Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 8/5/2014 12:07pm by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK:  

Fri: Indigo Ruby Tomatoes, Cantaloupe, Honeydew (Full), Shallots/Onions, Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Red Beets, Heirloom Tomatoes, Chard, Hot Peppers, Sweet snack Peppers, Bunch Herbs – basil/ parsley and Garlic 

Tues: Sungolds, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Shallots/Onions, Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Red Beets, Heirloom Tomatoes, Chard, Hot Peppers, Sweet snack Peppers – Yummies/ Jimmies/ Carmens, Bunch Herbs – basil/ parsley and Garlic 


UPCOMING EVENTS: 

Farm Breakfast Sept 6th (8-11am): 

Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

Live Music with Blue Heron Sept 6th (6pm-?): 

Join us in supporting a local treasure, Blue Heron. A not-to-be-missed performance of soulful blues and rock music! FoodShed grill will open at 6pm with music performance at 7pm.

BYOB Family-friendly event. 


FARM NOTES:

What a beautiful day on the farm!

This is one of those days where it’s easy to express gratitude. The sun has returned, the harvest is bountiful, and…the baby turkeys have arrived!

We are managing to have another stellar year as far as vegetables. We have the good fortune of still getting good tomatoes when the cool weather has caused most of the state to be experiencing blight. The melons have been superb in flavor and texture and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about our sweet corn. Those of you who were with us last year know we lost our entire crop to deer, so the success of the stand this year is all the more sweet for us.

For those of you who have had our thanksgiving turkeys, you know our birds are above and beyond! We work hard to provide them with a life full of pasture and bugs and resources for their curiosities. For now, though, they are in a brooder house getting adjusted and providing hours of entertainment for us all. They are wonderful creatures and we want to be sure to uphold our end of the bargain. Last year, we managed to grow baby ostriches, so we are getting them started a little later in the hopes we don’t end up with so many 30+ lb birds!

We’ll be sending out a mid-season survey soon to help guide us through the remainder of the season. There is always something that surprises us, often feedback that contradicts what we heard the season before, and some requests that are hard to accommodate (like wanting more peas or corn, crops that take a large amount of field space, get harvested once or twice and then are done). No matter what, hearing from you is helpful in our efforts to better serve you.

Thanks for sharing this life with us, Hannah


RECIPE: 

Stuffed Peppers de Village Acres

There are many ways to stuff a pepper, but this is our favorite!

Decap, core and slice vertically, any sweet or hot pepper you prefer. We like to do a mix and especially enjoy poblanos and carmens or yummies for a variety of spice and sweetness.

Turn the oven on broil but place the rack in the middle of the oven. Coat a baking pan with coconut oil and place peppers skin up on the pan. Place under the broiler until slightly browned (this roasts and brings out the sweetness in the peppers).

Remove peppers from oven and turn the peppers over, gently coating them with oil. Fill with the following:
Mix cream cheese or goat cheese (or both) with shredded smoked cheddar, browned sausage (or crisped bacon slices) or caramelized tart apples, toasted walnuts and chopped basil.
Place back under broiler until lightly browned.

You WON’T be disappointed!

Posted 7/29/2014 7:40am by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK:  
Sweet Corn, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, New Potatoes, White Onions,  Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Lettuce Heads, and Herbs


UPCOMING EVENTS: 

Farm Breakfast August 2nd & Sept 6th (8-11am): 

Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

Blue Heron at Big TreeLive Music with Blue Heron Sept 6th (6pm-?): 

Join us in supporting a local treasure, Blue Heron. A not-to-be-missed performance of soulful blues and rock music! FoodShed grill will open at 6pm with music performance at 7pm.

BYOB Family-friendly event.

 


FAMILY UPDATE:

This weekend we had a fantastic time hosting our Beidler family (Hope’s siblings and their families) for a reunion. What a joyful time we had together! 

 


FARM NOTES by Allison:

August is rolling in, and it brings that vegetable we’ve all been waiting for: sweet corn! Yes, our first picking of sweet corn is in your shares today, so eat up! Despite growing up in central Illinois, this was my first time picking sweet corn. Harvesting corn is as easy as you’d expect, but there is another recently-arrived summer favorite whose harvest method is more interesting: the melon toss! Driving along the edge of the field, we practice our throwing and catching skills in a relay to place the melons in the cart; cantaloupe is easier than watermelon. Jackie’s former softball skills come in handier than my running, I must say.

I’ve noticed two major shifts on the farm. One, harvesting is often the primary activity of the day, not a side note, as many fields and greenhouses are bursting daily with their different fruits. Two, for crops grown both in the greenhouse and outside, we’ve switched to harvesting the majority of cucumbers, for example, outside as the greenhouse plantings die down. We hit the tomato timing right on: field tomatoes have taken off before our inside tomatoes finish.

Summertime often can bring laziness in the kitchen, I find, as it’s sometimes too hot to turn on the stove. So when you’re ready for something more complex than sliced tomatoes for lunch, here are my favorite summer sandwiches. I could eat this grilled cheese every day.


RECIPE: 

Allison’s Summertime Grilled Cheese
Spread hummus mixed with pesto (or just pesto) on homemade bread (I like multigrain.) Using a bread knife, thinly slice an heirloom tomato and place on hummus. Slice and add any type of cheese. Grill in a skillet or in a panini press, with or without butter on the outside of the bread.


Snow White Cucumber Sandwiches (adapted from The Daily Feast Cookbook)
Seed and finely dice 2 cucumbers. Then squeeze the diced cucumber gently in a clean kitchen towel to remove excess water. Finely chop 1 T fresh dill. Chop 2 cloves garlic and mash to a smooth paste, using ½ t salt and the back of a wooden spoon. Whisk together 1 c plain Greek yogurt, 2 t olive oil and the garlic paste. Stir ¼ c chopped walnuts, cucumber and dill into the yogurt mixture. Toast thick slices of homemade or quality bread, and top with the cucumber salad for an open-faced sandwich.

Posted 7/22/2014 12:13pm by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Blueberries, Beets, Carrots, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Heirloom Tomatoes, Hot Peppers*, Herbs*, Watermelon (fulls)*, Cantaloupe (meds)*, Chard*     *Out of the box


UPCOMING EVENTS: 

Farm Breakfast August 2nd & Sept 6th (8-11am): Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

Blue Heron at Big TreeLive Music with Blue Heron Sept 6th (6pm-?): Join us in supporting a local treasure, Blue Heron. Many of you will remember the Christmas Eve tragic accident that claimed the life of locally loved musician Dave Kirkland. His life-partnerDelphine, the other half of Blue Heron, is carrying on with the band and will be joined by other local musicians for a return to Village Acres. A not-to-be-missed performance of soulful blues and rock music! FoodShed grill will open at 6pm with music performance at 7pm. BYOB Family-friendly event.


FARM NOTES:

It’s been a lovely week on the farm.  Fall-like weather has graced us in a typically sizzling part of the summer and while we know those hot days will still come, we are taking full advantage of our current comfort. 

A farm is in constant transition, but this week especially so as we spent a lot of time removing the remnants of spring plantings, reworking the ground to prepare for cover crops or making way for fall plantings.  This coming week the garlic planted last fall will be harvested and hung from rafters in our shed, and the onions planted early spring are also ready to start their curing process. 

At the same time we are strategizing our harvest, we are also planning our fall greens planting.  This fall we are planning to trial a new lettuce, a variety called Salanova. This is a head lettuce which produces a full head of equally sized small leaves which can be used as a lettuce mix.  We hope this helps us produce a better quality lettuce mix in the field (which is harder than the greenhouse).  I’ll let you know when it hits your boxes which, if it does, should be sometime in September. 

This week we have the first melons coming your way.  The quantities ready of both watermelon and cantaloupe worked out so that the fulls will be getting watermelon and medium shares cantaloupe.  Don’t worry though; you will get both over the course of the season.  Also hitting the shares this week are the summer favorite: sungolds.  These are some of the first tomatoes to ripen in the field. 

We hope you enjoy these tastes of summer.  Deb


RECIPE: Eggplant Parmesan with Fresh Tomato Sauce 

Serves 6. 30-40 min cooking time.
http://theartofcookingrealfood.blogspot.com/

For a gluten-free option, simply skip the pasta and use almond meal or gluten-free crackers instead of breadcrumbs and it will still be a filling delicious meal!


Ingredients:
• 2 medium eggplants (about 2lbs), peeled if desired, and sliced into 1/2" rounds (slicing on the diagonal makes for a larger cutlet, and is especially nice when you reach the narrow neck of the eggplant)
• 1 1/2 c dried bread crumbs (preferably homemade)
• 1 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 tsp Italian seasoning
• few pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 large eggs
• 2 Tbs water
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• Fresh Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
• 1 13-14 oz pkg spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine pasta
• Grated Parmesan or torn pieces of fresh mozzarella for topping
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
On each of two 15x10 high-sided baking sheets, spread 1 tsp olive oil with a pastry brush.
In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, blend together the eggs and water with a fork so there are no gloopy chunks.
Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg mixture, turning to coat. Shake off the excess egg and dredge the slice in the Parmesan mixture (use your hands to add more, if necessary). Place each slice of eggplant on the prepared baking sheets. When all the slices are coated, slowly drizzle a little olive oil over the tops of the prepared eggplant (about 1/2 tsp per slice).
Place the sheets in the preheated oven for 20-25 min, turn the slices and bake another 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden.
Meanwhile, get your pasta pot and tomato sauce going. Prepare the pasta according to instructions. The sauce only takes about 5 minutes, so plan accordingly so everything is finished at the same time.


Fresh Tomato Sauce
• 3-4 large tomatoes (about 2 lbs), diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
• few pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 c chopped fresh basil leaves (loosely packed)
• 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
In a 12 inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic for about a minute. Add the diced tomatoes and juice, salt and pepper, and stir. Reduce the heat and allow the tomato mixture to simmer uncovered about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the basil and balsamic vinegar. Stir well and remove from heat. *If you are not ready to use the sauce right away, cover, leaving a vent, to keep warm.
Divide the pasta between 6 plates. Top with 3-4 eggplant parmesan slices and a big spoonful of the sauce. Top with either more grated Parmesan or with torn pieces of fresh mozzarella.

Posted 7/15/2014 5:53pm by Hannah.

 

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Blueberries (no spray, not organic), new potatoes,, storage potatoes, lettuce heads, fennel, kale (full), chard, summer squash, cucumbers, fresh onions, eggplant, tomatoes, and herbs


 

UPCOMING EVENTS: Farm Breakfast (7/5, 8-11am): Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund. 


 

FARM NOTES from Jackie:

It seems like we have at least one flood watch a week, but those summer thunderstorms have been tempered by lots of hot days to dry up the fields.  It’s still pretty wet in some areas, but we have been able to continue to keep to our planting schedule.  The berries are starting to really produce, and we had to put the netting over the blueberries to keep the birds away.  It’s hard to resist those plump little berries when you spend an entire afternoon in the patch.  The first few cantaloupes and standard tomatoes are ripening in the fields, and the eggplants are practically dripping off the branches.  Allison and I harvested just over 300 pounds of eggplant last Friday!  Baba ghanoush anyone?  We also harvested our first crop of fennel for this week, which is one of my more recent favorite vegetables.

The new laying hens are really starting to up production this week.  I gathered a record 75 eggs from them today.  They are very pretty girls that like to follow me around as I collect the eggs.  Most of them just want a scratch on the back or to peck the back of my legs.  I take that as a sign that they want me to pick them up, so I usually take a minute to hold a couple of them and scratch the backs of their necks.  If you have never petted a chicken, you don’t know what you are missing. 

The broilers, along with their turkey friends, have moved out to the pasture, where they have adjusted well to their new digs.  This new breed seems to take to the pasture better than their predecessors, and they definitely seem smarter when it comes to moving along with the shelter every morning.  Our bees were visited by the State Inspector a couple of weeks ago and they are all doing well.  In PA, all hives are required to be registered and, as funding permits, are inspected every two years.  The inspections are a great thing, as they help detect disease and mites, which can destroy hives. 

Our hives are all healthy and producing honey.  So much honey that I was able to get almost 50 pints from the hives.  Thanks in part to my family, who was visiting last weekend and helped me with the extraction.  My Mom even suited up and went out to the hives with me!  Next, I’ll make sure each of our five hives has about 40 pounds (one small box) of honey reserved, which is what they will need to survive the winter.  I’m not sure if there will be another harvest this season, but all the honey from this harvest is for sale via the CSA.  If you haven’t tried our honey, you’ll be floored when you do. You might just eat the jar in a sitting!


RECIPE: The following recipe is a great side dish, and you can substitute all chicken broth instead of wine if you like.  Some Village Acres honey would be perfect for this dish!

Fennel in Wine and Honey (from Allrecipies.com)

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered                

1/8 cup olive oil                                

¼ cup chicken broth

½ Tablespoon honey                                                     

½ cup white wine                            

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

Place fennel quarters in a deep skillet with the centers facing up.  Drizzle with olive oil and then pour in the broth, honey and wine.  Season with mustard seed, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook over low heat for 45 minutes, turning occasionally.

Posted 7/8/2014 9:26am by Debra Brubaker .

 

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Spring carrots, red beets, cucumbers, summer squash, eggplant, chard, tomatoes, hot peppers, basil, dill, and parsley

The summer is heating up! We start the day at 7 am, and always hit the greenhouses first, before the temperatures inside surpass the 100 degree mark.  While early in the summer the cucumbers and the eggplant appreciate the extra warmth of the greenhouse, by July, they start to show that they have had enough.  Peppers on the other hand, well- they seem unphased.  Both the hot peppers and the bell peppers in the greenhouses are looking good this season.  Today we are harvesting the first hot peppers for the shares.  I’ve grown to appreciate hot peppers a great deal both during a semester abroad in Ethiopia during college, and also during my 7 years living in New Mexico.  Hot peppers are central to many cultures and they all have such unique flavors and characteristic.  In New Mexico the Chile pepper reigns supreme and each region prides themselves on having the best chile (and they are all good). The seeds for the chiles we are growing this year were given to us this spring by a restaurant owner Robert in Santa Fe after Hannah told him we were farmers.  These peppers and have been in his family for generations in the Chimayo region of New Mexico.  It was such a gift to be given these seeds, and a great connection to other farmers whom take great pride in the work of their hands and the fruits of their labor.

Recipe: Roasted Eggplant and Pickled Beet Sandwiches
Bon Appétit | April 2013 via Epicurious.com
Yield : 4 Servings

Roasted eggplant and garlic mayo:
1 large eggplant (1 1/2 pounds), sliced into 1/2"-thick rounds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt, ground pepper
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place eggplant slices on a large rimmed baking sheet and rub both sides with oil. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Roast until golden and tender, 30-40 minutes.
Whisk garlic, mayonnaise, and vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.

Beet salad and assembly:
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup mixed tender fresh herb leaves (such as flat-leaf parsley, dill, and mint), torn if large
1/2 cup chopped pickled beets
1/4 cup chopped pitted oil-cured olives
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 6x4" pieces focaccia, split
6 ounces feta, thinly sliced or crumbled

Toss scallions, herbs, beets, olives, capers, and oil in a medium bowl to combine.
Spread cut sides of focaccia with garlic mayo. Build sandwiches with focaccia, eggplant, feta, and beet salad.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS: Farm Breakfast August 2nd (8-11am): Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

 

Posted 7/1/2014 10:27am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Snow or Sugar Snap Peas, Green Onions, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Eggplant (full shares), Kale, Lettuce, Endive, and Herbs (basil, parsley, and dill).

NOTES ABOUT BOX CONTENTS: You will either have snow peas (flat pods) or Sugar Snap Peas in your share.  The snow peas are grown by our neighbor Aaron Kanagy and are also certified organic.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Farm Breakfast (7/5, 8-11am): Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund. 

FARM NOTES:

With the arrival of the summer solstice the other week, the days are technically getting shorter again, but it feels like our days on the farm are getting longer: there’s so much going on! Many of us here have commented on how extensive is our list of crops now coming in: cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, spring onions, basil, and did I mention cucumbers? Hot peppers, bell peppers and eggplant are making their first appearances as well. We may go home tired, but it’s exciting to have so much to harvest for you! Moreover, the second succession of plantings is starting up, meaning the second fields planted with summer squash and tomatoes, for example, will soon be producing as well. The second half of the week was a bit quieter with Deb and Hannah gone for an extended weekend. The rest of us held down the fort acceptably, I’d say, practiced at our summertime checklist. But it is always good to have the full team again! -Allison   

RECIPE: Endive Apple Salad (adapted from Extending the Table cookbook) For a change of pace from your lettuce (that doesn’t like this heat anyway), try this French leafy green, curly endive. Also called frisée, meaning “curled”, endive can be slightly more bitter than most greens you eat, so try it in this salad that mixes in other flavors.

Chop your head of endive and add:

-        cucumber

-        spring onions

-        apples

-        raisins

-        sunflower seeds, toasted

-        sharp cheddar or Gouda cheese                

Toss with your favorite dressing; I recommend mixing up a honey mustard vinaigrette to balance the bitter endive

Posted 6/24/2014 11:46am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Asparagus; Chard; Kale; Lettuce; Garlic Scapes; Summer Squash; Tomatoes for full shares; Snap or Snow Peas; Basil/Rosemary/Parsley/Dill

FARM NOTES: It feels like summer! Hardly a chance to sit down lately.  We’ve had nice long sunny days lately, which is always great for growth.

Some of the highlights on the farm this week:

  • Strawberry Festival & Farm Tour
  •  Planted tomatoes and melons with the no-till method (into rolled down cover crop mulch)
  • Harvested peas for the first time this season
  • Lots of Cucumber and Squash harvest
  • Winter squash is in the ground
  • Lots and lots of trellising of tomatoes
  • Weeding galore

Have a great week, Hannah 

NOTES ABOUT BOX CONTENTS: This is the last week for asparagus & garlic scapes. Everyone is receiving either snap or snow peas. Snap peas are from our farm. Snow peas are from our neighbor’s farm and are certified Organic.  We only have enough tomatoes for full shares but, soon enough, everyone will be loaded down!

RECIPE:
Piselli con Asparagi e Basilico ( Asparagus, Peas, and Basil)
www.epicurious.com

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots or onions (about 2)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 pound fresh peas (2 1/2 cups shelled or 1 3/4 pound in pods)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt ans ¼ tsp pepper
Handful of torn basil leaves (about 3/4 cup)

Cook shallots in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in asparagus, peas, sea salt, and pepper, then seal skillet with foil. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in basil and sea salt to taste.

 A glimpse into the Strawberry Festival… We had a great time with CSA members, their families and friends this weekend at the Strawberry Festival. We had an awesome potluck, there were plenty of strawberries for people to pick and we all enjoyed ice cream and strawberries for dessert. Oh, and the kids all really enjoyed the face painting! 

UPCOMING EVENTS:Farm Breakfast (7/5, 8-11am): Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

Posted 6/17/2014 7:49am by Jackie .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Strawberries, Asparagus, Lettuce Heads, Kale, Chard, Garlic Scapes, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, and Basil/Parsley/Cilantro. 

Field Notes

It interesting that just as the summer is heating up, we are starting the winter crops in the
greenhouse. Cabbage, broccoli and winter squash stir up images of hot soups on a cold day, but as the temperatures approach the 90s this week, I am more interested in a possible dip in the creek. We did have a few wet days there, which were a little bit of a blessing so that we could get caught up on greenhouse tasks. Weeding, suckering heirloom tomatoes and trellising cucumbers is much more tolerable on overcast days. This week is looking good for catching up on outdoor transplanting, weeding (always more weeding to do!), and making hay to feed the animals over the winter. Not to mention, a dip in the creek.

Animal News

The new laying hens have a brand new laying house that includes a communal nest and individual nests with outside access for us to collect eggs. The girls have been checking it out and are starting to get the hang of it, but they sometimes still lay anywhere...in the grass, in the feed trough, under the roosting house, under the nesting boxes, under the water...it’s like an easter egg hunt every day! We have a small flock of araucana hens (they will lay blue eggs) in the barnyard, and we started hearing the distinctive first cries of a rooster coming from their area. Well, they were supposed to be all hens...Finally, in chicken news, we just received another batch of broilers that are settling in nicely in the brooder house with seven heritage breed turkey chicks. 

The bees are doing their job, I’ve spotted them pollinating flowers all over the farm. We are up to five hives with the addition of a swarm Roy and I caught at another farmer’s house. They were only about six feet off the ground and we were able to just cut the limb, shake them into the box, and then come back to pick them up after dark. Luckily, they stayed in the box and have been building comb and collecting nectar and pollen over the past few days. I was able to collect 36 pounds of beautiful, light colored honey off what I have dubbed “the super hive,” which is the original hive that was on the farm when I arrived. The honey looks to be a mix of locust blossom (rare spring honey) and clover. I will be selling it at CSA while supplies last. There should be more coming soon, as it looks like the split I made off of “the super hive” should have honey ready to harvest in the next couple of weeks. The two hives we purchased in April are just now really
starting to bulk up their numbers, and should be bringing in loads of nectar soon. I do not expect any honey from the swarm we just caught; my goal is to keep them alive over the winter and have another super hive next year. Of note, “the super hive” bees make fantastic honey, but they are serious about protecting their hive, which is a good thing. One figured out how to squeeze through the rivet hole in my hat and sting my forehead. I woke up with an eye swollen shut, and as I write this, it is just starting to go back down. Duct tape over all rivet holes in hat? Check!

An Ode to Garlic Scapes

I know we talked about scapes last week, but the harvest window is so short that I have to share my love for them. Okay, it’s been a long time since high school lit class and I don’t remember exactly what an ode is, but I do remember it’s how those old poets used to show their love of something, like a vase or a horse. My love affair with the garlic scape began in 2010 when I joined a CSA. One of the reasons I joined a CSA was to access produce that stores don’t carry, usually because the food industry hasn’t figured out how to preserve and/or standardize it for long-distance travel. The scape was the first such item that I encountered. While we wait for those garlic bulbs, we have a small window of opportunity to enjoy the scape, which has a mellow garlic flavor. I was ecstatic to see those curly green stems appearing in the fields. Before I get to a couple of awesome scape recipes, I do remember how to write a haiku:

Scent of summer grass
Twisty, twirlly, whirlly shoots-
Pesto on my pasta

~Jackie

Garlic Scape Hummus (adapted from lazyhomesteader.com)

In a food processor or blender, blend:
8-12 garlic scapes, roughly chopped juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed salt to taste
When everything is well combined, add 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil in a thin stream while the food processor is running.
Serve with chopped veggies, pita or bread.

Pasta with Feta and Garlic Scape Pesto (adapted from lazyhomesteader.com)

~Pesto (makes about 1/2 cup)
5 garlic scapes, chopped About 1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Sea salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Blend scapes, half of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Add the remainder of the oil in a thin stream and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add oil. Season with salt and lemon juice. If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. You can also freeze remaining pesto in ice cube trays and store it in a freezer bag for future use.

~Pasta
1 lb of pasta garlic scape pesto
1/3-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese salt
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before
draining. In a bowl, whisk together the hot pasta water with the feta and pesto until smooth. Toss over
drained pasta and serve.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Strawberry Festival this Saturday! (6/21, 3pm-6pm)Join us for a potluck. We’ll provide the dessert, farm tour, wagon rides, children’s activities and strawberries for picking. As the harvest allows, each CSA member may pick up to 2 quarts of strawberries for free and extras should be available for purchase by anyone. Farm Breakfast (7/5, 8-11am): Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

 

 

 

 

Posted 6/10/2014 11:29am by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK:

Asparagus, Rhubarb, Scallions, Strawberries, Kale, Lettuce Mix, Spinach, Garlic Scapes, Summer Squash or Cucumbers, and Basil/Chives/Parsley/Rosemary


FARM NOTES:

Things are really starting to roll around here at this point. Every day is full of field prep, planting, weeding, harvesting, covering, uncovering, mitigating, irrigating…you name it! The intermittent heavy rain has been challenging as our clay soil isn’t the best for drying off quickly. Planning tractor work and harvesting on many of the last few days, including knowing whether that hour might be the last dry one we have for a while, certainly has kept us on our toes! It has, though, made for some beautiful rainbows!

What a fantastic turnout for the events this past weekend! We had the best attended breakfast to date with over 30 people here AND the best attended live music event with over 80 people. It was a wonderful day full of familiar and new faces! We’ll continue with the farm breakfasts monthly and our next music events will be the fall.

Don’t forget to come to the strawberry festival on June 21 and pick your additional share of the strawberry harvest! New and sweeter varieties continue to come in every day.

Enjoy!  Hannah 


NOTES ABOUT BOX CONTENTS:

As the season is just getting started, we do not have enough of some items for everyone. Full shares have summer squash and medium shares a solo cucumber. In the coming weeks, everyone’s boxes will have plenty of both of these.

Early varieties of strawberries are not as sweet as some that are just coming in.

PLEASE WASH YOUR SPINACH AND SALAD MIX. For maximum shelf life of greens, we do not pre-wash them and they are typically very clean. With all the rain we’ve had, though, they are going to require washing.


REMINDERS:

If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm, Blue Rooster (family members), at www.BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.


WHAT IS THAT???

This week’s “what is that?” item is garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the "flower stalks" of hardneck garlic plants. They add punch to pasta, pesto, and dips, but you can also sauté them for a simple spring side dish. Here are a few ideas from www.seriouseats.com

Pesto – use as the main green ingredient or in combination with other herbs

Grilled – once grilled, scapes lose their pungent flavor and resemble something like asparagus

Hummus – replace garlic with scapes in hummus

Butter – compound scapes with herbs in butter

Stir-fry: Use as you would green beans with a punch


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Strawberry Festival (6/21, 3pm-6pm): Join us for a potluck. We’ll provide the dessert, farm tour, wagon rides, children’s activities and strawberries for picking. As the harvest allows, each CSA member may pick up to 2 quarts of strawberries for free and extras should be available for purchase by anyone.

Farm Breakfast (7/5, 8-11am): Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.


 

 

 

Posted 6/3/2014 12:59pm by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Asparagus, Rhubarb, Scallions, Lettuce Heads, Chard, Carrots, Herbs and Basil/ Parsley Plant Starts


FARM NOTES: Welcome to the Summer CSA! 

We are happy to be at the start of a new growing season, knowing that we have the support of a group of committed CSA members, old and new, that value good food, grown locally, in a conscientious way.

The past few days have been full of productivity, every tilled field has been filled with plants that will produce the food on your dinner table in the next months.  Our cover crops are at full height, meaning that as we work them into the soil in the coming weeks, we will realize their full potential for soil building and fertility for the plant that will soon follow in their place. 

This spring has been cooler than last season which has been great in some ways - the slower growth rates on many crops meant that we haven't felt overwhelmed right of the bat, but we are finding that many of our crops are about 1-2 weeks later than in the previous few years.  The first few boxes may feel a little lighter and will be filled with greens, herbs, and spring favorites of asparagus, rhubarb, and spring onions, but very shortly strawberries, cucumbers and summer squash will all be joining them!

Don’t forget to come to the strawberry festival on June 21 and pick your additional share of the strawberry harvest!      

Deb


REMINDERS: We like to pack your share in durable wooden crates with breathable plastic liners for optimal delivery and shelf life. In order to do this in a cost-effective manner, we ask that you just take the liner with you and return it the next week (or even come with a reusable bag). If you do find yourself needing to take home crates and liners (and we know there are occasions for doing so), please bring them back the next week so that we can continue to keep our costs down.  We reuse most types of containers - the berry, tomato and egg containers we give you, as well as clean plastic grocery bags.

If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm, Blue Rooster (family members), at www.BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.  


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Farm Breakfast (6/7, 8-11am): Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (1st Sat of every month, Apr.-Nov.). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

Live Music at the FoodShed (6/7, 6pm-?): Erica Shellenberger & 61/49 playing Delta Blues-inspired, soul-based music, as well as rockin’ modern. Kitchen opens at 6pm with music at 7pm. Pulled pork, veggie dish and maybe even strawberries. BYOB. Family-friendly. Stop by and get yourself ramped up for summer!

Strawberry Festival (6/21, 3pm-6pm): Join us for a potluck. We’ll provide the dessert, farm tour, wagon rides, children’s activities and strawberries for picking. As the harvest allows, each CSA member may pick up to 2 quarts of strawberries for free and extras should be available for purchase by anyone attending.


RECIPE: Roasted Carrots with Parsley Butter

1 ½ lbs carrots
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil  
1 garlic clove
¼ tsp kosher salt  
¼ cp chopped parsley

Roast Carrots: Heat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut carrots into 2 to 3-inch sticks. (Depending on how wide the thicker ends are, you may need to slice each stick in half, lengthwise). Toss carrots onto the baking sheet with the olive oil and salt. Make sure the carrots are coated then spread out into one layer. Roast carrots, stirring twice, until they are tender with edges that are lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Make Garlic Parsley Butter: While the carrots roast, melt butter in a small pan over low heat. Use the back of a large knife to gently crush the garlic clove. Remove the skin then add clove to the butter along with the parsley. Wait until the butter bubbles gently then cook for 1 minute. Slide pan away from the heat and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic for a more subtle flavor.

Coat Carrots: Slide the roasted carrots into a bowl with the garlic parsley butter. Toss then season to taste with additional salt.

 

 

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