Most of you are all aware of Farmer John, Sally, Rodrigo, Joelene, Frank, and all of the other characters that float around the farm daily. I wonder, however, how many CSA members are familiar with the Johns, meaning John Petillo and Jon Boro. These guys have a huge role in keeping the farm running, or shall I say, farm trucks running. These guys fix trucks on a daily basis. In fact, it wasn’t until this year that we even started tracking the repair jobs and since May there have been over 200. Most of these repairs are on trucks or tractors, although you would be surprised at the number of restorations that the Johns are responsible for all over the farm. For example, they have been known fix ovens, stoves, cash registers, CSA scales, building repairs, electrical appliances, anything with a motor, weed eaters, welding on market racks, computers, and much more. John P is a long time friend of Farmer John’s, and he tends to pop in almost every day. Jon B has been working here at the farm for a few years now. Together the Johns make quite a dynamic duo; needless to say we are lucky to have them here.
Mark your calendars for our CSA potluck October 16th!
3-5pm, pumpkin picking, 5-7pm potluck! We have a limited supply of pumpkins this year so if people could RSVP with the number of children coming so that we can try to assure that each child will receive a pumpkin that would be great! You can RSVP by e-mail or phone.
Acorn Squash Purée
1 acorn squash
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and set cut side down in a buttered glass baking pan with about 1/2 inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees until tender, about 1 hour. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add eggs and nutmeg and season to taste. Transfer purée to an ovenproof serving dish. Melt the butter and pour over purée. Sprinkle on pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
What’s in the Box?
1.5 lb Potatoes (Rose Gold)- Steam, roast, fry, mash, you can do just about anything!
Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.
2 onions (white)– Add to any sauté, or eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.
Cantaloupe– Eat just like it is!
1 acorn squash– Roast in halves or chunks with salt, pepper, olive oil and/or butter. You can use the acorn squash purée in place of pumpkin for pies, bread and more! (see recipe)
1 bunch of spinach– Sauté quickly in butter or olive oil with salt. Try using garlic and white wine.
2 colored peppers, 1 lipstick pepper— Grill, roast, or just eat raw, they are sweet.
1 shallot– Caramelize, or eat raw. They are wonderful!
Chinese cabbage– make slaw, steam in chunks or add to soup or stew. (see recipe)
Green Leaf lettuce– Make a salad, or add to sandwiches, make lettuce wraps.
Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs)- Chop raw on salad, or sandwiches.
1 Chinese cabbage, outer 12 or so leaves
2 lbs ground meat, sausage, tempeh, or tofu
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 onion or shallot, chopped finely
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 bunch cilantro
Salt and pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons arrowroot or corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons cool water (optional) *Add any vegetables into this recipe for some variations.*
Remove several leaves from the outside of the cabbage and set aside.
Bring 4 quarts of water or so to boil. Blanch the leaves in the water for
about a minute or two, or until the cabbage leaves are malleable. Level out the leaves by cutting some of the thicker stalk part off or slicing it sideways. Anything cut off can be used in the stuffing. In a large skillet, cook the ground meat or tempeh until done to your liking. Add the onions, chopped trimmed cabbage, rice, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, chili flakes, and cilantro. Season to taste. Place a spoonful of stuffing in each cabbage leaf, fold in sides and roll up. Arrange in several layers in a ovenproof casserole dish and cover with stock. Bring to a boil and transfer to the oven. Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour. You can serve the rolls just like this, or you could remove the cabbage rolls from the dish, platter them, and place in the oven to keep warm. Bring the remaining stock to a boil and add the arrowroot/water mixture little by little to thicken. Ladle sauce onto cabbage rolls as you serve, or whenever desired.
Chinese cabbage soup
2-3 cups finely chopped cabbage
2 cups finely chopped carrots
1 onion, or shallot chopped
1 cup celery chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 cups water or stock
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat olive oil up in a large pot. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until cooked halfway through. Add a pinch of salt while cooking. Add a splash of white wine and let it simmer for a minute. Add the stock or water and bring to a boil. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cabbage and turn the burner off. Salt to taste and serve. Variation: Add 1 cup of finely chopped potato in with the onions. Or try putting chopped pieces of bacon in when you add the onions. Other veggies or seasonings can go great in this soup as well. For a spice, add a pinch of red chili flakes.
Also, if anyone has not been receiving the newsletters in their e-mail and wants to, please let me know by e-mailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll get you on the list.
About a week ago, I had a bumpy morning here at the farm. Things were just not going my way. Then Rodrigo, field crew manager, pulled me from the barn to have me help him pick some basil. While picking basil, he told me that when he’s feeling down or depressed, he just goes into the basil house takes a deep breath of the basil aroma and then everything is better. By the time we were done picking the basil, I felt much better. I don’t know if there is any proof that his theory is valid all of the time, but it definitely worked for me.
Basil is just one of many herbs and plants that can be used medicinally. There are several vegetables in the CSA box this week that can help with everyday ailments. For example, studies have found that spinach is a great vegetable to eat if you tend to have migraines or headaches. (Spinach is high in magnesium and people who tend to have migraines or headaches tend to be magnesium deficient.)
It has also been proven that vegetables with vitamin K are beneficial in warding off bruises and helping them heal fast. Vitamin K can be found in leafy greens such as spinach and chard (featured in this weeks CSA box)! Greens can also help to prevent or slow down cataracts as well. Cataracts is a condition in which the lens of one or both eyes becomes cloudy or opaque. A study done by the American Journal of Nutrition found that broccoli and spinach contain a high amount of carotenoids (an antioxidant), which can help reduce the risk of cataracts. Further studies found that turnip greens contain the highest amount of beneficial carotenoids. That goes to show you, those greens are worth saving!
The information above was obtained from a book about healing with food by James A. Duke. He also emphasizes over and over again the benefits of onions and garlic as well, especially raw he says. Garlic and onions have proven to help treat and or prevent asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, coughs, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, pneumonia and sinusitis! I knew they were good for you but man, I didn’t know they were that great!
It is really amazing how much eating good food can affect your every day health and mood. I know first hand I grew up eating pretty lousy frozen veggies and it seems since I’ve been actively eating fresh produce, I think I’ve gotten happier and healthier each year! Who knows what the actual reason is, but I’d like to credit it mostly to a good diet. Cheers to health and enjoy your veggies!
What’s in the box?
1.5 lb Colorado Rose Potatoes ($5.00) – These are best steamed or fried
Chard ($2.50) – You can steam or sauté these, or use them in place of spinach in the recipe below.
Spinach ($2.50) – It tastes great with garlic sautéed. (see recipe)
Cilantro ($2.00) – Great addition to salads or soups. (see recipes)
Kohlrabi ($1.00) – Goes well grated on salad, or in stir fries.
2 Summer squash ($1.50) – Try them sautéed, grated raw, in soup, or stir-fried.
White Turnips ($3.00 ) – Eat raw on salad, or see recipe.
Romaine or Cardinal Lettuce ($2.00) – Great on salad or in sandwiches.
Blueberry Jam ($5.00) – Use as a topping on toast or pancakes. Great in yogurt!
2 cucumber ($3.00) – Eat raw on salad, or marinate. (see recipe)
If you were shopping at the market, the total cost of this box would be: $27.50
Glazed Turnips (from Sally Fallon)
1 bunch of white turnips
1-2 Tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup stock (vegetable or chicken)
Cut turnips in half. Plunge turnips into boiled salted water for 3-5minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Sauté in butter until lightly browned.
Add stock and boil down until turnips are coated and liquid has almost completely evaporated.
Add herbs such as parsley or cilantro and serve.
If you would like to cook greens with the turnips, add in the last 3 minutes of cooking.
1 Grated Kohlrabi
2 Chopped cucumbers
1/4 cup Apple Cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon course mustard
Pinch of salt
Whisk vinegar, honey, mustard and a pinch of salt. Add olive oil as you whisk.
Add dressing to cucumber kohlrabi mixture.
You can add chopped cilantro to this for a cooling effect. Or add chopped fresh garlic too if you still have some left from last week!
Spinach Feta Pastries (from Sally Fallon)
1 1/2 cups blanched spinach, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted nuts (almonds or pine nuts work well)
Salt and pepper
1 cup feta cheese
Pie dough or yoghurt dough, see below
Mix spinach with onion, and nuts. Season to taste.
Form dough into 1-inch balls and coat in flour. Roll into rounds.
Place a tablespoon of spinach filling on each and top with 2 teaspoons of crumbled cheese.
Fold edges to form a three-sided pastry, leaving a gap in the middle for air to escape.
Place on a well-greased pan and brush with butter. Bakes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.
*Note, you can use chard, turnip greens, or spinach in this recipe.
Hi…. This is the official greeting from John and Sally. We want to welcome back our old members and send greetings to our new ones. The first boxes of the new year were packed today and are going out tomorrow. Everyone around the farm and particularly the packing shed crew was remembering how much effort and time it takes to pick, clean, and pack the produce for 200 CSA boxes. They were really relieved the other 135 boxes get packed at the end of the week.
Right now we are really happy we delayed the start of your boxes for two weeks. If we had started when we had planned to, it would not have been nearly as abundant. At this point we are wondering why we haven’t done this earlier and are thinking mid-June to mid-November might be the wave of the future. We will be definitely looking for your opinions on this matter at the end of the season. Thanks for being flexible and supportive of our late season start up. You passed your first test for being high quality CSA members.
Even though we plant virtually all year long, last week was probably our biggest planting week of the year. That week usually occurs a couple of weeks earlier than it did this season, but things are in the ground and, with sunshine, good things will happen. Now is a great time to wander around the farm: plants are young, succulent, and vibrant. We are not having any organized events until later in the season, but we have maps for self-guided tours, and you are warmly invited to drop on by.
By way of events, we are going to be bringing back the work party scenario for those of you who would like to put a little of GTF’s finest dirt under your fingernails. We will also have a big harvest party around pumpkin time. Last year’s pumpkin crop was a long delayed afterthought and pretty much a total bust. We have them in the ground right on time this year! Enjoy your first box and plan on a great summer of eating and trying new recipes.
Welcome from Lisa
Hello from Lisa! I’m your new CSA coordinator. Let me share a little Winter overview and my little story of how I landed here at the farm. We had a pretty good winter (despite the late cold rains), and now we’re gearing up to kick off this season. It seems as though the rain started late and went on longer this year, because as I recall, January was quite nice. In the meantime, the Johns (John E, B, and P) and some of the crew managed to build a new office basically upstairs from the old office. I was amazed at how fast they put the whole project together – not to mention it looks great! We were all ready and moved upstairs by the middle of March.
Meanwhile, I spent most of my winter milking a couple of cows down the road and working on the CSA registration. It was quite meditative to milk the cows. I thoroughly enjoyed making lots of cheese, butter, and yogurt. I may be able to continue this hobby through the season, but I won’t have near as much time to devote to it!
It’s hard to believe that this will be my fourth full season working here at the farm. I remember when I was just traveling through for a couple of months back in the summer of 2007. I came to talk to JC, Sally, and John about a possible job. I came straight from Maryland and it just so happens I was staying with some people right here in Philomath for a couple of months. I had never been to Oregon before, and I was taken aback by how nice everyone is here. I remember Sally describing the farm as a ’vortex’ and in my fourth year here. I can definitely agree with that! I’ve been privileged to work with almost everyone here, and they are all wonderful. It’s so nice to have a family here. With that being said, I would like to welcome all of you to the GTF family, and I’m sure we are going to have a great season!
I would like to remind everyone to bring their own bags or container for transferring the veggies into so that you can leave the blue tubs with us! Also, please notify me a week in advance when you are going to miss a week so that you can receive your credit. Remember we allow up to 2 credits throughout the 22-week season. Salad members, I would also like to emphasize that “salad addicts” get salad every week and “salad lovers” get salad on the 1st and 3rd full weeks (Monday-Sunday) of each month. The check off sheet will indicate if it is a “salad lovers” week.
What’s in the box?
1.5 lb Colorado Rose Potatoes ($5.25) – Best steamed or fried.
Baby Onions ($2.50) – Enjoy raw or cooked, a great addition to any salad, stir-fry or soup. Chop onion tops and add to soft cheese, salad, soup or stir fry.
Spinach ($2.50) – Eat raw as salad or gently cook until they wilt, go great with garlic
Dill ($1.00) – Goes great with potatoes or cucumbers
Mustard GreensBunch ($2.50) – Sauté or braise with olive oil , garlic and salt, they go great in stir fries or cooked with beans.
Carrots ($3.00) – Soups, stir-fried, raw to snack on.
White Turnips ($3.00 ) – Each raw on salad or see recipe.
Red Leaf Lettuce ($2.00) – Great for salad or on sandwiches.
Green Garlic ($1.00) – See recipes.
1 Cucumber ($1.00) – Eat raw on salad, marinate in dressing below.
If you were shopping at the market, the total cost of this box would be: $23.75
Salad dressings can either make or break a meal or dish. However, they are simple to make and quite versatile. The basis is always an acid and an oil or lipid. You can add various additions such as honey, mustard, herbs, garlic, shallots, or whatever your heart desires. Be creative! I’ll share with you a simple salad dressing to start with, but it goes well with a lot of different veggies.
1 lemon (meyer lemon if available)
Pinch of salt
2-3 cloves green garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze juice out of the lemon and into a small bowl. Take any seeds out.
Chop garlic and add to lemon juice, add pinch of salt.
Whisk olive oil in and season more to taste. If it’s bitter add a little honey.
This dressing will go great with the cucumbers, add dill to the dressing if you want! It would also go well with the white turnips, carrots, spinach, and red leaf lettuce.
Roasted White Turnips
The first time I ate these turnips I vowed to never cook them because they are so good raw. Then, just this last year I ate them roasted, and man they are scrumptious roasted too.
1 bunch white turnips
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of red chile flakes
2-3 cloves green garlic, chopped
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Chop white turnips off of greens and set greens aside.
Chop turnips in half if small or in quarters if large.
Toss with olive oil and salt, place into pan and in the oven.
Chop turnip greens into strips, and set aside.
After turnips have roasted for about 10 minutes, add turnip greens, a pinch of chile flakes and chopped garlic.
Allow to roast for another 3 minutes or until turnips are roasted to your liking.
For even better results try blanching white turnips first. Add Parmesan cheese on top to kick it up a notch.
Announcement from Wild Garden Seed
Our Own Frank Morton still has some spaces in a seed saving workshop on Saturday June 25th from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Here at GTF. He is gearing this workshop towards home gardeners interested in seed saving. The cost is $120 including lunch catered by the chefs here at the farm. You can sign up online by going to www.wildgardenseed.com. If you have any questions, e-mail Anaka at email@example.com
Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the entire life of the vegetables that we pack into your CSA boxes every week; from being seeded into the soil, to its demise in your kitchen. It might not be directly apparent, but an enormous amount of time and care go into planning, planting, fertilizing, watering, weeding, harvesting, and packing a single item that is produced on our farm. I decided to take a closer look at onions, something that is called for more often than not, and generally overlooked for being ordinary. What is story behind the Walla-Walla onions that are in your box today?
Your Walla-Walla seed was ordered way back last fall from a seed company by our seed and irrigation manager, Jolene. She maps out the whole farms planting schedule a year or so in advance. Jolene compares records, and draws from her considerable past experience, and then she decides what and when to plant. This year the first week of September was when your Walla-Walla seeds went into the tilled soil. These onions take about one to two weeks to germinate, (or sprout) and then the real work of keeping them alive begins. These onions will over winter outside, which means that they are very vulnerable to the elements, to animals, insects, and disease.
If the small plants don’t succumb to any of the above threats they still must compete with the growth of other plants, namely weeds. Weeds are serious competitors, I talked with Rodrigo, our Field and Production Manager, and he said a crew of six weeded the onion field three times. Each time it took a six day work week, of 12 hour work days. That’s 72 hours per person for each onion weeding session, a total of 1296 man-hours of just weeding! That same crew also fertilizes the field three times, 12 hours a shot, for 36 more hours, all that on top of how long it takes to originally prepare the field. Whew. In addition to keep the onions from rotting this year, Colin has been spraying oxidate, an OMRI Tilth approved spray that basically works like hydrogen peroxide for plants. This spring the plants really needed extra protection from fungi that thrive in the cool, wet weather we’ve been swamped with. Not all of them make it of course, this year we lost about 30% of what we seeded, but that’s a risk that you have to be willing to take.
So after all this, how long does it take our surviving onions to reach maturity? We are just beginning to harvest our first Walla-Walla’s and its now mid-June. In a year with better weather we may have seen them sooner, but as it is its 10 and a half months out from the time that these baby’s went into the ground. For this time, the field doesn’t produce anything else, but it consumes a great deal.
The end of the line comes when we harvest the onions. They come in off the field, we spray them off, and send them down our old conveyer belt to be washed again, and then we pack them away into tubs that either get loaded into trucks, and sent off to market, or we carefully arrange them into CSA tubs and send them off to you. Regardless, when it reaches the consumer, a lot comes down to cost.
So how much did the individual onion seed cost? What about the gas for the tractor that tilled the field? How much did all the labor cost? What are the other farmers charging? How much did we charge last year? How much human thought and energy went into this single onion? And how do you really put a fair price on that? I’ve glossed over the whole process a bit, but I’m willing to bet that the onion that you’ll slice into your pan has a far more detailed and delicate history then you may have thought. People often talk about how expensive organic food can be, but when you think about all that it took to make the delicious, local, pure items in your box, think again, because really, these onions are priceless.
What’s in the box?
Beets—3.00$- try baking the root, and then sautéing the greens the same way you would chard or kale
Kohlrabi—1.00$-see recipe, Kohlrabi has a flavor similar to broccoli, peel it raw, slice and add to salads, or use for dipping into creamy sauces.
Walla Walla Onion—1.50$
If you were shopping at the market, this box would cost—24.25$
Fennel and Kohlrabi Salad
1 medium head of Fennel
1 medium kohlrabi
1 large handful small capers
The juice of 1 large lemon (1/2 is for crisping the fennel)
1 large garlic clove
Twice the amount of extra virgin olive oil (as lemon juice)
1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
– Slice the fennel as thinly as you can and add to a bowl of cold water and the lemon juice. Slice the kohlrabi and then pare strips off each slice with a vegetable peeler (this is to get wafer thin slices). Add to the bowl with the fennel.
– To make the lemon-caper dressing: Crush the garlic with a generous pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar (or in a mug with the base of a wooded spoon). Add some black pepper and a heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard. Stir together.
– Add the juice of 1 large lemon, the capers and twice the amount of olive oil. Whisk to mix.
– Drain the water from the salad and place in a bowl . Add the dressing and stir to coat.
1 lb. Swiss chard or spinach, stems trimmed and chopped
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tsp. summer savory, minced (optional)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup your choice of cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
– Turn on broiler. Place Swiss chard in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Cover and cook 3-6 minutes or until just wilted. Drain, squeezing out excess liquid. Set aside.
– Melt butter in a heavy ovenproof 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Sauté potatoes and summer savory about 3 minutes or until potatoes are light brown. Stir in onions and sauté another 2 minutes.
– Combine remaining ingredients, except chard and cheese, in a bowl. Stir in chard and grated cheese. Pour over onion potato mixture.
– Cook over low heat about 10 minutes or until top is slightly runny and bottom is set. Place under broiler about 2 minutes until top is set and golden. Cut into wedges to serve.
– Serves 6
How easily happiness begins by dicing onions,
A lump of sweet butter slithers and swirls across the floor of the sauté pan, especially if its errant path crosses a tiny slick of olive oil.