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Our Blog: The Hoot

Posted 9/24/2015 9:48am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

Yup.  Potato leek soup is an amazing soup.  No matter how typical this soup is it always makes me happy to indulge. A big spoonful of grass-fed butter and some pea shoots on top makes for a delicious bowl of soup. I suppose if you diced up broccoli and threw it in there it would turn into a creamy broccoli soup instead of potato leek soup.  Sounds great to me!  I’m one for packing in lots of vegetables into one dish.  I’m not one for separating prepared vegetables and tasting them one at a time. I like it all in one spot and I enjoy each spoonful to be large and crammed with a bit of each. It’s true that post cooking I often can’t reflect how the potatoes tasted or the broccoli for that matter. I isolate none of these vegetables when I cook.  This is a flaw in my eating approach.  CSA members often tell me that the broccoli is very good or a market customer may reflect on how a particular item tastes.  As a salesperson I should know my product.  I suppose, though, the goal is to get it in ya. I will, also, say that cooking a casserole style dish with everything jammed into it is an effective method to get children to eat whatever you want them to eat.  It’s not a silver bullet but it’s much easier to get our little boy to eat his greens if they’re pretty well indistinguishable from everything else vs. sitting all alone on his dish. If anyone has a particularly wonderful potato leek soup recipe they’d like to share, we’d be happy to share it with the rest of the CSA.

    I want to remind everyone of the harvest dinner on October 4th from 2-7.  We’d love to have everyone and their families come out to the farm.  Please email with questions if you have them and don’t forget to RSVP with how many adults intend to come.  

In your box this week:

Small:  Broccoli, Cilantro, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Pea Shoots, Potatoes

Large:  Arugula, Broccoli, Cilantro, Garlic, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Pea Shoots, Potatoes, Radish, Winter Squash 1 acorn and 1 spaghetti, Scarlet Queen Turnips

Recipe of the Week:

Leek and Potato Soup From Alice Waters' book The Art of Simple Food (Makes 2 quarts: 4-6 servings)

Trim off the root end and the tough upper greens from: 2 pounds of leeks

Cut the trimmed leeks in half lengthwise and slice thin. Rinse in a bowl of cold water. Lift the leeks out of the water to drain.

Melt over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot: 3 tablespoons butter Add the leeks along with: 2 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, Salt

Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add: 1 pound yellow potatoes, peeled, halved or quartered, and sliced

Cook the potatoes for 4 minutes, then add: 6 cups of water

Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. When done stir in: 1/3 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream

Do not boil one the cream is added. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste. Remove the bay leaf and thyme before serving.

Variations:

-Garnish with fresh-ground black pepper and some fresh chives.

-For a heartier soup, use broth instead of water

-Remove the bay leaf and herb sprigs and puree the soup before stirring in the cream.

-Omit the cream, puree the soup before serving, and garnish with a pat of parsley butter.

 

Posted 9/17/2015 8:14am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

We have an on-going joke on the farm that if you make a mistake you’ll get docked pay.  Clearly this is absurd, which is why we (maybe it’s just me?) like to say it.  We came up with a t-shirt idea.  It would say Who Cooks For You Farm.  Don’t get docked. But the negative in there doesn’t work well.  I think we would change that to Who Cooks For You Farm.  I just got docked.  What do you think?  I realize this is a super inside joke and wouldn’t make sense to anyone who didn’t work on the farm. It still makes me laugh to think we’d put something like this together b/c it implies the inevitability of making mistakes and better yet that no one is good enough to work on the farm to avoid making such huge mistakes that their wages would be taken and possibly to the extent that at the end of the pay period our employees would actually have to pay the farm. This is clearly absurd…and silly.  

We’re going to have a pig roast.  We should have had this information available a few weeks earlier.  We would like for as many CSA members to come as possible.  Like I wrote last night, we’ll send the finer details today or tomorrow.  There are a few more things to figure.  

We have had a beautiful week so far. From our window, we can see the sunrise and the climbing sun reminds me it’s going to be good and hot today. I find myself often reflecting on the “final” hot days of summer.  I have a feeling this string of hot days is going to be the last of the hot hot days.  I don’t mind seeing them go. I just wish it didn’t mean serious cold is on its way.  Oh well…I miss hot stews and homemade bread anyways.  

In your box this week:

Small: Pea Shoot Arugula salad mix, garlic, parsely, sweet peppers, scarlet queen, ground cherries, topped beets,  

Large: Pea Shoot Arugula salad mix, chard or kale, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, parsely, radish, sweet peppers, scarlet queen, tomatillos, topped beets,

Posted 9/10/2015 1:22pm by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

Last year we used a 100 yr old potato digger to dig our taters.  This has allowed us to grow lots of potatoes. The machine is set to dig to a certain depth and a bouncing conveyor chain brings the potatoes up to the top of the soil all the while dropping the soil through the conveyor chain.  There are important considerations when using this tool.  It’s best to dig potatoes when it’s dry! Last September when we were digging, the ground was relatively wet which clumped up and clogged up the machine over and over. This year the ground is super dry and the digging worked very well!  Know how good it feels to get all the potatoes dug the day the rain came? This is a danceable moment.

Anticipating the rain, we were able to seed some in the fields and get some transplants of different asian greens planted. It’s amazing how much of a relief it is to have all this stuff watered in from the sky!  We’ve been waiting to plant hoping the heat would pass and some rain would fall.  Worked super well!   

In your share this week:  

 

Small: Cilantro, Garlic, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicer Tomatoes  

Large: Arugula, Cilantro, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicer Tomatoes, and winter squash; either Delicata or Acorn.

Recipe Idea of the week:  Do you have too many greens?  Well this usually isn't a problem at this time of the year, but in no time you'll have lots of greens again.  Arugula and Pea Shoot can both be blended up to make a tasty and refreshing Pesto.  We know you get enough garlic to give this one try.  I usually don't use the traditional pinenut, but instead use something that  I usually have on hand either walnuts or cashews.  Even sunflower seeds are nice.  This can be a creative and yet a little sneaky way to get greens inti picky eaters.  This pesto can be used with plain pasta, on potatoes or also lathered onto a slice of bread.

We hope you enjoy your share.  Have a great week.

Your Farmers,

The Who Gang

 

Posted 9/3/2015 9:27am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,

Not only is it dry, but it's been super hot! Irrigation is the key in situations like this. Although irrigation does not invigorate soil biology and plant vigor like good soaking rain does, irrigation keeps the ball moving forward. I think irrigation keeps the plants content and holds them until it finally rains.

It's interesting to see just how happy plants can be when watered during a dry spell. They can be limp and beaten from the strong sun and upright in no time once the irrigation gets going. We irrigate once a week for a couple hours and that's it. That's enough to keep'em happy until it rains. We primarily use drip irrigation for most of the season although now we are using overhead sprinklers. Weeds aren't so much an issue right now and we have undersowed our crops with grasses and legumes and we'd like them to germinate. We do this to avoid tillage and to get a jump start on cover crop growth. Cover crops are a major part of our fertility program on the farm.

In your box this week:

Small: arugula, carrots, head lettuce or escarole, kale, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes

Large: arugula, beets, carrots, garlic, head lettuce or escarole, husk cherries, kale, leeks, onions, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes

Recipe of the week:

Thanks to Loun-Loun, a CSA member we have an appetizer to share this week.

http://www.melangery.com/2012/02/mussels-in-white-wine-sauce-with-onions.html

Have a great week!  Enjoy your share!

Your Farmers,

Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, Garett, Lauren, Krystal, Greg, Jessica, Emily, Joh-Doh, and Brian

 

 

Posted 8/26/2015 10:25pm by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

Wednesday morning was in the 40’s!  I saw the crew starting the day wearing winter hats, many layers and nitrile gloves.  It’s always a shocker when mornings are relatively cool in August. We’re pretty excited about this fall.  We have lots of food planted and most of it is looking good.  As long as we can keep the deer out, we shouldn’t have too many early morning surprises.  “Where’d all the lettuce go?”  I imagine there’s deer off to the side laughing at our loss and surprise. I feel grateful they don’t eat car tires or we’d all be in the same sinking ship.  

From the farm fields, we see bands of birds flying overhead.  The mornings are quiet now.  Birds don’t sing much this time of year like they do in spring.  We have a couple random patches of sunflowers around our house and they are loaded with goldfinches eating the sunflower seeds. There is Jewel Weed flowering in a ditch below our house from which we hear a peculiar sound that’s a hybrid of insect, helicopter and atv in the distance.  Hummingbirds.  They love the nectar from Jewel Weed blossoms.  It’s a treat to watch them dance from blossom to blossom and fly away like a lightening bolt.  

It’s hard to believe it’s going to be September in a week. I love this transition from hot summer to cool fall.  The tremendous amount of diversity in vegetables as summer and fall overlap. It’s really a magical time to eat and what an amazing blessing great food is!  The abundance is wonderful.  I say this after finishing the The Grapes of Wrath and wrestling with a reality of a surrounding abundance without access.  Heavy stuff…  

Along with the summer fare, we’ll soon have lettuces, salad turnips and radishes again.  We’ll have some neat-o asian greens to offer in a few weeks. Lots of potatoes and winter squashes, too!  

We hope that you all enjoy your share. Have a great week.  

Your Farmers, The Who Gang; Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, Garett, Lauren, Krystal, Greg, Jessica, Emily and Joh-Doh

In your box this week: Sorry about the poor image quality this week.  I can't find my camera and this is taken with my phone.  The food tastes better than it looks.  Also oops on the Spaghetti spelling!

Small: Beets, Garlic, Onions, Sweet Peppers, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomato, Cherry Tomatoes

Large: Beets, Cabbage, Chard, Eggplant, Garlic, Onions, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomato, Cherry Tomatoes, Winter Squash; Speghetti or Delicata

Recipe of the week:

Shredded Beet Salad from Simply in Season A world community cookbook; Recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods in the spirit of More-with-Less by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. ( This book was given to me by my mother in law, Betty.  She can always put a wholesome meal on the table in no time.) It's a great book!

2 cups beets (cooked, peeled and shredded)

½ cup fresh parsely

3 Tbspn olive oil

2 Tbspn lemon juice

2 Tbspn onion (chopped)

1 Tbspn sugar

½ Tspn salt

pepper to taste  

Mix together and chill.   

A couple Variations…  

Simplest shredded beet-carrot salad:  Combine equal portions of shredded carrots and shredded beets with a handful of chopped fresh parsley.  Dress with oil and vinegar.  

Shredded beet-cabbage salad:  Steam separately (or in sections of a steamer) until barely tender, about 5 minutes, 1 medium shredded beet, 2 shredded carrots, and 1 cup shredded cabbage. Let cool to room temperature. (You can also make this as a raw salad with an oil and vinegar dressing. It’s crunchy and sweet similar to the simple beet-carrot salad.)

Can also be served with a Tahini Dressing: shake together in a jar with a tight lid ½ cup tahini, ½ cup oil (combination of canola, sesame, olive), ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari, and water to desired consistency.

Posted 8/19/2015 9:36pm by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,

It was a beautiful day today!  The day after a strangly modest summer rain.  We have a lot of fall crops in the ground that are looking happy now that they are watered in.  Even if you have a 9 horse two stage water pump that pumps 110 vertical feet and you saturate your crop with water, it still doesn't beat the rain.  Yesterdays rain brought an instant freen to a field of beets that were suffering from sun stroke.  

Rain is funny like that.  It brings life and death.  Rain storms bring renewed vigor and growth when crops seemed to be sitting still.  At the same time it can bring the most devastating diseases.  See?  Isn't that kinds funny?

While Chris is on vacation, the crew is busting rear and swirling the life blood of this farm.  We are so grateful for their dedication and hard work.  

Have a great week.  

Your Farmers,

The Who Gang

In Your Share this week: You are getting a little bigger share than you normally do this week, due to a little miscommuication on the farm.  Enjoy!

Small: Beets or Carrots, Cabbage, Garlic, Kohrabi, Onions, Pea Shoots, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomato, Cherry Tomatoes

Large: Beets, Cabbage, Chard, Cilantro, Garlic, Kohrabi, Onions, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini

Recipe of the week: Stuff that Cabbage! Chris is always really inventive when it comes to my celebrating my birthday!  A couple of years back he through me a surprise party.  The main dish for dinner was Cabbage Rolls.  A day before the party I saw some stashed on the shelves in the walkin cooler.  I was inspired to make them, but then they were made for me.  I haven't made these since, but seeing this weeks share items has inspired me once again.  So below are a few links to a few different recipes. Once you make your first rolls, there is a lot of experimenting and play you can do with the stuffing.  Enjoy the process!  They sure are beautiful!

Golabki: Polish Cabbage Rolls 

A traditional Golabki recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/golabki-polish-cabbage-rolls-297235

A Vegetarian Golabki recipe: http://greatist.com/eat/recipes/mushroom-stuffed-cabbage-rolls

A Vegan Golabki recipe: http://veganmiam.com/guest-posts/golabkis-polish-stuffed-cabbage

Posted 8/13/2015 6:44am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,

As reported from the field crew, it seems like the fall crop is looking very nice! As long as we can keep the deer out of our fields, we'll likely be in good shape. That's not very easy, but we're going to get very serious about keeping them out. For the past week, I've been laid up going for little slow walks up and down the driveway. We have short meetings in my bedroom and use walkie talkies constantly. As far as I can tell, the crew is doing a great job making it all happen with some guidance when necessary on my part.

This has opened my eyes enormously. Not only to taking better care of my back but, also, just how prepared the crew is for a brief meltdown situation. Our crew is trained pretty well to keep the ball rolling. I now see that early August is a good time to take a 2 week vacation!!!!!

we'll see about the fun down the road. Right now I'm determined to walk down this road to recovery to get back into the fields by September.

Lauren a member of the farm crew from last season is now back.  We are so glad to have her!  She is helping us keep up in the field and in the office.  We feel lucky that her farm job in Michigan just wasn't all it was chocked up to be, and that WCFY was on her mind enough for her to want to come back.  It helps that we have her sweetheart, Garett on board here.  Now we have them both, happy living together in the tiny house below our house.

We'll try to get together some employee intro's this week, so you can have an idea of who is helping this food get to you.

In Your Box this week:

Small: beets or carrots, new potatoes, winter squash, onions, mesclun mix, garlic, red slicers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes

Large: beets or carrots, cherry bombs (sweet mildly hot red peppers) eggplant, new potatoes, winter squash, onions, mesclun mix, garlic, red slicers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes

Receipe of the Week: 

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/08/rice-stuffed-tomatoes/

This recipe and photo was sent my way via a Market CSA member.  Thank you Chelsea for sharing! If anyone else has any good recipes they have tried this summer with WCFYF produce we would love to share the recipes.  

Enjoy your share!

Your Farmers,

Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, Krystal, Greg, Emily, Joh-doh, Jessica, Garett and Lauren.

Posted 8/6/2015 9:10am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

Chris decided to take a vacation this past Monday morning. He is vacationing in bed. His back is way out, meaning, no walking and major pain!  So what does this mean for the farm?  Well…not too much.  But I Momma, Aeros is swamped.  Hopefully I’ll get you more news about the farm soon.  We are still experiencing a lull in produce because of all the rains in June. Hopefully we’ll have some more greens for you all soon.  

The best to you all! Enjoy your share.  

Your farmers,

The Who Gang  

In your box this week:

Small: Eggplant, Garlic, Onion, Pea Shoots, Slicing Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, and Zucchini   Large: Beets, Carrots, Eggplant, Chard, Garlic, Onion, Pea Shoots, Slicing Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, and Zucchini,    

Recipe of the week:  I know some of you have seen this recipe in years past. But I must say it’s a delicious one, and I’d hate not to share it with our newcomers.  

Vegetable Pie   The nice thing about this recipe is you can vary the ingredients based on what you like and what is in season.

Prep 25 min Cook 17 min  Bake 40 min Oven 325º Stand 15 min  

3 Tbsp. Butter

2-6 cloves of garlic

1 cup sweet onions

2 large zucchini,

thinly sliced 1 large summer squash

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

1 – 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup feta cheese

2 large heirloom tomatoes,cut into ¼” slices 2 9”

deep dish pie shells,prebaked

5 radishes, thinly sliced (for decoration on top, use whatever you have)  

Preheat oven to 325º à Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add the onions and garlic sauté for 3 min while adding thyme, marjoram and oregano.  Don’t let the onions and garlic burn.  Add the zucchini and yellow squash along with ½ tsp. of salt and pepper.  Cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.  Divide the mixture in half. à Mix the mayonnaise and cheeses and set aside.  à Fill the two prebaked piecrists with vegetable layers.  Layer the sliced tomatoes in the bottom of the prebaked piecrusts.  Layer the squash mixture on top of the tomatoes, layer mayonnaise cheese mixture and then dress the top with the radish slices.  Bake uncovered for 40 min.  Allow the dish to stand for 15 min.    

Posted 7/29/2015 10:38pm by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

Onions are in!  The crew harvested them two days ago and let them dry in the sun for a day.  In the south, leaving onions in the field is a common practice during onion harvests. We were glad to harvest the onions in the hot dry sun!  Much better than the garlic experience, which took place when it was cool and wet. Today we’re grading garlic and sorting onions on racks to dry.  

We’re experiencing a lull in our greens and some other things.  We’re bummed b/c business has been good and we’re increasingly unable to fill small orders for specific crops.  Should we cry? Nah….Should we mope about and whine a bunch?   Yep! We’ve been trying to fish our way out of the lull gap by feeding the crops a blend of fish and seaweed fertilizer.  We send this through driplines to feed the crop.  Is it working?  I guess. Is there going to be a lull anyways? Yes.  Is this annoying?  Yes.   

We’re looking forward to this hot dry summer!  

 

In your box this week:

 

Small: Chard, Cukes, Eggplant, Garlic, Onions, Pac Choi, and Slicing Tomatoes

Large: Chard, Cukes, Eggplant, Garlic, Onions, Pac Choi, Pea Shoots, Slicing Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, and either topped beets or topped carrots.

Recipe of the week:

I know it's so hot and no one wants to have the oven on, so here are some Gazpacho recipes from Food and Wine that don't involve the oven. 

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/the-best-gazpacho-recipes 

Have a great week!  Enjoy your share!

Your Farmers,

Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, Krystal, Greg, Emily, Joh-Doh, Jessica, and Garett 

 

Posted 7/23/2015 6:27am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,   How about this sunny dry weather!  This is allowing us to quickly catch up on weeding and seeding in the field.  As I write, the crew is busy weeding some of our fall beets and late summer carrots. I can’t express the relief we experience when catching up to the ever-looming accumulating tasks when weather doesn’t cooperate. 

We are currently trying to discourage a herd of 25+ ravenous deer from entering our fields every night.  This involves me, Chris, to drive out at 9-ish and dangerously chase deer in a farm vehicle until they leave. It looks like I’m having a great time up there, I’m sure, but it’s really the most horrible stressful thing to see the deer literally eating everything no matter what we do. I realize they return shortly to continue to devour some of our summer favorites.  Here is the list we’re unsure if we’ve lost entirely: watermelon, cantaloupe, late sweet peppers, winter squash.  There is a solid acre of these out there and that’s where the deer go every night. The field is surrounded with electric and we’re spraying some unpalatable flavors on there to discourage them. We’ve never had such incredible deer pressure like this and so we’re learning to scout daily for signs of their entrance to anticipate them.  I’d love to set some booby traps like if they get too close to the fields somehow a large foot jumps out from the grass and kicks them in the rear. Maybe gearing it more towards their thoughts like if they think about swiss chard they get a swift boot….  

This week everyone gets tomatoes!  This is the earliest we’ve offered tomatoes to our CSA. If they’re not fully ripe, please give them a couple days and store them on their shoulders anywhere except your fridge!    

In your share this week.

The tomatoes are missing from the share photo.  You know what a tomato looks like though, right?

Small: Carrots, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Head Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Onions and Heirloom Tomatoes

Large: Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Head Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Onions, Summer Squash, and Heirloom Tomatoes

Recipe of the Week:

Alice Waters' Cucumber Yogurt Sauce   

Makes about 1½ cups

This sauce is a version of a raita, the cooling South Asian yogurt sauce, which is often seasoned with cumin seed, cinnamon, and cayenne.  

Peel, halve, and slice into half moons: 1 medium cucumber

Toss in a medium-size bowl with: A pinch of salt

Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain off any liquid that has collected. 

Stir in: ¾ cup whole-milk yogurt 1 small garlic clove, pounded to a puree 1 Tbspn olive oil 2 mint sprigs, leaves only, cut in chiffonade  

VARIATIONS:  

· Grate the cucumber instead of slicing it, for a smoother sauce

· For a little spice, add a pinch of pulverized dried red pepper such as a marash or a cayenne