Happy 4th of July!!
The farm is happy to announce that we have found water! Whew. After digging 200ft without much luck we were starting to consider what it would take to dig another well. We had one last chance and that was to hydro fracture (not the same as oil fracking) the well and see if that would open up some of the veins of water nearby. It sounded like a long shot to me but it worked! Now we are at 10-12gal/min which should be plenty even in a dry year. Thanks to everyone for all of your support and well wishing.
We got a nice rain and some heat and everything is growing wonderfully. That means weeds too so we have been keeping busy separating friend from foe. The first sungold tomatoes are ripening in the hoophouse which is the first real taste of summer for me. I have to lock the doors on the hoophouse to keep my kids from stealing them all. We hope to share them with you next week!
Have a great holiday weekend.
July 3rd, Week 5
Clockwise from top: Rainbow (Swiss) Chard, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Carrots, Cucumbers, Pole Beans, Mushrooms, garlic scapes. Please enjoy.
Next CSA delivery is Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 3rd! Dropsites are closed on the 4th.
In your box this week…
Zucchinis – (Small Shares)
Sugar Snap Peas- (Full shares)
Weekly Serving Suggestions:
Rainbow (Swiss) Chard– Immediately beautiful to behold and also delicious. Chard keeps well in a bag in the fridge. The easiest way to use it is to chop some bacon (or skip this step and use butter). Sautee over medium low until soft-cooked, but basically done (you could add chopped onions, zucchinis, or mushrooms). Chop chard across the stem (using greens and stalks) add to the pan with a couple Tbsp. water and cover. Allow to wilt for a couple minutes, but try to remove before all the color is washed out. Toss with lemon juice (or vinegar) and salt/pepper. Allow to rest in the pan one minute and remove to serving dish. Works great as a side dish and leftovers can go in a scramble in the morning. Chard is also especially great for soups and stews. Creamy chard soup with potatoes and garlic scapes would be delish! (Potatoes will likely be coming next week.) This sautéed mixture, can even be frozen in a bag until you’re ready for a stew this fall!
Head lettuce- Tender yet crisp and refreshing. Grilling over the Fourth? It is my belief that Lettuce makes the difference between a good burger and a great one, of course I would say that—next week I’ll be telling you it’s tomatoes! Anyway, Lettuce leaves are perfect for picnic wraps, sandwiches, burgers or lettuce boats. Just choose a nice solid leaf, pile it high with chicken, tuna, or egg salad and enjoy like a taco! Head lettuce keeps well in a bag in the crisper drawer, or separate the leaves and wash ahead by drying and storing in a bag with a paper towel.
Pole Beans!- These are new for us this year. Much like regular green beans/snap beans these are great raw or with a quick bit of heat tosteam/sautee them. These have been a favorite with our girls either plan as a snack, or lightly sautéed with butter and a dash of soy-sauce. We also rubbed them with olive oil and salt and rolled them across the grill. They will keep for up to a week in a bag in the fridge. But fresher is better.
Cucumbers– Slice a whole cucumber into a pitcher of water for a refreshing and festive bump. Slice and serve with salt or dip. Great on a veggie tray with carrots and kohlrabi! Also great on sandwiches, wraps, burgers or in cucumber mint mojitos! Stores well in the crisper drawer for a coupe of days, or longer in a bag.
Garlic scapes (or whistles)- use like scallions or fresh ramps. Just chop up the whole thing for a burst of fresh garlic flavor. Add late or after the cooking process for a brighter garlic flavor. Add earlier for a more mild and sweet flavor. Try making Garlic scape pesto, to save that fresh flavor and have it on hand, ready to use. In a food processor, puree 1bunch garlic scapes, an equal amout of chopped carrot tops (if desired), ¼ cup good olive oil, several Tbsp. of lemon juice (with rind if using fresh) and salt/pepper to taste until smooth. Keep in mind that it should be salty and strong enough to flavor whatever you’re putting it on. Freeze in ice cube trays or in small scoops on cookie sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag for convenient storage. Also great rolled across the grill! Try the recipe of the week.
Sugar Snap Peas- Perfect for snacking! Just snap the top off toward the concave seam and strip that string down the length—ready to enjoy, pod and all. Also, good in a salad, can be chopped for smaller bites. These are so sweet and good that I think they are best fresh. But, if you have a favorite recipe that calls for them, just be sure to add them at/near the end of heat so as not to overcook—it’s easier than I think! Store covered in the fridge for a couple days.
Fresh Carrots- Try slicing into curls with a veggie peeler or shredding with a cheese grater, makes them easy to add to almost any dish. Separate from tops for best storage. Store each in its own bag in the fridge. Tops are still tender enough to be good for pesto, a perfect complement to the garlic scapes in a pesto. Try peeling deep curls with the peeler then rolling them tight and slicing with the grain to get perfectly julienned-style strips to add to anything. Chop into carrot sticks and store in a bowl of lighty salted water in the fridge for ready snacking.
Mushrooms– fresh Oyster mushrooms this week. Fresh mushrooms have a lot of moisture in them. So be sure to cook them down uncovered until the pan dries out enough that they start to brown. I recommend using plenty of oil/butter and getting them almost caramelized before adding to whatever dish you like. (Mushrooms will absorb a lot of oil. If you don’t like to use that much, you can splash in a little water or wine to get let oil to coat the mushrooms more evenly.) Great in soups and stews, also great with eggs or as a stand-alone side dish. Stores best in a paper bag inside the crisper drawer. My favorite is butter and garlic (scapes will do) sautee them until nicely browned. Dress them with a little salt and vinegar/lemon juice/wine and swirl around the hot pan for just a second before removing from heat and covering to absorb the liquid. Works well as a side.
Zucchinis– I can’t get enough of these, but I’ve been putting that sentiment to the test lately. Fresh and young these “zukes” work well for zucchini noodlers, or “zoodles.” Also great marinated in slices, wedges, or strips and grilled or broiled. Easy to shred and allow to drain then frozen in a bag for winter-time zucchini breads and other baked goods. Marinated zucchini chunks are perfect for kebabs. Stores well in the crisper drawer or a bag in the fridge.
Kohlrabi– Perfect for fresh snacking on a hot holiday week. Just peel and chop into slices and eat, dress with salt and lemon or dip them if you like. Always refreshing. Stores well all by itself in the crisper drawer. Also great in a stir fry.
Coffee – Organic Coffee
Stir Fry (of the week):
*this recipe easily adapts to change throughout the season.
The difference between bland stir fry and good stir fry is how long everything cooks. Each ingredient needs a certain amount of time to cook. Unless you’re really on the ball and prepped ahead, it’s very hard to do this all in one skillet/wok at the same time.
The simplest way around this is to cook each thing separately in a pen and add it to a cool serving dish until they’re all done then to toss with the sauce.
(Some veggies will require similar amounts of time and can be cooked together. All veggies need less cooking than they usually get.)
Here is a sample recipe based on this week’s box.
– 1 bunch Garlic scapes chopped finely
– 2 carrots sliced thin
– ½ bunch beans, chopped into 1” pieces
– ½ kohlrabi, peeled and sliced
– several stalks of chard chopped
-several chard leaves “ribboned”
– 3 Tbsp soy sauce
-3 Tbsp high heat oil, for frying
-3 Tbsp olive or sesame oil for the sauce
-3 Tbsp rice vinegar
-2 Tbsp tahini
– ¼ cup chopped fresh basil/mint/parsley/carrot tops
*optional- Add any browned meat/bacon/tofu/chick peas at the end.
– over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pan or wok, heat 1 Tbsp high-heat oil (like canola) add mushrooms, and sautee until shrunken, but not quite browned.
-Add chopped scapes or onions, to wilt and soften as the mushrooms brown.
-Transfer to large serving dish, dress with 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp vinegar, toss and leave to soak up the flavor as it cools.
– Add another Tbsp cooking oil and toss in beans and chard stems when hot. Sautee just until brightly colored and very lightly browned.
– Add to serving dish.
– reheat the rest of the cooking oil and toss with carrots and kohlrabi when hot, cover for about one minute to steam in their own liquid, then add to the mix.
-mix tahini, sesame oil and rice vinegar together until smooth, then add to the hot pan to deglaze and thicken.
-Pour over the rest of the mix, scraping the pan, then toss with the chopped herbs and enough salt and pepper to taste
– Serve over rice or noodles.