Red Door Family Farm http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com Wausau Organic Vegetables, Fruits, and Meats Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:15:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Video: June 20, Week 3 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/video-june-20-week-3/ Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:14:15 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1492 ]]> 2018 CSA Newsletter: June 20th, Week 3 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/2018-csa-newsletter-june-20th-week-3/ Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:09:46 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1486 Week 3 Video with Haley

Farm News

Jeez! Enough rain dancing already!!

It felt good to be able to relax with the irrigation but, of course, now we have swung dramatically in the other direction. Everything on the farm is loving the rain except for the strawberries. It’s a shame since it was our best strawberry year ever, but the other growing things are appreciating the drink.

We are all lined up to have our new well dug this week. We had a water dowser out to find a spot. I have no idea if they have any idea where water actually is but it felt good to have someone else help make the call! The well digger is no help and only emphasizes that there is no possible way to know where there is water on our property, especially where we are because we have so much granite. So, we pay the guy (not a small amount) on a guess? I don’t want it to be my call and Tenzin doesn’t want it to be his call… water dowser it is. Wish us luck!
It was really great to see so many of you out on the farm picking berries this week and I always appreciate meeting you at the farmers’ market. It means so much to us to know all of our hard work is going to feed such an amazing group of people!

Check out Haley’s video on Facebook or our website about how to use the box and have a yummy week!

Announcements:

Strawberry picking- rain has dampened the quality of the berries, upick is still available, but you should expect to use the berries within a day of picking.

In your box this week…

Broccoli
Head Lettuce
Basil Plant
Spring Carrots
Green Garlic
Zucchini
Napa cabbage
Strawberries
*Peas OR Mushrooms*
Cucumbers
Salad turnips- small shares only
Coffee- optional

Weekly Serving Suggestions:

*(You should have either gotten peas or mushrooms this week. We do our best to get everything to everyone throughout the course of the season. Sometimes the proportions just don’t come out right each week so we’ll swap weeks between drop sites.)

Head Lettuce- Lovely Lettuce for a salad. Add grated cheese, carrots, sliced salad turnips, cucumbers, strawberries, chopped scallions/green garlic or fennel fronds/dill for deluxe salads. This broad leaved lettuce is tender and flexible making it a great choice for lettuce boats (using the leaf like a tortilla to wrap up egg/tuna/chicken salad), Otherwise, pile it onto sandwiches or into tortilla wraps. Stores best wrapped in paper towel inside a bag in the fridge.

Fresh Broccoli- These big beautiful heads are perfect for chopping into chunks/trees and steaming lightly. With these early broccoli, we often just give them a quick steam (approx. 2 mins, being careful not to overcook) then dress them with salt and lemon juice for a nice summer treat. Great served right away or allowed to cool first. Also great with melted cheese or butter, and a good choice for fresh chopped for salads or dips. Stores best in a bag in the crisper drawer, but eats best and has the most nutritional value right away. Broccoli can be blanched and frozen. Try the recipe below!

Cucumbers- Such a refreshing crunch! Cukes (cucumbers) have cooling properties, which means that a few slices in a glass of ice water will have an even greater cooling effect on these overly warm “spring” days. Stores well in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Also, slice them and use as a cracker for dips!

Spring Carrots-Remove tops for best storage. Sweet and crisp. These are the perfect carrots to enjoy raw. Just rinse and eat. Slice or shred them into a salad with a cheese grater (or make carrot curls by slicing them at an angle with a veggie peeler. These carrots are also delicious grilled whole with olive oil salt and pepper. Grill them on a hot grill for just long enough to leave char marks from the bars and a natural crunch in the middle. Store them in the fridge in a bag, with the tops removed. But save and eat the tops too! These will be the best carrot tops of the season, mild with a little parsley flavor. Chop them for a garnish with fresh flavor, or make a carrot top pesto. Pesto can be made of just carrot tops and oil, salt, and lemon pureed together. Or carrot tops can be pureed with other herbs (like dill, basil, fennel, parsley, or green garlic!) to extend a pesto or stretch it farther.

Green garlic- use like scallions (green onions) 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 Green Garlic pesto, to save that fresh flavor and have it on hand, ready to use. In a food processor, puree 2-3 stalks chopped green garlic, 1 cup chopped tender carrot tops, ¼-1/3 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. Combine it with carrot tops for a milder, but more complex flavor. Freeze in ice cube trays or in small scoops on cookie sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag for convenient storage.

Sugar Snap Peas*- (if you didn’t get mushrooms) 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.

Mushrooms*- Either Winecap or Oyster mushrooms this week (if you didn’t get peas). These delicious treats do grow outside and like everything else got a little dirty with the downpour. Unlike most other things, we can’t wash them without compromising their shelf life. But you can, right before using them. Purists will dry brush off any sand/dirt. I liketo toss them into a bowl of salted water and let them soak for a few minutes to loosen the dirt and evict any pests. Then I rinse them under fresh water briefly before chopping and using. Fresh mushrooms have a lot of moisture in them—especially if you give them the soak method. 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. 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.

Strawberries- We don’t wash strawberries either, so they’ll keep as long as possible. But these got wet with a surprise shower this morning, we tried to only pick the best berries and to dry them as best we could, but you will still want to use these right away. A quick rinse and top, then freezing them will do. Otherwise, we recommend chopping or pureeing with a few tablespoons of maple syrup (macerating). This will store in your fridge all week and is ready to use as a sauce, garnish or the basis of a fancy cocktail. These are organically-grown, never sprayed strawberries, they taste amazing and you don’t have to worry about pesticides/herbicides or wheat (we don’t mulch with straw). If you need to keep them, I recommend topping them and freezing them loose on a cookie sheet, then storing in a freezer bag. Try them plain—they are fabulous. Store covered loosely in the fridge.

Zucchini- these are young and tender and they arestill coming! Marinated zucchini is a hit around our house. Simply slice or wedge zucchini and soak in a mix of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and soy sauce or salt and pepper. Allow a minimum of one hour in the fridge before eating them as a side or on a salad. Marinated zukes can also be grilled just long enough to put lines on them. Also try shredding them, then add to salads, noodle or egg dishes, or make zucchini fritters. Just shred and mix with enough egg to form a thick paste. Stir in salt pepper and fresh dill or basil. Fry in a skillet over medium heat with butter or oil until just cooked through (think pancakes). Store whole zucchini in the fridge until ready to use.

Napa Cabbage- These big beautiful green heads are like a cross between lettuce and cabbage. They make the best slaws for summer fare. Shred (or chop finely across the grain) with any leftover romaine, kohlrabi, carrots, turnips, etc. you may have. Make a simple slaw dressing (see below). Fresh slaws add a lot of veggies to your diet and keep well in the fridge. They are a great way to bulk up a meal without heating up your house. We’re having pulled pork sandwiches with a napa slaw today for lunch and I can’t wait! I could definitely eat these all week! Stores well in the crisper drawer.

Salad Turnips- (Small shares only) These are a nice fresh treat and one of our kid’s favorite snacks in the field. We call them salad turnips because, unlike normal turnips, these excel at fresh eating. Eat them as a snack, or slice them onto a salad, or give them a light sautee into a stir-fry. Also good roasted/grilled lightly. Greens are good too, treat as spinach and sautee them into eggs or steam lightly before adding to soups and salads.

Basil Plant- Don’t let this plant get below 40 degrees. You can repot it and keep it in a sunny window or transplant it outside to keep harvesting fresh leaves all summer! No pressure! If you don’t want to keep it all year, just keep it till you’re ready for fresh basil. Basil is best fresh, and doesn’t keep well. That’s why we’re delivering it this way. Chop a few leaves onto some eggs or pasta just before eating it. If you grow your plant large, you can make a big batch of pesto. You can pluck a few leaves off at a time and it will just keep growing!

Coffee

Recipe of the week…

Chinese Cabbage/Romaine Slaw:

This is a great slaw recipe for sturdy lettuces or tender cabbages (Romaine, napa, or a mix). It can easily be adapted throughout the CSA season as different offerings arise.

The Key for slaw is to throw anything you want into it, but to cut things at varying thicknesses depending on how tender they are. Carrots and kohlrabi and any hearty greens (broccoli leaves, or storage cabbages) should be sliced very thin. Napa Cabbage and zucchini can be sliced medium. And any romaine or tender greens can be cut into wider ribbons (1/2” or better). This allows for different textures, but also so that the whole thing doesn’t become a mush pile in just a day or two.

-1 head of Napa Cabbage chopped
– (and/or) 1 head of Romaine lettuce (preferably a mix)
-2 carrots shredded or whittled into curls with a veggie peeler
-1/2 head of broccoli into florets
*Feel free to add/subtract or substitute almost anything you like (chopped kohlrabi and broccoli leaves, sliced salad turnips, kale, celery, radishes, etc.) Amounts are used for example only.

Dressing:

-1/2 cup mayonnaise (Homemade is best!)
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1 Tbsp soy sauce
-1 Tbsp cider vinegar
-1 Tbsp Lemon or lime juice
-1 tsp Chinese mustard or horseradish
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp fresh herbs chopped (basil, dill, cilantro, or mint)
(optional)
-Dash of fish sauce
-1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
-1 Tbsp sesame seeds

-Mix dressing ingredients together in a jar with lid and shake. Set aside, can be made ahead.

-chop, shred and slice remaining ingredients

-Add enough dressing to coat and toss thoroughly.

-Best if allowed to sit for an hour before serving.

-top with finely chopped scallions, chives, or green garlic before serving.

-Enjoy

***Strawberry Whiskey-rita***

-1 part macerated strawberries (pureed)
-1 part bourbon
-2 parts club soda

Puree strawberries with sugar (or maple syrup) until smooth. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 10 mins.

Mix strawberry sauce and whiskey in a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly.

Pour into a glass with an ice cube and top with club soda. Stir to mix and enjoy!

*garnish with a strawberry or cucumber slice!

Best Guess for next week:

-Parsley
-Salad mix
-Beets
-Cucumbers
-Kale or Chard
-Garlic scapes
-Sugar Snap peas
-Strawberries?
-Fennel

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2018 CSA Newsletter: June 13th, Week 2 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/2018-csa-newsletter-june-13-week-2/ Wed, 13 Jun 2018 20:27:55 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1473 Week 2 Video with Haley

Farm News

Another beautiful week at the farm. It’s awesome weather to work in but we are hoping for rain soon! How different from last year’s cold wet spring.

This year we have really been working on dialing in our irrigation system. Unprecedented heat in May made for a real challenge keeping water on all of those teeny tiny plants. When they get bigger and have a wider root system they need far less attention when it is dry. But baby plants need a little water all the time. For a while it felt like we had a new born baby human again! We woke up every two hours to move irrigation during the night (we overhead water during the night because there is less wind and evaporation). During the day, we irrigate under black plastic with drip tape. The drip tape is a plastic hose with small holes in it so water gets evenly spread throughout the bed with little waste.

Some plants prefer to be on drip tape, mostly things that have a flower and make a fruit (tomatoes, strawberries, squash, pepper, etc) and some prefer to be overhead watered (carrots, salad mix or lettuce, fennel, broccoli, etc). We try to get the plants water the way they like it whenever we can.

The great part is that we made it through that dry, hot spell and things look AMAZING, the bad news is that we drained our well so low that part of the well caved in and now the recharge on the well is minimal. I’ve learned more about wells, water, and geology the last couple of weeks then I ever thought I would need to know. I also learned that water is of greater value than I was giving it credit for. It has become so precious that our kids ask permission before they flush the toilet. The long and the short of it is, we need to drill a new well. Big bummer but luck wasn’t in our corner on the last one. I guess I still feel lucky that we have the option to have a well with great water quality.

Hopefully the new well will produce what we need and we can feel confident moving forward with or without rain… in the meanwhile, rain dance your hearts out!

Announcements:

Broccoli- You might notice some hollowing in the stems of your broccoli. This will not affect the taste or nutritional value of the broccoli but it may affect its storage capacity. It happened due to the extreme heat fluctuations.

In your box this week…

Broccoli
Romaine
Fresh Dill
Spring Carrots
Scallions (Green Onions)
Zucchini
Strawberries
Spring turnips-fulls
Peas- fulls
Cucumber- smalls
Coffee- optional

Weekly Serving Suggestions:

Romaine Head Lettuce- So crunchy and refreshing. Romaine is the lettuce of choice for Cesar Salads. But it also works great for sandwiches and burgers. Chopped salads and it’s even sturdy enough for the grill! Romaine will shred nicely too to make delicious slaws, consider a sweet strawberry vinaigrette. Stores nicely in a bag in the fridge. Once chopped, it will tend to brown after a few days.

Fresh Broccoli- These big beautiful heads are perfect for chopping into chunks/trees and steaming lightly. With these early broccoli, we often just give them a quick steam (approx. 2 mins, being careful not to overcook) then dress them with salt and lemon juice for a nice summer treat. Great served right away or allowed to cool first. Also great with melted cheese or butter, and a good choice for fresh chopped for salads or dips Stores best in a bag in the crisper drawer, but eats best and has the most nutritional value right away. Broccoli can be blanched and frozen. Many of these broccoli stems are hollow. That’s due to a calcium deficiency in the plant. Shouldn’t affect the tops in any way, but feel free to discard the stems if it’s unappealing. These grew in our hoophouses which are our most heavily rotated and managed soils. We are working to resolve the issue.

Dill- fresh chopped dill adds brightness and a taste of summer to any dish it’s dressed with. Dill’s flavor does not hold up well to heat, so consider adding at the table or at least after removing from heat. Chopped dill pairs well with potatoes, beets, carrots fish, chicken, eggs, sour cream/yogurt. Dill will keep in a bag in the fridge with a damp paper towel for several days, or it can be frozen (simply chop and freeze in a bag for later use.) But flavor will be best right away.

Spring Carrots-Remove tops for best storage. Sweet and crisp. These are the perfect carrots to enjoy raw. Just rinse and eat. Slice or shred them into a salad with a cheese grater (or make carrot curls by slicing them at an angle with a veggie peeler. These carrots are also delicious grilled whole with olive oil salt and pepper. Grill them on a hot grill for just long enough to leave char marks from the bars and an “al-dente” crunch in the middle. Store them in the fridge in a bag, with the tops removed. But save and eat the tops too! These will be the best carrot tops of the season, mild with a little parsley flavor. Chop them for a garnish with fresh flavor, or make a carrot top pesto. Pesto can be made of just carrot tops and oil, salt, and lemon pureed together. Or carrot tops can be pureed with other herbs (like dill, basil, fennel or parsley) to extend a pesto or stretch it farther.

Scallions- Use greens and whites for a fresh burst of onion flavor that adds zest to any summer salad or slaw. Great as a garnish in soups or grilled whole for just a couple of minutes. Stores best in a bag in the fridge.

Zucchini- these are young and tender enough to eat raw. Marinated zucchini is a hit around our house. Simply slice or wedge zucchini and soak in a mix of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and soy sauce or salt and pepper. Allow a minimum of one hour in the fridge before eating them as a side or on a salad. Marinated zukes can also be grilled just long enough to put lines on them. Also try shredding them, then add to salads, noodle or egg dishes, or make zucchini fritters. Just shred and mix with enough egg to form a thick paste. Stir in salt pepper and fresh dill or scallions. Fry in a skillet over medium heat with butter or oil until just cooked through (think pancakes). Store whole zucchini in the fridge until ready to use.

Strawberries- Our strawberries are always delicious, but this year they are the earliest they’ve ever been and the prettiest (at least someone’s enjoying the dry warm weather). These gorgeous berries are at peak ripeness and very fresh, they could keep for several days in the fridge, but how could you wait? Store loosely covered in the fridge, or top them and freeze in a bag for later. Frozen berries will be perfect for saucing, but won’t have their fresh texture again. Wonderful sliced with cream/ice cream, or atop a fresh salad.

Spring turnips- (full shares only) So easy to eat, just eat them fresh like a salad radish (except more sweet than spicy). Remove tops for best storage. Turnip greens cook well and quickly. Perfect for eggs or stir-fry. Store greens and roots separately in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Sugar Snap Peas- (Full shares only)Sweet and crunchy, eat whole (pods and all) as a snack simply snap off stem end and peel down the concave side of the pea. Stores well in a bag in the fridge, but tastes best right away for fresh eating. Also great chopped and used as an English pea, with a little heat or fresh. Perfect for potato salads and stir frys.

Cucumbers- (Small Shares only) These are fresh and delicious. Cucumbers have a cooling effect. Great for fresh salads, or in a tall glass of water! Slice for dipping or shred for salads. We’ll be seeing more of these to come, but please enjoy the first offering of the season. Stores well in the fridge. Tastes great in juices and blended drinks!

Coffee Organic Mexican Coffee- our favorite!

Recipe of the week…

This week everything from your box could simply be chopped up and eaten. A glorious fresh salad of crunchy romaine with chopped broccoli florets and shredded zucchini, topped with chopped scallions, peas and/or cucumbers, sliced turnips and carrot curls (peeler shavings). All drenched in a fresh strawberry dill vinaigrette!

Or… Dilly Carrots:

-Snap the tops off a bunch of fresh young carrots. (trim the ends if you must, rinse
and pat dry if you like) Halve larger carrots
lengthwise.

– in a high-walled roasting pan place into a hot oven for about 1-20 mins until dry and starting to get tender.

-Switch oven to broil, add a generous pat of butter and a drizzle of honey, toss to coat as butter melts.

-Place under the broiler for about 5 mins (always stay close when the broiler is on)

-When skins begin to char and blister remove from the oven. Sprinkle with salt, lemon juice, and lots of fresh chopped dill.

-Toss again and serve.

-Enjoy (these are a favorite of our kids!)

Best Guess for next week:

-Napa Cabbage
-Basil Plant
-Carrots
-Cucumber
-Green Garlic
-Zucchini
-Fennel
-Sugar Snap peas
-Strawberries
-Salad turnips-smalls

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Video: June 13, Week 2 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/video-june-13-week-2/ Wed, 13 Jun 2018 19:07:05 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1477 ]]> Video: June 6, Week 1 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/video-june-6-week-1/ Wed, 06 Jun 2018 23:11:28 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1452

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2018 CSA Newsletter: June 6, Week 1 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/2018-csa-newsletter-june-6-week-1/ Wed, 06 Jun 2018 22:53:35 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1450 Video of the Week

Farm News

Welcome to our 4th CSA season! Let’s start with introductions. I’m Stacey; farmer, wife, mother and in charge of writing this portion of the newsletter. I also am usually who you will get if you send us an email or find us at the Farmers’ market. Tenzin, my husband, is the cooking extraordinaire, builder, fixer, farmer, father. He is the guy who cooks us all lunch every day and writes the recipes and tips portion of the newletter. We have two young daughters, Leona (5) and Iris (2.75). They are in charge of making sure we eat dinner at a reasonable time, looking adorable amongst the vegetables and farm animals, and general silliness.

We also have two employees, Aaron Griner and Haley Houghton. Haley is a local to Wausau and has been a worker share on our farm since the beginning. Her experience in the restaurant and catering industry adds a great perspective to our food production and her energy is contagious.

Aaron comes from a long background in farming beginning on his family’s farm in Georgia. He has managed farms on smaller scales in the Peace Corps in Togo and Washington D.C. We have been enjoying introducing him to fish fry, brandy old fashions, custard ice cream, absolute crazy weather, and the Packers. We feel so lucky to have both of them!

This spring had really been something else. Remember that snow storm in April? And the 90 degree week in May? It’s keeping us on our toes but the crops are looking great. We’ve had a few hiccups with tractors breaking down and our well filling in on us but we are finding our way with the help of friends and neighbors.

We are looking forward to another great CSA season!

In your box this week…

Red Butterhead lettuce
Kohlrabi
Cilantro
Beets
Flowering Chives
Bok Choy
Maple Syrup
Zucchini- fulls
Coffee (optional)

Weekly Serving Suggestions:

Head Lettuce – These beauties are fresh and tender, with a pleasant crispness. Great for salads, sandwiches, wraps and for adding bulk to a pasta or bean salad. Try it with the Maple dressing recipe for last year’s newsletter (see way below). Stores well in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Peel off and eat the outer leaves first. (Sometimes the outer leaves close to the base can have a bitter flavor.)

Kohlrabi – earlier than normal, this is juicy and sweet. Best eaten raw, or with just a touch of heat to preserve the crunch. It’s a favorite snack around here, just peeled and sliced horizontally into thin crunchy half-rounds. Sometimes plain, or with salt and lemon juice, we serve it as a side or a snack. Makes a great substitution for water chestnuts in a stir fry, just don’t cook very long or they lose their crunch! The leaves are great too, and very good for you. Treat like kale/broccoli leaf/collard greens. Chop and mix into scrambled egg dishes or stir fry. Cut across the grain and add to soups for green noodley ribbons. Stores well off the leaves in the crisper.

Fresh Cilantro – Cilantro is a wonderful fresh herb, and this is about as fresh as you’ll find it, unless you grow it yourself or come out to the farm. Stores best in a small vase of water in the fridge, I use a coffee mug. Fresher is better, so don’t wait. You can just chop some up and sprinkle on top of almost any dish. Goes well with potatoes, eggs, rice and pasta dishes. Not just for Mexican dishes either, Peruvian and Asian cuisines showcase it as well. Top a salad or stir fry with fresh Cilantro and a soy-sauce and ginger dressing/sauce. Also great for an Asian-style slaw.

Beets – Fresh and rich. Beets are one of the first hearty roots we can grow. They nicely offset a greens-heavy spring, they also make a great addition to a fresh green salad. You can roast or boil the beets whole, then allow them to cool (dunk them in cold water if boiling) then “slip” the skins. Basically, just rub them off with your hands as soon as they are cool enough. I’ve done it with a rubberized hot mitt too, in a hurry. Then slice them to the size you like wedges, cubes, or half moons. Take these aside and season with a favorite dressing or vinaigrette. Allow them to marinade until everything else is ready and then add them on top of a salad or into a stir-fry. Otherwise just eat them as their own salad, or add blue cheese or feta! Use the beet greens as well. They can be used in place of swiss chard for any recipe. They are a hearty green that is best with a little heat, steam or sautee them before adding to eggs or pasta dishes. They can be chopped, steamed and frozen for winter, when we want the extra greens so much. Separate greens and store them in a bag separate from the bulbs, which will store a long time in a bag in the crisper drawer.

Flowering Chives – We love these colorful treats. They’ll store for a while in a bag in the fridge, but fresh is best. Chop the stems finely and add just before removing from heat. Chop the tops finely and wait to add as a garnish on the plate. Makes a great dip by stirring chopped chives into cream cheese, sour cream, or greek yogurt with a little salt. Mix thoroughly, then add the chopped blossoms on top to make a showy presentation.

Zucchini! – We are so pleased these were ready for our first box. Fresh zucchini is great lightly sautéed or even marinated raw. We often cut them into wedges and coat in a favorite salad dressing for an hour or two before eating as a snack or a side. Great for dipping too! Stores well in the fridge for a few days.

Bok choy – is super healthy for you, but also fun and easy to prepare. Chop it across the grain (finely for salad, or more coarsely for stir-fry). Grilled Bok-choy has become a personal favorite of mine. Halve or quarter the long way and coat with olive oil and salt/pepper. Then lay it directly on the grill (or under the broiler or in a hot skillet) over medium high heat until just lightly charred.

Don’t over – do it, leave some of that fresh crunch (or “tender-crisp”). Stores well in a bag in the fridge.

Maple Syrup – How sweet it is! So easy to use, it almost goes without saying. But here’s some of our favorites: as a sweetener for coffee, oatmeal or anything else, on top of vanilla ice cream, as a glaze for roasted veggies, and in an Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Refrigeration is not necessary, but if you don’t use it often refrigerating after opening can help to keep a harmless (but unsightly) mold from forming on the top.

Recipe of the week…

Pearled Barley Salad with Garden Veggies

– 2-3 baseball sized beets (or carrots or substitute prepared beans)
– ½ head bok choy (or broccoli, cauliflower, or celery—with some greens)
– 1 fresh zucchini (or cucumber or kholrhabi)
– ¼ cup chopped fresh chives or scallions
– ½ lb pearled barley
– 2 ½ cups chicken or veggies stock
– ½ cup of your favorite dressing or see Maple Vinaigrette (from last years newsletter) below.
– ¼ cup fresh cilantro (or mint, dill, parsle, basil, etc.)
– ½ cup crumbled blue or feta cheese or crumbled crispy bacon (optional, but delicious)

Roast or boil beets, then slip the skins (peel them once they’ve cooled) chop into quarter rounds ¼” thick. Set aside with enough dressing to coat, and let marinade.

Slice remaining veggies finely across the grain (bok choy for example) including some of the greens. Toss with dressing and allow to marinade. Include chives or scallions, but keep separate from Beets for prettiest results. (reserve chopped chive blossoms for final garnish, because they’re so pretty!)

Meanwhile, cook barley in chicken stock for about 25 mins, or until tender. Remove to cool.

Toss Barley and beets together first with any remaining dressing. Then add marinated veggies, herbs, and cheese. Toss lightly, then top off with chive blossoms or lemon wedges.

Serve slightly above or below room temp (can refrigerate until needed, remove 30 mins ahead of serving).

Enjoy!

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

This simple recipe makes enough to coat one huge head of lettuce (just in case you were wondering. But it is easy to scale up for many uses. Store extra in a mason jar with a lid so it’s ready for quick use anytime.

*I like my dressings and marinades pretty tart, but feel free to reduce the vinegar to ¼ cup for a milder version.

-1/3 cup good Cider Vinegar (non-distilled is best, I use Bragg’s)
-1/3 cup good oil (olive is my go-to, but sunflower oil is really nice too and produced here locally).
-4 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup- don’t you dare cheat
-1 Tbsp mustard, or 2 Tbsp chopped chives
-1 tsp. salt
-(feel free to add different herbs and spices, I love it with oregano and black pepper, or with soy sauce and miso!)

-add all ingredients to a lidded jar and shake thoroughly. Reshake prior to each use. Works great to marinade mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, cooked beets, kohlrabi, bok choy, and as a salad dressing.

To make “creamy” add an egg and puree. This will help to reduce settling out between oil and vinegar.

To thicken add all ingredients except oil and add an egg yolk. Puree then begin to add oil very slowly while mixing until it thickens.

Enjoy!

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2017 CSA Newsletter: October 18, Week 20 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/2017-csa-newsletter-october-18-week-20/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:18:18 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1297 Week 20 is always filled with so many emotions! We are so proud to be able to feed our community throughout the season and so relieved to be able to slow down a bit. We sincerely hope that we have met or exceeded your expectations for the CSA, that you have learned something new about farming and food, and that you and your family have enjoyed the benefits of eating fresh healthy produce. Please share your experience with others!

I’m sure many of you may have noticed the slight increase in the cost of the shares next year and I wanted to take a moment to address that. The first few years we didn’t know how to price our CSA, so we looked around at the other farms in the area and charged slightly less than them because we felt we were in our growing stages. Now that we have been around for a few years we feel that our shares are at least equal to or better than (in quality and quantity) the other farms in the area. This made us do some more number crunching and asking, what is a fair and reasonable price for our shares? We found that our average box this year was valued at $33. Our goal was to give our CSA members 20% more produce than the price of the share. Raising our price to $550 achieves that goal. It also achieves our bigger goal of being a financially sustainable farm. We want to make our food accessible to as many people as possible so we continue to offer payment plans and financial assistance through Fairshare. If you have any questions or concerns about the price increase, we would be happy to talk more with you (this is your farm too!)

Thank you to all who filled out the survey. We read them all and try our best to see which suggestions can work for us. The surveys have acted as a guide for us to know what direction the CSA should head. Here is a compilation of trends from this year:

~Small shares were a big hit! We will offer more small shares for next year.

~Coffee shares- a bag a week was too much for many people. We are considering doing every other week or monthly. Those who got the coffee share seemed pleased.

~Those who came to the farm dinner had great reviews. The one criticism was having it on Labor Day weekend (my bad!)

~ More: Carrots, potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, broccoli.

~Less: Dragon’s Tongue beans were the only thing mentioned more than once.

~Giant Kohlrabi was too giant and hard to use- I know! I will plant a different variety next year!

~More fruit- We are working on it. Apple trees and blueberry bushes are in years 2-3 so maybe next year??

~A few people suggested an egg share add on. This is something we will look into!

Overall, the responses were overwhelmingly positive and we are so grateful for all of the encouragement.

We have recently hired an employee for next year who has a lot of experience working on many types of farming operations. He asked me what it is like to have CSA be such a big part of our farm and rely so much on selling directly to people. I had to think about it for a minute because it is hard to find words to describe such a big idea. I finally told him that it is the reason I farm. To feed our neighbors, to build community, to hopefully make our little section of the world a little healthier and happier, and to be held accountable for the work we do. There was a long pause on his end and he said he’d never thought of farming that way and that he’d really like to work here.

We love our CSA! Thank you!

October 18th, Week 20

Clockwise from top: Carrots, Rutabaga, Broccoli, Parsnips, Long Pie Pumpkin ,Celeriac, Sweet potatoes, onions, Kale, Garlic in the middle.

Announcements:

~Last CSA Week!

~ If you would like to join our Extended Season don’t hesitate too much! 8 weeks for $200. Same drop sites.

In your box this week…

Kale

Rutabaga

Broccoli

Winter Squash-Long Pie

Sweet Potatoes

Carrots

Celeriac

Onions

Garlic

Parsnips

Coffee- (optional) Guatemala

Weekly Serving Suggestions:

Broccoli- Lush and green, this broccoli is great for fresh eating or for a light steam. Broccoli started in the summer can be subject to Cabbage Caterpillars. We have tried to reduce their numbers, but without the use of pesticides some will likely remain. They are harmless and a brief soak in cold salt water will remove them. Otherwise they can easily be picked off when chopping off the florets. Broccoli florets make a great addition to stir-fry or pasta dishes. The stem can be shredded and added t slaws and salads. Store broccoli in a bag or tight lidded container in the fridge. Can be blanched and frozen as well! Just drop pieces into boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove and submerge in cold water (to stop the cooking and preserve as much texture as possible. Then freeze in a bag for later use or arrange on a cookie sheet to freeze them in individual pieces (if you’re likely to only want a few at a time.

Onions– Cured, these can be kept in a drawer or on the counter for a couple weeks. Try in a sauce or salsa with fresh tomatoes or roasted tomatillos. Starting to develop a stronger flavor, so feel free to sautee these down or roast them up to balance out the sweet flavor. If they are beginning to pile up on you, try your hand at French onion soup, it’s pretty simple really and a nice fall treat. Also a key component of the recipe of the week.

Parsnips!- We did it! Finally got a good frosting on Sunday night, so we were able to harvest these beauties for you. Parsnips are a very flavorful root veggie. They hold up well to strong-flavored meats and sauces (think lamb, or curry). They are especially good when roasted, but also make a lovely addition to mashed potatoes. Parsnip puree is popular too. Just like mashed potatoes, but made with parsnips and a blender/processor so it’s smoother and a little less thick. I’ve seen this thinned to a gravy consistency and poured over meats.

Long Pie Winter Squash- Hands-down one of the best pie pumpkins out there. Sweet and creamy, these also will store very well in a cool location out of direct sunlight. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds and pulp. Roast cut-side down until the skin pierces easily with a fork (350 for about an hour). Allow to cool until handlable, then scoop the sweet luxurious meat and stir/puree until desired consistency is reached. Perfect for pies, custards, or pumpkin bread/muffins/cookies/etc.

Rutabagas- The humble rutabaga. These are the secret ingredient to Stews and pasties (Michigan Meat Pies) in my opinion. Sweet, hearty and with lovely texture. Highly underrated as a fresh eating veggie too. Just slice and eat or dip (as you might with kohlrabi. They can be peeled or just scrubbed and rimmed. Stores well in the crisper drawer, will store for weeks in a bag/container.

Kale- This beautiful kale is sweet and tender. Perfect for fresh salads (mix with the lettuce mix to add a hearty, bulky texture.) Also great for a massaged kale salad. Stores well in a bag in the fridge.

Sweet Potatoes- These thin skinned, orange tubers are great roasted or fried. Just scrub them under running water briefly, no need to peel. Then chop into bit-size pieces, coat in oil and roast at 450 for about 20-30 mins. Toss with onions, broccoli, and salt for a nice medley. Sweet potato hash and sweet-potato fries are also a favorite, as are mashed sweets! Stores for a couple weeks on the counter out of direct sunlight.

Carrots– Store well in the crisper drawer or a bag in your fridge. Easy to use, just rinse and eat—I never peel mine. Great cooked with a little butter, salt, and dressed with fresh parsley. Also good grilled. Try shredding for salads and slaws or chopping for soups and stews. Roasted and glazed with syrup and butter is really something divine. Carrots are also the secret to making delicious veggie or chicken stock.

Celeriac– Homely, to be sure, but these sweet aromatic veggies are perfect for soups, stews, roasts, and the rough exterior can be added to soup stock after it is peeled off for use. Stores well in a bag in the fridge. Scrub and peel the root generously (save the parings for stock). Then Chop celeriac slightly smaller than other root veggies and add alongside them. Great mashed into potatoes as well.

Garlic- So wonderfully full of umami (a delicious flavor somewhere between sweet and savory) it can be added to almost any dish. Stores well on the countertop out of direct light. Whole cloves will keep their flavor longer in big long-cooked meals. Finely chopped garlic will give up its flavor to the dish more readily in a quick-cooked meal. Enjoy!

Coffee Mexican Coffee- Colombian coffee’s are commonly known to be big rich chocolatey coffees with exceptional fragrance and often great acidity. Colombia has many diverse growing regions so the coffee vary mildly from region to region. Tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel and chocolate are common. (Taken from Condor’s website.)

 Recipe of the week…

Root Veggie Hash

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes or potatoes (great use for smaller ones)
  • 2 lbs root veggies (mixed or your favorite: Rutabaga, Celeriac, Turnips, Carrots, Parsnips, etc.)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your favorite herb, sage, rosemary and/or thyme can be very good

Directions:

Scrub and chop all root crops into small-bit-size pieces. Allow to dry temporarily.

Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat.

Add root crops, and stir to coat with oil.

Cover and allow to cook 4-5 minutes without stirring to brown.

Uncover and toss allowing to cook undisturbed another 4 minutes to brown another side.

Add onions and stir, cooking until larger chunks are tender. Add salt/pepper and herbs to taste.

Enjoy!

**Leftovers can be added to stock and turned into a lovely soup or stew.

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2017 CSA Newsletter: October 4, Week 18 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/2017-csa-newsletter-october-4-week-18/ Thu, 05 Oct 2017 21:23:02 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1291 We’ve had a busy week here at the farm! My brother got married on Saturday and we had two very cute flower girls to detox after they had free reign over the donut bar. It was a great time catching up with out of town family and it always feels good to step away from the farm for a moment.

Now we are full speed ahead! We have gotten half of the sweet potatoes harvested which means they will be cured (which makes them sweet) for your boxes next week! They take about 1-2 weeks in a hot house before they turn into the sweet potato that you would expect. I love sweet potato season and can’t stop tasting them before they are ready. Not so good unless you add lots of maple syrup.

We have gotten a few inquiries about parsnips. For those of you who were in the CSA last year you might remember a similar crunch on the parsnip harvest. They really need a good frost to get tasting good. Right now they are very starchy and pasty, but once the tops get a frost they shoot all of their sugars into their roots. This is the reason that parsnips (and many other root crops) can resprout in the spring. The water in the roots are replaced by sugars which act like anti-freeze. The sugars also help them keep in storage for longer. So, as much as we love our peppers and cherry tomatoes, a good frost right now would be welcome.

Announcements:

~ Please return bins!! We had to put some small shares into paper bags this week!
~ If you would like to join our Extended Season don’t hesitate too much! 8 weeks for $200. Same drop sites.
In your box this week…
Radishes
Onions
Salad Mix
Beets
Pumpkin
Sweet Peppers
Brusselini
Cherry tomatoes
Kale
Coffee- (optional) Colombia

Weekly Serving Suggestions:

Fresh Beets- These are young, tender beets with lush greens. Separate the beets from the greens and stalks for best storage. Greens are wonderful steamed or sautéed, then add to egg or potato dishes, or treat as a side dish with a splash of good vinegar. Also great for soups, especially creamy soups. The beets themselves are really great for roasting. Simply scrub the outside and pare off any root hairs. Then chop into bite-size pieces and coat with oil. Roast them in a hot oven along with similarly sized pieces of carrot, potato, celeriac, etc. Add some onions and/or garlic along the way and season with salt and pepper when tender. They are the featured item in the recipe of the week!

Onions- Cured, these can be kept in a drawer or on the counter for a couple weeks. Try in a sauce or salsa with fresh tomatoes or roasted tomatillos. Starting to develop a stronger flavor, so feel free to sautee these down or roast them up to balance out the sweet flavor. If they are beginning to pile up on you, try your hand at French onion soup, it’s pretty simple really and a nice fall treat. Also a key component of the recipe of the week.

Salad Mix- Stores well in a bag in the fridge. So fresh and crisp. Salad mix is ready to use just rinse and serve with dressing or plain. Pile it onto sandwiches, wraps or burritos. Also great on toast with a runny fried egg.

Pumpkin- These will store pretty well in a pantry or anywhere cool and out of direct light. These are great pie pumpkins, but won’t store like a decorative one. Real pumpkin can be used in any canned pumpkin recipe. Just remove the stem, wash, and cut in half. Then scoop the seeds and their pulp, before roasting cut side down on a baking pan with a small lip. Roast at 350-400 until the skin is easily pierced with a fork. Allow to cool enough to handle, then scoop the meat with a large spoon and puree until the desired consistency is reached. Perfect for pie, bread, muffins, or just stir with butter and salt and dress with cinnamon for a pureed pumpkin side dish.

Radishes- These will keep best removed from greens in a bag in the fridge. Radishes are bright and peppery when eaten fresh, but sweet and mild when cooked. Try them in the recipe of the week.
Kale- This beautiful kale is sweet and tender. Perfect for fresh salads (mix with the lettuce mix to add a hearty, bulky texture.) Also great for a massaged kale salad. Stores well in a bag in the fridge.

Brusselini (AKA, Brussel Tops)- These are the tops of the Brussels Sprouts. They can be treated just like
any other hearty green. Steamed, sautéed, or fried until tender. Try them in place of cabbage in the recipe of the week. Stores well in the crisper drawer.
Cherry Tomatoes- So easy, just pop the top and eat them. Also great sliced in half to top salads or set off a slaw dish. Keeps best out of the fridge.
Sweet Peppers- (some are long and pointy, all are sweet) These thick-walled, sweet peppers are great for slicing and snacking, or for roasting. Be careful not to overcook or you will lose the bright crunch that makes them so great. Good for salsa and dips, also great in pasta sauce or the recipe of the week! All peppers store well in the crisper drawer or in a bag/container if more than a few days. Great addition to salsas, eggs, or tomato sauces. Also good in kimchi

Coffee Mexican Coffee- Colombian coffee’s are commonly known to be big rich chocolatey coffees with exceptional fragrance and often great acidity. Colombia has many diverse growing regions so the coffee vary mildly from region to region. Tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel and chocolate are common.
. (Taken from Condor’s website.)

Recipe of the week…

Borscht: Hearty, bright pink, beet soup
Ingredients:
3-4 medium beets, scrubbed
2 quarts chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
2 cups chopped hearty vegetables (potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, turnip, etc)
2 cups chopped onions or leeks
2 cups chopped Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, Brusselini, chard/beet greens, etc.)
1 cup sour cream (for serving)
Salt n Pepper
¼ cup fresh dill or parsley (we like dill best, it’s the traditional Russian herb, Parsley is more Ukrainian)
Oil for sauteeing/roasting

Boil beets until tender. Place in cold water until cool enough to handle. Slip the skins and puree with half the broth and plenty of salt, then set aside

Meanwhile, toss the chopped hearty vegetables and onions in oil. Then roast (for best flavor) or sautee them in a large soup pot (quickest) until just starting to brown.

Add cooked veggies and remaining stock together in large pot. And bring just to the boil. Add chopped Cabbage (or other green) and simmer for several minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to rest briefly (10-15 mins) before serving.

**Very important** Serve with a large dollop of sour cream and the fresh herb of your choice.

*The sour cream, when stirred in turns this deep red soup into a bright pink stew. And transforms the flavor by balancing the sweetness of the beets and roasted onions and the bitterness of the cabbage. A bit of lemon juice could be used in a pinch, but won’t have the same visual effect. This is a classic fall dish that eats like a meal.

Enjoy!

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2017 CSA Newsletter: September 27th, Week 17 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/2017-csa-newsletter-september-27th-week-17/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 13:24:38 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1281 What in the heck happened to September? Although the weather has been alarming I have been enjoying summer’s last push. Looks like the real fall is approaching and, admittedly, are fall crops are ready to cool off.

There are some things like spinach and lettuce that won’t germinate when the weather is really hot. It makes it hard to grow in July but this heat wave along with the fact that these greens are planted in our hoop house has made many of our fall/winter crops not germinate well. I have had to replant, which is no small task but I think there is still plenty of time to get them going yet.

I, too, am excited about fall. There is something deeply gratifying about the big harvest. All of the planning, planting, irrigating, weeding, and hoping is over. Now it is time to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor. It is also a different kind of work. The spring is far more cerebral and the fall far more physical. We get to turn off our brains for a bit and just work our tails off.

For me, a physical tired is different than a mental tired. It is a satisfying, sleep hard, eat big kind of tired. I find myself at the end of the day wanting to email an old friend or cook an extravagant meal where as in spring I’m lucky if I take my shoes off before I crawl into bed.

You don’t get the full satisfaction of fall unless you first make it through spring and summer on the farm.

Announcements:

~ Please return bins!! We had to some small shares into paper bags this week!
~ If you would like to join don’t hesitate too much! 8 weeks for $200. Same drop sites.

In your box this week…

Carrots
Leeks
Head Lettuce
Spinach
Squash (Acorn or Jester)
Slicing Tomatoes
Salad Turnips
Cherry tomatoes
Bok Choy
Coffee- (optional) Mexico

Weekly Serving Suggestions:

Carrots- Store well in the crisper drawer or a bag in your fridge. Easy to use, just rinse and eat—I never peel mine. Great cooked with a little butter, salt, and dressed with fresh parsley. Also good grilled. Try shredding for salads and slaws or chopping for soups and stews.

Head Lettuce- Stores well in a bag in the fridge. So fresh and crisp. Enjoy these big lettuce leaves as lettuce wraps/lettuce boats. Perfect vessel for egg/tuna/potato salad, even a nice bruschetta with croutons sits well inside the larger leaves of lettuce. Chop it up for a salad, or lay them across your burgers and sandwiches.

Slicing tomatoes- Also best stored out of the fridge. Use on sandwiches, salads or wraps. These big slicers are good for enjoying a nice thick slice alongside a meal. Serve plain, with salt, brown sugar, or pesto on top. Store on the countertop out of direct light. Many heirloom varieties ripen from bottom to top. Slice them vertically to fully appreciate the flavor profile of these exquisite fruits. A slice on a sandwich, cold or grilled, sure goes a long way too.

Leeks- These are very much like green onions, but they are drier, which lends them a creamier texture when cooked. Split lengthwise and run under cool water to clean between the leaves. Chop across the stem and sautee over medium low heat with butter until creamy and gooey. Then add to soups, sauces, eggs or potato dishes. Stores well in a bag or crisper drawer.
Bok Choy- My favorite recipe is still grilled. Simply quarter them the long way, then coat in olive oil and salt. Grill them directly across the grate over medium heat for a couple mins and an additional min each side. Just long enough to leave good char marks and somewhat soften the stalks. Stores well in the crisper drawer or a bag in the fridge. Also great chopped up for soups, salads, slaws, and stir-fry.

Winter Squash- Acorns for full shares and carnivals for small shares. Both will store well in the pantry or on the counter for several weeks. They also make a nice centerpiece, till you use them. Any winter squash can be cut in half seeds and pulp removed, then roasted in the oven face down until the skin can easily be pierces with a fork. At this time, the squash meat can be scooped out (allow it to cool first, or use a hot pad. The cooked squash meat can be used in any number of recipes, from pies and breads, to sauces and casseroles. Acorn and carnival both lend themselves to roasting. Quarter them and scoop the pulp (seeds can be saved for roasting) then roast until tender. Flip upright (like a boat) and add some maple syrup or brown sugar and some butter. Return to the oven until the edges are starting to brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Spinach- These fresh, big, tender leaves are perfect for a quick steaming or sauteeing. Add some to cooked leeks, just before removing from heat and cover to wilt, then add to scrambled eggs or tomato sauce. Stores best in the bag in the fridge.

Cherry Tomatoes- So easy, just pop the top and eat them. Also great sliced in half to top salads or set off a slaw dish. Keeps best out of the fridge.

Salad Turnips-Fresh, sweet and crisp! Kids love these, provided you don’t call them turnips. I’ve called them Spring Apples, and all manner of other things. Separate from tops and store both in a bag in the fridge for best results. Eat fresh sliced on a salad, sliced as a snack, or just “chomp ‘em up,” as Leona says. Greens are great with a quick sautee in egg or potato dishes. Also, steam them and dress with vinegar as a small side or serve over fish. New scarlet variety, very pretty. These may be a little tougher and do best chopped up or cooked a little bit.

Coffee Mexican Coffee- Mexico Coffee is balanced sweetness in the form of chocolate and toffee, low acidity, and smooth finish. (Taken from Condor’s website.)

Recipe of the week…

Leek and Cheddar Drop Biscuits
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp
1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
5 Tbsp butter, cut up
1 cup chopped leeks
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450.

In a food processor, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add butter, pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and process briefly, until dough holds together.

Fold in chopped leeks and shredded cheddar.

Drop heaping Tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet for each biscuit. Bake until golden brown, about 12 mins.

Serve immediately. Spread with soft butter, honey butter, or cream cheese. For honey butter, mix 1part honey with 2 parts soft butter together thoroughly.

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2017 CSA Newsletter: June 14, Week 2 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/2017-csa-newsletter-june-14-week-2/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 21:46:02 +0000 http://www.reddoorfamilyfarm.com/?p=1189 Farm News

Well, we survived a stormy week with very little damage. Although the little plants didn’t like it much, I think they should mostly recover. So much rain did make all of the outside crops extremely dirty so we spent some extra time today triple washing the salad mix and double washing the Napa cabbage.

There always seems to be a pest which has an especially prolific year. Last year it was cucumber beetles, the year before it was slugs, and this year it is aphids. Aphids are tiny little green bugs that by themselves are pretty harmless but they multiply and can be a nuisance. Lucky for us, one of their biggest predators is currently Leona’s favorite animal, the ladybug (AND you can buy containers of them from some seed companies!). So, in a very exciting afternoon, 18,000 ladybugs arrived in the mail and were set free all over our farm. Now, we still are having a bit of an aphid problem (one reason why your Napa cabbage was cut from the head and more thoroughly washed) but we are finding ladybugs all over munching away so it seems to be working.

This is one way that organic farmers handle pest pressure without spraying pesticides, another way is to get out there with a bucket of soapy water and try to capture the adults before they lay their eggs. This was the week! We spent a lot of time defending your potatoes from potato beetles and your cucumber from those nasty little cucumber beetles. Let’s hope it worked!

The most exciting thing that happen this week was the first red strawberries!!

June 14th, Week 2

Clockwise from top: Fresh Dill, Heirloom Dry Beans, Zucchinis, Scallions, Salad mix, Napa Cabbage, Fresh Carrots and Broccoli!  Please enjoy.

Announcements:

Radishes! Despite our best efforts, the radishes didn’t have a good spring. The wet weather caused a lot of splitting and there was not enough that were up to our standards to put in the box. However, we are going to leave a few in the take and leave boxes. If you love radishes and were looking forward to them, be sure to check the box!

In your box this week…

Broccoli!

Salad Mix

Fresh Dill

Spring Carrots

Scallions (Green Onions)

Zucchini

Napa (Chinese) Cabbage

Heirloom Dry Beans

Coffee- optional- Columbia

Weekly Serving Suggestions:

Salad Mix- this mix is really tasty! Crunchy, sweet, zesty, and always hearty. Cut early this morning, it will store in the fridge all week, but use it right away for the best flavor and crunch. It also may last a bit longer if moved into a Tupperware with a paper towel on the bottom. It doesn’t even need salad dressing, but it will go well with any dressing you like. Top with shredded carrots, marinated sliced of zucchini, broccoli florets, Fresh dill, or cut it with chopped napa cabbage for a heartier mix if you like. Otherwise, pile it onto sandwiches or wraps.

Fresh Broccoli- As fresh as broccoli gets, these will be tender and sweet. Big beautiful heads are perfect for chopping into chunks/trees and steaming lightly. With these early broccoli, we often just give them a quick steam (approx. 2 mins, careful not to overcook these) then dress them with salt and lemon juice for a nice summer treat. Great served right away or allowed to cool first. Stores best in a bag in the crisper drawer, but eats best and has the most nutritional value right away. Broccoli can be blanched and frozen, but save that for later in the season (or at least don’t tell us about it, if you do.)

Dill- fresh is best! Dill has a lovely and vibrant flavor. It is often used in pickling, but it does especially well in potato/egg/tuna/chicken salads, stir into yogurt or mayonnaise for grilled chicken or kebabs. Mix with sour cream or cream cheese for a dip or spread. Great with lemon on fish, or almost anywhere. I add it to olive oil, lemon and salt for a nice vinaigrette. If you want to store it, I recommend a quick pesto to preserve that fresh flavor. Puree it with olive oil salt and lemon then freeze in a bag for later use. It can also be simply chopped and frozen in a freezer bag or jar. Otherwise, store in a plastic bag in the fridge and use it soon.

Spring Carrots-Remove tops for best storage. Sweet and crisp. These are the perfect carrots to enjoy raw. Just rinse and eat. Slice or shred them into a salad with a cheese grater (or make carrot curls by slicing them at an angle with a veggie peeler. These carrots are also delicious grilled whole with olive oil salt and pepper. Grill them on a hot grill for just long enough to leave char marks from the bars and a natural crunch in the middle. Store them in the fridge in a bag, with the tops removed. But save and eat the tops too! These will be the best carrot tops of the season, mild with a little parsley flavor. Chop them for a garnish with fresh flavor, or make a carrot top pesto. Pesto can be made of just carrot tops and oil, salt, and lemon pureed together. Or carrot tops can be pureed with other herbs (like dill or parsley) to extend a pesto or stretch it farther.

Scallions- also known as green onions, have a mild onion flavor. Chop up the white and green all together. Use in egg dishes, potato dishes, or in salads. These are perfect for Potato/egg/tuna/chicken salads. They also can be rubbed with olive oil and salt then grilled to go alongside burgers, steaks, poultry or on nachos. Chop with carrot tops and mix with salt to top chili or any other soup/stew or pasta. Store in a bag in the fridge.

Zucchini- these are young and tender and they are still coming! Try shredding them, then add to salads, noodle or egg dishes, or make zucchini fritters. Just shred and mix with enough egg to form a thick paste. Stir in salt pepper and fresh dill. Fry in a skillet over medium heat with butter or oil until just cooked through (think pancakes). Store whole zucchini in the fridge until ready to use. Many folks are enjoying making veggie noodles out of them with a cheap veggie noodler. It’s an easy way to reduce carbs.

Napa (or Chinese) Cabbage- We would normally send these out in full heads, but we had an infestation of aphids thriving under the row cover that we use to keep out flea beetles. Aphids don’t do much damage to the plant, but they can be a bit overwhelming so we decided (after trying our best to wash them out of the heads) to chop the leaves off and wash them individually. Alot of extra work, but we think they are considerably cleaner. It won’t store quite as long off the head, but should keep all week in the crisper drawer. Napa is great for slaws and kimchi. The larger leaves work well for cabbage rolls and “salad boats.” Salad boats: take appropriately sized and shaped leaves of Napa Cabbage or Romaine Lettuce and fill with tuna salad, chicken salad, noodle salad, etc. like a taco shell and eat like, well—a taco. Also good stuffed with taco fixings! Can also be chopped into nice bite-sized pieces and used as or in a salad.

Dry Beans- These Heirloom Red beans, a mix of Vermont Cranberry and King of North, were grown last year. Great for everything from baked beans to chili to bean salads. These will keep for months in the pantry (out of direct light) unless they get wet. Basic instructions are to rinse and check over, then soak (in ample water) overnight. Drain the liquid and simmer in one to two quarts of salted water for about 2 hours or until tender. Beans should stay covered with liquid and pot should stay covered. More water can be added at any time. Beans can then be enjoyed simply or used to add to any further dish.

Coffee Organic Columbian Coffee- our favorite!

Colombian coffee’s are commonly known to be big rich chocolatey coffees with exceptional fragrance and often great acidity. Colombia has many diverse growing regions so the coffee can vary mildly from region to region. Tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel and chocolate are common. (taken from Condor’s website)

Recipe of the week…

Glazed (real) Baby Carrots:

-Snap the tops off a bunch of fresh young carrots. (trim the ends if you must, rinse and pat dry if you like) Halve larger carrots lengthwise.

– place in a high-walled roasting pan under the broiler with a generous pat of butter until butter is all melted.

-Drizzle with maple syrup or honey and toss/stir to coat evenly and return to broil. Toss periodically until just lightly browned in spots.

-Remove from heat and toss with fresh chopped dill and salt.

-Serve while still warm

-Enjoy

Best Guess for next week:

-Head Lettuce

-Basil Plant

-Carrots

-Kohlrabi

-Green Garlic

-Zucchini

-Fennel

-Sugar Snap peas?

-Strawberries?

-Salad turnips?

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