CSA Newsletter Week #2, June 2nd

Farm Notes

This week has been a short week due to the Memorial Day holiday. With the hot and dry weather we’ve had we are in a rush to get our field work done before the rain hits us again. We have been busy spading and tilling fields, laying plastic and transplanting! This week, we’ve transplanted cucumbers, summer squash and melons. And we hope to direct seed another whole field. Now that the apprentices have had a couple of classes, we are starting to see more of them out at the farm and they are certainly a big help!

As a reminder, we will have our Farm Stand set up at both the campus and farm locations. We will have carrots and peas for sale that are not included in the share this week, along with extra share items in case you need any additionally veggies. This will be first come, first serve, as we have limited quantities of extras. We accept cash or check only. However, if you are already a member of the CSA, we can charge your credit card on file.

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Note About Weather

We’ve had a few impressive thunderstorms roll through Lexington recently. Last week we came close to packing up early, but were fortunate enough that we missed the big thunderstorms, and just had to deal with rain. Our policy for bad weather happening during Thursday CSA distribution:  In the case of nearby thunder and lightning during on-campus pick up, we will try to wait it out inside the truck.  If there is no sign of the storm passing us by, we will pack up and leave for the safety of our staff and students. If you come between 4 and 6pm and we are no longer set up, then we will have left early. In this worst-case-scenario, you can come to the farm on Friday to get your share. Let’s hope we have better weather for the sake of the farm and for your sake to make pick up easier!

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Kohlrabi
+ Oakleaf Lettuce
+ Garlic Scapes
+ Bunched Spinach
+ Braising Mix
+ Lettuce Mix
+ Radishes
+ Beets

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Veggie Tips

There may be some veggies in your share this week that you are unfamiliar with.

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Kohlrabi:
Kohlrabi is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. It has a taste similar to a mild radish when it is eaten raw, or a taste similar to broccoli when it is cooked. Kohlrabi can be enjoyed in several different ways. You can slice it up and eat it raw with hummus, sliced or grated raw in salads, grated and made into a hash brown (see below for a recipe), or cooked and mashed up like mashed potatoes. Feel free to experiment with it!

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Garlic Scapes:
Garlic scapes are the stems of the garlic plant that start to produce a flower. We pick them off so that the plant will direct its energy into making the garlic bulb instead of putting energy into produce a flower and seeds. Garlic scapes can be used in pestos (see below for a recipe), hummus, or chop them up and add them to a dish as a seasoning.

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Recipes

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

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.

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Kohlrabi Au Gratin

Submitted by former apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski, adapted from cooks.com

Ingredients:
4 small (or 2-3 medium) kohlrabi, leaves removed, thinly sliced and boiled in salted water until tender (about 15-20 minutes)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese*
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs tossed with 1 Tbsp. melted butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer half of the kohlrabi slices in the bottom of a shallow greased baking dish. Layer with 1/2 of cheese, onion, cream and salt and pepper. Repeat layers and top with buttered bread crumbs. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake for 15 minutes. * Any strongly-flavored cheese can be used in this casserole. Swiss and Gorgonzola are also recommended. If using Swiss, sprinkle a little nutmeg over the breadcrumbs before baking. Makes about 4 servings.

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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 virgin 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!

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