CSA Newsletter: Week 8 (July 9th, 2012)

Hello CSA members!

This week we hope to bring you broccoli OR cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, grilling onions, garlic, spicy salad mix OR kale, and basil OR squash blossoms. Large share members will receive all regular share items PLUS turnips, spinach, and double cucumbers. Fruit share members will get apricots AND cherries.

In This Week’s Newsletter:


Posted by: Maddie

Working the long and sometimes exhausting hours that we do on the farm, I feel like it is important to step back occasionally and appreciate people and things that make our lives easier. So, I thought I would share with you all a few things I am thankful for this week.

First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to two of the many people who have worked selflessly to make your experience as CSA members (and in turn, my job as CSA manager) better. Some of you may know Ru and Bob Wing, who help out with our missed shares on Tuesdays and Thursdays, among other things. Many of you may not know Ru and Bob, but I hope you all get the chance to meet them before the end of the season. Ru and Bob are two of the most kind, caring, and generally wonderful people I have met in my time at Red Wagon. Every week they volunteer their own time, energy, and porch space to ensure that those who can’t make it to their pick-up still have fresh veggies available the next day. And as if that wasn’t enough, they also put in the time to bring any left over veggies to EFAA (the Emergency Family Assistance Association) which provides food and shelter to families in need in our area. Their long-standing presence at Red Wagon has been truly appreciated by me and by countless others. Thank you Ru and Bob!

The second thing that I’m especially thankful for this week, as many of you are I’m sure, is the RAIN, glorious rain! Although the rain can sometimes make it difficult to get everything done on the farm, the benefits it provides to our crops (not to mention our over-heated farm crew) are welcome to say the least. The rumors of continuous wet weather are good news not only for Red Wagon but for the rest of our fire ridden state. Last week we enjoyed the short-lived afternoon showers out on the farm and I hope everyone reveled at least a little bit in the drenching downpours we were blessed with over the weekend. I know I did.

Have a great week and I’ll see everyone at pick-up!


Using What You Get

Posted by: Mo

We are getting into the time of year when it is too hot for salad greens. CSA members start asking, “When will we get lettuce again?” Probably not for a while. Lettuce gets bitter in the heat of summer and trust me, you don’t want it when it’s bitter. Blah. The good news is, you got cabbage last week and again this week. Your cabbage will store for a long, long time in a plastic bag in your fridge; at least a month. Much longer than lettuce.  You can cut off as much cabbage as you need and put it back in the bag for later. When I don’t have lettuce I like to use what is available and in season. Now I would use cabbage and cucumber for anything I would use with lettuce, like tossed salads or on sandwiches. This is one of the best parts of belonging to a CSA, going with the flow and improvising with your food.

Speaking of cucumbers. You will probably get a choice of slicing cucumbers or pickling cucumbers this week. If you haven’t tried eating a pickling cucumber, try them! They are delicious. We do grow them for people to pickle with, but we mostly grow them for eating raw. I love them sliced on sandwiches. Most of us at the farm prefer eating pickling cukes to the salad cukes. Try them and see what you think.

In the spirit of using what you get (or have from last week) I want to share a couple of dishes that can use any combination of vegetables you have on hand.
This is some of what I had left over from last week’s CSA share.

Vegetable Cake  (liberally adapted from several different recipes online)

  • 2 to 3 cups chopped vegetables of any kind
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped herbs (I used rosemary and sage)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 handful basil, chopped
  •  1 1/2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat, but you can use gluten free or all purpose, any kind really. There are so many eggs in this that it is a forgiving recipe in regards to flour.)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 to 2 cups grated cheese (I used parmesan but any kind of cheese you have would work.)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste, depending on the cheese you use. (Some cheese is pretty salty, so be careful here.)
  • Butter or Pam spray, for greasing pan
  • Sesame seeds, for dusting baking pan

I sautéed my vegetables but you could cook yours however you like. They just need to be cooked and cool before you mix them into the cake batter.

Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch pan. I sprinkled sesame seeds in my greased pan for crunch and interest. You don’t have to do that, but it’s nice if you do.
Mix the wet ingredients and the dry separately, then mix them together like you would a quick bread or muffin batter. Then fold in the cooled vegetables and the cheese. Put the batter into the prepared pan. I like to put a few onions on top of the batter. Again, you don’t have to do that or you could put a different vegetable on top.

This is what it looks like when it is done. Try this with whatever you have on hand.

Green Soup

This is a recipe/formula that has been going around the blogs on the internet. I had never made it before but I have seen several blogs raving about it. Here is the original Basic Greeb Soup
The recipe calls for chard and spinach but you can substitute any vegetables you have on hand. Broccoli, zucchini, anything you have.
I had some leftover, kind of droopy, chard and kale in my fridge and I was trying to make room for my CSA this week so I decide to try this soup with them.
Look familiar?

The trick to making this soup is to really take your time cooking down the onions. They need to collapse like this. It takes about 30 minutes to get them to this point.

While the onions are cooking, cook the rice in the 3 cups of water.

Dump the chopped vegetables into the cooked rice and water. The recipe says to add 4 cups of stock with the vegetables.  I just added more water and didn’t use stock. It worked fine and tasted great.

I forgot to take a picture of the soup finished, doh. It looked pretty much like this: Anna Thomas Green Soup
I took this to a friend’s house for dinner last night and served it barely warm. It is a nice silky textured soup. I hope you try this with what you have on hand. This is one of those great base recipes to have in your repertoire. I’ll make it again with different vegetables and take a picture.

Kale Chips

Stop me if you have heard this one before.

  • 1 bunch of kale leaves, any kind of kale works. I used curly kale. Rinse, dry, and tear into bite-sized pieces, center ribs and stems removed.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 300°F. Toss kale with oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Give them lots of room or they will steam and not crisp up.

Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes for flat leaves and up to 30 minutes for wrinkled leaves. Just keep checking. I find that opening the oven a few times during cooking to release the steam really helps to dry the chips.

You can add a little sesame oil or truffle oil for added flavor with the olive oil, or sprinkle the chips with a little parmesan cheese or brewers yeast about 5 minutes before they are fully done.

Before and after.

These need to be fully dried and not soggy or chewy or they are really not tasty. They kind of shatter in your mouth when they are done right. Everyone loves  these, even kale haters. I hope you do too.

Until next week,


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3 Responses to CSA Newsletter: Week 8 (July 9th, 2012)

  1. Piebird says:

    who knew leftover veggies could be so pretty, the cake sounds like a great idea for a brunch.

  2. Sarah says:

    How long did it take to bake the vegetable cake?

    • moiscooking says:

      Sorry Sarah, I forgot to include the time. I baked it for about 30 minutes.
      Thanks for writing to clarify.

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