Friday, July 20, 2012

CSA Week 7: Rain? Just a teaser..... Still dry. Still hot.

We looked at the weather radar on Thursday, and EVERYWHERE but here was covered in rain. We got about 3 hrs of very light drizzle- enough to settle the dust, but not much more. Today the soil was bone dry again. This year has been a season of extremes- extremely hot, extremely dry, extremely buggy (new insects only vary rarely seen in Michigan have shown up!), extremely good people on the farm, extremely nice salad mix. Extremely gorgeous sunflowers. Extremely late cucurbits, due to the 1st two extremes. We just keep watering and irrigating, watching, hoping for rain. CSA members really keep me going during this time- all the support you showed up front this season, trusting us to grow your food and take care of this land, throwing in your lot with the farm for the season, never suspecting we'd hit record drought conditions. THANK YOU for the vote of confidence. Thank you for the up-front cash. Thank you for being adventurous and excited about the food. Thank you (those of you who are coming) for helping harvest garlic on Tuesday, and participating in Farm Beautification on Sunday July 29.

In your share this week:

Cherry Tomatoes- it's true! The hoophouse is finally cranking them out in CSA-quantities. AND we just got our first ripe tomatoes from the field today- shouldn't be long before the big heirloom slicers come on.... yum.....

Some mighty tasty, funny-looking Broccoli- these suffered in the heat wave, from both heat extremes and temperature fluctuations, but they taste amazing!

Baby Arugula- try an arugula salad, tossed with chopped roasted beets, toasted walnuts, and crumbly goat or blue cheese. And a simple vinaigrette. OR make arugula pesto- just like basil pesto, but arugula.

Baby Hakurei Turnips- the sweetest, most tender turnip I've ever had. We eat these raw, either in the field like an apple, or sliced and salted, eaten as appetizers or snacks. Seriously, they are so sweet and yummy that they might surprise you. You can EVEN make roasted roots with these and the beets..

Scallions- fresh from the hoophouse; pretty soon the sweet onions will be ready, too!!!

Cilantro- ok, so I know your cherry tomatoes aren't going to make it into a salsa (will they even make it home?), but I was in a salsa mood, so here's cilantro in case you have any extra tomatoes lurking around and want to make salsa. OR Indian curry. OR Thai rice noodles with coconut curry. Storage tip: Cilantro maintains its flavor best (in my experience) at room temperature, not refrigerated, so keep in a glass of water, like a cut flower, at room temp until you use it.

Beets! Are back. Remember last year's member preference survey? The results were all over the place (you are an eclectic crowd), but the two things anyone agreed on were MORE kale and MORE beets. Here's our first go at MORE BEETS! Don't forget to use the greens, too- anything you do with chard or spinach you can do with beet greens.

That's it-hope you enjoy the food. -Michelle

Friday, July 13, 2012

CSA Week 6: hot, dry, hot, dry, hot, dry, hot, dry. and hot. and dry

What's in Your Share This Week? Lots more favorites you have already had (and some people already requested more of!):

Baby Salad Mix: just keeps on coming! This may turn out to be the Year of the Salad, despite the weather. (I've got one word for you, heat wave: sprinkler)

Carrots- either the fatter, shorter Mokum, or the longer, skinnier Sugarsnax (no, I'm not kidding; that's its name) What's your favorite so far?

Beets- either pink Chioggia (bullseye pattern inside), or Red Ace, or Golden (orange with yellow flesh)- be sure to try all beets roasted sometime this summer! Coat a whole beetroot with olive oil, wrap in foil, put in a closed grill that's already going, or in your oven/toaster oven, for about an hour at a med-hot temperature- something between 375 and 475.

Kale! Or possibly Braising Mix (a mix of young kales, chards, mustards, Asian greens, beet greens, and/or pea shoots- perfect for a quick stir-fry or saute, enjoy with anything you like) I like to cut kale into tiny, skinny ribbons (called "chiffonade" in culinary terms) and toss with anything I'm cooking - noodles, rice, couscous, soup, etc- just toss the kale ribbons in, and the residual heat will wilt and tenderize them without really cooking. yum.

Basil! More sweet basil from the hoophouse- enough to make a small batch of pesto (perhaps to toss with noodles and kale?) or enjoy with Thai noodles, whole, on pizza, or perhaps a Caprese salad is in your future....

Fresh Garlic! We're nearly to the Big Garlic Harvest- we're looking at next Tuesday afternoon/evening during CSA pick-up and followed by a potluck. How does Tues the 24th from 3-6 p.m. sound? Come for an hour or the entire time, stay after for a potluck with fellow CSA members, farm friends, and your farmers.

PEAS- may be the last pea harvest :( This hot, dry weather is exactly what peas don't like- it's slowing them down dramatically. We may see a resurgence if we get a cool spell, but this may be our last pea week. Enjoy the sweetness while it lasts.

And last but not least, could it possibly be time for cherry tomatoes from the hoophouse??? We'll see... there are definitely enough to snack on at CSA pick-up; soon you'll see them in your shares too!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

CSA Week 5: July 7, 10,11

What's in your share this week? . ________________________________________________________________ . .The very first CARROTS of the season! If you don't plan to use them immediately, remove the tops and store roots in an airtight container in the fridge (greens dry out the roots by transpiring moisture, leaving rubbery, soft carrots- cut off those tops!) ............................................. . . .Scallions or green onions (technically these are scallions- there is a difference; green onions are baby onions- leave them in the ground, and they will eventually form a bulb; scallions will never bulb; they'll just get bigger all around. They taste the same and are used interchangeably.) . .................................... . Kohlrabi, green and/or purple- the "spaceship vegetable" we talked about at the pre-season member meeting. Peel the tough skin, and enjoy the bulb fresh, cut like carrot sticks or grated onto salad or slaw- OR cook any way you'd cook broccoli. Greens=totally edible, just like kale. . . ................................... PEAS! Either snow or sugarsnap- be sure to eat the entire thing; no shelling, now ;) . ................................. . . . Rainbow chard- we made "greens patties" last week, using chard and purslane (the lemony, succulent "mystery vegetable" in last week's shares): chop greens and a scallion or 2 cloves garlic, massage in a bowl by hand with salt, pepper, flour, and egg (just enough flour and egg to coat and bind everything together, not a lot). Drop by the large spoonful into a med-hot skillet with a generous amount of oil, flatten with the back of the spoon, fry til browned on one side, flip, brown on other side, serve with any condiment you like (recommend: hot sauce like Ray's Polish Fire, a tahini-sesame dressing, ketchup, prepared horseradish, etc)-- a GREAT vehicle for any greens you need to use up! . ............................ . . .Radishes- round red Cherry Belle- classic. chop, toss in a bowl with salt, let set 5-15 min, enjoy. yummmm. . ................................ . .Last but not least, The famous Baby Salad Mix- and for those of you who read last week's news, the follow-up is that Baby Lettuce (the baby) has a name, and it is Arlo Drake Nester. Arlo took his first dip in Lake Leelanau a few days ago, at less than a week old!