CSA Week 2

Hello CSA Members!

First week of CSA was a success! We’re so excited to see you all for week two. This week we’re featuring more of our spring greens.

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

REGULAR SHARE

Hakurei Turnips

Herb Bunch
Asparagus
Turnips OR Walking Onions
Radishes
Bok Choi
Lettuce OR Arugula OR Spinach
Green Curly Kale OR Red Russian Kale

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
DOUBLE Asparagus
CHOOSE TWO: Lettuce OR Arugula OR Spinach
Green Garlic

FRUIT SHARE
None

 

Posted in 2022, Farm, Newsletter | 1 Comment

Welcome to the 2022 Red Wagon CSA from Amy

We are so happy to welcome all of you to our 2022 CSA! We have lots of returning members, some brand new members, and some members who go way back with us. These folks started with Red Wagon way back in 2007 when Wyatt and I still had a farm stand at 95th & Arapahoe in Lafayette. We closed that down in 2012 a moved everything to Boulder and Longmont. Now 10 years later we’re back in Lafayette at Thomas Open Space farm and I love the fact that some of our original members are moving back to Lafayette with us!

It feels like the last few seasons have been very challenging at the farm (and for everybody in general!) But first some good news…we were all biting our nails over the weekend while waiting to see what damage the snowstorm would bring. Even though we got a few inches of snow, almost everything survived and most crops only suffered mild damage.

Damaged cucumbers

The cucumbers look sort of ugly after being snowed on, but hopefully they’ll grow through it!

Dead potato leaves

A few of the leaves on the potato plants died.

 

Zucchini in caterpillar tunnelsWe have come to love our caterpillar tunnels more and more. These are temporary structures that protect our crops from bad weather and keep it really toasty inside to let us have some crops ready earlier in the season. In this photo Wyatt is checking on the zucchini plants in one of the tunnels. Look how huge the plants are! We should have zucchini ready for you in a few weeks.

We’ve been anxious about irrigation water for a while now. The snow pack looked good this winter but then we had one of the driest Aprils on record. Fortunately we have irrigation ponds at two of our locations so we were able to do some irrigation out of them. But Wyatt had to pump the water almost down to the level where our pumps could not pull anymore water out of the ponds. Fortunately, we do have irrigation water at Thomas Open Space farm in Lafayette so we planted a lot more there this spring than we had originally planned to. Our irrigation ditches have finally turned on and the moisture we received over the weekend will help. But the parched ground soaked up a lot of the water and all the reservoirs still need to fill. Hopefully we’ll continue to get some rain. (But no more snow please!)

We’re still desperately short staffed. I thought that surely things would be better than 2021…but not so far. Fortunately the small crew we have this year is fantastic and we’re getting a lot done even with so few people. I’m glad some of you got to meet them when you came out to our farm earlier in May.

Thank you all so much for trusting us to feed you this summer! We’re looking forward to seeing you every week.

With gratitude,
Amy

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Hello 2022 Red Wagon CSA!

Welcome returning and new CSA members.

I’m Mo McKenna. I’ve been working at Red Wagon for over a decade in some capacity or another. Mostly now you will see me here, writing the recipe farm blog. I’ll also be at the CSA pickups at the Farm and at the new CSA pickup in Lafayette. I’m really looking forward to our new venue and seeing new faces!

Whether you are a new or returning CSA member sometimes getting a CSA share can be a little overwhelming. I thought I would share a few things I like to do before the first pickup of the season.

  • Clean out your refrigerator. You need room for all the new vegetables, if you can see them you will use them. If they are buried them will probably languish and die :-(

I try to do this before every pickup, I try. I at least like to clear out my vegetable bins to make room for my new vegetables and to remind myself what  I have and need to use up. Lots of room now!

  • Review how to best wash and store the different CSA crops you will be getting. You can start here and here too.
  • Have a plan for your food tops, peels and scraps. Will you compost? Make vegetable stock? Give it to your chickens?
  • Have a plan for bringing your CSA haul home. Will you use bags or a basket? Gather what  you like to use; plastic, paper or cloth. I have a basket with different bags to put my vegetables in right away when I pick them up. Lettuce and chard and kale don’t wilt if I put them in plastic right away and onions don’t get everything messy if bag them when I pick them up.

A couple other tips I are;

  • If you are unfamiliar with a item we offer, take it and try it even if it sounds weird! That’s what CSA’s are all about! Branching out! Ask people at the pickup what to do with something you haven’t tried before or look here for recipe ideas. There is almost certainly a post on every crop we grow.
  • Plan a simple dinner for your CSA pickup evening. Early in the week Kai will always post a blog here to help you plan with what we are hoping to harvest for the week for you. You can always make a simple pasta or grain dish or maybe just make some toast and sauté some the vegetables you just picked up and put an egg on it!

  • Final tip; get a salad spinner if you don’t already have one.

I am so looking forward to this new season. See you at pickup.

Mo

Posted in 2022, Farm, Newsletter | 2 Comments

CSA Week 1

Hello CSA Members!

We’re so excited to see you all again! We’ve been working hard for the last few months to get ready for the season and proud to present our first share of the spring.

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

REGULAR SHARE

recipes_arugula

Herb Bunch
Asparagus (from our friends at Kiowa Valley Organics)
Hakurei Turnips
Radishes
Green Garlic
Arugula

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
DOUBLE Asparagus
Walking Onion
Kale

FRUIT SHARE
None

 

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Thanks for a Great Winter CSA Season!

I love our Winter CSA so much! I look forward to our pickups every week! It’s not the same crazy hectic pace as we have at the farm during the summer so I get to actually be at every pickup and have time to talk to all of you. It’s nice to get to know you a bit better and also give you the opportunity to ask us questions. I know that more than one of you has gotten an explanation of how our entire farm works from Wyatt–all in under 5 minutes! And we really feel the love during the winter! It’s hard to get great vegetables this time of year and it’s so gratifying to hear how much you look forward to them each week–especially the greens.

Kai, Jenny, and Mackenzie have done a great job of harvesting and packing everything for you each week. There aren’t many jobs where you stand outside in your winter coveralls in  freezing temperatures bunching chard and kale all day! They also did a great job of helping Wyatt get everything planted in the caterpillar tunnels and greenhouse last fall so that we would have fresh greens all the way through January.

Thank you so much for being a part of this and brightening my Thursday each week! It feels like a huge accomplishment to have vegetables for you this far into the winter. Wyatt is already ordering seeds and we’re planning what to have for your first shares in May. See you then!

~Amy

Posted in 2022, Farm, Newsletter | 3 Comments

Roasted Carmen Peppers and Romesco Sauce

This week everyone is getting roasted red Carmen peppers. We roasted and froze them this summer when we had tons and what a treat it will be to have a little bit of summer in our last CSA share.

Carmen peppers are a really thick walled sweet red pepper. To prepare them from this frozen state just let the peppers thaw overnight in the refrigerator or leave them on your counter for an hour or two. Then rinse them under the faucet to get rid of the seeds and skin. They will look like this after you defrost and clean them.

The possibilities are endless with what you can do with these. I love them added to grilled cheese or any pasta dish, add them to egg or tuna salad, top a pizza with them, any rice or grain bowl would be so delicious with roasted peppers. I really like to make Romesco sauce. Like roasted Carmen peppers, this sauce makes just about anything more delicious.

The ingredients are almost exactly the same for making pesto if you swap the peppers for basil. Nuts, oil, garlic (hard to see but there) and acid (vinegar, I ended up adding lemon too) same as pesto. Anything dish you like with pesto I think you will like with Romesco sauce.

This couldn’t be any simpler to make. The hardest part is cleaning the blender or food processor, depending which you use. Oh, I usually use tomatoes or sundried tomatoes. I didn’t have any so I left them out. I didn’t miss them. I liked the texture better I think without.

Romesco Sauce

  • 1 pound of roasted red peppers seeded and peeled
  • ½ cup raw or roasted almonds or any nut
  • 2 medium-to-large cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tomato or 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1/2 the juice of a lemon. I added this after I tasted it. Taste yours and see if you want a little more zip

Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until you are happy with the texture. I made it smooth this time. Sometimes I like it a little chunky so I can taste the almonds. Both ways are nice.

I was at a Farm to Table dinner one time (exactly one time) and the vegetarian meal was roasted vegetables served with Romesco sauce. It was delightful. It was made with summer vegetables but winter vegetables make just as lovely a dish I think.

Well CSA Fam. This is it. Our longest winter CSA will be in the books this Thursday. We can’t say enough how much we appreciate your support and loyalty.

Virtual hugs to all of you. Be well, hopefully we’ll see you back here in May.

Mo

 

 

 

Posted in 2022, Peppers Roasted, Recipes | Comments Off on Roasted Carmen Peppers and Romesco Sauce

Winter CSA Week 13

Hello CSA Members!

We’ve made it to the end of our longest winter season yet! Thank you all for going on this journey with us, we appreciate your support!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 13 of our Winter CSA:

REGULAR SHARE

Swiss Chard

Rainbow Chard

Carrots
Roasted Chiles
Potatoes
CHOICE: Beets OR Celeriac
CHOICE: Onion OR Winter Radish OR Chile de Arbol OR Parsley
CHOICE: Chard OR Choi
Salad Greens
OPTIONAL Green Cabbage

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
None for the Winter Season

FRUIT SHARE
None for the Winter Season

 

Posted in 2022, Farm, Newsletter | Comments Off on Winter CSA Week 13

Garlic Fried Rice

This is for all you garlic lovers out there. Garlic is the star here. The oil used for ‘frying’ the rice is infused by roasting garlic in the oil first, then removing it and using the infused oil to ‘perfume’ the rest of the ingredients.

This is so good with shrimp or fish but really it will compliment any roasted vegetable or protein. Or just eat it alone.

I wrote down measurements but you can adjust the amounts to your needs.

I had-

  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup neutral tasting oil – you want to coat the bottom of the pan you are using so the garlic ‘floats’. It will burn if you don’t use enough oil and you want to coat the rice with the yummy oil.
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 – 4 cups chilled cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal (optional)
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat and add the garlic slices in one layer.

Let them gently sizzle until they are brown, don’t let them burn. Fish them out with a slotted spoon as they brown onto a plate. See my plate to the right of the pan with the browned garlic?

When they are all brown and removed from the pan (leave all the oil) add the chopped ginger.

And the beaten egg, rice, scallions and sesame oil if using.

Carefully mix it all up make sure the oil has coated everything. Now smoosh it into the pan to so the bottom can crisp up a little and turn it over once or twice to brown it all.

When you are happy with the crispness add a few of the roasted garlic slices back and taste for salt or if you want more garlic. I used about 1/2 the garlic. I’ll save the rest for another dish.

I added some hot sauce in the above picture. MMmmm, mmmmm.

I hope you try this simple dish.

Have a great week.

Mo

Posted in 2022, Garlic, Recipes | Comments Off on Garlic Fried Rice

Winter CSA Week 12

Hello CSA Members!

The snow still hasn’t melted. It’s definitely feeling like winter now, so we are grateful to be harvesting in the greenhouse! Down to the last two pick ups now if you have a weekly share, and the last share if you’re biweekly A.

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 11 of our Winter CSA:

REGULAR SHARE

recipes_rutabaga

Carrots
Roasted Anaheim Chiles
CHOICE: Potatoes OR Turnips
CHOICE: Beets OR Rutabaga OR Celeriac
CHOICE: Onion OR Radish OR Parsley OR Chile de Arbol
CHOICE: Kale OR Chard
Bok Choi
Garlic

(Optional cabbage for those that want it!)

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
None for the Winter Season

FRUIT SHARE
None for the Winter Season

 

Posted in 2022, Farm, Newsletter | Comments Off on Winter CSA Week 12

Butternut Squash Sauce

I am becoming a big fan of using more plant based only food in cooking.  I still eat dairy and some meat but I really like using only plant based foods in my cooking. I love the way plant based cooks have embraced using plants and nuts and seeds to add thick lusciousness to dishes without using cream or cheese. I’m trying to learn how to incorporate more of that into my daily cooking.

I made some tortellini and Brussels sprouts and this butternut squash sauce. It looks pretty decadent doesn’t it?

Cashews and butternut squash make this sauce really creamy and satisfying but not heavy. The only time consuming part of this recipe is to soak some cashews and roast some squash.

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 4-6 hours or as long as overnight
  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice start with 1 and taste if you need more
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • hot sauce, to taste

Put everything in a blender and give it a spin for about 2-3 minutes.

Now taste it and see if it needs more lemon or salt or if you want, hot sauce. Add that now and taste again. Some butternut squash are sweeter than others. The lemon and hot sauce tone the sweetness down as does the nutritional yeast. Taste taste taste.

This is great with pasta or roasted vegetables.

I like to make a puddle of sauce on a plate and put my food around it so I can run my food through the sauce. I feel it’s not as gloppy as putting the sauce directly on the food, it’s more appetizing (to me at least).

If you haven’t tried plant based recipes I hope you try this one, or this is one I really like too.

Mo

 

 

Posted in 2022, Recipes, Winter Squash | Comments Off on Butternut Squash Sauce