2016 CSA: Thank You, Thank You

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CSA Newsletter – Week 21


Thank You, Thank You

Throughout the year, there are certain events that are indicators that remind us of the changing seasons. The end of the CSA is certainly one of them. It marks the beginning of the season winding down. In a month, many markets will be ending and things will start to get a little quieter around the farm. Then, before you know it, we start the cycle all over again!

We hope that you have enjoyed your CSA experience this year. We certainly appreciate your support! While we do have diversified sales avenues, the CSA remains a vital part of our farm model. Your support in the early months of the year when we are working hard to prepare for the growing season is very integral to our success. As an individual, your contribution may seem small but when there are 330 shares, that amounts to a lot of support!

On our end, we do our best to give you a taste of our seasonal offerings and to share the bounty of our harvest. Our way of saying thank you for investing in our farm is by loading you up with veggies throughout the season. This year, the market value of your CSA veggies was about 35% over what you paid for your share.

Thank you for your support and we hope that you’ll join us again!

 

Table of Box Contents

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($3.00)

☐  1 Butternut Squash ($3.00) – Butternut squash is incredibly versatile and delicious. The skin is thin enough that you can eat cooled or peal it easily before cooking. Roast it, use it for pie, add it to soup, the possibilities are endless!

☐  1 Pie Pumpkin ($4.00) – This pumpkin is cute to look at and is tatsy to eat too. Roast it and make a pie, or use it in soup or curry. If you have leftovers when you cook it, freeze for later use this winter.

☐  White Kale ($3.00)

  1 Celeriac ($2.50) – You are now acquainted with this gnarly fall veggie. Roast it, mash it, add it to soup. Try the Root Ribbons with Sage recipe.

☐  Bulk Carrots ($2.00)

☐  2 Parsnips ($2.00) – Parsnips are deliciously sweet when sautéed or roasted. Use them to make home fries, pureed soup, or mashed.

☐  Parsley ($2.00) – Parsley is a great addition or garnish to almost any dish. Add it to salad, soups, pesto, or salad dressings. Not going to use it all? Dry it for later use!

☐  1 Shallot ($1.50)

  2 Storage Onions ($1.50) – These onions are not as sweet raw but are delicious when cooked and they can last a very long time when stored in a dry, dark area.

Box Market Value: $25.00

 

Recipes

Butternut Squash and Kale Torte

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ small butternut squash (about 1 lb)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 small bunch kale
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato (about 6 oz)
  • 6 oz. thinly sliced provolone cheese (from the deli counter)
  • 1 plum tomato
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan (1 oz)

Preparation

Heat oven to 425°F. 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.

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.

Jerry Traunfeld’s Root Ribbons with Sage

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds medium root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, celeriac, rutabagas, turnips, parsley root, or salsify (avoid beets)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sage
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

 Preparation

Wash and peel the roots and discard the peelings. Continue to peel the vegetables from their tops to the root tips to produce ribbons, rotating the roots on their axis a quarter turn after each strip is peeled, until you’re left with cores that are too small to work with. (You can snack on these or save them for stock.) Alternately, you may use a mandoline.

Melt the butter with the sage in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir for a minute to partially cook the sage. Add the root ribbons and toss them with tongs until they begin to wilt. Add the salt, a good grinding of black pepper, the maple syrup, lemon juice, and about 3/4 cup of water.

 

Butternut Squash Fries

As you probably know by now, I believe that anything is more delicious in fry form. Squash is now exception. Try making parsnip fries too. For a great dipping sauce, make herbed aioli with your fresh herbs.

 Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt to garnish

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Peel and cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and then cut each half into fries or wedges.

Toss the fries in oil and then place in a single layer onto a baking tray. Bake for 20-35 minutes (depending on the size of your fries) turning once.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.

Parsley: Italian or Moss?

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Parsley we often think of as a useless herb, aside from the hint of healthy green added to our plate. The reason parsley makes our food look so healthy is because parsley is actually very healthy for us. But you don’t get healthier by looking at parsley, now do you?

Parsley contains two major components that are particularly healthy for us: volatile oils and flavonoids. Volatile oils tend to inhibit tumor formation, and the flavonoids act as antioxidants. This dark green herb is also a great source of Vitamins A and C.

Throughout the year, our farm offers two varieties of parsley as well as parsley root. But what is the difference between parsley variants? Why would we choose one over the other?

The name parsley comes from the Greek work for “rock celery,” and it is in fact related to celery. Parsley hails from the Mediterranean and comes in over thirty varieties. Its main categories are flat-leaf (also called Italian) and curly. Here at GTF we grow both types: Italian parsley and Moss parsley (which is a type of curly parsley). The main difference between them is that the flat-leaf parsley usually has a more robust flavor. Curly parsley can be flavorless or more bitter, depending on the plant. Both types can be used for cooking. Simply taste the parsley first in order to get a feel for its flavor, then decide how you’d like to use it.

Instead of throwing out the stems, which have stronger flavor than the leaves, use them in a bouquet garni, add them to soup stocks, or add when cooking beans.

When buying parsley: Choose a bunch that has bright green leaves and shows no signs of wilting.

To store parsley: Wash fresh parsley, making sure to shake off excess moisture. Wrap it in paper towels, followed by wrapping it in a plastic bag. A fresh bunch of parsley can be refrigerated in this way for up to one week.

Parsley Recipes:

Tabbouleh or Quinoa Tabbouleh

Moroccan Potato Salad

11 Ways to Cook with Fresh Parsley

 

References:

Wikipedia

the kitchn

 

CSA 2011 – Week 17: More on Storing Vegetables!

It’s hard to believe, but melons are gone and squash is here! There will most likely be a winter squash in each box for the rest of the season. Provided below is more information on storing and keeping vegetables. These are storing tips from Johnny’s Seed catalog.

Vegetables that last…

1-2 months: Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, parsley, turnips, winter squash (acorn and delicata).
2-4 months: Leeks, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash (buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, and Spaghetti).
4 months plus: Beets, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, parsnips, dried hot peppers, potatoes, rutabagas, butternut squash.

Temperature and humidity play a big role in a vegetable’s ability to store. Here are some tips on how these vegetables store best below:

Cold and Humid: Beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, leeks, parsley, radishes, rutabagas, and turnips.
Cool and Humid: Potatoes.
Cold and Dry: Garlic and Onions (this is why these are best stored when dry in a paper bag, or a bag with holes; not plastic).
Cool and Dry: Pumpkins, winter squash.

Winter Squash Information:
Acorn: Last up to 3 months
Spaghetti Squash: Lasts up to 3 months
Delicata and similar types: Stores up to 4 months
Buttercup: Sweeter after storing for a few weeks; keeps up to 4 months
Kabocha: Gets sweeter when stored for a few weeks; green varieties keep from 4-5 months. Grey varieties will keep up to 6 months.
Butternut and Hubbard: Best a few weeks after harvest; will store up to 6 months.
All Squash stores best if it’s stem is still intact.

Squash Towels! Have any old towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We are at the brink of a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (nicola)– Steam, roast, fry, mash; you can do just about anything with these!

Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

2 onions (wallas)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

1 bunch of scallions– Chop raw for salad, mix chopped green tops with cheese or eggs.

2 delicata squash– Roast with olive oil and salt, add onions, scallions, or even chopped peppers if you’d like.

1 bunch of red kale– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. (See recipe)

2 colored peppers- Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

1 bag baby onions – Cut them into quarters and add to vegetable roasts or sautés.

1 Cauliflower or Romanesco– Roast with olive oil and salt, top with cheese and scallions.

Red oak, cardinal, red Leaf, or green leaf lettuce- Make a salad, or add to sandwiches. Use to make lettuce wraps.

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

Roasted Cauliflower with cheese
1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower or Romanesco, cut into quarter size or larger pieces.
4 tablespoons of melted butter
Handful of baby onions(6 or so), cut in half and then sliced into quarters
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion tops
Pinch of salt
1 cup of sourdough or whole grain bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cauliflower, onions, scallion tops, butter and salt together. Place in a baking pan or dish and in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is mostly cooked but not brown yet. Add the shredded cheese on top and continue roasting until the cheese melts and starts to bubble and turn a light shade of brown. Add the bread crumbs in with the cheese if you want bread crumbs. This dish is versatile and a variety of seasonings can be used in it, such as chile flakes, chopped peppers, tomatoes, or even parsley. Mix it up! Try new things!

Roasted Delicata Squash
Cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds (you can save these seeds and roast them for eating or dry them for planting). Cut the squash up into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a baking pan or casserole dish with olive oil, some pieces of butter and salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking the squash and mixing it every 10 minutes or so. For a crispier, more caramelized flavor turn the oven on broil for about 3-5 minutes at the end. Keep a close eye on it, the squash will brown fast. I like to eat the skins of the delicata, they are not tough and have a good flavor. Try seasonings with minced garlic if you want! But it’s wonderful plain as well.

Dan the Man’s Red Kale Specialty
1 bunch red kale
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Cut the leaves of the kale off where they end. You can remove the stem part if it’s too thick for your liking. Chiffonade (cut very thinly) the leaves and combine all the ingredients into one bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve. You can let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving if you like, the kale will seem more cooked if you do. Dan says this recipe is a great way to eat any type of kale and the two acids in the recipe are what actually cook the kale. It is also great leftover the next day, the kale is tender as if it had been lightly cooked. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. If you like more soy sauce and less rice vinegar try that, or add some raw minced garlic if you want.

Enjoy!

CSA 2011 – Week 7: Soil Fertility and Cover Crops

I had the pleasure of following Farmer John around the barnyard this morning to get some knowledge of our soil fertility tactics here at GTF. We first discussed cover crops. John says that cover crops work well for farms that have long rotations, or space that they do not need to plant anything into for up to 6 months. In the traditional cover cropping system you let the crop go for awhile, sometimes until as much as 6 feet high. Then, you would disc it down and let the green material break down for another 6-8 weeks before it’s ready to plant in.

We have a bit more of an intensive rotational system because most of the land we farm is planted almost all year round without much of a break, since we over winter quite a bit of crops. We do however have some parcels of ground clear of food crops in the winter that we will utilize cover crops in. When we use cover crops we usually plant field peas, vetch, and rye. Our cover crop system is a little bit more modified than other farms. We will let them grow until just before we need to use the parcel to plant in, and then we use a forage chopper to truck away the greenery as one of our compost feed stocks. We can then plow, disc, and prepare the land to be ready to plant in the next day. This saves us the 6-8 weeks of waiting for the plants to break down in the field. In our case the cover still serves the purpose of holding the soil from eroding in the winter rains as well as keeping the micro-organisms healthy and happily eating away.

As I followed John around to assess a manure spreader that went out of commission last night, he explained that we will use this tactic especially in fields where we will be planting later summer crops such as melons. There is a point in the fall, towards the end of October, that it gets too late to plant a cover crop. If we don’t plant early enough the cover crop will not have a developed root system, and we will end up with an insignificant crop that will not hold the soil or build it. If we don’t plant anything into an empty field, winter weeds can serve the same purpose; or in fact chickweed, which grows in plenty around here, makes a great winter cover.

As John got out from under the manure spreader, diagnosed the problem, and then made a phone call to our loyal mechanic, he added that we tend to rely more on compost than cover cropping. Our compost is a stable addition to the soil. We do two main types of compost: your basic compost and composted chicken manure. The chicken manure compost along with a fish fertilizer that we run through our irrigation are our two main fertilization tactics for crops that need more nitrogen to thrive. We also apply gypsum to all of our fields since our soil is low in calcium. The good thing about gypsum is it doesn’t change the pH of the soil either, which is another important factor. As I wrapped up brain-picking with John this morning, socket wrench still in hand, I was just amazed with the amount of interesting information I had learned. Maybe I should do this more often!

Lisa Hargest
CSA coordinator


What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (purple viking) – See below.
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. Try them grilled! The top green part goes well with eggs, cheese, stir fries or pasta.
1 bunch beets – They are great boiled, roasted, or even grated raw and dressed. Eat the greens too; they are great sautéed with olive oil and salt.
1 green pepper– It is wonderful grilled, sautéed, roasted, or raw.
Summer squash (1lb) – Try them sautéed, grilled, in a soup or stir fried.
2 cucumbers – Eat raw, on salad, or marinate them.
1 bunch parsley – Chop it raw as an addition to a sauté, use in pesto with or without basil. See recipe.
1 bunch basil – Make pesto! Eat with tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and salt.
Romaine lettuce – Make a salad, or add to sandwiches.
2 tomatoes – Chop raw on salad, eat plain like an apple!
1 pint of strawberries

On Purple Viking Potatoes
These purple Viking potatoes were freshly harvested this week. The skins are sensitive and have not hardened yet. These potatoes are a bit more starchy, but do well baked or boiled. I would mash them up with some butter and salt. If you wanted to try something different you could boil them whole, then chop and add some balsamic vinegar, mustard and salt while still warm. They are also quite tasty roasted with the usual rosemary, salt and olive oil.

Tabouli
1/2 cup bulgar
1 bunch parsley, chopped finely
1 bunch baby onions, chopped, greens and all
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, julienned (optional)
1/4 cup or more lemon juice
1/4 cup or more extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: chick peas, cucumbers, a pepper

Boil 3/4 cups water, add to bulgar and cover. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, or until bulgar is tender. Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place in
refrigerator. Add the rest of the ingredients about 30 minutes before serving. Serve cold.

Raw Beet Salad
1 bunch beets, greens chopped off and beets grated
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup or sugar

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and season to taste. This is a very simple salad. It goes great on any green salad.
Variations: add grated carrots or chopped parsley to switch it up.