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Archive for June, 2011

CSA #5, 6/30

this week's box

Melanie trying to entice the sheep closerThis week's box

Herb harvest:)Liz and Jessica weeding onions and happily holding freshly harvested green garlicVolunteer Jenna’s first day out, harvesting pea shoots

Despite the rain and clouds the last few days, we did pick the first zucchini from last weeks heat:) Last year the third week of July was the first fruit, with the same plant out date.  There are also baby baby green tomatoes on a few plants and the green beans are about to flower.  The farm is popping!   It has transformed in the last week with 2 spring rows cleared out and the calendula is flowering.  It really changes the look with orange and yellow flowers greeting you with the sunniest hello.   We have two very sweet new friends on the farm, two 4 month old sheep.  They are mowing down our grass on the perimeter and seem happy tucked in the shape under plum trees.   They’re a breed called Soay, from an island near Scotland.  One of the earliest domesticated from Northern Europe, they are also a breed closer to their wild ancestry.   Skiddish and shy and also interested in food, I think they’re getting used to the farm.

8 week old duckies!

Box Includes:

Strawberries – Yes, it’s true!

Peas

Pea shoots –   Meant to eat the tips only, as they get tougher further down the stem.  Last week of them, we’ll chop them down today as they serve the purpose of cover cropping too.  In a month fall crops will be planted there.

Fennel

Green garlic – These were baby cloves that we planted in April, the rest was planted in October.

Kale – Backyard Bounty saved seed.

Lettuce

Herb bunch – bronze fell, dill, parsley, lavender, oregano, thyme.  If you can’t get to using them fresh you can hang them to dry or leave them on your counter and use at any point.

Recipes

Fennel and Potato Hash

Adapted from BonAppetit.com

  • 2 small fennel bulbs with fronds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes, patted dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tb coarsely chopped fresh herbs, like parsley and dill

Preparation

  • Cut fennel into 1/2-inch cubes (there should be about 4 scant cups). Finely chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1/4 cup. Cook fennel in boiling salted water until just tender, 3 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes. Cook until golden and crisp, turning often, 20 to 25 minutes. Using potato masher, crush potatoes in skillet. Add fennel, salt, and pepper. Cook until fennel is golden, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and dill. Serve hot.
Lavendar Steamer
Mornings are still chilly, we enjoyed a mid morning harvest break of lavendar, warmed rice milk, and a dash  of honey.  Use any milk, dairy or non and add lavendar and honey to hot milk.
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CSA #4, 6/23

We let the ducks and chickens out and they are free ranging around the yurt and theirlittle house.  Oh my they are lovely neighbors.  The field is mostly planted so this time of year it’s best that they are around the perimeter of the garden and not in it.  It feels like they bring joy and relaxation to all of us.

We weeded lots between rows and cleared some beds, it feels good and we can now move down the narrow paths and see what’s a row and what isn’t:)  Today was a fun harvest day with lots of folks out in the field.  At one point, the chard and cilantro row was a hub of harvesting, my 7 year old nephew Martin collecting bugs for his “science” project.  Clea harvesting for her CSA from her row, hunter the cat rolling around and visiting and other friends and family harvesting.  Lots of summer action.

Last night was the solstice fire and potluck.  We had delicious nibbles, like raw beet raviolies, salads and homemade hummus. It was a sweet way to celebrate summer.  It was nice to have some of you out there!

Box Contents:

peas! – yellow and green snow and green snap

pea shoots

arugula – spicy!

lettuce

salad mix

cilantro

chard

green onion

kohlrabi – purple stemmed with a small bulb.  all is edible but it’s grown for the bulb.  peel and eat raw or cook.  brocolli taste

fennel bulb – can be eaten raw or cooked.  cut the frilly tops off and eat the bulb.  pairs well with basil, thyme, cheeses, apples, potatoes and more.  slice small and add to salad or munch on it like a carrot! a great digestive and teh most delicate flavor.  more to come in next weeks boxes.

Fennel and  Carrot Salad

Grate both and add lemon juice

Fennel, Goat Cheese and Cracker  Appetizer

Slice up fennel and put it on a plate with the other items. . .that’s the recipe!

Arugula Pesto Recipe

From SimplyRecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

1 Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

2 Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

3a Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

3b Mortar and pestle method: Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.

Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.

Serve with pasta, over freshly roasted potatoes, or as a sauce for pizza.

Yield: Makes 1 heaping cup.

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CSA 3#, 6/16

Summer nears, but it doesn’t quite feel like it lately. The showers have been good for the crops though, watering the second succession of carrots and parsnips and helping root in transplants.  We got sweet corn (first time I’ve grown it), more snap beans, basil, and cucumbers in the ground and finally started trellising the tomatoes that are oh so healthy and big.  Hopefully more sun will kiss these crops and us!  We’re experimenting with pruning only 25 %  of the tomatoes, instead of all of them for a couple reasons.  To keep them under the low tunnel plastic longer for the heat, and also to experiment and see for ourselves how the yields differ.  A lot less work too! Yesterday Jessica and I last minute decided to go to my brothers 40th birthday brunch after a morning of work at 12noon.  We were halted with the unpruned tomato trellising because we lacked long enough posts.  Lo and behold, at the brunch, Matt and Liz had perfectly sized, mostly cut poles…. perfect.  I notice that things fall into place the more I relax  and go with the flow.

Today will be the first beets from early March transplanting (the only root we transplant).   I’m excited that we have a diverse box of not only greens.  I hope you’ve been able to eat them up and enjoy them!

 

We have:

Beets –  One of my favorites! Greens are delicious steamed too, similar to chard.

Peas – a handful of yellow, and green snow and snap

Chard  – the first of many more weeks

Green Onions

Pea Shoots

Spicy Mustard and Mizuna Mild –  Probably the last pick until fall, The smaller greens volunteer for 3 years now from a previous planting around the strawberries, which needed some more light and nutrition! When cooked, most of the spice dissapears.  Add a few leaves to raw salads for a kick!

Radish

Herb bunch – Cilantro, mint, lemon balm – lemon balm and mint are great as hot tea or in cold drinking water. You could also chop all of the herbs up and throw in salads for a lovely touch.

Head lettuce – mostly from Wild Garden Seeds “philosopher’s mix”

 

Recipes

Chahrd Chickpea Minestrone

From Recipes for Health NY Times

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, cut in small dice

1 celery stalk, cut in small dice

1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, cleaned thoroughly and sliced thin

Salt

4 large garlic cloves, minced

7 cups water

2 tablespoons tomato paste

A bouquet garni consisting of 1 Parmesan rind, 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs parsley and 3 sprigs thyme, tied together with kitchen string or tied into a piece of cheesecloth

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 pound Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves washed and cut crosswise in thin strips (chiffonade) (4 cups, tightly packed, chiffonade)

1/2 cup soup pasta, like elbow macaroni or broken spaghetti

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan

1. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about three minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the leek. Continue to cook, stirring often, until tender, about three minutes. Add the garlic, stir for about a minute, and then stir in the water, tomato paste and the bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas. Taste and adjust salt. Remove the bouquet garni.

2. Add the Swiss chard and the pasta to the soup, bring back to a simmer, and simmer another 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked al dente. Grind in some pepper, taste and adjust seasonings. It should be savory and rich-tasting. Serve in wide soup bowls, with a sprinkling of Parmesan over the top.

Yield: Serves six to eight.

Advance preparation: You can make this through Step 1 several days ahead and keep in the refrigerator or freeze. The closer to serving time you add the chard, the brighter it will be.

Radish Salad

Grate radish, toss with chopped cilantro, sesame oil and salt. yummmmmm!

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CSA #2, 6/9

What a beautiful day to harvest.  Everything is bursting with life.  The spring crops are fully on and summer/fall  crops like summer squash, cucumbers, winter squash, sweet potatoes, beans have been planted out in the last week.  We hit up weeding for the first time and have plenty to do in coming weeks.

I’ve been excited learning lots about different preparations and liquid teas to keep the farm healthy.  We’re using lots of plants that grow wild on the farm.  Yesterday I sprayed comfrey tea and am going to make some other herbal sprays for the compost.  We are also making a slug “goo,” which is letting the slugs rots in water and once they are decomposed spraying it in the field where the they’re eating the crops.  They don’t like their dead I hear!

The ducklings and chickens are out in a day pen and growing fast.  The permanent home is in construction today.  They love the  little tub to swim in:)

I’m gonna try to get my new camera/ phone set up so I can attach pictures for everyone.  Also, we’ll be having a workparty in the next few weeks. I hope you are feeling good from the fresh veggies last week and are ready for many more weeks.

The box features:

Kale (red russian or lacinato)

salad mix

arugula – a younger pick, not as spicy and more tender

spinach – farm and SE sites

pac choi- dark green

radish

pea shoots- great raw or sauteed briefly

Recipes

Pickled Greens ( Pac Choi and/or kale) *dark green

1 head pac choi or 2 small heads or 1 bunch kale

3 scallions or 1/2 onion chopped

3 lg cloves garlic, chopped

1 fresh jalapenos or dried red chile, minced

1 tb sugar

2 tb salt

1 tb minced fresh ginger

2 tb water

Chop the greens into 1 to 2 inch pieces.  Place in lg bowl, add rest of ingredients, and toss.  Place in a jar and cover tightly.  Keep at room temp for a day, then refrigerate.  Ready in 2 to 3 days and will keep for weeks in fridge.  Great side dish, and can use other greens like cabbage, chard, mustard greens, and radish.
Pea Shoots

Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Pea Puree and Pea Shoots

Adapted from a recipe at: http://food.epicurious.com

1 head garlic
1 cup pea shoots, rinsed
2 10-ounce packages frozen peas, thawed

2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh herb leaves, chopped (use basil or oregano or tarragon)

3/4 pound bow-tie pasta

Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut 1/2 inch off top of garlic head. Wrap garlic in foil, roast in oven 30 minutes or until very soft. Cool. Squeeze roasted garlic from head into blender.
In a saucepan, cook peas in water just until tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas, cooking liquid, butter, lemon juice, and herbs to blender and puree. Keep warm.
Cook pasta until al-dente. Drain. Toss pasta in a bowl with puree, pea shoots and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

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2011 CSA #1, 6/2

I’m glad to be blogging!  I sit heated by the woodfire on this chilly June night looking over at 6 adorable ducklings.  Yes, we have new friends on the farm!  Also, 8 chickens and a couple roosters that are cared for by landmates.  All are laying birds and they will also be in the fields soon to cultivate, fertilize, and eat slugs!  It is feels right to have the addition of these birds as they will help close the system and make our farm more sustainable, balanced and joyous.

The veggies in your box were planted 1-3 months ago.  We’ve seeded, transplanted, covered with remay and/or plastic, and worked alongside nature to make it happen. This early spring was super wet and we were in the ground the latest of my 5 years farming.   Mid April through mid May brought dryer weather and we finally  planted.   As we near summer solstice, we can see the growth each day.  The big garden is about to pop! Most of the summer crops are in as well.

We have a lovely crew of women farmin’, and occasionally we get a great dude to help out.  Mondays start off right with 4 of us: Jessica, who’s out glowing 3 days a week doing an apprenticeship, Clea, spunky and positive who volunteered  last year and is starting her own CSA and using 240 sq ft of the farm as one of her plots, and Joanna who cracks a funny and looking at her reminds me to have good posture.  We work, eat beautiful farm lunches along the creek, and  take breaks by bringing slugs to the ducklings.  They love them!! We want them to really get a taste for them.  Speaking of slugs, the populations seems less than last year, yet they have wiped out the first seeding of carrots, and some greens. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest, and they come in more sizes and colors each year it seems.

The soils seem healthy and balanced, as most of the crops are growing well and tilth is great.  I’m excited that the tropical tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are under plastic this year.  They’re all in the ground, protected from the cold rain and chilly (for them) nights.  I hope this helps keep them disease-free and increase yields.  Speaking of disease we made a biodynamic prep horsetail tea #508.  With an abundance of horsetail along the creek and at the end of the field, I’m psyched to use the liquid formula that will be sprayed as prevention to fungal diseases across the entire field.

Okay, I could go on and on. But it’s late and tomorrow I have to get up early to harvest!  Onto the contents of the CSA box, we have a classic spring box of lots of greens.

Kale-lacinato or red russian

Mild or Spicy Mustard

Salad Mix – white flowers are from arugula or yes from collard greens

Arugula – It is mature and has a kick! If you want to decrease spice at a sweetener or balsalmic to dressing or sauce.

Spinach – Sellwood Only, next week other sites

Garlic Scapes – These are the seed heads that shoot up from hardneck varieties.  We pluck them to put the energy into the garlic bulb and they are some of the most succulent spring treats.  Great raw chopped small in salad or sauteed or grilled with olive oil and salt.

Radish

 

Green Onions

Recipes

Frittata with Spring Greens

Adapted from Epicurious.com

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch of any combination of kale, mustard, arugula, spinach
  • 2 garlic scapes
  • 6 large eggs
  • any herbs you like
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled (or fresh ricotta or goat cheese)

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Chop greens and scapes and in oil 2-5 minutes until cooked lightly.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon water.

4. Add the eggs and half the mint to the pan, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, lifting the edges with a spatula to allow the uncooked eggs to flow to the bottom. When the frittata is partly cooked (7 to 10 minutes), sprinkle on the ricotta and transfer the pan to the oven.

5. Bake until puffed, golden, and set, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Garnish with the remaining mint to taste and serve.

Everything in the Salad
Our farm salads include all of the greens, we like all the sizes of leaves and kick of different greens pice.  Chop ALL of the veggies of the week are great chopped in a salad.  Not cooking them allows all of their life force to shine in you too. It’s so quick and easy too.
Radish and Apple Salad
Adapted from St. Jack’s Restaurant
Granny Smith or other tart apple-julienned
Radish- sliced
Dressing:
olive oil
red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
shalllots
garlic
herbs
dijon
Make dressing and toss on veggies. Quite a refreshing dish!

 

 

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