Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 7

In the early hours of Sunday morning we were woken by one huge almighty thunder, lightning and rain storm.  We had two fork lighting strikes hit the ground one near the barn and the other at the end of the road but the biggest thing was the rain! The weather man forecast 5mm, we got over 2" in the early hours of Sunday morning followed by another dump on Monday morning.  We are rather fussy as farmers as we do like a nice steady rain rather than the torrents that fell from the sky over the last few days! We are hoping that the 1000ft of carrot seed that we had seeded about 10 days earlier has not been washed out of the ground!
Good news! All our garlic is now out!  Tibetan, Red Russian and Music but it was slightly longer process than normal as we have a bumble bee nest in the middle of the patch and they have been getting a little mad when we get a little close which meant, on a few occasions, downing tools and exciting the patch rather quickly!

This weeks basket:

Cabbage - Found this amazing cabbage recipe today by Melissa Joulwan the author of Well Fed 1 & 2

Ethiopian Cabbage
4 teaspoons olive oil
4 carrots, shredded or very thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 head cabbage, shredded
1. In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over a medium heat; add the carrots and onion and cook in the hot oil about 5 minutes.
2. Lower the heat. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, ginger, and cabbage; mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender.
Beans - This will be the last week of beans but don't worry we have more to come.  We do lots of succession planting of beans so we have a few different varieties that are flowering well and starting to set little beans
Salad Onions
Tomatoes - We have a mixture of field and hoop house tomatoes this week.  The field ones do have a few cracks in them so eat these first.
Celery - We are thinning out the patch so we will be bunching two heads together.  If you are not a celery fan you can chop it up and freeze without blanching to use for soups and stews during winter.
Carrots - With all the rain we have had these babies are so sweet.  Please remember at this size they do not need peeling.
Eggplant - All shapes, sizes and colours are coming along really well. Why not try a baked eggplant f'armesan this week!
Sweet Peppers - Sweet peppers are slow to ripen but we have managed to find a few purple beauty which are looking stunning.
Beets - These babies just seem to keep on coming this year! Michael has finally caught one of the voles in the beet patch, but we can imagine we still have many more!
Garlic - This weeks garlic is Music.
Cucumbers/Hakurei turnips - Our cucumbers have been so slow this year! We have loads of flowers and our honey bees are all over them! We are only now getting fruit.  Some of the cucumbers needed picking but we are not sure as of today if we will have enough for Thursday and Saturdays boxes.  If we don't we will be replacing them with turnips.

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.