Thursday, June 21, 2012

Week 6 of the Main Season CSA

This Week’s Veggies:
Snap Peas
Salad Mix

Purple Kohlrabi*
Mustard Greens*
Nancy Butterhead lettuce*

*”Large” share items; not included in the “small” share.
Please Remember to Wash Your Vegetables Carefully and Thoroughly.
This Week's Recipe: Carrot and Broccoli Stem Slaw

1 bunch salad turnips (or kohlrabi, or bok choy, or whatever is lurking in your refrigerator)
1 bunch carrots
Broccoli stems
1 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chili sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced finely

Fit food processor with large-hole grating disk. Working with a few pieces at a time, push turnips, carrots, and broccoli stems through feed tube until all vegetables are grated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. Add green onions. Whisk vinegar, ginger, oil, garlic, and chili sauce in small bowl to blend; pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and serve.

News from the Farmers:
The gloomy weather continues... luckily, I don't have to worry about running the irrigation system. And the cabbages and broccoli are certainly enjoying this damp, cool weather; on the other hand, the zucchini plants look ready to burst with frustration: they are still tiny little things, but trying hard to bloom and make fruit. They are very jealous of the greenhouse plants: the tomatoes have stretched to the top of their trellis strings, the peppers are setting fruit, and the little Mexican Sour Gherkins are sending out long viny tendrils. For those of you who missed them last year, the Sour Gherkins are one of my favorite odd veggies: the plants look like miniature cucumbers, but the fruits look like dollhouse-sized watermelons. They are bite-sized, crunchy and lemony-- not a lot of yield, but so much fun that I had to grow them again this year. The beets in the field are starting to fill out, but it will still be a couple weeks before they are big enough to harvest-- this year's varieties include Bull's Blood, Chioggia, Merlin, and Touchstone Gold. We had trouble getting the seeder setting just right for the beets this year: The first bed is too thick, the second bed is too thin. For the third planting, I sat down with the seeder and adjusted seed cups, brushes, etc. until I was sure I had it just right, then planted two beds, to make up for the earlier mistakes. Sure enough, those beds germinated just right. So, we'll be short on beets for the first part of the summer, but then we'll have an abundance.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Week 5 of the Main Season CSA

This Week’s Veggies:
Japanese Salad Turnips
Oakleaf Lettuce

Bok Choi*
Garlic Scapes*
Galactic Red Lettuce*

*”Large” share items; not included in the “small” share.
Please Remember to Wash Your Vegetables Carefully and Thoroughly.

This Week's Recipe: Pasta With Beet Greens, Goat Cheese, and Raisins

1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch beet greens (about 6 ounces), stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

1/2 pound orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta)
5 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet)

Combine raisins and lemon juice in small bowl. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beet greens and raisin mixture. Cover and cook until greens wilt, about 5 minutes. Mix in ginger and lemon peel. Season greens to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return pasta to pot. Toss pasta with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add greens and goat cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to large bowl and serve.

News from the Farmers: Your carrots this week are the first from the field-- we've finally finished off the last of the greenhouse carrots. Seems like we just finished weeding two carrot beds, but there's another two that need weeding now. This summer we'll have some colorful carrots: White Satin, Yellowstone, Atomic Red, and Purple Majesty. Alas, almost all of the melons in the field have succumbed to a combination of cold weather and a fungus; luckily we still have a few in the greenhouse, and a variety that is new to us, Arava, appears to have survived. Next to the carrot beds is our odd roots bed: we've planted parsnips, parsley roots, salsify, and scorzonera. The latter two are tall and vigorous already, but the parsnips and parsley root are slow to germinate and slowly growing.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Week 4 of the Main Season CSA

This Week’s Veggies:
Green Garlic-- Xian
Panisse Lettuce
Bok Choi

Merlot Lettuce* 

*”Large” share items; not included in the “small” share.
Please Remember to Wash Your Vegetables Carefully and Thoroughly.

Grilled Fontina, Mushroom, and Arugula Sandwiches
Bon Appétit  | August 2001
6 tablespoons (about) olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
4 very large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills removed, caps thinly sliced

8 1/2-inch-thick slices country white bread (each about 3x6 inches)
Dijon mustard (optional)
8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
1 bunch arugula

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add rosemary and stir 30 seconds. Add mushrooms. Cover skillet and cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Season mushrooms to taste with salt and pepper; transfer to plate. Wipe out skillet.
Arrange 4 bread slices on work surface; spread with mustard, if desired. Top bread slices with cheese, then mushrooms and arugula, dividing equally. Top each with bread slice; press to compact. Brush tops lightly with oil.
Heat reserved skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches, oiled side down, in skillet. Brush tops lightly with oil. Cover and cook until golden on bottom, occasionally pressing with spatula, about 5 minutes. Turn sandwiches over. Cover and cook until golden on bottom and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer sandwiches to plates; cut in half and serve.

News from the Farmers: This morning I squeezed the kohlrabi-- they're still too small to harvest, but they're beginning to round out and look plump. In the greenhouse, the first of the cherry tomatoes are turning color-- but it will still be quite a while before they are ripe. Walter the Jack Russell Terrier has been very busy chasing rabbits-- we still see so many bunnies every evening and morning, but we are seeing much less damage to the veggies compared to last year. Maybe it's because we've been reducing their brushy habitat by clearing blackberries; maybe it's a natural fluctuation in the rabbit population; but Walter would like to claim credit for scaring the heck out of the bunnies (he hasn't yet managed to catch one, but he sure tries).

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Main Season CSA Week 3

This Week’s Veggies:
Green Onions
Panisse Lettuce
Bok Choi
Herb Choice

 Snap Peas*
2 more lettuce*
Ruby Streaks Mustard*

*”Large” share items; not included in the “small” share.
Please Remember to Wash Your Vegetables Carefully and Thoroughly.
This Week's Recipe: Goat Cheese Pizzas with Indian-Spiced Tomatoes and Mustard Greens
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 large shallots, finely chopped
3 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 cups chopped mustard greens (or bok choi, spinach, or other greens)
2 cups semolina flour (pasta flour)*
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled
For topping: Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and next 5 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes. Add tomatoes; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Add greens; stir until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
For flatbreads: Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water and cilantro. Knead in bowl until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover with kitchen towel; let rest 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4 pieces; roll each into ball. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rest on work surface 30 minutes. Roll out each dough ball on lightly floured surface to 9-inch round.
Heat large dry nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 flatbread round to skillet; cook until bottom of bread is golden brown in spots and bread puffs slightly, about 4 minutes. Turn bread over; cook until bottom is brown in spots, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place breads on baking sheet. Spread 1/4 of topping over each. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until heated through, about 8 minutes.

News from the Farmers: This week we've been transplanting cucumbers, corn, and melons-- let's hope summer is here to stay! The grass is growing faster than our friendly steers can eat it down, the bees are busy in the raspberry patch, and the strawberries are starting to turn color! We just planted the strawberries this spring, so we aren't expecting a huge yield from each plant, but since we planted 900 of them, I figure we'll be happy even if each plant only made a single fruit. Meanwhile, in the greenhouses, the poor pepper plants are under attack from whiteflies and aphids. We're thinking that salt buildup in the soil may be stressing them out, making them more vulnerable, so we're working on flushing the soil with extra water; in the short-term, though, we bought a quart of ladybugs from Peaceful Valley and released them in the greenhouses, where they are happily chomping away on the aphids and whiteflies, giving the peppers some relief.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Week 2 of the Main Season CSA

This Week’s Veggies:
Carrots                                                 Radish/turnip mixed bunch*
Beets                                                    Fava Bean greens*         
Frisée Endive                                     Baby Leeks*
Galactic Red Leaf Lettuce             Herb Choice*
Green Leaf Lettuce                         Mixed Bunch Choice*
Spinach                                                *”Large” share items; not included  in the “small” share.

Please Remember to Wash Your Vegetables Carefully and Thoroughly.

This Week’s Recipe:
Quinoa, Red Beet, and Cooked Greens Salad
with Baby Leek and Tarragon Pesto
Serves 2
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced red beet root
2 or more cups frisée, beet, or other greens, chopped
4 Tbsp (or more) Leek and Tarragon Pesto or your favorite Salad Dressing
1/2 cup pre-cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, drained)
olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper
Bring 1 cup water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 15-20 min. After the first 10 minutes, add in the diced beet root.  With about 5 min. of cooking time remaining, add in the greens, and replace lid.
Drain any remaining water from quinoa pot.  Add pre-cooked or canned chickpeas and pesto or your favorite dressing to the quinoa beets, and greens. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired, and season with salt and pepper.
Baby Leek and Tarragon Pesto:
3-5 baby leeks, washed and diced
1 bunch tarragon washed and diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup roasted walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil (For a thinner pesto, simply add more olive oil.)
salt and pepper
You may simply chop or crush the walnuts and combine these ingredients for a coarser pesto, or you can combine them by pulsing in your food processor for a smoother version.  Add the olive oil last and stir or pulse until pesto becomes the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
(adapted from:
News from the Farmers:
            The sunny couple of weeks made for great weeding weather (when it is warm and dry the weeds are easy to kill as they whither up as soon as their root is disturbed), and these couple of overcast days have enabled us to get a lot of transplanting done… the lettuces, melons, pumpkins, winter squashes, cucumbers, and zucchinis of the future are marching out across our fields, and everything looks lush and green in the rain.
            We hope you all enjoy the spinach this week.  What we harvested for you today was our earliest planting of Spinach out in the field, and it had a hard time going from the cool wet weather to the hot and dry, so we probably won’t get a second harvest from this bed as we had hoped to do...  The next spinach planting did not germinate as well (spinach is notorious for poor germination issues), but our third planting has come up thick and lush, so there is more Tyee spinach on the horizon for everyone.
            If the cool weather and drizzle continues, we’ll have time to plant out the last of our peppers and tomatoes into the greenhouses, too.  We are having a bit of a problem with aphids and other pests in there at the moment, but 9,000 hungry young lady bugs should be arriving to help us out on Thursday…

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week 1 of the Main CSA Season

This Week’s Veggies:
Veggie Choice: Pea shoots, Green Onions, or Bok Choi
Carrots                                                                 Radishes*
Beets                                                                    Frisée Endive*
2 Lettuce                                                             Salad Mix*
Kale Raab                                                            Potatoes—Chieftain Red*          
Dill                                                                          *”Large” share items; not included  
in the “small” share.

Please Remember to Wash Your Vegetables Carefully and Thoroughly.

This Week’s Recipe:
Fresh Dill and Pea shoot Salad
Prepare a dressing from:
3 T olive oil
1 T Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad:
Wash and dice your dill and pea shoots.  With the pea shoots, be sure to discard the lower parts of the stems if they are becoming too woody or stiff.  Wash and tear up a head of lettuce or two depending on your hunger…  Toss the dill, pea shoots, and lettuce together and garnish with sliced radishes.  Add the dressing and serve immediately (if you wish to prepare the salad greens ahead of time, they will keep better in the fridge if you use a salad spinner to get them dry after washing, and then make sure they are well covered with a plastic bag, glass lid, or plastic wrap so that they do not wilt.  Add the dressing and garnish right before you are ready to sit down and eat them).
A garnish of feta cheese and/or crispy bacon can add another depth of flavor to this spring salad.  You can also substitute cold boiled potatoes, diced, for the lettuce to create a heartier spring meal of potato salad.

News from the Farmers:
            Welcome to those of you who are joining us for the main CSA season!  The first part of this spring seemed rather cold and rainy, but after more than a week of sun, it already seems hard to remember.  Due to the sunny weather, our potted tomato plants seem to be selling better at the farmer’s market this year.  We are enjoying the sun, and so are the vegetables, but we did decide to start up the irrigation on Sunday.  We have well-drained soils, which are good in the very wet weather, but it also means that the soil holds less moisture when it is hot and dry.  We were starting to get worried that the transplants that we had set out earlier last week would be getting moisture stressed since they had not yet had time to establish good root systems in their new homes.  The spinach especially seems to have loved being weeded, fed with compost, and watered.  I swear, it doubled in size over night!
            Along with weeding and transplanting, we have been putting up posts and chicken wire trellises for the peas.  Last year they got a little out of hand before we got around to trellising them, so we are feeling better about being on the ball this time around.
            Molly successfully brought off her sheep shearing at the Tilth Farmers’ Market on Sunday with the help from Anna, Chris Williams, Constance Wiseman, and other friends.  This event was the first in a series of ‘second Sunday’ Sheep to Shawl events that Molly has organized for the market throughout the summer.  In June, she will be demonstrating how to wash and process the wool.
            A word about the Frisée for those with large shares: it is a slightly bitter green in the lettuce/dandelion family.  You can mix it with lettuce or other greens in a salad, or stir-fry or sauté it.  Chefs like it in a salad because it is so cool and curly looking… Have fun!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Early Spring CSA Week 5

This Week’s Veggies:
2 baby lettuce heads                                    New Zealand Spinach*
Bok Choi                                                     Pea Shoots*
Green Onions or baby Leeks                       Turnips*
Swiss Chard                                                 Baby Carrots*
Kale Raab                                                   *”Large” share items; not included
Oregano                                                        in the “small” share.
Potatoes—Chieftain Red
Please Remember to Wash Your Vegetables Carefully and Thoroughly.

This Week’s Recipe:
Anna’s obsession with cheese continues… as you might guess, I modified this recipe a bit.
Bon Appétit | February 2001
1 bunch Swiss Chard
2 pounds potatoes, peeled if you like, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
about 1/2 cup (or more) warm whole milk
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 30 minutes. While they’re cooking, wash the Swiss Chard and chop it finely.  When the potatoes are done, drain well. Return potatoes to pot and mash until almost smooth. Set pot over low heat. Stir in the greens. Add butter and stir until melted. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups milk, mashing until smooth. Add cheese and and stir until cheese melts. Thin with more milk, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
News from the Farmers:
            Well, we’ve reached the end of the early Spring season—it’s amazing how much the fields change in 5 weeks.   When we started, the greenhouses were full of overwintered lettuces and salad greens, and winter cover crops were growing in all the fields; now the greenhouses are planted with tomatoes and peppers, we’re harvesting lettuce and radishes from the fields, and we’re transplanting the heat-loving crops into the fields: corn, beans, and tomatillos. 
            A big thank you to all of you for signing up for the early spring CSA—some of you are continuing with the main season, some we won’t see again until fall, and some have been planting their own gardens, and are now harvesting their own veggies at home.  It’s been great, sharing the vibrant growth of spring with all of you—this is the most hopeful season, and the most unpredictable. 
            We still have shares available for the main (20-week) season, so if you have any friends who are interested in a CSA share, tell them to drop us a line at 
            Also, if you have any recipes you’d like to share, do email them to us!  I’d love to put them in future newsletters.  And if you have any feedback for us about the early Spring CSA—what worked well, what we can improve—let us know. 
            This week’s weather prediction is for sun, sun, and more sun—amazing!  Antonia and I both got our first sunburns of the year on Monday—we both couldn’t really believe it was sunny enough to get burned, and didn’t cover up in time.  We’ll be more careful for the rest of the week. 
            The veggies are growing like mad—you can almost watch the radishes grow, and the two beds of strawberries are blooming!  The weeds are growing, too, but at least the soil is finally dry enough that we can hoe speedily and effectively.  We’ve got quite the collection of hoes—hula hoes, diamond hoes, a Cobra hoe, and a sweet little triangular hoe we picked up from the Good Cheer Garden Sale last year.  Add to that our collection of hand hoes and wheel hoes, and we’re well equipped to hold our own against the weeds this summer.  A big thanks to our worktraders—we couldn’t do it without you guys!