2016 CSA – Week 14: Tomatoes Aplenty

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CSA Newsletter – Week 14


Tomatoes Aplenty

Put plainly, this has been a bountiful year for tomatoes. We planted the same amount of row feet in tomatoes as we did last year but this year we have so many more! The variables that contribute to the success of a crop are numerous, including location, fertility, plant variety, and even weather.

Grafting has been an ongoing project in which we improve our process each year. The grafted root stock can improve disease resistance and vigor over the course of the season resulting in healthier, higher producing plants. Additionally, the scion (vegetative, fruiting part of the plant) variety selection plays a large role in disease resistance and ultimately yield. This year, we grafted varieties that are bred for improved disease resistance in greenhouse conditions and we are certainly seeing some great results!

Even with 9 markets a week, restaurant orders, and the CSA, and our own tomato roasting efforts, we still have tomatoes galore!

A few folks have asked about ordering additional produce for canning and preservation. I am extending the invitation to all CSA members that we are taking bulk orders for tomatoes and some additional produce. Email Chris at gtf@gatheringtogetherfarm.com to place an order.


Table of Box Contents

☐  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25)

☐  1 Red Watermelon ($6.00)

☐  2 Colored Bell Peppers ($4.00) – Delicious sautéed with onions and garlic and served with eggs. Also, try adding them to cornbread, see recipe.  

☐  1 Bunch Carrots ($3.50)

  Green Kale ($3.00) – Sauté with onions and garlic, use in soup, or make a kale and cabbage salad, see recipe.

2 Dried Sweet Onions ($2.25)

☐  Red Cabbage ($6.00) – Try making coleslaw with fresh mint and golden raisins or make kale and cabbage salad, see recipe.

☐  Italian Parsley ($2.00) – This bold, hearty herb is delicious in salads and dressings and it also makes a nice pesto, see recipe.

☐  2 lbs Big Beef Tomatoes ($6.00)

Box Market Value: $37.00

 

Recipes

Loaded Cornbread

I made cornbread for the first time in a long time last week and I forgot how delicious it is! I adapted the recipe by adding grated cheese, fresh corn cut off the cob (raw), scallions, and chipotle powder. I don’t often cook with buttermilk but it is worth getting for this recipe. Incorporate chopped peppers, onions, herbs, dried spices or other flavors. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.
    In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I prefer to bake cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Leave it in the oven as it preheats and pour the batter in when the skillet is hot out of the oven.

Read More: FoodNetwork

 

Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw with Turmeric Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 Red cabbage
  • 1 bunch Fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup Toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon Poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Organic raw honey
  • 1/2 cup Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder

Preparation

  1. Chop the red cabbage in the food processor and use a knife to roughly chop the kale (do not remove the stems, as they’re also loaded with nutrients). Place both in a big bowl. Serve garnished with toasted hazelnuts.
  2. Place the dressing ingredients in a blender and process to obtain a smooth paste.
  3. Pour it over the veggies, add the poppy seeds and stir to combine.

Read More: Food52

 

Parsley Thyme Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Preparation

Combine parsley, thyme leaves, lemon zest, Parmesan, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor. When finely chopped, add olive oil in a steady stream until pesto is smooth. Season to taste with salt.

Read More: Food52

2016 CSA – Week 13: Making Compost

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CSA Newsletter  – Week 13


Making Compost: Recycling Nutrients on the Farm

Three times a week, our barn crew dumps accumulated organic material from the barn and kitchen. This organic material includes kitchen scraps and things like over ripe tomatoes, cabbage leaves, leek tops, wormy potatoes and beets, limp carrots, to name a few. While not a glamorous job, the compost is a very vital part to our soil fertility.

Recycled plant material is only a portion of the composition of our compost. We haul rabbit, cow, and hoarse manure from neighboring farms as well, leaf matter from the city of Corvallis in the fall and weathered hay bales.  The vegetative material from cover crops, picked through corn rows, etc is also incorporated into the compost.

The compost is tended in long rows that are turned with a tractor powered implement. The rows are turned 2-3 times a week for 4 weeks until they are cooked. Another 4-6 months of curing is optimal but doesn’t always occur. Because of the wet conditions during the winter months, compost must be stockpiled in the fall to carry the farm through the wet season.

The finished compost is used in our propagation house soil mix and is spread on fields in preparation for planting.

Making compost, a dirty job that helps us grow beautiful produce!

 

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Purple Potatoes ($2.25)

☐  3 Colored Peppers ($4.00)

☐  1 Jalapeno Pepper ($0.50) – Some folks on the farm prefer a few hot peppers in the morning rather than a cup of coffee. For the rest of us, incorporate this pepper into any dip, sauté, or salsa for a bit of heat.

  1 lb Green Beans ($4.00) – Sauté with caramelized onions and garlic or blanch and freeze for the winter!

☐  1 Cucumber ($1.00)

☐  1 Honey Orange Melon ($3.00) – Delicious sliced and eaten right off the rind, wrapped in prosciutto, in salad, or blended in a cocktail.

☐  2 Leeks ($4.00)

☐  2 Dried Sweet Onions ($1.50) – Serve fresh in salads, on sandwiches, or caramelize and serve with sautéed veggies.

  Bunch Carrots ($3.50)

☐  1 Eggplant ($3.50)

☐  3 Big Beef Tomatoes ($7.00) – Slice, cook in herbed butter, and serve with fried eggs or make a savory galette. See recipe!

Box Market Value: $36.25


RECIPE

Tomato, Corn and Cheese Galette with Fresh Basil

I’ve dedicated the whole recipe section to this recipe because it sounds so delicious! Sweet galettes are often my go to desert because of their versatility. I don’t often think to make savory galettes although I think I’ll make my own rendition of this recipe soon. Galettes are perfect for fall because there is still an abundance of produce and it is cool enough to bake in the oven! If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding other fillings using the same method. Enjoy!

Cornmeal Galette Dough

1-1/4 cups (5 oz.) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (1-1/2 oz.) fine yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. sugar
1-1/4 tsp. salt
6 T. (3 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
3 T. olive oil
1/4 cup ice water

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Cut in the chilled butter using a stand mixer, a food processor, or a pastry blender until it’s evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces. Add the olive oil and ice water and mix until the dough begins to come together. Gather the dough with your hands and shape it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Finishing the tart:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large white onion (or leek), thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1/2 bunch basil or tarragon, coarsely chopped, (to yield about 1/2 cup); plus 10 whole leaves
  • Kernels from 1 ear of corn (about 1 cup)
  • Cornmeal Galette Dough (see above)
  • 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes (about 3/4 lb. total) cut into 1/3-inch slices, drained on paper towels
  • 3 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded
  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan, over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 min. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, chopped basil, and corn and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment.
  3. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a 15-inch round, lifting the dough with a metal spatula as you roll to make sure it’s not sticking. If it is, dust the surface with more flour. Transfer it by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it on the lined baking sheet.
  4. Spread the onion and corn mixture over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border without filling. Sprinkle the cheese over the onions and corn. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer over the cheese and season them with salt and pepper. Lift the edges of the dough and fold them inward over the filling, pleating as you go, to form a folded-over border. Pinch together any tears in the dough. Brush the egg yolk and milk mixture over the exposed crust.
  5. Bake until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted, 35 to 45 min. Slide the galette off the parchment and onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 10 min. Stack the remaining 10 basil leaves and use a sharp knife to cut them into a chiffonade. Cut the galette into wedges, sprinkle with the basil, and serve.

Read more: Alexandra Cooks

 

2016 CSA – Week 11: The Case of the Spicy Jimmy Nardello Peppers

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CSA Newsletter – Week 11


The Case of the Spicy Jimmy Nardello Peppers

Twice now, I have prepared what I thought were Jimmy Nardello Sweet Frying Peppers only to find out that they were not sweet, but very spicy!

The first time, I thought it was my error. That I just grabbed what I thought were Nardellos but were actually cayenne or another hot pepper. The second time, I began to wonder if something else might be going on, if this was not an isolated incident.

As it turns out, we planted contaminated seed. These off type plants are interspersed throughout our planting of Jimmy Nardello Peppers. Jolene, the farm manager, says that this is common with open pollinated varieties, pollinated by natural mechanisms such as air, wind, insects, such as the Jimmy Nardello Peppers.

For seed contamination to occur the Jimmy Nardello pepper seed could have been grown near a hot pepper variety or it is possible that it was contaminated by a pollinator or a person that had pollen on them before visiting the Jimmy Nardello patch.

Sometimes these off types or crosses can make for some very interesting and exciting vegetables—a happy accident! However, in the case of the Jimmy Nardello peppers, expecting a sweet pepper and getting a very hot pepper is not my idea of a happy accident. I’ll continue to eat these delicious peppers this season but from now on, I’m going to sample each one before eating!

Have a great week.

-Lily, CSA Coordinator

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Purple Potatoes ($2.25) – These beautiful potatoes are purple inside and out.

☐  2 Anaheim Peppers ($2.25) – Make chili rellenos, stuff them, fry them, or use them in place of lieu of jalapeno

☐  2 Colored Bell Peppers ($2.25) – Grill or broil and use in soups, sandwiches, dips, or salad.

☐  1 lb Green Beans ($4.00) – Delicious tossed in olive oil and salt and grilled or sautéed with caramelized onions, see recipe.

☐  1 Watermelon ($6.75)

☐  1 Shallot ($1.75) – A close relative to onions, shallots tend to have a milder flavor and less of a bite than onions. They are delicious sliced raw or sautéed.

2 Dried Onions ($1.25) – Store in a cool, dry place

☐  Chioggia Bunched Beets ($3.50)

☐  3 Heirloom Tomatoes ($8.00)

☐  4 Ears of Corn ($4.00) – Steam or grill (with husk on) and eat with salt and butter.

Box Market Value: $38.00

 

Recipes

Corn Salad with Tomatoes, Feta and Mint

Fresh raw corn is ideal in this recipe. The juice from the tomatoes delivers just the right amount of acidity, so there’s no need for vinegar. Eat this by the bowl as is or toss it with cooked rice or beans for a more filling salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups raw or cooked corn kernels (from 4 to 6 ears)
  • 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into fairly small pieces
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Put the corn, tomatoes, and cheese in a medium salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss.
  2. Add the mint leaves and toss again. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve.

Read More: NYTimes Cooking

 

Sautéed Green Beans with Mushrooms and Caramelized Cipollini Onions

Sautéing green beans with caramelized onions is my favorite way to prepare green beans. You can really use any onion and you certainly don’t have to use whole cipollinis. The essentials of this recipe are to caramelize the onions and to blanch the green beans before sautéing.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound cipollini onions, trimmed and peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and cut into quarters
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon picked fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon

Preparation

  1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter (or heat olive oil) in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add cipollini onions, season well with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, and cook, turning occasionally, until onions are a deep, caramel brown, about 45 minutes total.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and run under cool running water until at cold. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat until lightly smoking. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’ve released all their liquid and are browned, about 10 minutes total, reducing heat if oil starts to smoke excessively. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, and remaining tablespoon butter (or olive oil) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and toss to combine.
  6. Add green beans, onions, and lemon juice to mushrooms and toss to reheat and combine. Serve immediately.

2016 CSA – Week 10: Onion Harvest…Waiting for the Flop

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CSA Newsletter – Week 10


Onion Harvest: Waiting for the Flop

In early spring, we seeded about 800 flats of onions and shallots in the greenhouse (that’s over 19,000 onions!). These guys have spent the summer growing in the fields and now the tops are beginning to flop. This is an indication that they are done growing. Once the majority of the onions have flopped, they are pulled, by hand, from the ground and laid on the soil surface for a few days. This allows the roots to dry, decreasing the chance of rot
during storage.

The onions are then loaded onto trucks and transported from the field into greenhouses for curing. Curing allows the onion to dry and for a protective skin to form. We typically let them cure for at least one week, sometimes longer if we are busy harvesting other crops! Once the onions have
dried, the tops and roots are trimmed and they are placed in wooden crates for storage. If the crop is healthy and the storage conditions are right, these onions will last through the beginning of next year. You can never have too many onions in my book!

Have a great week.

-Lily, CSA Coordinator

 

Table of Box Contents

☐ Lettuce ($2.00)
☐ 1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25)
☐ 1 Eggplant ($4.50) – See the recipes for a delicious eggplant sauce.
☐ 2 Colored Bell Peppers ($4.00) – Grill or broil and use in soups, sandwiches,
dips, or salad.
☐ 1 Red Cipollini onion ($1.00) – Cipollinis are lovely roasted or caramelized and can be used in any recipe calling for onion.
☐ 1 White Cipollini onion ($1.00)
☐ 2 Dried Sweet onions ($1.25) – Store in a cool, dry place.
☐ 1 Fennel Bulb ($2.00) – For fennel lovers, use the fronds as the greens in
your favorite pesto recipe.
☐ Bunched Carrots ($3.50)
☐ 2-3 Zucchini ($2.50)
☐ 1 lb Romano Beans ($4.00) – Substitute these beans for green beans in any
recipe. Delicious blanched or sautéed.
☐ 3 lbs Heirloom Tomatoes (3) ($12.00) – You can’t go wrong with these beautiful tomatoes. Sandwiches, caprese salad, pasta, or slice, salt, and eat with a knife and fork!
☐ 4 Ears of Corn ($4.00) – Picked by farmer John himself. Steam or grill
(with husk on) and eat with salt and butter. For a culinary adventure, make fresh polenta!

Box Market Value: $44.00

 

Recipes

Ottolenghi’s Eggplant Sauce

This recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Plenty. The full recipe includes making a fresh corn polenta which is topped with this sauce. However, the sauce sounded so good it seems that it would be delicious on just about anything! Check out the full recipe at Food 52.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/4cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 6 1/2tablespoons water
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano

Preparation

  1. Heat up the oil in a large saucepan and fry the eggplant on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until nicely brown.
  2. Drain off as much oil as you can and discard it — the safest way to do this is to scoop out the eggplant to a plate using a slotted spoon, then pour off the oil into a bowl before added the eggplant back in. You can save the oil to fry lamb chops or eggs in tomorrow.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir with the eggplant.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes to get a deep-flavored sauce.
  6. Set aside; warm it up when needed.


Jalapeno Corn Fritters

This is not the type of thing that I would make regularly, but a good fritter sure is delicious! For a slightly lighter version, omit the bacon and cheese.

 Ingredients

  • 3 c. fresh corn
  • 2/3 c. cornmeal
  • 1/4 c. shredded Cheddar
  • 1/4 c. cream cheese
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
  • Juice of 1 lime, divided
  • Sour cream, for serving

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, combine corn, cornmeal, cheddar, cream cheese, scallions, bacon, eggs, the juice of half a lime, and jalapeño.
  2. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, form the mixture into small patties.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Working in batches, fry the patties until they’re golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per sidee.

Read More: Delish