In Your Box
Broccoli- big/giant broccoli heads or bunches
Kale: curly red or green, red Russian or dino kale.
Zucchini and Summer Squash-
Mint or sage– use sage fried with summer squash,
Fresh Sweet Onions with tops-
Carrots with their greens – remember to separate greens!
Snap Beans – green, yellow and/or purple. All are super tender now.
Tomatoes- full shares only. We harvest ripe or nearly ripe. Eat within several days.
Cauliflower- Full shares only
Basil or Garlic scapes- small shares only
Next Week’s Best Guess: beets, carrots, lettuce heads, snap beans, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, garlic, tomatoes, new potatoes.
News from the Farm
Our 10th anniversary CSA season marches on. We are endlessly appreciative of all the help we have received to make this a great farm season and to improve the farm. Thank you to our family (for meals, childcare, building projects, cleaning and much more), our employees (Logan came to scrape shingles this weekend and stayed late all week and everyone else gave 110%), our friends (who helped celebrate Ted’s birthday, helped with roofing and donated pigs to the farm), our CSA members (who help weed, give us lots of love and give us the chance to farm). We started work on a third pizza oven this week and our big animal/mushroom/hay barn is getting a new roof. Things are looking great in the field. We finished weeding the fall brassica (cabbage family) crops and starting cultivation on root crops. In very happy news we finally figured out and have overhead irrigation working! Hopefully we continue to have great rain but we feel so much more secure knowing we can water through a drought. Note that tomatoes are coming for everyone next week! We also expect other fruiting crops like tomatillos too. This is the earliest we have had them. See the basil announcement above. We will have pesto kits in the box as well in the next few weeks.
Have a delicious week – Kat, Tony, Ted, Riley and Maple
ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH CREAMY DIPPING SAUCE SAUCE YIELD: SERVES 4 TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES INGREDIENTS: 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed, 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 TBSP olive oil, 2 TBSP mayonnaise, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste. DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the green beans, oil, and Parmesan cheese together to coat. Spread onto a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Cook longer, as needed, to reach your desired level of doneness. While the green beans are cooking, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to serve. Salt and pepper the green beans and serve with the dipping sauce
HOMEMADE VEGETABLE STOCK, adapted from Beverly Mills and Alecia Ross. Makes approximately 10-12 cups of veggie stock. This is the best way to get something for absolutely nothing. Keep a gallon size ziplock bag in the freezer. Put in it any veggie odds and ends including: peels from carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tops of peppers (but not the seeds), mushroom stems, tomato cores, onion peels and greens, limp carrots, celery. Please don't add anything from the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower or brussels sprouts don't make great stock). When your bag is full, dump it in a 5 quart slow cooker and fill it with water, add 1 tsp of salt, or more to taste. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-12 hours. (If you don't have a slow cooker, you can cook it on the stove top. bring it to a boil and simmer on low for 4-5 hours). Strain out the solids and freeze in 2 cup increments. Use anywhere you would use chicken or vegetable stock. Keeps up to 2 months in the freezer.
See the backide of the newsletter for info on fresh herbs (like mint, basil and sage)
Preserving and using fresh herbs (basic info from kitchn.com)
• Air Drying: Drying works well for herbs like oregano, thyme, marjoram, and sage. Before drying, shake to remove dirt and discard any withered leaves. (You can gently wash the herbs, but be sure to dry them thoroughly to prevent mildew.) Secure the stems together using twine or a rubber band and hang upside down in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place away from sunlight. If you don't have a dark spot, or if dust is a concern, you can cover the bundle with a paper bag; just ensure that there is enough space for air to circulate. Leave to dry until the leaves crumble, anywhere from 1-4 weeks. Store in an airtight container for up to a year.
• Oven Drying: Although we prefer the above method because it doesn't use any energy (and there's something romantic about hanging herbs to dry!), oven drying is faster than air drying and a good option for those living in humid environments. To oven dry, spread herbs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (metal can affect the flavor) and place in a 150° F oven with the door slightly ajar. Check herbs frequently and remove when crumbly; it may take between 1-4 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to a year.
• Freezing: Freezing is the best option for leafy herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, and tarragon. One method consists of chopping the herbs, packing them into an ice cube tray, and topping off with broth or water. Another method is to blend the herbs into a paste with a little oil or water before freezing. Store frozen cubes in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Kat’s Favorite methods for using and storing herbs
Basil – Fresh: in pesto, on top of roasted veggies or fresh salads. Basil is best added and used fresh (not cooking for a long time). To preserve: Basil can be dried by if you want basil flavor freezing after pureeing with oil is the best method. You can add salt, and garlic to the mixture as well. We leave our other pesto ingredients like cheese and nuts so we can use this as a fresh tasting base to anything we want to cook in winter.
Cilantro – Fresh: in salsa, cooked with beans, meat or in fresh cucumber salad. Goes well with both creamy and vinegar bases. To preserve: the same as basil in our opinion. Drying works well but yield not the best results.
Fennel – Fresh: wonderful to use like dill in salads (egg salad, potato salad). To preserve: the tops of fennel are easy to dry and get milder. Remove the feather ends from the larger stems and oven dry on a low setting. You can also use the oil or broth methods for freezing for a more fennely experience.
Dill- eat fresh or toss with oil for roasted veggies like potatoes. Parsley- mix with several herbs and oil preserve or dry. You can easily air dry on the stem.
Sage- Fresh: Wonderful fried atop meat like pork chops or grilled burgers. Sage is best when the aroma is brought out by cooking. We love sage with roasted potatoes and garlic, or with caramelized carrots. To Preserve: easy to air and oven dry and the stronger flavor of sage make this method ideal.
Mints – we have both peppermint and spearmint on the farm. Spearmint and common mint are both a bit fuzzy so are best chopped finely or food processed mixed with oil or creamy bases in dressings. We love carrots with mint, cucumber and mint salad with yogurt dressing, and mint with fresh tomatoes. To Preserve: both the oil method and drying work well.
Oregano- strongly flavored dried oregano is a favorite for many. To use fresh use in smaller amounts and gather in abunch with other herbs to steep in a sauce or use in fresh tomato sauces.
Thyme – like oregano easy to dry and to use fresh. Remove from woody stem. Great in dressings, added to vinegar, and made into a mixed herb packet for poultry or veggies.