Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

In Your Share

·         Jade (green beans) Royal Burgundy (Purple) and Carson (yellow beans)
·         Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
·         Kale
·         Eggplant
·         Kohlrabi
·         Broccoli
·         Savoy Cabbage
·         Green Peppers
·         Cucumbers
·         Celery??? and/or Basil 
This is what we had talked about putting in your share, but I wasn't there for quality control!

I didn't have one for today, but everything is great grilled!

What’s Happening on the Farm
Finally some much needed rain!  The first crop of green beans was beginning to stop flowering, but hopefully the rain will bring them back to life.  Everything has perked up a bit since Monday nite's rain.  Most of the broccoli has finished producing the main head but side shoots will continue to mature.  The first cauliflowers are ready to be harvested.  Tomato plants are absolutely loaded with green tomatoes, just waiting to turn red.  We are still waiting on the sweet corn as well.
The main greenhouse is being cleared out to get ready for the fall plantings of spinach, carrots and winter greens.  The pea beds are being cleaned out for some outdoor fall plan things of carrots, broccoli and lettuce.  All of the onions will be pulled out of the garden and put on racks to dry in a shed.  Garlic bulbs will also be dug and dried.  It's starting to feel like the end of summer already.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013

In Your Share
·         Jade (green beans) Royal Burgundy (Purple) and Carson (yellow beans)
·         Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
·         Kale
·         Carrots
·         Kohlrabi
·         Broccoli
·         Savoy Cabbage
·         Green and Yellow Zucchini
·         Cucumbers
·         Basil – you can use the broccoli recipe from last week, or this goes really well with zucchini

I like to cook cabbage on the grill – slice it and wrap it with tinfoil, butter/olive oil, sweet onion and whatever seasoning you like. 
Fried Cabbage –
6 c finely shredded cabbage                                                    ¼ tsp dry mustard
5 T lard, bacon drippings or olive oil                                   ½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt                                                                                           ½ c cream
1 ½ Tbsp. sugar                                                                            2-3 Tbsp. vinegar
Melt the fat and add cabbage.  Fry slowly for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  Mix other ingredients and add to cabbage.  Heat to boiling point and serve.

What’s Happening on the Farm
I know it wasn’t too long ago when we had hoped it would stop raining.  But now we are on the other end of the spectrum and the ground, vegetables and field crops could really use some rain.  And of course I would really prefer some cooler weather!  I have been picking beans under a huge umbrella.  Whatever works, right?  We have started watering some of the outdoor plants like the tomatoes.  The heirloom red and Romas are loaded with green tomatoes, but now the wait begins for them to ripen, and it seems like it always takes forever!!
The beans are in full production which is good for you, but there is no easy way to pick beans, than just to pick beans by hand.  Someone has to do it, and it always seems like it is the hottest part of the summer when the beans are in full production.  On the other hand, besides needing some rain, the sweet corn loves the heat and humidity.  We are hoping to have some ready by next week, but a little rain will help that along as well.
The peas are finished and have been mowed off.  The ground is ready to be tilled and plant some fall carrots and some spinach.  The onions are beginning to dry up.  Those are usually pulled from the ground before the beginning of August and put on screens to finish curing/drying to keep.  The Sweet Onions will not keep very long so you will see many in your boxes for awhile.  The garlic will be dug in the next few weeks and also cured for a bit.  Another job coming up is digging potatoes.  I don’t think it will be a bountiful harvest, but we’ll see.  I think I will wait until it cools off a bit.
Stay cool, do a little rain dance and Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10, 2013

In Your Share
·         Romaine Lettuce
·         Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions – have you tried these sauted with butter?  Great topping for steak!!
·         Savoy Cabbage

·         Carrots
·         Kohlrabi- eat raw in salads or with a dip, can be cooked (from the cabbage family)
·         Green Beans
·         Cucumber
·         Turnips- boil and mash these with your potatoes
The Rose tomatoes are growing nicely!
Roasted Cheddar Broccoli – apparently roasting broccoli is the new thing
Cut 1 large head broccoli into long spears.  Toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt.  Roast at 450 degrees F until almost tender, 15 minutes.  Toss ½ c. breadcrumbs (preferably panko) with 1 cup grated sharp cheddar, 1 bunch scallions (or sweet onions would work J), 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of nutmeg.  Sprinkle on the broccoli and roast 15 more minutes.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli - I had this one first, but I didn’t put any basil in your CSA box, so save for next week!
4-5 pounds broccoli                                                     4 garlic cloves
Olive oil                                                                              1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper                                                       2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp. lemon juice                                                      3 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese                                 2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks.  Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart.  You should have about 8 cups of florets.  Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.  Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 Tbsp.  olive oil.  Sprinkle them with the salt and pepper.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, until crisp tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan and basil.  Serve hot.

What’s Happening on the Farm
Some of the garden is weeded!
Things are starting to heat up… I hope you enjoy the first crop of fresh green beans!  We were amazed at how quickly they grew from last week.  The purple and yellow are a little bit farther behind and should have some by next week.  The tomatoes are not only setting tomatoes, but there are some good sized green ones.  However, these heirloom varieties seem to take forever to ripen, so be patient.  The yellow tomatoes were planted last and are lagging behind a little. 
The potatoes…well…I can hardly find the plants themselves and don’t think they ever flowered, but there are some about 2 inches or so, but it seemed like only one or two potatoes per plant which is not very good.  And the ground is hard as a rock.  I’m not too excited about digging these. 
Back to the positives, the sweet corn is tasseling so now it should put forth the effort of producing ears.  But for right now, the broccoli and cabbages are looking really great, so enjoy!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 3, 2013 Happy 4th of July!

In Your Share
·         Romaine Lettuce
·         Mesclun lettuce mix
·         Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
·         Savoy Cabbage
·         Carrots
·         Kohlrabi- eat raw in salads or with a dip, can be cooked (from the cabbage family)
·         Snow Peas (large, flat, edible pods)
·         Cucumber
·         Garlic Scapes (the tops of the garlic – use like fresh garlic)
·         Turnips- boil and mash these with your potatoes

Turnip Salad with Caraway-Mustard Dressing
I like turnips best in soups and stews, but since it is too warm for soup, I thought I would try a salad with turnips.
·         2 lbs turnips
·         3 T white wine vinegar
·         3 T lemon juice
·         2 tsp. crushed caraway seed
·         2 tsp. Dijon style mustard
·         1 ½ tsp. sugar
·         ¾ tsp. pepper
·         ½ tsp. salt
·         ½ c plus 2 T olive oil
Cut turnips into 1 ½ in. strips a quarter inch wide.  Drop strips into kettle of boiling salted water.  Return water to a boil and cook turnips for 2 min. Drain in colander and refresh them under running cold water.  Drain, pat them dry with paper towels, and transfer them to a salad bowl.
In a small bowl beat together vinegar, lemon juice, caraway seed, mustard, sugar, pepper, and salt.  Add olive oil in a stream, beating.  Toss turnips with the dressing and chill salad for at least 6 hours.

What’s Happening on the Farm
I was gone for a few weeks and it is amazing how everything has grown – and yes, even the weeds!    That’s job security, I guess.  I’m so excited to see the baby peppers and tomatoes on the plants.  Most of the tomatoes have been caged to help manage the jungle that they usually become.  This year I put all of the tomato rows on the outside of the garden to try to minimize the jungle effect.  The sweet corn is knee high by the 4th of July and seems to be growing well.  The beans are flowering as well, so those should be coming along soon.  The beans are usually ready to pick when it is 90+ degrees out, so be ready for that.    Also flowering and coming soon are the zucchini and eggplants.  I haven’t noticed whether the potatoes have flowered yet or not, but I was going to dig a couple of hills to see if the new potatoes are ready.  These were planted fairly late so it may be a bit longer.  The cooler weather (for July) and the low humidity will make the weeding much less of a chore, but I’m sure it will keep us busy for awhile.  It always seems to take forever waiting anxiously for that first ripe tomato from one’s own garden.  Nothing tastes more like an Iowa summer!