Farm News 7/5/16


Important Announcements & Reminders

  • Full fruit shares (weekly pickup) start this week. Half fruit shares (biweekly pickup) start next week (July 12-14). 
  • This is a pickup week for members who are registered for weekly summer vegetable shares. 
  • Members who registered for every-other-week vegetables will pick up next week.
  • Next week we will also deliver eggs and dairy for members who pick up on-farm and at neighborhood pickup sites.
  • It's not too late to register for fall shares. We are busy planting and tending winter squash, sweet potatoes, leeks, potatoes and many other fall crops. Everything is looking great, and we'd love to share the harvest with you. You can find more information here.

This Week's Vegetable Share

  • Green Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Cipollini Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Basil
  • Curly Kale
  • Cucumbers (from Radical Root Farm)

This Week's Fruit Share

This is a pickup week for full (weekly) shares only.
  • Sweet Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Apricots
  • Raspberries

Farm Journal

There are lots of new veggies in your CSA shares this week--the first green beans, cabbage, garlic, cucumbers and kale are starting to come in. 

A few timely passes with tractor-mounted weeding tools plus adequate rainfall resulted in a beautiful weed-free bean field that is yielding a large quantity of green beans. Lindsey, Drisana and the rest of the Grayslake crew filled bucket after bucket yesterday afternoon.
Even this little guy, the youngest members of the Miller family, wanted to get in on the action. And who could blame him? Farm work is fun when it takes the form of a treasure hunt.
While harvesting garlic is not quite as exciting, it is just as gratifying, especially once the dirt has been cleaned off to reveal the beautiful white bulbs. (Peg was so pleased with the results of yesterday's harvest that she was compelled to take a farmer selfie!) Unlike many other crops which are harvested continuously over a number of weeks or months, the garlic crop is harvested all at once. Garlic bulbs are pulled out of the ground with their leaves and stems intact and tied into bundles. The bundles are arranged in the greenhouse where they will cure for several weeks. Curing is important because it ensures that the bulbs will store for many months. The garlic you'll receive this week just came out of the ground yesterday so it hasn't had time to cure. The main thing you'll notice is that the papery skin separating the cloves hasn't dried yet. Other than that, it's much like the garlic you're used to. Enjoy!

Vegetable Notes: Making the Most of Your Farm Share

Cipollini onions, pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee, are smaller and flatter than regular storage onions. They are slightly sweeter than regular yellow and white onions, and are therefore a great choice for carmelizing and roasting.They can also be used in recipes that call for regular yellow onions.

Kale is closely related to broccoli and cabbage. The key to cooking kale is to cook it long enough so that it becomes tender. Before cooking with kale, take a sharp knife and slice out the tough center rib. Then tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces and steam or simmer in water, broth, or white wine until just tender.

Add cooked kale to omelets, quiches, scrambled eggs, lasagnas, and casseroles. You can also add chopped raw kale to soups and pasta sauces mid-way through the cooking time. The recipe below is one of our favorite ways to prepare kale, and it's actually one of the easiest. We prefer to use white wine for simmering the kale, but you can also use broth or water.

Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

Sauteed Kale with Garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 large bunch kale, stemmed, with leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock, white wine or water
salt, freshly ground black pepper and red-pepper flakes to taste
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add garlic, and cook until soft. Add kale to the pan, turn the heat to medium-high and add the stock. Use a spoon to toss the greens in the oil and stock, then cover and cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, until it is soft and wilted, but still quite green. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers, add vinegar and toss to combine.

Saffron, Zucchini and Basil Couscous
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 zucchini, large dice
1 1/2 cups couscous (10 ounces)
1 cup chopped basil leaves

Bring the stock to a boil in a small saucepan, and turn off the heat. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, and saffron threads and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and melt the butter in a saute pan. Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Bring the chicken stock just back to a boil. Place the couscous in a large bowl and add the cooked zucchini. Pour the hot chicken stock over them. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Add the basil and then toss with a fork. Serve warm or at room

Beet and Feta Burgers
3 cups grated beets (about 4 to 5 beets)
1 cipollini onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 small bunch fresh basil, stems removed
1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee or olive oil, for frying

Peel and grate beets, onion, and garlic on a box grater or use a food processor with the grating blades attached. Place the grated vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, eggs, and rolled oats and mix everything well.

Add feta, basil, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside for about 30 minutes, so the oats can soak up the liquid and the mixture sets (this step is important for the patties to hold together). Try shaping a patty with your hands. If the mixture is to loose, add some more oats.
Form 6 to 8 patties with your hands.

Grill the burgers a couple of minutes on each side – or fry them in a frying pan until golden on both sides. Serve with grilled sourdough bread and toppings of your choice.

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... green beans, cherries, lettuce, zucchini, parsley, potatoes, cucumbers, blueberries and more!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer