Monday, May 25, 2009

The Cornucopia Carrot Vol. 3 Issue 3

We are exhausted. Janna is half asleep in the chair and I am trying to coach words out of her mouth to tell you what we did this week, what Jessica and Janna harvested this morning for our subscribers and what to expect in the next couple of weeks.

Today we got a lot done. Nothing seeded or planted but we got a lot of weeding done in three gardens. We got the biggest potato garden weeded and hilled. We got some watering done and all in sunshine and consistent wind.

This past week my parents have been here because Adrienne graduated from 8th grade. My father is 81 and not so strong any more but loves to hoe, or should I say he hates weeds. He has been a big help again this year.

We got the peppers planted this week too, I noticed Janna mentioned that she was hoping to get that done in the last post. This week we will also bring our first group of chickens to the butcher. If you would like some fresh frozen pasture raised chickens for your freezer please let us know.

This week you will receive your share in a reusable box. Please return your box each week when you pick up your share. You may also choose to bring your own sack and empty your box when you are picking up your share so that you don't have to remember to bring your box back each week.

This week in your basket.......

Greens continue to flourish in the cool moist weather of spring.

Cilantro - use this tasty herb in your favorite recipes or add it to your salad for great flavor.

Leaf Lettuce - a nice mix of red and green

Butterhead Lettuce - either red or green - crisp and juicy

Radish - pink or red

Kohlrabi - looks like a baseball with leaves sticking out of it :) The first time I saw it I thought it resembled a Martian space ship. Peel, slice and steam it or enjoy the crisp sweet flavor raw with some dip.

Garlic Greens - a spring treat. These are actually the immature garlic plant before it forms a bulb of cloves. Rather than a strong garlic flavor, you will be surprised at the pleasant mild taste. To use, cut off the roots and use the white part and tender green parts in almost the same way you would use green onions. Keep them wrapped in the fridge, and try to use them up within a week.

Swiss Chard - use last week's recipe for kale and substitute chard for the kale. We also enjoy it in salads. You can use swiss chard almost any way that you would use spinach. By the way, chard looks a lot like beet tops, b/c it is from the same family. It has a green leaf with brightly colored stems ranging from creamy white to yellow, pink and red.


Pasta With Green Garlic
1 pound fresh pasta
2 tablespoons butter
several stalks green garlic, finely sliced
salt (to taste)
black pepper, freshly ground (to taste)
Parmesan cheese, grated (to taste)
1. Boil water for the pasta.
2. Melt butter in a sauté pan, being careful not to let it brown, and add the green garlic.
3. Saute on medium to medium-low heat until the green garlic has softened (but don’t let it brown). Remove from heat.
4. Cook the pasta.
5. When the pasta is cooked, drain it (reserve cooking liquid), and set pasta aside.
6. Return the saute pan to the range, set to medium to medium-high. When the butter starts to bubble, add about 1/4 cup of the water the pasta cooked in and whisk until the butter and water forms an emulsion. Keep whisking while the butter/water reduces slightly (around a minute).
7. Add pasta to the pan and toss, adding more water if too dry, and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Plate and serve the pasta with grated parmesan on top.

recipe from

Have a good week,

John and Janna

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Cornucopia Carrot:  Vol. 3, Issue 2

Greetings and welcome to a week of summer-like weather.  

After near freezing temperatures on the weekend we are hoping that the weather is finally settled enough to plant peppers.  The tomatoes outside made it through and so did some beans that were up and about 2" tall.  Some of the potatoes  have a few black leaves and also some radishes have a few "yellowed" leaves, but they should not have any trouble recovering.  The biggest challenge this week will probably be the wind.  I kept some tomato plants aside to replace plants that get cracked off in the wind.  So far we have only lost about 5 and none yet to the rabbits which is usually a bigger problem.  

John spent some time this afternoon releasing the sides on our tunnels that we had boarded down earlier this spring because of wind.  We needed to get them rolled up for more air flow due to the higher temps.  Overall we are pleased with how things are looking and with the kids help we have been able to keep on top of weeding, harvesting and planting.  Thursday evening we finished planting the last group of onions for fall storage - 30 bunches (about 3000) - in about 1 hour with four of us - Not bad!  

But now on to the good stuff.....what is in your basket this week.

Crunchy Royale Radish - timing is everything.  We had them ready earlier, but they would have been overdone for you so we took them to market and had to wait until the next group was ready to offer them to you. These are nice mild beauties.

Parsley - Some flat leaf, some curly.  Use it as a garnish or with the kale recipe below.

Lettuce - wonderful heads of butterhead or romaine.  This is a great year for lettuce, so get out your salad spinner!  I find it easiest to just chop up the head and toss it in a sink of cold water to rinse and crisp.  Then spin it out and eat.  If you have too much for  one meal, bag it and your salad is ready for the next meal.

Elegance Greens - add texture, color and flavor to your salads.

Kale - if you are looking for a "super food", kale is "it".  Enjoy it cooked or raw.  We enjoyed the stewed kale (recipe below) on Sunday noon.

Green Onions - another first of the season.

Full share will also include Arugula this week - a delightful, mild, slightly peppery green that is a wonderful addition to your salad, as a late addition topping on pizza, etc.

Have a great week!

Stewed Kale

1 bag of Kale
1 small bunch green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
3-4 slices of bacon, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Cook bacon in soup pot for 5 minutes until partially cooked.
2. Add onions and parsley sauté for 2 min.
3. add Kale and constantly stir until wilted
4. add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 20-25 min covered, uncover the last 5 min
5. salt and pepper to taste and serve

If you still have some parsnips you could chop them up and add them with the water.  You might want to increase the water slightly.

Adapted from a recipe by Chef Jonathan A. Ricks

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Greetings and welcome to another season of fresh locally grown vegetables from The Cornucopia. We are glad to have you back if you are a returning member and excited to welcome you if you are new to our CSA! Just a reminder: pick-up of your CSA share will be every Tuesday between 9am and noon at Central Park in Sioux Center (just north of the Fire Station) It has been a relatively cool wet spring, making it a bit tricky at times to get into the field. Once again, we are enjoying the convenience of going into the high tunnel to harvest many early crops and plant early tomatoes. The tomatoes inside are growing nicely and some even have blossoms appearing. Potatoes are up, onions and garlic are thriving outside and this week we will also plant the outdoor tomatoes. Be sure to visit the blogspot to see pictures of things here on the farm. The blogspot will also be our means of communication - this newsletter will be posted at the blog from now on and not sent out as an email every week. We look forward to serving you - please let us know if you have any suggestions or questions. Thanks, and have a great week! Spring greens are here and we are excited to share them with you. In your share this week you will find a variety. All-Star Lettuce Mix - a colorful leaf lettuce blend. This lettuce calls out for that simple dressing our moms and grandmas used to make. Start with some mayonnaise (maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup), add a little milk to thin it, then a dash of wine vinegar and a teaspoon or so of sugar - play with it a little until you get a consistency and flavor you like. Drizzle this dressing over individual salads and serve. This is also good with chopped boiled eggs and crumbled bacon. Spinach - this might be good tossed in with your salad or wilted with some pasta and cheese. Elegance Greens - these baby greens have wonderful texture, shape and color. They make a great slightly spicy salad on their own, or add them to your lettuce mix to jazz it up a bit. Also a great addition to many cooked dishes when you'd like some extra flavor and color. Garlic Chives - nothing says spring like chives. Today's variety has a flat leaf and a mild garlicky flavor. Chop them up and add them to your potatoes, salad, stir-fry........ Parsnips - an old fashioned root vegetable that looks like a white carrot, but with celery undertones. Peel and chop, and brown in butter or bacon drippings. Serve with a salad. These are also great roasted, or in a stew with other root vegetables. Their flavor would also be a nice addition grated into salads. They keep well in the refrigerator as long as you keep them wrapped
I had parsnips the other day for lunch. I had bacon for breakfast and I left the fat in the pan. Janna washed and cut up the parsnips and fried them in the bacon fat. That was good. Some might not think healthy but I love my bacon! The parsnips tasted sweet like sweet potato or a good cooked carrot. One of our CSA members sent me this document which I'll share.

Parsnip -Nutritionally, parsnips are low in calories, about 130 for a whole one 9" in length, and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. That same 9" parsnip can boast a 6.4 grams of fiber, 93.1 mcg of folic acid (that's nothing to sneeze at), 59.2 mg of calcium, and 46.4 mg of potassium, and lesser amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, vitamin C, iron, and zinc. Store raw parsnips in the refrigerator, preferably in a perforated plastic bag. They will keep well up to three weeks. After cooking, refrigerate only a day or two. - 21k
Parsnips can be eaten raw (try grating them into a slaw-like salad tossed with lemon juice and olive oil) but cooking them brings out more of their fragrance and zip. Boiled parsnips mashed with cream and butter are downright unctuous, but for something a little different, simmer sliced parsnips in apple or pear cider with a tablespoon or two of butter, then raise heat and reduce the liquid to a glaze. Grated parsnips can replace carrots in carrot cake or zucchini in zucchini bread.

Baked Parsnips
4 cups diced cooked parsnips
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Place parsnips in a greased baking dish. Pour melted butter over parsnips. Combine sugar and mustard; sprinkle over parsnips. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
POTATO AND PARSNIP ROSTI8 oz potatoes, grated8 oz parsnips, grated1 onion, thinly sliced1 tbsp creamed horseradish2 tbsp chopped chives3 fl oz yogurtMix everything together and season to taste. Pour into a shallow baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes until becoming crisp and brown. SPICED PARSNIP SOUP1 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cubed2 onions, chopped2 garlic cloves, chopped1 tsp cumin seeds1 tsp cardamon seeds1 tsp coriander seeds1 tsp turmeric1 tsp ground ginger2 pints vegetable stockDry roast the seeds and grind together. Saute the onion and garlic. Add the spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the parsnips and stock and simmer gently until tender. Puree and serve.

Honey, It's Parsnips !
1 1/2 lb Parsnips -diagonally sliced into -1/2" pieces 3/4 c Water 1/2 ts Salt 2 tb Butter 1 tb Honey 1/4 c Orange Juice 1 t Orange Peel -- grated
In a saucepan, cook parsnips in water and salt over medium heat until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and remove from pan.
In same pan heat butter, honey, juice and orange peel together.
Toss with parsnips and a little salt, if desired.
Honey-Roasted Parsnips with Sweet Potatoes and Apples
1 1/2 cup parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
2 firm apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite-size chunks
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
1 dash each of salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a casserole dish with canola oil spray and set aside. Place the parsnips, sweet potatoes and apples in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Mix the canola oil, balsamic vinegar and honey together. Pour over vegetables and apples. Toss to coat well. Transfer to the casserole dish, cover and bake until tender, about 1 hour.