2015 CSA – Week 4

by GTF Office on July 1, 2015 · 0 comments

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C.S.A. Newsletter Week 3

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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Swiss Chard: Benefits and Recipes

by GTF Office on June 30, 2015 · 0 comments

Defying its name, Swiss chard originated in Sicily and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. Chard is chock-full of phytonutrients, including beta-carotene, and contains high amounts Vitamins C and E. This delightful green is beneficial for your eyes, immune system, heart, bones, and most notably, for regulating blood sugar in your body. Both the leaves and stems are edible and can be sauteed or steamed. Similar to beets and spinach, chard has a bitter, pungent, and slightly salty taste.

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Here are a few tasty recipes to try:

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions

Mini Muffin Frittatas

Swiss Chard, Potato, and Chickpea Stew

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Frisee Endive: Benefits & Recipes

by GTF Office on June 24, 2015 · 0 comments

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Frisee is a bitter leafy green that is a member of the endive/chicory family. It has finely curled leaves. The center leaves have a distinctive yellow coloring as they have not been exposed to much sunlight.

After rinsing, frisee can be stored in a plastic bag or storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. It is best served with an acidic dressing to balance out the bitterness.

Health Benefits:

  • Low in calories, plus plenty of fiber.
  • High inulin and fiber content help reduce glucose and LDL-cholesterol levels in diabetic and obese patients.
  • Rich in Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, which both have antioxidant properties. These vitamins are necessary for healthy mucus membranes, skin, and eyesight. They are also prophylactics against lung and oral cancers. Endive also contains Vitamin E and Calcium.
  • High in Folic Acid and B-complex vitamins.
  • Good source for the minerals manganese, copper, iron, and potassium.
  • Helps cleanse the liver and gall bladder.


Recipes:

Classic Frisee Salad with Poached Egg and Bacon
        – from The Kitchen Garden blog

  • 1 head frisee
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into small squares
  • 4 fresh farm eggs

Wash the frisee in cold water, discarding the tough outer leaves. Soak the washed leaves in ice water for 10 minutes. (This causes the leaves to become extra crisp.)  Drain and dry the leaves, and place in a salad bowl.  Meanwhile, fry the bacon cubes in a hot skillet until crispy and drain on paper towels.  Poach the eggs in very gently simmering boiling water until set but still liquid, about 4-5 minutes.  It helps to break each egg into a tea cup and gently slide it in. It also helps to add a shot of vinegar to the water to help them stay cohesive.

Mustard Vinaigrette dressing

  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp finely sliced shallot (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

Mix together all ingredients except oil in a small bowl.  Whisk in olive oil until an emulsion forms. Toss the frisee, bacon, and dressing together until well-coated, and serve in 4 seperate bowls, garnished with a poached egg and a sprinkle of fresh pepper.  Note: many versioins of this recipe call for croutons.  See following recipe for crouton criteria.


More recipes…

Frisee and Endive Salad with Warm Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Pecans

Crique Ardechoise et Frisee

 

References

The Kitchen Garden

Nutrition and You

Health Benefits Times

 

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2015 CSA – Week 3

by GTF Office on June 23, 2015 · 0 comments

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C.S.A. Newsletter Week 3

Gathering Together in Harmony

I love it when customers come in and show their friends around the farm with enthusiasm, as if the stand and restaurant and gardens were part of their back yard. What a good feeling! After many years of overhearing folks showing-and-telling together, I’ve noticed that many of our customers and friends know us as Gathering Together “Farms,” in plural. The words “gathering together” understandably conjure an image of several farms working together, even though this is really only one farm. Still, there is a lot of truth in that idea. The more I think about our name, I realize how fitting it is for this place.

Gathering Together is one farm that has many different parts that function separately, but harmoniously. We have a different crew for every stage of the process of rearing plants from tender baby seedling to plump, sweet fruit. There are the greenhouse and irrigation crew, field and harvest crew, the M-Team (M for “miscellaneous”) who help the greenhouse and field workers with odd jobs, the barn crew, delivery drivers, marketeers, maintenance and mechanics crew, kitchen cooks and staff, crew-lunch cooks, salsa crew, servers and farm stand gals, John’s project assistants, and the office crew that sorts out a daily onslaught from so many areas of the farm.

Each crew is like its own tiny business operation. A whole lot of sweat and soul go into each little piece of the farm to bring about the grand total. We really are gathering together with each other. And whadya know? That makes us one farm!

Box Contents

2 lb. Potatoes

Chioggia Beets: Inside, these beets are pink and white candy striped. They are more mildly flavored than red beets. Show off their beauty by topping a pita pizza with basil pesto, steamed chioggia wedges, sliced zucchini, wilted chard, ricotta and mozzarella.

Carrots

Basil: For best storage, keep basil dry. After being cut, combining it with oil helps it keep a brighter color. To make pesto, blend 2 c. basil leaves with 1/2c. Parmesan, ¼ c. pine nuts, 1 garlic clove, ½ tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. water in a food processor. Slowly add in 1/3 c. olive oil until it reaches a smooth consistency.

1 Tomato

Boysenberries

Chard: Dress up a cheesy quesadilla by adding cooked lentils, feta, and chard pan-fried with salt and red pepper flakes. Top with fresh sliced tomato.

4 Cucumbers

2 Zucchini

2 small Sweet Onions

Lettuce

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2015 CSA – Week 2

by GTF Office on June 17, 2015 · 0 comments

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Red Kale, Kohlrabi, & Scallions                                                                                   Red Kale, Kohlrabi, & Scallions

 

C.S.A. Newsletter    Week 2

Storing Produce

Each week when you open your CSA box, the assembly you will find inside will include a few familiar friends like cucumbers or squash, a few staples that you can hardly tell to stay away (these might be potatoes, carrots, or lettuce), and perhaps the occasional stranger whom you’ve never had at your dinner table before.

You probably already know how to make most of your vegetables cozy in your kitchen, especially the ones you eat often. But for those of you who lift off the CSA lid and are stricken with a sense of stranger-danger, I hope you will find this storage guide helpful! See the back of today’s newsletter.

Week 2 CSA Newsletter_Storing Produce.6Box Contents

2 lb. Potatoes, 1 bu. Carrots

Kohlrabi: Use a knife to peel off the outer skin. Kohlrabi is sweet, crisp, and perfect to be sliced raw on salad.

1 Walla Onion

1 bu. Scallions

Red Kale: Slice this powerhouse green along with cucumber, carrot, avocado, and bell pepper. Wrap it up in rice wrappers and dip into peanut sauce: whisk together 1 c. peanut butter, 4 Tbsp. honey, and 1 c. hot water. Add 2 Tbsp. tamari,

1 ½ tsp. minced garlic, and 1 chopped scallion. Add cilantro, salt and cayenne to taste.

1 lb. Shelling Peas: After shelling these are ready to be steamed or boiled a couple minutes, just until bright green and tender.

2 Cucumbers

Summer squash

Lettuce

Dill: It’s time for dilly potato salad! Dice, boil, and drain 6 c. potatoes. Sprinkle with salt. For the sauce stir up ½ c. sour cream, ½ c. mayo, 2 Tbsp. white vinegar, 4 Tbsp. dill, 3 Tbsp. parsley, ½ tsp. celery seed, and 4 green onions. Steamed peas, shredded carrots and bacon make tasty additions.

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