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 11: The Case of the Spicy Jimmy Nardello Peppers

CSA Week 11 Graphic

CSA Newsletter – Week 11


The Case of the Spicy Jimmy Nardello Peppers

Twice now, I have prepared what I thought were Jimmy Nardello Sweet Frying Peppers only to find out that they were not sweet, but very spicy!

The first time, I thought it was my error. That I just grabbed what I thought were Nardellos but were actually cayenne or another hot pepper. The second time, I began to wonder if something else might be going on, if this was not an isolated incident.

As it turns out, we planted contaminated seed. These off type plants are interspersed throughout our planting of Jimmy Nardello Peppers. Jolene, the farm manager, says that this is common with open pollinated varieties, pollinated by natural mechanisms such as air, wind, insects, such as the Jimmy Nardello Peppers.

For seed contamination to occur the Jimmy Nardello pepper seed could have been grown near a hot pepper variety or it is possible that it was contaminated by a pollinator or a person that had pollen on them before visiting the Jimmy Nardello patch.

Sometimes these off types or crosses can make for some very interesting and exciting vegetables—a happy accident! However, in the case of the Jimmy Nardello peppers, expecting a sweet pepper and getting a very hot pepper is not my idea of a happy accident. I’ll continue to eat these delicious peppers this season but from now on, I’m going to sample each one before eating!

Have a great week.

-Lily, CSA Coordinator

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Purple Potatoes ($2.25) – These beautiful potatoes are purple inside and out.

☐  2 Anaheim Peppers ($2.25) – Make chili rellenos, stuff them, fry them, or use them in place of lieu of jalapeno

☐  2 Colored Bell Peppers ($2.25) – Grill or broil and use in soups, sandwiches, dips, or salad.

☐  1 lb Green Beans ($4.00) – Delicious tossed in olive oil and salt and grilled or sautéed with caramelized onions, see recipe.

☐  1 Watermelon ($6.75)

☐  1 Shallot ($1.75) – A close relative to onions, shallots tend to have a milder flavor and less of a bite than onions. They are delicious sliced raw or sautéed.

2 Dried Onions ($1.25) – Store in a cool, dry place

☐  Chioggia Bunched Beets ($3.50)

☐  3 Heirloom Tomatoes ($8.00)

☐  4 Ears of Corn ($4.00) – Steam or grill (with husk on) and eat with salt and butter.

Box Market Value: $38.00

 

Recipes

Corn Salad with Tomatoes, Feta and Mint

Fresh raw corn is ideal in this recipe. The juice from the tomatoes delivers just the right amount of acidity, so there’s no need for vinegar. Eat this by the bowl as is or toss it with cooked rice or beans for a more filling salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups raw or cooked corn kernels (from 4 to 6 ears)
  • 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into fairly small pieces
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Put the corn, tomatoes, and cheese in a medium salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss.
  2. Add the mint leaves and toss again. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve.

Read More: NYTimes Cooking

 

Sautéed Green Beans with Mushrooms and Caramelized Cipollini Onions

Sautéing green beans with caramelized onions is my favorite way to prepare green beans. You can really use any onion and you certainly don’t have to use whole cipollinis. The essentials of this recipe are to caramelize the onions and to blanch the green beans before sautéing.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound cipollini onions, trimmed and peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and cut into quarters
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon picked fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon

Preparation

  1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter (or heat olive oil) in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add cipollini onions, season well with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, and cook, turning occasionally, until onions are a deep, caramel brown, about 45 minutes total.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and run under cool running water until at cold. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat until lightly smoking. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’ve released all their liquid and are browned, about 10 minutes total, reducing heat if oil starts to smoke excessively. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, and remaining tablespoon butter (or olive oil) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and toss to combine.
  6. Add green beans, onions, and lemon juice to mushrooms and toss to reheat and combine. Serve immediately.