CSA Newsletter – Week 2
The Gathering Together Story
With this being our 30th anniversary farming, I thought it would be nice to tell you all the tale of how Gathering Together Farm came to be such a well-known farm in the valley.
Owners John Eveland and Sally Brewer both come from farming families—John being from Iowa and Sally from New Hampshire— and though they loved to farm, they wanted to break free from the limited selection of vegetables that were commonly grown. GTF grows many of the same types of foods that we are all used to, but they grow almost 500 different varieties of them, from newly bred black tomatoes to nearly forgotten heirloom varieties of Asian greens.
In the eighties, John, his sister, and a couple friends started Nearly Normal’s Restaurant in Corvallis, and they were dissatisfied with the lack of organic produce available for them to use. John and Sally decided to start their own farm to provide the restaurant with quality, organic produce, and before they knew it, thirty years had gone by and they had one of the most well-known organic vegetable farms in the valley. This is largely what gives Gathering Together its human feel; for a farm as big as GTF, John and Sally have managed to maintain a small family farm feel. After all these years they are both still sweating in the sunshine every day with the rest of us!
Working at GTF is unlike working at most any other place. We are all fed breakfast every day, lunch three days a week, and we get free vegetables to take home to our families. I couldn’t imagine more amazing benefits, and we are all grateful for the generosity that John and Sally put forth into the world.
From all of us at the farm base who have put endless hours working in the sun and soil, rain or shine, flood or freeze, thank you for being a part of our farm and for enjoying the produce that we grow. We are forever grateful for the time that you’ll spend with Gathering Together Farm. Enjoy your weekly bounty. Thanks y’all!
Table of Box Contents
- Chard—Chard greens and stems are both delicious. The stems are like a beet-flavored rainbow version of celery. The greens are similar to spinach and are amazing raw in a salad.
- Bunch Carrots—Oh my goodness you guys, they’re so sweet! Such a special spring treat.
- Scallions—In my opinion scallions are best enjoyed raw, sliced thin on top of everything.
- 5 lbs New Potatoes—This week you’ll be getting Nicola potatoes, a yellow skinned and yellow fleshed potato.
- Romaine lettuce—Everyone loves romaine lettuce for its crunch, making it perfect for caesar salads, etc.
- Cilantro—Excellent on top of almost any dish. If you’re having a hard time using the whole bunch up, try making a cilantro pesto. You can use local walnuts or hazelnuts for a cheaper pine nut alternative.
- 2 Sweet Onions—The high sugar content in these onions makes them perfect for caramelizing.
- 2 Cucumbers—Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch.
- 2 Zucchini—Make sure when you cook zucchini to salt at the end of the cooking process so it doesn’t turn to mush!
Spring Pad Thai
This is my personal pad thai recipe that I’ve adapted over the past few years. It’s definitely alternative (I don’t use tamarind because I never have any on hand), and it’s super easy to make. Alter to your own taste as always! You can use almost any selection of vegetables, green beans are a great addition but they aren’t in yet, but we’re in luck that we have many other perfect veggies.
- 1 bunch Cilantro (roots in sauté, leaves raw as garnish)
- 1 bunch Scallions (1/2 in sauté, ½ raw as garnish)
- ½ bunch Carrots, sliced long and thin
- 1 Zucchini, sliced long and thin
- 1 Sweet Onion, sliced thin
- Oil (I use coconut)
- Fish Sauce, Tamari, garlic, or whatever you’d like
Ingredients—Pad Thai Sauce & Noodles
(If you like things light, follow this recipe; if you like things super saucy, double the sauce recipe!)
- 2/3 cup Stock (pork, chicken, or veggie)
- 6 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 6-8 Tbsp Brown Sugar (it may sound strange, but you can supplement the sugar for strawberry jam and it’s delicious!)
- 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce/Tamari (use 4 Tbsp if you don’t use fish sauce)
- 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce/Chili Oil
- ~1 cup Nut Butter (I use peanut or sunflower seed)
- 1 8oz package Pad Thai noodles (or if you have a spiralizer you can make carrot and zucchini noodles!)
- Chop all your veggies up beforehand. With Pad Thai, I have found that taking care to slice things thin and long really affects the final product’s taste and beauty! Set aside.
- Put all sauce ingredients together in a pot (omit nut butter) and bring up to a simmer. Once it’s hot, add in your nut butter and stir around to dissolve into the sauce. You can control the thickness of the sauce depending on how much you add.
- Meanwhile, heat up some oil in a big pan and get your veggie stir fry going. First add in your sweet onion, and after a minute or two add in some tamari or soy sauce and let sauté another few minutes more.
- Then add your cilantro root (everything below the twist tie), carrots, scallion, and zucchini. Let sauté about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a sprinkle of salt, and don’t let the veggies lose their fresh crunch!
- Boil some water and cook your noodles, careful not to overcook them. Drain noodles, mix into sauce to coat them.
- Plate noodles, put veggies on top, and garnish with raw cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!
Marinated Tofu with Swiss Chard
Source Note: This savory vegan dish calls for marinating the tofu a few hours ahead. It can be served over white or brown rice, or with any type of noodles…like Pad Thai!
- ½ pound firm tofu
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Sesame Seed Oil
- 2 Tbsp Garlic Chives/Scallion, minced
- 2 tsp Ginger, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ Tbsp Tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
- Drain the tofu and cut into cubes.
- In a medium bowl, mix all of the marinade ingredients.
- Set the tofu cubes in the marinade, toss gently, and marinate for at least 2 hours at room temperature, turning the cubes over occasionally.
- Setting aside the tofu, pour the marinade into a skillet on medium heat; simmer 1-2 minutes, until reduced by about half.
- Add the Swiss Chard and cover the pan. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the green wilt.
- Add the tofu back in, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, stir to combine, and heat through. Serve immediately.
Recipe from Bounty From the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook by Mi Ae Lipe