2016 CSA – Week 15: CSA Box Assembly

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CSA Newsletter – Week 15


CSA Box Assembly

This week I gained a greater appreciation for our CSA box assembly system. For no good reason other than its September and I just plain forgot (and the boxes had so many delicious veggies this week!), I didn’t to pull that last pallet of veggies out for the CSA line. I only realized that chard was missing from the box half way through the process! Adding chard to each box after they were assembled was certainly not as fun or easy as rolling the boxes down the assembly line.

Each week, we assemble the CSA boxes on Monday for midweek pickups and Friday for weekend pickups. After a morning of washing, lettuce, greens, salad mix, and filling orders, the barn is cleared to setup the CSA assembly line. The veggies are pulled out of the cooler, one pallet at a time, and are arranged in stations on either side of a rolling assembly line.  Potatoes are always first in the box followed by heavier things such as squash, melons, and cabbage. Root veggies and greens are next with onions, peppers and herbs to follow. Lettuce is always the last ingredient in the box.

This week, there were two people stationed at the potatoes, one at the acorn squash-melon station, one at the carrots-turnips-broccoli station, one at the Anaheim-poblano-dill station, one at the onions station, and one at the lettuce station. I’m at the end of the line; lidding boxes, checking to make sure that they have all of the ingredients, adding salad mix to salad lover and addict’s boxes, and making sure the right number are placed on each pallet. Once the line gets going, it’s a whirlwind of action until the last pallet is assembled.

 

Table of Box Contents

☐  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Make your own hash browns for breakfast or breakfast for dinner! See recipe.

☐  1 Honey Orange Melon ($5.00)

☐  1 Poblano Pepper ($1.00)

☐  2 Red Anaheim Peppers ($2.00)

☐  1 Bunch Hakurei Turnips ($3.50) – While these sweet turnips are delicious in salads or stir-fry’s, I typically end up snacking on them like an apple. The greens are delicious sautéed or in soup.

☐  1 Bunch Carrots ($3.50)

☐  Acorn Squash ($2.50) – Cut in half, remove the seeds (save for roasting), and bake face down in the oven until tender. Serve plain or with a little butter and maple syrup.

  Swiss Chard ($3.00)

  2 Dried Yellow Onions ($1.25)

☐  1 Dried Red Onion ($.50)

☐  Broccoli ($3.50) – Roast, sauté, grill, or make broccoli salad with garlic and sesame. See recipe.

☐  Dill ($2.00) – Use in potato salad, soups, or dips and dry the rest for later use. Dill can also be infused in vinegar, oil for, or butter for later use.

☐  2 lbs Big Beef Tomatoes ($6.00)

 Box Market Value: $41.00

 

Recipes

Homemade Hash Browns

After a weekend of hiking in the rain, I made a hearty breakfast complete with fried eggs and homemade hash browns. Homemade hash browns are delicious and easy to make.

  1. Shred potatoes and immediately put them into a bowl of cold water. Let soak for a few minutes.
  2. Place the potatoes on a (clean) dish towel, wrap them up and squeeze out any excess water.
  3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of butter or oil. Once it’s melted, add the potatoes in a thin layer and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until very crispy and brown on the bottom, then flip and cook on the other side.

Read More: The Pioneer Woman

 

Broccoli Salad with Garlic and Sesame

Technically, this is a raw salad but the vinegar and oil in the dressing tenderize the salad as it marinated in the dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 2 heads broccoli, 1 pound each, cut into bite-size florets
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons roasted (Asian) sesame oil
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes.

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar and salt. Add broccoli and toss to combine.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot, but not smoking.
  3. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in sesame oil and pepper flakes.
  5. Pour mixture over broccoli and toss well. Let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature, and up to 48 (chill it if you want to keep it for more than 2 hours). Adjust seasonings (it may need more salt) and serve.

Read More: NYT Cooking

Pan Seared Carrots with Lemon and Dill

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) carrots, scrubbed and patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dill, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Preparation

  1. Cut carrots crosswise into pieces approximately 3 inches long. Cut any thick ends in half lengthwise, so all pieces are about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. In a bowl, toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. Preheat pan over medium-high heat. Place carrots cut-side down on the pan and cover. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the carrots develop sear marks and are beginning to soften. Flip, cover, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Carrots will be softened with a bit of crunch in the middle.
  3. Transfer the carrots to a bowl. Mix in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, dill, lemon juice and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Read More: TheKitchn

2016 CSA – Week 6: Mechanical Cultivation

CSA Week 6 Graphic

CSA Newsletter  – Week 6


Mechanical Cultivation: Keeping our fields well groomed

In passing, our logistics coordinator and cultivator extraordinaire, Joey, was lamenting about not wanting to get back on the tractor to cultivate in the afternoon. I don’t blame him, long days spent in the hot sun; meticulously driving through row after row of crops is tedious and straining.  However, cultivation is a very essential part of our weed management program and can make or break the success of a crop.

This time of year, we have a dedicated crew of cultivators who spend much of their days riding classic International and Farmall cultivation tractors,  from the 50’s and 60’s, through fields, the walking the fine line of effective cultivation and uprooting the very plants we are trying to protect. Like so many things in farming, timing is everything. If a crop (or the weeds) grows too large, the cultivation implement may not be able to run through the crop safely. Alternatively, if a crop is too small when cultivated, the plants may get buried in the processes, adversely impacting their success.  With new crops being planted weekly, there is never a shortage of things to cultivate. Often, the limiting factor is hours in the day.

Anything that does not get cultivated by tractor gets cultivated and weeded by hand. Our skilled field crew can knock out a weedy planting pretty quick if it’s all hands on deck, but with much of the harvest coming on, hand weeding often takes a back seat to harvesting mature crops ready for sale.

So thank you to the cultivation crew for taking one for the team and keeping our fields looking beautiful and weed free (reduced)!

Have a great week and enjoy those veggies.

-Lily, CSA Coordinator

Table of Box Contents

Lettuce ($2.00)

1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Store in dry, cool, darkness. Don’t scrub until you’re ready to eat them.

¾ Lbs Green Beans ($3.00)

Bunched Red Shallots ($2.50) – Delicious in eggs, salad, or grilled

2 Fresh Sweet Onion ($3.00)

1 Eggplant ($4.50) – Best eaten soon after harvest. Delicious roasted or charred, in dips, ragu, or as eggplant parmesan.

Bunch Carrots ($3.50) – Remove tops for storage

Fresh Dill ($2.00)

Green Bell Pepper ($1.50)

Dried Garlic ($1.50)

2-3 Summer Squash ($3.00) – Grill, sauté, or make zucchini bread.

3 Cucumbers ($3.00)

1 lb Tomatoes (2-3) ($3.50)

Box Market Value: $35.25

 

Recipes

Lisa’s Turkish Eggplant Dish

 Lisa, a dear friend of the farm and former CSA Coordinator, is also a wonderful cook. I remembered tasting her eggplant dip when she made it last year and I am so excited to share it with you this week (and to have the recipe for myself)!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 (plus a bit) tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (depending on size)
  • 1/3 to 2/3 cup yogurt
  • salt to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Place whole eggplant on grill (even straight on the coals)or in very hot oven until black. Let cool.
  2. Lightly sauté garlic in butter not allowing it to turn brown or black.
  3. Peel eggplant and chop into chunks.
  4. Add eggplant to garlic butter mixture and cook on medium low for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add yogurt and salt to taste.


Seasoned Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is one of my favorite condiments for grilled or roasted vegetables. It is incredibly versatile and can be dressed up in endless ways. Make your own mayo or use the jar from the fridge. Don’t be shy, a little mayo never hurt anybody and you’ll be surprised at how delicious it tastes!

Flavors (try combinations too!):

  • Roasted garlic (raw too!)
  • Sriracha
  • Mustard
  • Fresh Herbs: basil, parsley, dill, etc.
  • Chipotle
  • Harissa: a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste
  • Dry spices: curry powder, paprika, etc.

Ratatouille

This very versatile dish is perfect for using up the abundant zucchini and tomatoes, at this time of year. Add dried or fresh hot pepper to taste. Eat this dish with fresh bread, over rice or pasta, or all by itself.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large globe eggplant, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • ¾ cup olive oil, divided
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 large onion, halved, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes divided (or use 2-3 whole tomatoes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup torn basil leaves

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss eggplant, zucchini, and 2 tsp. salt in a colander. Let sit 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high. Add half of eggplant and zucchini and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to take on color, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with ¼ cup oil and remaining eggplant and zucchini.
  3. Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in same pot and cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and thyme, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to brown and is softened, 8–10 minutes.
  4. Add half of tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and eggplant, then top with remaining 1 pint tomatoes (do not stir); season with salt and pepper. Transfer pot to oven and roast until all vegetables are softened and tomatoes have begun to burst, 15–20 minutes.
  5. Remove thyme bundle. Transfer to a serving platter and top with basil.

Read More: Bon Appétit

July 9th Market Recipes

Here’s what we sampled up down at the waterfront yesterday!

  • The Lazy Man’s Pickle: Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon (July 2nd post)
  • Tomato Basil Salad (July 2nd post)20160706_085140 double purple cherokee label (2)
    • New Alteration: For those of you who came to market earlier in the day, this plate was made with Siletz tomatoes as it was on July 2nd. But later in the day, we decided to shake it up a bit and make the same dish with Purple Cherokee Heirloom tomatoes, which have a wonderfully unique flavor and a beautiful dark color.
  • Spinach Basil Salad (June 25th post)
    • I made this salad for dinner after market, along with thick slices of Siletz tomato and fresh mozzarella-like cheese from La Mariposa, a wonderful cheese vendor at the Corvallis Farmers Market. It was amazing! I highly recommend it.20160924_112541-2

NEW RECIPES:

  • Hot Chioggia Beet Salad (May 7th post)
    • New Alteration: The only difference here is that I used Chioggia beets, which have a white and red concentric circle design in the center. They tend to have a more mild beet flavor, and unlike typical red beets, they don’t turn everything you have dark pink. Also, they’re simply gorgeous, and that is reason enough to try them out. Sadly, I did not get a photograph of this dish before the people of Corvallis gobbled it up, but you can see a chioggia beet here.20160709_103448 (2)
  • Yellow Straightneck Squash with Red Mustard Greens
    • Ingredients:
      • 2-3 Pearl Onions, sliced thin or however you would like them
      • 1/2 head Garlic, minced
      • 4-5 Yellow Straightneck Squash, sliced thin into discs (They’re just like yellow crookneck squash, only… you guessed it, the neck is straight.)
      • 1 bunch Red Mustard Greens
      • Olive oil
      • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Directions:
      • Pre-chop the onion and garlic.
      • Coat the pan in olive oil and heat up to medium-high until a piece of onion in the oil starts sizzling.
      • Add in the onion and garlic and stir around in the oil.
      • Slice up the squash into discs, and add them into the pan once you’re done. Stir around to coat in oil, adding more oil if need be. Let cook 5-8 minutes, stirring around occasionally for even cooking.
      • Roughly chop up a bunch of red mustard greens. With the heat that we’ve been having lately, our mustard greens have been getting spicier every day. Their lovely peppery flavor is especially delicious when paired with the creamy combination of garlic and summer squash.
      • Add in a couple pinches of both salt and pepper, and stir around. Let cook just 2-3 minutes more.
      • Let cool a few minutes and taste to see how your salt levels are, adjusting accordingly. This dish looks beautiful with the bright yellow squash and dark green leaves, and would be wonderful with rice and grilled chicken or tempeh. Enjoy!

 

CSA 2011 – Week 6: Water, Water Everywhere…

In the Willamette Valley, most of the time we are spoiled with beautiful, warm, and dry summers. That is really most of the allure of living here. The summers are phenomenal; they warm your soul up enough to last the six rainy months of the year. This past weekend was not the summer that I know. It is interesting to think about how the rain really affects all of the vegetables in the fields. It doesn’t affect them all in a negative way, as it does my personal vitamin D level.

One vegetable that is affected in a negative way is garlic. Our garlic that is trying to dry has a hard time drying in rain, even if it’s covered or under a tarp. The moisture in the air and ground can easily seep its way into that freshly harvested garlic. Luckily the crew is on top of making sure the garlic is covered before rains, but like I said that doesn’t always keep it dry. The tomatoes are not so fond of downpours either. Of course they need water to grow well, but when it pours and then warms up that causes the skins of tomatoes to split. This type of occurrence has the same effect on cherries as well. Some crops thrive in cool rain, for example potatoes and most brassicas (such as kale and cabbage). Lucky for us we grow such a variety of crops that when one crop has a difficult season, there is another crop booming. I guess this goes along with the saying,…

…‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’

*CSA Tour and Tasting: Sunday August 28th 2-5pm *
Join us for a farm tour, melon and tomato tasting!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (Nicola and fingerling) – These are best steamed, fried, or boiled.
Purple Carrots, bunched – They are great raw, on salad, slaw or stir fried.
1 bunch baby Walla Walla onions – chop the onions and eat raw on salads or soups. The top green part goes well with eggs, cheese, stir fries, or pasta.
1 red cabbage – make slaw, braise it, or use it in a stir fry
2 Leeks – They go great with eggs in a scramble, omelet, in soup, or stir fried.
1 pint sugar snap peas – Eat them raw or do a quick sauté with olive oil and salt.
Summer squash (1lb) – Try them sautéed, grilled, grated raw, soup or stir fried.
Red or Green Leaf lettuce – Make a salad, or add to sandwiches.
2 cucumbers – Eat raw, on salad, or marinate them.
1 bunch dill – Yummy addition to potato salad, cucumber salad, or slaw!
1 Siletz tomato – Chop raw on salad, eat plain like an apple!
1 pint of cherries – picked from the trees down the road at Fritz and Beverley Lonsway’s house.

Recipes:

Stir-fried Sugar Snap Peas

1 pint sugar snap peas, ends and strings removed
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch baby Walla Walla onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir fry onions and peas in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add sesame seeds and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted sesame oil. Season to taste.

Vegetable Leek Medley

2 medium leeks
2 summer squash
2 carrots
4 Tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut top and root end off the leeks and set aside. Cut the leeks in half length wise and chop into 1/4 inch size slices. Rinse the chopped leeks and set aside. Finely chop carrots and zucchini. Sauté carrots and leeks in butter. When they are almost cooked all the way through (5-10 minutes) add the zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes. Season to taste.

Zucchini Cakes

4 cups grated zucchini
1 Tablespoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups bread crumbs
Sea salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix zucchini with salt and let stand 1/2 hour. Rinse well with water and squeeze dry in a tea towel. Mix with eggs, onion, bread crumbs, cheese, and cayenne pepper and season to taste. Form into cakes and sauté a few at a time in butter and olive oil.
Variations: You could add chopped or roasted garlic, sautéed leeks, shredded carrots, chopped onion tops, or even dill to this recipe!

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