CSA Newsletter – Week 9 – August 10, 2016

by jennifer on August 10, 2016

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WHAT’S IN THE BOX: Today’s box is brimming with summer goodness. It was challenging to close them!
carrots
beets or chard
red onions
garlic
an assortment of summer squash
lettuce
basil, cilantro, or parsley
potatoes-Cal white
green beans
kohlrabi
lemon cucumber
standard slicing or amiga cucumber
sungold cherry tomatoes or red slicing tomatoes

This season has been a funny one. I don’t recall ever vacillating between such extremes in weather. Usually we either get the cool, overcast, “non summer” or the insanely hot, no-rain-for-3-months kind of summer. This year we are all over the map. Most crops can roll with the changes pretty well, but some crops are not so resilient. The onions seem to be the worst affected. A disease called downy mildew has  become a problem in these parts. For the past few seasons we’ve had a touch of it near the end of the growing cycle. This year, thanks to week long stretches of warm but rainy weather, the downy mildew did a number on the onion crop. There is one variety that seems to be resistant, but all the others are looking a little rough. The mildew affects the greens, causing them to die back prematurely, thus hampering the bulb formation. Be prepared for a lot of smaller onions (like the ones you got in your box today.) Actually, small onions are kind of nice. I, for one, hate putting half an onion in the fridge to stink it up and make my half and half taste funny. Tomatoes are the other crop that is not enjoying the cooler temps. We planted the same amount as last year and are getting a fraction of the yield. There is a lot of fruit hanging there, it is just slow to ripen. Not all is doom and gloom, though. On my most recent perambulation around the field I saw that the corn is very very close and there is a veritable sea of broccoli that is almost ready. This is precisely why we are a diversified vegetable operation. Some things might not do well, but most will. We don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket. Jim and I were talking about how awful it would be if all we grew was onions!

HOW TO STORE YOUR EXCESS:

If veggies are piling up in your fridge, here are a few ideas on how to put them away for future use.
1. Summer Squash: grate and freeze in a freezer bag. That’s it. Easy-peasy. When you want to use it, just break off a chunk, thaw a little, crumble it up and add it to all sorts of savory dishes in the winter.
2. Potatoes: They will last a long time in your fridge in a plastic bag. Soon the potatoes we give out will have more durable skins, so you can put them in a paper bag in a cool place and they will keep for many, many weeks.
3. Green Beans: Blanch and freeze. Drop beans into boiling water and boil for 3 minutes. Imediately plunged beans into ice water until cool-about 5 minutes. Drain in a collendar, arrange a single layer on a cookie sheet with shallow sides and freeze for about an hour. Pour into freezer bags and freeze for later use in soups, curries, casseroles, etc.
4. Herbs: Dry in a low heat oven until crumbly.
5. Beets: Grate and freeze, as with squash.Or you can steam and puree and freeze into 1 cup units (muffin tins work well for this) for future chocolate beet cakes!
6. Make a soup, casserole, or quiche and freeze it. You’ll be so glad you did.

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Ingredients:
1 lb green beans
2 TBSP peanut or sesame oil
1 small shallot, minced
3 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 medium red chile like jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 TBSP soy sauce

Procedure:
1. Trim ends off beans and snap in half.
2. Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and blanch until bright green, about 3 minutes. Shock in ice water and then drain in a colander.
3. Heat large wok over high heat. Add oil, then shallots, garlic, ginger, and chile. Stir a bit until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4.Add green beans and stir thoroughly to coat the beans with oil. Saute for a few more minutes until the beans start to caramelize.
5. Add soy sauce, stir, and cook a few minutes more. Beans should still be a little crisp.

Notes:
1. Toasted sesame oil drizzled on at the end would be amazing.
2. Don’t have a shallot? Use more garlic.
3. Use more or less chile depending on your tolerance.

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CSA Newsletter – Week 8 – August 3, 2016

by jennifer on August 3, 2016

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
beets or chard
green beans
lemon cucumber
slicing cucumber (small shares)
Amiga cucumber (large shares)
lettuce
potatoes-Princess LaRatte
cilantro, basil, or parsley
green zucchini
Italian zucchini
patty pan or crookneck squash
sungold cherry tomatoes or red slicer tomatoes to the half of you who didn’t get them last week
sweet onion

There are a few new folks joining us this week for the Height of the Season share. Welcome! You may wish to read over previous newsletters for veggie identification and recipe suggestions.

The summer bounty is here. We have been trying out all sorts of green bean recipes over the past week. Jim found a real winner on the ol’ internet. It is a little spicy, but you can tone that down to taste. Sauteed Green Beans with Soy, Shallots, Ginger, Garlic and Chile

Further Box Elaboration:
Lemon Cucumbers: They are the yellow, round veg in your box. They taste like a standard cucumber with a hint of melon flavor. They are called “lemon” because of their round, yellow appearance. It is an old heirloom variety. No need to peel. Just slice and eat.
Princess LaRatte potato: Our potato seed order got all screwed up and we had to do a last minute order with someone else. Princess LaRatte replace our usual Russian Banana as a yellow fingerling. So far we are impressed with it. Apparently, it is the fancy of many chefs. So you can feel all high end and fancy yourself while preparing these lovelies. They are a good oven roasting potato.
Basil: We are finally able to add basil to the herb rotation. Try to use it up soon. Basil is very perishable.

My brain is a little addled this week. The pickling cucumber and green bean madness is on. Our first planting of pickling cukes (2400 linear feet) need to be picked, washed, sorted, and bagged every Mon, Wed, and Fri. It is quite a task; a true “all hands on deck” affair. I spend several hours a day orchestrating orders (on top of all my other farming duties) and today it is really catching up to me. My apologies for such a brief newsletter! We hope you enjoy your veggies!

Jen, Jim and the Rising River Farm Crew

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CSA Newsletter – Week 7 – July 27, 2016

by jennifer on July 27, 2016

CSA box Week 7WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
potatoes
beets or chard
slicing cucumber-large shares
Amiga cucumber-small shares (kinda like an English cucumber)
green beans
snow peas-large shares only
lettuce
dill, cilantro, or parsley
garlic
green zucchini
Italian zucchini
patty pan or crookneck squash
sungold cherry tomatoes or slicing tomatoes for half of you (the rest of you will get some next week.)

Whew, it is hot out there! What a yo-yo kind of summer. With the sun comes crazy abundance as is evidenced with the beans and squash. We have 2 succession plantings of both on right now, so the harvest totals are impressive (and a little intimidating!) It is our hope that the tomatoes will be the next crop to take off. As it is, we had enough for half of you today. The rest of you will get some next week.

CANNING AND FREEZING:
If you are inclined to can or freeze and produce for mid-winter enjoyment, visit our bulk crop page for pricing. I will let you know in the newsletters or in a separate email if/when we have extra of anything. Right now green beans and pickling cucumbers are the hot ticket. We can bring your order to your CSA pick up site or to any of the farmers market we sell to. If you are new to canning and freezing, cooperative extension has a lot of great resources and recipes.

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CSA Newsletter – Week 6 – July 20, 2016

by jennifer on July 20, 2016

week 6 2016

It looks as though the sun will be making a regular appearance for the next week or so, which is welcome news. I was not looking forward to one of our typical “non summers” especially since the spring was so hot and promising. Certain crops seem to be suspended in time in terms of ripening. We keep going out there only to find a handful of tomatoes. The pickling cucumbers are also just sitting there…. The plants are all looking lush and happy, but they just need a little more heat in order to ripen up.

The fields are buzzing with tons of bees and beneficial insects. Not only did we plant flowering buckwheat in all of our fallow and later planted ground, we also planted strips of leftover flower starts from our spring plant sales, throughout several of the fields. Sunflowers, zinnia, phacelia, cosmos, nigella, and marigolds provide beautiful and abundant habitat for all sorts of good bugs. It cheers us up too, to see such pretty flowers.

WHATS IN THE BOX:
carrots
beet or chard
fennel, kohlrabi, or shell peas
snow or snap peas
green beans
red potatoes
cabbage
summer squash
dill, cilantro, or parsley

RECIPE IDEAS:
CABBAGE: Use finely shredded cabbage as a topping for tacos/burritos instead of lettuce. Or try one of the recipes on our cabbage page.
GREEN BEANS: These beans are so sweet and tender. You should snack on some while you prepare dinner. Check out all the recipes on our bean page. I especially love the one with walnuts, balsamic, and honey.
RED POTATOES: reds make great fried potatoes or hash browns. They mash up well, too.

Here’s to lots of sun and heat and hopefully tomatoes soon!

Jen, Jim, and the Rising River Farm Crew

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CSA Newsletter – Week 5 – July 13, 2016

by jennifer on July 13, 2016

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WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
beets or chard
sweet onion
garlic
shell or snap pea
green zucchini
patty pan or yellow crookneck squash (large shares only)
lettuce
fennel or kohlrabi
potatoes-red thumb
dill, cilantro, or parsley

Weeding is the name of the game these days. The crew has been valiantly rescuing baby carrots from the carpet of unwanted vegetation that threatens to overtake them. The recent rains have allowed the weeds to sprout and thrive like nobody’s business. We were down several workers last week for various and sundry reasons, so we were treading water there for a bit. Now nearly all hands are back on deck and tomorrow promises to be another sunny day. I know what we’ll be doing….

You will notice a smaller amount of peas this week. Hopefully you are thinking “phew” instead of “awww”. The patch we were picking from is winding down and the new one is not quite ready. In my wanderings around the field I see that beans are almost ready. We hope to have enough for you all in a few weeks.

Everything in your box should be pretty familiar by now. The only thing to mention is the Red Thumb potatoes. I think you got them once already. They are a great roasting potato. A little olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary if you have it, perhaps some crushed garlic and you’ve got yourself a nice side dish (or main dish.) You can also use them for potato salad, shish-ka-bobs on the grill, or simply steamed.

As for fennel, hopefully your googling from a few weeks ago yielded a bunch of good ideas. One of our market customers said she loves to par boil the bulb, then braise it in the oven, smothered in olive oil, salt and pepper of course.

The lettuce is super lush and sweet this week. Be sure to whip up a nice salad with some of your fresh herbs.

Speaking of herbs, I found this awesome herb reference chart that offers suggestions of what veggies pair well with what herbs. Check it out.

I could go on and on about the weeds, but I’ll leave you to your dinner and me to mine.

Enjoy your veggies-
Jen, Jim and the Rising River Farm Crew

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CSA Newsletter – Week 4 – July 6, 2016

by jennifer on July 6, 2016

week 4 CSA 2016

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
beets or chard
potatoes – “caribe”
snow peas
shell peas
snap peas-small shares only
zucchini
scallions
lettuce
dill, parsley, or cilantro

I have been popping in and out of town for the past two weeks due to family gatherings, dropping kids off at summer adventures, and visiting friends, so I don’t have a lot of “farmy” news for you this week. Instead I will point out a few zucchini recipes. We are approaching the time of year where zucchini and other summer squash are prolific. Good thing they are versatile! We grow 4 different types so you will see them all eventually. The following is a list of suggestions and recipes for this incredibly useful vegetable:
1. Eat it raw. Most zucchini/summer squash is very mild in flavor: slightly sweet and slightly nutty. Dice it up and add it as a taco or burrito topping. Sprinkle on veggie pizza. Add chopped or grated squash to salads.
2. Grate or chop and add to stir fries, casseroles, soups, omelets, quiche, or just about any other savory dish you make. The flavor is subtle enough that it won’t alter the flavor of your dish, but it will add some nice texture, color, and nutrition.
3. Click on the zucchini link to see a whole list of recipes.
summer quash

Starting from the top: green zucchini, patty pan, crookneck, Italian zucchini

Enjoy your veggies!

Jen, Jim, & the Rising River Farm Crew

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CSA Newsletter – Week 3 – June 29, 2016

by jennifer on June 29, 2016

csa week 3 2016

Welcome to week 3! As you can see, the boxes get a little more interesting each week. Hopefully you are able to utilize everything in your box. Remember to eat up the leafy greens and fresh herbs sooner. Potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage, etc hold for quite a long time. Soups, stir fries, casseroles, and quiche are all great ways to use up the last remnants of your share just before the next delivery.

MOST RECIPES ARE MERELY A GUIDE: Sometimes you will find a great recipe but don’t always have enough of something to make the full recipe. Sharpen those math skills and figure out how to make a smaller batch. Play around with substituting one ingredient for another. I rarely follow recipes to the letter (except for baking-there you are messing with chemistry and physics). I swap stuff out all the time. It usually works out. At least I haven’t had to compost anything!

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
Carrots
Beets or fennel
Cabbage or kohlrabi
Chard or snap peas
Dill, cilantro, or parsley
Shell peas
Snow peas
Potatoes-Red Thumb
Scallions
Sweet onion
Garlic
Zucchini-half of you (the rest will get it next week)
Red leaf lettuce
Lovelock lettuce-large shares only

peas

From left to right: snap, snow, shell

chard

Swiss Chard

ELABORATION OF BOX CONTENT:
Peas: A lot of folks are confused about the difference between snap peas and shell peas. Snaps can be eaten pod and all, as the pod is sweet, juicy, and not at all fibrous. Shell peas must be “shelled” to reveal the sweet peas inside. The pods are quite tough. One bite of each and you will know who is who. Some people cook snap peas, but most prefer them raw in green salads and pasta salads. Shell peas can be eaten raw (my favorite way) or lightly steamed. New potatoes and shell peas are a classic spring combo. Drizzle a little butter over that and heave a sigh of contentment.
Chard:(see photo) Chard is a cousin to beets, one being bred for bulbous roots, and the other for lush foliage. You can eat the ribs as well, just cook them about 5 minutes longer than the leaves. The flavor is robust and earthy-not at all bitter or spicy. Try these Chard Recipes.
Zucchini:There is finally enough to pass out to half of you. The rest of you will get it next week. We are still seeing the effects of the hail 2 weeks ago. Please excuse the mild surface damage.
Red Thumb Potatoes: We couldn’t get our favorite French Fingerling seed potato and this was the next best thing. They are waxy and delicate and are perfect for oven roasting, steaming, or added to a pot roast. Or try this French Potato Salad with mustard vinaigrette.
Herbs: I made an amazing cilantro pesto the other night by blending almonds, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt. Parmesan would have made it even better. We used it with our stir fry and rice and then I put the rest on a sandwich the next day instead of mayo. I might have to always have some on hand. It was so good! Dill and parsley are both a perfect addition to steamed new potatoes. Sprinkle chopped, uncooked herbs over the cooked potatoes.

TODAY’S RANDOM FARM FACT: Today the crew finished weeding the onions-all 22 beds (each bed is 300 feet long). If we had planted all the onions in a single line, it would stretch nearly 4 miles. That’s a lot of onions!

Enjoy your veggies!

Jen, Jim, and the Rising River Farm Crew

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CSA Newsletter – Week 2 – June 22, 2016

by jennifer on June 22, 2016

13528994_1322760871086916_6965869395541496131_nWhat a difference one week can make! It feels like summer again. More crops are ripening and we now have potatoes, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, and fennel! Shell peas are still in a torturous holding pattern, but should be ready soon. Next week we can hopefully start rotating snap peas around.

THE FIELD REPORT: Most of the farm is planted now, save for weekly or bi weekly succession plantings of carrots, beets, lettuce, herbs, broccoli, cabbage, beans, and a few others. We are at an ever so fleeting balance point weeding and harvesting. Pretty soon the scales will tip toward harvest, though the weeding is never really done. At some point it just becomes a matter of priority! So far we seem to be keeping up pretty well. Just when it seems to be bordering on out of control, Isaac will sweep through the fields on the cultivating tractor and the rest of the crew will follow behind to get the weeds within the row.

HAIL DAMAGE: We had a sudden, brief, and slightly damaging bout of hail last Tuesday. You will see some evidence of this on the peas and possibly the lettuce. It is amazing what 3 minutes of torrential pelting ice will do. We do not like to give out unsightly produce, but sometime it cannot be helped. Many plants look a little bedraggled, but since it is not the foliage you will be eating, it doesn’t really matter. I am glad to not live in a place where hail is a frequent visitor.

THE CREW: We are fortunate to have the bulk of our crew return from last year. Everyone knows what to do and what to expect. The more senior workers help guide the newer ones so the day flows pretty nicely. Some have been with us for over 15 years, and many others have been here upwards of four years. It is so helpful to Jim and I to have other capable folks to take on the more nuanced aspects of the farm. Tractor work, fertilizing, organizing and orchestrating the CSA and orders, keeping up with irrigation, all take time to learn and a certain personality to do them well.

Besides Jim and I, we have 12 full-ish time workers, with 2 more slated to start next week. We find it is better to hire a lot of folks and keep sane hours, than try to eek by with a smaller crew. We start at 6:00 and try to be done by 3:00 so that no one is out cooking in the heat too long.  I will get a crew picture soon to include in a newsletter so you can “meet” all of us.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

Red leaf or green leaf lettuce
Romaine heart
French crisp lettuce- large shares only
California White new potatoes
Carrots
Snow peas
Cilantro or Italian parsley
Cabbage or kohlrabi
Beets or fennel
Garlic
Scallions
Sweet onion

A WORD ON ROTATION:
Not everyone gets everything mentioned in the newsletter every week, but on balance, all the box values are the same. Very often we will give half of you one thing and half the other. Then next week it’ll switch. We also rotate items around the sites when there is not enough for all. Eventually you will all receive roughly the same things with the same value. We keep careful track of who gets what when. It all evens out in the wash.

purple kohlrabi

 

fennel
fennel

BOX CONTENT ELABORATION:

POTATOES: These are tender new potatoes. We elected not to wash them as the skins are very fragile. Store them dirty in your fridge until you are ready to use them. The variety is called “California White.” They have white flesh, and are on the medium to moist side of the scale. They can be roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper & baked at 400 or 425 for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally. Or steam until tender and drizzle with melted garlic butter. Sprinkle minced parsley or last week’s dill on top. They also make great home fries.

KOHLRABI: (see photo) It is the round green or purple orb with kale-like leaves attached to it. It is in the broccoli/cabbage family and has a sweet, subtle broccoli flavor. I prefer it raw, but you can also cook it in a stir-fry or some such. To prepare, cut off leaves, cut bulb into ¼ inch rounds, then peel with a paring knife. We grow both purple and green ones. I find the purple ones to be crunchier and the green ones more delicate. Kids really like this veg. Well…some kids.

FENNEL: (see photo) Fennel is the bulb with the long ferny fronds at the top. The bulb and leaves tastes like licorice. It is used a lot in Italian dishes. The fronds can be added to salads. I wish I had more fennel recipes to share. Sorry, you’re gonna have to Google this one.

ITALIAN PARSLEY: As mentioned last week, try sprinkling fresh chopped herbs on your meals upon serving. Parsley is great in salads, pasta dishes, soups, and on potatoes. It is a great breath freshener and digestive aid as well. Put a few sprigs on everyone’s plate to chew on after the meal.

BEETS: Give beets a chance! I know there are some supposed beet haters out there. Read my picky eater spiel below and try them again. Our website has some great beet recipes, including a chocolate cake!

PICKY EATER SPIEL:
I say it every year, but for the benefit of the new members I will say it again. Please try everything you receive in your box at least twice before you decide you are not a fan. Fresh from the field veggies are nothing like what you buy in a store and are most certainly leagues better than canned or frozen versions. I am a bona-fide picky eater since childhood. I hated nearly every vegetable except iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and russet potatoes. I would choke down the occasional canned green beans, but nearly any other veggie I was served would cause me to recoil and protest mightily. However once I grew my own, tried them raw or lightly cooked, I was converted. I am still learning to like new things and am all the better for it. I also have two kids, 18 and 14, and have weathered many phases of kids loving then hating then loving any given vegetable.

Here are a few tips for converting veggie haters into veggie lovers (or at least tolerators):

  1. Try things raw. They tend to be sweeter, obviously crunchier, and lack the mushy texture that just freaks some people out.
  2. If you are going to cook things, aim for ”al dente”. Most of the time crunchy or firm is more appealing than mush.
  3. Try meals that are deconstructed. For example, a build your own burrito where each person can add as much or as little as they want. Making a casserole? Try serving the contents of said casserole separated out. Some kids (and yes, some adults) cannot deal with a whole bunch of unidentifiable ingredients all mixed together. I clearly remember mining out every onion and mushroom fleck in my mother’s meatloaf. I am not necessarily a proponent of catering to and preparing separate meals for whiny, picky kids, but if you can serve them what you are already making but in a different form, then it doesn’t seem as bad. Remember, the goal is to get them to love veggies! I just remember texture and mystery in regards to food being huge obstacles for me as a kid. (I still feel the need to apologize for the hell I probably put my mom through at dinner time.)
  4. Have your family/household members help unpack your weekly share, sample veggies, and brainstorm menu ideas. Most veggies can be eaten raw so sampling should be encouraged.
  5. Have your picky eaters help cook, or at least play sous chef. They will be way more likely to eat it if they know what is in it.
  6. Explore our website for recipes. Most of what is posted is easy to prepare. Rarely will you need some exotic vinegar, spice, or pantry item that you use maybe once a year.

SOCIAL MEDIA: We have a facebook and Instagram account. I try to post a lot of pictures of the farm and crew, as well as recipe ideas. Check us out!

Call the farm for general, non-pressing questions 360.273.5368
Call Jen’s cell for urgent issues. 360.584.6720

Please note that I (Jen) will be out of town through Sunday, so the farm number is the one to call.

Happy Eating from Jen and the Rising River Farm Crew

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CSA Newsletter – Week 1 – June 15 2016

by jennifer on June 15, 2016

week 1 csa large share 2016

Welcome to Rising River Farm CSA

Thank you for joining us for a summer of delicious vegetables. Our own menus are getting more and more exciting as the weeks pass and we excited to share the bounty.

I hope you found your box without incident. Alex and I got all the boxes delivered just under the wire. We were wrapping up the last site right around 3:00.  It is our aim to get all the boxes delivered by 3:00, but occasionally there are hold-ups, like today when the DNR service elevator was broken and we had to follow the most circuitous route imaginable to get the boxes where they needed to go. There are a few new pick up sites this year, so please be patient with us as we refine the route.

THE FIELD REPORT: I think spring and summer traded places. These past few days of sun one minute and pouring rain the next, feels more like April than mid-June. In some ways this role reversal has been good on the farm. It has allowed us to plant evenly spaced successions of crops. The soil has been a delight to work with, as we have had plenty of sunny days to dry the fields to a perfect consistency for tilling and planting. In past years, when the breaks in rain aren’t quite long enough we end up working the ground too soon, and pay for our haste with chunks and clods all season long. The final bonus is no irrigation necessary! Woo hoo! The down side is the hit on our morale. It is hard to go back to slogging in the mud, layered in fleece and wool when it was in the 80’s only 2 weeks ago. Oh well, what can you do?

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Red leaf lettuce

French crisp lettuce

Green leaf lettuce-large shares only

Green onions

Walla walla onion

Garlic

Garlic scapes (See below)

Fresh dill

Snow peas

Dry beans-pinto for small shares, and calypso for large shares

Returning members already know that the first boxes tend to be on the slim side. Many of the veggies you are eager to eat take a little longer to grow. As the weeks wear on, the boxes will get more abundant and diverse then will slowly decrease in variety as the season winds to an end. Potatoes and carrots are just on the horizon. We keep going out and digging around and they are ever so close. Shell and snap peas are also nearly ready. It only gets better from here!

garlic scapes garlic scapes

VEGGIE ID:

Garlic Scapes: They are the bunch of curly-Q’s in your box. They are the seed stalk of the garlic plant. The texture is similar to green beans or asparagus when cooked and the flavor is garlicky, but milder than cloves of garlic. Cut it up into bite sized pieces and toss into a stir fry, casserole, soup, frittata, etc. You can sauté them whole in butter or olive oil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and either grill on the b-b-q or bake in oven at 400 for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until done to your liking.

Green Onions: You know what they are, but let me encourage you to use them as more than a garnish or addition to potato salad. It is rare for us to have onions this time of year, so I have grown accustomed to using them in place of onion in just about any recipe that calls for onion.

Fresh Dill: Many people aren’t used to using fresh herbs. Dill is a fabulous and versatile one. Try this recipe for dill, balsamic, maple vinaigrette for the massive salad you will most likely make for dinner tonight. Chop it up and sprinkle on potatoes, either before or after cooking them (or both). Lay it over fish while cooking. Chop it fresh over rice and stir-fried veggies. Just make whatever you like to make for dinner and try sprinkling dill on it. Fresh herbs are amazing.

Snow Peas: These lovelies are sweet, crisp, a fun to munch on. I got to witness the joy and surprise on some kid’s face at market Saturday when he, reluctantly, tried the snow pea I proffered. His face went from dubious and untrusting to surprise to totally won over. His mom bought some. You can enjoy these in that salad you are going to make, include them in a stir fry of some sort, or just snack on the them while you read this newsletter.

Dry Beans: The brown speckled ones are pintos and are the classic refried bean variety. They can be used for any bean dish, really. They cook pretty quick though, so if you want a whole firm bean, keep an eye on ‘em. About 20-30 minutes should do it. The black and white ones are called Calypso and make an excellent soup beans. Again you can do whatever you want with these. They are versatile and forgiving. With both varieties, your tummy will thank you if you soak them for around 8 hours before cooking. Don’t cook them in the water you soaked them in.

HOUSEKEEPING:

Please remember to return your box each week. Consider bringing a bag to transfer your veggies into so you won’t have to remember to bring it back.

Keep the pickup site neat and tidy.

Observe the pickup site hours out of respect for your hosts, especially at someone’s home. Call them directly if you will be late or forget your box. You can make alternate arrangements with them.

 

Well, I think that about sums things up for this week. Remember to search through our recipe database on our website. Click on the veggie you want featured and a bunch will pop up. Have a recipe to share? Send it to me and I’ll add it to the site. I am always looking for more ideas.

 

Thanks again for signing up!

 

Until next week…Jen

 

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Black Bean & Salsa Soup

by jennifer on February 16, 2016

This soup is sooooo good and you can tweak the recipe based on what veggies you have on hand. The recipe is vegan, but you can always add chicken or some other meat if you want extra protein, and/or garnish with shredded cheddar and/or sour cream.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 or more cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1.5 cups chunky salsa, fresh (homemade or store bought) is better than jar salsa.
4 cups vegetable stock
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

Extra’s for serving (all are optional)
lime juice
fresh cilantro, chopped
tortilla chips
ripe avocado, cubed
hot sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Procedure:
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. When hot, add garlic, onion, pepper, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir and cooked for about 4 minutes.
2. Add cumin and chili powder, stir to coat. Then add salsa and vegetable stock. Bring to a low boil.
3. Add black beans and corn. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you are adding meat, figure out when to add it based on what type and whether or not it is pre-cooked.
4. Enjoy on it’s own or add some of the extras suggested above.

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Ingredients:
2 lbs fingerling potatoes
2 lbs green beans

Dressing:
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 TBSP chopped fresh dill
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Procedure:
1. In a large pot, steam potatoes until nearly cooked through.
2. Add green beans and steam 2-3 minutes longer, until bright green and al dente.
3. Remove from water and drain.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
5. Drizzle over the potatoes and bean, fold gently to combine and serve warm or at room temperature.

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