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!
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
+ Garlic Scapes
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. 😉
What’s In Your Share
For this week, our CSA members will receive:
+ Butterhead Lettuce
+ 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.
For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or refined canola oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
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.
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.
Meal Plan Menu
Butterhead lettuce salad. Add diced veggies, nuts and hard boiled eggs to add protein and additional flavor. You can even make your own dressing!
1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper or black pepper
Whisk together or shake together in a jar. Serve chilled.
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
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
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.
Try this arugula soup with some fresh bread.
Cream of Arugula Soup
Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski
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
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.
Today can be a leftovers day or just move on to the next day’s recipe suggestions.
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
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
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.
Try making a garlic scape pesto over vegetables or pasta.
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.
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
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.
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!