CSA NEWSLETTER FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 5/9

CSA NEWSLETTER FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 5/9

It was great to finally meet everyone last week and get the season going! We hope you enjoyed your first CSA share of produce. We have been keeping just as busy since we saw you last. We felt very fortunate that the weather didn’t impact us and we didn’t lose any of our crops in the storm. The only incident that happened was our mobile chicken coop totally blew over with the 80 MPH winds. That coop is 700 or 800 pounds and we were very surprised that it happened. Thankfully no hens were hurt, just a lot of crushed eggs that hadn’t been collected yet that day and a very dirty hen house! Some of our Lincoln and Omaha friends were not so fortunate and one farm even was totally hailed out with massive crop loss. We have been thinking of them a lot and are reminded of why the CSA model is so important for small farms to protect themselves in worst case situations.

We apologize if the produce is a little muddy this week; it was raining this morning when we harvested!

coop

The share is pretty large this week so be prepared to be eating a lot of greens and don’t forget your bags! Greens grow best in the Spring and Fall here in Nebraska thanks to our very warm summers. You will have a lot of them early in the season, and late in the season, so enjoy them while you can because they won’t be around for a very long time. There will be a lot of lettuce this week too so enjoy it while you can because of all the greens we grow lettuce is the most sensitive and will definitely not be in your shares for the majority of summer. Kale, collards, and chard are more tolerant of the heat and will be around more consistently throughout the season.

We plant a lot of the brassica family under low tunnels to protect them from bugs. You can see the hoops that hold the fabric row cover above the plants. This fabric also acts as frost protection to extend the harvest season.
tunnels
So what’s in the share this week?

1 Head Green Butter-head (Aka Bibb or Boston lettuce–a 26th Street Farmer named Will’s favorite. Great for sandwiches.)
1 Bunch Mini Red Romaine lettuce (Chop for Salads or use whole leaves on sandwiches)
1 Bag Salad Greens (Whole head lettuce generally keeps longer so we recommend using any cut greens first)
1 Bag Baby Kale/Beet salad Greens (At this size the leaves are very tender so we like to eat them raw with a pungent dressing)
Garlic Scapes (The seed stalk and head harvested off young Garlic–delicious and only available once a year)
1 Bunch Your Choice Radishes
1 Bunch Green Onions
1 Bunch Swiss Chard
1 Bunch Collards
1 Bunch Mixed Variety Kale (Bunching kale can be eating raw, but we prefer to cook the larger leaves-de-stem if you wish)
1 Bag Spinach
1 Bunch of Your Choice Herb (Mint, Dill, OR Fennel Greens this week)

Here are some recipes to use the produce this week:

Beet Green and Kale salad with Fennel OR Dill Vinagrette

We blended these two greens together because it is one of our favorite combinations of flavors and textures.
Wash your beet/kale greens one more time (we wash everything once but always recommend you wash once more)
To make the vinaigrette:
Combine in a jar with lid (3 parts olive oil, one part spicy brown mustard, one part honey, chopped Fennel tops or Dill, chopped green onions, and salt and pepper to taste)
Unlike lettuce, with the heartier salad greens we like to dress them a little earlier to tenderize and moisten the leaves , so dress a few minutes before serving.

Grilled Garlic Scapes
4 garlic scapes, rinse
drizzle olive oil
course salt and pepper
Instructions: Toss the scapes in olive oil till lightly coated. Place on hot grill over high heat and sear several minutes, until soft and grill marks appear. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Garlic Scape Carbonara
Ingredients
1/2 lb mostaccioli pasta, or shape of your choosing
4 slices bacon (about 3 1/4 ounces), chopped
1/4 cup garlic scapes, minced
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Set a pot of water to boiling on the stove and cook the pasta.
While it’s cooking, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and add the garlic scapes. Cook until soft (2-3 minutes). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. (Drain both the bacon and the garlic scapes on a paper towel).
Whisk together the eggs, salt and red pepper flakes.
When the pasta is done, quickly remove it from the stove and set a different burner to low heat. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot, on the burner set to low. Stir in the garlic scapes and bacon. Add the egg mixture and stir feverishly for 3-4 minutes until sauce is thick and creamy. Don’t let it overcook or it will be gloppy. Sprinkle the Romano cheese in, a little at a time, and stir to combine. Don’t add it all at once or it won’t mix throughout the pasta as well (since it will clump).
Rainbow Chard Salad with Raisins and Walnuts (recipe courtesy the kitchn: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-rainbow-34166)
serves 4
About half a large bunch of rainbow chard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup walnuts
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
Wash the chard well and let dry. Fold the leaves in half and slice away the tough stalk. Discard or compost. Cut the leaves in half, lengthwise, then slice into fine ribbons. You should have about 4-6 cups of finely sliced chard.
Put the walnuts in a small, heavy frying pan over medium heat and toast for about five minutes, shaking to keep them from burning. Add the raisins to the pan right at the end just to warm them through.
Whisk the sugar, olive oil, wine, and orange juice together and taste. Adjust to taste and add salt and pepper.
Toss the raisins, hot walnuts, chard and dressing all together. Distribute among individual salad bowls and sprinkle Parmesan on top.

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.

Israeli Couscous with Chard
serves 2
1 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/4 cup Harvest Grain Blend or Israeli couscous
Drizzle olive oil
3 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon whole white cumin
1 dried red chili pepper (optional)
4 cups chopped chard (or other hearty green such as collards or kale)
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Heat the broth to boiling in a small saucepan. Stir in the grains and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 10-14 minutes. Remove the lid and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Sliver the garlic and cook it on low heat with the cumin and chili pepper until soft and fragrant. Don’t let it brown.
Add the chopped chard and turn the heat to medium. Saut’ for about 5 minutes, or until it is beginning to wilt. Add the cooked couscous and the 1/4 cup of broth. Cook for another five minutes, stirring, until the broth has cooked off and the chard is fully wilted.
Add salt to taste, and vinegar, and serve.

See you tonight! Got a good recipe you’d like to share? Let us know!

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