CSA 2018 – Week 2: Busy Days & Brassica Bliss


CSA Newsletter – Week 2


Welcome to the second week of CSA, folks!

We hope that you enjoyed your first week of veggies. Things are really ramping up here at the farm. June is an impossible time where it seems that everything needs to happen all at once, when there is so much to do and summer hasn’t even officially begun yet. There are spring crops to be harvested, summer crops to be weeded, fall crops to be planted, and winter crops to be seeded. It seems like there’s no way to get it all done in time, and sometimes you don’t, but somehow it all ends up working out, as your box of produce goes to show.

There are many exciting additions to your box this week including kohlrabi, basil, fresh garlic, and Lacinato kale, also known as black kale. Garlic and basil are as valuable as gold, powerfully fragrant and medicinal—there isn’t much of anything I wouldn’t put garlic or basil on. It’s also interesting to notice that in this box there are three different brassica cousins—kohlrabi, radishes, and kale—that emphasize three different parts of the plant.

Once upon a time there was an ancestral brassica—not quite a cabbage, or a kale, or a radish, but some leafy looking thing with a sulfurous flavor. Over many years of traditional breeding and selecting the best plants, humans brought the vegetables into existence that we are familiar with today. There is only so much energy in a plant that can be allocated. For radishes, the majority of the energy is allocated to the root. For kale, the energy goes to the leaves. And for the strange alien creature that is kohlrabi, the energy gets prioritized to create an enlarged and sweetened stem. Kohlrabi actually sits right on top of the soil as it grows, almost as if it were sitting on the ground peacefully with its legs crossed as it soaks up the sun.

Table of Box Contents

  • Purple Kohlrabi—Remove skin with a knife or peeler. You can add thin slices or grated kohlrabi to salads or cut spears to dip into hummus. Kohlrabi is also a great addition to coleslaws.
  • BasilExcellent sliced thinly on top of pretty much every dish. I cut the bottom half inch of stems off and place in a glass of water on the counter to store.
  • Fresh Garlic—For garlic lovers, this is the best time of year to eat! Normally, by the time we see garlic it’s dried and thus takes a long time to peel. Fresh garlic has yet to mature all the way and is therefore slightly milder but it can be chopped through with ease without having to peel each clove. There is a hard stem in the center of the bulb that needs to be removed, but other than that you can slice right through like butter. Little tip—add garlic into the pan later in the cooking process to preserve flavor.
  • RadishesThe hotter it gets outside the hotter our radishes get. Their incredibly crisp texture and spicy flavor are great additions to salads or slaws.
  • Lacinato Kale— Remove stems, slice leaves thinly and sauté lightly with fresh garlic and onion. Top with fried eggs for a quick, delicious, and hearty breakfast.
  • Katrina CucumbersExcellent thinly sliced into long thin strips with a mandolin or spiralizer
  • Colorado Rose Potatoes—Red on the outside, white on the inside, less waxy, great for mashing or for potato salads
  • CarrotsCarrots are one of the first fresh digs of spring that we all look forward to, a marker of the season’s new start.
  • Spring Lettuce—This week you have large, lush heads of green leaf lettuce. The large leaves are perfect for wraps or sliced can yield many salads.
  • Bulb Onions—These onions are quite sweet with a slight acidic punch.

Recipes

A Note About Recipes…

To me, recipes are first and foremost meant to be broken! I see recipes as a great way to get inspiration for the type of dish you’d like to make with what you have. There’s no need to fret about exact measurements, or if you are missing an ingredient and have to substitute something else, or if you don’t follow the directions exactly. This is your life, your vegetables, your pantry, your body—do as you please! Cooking and eating meals with friends and family are a big part of what it means to be human. It doesn’t matter if you just chop everything up into a big salad or stir-fry and season with salt and pepper, it’ll still be delicious. Sometimes simple is best.

Print

Grilled Radishes with Dates, Apples, and Radish Tops

“When you cook a radish, it loses much of its spicy heat and becomes quite friendly. The cooked radishes also develop a texture similar to the apples in this dish. Some grated extra-sharp cheddar would also be nice in this dish.”

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, p. 115

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radishes (with their tops if they're fresh)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • dried chile flakes
  • red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 4 oz pitted dates, cut into small bits
  • 1 apple, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped (toasted is great)

Instructions

  1. If you’re using the greens, cut them from the bunch of radishes and wash well in cool water, as you would salad greens. Dry in salad spinner or let air dry a few minutes.

  2. Heat a slick of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and when it’s hot, add the greens. Toss with tongs until the greens are slightly wilted. Season with salt, black pepper, and a few chile flakes and cook for another few seconds, until the greens are tender.

  3. When the greens are cool enough to handle (but still warm), roughly chop them, then pile them into a bowl. Douse with a couple teaspoons of vinegar and toss to blend. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, chile flakes, and vinegar. When the flavors are bright and balanced, toss with a small glug of olive oil. Set aside. 

  4. Prepare a charcoal grill if you can, heat a gas grill to high, or heat the oven to 450°F.

  5. Scrub the radishes. Grill or roast the whole radishes—with no oil—until they are slightly soft when you squeeze them, 12-15 minutes depending on their size (slightly longer if you’re roasting them). Turn them a few times during grilling. Let the radishes cool, then cut them in half.

  6. Toss the halved radishes in a large bowl with the dates, apple, onion, marinated radish tops, and parsley. Add ¼ cup vinegar, 1 tsp salt, lots of twists of pepper, and ½ teaspoon chile flakes and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add ¼ cup olive oil and the almonds, toss again, taste again, and make any final adjustments to the seasoning.

 

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Spicy Cucumber Salad

Adapted from Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, p.135

For more information and step-by-step photos, click this link https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/oi-muchim 

“Try this instead of your usual salad when you’re looking for something cool, crisp, and spicy. The dish should be assembled just before serving; if you have to prepare it ahead of time, keep the cucumber and seasoning sauce separate from each other and mix them together at the last minute. Also, it’s best to make only what you need for one meal; leftovers will never be as good as the just-made.”

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cucumbers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Korean hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Cut the cucumber lengthwise in half. Cut diagonally into thin slices. 

  2. Put the cucumbers in a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients, and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

We’d love to see what you’re doing with your CSA box! Tag us on social media @gatheringtogetherfarm!

Facebook: GatheringTogetherFarm   
Instagram: GatheringTogetherFarm    #gtfcsa
email: csa@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

 

 

CSA 2018 – Week 1: Welcome to the 2018 Summer Farming Season

CSA Newsletter – Week 1


Welcome to the 2018 Summer Farming Season

Hey there folks,

This is John here, and as owners of the farm, Sally and I would personally like to thank you for your membership support. Even a casual overview of our farm finances makes it abundantly clear that your financial support is one of the cornerstones of our revenue stream that allow us to stay in business. Our awareness of your importance to the GTF community is something we take to heart. They are the thoughts in the back of Sally’s mind when she is creating the weekly box selection. Indirectly, as the season progresses, this may lead to boxes of such abundance you will have to enlist friends to get through it.
And this is Laura! I will be writing your newsletter this season and am so looking forward to connecting over the produce that is to come. Though I am but one cog in our CSA effort. If you’re registered for CSA, then you already know our office guru, Will, who takes care of the tangle of logistics. Behind the scenes, Marina is our packing shed master, managing the careful placement of every item in your box. Together we will do our best to bring to you a diverse selection of produce and vegucational material.

We would love to know how you are enjoying your vegetables this season! Please send us pictures, recipes, and stories of the meals that you have, and any questions that you regarding food or farming. Here’s to a great farming season, everyone! Things are ramping up.

Sincerely, The CSA Crew—Laura, Will, Marina, and John & Sally

Table of Box Contents

  • Huckleberry Gold Potatoes—These are our favorite potatoes on the farm right now. Their deep purple and violet skins give way to waxy, yellow flesh that holds its shape after cooking. (1.5 lbs)
  • ThymeWe often forget that some of our foods have powerful medicinal value. Thyme, named after its effect on the thymus gland, is known for enhancing immune function and being a great remedy for colds and coughs.
  • ZucchiniMy personal favorite spring vegetable, zucchini is incredibly versatile. The trick with it is to not let it turn to mush. Whether you’re grilling, stir-frying, or baking, wait to salt until you’re done with the cooking process. Salt tends to break cell walls, draw water out, and turn things to mush.
  • Fava Beans—The truth is, favas can be a high maintenance food. But whether you take the time to peel your beans bare; just shuck the beans and leave the skins on; or go the super easy route of grilling or steaming them in the pod, salting them, and eating the beans out edamame-style, you’ll surely be happy with their nutty, buttery flavor. (1.5 lbs)
  • Katrina CucumbersWe grow these cukes for their sleek, thin skins. They’re the perfect cucumber to slice into spears and dip into hummus.
  • CarrotsCarrots are one of the first fresh digs of spring that we all look forward to, a marker of the season’s new start. I recommend enjoying these morsels raw, however they are excellent roasted as well.
  • Spring Lettuce—This week you either have green butter or green oak compact lettuce. Green butter heads up a bit like a cabbage, and the oak has a multi- lobed leaf.
  • Swiss Chard—excellent braised or sautéed with garlic and onion until melt-in-your mouth smooth.
  • Bulb Onionsthese onions are quite sweet with a slight acidic punch.

Recipes

Print

Crushed and Fried Potatoes with Crispy Herbs & Garlic

Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, p. 365

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs yellow-fleshed potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp thyme leaves optional: more herbs!
  • 1/4 tsp chile flakes
  • 4 wedges lemon
  • olive oil for frying
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F

  2. Spread the potatoes on baking sheet and bake until fully tender when poked with a knife, about 30 minutes, depending on how big they are. 

  3. Let the potatoes cool enough that you can handle them, then crush each one with your palm or the back of a pan. You want to create a patty shape, with lots of craggy surface area to crisp up in the hot oil. If you have larger potatoes, tear them up into smaller pieces after smashing.

  4. Heat ½ inch of olive oil in a large skillet until quite hot. Put a corner of a potato into the oil to test the heat; if it sizzles nicely, the oil is ready. Working in batches, fry the potatoes until nicely browned on one side. Flip and cook until both sides are browned, about 5 minutes total, but about 30 seconds before the potatoes are done, toss in some of the garlic, thyme, and any other herbs you have. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain. Continue frying the potatoes, scraping out the bits of garlic and herbs between batches so it doesn’t burn.

  5. Season with salt and black pepper and the chile flakes. Serve with a lemon wedge for each diner.

 

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Chard Stalk Hummus

“This is my favorite recipe for using up the stems and stalks of greens rather than throwing them away. Chard stalk hummus is a traditional Lebanese dish that resembles baba ghanoush in flavor.” Dip carrots, cukes, and lettuce to serve.

Author Adapted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly, p. 67

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped chard stalks (approximately)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • swirl of olive oil
  • chopped herbs: parsley, thyme, etc., for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the chard stalks and boil for 5-10 minutes (depending on how thick they are) until the stalks are very soft.

  2. Drain well, squeezing out any excess water, and add the stalks to a food processor, along with the garlic, tahini, salt, and lemon juice. Pulse continuously until the dip is slightly chunky and still has some bite to it, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Serve with a generous swirl of oil on top and a sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs, if desired.

 

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Thyme Honey

Adapted from Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar, p.93

Ingredients

  • Thyme, flowers & leaves plucked from stems
  • Honey (meadowfoam is a favorite variety)

Instructions

  1. Fill a widemouthed glass jar half full of fresh thyme leaves and flowers. Gently warm a batch of raw, unpasteurized honey, so that it will better extract the properties of the thyme. Do not overheat or boil; heat over 110°F will kill the honey’s enzymes and destroy its medicinal benefit. Add enough honey to the jar to cover the herbs, and place the jar in a warm spot (near a sunny window will work). Let steep for approximately 2 weeks. (You could also use a slow cooker set to 100°F. It will take only a few hours of constant warm heat to make a strong medicinal honey.)

  2. When the honey tastes and smells strongly of thyme, its finished. You can leave the tiny thyme leaves in the honey, which is what I do. Of course you can also strain them out for a more professional look, but it can be messy! Bottle and store in a cool pantry or in the refrigerator, where the honey will keep for several months.

  3. Use by the spoonful. Enjoy this delicious thyme honey by itself, [spread it on toast with butter], or use it to sweeten teas for additional medicinal benefits.

Lunch Menu: Week of March 1, 2018

Lunch on the Farm

Farm salad (6.00)
GTF Mesclun mix, carrot, radish, farm giardiniera, yogurt herb, or thyme and balsamic dressing

Beet & chevre (7.50)
Pickled name beets, hazelnut lemon chevre, red & green mizuna mustard greens, yellow onion, beet pickle juice vinaigrette

Root vegetable slaw (4.00)
Carrot, parsnip, celeriac, beets, parsley, red onion, yogurt herb dressing

GTF vegetable soup (6.00) (cup 4.00)
Potato, parsnip, carrot, kale, chard, onion, tomato, Chad’s bread

White bean and bread (8.00)
White bean spread, prop 1 microgreens, pickled red and white onions, Chad’s baguette

Polenta & chard cakes (7.00)
Polenta cakes, rainbow chard, black & red kale, poached egg, bacon, garlic, onion

Fish cakes & greens (11.00)
Washington petrale sole, potato, herbs, leeks, chicory greens, scallion & garlic aioli, lemon thyme vinaigrette

Reuben sandwich (12.00) (half 7.00)
Pastrami, Isaac’s sauerkraut, swiss cheese, farm thousand island, Chad’s rye, choice of GTF side salad, soup, or slaw

Muffaletta sandwich (14.00) (half 9.00)
Mortadella, salami, ham, provolone cheese, farm giardiniera, scallion & garlic aioli, Chad’s ciabatta, choice of GTF side salad, soup, or slaw

Carbonara (15.00)
Farm made noodles, smoked root vegetables, bacon lardons, onion, egg, parmesan (vegetarian available)

Pork & Beans (11.00)
Pork meatballs, Hutterite beans, fava top & basil pesto, toasted nut crumble

Chicken & fontina (16.00)
Airline chicken breast, herb & butter fontina, braising greens, parsnip & celeriac puree, pickled mustard seed sauce

Beef ragu & gnocchi (18.00)
Braised beef, red wine, carrots, parsnip, celeriac, potato gnocchi, mache, parmesan

News from the Farm – Beginning of 2018

GTF is off to a great start in 2018. Spring vegetables are here!  We have been getting great production from our overwintering greens. All the fresh greens you are eating today are from our outdoor production. Watercress and mache are from greenhouse production. All the roots were harvested this last fall and stored away for your enjoyment for many months to come.

Our propagation greenhouse is full of starts which will be transplanted into our high tunnels as well as become our first outdoor plantings. We’ve got a lot of healthy young tomato plants with grafted rootstock to make them even happier. In our high tunnels we have seeded carrots, beets, spinach, cilantro, white turnips, radishes, scallions, chicory, and peas.

If you are willing to embrace the mud, we welcome you to take a look around and enjoy the beauty of our vegetables bursting forth.

CSA 2017 – Week 21: Another Season Another Cycle

CSA Newsletter – Week 21


Another Season Another Cycle

This has been a big year of transition, for the farm and for the world, reminding us of the cyclical nature of life. There are times of abundance and times of low yields; times of immense celebration and times of great stress. Seeds are sewn, plants grow, most make it and some do not; we harvest their bounty, and then they die back, becoming a part of the soil that will feed next year’s seeds. There are moments in the season where it all feels like too much; too hot, too busy, too cold, too muddy, too everything; but in the end, the hardship is what makes the bounty taste even better.

We are so excited to have shared our thirtieth year farming with you! The support that we receive from our lovely CSA members is crucial for the sustaining of each season; it truly is agriculture supported by the community. Small scale, organic farming forms a wonderfully symbiotic relationship with the local community, and we cannot thank you enough for being a part of that system with us.

It can be tempting to miss the hot weather, the cooling crisp texture of watermelon, the fresh flavor of grilled zucchini and corn. But does it usually help us to focus on what is no longer there? What if we were constantly excited by what has yet to come? Here at the farm we are looking forward to this next season in the cycle of life. There are restful, rainy days ahead that we hope to spend cooking food in good company; and there will also be cold, hard days spent lugging mud-covered boots through the field and desperately pushing snow off of greenhouses. But even on the toughest day when you know you’ll be working in the mud all day and your boot just sprung a leak, we try our best to keep things in perspective and remember how good we’ve got it. We hope you enjoyed this season’s bounty as much as we did, and that you have a wonderful winter.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Butternut Squash
  • Delicata Squash—Delicata is incredibly sweet and flavorful, and it even lends itself to easy sautéing. When sautéing, just slice it into thin half-moons. The skin is soft enough to leave on, but roasted halves of delicata are probably my favorite way to enjoy them.
  • Red Anaheim PepperThese are packing some heat! Add into any sauté.
  • ParsnipsWoohoo, parsnips are here! We harvested our parsnips a few weeks ago and then put them into cold storage while they’re still muddy. The mud helps them keep longer, as if they were still in the ground. The cold temperatures increase the sugar content in the roots, so that when we eat them now they are at their peak flavor.
  • Celeriac I think of celeriac as “instant chicken soup” flavor. Chicken soup is savory and tasting of celery, which is exactly the flavor profile expressed by this root. Like any other root, it is incredibly versatile and can be roasted, sautéed, or pureed into a soup.
  • Royal Chantenay Carrots—A shorter, fatter, slightly sweeter carrot.
  • Red Cipollini Onion—A nice balanced onion, almost as sweet as a yellow cippolini with a little more acidity like a red onion.
  • Jagallo Nero Kale— A frilly black kale, new to GTF this year, perfect for adding into salads and sautés.
  • Huckleberry Gold Potatoes
  • Sweet Onions
  • Lettuce

Recipes

Print

Parsnip Fries in the Frying Pan

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • Parsnips
  • High heat oil (coconut, sunflower, etc.)
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Slice your parsnips into very thin strips.

  2. Coat the bottom of the pan in oil, liberally. Place one parsnip strip in the oil, and once it starts sizzling, add enough parsnips to coat the bottom of the pan in a roughly single layer (the more you make, the more rounds of fries you’ll need to do). 

  3. Stir every couple minutes to prevent sticking. After about 7-10 minutes, many of the parsnips will turn golden brown on the edges. This is a good sign that they are done. 

  4. Fish the parsnip fries out of the pan with tongs, allowing most of the oil to drip off before plating them. Sprinkle them with salt at this point. This is the magic secret. If you salt the parsnips while they’re in the oil, they will release water and become mushy rather than crispy. Serve immediately.

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Roots for Breakfast

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion of your choosing, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Celeriac, chopped into small chunks
  • 1-2 Carrots, chopped into small chunks
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • High heat oil (coconut, sunflower, etc.)
  • Salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 5 Eggs
  • Hot sauce or chili oil of your choosing

Instructions

  1. Heat a pan up to medium high; add the onions once up to temperature, let sauté a minute.

  2. Add in your celeriac and carrots and let sauté 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add in your shitake mushrooms, continue to let sauté another 5 minutes.

  4. Scramble some eggs in a bowl, salt and pepper them, and then pour them into the pan to scramble around with everything.

  5. Turn off the pan, grate some cheese over top to melt, and then serve with hot sauce.

 

Print

Butternut Squash & Kale Torte

adapted from Woman's Day

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 Butternut squash, small
  • 1 Red cipollini onion
  • 1 bunch Kale
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 Huckleberry gold potato, medium size
  • 6 oz Thinly sliced cheese (provolone)
  • 1 Plum tomato
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (1 oz)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. 

  2. Oil a 9-in. springform pan. Arrange half the butternut squash in the bottom of the pan, in concentric circles. Top with half the onion, separating the rings. Top with half the kale, drizzle with half the oil and season with 1/4 tsp salt. Top with the potatoes and half the provolone cheese.

  3. Top with remaining kale, drizzle with the remaining oil and season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Top with the remaining onion, tomatoes and provolone. Arrange the remaining squash on top and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

  4. Cover with foil, place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until the vegetables are tender and the top is beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes more.