Pea Shoot and Green Garlic Pesto

I love Pesto!! I love Pesto made from almost anything green. Arugula,  Collards, Sorrel, and of course Basil.

This week I wanted some pesto and it is too early for basil and I ate my arugula so I found myself eyeing a bag of pea shoots in the vegetable bin and I also saw some green garlic lurking next to the pea shoots…that is about all I needed to make pesto; something green, garlic, and oil. If I have some nuts or seeds and hard cheese like Parmesan I use it, but it isn’t necessary.

This is what I had. Let’s make some pesto!

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Pea Shoot and Green Garlic Pesto

  • 1/3 of a cup of nuts or seeds. I had toasted walnuts
  • About 3 cups of pea shoots
  • Green garlic, I used about 1/3 cup
  • 1/3 olive oil. You might want a little more
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of hard cheese like Parmesan-optional
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor or blender, combine nuts, pea shoots, Parmesan and garlic. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add salt. With motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Blend until well-combined and it is the thickness you like.

Scrape the pesto into a bowl and use immediately, or store in a jar with a thick covering of olive oil and use within three days. You can also freeze in ice cube trays or zip-lock bags. This makes a little more than a cup.

This pea shoot pesto was very different than any pesto I have made, or had before. Usually I think of pesto as a sort of a ‘punch in the face’ from strong flavored herbs like basil, arugula and sorrel and the garlic in most pesto is usually very hot.

This pea shoot pesto is pleasantly mild and grassy in a good way and the green garlic is very mild, both were really nice with the olive oil I used. I could taste all the ingredients, I really liked that.

I made a grilled cheese and pesto sandwich and also some pesto deviled eggs. I like to use pesto as a condiment like mayonnaise or ketchup.

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Have a great week. I hope you are enjoying your CSA. Leave a comment or question if you have any.

It’s so great to see you all at pick-up, even if I can’t see your smile I can see your eyes and they speak volumes. We feel your support and gratitude and that means the world to us.

Be well.

Mo

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2020, Garlic, Peas, Recipes | 2 Comments

CSA Week 3

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 3 of our CSA:

Garlic scapes forming

REGULAR SHARE
CHOICE: Bok Choi OR Spinach
Bagged Greens Mix
Green Garlic
Pea Shoots
Radishes
Turnips

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Rhubarb
Extra Greens
Herb Choice

FRUIT SHARE
NONE

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Leave a comment

Ways To Make The Most Of Your CSA

Last week I suggested having a look around the recipe section on our website for ideas on managing your CSA. I hope you had a minute to do that. 

Here are a couple more ideas I hope you will find useful in keeping organized and not overwhelmed. 

Have a salad spinner (Wyatt’s says you need two!), a good cutting board, a couple really good knifes, a large stock pot and a big mixing bowl. I love my mandolin, it is very inexpensive and you can whip up a salad or a fancy sandwich in no time. I highly suggest getting one. 

The day before I pickup my CSA I like to clean out my refrigerator, especially all the vegetables and fruits. I chop up anything that will go bad in the very near future and make a salad or soup. That is what I was doing in the above picture. My CSA pickup is tomorrow so I snapped that picture and this one below after I tidied up my refrigerator.

The two green containers in the middle have a salad I made with last weeks bits and some greens I quickly steamed that I can add to eggs or make a yummy grilled cheese and greens sandwich. 

I’m steaming the greens here. It takes up a lot less room when you cook them down. 

CSA’s are all about using what you have. I am sure we have all learned in the past couple of months what pantry staples each of us rely heavily on. Here are some of mine, probably yours too. 

Citrus and vinegar brightens any dish up. Grains and legumes have been the backbone of so many meals pre, but more so post-covid. Canned tomatoes I can’t live without. Eggs make any vegetable or grain or pasta dish a meal and more satisfying.

And herbs; using herbs in the past couple months became something that anchored me. I can’t really explain it but a little parsley or chives on some eggs or a boring pasta dish brightened my day. I never want to be without some basic herb in my life. 

Now that you are ready for this weeks pickup have a look at this post to see how I wash, trim and store my share. 

Let me know in the comment section below if you have any questions or tips you might have using your CSA share. 

Have a great week. I’ll see you at pickup.

Mo

Posted in 2020, Farm, Recipes, Storage and Preparation | Leave a comment

CSA Week 2

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 2 of our CSA:

Radishes and Turnips

REGULAR SHARE
Pea Shoots
Bag of Leafy Greens
Herb Choice
CHOICE: Bok Choi OR Red Russian Kale
Green Garlic
Radishes
Turnips

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Rhubarb
TWO Bags of Leafy Greens
Two Herb Choices

FRUIT SHARE
NONE

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Leave a comment

Starting the Season in a COVID World

What a crazy start to the season it’s been! In early March when the pandemic started to heat up Wyatt and I didn’t even know if we’d have a farm this year. Would we be required to close down? It was time to do our first big spring planting, so we decided to put a lot of seeds in the ground and hope for the best!

On March 23rd, our governor declared that farms were essential businesses so we knew we had the choice to stay open. But what about the health risks? I did a lot of online research and decided that our workplace risk was relatively low since we are working outside and can reasonably maintain safe distances from each other. But restaurants had already been ordered to close and we sell a lot of produce to restaurants. Would we have enough income to operate with the loss of restaurant sales?

In a normal year we have about 400 CSA members. As of March 30th, we only had 320 members and we didn’t think this would be enough to keep us operating. So I put out the call to existing CSA members to help us spread the word. You sure came through! By April 23rd we had 600 members and Wyatt said he didn’t have enough crops planted to feed any more people, so we closed the CSA to new memberships and went to a waiting list. (We have 175 people on the waiting list! This says so many things about people and food these days!)

In the middle of all this, the temperature got down to 14 degrees on April 14th. Remember the night the buds on all of your trees died? So did a bunch of our sugar snap pea plants. All the things we plant in March (spinach, arugula, radishes, turnips, peas) can handle cold and snow. (Otherwise we wouldn’t plant them in March.) But 14 degrees is a bit much and a lot of our crops suffered some damage. And then it was cold and muddy for a handful of days so we couldn’t get out to plant anything else until it dried out a bit.

Me & Roxy on April 16th. No wonder the season is off to a slow start!

Your CSA shares are lighter this week than we usually try for. But I feel like we have accomplished a lot by having any food at all given the past two months. Wyatt, Javier, and the rest of the crew have been working so hard to plant and grow and harvest…and plant and grow and harvest…and…  There are so many seedlings in the ground here right now. We can’t wait to start harvesting them for you in a few weeks.

Thank you all so much for joining us for whatever unknowns this season brings. We’re grateful that we are able to look forward to feeding you in these uncertain times!

Amy

After I published this blog post I decided to go back and add this bit. I hate attention and prefer to remain incognito. But with so many new members I realized that I really do need to introduce myself (sigh). My husband, Wyatt, and I are the owners of Red Wagon Farm and we’ve been growing organic vegetables for our Boulder County community since 2004. Thanks for joining us!

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Leave a comment

Welcome 2020 CSA Members

Welcome to Red Wagon CSA Blog. We have so many new CSA members I think  I’m going to start at the beginning and introduce myself, and the recipe portion/blog I write here.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll try to point you to some posts that (hopefully) will be helpful to the new members (and remind returning members) how to successfully navigate our CSA. I’ll also make a few suggestions on stocking your pantry and talk a little about some kitchen gear that I find helpful in prepping and storing my CSA weekly share.

Let’s start.

Hi, I’m Mo. I’m a foodaholic.

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This is what I look like this year.

I think about food 24-7. I love to feed people. I have worked at Red Wagon over a decade. I’ve done almost every type of farm work over the years. I have aged out of field work and now just do CSA prep and distribution, and this blog.

I have written several dozen posts to (hopefully) give our members ideas and inspiration how to use the food we get each week. I try to use only our weekly share, with little else, other that a few pantry staples. When you have some time I hope you can take a minute and look around our recipe section and get excited about the year to come.

For example this week we got garlic scapes and sorrel. Some of you might not be familiar with those crops. Here is a post with some ideas, and here is another, oh hey look…another!

I have also written quite a few posts on how to store and prep our vegetables. Have a look around there too.

I am anticipating this year will bring some unique challenges we haven’t faced in previous years because of some shortages in stores and the fact that we, or most of us, are limiting our trips to the store and will be more dependent than in previous years to make every last bit of our CSA share count like our meals depend on it. Because it does. I get that and I hope I can help navigate this venture in a creative and useful way.

Until next week.

Mo.

PS if you have any suggestion or question please leave them in the comment section below.

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Leave a comment

CSA Week 1

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 1 of our CSA:

Arugula

Fresh leafy greens coming right up!

REGULAR SHARE
Bag of Leafy Greens
Hakurei Turnips
Radishes
Sorrel
Kale
Green Garlic

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Rhubarb
TWO Bags of Leafy Greens
Herb Bunch

FRUIT SHARE
NONE

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | 1 Comment

Farming in the time of Coronavirus

Just 12 days ago I was cross country skiing with my sister. She asked me “Do you think Mom is worried about getting sick?” I told her our mother hadn’t said anything to me, so she probably wasn’t too worried about it. That was our only mention of coronavirus in the 10+ hours we spent together that day. Now that feels like a lifetime ago.

So much has changed. We are all facing our own unique challenges, but I think it’s safe to say that all our lives are drastically different. Some of you are suddenly out of a job with no idea of when you might see a paycheck again. You could find yourself trying to do your full-time job from home while at the same time being asked to be responsible for your kids’ education–while keeping them from climbing the walls. Maybe you are living alone and facing an unknown period of isolation. Or you are a health care worker suddenly thrown into the fire. I can’t think of anybody who is living the same life they were even just a week ago.

I find myself with my own set of challenges. Wyatt and I are trying to figure out how to continue to feed our community while keeping our farm crew, our customers, and ourselves safe and healthy. And there’s the small challenge of keeping our farm financially afloat during all of this.

Kai checking the germinator

Kai is checking on seedlings in the germinator.

Many years ago, before I was farming, I worked in a lab. Not a medical lab—more of a chemistry lab. Doing lab work is all about cross-contamination. You can get false results if your sample is contaminated. Maybe you got part of one sample into another sample. Or you inadvertently contaminated your sample with something else in your lab. (There was one time when we were told not to breathe in the vicinity of the samples because the mercury in the fillings in our teeth could contaminate the samples.) I often think that this work was not good for me. I am already fastidious by nature and that work made me a bit overly concerned about cross-contamination and hygiene in general. I have to ask myself; does it really matter if I get every single molecule of soap off that pan when I’m washing it in my kitchen sink? (Relax, Amy!) Now I am very grateful for my lab experience. I see many of the areas we could all be exposed to the virus at our farm. And thinking about removing every single molecule when I am washing something seems a lot more relevant.

Some of the questions Wyatt and I are asking ourselves… How much food should we grow? How big should our farm crew be? How many CSA members can we expect to have this year? Should we grow any veggies for our restaurant customers? (Who, by the way, are all in a dire situation right now.) How can we be there for the chefs whenever the restaurants do reopen? How do we keep everyone on our farm safe? Are there any loan payments we can defer? What happens if Colorado orders us all to shelter in place? Are farms considered “essential businesses”? (I think so.) How different will the world look in just one more week? I’ve been working with our Boulder County Agricultural Extension Agent (Adrian!) to explore some of the logistics specific to our county and to Colorado. Adrian has been an invaluable resource in navigating the current situation for farms.

Katie watering

Katie is giving the onion starts a shower.

We’re busy planting and growing plenty here. There are peas, fava beans, garlic, and spinach already in the ground. And lots of things are sprouting in the greenhouse: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, chard, kale, and more than I can remember. Fortunately, a lot of our work is outside in the sunshine (and lots of naturally sanitizing UV radiation) so it makes it a bit easier than trying to keep people safe in an office. We’re doing our best to grow the right amount of food and have the right size farm crew. We’re also thinking ahead to our CSA pickups in May and how that will look. Right now, we’re thinking of pre-boxing shares or maybe having members do a drive-thru pickup. I am grateful that we have a handful of weeks to figure out the safest way to distribute food.

I take my responsibilities seriously—to provide safe food to my community and to provide a safe workplace for my employees. Wyatt and I are doing everything we can to fulfill our commitment.

Be safe.
Amy

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | 8 Comments

End of the Season

I just got back from working at our Wednesday evening CSA pickup with Kai, Lauren, and Kylie. By about 6:30 it was dark and there was swirling snow. We made it to the end of pickup without freezing, but it’s a reminder that the season really is changing. Every spring I think that surely we can push our CSA pickups until the last week of October or the beginning of November. And of course tonight I am very thankful that I didn’t convince myself to make that change! Farming is all about not having control over the weather, but I manage to forget that so often.

This is the 12th season of our CSA. And for you Tuv Ha’Aretz members, this is year 10! We still have a good number of members who have been with us that whole time. I really enjoy seeing all of you as our pickups come to an end.

I can’t say enough how grateful we are for all of our CSA members. You are the reason we are able to have a farm and I feel honored that you let us feed your families year after year. We hope to see you again in the spring!

Amy

Posted in 2019, Farm | 1 Comment

Wash Station

I took my camera to work yesterday. Working at a farm isn’t all field work. Processing the food for distribution and storage for later distribution is a big part of it too.

I wanted to try to show a little of what we do with the food after it comes in from the field.

Yesterday we had to fill one CSA pick up for about 70 people. We also had restaurant orders. We do restaurants on Tuesday and Friday. We have 5 CSA pick ups on 4 days, Monday-Thursday.

This is the wash station (WS) where we wash, bunch, bag, label, date, inventory and prep all the food we grow. All the food is harvested into either coolers or bins and brought to the WS in trucks from the fields.

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At the east side of the WS we line up coolers and bins for CSA that day. Everything in this line has been processed and inventoried and is ready to load into the truck for CSA distribution. This is early in the day, there will be lots more added.

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The west side is where we line up restaurant orders for that day. Every cooler is labeled for each restaurant. The boxes in back are restaurant orders too, they are squash and pumpkins.

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Some of today’s harvest coming in.

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All the root vegetables, beets, potatoes, carrots, parsnips get soaked to hydrate them and get most of the soil off.

Then they go into a barrel washer. Root vegetables go in one end, it is slightly angled and it slowly rolls the vegetables to the other end as it sprays and agitates them to get them clean.

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This is Meg with the leaf crops, she is soaking chard to hydrate and revive it.

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Kai is weighing the revived chard then she will bunch it for CSA, some of the chard will be bagged for restaurants.

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I sorted, sized and weighed these onions for restaurants.

Here is Savanna with some beets for restaurants.

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Some crops don’t get washed, they just get processed and inventoried until needed. This cauliflower came in from the field looking a little droopy and sad.

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I cut off the outer leaves and put them in lined bins to go into the cooler for later this week.

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So pretty now.

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All those coolers and bins need to be washed. Cody will rinse them then wash them with soap and water.

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Sometimes we stop and take pictures of snakes.

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We eat lunch.

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We laugh.

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We load the trucks.

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And we do it all over again tomorrow.

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Thank you all for a fantastic season. Thank you for supporting local organic food and  allowing us to do what we love.

Hope to see you all next year, a couple more pick ups this week then 2019 CSA season is a wrap.

With love and gratitude.

Mo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, Farm