2016 CSA – Week 13: Making Compost

CSA Week 13 Graphic

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 8: The Value of Variety

CSA Week 8 Graphic

CSA Newsletter – Week 8


The Value of Variety

A seemingly simple question was posed to me the other week: Why grow this yellow flying saucer squash when you can just grow a regular green zucchini? In the moment, I didn’t have a great answer, but the question got me thinking about the many reasons that variety and biodiversity are important to our farm system.

On a farm, there are so many factors and considerations that determine what we grow. Of course, we want to grow products that we can sell and that are tasty. Because we sell at a variety of markets, to chefs and restaurants, grocery stores, and directly to people like you, there is a wide variation of products, sizes desired within our broad market creating a diverse demand therefore, more variety means more possibilities of meeting people’s needs. Also, product diversity certainly makes our farmers market setups look beautiful and inviting!

On the farm, the seasons often dictate what we grow, and we can extend seasons by growing varieties that are early season, heat tolerant, overwintering, etc. Other on-farm considerations include days to maturity (how long it takes to grow), yield, ease of harvest, disease resistance, and storability.

In the case of the flying saucer squash, its fun shape and firm, nutty texture make it a squash we’ll continue to grow. With all of the complexities and variables in agriculture, sometimes it’s that simple!

Happy August and enjoy your salsa box!

-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.

2 Poblano Peppers ($2.00) – Stuff as chile rellenos, or incorporate into a potato and corn hash

Bunched Golden Beets ($3.00)

☐ 1 Fresh Sweet Onion ($1.50)

1 Red Torpedo Onion ($1.50) – The long, cylindrical shape of this onion lends itself well to slicing rounds for salad.

☐ 1 Jalapeno ($.50) – Add a little kick to your salsa or pico de gallo

☐ Bunched Carrots ($3.50)

Cilantro ($2.00) – Use in salad, salsa, or to garnish any dish

1 lb Tomatillos (4-6) ($3.00) – Roast them and make salsa verde

☐ 4 zucchini ($3.50) – Grill, sauté, or make zucchini bread

2 Big Beef Tomatoes ($4.50)

4 Ears of Corn ($3.00) – Boil or grill and eat straight off the cob or cut off the ear and add to stir-fry or salsa

Box Market Value: $32.25

Recipes

Pico de Gallo

Make this simple, fresh salsa using your tomatoes, white onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.

The tomatoes will most likely be the limiting factor so chop those first and add chopped onions and cilantro to taste. Depending on your heat preference, add chopped jalapeno. Add a little salt and lime and adjust ingredients to taste.

Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients

  • 5 medium tomatillos
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 serrano chiles (or jalapeno)
  • Handful chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Peel and wash the tomatillos. Split and seed the chiles. Place the tomatillos and chiles under a broiler for about 4 minutes each side.
  2. Transfer the blackened tomatillos, chiles, and any juices from the pan to a blender or food processor. Simply add the rest of the ingredients and blend.
  3. This is the absolute basic recipe. Try adding garlic, cumin, avocado, and/or lime.

Poblano, Potato, and Corn Gratin

This dish is a bit indulgent but potatoes, corn, and poblanos are such a great combination, I couldn’t resist!  For a lighter version, cut the potatoes into chunks, salute with onions and olive oil for 10 minutes and then add the poblanos and corn. Sauté until ingredients are cooked through and add salt and pepper to taste.

 Ingredients

  •  3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large fresh poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, cut into 2×1/4-inch strips
  • 1 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 cup cooked corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Oaxaca cheese or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub 9 1/2-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish or cast-iron skillet with 2 teaspoons oil. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add poblano strips and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Arrange 1/3 of potato rounds, overlapping slightly, in prepared pie dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of poblano strips over, then 1/3 of corn and 1/3 of cheese. Repeat with 1/3 of potatoes, 1/3 of poblanos, 1/3 of corn, and 1/3 of cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, poblanos, and corn, reserving remaining 1/3 of cheese. Place dish on rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Whisk half and half, flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in small bowl. Pour over potato mixture in pie dish; press potatoes to submerge. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle remaining cheese over gratin. Continue to bake gratin until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Read More: Bon Appétit

CSA 2011 – Week 11: Melon and Tomato Tasting Recap

Well, the delayed heat finally set in last week to help ripen up our outdoor tomatoes and peppers along with our melons too! The melon and tomato tasting was a success as well. About five families showed up to try our offerings, and we took a tour of the farm in the big red truck!

I even learned some new information. For example, we have been having issues with spider mites in the summer for the past couple of years because they thrive and readily reproduce in hot, dry weather. John explained to us that they came up with a new solution this year: running a sprinkler periodically to keep the humidity up. And it works!

We also got a chance to look at the Wild Garden Seed lettuce field. It looks like they have started to harvest some plants out there that were laying down on some white cloth. This time of year the lettuce seed field is just beautiful. Most of the 4-5 foot tall plants are still glowing red, green, purple, or a combination of the three and a lot of them are displaying their white fluffy seed heads. It looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Just think, each of those plants will produce hundreds of little lettuce seeds that will then produce more and more lettuce or seed, and it will just continue on and on! We will be having a fall potluck and tour, date to be decided. We’ll keep you posted on that.
Lisa Hargest– CSA coordinator

Words from Sally:
I hope your weekly box is nourishing you and your family. It feels as if the GTF bounty has finally kicked into gear. I think I have “stressed” about this year’s box more than any other year. Again I want to thank you for accepting the challenge of eating with the season or whatever that particular season offers. Joelene, Dan, and I have started to pick the 2nd planting of watermelons as the 1st planting got eaten by our local crow mob. We have four plantings, so be looking for melons in your upcoming boxes. We would love to hear about some of your creative menus from your CSA box!

Enjoy your vegetables!
Sally

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (nicola)– Steam, roast, or mash. These are versatile. (see recipe)

Carrots, bunched – They are great raw, on salad, slaw or stir fried.

2 onions (1 Big Alsea craig white onion, 1 superstar)– Chop the onions and eat raw on salads or soups. They are very good caramelized.

Honey Pearl Melon– Eat just like it is!

1 yellow or orange pepper—Grill, roast, or just eat raw, they are very sweet.

1 Anaheim pepper– Chop raw, and add to salsa, salad, or sauté with summer squash.

1 broccoli – Steam, roast, or grill with salt and olive oil.

2 cucumbers– Chop and add to a salad. Marinate and combine with tomatoes!

1 lb romano, wax, or green beans– Blanch them and then sauté with olive oil, salt, garlic and herbs.

1 globe eggplant– Roast, or pan fry. Try breading and frying for eggplant parmesan.

1 bunch cilantro – Use in salsa, try salsa verde with the tomatillos. It goes well with cucumbers too. (see recipes)

1 garlic – Add to salsa, sautés, or try roasting in skins.

1 jalapeño– Use in salsa, or anything that you would like to spice up!

1 lb tomatillos– Make salsa verde! It’s a wonderful topping for tacos.

Assorted lettuce (oak leaf, romaine, little gem, or crisp leaf) – Make a salad, or add to sandwiches, make lettuce wraps!

Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs) – Chop raw on salad, or  sandwiches.


Recipes:

Salsa Verde
1 lb tomatillos
1 teaspoon (more or less) chopped jalapeño
1/2 c cilantro, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons lime juice
Pinch of salt

Peel the papery outer husks off of the tomatillos. Simmer them in boiling water for 8-10 minutes, and then peel the skins off. Add the cilantro and garlic and then puree in a food processor or blender. Heat the oil over low heat. Stir in the chopped onion, and jalapeño cooking slowly until slightly wilted. Add the tomatillo mixture, lime juice and the salt. Remove from heat right away, then refrigerate until chilled. Serve chilled. Salsa will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.


Broiled Eggplant Slices

1 globe eggplant
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup cilantro marinade

Peel eggplant and slice 3/8 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry. Place on a well– oiled cookie sheet and brush half the marinate on top of the slices . Broil until golden, turn, brush other side with remaining marinade and broil again.


Cilantro Marinade

1 bunch of cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together. Refrigerate until needed.

Stuffed Potatoes
6 medium baking potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1 onion, finely chopped                                                                                     1/2 cup parmesan or cheddar cheese
2-3 tablespoons basil, or parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Place whole potatoes in a clay pot, cover and set in a cold oven and turn on to 250 degrees. The potatoes will cook in 2-3 hours depending on their size. Cut butter into cubes and place in a large bowl. When the potatoes are done, cut lengthwise and scoop out soft potato flesh into the bowl with the butter. Mash with a potato masher, mix in cultured cream, cheese, herbs and onions. Season to taste. Spoon the potato mixture back into the shells and return them to a 150– degree oven to keep warm.