How is it already Thursday? It seems like I just wrote last week’s newsletter.
This week was another mad dash to get things done before the rain. Tuesday, we transplanted several fall brassicas including cauliflower, kale and kohlrabi and head lettuce and green onions. While one crew was planting, another was hard at work taking care of some much needed weeding. And Wednesday we harvested butternut squash and pie pumpkins!!! A little taste of fall in mid-August.
Don’t forget! Saturday You-Pick is THIS Saturday, August 18th from 9-11am. Come out to the farm with your family and friends for an opportunity to get some herbs, flowers, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers and okra.
We are still taking pre-orders for Tomato Boxes. Tomato boxes consist of “second” tomatoes which are those that have blemishes and /or are super ripe and ready to be processed ASAP. Each tomato box is $25 for 25 lbs. Reserve your box by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to us at the Farm Stand at pick-up. If you have already reserved a box, you will receive an email from us TODAY with what you have pre-ordered and where to pick it up.
The UK Winery will be set up on CAMPUS this Thursday from 4-6pm, with the CSA. They will also be at the Farm pick-up location from 3:30-6:30pm. You may also purchase wine from them on Fridays at the farm in the classroom building from 2-6pm. Check out their blog site, ukywine.com for more information on wine varieties and prices.
What’s In Your Share
For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Green Beans (flat, Romano type bean)
+ Mixed Peppers
+ Patty Pan Summer Squash
+ Grapes (conventional, non-organic)
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, check and *NEW* this year, credit cards.
Items Available for Purchase this Week:
+ Green Beans: $6/bag
+ Bell/Sweet Peppers: $1 each
+ Corn: $0.50 per ear
+ Eggplant: $1.75 each
+ Patty Pan Squash: $2 each
+ Tomatoes: $3/lb.
+ Grapes (conventional, non-organic): $1.50/bag
+ Every week that there is you-pick available we will list what is available in the weekly newsletter. The first time you come to the farm 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 – if you are interested in okra or flowers – your own pruners or scissors. All you-pick crops will also be marked in the field with a “you-pick” sign. In 2018 the main you-pick field is located south of the parking lot towards Waveland Museum Road, but close to the farm’s access road.
+ We ask that you park your vehicle in the parking lot and walk to the you-pick area to keep vehicles out of our fields. However, if you require assistance to get to our fields or if there is an issue of accessibility, we can make exceptions but please talk to a staff member first for guidelines.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday – 7:30am until 4pm
Thursday – 7am until 6:30pm
We are closed on all major holidays including Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.
+ Please only pick from the beds that have a sign saying “You-Pick”. Not everything is ready or available to pick at this time.
+ Hot Peppers
+ Cherry Tomatoes
+ We have a perennial herb bed, right to the west of the You-Pick field. Most of the herbs are the same as what is in You-Pick, however many are more mature, such as the sage, chives and oregano. There is also spearmint in the perennial bed.
Veggie Tips (or Facts)
+ Patty pan squash is a fun yellow squash with scalloped edges. It kind of looks like a flying saucer. You can use patty pan squash just like any other type of summer squash. Slice it up, cube it, add it to stir fries, sauté it, or shred it and make frittatas out of it. Store summer squash in the crisper drawer of the fridge for up to a couple of weeks, although it is best used within the week.
+ All peppers can either be stored in a cool place in the kitchen, or in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Peppers may last up to 2 weeks.
+ Tomatoes store best in a single layer, shoulder side down on the kitchen counter. If you have super ripe tomatoes, those can go in the fridge for up to a week, but the flavor will start to decline. If you can even keep them around for this long, tomatoes are best eaten between 4-7 days. (If kept at room temperature).
+ The UK Viticulture Team has graciously given us table grapes to add to the share this week. This variety of grapes are called Vanessa. Vanessa is a red/pink seedless grape with a mild and fruity flavor. These grapes are conventionally grown and are NOT USDA certified Organic. Store your grapes in the crisper drawer of the fridge in the bag for up to a couple of weeks.
+ Eggplant is similar to summer squash and peppers. You can store them in perforated bags in a cool place in the kitchen. However, if you do choose to store in the fridge, it is best to store in the crisper drawer and not below 50F. Keep eggplant away from ethylene producers. Eggplant is best within 3-5 days, though it can keep up to a few weeks.
+ Corn is best eaten within the first 5 days. The quality and sweetness of corn will decrease the longer it is being stored. Store with the husks on in the fridge.
+ The green bean variety this week is called Furano. It is a flat, Romano type bean. Store these in the refrigerator in their bag in the crisper drawer for about a week. These beans will need a bit of a rinse before using. We have a mechanical bean picker which allows us to harvest faster, but the beans do get dirtier. But because harvest is so much faster, we can plant a lot more green beans. And who doesn’t love some green beans during the summer?!?!
For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.
Meal Plan Menu
Stir fry. I find stir fries to be one of the easiest ways to use up vegetables. A bunch of sautéed veggies, seasoned with your favorite spices and added to pasta, rice or your favorite grain. You can’t go wrong. My old stand by is always just olive oil, salt and pepper. Be creative, try new things!
Italian Flat Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic
Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski
1 lb green beans, cut on the diagonal into 3-inch pieces (Italian flat, Romano)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, cut into very thin slices (a 1/4 cup)
1 tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice (8ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
6 -8 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (stacked, then rolled tightly and cut into very thin strips, optional garnish)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Drain immediately. While the beans are cooking, heat the oil in a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the garlic slices, distributing them evenly. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the slices become almost translucent and start to brown on the edges; be careful not to let the garlic burn. Add the diced tomato and salt and pepper to taste, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, so that the tomato is heated through. Add the cooked green beans and heat through for 1 to 2 minutes; mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the basil, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Fresh Corn Soup with Roasted Corn Guacamole
Roasted Corn Guacamole —
Kernels from 3 ears fresh corn
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, finely grated zest and juice
1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
1 avocado, pitted and chopped
Kernels from 5 ears fresh corn
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
Salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Cilantro sprigs, to garnish
Roast the Corn for the Guacamole
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Put the corn kernels on the baking sheet and toss with the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Spread the corn out evenly on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until the corn turns a golden brown. It may seem that you have left the corn in the oven for too long, but you want the corn to caramelize and get a little crunchy. Remove the corn from the oven and set aside.
Prepare the Corn for the Soup
Put the kernels in a blender. Combine the oil and the garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the blender and puree until smooth. (You may need to pulse or stir the corn mixture in order to achieve a smooth consistency, but do not add any more liquid.)
Simmer the Soup
Pour the corn puree into the soup pot and place over medium heat. Stir constantly for a few minutes, until the soup begins to thicken. Slowly whisk or stir in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
Finish the Roasted Corn Guacamole
In a bowl, combine the roasted corn, red onion, cilantro, lime zest and juice, and jalapeño. Gently stir in the avocado. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve and Garnish
Ladle the soup into soup bowls. Place a generous spoonful of the guacamole in the center of each bowl. Garnish with a small sprig of cilantro placed in the center of each.
Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Salad
Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski
For the salad:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds total), cut into 3 x 3/4 x 3/4-inch strips
2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
8 large garlic cloves (unpeeled)
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
3/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the sesame spread:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt
8 warm pita bread rounds, cut into wedges
To make the salad: Place rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Spray large heavy baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Combine eggplant, peppers, garlic and oil in large bowl. Toss well. Transfer to prepared sheet. Bake until eggplant is brown and vegetables are tender, stirring every 10 minutes, about 50 minutes. Remove garlic and reserve. Scrape vegetables and all pan juices into bowl.
To make the dressing: Combine vinegar, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne in processor. Peel roasted garlic; add to processor. Puree until smooth.
Toss vegetable mixture with 1/4 cup garlic dressing. Cool, tossing occasionally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill vegetables and remaining dressing separately. Bring to room temperature.)
Mound salad in center of large platter. Surround with pita wedges. Serve, passing remaining dressing and Sesame Spread separately.
To make the sesame spread: Beat butter, sesame seeds and salt to blend in small bowl. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Yield: 8 servings
Pasta with this quick tomato sauce recipe.
The Quickest Tomato Sauce
Recommended by a CSA member from jamieoliver.com
4 cloves of garlic, peeled, and finely sliced
Bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
3 x 400g tins of good-quality, whole plum tomatoes (or substitute fresh tomatoes)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and pour in 4 generous glugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to colour lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through. Discard the basil and garlic that will be left in the sieve, but make sure you scrape any of the tomatoey goodness off the back of the sieve into the bowl.
Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavours. It will be ready when it’s the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza.
Store the sauce in a clean jar in the fridge – it’ll keep for a week or so. Also great to freeze in batches or even in an ice cube tray, so you can defrost exactly the amount you need. But to be honest, it’s so quick to make, you might as well make it on the day you need it.
Find the okra in the you-pick! There are lots of large okra, but find the smaller, softer ones and while you’re out there, you could always cut the large ones off to help the plant keep producing!
Okra Stew with Tomatoes
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and cut into thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound okra, trimmed
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
4 cups chopped tomato
1 Tbsp minced fresh oregano (optional)
Chopped parsley leaves for garnish
1. Put 2 Tbsp of the oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and turning golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
2. Add the remaining oil to the pot and stir in the okra. cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown a little, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, stirring once or twice. Return the onion to the pot and add the tomato, along with a cup of water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat so it bubbles gently. Cook, stirring every once in a while, until the okra is very tender and the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes. Stir in the oregano if you like, then taste and adjust the seasoning and serve, garnished with parsley.
Makes 4 servings.
Leftovers day! Clean out that fridge for new vegetables coming Thursday.