CSA Week 14

In your share week 14:

Potatoes
Radish
Turnip Greens
Kale
Basil
Salad Mix
(Some shares only) Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes

Full shares only:

Napa Cabbage or Cabbage
Zucchini or Cucumber

Market Schedule updates:

  • Gleneden Harvest Market is now over!  Thanks for a great season.  CSA members can continue to pick up your shares inside of Eden Hall until the season ends November 9.
  • Neskowin Farmers Market ends this Saturday, September 30.  CSA members will have to pick up their shares at the farm after this week.  I’ll contact you with more details.
  • Tuesday Farm Stand continues 9 to 2 until Thanksgiving.
  • Hospital Farm Stand now has extended hours!  11 to 2 into October (end date TBA)
  • Find us at Neskowin Valley School’s Harvest Festival (and come hear Carolina sing in the afternoon):

September is almost over, and we have one more week of a full schedule before things begin to ease up for us.  I’m working to get as much of the field cover cropped before the end of the month and finish digging the potatoes.  Crewmember (and yoga teacher) Tanner decided to put in a full day of digging on Friday and pulled in over 500 pounds of our yellow finn storage potatoes.  That was a single day record for the farm, but there’s still just a few more to go.  This year we have more potatoes than ever before, so you’ll continue to see lots of them in your shares going forward!

 

We are also planning to harvest our winter squash soon, but they just aren’t quite ripe.  We have lots of beautiful squash sitting in the field, and I’m hoping we get at least a few more warm sunny days to sweeten them up.  They will continue to ripen more after harvesting, but it would be better to let them sweeten on the vine more before pulling them.  Looks like more rain coming next week, so maybe we’ll try to squeeze that in next Monday.

 

Instead, today you get double basil for another batch of pesto before it all goes moldy.  Usually our basil doesn’t last past September, and we are already starting to see more browning leaves and mold in the patch.  But there’s still loads of fresh green leaves, and I thought you might enjoy a little extra.

 

There are lots of greens in today’s share, with salad mix, kale, and some turnip greens.  This is one of our last rotations of baby turnips, and they were just too close together to size up the roots properly.  The greens, however, are perfect, so everyone gets turnip greens with tiny baby turnips on them!  I haven’t had good turnip greens in a while, and today I made my standard lunch of rice and steamed turnip greens, complete with the tiny roots.  They really are one of my favorite vegetables, delicious steamed, sauteed, or in soups or curries.  They are also one of the most nutrient dense veggies out there.  My rule of thumb is that anything you can do with spinach you can do with turnip greens: enjoy!

 

Turnip greens can also be fermented into kimchi, which is well timed since full shares have some of the largest heads of napa cabbage we’ve ever grown!  I’m not sure how they got this big, but some are about the size of my cat.  Fortunately, napa cabbage keeps well in the fridge and ferments well into kimchi.  We will hopefully have heads for half shares soon, but they are heading up unevenly and only part of the patch is ready to harvest.  I like to use napa cabbage for coleslaw, salad, stir fries, and tacos.  It’s more tender than green or red cabbage and I love it’s flavor and light, crunchy texture.  If you don’t plan to use the whole head at once, you can either peel off the outer leaves to use and leave the rest of the head in a bag (stores best this way), or you can chop through the whole head from the top (you may just have to trim the browned edges when you go to use more).  Make sure to eat the wide white ribs as well as the outer leafy part.

 

All of the summer fruits are slowing down, and we are trying to adjust our picking schedule to reflect that.  We still have tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini, but less of them and a little less often.  We will continue to include them in your shares, but you won’t be getting them every week any more.  However, this coincides with our market schedule slowing down, so the CSA gets more of what we do harvest going forward.  Fortunately, our tomatoes are in the greenhouses and so have more protection from rain and mold.  We still have lots of green fruit on the vine, so expect to see tomatoes at least into October.


Tacos of Napa Cabbage, Corn, and Tempeh Chorizo

Yes, you read that right. I prefer napa cabbage to the European style, and I think it makes a great filling for Mexican food. I also use this as an enchilada filling. Try it! Makes lots of tacos.

Tempeh Chorizo:

Crumble 6 oz tempeh into a bowl. Stir together with:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

            2 cloves garlic

            1 Tbsp ground ancho chile (or add a bit of cayenne and double the paprika)

            1 tsp paprika

            ½ tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican

            pinch each cinnamon, cloves and ground coriander

            salt and pepper

    2 Tbsp cider vinegar

Let sit at least 20 minutes.

Add to this mixture:

3 c chopped napa cabbage

            Kernels from 3 ears corn

            ½ bunch cilantro

Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet. Add the mixture and stir and fry about 12 minutes, until the napa cabbage is tender and the tempeh browned. Add more oil if necessary. Serve with warm corn tortillas, a twist of lime, and your favorite salsa (salsa verde is especially good.) You can also add cheese, sweet peppers, and more fresh cilantro.

 


Spanish Potato, Chard, and Bean Soup

From Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian, this is an easy and nutritious soup. Particularly good served with good crusty bread. It also keeps well, it is a good one to double or triple the recipe and eat it all week.  Try it with turnip greens instead of the chard!

 

In a medium pot, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add:

2 small onions, diced

            1 garlic clove, chopped

            2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or ½ tsp dried

            3 medium potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces

            Salt and pepper

Sautee 7 or 8 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add

            1 bunch chard or turnip greens with stems, chopped

Sautee another couple of minutes until chard has wilted. Add:

3 c vegetable or chicken stock

            1 ½ c cooked (or 1 can) garbanzo or cannellini beans

Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down the heat. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing some of the beans and potato chunks against the side of the pan.

Serve with a dribble of olive oil over each bowl.

CSA Week 13

In your share week 13:

Carrots
Beets
Zucchini or Cucumber
Onion or Romaine Lettuce
Kale
Cilantro
Tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

Full shares only:

Eggplant
Radish
Salad Mix

The rain has arrived!  I wasn’t sure if I’d ever recover from last winter, but I have to say I’m loving the change in the weather.  Zack and I worked hard last week to get as much of the field cover cropped as possible, and this rain is just perfect timing to get it all up and growing.

Cover cropping is a key element of our organic practices.  We plant a mix of cereals (oats, triticale) and legumes (peas, vetch, fava beans, and crimson clover) to keep our field covered over the winter.  It’s essential here to prevent erosion and reduce nutrient leaching, but cover crops have lots of other benefits as well.  They fix nitrogen, reducing the need for added fertilizer.  They also add organic matter, which feeds our soil’s microbiology, feed pollinators, and create habitat for many beings that inhabit our fields.  They compete with weeds and keep our soil healthy!  I try to plant cover crop in as much of the field as possible by the end of September.  I was starting to worry that we weren’t going to get a good rain early enough to get it going, but with 3″ in the last 36 hours we’re off to a good start.  I’ve got a little over half the field cover cropped and ready for winter, and hopefully will get the rest of it done before the end of the month.

With all those preparations, plus a couple of crewmember absences, I didn’t get around to writing share notes last week.  I apologize, but I figured there was nothing you hadn’t had before and hopefully you figured it all out without me.  Those were the last of the beans, which came on fast and furious and are now basically finished.  We harvested nearly 800 pounds of beans in the last 6 weeks, double the amount we’ve ever had on the farm before!  They seemed to be particularly heavy setters this year, with just a couple of big picks per rotation.

With the rain, colder nights, and shorter days, we’ll be seeing the variety taper off.  Picks are getting smaller on all of the heat loving summer crops, and I expect that we’ll have just a couple more weeks of zucchini and cucumbers.  Our tomatoes should continue into the fall, though we will have fewer of them for you.  On the flip side, the cooler weather crops will get sweeter as it gets colder, so expect extra delicious carrots, kale, beets, and more going forward.  I gave you a break from basil this week, and by October it generally is unhappy and ready to be removed to make room for other things.  We’ve started to pull our potatoes for fall storage, and there’s already 500 pounds sitting in my garage with hundreds more waiting in the field to be harvested.  We’ll be offering bulk discounts on potatoes this fall, as they store very well into the winter.

This week’s share would be wonderful for a fall roast or some delicious enchiladas.  Full shares have more eggplant than we’ve been able to rustle up for you, which would be great roasted with carrots and beets (they cook faster so add them near the end!) or as a filling for enchiladas with zucchini and cilantro.  Mike and I had a quick tomato sauce pasta topped with grilled eggplant last week, which is an easy and delicious way to use it.  I slice it 1/4″ thick, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast it at 400 until it is soft and lightly browned.  For enchiladas, I’d probably cube it along with the zucchini, toss all with olive oil and salt, and roast them together to make a filling.  So many delicious ways to use eggplant…

The cilantro today is wonderfully flavorful and aromatic, but some of it may look different than you are used to because it is getting ready to flower.  I find that it is equally delicious when it’s flowering, but the stalk can get tough so I pick off the leaves and finer stems and discard the thick, round, central stalk.  We actually grow our own cilantro seed, which we mostly use for planting but sometimes use in cooking.  Cilantro seeds are commonly known as coriander.


Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Enchiladas

I love enchiladas, and I make a totally unorthodox vegetarian American version.  But they are satisfying and delicious and make great leftovers.  I like to use the Sweet Creek enchilada sauce available at Trillium if I’m too pressed for time to make my own, but there’s lots of options out there.

1 pound eggplant, diced into 1/4” pieces

1 pound zucchini, diced into 1/4” pieces

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/4 tsp salt

Black pepper, to taste

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

12 corn tortillas

12 oz. red enchilada sauce

1/2 cup grated cheese (queso oaxaca is best, or use cheddar or Monterey Jack)

1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Place the eggplant, zucchini, and onion on a rimmed baking tray lined with parchment paper and toss with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast in an even layer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft and lightly caramelized. Remove from oven and let cool. Lower oven to 375.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of an 11 x 17 baking pan. Place one tortilla in the pan, drop a couple spoonfuls of filling in the center, and fold it in half so that the fold is on the bottom of the pan (like a taco shell). Lay the next tortilla against the first to hold it in place and repeat.  Repeat with all of the remaining tortillas, squeezing the enchiladas in tight.  I usually fit 10 or 12 to a pan.  If there is remaining filling, I add it to the pan around the enchiladas.
  3. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle cheese on top.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until warmed through. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Top with cilantro.  Also great with diced avocado, pico de gallo, or fresh diced tomato.

Mrs. Kostyra’s Borscht

From Marthastewart.com.  Borscht is a classic use of beets and soup season is here!

  • 4 medium beets, scrubbed well
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 dried mushrooms (morels and porcini; about 1/2 ounce)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • Homemade Vegetable Stock
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice or citric acid, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets on a piece of parchment paper — lined aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold up edges of foil and parchment to enclose beets. Place on a small baking sheet, and bake until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 hour. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel, and coarsely grate; set aside.

  2. Soak mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms; set aside.

  3. In a medium stockpot, combine stock, beets, mushrooms, mushroom liquid, celery leaves, parsley, garlic, sugar, a large pinch of salt, and a large pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.

  4. Add lemon juice or citric acid. Taste, and adjust for seasoning. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and flour, stirring until no lumps remain. Whisk in a ladleful of soup, then whisk the sour-cream mixture into the soup. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in dill just before serving.

CSA Week 12

In your share week 12:

Potatoes
Green Onion
Broccoli and/or Cauliflower
Green Beans
Zucchini
Kale
Salad Mix
Cherry Tomatoes and/or Tomatoes
Basil

Full Shares Only:

Cucumber

Notes coming soon…


Hummous

So this isn’t made with vegetables, but it sure is good with vegetables.  I make a lot of hummous.  I like it best made with white beans (cannellini or navy) instead of chickpeas.  You can vary the flavor by adding different herbs and spices.  I use an immersion blender to make mine, or you can use a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle.

3 c (or 2 cans) cooked white beans or chickpeas
1/4 c tahini
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c olive oil
1/3 bunch parsley (substitute other herbs or spices as available or desired)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Water to make the blades turn and get the right texture, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Optional: 1 jalapeno pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, blender, or large straight sided bowl if using an immersion blender.  Process until smooth, add salt or water if necessary.  Serve cold with a drizzle of olive oil and smoked paprika.


LEBANESE LAMB & CAULIFLOWER STEW

I adapted this from an Epicurious recipe.  It made for a rich and delicious stew with a great palate of flavors.  It was a little odd at first taste, but I found myself thinking about it and eagerly coming back for leftovers all week!

2 lbs lamb stew meat: I use the kebab meat from Walker Farms

1 large cauliflower, coarsely chopped

3/4 pound green beans (I used Romanos), coarsely chopped

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound of potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1/2 cup Tahini

1 tsp cinnamon

Salt to taste

Coarse ground pepper to taste

4 Tbs olive oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 375.  Toss the cauliflower and beans with 3 Tbsp of the oil and salt to taste, then spread on a baking sheat.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Brown the lamb pieces briefly on all sides, then remove to a plate. Using the same pan and oil, saute onions and garlic until soft and transluscent.  Add the potatoes, cinnamon, salt & pepper, and saute briefly.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 10-15 minutes, then add the lamb back to the pot.  Continue to simmer until potatoes are fork tender and lamb is just cooked through.  Add extra water or stock if pan gets too dry.

Mix the tahini and lemon juice in a bowl; the tahini will thicken and fluff up rapidly.  Stir into the stew along with the roasted vegetables.  Serve hot.

 

CSA Week 11

In your share week 11:

Carrots
Turnips or Radishes
Green Beans
Zucchini
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Romaine lettuce or Onion
Basil
Tomato and/or cherry tomato

Full shares only:
Beets
Fennel
Cilantro

 

Well, we made it to September and we are getting tired!  Harvests are still going strong, which is a good thing but means lots of work for me and the crew.  I keep looking around the farm for crops I can eliminate or put to bed, but I think it will be a few more weeks before we see the work load start to back off.  At least we seem to be past the enormous, 100-plus pound green bean harvests; we still have more coming but shouldn’t have to spend 8 hours picking anymore!  I’m finally recovered enough from last winter to be looking forward to some fall weather, or at least enough rain to get my cover crop germinated and growing.  I’ll be relieved once I have at least part of our field winterized.

 

Not much new today, except eggplant for some of you.  I will repeat what I wrote a couple weeks ago here, since eggplant is a mystery for many.  I love eggplant’s succulent texture.  I tend to like it roasted or grilled and eaten on top of or beside just about anything, but it’s also lovely in stir fries and curries or turned into baba ganouj.  Ours are the long slender Japanese type, and I always eat the skin.  To prepare them, cut off the stem end and either slice them into slabs or chunks.  Eggplant absorb quite a bit of oil in cooking, so some people like to salt them and let them sit for 15 or 20 minutes to cut down on that.  Store eggplant in a bag in the fridge, though they’ll be all right on the counter for a day or two.

 

You have either a savory, yummy red onion or a beautiful head of romaine lettuce.  This is a new variety of romaine, and it seems to be bolting (flowering) more readily than our usual.  I will probably switch back next year, but in the meantime your lettuce might have a few flower buds starting at the center of the heart.  Lettuce flowers are fine to eat, though they do tend to be a bit bitter.  These romaine will still make a lovely salad, though, especially since we haven’t included any salad greens for a few weeks.  We’ve been too busy picking tomatoes and green beans and cucumbers and all those good summery things to focus so much on salad greens.  They are also a little less happy with all this heat, so haven’t been as abundant as they were earlier in the season.

 

Our cucumber harvests are finally picking up, largely because the lemon cucumbers are finally hitting full production.  If you aren’t familiar with lemon cukes, they are round and yellow and typically around baseball size.  They are called lemon because of looks, not flavor.  Their flavor is that of a sweet, delicious cucumber and they can be used interchangeably with the other green slicers we grow.  You can even pickle them, though I wouldn’t recommend canning them because they will become mushy.  Our lemon cukes are bigger than you usually see them, and this is because of the way we prune and trellis them.  Pruning the cukes makes them have better pollination and fruit quality, easier harvests, and higher yields overall.  I used to hate growing cucumbers, but since we switched to growing them this way I love them!  Pruning the cucumbers in the greenhouse is a job I’ll save for an evening by myself, a treat at the end of the day where I get to spend some quality time with these beautiful plants.  And you benefit by getting to eat the results!

 

I know we’ve been giving lots of basil, but it really is the most beautiful I’ve ever harvested right now.  And I used to harvest 600 pounds a week!  On Sunday, I used about 4 pounds to make and freeze lots of pesto.  It’s not too late to order bulk basil if you want to do the same!  We have lots, and it really couldn’t be any more perfect.  Soon, colder nights will slow it down and decrease the quality, but for now we’ve still got lots of heat and perfect basil.  Contact me if you want to order bulk basil: $15 per pound.

 


Caesar Salad

A classic that will be delicious with our fresh heads of romaine.  This version comes from Bon Apetit’s May 2013 issue.

 

6 anchovy fillets packed in oil

1 small garlic clove

2 large egg yolks*

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

3 cups torn 1″ pieces country bread

Leaves from 1 head romaine lettuce

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper



To make the dressing, chop together the anchovy, garlic, and a pinch of kosher salt. Use the side of a knife blade to mash into a paste, then scrape into a medium bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, lemon juice, and mustard. Adding drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, then 1/2 cup vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
Toss 3 cups torn 1″ pieces country bread with 3 tablespoons olive oil on a baking sheet; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake at 375°F, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10-15 minutes.
Use your hands to gently toss the lettuce, croutons, and dressing, then top off with the shaved Parmesan.


Radish and Cucumber Salad with Fresh Mint

This is from The Complete Vegan Cookbook, by Susann Geipskoff-Hadler and Mindy Toomay. The original recipe calls for soy milk, but I would recommend coconut milk or else adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of water. A crisp and refreshing summer salad.  Also works great with turnips!  Serves 4.

 

Whisk together:

2 Tbsp coconut milk (or 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp water, or 2 Tbsp soy milk)

            1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

            1 Tbsp olive oil

            1 clove garlic, minced

            ½ tsp honey or agave syrup

            Salt and pepper

Combine in a bowl:

1 bunch radishes or turnips, thinly sliced

            1 ½ c thinly sliced cucumber

            1 medium tomato or 1 c cherry tomatoes, finely diced

Toss dressing with vegetables and

            ¼ c minced fresh mint (or basil)

Serve at room temperature.