Social Media and CSA previews

Did you know we have an Instagram, Facebook and Flickr account in addition to this blog?  We share pictures of our day on Instagram.  With a new camera from UK surplus, our resident photographer, Assistant CSA Manager Kristi Durbin, has been adding some beautiful pictures on the Flickr account.  I have also been trying to give you a sneak peek of what’s in your share, weekly, on our Facebook page a couple of days before Thursday.  Please know that the final list isn’t final until Thursday.

Stay in touch and see what we’re up to!

Instagram: “@ukcsa” https://instagram.com/ukcsa

Facebook: “UK Community Supported Agriculture” https://www.facebook.com/pages/UK-Community-Supported-Agriculture/156654497725600?fref=ts

Flickr: “ukcsa” http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukcsa/

Tiffany Thompson
CSA Manager

CSA Newsletter Week #6, July 2nd

Farm Notes

It’s already July and my how the time has been flying! We have been in the process of harvesting and processing the garlic the past week. It is a long process as we have to lift the garlic up using either the plastic lifter on the tractor (which is what we did) or the long way with a fork. After that, we must then pull all the garlic up out of the holes and cut the stems down to about 2 to 3 inches and cut the roots off. Usually we do all of this in the field as to leave the most organic matter out there. But due to the rain, we had to go ahead and bring everything in to the packing shed, where we have been working on it. Finally, on Wednesday we finished the rest of the garlic and laid it out on racks to dry for about 4 weeks.

7.1.2015garlic

Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Mohammad Alsabri

“I’m the Lucky Guy”
I came to this country as a graduate student in 2013 with a desire to study organic agriculture. Recently I have had the opportunity to work at the UK Organic Farming Unit, where they produce fruits and vegetables in accordance with USDA organic certification standards. Not only do I enjoy riding and drivin­g the tractors, but the knowledge and hands-on experience of preparing seedlings, to seeing them grow, mature and harvest into healthy produce is beyond comprehensive.  Even better is the idea of producing health-giving crops to a customer’s satisfaction, something that I have not fully appreciated until now. It is without doubt that the farm is a more social place, where lots of ideas are shared between us as workers. This experience is definitely something that I will take back home where everyone can enjoy the fruits of my knowledge as I try to increase organic production in my home city (Babylon) and my country.

Muhammad, the second one from the front of the picture, clipping the greens off the carrots.

Mohammad, the second one from the front of the picture, clipping the greens off the carrots.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Broccoli (this is the last of the broccoli)
+ Green or Red cabbage
+ Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers
+ Eggplant
+ Chard
+ Cylindra/Red Ace beets mixture
+ Cilantro
+ Oregano

Garlic processing crew

Garlic processing crew

You-Pick

The following items are available for You-Pick:
*NEW* + hot peppers: jalapeños and serranos
+ okra
+ Herbs: onion chives, garlic chives, flat parsley,  curly parsley, thyme, marjoram, savory, lavender, chamomile, sage, oregano, rosemary and basil*
+ flowers
* Note: some of the herbs are still very small, so please be mindful to only harvest a small portion of each plant. In particular some of the rosemary plants and basil are still quite small.

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

Cabbage toss!

Cabbage toss!

Veggie Tips

Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids which are antioxidants and good for your immune system. Green cabbage is good fixed any way whether that be raw, in salads, cooked, steamed, braised, fried or grilled. Red cabbage has a sharper flavor and a coarser texture so it needs to be cooked longer. Cabbage can be stored for 3-4 months in cold storage with high humidity, though the flavor will get stronger the longer it is stored.

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Eggplant is nutritionally lacking due to its low calories, however it is valued for its meaty flavor and texture in vegetarian dishes. Eggplant is good steamed, baked, fried, boiled, sauteed or stuffed. Sometimes it is helpful to slice and salt the eggplant then drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Lightly squeeze out the moisture and pat dry. This removes any bitterness the eggplant may have. This is usually only a problem in over-ripe eggplants, so it shouldn’t be an issue for you. Use your eggplant soon, because it will lose its moisture fast due to its high water content. It will keep for about a week, but I recommend using it for dinner tonight!

7.1.2015broccoli

Recipes

Eggplant Parmesan
From allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
Kosher salt
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 lbs of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves

Directions:
1. Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours. The purpose of this step is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.

2. While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce. Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to tasted and set aside.

3. When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10×15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.

5. Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.

6. Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

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Eggplant Burgers
From Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced into 3/4 inch rounds
1 tablespoon margarine
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
6 hamburger buns, split
6 leaves lettuce
6 slices tomato
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup dill pickle slices
1 (20 ounce) bottle ketchup
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

Directions:
Place the eggplant slices on a plate, and cook in the microwave for about 5 minutes, or until the centers are cooked.

Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry eggplant slices until lightly toasted on each side, and place one slice of cheese onto each one. Cook until cheese has melted, and remove from the skillet.

Place eggplant on hamburger buns, and allow each person to top with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, and dress with ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard.

+++

Grilled Cabbage
From allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1 large head cabbage, cored and cut into 8 wedges
8 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
Arrange the cabbage wedges into the bottom of a large metal baking dish. Pour the water into the dish. Place a teaspoon of butter on each cabbage wedge. Season liberally with garlic powder, seasoned salt, and pepper. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Place the dish on the preheated grill; cook until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

CSA Newsletter Week #5, June 25th

Farm Notes

This week the weather’s held off for us so we’ve been able to get in our fields without getting too terribly muddy. We’ve been harvesting, weeding, cultivating, preparing our fall fields for planting and doing irrigation work. The apprentices learned during their class on Tuesday that the irrigation work never ends. There is always something to fix!

Basket weeding the corn

Basket weeding the corn

Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Jenna DePaull.

Olive being out at the farm especially since I have tons of new vegetable puns that I can say! So please enjoy as I plant them here or there in my post!

As I think about my time at the farm, relaying my activities would require a whole blog on my experience alone! Over the past few weeks I have harvested carrots, squash, zucchini, beets, cucumbers, and enough garlic to make my Italian grandma proud! I have used the BCS mower, the vacuum seeder for transplants, a 3-wheeled cultivator and even got to try my hand at driving some of the big tractors on the farm, which I am happy to report the only thing injured was my pride when I couldn’t figure out how to start one of the tractors. We have weeded, pruned, plucked and worked in every condition of weather from blazing hot to torrential rain but it’s okay, it builds “carroter.”

Lettuce reflect on this week’s class which was dedicated to learning the fundamentals of irrigation. Did you know the biggest water user in the world is agricultural practices and consequently, the largest polluter? Or that steady irrigation systems helped humans evolve from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a more stationary living environment? Water on the farm is a fundamental part of successfully growing crops and thus every gallon counts especially when on a city water system like the farm is. The drip tape system used at the farm has proved to be the most efficient as it reduces water usage, decreases disease and prevents watering weeds between rows. The main disadvantage I have seen is that it is very labor intensive since the lines tend to sprout leeks (get it?) but on hot days those leaks are more like a blessing if you ask me!

As an animal science major with the goal of wildlife conservation, I yam so grateful for the experience the farm has given me thus far. It has shown me a wonderful perspective on water conservation, soil management, and pest and weed control, all of which are integral parts of habitat restoration and species conservation.

You can’t e-scape the puns yet!  Perhaps I should squash this while I’m still ahead (…of lettuce). But really, I know that I have beet-en these puns too much already! Hopefully some other good jokes will turnip while I’m out here! Until then, I will end on this last joke in honor of the u-pick fields opening soon: What does a nosy pepper do? It gets jalapeño business!

If you made it through this whole post thank you! I can chardly wait to see all of you at distribution!

Jenna cutting the tops off the carrots

Jenna cutting the tops off the carrots

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Cabbage
+ Red Ace Beets
+ Broccoli
+ Salad mix
+ Lettuce heads
+ Basil
+ Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumber
+ D’avignon Radish (a French breakfast variety)

D'avignon radishes being washed in our barrel washer

D’avignon radishes being washed in our barrel washer

You-Pick

This week we are opening up the You-Pick fields! We are growing a few crops specifically for folks who want to come out to the farm and You-Pick. Some of these crops you may also receive in your share (i.e. basil), while others are only being grown for You-Pick (i.e. flowers, okra, and cherry tomatoes). You may come to the farm for You-Pick anytime during the normal farm hours, Monday through Friday, 7:30am-4:00pm, except Thursdays in which You-Pick is open until 6:30pm.

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 You-Pick orientation. You will need to bring your own harvest containers and your own pruners or scissors.

Additional notes:
• Please no pets
• Please stay out of fields not specified in the newsletter as containing You-Pick crops.
• You-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 on the gravel roads and especially around the parking lot.
•Please park your car in the parking lot and walk to the fields.

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.

6.24.2015flowers

The following items are available for You-Pick:
+ okra
+ Herbs: onion chives, garlic chives, flat parsley,  curly parsley, thyme, marjoram, savory, lavender, chamomile, sage, oregano, rosemary and basil*
+ flowers
* Note: some of the herbs are still very small, so please be mindful to only harvest a small portion of each plant. In particular some of the rosemary plants and basil are still quite small.

6.25.2015cabbage

Veggie Tips

Below are two tables that may help you to use your veggies in a more timely manner.

Kristi's guide 1

Kristi's guide 2

 

6.25.2015squash

Preservation

Taken from The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover and family
How to freeze beets:
Remove tops, leaving 1/2-inch stem. Wash; cook until tender: small beets, 25-30 minutes; medium, 45-50 minutes. Cool, peel, slice or cube.

How to can beets:
Remove tops; leaving 1 inch stem and tap root. Wash. Cover with boiling water until skins slip easily. Can small beets whole; cut larger ones into uniform slices or dice them. Pack hot. Cover with boiling water, leaving 1 inch headspace. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints and 1 tsp. to quarts. Iodized or plain table salt may be used.
Process in a pressure canner; pints 30 minutes and quarts 35 minutes. Process at 10 lbs. pressure for elevations up to 1000 feet above sea level. Process at 15 lbs. of pressure for elevations over 1000 feet above sea level.

6.25.2015saladmix

Recipes

Gramma Joanna’s “I Can’t Believe It’s Zucchini” Bars
Submitted by Jenna DePaull

Ingredients:
4 c. zucchini, peeled and diced
2/3 c. lemon juice
1 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Crust:
4 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. margarine

Directions:
Place peeled zucchini and lemon juice in saucepan and boil for 10 minutes on low heat. Then add sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon to the mixture. Continue to cook 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all crust ingredients well. Combining dry ingredients and then gradually adding to the margarine works best. Place half of the crust mixture in a 9″ by 13″ pan and press into place. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Mix 2/3 cup of the remaining crust mixture into the zucchini mix. Then sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of crust mixture for the crumble on top. Resuming baking at 350° for 30-40 minutes.

+++

Au Gratin Cabbage

From Simply in Season

Ingredients:
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
3 Tbsp cheese, shredded

Directions:
Sauté cabbage, carrots, and green onions until crisp-tender in greased frypan. Transfer to a greased 1-quart baking dish. Combine milk, egg, and cheese in a small bowl. Pour over vegetables. Garnish with 1 Tbs fresh parsley and 1 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese. Bake. at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.

+++

Fresh Basil Pesto

From Simply Recipes

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Makes about 1 cup.

 

CSA Newsletter Week #4, June 18th

Farm Notes 

This week we harvested carrots with the plastic lifter implement on the tractor and boy was that way easier than forking over 600 feet of carrots! We also got to try out our new barrel washer for root vegetables. Below are some photos from the carrot harvest.

6.17.2015carrots

 

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Don’t forget that the Solstice party is this Friday, June 19th at 6pm! We are excited to see you all! If you need further information, click here.

Emma setting up for farm pick-up

Emma setting up for farm pick-up

Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Emma Ditto.

Over the past week I have weeded, tied tomatoes, harvested zucchini, squash and garlic scapes, pulled the flowers off basil, fixed irrigation, worked in the green house with transplants, and much more.

During this week’s class we got to drive tractors. Before they let us jump on, we had a fairly long lecture about the history of tractors and how to use tractors and all their implements safely. Since I’m not usually the best at operating any type of machine, it was a little intimidating. Thankfully, we got lots of detailed instruction and help. I did not run over anyone, so I consider that a success.

Working on the farm is super rewarding. After working hard in all kinds of weather, we get to eat the plants we helped grow. As other apprentices have mentioned in previous posts, my love and appreciation for vegetables is increasing every day. And I don’t know about you, but I think the vegetables we grow on this farm taste much better than the ones from the store. Sometimes, on the way home from the farm, I snack on vegetables in my car. I’ve gotten some pretty weird looks from people who see me stuffing my face with spinach while waiting at a red light.

Also, I’ve learned lots of random useful facts while working at the farm. For example, there is a weed called purslane that is edible and actually quite good. Now every time I walk down the street, I see purslane on the sidewalk and think about how I could eat it. But then I remember that the sidewalk is disgusting and people are watching me.

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ 2 lettuce heads (red butterhead and green butterleaf)
+ cylindra beets
+ carrots
+ kossak kohlrabi
+ choice of greens: chard, kale, or collards
+ broccoli
+ squash
+ zucchini
+ cilantro
+ cucumber

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Veggie Tips

+ This week we have a new variety of kohlrabi. Kossak kohlrabi is a storage variety that will grow larger without getting pithy or woody and it will also store longer than the other varieties. It can be kept in cold storage for up to 4 months. You can use this variety just like the others.

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Here is a comparison photo of the regular size kohlrabi on the left and the kossak kohlrabi on the right.

+ In case you’d like to save your greens for a later date, here are some storage tips.

How to freeze greens:
Wash thoroughly. Blanch 1 lb. greens in 2 gallons of water. Blanching times are as follows:
Beet greens: 2 minutes
Kale: 2 minutes
Chard: 2 minutes
Collards: 3 minutes.
Cool immediately in cold water, drain, package and freeze.

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Recipes

Lettuce Soup
The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover and family

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. chopped onion
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups boiling water
2 bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 cups light cream or whole milk
2 cups chopped lettuce

Directions:
Saute onion in butter. Blend in flour. Add water gradually, stirring constantly. Add bouillon cubes and seasonings. (Replace water and bouillon with 2 cups chicken broth if desired.) Cook 10 minutes. Add cream and lettuce. Heat through.
Variation: Saute 8 cups chopped lettuce with the onions, about 3 minutes. Omit flour. Add everything but cream and simmer 5 minutes. Cool slightly then puree in a blender. Return soup to the kettle and add cream. Heat through.

+++

Summer Squash Salad
The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover and family

Ingredients:
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash
2 tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
2 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Cut squash into thin slices. Blanch one minute (if desired). Cool quickly and pat dry. Slice or chop tomatoes. Mix squash, tomatoes and onions in a bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients. Pour over salad just before serving.
Variation: Combine vegetables and serve with a favorite dressing.

+++

Vegetarian Sushi (aka Lettuce Wraps)

From bon appetit

Ingredients:
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.

Directions:
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

CSA Newsletter Week #3, June 11th

Farm Notes

This week is beginning to feel like summer finally with the warmer temperatures we’ve been having. But that hasn’t stopped us from our work! We decided that we would try trellising our cucumbers this year and what would have taken one person a whole day’s worth of work to finish, we did in an hour! Below is some of our apprentices tying up the netting.

6.10.15trellis

Can you believe we’ve already started seeding for our fall crops? It seems like summer is only just starting, but we are already thinking ahead to the fall.

As a reminder, our annual Solstice Party is June 19th at 6pm. As many people have asked, feel free to bring your family and friends. Further information can be found on last week’s newsletter. This week’s share is rather large, so don’t forget your bags!

From the left: Elizabeth, Aaron, Jenna, Maggie, and Jordan

From the left: Elizabeth, Aaron, Jenna, Maggie, and Jordan

Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Elizabeth Bishop.

The weather has been everything this past week, rain or shine, but it has not stopped the apprentices and I from working hard on the farm. Weeding by hand, seeding in the green houses, and even the smallest of tasks such as washing bins, I have done anything and everything under the sun on South Farm. The hard work has paid off because of the already beautiful results I have seen growing from the earth.

I have thoroughly enjoyed harvesting and find it to be one of my favorite tasks. Working along side my fellow classmates and professors, I have learned while pruning and picking. From arugula, kohlrabi, and even wine grapes. I am getting hands on experience at one of the best university run CSA’s in the country.

This Tuesday’s lecture Professor Williams went over the importance of cover crops and soil management. The effects that cover crops have on organic farming are pivotal to the soil and livelihood of its produce. The usage of legumes and grasses are just two of the many things that can be planted to transmit nitrogen into the soil. Not only do they enrich the soil, but they can ward off pests and diseases. Having the chance to walk around, see and touch what is combating soil erosion, helping soil moisture, and managing weeds was eye opening and informational. Inhibiting weeds has been the farms, and most organic farming operations, hardest obstacle to overcome. South Farm uses cover crops and surface crop residues to control and impede weeds.

Through the use of plastic farming, this form of weed management smothers and shades the area around the plant so that weeds do not receive air or light. Another example would be the use of buckwheat near the onions. This proved that the flowers attract beneficial insects into the cropping system. This cover crop flower welcomes bees, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps, which helps the germination, growing, and flowering of all plants. Buckwheat’s roots forage phosphorus and calcium along with recycling the nutrients throughout the process of maturing and growing within all seasons. Thanks to buckwheat, the onion rows look great and are almost perfectly weed free.

South farm has some of the highest soil organic matter, and it is due to the amazing management of those working so hard to keep soil fertility high and the pests and weeds at bay. All of the apprentices and I can agree that the amount of time, effort, and love that goes into each vegetable is why the produce is delicious and fresh every time.

6.10.15wstransplant

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ broccoli
+ cylindra beets
+ collards or chard
+ kohlrabi
+ garlic scapes
+ green onions
+ spinach
+ salad mix (including the salanova lettuce variety)
+ romaine lettuce heads (try it grilled! see recipe below)

6.10.15.broccoli

Veggie Tips

+ This week’s share has a different item in it: garlic scapes. In the photo below, you can see the curly, squiggly stems that are the scapes. Garlic scapes are the flowering stage of the plant where it begins to mature and produce a flower. We harvest the scape before the flower opens up and the stem becomes tough. Scapes can be used just like a chive or green onion. You can chop up the stem and use it in pesto, add it for a bit of flavor on your dishes, use it in salads, or whatever you wish! We will provide some recipes for you below and of course, there are many more in our recipe archive.

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+ The spinach in your share is the last spring harvest we will be doing until the fall. Enjoy it while we have it!

+ Farm crew member Aaron, would like to forewarn you that there may be some green friends in your broccoli this week, but “don’t panic, it’s organic!”

6.10.15spinach

Recipes

Scape Pesto
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.

+++

Broccoli Beet Salad
Submitted by Elizabeth Bishop
From Love Beets

Ingredients:
200g broccoli, stems cut in half
80g mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
1 tbsp soy sauce
250g cooked beets, cut into wedges
Small bunch fresh chives, snipped

For the Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice 1/2-1 lemon, to taste
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt

Directions
Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Season with freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Set aside. Steam or boil the broccoli for 3-4 minutes until just tender but with a little bite. While the broccoli is cooking, toast the seeds by tipping them into a small frying pan. Add soy sauce and cook over medium heat, tossing regularly to coat all over, for about 3 minutes until the seeds are crisp and golden. Take care not to burn them or they will taste bitter. Arrange the cooked broccoli and beet wedges on your prettiest plate, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle the toasted seeds. Serve immediately.

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Grilled Scapes
Another great, and very different, way to showcase scapes is to grill them, tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, over direct heat for about two minutes. Flip them once, halfway through, and finish with an extra sprinkle of flaky salt and maybe a bit of lemon juice and zest. They’ll be charred in spots and just soft enough, and their flavor will have sweetened and mellowed dramatically. Grilled scapes are surprisingly reminiscent of asparagus, and surprisingly different from raw scapes.

+++

Brazilian Collards
Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
2 lbs collard greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
kosher salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Remove and discard stems from collard greens and cut leaves into strips.
2. Heat oil and butter in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic, sauteing until brown.
3. Slowly add collard greens, stirring until they reach the desired degree of tenderness, about 15 minutes (time will vary on your personal taste).
4. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste.

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Grilled Romaine
From foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:
2 heads romaine lettuce
Extra-virgin olive oil
Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Parmigiano-Reggiano

Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons anchovy paste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Preheat a grill to medium-high.

Rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Cut the 2 heads in half lengthwise. Brush surface with olive oil and grill about 4 to 5 minutes total, turning occasionally. Place each wedge on a salad plate and drizzle with Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette or your favorite Caesar dressing. With a vegetable peeler, shave some pieces from a wedge of Reggiano-Parmigiano over each salad and serve.

Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette:
Place all ingredients in a pint jar with a lid. Secure the lid, then shake to blend. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

CSA Newsletter Week #2, June 4th

Farm Notes

How about a little bit of fall in our June? Despite the coolness of this week, things are moving along at the farm. Monday was a shorter day due to the amount of rainfall we had. So Tuesday and Wednesday were days of harvest and weeding as the soil became dryer. We also got our sweet potato slips in and were able to plant them immediately with our water wheel transplanter. The sooner you can get the slips in the ground, the better it is for the plant.

We would like to invite you to our annual Solstice party! This year the party will be June 19th at 6pm. Join us at the farm for a potluck meal. Please bring a dish to share and join us for a fun community meal. The farm will provide all plates, utensils, cups and drinks. Following our meal, we will have 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.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Hannah Jones.

Being immersed in farm work after living 19 years of my life in an urban setting is jarring, to say the least. The extent of my agricultural knowledge as a child was the pictures of scenic farms on milk cartons and other items in the grocery store. I knew little to nothing about the true logistics of what it takes to be a farmer.

Scuffle-hoeing under the glaring sun, clearing row upon row of weeds, transplanting seeds into the muddy earth; not exactly your typical summer class. However, in your usual academic setting you never get to experience the fantastic feeling of harvesting what you have toiled over and distributing it to the members of your community.  Hearing their gratitude and shared compassion for the land makes it all worthwhile.

The most amazing thing about apprenticing on the farm is the minute details that you get to learn about the vegetables we eat on a daily basis. For example, I never knew that eggplants had to be covered by a cloth-tarp material to evade being destroyed by insects. Beets have to be thinned so that they can grow largely; if they’re not thinned out, the amount of seeds will crowd the beets, causing them to be very small. I’ve also learned the importance of wearing long pants, even on hot days, unless you want scraped knees. It makes me completely appreciate seeing these vegetables offered organically, knowing the intense nurturing involved getting them to fruition.

Did you know that ideal soil should be soft and crumble within your hands? I did not. This is one small aspect of soil that we covered in our weekly agriculture class on the farm this week. If you ever have the opportunity to come out to the farm, grab a handful of the ground. It adheres to the textbook definition of what great soil should feel like, a great reference point for anyone interested in growing.

Behind the label “organic” is a lot of hard work and preparation. So far, it has been an amazing experience to farm alongside fellow students that bring a fresh, exuberant approach to farming.

hannah jones

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:

+ kohlrabi
+ mixed kale
+ salad mix (including some salanova lettuce)
+ cilantro
+ spinach
+ beets
+ arugula
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Veggie Tips

+ This week in your share, you will be receiving kohlrabi (pictured above). The name kohlrabi comes from the German words kohl (cabbage) and rabi (turnip). The plant was developed by crossing a cabbage with a turnip. Here are a few more interesting facts about kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage tribe, Brassica oloracea, along with broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and kale. The plant evolved as a cool weather garden plant in Northern Europe. Asian brassicas, even the “heading cabbages” like Napa cabbage and bok choy, belong to the turnip family, Brassica rapa. Turnips had played a big role in the Himalayan kitchen, but turnips, which are a root crop, had been plagued by soil pathogens. The kohlrabi, by contrast, thrives in the same cool temperatures as the turnip, but the bulb sets above the soil, not below, and so remains unblemished from nematodes and other pests that live in the earth. The flesh of the kohlrabi adapts well to any use that the turnip would serve, and it can also be made into a coleslaw or a sauerkraut.

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+ This week’s beets were grown in Krista Jacobson’s high tunnels. Beets are rich in folate and vitamin C and the beet greens are high in potassium, calcium, iron, beta carotene and vitamin C. Try roasting this excellent vegetable in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour until beets are tender. Then when cool enough to handle, peel the skins. Quarter beets and season to taste.

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+ In the salad mix this week, is a lettuce type called salanova lettuce. This lettuce is a variety of baby lettuce that was specifically developed to be harvested as a small, yet full head of lettuce. Each head when cut once, will have uniform size leaves. It also has a better flavor and texture as it has had time to develop into heads.

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Recipes

Creamed kohlrabies (similar to mashed potatoes)

Recipe from The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover and family

Ingredients:

3 medium kohlrabies
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:

Wash and quarter kohlrabies. Drop into boiling water and add salt. Cook 18-20 minutes. Drain. Peel and put into blender. Add remaining ingredients. Blend 2 minutes or until smooth. Reheat.

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Orange glazed beets

Recipe from The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover and family

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked beets, diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

Directions:

Melt butter. Blend in flour. Add brown sugar and orange juice, stirring constantly until thickened. Drain beets; add sauce to beets.

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Microwave beet chips

Adapted from foodgal.com

Ingredients:
1 1/3 pounds Beets, unpeeled, scrubbed
2 teaspoons or so of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Directions:
Slice beets into 1/8-inch rounds for thicker beet chips. For thinner ones, use a mandolin to cut very thin slices. Toss slices in a medium bowl with oil and salt to coat evenly.

Coat a large microwave-proof plate with cooking spray. Arrange some beet slices in a single layer on the plate. Microwave, uncovered, on High until some slices start to brown, 2 to 3 minutes (depending upon beet thickness and microwave power). Turn slices over (they will be hot, so take care with your fingers) and continue microwaving until they start to crisp and brown around the edges, about 35 seconds for very thin beet slices to 2 to 4 minutes for thicker slices. Check frequently and rearrange slices as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer chips to another plate and allow to cool completely. (They will crisp up more as they cool.) Repeat process with remaining slices.

Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 servings, 12-14 chips each

CSA Newsletter Week #1, May 28th

Farm Notes

This week has been an extra busy week due to the holiday weekend. On Tuesday we were able to get all of our tomatoes tied up with the help of our apprentices. We used a technique called the Florida weave to give our tomatoes the best support they can get! We also got to use our finger weeder to weed the onions and carrots. The finger weeder is an implement that hooks up to the back of a tractor and has rubber fingers that turn up the soil close to the plant. The purpose of it is to weed as close to the plant as possible and get in the row between the plants. It did quite a good job! Below is a picture of our apprentices tying tomatoes.

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What’s In Your Share

For this week , you’ll receive:

+ lettuce heads

+ spinach

+ kale

+ braising mix (greens)

+ green garlic

+ arugula

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Veggie Tips

+ In case any of you are wondering, green garlic is garlic that has been harvested before it has matured. The garlic stalk is still green and the bulb has not begun to separate into cloves. Green garlic can be used similarly to green onions or scallions. Both the bulb and the greens can be used. The stalk and leaves may be a bit tough, but chopping it into smaller pieces and sauteing or cooking it will do just nicely. The flavor is also not as potent as mature garlic, although it is definitely  still garlic, as I’m sure all hands that harvested it can attest!

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+ This week’s spinach mix looks a little different. We harvested a red stemmed variety called Red Kitten spinach. As far as I can tell, the taste is very similar. But it does look nice to add a little bit of color! Spinach also provides high levels of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C and potassium. Just as a fun fact, recipes with “Florentine” in the name indicate spinach as an ingredient.

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Recipes

Spinach Garlic Soup

Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
10 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:
In a 5-qt. Dutch oven, bring spinach, broth and carrots to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, in skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter until onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add flour; cook and stir over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Add to spinach mixture. Puree in small batches in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Place in a large saucepan. Add cream, milk, pepper and nutmeg; heat through but do not boil.

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Chicken Florentine

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis from foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (or you could substitute the green garlic you received in your share!)
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup of whipping cream
1 tablespoon of chopped, fresh Italian parsley
2 (10 oz) packages frozen cut-leaf spinach, thawed and drained (or the spinach you received in your share!)

Directions:

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly. Shake off any excess flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until the shallots are translucent, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, about 1 minute. Add the wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce reduces by half, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the sauce, and turn the chicken to coat in the sauce.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in another large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and saute until heated through. Season the spinach, to taste, with salt and pepper. Arrange the spinach over a platter. Place the chicken atop the spinach. Pour the sauce over and serve.

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Sauteéd Braising Greens with Garlic

Adapted from The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without by Mollie Katzen

Ingredients:
3 Tbs extra virgen olive oil
2 medium-sized bulbs garlic, roasted
8 to 10 cups (packed) braising greens (1#)
1/2 to 1 tsp minced or crushed garlic
salt, to taste

Directions:
1.  Roast garlic by wrapping peeled garlic cloves in foil, spooning 1 tsp oil into foil packet, and roasting for 20-30 min at 325°.
2. Stem greens if necessary, and leave whole (if small) or coarsely chop (if medium).
3. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat.  Add half remaining olive oil, half the greens and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.  Stir in half the fresh garlic, spring lightly with salt if desired and set-aside.
4. Repeat step 3 with remaining oil, greens, and fresh garlic.  When greens are wilted and fresh garlice mixed in, reduce heat and add the first batch of greens to pan.  Add roasted garlic, toss to combine, adding extra oil and salt if desired.  Serve!