May 27, 2015

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • Nelson Carrots – They're back! Pasta with rosemary carrots?  Cook the pasta (orecchiette works great!) according to the package directions; drain.  Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 1 lb carrots (cut into 1-in pieces), 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves, and ¾ tsp each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.  Add the pasta, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 2 tbsp more butter to the carrots and toss to combine.  Serve the pasta topped with grated Parmesan.
  • Detroit Beets – A lot of nutritionists use beets and beet juice to test levels of stomach acid. If you consume beets and your urine turns pink, you have low stomach acid (which is typically a good thing!). If your urine is still clear, it means that you have high levels of stomach acid.
  • Red Curly Kale – The star of this week’s recipe!
  • Gregorian Cabbage – In Hebrew, the term “rosh kruv” (cabbagehead) implies stupidity.
  • Gypsy Broccoli – If broccoli is not harvested, it will turn into a head of yellow flowers.  This week's broccoli may appear a little lighter shade of green, that's because we harvested it a little early ahead of the heat.  Every bit as delicious!

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


Vegetable Forecast

New Potatoes!, Kale, Beets, Carrots, Little Gems


Sometimes the best laid plans don’t pan out.  This seems to be especially the case on farms, maybe it’s just he sheer volume of plans and details that can throw a wrench in the tenuous system.  We have planned on having cherry tomatoes and early eggplant in the next couple weeks for our csa members.  We started seeds early, prepped the ground, planted on time, irrigated, cultivated…. only to see an odd pattern in our fields of severely stunted growth. Thanks to Rex Dufour, entomologist extrodinaire, we discovered that this portion of the field is suffering from a symphylan invasion. 

Symphylans are a centipede-like soil creature that eat the root hairs off of any and all plants, stunting or killing their victims by inhibiting their ability to feed.  It was an issue we noticed in this portion of the field last year that we attributed to drainage.  Unfortunately they thrive in soils with good organic practices - lots of organic matter and fluffy soils. Fortunately, they spread slowly across fields.  So we have some time to come up with a solution, but everything in those 2 acres is lost for this year.  Wheep.

Symphyllans disappeared from the pest map with the advent of DDT and the newer neonicitinoids.  In conventional systems, they’re easily nuked.  We’ll be working on a good strategy for getting that portion of the field back into production, but our best hunch at the moment is our secret weapons: the killer Say Hay Chickens. 

The good news is that our early summer squash that was right behind this planting is near ready! And the new potatoes will be in the box next week.  This year’s crop of new potatoes looks and tastes exceptional.  You win some, you lose some.  Just gotta keep on growing…. We hope you enjoy!



Genius Kale Salad (Serves 2) 

We all know that kale salad is delicious, but here is a new version to add to your repertoire!  During these special times of the year, it’s fun to pick recipes that incorporate vegetables available from different seasons in the same dish!  Yay California!  Thanks 101 Cookbooks for the idea!

  • 1/2 cup chopped asparagus (or cubed winter squash)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
  • 1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped good, aged cheddar
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Pecorino or any other hard cheese, for shaving

Preheat the oven to 425oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the asparagus (or squash) in just enough oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet, leaving space between each piece. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, tossing with a spatula. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar and asparagus (or squash). Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (using about 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the salad between two places or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved Pecorino cheese and serve.


Pics of the week

Summer squash is coming!

Enemy #1: Symphylan!