Monday, August 31, 2009

The Cornucopia Carrot Vol.3, Issue 17

Cool nights, heavy dew, mild days and slight breezes. Does it feel like August? Tomorrow it will be September. Where has the summer gone?

We would like to thank all of you for your compliments, kind words and encouragement. We do like continuous improvement so please give us suggestions on what we could do better in future. 

We have free tickets to a movie! Food Inc. is being shown in Sioux Falls and our chiropractor friend Dr. Ben Rall has given us 12 tickets to give away.  Many people have read Michael Pollan's book The Omnivores Dilemma or have heard about a farmer named Joel Salatin, both are featured in this film about food production. Check out the link for more information or google Food Inc. and there is alot of information online including trailers and clips at

Food Safety bills continue to work their way through the legislative system in Washington D.C.. Part of me is alarmed and concerned to the point that I wonder if we will be able to do this in future. On the other hand some of the proposed rules are so beyond common sense they will not have enough agents to inspect or enforce all their rules. Please watch for them and ask our representatives to keep in mind the small producers, the little farms like the Cornucopia.

In your box this week;
Cucumber (last time)
Carola Potato
Peppers ( colored)
Cherry Tomatoes
Daikon Radish

The full shares will also have beans and the half shares have a melon.

We have 3 weeks left in this season! 

John and Janna

Monday, August 24, 2009

School has started again.  Elizabeth is back teaching, Jessica moved into her dorm and Madeline, Adrienne and Rachel have returned to their studies as well.  This, of course, means that our work schedule really changes. I love the approach of Fall.  Days are shorter, but cooler night temperatures and cool mornings with warm dry afternoons are a pleasure.  We hope that your transition to more fall-like weather is pleasant.  The changing of seasons also helps us look forward to a change in types of produce.  While some items will remain staples, such as carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, etc.,  we can still look forward t0 things like winter squash, leek and more broccoli, cabbage, beets and fall greens.

This week in your share.....

Cucumbers -
Summer Squash - this will include a variety of regular zucchini, yellow crookneck, and some little rounds called "Light Green of Tuscany". The small round would be nice quartered and the larger rounds might be nice with the tops sliced off, seed pocket hollowed out and then stuffed and baked.
Carola Potatoes - very similar in appearance to German Butterball, these are also of German origin and are a nice all purpose potato.
Cherry Tomatoes - 
Tomatoes - 
Sweet Peppers - 
Beets - mostly the sweet chioggia and golden variety.  Wonderful cooked and served with a little butter.
Kohlrabi - a great raw snack to pack into your lunch box.

Have a great week!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Cornucopia Carrot Vol.3, Issue 15

It has been another pleasant week.  Rain showers over the weekend are helping to germinate the seeds we planted last week - greens, lettuce, spinach, carrots........  Today, after picking your produce, we spent time cleaning up spent crop residue and weeding.  It is always a challenge later in the season to keep up with weeding, but it is still important as weeds let go at this time of year will go to seed and leave many years worth of seed for us to tackle later.
This week we will also bring another group of chickens to the butcher.  We have had a great response this year and as a result have been completely sold out for the last two weeks.  If you are interested in a freezer order later this fall, please get your request in soon so that we will be able to fill it.  Thanks!

In your basket this week.....

Carrots - 

Tomatoes - 

Cherry Tomatoes - 

Cucumbers - 

Lemon Basil - 

Austrian Crescent Fingerling Potatoes - These are known as the "king of the fingerlings" and are a great salad potato.  Also delicious simply boiled, steamed or roasted.

Zucchini - 

Peppers  - Sweet and Hot - 

Swiss Chard - 

I have once again found a great looking recipe on that I think you will enjoy.  Please refer to the website for pictures and comments on this recipe.  It was also suggested that you might use quinoa in place of the couscous.

Cherry Tomato Couscous

Keep your eyes peeled for whole wheat or barley couscous - either would work great here. You can easily make this vegan by leaving out the feta - maybe do some sort of harissa drizzle instead?

3 cups cooked couscous* 
1/2 a basket of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup cooked chickpeas

1 lemon, cut in half
1 lime, cut in half
about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup basil or cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Combine the couscous, tomatoes, cucumber, and chickpeas in a large bowl. Lori - squeezes the lemon and lime juice directly into the bowl, so start by giving a good squeeze of lemon and lime juice into the bowl, add the olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Toss well, taste, and adjust with more of the above until it tastes just right. Lori notes - this really needs a generous amount of salt, and the lemon and lime juices might need to be adjusted depending on how juicy the fruit is.

Add the basil and feta and toss gently until it is evenly dispersed.

Serves 4 - 6.

*To cook the couscous: Either follow the package instructions or bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil, stir in a scant 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt and 2 cups of couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Steam for 5 to 10 minutes and then use a fork to fluff up the couscous.

101 Cookbooks

Over the weekend we enjoyed some homemade pizza.  Simple and delicious with fresh ingredients.   Here is the crust recipe from my friend Glenda Bos. I whipped it up in my KitchenAid in no time at all and we went grocery shopping while the dough was rising.

Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups warm water (110F)
1 (1/4 oz.) pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp.)
1 tsp. sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt

Combine water, yeast, sugar and stir.
Let sit until foamy (5 minutes or so)
Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, the semolina, oil, and salt and mix until smooth.  (I didn't have semolina, so I substituted some whole wheat)
Keep adding flour - 1/4 cup at a time with the mixer running until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still a little sticky.
Knead until smooth, but still slightly tacky, 3-5 minutes, adding little bits of flour if needed.
Oil a large bowl and place dough in the bowl, turning it to oil all sides of the dough. Cover the bowl and set in a warm place until nearly doubled in size (1 - 1 1/2 hours).
Divide the dough and roll into 2 round crusts (or whatever shape you need to fit your pan).
Bake in a 475F oven

We brushed the crust with olive oil and prebaked it for about 10 minutes and then added toppings and finished baking.  Toppings included, halved cherry tomatoes or thinly sliced regular tomatoes, cheese, basil (add this after you take it out of the oven), green peppers - use your imagination! You could probably experiment with this and try prebaking and wrapping and freezing the crust to use later.

Have  a great week!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Cornucopia Carrot Vol.3, Issue 14

Sunshine seems to be the order for this week.  Tomatoes are ripening!  Last Tuesday we hosted a tour for a creation care camp for kids.  

John and Janna,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting us come by on Tuesday morning. I know that I really enjoyed seeing your gardens and all of the animals. Sally and I were discussing how most adults - even in our creation tenders group - have probably never seen anything like that. The kids were quite taken with the chickens. And they loved the garlic! (My car still smells of it!) They played with it and nibbled it all afternoon. One boy even took a dare from Laremy De Vries and ate a whole clove - his eyes watered, his face turned red, and he felt quite sick afterwards (And he still smells like garlic today!) Laremy gave him $5 instead of $1 as he felt bad for his suffering: :) 
We roasted the 3 chickens and carrots and potatoes yesterday. The smells drove the kids wild all morning. And they devoured every last bite. One boy raved that the potatoes were the best he had ever had in his life! And most kids had never had a roasted chicken before - they kept commenting on how tender it was.
And then I made some soup with the bones and carrots for lunch today which disappeared quickly. The boys, especially, were impressed as it fit in with the 3 R's we talked about yesterday (reduce, reuse, recycle). 
So thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to show us around. We loved all of the information and seeing the chicken chores. Your hard work is evident - and delicious!
Blessings to you all,

Tomorrow we have another group coming and will tell you about it next week.  This past week we did a lot of planting......more beans, radishes, peas, zucchini, beets, is amazing what can still be produced even late in the season.  We are also beginning to watch for the first ripening melons as they are sizing up nicely.

This week in your share......


Cherry Tomatoes

Cucumber - An even simpler twist on cucumber salad.  Peel and chunk or slice your cucumbers,  add some very thinly sliced onion and/or diced green pepper (optional), add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, chopped fresh dill - about 1 Tbsp (or to taste).  Toss it all together and refrigerate 1-2 hours, then serve.

Red Thumb Fingerling Potatoes - with a pretty pink swirl inside.  These are perfect for roasting.  Slice in wedges lengthwise, toss in olive oil, spread on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, pepper and any of your favorite herbs.  Bake at 350 - 400F until tender and browned.  Try pressing some garlic and adding it to the olive oil  for a nice variation.

Filet Beans - these tender little beans are a gourmet delight.  Prepare them just as you would regular beans.

Green peppers

Carrots - how about some carrot cake!


Below is a recipe for Carrot Cake from   I really enjoy this website because there is a stress on using healthy fresh ingredients and there are always great pictures of the prepared recipes. I would encourage you to check it out.  I used regular plain yogurt in the recipe and substituted chopped pumpkin seeds for the walnuts (John has a nut allergy).  Without added sugar, this makes a really nice breakfast loaf or a hearty snack.  We didn't bother to frost it, but just buttered our slices to serve.  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake Recipe

If you have a hard time finding whole wheat pastry flour, feel free to substitute unbleached all-purpose flour. Reader Nicole mentions that she made a wheat-free version with good results - substituting one cup oat flour and one cup gluten-free baking mix. Thanks Nicole!

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts 
4 ounces unsalted butter, heated until just melted
1/2 cup dried dates, seeded and finely chopped into a paste
3 ripe bananas (1 1/4 cups), mashed well
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or lowfat is ok)
2 eggs, lightly whisked

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5x3 / 8-cup loaf pan (or 8x8 cake pan) and line it with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the walnuts and set aside.

Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates a bit.

In a separate bowl combine the bananas and carrots. Stir in the date-butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps as you go. Whisk in the yogurt and the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything just comes together. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cake - it'll be less if you are using a standard cake pan. Remove from oven and let cool.

While the cake is baking whip together the cream cheese and agave nectar. Taste. If you like your frosting sweeter adjust to your liking. When the cake has completely cooled frost the top of the cake with an offset spatula.

Makes one carrot cake.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

The Cornucopia Carrot Vol.3, Issue 13

August Greetings to you all!
It is hard to believe that we are already into our 13th week of CSA.  The weeks just seem to fly by when we are so busy. 
 Allison informed us yesterday that July 2009 has been the coldest July on record in over 100 years. Wow!  No wonder the tomatoes and other heat loving crops are taking their time.  However, when I went out to pick cucumbers today I was almost overwhelmed by the abundance hiding under the vines.  I also planted a variety of gourds this year just for fun and the vines are crawling all over the place.  Fortunately, they are able to spill over into a grassy ditch so I can guide them away from a new group of carrots.  
As we anticipate fall, we also keep planting cooler weather crops for later.  These include some of the same crops we enjoyed in the spring like salad greens, and brassica crops such as broccoli and cabbage as well as root crops like carrots and beets.  Many of these crops don't do as well in the summer heat, but are able to tolerate quite a bit of cold.
But for now we will continue to enjoy the summer warmth and the bounty of the garden.

In your basket this week.....

Cherry Tomatoes - 

Cucumber - crispy and sweet these are begging to be eaten raw or tossed with a light vinaigrette in a salad.  (see the recipe below)

Bintje Potatoes - 

Zucchini - 

Tomatoes - just some regular red ones for slicing

Onions - 

Lettuce - Just in time for some BLT's - YUM!!

Carrots - 

As always, if you have any recipe suggestions that you would be willing to share we would be happy to pass them along.  Thank you!

Have a great week!

 Chilled Cucumber Salad

Category: Cucumber Salad 
Serves/Makes: 6    |   Difficulty Level: 2    |   Ready In: 30-60 minutes


2 cups thinly-sliced chilled cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup thinly-sliced fresh onions
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 dash cayenne

Place cucumber slices in medium-size glass bowl and sprinkle with salt. Stir in onions. 

Place remaining ingredients in 2-cup glass measure and beat with fork to combine. Pour over cucumbers and onions and toss lightly. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Stir before serving.

Recipe Location:
Recipe ID: 40550
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