eCHO bEND CSA Subscription Harvest, August 29, 2012

Echo Bend CSA Harvest basket, August 29, 2012

We had some wonderful visitors to the farm this week — a family who would love to take the leap and do exactly what we are doing someday. They asked to come pick my brain about raising their own food back in their urban garden, and I was more than happy to tour the farm and chat about the dirty life with them. I love the idea that we can serve as inspiration to others to be more self sustaining. We make plenty of mistakes along the way, but that can only boost others’ confidence in their own abilities, right!? 🙂

I also spent some time with an area SEEDS coordinator planning opportunities for working with K-12 students, both here on the farm and in the classroom. I had a blast when the 4th graders came out this spring to see how we do things on this “old fashioned farm,” as one of them put it, and I’m kinda geeked to be brainstorming other educational activities for the future.

Speaking of the future, overnight lows in the 50s are slowing down garden growth. Vines are just beginning to look a bit tired around the edges. It’s only noticeable if you really look, but amidst all of this lush bounty, I can feel the garden begin to whisper the beginnings of a quiet sigh. We are definitely approaching the tail end of the summer season, with another 3-5 weeks remaining to enjoy the bounty.

This week I said good bye to my dutiful harvest day helper, Casey Aldrich, who did a bang-up job keeping all of us in line and productive this summer. 🙂 Thanks, Casey! Have a great school year.

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • Beans, Blue Lake and Provider
  • broccoli, Blue Wind & Arcadia
  • carrots, Nantes  and Sugar Snaxx
  • cucumbers, Marketmore
  • Eggplant — Those of you who did not get eggplants last week will receive some today
  • garlic,  “Music” or Pylong Ylang
  • Kale, curly Winterbor
  • Melons, Blacktail Mountain
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Onions, Copra sweet
  • Peppers, sweet Bell and Banana
  • Tomatoes, Stupice, Violet Jasper, Sungold, German Orange Strawberry, Black from Tula, Purple Calabash, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Tigerella, Caspian Pink, Striped Roman, Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple, Wapsipinicon Peach
  • Turnips
  • Cilantro
  • Basil

RECIPES:

  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: cabbage

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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eCHO bEND CSA Subscription Harvest, August 22, 2012

Echo Bend CSA Harvest, August 22, 2012

Exquisitely beautiful, this harvest day.
Sunshine for warmth. Light breeze to cool us.
Music. Dancing. Laughter. Friends.
Good news. Frustrations. Venting. Commiseration.
Bounty and loss.
Our garden, my Benders, is a place where good things happen.
Where everything seems to balance out.

I grow for those outside my family because I want to provide good, healthy, safe food to other people. It’s my passion — to balance out our bodies, nutritionally AND emotionally. To balance out the crimes of pollution and poison and waste by trucking foods across the country when we can grow it right here, with our own hands.

Food costs have risen this year because of the killing frosts this spring and the summer drought — from the feed we give our livestock on up to the fresh produce we put on our tables.  Our baskets may not be as overflowing right now as I might like (oh, woe to be short on summer squash!), but your investment at the beginning of the season balances out. If anyone were to join the CSA at this point in time, they would pay a higher per-basket price than you did this spring, knowing what we do now about the challenges of this growing season.

I’ll try to send out a short survey soon to gather feedback from you about how you feel the CSA is doing this season, as we have passed the mid-point, but feel free to post comments here or to email me your thoughts, also.

p.s. If you want to come to help to pick on harvest day, you are welcome to do so.
If you would like to come help weed or do general garden maintenance, you’d be very welcome. 😉  Just let me know.

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • Asian Braising Greens  — a spicy mix of tatsoi, mizuna, bok choy, and red Russian kale  — give these a rinse in water and then braise in a pan with a bit of water, chicken broth and/or olive oil.  Flavor with your favorite spices — add in onions or garlic or whatever floats your boat!
  • Beans, Blue Lake and Provider
  • broccoli, Blue Wind & Arcadia
  • carrots, Nantes  and Sugar Snaxx
  • cucumbers, Marketmore
  • Eggplant — some of you will get eggplants this week. The rest of you will get some in the next week or so when more size up do a decent cooking amount.
  • garlic,  “Music” or Pylong Ylang
  • Kale, Lancinato (aka “Dinosaur”)
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Onions, Copra sweet
  • Peppers, sweet
  • Potatoes, Keuka Gold
  • Tomatoes, Stupice, Violet Jasper, Sungold, German Orange Strawberry, Black from Tula, Purple Calabash, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Tigerella, Caspian Pink, Striped Roman, Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple, Wapsipinicon Peach
  • Cilantro
  • Basil

RECIPES:

  • Pot Licker Beans:
    Echo Bend standard.  Seems simple and perhaps a bit old-school Southern, but it’s one of those recipes that is magic in its simplicity.
    Super easy and no-fail. Watch out, though. I find myself eating it right out of the skillet — big wooden spoonfuls.Saute some onions, garlic, and green beans in a skillet, preferably cast iron with some bacon grease, to really get your Southern flair on.
    As they are cooking, roughly chop some tomatoes and basil. Throw in skillet. Cook down until tomatoes are sauced and beans are really nice and tender.
    LOTS of garlic and salt.Sop up drippings with fresh cornbread.
  • Ratatouille — you must. It’s delish.  Or just slice the eggplant up nice and thick, slather with olive oil and herbs and salt and grill over indirect heat until beautifully tender.  http://www.easy-french-food.com/ratatouille-recipe.html#.UDUVLqBXdnc
  • Margherita Pizza — an Echo Bend summer favorite — Just roll out your favorite pizza dough (Echo Bend’s is lovely.) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Top with thin slices of heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Cook at 375 until done.
    (You can precook the crust a bit to make sure it gets nice and crispy.)  When pizza comes out of the oven, give another extra drizzle of the best olive oil to finish.
  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: eggplant and kittens!  (Wuh-huh!? 🙂

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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Echo Bend CSA Subscription Harvest, August 15, 2012

CSA Harvest, August 15, 2012

This is the kind of harvest day I love. Several shareholders and children helping to pick (Thank you Aldrich and Morrow families!). Various sets of friends and family milling about. Intern weeding berries. Men working on saving the packing shed wall from collapsing.

Bustling, busy…kids shouting and laughing and feeding the animals.
It feels like an OPERATION– A FARM, not just a solo gardener by her lonesome. 🙂

Now all the guests and pickers have left. It’s time to turn my attention to harvesting for restaurant orders, baking, and squeezing in a little work on my course preparation before you all come for basket pick up.

As far as your baskets go, they are quite solid and hefty this week, with the addition of melons. Complete disclaimer here — I am WRETCHED at picking melons. Maybe 60% of the time I can choose the ripe ones, even though I follow all of the textbook rules for identifying ripeness. So…slice into the melon. Fingers crossed. If it’s not ripe, let me know.  These are the ones I managed to salvage from those squash bugs, so I hope they are tasty!
If they aren’t completely ripe, use the melon salad recipe below to give them a more compelling taste.  Or turn them into smoothies or popsicles! 🙂

Oh, I decided to let the eggplants size up a bit more before I harvest them, but they’ll be coming soon.

I have immense amounts of tomatoes ripe, both heirloom and paste, so if you would like to buy some in bulk at a discounted price, please, please let me know! They are very easy to save for later if you freeze them. You don’t even need to peel them, as the skins will slip off when they defrost. Easy peasy.

I’m feeling a bit uninspired when it comes to recipes this week, so if you have some to share, please email them to me and I will include in future newsletters!

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • Beans, Blue Lake and Provider
  • broccoli, Blue Wind & Arcadia
  • carrots, Nantes  and Cosmic Purple
  • cucumbers, Marketmore
  • garlic,  “Music”
  • Kale, Curly Winterbor
  • Melon:  heirloom Blacktail Mountain watermelon or French Petit Gris de Rennes cantaloupe
  • Onions, Copra sweet
  • Peppers, hot
  • Peppers, sweet
  • Summer Squash (yellow crookneck or zucchini)
  • Tomatoes, Stupice, Violet Jasper, Sungold, German Orange Strawberry, Black from Tula, Purple Calabash, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Tigerella, Caspian Pink, Striped Roman, Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple, Wapsipinicon Peach
  • Cilantro
  • Basil

RECIPES:

Ginger Garlic Broccoli:
Toss garlic with 1-2 cloves minced garlic, soy sauce, ginger, couple sprinkles of hot sauce, salt, and a little brown sugar/honey.  Grill in foil pack or zap in microwave until just tender.

Carrot Citrus Slaw:
Grate carrots, toss with some lemon or lime juice. Add a sprinkle of honey or sugar, if you insist.  Add chopped cilantro for an extra kick. (optional).

Melon Salad: 
Cube melon. Drizzle with lemon or lime juice. Toss with chopped cilantro or mint. Sprinkle with a bit of salt to taste.

Fast and easy fresh Salsa:
Chop ripe tomatoes and onions. Toss with minced garlic, cilantro, and hot pepper. Add a squeeze or lime juice or hot sauce, to taste. Vary amounts of  all ingredients to taste.

  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: eggplant!

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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Echo Bend CSA Subscription Harvest, August 8, 2012

Bounty.

I’m taking a short break in the battle against bugs and weeds to do a little food preservation— pickles, soups, sauces, and jams are all on the agenda for the coming week. It’s a good way to justify procrastinating preparing for my class, which begins in less than 2 short weeks. Egad!

My tomato junkie habit is further fueled this week with a few more varieties ripening and undergoing the new variety taste test. Photos follow. If you want help identifying these babies in person, just let me know at pick-up time!

Wapsipinicon Peach Tomato
Sweet, mild, fuzzy little mater!
With no peaches growing on the trees this year, you can almost just pretend that you are eating a peach if you bite into one of these fuzzers whole…

Cherokee Purple
One of the first of the “black” cultivars of tomatoes — rumored to have originated over 100 years ago with the Cherokee.
Deep, dense, sweet.

Striped Roman

Amish Paste
Developed by the Amish near Lancaster, PA.
Meaty, low seeds/gel. Good for fresh eating or sauce. One of the varieties listed in Slow Food’s Ark of Taste.

Today while picking in the tomato vines, which are now over my head, I was overwhelmed today with a strong craving for gazpacho, so I grabbed a little of this, a little of that, and a lot of tomatoes and whizzed it all up in the blender for a cool, fresh, vibrant lunch…and dinner. So easy. To think I’d never eaten or made it before last year! Criminal!  I’m including a recipe this week so that none of you have the excuse of that transgression, either.

And hey, look!  Edamame!  This means “beer snack” or “beer friend” in Japanese, as they are regularly served lightly boiled and salted as the stand in for peanuts in bars in Japan. One of my kids favorite veggies. Recipe below!

You may also enjoy a sampling of ground cherries, which are the small, yellowish tiny-tomato-looking fruits encased in a yellow husk.  These are related to the tomato, but are sweet like fruit. We planted seeds several years ago after reading about them in Farmer Boy, and they spring up as volunteers all over the place now.

Do not confuse these with tomatillos, which you will also find as part of your Salsa Verde making bag.  These are larger than the ground cherry, green, but also encased in a little papery husk.  These make a killer green salsa (recipe below).  I packaged these in the same bag as the cilantro, as you can just throw both together in the blender to craft your salsa verde.

Sad news:  the squash bugs wiped out all of the summer and winter squash over the last week. I’m attempting to fight them in the melons and cucumbers, but they are voracious and destructive.  I was hoping to buy some squash from a nearby farm to give out to you at least once, but, unfortunately, I’m hearing similar stories from the other farmers I’ve checked with so far.  😦  It will be a rough winter for us, as we rely heavily on stored winter squash.

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • broccoli, Blue Wind
  • carrots, Nantes  and Sugar Snaxx
  • cucumbers, Marketmore
  • edamame
  • garlic,  “Music”
  • Ground Cherries
  • Kale, Curly Winterbor or Lancinato
  • Onions, Copra sweet
  • Peppers, hot
  • Peppers, sweet
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes, Stupice, Violet Jasper, Sungold, German Orange Strawberry, Black from Tula, Purple Calabash, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Tigerella, Caspian Pink, Striped Roman, Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple, Wapsipinicon Peach
  • Cilantro

RECIPES:
“Beer Friend” Salted Edamame:

Drop edamame pods in boiling, salted water. Boil just 5-10 minutes, until beans inside are just getting tender and the pod easily releases the beans.  Drain and salt well, toss.
Use your teeth to strip the beans right out of the pods.
Delicious snacking!

Gazpacho:  There are myriad versions of gazpacho. Take your pick from those below. But, really, don’t make it too complicated — just take fresh garden veggies and herbs and garlic and puree them raw, serve cold. A trick that friend taught me is to blend up some avocado in it, which makes it delightfully creamy.

Salsa Verde: — Delish with tortilla chips, over enchiladas, grilled chicken or steak, and eggs.
Remove husks from roughly a dozen tomatillos. Put in blender with bunch of cilantro, a clove or two of garlic, a squeeze of lime juice, and liberal sprinkling of salt.
If you like heat, add in some hot pepper, seeds removed.  Puree!
Add more salt, lime juice, or pepper to taste.
If too vibrant, you can puree in a little cucumber to mellow it out.

  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: melon and eggplant!

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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Echo Bend CSA Subscription Harvest, August 2, 2012

CSA Harvest, August 2, 2012

Many, many, huge, heartfelt thanks to the Aldrich family for their help keeping the farm going this week in our absence. Couldn’t have done it without you!!!   Your fight against the bugs was valiant.   We are forever in your debt.  I slept a little easier every night, though it wasn’t easy, knowing you were keeping an eye on things.

Some new tomato faces round the Bend:

Purple Calabash (top)
Tigerella (bottom)

Caspian Pink — Well balanced, rich beefsteak

Kellogg’s Breakfast
Gorgeously big, delicate, lush, sweet flavor.
Well balanced, not flat like many yellow tomatoes.

Orange-Fleshed Purple Smudge
Tender, tangerine flesh inside this beautiful skin

Sorry to be so brief this week, but I have 75 broiler chicks and 25 turkey poults that just arrived, which I need to get settled in. Then off to fight some bugs, unpack, and generally regroup.

Please consider sharing some recipes with me that I might include in future newsletters!

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • beans, green — Provider and Blue Lake
  • beets, Detroit Red
  • broccoli, Arcadia
  • carrots, Nantes  and Sugar Snaxx
  • cucumbers, Marketmore
  • garlic,  “Music”
  • Chard, Rainbow Lights
  • Kohlrabi
  • Onions, Copra sweet
  • Peppers, sweet
  • Tomatoes, Stupice, Violet Jasper, Sungold, German Orange Strawberry, Black from Tula, Purple Calabash, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Tigerella, Caspian Pink

RECIPES:

Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens
(i LOVE roasted beets.  Ours are so tender you don’t even need to peel them!) –                      http://allrecipes.com/recipe/roasted-beets-and-sauteed-beet-greens/

Okay, so maybe I love everything roasted…

Roasted Green Beans
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss green beans with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and any seasoning you would like (spicy? garlic?).
Spread out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Roast, stirring once halfway through, until lightly caramelized and crisp tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve piping hot!
Eat with your fingers — everything is better that way!

Heirloom Tomato and Blue Cheese Tart – worth every delicious, decadent bite!!! http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/foodwine/2008153951_recipe03tomatotart.html

  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: More tomato varieties!

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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Echo Bend CSA Subscription Harvest, July 25, 2012

CSA Harvest Basket, July 25, 2012

Disclaimer:  When you get a tomato from Echo Bend, you get a tomato. Ripe, luscious, thin-skinned, full-to-bursting — the epitome of fragile-must-be-eaten-soon deliciousness. A tomato.
NOT a tomato bred to remain firm and unblemished even when stacked in boxes.
A tomato.

That tastes like tomato.

And never put tomatoes in the refrigerator, please! Never! It makes them mealy and ruins their flavor. The further ripening and possible fruit flies are worth it.

Local poet and teacher, Anne-Marie Oomen, has a great poem that conveys this gift of the old-fashioned, heirloom tomato. The REAL tomato.

HERITAGE

I wait as the weeks pass,
as we haunt the Saturday morning markets,
or Thursday afternoons at the farm
bright with light where we share
bounty with fifty other familes; yes,
I wait there, standing before the lesser
gifts and wonders of earth,
among those good people,
before those good foods
of body and mind; still, still
I wait for this one thing to ripen,
to come to fruition,
this plump legacy, this
seedy, handed-down, hump-shouldered–
scarlet streaked with orange,
or full-bloomed yellow streaked with green–
this bright misshapen monster — no,
not the tidy ones from grocery shelves,
never those — but this singular one
of the open fields, of true sun,
this one that will not tolerate travel,
will not keep for more than a week,
will not endure a chill–oh,
its commandments are many and
demanding, and its yield, low
and of course, costly —
but still, still I wait for this big red fist,
thin skin wrapped around the pulp of summer, the spell of summer,
opening in the mouth–
oh rare love come back to us,
this sweet heart of the world
that we carry with us all year long,
all the generations down,
breaking at last on the tongue,
like the first wild kiss
of first love.

Here are some new faces ripening this week:

Black from Tula, meaty, deep flavor

German Orange Strawberry

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • beans, green — Provider and Blue Lake
  • beets, Detroit Red
  • broccoli, Arcadia
  • carrots, Nantes  and Sugar Snaxx
  • cucumbers, Marketmore
  • garlic,  “Music”
  • kale
  • napa cabbage  — probably the last of the napa for a while. The heat is burning it out.
  • Onions, Copra sweet
  • Peppers, sweet
  • Potatoes, Norland Red
  • Tomatoes, Stupice, Violet Jasper, Sungold, German Orange Strawberry, Black from Tula
  • Parsley

RECIPES:

Quinoa Tabboulehhttp://allrecipes.com/Recipe/quinoa-tabbouleh/detail.aspx   — sure you can use bulgur wheat, as tabbouleh is traditionally made, but the ancient supergrain of quinoa is packed with protein and has fewer calories.

Panzanella Tomato Bread Salad — grab some of our crusty artisan bread and make this delicious cool dinner salad with so many of your share ingredients this week! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/panzanella-recipe/index.html

  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: broccoli

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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Echo Bend CSA Subscription Harvest, July 18, 2012

CSA Harvest Basket, July 18, 2012
High Summer Fare!

Much like your green lawns and gardens, the high heat and drought have taken their toll on the salad greens.  This is the time of summer, however, to begin to really embrace different forms of salads besides leafy green.  Lettuce bolts and sets seed in high heat and the leaves turn extremely bitter, which is a natural defense mechanism against being eaten as they go into the reproductive phase of their life cycle.

So… How about chopped veggie salad? Napa slaw? Carrot Ginger Lemon Slaw? Kale Market Salad?  Tomato Basil Panzanella?

I was going to write about the welcome relief of a spell of rain that pushed me indoors from the garden last night, but in the time that it took me to pull out my computer to sit down to write this post, it stopped.  Keep your fingers crossed for our garden, folks. This is a challenging season!

In the hoophouse, though, the tropical heat lovers like peppers and eggplants and tomatoes are loving it!  You’ll see that while there aren’t many, everybody gets a little hit of tomato! Couple it with the class pairing of basil in the caprese sandwich below.  The red and green streaked small tomatoes are heirloom Violet Jaspers. The salad sized reds are Stupice, a favorite Siberian heirloom workhorse of mine. They never fail to produce early and late. The little drops of yellow sunshine are Sungold cherries. It’s been a challenge keeping them out of the paws of my 6-year-old son so that you all could have an early sample. 🙂

Violet Jasper tomatoes
Beautiful plum and green streaks. Meaty flesh.

The kids and I delight to find each new variety of tomato as it ripens. We have 25 different types of heirlooms planted this season, many of them new to us, so we squeal with glee and delight at beautiful colors and tantalizing scents that each type offers up. I hope to have more varieties and volume to share with you next week.

Stupice Siberian heirloom tomatoes
All-around great all-purpose mater!

You’ll also find new this week the crisp cucumbers that we all hunted last night together amongst the thick, luxurious tangles of the prickly vines, hurrying as dark clouds and thunder rolled in. The kids donned their gloves to fight the prickles, diving in after the cucumbers headfirst and tugging them off of the vines.

What else!? freshly dug new potatoes and copra sweet onions. Must be barbeque season!

Remember that I have a pretty full herb garden. If there are other herbs you would like, you are welcome to pick when you come to pick up your shares. I have many in the herb garden by the farmstand, but I have greater volume of parsley, cilantro, and basil out back in the veggie garden.

p.s. Be sure to bring baskets and the chick feed bags back so that I have something in which to put your shares!

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • beans, green — Provider and Blue Lake
  • baby carrots, Nantes  — I left the tops on these, because they look so pretty, but you’ll want to cut those off PRONTO, otherwise the carrots will get limp. (Recrisp them by putting them in a bowl of water with a few ice cubes in it.)
  • cucumbers
  • garlic,  “Music”
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • napa cabbage  — probably the last of the napa for a while. The heat is burning it out.
  • Onions, Copra sweet
  • Peppers, sweet
  • Potatoes, Norland Red
  • Tomatoes, Stupice, Violet Jasper, Sungold
  • turnips, purple globe
  • Basil

RECIPES:

Echo Bend Summer Favorite Caprese Sandwich
Drizzle 2 slices of Echo Bend artisan bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Lay out basil leaves on one slice. Cover with thin slices of fresh mozzarella.
Layer with thin slices of heirloom tomatoes. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Put on top slice of bread. Cut in half. Bite in and be astounded by the exquisiteness
of this so very simple sandwich.  The epitome of summer!

Kramer Family Favorite Grilled Potatoes
Cut potatoes into chunks, slices. Parboil briefly or zap in microwave in covered dish and 1 T water until barely tender.   Lay out in single layer on doubled-over sheets of aluminum foil with the edges turned up to form a lip.  Drizzle with olive oil and/or melted butter, sea salt, pepper, and minced garlic and chopped fresh rosemary or herb of your choosing.  Grill until crisp on the edges and desired browning.

  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: broccoli

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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Pastured Poultry Goodness

Beer Can Chicken

From Diana Bolander:
“I cooked my first bird in the slow cooker yesterday and it is yummy, yummy, yummy!  Thanks for the birds!”

Mary K Monteith and Aaron Stander:
“Now that we know what true chickens taste like, we can never go back.”

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Echo Bend CSA Subscription Harvest, July 11, 2012, and SURPRISE! Work Bee

CSA Share, July 11, 2012

So many new goodies in your baskets this week! Yippee!  High summer is descending, bringing with it lush bounty like zucchini and green beans. (We do say farewell to more greens this week, though.)

And, psssstttt!  Hey!
This is happening…

tomatoes ripe — July 9th, 2012

I do want to thank the group of women and young men who organized themselves and surprised me Monday morning by showing up to volunteer their efforts in the garden. I’d been struggling to keep up of late, near to giving up this weekend after 2 weeks of high heat and drought and weed takeover and exhaustion.  Your gift of time and generosity made me stop and reconsider my decisions, my faltering. You picked me, and the garden, back up. By volunteering those couple hours, you’ve given me a new grip.  A farm will give you immense wealth of satisfaction and stimulation — the question is always just whether it will break you in the process. You have saved me from breaking, dear souls, and reminded me of how community-supported agriculture is supposed to work.  It’s not just me, the lone farmer, laboring to do it all by my lonesome — it’s the members, the communities, sharing their time and various talents to make the center hold.

Surprise Workbee, July 9, 2012
Cheryl Kramer, Kristine Harvey and sister-in-law, Becky Noffsinger, and CSA members Carrie Aldrich and Rebecca Hubbard and sons.

I didn’t cry while you were all here, but I certainly did after you left — big, full tears of gratitude. As one shareholder wrote to me, “See how loved you are? Don’t give up. The farm is a thing of beauty.” Others reminded me that what we do here inspires them in all sorts of surprising ways — that what we do has an impact on your lives. Well, thank YOU. What YOU did had a huge impact — carrying waves of consequence.

I struggle to not feel guilty for needing help, but I have little pride left, really. I need help — I willing accept it from anyone who wants to plant, mulch, weed, harvest, hose down the piggies…

p.s. Be sure to bring baskets and the chick feed bags back so that I have something in which to put your shares!

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • beans, green — Provider and Blue Lake
  • beets, Detroit Red
  • baby carrots, Nantes  — I left the tops on these, because they look so pretty, but you’ll want to cut those off PRONTO, otherwise the carrots will get limp. (Recrisp them by putting them in a bowl of water with a few ice cubes in it.)
  • chard, Rainbow Lights
  • garlic,  “Music”
  • kale
  • napa cabbage
  • Peppers, hot
  • mixed salad greens
  •  snow peas
  • turnips, purple globe
  • zucchini, Cousa Magda
  • Basil

RECIPES:

The kids and I anxiously await garlic, basil, hot peppers, and green beans coming in so that we can make one of our family standards:

Spicy Fried Tofu with Basil

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small hot peppers, seeded and minced
1 T oil (sesame or veg)
1 lb extra firm tofu, cut in 1″ cubes (I like Oryana’s store made best!)
1 T tamari/soy sauce
1 t. sugar
1/2 lb green beans
1/4-1/2 cup chopped basil
Heat oil over high heat. Stir fry garlic and chiles, 2-3 mins. Add tofu and fry until desired brown. Add soy sauce and sugar, mix well. Add beans and cook until bright green and crisp tender. Add basil and mix thoroughly
125 cal; 9 g protein; 7 g. total fat; 7 g carbs
p.s. I often up the soy sauce to taste.

Spicy Ginger-Carrot Slaw

1 small head napa cabbage, shredded
2 medium sweet peppers, cut into bite-size strips
4-6 medium carrots , shredded
1-2 pink grapefruit, peeled & sectioned
4 green onions, sliced
lime peel
1 recipe Lime Dressing (below)
In large glass bowl layer cabbage, peppers, carrots, and grapefruit. (Can be made up to 1 day in advance.) Just before serving, add onions and lime peel. Add dressing and toss.
Lime Dressing:
1/4 c. olive oil; 2-4 T tequila: 1/2″ section ginger, peeled & thinly sliced: juice &peel of 1 lime; 1/2 t. crushed red pepper or 1 small hot pepper, seeded and diced. Shake to combine. Allow to stand 1 hr. before serving, shake again.
  • Kale Market Salad — use your kale, garlic, and carrots for this fresh, green salad: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/kale-market-salad-recipe.html
  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP SOON: maters, maters, maters (I hope, I hope, I hope)…

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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Echo Bend CSA Subscription Harvest, July 4, 2012

Happy (Sweaty) 4th of July,  Benders!

I’m grateful to have my farm boy home today to help me with the harvest. We got an early start and finished up by lunch time.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually had sweat dripping off my chin before! Whewee!! It’s blazin’ out there!

This means that next week will be a bonanza!  We’ll see beans and carrots joining our harvest! I picked the first ripe little Stupice tomato yesterday, so they won’t be toooo far behind. 🙂  The spinach and snap peas are burning out in this dry heat, though.  Lettuce is hanging in there, yet, but this weather is a stressor for it.

This week the newbies are garlic, purslane, hot peppers, kohlrabi, and basil!
OH, and I keep forgetting to tell you — save some of that arugula for topping your burgers. It’s a fantastic, peppery garnish!  Add some of my tomato chile jam later in the season, and it’s a killer combo. To die for.

SHARE BASKETS:
Here are the contents of your share basket this week:

  • arugula
  • bok choy
  • garlic,  “Music”
  • kale
  • kohlrabi  — the purple or white thing in the bag with the turnips — you can peel and eat raw, much like a turnip, or saute with a little honey and basil
  • napa cabbage
  • mixed salad greens
  • purslane — the succulent plant with small, thick, rounded leaves. A native plant rich in Omega 3s and iron.  Chopped this up to sprinkle on top of your green salad. (Either love it or hate it!)
  • raab   —  Raab is wonderful sauteed (with eggs is my fav), roasted, steamed or grilled in a foil packet with EVOO.)
  •  snow peas
  • hot peppers, mostly anaheim
  • turnips, Hakurei — sweet, slicing turnips, which are great as crudites with dip
  • HERB:  basil

RECIPES:

Gourmet 4th o’ July burger:  Top burger with nice handful of arugula and some sweet-tart jam. Loverly!

Snow Pea Stir Fry:  Thinly slice snow peas and bok choy and napa.  Dice hot peppers. Saute hot peppers in sesame or veg. oil until tender. Add in sliced veggies. Cook just until crisp tender, add 1 T brown sugar, some soy sauce, diced fresh ginger, and fresh chopped basil. If you have a little coconut milk, drizzle some of that in there, too!

  • SHARE!
    Do you have a favorite recipe?   I always welcome you to share your favorite recipes using ingredients from your share baskets. That’s part of what belonging to a community farm is about!

COMING UP:  carrots and green beans…

SWAPS:  There is a spot on the farmstand fridge labeled swaps where you can trade something in your basket with someone else.  Leave something — take something!

TIPS:  Angelic Organics has a handy guide for how to store various kinds of produce:  http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Remember to bring your share bag/basket/box back at pick-up time next Wednesday!!

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