April 30, 2014

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • Red Butterhead LettuceSo beautiful you’ll want to use it as a pillow.  Pack lettuce in a plastic bag or store in the refrigerator. Butterhead and loose leaf-types will stay fresh for two to three days.
  • Baby ArugulaArugula is best cleaned in a large bowl or basin of cool water. Gently swish leaves in the water, letting any dirt fall to the bottom of the bowl. Lift clean leaves out of the water and transfer to a salad spinner or several layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Dry in the spinner or by rolling in the towels. Transfer leaves to a layer or two of paper towels (or clean, dry ones if you dried the leaves with towels), gently roll them up, and store in a loosely closed plastic bag in the fridge.  Arugula stored this way will last up to a week, whereas un-cleaned leaves keep about 3 days.
  • Rainbow Chard A simple but delicious side: Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Stir in sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and chard stems, and cook for 3 minutes until the flavor of the garlic mellows and the stems begin to soften. Stir in shredded chard leaves, cover, and cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir, recover, and continue cooking until the chard is tender. Toss with lemon juice to serve.
  • Green Curly KaleMassage coarse salt into the leaves for a few minutes, then rinse well and dry. Shred or tear into bite-size pieces. Add some thinly sliced red onion, slivers of apple, and a handful of currants.  Dress with a light or neutral oil and lemon juice, sherry vinegar, or champagne vinegar.  Honey or maple syrup adds a nice touch of sweetness and a pinch of cayenne pepper works, too.
  • Florence Fennel The star of this week’s recipe!
  • Radishes  Cooked radishes are sweet and less spicy. 
  • Dill The dill plant yields two different herbs: dill seed (it’s fruit) and dill weed, the top several inches of the feathery leaves.  Dill seeds have a slightly sharper, more bitter taste than the leaves.

 

Egg Shares include eggs from our certified organic, pasture-raised, happy hens.

 

Don’t forget – you can always add extra items to your order at our Online Market.

 

Vegetable Forecast

Mixed Head Lettuces, Red Mustards, Curly Kale, Green Garlic, Turnips, and Green Almonds!

 

News

We’ve been focusing on improving our cultivation techniques and this week we debuted our newest tool: a 1948 Allis Chalmers G cultivating tractor.  Better yet, Chris stripped the old gas engine down and converted it to a 48V electric powered system. 

 

These tractors were popular for farmers in the 40’s and 50’s who grew many varieties of crops and didn’t use selective herbicides – perfect for modern small organic farmers.  This particular model was designed with the motor in the rear, leaving the front of the driver with a full view of what they’re working with.  The electric conversion gives us a more reliable, quiet, variable, and powerful motor for doing cultivating in the fields.  Also, we’ll soon be charging it with solar power and cutting our need for diesel fuel.  More photos to come…. See it for yourself at this summer’s farm party!

 And we're back at the farmers' markets!  Catch us in Oakland on Saturdays and San Francisco on Sundays.

 

Pic of the week

  • The Electric G nicknamed “Sparky.”
  • May harvesting rainbow chard and red kale in the rain on Friday for Saturday's farmers' market.

 

Recipe

Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Parsley and Dill (Serves 4)

This simple, bright salad takes full advantage of the strong flavors of many of the seasonal offerings of our CSA box! Thank you to Martha Stewart for the recipe.

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 1 c quinoa
  • 2 c water
  • 1 c fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Prepare an ice-water bath. Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, slice lengthwise as thinly as possible.  You can also use a mandolin, if you have one.  Place in ice-water bath.

Toast quinoa in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add water, raise heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate, uncovered, until cool, about 1 hour.

Drain fennel, and pat dry. Add parsley, dill, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper, and toss. Divide quinoa among bowls. Top with fennel mixture.

Sparky.

Rainy chard and kale harvest.