Summer Week 23 – Oct 27 & 30

October 27, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

YOUR LAST BOX IS NEXT WEEK, NOV 3 & 6. Please plan on bringing any boxes you have from the season. Bring a bag to transfer veggies from the box, so you can leave it there. THANKS!

As promised, here’s the tomato report. As of this week you will have received tomatoes for 18 weeks straight. We started giving them out on week 6 of the season which was at the end of June. The first week was a basket of sungold cherry tomatoes. The next couple weeks were sungolds along with some early red tomatoes, and from then on it’s been 2.5-3 lbs. of tomatoes in every box. I thought they would be done by now, but they are still ripening and very tasty! So we are on track to have a few for next week, which is the last week of the summer season, for a total of 19 weeks. By then end of next week everyone will have received over 40 lbs. of tomatoes plus 4 baskets of cherry tomatoes.  In response to your feedback, we put a lot of time and energy into trying to get tomatoes as early as possible and to lengthen the amount of time we could put a large measure (2.5-3 lbs.) of tomatoes in your box. We were fortunate to have such a great tomato season.

Today I had an inspiring moment while giving a farm tour to a group of children from a home study program in Truckee. A four year old girl walked up to the radicchio rows and proclaimed, “This is where salad comes from.” I hope you all get to make some great salads with that gorgeous radicchio.

 

Next week is the last week of summer season. Don’t forget to sign up for the winter shares!

Also, if you are interested in heritage breed pork, please see the note below from Mountain Bounty field manager Cory Jones.

 

Thanks for supporting Mountain Bounty,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:

Butternut squash

Sweet potatoes – our first ever offering! Some of the skins are a bit bruised from our harvest. They probably won’t store for a long time, but they still taste great

Onions

Carrots – so good right now

Beets

Lettuce

Cilantro

Dino kale

Radicchio

Fennel

Tomatoes!

 

PORK NOTE:

Hi Fine Folks, This is Cory Jones from Mountain Bounty Farm.  I hope this email finds you well. I just brought seven beautiful pigs in to be processed earlier this week. They should be ready in a couple of weeks. These are Heritage Berkshire pigs that were fattened up under a grove of black and blue oaks in rotational paddocks where they were fed a diet of organic grains (no soy), our cull vegetables, and many windfall acorns. This will be exceptional meat as the addition of acorns to pig diets results in a certain nuttiness and a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids. I will be selling the pigs in whole, 1/2, and 1/4 portions. They will come frozen in vacuum sealed packaging ready for your freezer. Please call or email me for additional information or to place an order.

Here is a good article about pigs raised in forest ecosystems similar to how I am raising them here at Mountain Bounty (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/dining/preaching-the-gospel-of-the-forest-fed-pig.html?_r=0). Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Best,

Cory Jones

530-721-7035

corwynleejones@yahoo.com

 

RECIPES

–todays recipes are adapted from the food blog “kitchn”

Fennel and Radicchio Winter Salad with Pecans

serves 6

Olive oil
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 med-large fennel bulb
1 small head radicchio
1 small head lettuce
Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces pecorino cheese

For the dressing:
1 lemon
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet over moderately high heat. Add the chopped pecans and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until they smell toasted and are developing dark spots. Set aside to cool.

Trim the fennel bulb of the top and stem end. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and slice it finely. Cut the radicchio in half lengthwise and remove the core and stem end. Finely slice the radicchio as well. Chop the lettuce crosswise into bite sized pieces and toss with the rest of the vegetables in a large bowl.

Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Shave in the pecorino cheese. Toss the cheese into the salad, and add the cooled pecans and toss those in as well.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the mixed salad. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Roasted Sweet Potato Slices with Cilantro Pesto

Serves 6. Makes 2 cups pesto.

For the sweet potatoes:
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chunky kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:
2 bunches cilantro
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup shelled pistachios
4 cloves garlic
1 hot pepper such as jalapeño or Thai, optional
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
Salt to taste

Heat the oven to 450°F. Slice the sweet potatoes in rounds about 1/2-inch-thick. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the pesto. Roughly chop the cilantro and blend both leaves and stems with the coconut, pistachios, garlic, hot pepper (if using), and lemon juice. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and blend until smooth. Add the rest, if desired. Taste and add salt (or more garlic, or more acid) until satisfied. If desired, thin the pesto with water to make it spreadable.

When sweet potatoes are cooked through, spread on a platter and top with pesto. Serve immediately.

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Summer Week 21 – Oct 13 & 16

October 13, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

Have you signed up for our winter CSA yet? Do it today!

With perfect fall weather, the farm is rapidly shrinking. That is, about 2/3 of the fields are now planted to winter cover crops, and it should be ¾ by the end of this week. For those of you not familiar (or who haven’t yet read one of my rants!), cover crops are a cornerstone of our farming technique. We do plant some warm season covers in between summer crops or following spring crops, but most of the cover crops are cool season and seeded between late September and late October. This year we are planting our favorite varieties of oats and vetch as cool season covers. Cover crops help in a whole bunch of ways: covering and protecting the soil from winter rains, building soil organic matter when we till in their vigorous growth in the spring, and adding nitrogen to the soil through the action of bacterial colonies that attach to their roots and “fix” nitrogen by gathering it from the air and transforming it into a plant available form. Cover crops also can out-compete and suppress weeds, attract beneficial insects, and take up soil nutrients to protect them from leaching during winter rains. And they are just so darn gorgeous. Often our cover crops grow waist or even shoulder high. People always ask me about what is my favorite vegetable. Today: cover crop, even though it’s not a vegetable! When the cover crops are planted on time and, later, growing green and lush I feel like I’m doing the best possible thing I can for the soil and the farm. With $2500 worth of seed and lots of work to get everything cleaned up and seed in the ground on time, it’s a big effort, but I can’t think of anything more important.

 

Thanks for your support!

John Tecklin

 

This Week’s Veggies:

Spaghetti squash
Onion
Carrots
Spinach
Beets
Napa cabbage
Cauliflower
Lettuce
Fennel
Tomatoes
Cilantro

 

Recipes

We’ve been lucky enough to offer our members lettuce almost every week of the season(!), in addition to lots of other salad goodies. So we’ve put together some tasty salad dressings in the hopes of helping you keep your salads inspired, interesting and delicious.

Cilantro Lime Dressing 

The Garden Grazer
1 cup packed cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth.
Sesame Ginger Vinagrette
NYTimes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, finely minced
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce or aminos
1 tsp brown sugar
5 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
Combine ingredients.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
Food 52
1/2 cup tahini
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2/3-3/4 cups water (as needed)
Whisk all ingredients together, starting with 2/3 cups water and adding more until you reach a desired consistency.
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Summer Week 20 – October 6 & 9

October 6, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

LAST FRUIT IS THIS WEEK!

Please sign up for our Winter Season! Online signups happening now.

photo

Mountain Bounty goes solar! We are happy to announce the recent installation of a large solar array at our home site on Blind Shady Rd. Pumping water and cooling vegetables takes a fair bit of electricity, so we are excited to zero out our power bill and make a contribution to reducing the use of fossil fuel energy. Actually we have been in the business of capturing solar energy all along. I was reminded of this the other day when my 3 year old son asked me what tomatoes where made out of. He gave me some blank looks when I started trying to explain photosynthesis to him. Of course I don’t really understand how it works, but I am still completely enchanted by the idea that plants can use water, air, and sunlight to create themselves.

This week we’ll be planting next season’s garlic, a momentous step in every farm season. Garlic is the annual crop that links us to the future, encouraging us in our unending optimism that we will be able to continue to plant, tend, and harvest. Let’s hope for a nice wet winter so that garlic can thrive!

Thanks for everything,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:  Wow another fat Mountain Bounty box!

Delicata squash

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Leeks

Carrots

Potatoes

Chard OR kale

Broccoli

Cabbage

Scallions

Basil

FRUIT – Apples, Pears, Pomegranates

RECIPE

Leafy greens and Leek Frittata

From Sprouted Kitchen blog

Serves 4

  • 1 leek, halved and cleaned
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, kale, or collards,  stem and ribs removed
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • sea salt + pepper

Preheat the oven to 375′. Warm 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil in a pan over medium heat. Slice the leek into thin half moons and add it to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes until well softened.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream well with the cayenne and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add the leeks into the bowl.

Warm another 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil and sauté the greens with a small pinch of salt until wilted, about 3 minutes, maybe a bit longer for collards. Allow them cool slightly, releasing the steam pockets. Add the greens to the egg bowl along with half the feta and stir everything to mix.

In an 8″ pan, preferably non-stick, warm the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil over low heat. Add the egg mixture to the pan, sprinkle the top with the remaining feta and cook for about 5 minutes until the edges start to look cooked. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until you jiggle the pan (with a mitt, it’ll be hot) and the center of the frittata is slightly soft. It will set as it cools. Slice the frittata into wedges and serve with warm buttered toast.

 

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Summer Week 19 – Sept 29 & Oct 2

September 29, 2014

Dear members,

DON’T FORGET – Winter CSA Signups begin THIS Wednesday, October 1.  

Well, we got our much dreamed about first dose of moisture! Such a relief! As a result the crew was able to jump on it and plant a whole bunch more cover crop than we anticipated at the beginning of last week. The rain allowed us to till in cover crop seeds (Cayuse oats and Lana vetch are current favorites) in areas where summer crops were finished and the soil was previously so dry that it would have been damaging to till. Loving this cool weather!

As I mentioned briefly last week, from now on there will be winter squash in your boxes every week. These delightful fruits should in most cases be called fall squash because they don’t keep their good eating quality for as long as people think. Most winter squashes are best eaten before the New Year. The notable exception is butternut squash which actually gets sweeter with storage and is probably best enjoyed after the New Year. There are a couple of other long keeping squashes but we don’t grow them because they are too big. For the first time this year we are growing spaghetti squash for you. Until recently I had a bad attitude about spaghetti squash, thinking it was sort of bland and weird. What I really didn’t like was that it isn’t sweet. Now I’m excited to be gaining appreciation for its lack of sweetness, fun texture, and appealing versatility. I think of it sort of like a potato, it’s great in soups and salads, with its traditional ragu, and a million other ways. Let us know how you like it and what you do with it. The plan is to do Acorn squash this week, followed by Delicata, Spaghetti, Pie pumpkins, and then two weeks of butternut.

Thanks for all your support,

John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Cilantro

Tomatoes – they are finally starting to decline. We should have several more weeks of tomatoes, but quantities will diminish. What a bumper tomato season it has been!

Celery

Sweet salad turnips

Carrots

Dill

Acorn squash

Broccoli

Onions

Garlic

Dino kale

Free choice: hot peppers

IF YOU GET THE FRUIT SHARE:

Fuji Apples, Golden Bosc Pears, Marianna Plums

RECIPE

Stuffed & Roasted Squash

From the blog, The Kitchen

Makes 1 squash, serves 2

 

Ingredients
1 winter squash, like acorn, kabocha, red kuri, sweet dumpling, delicata, spaghetti or any other grapefruit-sized (or slightly larger) squash
2 to 3 cups of filling

General amounts for filling — to equal 2 to 3 cups total:
1/2 to 1 cup protein — sausage, chicken, pork, tempeh, or baked tofu
1 to 2 cups veggies — onions, mushrooms, celery, carrots, turnips, peppers, greens
1/2 cup cooked grains and/or nuts — barley, quinoa, millet, faro, rice, walnuts, almonds, pecans
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese
1 to 3 teaspoons herbs or spices

 

Equipment
Chef’s knife
Spoon
Baking dish
Aluminum foil

 

Instructions

  1. Prepare the squash for roasting: Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Slice the squash in half from stem to tip and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Transfer the squash to a baking dish: Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Cover the dish loosely with foil and place the dish in the oven.
  3. Roast the squash: Roast the squash until very soft and tender when poked with a fork or paring knife, 30 to 50 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size and variety of your squash.
  4. Prepare the filling: While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. Depending on the size of your squash, 2 to 3 cups of combined ingredients is usually sufficient. You can combine leftovers from other meals (cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, etc.) or you can prepare a fresh filling. Cook any raw meats and raw vegetables and combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the spices, salt, and pepper to your liking.
  5. Stuff the squash halves: Flip the cooked squash halves so they form bowls. Rub the inside with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide the filling between the halves — it’s fine to really stuff the wells and also to mound the filling on top.
  6. Bake the stuffed squash halves until bubbly: Re-cover the pan with the foil and bake the halves for another 15 to 20 minutes until both are hot and bubbly. Top with extra cheese and serve immediately.
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Summer Week 18 – Sept 22 & 25

September 22, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

Thank you everyone for bringing back more of your boxes – we noticed! Please keep them coming, it really makes a difference.

Today is the fall equinox, another exciting milestone in our farming world. It means the days are shortening more quickly. For us that translates into longer cooler nights which means that plant growth is going to slow dramatically. That is ok with us, because we did our homework and planted everything we need for the fall in July and August. It’s actually a great thing for us because fall crops like cooler weather and the plants will now be under a bit less stress. That means they will be less susceptible to attack by insects and they will also taste better. Getting the fall broccoli, kale, and collards through the heat of September without a major aphid infestation is a big challenge every year. For the last couple of weeks, we have been using our last bits of water to keep these sensitive greens cool. With lucky cool weather forecast for the next week, things are looking good. As fall progresses you can look forward to better and better tasting green and root vegetables. Carrots are always at their best in October and November.

The equinox also means it is time to start planting overwintering cover crops to protect and nourish the soil. Cover crop seeding starts tomorrow! Last week we seeded overwintering Walla Walla sweet onions. And soon we will plant garlic. I love the fall!

Thanks for supporting the farm,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Onions

Sweet peppers – they have been amazing and there are probably just a couple more weeks worth so enjoy them while you can!

Green beans – the last of the season

Basil

Collard greens – for those that aren’t familiar, you can use these like kale, they just need to cook a little slower and longer. Collards are a Mountain Bounty farm crew favorite.

Winter squash – kabocha, buttercup, or delicata. We have tons of winter squash so there will be squash in every box from now on – more delicata, acorn, spaghetti, butternut, and small pie pumpkins

Carrots

Beets

Broccoli!

Radishes

 

IF YOU GET THE FRUIT SHARE: 
Fuji Apples, Arctic Snow White Nectarines, Sweet September Peaches, Flavor Fall Pluots

 

RECIPES

Collard-Wrapped Burritos

 

A fresh take on a Mexican favorite. From Party Like a Culinista: Fresh Recipes, Bold Flavors, and Good Friends

 

Minutes to Prepare: 30

Minutes to Cook: 30

Number of Servings: 6-10

Ingredients

1 teaspoon fine grain salt

6-10 large collard leaves, thickest part of stem trimmed (see Note)

1 3/4 cups water

1 cup quinoa

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for pan

1 (20-ounce) can black beans 

1 carrot, shredded

3 scallions, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 red sweet pepper, chopped

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 lb sharp cheddar, shredded (about 3 cups)

 

Directions

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 9×13-inch ovenproof serving pan with olive oil. Bring a pot of water to a boil; add a few pinches of salt. Submerge the collards for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set the collard leaves aside.

 

In a medium saucepan with a lid, add 1 3/4 cups water and the quinoa. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Set aside and leave covered. 

 

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, cumin, and coriander for 1 minute. Add the beans, carrot, scallions, tomatoes, sweet red pepper, salt, and pepper. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Add a splash of water if mixture gets too dry. 

 

Lay one collard flat, vein side up. Spoon 2 tablespoons of quinoa then 3 tablespoons of the bean mixture onto the trimmed end of the collard and sprinkle with cheese. Fold each side over the filling and roll like a burrito. Repeat with remaining collard leaves. Arrange the burritos in the serving pan and bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes or until heated through. 

 

Notes:

• When selecting collard greens, choose the larger leaves that have the least holes in them and aren’t shriveled at the tops.

• If you can’t find large enough collard leaves (shouldn’t be a problem with Mountain Bounty Collards!), you can secure the wraps with a toothpick to prevent the filling from falling out. Or, use slightly less filling and tell everyone not to limit themselves to just one!

• The quinoa and bean filling can be cooked one day in advance; store covered in the refrigerator. 

 

Roasted Broccoli with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette and Almonds

from Food52.com

Serves two

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

kosher salt, for sprinkling

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 pinch kosher salt

1/4 cup marcona almonds

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the broccoli florets on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a hefty sprinkling of kosher salt. Roast for 20 minutes. While the broccoli is roasting, prepare the vinaigrette. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat until quite warm (about 2 minutes). Stir in the minced garlic and the smoked paprika and remove the pan from the heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Put the sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the paprika oil. Try to leave most of the solids (paprika and garlic) in the skillet, if possible. After 20 minutes, remove the broccoli from the oven and toss the marcona almonds on top. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette, toss, and serve immediately.

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Summer Week 17 – Sept 15 & 18

September 16, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

Mark your calendar with these important dates:

Last FRUIT & FLOWER Pickup -Monday, Oct 6 (Western Nevada County) and Thursday, October 9 (Truckee, Tahoe & Reno)

Last Summer VEGGIE Pickup – Monday, Nov 3 (Western Nevada County) and Thursday, November 6 (Truckee, Tahoe & Reno)

Winter VEGGIE & FRUIT Pickup begins –  Wednesday, Nov 19 (Western NC) and Thursday, November 20 (T,T, & R)

Signups for the Winter CSA begin October 1 online at mountainbountyfarm.com

 

It’s a warm smoky morning here at the farm. The smoke is coming from a fire near Placerville. Recently there have been several smaller fires near us. At this time of year we are constantly hoping, worrying, and trying to hold out for another few weeks until fire season eases. In mid- September 1989, the 49er fire burned a big piece of our neighborhood, so to me this is always the height of fire season. Although I did feel a few scary gusts yesterday, luckily for the next week there are no strong winds forecast.

It’s also a very challenging time of year for the wild creatures. The deer are so hungry they constantly patrol the perimeter of our fenced fields looking for a way in to these tiny oases of green. Sometimes they will follow us into the field if we forget to close a gate, and lately they have been hovering around the big barn doors and trying to come into the area where we clean, pack, and store produce. For everyone’s sake let’s hope the rains come sooner rather than later!

 

Thanks for supporting the farm,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Onions

Sweet peppers

Green beans

Garlic

Eggplant

Turnips – the first of the fall sweet turnips

Carrots

Celery

Chard

Hot peppers

 

IN THE FRUIT SHARE THIS WEEK:

September Sweet Yellow Peaches and Marianna Plums

 

RECIPES

 

Green Bean Stir-Fry
Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson, Food Network

Ingredients

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped hot peppers or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
green beans, washed and trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, minced


Directions

Whisk together honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, hot pepper, salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl; set aside. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet on high heat. Add the green beans and cook, stirring until dark green. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring constantly for 2 minutes longer. Add the sauce, stir to incorporate and heat another minute. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Eggplant Bolognese

from Whole Foods Kitchen

The flavor of this hearty sauce is as equally tasty over cooked whole grains or spaghetti squash as it is over pasta. The sauce freezes well for quick weeknight meals.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled and chopped
  • 12 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Several tomatoes chopped and cooked down into a thick sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1 pound whole wheat or other whole grain pasta

Method: 

Bring red wine to a simmer in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and very tender and most of the wine has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add eggplant, mushrooms and rosemary and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, broth and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in almond milk and 2 tablespoons chopped basil.

To serve, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain thoroughly. Serve sauce over pasta and garnish with remaining basil.

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Summer Week 16 – Sept 8 & 11

September 8, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

This is week 16 of our 24 week summer season – 2/3 of the way through! So far it’s been an amazingly abundant year in the fields despite the parched dustiness of the drought. For the coming 8 weeks, we have mountains (mountainous bounties!) of perfect potatoes, winter squash, onions, carrots, and all the fall greens for your pleasure. Additionally, summer will continue with lots of sweet red peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and one more succession of green beans. So I guess what I’m saying is the next several weeks are going to be full of both summer and fall crops, a truly magical time of year to be eating!

Here’s what the fall crops look like in the fields: spinach is sprouting; broccoli has tiny little heads beginning to form deep down amidst its huge blue green leaves; Napa and regular cabbages are starting to form heads; escarole, radicchio, fennel, scallions, and turnips are growing beautifully; carrot and beet successions continue their constant steady slow growth; chard, kale, and collards are already big, leafy, and ready to pick!

At this time we have very little left to seed or transplant, only a couple of more radish seedings and our fall plantings of garlic and strawberries. We do have a lot of winter squash still to gather. The rest of the fall we will be picking and managing all this abundance, and starting to clean up and prepare for winter. Cover crop seed should be arriving this week and we’ll start planting some areas to cover crops already in about two weeks!

Looking ahead, CSA winter season signups begin on our website October 1. Plan NOW!

Thanks for your support,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Cilantro

Red Russian kale – first of the fall planting and very tender.

Sweet corn – I know it was supposed to be done already but there’s some left. This is it for real!

Sweet red peppers

Tomatoes – continue to ripen in huge abundance. This is what everyone asked for, a big long tomato season!

Red cabbage

Basil

Zucchini/summer squash – possibly the last of the season, powdery mildew is taking it down fast.

Radishes

Leeks – for those of you less familiar with leeks, I always recommend using them as you would use onions. They are a type of onion, with their own wonderful flavor.

Potatoes

Garlic

Free choice: arugula

 

IF YOU GET A FRUIT SHARE:

Asian Apple Pears

Marianna Plums

Emerald Beaut Pluots

Sweet Juana Peaches

Bartlett Pears

RECIPES

Here are two recipes and we’ve also included two links with great leek recipes. Thanks again to crewmember Rachel Klein for compiling the recipes!

For leeks, 

Warm French Lentils 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/warm-french-lentils-recipe.html

Potato Leek Soup from Alice Waters http://blessherheart.typepad.com/bless_her_heart/2010/01/potato-leek-soup.html

 

 Tomato Salad with Corn, Summer Squash and Roasted Onions

From the blog, Food52

 

Serves 6

 

2 medium onions

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt

1 summer squash

2 small ears corn, blanched

1 scallion, finely chopped

2 cups tomatoes cut into chucks

Coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

10 large basil leaves 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and slice the onions into 1/2-inch rings, and then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt, and smush everything around to coat the onions on both sides. Roast them for about 40 minutes, flipping them over halfway through, until they’re brown and soft. Let the onions cool and then roughly chop them. Set aside. Dice the squash (aim for 1/4 inch) and put it in a large bowl; you should have about a cup. Strip the kernels from the ears of corn and add them to the bowl with the squash. Finely chop the scallion and add to the bowl. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the bowl. Add the chopped roasted onions, a tablespoon of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Stir everything together gently. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the honey; whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and some more salt and pepper. Stir about two-thirds of the dressing into the salad, taste, adding more if you like. Roughly chop the basil, stir it into the salad and serve. This salad travels well and is still good the next day; I recommend eating it within 24 hours

 

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw

From How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

Time: 30 minutes

If you want restaurant-style coleslaw, you take shredded cabbage and combine it with mayo and maybe a little lemon juice. This version is far more flavorful with far less fat. I like cabbage salad (which is what coleslaw amounts to) on the spicy side, so I use plenty of Dijon, along with a little garlic and chili (you could substitute cayenne for the chili or just omit it if you prefer), and scallions.  

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh chili, like jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero, or to taste (optional) 

1/4 cup peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil

6 cups cored and shredded Red, Napa, Savoy, and/or green cabbage

1 large red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced or shredded

1/3 cup chopped scallion, more or less 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 

1. To make the dressing, whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl, along with the garlic and chili. Add the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while.

2. Combine the cabbage, red pepper, and scallion and toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. (It’s best to let the slaw rest for an hour or so to allow the flavors to mellow; the cabbage will also soften a bit and exude some juice. You can let it sit longer, up to 24 hours, if you like. Drain the slaw before continuing.) Just before serving, toss with the cilantro.

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw, Mexican Style. Grate 2 medium carrots and use them instead of the red pepper. Use freshly squeezed lime juice in place of the vinegar. Finish with cilantro.

Apple Slaw. Use carrots instead of red pepper, as in the preceding variation. Use 1 medium onion, grated, in place of the scallion. Shred or grate 2 medium or 1 large Granny Smith apples (or use any tart, crisp apple) and include them in the mix. Lemon juice or cider vinegar is the best choice of acid here.

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Summer Week 15 – September 1 & 4

September 2, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

There has been a lot of hoopla recently in the farming community about a recent New York Times article titled “Don’t Let Your Children Grow up To Be Farmers.”: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/dont-let-your-children-grow-up-to-be-farmers.html

I encourage everyone to read it and the various responses and discussion out there in internet land. For my part I am tired of the tired cliché that farming is so hard and so hard to make financially successful. The cliché exists because it is, of course, true on many levels. However I find it unhelpful and counterproductive. Starting, running, and succeeding at any small business is very, very hard. And farming is probably harder than most because our agricultural system and economy are not set up in our favor. And we rely on the weather. But if we approach it with an “it can’t work” attitude, then why bother. Instead I prefer to focus on my passions – which luckily include seeking out new challenges, watching plants grow, eating the best food anywhere, and working together with lively folk. When I started Mountain Bounty, and for quite a few years, the financial rewards were slender, and sometimes it did feel impossible. I started with $7,000 of savings, ½ acre of rented land, a borrowed pickup truck and a few hand tools. With some persistence, a measure of good luck, and a lot of community support, we are now thriving. More than many businesses, we remain vulnerable, and who knows if we can keep it going for the longer term. Nonetheless, I remain hopeful that our talented farm crew and my family can keep supporting ourselves and our community through farming for a long time to come. Thank you all for your help along the way!

 

And now back to the mundane, but oh so important details: Each week when we deliver your boxes, we pick up the boxes that you left at the pickup sites the previous week. Getting enough boxes returned in good condition is an ongoing challenge. Each box costs us $1.80 and we are delivering about 550 of those boxes every week. It may not seem significant if you have a few sitting in your garage or if you’ve ripped a few as you opened them (once the tabs on the bottom are ripped, they lose their strength and we have to throw them away – if this is confusing for you, please see our YouTube video on how to unfold the boxes - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUEC50vzhI4), but multiply that few by 550 and we start to have a problem. In our ideal world we would be able to hang out at all of the pickup sites and make sure everyone brought their own bags…but that is unfortunately not logistically possible. So we are relying on everyone to help make this work.  I know it seems like a small thing, and it is, but those small things add up to a lot of resources and a lot of money. In the past we were able to make it through a season with about 4 boxes per member. In the last couple of years that number has gone up to 6-7 boxes per member. Please help us reverse the trend.

Your farmer,

John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:

Sweet corn – might be the last for this season so enjoy it while you can.

Lettuce

Cucumbers

Melons –MAYBE – we are down to the last of these treats for the season, we’ll see how they hold out. It’s been a great melon season!

Red peppers

Onions

Tomatoes

Garlic

Beets

Zucchini/summer squash

Carrots

Cilantro

Free choice (first come, first serve): hot peppers –you’ve got almost everything you need for a great fresh salsa: tomatoes, hot peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro. Just add a little lime and salt.

 

IF YOU GET A FRUIT SHARE:

Emerald Beaut Pluots, Arctic Snow Peaches, Bartlett Pears

 

RECIPE

Cilantro Lime Beet Salad with Cotija Cheese

From the blog “I Heart Kale.”


We invented this salad when we needed a potluck dish for a tamale party, hence the Mexican flavorings of lime, cilantro, red onion and cotija. The tang of the quick-pickled onions and cilantro-lime dressing and salty cotija cheese are perfect counterparts to the sweet beets.

Cotija is a hard, salty Mexican cheese; if you can’t find it, try ricotta salata (probably not a helpful substitute suggestion if you don’t have a bountiful cheese selection in your grocery store!) or feta (which is softer and will have a different flavor, but still delivers the saltiness you’re after).

1 bunch beets
1 small red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
3 limes
1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro (plus some extra for garnish)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cotija cheese, cubed

Scrub the beets and place in a large saucepan with plenty of water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 45 minutes to an hour, until beets are very tender when poked with a knife. Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, place the onions in a bowl with the juice of 2 of the limes and a few shakes of salt. Marinate while you boil the beets and make the dressing–they’ll be less harsh and slightly pickled when you’re ready to add them.

When the beets have cooled down, peel them and chop into 1-inch cubes. To make the dressing, combine the zest and juice of the remaining lime, olive oil, cilantro, cayenne and salt in a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth green mixture. Toss 2/3rds of the dressing with the beets and mix well, adding more to your desired moisture level. When satisfied top with the pickled onions (and their juice), cotija and some extra cilantro for garnish.

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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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