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Wednesday
Jul102013

Share 5: Greens and choices

Kohlrabi. In the lower left, you’ll see another kohlrabi for this week.  If you haven’t already tried the kohlrabi ham bake recipe from last week, try it!

Swiss chard. In the upper left, you’ll see more chard.  We served it with a veggie pasta this past week and also made a chard italian sausage frittata- yum!

Tuscan Kale. In the upper right is more tuscan kale.  This is the variety that is rarely in the grocery store.  It is perfect for kale chips and full of vitamins!

Lettuce mix.In the lower right is a baby lettuce mix.  Don’t think you need a recipe for this one!

Napa Cabbage. Front and center, you’ll see more napa cabbage.  This can store well in a bag in the fridge.  Why not try this recipe this week for a healthy side?

Herb choice. You’ll have your choice of herbs at pickup this week!

Mystery bonus! Finally, you’ll also have a choice of a bonus veggie this week.  A few of the later summer crops are just starting to be harvested and you can choose which of them you’d like to bring home!

 

 

Thursday
Jul042013

Share 4: Despite the rain...

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been rainy…very rainy!  There have been floods in the field, bugs looking to eat your share and seedlings that are trying to survive!  We’ve been working hard to bring you the best there is at the moment, and despite the weather, we have a pretty nice share for you this week.  So, here’s what’s in the box:

Napa Cabbage.  In the upper left, you’ll see a head of Napa (chinese) cabbage.  Here and here are a few ideas for using this part of your share this week. 

Asian greens mix.  In the upper right, is an asian greens mix which is a spicy mix that you can add to a stir fry (our favorite) or you can use in a spicy fresh salad. 

Kale.  In the middle of the picture, you’ll see curly leaf kale.  Check out this article about the benefits of this overlooked veggie, along with some recipes!  We like to use our kale in a fresh salad, as described here.   

Garlic scapes.  We hope you enjoyed the scapes from last week.  You have a few more and then that’s it!

Kohlrabi.  In the lower right, you’ll see an alien looking vegetable called kohlrabi!  This recipe is our favorite way to use kohlrabi but we also like to peel it and eat it fresh in a salad as well.

Radishes.  A few more radishes this week.  Luckily, we picked before the heaviest rains yesterday so they didn’t all split!

Basil mix.  On the lower left, you’ll see two varieties of basil - sweet basil and thai basil. Enjoy!

We don’t have predictions about what to expect in next week’s share.  I guess Mother Nature will let us know in her own time…

 

Wednesday
Jun262013

Share 3: The Great 'Scape

This week your share includes one of our favorite garden items - the scape. So, let’s go through what’s in the box this week.

-Bok choy.  Hidden in the upper left, you’ll see the head of bok choy. We are getting to the end of the bok choy, as it is an early season crop.  At this time in the season, we freeze some of the bok choy to use in soups this winter.  It’s easy - just blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, submerge in ice water to cool and then dry on a paper towel.  We freeze in vacuum seal bags. 

-Mix of lettuces.  Lettuce does better in cool weather than in hot weather but the lettuce is still producing and you will have a mix of varieties this week to sample.

Radishes.  In the front, you’ll see the small radish bunch.  You also have a mix of radish varieties, including some of those long french breakfast radishes. You can eat your radishes in a salad, or try radish sandwiches. Get yourself a loaf of fresh baguette bread (or bake your own). You will need some salt and some good unsalted butter (organic or grass fed is best).  We just love radish sandwiches as an appetizer!

Swiss chard.  The colorful leafy greens in the upper right of the picture are the swiss chard.  They are full of vitamins and are excellent sauteed, in soups, or also in frittatas.  Here is a link with some ideas for your swiss chard. 

Garlic scapes.  Garlic scapes are a unique favorite here on the farm.  You may not have heard of them before. These crazy curly looking things in the lower right are the “flower stalks and stems” off the garlic plant.  Until just a few years ago farms used to cut these off and send them to the compost pile - then someone figured out they are great tasting!  Use scapes for a distinctly garlic like addition to anything you might use a green onion in!    Here is one way we’ve used are scapes.  Here, here and here are some other ideas! 

Oregano.  Peaking off the right side of the box is your herb this week, oregano. Keep it fresh in a glass of water on the counter until you’re ready to use it.  Many people now realize that herbs are also an important part of your diet and fresh herbs can’t be beat. 

Here is an idea for using your swiss chard, bok choy, scapes and oregano this week - a frittata!  There are many ways to make a frittata but here’s the basic idea. 

Basic frittata recipe

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2-4 garlic scapes

chopped leafy greens (bok choy or chard)

salt and pepper to taste

6 farm fresh (non-factory) eggs

1/4 cup milk

3-4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

meat of choice - cooked or grilled (if you desire) - sausage is a great addition. 

 

Saute scapes, and stems of greens in oil until tender.  Add leafy greens to pay and cook until wilted.  Mix the rest of your of your ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour all ingredients into casserole dish.  Bake 30-45 minutes at 350 until knife in center comes out clean.

 

Tuesday
Jun182013

Share 2: The Walking Onions (and more)

Farmer Kelli can’t stop raving about how beautiful the share is this week!  It’s still been rainy for sure but the veggie patch has produced a share for the second week that is as pretty as it is delicious (and healthy).  So, here’s what’s in the box this week:

Bok choy.  On the right side of the picture, you’ll see a different variety of bok choy than last week called Joi Choi.  It is a larger variety of bok choy so you’ll have lots to work with.  Check out all the recipes in last week’s post.   Also, here and here are some basic info about bok choy and working with it in the kitchen.  And if you can’t enjoy it all this week, freeze it by blanching first and then freezing.  Have questions about freezing it? Let us know!  

Lettuces.  You have two varieties of lettuc this week: Grand Rapids at the top of the picture (same as last week) and Speckled lettuce in the bottom of the picture.  Speckled lettuce is an heirloom variety of lettuce that is delicate in texture and taste. It is so delicate, in fact, that you’d probably never find them in the store now.  It was just picked so you can have a chance to enjoy this variety of lettuce that has been around for centuries! 

Radishes. These are called french breakfast radishes and are also an heirloom variety.  Add to your salad or just have as a snack sprinkled with some salt.

Tuscan Kale.  On the left side of the picture, you’ll see the flat dark leaves of tuscan kale.  You don’t often find this type of kale at the store but it is what you need to make the popular kale chips.  You have to try making them this week.  Here’s a recipe - so simple! 

Onions.  You can tell your friends that you ate “walking” onions this week.  These onions shown on the left are a sampling of our Egyptian walking onions.  We keep them “walking” in our greenhouse year round - year after year. They are said to be truly sustainable onions because they keep reproducing themselves, with no need to replant or buy new seeds.  

Herb.  Your herb this week is lime basil.  Celebrate the start of summer by using this citrus-y herb to marinate some chicken or fish, or add to salsa for an extra kick or maybe add to a margarita (yeah, we are going to try this idea). 

Enjoy! 

 

Tuesday
Jun112013

Share 1: 2013 Chicken Thistle CSA Begins!

It’s that exciting time of year where all of the seeds that we planted have started becoming actual food!  We let Mother Nature decide when the shares will begin, rather than have a pre-determined date and it has worked well for us.  This year, we went from thinking we had another week or two, to being ready to go ASAP - that’s what a lot of rain and then a subsequent warm day will do! 

Each week, we share a blog post showing and describing what you’ll find in the weekly share.  Some new CSA members have asked how they can get prepared for the CSA season.  Probably the best way to prepare is to have some favorite recipe sites bookmarked.  wegmans.com, epicurious.com, allrecipes.com and food.com are some of the really good ones but we’ll help you out with some recipes that we recommend or plan to try.  You’ll also want a good veggie brush and some way to wash greens.  We use a salad spinner everyday in the summer!  Finally, you can also prepare by checking for the share post each Tuesday and planning ahead on how you’ll use that week’s share.

So, now to answer the question: What’s in this week’s share?

Bok Choy - The large deep green leaves on the left are bok choy.  Bok choy is excellent sauteed or in stir fries or in soups.  Use both the stems and the leaves.  We plan to make a pork, bok choy, rice and mushroom stir fry here on the farm this week.  Here and here are some ideas of what you might do.  This is just one variety of bok choy you’ll be receiving in the coming weeks so bookmark a few recipes that you’d like to try!

Lettuce - The bright leaves on the right are a Grand rapids variety of lettuce.  In addition to the great taste, it has a beautiful, bright color!  

Mint- You’ll see two varieties of mint in middle of this picture: spearmint and pineapple mint.  Our favorite way to cool down in the summer isn’t with a soda or juice.  We love cold mint tea.  There are so many ideas on what you can do with mint.  Check out this and this for inspiration.   You can store your mint in water on the counter until you’re ready to use it. 

Basil -There will be much more basil as the summer progresses so this small sampling is the first cutting on young plants.  Use this to spice up a pasta meal this week.  You can also store it in water on your windowsill and enjoy the smell until you’re ready to use it.