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CSA Recipes

Posted 6/14/2017 8:30pm by Amy Philson.

This hot weather should bring a great appreciation of your farmers.  Even when it's sweltering outside, we are still out in the fields planting, weeding, and harvesting.  If possible, we get up early to beat the heat, and then work again in the evening.  But sometimes we just have to stay hydrated and keep on going when temperatures soar, like when we're cutting hay.  Most crops stay fresh longer when we pick them early in the day, before the sun heats them up.  Greens are quick-chilled in cold water, and then weighed and packaged under a roof. 

We have a new installment from David Yoder of NuWay Farm:

Ahh, yes, the beautiful Mistress Summertime cometh.  She brings corn on the cob, big red round tomatoes, juicy chin-dripping watermelons.  And let's not forget family cookouts.  Family is important.
 
In our 15-plus years of farming, we have tried many tomato varieties.  The green ones, yellow ones, orange ones, black ones, big ones, little ones.  Mostly we are interested in the heirloom kinds.  We finally settled on three that we like best.
 
This first one we have planted for three years now.  It is not an heirloom but a hybrid.  It's a paste tomato called Health Kick. There's nothing spectacular about it; it's just a paste tomato for canning.
The next one I want to tell you about is not an heirloom either.  It is a yellow cherry tomato called Sunsugar.  We plant this one year after year because of its high yields and very good low-acid sweet taste.  Picking one directly from the vine, popping it into your mouth, exploding it between the teeth, starts a person on a feeding frenzy that won't end until filled or you run out of tomatoes.
 
This last tomato that we grow is, well, really spectacular I think.  It's definitely an heirloom.  It's a large pink low-acid tomato with the least amount of seed pockets I have ever seen in a tomato.  It's kind of sweet; a bit solid yet not crunchy, large enough to cover anyone's homemade wheat bread slices.  An elderly Amish farmer gave me several seeds seven years ago and advised me to try this tomato.  He had been saving the seeds for 30 years, he said.  He had gotten the seed from an elderly lady 30 years ago who had brought the seed with her from Germany.  This delicious tomato did not have a name--so we named it.  At the beginning the boys and I identified the tomato by saying, "that tomato-we-got-from-John-Henry."  Eventually we shortened it to the "John Henry" tomato.  That is how it got its name.  We believe that by saving seeds from only the hardiest plants the tomato may adapt to our regioun and also build disease resistance.  Watch your share box about mid-summer if everything goes well.  You're sure to find some JH tomatoes with your produce.

And an update from Grateful Life Farm:

This week we finished building generation two of our bottomless, moveable broiler pens.  Although our first pen is still in service in its fourth season, it has needed repeated repairs and we also identified some improvements we wanted to make.  Our ultimate goal is to use this pen in pastures much further from our house, so we wanted to build it like Fort Knox for chickens.  The new pen is the same footprint as the original, 10 x 12, but it is built in two halves with a bolted flange down the center which will allow us to take it apart and move it to different pastures later in the season.  We used heavier lumber for key pieces that we have repaired several times on the first pen and we used ½" x 1" welded wire rather than the mix of chicken wire and hardware cloth from the first pen to make it more predator proof.  We also used larger tires which give us more ground clearance when we are moving the pen each day. 
Grateful Life Farm's chicken tractor
 
Tuesday evening we set up a new section of electric net fence and put the second batch of broiler chicks in the new pen.  It has been working very well, heavier than the original design, but easier to move.  We were just in time to clean out the brooder and pick up batch three from the post office on Wednesday morning.  All arrived healthy and are doing well.  We will be processing our first batch of broiler chickens Sunday, June 18th.
 
With the chicken pen completed, we turned our attention toward the vegetables.  We removed crop residues from our first spinach and radish planting, and prepared the beds for the next crops, spinach and basil.  The basil transplants went in on Wednesday evening and are looking well.  Although heavily mulched last fall with leaves and grass clippings, the garlic needed a little weeding, which we breezed through pretty quickly.  It is looking strong and we are excited for scapes soon!  Next, we will be planting successions of lettuce, radishes and spinach, and also green beans and sunflowers.   

For those of you with Chicken Shares, your first chicken will come next week.  Biweekly shares will receive chickens two weeks in a row, and then biweekly for the rest of the season.  When we start chickens too early in the spring, we have found that they are more susceptible to illness and death because of the cold, so we delayed the start of Chicken Shares by one week.  If you don't have a Chicken Share, some of Grateful Life's chicken will be available in the Webstore soon.

Share Contents

Full Shares

  • 1 quart strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce mix from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. collard greens from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. Swiss chard from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes from Red Dog Farm
  • 2 Choice items

Small Shares

  • 1 pt. strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 head lettuce Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 Choice item

Mini Share

  • 1 pt. strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce Grateful Life Farm
  • 1/3 lb. collard greens from NuWay Farm

Recipes

White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip

Simple Spaghetti with Kale, Lemon and Garlic

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad

One Pot Mushroom and Swiss Chard Pasta

Easy Swiss Chard

Roasted Salt & Pepper Radish Chips

Radish & Herb Cashew Ricotta Crostini -- Sub regular ricotta or goat cheese if you eat dairy and don't want to make cashew cheese.

Cuban-Inspired Black Beans and Rice with Collard Greens and Pan-Fried Plantains -- If you're not familiar with plantains, they are a relative of bananas.

Blanched Collard Greens for Wraps

Garlic Ginger Collard Greens + Eggs & Feta

If one of these recipes looks yummy but you didn't receive that particular green in your Share, I have found that I can substitute other greens in recipes.  Kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, etc. can be swapped out in many (not all) recipes.

Have a great week and try to stay cool!  Enjoy some new recipes, try different foods, and have fun with fresh local food!

Amy