Farm News (06/17/14)

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Important Reminders
  • This is the first week for summer vegetables, eggs, and dairy.
  • Summer meat shares start the week of June 30th.
  • Fruit shares start the week of July 7th.
This Week’s Vegetable Share
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Strawberries (from Mick Klug Farms)
  • Spinach
  • Green Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Zucchini or Kohlrabi*

*Some members will receive zucchini this week and some will receive kohlrabi. Next week you’ll receive the item that wasn’t in your share this week.

This Week’s Dairy Share
  • 2-Year Cheddar from Brunkow Cheese in Darlington, WI
  • Fresh Chevre from La Clare Farms in Fond du Lac, WI
  • Dill Havarti from Roth Käse in Monroe, WI
  • Greek Yogurt from Pastureland Cooperative
Producer Profile: The Hedrich Family of LaClare Farms

Creating an on-farm creamery has provided a means for Larry and Clara Hedrich to fulfill their dream of involving their five grown children in the family farm business. They began raising dairy goats as a hobby in the late 1970s when their children were involved in the local 4-H club. By the mid-1990s their herd had grown and they began commercial goat milk production. In 2008, they made their first batch of cheese, and demand for their cheeses has grown steadily ever since.

 

                      

Delivery Schedule for the Week of July 4th

Due to the holiday, we will be operating on a modified schedule for the week of July 4th. We will not be making any deliveries on Thursday. All members who pick up at the farm will pick up on Tuesday that week, including members who normally pick up at the farm on Thursdays. The pickup schedule for all other members will be as follows:  

Tuesday

Allstate
Baxter
Deerfield
Evanston
Glenview
Lake Forest  

Wednesday

Northfield
Barrington
Buffalo Grove
Mundelein
Clarendon Hills
Glen Ellyn
Oak Park

Field Report

After a nice stretch of relatively calm weather, it looks like we’re in for a stormy week. From a farmer’s perspective, having access to radar images through the National Weather Service website is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that it helps us make better decisions about when to plant and when to harvest. The curse is that it’s awfully easy to become obsessed with checking the tiny screens that we carry around in our pockets all day long. As wave after wave of heavy rain and strong winds swept through the area surrounding our Brodhead farm last night, Matt found himself unable to sleep. Instead, he lay awake listening to the rattling of the windows and reaching repeatedly for the cell phone next to the bed. Each time he looked at the radar, it seemed there was another angry red blob approaching from the west. By the time he ventured outside this morning, he was prepared for the worst. What he found, however, was a real relief. A number of zucchini plants had been snapped off and blown into the mud, but most crops, including tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and potatoes, had weathered the storm quite well.  As it turns out, very little damage was done, and the two inches of rain we got will be quite helpful in keeping our pastures growing.  That makes us all very happy!

 

 Kate and Courtenay are all smiles as they harvest spinach under dark skies.

 

In the Farm Kitchen: Tips for Making the Most of your Share

Also known as Chinese cabbage, Napa cabbage has been cultivated in various parts of the world for thousands of years. Almost the entire thing is edible, from the light green crinkly leaves to the juicy white ribs. Napa cabbage adds a nice crunch when used raw in a salad, but it also stands up well to the heat of a quick saute or stir fry. We like to use Napa cabbage to make cole slaws similar to those made with the familiar green cabbage. For a simple crunchy side dish, chop it up, add sliced almonds and chopped green onions, and dress with oil and vinegar.

 

 

 

Swiss chard is flavorful yet mild, and can be substituted for spinach in many dishes including quiches, omelets, lasagna, pasta sauce, stir frys, etc. In the farm kitchen we like to use braised chard as a pizza topping and as a filling for vegetarian pita pockets. Chard is high in vitamins A, E and C and the minerals calcium and iron. You can use the entire leaf as well as the tender stem.

 

Kohlrabi is delicious peeled and eaten raw. Just peel the bulb, slice into match sticks and serve plain, with hummus or with your favorite vegetable dip. It also makes a nice slaw when shredded or thinly sliced. The leaves can be prepared in the same way as kale or collards.

 

This Week’s Featured Recipes

Bruschetta with Braised Greens
adapted from ‘Recipes from America's Small Farms’ by Joanne Lamb Hayes & Lori Stein

8 tablespoons olive oil
8 garlic cloves
1 lb mixed greens (a combination of spinach, beet greens, chard, etc), coarsely chopped
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1 loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 12 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Finely chop 2 of the garlic cloves and saute until they begin to color. Add the chopped greens and saute until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. (You may have to add the leaves in two batches if your skillet is not large enough, but the leaves will quickly decrease in volume.) Add the stock and bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. If you're using wine, add it during the last 5 minutes of the cooking time and keep stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed or evaporated. Add the red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

Meanwhile, toast the bread on both sides, brush with the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. While the bread is toasting, cut the remaining 6 garlic cloves in half, then rub each slice with a half clove while it's still hot. When the greens are ready, transfer them to a sieve and let them drain for a minute or two. Place about 3 tablespoons of the braised greens on each slice of bread. Top with the Parmesan and serve immediately or broil for a minute or two to melt the cheese before serving.

 

Spinach with Chick Peas and Smoked Paprika
from Bon Appétit, October 2012

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
8 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
5 canned whole tomatoes, crushed
3 cups (or more) vegetable broth
4 large eggs

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add 1 garlic clove. Stir until beginning to turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Add spinach to pot. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted but still bright green, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside. Wipe out pot.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and 3 garlic cloves. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, 3-4 minutes. Add cumin and paprika; stir until cumin is toasted and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add chickpeas and tomatoes; stir to coat. Cook until tomatoes start to caramelize and chickpeas begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add 3 cups broth; bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, occasionally mashing some chickpeas with the back of a spoon or a potato masher, until sauce is thickened, 15-20 minutes. Fold in spinach; simmer for flavors to meld, adding more broth by 1/4-cupfuls if too thick, 8 to 10 minutes.

Pour oil into a large heavy skillet to a depth of 1/8" (about 1/4 cup). Heat until oil begins to shimmer. Crack 2 eggs into hot oil, spacing apart. Using a large spoon, carefully baste whites (not yolks) with oil until whites are set and edges are crunchy, lacy, and golden brown, 2-3 minutes (do not turn). Season eggs with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining 2 eggs.

Spoon chickpea stew into bowls and top each with a fried egg.

Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon pickling salt
6 cups water
2 pounds Napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch squares
6 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths, then slivered
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons mild ground dried hot pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

Dissolve the 3 tablespoons salt in the water; put the cabbage into a large bowl, a crock, or a nonreactive pot, and pour the brine over it; weigh the cabbage down with a plate; let the cabbage stand for 12-hours.

Drain the cabbage, reserving the brine; mix the cabbage with the remaining ingredients, including the 1 teaspoon salt; pack the mixture into a 2-quart jar; pour enough of the reserved brine over the cabbage to cover it; push a freezer bag into the mouth of the jar, and pour the remaining brine into the bag; seal the bag. Let the kimchi ferment in a cool place, at a temperature no higher than 68 degrees F, for 3 to 6 days, until the kimchi is as sour as you like. Remove the brine bag, and cap the jar tightly. Store the kimchi in the refrigerator, where it will keep for months. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.

Napa Cabbage Spring Rolls
from Midwest Living magazine

1 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt
4 cups ice cubes
1 head napa cabbage
1 cup shredded or grated carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Soy sauce or teriyaki sauce

In a large pot, combine 12 cups (3 quarts) water and the 1 tablespoon sea salt. Bring to boiling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 8 cups cold water and ice cubes. Remove 8 outer leaves from cabbage. Make a cut through each individual leaf at the base where it attaches to the core. Trim out some of the woody stem area from the leaf. Set the remaining head aside. To blanch, carefully add trimmed cabbage leaves to boiling water; cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until just wilted. Cool quickly by plunging cabbage leaves into ice water for 1 minute. Remove individual leaves from water and lay each flat on a cloth towel to dry. Set leaves aside.

For vegetable filling: Using the remaining cabbage, finely chop enough to measure 1 3/4 cups. In a large bowl, combine the finely chopped cabbage, carrots, onions, sesame oil, lime peel, lime juice, the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.

About one hour before serving, assemble rolls. First, squeeze out any excess water from the vegetable filling. Then, on the counter or cutting board, take a blanched cabbage leaf and lay it flat, with the base end toward you. In the center of the leaf, place 1/4 cup of the vegetable filling on center of leaf, then place 2 tablespoons of the rice on top of the vegetable mixture.

Roll the base end over the rice and filling. Fold both left and right sides over so that it just covers the opening on the edges. Continue rolling toward the end, wrapping tightly with care not to tear the leaf. Place finished roll on a serving dish with the end tucked under the roll, seam side down. Repeat with remaining leaves, rice and vegetable filling. Serve with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.

Next week’s harvest (our best guess)…beets, zucchini or kohlrabi, fennel, lettuce, dill or cilantro, baby leeks, and maybe mushrooms!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer