Hello CSA members!
This week we hope to bring you beets OR carrots, green kale OR scarlet turnips, cucumbers, zucchini, scallions, spicy salad mix OR mizuna, and basil OR squash blossoms. Large share members will also get beets AND carrots, broccoli, and arugula. Fruit share members will get apricots AND Rainier cherries.
In this week’s newsletter:
- On the Farm
- Calling All Foodies!
- A Day in the Life of a Zucchini
- Fried and Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
- Kale Salad
Posted by Maddie
I thought I’d start off this week by sharing a little bit of what’s been happening on the farm. As always, some crops are in full swing while others are just getting started. On Thursday night, we received restaurant orders for 400 squash blossoms. While we all know that the zucchini is booming right now, some of us were doubtful that there were 400 flowers out in the field.
After 20 or 30 minutes, we had reached our total with some blossoms still left on the plants. Squash blossoms were really fun to harvest. Each person collects a bouquet of 25 flowers before we bag them. Don’t they look gorgeous? They’re also super tasty, but more on that to come from Mo.
On Friday afternoon, Eva and I harvested the first of the cherry tomatoes. Lover of tomatoes that I am, I was the first to volunteer to help pick. When we arrived in the rows, it took the two of us about 20 minutes to collect everything that was ready. Needless to say, we won’t have enough to include tomatoes in CSA shares this week, but they will come soon and be around for quite a while.
Calling All Foodies!
Posted by Maddie
When I first started working at Red Wagon back in April, I was surprised to learn how many people got a job on the farm simply because they were really into cooking and eating fresh, yummy food. Of course, this was among my reasons as well. One of my favorite parts of working on the farm and talking with all of our CSA members is sharing ideas about how to cook and eat the food we grow. And I think this blog is one of the best ways to have the conversation.
So, I would like to put out a request for knowledge. We love to share our recipes and cooking tips with you, but we also know that many of you have been eating locally and in season for years and we want to hear from you. One way that you can share your food knowledge is to send me a link to your own blog. If you have a food blog where you write about your weekly CSA share or even the veggies you grow in your garden, don’t be shy! Let us in on it. Only if you’re comfortable sharing, of course.
You may have noticed that I have finally gotten around to adding a Resources page to the blog. I realize it’s pretty skimpy at the moment, having only added a few of my own suggestions. But this is another way that you can impart some of your food knowledge. Please send along a short email with some of your favorite food blogs, cookbooks, or any other resources you love and I’ll add them to our list.
Email any of the above to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to spread the word. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!
A Day in the Life of a Zucchini
Posted by Mo
At the Farm, every year some things work and some things don’t. You don’t always know why, it’s just the way it is. Last year the zucchini sort of puttered along. We had some, but it just got by. This year the plants are gorgeous and pumping out beautiful fruit. These are the plants in Bell field this morning.
When a farmer looks at a crop we want to see even growth. We don’t want to see anything ‘different’. No holes in the plantings, no short or tall plants. The above image shows just what we want to see. Good job Wyatt, Eva, Clay…everyone at Teller.
Look closer and see all the growth at different stages on just one plant.
Can you see the male and the female blossoms in the above picture?
The male blossoms don’t have fruit attached. The females do. We only harvest the male blossoms for zucchini blossoms. You will only get males.
Here is a female blossom getting pollenated by some very happy bees.
You can eat the blossoms raw in a salad or they are really nice in a quesadilla. Just put it in with the cheese and it will soften with the melted cheese. The blossoms have a sort of ‘condensed’ zucchini flavor, but very mild. The stem is very tasty, so make sure you include that in whatever you make. Some recipes say to discard the stem. Don’t do that.
I made some fried and stuffed blossoms. It really isn’t complicated and it is just delicious. First you will want to remove the stamen before you do anything with your blossoms. The stamens are a little bitter.
This is a male stamen. I just gently tear the blossom and remove the stamen.
You can stuff your blossoms with anything, grains, cheese of any kind, herbs, anything.
I had some goat cheese and basil. So I mixed that up. And stuffed my blossoms.
Get a couple bowls and put a beaten egg in one and some seasoned flour in the other.
Pull the flower around the cheese and dip the blossom in the egg then the flour. You don’t have to be that careful with these. They are really forgiving. Eva stopped by when I was making these and she can’t eat gluten and I just fried some with cheese and without cheese for her and they were really good. Anyway…
Fry the dipped, stuffed blossom in a hot pan with oil. Make sure you press the stem down in the pan so it cooks.
Turn it over and fry the other side and there you go.
Three or four of those with a salad and some bread and wine makes a great summer dinner.
The blossoms will keep in the refrigerator for several days so don’t feel like you have to make these right away. I kept last week’s blossoms for 6 days in the fridge before I used them and they were fine.
I love this salad. If you try it let us know how you like it. You could use any of the greens you get this week to make this salad. Mizuna, spicy salad mix, or kale.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of shoyu or soy sauce
- 1 bunch of kale (or any green), chopped with ribs removed
- ½ to ¾ cup unsweetened large-flaked coconut. If you use small flaked use less coconut
- Some crushed red pepper (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F
Dump the washed and chopped kale and coconut with the oils and the soy sauce (and crushed red peppers if using) into a bowl.
Make sure you mix the sauce all over the kale and coconut evenly.
Spread the contents of the bowl on a baking sheet and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes until the coconut starts to toast. You might need two baking sheets. Stir the kale once or twice while it’s cooking.
You can eat this as a side dish or I like to add some grains for a meal. I had some leftover jade rice. This is a great make-ahead dish and the leftovers are really good for lunches.
Have a great week.