2016 CSA – Week 19: River Watch

csa-week-19-graphic

CSA Newsletter – Week 19


River Watch Season

As it turns out, we didn’t quite get the storm that we were all anticipating last weekend. However, judging by the satellite imagery and the weather forecast, it looked like we were in for a doozy. After much debate and consideration, we pulled out of all Saturday markets, only attending one out of our typical five weekend markets. If the weather system had landed, it would have been a much different weekend. Nevertheless, we did get a lot of rain, even for Oregon standards.

Last Wednesday, all of the irrigation pumps and pipes were pulled out of the river. During the summer months, the fields are irrigated with river water when there is little rain and the river is low. If we don’t remove the pumps and pipes before the water level rises, they may get washed down the river!

The water level of the Mary’s River, which snakes through the farm, rose a total of 12 feet from 3 feet on Wednesday to 15 feet on Monday morning. And so the season of river watching begins. If the river gets too high, it will spill over into fields and, in a major flood, into our packing area.  It certainly helps to be prepared when high water level is expected so we’ll all be keeping an eye on the river from now on!

 

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Huckleberry Gold Potatoes ($3.00) – Beautiful purple potatoes with yellow flesh that is creamy and buttery. Great as mashed potatoes, roasted, or baked.

☐  2 Delicata Squash ($3.00) – This petite squash so tasty any way you cook it. The skin is tender when cooked; there is no need to peel it. To roast, slice it in half, remove the seeds, and bake face down until tender. You can also sauté or stuff delicata.

☐  Purple Top Turnips ($2.00) – Turnips are surprisingly versatile, delicious root vegetable. You can roast them, mash them, or bake them. They are delicious in soups or on their own.

☐  2 Leeks ($3.25) – Leeks are another versatile vegetable what are delicious sautéed, roasted, and in soups. I even put them on nachos!

  Collard Greens ($3.00) – Collards are a hearty green, similar to kale. Collards are wonderful sautéed with garlic, in soup, or used as a wrap when blanched!

☐  1 Colored Pepper ($2.00)

☐  1 Green Bell Pepper ($1.00)

☐  1 Bunch Carrots ($3.50)

☐  Celery ($2.50) – This vegetable is bit of a treat on our farm! Celery is wonderful in just about everything from tuna salad, to stuffing, to soup.

☐  2 Dried Sweet Onions ($1.75) – Sweet onions don’t store as well as other varieties. It is delicious raw in salad, sautéed with greens, or in soup. 

 Box Market Value: $27.00

 

Recipes

Sage & Nut-Stuffed Delicata Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted pine nuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup cooked short-grain brown rice or quinoa (I usually cook the rice in vegetable broth for added flavor)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in sage and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in nuts. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, eggs, Parmesan, and half of the cheddar cheese. Stir in the nut and onion mixture. Divide the stuffing among the squash halves, sprinkle with the rest of the cheddar cheese, and bake until tender when pierced with a fork and tops are browning, about 45 minutes.

Read More: Food52

 

Soup Basics

Soup is surprisingly easy to make and is a great way to use your vegetables. The variations are endless and you can make it as simple or as sophisticated as you like!

 To start (use what you have):

  1. Sauté: chopped onions, leeks, and/or shallots
  2. When browned, add cubed veggies such as squash, potatoes, turnips, celeriac, celery, and carrots
  3. Add water or stock to cover veggies. (You can also add soup bones or chicken feet for added flavor) Add fresh or dried herbs such as sage, thyme, parsley, oregano etc. Simmer until fragrant, at least one hour.
  4. Add chopped greens a five minutes before the soup is done. This prevents overcooking.

Enjoy!

 

Collard Greens Wraps

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you carefully stem the collard greens, trying to keep the leaves intact.
  2. Fill a bowl with ice water.
  3. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the collard leaves in batches.
  4. Blanch two minutes and transfer to the ice water. Drain, gently squeeze out excess water and set aside.
  5. Use in place of a tortilla and add beans and rice or make up your own filling.

Read More: NYT Cooking

2016 CSA – Week 6: Mechanical Cultivation

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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