2015 CSA – Week 22

by GTF Office on November 5, 2015 · 0 comments

week 22_

CSA Newsletter Week 22

Fond Farewell

This is your final CSA box of the 2015 CSA season. THANK YOU to all of you for supporting the farm this year!

For a farmer, winter brings both relief and new challenges. As the weather becomes increasingly wet and cold, our tasks become less comfortable. We’ll bulk up in puffy coats and waterproof coveralls, and gain ten pounds of mud on each foot. At the same time, the workload is greatly relieved, which will give us time to do projects that were put on the back burner in the summer. Winter is when we rest (a little) from our labors, and seek balance and comfort.

What I love about the cold weather is that it causes everything to slow down and become calm, and the farm will have a peaceful stillness about it for a few months. Most of our time will be spent organizing our storage areas, building or repairing things, drinking hot coffee with cream, and cleaning roots like carrots, shallots and onions. Since roots are the storage part of the plant that store carbs for the plant, they store well during the months when little grows. Leaves and fruits are prevalent in the summer, but once they are cut they can no longer draw nutrients from the roots to sustain themselves, so they don’t last long enough to store for winter.

After work we’ll bake breads and steep tea, curl up in a blanket, and listen to rain patter outside. Winter can truly be wonderful. I hope yours will be, too. Your assignment is to pull on your fuzzy socks, bake a hot delicious treat, and do something you love every day until the CSA registration forms get mailed out next year. This has been my last season as CSA coordinator, and next year I’ll be passing the reigns to my capable and kind coworker Lily. I know she is going to be a pleasure to work with as your new coordinator! These past few years have been so good for me, and I’ve learned a lot. I hope to still see you around now and then. A big, heartfelt thank you to all of you for another great year!

Box Contents

Black Kale

Savoy Cabbage

Purple-top Turnips


Butternut: For vegan custard, boil half of a roughly chopped butternut squash (about 4 cups worth) until tender. When it’s cool enough to handle, trim off the skin. In a food processor, combine the squash with 2 Tbsp. brown sugar. Add soy milk or nut milk a little bit at a time until you reach a consistency you like. Around 1-2 cups makes a smooth custard. Puree the mix, and then chill it. You can eat the custard by itself or mixed into quinoa or oat breakfast porridge.


Celery: If you have a dehydrator, celery tops with leaves can be dried and added to soups later.


2 Onions

2 Leeks


Carrots: Make harvest muffins by adding shredded carrots, apples, squash puree , walnuts and pecans to muffin batter.


2015 CSA – Week 21

by GTF Office on October 29, 2015 · 0 comments

week 21_

week 21 sunchokes

week 21 treviso

CSA Newsletter Week 21

Beauty and the Beet

Vegetables can be magical. Have you ever held brassica leaves under water and admired how the silver light shimmers across the edges? It looks like mercury. It’s always a pleasant surprise to come across an example of how beautiful food can be, whether as individual ingredients or as a complete dish. It’s not only nutrition that we get when we eat, but it’s an experience that includes the appearance of the food, the intention and feelings of our cook and company, and the atmosphere while we eat. We eat not only with our mouth, but with our eyes and heart as well.

Remember making mud cakes as a kid? I used to make mud cupcakes or pine needle tarts under the pine tree in my backyard and arrange tiny leaves, agates and pebbles to decorate the tops. It wasn’t nutritious, but I ate it with my eyes and felt good about it. There is something joyful about digging our fingers into the dirt. All of humanity has a strong need to have regular access to the outdoors. There really is something good and healing for us in the fresh air and the warmth of sunlight. We love to watch the birds diving in and out of seed-heavy bolted greens, to find earthworms in the soil, and to see honeybees on the sunflowers. We don’t list these things when we think of our basic survival needs, but I believe we need to have these things. Like love, they nourish us.

Just so, I believe the beauty and love associated with food affects its nourishing quality. The way we handle food reflects our relationships with each other. When my mama offers me food, she is saying she cares for me. For some reason, offering food feels different from offering other objects we also need, like shoes or a water bottle. I like to think the healing quality of nature is passed into them so they have the same inherent goodness as fresh air and sunlight. Is there something in vegetables that is loving? Maybe and maybe not, but they are certainly a good medium for expressing it!

Box Contents


Treviso Radicchio: I like to tear this raw into bite-size pieces. Shake together equal amounts of walnut oil and balsamic vinegar for a dressing, and top with crumbled chèvre and hot chopped bacon, or apples and nuts.


2 Poblanos, 1 Colored Pepper

Black Radish: Happy Halloween! We hope you’ll find this is a treat and not a trick. Spicy radishes are known to be great for healthy skin and a clear complexion. Toss a slice into a breakfast smoothie to give it a kick.

1 lb. Sunchokes: Store these in a closed container in the fridge so they won’t dry out. Puree for soup, mash, fry, or bake. When thinly sliced into a stir fry, they taste a bit like water chestnuts, and they’re also good on pizza.

Pie Pumpkin: This is also called “Sugar Pumpkin.” It is wonderfully sweet and ready to be made into a pie!


2 Storage Onions, 1 Cippolini

Lettuce, Carrots, Potatoes


2015 CSA – Week 20

by GTF Office on October 22, 2015 · 0 comments


Week 20

Week 20 cylindrical beets

CSA Newsletter Week 20

Winter Roots

I like to plan my food ahead of time most weeks. While perusing cookbooks and magazines, I’ve discovered it can be difficult to find books that recognize that vegetables have seasons. My bookshelf is full of food plans or menu suggestions that combine vegetables from all seasons in the same recipe or in the same day’s menu, not recognizing that watercress and red bell peppers do not thrive in the same weather. Sometimes it can be near impossible to follow a menu plan correctly apart from extra grocery trips and more money spent on non-seasonal produce.

We’ve gotten used to expecting that we can have any season’s vegetable at any time of the year, and from any location no matter how far. I can’t complain about having plenty of vegetables available since I do my share of taking advantage of them, but I wonder sometimes if so much variety is really best for our digestion and bodies in general. Aside from the fact that seasonal foods are what we’re usually in the mood for (we crave pumpkin pancakes in October, but not in April), I’ve also heard that plants that grow in certain weather are the ones that are best for our bodies at that time. For example, it’s not only that fresh tomatoes and chilled cucumbers are refreshing on a hot day, and a hot root and onion stew is comforting on a cold day, but that these foods also somehow affect our bodies’ processes to better cope with our environment. I don’t know if there’s evidence to support that, but the idea appeals to me.

Complex carbs (like those in root vegetables) are supposed to have a calming effect. I heard when you combine them with protein for dinner, they “stimulate calming neurotransmitters that help you doze off.” (That’s a quote from Kristin Kirkpatric, RD, manager of wellness nutrition services at a Cleveland clinic.) Sounds to me like yet another reason to consider taking up hibernation in winter!

Box Contents

Butternut: Pureed winter squash goes well in a smoothie. To make a Cocoa Coconut Smoothie, blend up ½ c. squash puree, ½ Tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp. walnut oil, ¼ c. light coconut milk, ½ tsp. vanilla, ½ c. espresso, ½ frozen European pear, and 1 medjool date (this will blend better if soaked in hot water first to soften it) and ¼ c. water or milk (I like to use the water used for soaking the date).

Yellow Acorn Squash

2 Onions, 1 Red Cipollini

Cylindrical Beets

2 Rutabagas: Roots like rutabagas make great home fries. Chop into sticks and roast in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment at 400 F for 25 minutes. See the back for how to make homemade aioli.

Bulk Juice Carrots



Culinary Dandelion: This nutritious, healing superstar is back! Dandelions are cultivated for their skin-toning benefits, as a diuretic, blood detoxifier, and aid for liver, kidneys, digestive issues, and arthritis. It’s more tender and peppery than the weed variety, but still bitter, so it’s best blanched or braised.

Colored Sweet Pepper

Potatoes, Lettuce, Tomatoes


2015 CSA – Week 19

by GTF Office on October 15, 2015 · 0 comments

Week 19


Week 19 romanesco

CSA Newsletter Week 19

Snuggle Bugs in the Garden Bed

While we’re washing your lettuce in the morning, sometimes we need to pause and save a creature from the cold water before we fill the sink with fresh water for the next batch of lettuce. The most exciting creatures we’ve found so far have been frogs, and once a garter snake, but usually the wash water brings out smaller critters. Beneficial insects like ladybugs, wasps, and daddy long legs love to hide between lettuce leaves. It’s quite a shock for them when they get shaken out in the sink!

Beetles like ladybugs have an easy time floating and are easy to rescue. Wasps and spiders are not good swimmers, however, so I like to save them first. We want them to be washed out of the lettuce, but not to be harmed, because we do need these good little fellows around here. In the same way livestock and farm animals are good for a produce farm, providing manure, chasing rats, eating compost and so forth, beneficial insects are also important because of the role they play in pollinating plants and in controlling the populations of pest insects.

There’s word going around the farm that it’s possible we might be in for a snowy winter. If that turns out to be the case, it’s likely that spiders who are outside now will want to move inside with us for a few months. Don’t be too quick to brush away all those daddy long leg webs! Daddy long legs (which are actually insects, not spiders), eat the biting spiders and mosquitoes, keeping you safe from them. I always like to “adopt” a few daddy long legs and garden spiders during the winter so that the less friendly sorts won’t come in their place.

Box Contents

Scarlet Kabocha: I like to make Pumpkin Pie Porridge with this sweet squash. For each person, simmer ¼ cup dry quinoa 15 minutes. Mix in a heaping ¼ cup pureed, cooked pumpkin meat. Add a generous pinch each of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and coriander. Cover with almond nut milk, toasted sliced almonds and add honey or brown sugar to taste.



3 Watermelon Radishes: Slice these thinly for a lovely crunchy topping to sprinkle on top of pozole, on healing miso-ginger vegetable broth with nori strips when you’re fighting a cold, or on the pot-sticker greens soup recipe from last week’s CSA letter.

1.5 lb. Potatoes

2 Storage Onions, 1 Red Shallot

Cauliflower or Romanesco

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Colored Pepper


Thyme: Use your fingers to strip the stems from top to bottom to separate the little leaves from the stem. If you’d like to make your thyme last longer, hang it to dry and use scissors to trim stems off as you need them throughout the winter.



2015 CSA – Week 18

by GTF Office on October 7, 2015 · 0 comments

CSA 18

CSA Newsletter Week 18

Going Greens

While washing salad the other week, I was reflecting on how incredibly different summer salad is from the winter variety. This was a challenging summer for our salad mix. Tender young greens love sunshine, but not as much as we’ve had this year. The sun and bugs spent the summer competing to see who could do the most damage. Thankfully, our pleasant September has brought us more of sweet, salad-ready greens like arugula. As the weather slowly becomes more wintery, these will change to include more hardy characters like kale and mustards.

Greens are always the first thing we harvest in the morning. The sweetness concentrates in the leaves in the cool of the night, and so the flavor of the leaves is better if they are cut early in the morning rather than in the heat of the day. The barn crew heads out early to harvest lettuce, while the field crew trims an enormous load of baby salad greens: different varieties of lettuce, spinach, orach, arugula, endive, mustards, radicchio, kale, and more. The barn crew will later combine and wash the baby leaves in a metal sink that is large enough for four people to take a bubble bath in it, by our estimation. The field crew also gathers bunches of greens and skillfully spins each bunch into a twisty-tie.

Bunched greens are what you will most likely find in your CSA box from time to time, now that the weather is allowing. Today you have green kale, a favorite of mine. If I had to limit myself to one vegetable for the rest of my life (heaven forbid!), it would have to be kale. It’s sweet enough to be rinsed and cut for a fresh salad and topped with goodies like berries, creamy cheese, and toasted nuts, and also it’s hardy enough to be wilted down and added to stews, casseroles, pastas, biscuit batter, you name it!

Box Contents

2 lb. Potatoes

Buttercup: This squash has sweet, dense flesh that makes a wonderfully smooth puree. Halve, de-seed, and bake at 350 F for about an hour. After it has cooled, scoop out the flesh and blend until smooth. It is now ready to be frozen for later or added to soups, breads, cakes, puddings, porridge, and sauces.


Bulk Purple Carrots

Green Kale

Italian Parsley: Your fellow CSA members Kiko D. and Hannah F. tell me they make a killer parsley salsa that’s freezable. It’s just parsley, olive oil, salt, and garlic blended or chopped together. I would mix this salsa into cooked quinoa, and put some wilted kale and a fried egg on top for breakfast porridge.

2 Leeks

Sweet Onion

Yellow Cipollini Onion

Bunched Turnips

1 Colored Pepper

Kohlrabi: Are you about to eat a sugary treat like a donut? Have some peeled, sliced kohlrabi first to fend off digestive discomfort later.