CSA Newsletter Week #8 July 17th

Farm Notes
This week brought us some much needed rain. We also were busy harvesting our bulb onions, which are now in the curing phase. Like garlic, we have to give our red and white onions time to complete the curing process before they’ll be part of your CSA share. We also trellised our second batch of cucumbers this week.

This week’s Garlic variety is Bogatyr. Bogatyr garlic is one of the hottest hardneck varieties with purple marbled striped, elongated cloves. These have fiery heat and long-lasting flavor, so use sparingly raw.

The ripe cherry tomatoes in our U-Pick field were quickly cleaned out this week, so we apologize if you came out to harvest and had trouble finding many ripe ones. The good news is that the plants are still full of fruit just starting to ripen, so many more will be on the way for picking soon!

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What’s In Your Share

For July 17th, you’ll find:

+ Carrots
+ Bogatyr Garlic
+ Green Beans
+ Green Bell Peppers
+ Poblano OR Anaheim Peppers
+ Green Jalapeño Peppers
+ Leeks
+ Fennel Leaf
+ Eggplant
+ Chard

The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Herbs
+ Flowers
+ Cherry Tomatoes
+ Basil and Dill Flowers (in the 5th field)

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!
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Veggie Tips
+ Hot peppers enter your share this week: Poblano, Anaheim, and Green Jalapeño. In terms of heat, Poblanos (stout sized) and Anaheims (slender sized) are one step above the bells and banana peppers; but while they’re mild for heat, the oils may still pack a punch, so be careful when handling them. Try these stuffed! You can also grill them or dry and grind into powder for seasoning.
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Poblano

Jalapeños are one more step above Poblanos/Anaheims for heat, but are not as hot as many of your other chiles like Serrano or Cayenne. Of course you can stuff with cheese and fry as jalapeño poppers, but you can also use them for jelly, salsas, with seafood, in Mexican cuisine, or roasted.
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Green Jalapeño

+ Leeks are in the (former) lily plant family along with garlic, onions, and asparagus. They have a variety of uses and flavors that are similar to both onions and garlic. Leeks have a more subtle, buttery flavor than its cousins, but unlike onions, don’t have the same sugars that allow it to caramelize when cooked. The green tops can be used in a soup stock, while the white and light green shank is used primarily for eating. Just be sure to give them a thorough wash – slice the shank lengthwise, then soak or rinse well to dislodge any dirt in the leek’s many layers. Try leeks thinly sliced and raw in salad, grilled, braised, or substitute for onions in soup.
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+ Fennel Leaf is in the same plant family as carrots. The plant is similar to bulb fennel, but is grown for its delicate, leafy fronds. This plant looks like dill and is best used fresh as you would use an herb, for flavoring or a garnish. The fennel leaf will still have a flavor like the fennel bulb – reminiscent of anise – but may be milder. Try adding these leaves to salads, cole slaws, dressings, or as seasoning for fish, pork, or dishes with tomatoes or potatoes. Fennel leaf also works great when steeped in boiling water for 10 minutes as a tea that calms overwrought stomachs! Bruise the fronds lightly to release their flavor.
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Recipes

Leek with Olive Oil
Submitted by CSA Member Hayriye Cetin Karaca

Ingredients:
1 bunch of leeks, washed and cut into chunks
2 carrots, sliced in circular shapes
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp tomato paste (optional)
½ cup rice, washed and drained
1 ½ cup hot water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp sugar

Directions:
Place olive oil and onions in a pot and sauté them till the onions turn light brown. Then add tomato paste (optional), sliced carrots and chopped leeks. Cook them over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice and sauté for 1-2 minutes, and then add hot water, salt and sugar. Cook till rice becomes soft, for about 30-40 minutes over low heat.
Let Leeks with Olive Oil cool in the pot. Then place into a serving plate. Drizzle some lemon juice and olive oil (optional) on top.

Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
Submitted by CSA Member Hayriye Cetin Karaca

Ingredients:
2 lb (~1kg) bell peppers
1 cup rice, washed and drained
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 tsp tomato paste
½ cup olive oil
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp dried/fresh mint
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
½ tomato, sliced in 4 pieces for caps

Directions:
Cut tops off peppers, remove seeds and wash. In a saucepan, place the olive oil and finely chopped onions. Sauté lightly. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, sauté for 3 more minutes.Add the rice and braise for 5 minutes. Then add salt, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, dried mint and1 cup hot water. Stir and simmer until all liquid is evaporated.Let it cool.With a spoon fill the peppers with the mixture. Place one slice of tomato as a cap on top of each pepper. In a large saucepan or pot, place the rice stuffed bell peppers in the bottom. Add warm water, enough to almost cover half height of the peppers.
Close the lid and cook on low-medium heat, until the peppers get soft, for about 15-20 minutes. Cool before serving.

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Grilled Vegetable Medley Pizza with Grilled Leeks
From Farmer John’s Cookbook
Have fun experimenting with topping combinations and try adding your favorite fresh herbs.

Ingredients:
Assortment of grilled vegetables, any combination and quantity:

Leeks
Zucchini or Summer Squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Red or Green Bell Peppers, sliced
Fennel, roughly chopped
Red Onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Large Tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Portabella Mushrooms, sliced

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 batch pizza crust or prepared pizza crust, for two 12-inch pizzas
3/4 cup marinara or pesto sauce
1/2 lb sausage, cooked and crumbled, or 1/2 lb sliced pepperoni (optional)
4 cups chopped spinach
1 lb (or less) mozzarella or provolone, grated; or feta or goat cheese crumbled; or a blend of cheeses

Directions:
1. Build a medium hot hardwood charcoal fire, or set your gas grill on high. (You can also make this pizza in your oven at 450 degrees F; it won’t be a grilled pizza, but pizza nonetheless.)

2. To prepare the leeks for the grill, quarter them lengthwise, leaving them connected at the root. Fan out the strips of leek and clean under cold running water. Roughly reassemble the leek by tying it in two places with butcher’s twine.

3. Brush all the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

4. When the coals are ready, spread them out on side of the grill. Add the vegetables to the side with the coals. The vegetables will all require different cooking times, so turn them often until you see grill marks on both sides, and then remove them from the grill. If any vegetables start to burn, move them to the side without the coals. Add more coals to the fire while you prepare the pizza in the next steps.

5. Roll out the pizza dough and place it on a baking sheet. Spread half of the sauce on the dough. Add half the meat and half the grilled vegetables.

6. Spread the coals in an even layer across the bottom of the grill. (If using a gas grill, turn one of the burners off and turn the other to medium.) Place the baking sheet on the grill rack. Cover the grill. (Be sure the vents are open.) Uncover after 5 minutes; the crust will be firm. Mound the spinach onto the pizza; cover again and grill until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. At this point, you can slide the pizza off the baking sheet right onto the grill to add crispness and grill flavor to the crust – but take a peek at the underside of your crust first: if it’s already deep brown in spots, leave it on the baking sheet. Top with half the cheese. Cover and grill until the cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes.

7. Remove the pizza from the grill and set aside to cool slightly. Cut in pieces and serve hot, cold, or at room temperature. Repeat the process with the remaining crust and ingredients to make another pizza.

CSA Newsletter Week #7 July 10th

Farm Notes
This morning was pleasant and peaceful in the fields, as staff and apprentices got busy harvesting corn, eggplant, and peppers for your share. The corn is a different variety that should have fewer pests to “bug” you; but after today, we won’t see corn again until later this summer. We will most likely have a break from squash, zucchini, and cucumbers for a few weeks. The next round of cucumbers will be pickling cucumbers. The broccoli is also our last batch until fall.

Some of the crops are still plentiful and should be reappearing in your share – including carrots and garlic! We spent some of our time this week working to process our garlic, and we have a few different varieties that will show up in your share. This week’s variety is Music, a hardneck garlic variety with large cloves and a medium hot flavor.

We hope that tomatoes may be ready next week or the week after, so there is much to look forward to in your upcoming shares!

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Note from an Apprentice
By Diane Crossfield

Hello UK CSA members! My name is Diane Crossfield, and I am a student in the Sustainable Agriculture program at the College of Ag. The apprenticeship at the South Farm that my fellow students and I are so fortunate to be a part of this summer is by far the richest, most ‘hands on,’ involved, and thought provoking learning environment I have ever had the pleasure to be involved in. Each day on the farm presents new opportunities to expand and remold our perspectives on something that is part of the basic foundation in all our, and your, lives: where our food comes from, how it is grown, the hands that do the work, the creative minds that plan the crops each season, and the passion of all those involved. For me, and many others out there on South Farm, passion is the driving force; the push that had us finding ourselves, at one point or another in our lives, gravitating toward the soil, finding the bliss in digging our hands in the earth, inhaling the scent of the dirt, and feeling the peace settle deep within ourselves. This is what burns at the heart of each of us, regardless of what we each seek at the outcome.

IMG_6991Diane helping with a recent Chard harvest

With that peace also comes fountains of new and fun things to learn. One of my first days on the farm, I found myself riding on the back of the transplant tractor, along with Sarah, as we tried to keep up with filling the holes made by the tractor with young plants, all the while getting drenched in water and fish emulsion. The plants absolutely love the fish emulsion, but I must say, my daughter was none too impressed when I picked her up later that day, reeking of ground up fish.

Learning to drive the tractors has been fun, and so far, we haven’t wrecked anything. Going out to the fields at 7am on harvest days, as a group of still sleepy but eager apprentices, creates a camaraderie that carries us through the day, regardless of how hot, or rainy, or long it may be. As we explore our relationship to the soil, and the food it produces, we forge new friendships that will last long after this crop season is over. We laugh as we dig up carrots and find one in the shape of a stickman, we talk about a multitude of recipes as we cut the basil, with the scent driving our hunger, or the amazing colors of the rainbow Swiss chard. We all share a meal, made of the very food we’ve harvested and prepared to bring to you all at the CSA pickup. The jovial spirit that follows us from the field to the wash bins and packing shed, to the kitchen and midday meal, to packing up the truck for the CSA, is one we are happy to share with you, as you all arrive to pick up your weekly share of the bounty that we are fortunate enough to call our “classroom.”

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What’s In Your Share

For July 10th, you’ll find:

+ Corn
+ Broccoli
+ Carrots
+ Green Beans
+ Cucumbers
+ Squash and Zucchini
+ Eggplant
+ Green Bell Peppers
+ Banana Peppers
+ Garlic

The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Herbs
+ Flowers
+ Okra
+ Cherry Tomatoes – these are just starting, so this week, expect modest harvests only
+ Basil and Dill Flowers- the bed of basil and dill is on the same side as the main U-Pick field, but it is located in the 5th field. You can spot the basil planted over white plastic, next to the plants covered by white netting, and the dill is on the opposite end. There will be a U-Pick sign also to direct you, or a farm staffer will be happy to show you where the basil and dill is to be picked!

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!

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Veggie Tips

+ Both Peppers in your share today are sweet (Green Bells) and mild (Banana) peppers – they have little or no heat. A tip for slicing them: cut open the pepper first, then slice with the inside of the pepper facing your knife. The inside of peppers are easier to cut than the slick, outer skin. To roast bell peppers: you can place the whole pepper directly over gas or charcoal fire. Turn them frequently with tongs until skins become wrinkled and loose. In an oven, cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove stems and seeds, and press down to flatten. Place cut side down on sheet pan, brush with oil, and roast at 400 degrees F or higher or under broiler until skin blisters. For soft and slightly smoky flavor, roast until skins are completely charred and peppers have collapsed. After roasting, you can place the peppers in a covered bowl for 10 minutes, after which time the skins will slip off easily.

+ There are many herbs available in our U-Pick fields, but one lesser known herb is Lemongrass. Lemongrass is common in Asian cooking, and pairs well with coconut milk, garlic, chiles, and cilantro (a recipe pairing it with coconut milk is below). In warmer climates, the lemongrass stalks grow much larger when able to grow perennially year-round.  The stalks on our lemongrass won’t get too big, however, if you find some larger stalks, the bottom inner-portions are quite tender and tasty.  Harvest stalks at the soil level, and remove any tough outer leaves. You can then finely chop the thicker part of the stalk’s bottom that is yellow and fleshly for use in salads or stir fries. What you will mainly find in the fields are larger sections of stalks and leaves can be used for flavoring. Pound the stalks and leaves first to release some of the oils, if desired. Try using whole stalks in soups and stocks as you would use a bay leaf, but remove before eating. Or tie a few stalks together and lay on top of fish for grilling or baking, or stuffing some in chicken. Pieces of lemongrass leaves can also be steeped in hot water with herbal teas, or used for infusing flavor into cocktails.

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+ The Green Bean variety is called “Provider” – this bush bean variety produces stringless beans that are great for fresh eating, freezing, or canning. They will hold their form for canning, and are also firm enough to do well in casseroles or boiled with potatoes, for example. These beans are also incredibly sweet! Store them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper, and when ready to use, trim ends off.

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Recipes

Fresh Basil Beans
From The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh green beans
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
1/4 tsp salt
1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop in the beans and cook for about 5 minutes, until bright and crisp. The actual cooking time depends on the thickness and maturity of the bean. Drain and immediately plunge the beans in ice water. Drain again, and keep the beans cool or refrigerated. To reheat the beans, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beans, toss, and cook until warm. Add the garlic, basil, salt, and red pepper flakes, stirring to cook the garlic and coat the beans.

Variations:
Gremolata Beans – substitute 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest for the basil.
Lemon Parmesan Beans – substitute 1 Tbsp lemon zest and juice of 1/2 lemon for the basil. Stir in 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese just before serving.
Sesame Ginger Beans – substitute 1 tsp minced fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari, 1 Tbsp dark sesame seed oil, juice of 1 lime, and 1 tsp sesame seeds for the olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt.

Broccoli Cornmeal Cakes
From Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 and 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups broccoli, chopped and cooked

Directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Whisk in milk, eggs, and oil until smooth. Stir broccoli into batter. Pour 1/2 cup batter into a hot, lightly greased skillet. Cook over medium heat 1-2 minutes on each side. Repeat three times. Top with goat cheese and bacon if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Zucchini Crumble Dessert
Submitted by apprentice Sarah Newman

Prep Time: 30-45 Min. Total Bake Time: 1 hour
Servings: 16-20

Ingredients:
Crust
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups cold butter (Earth Balance buttery spread for vegan version)
Filling
8 to 10 cups peeled and cubed zucchini (4 to 5 pounds)
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt for the crust. Cut in butter until crumbly; set aside 3 cups. Pat remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13 in. x 9 in. baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, for filling, place zucchini and lemon juice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; cover and simmer for 5 minutes (the mixture will be thin).

3. Spoon the filling over the bottom crust. Cover the filling with the 3 cups of crumble mixture set aside earlier. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar (optional). Enjoy!

Indonesian Lemongrass Scented Coconut Rice
From the Food Network

Ingredients:
2 cups jasmine rice
1 quart water
3 stalks fresh lemongrass, bruised with the side of a knife and tied in a bundle
1 -inch piece ginger
5 fresh lime leaves (or substitute lime zest and 1/2 tsp lime juice)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon crushed peanuts, for garnish

Directions:
In a 2-quart saucepan, add the rice and 1 quart of water. Scoop out any rice that floats to the top and gently swirl the rice in the water until it becomes cloudy. Drain the water and repeat the process several times until the water begins to run fairly clear. Leave the washed rice in the pot.

Add all remaining ingredients to the pot except the crushed peanuts. Stir well to combine. Make sure the aromatics are fully submerged in the rice.

Place the pot over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring to prevent any of the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The liquid will thicken slightly as it comes to a boil. Once the liquid boils, immediately reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Continue to cook until the rice tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the rice to steam with the lid on for an additional 10 minutes.

Discard the lemongrass, ginger and lime leaves. Gently fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a deep serving bowl. Garnish with the crushed peanuts. The rice may be served hot or just warm.

CSA Newsletter Week #6 July 3rd

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Farm Notes
We have a short week at the farm because of the holiday tomorrow, but of course we still managed to get plenty of tasks completed! We started second rounds of bean and squash plantings in our fields for later this summer. Also, all of our fall crops have been seeded in our greenhouse.

This is the last week for beets in your share until the fall, so enjoy the abundant harvest! Broccoli is winding down for now, but we may get one more harvest if we are lucky before fall. We also are starting in with our carrot harvests, so you can definitely expect more carrots for the next few weeks. Eggplant is also just starting, while squash harvests continue to be steady.

We hope you have a wonderful 4th of July holiday this weekend, filled with farm fresh food!

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What’s In Your Share

For July 3rd, you’ll find:

+ Savoy Cabbage
+ Broccoli
+ Eggplant
+ Zucchini
+ Squash
+ Cucumbers
+ Carrots
+ Beets
+ Kale OR Chard
+ Basil
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The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Flowers
+ Herbs
+ Okra

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!
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Veggie Tips

+ Savoy Cabbage has crinkled leaves which tend to be sweeter and more delicate than red or green cabbage that you’ve already received in your share. There is no need to boil these cabbage leaves, as they will cook quickly and have a more mild flavor.
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+ This is the first week for Eggplant in the share. There are two varieties to choose from: Galene is a deep purple globe eggplant, while Nubia is a purple and white variegated Italian eggplant. Both are great for grilling or frying. Eggplants absorb seasonings prodigiously – along with oils and sauces. There is no need to peel eggplants. Many people salt eggplant to draw out its bitterness; but if the eggplant is harvested before seeds completely develop, the fruit shouldn’t require salting. If salting, sprinkle over cut up sections of eggplant, leave for 30 minutes or more. Then blot up any liquid that comes to the surface.

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Recipes

Savoy Cabbage on Toast
From Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. Savoy Cabbage (1/2 small cabbage)
2 Tbsp butter
Sea salt
1/4 cup cream or half and half
Freshly ground pepper
2 slices ciabatta or whole wheat bread
Paper thin slices of aged Gouda cheese

Directions:
Slice the cabbage into ribbons a generous 1/4 inch wide. Rinse but do not dry them.
Melt the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the cabbage, season with 1/2 tsp salt, and turn it in the butter. Pour in the cream mixture, turn down the heat to medium low, cover partially, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper. There should be a little liquid in the pan.

While the cabbage is cooking, toast the bread, then set a slice on each of 2 plates and cover with the cheese. When the cabbage is done, spoon it over the toasts, allowing some of the juices to puddle on the plates. Serve right away and eat with a knife and fork. If you eat slowly, the bread will soften and absorb the delicious juices.

Serves 2.

Variation: Season with herbs. Cabbage goes well with parsley and dill, but also cumin, rosemary, and thyme. Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking.

Baba Ganouj
From kitchendaily.com

Ingredients:
2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (see Note)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Extra-virgin olive oil for garnish
Ground sumac for garnish if desired.

Directions:
1. Preheat grill to high.
2. Prick eggplants all over with a fork. Thread garlic cloves onto a skewer. Grill the eggplants, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Grill the garlic, turning once, until charred and tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Transfer the eggplants and garlic to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, peel both. Transfer to a food processor. Add lemon juice, tahini and salt; process until almost smooth. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sumac, if desired.

Note: Tahini is a thick paste of ground sesame seeds. Look for it in large supermarkets in the Middle Eastern section or near other nut butters.

Baked Beet and Carrot Burgers with Brown Rice, Sunflower Seeds, and Cheddar Cheese
From “Farmer John’s Cookbook”

If you like veggie burgers, you’ll love this recipe. Sweet beets and carrots give luscious flavor to these patties—together with pungent onion, snappy Cheddar Cheese, and lots of toasty nuts and seeds. Additional flour and egg could be substituted for the rice.

Ingredients:
Butter for greasing the baking sheet
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups peeled, grated beets (1-2 medium beets)
2 cups grated carrots (about 4 carrots)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with butter.
2. Place a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir them on the dry skillet just until lightly browned and fragrant, 3-5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning them. Immediately remove from heat and transfer the toasted seeds to a dish to cool. Repeat with the sunflower seeds.
3. Combine the beets, carrots, and onion in a large bowl. Stir in the toasted sunflower and sesame seeds, eggs, rice, Cheddar cheese, oil, flour, parsley, soy sauce or tamari, and garlic (using hands works best). Add cayenne and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Using your hands, shape mixture into 12 patties and arrange them in rows on the baking sheet.
6. Bake the patties until brown around the edge, about 20 minutes. Unless they are very large and thick it should not be necessary to turn them. Serve alone or on buns.

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CSA Newsletter Week #5 June 26th

Farm Notes
Some of the early spring crops have already finished and their beds spaded to prepare for the next crop this fall. Seedlings are growing in the greenhouse for fall plantings. Meanwhile, the task of weeding never ends! This week will be the last of the turnips, radishes, and green onions. Next week you’ll see more beets and Savoy cabbage in your share.

Don’t forget: our summer solstice potluck is this Friday at 6pm! We hope to see you and your family out at the farm!

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Note from an Apprentice
by Michael Hurak

First, I want to say hello to all of the various shareholders whom I have had the fortune to meet and interact with these past few weeks during the CSA. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of my apprenticeship thus far has been taking part in the CSA each week and speaking with all of you. My time on the farm thus far has allowed me to have the full spectrum of what it takes to run a farm from irrigating fields to learning to drive tractors for the first time several weeks ago. Each day provides me a new opportunity and gives me a look into the lives of the men and women who do this every single day without fail, who sadly seem to have been slowly forgotten and somewhat less appreciated in this country we live in. However, by taking part in this apprenticeship and the CSA, I have come to see the amount of people who care and are interested in the where and how of the food they are receiving; each week is a new interaction where I see this appreciation. My time on the farm has led me to new experiences, friends, and opportunities which I’m hoping will carry over to help me in the future.

P.S. I will be out at the CSA today and am really excited to see you all again; however, if you read this today please no spoilers of the results of the USA v. Germany World Cup match at the pick-up. Thank you!
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What’s In Your Share

For June 26th, you’ll find:

+ Red Cabbage
+ Turnips
+ Radishes
+ Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers
+ Beets
+ Corn
+ Green Onions
+ Basil
+ Kale OR Chard

The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Flowers
+ Herbs – take cuttings from the herbs, but leave the plant to continue to grow.
+ Okra – the okra are just starting to come on; the pickings will be slim this week, but expect more soon!

Please bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting the U-Pick items!

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Veggie Tips

+ This first batch of Corn is early corn from being transplanted, while the rest of the corn yet to come this summer was started in the ground from seed. Because this corn is early, expect the kernels to be smaller on the ears.  Also, EXPECT to find worms in your ears: consider it a fun way to educate your kids and appreciate what it takes to get sweet corn in our diverse environment.  We have some organic-approved methods of reducing the number of worms that our organic sweet corn has, but these ears (being quite early in the season) are NOT free of worms or other bugs :)

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+ The Squash and Zucchini season of summer is in full swing. Afraid you might get tired of squash before summer’s end? Start thinking now about how you can freeze some for later – you’ll thank us in the middle of winter as you add pre-frozen squash to a soup or stir fry. Our advice for freezing this vegetable: cut it into half inch rounds, blanche in boiling water for about 3 minutes, transfer rounds to ice water to suspend cooking, drain off water, then bag and freeze. The blanched and frozen squash will lose some of its crunch when thawed. Or try baking with zucchini – a sweet bread recipe for zucchini is below.

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+ Another tip for Cucumber and Squash, both in the Cucurbit family: both vegetables are mostly water, so in order to keep these veggies from diluting some dishes, try salting them before use. The salt will draw out the water and concentrate their flavors. While salting is unnecessary when sauteéing or grilling, it will help when using squash in a frittata or omelet, for example. Can we also recommend that you eat the skins of both vegetables? Squash skins contain antioxidants and Cucumber skins contain fiber, silica, magnesium, and potassium.

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Recipes

Zucchini Logs Stewed in Olive Oil with Onions and Chard
From Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus oil to finish
1 onion, sliced a scant 1/2 inch thick
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tsp chopped marjoram or oregano
1 and 1/2 lbs. zucchini, cut into logs 1.5-2 inches long
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
8 Chard leaves, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water or stock
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:
Choose a good-sized wide pan and tight fitting lid. Heat oil over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, and half the marjoram/oregano, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, stir about to coat with the oil, and season with pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Lay the chard over the squash and season it with a few pinches of salt. Add the water, cover the pan, and lower the heat.

Cook gently until the zucchini is tender, 20-30 minutes. Remove the lid, stir the chard into the squash – gently so you don’t smash it – and add the remaining marjoram/oregano. Re-cover and cook for another few minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, drizzle with oil, and serve. Accompany with lemon wedges.

Cucumber-Lovage Sandwich with Sweet Onion
From Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
You can get Lovage from our U-Pick herb fields!

Directions:
Spread 2 slices of nutty, whole-grain bread with butter, cream cheese, quark, or whatever dairy appeals to you. Cover 1 slice with lovage leaves, thin unpeeled cucumber slices, and a paper-thin slice of sweet onion. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, then cover with the second slice of bread. Press gently then slice in half it it’s lunch or quarters if it’s an appetizer.

Cabbage with Indian Spices
From “Farmer John’s Cookbook”
This dish is wonderful served with any Indian curry dish or with basmati rice.

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil or ghee
2 cups minced onion (about 4 medium)
1 and 1/2 tsp. minced ginger
1 green hot chile pepper, cut in half lengthwise
1 pound cabbage (about 1 small head), shredded
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch turmeric
3 Tbsp. water
1 large fresh tomato, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:
1. Head oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, ginger, and chile pepper; saute, stirring often, until the onion is browned, 15-20 minutes.
2. Stir in the cabbage. Add the coriander, cayenne, and turmeric and mix well. Add the water, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add the tomato and salt; stir to combine. Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove hot chile peppers before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

100% Whole Wheat Coconut Zucchini Bread
From Farmgirl Fare

Ingredients:
1½ cups organic white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (scant 1/4 teaspoon if using fresh ground)
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup organic yogurt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces zucchini, coarsely grated (about 1½ cups; don’t squeeze out any liquid)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Directions:
Heat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan (you can use coconut oil if you like).

In a large bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coconut. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, yogurt, egg, vanilla, and zucchini and mix well with a rubber spatula. Let the mixture sit until it comes to room temperature. (Alternately, you can let the yogurt, egg, and zucchini come to room temperature separately and then combine everything.)

Stir the melted coconut oil into the wet ingredients, then fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently just until combined.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. If the top of the loaf starts getting too dark (check after about 40 minutes), cover it lightly with a piece of foil for the remaining baking time.

Let the zucchini bread cool in the pan 10 minutes, then carefully remove it and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to three days or freeze. Tastes great sliced and toasted!

Potluck: THIS Friday at 6:00pm

We’ve been spreading the word—but in case you haven’t heard:

THIS Friday, June 27th join us for the UKCSA annual June potluck.  We ask that you bring a dish to share and join us for this fun community meal. The farm will provide all plates, utensils, cups and drinks. We will gather at 6:00pm-followed by a farm tour, volleyball games and a bonfire.

The farm is located at 4321 Emmert Farm Lane: when traveling south on Nicholasville Road, turn right on Man-O-War and at the first stoplight, take a left into the main farm gate, directly across from the Lowe’s and Walmart. Follow the gravel drive straight past the residence on your left and the greenhouses on your right until you reach the organic buildings at the back of the farm. Park in the small parking lot on your left or in the grassy area just to the north.

Everyone is invited—see you there!

Tiffany

CSA Newsletter Week #4 June 19th

Farm Notes
This week we are opening up the U-Pick fields! We are growing a few crops specifically for folks who want to come out to the farm and U-Pick. Some of these crops you may also receive in your share (i.e. green beans and basil), while others are only being grown for U-Pick (i.e. flowers, okra, and cherry tomatoes). You may come to the farm for U-Pick anytime during the normal farm hours, Monday through Friday, 7:30am-4:00pm. The farm is not available for U-Pick on the weekends or outside of these hours.

Every week, we will list what is available in the weekly newsletter (see below). On your first visit, we ask that you find one of the organic team (in the organic shed or out in the fields) for a U-Pick orientation. You will need to bring your own harvest containers and your own pruners or scissors.

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Additional notes:
• Please no pets
• Please stay out of fields not specified in the newsletter as containing U-Pick crops (most crops will be in the field adjacent to the parking lot)
• U-Pick privileges are limited to primary/secondary shareholders, but please feel free to bring your grandchildren, visiting family members, etc. with you when you come.
• Please drive slowly

How to get here:
The Horticulture Research Farm is located on the southwest corner of Man-O-War and Nicholasville Road. From the UK campus, head south (towards Nicholasville) on Nicholasville Road. Turn right onto Man-O-War Boulevard. Take the first left turn (there is a stoplight) onto the farm. Stay straight on the farm road, go past the residence on your left and the greenhouses on the right. Please park in the small parking lot on your left.

Note from an Apprentice
by Caroline Engle

Hello! My name is Caroline Engle and I’m a junior double majoring in natural resources/environmental science and agricultural economics, with a minor in sustainable agriculture. I love learning and have many passions from studying climate change policy to water conservation and mountaintop removal activism. My family has always had a garden and throughout my life I’ve learned the importance of local foods due to its carbon footprint, nutritional value, and connection to community; however, I had no experience farming outside backyard produce. Since I started working at the CSA farm I can honestly say that I’ve learned more working on the farm for the past three weeks than any three weeks spent in a classroom. I’ve learned various cover crop combinations, how to harvest a variety of crops, how to use a vacuum seeder, insect and weed identification, drip irrigation installation and maintenance, and even how to drive a tractor. The learning I’ve experienced at the farm is not traditional learning like studying a textbook or reading endless research articles — it’s hard work that mentally and physically challenges you. Through blisters and numerous hot afternoons, I’ve finally learned how to post tomatoes without having to bend over or wrestle with string.
image
Caroline ready to tie tomatoes!

The learning I’ve experienced is also more emotion-driven than typical schoolwork as well. I’m continuously amazed by the inherent connection between the land and our health as I come back day after day watching seeds germinate to something beautiful and delicious. I’ve learned the power of community and working together to feed a group of people healthy, pesticide-free food because as a community we believe that’s the right thing to do. Organic farming for the CSA has been a huge educational experience for me, and luckily it’s something I can do every day this summer knowing that there’s still so much more to learn.

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What’s In Your Share

For June 19th, you’ll find:

+ Cabbage
+ Kohlrabi
+ Beets
+ Salad Mix
+ Green Onions
+ Chard
+ Squash and Zucchini
+ Cilantro or Dill
+ Radishes

The following crops are available for U-Pick:

+ Flowers — the flowers are still small, but there will be plenty more in the weeks to come as the plants continue to grow!
+ Herbs — please take selective cuttings from the herbs, and leave the plant some leaves to continue to grow.

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Veggie Tips

+ Cabbage is another member of the Brassica plant family. They can be eaten raw or cooked, but cooking releases their beneficial elements, which includes vitamins K and C and amino acids with anti-inflammatory properties. Be wary of overcooking cabbage, however; 5-10 minutes of simmering or steaming will do the trick. You can also eat the core of the cabbage if you slice it thinly.

+ Chard – along with Beets, Spinach, and a host of edible weeds – are in the Amaranth plant family. These colorful leafy greens have vitamins A, C, K, B, E as well as magnesium, iron, potassium and fiber – all in a package with almost no calories. In short, it’s a nutritional powerhouse! You can eat chard raw, though we recommend cutting it up in small pieces for salads. Most people prefer chard steamed or sautéed. When cooked, chard leaves retain more bulk than spinach leaves. The ribs of chard are edible, but they will take longer to cook. Consider removing the leafy part from the ribs first and cook separately. Ribs can also be used in any vegetable stock. Try pairing Chard with lentils or potatoes. It can also be used to bulk up soups, stuff lasagna, or as an addition to quiche.

+ The Beets in your share are coming with greens attached! The greens are highly nutritious – in addition to having vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, and copper like the beet root itself contains, the leaves also have choline and folate. Cut the tops off soon after taking them home, and you can use them as you would spinach. Mix them with other greens, wilt them, toss with pasta, add them to soup… there are many uses for these edible greens! The stems of the leaves are not usually eaten, though you can use them in soup stock.

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Recipes

Radish Tea Sandwiches with Creamy Dill Spread
From Eating Well magazine
Ingredients:
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese or creamy goat cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more for garnish
12 slices cocktail size thin pumpernickel or rye bread
6-8 medium radishes, thinly sliced

Directions:
Mash cream cheese (or goat cheese), chopped dill, capers, and 1/8 tsp of pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Spread about 2 tsp of the mixture on each piece of bread. Top each with a few radish slices, a spring of dill, and a generous grinding of pepper. Makes 12 tea sandwiches.

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Grilled Green Onions
Ingredients:
1 bunch green onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:
1. Wash the onions thoroughly.
2. Place whole onions on a sheet of foil.
3. Place the butter over the onions.
4. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.
5. Fold the foil over the onions and seal the edges so the butter steams the onions.
6. Place on a hot grill until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
7. Be careful when opening, the steam will be hot.

Another grilled vegetable recipe to try: Grilled Cabbage!

Russian Cabbage Borscht
From Moosewood Cookbook
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced potato
1 cup thinly sliced beets
1 large sliced carrot
1 stalk chopped celery
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 scant teaspoon caraway seeds
(optional: 1 tablespoon raisins)
4 cups stock or water
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
1 cup tomato puree

Directions:
Place potatoes, beets and water in a saucepan and cook until everything is tender (save the water). Begin cooking the onions in the butter in a large kettle. Add caraway seeds and salt. Cook until onion is translucent, then add celery, carrots and cabbage. Add water from beets and potatoes and cook, covered until all the vegetables are tender. Add potatoes, beets and remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer slowly for at least 30 minutes.

Herb, Chard, and Feta Soup
From bon appétit
Ingredients:
SOUP
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound Swiss chard leaves (center ribs and stems removed) or spinach, coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
GARNISHES
5 ounces plain Greek-style yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, and mint), divided
4 ounces feta, crumbled, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
Olive oil (optional)

Directions:
SOUP
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft (do not brown), 7–8 minutes. Stir in chard, broth, parsley, cilantro, fresh and dried mint, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pan. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm soup before continuing.
GARNISHES
Place 1/3 of yogurt in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm soup; whisk until smooth. Repeat process twice more, adding a total of 1 cup more soup. Whisk yogurt mixture into soup in saucepan. Stir 1/4 cup herbs and half of feta into soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining 1/4 cup herbs and 2 oz. feta. Drizzle with oil, if desired.

CSA Newsletter Week #3 June 12th

Farm Notes

Our annual ‘solstice’ party date has caught up to us too quickly, so we are postponing one week to make sure everyone has ample time to prepare.  We will celebrate a week later: Friday, June 27th join us for our annual farm event where past and current farm staff, apprentices, and CSA members share in a meal together.  It is a potluck event, so we ask that you bring a dish to share and join us for this fun community meal.  More details will follow, but mark your calendars and we hope to see you on the 27th.

We have hit our stride here in the middle of June–most of the main summer planting is complete and we play the game of keeping the weeds in check, taking care of  the crops and harvesting, always harvesting.  We are in the process of harvesting the garlic and it is tantalizing smelling the fresh smell of garlic–it makes us hungry!  The garlic will need to cure for 4-6 weeks before we will begin to pass it out in the share.

The living mulch has sprouted, the winter squash plants are in bloom, the T-posts have been pounded on the tomatoes (and then supported, meticulously, with twine by our patient apprentices) and farm staff Kristi and her husband, Trevor, had their baby girl on Tuesday!  This is a picture of Kristi just last week helping deliver the T-posts to the rest of us to pound into the ground.

What’s In Your Share

For June 12th, you’ll find:

+Crisp-head Lettuce
+Red Butterhead Lettuce
+Baby Salad Greens
+Spinach
+Broccoli
+Yellow Summer Squash
+Zucchini
+Green Onions
+Cilantro

Veggie Tips

+Although Broccoli is a common vegetable, fresh Kentucky broccoli is a treat because we can only grow Broccoli for a short window in the Spring and a short window in the Fall in our climate.  We hope you’ll enjoy the large quantity this week–we will probably only have Broccoli one more time in the next week or two, but not again until the Fall.  Freeze what you can’t finish this week!

+The summer squash and zucchini have started-a bit sooner than anticipated, but we can’t turn them away.  Once they start producing fruit, we must harvest three times a week–it becomes part of the summer routine: grabbing a long-sleeve shirt to avoid the plants’ spines, and searching for those fruit that seem to grow in front of our eyes.  Summer squash and zucchini are very versatile summer vegetables: pasta sauce, ratatouille, grilled additions to hamburgers, casseroles, the vessel for stuffing, a substitute for noodles (zucchini pasta).  Fried, boiled, baked, or grilled, we think you’ll come up with some variations on a similar theme week after week.  Store your squash and zucchini for up to a week in your fridge in a perforated plastic bag or a sealed container.

Recipes

Vegetarian Sushi (aka Lettuce Wraps)

4 to 8 lettuce leaves
3 ounces somen (thin Japanese wheat noodles)*

1/2 cup matchstick-size strips carrots (or substitute summer squash or broccoli?)
1/2 cup matchstick-size strips green onion
1/2 cup matchstick-size strips red bell pepper (can be left out)
Fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic*
1 teaspoon sugar

*Thin Japanese wheat noodles and chili paste with garlic are available at Asian markets, specialty foods stores, and in the Asian section of some supermarkets.

Pat lettuce leaves dry. Put water to boil. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Refresh under cold water and drain.

Arrange 4 lettuce leaves on work surface. Place additional leaves on each arranged leaf if needed to form 8-inch length. Place 1/4 cup noodles along 1 long side of each leaf forming 1-inch-wide strip. Arrange carrots atop noodles, then green onion, bell pepper and cilantro leaves. Starting from 1 long side, roll leaf over filling. Roll up tightly in jelly roll fashion.  Place each roll on piece of plastic wrap and roll up tightly, twisting ends. Refrigerate rolls 1 to 8 hours.

Combine vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste and sugar in bowl. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Remove plastic wrap from rolls. Trim ends. Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Place pieces cut side up on platter. Place sauce in center of rolls and serve.

Makes 24.
Per serving: calories, 20; fat, 0 g; sodium, 56 mg; cholesterol, 0 mg
Bon Appétit

Asian Broccoli

1 bunch broccoli
1 teas. minced garlic
1/3 c. chicken broth
2 tbl. soy sauce
1/4 tea. sesame oil

Peel the stems on the broccoli. Slice into “coins.” Cut the tops into florets.

Heat a wok until very hot. Add the oil and immediately add the garlic. Let sizzle for 15-20 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and give everything a quick stir. Without turning the heat down, cover the wok and let steam for 4-6 min., until the broccoli is done.

Broccoli Sausage Pasta 

1 lb turkey italian sausage
1 lb broccoli
1 box shaped pasta
1 onion
as much garlic as you can stand
Toasted Pine nuts
Parmesan Cheese
Chicken Stock
Red Pepper flakes

Saute onion and garlic in pan until softened. Add sausage and saute until browned. At the same time, blanch the broccoli in boiling water and drain and cook pasta in boiling water until Al dente. Once Broccoli is done add it to the sausage mixture along with crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Add small amount of chicken or vegatable stock to moisten the “sauce”. Place a good amount of pasta on plate, add shaved parmesan, add “sauce”. Add more parmesan and toasted pine nuts.

Zucchini Noodle Recipes:

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/zucchini-noodles-with-pesto/

http://www.everydaymaven.com/2013/how-to-make-zucchini-noodles/