CSA Newsletter, Week #1, May 25th

Farm Notes

Welcome everyone! We are excited to begin this CSA season with you. Our hope is that we can build relationships and community with you and your families and encourage you to eat fresh, local, organic vegetables. We also hope to challenge you to try new vegetables you may have never heard of and stretch your cooking creativity. The purpose of this newsletter is to give you a little glimpse into the going’s-on of the farm, hear from an apprentice on their learning experience, get recipes and veggie tips on what you are getting in your share that week, along with any important information you need to know. Let’s make it a great season!

Farm Stand

The CSA Farm Stand (which is for purchasing “extras”) will be set up at both the campus (from 4-6pm) and farm (from 3:30-6:30pm) locations. Items available will be on a first come, first served basis. For the campus location, we will be set up a little differently this year. The Farm Stand will be located all the way to the right of the pick-up line with it’s own tent and table. So please do not go through the regular pick-up line to buy a la carte. At the farm, the Farm Stand table will also be set up separately from the regular pick-up line. We accept cash or check only please.

Items Available for Purchase this Week:
+ Butterhead Lettuce
+ Kale
+ Garlic Scapes
+ Spinach
+ Arugula
+ Popcorn
+ Leeks

First share harvest of the 2017 season….garlic scapes!

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Josh Mott.

Broadening the horizons

I grew up in southern NJ, in a middle class suburban area about 20 minutes from Philadelphia, so farming is not exactly my upbringing. I ate well growing up, but I never really “tasted” anything. Strawberries were strawberries – maybe they would be sweet if I put some sugar on them. Produce would have the “guaranteed fresh” label on them, but for the most part, the food I was eating didn’t really have much of a flavor to it. In working with the CSA I have had many opportunities to try many fresh fruits and veggies and my world has been flipped upside down. Not only am I getting the “real” experience of growing my own food, but I’m also getting to try things that I never thought would be on my plate. Until working with the CSA I never knew what a leek was or what to even do with garlic scapes! 

It’s only May and I’ve already learned so much! I’ve gone from food being something that I eat to avoid stomach grumblings to understanding the hard work, dedication and trust that is involved in every last bite. Not to mention the actual difference between the taste of something you get from the grocery store and something that was hand picked that morning (not gonna lie, I was a skeptic before I started here but now I’m a faithful believer and my eyes have been opened). All of that wraps up into making the fruits a little sweeter and the veggies a little crispier and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 😉

One of our apprentices, Josh, is super excited about weeding the rhubarb!

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, our CSA members will receive:
+ Butterhead Lettuce
+ Kale
+ Spinach
+ Arugula
+ Popcorn (see below for how to use your popcorn)
+ Garlic Scapes

Veggie Tips (or Facts)

Here are a couple of charts to help you in the storage of your fresh veggies.

Popcorn processing.

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Recipes

For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.

Stovetop Popcorn

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or refined canola oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

Directions:
Add the oil and popcorn kernels to a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan with a lid. Shake the pan to coat the kernels with oil. The kernels should cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer.

Cover the pan and place it over medium high heat, shaking the pan occasionally until you begin to hear popping.

When the corn begins to pop, lift it slightly from the heat and shake the pan continually, holding the lid in place, until the popping begins to slow, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Leave the lid on for 1 minute — some kernels will continue to pop. When the popping stops, pour the popcorn into a large bowl.

Enjoy plain, or season as desired with olive oil, butter, salt, or spices.

+++

Microwave Popcorn

Directions from Kristi Durbin

Take 1/4 cup of kernels, 1 tbsp. olive oil or other oil and put in a brown paper sandwich bag. Close and shake until kernels are coated with oil. Keep bag folded closed and microwave about 2 minutes.

Popcorn test!

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Meal Plan Menu

Thursday:
Butterhead lettuce salad. Add diced veggies, nuts and hard boiled eggs to add protein and additional flavor. You can even make your own dressing!

Basic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper or black pepper

Directions:
Whisk together or shake together in a jar. Serve chilled.

Friday:

Make a pizza! If you don’t want to make the crust yourself, it would be just as easy to buy the pre-made crusts and sauce. And then pop some popcorn for a family movie night!

Friday Night Pizza
from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Makes 2 12-inch pizzas

Ingredients:
3 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 cups WARM water
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sliced onions
2 peppers, cut up
16 oz. mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh tomatoes in season or sauce
other toppings such as spinach, chopped
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary
olive oil

Directions:
To make crust, dissolve the yeast into the warm water and add oil and salt to that mixture. Mix the flours and knead them into the liquid mixture. Let the dough rise for 30-40 minutes.

While the dough is rising, prepare the sliced onions: a slow sauté to caramelize their sugars makes fresh onions into an amazing vegetable. First sizzle them on medium heat in a little olive oil, until transparent but not browned. Then turn down the burner, add a bit of water if necessary to keep them from browning, and let them cook 10-15 minutes more until they are glossy and sweet. Peppers can benefit from a similar treatment.

Once the dough has risen, divide it in half and roll out 2 round 12-inch pizza crusts on a clean, floured countertop, using your fingers to roll the perimeter into an outer crust as thick as you like. Using spatulas, slide the crusts onto well-floured pans or baking stones and spread toppings. Layer the cheese evenly over the crust, then scatter the toppings of the week on your pizza, finishing with the spices. If you use tomato sauce, spread that over the crust first, then cheese, then other toppings. Bake pizzas at 425F for about 20 minutes, until crust is browned on the edge and crisp in the center.

Saturday:

Try this arugula soup with some fresh bread.

Cream of Arugula Soup

Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
2 Large Tbsp salted butter
1 large onion
3 celery stalks finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch Arugula leaves, triple rinsed, stems removed
4 cups low salt chicken broth
1/2 cup of cream
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Melt butter over medium heat until melted. Add garlic, celery, onions, Simmer till all’s tender. About 15 min.
Add chicken stock, and Arugula leaves. Bring to a boil, and partially cover pot. Cook until Arugula, is wilted about ten min.
Add cream. Puree soup. Season to taste. Serve warm.

Sunday:

Today can be a leftovers day or just move on to the next day’s recipe suggestions.

Monday:

Have a kale salad. You can also sub the strawberries and pine nuts for other fruits and nuts if you’d like.

Massaged Kale Salad with Strawberries and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:
1 bunch kale, hard stems removed and torn into pieces
3 oz strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp pine nuts, raw or toasted (optional)
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Place kale pieces in a large bowl, add olive oil and salt.
2. Massage kale until it turns a darker shade of green and becomes soft.
3. Combine lemon juice and honey in a smaller bowl and add to the massaged kale.
4. Add salt and pepper.
5. Drizzle with more EVOO and add more honey if a little bit more sweetness is desired.
6. Add the slices strawberries and pine nuts.
7. Chill in the fridge for a few minutes and serve cold.

Tuesday:

Try making a garlic scape pesto over vegetables or pasta.

Scape Pesto

Far and away my favorite use for garlic scapes is pesto, either straight-up or mixed with herbs like basil and dill. Pesto showcases raw scapes in all their glory. Scape pesto can be very pungent, but it mellows substantially after a few months in the freezer. I like it best in the middle of winter, but I think that’s one part mellowing and two parts deprivation. My favorite scape pesto recipe is below.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes*
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few generous grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
*Or use half scapes and half herbs such as basil, dill and chervil

Directions:
In a small, dry pan set over very low heat, lightly toast the pine nuts, stirring or tossing occasionally until just beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Combine the scapes, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. When the oil is incorporated, transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. If you plan to freeze the pesto, wait to add the cheese until after you’ve defrosted it.

Wednesday:

Until we really get going with the veggies, if you have any leftovers, Wednesday could be another leftover day to clear space for Thursday’s new vegetables!

 

Preview: CSA Week 1 May 25th

This is the week!! Our first CSA delivery of 2017 will be THIS Thursday. Make sure you got your emails and read through all the details so you will be prepared! Don’t forget to email us at uk.csa@uky.edu your phone number AND carrier to receive a text message reminder.

Week 1 Preview:

+ Butterhead Lettuce
+ Spinach
+ Popcorn
+ Arugula
+ Garlic Scapes
+ Kale

Don’t know what a garlic scape is? This is the flowering stalk of a garlic plant. It is great for making pesto or sautéing with other greens as you would sauté garlic or onion.

Garlic scapes coming in week 1 CSA shares!

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Meet the 2017 CSA Farm Crew

Since this is the week before the first CSA pick-up we thought we would introduce you to the farm staff for this summer.

This is Kristi Durbin’s second year as the CSA manager and her sixth year here at the farm. Beginning way back in the 9th grade, Kristi started gardening to help her biology teacher (now a CSA member!), and has memories of helping extended family tend to large home gardens.  These influences coupled with a love for the created world and a desire for a meaningful, service oriented career ultimately lead her on the path to farming. Her long term goals include continuing on with UK while having some land in which she can grow perennial crops and enjoy time with her family. When asked if she had a favorite farmer or one she looks up to, she responded by saying that seeing the next generation wanting to be farmers, wanting to learn and being excited and enthusiastic about farming is what really inspires her. Just for fun…if she could have any super power in the world it would either be controlling the weather or raining joy down on everyone around her!

Aaron German is our philosopher turned farmer. He is joining us again for his fifth year here on the farm. Aaron’s interest in farming was sparked by his love of physical activity, concern for growing and increasing diversity in food, and peak oil. Much like everyone else, his long term goal is to be able to make a living doing something he loves – farming (and pay off his student loans!) Aaron is always listening to the Farmer to Farmer podcasts and sharing the information he learns with us. Some of his favorite farmers are Farmer John, who talks about weeds, Potato Jim and Corn Jim. Aaron’s got a few super powers he would like to have: soil moisture content vision, soil fertility content vision, or laser beam eyes to get rid of weeds.

This is Ben Yates’s first full season with the CSA. He came by way of Elmwood Stock Farm last September and we are glad that he is continuing on with us. Ben’s concern about global food supplies and peak oil, along with the desire for self-sufficiency, are what brought him to farming. His current long term goal is to have his own farm. Ben is often our comedic relief as demonstrated by his response to who his favorite farmer is: Aaron German. His super power would be to be able to remember people’s names (including his own).

Diane Crossfield is coming back for her second summer as our part-time staff. She is a student in the Sustainable Agriculture program. What really drew her into the sustainable ag program and farming was just being a mom and trying to feed her family on a decent budget. She realized how bad the US food system is and decided to go back to school to do something about it. Her long term goals include creating urban agriculture areas in food deserts to provide food and farming skills to marginalized communities. She wishes to bring solidarity, reduce the issues that face those communities and increase their independence. Along with Wendell Berry, Diane also really looks up to her uncle in western KY that still farms at the age of 83! If she could have any super power at all, she would like to be able to fly.

Savannah McGuire is a senior in the Sustainable Agriculture program and returning for her second year on the CSA staff. Her journey towards farming started with her love of cooking and wanting to eat healthy. She wanted to be more involved with her food than just buying it at the grocery store. Someday, Savannah would like to start a network of businesses centered around local food such as restaurants, bed and breakfasts and small grocery stores. She said it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but something that everyone can have access to. Eliot Coleman is her favorite farmer. In keeping with her love of cooking and food, Savannah’s super power would be showing people the importance of sharing meals together.

Katie Fiske has been on staff with the CSA for four years this summer. She was a graduate of the Sustainable Agriculture program and spent a summer working on a dairy farm right after graduation. What started as a more romantic and literary view of farming has lead into a deep desire to farm and grow things. Her long term goals include having a homestead farm with goats, chickens and vegetables with time for quilting and soap making! A farmer who has really inspired Katie is Joel Salatin. If she could have any super power she would like the ability to teleport.

We can’t wait to see all of you next week for our first CSA distribution and look forward to cultivating a relationship with you! Psst… don’t forget to check your emails. If you are a 2017 CSA member you should have received lots of important information about the first pick up, so be sure to check and read those ASAP!

Last Call… for Strawberries, Leeks, and CSA Sign Ups!

LAST CALL! Our UK CSA Farm Stand will be out TODAY at the E.S. Good Barn parking lot on campus from 4:00-6:00pm. Walk-up sales can be paid by cash or check only. Items that we are bringing this week include:

–Strawberries, $6/qt. Last call!
–Beet roots, $3/lb
–Leeks, $3/bunch
–Tomato transplants, $3
–Basil transplants, $2
–Pea Shoots, $2
–Arugula microgreens, $2
–UK CSA Canvas Tote Bags, $10

Please bring a bag or box to take your items home. This is our last stand alone Farm Stand. We will take next week off to rest before our big kick off of our CSA deliveries on May 25th. The Farm Stand will run concurrently with our CSA deliveries at BOTH the campus (4-6pm) and farm (3:30-6:30pm) locations, each Thursday.

This is also the last call for CSA sign ups! Don’t miss out on another wonderful year of eating locally, seasonally, organically…! We need you and can’t thank you enough for supporting our program and the students we get to teach at our farm.

Sign up here before May 25th: https://csa.farmigo.com/join/ukcsa/2017CSA

Washing leeks for our Farm Stand today 4-6pm! Come see us.

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Farm Stand — only 1 or 2 more chances for Strawberries!

Our Farm Stand is again back with more yummy strawberries for $6/quart (maximum 2 quarts per member for pre-orders), beet bunches with edible greens for $4/bunch, and carrot bunches for $3/bunch. Everything is winding down and we may only have 1-2 more Farm Stands before we take a break before the CSA season gets under way. (Have you signed up yet for the 2017 CSA?? Spots are almost taken! Grab yours today.)

And then there were 3. Strawberry sales now at Good Barn! Almost sold out!

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Pre-orders for the above items are available at our webstore now until Thursday 6am. If you don’t see one of the items in the store, it has sold out. We will email on Thursday if we have extras for walk up sales. We plan to bring back some MICROGREENS this week for $2/bag!

Click here to make a Farm Stand order!

Strawberries This Week

Hey friends!

We’ve been getting a lot of emails about the strawberries, so we just wanted to let you all know we have sold out of strawberries on the Farmigo webstore. We will have some extras on Thursday and we will notify you by email how many we have. Any extras we have will be on a first come, first serve basis. So get there early! We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Another Farm Stand This Week!

Hi friends! We will be having another Farm Stand this Thursday from 4-6pm at the E.S. Good Barn on Campus. You may pre-order beets, carrots and strawberries starting at 10am today thru Thursday at 6am. You may visit our webstore here.

As always, we will bring some extras of each item and also some microgreens on Thursday. We accept cash or check only please.

We still have some spots available for the 2017 CSA season. If you are interested in joining our CSA, you may do so right here! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at uk.csa@uky.edu.