Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cucumber Poetry?

Ok, so it was a little warm around noon today while I was picking cucumbers. I had salty sweat running into my eyes (it stings a little) and there were big fat bumble bees humming all around. Bumbling from bloom to bloom - you get the picture - and I think it was all making me a little goofy and so I started making corny rhymy poetry in my head while I looked forward to taking a break in the air conditioning over lunch. We are very proud of the work the girls have done this week with all the heat. They even volunteered to come early (6am) to avoid the hottest later part of the afternoon. Way to go!

Garlic harvest began Monday morning and will hopefully be done by the end of the week with all of it hung up to dry. Once we are done with the garlic it is usually time to start thinking about planting some fall crops. John also informs me that the tomatoes are starting to turn color-Yeah!

We are also thankful for safety granted last week at our Sioux Center farm stand. A car crashed into our van and farm stand. While we had damage to our property, none of our customers or anyone else was hurt.

This week in your share.....

Rio Colorado Potato - red with nice white flesh. We oven roasted some potatoes last night and served them with pesto - yum!
Onions - big sweet white ones (still waiting for the reds to size up)
Beans - green or yellow
Swiss Chard - if you have leftover potatoes, try wilting in the chard when you reheat them with some garlic and onion and seasonings of your choice.
Cucumbers - always refreshing on a hot day
Peppers - purple, pale yellow or lime green - wonderful in an omlet or salad
Parsley - not just a garnish - parsley has many health benefits and is high in vitamins A, C, and K - try the leaves mixed in with a salad.

This week the 1/2 share will also have zucchini, whole shares will have beets and basil.

Note on Basil: putting it in the fridge will cause it to turn brown more quickly. If your house is air-conditioned, you could just leave the bag on the counter until you use it. Better yet, take the longer stems out and trim the ends as you would fresh flowers and put them in a little jar of water on your counter and use as needed.

Pesto: this is a basic recipe, but you can easily adjust amounts to your taste.

3 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (you can also substitute pumpkin or sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, etc)
2 - 3 cloves of garlic chopped roughly
Parmesan cheese

mix it all up in your food processor or blender and use with pasta, as a veggie dip, on potatoes, etc.

Simple Beet/Carrot/Parsley Salad
Grate equal amounts of beets and carrots, add some chopped parsley and dress it with your favorite oil and vinegar dressing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pulling carrots out in the rain...

Good Evening,

This morning it was actually a pleasant experience pulling out carrots one by one in rain gear, feeling the drops on my back, nice and cool compared to the sweat that it took to dig potatoes on Monday. We have the boxes and bags ready in the cooler to go to town in the morning. The showers today and possibly tomorrow will help us get some carrots and lettuce started for fall. The lettuce that was planted about a week ago was already harvested ( by a rabbit or rabbits) or some if it died because of the heat so we replant.

The potato of the week was developed years ago at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada's "Ag School". It is the Yukon Gold. Light yellow skin with yellow flesh, not as smooth as some potatoes we will have over the next month but a texture that you can detect on your tongue. It is considered a general purpose potato, I like them fried as leftovers, of course to be leftovers they are boiled and served first the night before and then the left overs are fried. To get that to happen one needs to bring extra to the kitchen when one is asked to bring potatoes for supper.

Most of our crops are coming along well because of the recent heat and sunshine. The tomatoes are looking better, we did plant them later than we usually do so we may not have them as soon as you might expect but so far the plants look much better than last year in July. Last year the outdoor ones basically rotted because of wet ground.

The boxes this week have;

Green and Yellow Beans
Yukon Gold Potato

Shunkyo Radish

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Along with the Sunshine, You need a little Rain

We hope that you had a wonderful Holiday weekend. We are grateful for our many freedoms and thankful to our Service-men and women who have dedicated themselves and given their lives to preserving those freedoms.
This has been a beautiful week of warm weather and this is the perfect kind of day for setting out transplants - a little moisture and cloud cover to help them make the transition to the field without too much stress. This morning I bolted out of bed when I heard thunder because I knew that I had a lot of lettuce to go out into the field. Last night John helped me put out around 100 basil (3 varieties) and about 200 lettuce. This morning during and after the rain I was able to put out another 800. I'm glad no one had time to take my picture - it was a pretty muddy business :) It was the kind of day every kid loves - out in the rain with mud squishing between your toes.

I'm excited about your shares this week - mostly because I think this is the first time I've had such a nice harvest from a second blooming of Peas and also because the Broccoli is ready!

This week in your share......

Purple Viking Potato - purple skins with white flesh - makes a pretty potato salad if you leave the skins on. We have washed these to get the mud off, so you'll want to use them soon or store them in the fridge.
Broccoli - steam it or serve it raw with dip or in a salad
Sugar Snap Peas - just string them and eat the whole thing - pod and all. We love them raw, but if you do cook them be sure not to overdo it or they'll get stringy.
Chives - 1/2 share has garlic chives and Whole share has regular chives. These will be perfect chopped into some sour cream and served with your new potatoes.
Lettuce - crunchy summer lettuce for your salads and sandwiches.

Whole shares will also have Carrots, Beets and Garlic this week. The garlic is not dried down yet, so either hang it up to dry, or cut off the stem and store it in your fridge. Peel the cloves like usual when you are ready to use it. If you store it in the fridge you'll want to use it in the next week to 10 days.


You’ll find this classic dish on the menu at any real Irish restaurant. It’s a recipe that takes two staples of the island, potatoes and kale (or sometimes cabbage), and transforms them into a dish truly worthy of the word classic. Angelic Organics Kitchen.

Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds medium boiling potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)

2 teaspoons salt, divided, plus more to taste

1 1/2–2 pounds kale (15–20 large leaves)

1 cup chopped leeks or scallions

1 cup half-and-half or milk

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Put the whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and boil until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash. Put in a heatproof dish and keep warm in a 200° oven.

2. Meanwhile, put the kale in a pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the kale is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (There you go Mrs. Nesbit, it’s in the directions. Don’t worry, everyone will do it this way now that it’s spelled out exactly.) Drain and finely chop the kale.

3. Place the leeks or scallions in a small pot, cover with the half-and-half, and cook over low heat until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Add the kale to the warm potatoes and mix well. Add the half-and-half with leeks or scallions. Add the pepper; season with salt to taste.

5. Spoon a little of the melted butter over each serving and serve hot.

Have a wonderful week!