Tuesday, July 22, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 6

Apart from all the normal farm goings on I suppose the most important news is GARLIC HARVEST HAS STARTED! Just a little excited about this!  
Over the next couple of weeks you will have what we call green garlic in your boxes. We have to cure the garlic and sort out our seed for this years planting so enjoy the green and don't worry more garlic will be in your boxes through the season.

If you have not used green garlic before there are a few things to remember. Garlic that has not been cured  can be either stored short term on the counter top or in your fridge.  If you think you will not use your garlic for a while then we recommend you place the cloves in a ziploc bag and place in the freezer.  When peeling you will notice the skins are really thick. Don't cook over a too high heat as the water content is very high and it will burn.

Last year in our CSA Survey we asked if anyone would be interested in purchasing bulk crops for canning or freezing and we had over 80% say YES! So here we go with our first bulk crop.  We seeded  additional beds of beans so we have lots of them.  If anyone would like to purchase bulk beans for preserving please contact us.  We are going to offer a u-pick price.  The price will increase if you want us to pick your beans for you.

Please keep the photos and recipes coming in.  I am adding them to our Facebook page but if you are e-mailing several different photos then please send them over several e-mails.  This is help to download as for some reason only one picture is downloading at a time! 

This weeks basket:
Salad onions 
Cabbage - Our early cabbages have grown really well this year. You can do anything from stuffed cabbage rolls, coleslaw to sauerkraut.  See our CSA Cooking page on pinterest for more recipes.
Zucchini - Yes they are still on the larger side! But they still make great pancakes, bread, noodles, roasted on the BBQ, Ratatouille, one of our members found a great recipe for zucchini butter, zucchini boats, and thanks to another one of our members who also happens to be a chef we have;
Baked Parmesan Zucchini
Prep Time 10 minutes/Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes/Yield 4 servings
Crisp, tender zucchini sticks oven-roasted to absolute perfection. It's healthy, nutritious and completely addictive!
• 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
• In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
• Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the crisp and golden brown.
• Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Hakurei turnips - I had a ton of old seed and I wanted to have a go at direct seeding these rather than transplanting and we have a lovely crop that has grown.  So you will find some mouth watering baby turnips in this weeks box, no need to cook just eat them raw!

Eggplant - We have eggplant thanks to our hoop house! It's great roasted, added to curries used as a base for  pizza or why not try Jamie Oliver's recipe for baba ghanoush.

Parsley - If you are not going to use this fresh then just place in a ziploc bag in the freezer and use when needed.

Garlic - This week it is Tibetan.  We started saving our own seed last year and the bulbs are getting bigger and better each year. Tibetan is lovely eaten raw.

Tomatoes - It will be a small amount but they have started to ripen so you may find it is only a pint of tomatoes this week but we are hoping this warm weather will bring them along leaps and bounds.

Beet greens - This year we experimented with different ways in growing our beets.  These greens are coming form our direct seeding which means they need lots of thinning! We used our greens last night in a hot and sour pork soup but you can also make beet leaf chips or are great tossed into a salad.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CSA Newsletter - Week 5

This past week has been filled with lots of rain, rather cold overnight temperatures, birth and stardom! 
The farm has received rather a large amount of rain this past week which is always good apart from Tuesday when it was raining so hard we could not see the other side of the road.  Sadly this rain storm washed out a whole bed of carrots that we had recently seeded.  Don't fear carrots are on the way, the bed we seeded at the start of the season is doing great and the carrots are getting nice and fat and very sweet.  We are just waiting for the field to dry enough to get in our last  few seedings of carrots in.  The field is loving this rain but we do need some warmer overnight temperatures for all the heat loving crops to start ripening.

Our new problem at the farm are rodents in various guises! The chipmunks have taken to digging out our seedings in the greenhouse and replacing them with their own seeds, but our biggest problem as ever are voles! They have been having a rather good munch on our beets again this year.  To protect our sweet potatoes this year I think we are going to run some traps to try and stop them from munching on the tubers.

Last Tuesday our lovely sow Nigella gave birth to a very healthy litter of piglets outside.  We did have a few hours of worrying as when the rain started she was still nursing the little ones, but being the awesome mum she is she rounded up her babies and moved them into the dry and warmth of the barn.

We also have a star at the farm.  In winter we do take on additional work away from the farm.  Last year Michael actually spent a couple of days as an extra on the set of Camp X which was aired last night of the History channel.  He went from being an extra to having a small role in one of the scenes.  I have attached the trailer and Michael is at the end! 
We do ask that you keep autograph requests to   a minimum as before he continues his acting career he does have a farm to run! 

This weeks basket:
Chard - Why not try chard in a meat crust quiche.
Mix 1lb of ground pork with salt, pepper, chopped garlic and for a little bit of a kick 1/2tsp of cayenne. Take a quiche pan and push the ground pork into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.  Bake the crust for 20 minutes on 375F.  While crust is baking chop the chard and stalks and sautee with olive oil and garlic.  Let the chard mixture rest for 5 minutes and mix in 4 eggs.  Pour chard mixture into the crust and bake for another 25 minutes until the topping is firm.  Serve either hot or cold.
Fennel - We have been asked again for our fennel pizza recipe so here we go!
Pizza base - 2 cups of almond meal, 2 eggs, 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp of sea salt.  Mix the base together.  Wet your hands and then press the base out on a pizza plate.  Bake the base in a 350F oven for 20 minutes or until golden.  Thinly slice the fennel and cook in a little olive oil until soft. You can also add onion and garlic if you wish.  For the sauce we use scape pesto but you can also use tomato or basil pesto.  Spread sauce over base, then fennel season with salt and pepper add your cheese and bake in the oven for another 20 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Zucchini - Yes they are gigantic! All the rain we have had lately seems to have tripled their size.
Thai Basil - 
Peas - You may end up with a mixture of shelling and snap peas.  We are coming to the end of the snap and have just started picking the podding.  The podding peas tend to rattle in their shells.  We are hoping fingers crossed to get one more week out of the pea patch if the shelling peas continue to swell within their pods!
Beans - The first of the beans have been picked and are stunning.  Please make sure if the beans are wet let them dry out on the side before putting them in the fridge, other wise they will end up will little rust spots on them as they don't like to be left in water.
We love beans sauteed with garlic and then add some nice crispy bacon, salt and pepper!
Salad onions - can be eaten raw or used as a replacement for your cooking onions