Cold Spring and CSA

This spring has been a yo-yo of weather…up and down…. down….and way down. It stayed at a steady 32 degrees last night with about 3 inches of snow and tonight looks like it will be just as cold. However, it’s not just about one cold night. March, April and May have all been cold.

This effects the speed of growth for all crops, especially our summer crops, like

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Harvesting Rhubarb in the Snow

tomatoes and zukes.  For instance, even with planting our Hakurei Turnips on the early side this year and they are still three weeks behind their “normal” rate of growth, which is generally 45 days.

What does this translate to for our CSA Members? The long and short of it is, this could translate to a heavier share of greens….excellent greens of course, until these crops catch up.  Our goal, weather permitting, is make this up later in the season with a variety of great crops.

In the mean time, look for posts on our blog for how to be creative with greens!

As always, thank you for supporting the farm!

Posted in 2019, Farm, Newsletter

Egg Add-On Share From Cottonwood Creek.

Welcome new, and welcome back seasoned CSA members.  Gauging by the weather it is hard to believe today is our first CSA pickup. The temperature at my house right now at 11 am on May 20th is a dreary and wet 36 F.

Given the cold cloudy spring weather we have had it is so impressive that Wyatt and all the hard working farm crew have so much to offer us for our first pickup.  If any of you have been members of other CSAs I think you will appreciate how large and diverse Red Wagon’s share options are.

In addition to the vegetable CSA share you can buy shares of coffee, fruit, mushrooms or eggs.

If you have an egg share; Lucky You! You signed up for one dozen and, but guess what? We are giving you 2 (!) dozen pullet eggs!

If you are new to pullet eggs lets talk.

Pullets are female chickens under one year old. Chickens start laying eggs when they are around 6 or 7 months old. So, pullet eggs are the eggs the chicken lays the first few months of her laying season.

I cherish these first eggs. Nothing in chicken keeping makes me happier than going to the nest box and finding a pullet egg.

How do I know it’s a pullet egg and not one of my older ‘experienced’ hens?

Pullet eggs are almost always smaller than hen eggs, a little bigger than 1/2 the size of a large hen egg. They are just as nutritious as hen eggs and taste just as good, some people think they taste better even. I’m on the fence, both are delicious as long as they are happy healthy pasture raised birds.

The pullet eggs are on the left, the eggs on the right are from my mature hens.

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I do know that pullet eggs, and eggs from younger birds have strong yolk and albumen (the white part). When you fry a pullet or a young hen egg it will stand high in your pan or if you are poaching the egg will stay intact and not shred apart.  I also think the ratio of yolk to white is bigger in the younger birds. I don’t have proof, just what I have seen over years of keeping chickens. I like to make deviled eggs out of pullet eggs because the yolks are bigger, you get more of the good stuff.

The hen egg is on the top and the pullet egg is on the bottom right.

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Another bonus of pullet eggs is, you are really supporting a farmer. CSAs are all about supporting the farmers and getting a great product in return. The grocery stores only buy large or x large eggs from farmers. So, it’s hard for farms to have a place to sell pullet eggs. Our CSA egg share is a way to directly help a farmer. You supply an outlet for these first eggs. If not for you these eggs would get thrown away. A sad thought.

So Win-Win! You get twice as much of a fantastic product and Cottonwood Creek Farm  has a few weeks early income while they wait for the pullet eggs to size up!

Put on your wellies and raincoats. I’ll see you at pickup!

Mo

 

Posted in 2019, Eggs, Recipes

Thank you CSA Members!

What a rough start to our CSA pickups! Yesterday the farm crew had to wade through rain and mud in the morning to harvest veggies. Then Lauren and I stood out in the freezing rain at pickup for a few hours. And snow this morning!! Let’s hope this is the worst of it for a while.

Even with the crummy weather, we are always so thankful for our CSA members as the season gets rolling. You make it possible for us to have a farm. Truly our farm would not exist without your commitment. And I am so honored that you trust us to feed you and your families throughout the season.

One of my favorite parts of our CSA is seeing your kids grow up over the years and seeing how they learn to eat delicious, healthy vegetables. There is one dad (you know who you are!) who says he never gets to eat hakurei turnips because his boys always eat the whole bunch at pickup and the turnips never make it home! Only CSA kids scarf down turnips!

I am also touched by your generosity in making additional contributions. Here’s what we’ve collected so far this season:

Farm Worker Support Fund $3,496 (additional money given to our farm crew)
Sharing the Harvest $1,035 (used to subsidize CSA shares for families that need a little help)
Red Wagon Supporter $897 (used for new farm equipment)

We’re all looking forward to another great season with you!

Amy

Posted in 2019, Farm, Newsletter

CSA Week 1

Hello CSA Members!

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

Harvesting Pea Shoots!

REGULAR SHARE
CHOICE: Pea Shoots OR Chives OR Sorrel
Radishes
Green Garlic
Hakurei Turnips
Egyptian Walking Onions
CHOICE: Spinach OR Arugula OR Braising Mix
Red Russian Kale

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Spinach
CHOICE: Arugula OR Braising Mix
Rhubarb
Rainbow Swiss Chard

FRUIT SHARE
NONE

Posted in 2019, Farm, Newsletter

Thankful For Our CSA Members!

It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of another CSA season! This has been a tough weather year–lots of hail with a big hail storm in June. Then a very cold freeze a few weeks ago that wiped out many of our greens and a lot of our root crops as well. It feels like a huge accomplishment that we were able to get a good assortment of veggies to our CSA members each week!

I can’t say enough how much we appreciate our CSA members. You are what keeps our farm going and we look forward to seeing you each week. We hope to see you all again next May for another great CSA season!

Amy

Posted in 2018 | 1 Comment

Crock Pot Braised Cabbage or Cabbage Soup

This is the last week of 2018 CSA-Week 23. Thank you CSA members, we say it all the time, but I’ll say it again, Red Wagon wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t for our Wonderful CSA members. I look forward each week to seeing you all at pickups. I love hearing what you liked best from the CSA the week before and what you made with your CSA bounty. I love hearing you say, ‘I can’t decide what to take, I want it all’ and ‘I am so sad this is the last week’. We are too, but we’ll be here next year. Hopefully you will be too.

Thank you too Wyatt, Amy, Javier, Lauren and all the 2018 Farm Crew. I have never seen the farm look so beautiful and productive. Have a restful off season.

OK. On to the braised cabbage.

I love braised cabbage it is the perfect side dish for grains or roasted vegetables or meats. I like to cook it until it is really silky and tender so a crock pot is the perfect method to set it and forget it until you come home to the welcome smell of a hot meal. I made braised cabbage today, but if you prefer soup to braising just add more liquid to the ingredients.

I like to clean out the vegetable bin when I am making braised cabbage or soup. Today I had about 1/2 a head of cabbage and a few other vegetables I added. I can’t think of any vegetable you couldn’t add to a braised dish. Celery root would be great, sunchokes, onions, even apples are good . You can use stock or tomatoes or apple juice or beer for your liquid, or any combination. I don’t think you can screw this up. I had a couple Parmesan rinds I added today.

This is what I used.

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Bacon or sausage is always good if you are a meat eater. Eggplant or mushrooms would be good vegetarian options to bulk up this dish.

Cut the core out of the cabbage and wash and cut up all the vegetables you are using into bite size pieces and put everything to the crock pot and add some salt and pepper.

 

I used about 2 cups of the vegetable broth to the crock pot because I didn’t want soup, I wanted more of a braise. If you want soup add enough liquid to cover the vegetables, maybe use some stock and some canned or fresh tomatoes?

Put the lid on and either cook it on high for 4 or 5 hours or low for 7 or 8 hours.

That’s it. That took about 3 minutes.

I am off to CSA pickup so I will add a picture of it cooked when I get back from work.

I’ll see you at pick up.

Thanks for your support of Red Wagon Farm.

Mo

 

Posted in 2018, Cabbage, Recipes

CSA Week 23- Our final week of pick ups for 2018

Hello CSA Members!

Fresh Heirloom Carrots

This is our last week of pick ups for the 2018 season. All weekly, biweekly A & B shares are scheduled to pick up a share!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 23 of our CSA:

REGULAR SHARE
Butternut Squash
CHOICE: Parsnips OR Celeriac
Carrots
Potatoes
Garlic
Lettuce Mix
CHOICE: Kale OR Collard Greens OR Cabbage

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Double Carrots
Parsnips AND Celeriac
Beets
Leeks

FRUIT SHARE
Apples

 

 

Posted in 2018, Farm, Newsletter | 1 Comment

Pizza Beans From Smitten Kitchen

Earlier this year I posted a recipe for Greens and Beans. Beans with vegetables are a staple at my house. I was telling Wyatt how, for a quick dinner I often open a can of beans and a jar of tomatoes or tomato sauce, add some vegetables, toast some bread, throw an egg on it and call it dinner…he said he never makes beans. I can’t imagine.

Wyatt, this one’s for you. Make some beans.

I saw this recipe for Pizza Beans, it is pretty much what I make as a staple meal, but a little gussied up. This would be a perfect dish for a potluck.

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I followed the recipe almost to the letter so I won’t post it here, just use the original recipe. I took some pictures so you can see how easy it is. I used 1 pound of dry white navy beans and cooked them in my pressure cooker. The recipe calls for butter beans. I used what I had and I really liked it. I think you could use almost any bean, or even a couple of cans of store bought canned beans if you don’t have time to make beans from scratch.

First  chop up your vegetables. Actually quite a few vegetables, saute the firm vegetables and when they are soft add a bunch of chopped kale, chard or spinach would work too. Saute that until it is wilted.

 

Add your cooked beans to the vegetables. I added the bean broth instead of the wine the recipe called for. If you use canned beans I would drain them and use wine or vegetable broth, mix that up and add in the tomatoes.

 

Cook that down just a little. I moved my beans from the skillet to another dish, I was worried it might spill over in the oven. Do whatever you are comfortable with. Then top all that with some cheese and bake it until the cheese is melty.

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When I took the first bite I was mad at myself for not adding olives and mushrooms-It is called Pizza Beans right? Duh. Sausage would be great too-pepperoni(!?). I think I’ll try to add some pizza toppings ON TOP of the cheese next time I make this, like tomatoes and mushrooms on top. This will be a go to meal for us I can tell.

Two more CSA weeks left. I’ll see you at pickup.

Mo

 

Posted in 2018, Carrots, Chard, Greens, Kale, Recipes | 1 Comment

CSA Week 22

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 22 of our CSA:

REGULAR SHARE
Pie Pumpkin
Parsnips
CHOICE: Potatoes OR Sunchokes
Beets OR Hakurei Turnips
Celery
CHOICE: Beets OR Hakurei Turnips
CHOICE: Leeks OR Brussels Sprouts
CHOICE: Kale OR Collard Greens OR Cabbage

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
Leek AND Brussels Sprouts
Beets AND Hakurei Turnips
Butternut Squash

FRUIT SHARE
Apples & Pears

 

 

Posted in 2018, Farm, Newsletter

Pumpkin Butter

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This is really squash butter, but pumpkin butter sounds better. Like apple butter this has a smooth velvet consistency. Unlike apple butter this cooks in about 1/2 hour and doesn’t need to cook down for hours to gain that sought after consistency.

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When I cook a squash I almost always have leftovers so I am always looking for ways to use squash up. I had roasted a kabocha squash earlier this week and had lots leftover so I made this pumpkin butter ( I still have some leftover!). This comes together really quickly and tastes like Fall in a jar.

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Ingredients
2 cups cooked pumpkin or any winter squash
1 to 1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice you need to adjust the amount depending on how dry or moist your pumpkin is)
2 teaspoons of you favorite pumpkin spices I used ginger and allspice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or more brown sugar if you don’t have any maple syrup


Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed, deep, medium saucepan. I mashed my squash into the other ingredients with a potato masher. In hindsight I should have used an immersion blender or blended it in a food processor. Cook everything on medium-high until it comes to a soft boil, add apple juice if it is too dry. Place a lid over the pan, leaving it tilted to let the stem out. The mixture will be very thick and splatters like thick  spaghetti sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Again, add  apple juice if the mixture is too thick. It will be really shiny and smooth and smell like pumpkin pie when it is done.
Store in airtight jars in the refrigerator up to two weeks. You can freeze the pumpkin butter too.

I had it on oatmeal this morning.

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Have a great week. I’ll see you at pickup trying to stay warm and dry.

Mo

Posted in 2018, Recipes, Winter Squash