CSA 2011 – Week 2: Food is Your Best Medicine

About a week ago, I had a bumpy morning here at the farm. Things were just not going my way. Then Rodrigo, field crew manager, pulled me from the barn to have me help him pick some basil. While picking basil, he told me that when he’s feeling down or depressed, he just goes into the basil house takes a deep breath of the basil aroma and then everything is better. By the time we were done picking the basil, I felt much better. I don’t know if there is any proof that his theory is valid all of the time, but it definitely worked for me.

Basil is just one of many herbs and plants that can be used medicinally. There are several vegetables in the CSA box this week that can help with everyday ailments. For example, studies have found that spinach is a great vegetable to eat if you tend to have migraines or headaches. (Spinach is high in magnesium and people who tend to have migraines or headaches tend to be magnesium deficient.)

It has also been proven that vegetables with vitamin K are beneficial in warding off bruises and helping them heal fast. Vitamin K can be found in leafy greens such as spinach and chard (featured in this weeks CSA box)! Greens can also help to prevent or slow down cataracts as well. Cataracts is a condition in which the lens of one or both eyes becomes cloudy or opaque. A study done by the American Journal of Nutrition found that broccoli and spinach contain a high amount of carotenoids (an antioxidant), which can help reduce the risk of cataracts. Further studies found that turnip greens contain the highest amount of beneficial carotenoids. That goes to show you, those greens are worth saving!

The information above was obtained from a book about healing with food by James A. Duke. He also emphasizes over and over again the benefits of onions and garlic as well, especially raw he says. Garlic and onions have proven to help treat and or prevent asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, coughs, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, pneumonia and sinusitis! I knew they were good for you but man, I didn’t know they were that great!

It is really amazing how much eating good food can affect your every day health and mood. I know first hand I grew up eating pretty lousy frozen veggies and it seems since I’ve been actively eating fresh produce, I think I’ve gotten happier and healthier each year! Who knows what the actual reason is, but I’d like to credit it mostly to a good diet. Cheers to health and enjoy your veggies!

Lisa Hargest
CSA coordinator

 What’s in the box?

  • 1.5 lb Colorado Rose Potatoes ($5.00) – These are best steamed or fried
  • Chard ($2.50) – You can steam or sauté these, or use them in place of spinach in the recipe below.
  • Spinach ($2.50) – It tastes great with garlic sautéed. (see recipe)
  • Cilantro ($2.00) – Great addition to salads or soups. (see recipes)
  • Kohlrabi ($1.00) – Goes well grated on salad, or in stir fries.
  • 2 Summer squash ($1.50) – Try them sautéed, grated raw, in soup, or stir-fried.
  • White Turnips ($3.00 ) – Eat raw on salad, or see recipe.
  • Romaine or Cardinal Lettuce ($2.00) – Great on salad or in sandwiches.
  • Blueberry Jam ($5.00) – Use as a topping on toast or pancakes. Great in yogurt!
  • 2 cucumber ($3.00) – Eat raw on salad, or marinate. (see recipe)

 If you were shopping at the market, the total cost of this box would be:  $27.50

Recipe Suggestions

Glazed Turnips (from Sally Fallon)

1 bunch of white turnips

1-2 Tablespoons of butter

3/4 cup stock (vegetable or chicken)

Herbs (optional)

  • Cut turnips in half. Plunge turnips into boiled salted water for 3-5minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  • Sauté in butter until lightly browned.
  • Add stock and boil down until turnips are coated and liquid has almost completely evaporated.
  • Add herbs such as parsley or cilantro and serve.

If you would like to cook greens with the turnips, add in the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Kohlrabi Slaw

1 Grated Kohlrabi

2 Chopped cucumbers

Dressing:

1/4 cup Apple Cider vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon course mustard

Pinch of salt

  • Whisk vinegar, honey, mustard and a pinch of salt. Add  olive oil as you whisk.
  • Add dressing to cucumber kohlrabi mixture.

You can add chopped cilantro to this for a cooling effect. Or add chopped fresh garlic too if you still have some left from last week!

 

Spinach Feta Pastries (from Sally Fallon)

Serves 4-5

1 1/2 cups blanched spinach, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup toasted nuts (almonds or pine nuts work well)

Salt and pepper

1 cup feta cheese

Pie dough or yoghurt dough, see below

  • Mix spinach with onion, and nuts. Season to taste.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls and coat in flour. Roll into rounds.
  • Place a tablespoon of spinach filling on each and top with 2 teaspoons of crumbled cheese.
  • Fold edges to form a three-sided pastry, leaving a gap in the middle for air to escape.
  • Place on a well-greased pan and brush with butter. Bakes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.

*Note, you can use chard, turnip greens, or spinach in this recipe.

Yoghurt Dough

1/2 cup plain whole yoghurt

1/2 cup butter

2 cups fresh whole wheat or spelt flour

  • Cream the yoghurt with the butter.
  • Blend in flour and salt.
  • Cover and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

CSA 2011 – Week 1: Welcome to the Family

Greetings from Sally and John

Hi….  This is the official greeting from John and Sally.  We want to welcome back our old members and send greetings to our new ones.  The first boxes of the new year were packed today and are going out tomorrow.   Everyone around the farm and particularly the packing shed crew was remembering how much effort and time it takes to pick, clean, and pack the produce for 200 CSA boxes.  They were really relieved the other 135 boxes get packed at the end of the week.

Right now we are really happy we delayed the start of your boxes for two weeks.  If we had started when we had planned to, it would not have been nearly as abundant.  At this point we are wondering why we haven’t done this earlier and are thinking mid-June to mid-November might be the wave of the future. We will be definitely looking for your opinions on this matter at the end of the season. Thanks for being flexible and supportive of our late season start up. You passed your first test for being high quality CSA members.

Even though we plant virtually all year long, last week was probably our biggest planting week of the year. That week usually occurs a couple of weeks earlier than it did this season, but things are in the ground and, with sunshine, good things will happen. Now is a great time to wander around the farm: plants are young, succulent, and vibrant.  We are not having any organized events until later in the season, but we have maps for self-guided tours, and you are warmly invited to drop on by.

By way of events, we are going to be bringing back the work party scenario for those of you who would like to put a little of GTF’s finest dirt under your fingernails. We will also have a big harvest party around pumpkin time. Last year’s pumpkin crop was a long delayed afterthought and pretty much a total bust. We have them in the ground right on time this year! Enjoy your first box and plan on a great summer of eating and trying new recipes.

Welcome from Lisa

Hello from Lisa! I’m your new CSA coordinator. Let me share a little Winter overview and my little story of how I landed here at the farm. We had a pretty good winter (despite the late cold rains), and now we’re gearing up to kick off this season. It seems as though the rain started late and went on longer this year, because as I recall, January was quite nice. In the meantime, the Johns (John E, B, and P) and some of the crew managed to build a new office basically upstairs from the old office. I was amazed at how fast they put the whole project together – not to mention it looks great! We were all ready and moved upstairs by the middle of March.

Meanwhile, I spent most of my winter milking a couple of cows down the road and working on the CSA registration. It was quite meditative to milk the cows. I thoroughly enjoyed making lots of cheese, butter, and yogurt. I may be able to continue this hobby through the season, but I won’t have near as much time to devote to it!

It’s hard to believe that this will be my fourth full season working here at the farm. I remember when I was just traveling through for a couple of months back in the summer of 2007. I came to talk to JC, Sally, and John about a possible job. I came straight from Maryland and it just so happens I was staying with some people right here in Philomath for a couple of months. I had never been to Oregon before, and I was taken aback by how nice everyone is here. I remember Sally describing the farm as a ’vortex’  and in my fourth year here. I can definitely agree with that! I’ve been privileged to work with almost everyone here, and they are all wonderful. It’s so nice to have a family here. With that being said, I would like to welcome all of you to the GTF family, and I’m sure we are going to have a great season!

Logistics

I would like to remind everyone to bring their own bags or container for transferring the veggies into so that you can leave the blue tubs with us! Also, please notify me a week in advance when you are going to miss a week so that you can receive your credit. Remember we allow up to 2 credits throughout the 22-week season. Salad members, I would also like to emphasize that “salad addicts” get salad every week and “salad lovers” get salad on the 1st and 3rd full weeks (Monday-Sunday) of each month. The check off sheet will indicate if it is a “salad lovers” week.

What’s in the box?

  • 1.5 lb Colorado Rose Potatoes ($5.25) – Best steamed or fried.
  • Baby Onions ($2.50) – Enjoy raw or cooked, a great addition to any salad, stir-fry or soup. Chop onion tops and add to soft cheese, salad, soup or stir fry.
  • Spinach ($2.50) – Eat raw as salad or gently cook until they wilt, go great with garlic
  • Dill ($1.00) – Goes great with potatoes or cucumbers
  • Mustard Greens Bunch ($2.50) – Sauté or braise with olive oil , garlic and salt, they go great in stir fries or cooked with beans.
  • Carrots ($3.00) – Soups, stir-fried, raw to snack on.
  • White Turnips ($3.00 ) – Each raw on salad or see recipe.
  • Red Leaf Lettuce ($2.00) – Great for salad or on sandwiches.
  • Green Garlic ($1.00) – See recipes.
  • 1 Cucumber ($1.00) – Eat raw on salad, marinate in dressing below.

 If you were shopping at the market, the total cost of this box would be:  $23.75

Recipe Suggestions

Salad Dressing

Salad dressings can either make or break a meal or dish. However, they are simple to make and quite versatile. The basis is always an acid and an oil or lipid. You can add various additions such as honey, mustard, herbs, garlic, shallots, or whatever your heart desires. Be creative! I’ll share with you a simple salad dressing to start with, but it goes well with a lot of different veggies.

Lemon-Garlic Dressing

1 lemon (meyer lemon if available)

Pinch of salt

2-3 cloves green garlic, chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Squeeze juice out of the lemon and into a small bowl. Take any seeds out.
  • Chop garlic and add to lemon juice, add pinch of salt.
  • Whisk olive oil in and season more to taste. If it’s bitter add a little honey.

This dressing will go great with the cucumbers, add dill to the dressing if you want! It would also go well with the white turnips,  carrots, spinach, and red leaf lettuce.

Roasted White Turnips

The first time I ate these turnips I vowed to never cook them because they are so good raw. Then, just this last year I ate them roasted, and man they are scrumptious roasted too.

1 bunch white turnips

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of red chile flakes

2-3 cloves green garlic, chopped

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Chop white turnips off of greens and set greens aside.
  • Chop turnips in half  if small or in quarters if large.
  • Toss with olive oil and salt,  place into pan and in the oven.
  • Chop turnip greens into strips, and set aside.
  • After turnips have roasted for about 10 minutes, add turnip greens, a pinch of chile flakes and chopped garlic.
  • Allow to roast for another 3 minutes or until turnips are roasted to your liking.
  • For even better results try blanching white turnips first. Add Parmesan cheese on top to kick it up a notch.

Announcement from Wild Garden Seed

Our Own Frank Morton still has some spaces in a seed saving workshop on Saturday June 25th from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Here at GTF. He is gearing this workshop towards home gardeners interested in seed saving. The cost is $120 including lunch catered by the chefs here at the farm. You can sign up online by going to www.wildgardenseed.com. If you have any questions, e-mail Anaka at anaka@wildgardenseed.com

CSA 2010 – Week 7: Small Town, USA

Philomath, Oregon

Year-round population of about 4,500. We have a library, post office, diner, bar, a great annual rodeo, and a museum that spotlights local history. There used to be one main street that split the town, but now there are two, one going in each direction. Other then that, not much appears to have changed in the last couple of years. The schools are still full of kids, and even though the economy is down, most of the small businesses managed to keep their doors open. Sounds ordinary, right? Classic small town America. But when compared with overall rural growth trends, its really not. All over the United States, small towns like this are packing up their bags and dragging their feet into the urban sprawl of the nearest big city, but strangely Philomath is growing – its population is up 17% since 2000. What is the glue that holds small towns like this together? And why are so many place like it falling apart? Maybe its not glue that sticks communities together, but food.

Canned goods, honey and herbal supplements come from local Willamette valley producers

In what we always seem to idealize as the golden years in our nation’s history, the 1950’s, about 12% of the total labor force claimed farming as their principle occupation. The total number of farms back then (as counted by the government) was 5,388,000. In the last 50 years that number has fallen to where it is today; now less than 1% of the labor force claim farming as the way they make their living, and the overall number of farms in the United States is about 2 million. Could this shift away from small scale farming be a big factor in the break-up of so many small communities?

Kali Lamont stocks produce at the farm stand.

While I don’t completely believe that the sole reason for this small town’s growth is Gathering Together Farm, I think it is undeniable that the presence and success of our farm has and will continue to build community support and connections that positively effect the area. Communities are built on issues of common ground or interest, such as local politics, or town development. But farms affect us on a level that goes beyond our petty differences: they produce food, and everyone has to eat. The greatest obvious commonality in a small town is the fact that the food source is shared. John and Sally have farmed here since 1987; they have sent their children to school here; they know their neighbors, fellow business owners; they know their customers; and in return everyone knows them. I think this investment in community goes beyond economic or demographic growth. It fills a need that we don’t always recognize because it is rapidly disappearing: the practice of looking out for the best interest of the people you share space with.

Regular customer Irene picking up GTF sausage, a favorite among her grandchildren.

Take our Farmstand for example. The diversity of local products reflects how community bonds are strengthened. Of course we sell vegetables that are grown on the farm, but there are also fresh eggs and cheese from neighbors, free range meat from several local providers in the greater Corvallis area. Canned goods from Sweet Creek farms, seeds from our sister company, Wild Garden Seeds, wines from local vineyards, and honey from both Blodgett and Corvallis. The list goes on, but the point is that all the people who produce these products have something to bring to the table. These small producers are given a venue to sell their wares, and we in turn have something special and unique to offer to the public that we otherwise would lack. When people help each other out like this, everyone benefits. It’s a lot harder for communities to fall apart and individuals within the community to fail, because people are literally invested in the health of a community, because of this they will go to greater measures to make sure that both issues and people aren’t falling through the cracks.

One of the original activists for a local food movement, Wendell Barry wrote on the idea that farming should be done by the measure of nature, that is, the nature and history of a place. This means that farmers tend farms that they love, farms that are small enough to know and to love, using tools and methods that they know and love, in the company of neighbors they know and love. Historically farming has been at the heart of small communities, and neighbors whose efforts help to feed other neighbors are going to care a lot more about each others’ well-being. With society changing like it is, it seems most communities could use a whole lot more of this food for the heart.

Devon Sanders, CSA Coordinator

What’s in the box?

  • 2 medium Siletz Tomatoes
  • Pint of Blueberries – Thank you Wilt Berry Farm, Corvallis, OR.
  • 1.5 lbs Yellow or All Red Potatoes
  • 2 Cucumbers – See recipe.
  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Beets – See recipe.
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Baby Onions – You can use every bit of these onions, from bulb to the tasty green tops, just slice then into little rounds, sauté, or sprinkle on top of potatoes, eggs, or salads.
  • 2 Zucchinis
  • Summer Squash – You should have one of either the cocozella (a long striped green variety), magda (pale green and eggplant shaped), yellow crook neck, yellow patty pan (resembles a space ship), or zapallito (a round green variety).

Recipes:

Veggie Salad Wraps

These wraps are so easy to make, plus  they are light and refreshing on hot days when you don’t feel like turning on the stove. All you need are spring roll rice papers or wraps, which you can find in almost any Asian market, or co-op, or even the Asian foods aisle of many grocery stores. They are made out of rice flour, so no cooking is necessary. Just soak one at a time in a shallow container of luke-warm water (I use a pie pan) for about 15 – 20 seconds, until they are soft, but not too soft. Once the wrap is soft, remove it, and move to a flat plate to add your filling, then roll it up. Below are some suggestions for fillings, but you can put whatever you like in them. To really fancy them up, try shrimp and chopped mint, or cilantro on top of what I’ve suggested below.

The number of  wraps you want to make will affect the amount of veggies needed. The below suggestions will make between 10 and 15 wraps depending on size.

4-5 carrots (grated)
2 cucumbers – sliced into long thin strips
Green tops of one bunch of baby onions, chopped into 1/4 inch rounds
One head of lettuce, shredded thinly
Your choice of dipping sauce – Spicy peanut is my favorite

Place a line of veggies down  the center of one of  your  pre-soaked wraps, just like a burrito, leave about one inch on either side, and enough space on the top and bottom to roll closed. Carefully fold the bottom of the rice paper wrapper over the vegetables. Turn in the sides and keep it rather tight as you continue rolling up from the bottom.  Slice in half and serve with dipping sauce.

Roasted Beet and Beet Green Salad

1 bunch beets with greens
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
a sprinkle of feta cheese
a sprinkle of chopped green onion tops

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, and set aside.
  • Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Cover, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet.
  • When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute.
  • Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces and add them to the skillet.
  • Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cut beets into bite sized pieces, mix with greens and vinegar, this is great warm or cold,  garnish with a sprinkle of feta cheese, and onion tops. Yum!

Tomato, Zucchini Caprese Salad

2 vine-ripe tomato 1/4-inch thick slices
2  thinly sliced zucchini
1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
1 bunch (or a little less) fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

  • Layer alternating slices of tomatoes, zucchini, and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter.
  • Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

CSA 2010 – Week 6: Tomato Rising

The plants will be more than double overhead by this time next week, and it will require someone taller than our compact innovator Rodrigo Garcia to continue the highly laborious process of pruning and training the tomatoes as they continue on their upward journey. The knowledge and labor that holds these plants up isn’t outwardly apparent, but what is obvious is the feeling that you get when you first walk into one of our tomato houses. The space here is being completely utilized, heat radiates between the rows of tomatoes that stretch from wall to wall, and from floor to ceiling of the hoop house. If you’ve ever seen a tomato plant before then, your second thought is that these burly plants do not look the same as your run of the mill backyard tomatoes, and they’re not. Oh no, these are super tomatoes. Before working with them, I’d never given much consideration to the fact that there is more than one way to grow an organic tomato. Isn’t it all just cultivate soil, transplant, stake, prune, and harvest? Wrong again. It turns out that in order to grow super tomatoes, you have to provide some super attention.

Back in early January, seeds went in for heirloom varieties with names like Pink Beauties, Black Cherokee, Brandywine, and Japanese Black Trifle. Heirloom seeds mean that they come from open pollinated varieties,  and that the seeds are saved for generations because the fruit had traits that the grower deemed valuable. Unfortunately many of the heirloom plants themselves are fragile, and vulnerable to diseases, meaning that often they under produce or die off before they have a chance. To combat this, in the last few years, Jolene, Paula, and Sara  (our dedicated greenhouse women) have taken on the challenge of grafting tomato plants. That means taking the bottom half (the rootstalk) of a hearty strong tomato, and more or less fusing it with the top cutting of an heirloom plant. After considerable healing, and seriously special care, by  early April the new bionic version is ready to move outside.  These ultra- exotic varieties are even more beautiful than their names, but for now most of our heirlooms are still hanging green on their sinuous skyward twisting vines. So why exactly is there a gain in all this work, why train tomatoes how to climb, and just how do you do it?

Last Thursday I worked with Rodrigo and some of the crew in one of our tomato houses doing some hands on learning about the process that will produce some of the most plentiful and best tomatoes that we’ve ever grown at the farm. By the time that they reach the tomato houses these plants have already been seeded, weeded, watered, grafted, and transplanted with the utmost care. Over the last 10 years we’ve been moving away from growing our tomatoes in the  conventional manner, but during the 17 years that he has worked on the farm Rodrigo has amassed considerable knowledge regarding how to maximize tomato production. As we made our way down the first row he took great care to show me the difference between the thick main tomato stalk (which is what we train to grow ever higher), and so called “sucker” offshoots that grow out of the joints in the plant. These suckers are aptly named; every bit of new plant growth takes energy, and these suckers will just continue to draw fuel until they grow to be just as large as the main stalk. The problem is not that they grow and grow, but that they don’t produce much fruit, and in the process they take massive amounts of energy away from more productive growth such as fruit ripening.  You also have your fruit producing branches, which will unfurl and open into blossoms, and if all goes well mature into fully grown tomatoes. And finally there are leaf branches, which are just what they sound like, these are necessary to shade and protect the tomatoes as they ripen.

Once you get the hang of identifying the difference between all the different types of branches, it’s still an enormous amount of work to keep these plants pruned. Once the weather gets warm, and they really start to grow, it is necessary to go through and cut back the suckers on each plant once a week, every week for a span of about four months. Not only do they need constant pruning as they flourish, but it is also necessary to routinely wrap a guide rope that hangs from the ceiling around the main stem to help it grow straight and tall. If you’re like me, you may be beginning to wonder how all this work can be possibly be worth it… Luckily it is also the part that Rodrigo is rightfully the most proud of; Where one plant grown under different circumstances would produce about 20 pounds of fruit. One of Rodrigo’s specially grown tomatoes plants yields closer to 100 pounds of fruit per plant. I imagined how many acres we would have to plant with tomatoes to get the same yield if we didn’t grow them like we do…..and then I realized once again, that thankfully there is always more than one way of making something work.

Devon Sanders, CSA Coordinator

What’s in the box?

  • Siletz Tomato – Your first of the season,  and the inspiration for this weeks newsletter, woo-hoo!
  • 1.5 lbs Yellow Potatos
  • 2 Cucumber – see recipe
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce – Red leaf
  • 2 lbs Fava beans – did you eat your first ones? A reprint on how to cook these is included.
  • Baby Onions – great for grilling, or shish kabobs
  • Broccoli
  • 2 Zucchini
  • Summer Squash – you should have one of either the cocozella (a long striped green variety), magda (pale green, and eggplant shaped), yellow crook neck, yellow patty pan (resembles a space ship), or zapallito (a round green variety)
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Garlic
  • Fennel – slice thinly and enjoy raw,  add to soups, or  bake whole in the oven. The greens can be eaten also, they make a great flavor or color addition to pastas, salads, potatoes or eggs

Tzatziki Sauce

This tzatziki sauce is an easy take on the classic Greek sauce, you can use real Greek yogurt if you like, but I always just make it with the ever present Nancy’s plain yogurt that I have in my fridge. This sauce is great pared with curry, falafel, or rolled into pita style bread with a salad of cubed tomato, cucumber, and onion. I have estimated amounts, but mostly I just taste as I go until texture, and flavor suit me, I suggest you do the same.

2-3 cups of plain yogurt
2-3 tablespoons  of lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cucumber, also finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Put yogurt, and lemon juice in a bowl and mix together. Wash and finely chop cucumber and cloves of garlic and add to yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you don’t use this all at once it will keep well for several days if you cover it in the fridge.

Baby Onion & Summer Squash Kabobs

It’s finally sunny, which means time to roll out the BBQ again! Over the weekend I made some delicious kabobs for a fourth of July party. If you eat meat , you can add steak, chicken, or fish, the marinade works for all three.

Remember when making kabobs to pre-soak your wooden sticks in water, this will prevent them from burning when you put them on the grill.

Marinade:

1-2 cups water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/2 cup Lemon juice
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of crushed ginger
A handful or so of chopped onion tops

Mix together thoroughly your marinade ingredients in a long shallow pan. Your container needs to be long enough and deep enough to partially submerge your kabob skewers in.

Slice summer squash into 1 inch size pieces, and cut the tops off of your baby onions. Skewer pieces (adding meat if you like), and let marinate for at least an hour before grilling. Once on the hot grill, they should only take 6 minutes or so on either side. Enjoy!

Fava Beans

Fava beans have a delicious buttery texture and lovely nutty taste. Although they require a bit more work to prepare, take the time to try this old world favorite.

When preparing fava beans you need to first remove the beans from the pod. After you have shucked your beans, dispose of the pods and start a pan of water boiling so that you can  boil the beans to make removal of the outer shell easier. Most people choose to remove the outer shell of the Fava bean before they eat them. So after 5 minutes or so of boiling, let your beans cool, or run them under cold water so you can remove the shell. Fava beans have what looks like a little seam on one side of the bean. Make a slit with your fingernail in the seam at one end of the bean and then squeeze the bean out. It should pop right out of the skin.  The boiled  beans should be bright green and are now ready to use in any recipe.

Suggestions: A cold pasta salad, with fava beans, parmesan, lemon juice, diced garlic, parsley, oil, salt and pepper.

CSA 2010 – Week 1: Springing In!

Well here we are again! Welcome, and Welcome! Winter has passed us by, and it’s late, soggy spring in the beautiful state of Oregon. I’d first of all like to thank you for choosing to be a part of our CSA, whether you are a returning member of many seasons, or if this is new to you, we are thrilled to have you along with us!

It’s amazing how fast the past twelve months have gone by. I’ve been working here at Gathering Together for just over a year now, and while some visible changes are clear (read: OZONATOR, and NEW BARN!), it’s the less obvious things that really make this whole operation go that have me floored. I’ve always been in love with the
idea of the simple life, and caring for the land, now I realize that it really ain’t all that simple.  I finished my Communications degree from OSU in December, and decided to prepare myself with a crash course in farming over the winter.  My sister Ivy and I took off for three months in Argentina, where we connected with two different farms through the WWOOF program (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms).   Lots of work, but oh so rewarding. We’d lay down at the end of the day in our tent, bodies aching, and brains buzzing from thinking in Spanish, but so happy to be doing something new and different.

So, coming back and jumping in as a working piece of this farm has really made me appreciate the complexities that aren’t all that evident from our picturesque cover.  Aside from the hard work, sometimes seeds don’t sprout, sometimes it doesn’t stop raining and we can’t transplant, things don’t always go according to schedule.  But we push on! No need to remind you how wet and cold its been, because it’s been this way before.  In Oregon
you just put on another layer, and enjoy the lush greens of spring until the summer sun comes out.  That being said:  prepare to enjoy many-a-lush green from our fields until it gets a bit warmer, and sooner or later it will.

I feel so lucky to be here, and I can’t wait to start putting the names I’ve been seeing with real faces. We encourage anyone in the area, or just passing through to stop by the farm, and see firsthand what it’s all about.

Thanks again, and Happy eating!

Devon Sanders, CSA Coordinator Continue reading “CSA 2010 – Week 1: Springing In!”