into the pesto once it has thawed again.

Ingredients

1 cup finely chopped garlic scapes (or 2/3 cup finely chopped chives, plus 1/3 cup finely chopped garlic)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
1/3 cup roasted, salted nuts-try anything! Pine nuts, almonds, cashews
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Pulse garlic scapes, oil, parmesan, and nuts in a food processor until finely chopped; season with salt and pepper.

We hope you make some great food with your beautiful produce!

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Frank, Ben and Megan

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Box 2

full box 2Full Share (above)

medium box 2Medium Share (above)

small box 2 Small Share (above)

Hello all,

The seemingly non-stop rain has been a bit of a challenge to work around—its seems every time the ground gets dry enough to weed or seed into, the rain comes back.  Nonetheless we’ve been able to squeeze some weeding and seeding and are largely on track with our planting schedule despite.

Part of making sure the farm runs smoothly is over-planting crops to hedge against the vagaries of the weather and the myriad of other factors that effect plants.    The head lettuce for the week had an unusual amount of rot around their bases due to not being able to fully dry out with the rains, but fear not, there is plenty to go around.

Heather and I were gone Thursday through Sunday to Indiana for Heather’s father’s funeral.  It was good to be around family and friends during such a hard time, thank you to everyone who sent their condolences.  Thankfully our crew Megan and Ben do such a great job helping us run the farm that we can have them take the helm for several days under such unfortunate circumstances—normally being gone just one day can make me feel like everything has slipped out of control in the gardens.

A common question we get is why the first several boxes are so heavy on salad greens.  Most of the early season crops have to be able to meet the following criteria: they need to be able to withstand temperatures below freezing, be relatively quick growing (head lettuce takes about 50 days from seed to harvest, radish 25 days, cut loose leaf greens 28 days compared to winter squash which can take up to 110 days) and the seed needs to be able to germinate in wet cold soils without rotting.    Couple that with not being able to till the soil until late March/early April (usually) and the last historic frost of the spring not happening until May 20th, and you get a basket full of lettuce and greens and cold hardy plants like Kale and, a little bit later, broccoli for late June and early July.  This week is no exception:

 

In the box:

Head Lettuce (3 Small, 4 Med, 5 Full)
Spicy Salad (1/2 lb Small, ¾ lb Medium and Full)
Snap Peas! (1 quart)
Cilantro
Micro Greens: Basil, Broccoli. Bulls Blood Beet Mix (Medium and Full only)
Chard (Medium and Full)
Kale (Small only)
Broccoli: Rosalind (Full only)
Spinach (Full only)

 

We are super excited to have peas around this year.  Last year we were unable to plant them in time (remember when it snowed in April last year? Yikes.) and just did without.  This variety is called Sugar Anne.  I love snacking on them raw, but they are also great to stir fry or chop up raw into a salad.  Snap peas are meant to be eaten whole, pod and all.  Some people prefer to remove the “string” from the pod before they eat them.

ruby streaks

Close up of Ruby Streaks (above) and the Spicy Salad beds before harvest (below), you can make out the three different kinds of greens in each bed.

spicy salad

Our spicy salad is a mix of three of our favorite mustard greens: Mizuna, the pointy green leaf, provides a nice mild base to the mix, tempering the hot flavors of the other two. Ruby Streaks, the scarlet finely serrated leaf, provides a kick with a flavor I find most a kin to potatoes.  And Suehlihung, a bit thicker, broader green leaf, that adds texture and a nice full flavor.  Use this mix as you would a raw lettuce mix or lightly cook it to mild the flavor.  It is fantastic mixed into omelets.

Fulls and mediums are receiving microgreens this week.  Often used in restaurants to add an elegant burst of color and flavor, microgreens can be used in a similar fashion as you might an herb.  Scattered across fish, added to the top of a salad for flavor or sprinkled on top of side dish.

Also in medium and full boxes is swiss chard.  One of the most beautiful in the vegetable kingdom, chard comes in an array of different bright colors.  Chard can be used much like you would spinach and is often lightly cooked or steamed and served as a side dish.  Some people also like it raw, although I find the sugars in the stem make my throat a little itchy unless it is cooked slightly much like raw beets do (in fact beets and chard were bred from the same parent plant).

Full shares are getting a new addition to the farm this year: Rosalind Broccoli, a purple broccoli.  Word on the street is that it will fade to a more green color when cooked, so choose your dish wisely if you want to show off this flashy brassica.  This plant has not been enjoying the early heat this summer and is putting its heads on sporadically–I’m not sure if everyone will be getting Rosalind this year like we hoped, but not to worry, there is plenty more broccoli on its way really soon.

Rosalind Broccoli

 

Rosalind Broccoli (above). Last nights sunset viewed from the melon and winter squash patch (below).sunset over melons

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Box 1

IMG_2375Small Share
 
IMG_2379
Medium Share
IMG_2381
Full Share

 

Hello Sleepy Root members! We are so excited to be at the starting point of our shared season and can’t wait to see the year unfold with all of you.

This spring has been a long, wet, and somewhat difficult one for farming. The enormous amount of rain and cool weather we’ve received over the past month has made some crops germinate rather poorly, and we are anticipating some problems with our first succession of spinach, beets and cress. We will fill in and re-arrange the boxes so we can always give you everything the farm has to offer every week. Many of our nearby farm friends have experienced terrible flooding, and we are fortunate that we have escaped that particular problem. We feel very good about most all the other crops for the year, and think overall this will be another wonderful season, albeit a slightly spottier spring than we wished for.

We also write our newsletter today with heavy hearts and tears in our eyes. Heather’s father, Bob Spohr passed away on Sunday at the age of 65, following a long and hard 4-year battle with cancer. We are so grateful that we had more time with him than anyone expected and that he was able to walk Heather down the aisle for our wedding in February. We are so saddened by the loss of this generous, kind, gentle man. He will be missed so much not only by us and our family but to all those who knew him. Please keep Heather, her mother and the whole family in your thoughts. Heather and I thank all of you who have already been a part of this painful process and who have extended love and support over the years. We will be traveling to Evansville, Indiana on Thursday for the wake and funeral and will return to the farm late Sunday night. Our wonderful employees Megan and Ben will be working away and keeping an eye on things while we are gone-and we can’t emphasize enough the burden they lift from our minds right now. While we are absent feel free to call or email with any questions or problems-we know that the first week of deliveries sometimes raises a few. We will try to get back to each and every one of you as best we can.

Before we get to the good stuff of what’s in your boxes, a few things should be mentioned about how to handle your produce share for best success:

1) Unpack your box when you get home
Unpacking allows you to survey the goods and gives you a chance to make sure things are properly stored for the longest shelf life.

2) Prep and properly store your produce
Anything that has a leafy green and all root vegetables will store much better inside a plastic bag. Because we try to cut back on the amount of plastic we send out, not all items that store best in bags will come in them. For example: your kale and radish will do okay hanging around in the crisper for several days but will keep much longer and retain their crunch if you keep them in a produce bag.

Your head lettuce and most other greens will store best when they don’t have excessive moisture in their bags. We harvest, wash and dry them the morning of delivery, but we recommend you wash by swishing in a bowl of cold water, gently lifting out of the water (as opposed to pouring the water out first, which just returns any soil to the leaves!) and dry it again (with a salad spinner or patting leaves with a dry towel) and/or put a dry towel in their bag to absorb excess moisture.

3) Wash produce before using
We clean everything before it gets sent out to you, but it’s always a good idea to clean it again. Some items like the head lettuce can only really get cleaned once they’re cut apart.

4) Unfold your box after emptying by squeezing the short flaps on the underside of the box out to dislodge the insert tabs. Bring your box back to your drop site next week and leave behind for us to pick up and re-use.

Here’s what we’ve all been waiting for!

What’s in the box this week:

Radishes-French Breakfast
Head Lettuce-assorted beauties, including Mirlo, Ocate, Red Sails, Love Lock and Rouge d’hiver (3 heads for smalls, 4 for mediums, and 5 for full shares)
Pea Shoots (2 ounces for small shares, 4 ounces for medium shares, and 6 ounces for full shares)
Red Russian Kale (medium and full shares only)
Mint
Lovage Salt
Pac choi (Full shares only)
 

Thoughts on radishes: We really don’t like to do much to our radishes. The radish canape is an all-time favorite which we never tire of. They’re also fantastic sliced thinly and added to sandwiches for extra crunch and spice. A quick pickle is always nice, too, but they’ve never made it to that stage in our house!

Thoughts on lettuce: It’s truly one of our favorite things to eat. We love their versatility, their color, their beauty and texture. Nigel Slater, the fabulous British food writer, probably writes the best love letter to lettuce we’ve ever seen: following is an excerpt from his book, Tender (which we highly recommend for all you veggie lovers out there!)”…We tend to take most salad leaves for granted, rarely affording them the respect they deserve. Flavor isn’t really the point here. Texture and composition are almost more fundamental to what we are likely to call a good lettuce. Most of all, it must be fresh, almost more so than any other vegetable. When they are newly picked, , with the dew still sitting in the waves and dimples of their leaves, you see these greens in a new light, a vegetable of the utmost tender, fragile beauty.”

We tend to eat salads with a very simple formula: lettuce, dressed first with a drizzle of olive oil and then a drop or two of vinegar and a light dusting of salt. We then add any other vegetable we have around, plus some shredded cheese, dried fruits if we feel like it, and some toasted nuts. There’s endless variations, and we turn it into a more substantial meal sometimes by adding some sliced grilled flank steak or chicken.

There is a special encore addition to this box: Lovage salt. Lovage is a perennial herb that looks and tastes like a skinny, pungent celery and is best used as an herb due to its strong flavor. Heather dehydrated the leaves and ground it in with salt for a unique seasoning. It adds extra herbaceous depth to anything you would normally salt. We’ve been making one of our favorite spring snacks with it: Radish Canapé (see recipe below) and it is also particularly well suited as a Bloody Mary rim salt. Try it sprinkled on grilled chicken or fish for a special finishing taste!

IMG_2377
Pea shoots
 

Pea shoots are one of the finest delicacies of Spring! Bursting with the fresh taste of peas, these tender little beauties are prized. We grow beds of peas specifically for harvesting as shoots, and additional beds for growing on into fresh peas. A traditional Chinese ingredient, they have also been embraced by French and modern American cuisine. This link will bring you to a great blog with nutritional information and a great list of recipes.

Radish Canapé

We gave out this “recipe” last year, and it really warrants a return!Slice good quality French baguette into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. Spread thin layer of good local butter (room temp makes for easier spreading). Cut French breakfast radish into thin round slices, cover buttered bread with layer of radish slices. Sprinkle Lovage salt on top to taste. Its always good to make about double what you think you would want for this appetizer as they will go quicker than you expect! You may also smear fresh goat cheese, such as Donnay Chevre, on your bread and then layer with the radishes and lovage salt.

Pea Shoot, Mint and Pancetta Pasta

Pancetta and Pea Shoot Pasta
  • 1 pound linguini, angelhair, or spaghetti
  • 1/4 lb. (4 oz.) pancetta, finely diced (If you don’t have pancetta, try bacon or italian sausage. Vegetarians-we love this with extra caramelized onions)
  • 2 shallots or onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups pea shoots, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • lots of freshly ground pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Parmesan or pecorino cheese for grating
  • Fresh mint, roughly chopped, to taste

Put water on to boil for the pasta.

While you’re waiting for the water to boil, dice the pancetta and start cooking with the olive oil in a saute pan. Next, slice the onion or shallot and throw in the pan with the pancetta. Allow the onions to caramelize over medium heat. Toss in the pea shoots and let them just begin to wilt. This should be happening while you cook your pasta. If the onions mixture is done before the pasta finishes, simply turn the heat off.

When the pasta is cooked, strain it and return to it’s cooking pot, adding the onion/pancetta/pea shoots and mixing well. Grate the lemon into the pot, and squeeze in lemon juice to your liking.

Grate as much parmesan or pecorino as you’d like over the pasta, as well as the chopped fresh mint and a healthy grind of fresh black pepper.

Mint

Yeah, you got a lot of it! It’s so lovely right now we just couldn’t resist. Put it in the fridge, or if your house has a cool spot, place it in a vase of water and enjoy the scent while you use it up. Visit this page on Epicurious for more mint recipes than you can shake a stick at! Let us know if you have any favorites!

 

All the best from all of us at Sleepy Root:

Brandon, Heather, Frank, Megan and Ben

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

One week left until first delivery!

Hello all good members,

We are on track for the first CSA boxes of the year to go out in one week!  Tuesday members will see their first boxes on June 17th and Thursday members will receive their first shares on June 19th.  An email will be sent out later this week giving more details on your specific site location.

As we are getting closer to the first box we are also making a final push to meet our member goals for the year.  We are shooting for 150 members and are currently at 132.  Spread the word!  With a little help we should be able to meet that goal and keep the farm’s growth on track!

The steady rains and the rising heat have been kicking things into high speed on the farm.   We have been busy transplanting our summer crops like tomatoes and peppers and tending to our spring crops like peas and lettuce.  We’ve added a major time saver to the farm this year–a waterwheel transplanter.  This device allows two people to ride on the back, placing transplants into holes that the machine punches out and fills with water.  You can see it in action on the farm on our facebook page.

A few weeks ago Megan joined our team.  She has been a wonderful addition to the farm

megan working the transplanter with peppers on board

Megan working the transplanter with peppers on board

and will be with us all season.  Megan recently moved from North Dakota and lives in a nearby town.   Our second employee for the season, Ben, is joining us this week from West Virginia.  We are excited to have some great help around to make this season happen for everyone.

 

IMG_0758

Tomatoes freshly transplanted

Tomatoes freshly transplanted

An early peak at the fields

An early peek at the fields

Peppers transplanted

Peppers transplanted

 

A peak at Red Russian Kale under the row cover

A peek at Red Russian Kale under the row cover

The two items that really dominate what are fields look like in early spring are plastic mulch (all dark green on the ground that the tomatoes and peppers are planted into) and floating row cover (the fabric that the kale is underneath).  We use the mulch to help keep weeds down around some of our longer season crops like tomatoes.  It also heats the soil providing a warm spot to transplant heat loving crops into.  The white row cover is a great way to keep flea beetles off of all of our brassica and mustard family plants (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, mustard greens) and retain moisture in the soil to help direct seeded crops like carrot seeds germinate.

We are all excited about the start of vegetable deliveries!  Look for an email soon on details for your pick up site!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment