Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Week 10 - Hold Me Closer Tiny Carrot (August 28th, 2013)

We have all installed intravenous saline drips on our bodies to keep from getting dehydrated this week.  No we actually didn’t do that… But we have changed our working hours to the EARLY morning and have been paying extra attention to the amount of WATER we all drink.  It doesn’t take much to work up a good sweat in this heat.  The heat loving plants are not complaining though!  Eggplant, tomatoes and peppers are thriving and we will load you up with them while the getting is good. 

We will be having a CSA Potluck and Farm Tour on Sunday, September 15th from Noon-3pm!  We will be sending a reminder card in your next CSA box so be on the lookout.  Bring a dish to pass and a plate and utensils.  We’ll supply the refreshments and hopefully some entertainment! 

Hot Peppers
Sweet Peppers
Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet Corn
Edamame (soy beans)

Our sweet corn did great this year.  The coon fence worked like a charm and since we planted the corn right into the winter squash, it didn’t take up any additional space.  We will definitely plant our corn in a similar fashion next year.  ½ of the corn we started in flats and ½ we direct seeded.  The direct seeded corn didn’t germinate very well so we bought in some from our friends at Fairview Farms so that we could give everyone a decent amount.        

The cabbage worms have been prolific in the broccoli this year.  They are the little green caterpillar looking things in the picture.  We always hydro-cool the broccoli (meaning we pick it and immediately put it into a cooler full of cold water) to help it keep crisp and also to get rid of any bugs living inside the heads.  We also bang it out and this year have even gone through each head with tweezers and picked out any cabbage worms we could see.  It’s just part of organic farming.  We recommend that you make sure you cut the broccoli up before cooking it and if you want to be really sure you don’t get any bugs in your dinner you can soak the broccoli in some cold salt water before cooking. 

Caprese Salad
Fresh tomatoes
Fresh basil
Fresh mozzarella
Balsamic Reduction
Olive oil
Sea Salt

Reduce the balsamic vinegar by putting 4 times the amount of balsamic you want to end up with in a saucepan.  Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  Shut off the heat when you get to ALMOST the thickness that you want as it will reduce more as it cools. 

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange them on a plate.  Chiffonade the basil and place it liberally on top of the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Drizzle on the balsamic reduction and olive oil and top with sea salt.  Devour.


Soak the edamame in salt water for about 15 minutes.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook beans for 5-6 minutes with the lid off.  Remove from water and sprinkle with coarse salt.  To eat pull the beans out of the shell with your teeth.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WEEK 9 - August 21st, 2013

We are extremely grateful for our Solar Camel this week!!!  We have been able to water no problem and our crops are definitely seeing the benefit of a cool drink on these hot days.  We also were able to get the roof on our shed last weekend thanks to the help of our good friend and CSA member Jimmy! 

As you can see from the picture, we had an unexpected friend in one of our tomato boxes this week.  It gave a few of our helpers a bit of a scare when they went to sort the tomatoes!

We will have plenty of tomatoes and peppers next week as well as some egg plant and another round of broccoli.  Sweet corn is also just about ready so you should see that in the next few weeks also.  We are well positioned to continue to have bountiful boxes for many weeks to come! 


Swiss Chard
Cherry Tomatoes
Moskvich Tomato
Zucchini/Patty Pan Squash
Red Swan Beans

Some of the onions are a bit small this year but the flavor is great!  We think it's because we were unable to get a hold of straw for mulch until very late in the season this year.  The extra weed pressure and possibly loss of moisture are likely causes. 

We recommend that you do NOT refrigerate your tomatoes.  If they are not fully ripened it will stop the ripening process.  Ripe tomatoes will likely become mealy after a few days in the fridge.  Some people also claim that they will lose some of their flavor.  Your tomatoes are picked fresh from the fields weekly, often a day or two before you receive them.  They will easily keep another 3-5 days on your counter before they start to deteriorate.   


Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Poppy seed Dressing

4-5 Beets, all but 1” of greens removed
Olive oil
1 log of Goat Cheese
1/3 C. toasted walnuts
Salad mix
Poppy seed dressing (recipe below)

Rinse any dirt or debris from the beets – some beets may need to be scrubbed clean. Put beets on a large piece of aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 375. Drizzle the beets with a bit of oil before roasting. For even roasting of the beets, fold the foil over them and crimp the sides closed. Roast beets until tender. The amount of time this will take can vary greatly depending on the size of the beets, how many there are, if other things are in the oven, and how fresh the beets are (fresher beets cook up faster). For smaller beets, start checking them for tenderness at about 25 minutes. Larger and older beets can take up to an hour. Remove beets from oven when tender. Let sit until cool enough to handle. When beets are cool enough to handle, slip their peels off. You can use a paring knife, if you like, but you can also marvel at how easily the peels come off with just a rub of your fingers.

For the Dressing:

1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. whole milk
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
Place all ingredients in a jar; cover and shake until blended. Keeps several days in refrigerator.
(This salad is also great with balsamic vinaigrette!)

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

·         2-3 small zucchini, sliced into fry shapes

·         1/4 cup flour (I used chickpea flour to offer a gluten-free option, but I don’t see why regular flour shouldn’t also work.) (24g)

·         1/4 tsp salt

·         1/4 tsp garlic powder

·         1/2 cup milk of choice (120g)

·         1 cup breadcrumbs (I made my own by toasting Ezekiel bread and processing it in a food processor. If you’re gluten-free, use gf bread.) (40g)

Zucchini fries recipe: Preheat oven to 420F. Lightly grease a cooling rack, place it on a baking tray, and set aside. Set up an assembly line: flour and spices in one bowl, milk in another, and breadcrumbs in a third. Dip each zucchini stick in the flour, then the milk, then the breadcrumbs. Place on the cooling rack. Bake 18-19 minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached. Makes 40-45 fries.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week 8 - August 14th, 2013

We are about to have a produce explosion!  Be prepared for healthy quantities of broccoli, tomatoes and peppers in the next few weeks.  I think we managed to save our sweet corn from the wrath of the local raccoons as well… as long as I didn’t just jinx it by talking about it!  We put up a temporary electric fence around the corn and it seems to be doing its job. 

Yesterday we had a successful farm tour with Bluff Country Coop.  It went pretty smoothly other than the fact that the dog got to the cookies before any of us could!  Thanks to those of you who made it out.  If you didn’t have a chance to get out, or didn’t hear about it in time don’t worry.  We are also planning to have a CSA potluck.  This way members can meet us and each other, get a farm tour, share ideas and recipes, etc.  We are just working on setting the date.  We have talked about doing this in the past and it has not yet happened so we are definitely going to make it happen this year!!! 


Zucchini and Patty Pan Squash

Broccoli or Cabbage


Orange Tiger Cherry Tomatoes

Red Swan Beans

Chesnok Red Garlic

We planted a LARGE variety of peppers and tomatoes this season.  Each week you may receive a different variety or a mix of a few different ones.  Below is a list of all of the peppers we are currently growing.  We will list all of the tomato varieties in the next week or so as we start to harvest more of them. 


PURPLE BEAUTY-sweet bell

IKO IKO-sweet bell

king crimson-sweet bell


belcanto-sweet bell


early jalapeno-medium heat

New Mexico Joe E. Parker Anaheim-mild heat

Hungarian Hot Wax-medium heat


Ring o Fire Cayanne-very hot

Ancho Poblano-mild heat



Quick pickled zucchini:

Tzatziki Sauce:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week 7 - August 7th, 2013

The weed war is going well.  As you can see from the picture, the battles are gruesome and not for the faint of heart.  Luckily, this ain't our first time at the rodeo!!  Our crops are still looking great and although we did get some hail last night they don't seem any worse for the wear.  The rain was certainly welcomed!  It will be a help with mushroom production which has been down this season.  We should finally be able to get to the Winona and Rochester farmer's markets!     


Zucchini and/or Patty Pan Squash
Garlic (Music)
Copenhagen Cabbage or Broccoli
Swiss Chard
Genovese and Thai Basil
You will notice that we included a very large zucchini in your box this week... We have had requests from a few members for a round of larger zucchinis for baking breads, cookies, etc.  Let us know if you are interested in receiving more large zucchini and we will try to include some in your next box!  If you're not the baking type you can still cook the large zucchini like the smaller ones.  Just cut out the seeds and slice into smaller pieces prior to cooking. 

Tomatoes are starting to ripen!  We have been harvesting a few and hope to have enough cherries next week to include in your boxes.  We will also have another round of beans next week for sure! 

Also, for those of you who receive herb shares... This week it's Simon and Garfunkel: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme!


Zucchini Feta Pancakes

Moosewood Cookbook

4 eggs, separated
4 packed cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
½ cup finely minced scallions
1 tsp dried mint or 1 tbsp fresh minced mint
A little salt
Lots of black pepper
1/3 cup flour
Oil for frying
Sour cream or yogurt for topping

Beat the egg whites until stiff.   In a medium sized bowl, combine zucchini, egg yolks, feta, scallions, seasoning s and flour.  Mix well.  Fold the egg whites into the zucchini mixture.   Heat a little oil in a heavy skillet.  When it is very hot, add spoonfuls of batter, and fry on both sides until golden and crisp.  Serve immediately, topped with sour cream or yogurt.

Overnight Coleslaw
Savoring the Seasons

1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Dash of Tabasco
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, combine the bay leaf, vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, and garlic and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Remove the bay leaf.  Whisk the toasted caraway seeds, mustard and vegetable oil into the vinegar mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Put the sliced cabbage and onion in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.  Adjust the seasoning.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Zucchini (or summer squash) Bread

Diane Foerster

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 beaten eggs
2 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oil
3 cups grated zucchini (not peeled)
1 cup nuts (optional)

Stir together the flour, salt, soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Beat eggs. Add sugar, vanilla and oil and mix well. Stir in grated zucchini and dry ingredients. Blend well. Stir in nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Makes two 9 1/2 by 5 1/2 pans. Can also be used for making bars.