2016 CSA – Week 19: River Watch

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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 18: After the Harvest

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CSA Newsletter – Week 18


After the Harvest

I said my goodbyes to a house of heirloom tomatoes as I helped clear it out for the next planting. It is another reminder of the changing seasons and another reminder that a farmer’s work is never done!

When we harvest many of our crops, such as beets, turnips, potatoes, more often than not, the whole plant is harvested and the field is pretty much cleared and ready to be turned over to the next crop in the rotation. Sometimes, we add an amendment or two and then we turn over the soil and prep it to receive the next planting.

However, some crops require more work before the ground is ready for the next planting. Crops such as tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers that are harvested continuously often require trellising infrastructure. Once the crop is done producing, the plant matter, up to 10 ft. tall, must be uprooted and hauled away. This can be a messy job as there are inevitably some rotting vegetables in the houses as well. The trellising setup must be dis-assembled and any drip irrigation must be removed. Only then can the soil be prepared for the next planting.

It’s a lot of work but I think that we can agree that the delicious results are worth the extra effort!

 

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.

☐  Scarlet Kabocha Squash ($4.50)

☐  1 lb Sunchokes ($4.00) – These knobby tubers caramelize beautifully when roasted. See recipe.

☐  Bok Choy ($3.00) – This beautiful, Asian vegetable is delicious in stir-fries and soups.

☐  2 Colored Peppers ($1.25)

☐  1 Bunch Colored Carrots ($3.50)- This bunch of carrots not only beautiful but they are just as delicious as they look!

   Romanesco ($6.25) – This fractal vegetable is beautiful and delicious! It is in the brassica family and is related to broccoli and cauliflower. Blanch it in boiling water and then shock it under cold water or in an ice bath. Us it in stir-fries, salads, or grill it!

☐  1 Dried Sweet Onion ($0.75)- Sweet onions don’t store as well as other varieties. It is delicious raw in salad, sautéed with greens, or in soup. 

  1 Dried Red Onion ($0.75)

☐  3 Roma Tomatoes ($3.00) – These tomatoes are great for sauce, soups, or roasting. They have firm flesh and are less juicy which lends itself to cooking but they are also delicious in salsa. If you want to save them for soups or sauces for winter, you can freeze the tomatoes whole.

 Box Market Value: $32.00

 

Recipes

Creamy Kabocha Squash Polenta

 I tend to roast squash and eat with a little butter and salt, but if you wanted to incorporate it in a dish, polenta is a perfect base.

 Ingredients

  • 1 Kabocha Squash
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 2 oz parmesan, grated
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  1. Remove stem from squash. Halve, scoop seeds, and bake face down in 1/2″ water at 400 F until tender, 20-30 minutes. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Scoop flesh into bowl with an immersion blender or blender. Add the cream and blend to get a thick and very smooth purée. Season with salt.
  2. Bring 3 cups water to a boil with 1 t salt. Stir in polenta and stir until your arm wants to fall off – about 30 minutes. Try to stir as much as possible as it makes it creamier. At around the 20-minute mark, stir in the kabocha and cheese. Season with nutmeg and white pepper and salt to taste.

Read More: Food52

 

Roasted Sunchokes

This knobby tuber caramelizes wonderfully when roasted.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Sunchokes, scrubbed
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian or curled parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Scrub the Sunchokes with a potato brush and chop into 1 inch bite-size chunks
  3. Toss in a medium sized bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper until coated
  4. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until the skin is slightly browned
  5. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve plain or with a side of ketchup.

Read More: OliveandHerb

 

Sautéed Romanesco with Garlic

Any fresh vegetable sautéed is bound to be delicious. I find that with most things, getting them a little color or even char greatly enhances their flavor and texture. In addition to sautéed garlic, try incorporating caramelized onions or shallots into this recipe.

Ingredients

  •  1 head of Broccoli Romanesco, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 good pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed and mixed with 1 tbs water
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese to taste

  Directions

  1. Bring some well-salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook the Romanesco pieces until just tender, about 3 or 4 minutes
  3. Drain the broccoli pieces and run under cold water until they are cool.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan until it is a hot and begins to shimmer
  5. Add the garlic and for 30 seconds. It should start to smell good and garlicky.
  6. Now add the Romanesco and a pinch of salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Grate cheese over warm Romanesco and enjoy!