CSA Week 7.

CSA Week 7

There’s not too much to say about the farm right now. Things keep on keeping on. We’re seeding and transplanting fall crops. We’re adding more tomato string to our ever growing trellis. We’re harvesting cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash every other day (and hauling in nearly 300 pounds each harvest). We’re sending a sample pepper and butternut squash plant to the UW plant pathology lab to try and learn more about this diseases that popped up practically overnight on our farm. We harvested all the garlic and got it curing in the basement (!!!!) We’re weeding like crazy because more rain means more (and faster growing) weeds.

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Because of the rain and high humidity, we’re beginning to spray a few crops with preventative organic sprays to at a minimum slow down any diseases on crops that are most susceptible with all this moisture (think squash, tomatoes, peppers, melons). But perhaps the biggest news is that I attended a financial workshop on learning how to make capital investments in your business with the brilliant founder of Tera’s Whey. It pushed me to think outside the box when it comes to growing our business and we’re back to discussing investments and how to move our business forward in the smartest way possible without burying us in debt. More on this later I’m sure.

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But this week I don’t want to talk about the farm too much. In this semi-lull of serious farm activity, I want to take a moment to talk to you all about CSA guilt- an all too common phenomenon. CSA guilt is when a CSA member feels bad each week (or most weeks) because they are not using their box perfectly. There was something that they didn’t know how to use or that they cooked and no one liked it, or maybe because they simply ran out of energy and couldn’t find time to cook another meal so an item or two wound up in the garbage (or pawned off on some friend, neighbor or family member).

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First of all, if you are discarding one or two items each week, you are still getting a great value. Secondly, sharing things with your neighbors and friends is a great way to share the love of this beautiful model that’s all about community. Thirdly, if you are tossing things in a compost bucket, the produce is going to go back into the soil and really has no net loss for this world of ours. What I want you to understand here is that really, truly there is no reason to feel bad about giving away or tossing an item or two each week. Of course food waste is not a good thing, but one or two pounds of vegetables is not what people are referring to when they talk about food waste. That is a tiny drop in a giant bucket of a problem and please don’t feel bad.

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The other fact that’s really important to share: we are not disappointed in you. Obviously this food was grown with love and we want you to feel that love and enjoy your produce each week, but more than anything else, we want receiving your box of vegetables to be an excitement inducing event and not something that feels like one more thing to manage. As the season ramps up and we start throwing more and more veggies your way, here are my tips for how to make the most of your box and hopefully eliminate some of the stress and some of the veggie guilt:

1. Check out our resources first. I really love food and I really LOVE to curate recipes for you all. All the recipes in this newsletter and on our Pinterest page have been tested or have been created by people I trust. Often I choose recipes that I think are simple and/or use a variety of different vegetables in the box. It’s fun to Google and search for recipes yourself, but if you are short on time, start here!

2. Select 3-4 recipes that seem doable and use most of your ingredients. I know there are going to be a lot of tempting recipes but try not to choose more than 4. It’s pretty unlikely you’ll have time to make four veggie centric recipes throughout one week. There are dinner dates and events and all kinds of things to distract. Choose the four that look the most appealing, make sure you have a good balance of easy and difficult recipes, and then save them to your phone, laptop or tablet for later review.

3. Create your menu and shopping list. I know it seems weird to create your meal plan on a Thursday-Wednesday style calendar but that’s what works easiest for us. Check these 3-4 recipes to see what you have and see what you need. If some recipes aren’t a complete meal, figure out what to serve on the side to get it there. Make your list and head to the store to fill in the gaps.

4. Dice, dice, dice. Whenever you have a free hour, scan your recipes and get to prepping the veggies according to instructions. The single most difficult thing about eating more vegetables is the amount of time it takes to process them. We save most of our serious dicing for the weekend, but if you can spare some time here or there throughout the week, just get things prepped and in Tupperware container to make whipping up a meal much simpler.

5. Batch cook on the weekends. It’s a rare weekend when we don’t cook 3-4 meals on Sunday night and stock them in the fridge. It can be so hard to find time to cook and clean the kitchen during the week so we love to start around 4 p.m., enlist everyone’s help, make a damn giant mess and then pack things away for the week before doing the dishes and cleaning things up. It’s a bit of a marathon, but when we don’t have to think about cooking again until Thursday or Friday we’re super happy for the couple hours of hard work!

6. Freeze everything! You would be surprised how many vegetables can go straight into the freezer (peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash). Others will need to be blanched first for 2-5 minutes (broccoli, peas, beans, kale, chard, collards, etc). Check the internet for freezing instructions and just toss anything you are concerned won’t get eaten into the freezer before your next box arrives. Squishy zucchini thawed from the freezer may not seem that appealing now, but I promise you when you’re tossing it in soup or pasta come January you’ll be so proud of yourself for thinking ahead.

7. If all else fails, share the wealth. You will always be able to find someone to take your extra veggies. If you’ve already overwhelmed the usual suspects (neighbors, friends, family you see often), bring the rest to work and just leave them out the counter with a sign marked free.

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I hope this helps you all understand how we digest our own piles of vegetables each week and helps remove some of the guilt. We love growing food for you and hope you’re enjoying the bounty!

Love,
L&K

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Red Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.
Red-Tip Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on head. Use within a week, but may store for up to two weeks.
Broccoli // Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days.
Fennel // Remove delicate leaves (also known as fronds) before storage if you plan to use. Store the bulbs in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Store the leaves in a moist paper towel in the fridge and use within a week.
Zucchini & Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there. I find that zucchini and summer squash last best in a cool part of the house (pantry or basement).
Eggplant  (Half Shares Only) //  Eggplant is absolutely best fresh and very perishable. Use quickly or definitely within the week. Many people recommend not storing in the fridge because it will get soggy quickly.
Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.
Green Bell & Italian Fryer Peppers // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.
Jalapeno //  Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.
Purple or White Daikon (Full Shares Only) // Daikon always seems to last for forever in the crisper drawer of my fridge, especially if it has not been cut. It will get a little soggier the longer you store it, but will still work quite well pickled. You within a month and you should be a-okay.
Walla Walla Onion // Fresh onions, which are freshly harvested and have not been cured, should be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge until ready to use. They will last about a week.
Fresh Garlic // The same goes for this garlic. It has not yet been cured so don’t think you can throw it in the pantry and forget about it for weeks. Put it in your fridge and use this week or next.
Basil // Store with the stems in a glass of water on your counter out of direct sunlight. Do not store in the fridge; It will blacken immediately and wilt after that.

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Veggie ID: Daikon Radish (Purple or White) ↑

Only the full shares received this unfamiliar veggie this week so I’m not going to go into too much depth here (don’t worry there are lots of recipe suggestions below). Daikon is not all that different from a regular radish (crisp and sweet with a little bit of spice). The main difference is just that  it’s MUCH larger. Daikon can get anywhere from 3-15 inches long. You can enjoy them raw, sliced, shaved, or cut into matchsticks. They add a great crunch to pretty much any dish with just a very subtle spice. I especially love to pickle them and toss them on sandwiches or grain bowls.

Have fun experimenting and if you want to learn more about this unique veggie: head over to Food 52 where they give you loads of  information and ideas for how to use it.

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK
You can expect 10-12 of these items in your box next week

Chard
Collards
Bok Choy
Fennel
Beets
Broccoli
Beans
Cucumbers
Zucchini
Summer Squash
Eggplant
Green Bell Pepper
Red Potatoes
Scallions
Walla Walla Onion
Fresh Garlic
Mixed Herbs

BOX INSPIRATION

zucchini crust pizza

Summer Squash, Fennel & Pesto Pizza with Zucchini Crust // Zucchini, Summer Squash, Fennel, Green Pepper, Basil // This is what we call a weekend project recipe. Making zucchini crust from scratch is definitely a little time consuming, but this yummy dish uses up almost half of the veggies in your box and more than makes up for the time spent with incredible flavor. If you aren’t feeling ambitious, you could always throw the same toppings on a store-bought pizza crust.
Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Cucumber & Charred Onion Salad // Cucumber,  Sub Walla Walla Onion for Red Onion, Sub Jalapeno for Fresno Chili (just toss in a couple slices and definitely seed them if you don’t love heat), Add sliced Green Pepper to the grill if you feel like it (I always do) // Every year I wait with baited breath for the cucumbers to begin. Every year my obsession with cucumbers grows deeper and more complex. Each year, I wish their season got longer and longer. This salad is almost always the first thing I make. It’s simple yet complex and I always toss in a green bell pepper (something not so easy for me to use). For this recipe (and most cucumber recipes), I cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon to pretend I’ve got a seedless cucumber on my hand. If you aren’t a master griller of veggies, feel free to throw the sliced onion and pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper under the broiler instead.
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Broccoli Rubble Farro Salad // Broccoli, Garlic // The mountain of pecorino romano on this quick, simple grain salad is definitely my favorite part. Farro, broccoli, garlic, romano cheese and a little lemon is a combination I go crazy for. Splurge on good quality cheese as it’s really a highlight of this yummy dish.
Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (if you substitute an alternative grain)

classic-coleslaw

Classic Coleslaw // Red Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, Sub Daikon for Carrots // Given how likely it is that you have some savoy cabbage left in your fridge, I though this might be a great recipe for you. This is my go to coleslaw. We usually serve it alongside some BBQ pulled pork or fried chicken but it’s a great addition to any summer meal. I always substitute half the mayo for Greek yogurt (otherwise it’s an overwhelming amount of mayo) and typically leave out the carrots. Feel free to leave the carrots in if you have them on hand or substitute the daikon for them instead!
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free 

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A Really Good Salad // Lettuce, Daikon Radish, skip the regular Radish, Add Diced Cucumbers or Green Peppers // My girl Andrea Bemis from Tumbleweed Farm and the blog Dishing Up the Dirt knows how to make a mean salad so the fact that she calls this particular one really good really says something! I am absolutely crazy about the combination of crunchy daikon, hearty chickpeas, creamy avocado, rich hard-boiled eggs, and a sweet Asian dressing.
Vegetarian, Vegan (without the eggs), Gluten-Free

avocado cucumber bagel

Avocado Bagel with Cucumber // Cucumber // All winter long, I was feeling guilty buying one cucumber a week just so I could indulge in this perfect breakfast so I’m seriously excited to get back into this yummy way to start the day now that I have loads of my own cukes. I will be cutting the cucumber in half lengthwise though and scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Cucumber seeds ruin a lovely avocado bagel.
Vegetarian, Vegan (depending on the bagel you use)

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Oven-Roasted Fish with Fennel // Fennel, Walla Walla Onion, Garlic // Ever since one of our worker shares mentioned loving fish with fennel, I was dying to try it (thanks Dana!!!!). Fennel and white fish is a match made in heaven and something you’ve got to try out! Plus it makes for a super quick, super simple weeknight meals!
Gluten-Free

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Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette // Summer Squash, Zucchini, Garlic, Sub Basil for Rosemary & Leafy Green, Feel free to add Green Peppers // I love a simple veggie pasta. There’s little better than zucchini, summer squash, garlic, and basil tossed with some pasta and topped with a dusting of parmesan cheese. Plus orecchiette feels a little more elegant and elevated than your average pasta.
Vegetarian

daikon cucumber salad

Daikon and Cucumber Sunomono Salad // Cucumber, Daikon, Jalapenos would add a lovely kick to this otherwise mild dish // Pickled daikon and cucumbers (which is essentially all this is) is a great addition to any meal. My favorite? A beautiful filet of salmon drizzled with some sort of soy and honey glaze, and a big pile of this simple salad on the side. It’s also great on top of grain bowls to add some crunch and flavor to otherwise simple dishes.
Depends on what you serve it with: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free 

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Grilled Red Cabbage with Mustard Sauce // Red Cabbage // Grilled cabbage is a new obsession. It wilts the leaves perfectly with a subtle char and there’s no time for the green to get too wet or soggy as it can with cooked cabbage. I eat grilled cabbage (tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper) all on its own with any grilled meat, but this simple mustard sauce really kicks it up a notch!
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Baked Eggplant Parmesan with Creamy Polenta // Eggplant, Basil, Add Green Peppers & Jalapenos to Polenta if you feel like it // This is the ultimate eggplant recipe. It’s a healthy version of eggplant parm that has all the right textures going on. I adore this simple dish and think you will too! In a couple weeks you’ll be able to whip up a quick tomato sauce with farm tomatoes so definitely pin this recipe.
Vegetarian

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Broccoli Salad with  Cheddar & Warm Bacon Vinaigrette // Broccoli, Sub Walla Walla or Garlic for Scallions // I’ve finally gotten sick of my favorite broccoli salad drenched in a buttermilk yogurt dressing, but I don’t know if I’ll ever tire of fresh broccoli. This New York Times recipes makes for a great deviation from the classic. It’s got cheddar, pecans and grapes plus a warm bacon dressing that is to die for!
Gluten-Free

cucumber and daikon salad

Honeycrisp, Daikon & Cucumber Sesame Seed Salad // Daikon Radish, Cucumber, Sub Seeded Jalapeno for Fresno Chile, Sub Basil for Mint & Shiso// Lately there’s nothing better to me than a heaping bowl packed with colorful veggies. This salad is a beautiful combination of veggies you have, fruits you’ll have to buy and crunchy sesame seeds.
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

MOM’S RECIPE CORNER

Zucchini Pie // Zucchini (or Summer Squash), Onion, Basil

1 8-ounce package refrigerated crescent rolls
3 tablespoons butter
4 cup thinly sliced zucchini (or summer squash)
¼ cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
¼ tsp. dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded cheese- fontina, monterey jack and swiss are all good

Preheat oven to 375⁰. Unroll crescent roll dough. If using dough sheet, you can place it in the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 11 X 7” dish. If using traditional crescent roll dough, place points of each triangle in center of 9” or 10” pie plate. Press to seal seams and press dough up sides. Melt butter in lg. skillet,  gently saute’ onion and zucchini until just tender, ~ 12 minutes.

Gently stir all herbs and seasonings into zucchini mixture, set aside. Stir up eggs in a small bowl, pour over zucchini mixture, sprinkle cheese over. Fold together, spoon over crescent crust. Bake until set, 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving . Can serve warm or at room temperature.

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