Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Even the Birds want to come Indoors

Well, as you all know, it is raining again, but we are happy to be harvesting under the cover of the high tunnel. This morning, while Madeline was seeding some trays a little hummingbird found its way into the garage. We all enjoyed watching it for a little while, and then opened the big door wide to be sure it could find its way out again. Well, 2 hours later, it is still fluttering around - not seeming too distressed. I think it is enjoying being out of the wet weather.

This is an exciting week for our family. Madeline will graduate from Unity Christian H.S. on Thursday, and yesterday her grandparents from Ontario, Canada flew in to help us celebrate. In addition, John's cousin from Holland (yes, The Netherlands), also arrived yesterday to surprise his parents with whom she spent a year when she was a teenager. And, Allison also joined us from California. I think we will have lots of coffee drinking and story telling in the next week.

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

Spinach -
Green Kale - use this like the red kale last week. The leaves are a little bigger, so be sure to tear out the larger stems. Try kale chips for a fun treat.
Red Lettuce - make a lovely salad with these beautiful red leaves and their lovely light green centers
Hakurei Turnips - for some reason they have short tops this spring(blame it on the weather). Eat these raw for a wonderful snack, chop up into your salad, or lightly steam them. The tops are also good cooked.
Cilantro - add flavor to salsa, salads, or make into pesto.

Full shares also have a head of Flashy Troutback - a speckled type of Romaine lettuce.

Try this link with pictures for Kale Chips

And here is a link for Sweet Annie Kale Salad

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bring on the Sunshine!

This will be a brief post because the sun is shining and we are going full steam ahead to get as much in the ground as possible before the rain starts again on Thursday. It looks like a great week for seeds to sprout. I'm going to also provide some information about greens from Angelic Organics - a CSA farm with their own cookbook and great online resources. Grilling season is also fast approaching (already here) and many veggies are great on the grill in foil packets (smaller pieces) or simply split in half, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with seasonings and placed directly on the grill. Enjoy the Sunshine!

In your share this week....

Green Butterhead Lettuce
Red Butterhead
Red Russian Baby Kale - I love this added to salads, soups, or served as a side.
Green Pac Choi
Garlic Greens - looks like green onions - use anywhere you'd use garlic - also great on the grill


Choi (also spelled choy) has been cultivated in China for centuries and is now commonly found in markets in the United States. Choi is practically two vegetables in one: the leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach, while the crisp stems—sweet and mild in flavor—can be used like celery or asparagus.


Refrigerate unwashed choi in a plastic container or loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. Choi keeps for over a week but is firmest and tastiest if used within a few days.


Just before using, rinse choi under cold running water and gently shake it dry. Cut the stems into 1-inch pieces and slice, shred, or tear the leaves. If you will be eating the stems raw, slice or julienne them.

Choi with Gingery Butter

This sauce has characteristically Asian-inspired flavors, but this recipe uses butter instead of oil for added richness. Don’t be fooled by how simple this is; it is an interesting and wonderfully flavorful side dish. Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from Judy Gorman’s Vegetable Cookbook).

Serves 4 to 6

2 medium choi (any kind), sliced crosswise into 1-inch strips

6 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro


freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the choi; cook until the choi is tender but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the choi in a colander and immediately run under cold water. Drain well.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and choi; cook, stirring constantly, until the choi is well coated and heated through.

3. Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately

Salad Greens

Salad greens start early and keep coming throughout the season. Experiment with salad building! You can top greens with fruit, nuts, seeds, pasta, and whole grains in addition to numerous dressings. As nineteenth-century editor and author Charles Dudley Warner once wrote, “You can put everything, and the more things the better, into a salad, as into a conversation; but everything depends on the skill of mixing.”


Store unwashed lettuce or mesclun in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. (Wet greens will spoil quickly, so make sure they are truly dry before refrigerating them.) If you have a salad spinner, wash and spin the greens before refrigerating. Use mesclun mix within three or four days, and use lettuce within a week.


Salad greens bruise easily, so be sure to handle them gently. For lettuce, slice the head at its base with a sharp knife and let the leaves fall open. Discard any damaged or leathery outer leaves and tear large leaves into bite-size pieces. Wash lettuce and mesclun mix by swishing them in a basin of cold water. Dry the greens in a salad spinner. (Or place them loosely in a mesh bag or thin towel, then go outside and swing the bundle.)

Another possibility for lots of lettuce when you are in the mood for something warm is to wilt it and add to rice or potatoes. Simply wash and chop coarsely, then saute in olive oil or butter until wilted, season (try also adding a dash of balsamic vinegar) and toss with warm potatoes or rice.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The 2011 Vegetable Season is Here!

Welcome to a new season of fresh produce from The Cornucopia! We look forward to serving you in 2011.

Yesterday I woke to the loud crack of thunder. John rolled over and said, "do you think I should pull those plants inside?" I was happy that he said "I", it was a good Mother's Day present to stay in bed a few more minutes while he dodged rain drops and pulled young plants out of the wind. Saturday was spent transplanting and planting seeds, so we were glad for the gentle rains Sunday morning to give the transplants a boost, provide moisture for germination and keep the soil crust soft so seeds planted earlier can break through. Every spring we eagerly watch as things start "popping up" and get established. This is a season of anticipation and wonder. We are glad that you are here to enjoy it with us.

In this blog, we try to keep you in touch with what is happening on the farm through words and pictures, as well as give you a listing of what to expect in your delivery each week and some useful information about how your food is produced, how to use it in recipes and storage tips. Above all, we hope that you enjoy the food.

In your share this week....(our best estimates for the week)

It's spring so pull out your spinner and get ready for salad fixings!

Spinach - great in salads or steamed. This spinach was growing through the cool days of April, so it has a lot more "umph" than the thinner leaves of summer spinach. So if you prefer it cooked, then go for it - it will hold its texture quite well. I like to steam it or just dunk it in boiling water quickly, then drain and serve.

Leaf Lettuce - lots of color to brighten your plate.

Arugula - we've kept it separate, but it's great on its own, or mixed in with your other greens. Be adventurous and layer it on a bread and butter sandwich.

Spectrum Greens - these greens are full of wonderful flavor and texture that make them one of my favorites. Really good with a light oil dressing and some chopped boiled eggs or nuts and dried cranberries. Make it a meal by adding some leftover grains like rice or quinoa.

Radish - slice some on your arugula sandwich or top a salad. Radishes are said to be a blood cleanser (probably why they give you that cool fresh feeling) - and the tops are also edible, containing lots of vitamin C.

Basic Salad Dressing (I give this recipe every year because it is a standard in our house and so easy to make) - you can easily expand the recipe to feed a crowd. Add crushed garlic or other herbs for a variation.

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (preferably fresh)
1 tsp. brown mustard
2 tsp. honey

Put it all in a small jar and shake it up, or mix it with a whisk in a small bowl. Adjust the honey and mustard to your personal taste. If I'm making a big bowl of salad for the family I usually just pour it over top and toss it all together, but you can just as easily pass it and let everyone serve themselves.

Have a great week!