CSA Newsletter: Week 17 (September 10th, 2012)

Hello CSA members!

This week we hope to bring you potatoes, onions, beans OR broccoli, red tomatoes OR seconds tomatoes, peppers, and arugula OR spicy salad mix. Large share members will also get cherry tomatoes, beets, and double potatoes. Fruit share members will be getting apples and pears.

In this week’s newsletter:


Approaching Fall

Posted by Maddie

Believe it or not, fall is beginning to poke its nosy little head up through the soil these days. On the farm, the return of cooler weather and the crops that come with it are giving me flashbacks of early spring. Megan and I spent a few cool, overcast hours on Friday harvesting arugula, spicy salad mix and easter egg radishes, all the while commenting on the twilight-zone feel of a day not steadily climbing into the 90s.

While a lot of our young crops this time of year are reminiscent of spring, we also have some true fall and winter crops coming on. Our winter radishes and rutabagas are working hard to expand their tiny little roots in the ground. If you attended our farm tour yesterday, you probably were able to get a little sneak-preview of these. Another up-and-comer that some folks saw on yesterday’s tour are the Brussels sprouts. More on those to come I’m sure, and I for one am super excited for the Brussels. The way they grow is like almost nothing else, and despite what your neighborhood 6-year-old will tell you, they taste incredible when prepared well.

All in all, there’s a lot to love about this time of year and I’m really looking forward to what fall will bring on the farm. True Vermonter that I am, I plan to start cooking all of my veggies with a splash (or a pint) of maple syrup here shortly. I’ll let you know what I come up with.


Dilly Beans

Posted by Maddie

I finally got around to doing some canning this weekend. For months I have been meaning to get my hands on some pickling cucumbers and dill, but it seems that the peak of our cucumber harvest was way back in July, while our dill crop has just peaked in the last week or two. The good news is, our newest planting of green beans is timed just about perfectly for making the best snack ever: dilly beans! If you are a fan of pickled things, I highly recommend these. They are quick to make (if you don’t count the 6 weeks or so that they sit untouched in their jars) and super tasty.

Here is the recipe I used, which is adapted from Sandor Katz’ book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods.

You will need:

  • Sealable canning jars (I used pint jars)
  • A pot big enough to cover your jars with water
  • String beans
  • Garlic
  • Salt (I used coarse Kosher salt)
  • Whole dried chili peppers
  • Celery seed
  • Fresh dill (flowering tops if available)
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Water

Start by boiling your jars and lids for 5 minutes or so to sterilize them. While your jars are boiling, prep your green beans by chopping off just the very tips. Peel as many cloves of garlic as the number of jars you’re making.

For each jar, combine 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. While your vinegar and water mixture is heating up, place the following in the bottom of each jar: 1 garlic glove, 1 teaspoon of salt, one whole dried chili pepper, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, and one flowering dill top (or a small bunch of dill leaves). Pack your jars full with green beans. (Note: I made one jar with the chili pepper and one without. Since I’ve never made these before I wanted to test the spice level this time.)

When your vinegar/water mixture has boiled, fill each jar, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Seal up your jars and process them in a boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes. When they are done, your jars could take anywhere from 1 second to 30 minutes to seal. (You’ll know they are sealed when you press down on the middle and it doesn’t spring back at all.)

Give these about 6 weeks before opening for the flavors to meld…if you can stand to wait that long.


Arugula Pesto

Posted by Mo

It was great to see so many people at the Farm Tour yesterday. I love hearing how much people love the food they are getting and what they are doing with their vegetables and fruit. I don’t remember how the topic of arugula pesto came up but it did, so I said I would blog that to show how I make mine.
You can use spicy salad mix or spinach, or beet greens or anything leafy. I my favorite pesto is made from arugula. I like it better than basil. Anyway, let’s start here. Bag-o-arugula.

_____________________________________________________________

If I have been asked once I have been asked 100 times.
“Do I have to wash it?”
“Yes.”
“It looks wet, didn’t you wash it at the farm?”
“No, we put our greens in a tub of water to wash some dirt off and the odd bug, and to hydrate it so it keeps for you well. We don’t wash it. You need to wash it. Trust me, wash it.”
This is the water left in my salad spinner after I washed my arugula.

Not a great picture, but you can see dirt and weird stuff. Not too bad this time, but I still don’t want any dirt or the odd bug in my food. I’m glad every time I see what is washed off my greens that I took the time to wash it.

Ok, on to the pesto. Grab any kind of nuts you like. Pine nuts are most common in pesto, but they are crazy expensive now so feel free to use any kind of nut you like. Cashew pieces were what I had. Any nut is better roasted in my opinion, so I roasted my cashew pieces before making my pesto. You can skip that step if you like. Get your washed and dried greens, about 1/3 of a cup of any kind of nuts you like and some olive oil and a few cloves of garlic.

Chuck the garlic and nuts in the food processor and give them a spin. Stick your face in and smell that, roasted cashews and garlic. Yum.

Add exactly three glugs of olive oil and start adding your greens a few handfuls at a time.

Do that until you have all the greens mixed in and add more olive oil if you feel it is too dry. Mine didn’t need more. When the greens are all incorporated, salt and pepper to your liking.

I like to have some pesto in the freezer to have on hand in the winter. I have heard some people put the pesto in ice cube trays and put the cubes in a Ziploc bag and just grab a cube when they need it. You can do that.  I like to put the whole batch in a large Ziploc and just break off what I need. This went into the freezer.


Hassleback Potatoes

Posted by Mo

Two years ago we had total crop failure of potatoes. We had zero potatoes out of something like 2 acres planted. Last year’s potatoes were OK. Sort of like our tomatoes are this year; some were OK and some were diseased.

Wyatt sure made up for it this year. The potatoes this year are plentiful, beautiful, and so, so delicious. Fresh potatoes are so creamy and good.

This is one of my favorite ways to make potatoes. By cutting them you get more roasted crunchiness to contrast the creamy inside of the potato.

Set your oven to 400F.  Make even cuts in your potatoes (don’t cut all the way through) and place them on an oven proof pan. Brush the potatoes with olive oil. Carefully brush oil inside the cuts you made and salt and pepper them. The potatoes will fan out and all the surface areas will crisp up so you want to get oil on all the surfaces.

Roast them about 35 to 45 minutes, depending how big your potatoes are. Just keep an eye on them. When they are done to your liking you can eat them as is or add some cheese or herbs. I added a little cheese and some rosemary and let that melt down and inside the cuts.

Oh my goodness are these easy to make and so good.

I hope you are enjoying your CSA share this week. I sure did. If you have any questions or comments you can leave them here on the blog or email me at mo@redwagonorganicfarm.com.

Until next week.

-Mo

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5 Responses to CSA Newsletter: Week 17 (September 10th, 2012)

  1. Eve Ilsen says:

    Yum!
    Eve

  2. you’re too funny, exactly 3 glugs of olive oil! melted butter is good on the hasslebacks too (I wonder where that name came from?)

  3. passthebudder says:

    Maddie, You do such a great job with the newsletter/blog thingy:the descriptions, photos and the little nastalgic vignettes about farm-stuff…serious props, babe.serious props. sally

    • redwagoncsa says:

      Thanks Sally! Let me know if you ever want to contribute anything. You could have your own weekly column, like “From the eye of the 63rd St. Overlord” or something like that…

  4. moiscooking says:

    ‘passthebudder’ lol

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