END of SUMMER SEASON – WEEK 24 – Nov 4 & 7

November 4, 2013

Dear Farm Members,       

Please bring a bag to pickup, transfer veggies into that & leave the flattened box. Please also bring all old boxes back today – we want them! THANKS!

Week 24, the last week of the summer season! It’s been a wonderful and very successful year for the farm, largely due to the talent and diligence of the farm crew. It takes an almost unbelievable amount of work to pull off a CSA season here. So many carrots seeded, weeded, watered, pulled, washed, and delivered!  I would like to most especially thank the core “nine:” Missy, Jake, Cory, Maia, Abby, Kali, Phoebe, Kevin, and Rachel. I am so grateful to get to work with these people. This is also a time of transition for the crew. Two of the nine will be heading on to other projects. Kevin is going in search of a farm with more animals and Rachel is headed for Amsterdam to be closer to her family. We will miss them.

The ending of each season leaves me feeling fulfilled and relieved, and also a bit melancholy and lost. My purpose has been so clear these last months, and now it’s time to slow down, recharge, and start the planning process so we can do it again!

In order for us to continue to improve the farm, we will be sending out an email with a simple online survey later this week. In order to help you reflect on your CSA experience this season, I have compiled a short list of some of our major crops, how many weeks we were able to offer them, and also a summary of the box dollar values over the season.

Value of the boxes: on average the boxes were worth $31 (using the farmer’s market and our local coop for pricing). You are paying $25.75 per box (Truckee/Tahoe folks pay an additional $3 for delivery), so you received $5.25 per box or $126 total worth of free produce – not counting the free choice items. Individual box values ranged from $22 to $45, with only 3 boxes valued below $25.75.


Now here’s a list of all the crops that we gave out in your boxes for 5 or more weeks, followed by the number of weeks: Tomatoes 16, lettuce 22, sweet corn 13, carrots 19, melons 8, green beans 6, beets 9, broccoli 6, Chard 5, cilantro 6, cucumbers 11, eggplant 6, zucchini/summer squash 13, winter squash/pumpkins 5, sweet peppers 9, potatoes 8, garlic 11, kale 5, parsley 5, onions 9 (this doesn’t include the 4 weeks of scallions, and 4 weeks of leeks!), and cabbage 6.


Crops that we gave out less than 5 times are as follows: cauliflower, celery, bok choy, collard greens, dill, edamame, escarole, fennel, leeks, Napa cabbage, peas, hot peppers (not counting free choice), radicchio, radishes, scallions, spinach, tatsoi, and turnips.


Overall, I was especially pleased with the tomatoes, potatoes, corn, lettuce, winter squash, garlic, sweet peppers, and carrots. I wished we had fall broccoli a little earlier, and a little more chard and kale in the fall as well. Everything else seems like it was average or better than average this year — a very impressive harvest.


I hope the food treated you well. Thank you all for supporting our farm, we are thriving thanks to you!

John Tecklin

 

In your box this week:

Butternut squash – a few people may get acorn squash

Fennel

Purple or orange carrots

Lettuce

Scallions

Celery

Spinach

Broccoli

Radicchio – this is the beautiful, very deep red thing that looks like lettuce. Some are more of a tight head and some are more open. All are a little more bitter than escarole. So yummy mixed with the lettuce in salads.

Broccoli-Cheese Soup 

Serves 6 to 8 To make a vegetarian version of this soup, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth. 
INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 pounds broccoli, florets roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup) 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons) 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder pinch cayenne pepper Table salt 3–4 cups water 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note) 2 ounces baby spinach (2 loosely packed cups) 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup) 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine (about 3/4 cup), plus extra for serving Ground black pepper 
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover,and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking. 
2. Add broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium-high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to Dutch oven, place over medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust consistency of soup with up to 1 cup water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.
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Summer Week 23 – October 28 & 31

October 29, 2013

Dear Farm Members,

NEXT WEEK is the last week of the summer season –  please find and return all your produce boxes.

And please continue your CSA through the winter – SIGN UP TODAY!  The season starts the week of Nov. 18 – just in time for Thanksgiving.

Tomato windfall: In shocking farm news, boxes for last Thursday and this Monday were found to contain a few unforeseen tomatoes hiding amongst the fall greens. This late surprise happened because as we were pulling down the tomato vines to plant over wintering cover crop seed, we were able to gather 850 lbs. of tomatoes from those scrappy vines!

Whew, thank goodness for the little rain. It has been so painfully dry these last weeks of the season. We’ve even been forced to start irrigating the cover crops, which is laborious. Now we need a real soaking to start replenishing the soils, aquifers, and reservoirs.

Next week is the last week of the summer CSA season! It’s been a stellar season from the farm’s perspective, but next week, in the last newsletter, I’ll put together a summary of our harvest data and we’ll include a survey so you can tell us how the season worked for you. Please help us out with your feedback: we need to know what you think so we can continue to improve the system and give you what you want and need.

Thanks,

John Tecklin

THIS WEEK’s VEGGIES:

Potatoes
Garlic
Butternut Squash – so delicious! cut it in half, brush with olive oil and roast cut side down for 30 minutes or so at 375
Broccoli
Lettuce
Collards
Leeks or onions
Basil
Cabbage

AND RECIPE:

Broccoli & Gorgonzola Pie
1 Ib puff pastry or homemade pie crust ( I like Mark Bittman’s Flaky Pie Crust )
Broccoli, cut into florets
2 tbsp butter
leeks and onions, thinly slices
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup chopped chives
1/3 chopped tarragon
3 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp sea salt

pepper to taste

7 oz gorgonzola, cut into medium chunks
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400.  Roll dough out into a circle that is 1/8 inch thick and big enough to fit the bottom of your tart or pie pan.  Make a second circle large enough to be used as the top.  Place both in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Pre-bake pie crust in the pie pan for 15-20 minutes, or until light brown.
The filling: blanch broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool.   Melt butter in the pan and sauté leeks and onions until soft. Add cream, water, chives, tarragon, mustard, sea salt and pepper. Stir to combine flavors and remove from heat. Place the sautéed leek mixture into the pie pan followed by the broccoli on top. Next sprinkle the gorgonzola.Brush a beaten egg on the rim of the bottom crust shell and the press the top crust into the bottom one to mold together. Trim any excess pastry lining.  Brush the rest of the beaten egg over the top crust and bake pie for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Indulge and enjoy!
Variation: make filling and add into polenta
Polenta:
4 cups stock or water
1 cup polenta
Boil water and add polenta.  Bring to a low simmer and stir constantly until thick, 7-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add leek filling along with the broccoli and gorgonzola.  Enjoy!
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Summer Week 22 – October 21 & 24

October 21, 2013

Crew members Phoebe and Kali with Veggie Box Week 22

Dear Farm Members,

This is week 22 of our 24 week season, so we have 2 more weeks left (after this week)! We have lots of nice greens for you this week and in the coming weeks. I need to mention right away that the large green head that looks kind of like lettuce is NOT lettuce, it is escarole. I love escarole above almost all other greens for salad. It can be cooked, but it seems like we almost always eat it in salads. Its slightly bitter nature is very well complemented by adding a little sweetness to your dressing and/or sliced apples, pears, persimmons, pomegranate, or early citrus to your salad.

I also need to mention again that we really need more boxes to come back to the pickup sites. It may not seem like the small pile in your garage is that big a deal, but there are a couple thousand boxes out there unaccounted for… and we are sadly running short again despite buying more just a few weeks ago. Thanks for helping make the system work!

In your box this week:

Pie pumpkins – check out our alternative pumpkin pie recipe this week. I’m not sure I can let go of my traditional recipe involving eggs, butter and brown sugar, but for those of you looking for something new and interesting, its tasty too.

Broccoli

Onions

Carrots

Fennel – slice thinly and add to that salad with the escarole and pears!

Celery

Escarole – please see my note above

Dino kale

Parsley

Radishes

This Week’s Recipe:

Pumpkin Pie

Adapted from: mynewroots.org

 

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 tsp. cinnamon

¼  tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8  tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

¼  tsp. ground cardamom

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

¾ cup coconut sugar

½ vanilla bean, scraped

1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 C full fat coconut milk

 

Hazelnut Crust:

1 ½ cups rolled oats

1 cup toasted hazelnuts

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 C dates

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Combine all of the crust ingredients except ¼ C hazelnuts in the food processor and process. Add the reserved hazelnuts and pulse for a few moments and then push the crust into a pre-oiled pie pan. If the crust is too dry/crumbly add more dates and coconut oil. If it is too wet, add more oats or nuts before putting it into pie pan.

Cut your sugar pie pumpkin or pumpkins in half and take out the seeds. You can rinse and then season the seeds and roast them for a pumpkin seed snack! Once the pumpkins are cleaned of seeds, put them cut side down onto a baking sheet (with a little water coating the bottom of the pan to help steam bake the pumpkin) and into the oven at 375 until a fork pushes easily all the way through the flesh. Let cool and then scoop out 2 cups worth for the filling. Add all the spices, sugar, and coconut milk and then puree it. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the top turns dark orange/brownish and does not jiggle. Let rest for 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven and then enjoy with some whipped cream or ice cream.

 

 

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Summer Week 21 – Oct. 14 & 17

October 14, 2013

Dear Farm Members,

SIGN UP TODAY FOR OUR WINTER CSA!

We continue our seasonal wind down here on the farm. Last week’s garlic planting was another satisfying investment in the future. Garlic always seems like such a miracle: it grows slowly and sleepily through the winter, loving the winter rains, and then offers us a precious flavor gem in the spring. This week we will be cleaning up and mowing down more finished summer crops and planting cover crops in their place. We are also going to take the crew to visit a couple of other farms in the area. Each fall we try to do a few farm visits. There is so much to learn from other farmers (I always like learning from others’ mistakes instead of my own if possible) and it’s also really enjoyable to just take some time to visit people with common interests, concerns, and experiences.

You will notice that these last few boxes are lighter again, like in the spring. We got so used to summer’s mad abundance and now things are shrinking again. On top of that, the fall chard is very aphidy and the kale is a little skimpy. And the broccoli is beautiful, but coming later than hoped for. We should have some kale next week and hopefully broccoli too. Also coming soon: escarole, radicchio, fennel, and more celery!

Thanks for going on this CSA adventure with us,

John Tecklin

In your box this week:

Basil

Cabbage

Leeks

Carrots

Potatoes

Beets – sorry no greens this time, they are aphid infested like the chard

Peppers – these are the last scraps for real!

Acorn or Butternut squash

Lettuce

 THIS WEEK’S RECIPE

Roasted Beet Dip Inspired by Ottolenghi & Tamimi, Jerusalem a cookbook

“Beets cross cultural lines with the flexibility of an acrobat”- Yotam Ottolenghi

beets from your box, roasted & peeled
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chile, seeded & finely chopped (red chile flakes work too)
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp date syrup or maple syrup
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp za’atar
1 tsp salt

To Garnish: 2 green onions, thinly sliced Toasted hazelnuts, coarsely crushed Goat cheese

Za’atar substitute: equal parts thyme to equal parts marjoram and/or oregano

Preheat oven to 400′F.
Roast beets in a pan until a knife can slide into the center without struggle, about 1 hour. Peel and quarter beets. Allow to cool. Place beets, garlic, chile, and yogurt in food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in syrup, olive oil, za’atar ( or spice substitute) and a pinch of salt to taste. Transfer to a clean bowl to serve and top off with garnishes. This dip goes well with warmed bread.

 

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Summer Week 20 – October 7 & 10

October 7, 2013

Dear Farm Members,

This is the last week of our fruit share! Also – please don’t forget to signup for the winter CSA season – we’re thrilled to have it start before Thanksgiving. Click here for SIGN UP on our website.

This week is garlic planting time. It seems like we were just doing this last fall – the year has come around so quickly. It’s been a great garlic year for us, with garlic in many boxes. We saved a generous amount for replanting; hopefully there will be some extra that we can continue to put in another box or two.

Glorious fall weather continues to be the theme here. We finally heard and saw some Sandhill Cranes last Friday. They usually come through here a couple weeks earlier and I was beginning to worry. Still waiting for a nice big rain to water in that cover crop seed…

Hope you all are well and well fed,

John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Tomatoes – surprise, there are a few more…

Kabocha, buttercup OR acorn squash

Onions

Carrots

Eggplant

Turnips OR radishes

Cilantro

Celery

Napa cabbage – Some of the napa cabbages are so large we may have to cut them in half to fit them in the boxes!

FRUIT THIS WEEK (THE LAST WEEK of FRUIT!)

Apples, Grapes, Pomegranates, & Plums

RECIPE

A Humble French Lentil Medley

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 clove
1 cup french lentils
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 thyme sprigs
turnips, cubed
cubed and peeled squash
kale, roughly chopped
carrots, cut into coins
cilantro or parsley, minced
goat cheese
4 cups water, or stock

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot and add onions and celery, stirring, until transluicent. Add garlic, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, clove, bay leaf and 4 cups of water or stock. Bring to boil add turnips and squash, and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add Kale and carrots and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender and much of the stock is absorbed, approximately ten minutes. Garish bowls with cilantro or parsley and dollops of goat cheese. Enjoy! Alternativerly, bake the winter squash in the oven.  Add baked squash into the stew when adding the carrots and kale.  This will add a richer flavor.

 

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Summer Week 19 – Sept 30 & Oct 3

September 30, 2013

Dear Farm Members,

Please note – the fruit share ends NEXT week (Oct 7/10).

SIGN UP FOR THE 2013-14 WINTER CSA SHARE TODAY!

Week 19 (of 24): This week we are starting to distribute winter squash. Most of it should really be called “fall squash,” as that is when it is best eaten. Butternut squash is the main exception – it gets better with long storage, and really tastes best in the New Year. So we will start this week with delicata squash, a popular small thin skinned variety (you can actually eat the skin). You will also be receiving kabocha/buttercup, acorn, pie pumpkins, and butternut. For all these squashes, our preferred cooking method is to cut them in half longitudinally– careful, you can get hurt doing this – scoop out the seeds, coat the insides with olive and bake with the flesh side down/skin side up on a cookie sheet until very soft. Then you can either eat it straight the way it is, or use it in a million recipes. I love winter squash in soups and curries!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the harvest festival. As usual the kids’ activities were well enjoyed. The new photo booth, complete with costumes and a perfect farm backdrop, was a real hit. Thanks to Abby for the costumes and Rachel for the photos. We host field trips for many school groups at this time of year and the lucky ones get to come after the harvest festival – when the the straw fort and roller slide are still set up. For those of you who missed the party, but still want to visit the farm, please just give us a call and come visit! Or you could come to the next public farm tour on Oct 13 at 10am. This tour is a benefit for the Yuba Watershed Institute; please see their website for details.

Thanks,

John Tecklin

3 of the great gals of MBF's crew

IN YOUR VEG BOX THIS WEEK:

Potatoes

Leeks

Garlic

Red peppers – maybe the last of the season

Lettuce

Tomatoes – likely the last

Basil

Delicata squash

Collard greens – use like kale or chard, but they need to be cooked a little longer. But please don’t cook them to mush like they sometimes do in the south.

Corn – last week was supposed to be the last, this is it for real this time!

Free Choice: Arugula (As a reminder, or if you are a new member, the free box is a first come, first serve box of one item at your site.  It is always above the value of your box. Take some if you’d like!)

IN YOUR FRUIT BOX (Next week – Oct 7 & 10  is the last fruit share week!)

Apples, Pomegranates, and Plums

RECIPE

POTATO SOUP WITH COLLARD GREENS

Serves 6; Recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-2 pounds small potatoes, any variety, washed
-1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, washed well and sliced into ½ inch ribbons
-2 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-2 leeks, cleaned well and sliced thinly crosswise
-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1/4 cup heavy cream

*1ear of corn, decobbed (optional)

Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until leeks are translucent. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, collard greens and broth to cover. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. If using, add corn at the end and let simmer a few minutes.

Once potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the stove and add the cayenne and heavy cream.

Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve immediately.

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Summer Week 18 – September 23 & 26

September 23, 2013

This week's fruit & our "fruit guy" Greg Lewis

Dear Farm Members,

REMINDER: Our annual harvest festival is this coming Saturday the 28th! If you haven’t seen our Birchville Rd fields, this is a great time to do it! And if your kids haven’t frolicked on the roller slide and straw bale fort at one our funky and fun farm parties, then come on down. Details and directions are on the website.

Well, the hoped for rain happened, Yeah! Monday and Tuesday we will be planting cover crop seed with crazy abandon. And it looks like perfect fall weather this week with a chance for some more rain on Weds. Farmers and mountain bikers (and mountain biking farmers!) are rejoicing.

You will notice that there are no tomatoes in your box this week. We are going to give them a break this week and then hopefully glean a few more for you next week, but they are almost finished. This is a little earlier finish than we might wish for, but given the excellent season so far, I feel bad complaining about that. This year we had our earliest tomato harvests, best yields, and best overall quality ever. We started picking tomatoes on July first, and remember all those weeks with 3 lbs. of tomatoes in your box? Now it’s time to start getting ready for some fall greens.

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Green beans – last of the season!

Corn – last of the season!

Lettuce

Onions

Sweet peppers – if we are lucky there might be some more for next week…

Carrots

Beets

Cilantro

Tokyo turnips

Red cabbage

Free choice – hot peppers

Meet Greg Lewis, our “fruit guy”

THIS WEEK’S FRUIT

Pomegranates, pears, apples & plums (PLEASE NOTE – fruit share may be slightly different for Thursday.)

RECIPE:

Braised Red Cabbage, Chez Panisse Style

1 red cabbage, sliced thin
Onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup water
1 apple, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons of duck fat ( lard or butter will do just fine)
Salt & pepper

Saute onion in a heavy pot until translucent, about five minutes. Add cabbage, vinegar, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste, and the water. Bring pot to a boil, cover with a lid and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add grated apple and let cook another five minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Enjoy!

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Summer Week 17 – September 16 & 19

September 16, 2013

Dear Farm Members,

Here are a couple of photos of the winter squash harvest as promised:

      

Update on the farm’s water situation: I think we will squeak by this season. The wells and ponds are very low, but our usage is also declining quickly. The only big thing that’s left to water is the block of fall greens, about 2 acres. This area includes all the fall broccolis, cabbage, cauliflower, fennel, leeks, carrots, some lettuces, scallions, spinach, turnips, escarole, radicchio, and some beets. Just to give you perspective, this season we cultivated a total of about 16 acres. And a little bit of the farm area gets 2 plantings. For example, this fall greens section was also planted to part of the early spring greens, garlic, and onions. We have been hearing that a lot of people are having trouble with their wells. Let’s hope for a wet winter.

Our next big task is to plant cover crops on all the areas that are done producing for the season. Cover crops protect the soil from the (hopefully) heavy winter rains, gather and save plant nutrients, and build soil organic matter. This year we will be planting oats, rye, vetch, and fava beans. Even though the seed costs over $3000 each year, and nobody gets to eat these crops, they are my favorite to plant and watch grow. A good cover crop makes me feel rich – I know I’m taking good care of the soil and it will take good care of me. Now we just need a nice little rain to get the process going.

Also our flower share only has one more week (last pickup is Monday, Sept 23 and Thursday, Sept 27)! Thanks Angie for another beautiful season.

Thanks for your support,

John Tecklin

 

 

 

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Tatsoi (OR Baby Bok Choi)– This is the green with dark green spoon shaped leaves. Use it like bok choy. It is tender, so cook very quickly.

Potatoes

Lettuce

Cucumbers

Red sweet peppers

Garlic

Carrots

Corn

Green beans

Tomatoes

Dill

Basil

THIS WEEK’S FRUIT

Pears, White Nectarines, & Red Plums

THIS WEEK’s RECIPE (from Kathy)

I love cooking The Pioneer’ Woman’s recipes. Use your red peppers in this one (roast them!)….a favorite and easy pasta! Read on or go here for her cute blog:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/05/quick-and-easy-roasted-red-pepper-pasta/

Red Pepper Pasta

  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta Of Your Choice (I Prefer Short Ones Like Rigatoni, Penne, Etc.)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Finely Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 jar (15.5 Ounces) Roasted Red Peppers, Drained And Roughly Chopped
  • 1 cup Vegetable Or Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Shavings (more For Serving)
  • Finely Minced Parsley
  • Chopped Fresh Basil (if You Have It!)

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will still be some texture to the peppers.)

Heat the other 2 tablespoon butter back to the skillet over medium heat. Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet. Add the broth, salt, and pepper, and stir until heated. Splash in the cream and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add Parmesan and parsley/basil, then stir it together to coat the pasta.

Serve in bowls with extra Parmesan and a sprinkling of parsley on top.

 

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Summer Week 16 – September 9 & 12

September 9, 2013

Dear Farm Members,

The big news this week is the winter squash harvest. We started picking it a couple of weeks ago, and picked about ¼ of the field. We planted a lot of squash this year (25 rows that are each 250’ long, which is about ¾ of an acre) and it looks very abundant. For several weeks we have been debating/worrying how to handle all this squash – what containers to put it in, and how to move it. We had to get some help, so we are borrowing 4’x4’ fruit bins from another farm and renting a forklift for a couple of days. In our earlier small harvest we filled 8 bins, and my guess is there are at least 15 more bins out there. Needless to say, we are not used to dealing with this amount of produce! Luckily, we are motivated by a love for squash. The butternut is looking particularly sexy this year. I’ll try to include some pictures of the squash drama in next week’s newsletter.

This is week 16 of the season, leaving 8 weeks to go. There will be abundant winter squash in your boxes for at least the last 5 of those weeks. If anyone wants to stock up for winter, bring a big box or two down to the Nevada City farmers market where we’ll have lots of squash through the rest of the season.

And if you want to stock up on heritage breed pork, Cory Jones, our tractor and irrigation manager, has what you need. His pigs are pastured at the edges of our fields, fed organic feed, supplemented with great piles of leftover Mountain Bounty produce. He is selling a few whole or half hogs, with some available in a couple of weeks and more available in late November. For more details please email him directly at corwynleejones@yahoo.com.

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Melons – maybe! We thought they were all done last week, but there might be enough to go around this week.

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Summer squash/zukes

Onions

Carrots

Corn

Beets

Sweet red peppers!

Parsley

Cilantro

Radishes

Free Choice: hot peppers

IN THE FRUIT BOX:

Peaches, Plums & Grapes (Nectarines instead of  Peaches on Thursday)

THIS WEEK’S RECIPE:

Here on the farm we endeavor to eat seasonally, and the rhythm of the crops teaches us how to do so.  After a scarce winter and months of spring planting, we always greatly anticipate the coming of summer and its promise of abundance. When they arrive, sweet, red peppers are truly a treat and are one of my favorite heat-loving crops.

Even though September remains an immensely busy time on the farm and we still feel like there are never enough hours in the day to finish our harvesting, weeding, and planting, an afternoon roasting and then canning red peppers is well worth the effort: a farmer’s attempt to prolong summer’s bounty into winter.
I’d encourage all of you to try this recipe and, if you’re as hooked as I am, consider going to your local farmer’s market to purchase more peppers for a rewarding afternoon of canning!

Heavenly Roasted Red Peppers
Sweet red peppers
Olive oil
Sea Salt
Red wine vinegar
Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove seeds from the cavity.  Coat peppers generously with olive oil.  Place peppers on baking tray either in the broiler or on the grill.  The temperature of the grill/oven should be very hot in order to blacken the skin.  Rotate the peppers until all sides of the peppers are blackened.  Place blackened peppers in a brown paper bag with the bag rolled and closed to trap in the heat.  Let peppers “sweat” in the bag for 20-25 minutes. Once peppers are cool enough to handle, begin removing the skin. DO NOT rinse the peppers under water or you will loose  a lot of flavor! At this point you can either leave the peppers whole or cut them into smaller strips.  Place skinned peppers in a bowl and salt generously. This should create some nice juice, which you can reserve for cooking or canning. Now, dip each pepper in a shallow bowl of red wine vinegar, coating thoroughly. At this point they are ready to eat.
The peppers in this week’s CSA box will provide enough to sample this recipe. You will need to obtain a more sizable quantity if your wish is to preserve a good amount for winter. It takes approximately 4-6 peppers to fill a half-pint jar.
In order to can, cover the bottom of a half-pint jar with a thin layer of red wine vinegar. Pack the peppers into the jar and add the salted, pepper juice on top. Finally, top off the jar with a layer of olive oil. This jar will last in the refrigerator for up to six months or you can find instructions online for how to preserve them using a hot-water bath.
These delightful treats are good on just about anything from your scrambled eggs to a decadent topping on a pizza. Enjoy!
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Summer Week 15 – Sept 2 & 5

September 2, 2013

Dear Farm Members,

It’s another big fat box for you this week. This has been an amazingly successful growing season and we don’t want to overwhelm anyone, but we also want to share the bounty. That’s part of the CSA ideal – if we have lots of food, we have a really hard time not giving it to you. From a pure dollars and cents standpoint it has also been a good deal: In the last 6 weeks the boxes have been averaging between $35-$45 value. Last week’s box was worth $43. This week’s should be around $36 not counting the free choice arugula!

We usually do a survey at the end of the season, but I’d be curious to hear how it’s working for you while it’s all still fresh in your minds. Please let us know.

I can already see the first signs of fall here. It’s mostly in the light – less in the morning, and also a little different angle. The crops are starting to change too. Fall greens are growing bigger. Tomatoes, which have been overwhelmingly numerous and beautiful, are slowly starting to decline. Melons are almost done. This week we will pick from the 5th of 6 corn plantings. Enjoy this last bit of summer.

The big veggie box & crew member Ethan

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuce – continues to amaze us!

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Garlic

Basil

Eggplant

Corn

Summer squash/zucchini

Melon

Leeks

Edamame

Rainbow chard

Free choice: arugula (The “free choice” box is a first come, first serve option at your site. It is always an extra item – above the value of your box.)

You might notice that we are taking a break from carrots this week – more coming next week!

IN YOUR FRUIT BOX:
Plums, Peaches & Pears

THIS WEEK’S RECIPE:

Baba Ghanoush

Inspired by Mark Bittman How to Cook Everything
1-2 eggplants
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1/3 cup tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
parsley for garnish (if desired)
Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat or heat the oven to 500˚F. Pierce the eggplant in several places with a thin knife. Grill or roast it, turning occasionally until the eggplant collapses and the skins blacken 15-30 mins, depending on size. Remove and cool. While the eggplant is roasting, toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, just until they begin to brown. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel open the skin, scoop out the flesh and mince it. Put in a food processor with pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, oil and some salt and pepper. Process until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, then garnish with parsley and serve with crackers, pita bread or veggies for dipping–cucumber, red peppers, carrots, etc.
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