Zucchini Butter

Zucchini butter is spreadable rich, deeply flavored paste that you can put on toast or make into one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches you have ever had. You can top a pizza, or dip crackers or vegetables into this. You can mix it in, or top  any pasta dish with this too. The colors stays this vibrant green after cooking and storing.

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It only takes about 35 or 40 minutes to make and it will last 2 weeks in the refrigerator or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

You just need a few ingredients.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (I have seen some recipes call for only butter. I used butter and olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves grated (I grated mine with the zucchini)
  • 2 large zucchini=about 2 pounds, grated with a box grater or a food processor
  • any fresh herbs you like or have at hand. You can use dried herbs if you don’t have any fresh. I used fresh thyme and oregono
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter and melt. Grate the zucchini and garlic and add those to the melted butter and oil

IMG_0704IMG_0706Cook for 15-20 minutes, the zucchini will start to lose it’s water and sort of look melted. Add any herbs you are  using now. See all the water cooking out?

IMG_0713Reduce the heat and continue to cook, stirring often. Go slow so you don’t burn it. Be patient. You want the zucchini to be a spreadable consistency and not have any water visible in the pan. This is about 1/2 way there. There is still more moisture that needs to be cooked out…be patient….

IMG_0716It took about 30-35 minutes for this batch to get to the right consistency. Like I said, be patient. When I move it around the pan there is no water and no steam coming off the pan when it is done.

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Store any uneaten zucchini butter in a jar in the refrigerator or freeze it to enjoy when there isn’t any zucchini this winter.

Have a great week.

Mo

Posted in 2017, Recipes, Zucchini | Leave a comment

CSA Week 18

Here is our tentative list of what we **hope** to bring you this coming week of CSA.

Regular Share
CHOICE: Cucumbers OR Eggplant
Roasted Peppers (Anaheims or Sweet Carmens)
Pepper Mix
Red Tomatoes
CHOICE: Onions OR Garlic
Spaghetti Squash
CHOICE: Brussels Sprouts OR Potatoes
CHOICE: Zucchini OR Carrots OR Baby Red Russian Kale

Large Share Additions
Brussels Sprouts AND Potatoes
Baby Red Russian Kale

Posted in 2017, Farm, Newsletter | Leave a comment

CSA Farm Tour Photos 9-9-2017

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We had a great time yesterday seeing so many of our CSA members at the Farm. Here are a few photos of the day.

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Have a great week.

Mo

Posted in 2017, Farm | 1 Comment

CSA Week 17

Here is our tentative list of what we **hope** to bring you this coming week of CSA.

Regular Share
CHOICE: Basil bunches OR Parsley
Cucumbers
Zucchini
Eggplant (Italian or Japanese)
CHOICE: Onions OR Garlic
CHOICE: Beans OR Bell Peppers
Red Tomatoes
Roasted Chilis

 

Large Share Additions
Beans and Bell Peppers
Two Other Items

Posted in 2017, Farm, Newsletter | Leave a comment

Roasted Green Chili and Vegetable Casserole.

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I posted a recipe for a chili relleno casserole last year. This is very similar but I added some more vegetables, a little more milk and an other egg and much less cheese.

I also added some crushed tortilla chips to the bottom of the casserole this time. I did that because somewhere in the back of my head I remember my mom putting crushed saltine crackers on the bottom of some casseroles, so I thought; why not tortilla chips? You know what? It was a really tasty addition. I think I will put crushed chips on the top next time too.

I started layering the prepared ingredients; first crushed tortilla chips, then the roasted chilies, a little cheese, then cooked eggplant.

I kept layering all the ingredients I had; more chilies, cheese, corn, and the egg-milk herb mixture.

I baked it and it came out looking like this.

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We ate it with some tomato sauce and really enjoyed all the fresh vegetables. It was a nice filling, not heavy meal.

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I want to make it with some zucchini next time. Really anything we get in the CSA share would work. Here is the recipe.

Roasted Green Chili and Vegetable Casserole

  • crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 pound Roasted, Peeled, And Seeded Green Chiles and other cooked seasonal vegetables.
  • 1-1/2 cup  Cheese, any kind you like, grated
  • 5  Eggs
  • 2 cups  Milk
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • a handful of chopped herbs if you have them.
Preheat oven to 375degrees.
Mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne and herbs.
Cut chilies in half and add a single layer of chilies on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Layer chilies with all the other ingredients.
Pour egg mixture all over the top.
Place into a larger baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until no longer jiggly.

Besides using more crushed chips on top I think I will chop up all the ingredients and mix them together and not layer them. I’ll let you know how it turns out if I do that.
Have a great week.
Mo

 

Posted in 2017, Farm, Newsletter, Peppers, Recipes | Leave a comment

Water-mule cocktail, and Corn Tomato Salad.

Happy Labor Day. I wanted to share a couple things I made this weekend with the CSA bounty we got last week.

My favorite thing to do with watermelons is to juice them and make cocktails. Last year I posted a watermelon margarita recipe. This year Moscow Mules are all the rage so yesterday we had Water-mules.

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I extracted the juice the same way I did when making the watermelon margarita and used the below proportions and directions for the drink;

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup watermelon juice/pulp
  • 1 1/2 Ounces vodka
  • squeeze of lime
  • 4 Ounces ginger beer
  • watermelon wedge and mint leaves (for garnish)
  • ice cubes

Directions

Place the above in a (preferably a copper mug) glass, mix and enjoy

 

I also made a nice tomato and corn salad.

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I had everything except the basil and parsley from my CSA share, and I had the basil and parsley in my garden.

I cut up two tomatoes and a few cherry tomatoes I had lurking on the counter, a red onion, and an ear of corn. That is raw corn. I just cut it off the cob and added handful of basil and parsley.

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I dressed that with some red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper and tossed it. There was so much juice from the tomatoes after I tossed it I thought; I need something to soak that up with. So I threw some croutons in the bottom of the serving bowl I was going to use and dumped the tossed vegetables on top of them. When you scooped up the salad the soaked croutons were an unexpected bonus!

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And that was it. I think this could have been really good with some cheese on it, but we were having pizza so I opted out of any more cheese with the meal. You might want to add some mozzarella or feta though.

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What’s not to love there?

The croutons were leftover from a tomato and bread salad  I posted on last year. I made this night before. One of my favorite salads.

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Yum and yay for fresh tomatoes!

Have a great week.

Mo

 

 

Posted in 2017, Corn, Farm, Melon, Newsletter, Recipes, Salads, Tomatoes | Leave a comment

Late Summer CSA Update

Dear CSA Members,

We are 2/3 of the way through the Red Wagon CSA season.  Thank you so much for being part of our CSA!  It has been a good growing season and it is finally tomato time.  We try to get everything ready to plant right before the last spring frost date.  We then plant as much as we can as quickly as we can so that we can get crops as early as possible.  This way we have more variety in the CSA earlier and the crops can fully mature before the fall frost.  Every year we have to make a choice on which crop to plant first after what should be the last spring frost.  This spring on May 15 the weather forecast was for no more frost and I decided to start with planting tomatoes.  Shortly after the 3,000 tomato plants were planted the forecast changed to probable snow and cold.  We row covered our plants but it snowed on them.  Many tomato plants died and then after the storm we transplanted some leftover plants out to replace the dead plants.  The snow set the tomatoes back quite a bit and they are a little later this season than last season.  I am amazed that any plants survived the cold and coat of snow.  It could have been the snow or just a cooler summer but we only have half as many tomatoes per plant as we had last season.  Don’t worry we still have almost too many.

The planning of when to plant what is challenging and then accomplishing getting everything planted is another challenge with weather not cooperating and other issues such as broken equipment.  We normally try to plant a little bit every week so that we can get each planting weeded before the weeds get too large and become more expensive and difficult to control.  In the spring after the last frost we have a tremendous amount to plant in a short time.  We have to wait until after the last frost to plant all the summer crops that cannot take a freeze.  This includes beans, melons, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, pumpkins, eggplant and basil.  This is about 10 acres needing to be planted in 10 days.

The fall crops are looking good.  We have a great winter squash crop and should give you one squash each week for the last 6 weeks of CSA.  We usually start with a spaghetti squash which I usually eat the first one of the season like spaghetti with a fresh tomato sauce made from barely heated fresh tomatoes.  The winter squash are a storage food.  I stored a spaghetti squash for a year and 5 days once before eating it just to see how long it would store.  Don’t worry if you are not eating each squash each week–they will reliably store well into the new year so put them in a cool dark-ish place and eat them after CSA is over.  They can also be baked and the pulp frozen for later use.

The fall planting of greens like arugula will be back soon.  We have a good crop of Brussels Sprouts this year.  The parsnips are looking incredible with thigh high greens and roots already over a foot long.  Parsnips can be difficult to germinate and need to be kept damp for about 2 weeks in April to get them to emerge. This year the germination was good.  We did not plant a fall cauliflower crop at the right time.  I planted a little earlier to make sure that they would be ready before CSA ended and they are ripening now about a month before I wanted.  Two weeks difference in planting can change harvest dates by over a month sometimes.  We keep getting better at dates and varieties but are constantly learning to be better.

We have a great crew this season and they have really worked to grow you some incredible food.  The crew has consisted of 12 people who have worked to grow 23 acres of food.  This is a small number of people to care for and harvest that much produce.

It might be apparent to some of you how large some of our crops grow and how good they taste.  I have been working on using cover crop for fertility for the last few years and last fall planted over 20 acres to cover crop.  The cover crop is a crop that is grown to improve soil quality but that is not harvested.  The cover crops reduce erosion and fix nitrogen or capture existing nitrogen and prevent it from leaching. They also increase soil organic matter.  At different times of year we grow different cover crops but some of what we grow is: winter peas, rye, vetch, oats, clovers and sorghum-sudan grass. Buying seed, planting acres and acres and then watering those acres is a lot of work.  In the spring, the cover crops need to be managed so they don’t go to seed and need to be mowed and or plowed in.  Getting used to the additional work and the timing of it has been really difficult but is now becoming part of what we do.  The reduction in weeds and the increase in fertility make the work worthwhile.  As we continue to cover crop we expect to see greater and greater benefits.  The cover crop increases fertility and allows the crops to reach their full potential.  Check out some of the peppers that have grown to their full potential (because they were planted in a field that was cover cropped). They are enormous.

I am working on some reduced tillage which is not easy in organic production with perennial weeds.  I am also working on increasing pollinator habitat.  Did you know Boulder has 350 native pollinators?  I am planting some flower seeds in the cover crop.  I planted clover and Birds Foot Trefoil into some of the farm roads where it grows and flowers without us having to do anything.  We leave our arugula from the fall in the ground over winter and it is one of the first things to bloom in the spring.  There are millions of flowers in a bed of arugula.  Managing flowers so they don’t spread and become weeds in our crops is challenging and having something in bloom at all times is something I have not worked out yet.  We do see wasps eating caterpillars and we know  the pollinators help control pests but we don’t quite know what flowers are attracting the right beneficial insects and if the system is working and how to improve. These are all projects that we work on behind the scenes and you don’t necessarily see when you come to pick up your veggies each week. Please make sure to attend our farm tour next week if you want to learn more about cover crop, pollinators, reducing tillage, and lots more.

Thanks for being part of our CSA. I hope to see you at our Fall tour and our end of season pot luck.

Wyatt

Posted in 2017, Farm, Newsletter | 2 Comments

CSA Week 16

Here is our tentative list of what we **hope** to bring you this coming week of CSA.

Tomatoes!

Regular Share
Edamame
Zucchini
Cucumbers
CHOICE: Eggplant OR Onions
CHOICE: Roasted Peppers (Anaheims OR Poblanos)
CHOICE: Assorted Peppers OR Carrots OR Basil
CHOICE: Red Tomatoes OR Cherry Tomatoes
CHOICE: Melons OR Cauliflower OR Corn

Large Share Additions
Two Choices: Melons OR Cauliflower OR Corn
Basil
One other Item

Fruit Share
10 lbs of Peaches

Posted in 2017, Farm, Newsletter

Freeze the Summers Bounty

I hear lots of great comments at CSA pickup about how much food you are getting every week. Some people say they can barely get through one weeks share before they get the next.

It’s a great problem to have! But, I do understand sometimes it is overwhelming. In fact this morning my refrigerator was looking full to bursting so I took a few minutes to take the time to steam and freeze some beans and cauliflower and cut up a melon.

Freezing food doesn’t have to be a big production.  I probably had two pounds of beans and a head of cauliflower and half a melon. I steamed the vegetables and ran cool water over them and drained them really well in a colander and portioned them into zip-lock bags. I usually salt them a little after I cool them down and sometimes I add a little olive oil or butter to the back so when I warm them up I don’t have to season them. I think salting them really helps the flavor.

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Make sure you label the bags. These are sandwich zip-locks, enough for two servings. In the winter I grab these when I am making soup, or to round out a meal when I need a little something else.

I freeze cantaloupe for smoothies.

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I keep all my odds-and-ends vegetables in one area in the freezer so I remember to use them up and they don’t get lost.

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Most vegetables need to be blanched before freezing. The exceptions that I can think of off the top of my head are onions and peppers. I LOVE having peppers and onions in the freezer in the winter. I grab a handful to add to eggs, or to saute for a sauce. Fruit can be frozen raw or cooked.

Here is lots of information you can trust for freezing food for the best results of safety and best taste.

I am always so happy to have a little bit of the Farm in my freezer during those long winter months when I am longing for some kale or beans or chard.

Put some of your bounty in the freezer, I know you will be glad you did.

Have a great week.

Mo

 

 

 

Posted in 2017, Farm, Newsletter, Recipes, Storage and Preparation

Important Fruit Share Update

Correction: I put out some misinformation in my original post. We are only doing a 10-lb box of fruit this week–not next week. You will only get fruit next week if you have a Biweekly B fruit share. ~Amy

Our fruit share is going to look a little different this year than it normally does. Remember that wintery weather we got at the end of May? Well, we’re still suffering the consequences of that weather now. The apple trees on the Western Slope were all in bloom when we got that cold weather and it killed most of the apple blossoms.

Our fruit growers have crop insurance and they’re going to use that crop insurance this year. They are filing a claim for a 100% loss on their apple crop. That means that even though they do have some apples, they are not allowed to harvest a single apple for sale to us.

How does this affect the fruit share? Our fruit share is set up to deliver $13.80 worth of fruit each week for 12 weeks. We will not be able to do the full 12 weeks of fruit–we will be short a few weeks. To make up for that, we will deliver a large $$ amount of fruit this week. This week the fruit shares will be receiving 10-lb boxes of peaches. So even though you won’t receive the full 12 weeks, you should still get the full monetary value for the fruit share.

What are you going to do with all those peaches?? Check out the peach recipes and storage tips on our food blog. I know what I’m going to do with my extra peaches–peach milkshakes! Yum!

 

Posted in 2017, Newsletter