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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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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