Monday, June 28, 2010

Newsletter has gone out...

Just a heads up that the newsletter should be in your email inbox now. Highlights include:

The next two weekends (Cherry Festival), there is NO downtown TC Saturday farmers’ market. We’ll be at an alternate location (TBA) for CSA pickup Saturday morning. Normally the market picks up and moves to the barns at the old state hospital, but it sounds like that may not happen this year. Check email this coming week for an update!

Organic CHERRIES will be available by special order. Our friends at Omena Organics (where those luscious peaches came from last year) are offering organic sweet and tart cherries for $3/lb. Sign up on the bulletin board (Tuesday) or clipboard (Saturday) for delivery the following week.


Since Late Blight (Phytopthera infestans) wiped out Michigan’s tomato crop last year, we’re a little protective of them this year. In fact, we’re even prepared to spray an organic copper fungicide IF we get word that Late Blight is in the state. The only (organic) way to protect against it is preventatively spraying copper fungicide- once the blight has infected a plant, there’s no salvaging it. So we’d like to know how YOU feel about this- copper fungicide is still fungicide, even if organic. It kills fungus, including beneficial soil fungus, in the process of protecting crops, as well as posing some health threats to people who handle it regularly (over many years, not over a single season). The best breakdown I could find (in a quick web search) about health, safety, and efficacy of copper fungicide was from Oregon State University. This paints, in my mind, a rather grim picture, but keep in mind most conventionally grown tomatoes are doused with heavier-hitting, more persistent chemicals. I certainly don’t intend to spray without confirmation that blight is in the neighborhood, but I also want you all to have loads of delicious, beautiful, healthy tomatoes, AND be informed about what it takes to get them to you. What are YOUR thoughts about tomatoes and copper? Next step: finish mulching.

Let us know if you'd like more of the newsletter on the blog too...

Another take on Pesto...

Thanks to Bill Palladino for sending in this recipe suggestion as we head into heavy duty pesto season, but here with a spin.

Here's a recipe for sweet-pea sage pesto. Seems like we're about there.


  • 2 c Fresh sweet peas / green peas (could use 16oz frozen too.)
  • 1/2 c Sage leaves; washed and packed tightly1 Tbs Miso paste (mixed with 1/4 cup water)
  • 3 Cloves garlic (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 c Ground Hemp Seeds
  • 1 c Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper; to taste
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper; to taste

  • 1/4 c Parmigiano reggiano; freshly
  • 3 tb Pecorino; freshly grated
  • 1/8 cup more Olive Oil


This recipe is a simple twist on pesto. It uses sweet peas as the base with Sage providing an aromatic taste. It can be prepared with or without cheese.

Combine Miso paste with water and bring to boil, reduce to simmer and add peas, mixing to combine flavor.

Place mixture into food processor, adding washed Sage leaves, garlic, and hemp seeds. Pulse until blended well. With motor running slowly pour in Olive Oil in a thin stream until incorporated. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne to taste. The peas are very sweet so you may wish to add more spices to taste. I often add a bit of Herbes de Provence too.


Hemp seed is a great replacement for pine nuts. They are loaded with essential amino acids and fats. Amazingly they are also half the price (or less) of pine nuts. In their ground state (as you get them from Oryana or other sources) they provide a sweetness and texture to the pesto something like course ground parmesan cheese.

Optionally add in ground cheeses with a little more olive oil.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Week 3 Share List

In Your Share This Week:

PEAS!! Snow peas and/or sugarsnap peas- Snow peas are the large, flat-podded peapods (eat the whole thing- peas AND pod), delicious in stirfry with garlic and sesame oil (see Recipes). Sugarsnaps are the fat, crispy ones (also to be eaten whole- the pods are even juicier than the peas themselves) that are so sweet they probably won’t even make it home, let alone into a recipe)

PAC CHOI (a.k.a. Bok Choy)- the crisp, juicy Asian cousin of cabbage, pac choi can be used fresh or cooked. I love to eat the raw midribs dipped in hummous or other garlicky dipping sauce. Our neighbors at Leelanau Cultured Veggies often add pac choi to their kim chee to supplement the Chinese cabbage. It’s perhaps best enjoyed in a simple stirfry with garlic, ginger, and your favorite source of spicy heat (see Recipes), served with rice or rice noodles. This particular batch got hit hard by flea beetles (remember them? The little monsters that ravaged your turnip greens earlier this spring….) so the leaves are….lacy. Don’t worry- it doesn’t make them any less tasty, but they may not store as long as usual, so how about a stir-fry soon?

LETTUCE- the first week of mature heads, not baby mix- you may see Black Seeded Simpson (light green, crinkly leaf lettuce), Italianischer (great big, funky deer tongue-type lettuce that resembles a sea anemone), Red Sails (traditional red leaf), or Skyphos (red butterhead). We’ve taken a poll at the farm, and it’s unanimous- your farmers all prefer big lettuce to baby mix! So in addition to the mesclun you’ve come to love, we hope you’ll also cultivate an appreciation for all the beautiful textures and colors of big lettuces this season.

SCALLIONS- we’ve been waiting all spring, and now it’s summer, and scallions are finally here! Did you know you can eat the entire green section? Some folks I know only use the white and toss the green- I think you’ll find these so fresh and tender you’ll wish there were even more green! We hope to keep you in scallions for the rest of the season. See Recipes for my favorite peanut sauce with scallions.

CILANTRO- the first of the season. While we often associate cilantro with hot –season crops like tomatoes and peppers, i.e. salsa, cilantro actually grows much better in cooler weather and also pairs well with anything remotely Asian or Indian. Try tossing it in with your spicy peanut noodles or on a salad with bean sprouts and lime juice.

And just when you thought you were off the hook… more GARLIC SCAPES. I’m pretty sure this is the last week for these; the plants are just about done producing scapes (they only make one each, but instead of coming on all at once, they’ve been trickling in over the past few weeks, and this is the fattest scape harvest yet). Luckily for us, these store really well in a plastic bag in the fridge if you can’t use them all at once. Has anyone tried the scape tempura recipe from the first week’s newsletter?

Optional Extra: Purslane! Remember this succulent beauty from last year? Also called verdolagas, purslane is popular is Mexican cooking, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. It has a subtle lemony flavor and a juicy, succulent leaf and stem, all of which can be used. Did you know that purslane is the best land-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids? After seafood, fishes, and seaweed, purslane is your friend in good health.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Box Pick-Up Saturday June 19, 2010

Here's this week at the Sara Hardy Market...a little from the booth perspective! In your share this week are:

Baby Lettuce
Spinach or Chard
Beet Greens with baby beets
Green Garlic
Garlic Scapes
Snow or Snap Peas
Arugula Flowers

Welcome to summer!!

To get you started on those garlic scapes here's a little pesto recipe from last year's newsletter:

Garlic scape pesto

1 pound garlic scapes 1 cup grated parmesan cheese Olive oil (about 1/2 to 1 cup)

Pine nuts if available

Chop the garlic scapes into 3 inch lengths. Put it int he food processor and process until pureed. Add the parmesan and pine nuts and process until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil as the food processor runs and continue until all the oil is combined into the garlic. Store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator.

And since spring and summer are all mixed up this year, go ahead and throw a handful of basil in there too!

Happy Saturday!


First Week of Blogging BPF: What's in the Box?

Farm Families!

Trying out a quick way to let you know what you got in your box today, ahead of the newsletter, so that you can google or bing or whatever the items that you're not quite sure what to do with. Would love feedback on how or if this is helpful, and would also love people to post recipes here as they use up their box. You can email them to me, or try out the comment section.

Thanks everyone!