CSA 2019 – Week 5: In the Life of a GTF Tomato…

CSA Newsletter – Week 5

In the Life of a GTF Tomato

So much happened before this tomato made its way to you. Way back in December, we ordered seed for the season, weighing the pros and cons of dozens of varieties and their qualities. After the seeds arrived in the mail in January, seeds that were already the result of thousands of years of coevolution, they were tucked into bed in our propagation soil mix, which we made from our own compost that had been cooking for months.

Once germinated in February, we took the little tomato seedlings, and with the trained flick of a blade, we grafted delicious tomato varieties onto disease-resistant rootstock, we placed a clip around the graft, and we put the precious flats in our humidity-controlled grafting chamber to heal.

Eventually, the seedlings healed, grew, were up-potted, grew some more, and then each of the hundreds of tomato plants we grow were hand transplanted with the same trowels you use in your garden. Before that could happen, an immense amount of work had to be done to prep the field, such as soil testing, amendment applications, tillage, irrigation installation, plastic mulch installation, trellis setup, & so much more.

Once in the ground those little tomato babes grew grew grew, and we walked through every row for months, pruning suckers off each plant and trellising what remained as the vines tried to twine out of control, giving an annual the love only a perennial usually gets. Once it gets hotter, we’ll have to mix up mud and toss it onto the greenhouses one Nancy’s yogurt cup at a time to shade the tomato jungles from reaching harmful temperatures. Then we’ll weave our bodies through the rows almost every day, holding a twenty-pound flat of fruits against our hips as tall tomato goddesses wrap their arms around us as we pass, harvesting only those who are ripe and ready. From our farm to you, enjoy.


Table of Box Contents

  • Siletz Tomato—Boom. There it is folks, the first tomato has hit the CSA boxes. Siletz tomatoes are always the first tomato of the season on our farm, and in my opinion, they have the best flavor of all our red slicers.
  • Basil—don’t be afraid to use basil on everything and in large quantities. Chopped roughly into a salad, on top of eggs in the morning, or really on anything, basil is one of the best herbs summer has to offer.
  • Garlic—Many of us grew up thinking that every sauté should start with onions and garlic, yet garlic is really better added toward the end of the cooking process in order to preserve its powerful flavor that you worked so hard peeling all those little skins off to get. >>
  • Jalapeño
  • Boysenberries—These are a unique cross between raspberries, dewberries, and loganberries, and they’re the only type of black berry we grow. We grow two varieties, one shiny, one fuzzy, & both are delicious.
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash—All summer squash can be cooked similarly, on the grill or in the pan. To avoid your squash turning to mush when sautéing in the pan, be sure to wait to salt until you’ve turned off the pan! That pretty much goes for all veggie sautés.
  • Huckleberry Gold Potatoes—These have been our favorite down at the farm. You get all the fun purple color of the skin and the antioxidants that go with them, in addition to the buttery & waxy yellow flesh of a Yukon Gold. Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew!
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Green Cabbage
  • Bulb Onion, dried


Bright Cabbage Slaw

“I know that some people hate coleslaw. But I’ve converted even the most fervent among them with
this version, which bears no resemblance to the cloying stuff many of us grew up eating. Light and clean, it’ll lend crunch and brightness to any plate… And remember, the richer the food you plan to serve with it, the more acidic the slaw should be.”—
Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat (the Netflix star and next Michael Pollan)


  • 1/2 medium head Red or Green Cabbage
  • 1/2 small Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup Basil Leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil


  1. Quarter the cabbage through the core. Use a sharp knife to cut the core out at an angle. Thinly slice the cabbage crosswise and place in a colander set inside a large salad bowl. Season with two generous pinches of salt to help draw out water, toss the slices, and set

  2. In a small bowl, toss the sliced onion with the lemon juice and let it sit for 20 minutes to macerate. Set aside.

  3. After 20 minutes, drain any water the cabbage may have given off (it’s fine if there’s nothing to drain—sometimes cabbage isn’t very watery [but often in the early summer it is quite juicy]). Place the cabbage in the bowl and add the basil and the macerated onions (but
    not their lemony juices, yet). Dress the slaw with the vinegar and olive oil. Toss very well to combine.

  4. Taste and adjust, adding the remaining macerated lemon juice and salt as needed. When your plate zings with pleasure, it’s ready. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store leftover slaw covered, in the fridge, for two-ish days.


Garlic Basil Mayonnaise w/ Roasted Carrots & Potatoes

Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat


  • Salt
  • 3/4 cup stiff Basic Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 4 tbsp Basil, finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely grated, minced, or pounded

Basic Mayonnaise

  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup oil (use a smidge of olive oil for flavor and the rest a neutral-tasting oil)


  1. Make the Basic Mayonnaise (or buy it, it’s okay, you’re human)

  2. Dissolve a generous pinch of salt in the lemon juice. Stir into the mayonnaise and add basil and garlic. Taste and adjust salt and acid as needed. Cover and chill until serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

  3. Roast carrots & potatoes and dip in garlic basil mayo! Slice veg, toss in oil and S&P, roast @425 covered until a bit steamed, remove cover and finish roasted until caramelized-looking.

Basic Mayonnaise

  1. Place the egg yolk in a deep, medium metal or ceramic bowl. Dampen a hand towel and roll it up into a long log, then form it into a ring on the counter. Place the bowl inside the ring—this will hold the bowl in place while you whisk. (And if whisking by hand is simply out of the question, feel free to use a blender, food processor, or an immersion blender in a quart jar.)

  2. Use a ladle or bottle with a nozzle to drip in the oil a drop at a time, while whisking the oil into the yolk. Go. Really. Slowly. And don’t stop whisking. Once you’ve added about half of the oil, you can start adding a little more oil at once. If the mayonnaise thickens so much that it’s impossible to whisk, add a tsp or so of water—or whichever acid you’re planning on adding later on—to help thin it out.


Zucchini Garlic Egg Scramble Topped with Tomatoes, Basil, & Chevre

Adapted from: the breakfast I made myself yesterday that was the best!!! –LB


  • Zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 3+ cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Eggs, beaten
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tomato, diced
  • Basil, minced
  • Chevre or favorite cheese, crumbled


  1. Slice zucchini into thin rounds, but not too much for your pan size, as too many will steam rather than saute.

  2. Warm an oiled pan to medium high, toss in zukes, and saute, stirring often until golden brown.

  3. Add minced garlic (3 cloves at least) in a few minutes before the zucchini is done.

  4. Pour in the eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper, and turn the pan on low.

  5. Stir constantly to cook eggs evenly until just barely done, but still creamy.

  6. Serve topped with diced tomato, minced basil, and crumbles of chevre or a favorite cheese of your choice.

2019 CSA – Week 4: Solanaceous Siblings: Eggplant & Hierba Mora

CSA Newsletter – Week 4

Solanaceous Siblings: On Eggplant & Hierba Mora

Hi folks! These boxes are getting fuller and fuller by the week, a sure sign that summer is officially ramping into gear. For solanaceous plants, now is the time to shine. Solanaceae, otherwise known as the nightshade family, is home to a vast variety of sun-loving plants including three items in your box this week—eggplant, peppers, & potatoes.

But those aren’t the only nightshades in our fields! Hierba Mora, a leafy green, is regarded as a common weed on many PNW farms, a nuisance that can become dangerous if allowed to fruit out and produce their tiny toxic black berries. We’ve all weeded our weight in hierba mora, but only the Indigenous folks on the farm know hierba mora.

Hierba mora is one of many wild greens and herbs essential to native diets across the Americas, collectively called quelites. Quelites include hierba mora, verdolaga (purslane), and quintonil (wild amaranth) and so many more traditional foods that are now labeled as weeds, and they are all incredibly nutrient dense and delicious. For hierba mora, simply harvest just when the plant starts to flower, before those pesky little toxic primordial eggplants begin to form. Easy peasy.

After a major quelite harvest last week (aka, a crop weeding), I joined my coworkers after work for dinner. We sat around the table with piles of five different quelites scattered around us, a pot of all the native greens mixed together and stewed in stock until creamy, a jar of home-pickled jalapeños, and a stack of handmade tortillas. Together we ate and laughed at the bulky way the Mam names for the plants tried to escape my lips.

We hear stories of crops so often, we forget to listen for the stories of the weeds and the people who know them. Eggplant and hierba mora are so much more than just a crop and its weed cousin. They are bodacious solanaceous siblings, both beautiful and one in the same.

Laura Bennett

Table of Box Contents

  • Eggplant— See recipe below for deliciousness >>>
  • Broccoli—What what!? Broccoli is in the house! As one of the most common (and often only) vegetables on tables in American households, broccoli can seem constantly abundant and available, as our globalized and industrialized food system provides it year-round. But broccoli is actually an incredibly seasonal gem, available locally in late spring/early summer and again in fall. Enjoy this tight bundle of fleeting brassica florets while we can!
  • Green Bell Pepper—If you’ve heard the rumors, they’re true—green bell peppers really are just unripe sweet colored bell peppers. We plant orange, red, and yellow bells and simply harvest both the ripe and unripe fruits. Green bells aren’t nearly as sweet as fully ripened colored bells, but they are firm, crisp, and mild, perfect for stuffing, frying, and munching raw with dip.
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash—This week you’ve got a couple of zukes and a rogue mixed squash or two. All summer squash can be cooked similarly, on the grill or in the pan.
  • Huckleberry Gold Potatoes—These have been our favorite down at the farm for the past couple of years. You get all the fun purple color of the skin and the antioxidants that go with them, in addition to the buttery & waxy yellow flesh
  • Cucumbers
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cilantro—Can be more than just garnish!
  • Boysenberries—These are a unique cross between raspberries, dewberries, and loganberries, and they’re the only type of black berry we grow. We grow two varieties, one shiny, one fuzzy, and both are stupid good.
  • Bulb Onion, dried


Marinated Teriyaki Eggplant

“Sweet, sticky and salty marinated teriyaki eggplant! Grilled to perfection this vegan Japanese
recipe is quick and easy and tastier than take out!”—
Adapted from https://cupfulofkale.com/vegan-marinated-teriyaki-eggplant/


  • 2 Eggplants

Teriyaki Marinade

  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (or honey)
  • 1 inch Ginger Root, grated
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced

To Serve

  • Short Grain Rice
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Spring Onion


  1. Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl, making sure the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Cut the eggplant into small chunks, place in a large bowl and then pour the marinade over the top. Stir and make sure it is all coated, set aside.

  3. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes, stirring a few times.

  4. Place a griddle pan on the hob over medium-high heat. Once hot place the marinated eggplant in.

  5. Pour over any excess marinade over the top whilst cooking. You may need to do it in two lots so you can keep the first lot on a low heat in the oven.

  6. Cook for a few minutes on each side until brown and starting to char from griddle lines.

  7. Serve straight away with rice or as a side and top with sesame seeds and sliced spring onion!

Recipe Notes

LB Note—It’s super easy to make this teriyaki marinade, but I just wanted to say, it’s totally okay to buy a teriyaki sauce if you’re short on time this week.


Simply Cilantro Vinaigrette


  • 1 huge bunch fresh Cilantro (2 cups packed)
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Water, if needed


  1. Blend everything up for about a minute until smooth. Add the water if you need more valume in the blender to make it run smoothly. Season to taste!

  2. PUT ON EVERYTHING! I actually do mean everything. (Ex: Salad! Eggs! Crispy Potatoes! Etc.) So delicious.


Crispy Buttery Smashed Potatoes

Adapted from the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook by Ellen Jackson


  • 2 lbs Potatoes, unpeeled
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Butter, melted and divided
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Herbs of your liking, finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover them with cold water by several inches. Generously salt the water and bring it to a boil over high heat.

  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until just before they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool for 10 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  4. Lightly coat a baking sheet with the oil. Evenly space the boiled potatoes out across the sheet and, using a small glass or a fork lightly coated with oil, gently flatten each potato by pressing down until it mashes into an oblong shape.

  5. Brush the potatoes generously with 2 Tbsp of the melted butter, sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, and bake them for 10 minutes. 

  6. Add the garlic and herbs to the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, brush the potatoes again, and bake until they are golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes more.

CSA 2019 – Week 3: Summertime Salad Seduction

CSA Newsletter – Week 3

Summertime Salad Seduction

Many of us grow up thinking that salads are one thing. I grew up thinking salads were crunchy iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and croutons. They may have been served with the occasional red onion crescent, or perhaps a sliced bell pepper, but aside from this, they didn’t stray far.

But salads can be so much more than just lettuce and tomatoes! Salads exist on a spectrum. Anything can be a salad really. It’s a big bowl of stuff mixed together. You’ve just got to figure out what stuff you like to mix together.

For me, I love salads with cheese and nuts. I’ll mix together apples, turnips, cheese chunks, crumbly cheese, walnuts, sunflower seeds, craisins, avocado, salami, and lastly, I’ll toss in some greens and a ton of fresh herbs. I do buy dressings sometimes, but I try to make my own when I can, which isn’t as hard as it seems. I just mix together an oil with an acid and some salt & seasonings in the big salad bowl before adding all the stuff in and tossing it around. It’s always good and it’s a one bowl meal. That’s the dream! Yes, salads can be meals! At a time of year when nobody wants to spend time inside cooking on a
hot day, salads are the perfect meal to make. By adding a protein—beans, meats, cheeses, and/or nuts—to any combination of vegetables (both
roasted & raw), greens, and fruits, you can create incredibly filling and diverse, nutritious meals.

Salads embrace diversity. They are one of the few dishes that allow you to get away with mixing a ton of different ingredients together without losing their individual uniqueness in both flavor and texture, but rather all playing off each other like an orchestra. Forest Gump said life was like a box of chocolates, but I like to think of mine as a bowl of salad. Eat well, veggie lovers!

Laura Bennett

Table of Box Contents

  • Lacinato Kale—also known as black kale, is our bestseller at markets. It has a rich nutty flavor, its round leaves are particularly easy to chop, and its rumply leaves form the perfect nooks and crannies for oils and salts to snuggle up in. These rumples are what make Lacinato Lacinato and are a result of breeding savoy cabbage with kale through decades of meticulous selection. >>>
  • Red Beets—Beets tend to be everyone’s favorite vegetable to hate. I know, I used to be a beet-hater myself. But I’ve been exposed to some pretty
    amazing beetsperiences over the years that have changed my mind. They’re amazing roasted/steamed & added to salads with cherries, crumbly cheese, & nuts! Blend a few roasted/steamed beats into any hummus for a bright pink magic dip. And they’re delicious in a slaw! Also, beet greens are like chardy spinach, so good! >>>
  • Italian Parsley—We don’t tend to use parsley on a regular basis, but it’s quite the delicious versatile herb. Make it tangy alongside lemon juice over roasted
    red potatoes. Make it sweet in a slaw or dressing. And as it gets warmer and salads become the perfect dish, I always encourage people to chop up a solid 1/3-1/2 bunch of an herb into every salad—parsley’s great for that too.
    Its sweet flavor also marries quite with balsamic. >>>
  • Summer Squash—Grill ‘em, roast ‘em, fry ‘em, slice ‘em up raw and enjoy ‘em in a salad! >>>
  • Dark Red Norland Potatoes—Potato salad!
  • Cucumbers—Cucumber salad!
  • Red or Green Oak Lettuce—Lettuce salad 🙂
  • Green Kohlrabi >>>
  • Scallions—A pungent punch for any salad
  • Romano Beans—well, for most of you! The rest of you will get a surprise this week, and beans later.


Beet & Kohlrabi Slaw with Pistachios & Raisins/Craisins

Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden (chef & owner of Portland’s own Ava Gene’s and Tusk)


  • 2 cloves Garlic, smashed & peeled
  • 1/2 cup Golden Raises (or Craisins/any fruit)
  • 2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar (or any acid)
  • 1 bunch Beets; mix of colors if you can
  • 1 Kohlrabi, peeled (if skin seems tough)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice, fresh
  • 1/3-1/2 bunch Italian Parsley, stems included!
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed Mint (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Pistachio Butter (or any nut butter)


  1. Combine the garlic, raisins, and vinegar in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour (or just mix it up and keep going).

  2. Grate the beets & kohlrabi on the large holes of a box grater or cut into fine julienne. Yes, your hands will get stained, but the color fades quickly.

  3. To the garlic-raisin, vinegar mixture, add the beets, lemon juice, most of the parsley & mint (save the rest for finishing), and chili flakes. Season with 1.5 tsp salt and lots of black pepper and toss. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then taste—the slaw should be tart, spicy, peppery, and sweet. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then add ¼ cup olive oil. Toss and taste again.

  4. To serve, plate and top with the slaw. Finish with reserved fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Remember! Feel things out as you cook, don't fret about specific measurements. 🙂


Zucchini Ribbon Salad

“These are some zucchini ribbons & radicchio over ricotta and they’re topped with a warm garlic scape oil, feta, toasted breadcrumbs, and a squeeze of lemon. Cooking in the summer is fun and easy!!!”

—Adapted from @saratane, food editor at @thefeedfeed


Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Parm Chickpeas

Adapted from http://studiobaked.com/2018/12/kale-caesar-saladwith- roasted-garlic-parmesan-chickpeas


Caesar Dressing (follow link above for recipe)

For the Roasted Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

  • 1 can (15oz) Chickpeas, drained, rinsed in colander in sink, & pat-dried on paper towel
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

For the Kale Salad

  • 1 large bunch Kale
  • Caesar Salad Dressing
  • Roasted Garlic Parm Chickpeas
  • Extra Parmesan for topping
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper


  1. Wash & dry chickpeas, toss w/ oil, garlic, salt, pepper, & cayenne. Add parm, drizzle more oil if needed, & bake on tray 30- 40 min on 400. Shake pan regularly to avoid sticking. Set aside.

  2. Either tear kale leaves into bite-sized pieces or squeeze the bunch up and slice into thin strips for easy chewing. In a bowl, toss the kale w/ the dressing & massage into the leaves to tenderize them. Add the roasted chickpeas & top with grated parmesan. Yum!

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 2019 – Week 2: Getting Vegucated: on Kohlrabi

CSA Newsletter – Week 2

Getting Vegucated: on Kohlrabi

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 have today, some that we are very familiar with such as broccoli and cabbage, and others that we aren’t so familiar with such as kohlrabi.

There is only so much energy in a plant that can be allocated. For the lovely bunched radishes in your box, 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 is not a root that grows beneath the soil, but rather an enlarged stem that sits right on top of the soil as it grows, legs criss-crossed, soaking up the sun.

Kohlrabi come in a variety of sizes and colors, ranging from purples to greens to whites. They have an incredibly refreshing crunch much like jicama, with the sweetness of a hakurei salad turnip, and a flavor reminiscent of a crisp broccoli stem. It’s wonderful in slaws, salads, or thinly sliced with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of lemon juice.

Best, Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Kohlrabi
  • Dill
  • Swiss Chard
  • Summer Squash— or what I call “summer butter” are back in season! Remember, when cooking on the stovetop wait to salt until after cooking to avoid the mush madness.
  • Nicola Potatoes—waxy & buttery delicious perfection
  • Sweet Slice Cucumbers—these favored bumply beauties win the crunch & flavor test every time!
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Fresh Bulb Onions
  • Green Butter Lettuce
  • Fresh Garlic—at this time of year, garlic is still quite green. No need to peel or bother with this garlic! You can easily chop up the whole head, removing the thin woody stem. Best thing about June!
  • Bunched Radish


Cucumber, Strawberry & Arugula Salad with Poppy Seed Yogurt Dressing

Adapted from https://thefeedfeed.com/paleoglutenfreeguy/cucumber-



For the Poppy Seed Yogurt Dressing

  • 3/4 cup Plain Unsweetened Yogurt
  • 1.5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Vinegar of choice or lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp Poppy Seeds
  • 3/4 tsp fine Sea Salt

For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup Pecan Halves, roasted or toasted
  • 1 lb Strawberries, halved or quartered
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced thin or in chunks
  • 1 small bunch Fresh Dill, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Mix all dressing ingredients together, either shaken in a mason jar, or whisked in a bowl. Set


  2. Toast pecans for 5ish minutes in a dry skillet on medium-high heat, then roughly chop and set aside.

  3. Chop arugula or radish tops (if they’re not too hairy), cucumbers, strawberries, and dill, saving

    some sprigs aside to sprinkle on top.

  4. Pour dressing over and mix thoroughly! Enjoy


Rainbow Chard Frittata

Adapted from https://thefeedfeed.com/famtotable/rainbow-chard-frittata


  • 12 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 head Fresh Garlic, diced
  • 1 bunch Rainbow Chard, chopped
  • 2 pinches Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ̊F. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and add a pinch of salt.

  2. In a large non-stick skillet gently sauté the onions in the oil until translucent, or about 10 minutes. Add the chopped rainbow chard and allow to wilt. Season to taste.

  3. Add the eggs and gently mix together. Bake in oven for about 20 mins or until the eggs have set.

  4. For an extra touch, place under a low broil for a few mins to lightly brown the top. Be careful though, it will burn quickly if not watched!