2015 CSA – Week 7

by GTF Office on July 23, 2015 · 0 comments

CSA-Week7

Peppers and tomato

C.S.A. Newsletter Week 7

Gizza Skizzas

Sometimes I like to pull a raw vegetable out of the crisper drawer and eat it as if it is an apple, maybe dipped into some yogurt, nut butter or pesto. I do this with cucumbers, carrots, squash, pepper, turnips, you name it. And at other times, my food to-do list can become rather complicated, and span multiple days. For example, I might have to soak almonds on Wednesday night so I can make almond milk Thursday morning so I can make pancake batter Thursday night so I can make pancakes Friday morning. But as many of you already know, that sort of attention to food detail pretty much goes out the window when you’re caring for children.

The other day while washing carrots, I was brainstorming what foods I wanted to make for my little brother and sister who are coming for a sleepover at my place this week, and it occurred to me that the experience of cooking changes a lot depending on whether you are cooking for yourself, for children, or for other adults.

When my little ones are around, I like to keep things a little simpler; the PB bowl starts looking more appealing than the almond milk. They are nine and twelve, which is a fun age because they can help put their food together. My favorite way to cook with them is to prepare a foundation and toppings, and then let them decide what toppings they want on their foundation. For example, a foundation might be a tortilla, pan-fried polenta, rice, pasta, or bread. “Toppings” might be a pot of cooked beans, and some tomato, cheese and avocado still on the cutting board, or a pan of roasted vegetables and a bowl of pesto. My favorite is “gizza skizza,” a creative take on pizza invented by chef Laura Pensiero. I’m afraid I don’t remember the story of how these flatbread pizzas got their funny name… the main thing that stuck with me was how tasty they are! For dough, we use flatbread. Toppings vary from the familiar (pesto), to the adventurous (baba ganoush and crushed red pepper). I love seeing CSA members who come with their kids to get their box… I’m thinking this week’s box would make some great gizza skizzas!

Box Contents

2 lb. Potatoes

Leeks: The whole leek is edible, but the white stem is most tender. Trim off the roots and rinse to get any dirt out from between the layers. Slice down the length of the white part and then cut into cross-sections before cooking.

Globe Eggplant The simplest way to prepare an eggplant is to slice it into very thin slices, brush with oil on both sides, sprinkle with salt, and smoked paprika, and then roast or stir fry it until it’s a nice balance of chewy and crisp. These are tasty right out of the pan, but you can make a dinner out of it by serving it with bread toasted with fontina, topped with fresh tomato.

Green Bell

Jalapeno

Poblano: I like to stir-fry a diced poblano with red kidney beans, sliced onion and salt, and wrap it up in a tortilla with eggs or sausage for breakfast.

Red Onion

Italian Parsley

2 Cucumbers

Carrots

Lettuce, Tomatoes

Week 7 CSA Newsletter_Gizza Skizzas

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Parsley: Italian or Moss?

by GTF Office on July 22, 2015 · 0 comments

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Parsley we often think of as a useless herb, aside from the hint of healthy green added to our plate. The reason parsley makes our food look so healthy is because parsley is actually very healthy for us. But you don’t get healthier by looking at parsley, now do you?

Parsley contains two major components that are particularly healthy for us: volatile oils and flavonoids. Volatile oils tend to inhibit tumor formation, and the flavonoids act as antioxidants. This dark green herb is also a great source of Vitamins A and C.

Throughout the year, our farm offers two varieties of parsley as well as parsley root. But what is the difference between parsley variants? Why would we choose one over the other?

The name parsley comes from the Greek work for “rock celery,” and it is in fact related to celery. Parsley hails from the Mediterranean and comes in over thirty varieties. Its main categories are flat-leaf (also called Italian) and curly. Here at GTF we grow both types: Italian parsley and Moss parsley (which is a type of curly parsley). The main difference between them is that the flat-leaf parsley usually has a more robust flavor. Curly parsley can be flavorless or more bitter, depending on the plant. Both types can be used for cooking. Simply taste the parsley first in order to get a feel for its flavor, then decide how you’d like to use it.

Instead of throwing out the stems, which have stronger flavor than the leaves, use them in a bouquet garni, add them to soup stocks, or add when cooking beans.

When buying parsley: Choose a bunch that has bright green leaves and shows no signs of wilting.

To store parsley: Wash fresh parsley, making sure to shake off excess moisture. Wrap it in paper towels, followed by wrapping it in a plastic bag. A fresh bunch of parsley can be refrigerated in this way for up to one week.

Parsley Recipes:

Tabbouleh or Quinoa Tabbouleh

Moroccan Potato Salad

11 Ways to Cook with Fresh Parsley

 

References:

Wikipedia

the kitchn

 

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2015 CSA – Week 6

by GTF Office on July 15, 2015 · 0 comments

 

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fenneltomato

fennel

 

C.S.A. Newsletter Week 6

Visit the Farm Stand

Before this season gets too far underway, it seems right to make sure you know how welcome you are to visit the farm throughout the season. If all goes as planned, we will have you out to visit for members’ day in the autumn, but in the meantime, there’s still a nice time to be had in the summer.

I know this newsletter might look like an advertisement for ourselves, which I suppose it sort of is, but I really do think this is a beautiful place worth an occasional outing. I love it when I get a chance to enjoy a meal on the deck, check out the monthly artist featured on the restaurant walls, or to browse the farm stand for produce, honey, bread, or a lovely herbal lotion.

Part of the inspiration for starting the farm was to provide good quality produce for Nearly Normal’s vegetarian restaurant in Corvallis. John, one of the farm owners, was originally one of the creators of Normal’s. He comes from a family of farmers, and it eventually happened that he split off from the restaurant business with the goal of growing produce to supply the restaurant.

Nowadays, aside from farmers’ markets, this farm sends produce off to lots of restaurants and stores in addition to Normal’s. Nearest and dearest to the GTF heart, however, is our own on-site farm stand and restaurant. Is there any better place for a grocery store or restaurant than nestled in the middle of an organic produce farm, where produce is plentiful and fresh as can be? No way!

Surrounding the farm stand is a gravel road that will take you past flowers, chickens, horses and fields, in case you’re in a mood for a short nature walk. Grab a potato donut and coffee to take with you. I hope to see some of you moseying around, fellow donut lovers! To learn our hours and find out about our reservation policy, it’s a good idea to call 541-929-4270.

Box Contents

2 lb. Potatoes

Beets

Fennel: Fennel is touted as one of the world’s healthiest vegetables. The raw bulb is refreshing shaved thin into salad or juiced with cucumber, grapefruit and celery. When cooked, fennel softens into translucent strips and the flavor mellows out into something similar to a sweet onion. I like to substitute it for onions or celery in soups, or add it at the same time as onions to add intrigue to any soup or stir-fried dish. The spidery fronds are also edible, and can be used in juice, vegetable broth, or as a garnish.

Summer Squash

Carrots

Walla Sweet Onion

4 Cucumbers

Tarragon: Substitute tarragon for basil in your favorite pesto recipe. Spread it on a sandwich or mix it into white beans with roasted vegetables, polenta pan-fried in butter, and fresh diced tomato.

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Recipes

Week 6 Newsletter_Visit the Farm

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2015 CSA – Week 5

by GTF Office on July 8, 2015 · 0 comments

 

CSA Week 5

onions.chard

 

C.S.A. Newsletter Week 5

Hardy Greens

As a kid, I always thought “greens” meant a spoonful of bitter, sopping wet spinach from a can. (Yep, I have southern roots.) Now that I spend most of my time with vegetables, I’ve come to a much better appreciation of greens.

“Greens,” in truth, refers generally to any type of edible leaf. A short stroll outside will give you a small view of how many varieties of leaves there must be in the world, and a great many of them are edible. Of the edible types, appearance and flavor vary magnificently. Think about how feathery, spicy mizuna is nothing like wide, flat, mildly sweet spinach. Once you get to know your leaves, you start to notice all their good qualities and how the character of one leaf varies from that of another.

The most straightforward way to deal with a leaf is to classify it into one of two categories: is it tender, or hardy? After recognizing a leaf’s character, it becomes quite easy to know how to use it to bring out its best qualities. Tender, mild greens (like arugula, spinach, or lettuce) are usually best used fresh in salad, or lightly wilted. Today you have two hardy greens in your box: chard and chicory. Hardy greens are tougher leaves with strong flavor. They lend themselves well to cooking, which softens the texture and mellows out the flavor. Certainly you can slice them raw to make a salad or to add directly to hot grains or pasta if you like big-boom flavor and texture. If you’re shy of greens, however, it’s probably best to cook them. You can simmer them into a stew (add sliced greens last, after the soup is finished and the heat is turned off, but the broth is still hot); ; simmer, drain, and layer them into lasagna; braise or stir fry them to serve with grains, beans or meat, and a good sauce, maybe wrapped in a burrito or spooned onto a warm pita; toss them into a pan of other roasting vegetables for the last 10 minutes to crisp them up. Bon appétit!

Box Contents

2 lb. Potatoes

Sugarloaf Chicory: This is best sliced, coated with olive oil and salt, and grilled. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. You could add chèvre and chopped bacon, or a handful of tart dried cherries or cranberries, plumped in hot water.

Carrots

4 Cucumbers

Chard: To make a Swiss chard and Ricotta Frittata: Sauté an onion with a pinch of salt in 1 Tbsp. oil about 8 minutes. Add 8 oz. chopped chard and ¼ c. water, cover, and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, 5-7 minutes until all the excess liquid has evaporated. Spread the mixture in an oiled pie plate. Whisk together 4 eggs, ¾ c. ricotta, 1 Tbsp. chopped basil and ½ tsp. salt. Pour the egg mix over the chard and bake at 400 F for 25 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm. Recipe from Vegetarian by Liana Krissoff.

Bunched Onions

Summer squash

Basil

Lettuce

Recipes

Week 5 CSA Newsletter_Hardy Greens

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2015 CSA – Week 4

by GTF Office on July 1, 2015 · 0 comments

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C.S.A. Newsletter Week 4

It’s Right Under Our Nose

One of my favorite farm tasks is harvesting your lettuce in the morning. The air is different in the dawn. It’s so cool and pure that the smells of moist soil, lettuce leaves, and nearby tomatoes become more apparent. Petrichor is a word I learned last week. It means “the way it smells after it rains.” In the same way petrichor is fresh and pure, early morning air has its own uniquely sweet, refreshing character.

Around the farm when we think about vegetables, we’re probably either considering their growth or quality, or how we should store or cook them. Their fragrances get less attention, but they play such an important role in our day-to-day life that I think they are deserving of some occasional appreciation.

Every time I walk by the farm kitchen, I smell wonderful things… baking cookies, seeded bread, soup broths…. While I was out for a walk the other day, the aroma of a backyard barbeque was wafting down the sidewalk. It was like breathing in summer happiness. Our sense of smell is closely tied to our memories and emotions, and smelling a familiar fragrance causes us to feel the same set of emotions we had the first time we experienced it. As kids, a backyard barbeque usually meant a holiday: grilled shish kabobs, Popsicle sticks, garden sprinklers, bathing suits, and juice running down our chins. I think for most of us, the aroma of grilled vegetables and BBQ elicits happy memories. After a peek inside your CSA box, I think there’s some grilling potential, just in time for July 4!

Box Contents

2 lb. Potatoes

Green Cabbage: Your CSA box would make a great Thai or Vietnamese salad. Cut 2 c. cabbage, 2 carrots, ½ bell pepper, ½ cucumber, 1 green papaya and 8 oz. shredded chicken into slivers and combine them with ½ c. each cilantro and green onions. Whisk together a sauce of 2 minced garlic cloves, ½ tsp. minced jalapeno, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp. oil, and ½ tsp. fish sauce. Add ¼ c. peanut butter and ¼ c. water, and whisk until smooth. Top with crushed peanuts.

Cilantro

Green Bell Pepper

Jalapeno

Garlic

2 Small Onions

Carrots: Substitute vegetables for pasta by peeling carrots and zucchini into long strips. Try them dressed with “magic” green sauce (recipe on the back).

Lettuce

Cucumbers

Summer Squash

Boysenberries

 

Recipes

Week 4 CSA Newsletter_Under Our Nose

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