Summer Week 14 – August 25 & 28

August 26, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

The farm continues with its bounteous ways and we are struggling to figure out how not to overwhelm you all with too much produce. It’s a good problem, right? We are very fortunate to have such abundance and I hope you are enjoying the big heavy boxes right now. After a couple more weeks the corn and melons will give way to cabbage, broccoli, leeks, lots of potatoes, and winter squash. We started harvesting the winter squash last week and it is shocking how much  is out there…Yummy.

I wanted to give you an update on our water situation. Like last year, it has certainly been a challenging season, but it seems like all of our conservation measures have worked so far. And we’ve been lucky. Although we are heading into the driest month, I am now cautiously optimistic that we will be able to eke it out until the end of the season. Our water needs are diminishing and we do have a little bit left. Now we really, really need a wet winter (or several!).

In less happy news, our fabulous CSA manager Kathy Dotson has decided to move on to attend to her increasingly busy graphic design business. She has done such a great job over the past 3 years, and I am sad to see her go. So there are some big shoes to fill here and if you know of anyone who might be a good fit, please let us know. We are posting a job description on our website.

Thanks for all your support,

John Tecklin

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:

Red sweet peppers – Yes! They are coming on and there are so many nice ones out there. You can look forward to a lot more of these in the coming weeks.

Lettuce

Cucumbers

Melons

Corn

Eggplant

Onions

Parsley

Bok choi OR chard

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Zucchini

Carrots

FRUIT: White peaches, French Plums, Pears

RECIPE

Thai Curry with Tofu, Eggplant, Potatoes, Sweet Red Bell Pepper, and Fresh Basil

Time: 45 minutes

Serves 4-6

2 tbsp of neutral oil such as canola, peanut, safflower, or vegetable

2 13 oz cans of coconut milk

1 can (4 oz, or 6 tbsp) of red curry paste (or any curry paste)

1 medium eggplant

3 medium-sized potatoes (or 6 small potatoes)

1 14 oz box of firm or extra firm tofu (optional – if you prefer meat cook separately and add with the red pepper)

1 red bell pepper, large dice

1 small handful of fresh basil leaves, shredded

 

 

1. Heat up a medium to large pot to medium heat.

2. Stir fry 4 oz (or 6 tbsp) of red curry paste with 2 tbsp of oil.

3. Add 1 can of coconut milk and stir to integrate the curry paste with the coconut milk. While you’re waiting for the mixture to boil, chop the tofu into small 1/2 inch chunks.

4. When the mixture boils, add the tofu and stir thoroughly.

5. While the tofu is cooking, chop the eggplant and potatoes into small 1/2 inch chunks.

6. Add another can of coconut milk and add the chopped eggplant and potatoes. If the liquid doesn’t cover the newly added eggplant and potatoes, add some water, but not too much, since the eggplant and potatoes will reduce down as they cook.

7. While the eggplant and potatoes are cooking, remove the seeds from the red bell pepper and slice the pepper into thin strips.

8. After 20 minutes, check to see if the eggplant and potatoes are tender by sticking a fork or chopstick in it. The potatoes should not be too hard or too mushy. If they’re too hard, let them cook for 5-10 more minutes.

9. Once the potatoes are tender, add in the chopped red bell pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, and then serve immediately over jasmine rice or just by itself. Garnish with fresh basil leaves to add color, fresh flavor, and texture. If you like it spicy, you can also garnish with fresh chilis.

 

 

 

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Summer Week 13 – August 18 & 21

August 18, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

BOX NOTES: Boxes are heavy due to tomatoes. Please pick up box from the bottom! Also, return VEGGIE boxes FLATTENED and FRUIT boxes NOT FLATTENED. Thanks!

Right now we are at the peak of the summer farm goodness. Tomatoes, corn, and melons are abundant. The tomatoes look incredible and we should have tons of great tomatoes for a long time. Our goal is to have tomatoes through October…We’ll see how it goes! The corn will only be around for a couple more weeks, so enjoy it now.

This week on the farm we are continuing to harvest the large potato crop. The vines which were once lush, green, and chest high, are now so dried out they are barely visible on top of the beds. The potatoes have cured perfectly in the ground so they will store well and we can dig them without damaging the skins too much. We’ll be storing the potatoes for the next few months so we can give you a steady supply. Amazingly, this week we are also going to start harvesting some of the first winter squash varieties, Acorn and Spaghetti. This will be the first time we’ve grown Spaghetti squash for the CSA. These squashes, along with many other varieties, will be cured in our barn and ready for distribution by late September.

Here at the height of summer, there is already the tiniest hint of fall in the air. It’s been a little cooler, especially at night, and a little darker when we get up in the morning. And there is a subtle shift in the light, most noticeable in the mornings and evenings. This week we’ll seed the first fall spinach, another indicator of the ongoing constant: change.

Thanks for supporting Mountain Bounty,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuce

Cucumbers

Melons

Corn

Green Peppers

Tomatoes

Green beans

Garlic

Hot peppers

Carrots

Basil

Onions

Coming soon: sweet red peppers, more eggplant.

 

IF YOU GET FRUIT:

Plums, Yellow Peaches and Pears

 

RECIPE

Pasta with Tomatoes, Corn, Squash, and Ricotta

–From the blog Food 52.com


Serves 6

  • 1fat clove garlic
  • 2ears corn
  • 3large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4cup olive oil
  • 2small summer squash, diced
  • Salt
  • 1pound conchiglie or other short pasta
  • 10large basil leaves
  • 1cup good quality ricotta
  1. Finely chop the garlic. Strip the corn from the cobs and dice the squash into 1/4-inch cubes. Chop the tomatoes roughly. Put a large pot of generously salted water on to boil.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan with high sides over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant (but not brown), 3 to 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and add the corn and squash and several pinches of salt. Cook for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and another couple pinches of salt; when the mixture bubbles, lower the heat so that it’s simmering briskly. (You want the tomatoes to cook down and release their juices into the sauce while the pasta cooks, but you don’t want it to get dry.)
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions, until just al dente. Keep an eye on your sauce and lower or turn off the heat if it’s looking at all dry.
  4. Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta well. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pasta, then add it to the sauce and stir through. Add a little of the pasta water to loosen things up, taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary and some freshly cracked black pepper. Tear the basil roughly and stir it into the pasta. Serve right away, adding a few dollops of ricotta to each portion.

 

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Summer Week 12 – August 11 & 14

August 11, 2014

  Here are a few notes from crew member Rachel this week:

01_bee_corn

 Summer is still in full swing. We’ve got bees all over a later corn planting and another tasty crop ready to harvest for boxes. Along with corn, we’ve still got later successions of tomatoes flowering and an incredible 1400lbs three times a week coming out of our current patch!
03_tomato_bloom
Although lettuce is difficult to grow during summer heat, we’ve been happy with the more heat resistant “baby” varieties.  
07_littlegem
Melons are another delicious summer crop producing nicely right now.
09_maia_melon
12_kali_onions
As previously mentioned, both onions and potatoes have been cut from water and we’ve started pulling them out of the field. We finished up our tremendous onion harvest this past week (close to 8,000 onions!) by pulling up the last and largest variety, Big Daddy. The onions will dry in the shade for a few weeks before we start cleaning them for storage. Along with onions, we’ve dug the first two varieties of potatoes and we’re looking forward to 3 more.
Aside from harvest, we’ve been weeding away and keeping our field of fall carrots and celery looking sharp!
16_kitchenfield
Our beautiful (and tasty) seedless Interlaken grapes are ready – if you’ll be in Nevada City on Saturday, we’ll be at the Farmer’s Market there from 8:30-1pm. The grape harvest will only continue for a few more weeks! Stop by and get some of these sweet treats.
17_Grapes
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy vegetable eating,

Rachel

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

In your veggie box this week:

Lettuce
Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Edamame – Depending on ripeness this delicious snack will be in this week’s box or next. Boil the pods in salty water for 5 minutes, then immediately place in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Add salt or other seasoning to taste (chopped garlic or chili paste are delicious!). Suck out the beans and discard the pod when eating.
Cilantro
Carrots
Onions
Melons
Green Beans
Green Bell Peppers
Corn
Eggplant

 

Fruit box contents:

White peaches
Yellow nectarines
Sutter prunes

 

Recipe:

LA RATATOUILLE
 
5-6 Tomatoes, boiled & peeled from their skin, and separated from the white center
 3-4 Sm or Med Zucchinis / Yellow Squash, cubed or diced in half-circles
3-4 Cloves of Garlic, diced
 2 Med White Onions, cut into pretty thin half-circles
 2 Peppers (Red, Yellow), diced large
 1-2 Bay Leaves
 1 Eggplant (small is good), cubed
 Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper, Parsley Flakes
 Pepper Flakes (optional)
 
 
1. Bring a big pot of water to boil. Add your tomatoes (with an X on their bottoms) to the pot.
 Let them cook for 10 or so minutes, until they begin to peel and are soft, but still firm.
Once they’re done cooking, take them out, and quarter them, removing the white center
 Keep the seeds and liquids.
 
2. While the tomatoes are cooking, put some olive oil in a big pot and throw in the diced onions.
 Let them sweat and get transparent — add a pinch of salt.
3. Add zucchini and garlic to the onion mix — put more olive oil if you think it’s getting dry.
 Let it all cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-low, with the lid on, mixing frequently.
 Throw in some parsley flakes and the bay leaves — mix it all in.
 
4. Add the cubed eggplants to the mix — put more olive oil if you think it’s getting dry.
5. Once everything is a bit cooked, add the peppers and tomatoes with their juice.
 6. Let everything cook on medium-low heat for another 15 minutes or so.
 If it’s too liquidy, just let it cook without the lid. If it looks like it might get dry, put the lid on.
 Stir frequently.
 7. The ratatouille will be ready when everything is soft, but each piece is still distinct.
 You don’t want everything to be a big mush! 
 Salt & Pepper to flavor — Pepper flakes add a nice kick if you want.
 
8. Serve warm with a small bit of butter on top.
 
Goes well on a bed of rice or with a good baguette.
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Summer Week 11 – August 4 & 7

August 4, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

Thankfully, we are getting a merciful few days of cooler weather after the latest hard heat wave. But the farm is extra dry and dusty right now.  As I mentioned last week, we are about to start working with a new tech startup call Project Root. They are developing a system of soil moisture monitors that will connect wirelessly to the internet and various analytical tools on their website. Beginning in about two weeks, we will have 10 sensors spread throughout our fields that will measure soil moisture at various depths. Since this data will be available in real time, we will (hopefully) be able to watch what is happening with our irrigation underground as it is happening and make adjustments if necessary. Currently our irrigation is based on a complex system of observations and many years of experience. I think we are doing a good job and the crops’ success is an important test. However, if we can make some small reductions in our water usage in certain areas, it could save a lot of water over time.

A little info about how we irrigate: About ¾ of our crops are drip irrigated using drip tape. Drip tape is a 5/8” plastic tube that runs the length of each row and has small drip emitter spaced every 8”.  This is a very efficient way to water the crops, because all the water goes exactly on the crop row and almost no water is lost to evaporation. It also reduces weed pressure a lot. The other ¼ of the fields are irrigated using overhead sprinklers. We use overhead sprinklers on crops that are either shallow rooted or that love the cooling water on their leaves and a wetter near ground microclimate. The past few years we have been experimenting with more efficient sprinklers, and this winter we converted our whole system to these new sprinklers. As it turns out, the traditional rainbird type impact sprinklers waste a lot of water by throwing a fine spray into the air, and they also don’t distribute the water very evenly throughout the fields.

I also need to mention that this week we are saying goodbye to treasured crew member Kali Feiereisel. Kali has been here for the last 3 years and is now off to graduate school in Public Health.  Her mission is to improve the way we all eat, and I have no doubt she will be making some big waves in a few years. Her impact here on the farm has been profound. With her incredible passion and attention to detail, she has helped improve just about everything we do. Luckily she’s just going as far as Berkeley, so hopefully she’ll visit regularly and make sure we are still doing everything correctly!

Thanks for supporting Mountain Bounty,

John Tecklin

 


IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Purple OR red potatoes
Garlic
Tomatoes
Bok choi
Onions
Green peppers
Melons
Beets
Basil

FRUIT SHARE:
Pears
Nectarines
Pluots
Plums

 

RECIPE:

Beet Salad with Basil

From Nourishedkitchen.com

1 bunch beets, quartered
1 bunch basil
2 cloves garlic

 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

 1. Roast the beets at 375 degrees in a tightly covered container with ½” of water in the bottom for approximately 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.

2. Once tender, immediately plunge beets in cold water to stop the cooking.

3. Drain and dry beets.

4. Combine the beets with chopped basil and minced garlic.

5. Dress with vinegar and olive oil.

 Serve cold.

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Summer Week 10 – July 28 & July 31

July 28, 2014

Dear Farm Members,                                                         

As we enter this driest time of the year, I wanted to share with you a few things we are doing to cope with and adapt to the drought. Since the driest time is August and September, we plan so that several large important crops are planted very early and either able to be cut off water or reduced watering by early August. Potatoes and onions got their last watering about 10 days ago. They have been curing in the ground and we’ve started harvesting and storing them for the rest of the season. Hard squashes, like acorn, delicata, and butternut were planted extra early this year and are almost mature. We’ll water them for another couple weeks and then let them dry down also. Tomatoes, which are possibly our most popular (and thus important!) crop, have an amazing ability to stay alive with very little water once they have sized up. The tomatoes also taste better with less water, although their yield does drop. Every year we let them start producing and then shut off the water. The early tomatoes will get their last water this week and the main season and later tomatoes will get just a few more weeks water. We also planted a large patch of dry beans this year (like pinto beans) partially as drought insurance. They are also almost done with irrigation. This way, no matter how dry the fall is, we will still have plenty of food for everyone to eat!

Next week I’ll write about some of our other water saving strategies including a very exciting partnership with a new Silicon Valley startup that is developing a great irrigation monitoring system.

Thanks for your support,

John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuces

Cucumbers

Corn – you may have noticed that we chose not to cut the tips off the corn last week as we had previously promised. The worm damage in this succession wasn’t too bad…we’ll see how the next ones fare.

Carrots

Tomatoes – we are in a slight lull with the tomatoes, but in a couple weeks there will be many more coming

Herbs – dill, cilantro, OR Basil – Please note that basil and dill dry very easily. If you have more than you need and would like to save them for later, just hang the bunch somewhere out of direct sunlight for a few days. Once the herbs are crispy dry, store in a plastic bag.

Melons

Hot peppers. You will start to see a few hot peppers in your boxes: fresh salsa time!

Onions OR scallions

Chard

Eggplant – globe types this week

Zucchini

Coming soon: edamame, green bell peppers, beans

IN YOUR FRUIT BOX (if you get it!)

Pears, Peaches and Pluots

RECIPES:

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

From Food52.com

Start the grill so it gets medium hot. Shuck as many ears of corn that you want to eat. Roll the corn in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When the grill is hot, add the corn and close the lid. Rotate the corn a few times until a few kernels start to blister (shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes). Be careful not to overcook, this dries out the corn.

 

While the grill is cooking, add 2 sticks of unsalted butter to a food processor with a cup of basil and a tablespoon of sea salt. Process until the butter is a green tint and the basil is finely chopped. You may have to scrape down the sides of the processor. This butter stores well in a fridge for a week.

 

When the corn comes off the grill slather with basil butter and enjoy!

 

Savory Baked Pancake with Chard

Adapted from greenkitchenstories.com

 

6 eggs

2 C milk

½ C almond flour

½ C buckwheat flour (the almond & buckwheat flour can be replaced by 1 C whole wheat flour)

½ tsp sea salt

4 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated

2 tbsp. butter

 

Vegetable Filling:

1 onion

1 bunch chard

½ C chopped tomatoes

1 hot pepper minced (optional)

1 tsp dried thyme

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Preheat oven to 400. Place an 8×10 inch backing dish in the oven. Thinly slice the onion and chard. Heat oil in a skillet and stir-fry the onion, chard, thyme, and garlic on medium heat to low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to beat the eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add milk, flour, and sea salt. Keep whisking until smooth. Add the stir-fried chard, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Put a piece of butter on the baking dish and melt it in the oven. Once it’s melted take the dish out of the oven and pour the batter into the dish. You could sprinkle some grated parmesan on top if you’d like. Bake for around 30 minutes, until nicely browned and set. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before enjoying! 

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Summer Week 9 – July 21 & 24

July 21, 2014

Dear Farm Members,             

Throughout the history of this farm we have been very interested in trialing many different varieties of vegetables. We grow around 45 different crops and over 250 different varieties (15 types of tomatoes, 20 types of lettuces, etc). We do this to find varieties that taste and look good, yield well and consistently in our system of farming, and for fun. This season, for the first time we worked with an organization called the Organic Seed Alliance to do a lettuce trial. We trialed 11 lettuces with the goal of finding a good hot season full size lettuce. Last week a representative from OSA came to the farm and made detailed evaluations together with our own Jake Benedict, who helped design the trial. Considering the heat wave of the last 3 weeks, we were surprised how well most of the lettuces did, and a couple will make it into our future plantings. In a few weeks, the results of the trial will be available to help others farmers and gardeners on the Organic Seed Alliance website:  https://www.seedalliance.org/

lettucetasting

Phoebe, Ross, and Jake tasting the trial lettuces last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK

Lettuce

Cucumbers

Potatoes – first new red potatoes of the season!

Walla Walla onions

Eggplant

Tomatoes

Parsley – looking so good – see the Tabbouleh recipe below!

Sweet corn

Beets – Chioggia type

Garlic

Carrots

Melons – MAYBE! We are just starting to harvest these tasty treats, so we’re not sure how many there will be yet. Lots more coming soon if they don’t make it into the boxes this week.

Free choice: Zucchini (first come, first serve – but please try to share)

 

IN THE FRUIT BOX 

Nectarines, Peaches, Plums

RECIPE

Lebanese Tabbouleh

From Food52.com

Dressing Ingredients:

4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp salt

pepper, to taste

 

Salad Ingredients:

1 ounce mint leaves finely chopped

½ C parsley (without stalks) finely chopped

4 scallions thinly sliced

4 tomatoes finely chopped

8 ounces cooked bulgur

 

1. Prepare the bulgur according to the package.

2. Meanwhile, separate the parsley and mint leaves from their stalks and finely chop them.

3. Chop scallions and tomatoes and add to herbs.

4. When bulgur has cooled, add 8 ounces to the bowl and mix well with everything else.

5. Mix together dressing ingredients and pour over salad and stir well.

6. This dish should be served cold so refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Tabbouleh keeps well in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

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Summer Week 8 – July 14 & 17

July 14, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

Despite the heat, the broccoli miraculously held out and we are able to pick it again for this week. That is fitting in an odd way, since tomorrow we are transplanting out the first broccoli for fall. It’s always weird, and I probably mention it in the newsletter every year, how at the height of summer we are already working on the fall (another broccoli planting will happen in two weeks). Broccoli hates heat so mid-July is not a great time to plant it, but we’ve found that if we wait too much longer, it won’t be ready on time in October. Last year we did our two broccoli plantings on August first and mid-August, and the second one wasn’t ready until late November – after the CSA season ended! Conversely, some years we’ve had the first fall broccoli ripen in September, which is also bad because September is still so warm that the broccoli isn’t as good quality, and we still have so many other “summer” veggies that we don’t “need” the broccoli yet. Another challenge is if September is terribly hot (as it was last year) then aphids can infest the crop. So for the broccoli’s sake, and a lot of other reasons, I am always hoping for a cool moist September. Whew. Meanwhile, summer crops are doing very well. Tomatoes are looking amazing and I optimistically predict another big tomato season, as good, or better than last year.

Thanks for your support,

John Tecklin

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuces – still succulent and perfect!

Sungold cherry tomatoes – probably the last week of these since the bigger red tomatoes are coming on strong.

Early red tomatoes

Cucumbers

Sweet corn

Basil

Carrots

Scallions

Broccoli

Walla Walla onions

Chard

Free Choice: Zucchini – as a reminder this is always first come, first serve – if you want some get there when your site opens. The free share is above and beyond the value of your box.

IN YOUR FRUIT SHARE (if you get one!):

Peaches, Nectarines , Plums and Valencia Oranges

RECIPE:

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Fruit Salsa

Adapted from food52.com

 

Soup:

2 large cucumbers, or a mixture of small cucumbers – peeled and cut into chunks

1 large avocado flesh scooped out

3 scallions, greens and whites included, chopped

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

¼ to ½ tsp sea salt to taste

¼ tsp black pepper

 

Fruit Salsa:

1 ½ C stone fruit of your choice (peaches, nectarines, plums) cubed

1 C tomato in 1 inch dice

1 C shucked corn kernels (raw)

½ C cilantro loosely packed, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp lime juice

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. Add all soup ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add a small amount of water to achieve a creamy texture, but not too much! (About ½ C)

2. Mix all the salsa ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Pour the soup into 4 bowls and top with a generous spoonful(s) of salsa. A refreshing way to enjoy soup in the summer!

 

 

 

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Summer Week 7 – July 7 & 10

July 7, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

The news on the farm (and everywhere else!) is heat. It’s not unusual to be hot at this time of year, but it’s always a big deal for us anyway. When it gets into the mid 90’s or above, many of the crops and farmers start to suffer, but we make it through. Beneficiaries of the heat right now are corn and melons, which are growing like crazy. You should get your first taste of sweet corn this week. We are experimenting with cutting the tips off the corn, we’ll see how it goes. One casualty of the heat is broccoli, which is still looking great, but will probably be finished after this week. Broccoli will be back in the fall. We continue to have beautiful lettuce because a new succession is planted every week. As I’ve mentioned before, many of the lettuce varieties that seem to be working best in the summer are the smaller “little gem” types. In my opinion they also have better flavor and texture than the bigger leaf types. Hang in there with the heat everybody. My boys and I are getting a lot of mileage out of our kiddy pool.

Thanks for supporting the farm,

John Tecklin

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuce

Zucchini

Sweet corn

Sungold cherry tomatoes and maybe a few of the first red tomatoes

Garlic

Broccoli

Cucumbers

Cilantro

Green Beans

Carrots

Free Choice: Beets! We have so many beets but haven’t wanted to overwhelm everyone. So beet lovers, here you go. Help yourself if you wish, and leave if them if you’ve already had enough.

Coming soon:  more tomatoes, onions, corn, eggplant, and melons

IN YOUR FRUIT BOX:

White Peaches, Summer Valencia Oranges!, Yellow Nectarines, Plums, a few Apricots

RECIPES

– from Mountain Bounty crew member Rachel Klein

Vietnamese Style Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

These light and healthy Vietnamese-influenced summer rolls are filled with cooked shrimp, rice noodles, and plenty of fresh herbs and vegetables for flavor and crunch. Once your ingredients are prepped, the rolling fun begins as sheets of rice paper are softened in water and used for the wrappers. Dipped in a spicy peanut sauce, these rolls are a great hot-weather appetizer or light lunch.

What to buy: We like to use natural peanut butter in this recipe. If you use the conventional kind, omit the sugar called for in the sauce. Look for hoisin sauce and chile-garlic paste in the Asian section of your supermarket. For the chile paste, we prefer the one made by Huy Fong Foods (with the rooster on the jar!). The rice stick noodles and rice paper wrappers can be found in most Asian grocery stores. For the wrappers, we like the Red Rose brand.

Game plan: Be sure to have all your ingredients ready and easily accessible when you start to roll, and give yourself plenty of time (and counter space) to make these. Also be sure to have a few extra rice paper wrappers on hand—it may take a few tries before you’re rolling like a pro.

Store the summer rolls in a dish or plastic container that’s roomy enough to hold them without their touching. Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of the container to keep the rolls moist. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

You can make the peanut sauce a day ahead. Just keep it refrigerated in a covered container. Let it sit for a bit at room temperature before serving.

INGREDIENTS

For the peanut sauce:

  • 3/4 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 1/2 medium limes)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons chile-garlic paste
  • 1 medium garlic clove, mashed to a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the summer rolls:

  • 24 medium shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined (can substitute almost any protein!)
  • 4 ounces dried rice stick noodles or rice vermicelli
  • 16 (8-1/2-inch) round rice paper wrappers
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts (about 3 ounces)
  • 32 medium fresh mint leaves (from about 1 bunch)
  • 32 fresh basil or Thai basil leaves
  • 16 small fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, halved, seeds removed, and thinly sliced lengthwise into 32 pieces (optional)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-by-1/4-by-2-1/2-inch sticks
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks
  • 3 medium scallions, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2-1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
  • 8 lettuce leaves, cut in half

Instructions for the peanut sauce:

  • Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.

For the summer rolls:

  • Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until bright pink and just opaque, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cool. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place on a cutting board.
  • Holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, halve each shrimp horizontally.
  • Place in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
  • Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Place all of the ingredients in separate containers and arrange them in the following order around a work surface: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint, basil, cilantro, serrano (if using), cucumber, scallions, and lettuce.
  • Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on a work surface. Fill a medium frying pan or wide, shallow dish large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with hot tap water. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the towel.
  • Working quickly, lay 3 shrimp halves in a row, cut side up, just above the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Layer a scant 1/4 cup of the rice noodles over the shrimp, followed by a few bean sprouts, 2 of the mint leaves, 2 of the basil leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro, and 2 pieces of serrano, if using. Place 4 of the cucumber sticks and 2 of the scallion pieces on either side of the noodle pile. Roll one piece of lettuce into a cigar shape and place it on top of the noodle pile.
  • Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding the whole thing firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in.
  • Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top.
  • Turn the roll so that the seam faces down and the row of shrimp faces up. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Leave 3/4 inch between each summer roll on the sheet so they don’t stick together, and replace the water in the pan or dish with hot tap water as needed.
  • If not serving immediately, keep the summer rolls tightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.

 

Thai Rice Salad

1 cup red rice (Thai)

1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp sesame oil (optional, if not using increase olive oil)

1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

2 medium garlic cloves, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and shredded or chopped finely

1 medium head broccoli, cut into small florets & steamed

1/4 cup red onion, or 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 bunch cilantro chopped, optional

kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

**Optional – Add marinated Tofu or Chicken, recipe follows

Wash the rice well and drain. In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the rice and stock/water. Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil for 1 minute. Stir the rice to prevent sticking. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand covered for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the canola oil, lime/lemon juice, soy sauce and honey until combined.

When done, fluff the rice with a fork and combine the rice, vegetables and tofu/chicken in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Marinated Tofu or Chicken

  • 1 package of firm tofu, cubed (or 2 chicken breasts)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili sauce
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil for sautéing
  • In a shallow dish, combine all ingredients (except olive oil for sautéing). Gently combine ingredients to ensure that the tofu is evenly coated. Marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Heat about 1 tsp of vegetable oil in a pan over medium high heat.
  • Remove tofu from marinade and reserve the leftover marinade.
  • Sauté the tofu until slightly crisp on the outside. At the end of the cooking time you can add a little more of the marinade to the tofu for extra flavor. Leftover marinade is also useful for flavoring stir-fried vegetables.

 

 

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2014 Summer Week 6 – June 30 & July 3

June 30, 2014

Dear Farm Members,      

With the heat this week, “summer” veggies are coming on! We will have enough Sungold cherry tomatoes and green beans to put in your boxes. You can expect tomatoes to slowly build from here on out. In response to your feedback on the survey, we have planted, in addition to our usual very early plantings, two extra late tomato plantings that will hopefully provide us with a longer peak tomato season. After last year’s bumper tomato harvest we thought there was no way people would want more, but that is what we heard, so here they come! We will also be picking the first bulbing onions of the season this week. These onions are mostly Walla Walla Sweets that were seeded last August, spent the winter in trays in the greenhouse, got transplanted into the field in late February, and now they are finally ready to eat. Overwintering onions are known for their mild, juicy flavor. But they don’t store well like the main season onions we will be harvesting in a few weeks and distributing for the rest of the season, so enjoy them soon. Once every year or two we just have to make onion rings with these babies. Do your patriotic duty this weekend and deep fry some onions!

Thanks for supporting Mountain Bounty,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuces – Little gem type lettuces. We think these are the best eating quality lettuces and they do well in our hot season. Many of the smallish lettuces we put in your boxes during the summer months are of this type.

Zucchini – Check out a crew favorite recipe for  zucchini bread below. Easy and yummy.

Parsley – Italian flat leaf, took forever to get to this point, but now we should be able to pick it every few weeks for the rest of the season.

Walla Walla onions

Green beans

Dino kale

Broccoli

Savoy cabbage or regular cabbage

Sungold cherry tomatoes

Carrots

Free choice: Arugula

 

FOR FRUIT SHARE MEMBERS (please don’t take unless you are a fruit member):

Peaches, Nectarines, & Plums

RECIPES:

Crunchy Green Bean, Quinoa, and Carrot Salad

Adapted from Greenkitchenstories.com

 

1 lb (450 g) green beans, trimmed


1 cup quinoa


8  carrots, sliced thinly


2 spring onions, thinly sliced


1/2 cup raisins


1 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped or halved


1/2 cup cranberries

½ C parsley, chopped

 

Dressing:


4 tbsp Dijon mustard, preferably coarse grained


3 tsp honey


juice from 1 medium sized lemon


3 tbsp apple cider vinegar


4 tbsp olive oil


sea salt & black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Trim off the edges of the beans and put them in a large sauce pan with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Remove after only 1 minute, using a sieve. Put the quinoa in a small pot and bring to a boil with two cups of water. As soon as quinoa reaches a boil, turn heat down to a very low simmer and keep the lid on for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add the carrot slices to a small bowl. Pour about 2 tbsp olive oil over them and toss until all are coated in oil. Spread evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle some salt over and bake for about 7-8 minutes (depending on how thinly sliced they are). Keep an eye on the oven so they don’t burn. Remove when the edges are starting to curl. Now it’s time to make the dressing. Whisk together mustard and honey. Add lemon juice, vinegar and oil and whisk for about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Assembling: Add beans, cooked quinoa, roasted carrots, onion and raisins in a large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss, using your hands, until everything is well mixed. Top with toasted hazelnuts, cranberries, and parsley and serve immediately or bring to a picnic.

 

Special Zucchini Bread Recipe

101cookbooks.com

 

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a few to sprinkle on top


1/3 cup poppy seeds (optional)


zest of two lemons (optional)


1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional)

1/2 cup unsalted butter


1 cup sugar


1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed


3 large eggs


2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on, squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)


1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1 teaspoon salt


1 teaspoon cinnamon


1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter the two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment “handles” and lift the zucchini bread right out.

In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).

In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.

By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalized ginger mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.

Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf. Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack. I like to under bake my zucchini bread ever so slightly to ensure it stays moist. Keep in mind it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling – if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.

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2014 Summer Week 5 – June 23 & 26

June 23, 2014
Box5_Aaron_fbook (1)

Crew member Aaron with Week 5′s Veggie Box

This past weekend we were lucky to host the wedding of past Mountain Bountiers Kevin Bratton and Polly Maby, who met at the farm as interns in 2007 and then continued contributing to farm in various ways over the years. Polly continues to help Angie with the flowers. It was a fun and lively gathering, with many of the young farmer community (and a few older!) in attendance. The young farm crowd has brought so much wonderfulness to the farm. It’s a real pleasure working with them and just getting to be around them.

This week, in addition to lots of harvesting, we continue to do weekly lettuce transplanting, greenhouse seeding, tomato trellising, pepper trellising (yes, they get so tall and heavy that they flop over and get sunburned), irrigation and of course weeding. The much awaited Sungold cherry tomatoes are trickling in, but still not quite enough are ready.

Thanks for supporting the farm,

John Tecklin

In the VEGGIE box this week:

Lettuces

Fennel

Zucchini

Broccoli – MAYBE! We had a gap in the broccoli harvest due to an evil little soil dwelling creature called symphylans. The next wave is ALMOST ready and if you don’t get broccoli this week, you will next week.

Rainbow Chard

Scallions

Carrots

Bok Choy – check out the Kimchi recipe below

Free Choice: Arugula

Coming very soon: Sungolds, Green beans. And not long after: Corn, Walla Walla sweet onions, cucumbers, and potatoes.

In the FRUIT box:

Plums, Peaches, Nectarines, and a few Apricots

 

RECIPES

Kimchi

From Wild Fermentation by Sandor  Katz

Sea salt

1 pound of bok choi (use the stems, too!)

a few radishes

1 or 2 carrots

a few scallions

3 or 4 cloves of garlic

3 or 4 hot red chiles (or crushed red pepper)

3 Tbsp fresh grated ginger

1. Mix a brine of 4 cups water and 4 Tbsp salt. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve salt. The brine should taste good and salty.

2. Coarsely chop the Bok choi, slice the radish and carrots, and let the vegetables soak in the brine, covered by a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged, until soft, a few hours or overnight. 

3. Prepare spices: grate the ginger, chop garlic and onions, and crush chiles if using whole ones. Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice. Mix spices into a paste.

4. Drain brine off vegetables, reserving brine. Taste vegetables for saltiness. You want them to taste decidedly salty, but not unpleasantly so. If they are too salty, rinse them. If you cannot taste the salt, sprinkle with a couple of teaspoons of salt and mix.

5. Mix the vegetables with ginger-chile-scallion-garlic paste. Mix everything together thoroughly and stuff it into a clean quart size jar. Pack it tightly in the jar, pressing down until brine rises. If necessary, add a little of the reserved vegetable-soaking brine to submerge the vegetables. Weight the vegetables down with a smaller jar, or zip lock bag filled with some brine. Cover the jar top with a towel to keep dust out.

6. Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place. Taste the kimchi every day. After about a week of fermentation, when it tastes ripe, move it to the refrigerator.

 

Fennel Coleslaw

Adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook

1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs

1 head of cabbage

2 medium carrots, grated

¾ cup sour cream, mayonnaise, or Greek yogurt

3 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 bunch Italian parsley, minced

3 tbsp. prepared horseradish

½ tsp. curry powder

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ cup golden raisins

Salt to taste

 

Shred the fennel and cabbage in a food processor or by hand.  Combine with the carrots.

Combine the mayo or sour cream and vinegar in a large bowl; whisk until smooth.  Stir in the parsley, horseradish, curry powder, and pepper.  Add the cabbage mixture and raisins.  Toss until well mixed.  Season with salt.

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