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!
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.Esme was in charge of putting the finishing touches on Tuesday’s box, packing the onions, cress and thyme. Summer cabbage starting to form its head. Chef Tony Tushar prepping for the upcoming farm dinner, injecting brine into the pork. Ben and Megan on what seems like an all too typical off-and-on rainy day transplanting celeriac for the fall. Found 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. 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.
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 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