Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beautiful Fall Weather

After some nasty weather and rain last week, we are basking in wonderful warm sun. This week we'll work on some fall tillage/cover cropping and work on finishing up the rest of the potato harvest. New carrots planted in August are ready as well as some wonderful fall greens, and those white turnips we love are the size of marbles. The peppers are steadily turning orange, yellow and deep red and the tomatoes continue to produce. What's not to love about Fall? (maybe those pesky Asian Lady Beetles)

I've been trying some new recipe ideas and thought I'd share some of them with you.
When working with hot peppers please be sure to protect your eyes with goggles or glasses - wear gloves and don't touch your eyes. If you don't wear gloves, you may experience numbness in your fingers after handling peppers and still transfer "heat" to your eyes even after washing your hands several times.

Jalapeno Cornbread
(you could also just take your favorite cornbread recipe and add 3-4 finely chopped jalapenos)
1 1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. unbleached white flour
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. olive oil
3-4 jalapeno's seeded and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9-inch baking pan or muffin tins (for 12 muffins). Mix dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and blend well. Add the jalapenos and mix to coat (this keeps them from all floating to the top during baking). Add buttermilk, egg and oil. Stir just until moistened.
Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes. Fill muffins 3/4 full and bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot with butter and maybe a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

This weekend I was inspired to make use of a lot of cayenne peppers that I had left over after market. I actually tripled the recipe. The result was spicy, but not overpowering. I decided that it would make a great "spicy ketchup". Good on potatoes, eggs, etc. I didn't have quite enough tomatoes so I threw in some chopped up carrots. I also strained it through a fine sieve when it was finished to remove the seeds and bits of pepper and tomato skins. You could do this with just about any kind of hot pepper.

Cayenne Pepper Sauce - from ehow.com
1 lb. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 slice onion
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 can diced tomato (28oz) I just chopped up some fresh tomatoes
1 cup cider vinegar
7 oz. water

1. Cut off the pepper stems and cut the peppers into thin slices
2. Combine all ingredients in a large heavy pot and boil for 1 hour.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Remove from heat and cool.
4. Process cooled mixture in blender until smooth. Pour through a sieve to remove seeds and skins.
5. Return the mixture to the pan and bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat.
6. Pour finished sauce into a clean glass jar after it cools and store in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2nd last

Hi

In your box or bag this morning you found some of the following;

zucchini*
tomato
cherry tomato
peppers
leek*
sweet potato
potato-maris piper
garlic*
thyme
carrots

* whole/full share only

Maris Piper potatoes are a favorite in the British Isles. We grew them instead of Kerr's Pink which we had in other years, they are popular in Ireland. Both are well regarded for making roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes. Unfortunately they developed a scab this year from something in the soil. We peeled ours and they cooked up just fine.

The seeds we put in the tunnel last week have germinated and are up and growing! We are looking forward to fall salads and greens. Tonight we seeded spinach, turnips, radish and lettuce outdoors. The Farmers Almanac says that we will have a warm fall so we hope they are right!

One more week of the summer subscriptions!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feels like Fall

School has started again, and the temps. the next few nights will give things that "fall feeling". I think I'll need to get out some moth balls as extra insurance against all of the moths that have been sneaking into my house. Every time someone comes to the door, we all rush to turn out the lights to try to keep them from coming in again. John has been seeding cover crop on newly tilled areas as things dry out. Tomorrow afternoon the tunnel will be ready for seeding some fall crops. John and the girls pulled shade cloth over the tunnel last week to bring down the soil temperature enough to allow seeds to germinate. After things germinate and are up and growing, the shade cloth will come off again to allow maximum light in for growth.

I have been spending some time indoors canning spaghetti sauce. Last year we managed to empty the pantry of everything tomato so it is time to replenish the stock. If you are thinking of doing some canning and would like some "seconds", just let us know and we would be happy to fill your order for a good price.

As you will notice from your share, the leek did manage to survive the floods of late July/early August. We are still holding our breath about the brussels sprouts though. While some of the seeds we planted before the really big rains did survive, many washed away or did not survive the muddy conditions. Waiting for things to dry up has created a rather large gap in our succession planting schedule.

This week in your share.....

Leek - remember to cut it up in little "circles" and then throw it in the sink for a good rinse. Then enjoy sauteed in your favorite dishes...eggs, stir-fry, soups...

Lettuce - sweet summer crisp

Celery - there is no match for the flavor of home-grown celery. It is not the prettiest, but the flavor is intense and is great in soups and other dishes. Store it wrapped in a bag in the fridge OR wash, chop, bag and toss it in the freezer for convenient use anytime.

Tomatoes - cherry and regular

Peppers - green and some jalapenos - try these stuffed with cheese and baked or grilled for a zesty treat.
Potatoes -

Squash - acorn or carnival(looks like acorn but more colorful)

Parsnips - in the whole shares - these are a great addition to soups and stews, and are also wonderful fried in some butter.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18 already!

The college students left for vacation before school starts up again several weeks ago and now our high school students are talking about being in school next week! Time flies.

This week we have been able to roto-till some ground, burying some rotted plants and weeds. We are incorporating some manure/compost and we will seed some cover crops for green manure.

In the boxes/bags this morning we had;

Filet beans
onion
garlic
potatoes, red thumb fingerlings for full shares, pink pearls for half shares
peppers
tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
beets
basil (full shares)
squash either an acorn, delicata (bright, colorful shaped like acorn squash) or spagghetti (oblong pale yellow)
carrots
eggplant


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pull Those Weeds!!!

It has been a busy week. We were able to spend the weekend with John's parents and celebrate Dad's 83rd birthday. Crossing the state Monday, we saw lots of flooding and areas of standing water and just today viewed pictures of the flooding in the Ames area.

As usual, the work doesn't disappear when you leave for a few days and since the ground hasn't dried up enough yet to hoe, the crew spent the day pulling weeds in the beet rows keeping them from being overcome and digging carrots. Does anyone have any creative ideas for dealing with mosquitoes? I am not a fan of bug spray and would love to hear your ideas.

Pesto - last week you had basil in your share. If anyone is interested in doing some pesto for the freezer, we have lots of basil ready right now - let us know if you'd like a larger quantity. Freeze it in ice-cube trays and then you have an easy way to add a burst of flavor to your favorite dishes this winter. right now we love pesto with pasta served with chopped fresh tomatoes on top.

We keep trying to do our best to bring you variety in your share despite being unable to do any planting due to weather conditions.

This week in your share....

Peppers
Tomatoes
Carrots
Parsley - keep it wrapped up in the fridge. Saute some in a little butter or olive oil and toss with your potatoes.
Potatoes - Austrian Crescent Fingerlings - these are a great roasting and salad potato - also nice for slicing in thin rounds and frying.
Green Beans
Garlic
Onion
Lettuce - a little dirty from mud splash up, be sure to double rinse it. Then how about some BLT?
Pickling Cucumbers - peel, slice, chop - great flavor for salads or just eat them plain

Whole shares also have a few ears of sweet corn - the last of the crop.

Yellow crookneck squash is definitely having a struggle - and seems to be losing the battle - hopefully we'll have some zucchini and patti-pan again later.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rain or shine? not this time:'(

Hi folks, here's the evidence.





There was a waterfall from the brussel sprouts over to the beans (in the bottom of the picture).
The unfortunate celery and fennel are standing in a few inches of running water.
The leek rows make for nice creek beds don't you think?
There was about three inches of water standing in the tomatoes.

You can see the dismal sky and the water in the air, also, the puddles gathering in the garden.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rain, Rain.....

Rain continues to be the theme of the summer. We spent some time this evening watching video of the flooding in eastern Iowa and marveled at the power of water. Also, some pictures of flooding in China - scary! When we look at the damage in other areas we feel pretty blessed and humbled as well - our 5 1/2" last Wednesday doesn't seem so bad - at least we don't have water up to our eaves and we aren't watching our homes float away. And....we have air conditioning that allows us to sleep during those hot, humid nights - we have a lot of things to be thankful for!

That said - we wanted to let you know that all the excess moisture definitely has a detrimental effect on many crops. Our harvest crew will quickly tell you that the smell of rotting onions is not very pleasant - and there are lots of onions that will stay in the field and get plowed under due to rot. The cauliflower is also suffering from some kind of blight and most of it will not be harvested. But we keep going and keep planting.

Raccoons! Another critter to add to the list of wildlife sighted at our place this summer. We found some evidence of them raiding the corn patch, but not enough to cause a problem. Yes, we planted a little sweet corn this year and this week you will get to enjoy some of it.

This week in your share....

Sweet Corn - enjoy! Husk, boil, roll in butter and add a little salt - heavenly! Don't forget to add a side of dental floss :)

Beans - 1/2 shares will have fillet beans and whole shares pole beans.

Peppers - light green peppers

Tomatoes - the high tunnel continues to produce some really nice fruit

Potatoes - Rio Colorado again this week - next week we'll head into those yummy fingerlings

Carrots -

Cucumbers - always refreshing in hot weather - great in salads - I like them with dip or peanut butter.

Red Meat Radish - rain is good for something. Sometimes also known as "watermelon radish", these are firm with a dense texture and mild from the moisture.

Fennel - use the stems like celery and chop the bulb up to eat raw or toss it with olive oil and some chopped carrots and roast them together for a wonderful aromatic treat.

Onion - white and sweet

Garlic - we have it all harvested now and we'll keep feeding it to you - I hear it's great for repelling mosquitoes.

This week the whole share will have the fennel and radishes.

Easy Cucumber Salad - this is from Allison's friend Bailey

Cucumbers - peeled and sliced
White onion - thinly sliced in rings or half rings

Dressing: equal parts of the following - 1/2 cup of each will make a good amount
- White or cider vinegar
- Sugar
- Water
Stir together until the sugar dissolves and pour over the cukes and onions. Let marinade for at least an hour before serving. You can keep adding cukes to the leftover dressing as you eat your salad.

Variations to try: dill, fennel, celery seed

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sunflower Smiles

The weeks have been flying by quickly. As the season turns, so do the gardens. Many crops have produced and finished and as they are harvested, John tills the spaces to get ready for another crop or seeds it in a cover crop that we will till under for soil fertility. Long term crops continue to mature and Sunday evening we were greeted with the first of the sunflowers blooms in a long row planted along the driveway. Sunflowers are always such a cheerful sight!

Parsnips - a late fall crop - are always a bit of a mystery to visitors. We hear things like "what have you got growing there - celery?" In spite of their large tops, the roots are still quite underdeveloped. The onions have begun to dry down in the field and no longer have their nice big green tops. Soon we will begin the process of pulling them all and laying them out to finish the drying process. Cucumbers seem to be the late bloomer this year - patience is the key word here.

This week in your share.....

Lettuce - the summer crisp continues to perform well. Think BLT's this week !

Tomatoes - red round and some cherries. Mixed in with the cherries you'll find some little Mexican Sour Gherkins. Not technically a cucumber, they have a crunchy texture with a little zing. Toss them in your salad, salsa, stir fry, etc.

Green Pepper - first of the season.

Beans - half share will have purple beans this week - fun for the kids - these turn green when you cook them. Whole shares will have yellow beans and green pole beans. The pole beans have just begun to produce - they have a flattened pod and a wonderful bean flavor. We have been watching them grow to over 13 feet on their trellis and now that they've reached the top, they've continued to grow and hang down towards the ground again - wow!

Potatoes - Rio Colorado. These have beautiful red skin with delicious white flesh.

Carrots - Cosmic Purple. These have an intense almost fuchsia color with a bright orange interior - and they are delicious.

Cauliflower -

Red Onion

Whole shares will also have Broccoli this week.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pigs, Chicks and Skunks!

Whoa! Skunks you may ask? Yes, it has been an interesting week (actually the last two). Pigs do not make very good guard dogs. We have always "trusted" them to be a good deterrent against other critters coming in to the hog house where we also house our baby chicks until they are big enough to go outside. Up until a few weeks ago it had been a pretty good arrangement - and then we lost a large number of baby chicks. We have had predators before, but this one had unusual habits and we were puzzled. John started asking around and while he secured the pen, we ordered more chicks and set several "live animal" traps. Well! in the course of 3-4 days, we had caught 3 SKUNKS! We've had raccoons, 'possums and cats, but this was quite a surprise. I am happy to report that things seem to be under control for the time being and no one got sprayed which is even better.

By the way, in case I had not mentioned it before, the hogs are going to the butcher on July 15 (Thursday) and if you would like to get in on some tasty Berkshire pork, we still have some halves left. Please let me know ASAP and I will get your cutting instructions to the butcher. If you are interested in a smaller quantity, we will also offer 20# bundles. In that case, you would not need to submit cutting instructions, just let me know of your interest.

Our second group of chickens is also just back from the butcher. These are whole, frozen birds and we will deliver them to you.

Work on the farm this week has been moving forward. Quite a few strips in the garden have been tilled upon completion of harvest making room for planting of new crops. The weeds, fed by all the rain, have also been going crazy. We have a great crew, but between harvesting, even they have not been able to keep up. If you feel a need at any time to work out some frustration and soak up some sun, we have lots of weeds to be pulled and we won't turn down any offers of help. Just let us know when you'd like to come.

Speaking of Harvest......the girls did a tremendous job today picking beans along with all the other picking. I believe that they brought in nearly 200 pounds in three colors: green, yellow and purple. Lest you think that only girls work here, don't worry, brothers Kyle and Micah have been pruning tomatoes and after a day and a half on his knees, Kyle has successfully unearthed the leek which had been overrun with wild purslane and pigweed. Thanks to everyone for a great job!

In your share this week.....

Tomato - this is good news! We wanted you to have the first taste of the season - either a regular round red, or some SunGold cherries (these are golden orange when ripe). Most of the red tomatoes will probably benefit from a day or two on the counter to continue ripening.

Beans - it certainly is bean season. More sunshine this week between the rain has really done them a lot of good. Green and yellow. Feel like you can't use them all? Blanch and freeze your beans for a taste of summer this fall or winter. While you bring a pot of water to a boil, trim and snap your beans. Add beans to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and plunge into a sink full of cold water to stop the cooking. Drain cooled beans and freeze in usable portions.

Potato - this week's offering is Keuka Gold. Looks a lot like a Yukon, but without the pink eyes that distinguish a Yukon.

Carrots -

Red Onion -

Garlic - peel off some of the outer layers then cut off close to the top of the bulb. Wrap it in foil with some butter and bake/roast it in the oven. Pop out the roasted cloves and mash in with your potatoes or mix it in with your favorite dips, etc. mmmmm......
We left the stem attached so that if you aren't ready to use it, you could just hang it up in your kitchen out of direct sunlight and let it dry to use later. If you decide to use part of it now, just put unused cloves in a container in the fridge - they will keep at least 2 weeks or more.

Lettuce - varieties of heat tolerant summer crisp.

Daikon Radish - the white "root thing". These are crisp and refreshing. Chop or grate into a salad, slice it on a sandwich.

Parsley - curly or flat leaf. Parsley stores very well in a bag in the fridge.

Whole share will also have Zucchini, Cauliflower and Kale this week. Half shares will see some of that cauliflower next week.

Have a great week!

Some new recipes to try.....from Simply in Season

Au Gratin Cabbage

2 cups cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/3 cup chopped onions (green onions or whatever you have on hand)
saute until crisp-tender in frying pan with a little olive oil. Transfer to a greased 1-qt. baking dish.

1/2 cup milk
1 egg
3 Tbsp. shredded cheese
Combine in a small bowl. Pour over vegetables. Garnish with 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley and 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.

Green beans with Parsley and lemon

Cook 1 pound of beans in a small amount of water until crisp-tender. Drain.

In 1 Tbsp. butter or oil, lightly saute 2 cloves minced garlic and 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley. Add the cooked beans, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir gently and heat through. Sprinkle with the juice of 1 lemon and serve.

Garlic Potato Salad

6 cups new potatoes (cubed)
Boil in water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

6 garlic scapes or 3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup minced onions
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine in a large bowl. Add cooked potatoes and stir to coat. Chill about 3 hours before serving.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Got Bugs?........

Bugs, bugs, bugs...it's a bugs life. All this wet weather with lots of stagnant water seems to make perfect conditions for hatching lots and lots of bugs! I even heard earwigs (they are about 3/4" long with pinchers on their tails) mentioned in the news on my way to market Wednesday. Many people have also mentioned that garlic was a good deterrent for mosquitoes, but I haven't tried it yet :)

Speaking of garlic...the harvest has begun. This is always a big job involving pulling, cleaning and hanging, and when things are wet we also trim the roots to aid in the drying process.

As we work in the gardens, we are always on the lookout for pest and disease problems and once again we are on the lookout for signs of "late blight". This is the disease that was responsible for the Irish potato famine of the 1840's and was responsible for a poor tomato crop across the Midwest last year. It is a major problem that thrives in wet conditions and it travels on the wind via spores. We received word this week that it has appeared in Ohio - an early appearance for "late blight" - and we are doing our best to be proactive and save our crop. Oh yeah...tomatoes and potatoes are from the same family and that is why they are both affected by this blight.

In your share this week......

Beans - yum. Wet weather also affects the beans. We wait for the plants to dry before picking to prevent the spread of fungus that can make the beans look "rusty". There may be a few tips that have a little rust on them anyway from where they touch the ground - just snap it off.

Zucchini - to some of us this is a real sign that summer is here. When Adrienne was a baby I used to steam and mash it for her - she couldn't get enough of it. As adults, we like it grilled, in soups, cakes.......

Purple carrots - these are "purple haze" carrots. Very pretty to look at and delicious to eat. They will lose some color if you cook them.

Broccoli - good in soup - try some cheesy potato broccoli soup this week.

Mini cabbage - we love cole slaw, but also love it cut in wedges, steamed and drizzled with a little butter.

Onion - they are really sizing up beautifully. Perfect right now for raw eating on burgers and in salads. They will keep great in the fridge - if the tops start to look "iffy", just cut them off. If you have more than you can handle, chop it up and freeze it to use later in cooked dishes.

Red Gold Potatoes - a pretty light red potato with a lovely golden flesh. The catalog says "excellent steamed, boiled, baked, fried, mashed, roasted or scalloped". Take your pick!

Whole shares also include..... Swiss Chard, Fresh Garlic and Sweet Thai Basil. Jessica chopped up some chard and added it to our omlet on Monday - it was great! Basil is best stored NOT in the refrigerator. Just keep it loosely wrapped in the bag on your counter and try to use it within a few days. Use your basil to spice up tomato sauces, or serve with fresh mozzarella and a little olive oil. Use fresh garlic just like dried garlic. If you are going to use it in the next week, cut off the stem and store in a bag in the fridge. If you'd like to dry it, just hang it up in a well ventilated spot out of direct sunlight. This can take 2-3 weeks depending on humidity levels.

Have a great week!

Here is a recipe for carrot cake from cooks.com
BEST EVER CARROT CAKE

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil

Cream these together well. Add

4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add:

2 cups grated carrots

Combine:

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup of ground walnuts
Add to the egg mixture and mix well.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a 13x9-inch baking pan.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

CREAM CHEESE ICING:

4 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

Cream butter and cheese; add icing sugar, vanilla and salt.


Here is a new twist on Broccoli

Herbed Broccoli Sandwich - from the cook book Simply in Season

2 cups broccoli - finely chopped
1/2 cup onion - finely chopped
Saute broccoli and onion in a large frypan with 2 Tbsp. oil until the broccoli is bright green.

Mix in: a few dashes each of dried basil, thyme, pepper, and 1/2 tsp. salt

4-6 slices of French bread - top with the veggies.

3/4 cup shredded cheese. Sprinkle on top and broil until melted. Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wednesday June 30 Already!

It seems like time goes faster and faster! We missed updating this Tuesday evening. Thank you everyone for picking up your subscription.

Pretty standard stuff this past week. Red Norland potatoes, the earliest outdoor red potatoe! Next we will have a different variety for you and likely a different color. Carrots, Green Beans, the first of the year, Kohlrabi, lettuce, broccoli and onion.

The weather is very nice this week.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sunshine after the rain feels good!

Good Evening,

We have been blessed with timely rains. This afternoon the propane tank got filled up and the driver quipped that we must not have irrigated much yet. He was so correct. We have not watered outdoor crops much at all. We watered carrots and onions early on to get them established and while that was finishing up it began to rain. The rains have come regularly since then, we just need to be thankful that nothing too severe has come our way.

We have been watching the potatoes carefully, and I have a suspicion that you will see potatoes next week. The CPB has not been a threat recently, the plants really look good. Last week almost all of them were flowering. I always like flowering potato plants.

We spent some time staking or caging the outside tomatoes this week, we have 6 rows to go. The tunnel tomatoes have been staked for several weeks and have green tomatoes on them.

We were on top of the weeds at the end of last week. Some sections are now looking like they need a real through weeding again....

We have little cucumbers appearing on cucumber plants in tunnel #1. Janna ate one the other day. It wasn't very big, put that means they are not far off. We are watching for flowers on the green beans. The first beans always taste so good!

This week in the subscriptions were some of the following...

broccoli
peas ( some sugar snaps, some have shelling peas)
carrots
mini cabbage
green kale
kohlrabi

We hope everyone has a good week.

John and Janna

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy for Sunshine!

It has been a beautiful day and we enjoyed the sunshine as we scurried to catch up on hoeing, and mowing. We started picking strawberries this week and it may very well be the end. With 5-6 inches of rain in the past week, the berries have suffered. First, you may notice that they are a little "gritty" with dirt that has "splashed" up. Second, you may want to eat them ASAP as with all the uptake of water, they are also much more perishable. But, don't wash them until you are ready to eat them - they get mushy much faster after you wash them. You may ask "why does the extra rain cause problems?" Well, the biggest problem is that with so much rain, rot and deterioriation set in very quickly. On an happier note - many other crops are developing nicely and with a little added sunshine, should really begin to "take off".

In your shares this week.....

Beets
Carrots
Broccoli
Strawberries - I think someone may have forgotten to pick theirs up - let us know.
Lettuce
Green Onion - white or purple pearl variety - lovely to mix in with your peas.
Peas - two kinds - Large shares have "Sugar Snaps" -edible pod - just remove the strings. Small shares have "Shelling Peas" - remove the shells and just eat the peas inside.

Large shares also have Swiss Chard and Spinach this week.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It has rained!

Hi Everyone,

It has rained often enough this spring that we have been slow to lay out irrigation pipe and drip line. Once in a while I figure if I water it will rain and if I don't it won't rain. I like to get an average of 1 inch of water on the vegetables each week. We like drip tape because it takes water right to the plant and doesn't water the pathways. In April we watered one garden with overhead sprinkler because it was quick to set up and we got good coverage to make the ground workable but we sure noticed the difference between drip and overhead on the water bill.

What beautiful weather this morning for the Sioux Center Farmers Market or Sioux City Farmers Market. Just enough breeze to keep from sweating and not enough to blow things away! Thank you for coming to picking up your subscription from the Market stand. It is good to see you all each week. Thank you for your kind words about the vegetables and words of encouragement.

In your share this week...

Baby Carrots - the real deal - snap off the root end and enjoy
Lettuce -
Garlic Scapes - the top shoot of hard neck garlic. Use it like a green onion - chop it up or snap it in pieces. Pungent when raw and milder when cooked.
Radish
Spinach
Yukon Gold Potatoes

Full shares will also include Kale and Shelling Peas (string those pods and pop out the tender peas). These are great raw, added to salads, steamed lightly with a little butter, creamed with your potatoes.........

Garlic Scape information - check out this site for some fun information and recipes for scapes.
http://www.moscowfood.coop/archive/scape.html

This is another site with great pictures and even more ideas for what to do with your scapes.
http://notwithoutsalt.com/2009/06/18/garlic-scapes/

And finally, a great garlic article from the New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/dining/18appe.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Kale Chips - there are a lot of recipes out there for kale chips. They usually call for larger leaf kale, but it should work just fine with the baby leaf kale also - just adjust your roasting time. Also, with baby kale you shouldn't need to remove any stems in the prep step. Here is a recipe to try.


"Sure, you know Dana posted a Kale Chip recipe in November." But this is a man who likes to do things by the book and said he wanted to make the exact chips he'd just had. "Trust me," he said.

After about five minutes of prep and fifteen in the oven, we had a bowl full of crispy kale chips. The three of us (the two and a half year old included) sat down and had the bowl licked clean of kale chips in less time than it took to prepare them.

The difference between this recipe and the previous is the vinegar. I like the extra bite the vinegar lends to the chips and would encourage you to try it both ways. I might even try it with a heavier vinegar like balsamic, or even rice vinegar and add a sprinkling of sesame seeds along with the salt. There are a lot of possibilities.

We have Stacie Billis to thank for the inspiration. Stacie is an owner of Chow Baby, an organic baby food company based in NYC and the recipes on her blog are all catered toward cooking for children.

Kale Chips
adapted from Stacie Billis at ChowMama.com

1 bunch organic kale, torn into 1/2″ pieces
3 tablespoons organic olive oil
1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt

Preheat oven to 400° F. Whisk oil and vinegar and toss kale in the dressing until thoroughly coated.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place kale on sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 15 minutes or so, until crispy. With baby leaf kale, be sure to watch closely so you don't burn your chips.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Visit the Farm

You are invited to visit our farm this Saturday, June 5 from 3 until 5 pm. Practical Farmers of Iowa is hosting a field day at our farm to talk about improving the energy efficiency of walk-in coolers. Even if you don't care to look at the cooler, come and see how things are doing here at The Cornucopia.

Can you say "new potatoes"? This is a new record for us, with potatoes ready in the tunnel even before we have peas. Things are rapidly transitioning as we finish harvesting beds and start new summer crops or simply harvest to make room for things like tomatoes that have been growing between an early crop. The theme of the week has been "plant, plant, plant". Timely rains and some partly cloudy weather make for good transplanting conditions - getting transplants in the ground with some moisture and not getting baked by hot sun. I was pleased to see how well most of the tomatoes did after all of the wind last week - better than I expected. We also planted some sweet corn this year (my idea, not John's) and it's up along with the squash and cucumbers.

Chickens - our first batch of the season is processed and back from the butcher. Pasture raised with no hormones or antibiotics, these birds are plump, juicy and delicious the way chicken should be. Call or email to place your order.

In your share this week........

Yukon Gold Potatoes - put them in a foil packet on the grill, boil them, make a potato salad, eat them with the thin skin on, or rub it off under running water - the sky's the limit!
Purple Kohlrabi - a great raw snack. Peel the bulb part and slice or cut in wedges and enjoy plain or with your favorite dip. Here is a link to some healthy ideas for using the bulb and leaves. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-use-kohlrabi.html#
French Breakfast Radish - long with white tips
Carrots -
New Beets -either Golden Beets or Red Ace - the tops are wonderful and can be cooked just like spinach and served alongside the cooked root - check out this link for a discussion on cooking beets and beet tops. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/475133
Lettuce - try a lettuce wrap for something different. Mix up your favorite sandwich filling and instead of bread, wrap it up in a lettuce leaf. Check out the recipe below.
Green Onion - perfect chopped into a salad or a stir-fry

Lettuce Wrap from zestycook.com
Ingredients:
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken (2 Cups)
  • Leaves of Romaine or Butterhead Lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Light Mayonaisse
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Apple
  • Cracked Black Pepper
Method:
  1. Add the first three ingredients together in a bowl and gently mix together.
  2. Once the curry and mayonaisse are mixed well add pecans and apple and mix again.
  3. Top with a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper
  4. Wash and dry Lettuce leaves, being careful not to tear the leaves
  5. Spoon chicken mixture on top of lettuce – wrap – and enjoy!

The wrap has a great flavor and texture with the crunch of the apples and the pecans as well as the freshness of the lettuce. As a variation try adding some cheese for another layer of both flavor and texture.

Have a Great Week!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meet us at the Market!

It has been a busy week....where have I heard that before? It is hard to believe that it is already the end of May. It feels as though we have jumped right into Summer, but with those strong Spring winds still following us. We are constantly amazed by the power of the wind and while we cringe as we watch new transplants take a beating, we are also suprised at how many of them manage to make it through (yes, we do lose a few). This week all of the "outside" tomatoes and peppers were planted with help from our college crew. In addition, all of the potatoes and onions and most of the other gardens were weeded as well and we put in squash cucumber and bean seed. This amounts to almost half of our land in production and was a lot of work - Great job girls!

Daughter Jessica has left us for a few weeks of study in France (she visited a market in Caen on the weekend and assured her dad that his veggies are still the best :) Thanks Jessica! and thanks to all of you for your words of appreciation and encouragement as you share your enjoyment of our vegetables.

This week in your share.... Carrots!! - These slender, tender gems are a sweet treat that you won't feel guilty about. I'm going to try the carrot top soup (below) this week - the greens are wonderfully tender - or make a nice salad if they last that long! Spinach Red Russian Kale - picked at the baby leaf stage - great for salads or add it to soups or stir-fry. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. Check out this link for more info http://vegpeace.org/kale.html
Lettuce - Red or green butterhead - I like to chop/rinse/spin and keep it in a bowl in the fridge ready for a quick salad. Hakurai Turnips - Yes, those things that look like white radishes - perfect for snacking, chopped in a salad or light steaming. Chop and throw those tops in with your kale in the stir-fry.

As always, there is an abundance of recipes available through a google search, but here are a few to get you started.

Have a Great Week!

Carrot Almond Salad

If you don't like cilantro, you might try substituting something like basil, or parsley in place of it. Also, I included a few tips in relation to making this salad in the main entry up above, so have a glance before you jump in here. Also, my friend Nikki in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania did a roasted version of this salad with the produce from her CSA box, it's posted here.

extra virgin olive oil
1 cup / 3 oz / 85g sliced almonds

a small handful cilantro, about 1/2 cup
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and de-veined
1/4+ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch / 8 oz / 225 g baby carrots, scrubbed and sliced in half lengthwise

1 bunch / 16 oz / 450 g pencil-thin asparagus, stalks trimmed, cut into 2-inch segments

squeeze of lemon, optional

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, toast the almonds in a large skillet over medium heat in a splash of olive oil along with a big pinch of salt. Let them get deeply golden, remove from heat, and set aside.

Make the dressing by combining the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, and salt in a food processor - or alternately, in a blender or with a hand blender. Drizzle the olive oil in while pulsing, continuing until the dressing is a creamy, vibrant green. Taste, and adjust to your liking with more salt, garlic, jalapeno, etc.

Salt the boiling water generously, then add the carrots, wait 15 seconds and add the asparagus. Depending on the actual thickness of your carrots/asparagus, cook for about 30 - 60 more seconds, you want the vegetables to retain some structure and bite. Drain and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking. Spin dry in a salad spinner.

In a large bowl toss the vegetables with a generous splash of the dressing. Toss well, add 2/3 of the toasted almonds and gently toss again. Taste and adjust for seasoning. You might want to add a quick squeeze of lemon juice at this point, but it's optional. Serve family-style topped with the remaining almonds.

Serves 4-6 as a side.

101 Cookbooks http://www.101cookbooks.com/

Tuscan Carrot Top And Rice Soup

1

Posted by jeanne on August 14, 2009

Tagged with: , , , ,

By Salem Depot Member Perry McIntosh

This year I am on a quest to use “everything but the squeal,” so I poked around for ideas for carrot greens. I found this recipe online, from Lela Davidson on Hubpages.com, which I used as a base to make a white bean soup. Note: remember to cut the greens off before you store the carrots, because they will continue to draw moisture out of the root.

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup short grain rice or 2 lbs. cubed potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrot tops
  • 4 tbsp. fresh grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 5 minutes over low heat until translucent. Add salt and pepper, and pour in broth. Bring to a boil.

2. Add rice and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Add the carrot tops and cook for 5 more minutes, mixing well.
3. When rice is tender, pour soup into four bowls. Sprinkle with cheese.

www.blog.farmdirectcoop.org

Site Meter

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Energy Audit

Just about forgot. I was reminded yesterday that PFI ( Practical Farmers of Iowa) and The Cornucopia are doing a field day June 5. We had a energy evaluation done and made some small adjustments to our coolers. Mid American is going to come and present on Energy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The first Sioux Center Subscription 2010 is delivered!

Greetings,

After a long snowy winter we are eagerly looking forward to
bringing you the first tastes of spring. We will be
delivering the first two shares in the evening on May 12 &
19. Starting on May 26, we will be at the Sioux Center
Farmer's Market on Wednesday mornings from 8 - noon where
you may pick up your share during that time. The market
will be located in the parking lot of the Centre Mall.

Get out your salad spinner as this week you may look forward
to the following items in your share.....

Spinach
Leaf Lettuce
Radish
Leek - a wonderful mild substitute for onions in soups and
egg dishes. saute them in a little butter or olive oil to
soften them first
Asian Salad Greens
Scarlet Queen salad turnips - chop up the root and eat it
raw, but don't throw out those leafy tops - they can also be
chopped into your salad or cooked and tossed in with your
potatoes, pasta or rice

We are looking forward to another great season!

John and Janna
Wesselius

Thursday, April 29, 2010

There is a nice gentle rain falling right now. We have some things seeded outside, are tunnels are full and ready for some picking for saturday's market in Sioux Falls. We have 3600 plants ready to be planted as soon as the ground is dry enough for soil preparation, and then 100's more as soon as we get mulch down. Looks like next week is all sunshine, and we are so ready for a week of sunshine!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Potatoes are Planted!

I just needed to tell everyone that this past Saturday with help from some amazing kids/young adults we got all our potatoes for the main season planted. I'll have to look in notebooks but I think it is the earliest ever. Now today we tackle the seeds for carrots and spinach I hope we get done before the rain so they get a good moist start.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy New Year

The sun is shining brightly and after the past week of very cold days, winds and snow we could use some warming! Janna and I spent 3 days at the Great Plains Vegetable Growers conference in St. Joesph MO learning to serve you better. We did have a good learning experience picking up suggestions from presenters and other market gardeners. It is time to place the seed order and ready the equipment we will be using shortly! 

John