Monthly Archives: June 2012

I Forgot!!-Additional Box Item

I can’t believe I forgot one of the box items! It’s even one of my favorites and not a well known vegetable. Whoops!

Kohlrabi– These are the funny shaped purple or green colored bulbs. They are in the broccoli family and the taste is like a sweet broccoli taste. I love these raw. They have a wonderful crunch and a cooling effect. You need to peel the hard skin from the bulbs. I like to eat them sliced with a little seasoned salt. A refreshing snack for the hot days ahead!

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Bird Watching: Week #4

One benefit to spending so much time out in my fields is that I have gotten to know the birds on the farm pretty well. The characters range from the anxious kildeer, with their high pitched piping call, to the majestic red tailed hawk, who lives in the tree line on the north side of the farm.

The kildeer have an unfortunate habit of making nests in my fields. When we come through the rows weeding they run around frantic, acting as if they have a broken wing, in hopes that we (hungry predators) will follow them and leave their nests alone. I find this cute the first few times it happens. As the season progresses I can’t help but roll my eyes at them. Will they never learn?

This week we had an interesting encounter with the resident red tailed hawk. A line of utility poles runs along the western border of the farm. At a couple points they are quite close to my fields. Yesterday, as we were working in one of these fields we kept hearing a raspy, annoyed call from nearby. We looked up at the utility pole and saw the hawk with four redwing blackbirds flitting around it. Occasionally, one blackbird would dive at the hawk. We were fascinated. We’ve seen these cheeky blackbirds bothering the hawk before, mostly while it was flying. This was much more up close and personal. Eventually, the blackbirds gave up and went away. Now that the hawk was left in peace. It started pecking at it’s talons (the feet). Confused for the moment, we watched the hawk repeat this motion. Finally, it dawned on us. The hawk had a meal of something in its talons! We couldn’t figure out if the blackbirds were bothering the hawk because they wanted a share in the meal or if some blackbird met an untimely end. Either way I was fascinated.

Enjoy the box this week!

What’s in the Box:

Sugar Snap Peas– another round of these sweet treats! Don’t bother shelling the peas, you can eat the whole thing!

Zucchini and Summer Squash– this week is just the beginning of the prolific zucchini and summer squash. We’ll start with just a pound in this box. Perhaps next week we’ll be swimming in them!

Chard-this leafy green is very similar to spinach. In fact you can substitute chard for spinach in your favorite recipes. The stems are edible too. Chop them up and throw them into the pan a few minutes before you add the leaves.

Hakurei Turnips– these white turnips are unlike any other you’ve had before. They have a wonderful nutty flavor and can be enjoyed raw, like a radish, or cooked in stir-fry, or braised in chicken broth. Throw them in a salad for a nutty crunch!

Fennel-This is the white bulb with the feathery fronds on top. It has a wonderful anise flavor and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked. Use the fronds like dill to brighten any dish. By the way, fennel is great in a quiche with chard!

Lettuce– two heads of lettuce are in your box this week. Best kept in the fridge in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel.

Scallions– These are getting so big that they almost don’t fit in the box any more!

Cilantro– a fresh herb that livens up any dish. Keep in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Recipes:

Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro– from epicurious.com

Chicken with Italian Fennel– from myrecipes.com

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese– from allrecipes.com

Sesame Parmesan Zucchini– from allrecipes.com (you can use summer squash too!)

Heat Wave on the Farm: Week #3

Well, here we are in mid July, oops I mean mid June! Last week the potatoes started blooming. Now I’ve discovered the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers are blooming too! Life can move pretty fast on the farm, even in 90 degree weather. The farmer doesn’t move fast in this kind of weather though. We’ve continued with our farm tasks in spite of the heat, but not with much spring in our steps. Handweeding has become the favorite chore now, because that means we can sit down and still consider ourselves “working”. Usually I try to stay on my feet. I can hear the voice of a farmer I used to work for telling me over and over that if I sit down I’m going to work 20% slower than if I was standing or kneeling. I wonder where he got that statistic . . .

Anyway, on days like this I allow myself the luxury of sitting while picking out the weeds in the carrot beds. I figure the 20% decrease in efficiency is money well spent on a day in the mid 90’s and full sun.

We’ve got a few new things in the box this week; sugar snap peas, kale, dill and hot pink turnips! There are quite a few recipes below. I couldn’t make up my mind which to leave out so I just left them all in. Stay cool everyone!

What’s in the Box:

Sugar Snap Peas- They have had a hard time of it this spring, what with all the hot weather and being in the back corner of the farm. Yet here they are and wonderfully tasty! Check out the recipe below for a refreshing salad. Note: these are sugar snap peas so you can eat the whole thing, pod and all!

Kale- The superfood that everyone is talking about! There are many ways to eat this leafy green. A couple recipes are below. Also note that kale does well with bold flavors like italian sausage and parmesan cheese. It’s great sauted in olive oil with garlic and onions too.

Lettuce- Two smaller heads are in your box this week. Store in the fridge in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel.

Spinach- This is the last of the spinach until the fall! It’ll be great in your morning omelettes!

Dill- Such a refreshing herb which is perfect for this hot week. Just smelling it makes me feel a little cooler.

Napa Cabbage- A sweeter type of cabbage than the traditional kind. I love the salad recipe below. It’s quick, easy, and oh so tasty.

Scarlet Turnips- These bright pink turnips are more like radishes than their traditional fall cousins. No peeling or cooking required. Eat them raw with the dill dip below for a refreshing and slightly spicy snack.

Scallions- More of the ever useful and flavorful scallions. Farm trivia: On the farm I never refer to these as “scallions”, rather I call them “bunching onions” (to differentiate from bulb onions).

Recipes:

Salmon Burgers with Yogurt-Dill Sauce– from Marthastewart.com

Dill Dip in a Bread Bowl– from foodnetwork.com

Asian Chicken Noodle Salad– from bonappetit.com

Napa Cabbage Salad Recipe– from allrecipes.com

Stir Fried Pork with Napa Cabbage– from epicurious.com

Baked Kale Chips– from allrecipes.com

Kale and Toasted Walnut Pesto– from tastespotting.com

Potatoes are Blooming! CSA Week #2

A Farmer's View

A Farmer’s View

So much change happens on the farm and I am constantly caught off guard. This weekend I was moving my irrigation sprinklers around (a constant task this season!) and was shocked to see that a few of my potatoes had already begun to blossom. I think the flowers are so beautiful. The red potato plants have a lavender color while the yellow potatoes have a white flower. I can’t wait until they are all blooming and waving in the wind.

I’ve been caught off guard a lot these last two weeks. Not only are the potatoes blooming, but so are the zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers. Those were the pleasant surprises. I also discovered that about half of my garlic has rotted this year. It’s a mystery to me why. I do have a few theories, but that won’t change the fact of the loss. But don’t get too despondent! We’ve been harvesting the garlic that is still good and it has kept us busy! We will have garlic, just not all the variety I had hoped for.

Potato Blossom

Potato Blossom

But that’s the reality of farming. There are things that grow well and things that don’t. Each year is different and my role as a farmer seems to be more like a juggler than a puppet master who pulls all the strings.

Enjoy the box and happy eating!

What’s In the Box:

Beets- These beautiful red beets are among my favorite veggies. I love them boiled, or even better, roasted. Add a little butter and salt and they are amazing. The greens are edible too. Just saute them in olive oil with some garlic scapes and onions. Cut off the greens about an inch above the root and store in the fridge in a plastic bag. The roots can be stored loose in the veggie drawer.

Chard-a great dark leafy green that is high in vitamins A, E and C and iron and calcium. You can eat the bright colored stems too. Just be sure to add them to the pan a few minutes before the greens. Store in a bag with a damp cloth.

Fennel- this white root with the fern like leaves has a wonderful anise flavor. Try substituting it for celery and using the greens like dill. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Lettuce- store in the fridge in a plastic bag with a damp towel

Cress- (in a pint box) a peppery leaf that is a wonderful garnish to salads and sandwiches.

Spinach- a 1/2 lb bag of some of the best early summer spinach I have ever grown! I’m so excited for having this two weeks in a row. Great in a salad with strawberries and walnuts. Store in a plastic bag with a damp towel.

Garlic Scapes- the garlic scape season has come and gone. This is the last of the garlic scapes. It caught me by surprise. Use like scallions for a great garlic flavor.

Scallions- Another round of these great little onions. Store in the fridge in a plastic bag with a damp towel.

Herb Mix- (in a pint box) a mix of garlic chives, sage, oregano and thyme! Add to any dish for a splash of flavor. Make a marinade by chopping herbs and mix them with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Grilling anyone?

Recipes:

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad-from foodandwine.com.

Orange and Fennel Salad– from foodnetwork.com

Gemelli with Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Pine Nuts– from Marthastewart.com

Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche- from food.com. add a few herbs from the herb mix to make an especially tasty dish.

Let’s Begin! CSA Week #1

Welcome to the 2012 Wild Goose Farm CSA!  All the crazy weather this spring has kept me guessing when the CSA would start. Now here we are in June and the crops are ready to go! I know many, if not all of you, have been aching for these fresh veggies. Well, ache no more.

Since this is the first week let me explain how these blog/newsletters are going to work. First there will be a short story about what’s happening on the farm. That’s what you’re reading right now. Next will come a list of what is in the box with some storage and preparation tips. The recipe section will follow. The titles of the recipes are linked to their respective websites. So just click on the recipe title and a new window should pop up with the recipe. It’s as simple as that.

If you want to be emailed as soon as I write a new post, you can do that by clicking a link on the left hand sidebar. I will also be sending you an email with a link to the post. Enjoy those veggies!

What’s in the Box:

Broccoli- These smallish heads of broccoli are due to the funky spring weather we’ve been having. They make a great snack or addition to your salads!

Salad Mix- A baby mix of lettuce greens. Store in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel in the refrigerator.

Scallions- great for stir fries, salads, pretty much anything.

Spinach-In spite of the weather we’re having a great spinach crop right now. Check out the burrito recipe below that includes spinach! Place a damp paper towel in the bag to keep fresh.

Carrots- These carrots are from my hoophouse and so are much earlier than my other plantings. Amazingly sweet! They’ll be gone before you know it.

Napa Cabbage- This is the tall, white-stemmed vegetable with the curly greens. It’s my favorite kind of cabbage. There is a slaw recipe and a grill recipe below. Both are great. Store in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel in the refrigerator.

Hakurei Turnips- Those aren’t white radishes in you box, those are a Japanese turnip. They are sweety and nutty with little to no heat at all. Eat them like a radish for snacks, in salads, or add them to a stir fry.

Garlic Scapes- These are the funny green curliques in your box. The are the flower stalk from the garlic plant. Not only are they whimsical, they are also edible! Use them just like scallions. They’ll add a garlic flavor to any dish. See below for an excellent bean dip featuring the scapes!

Cilantro- The fragrant bunch of greens in your box is the cilantro. Try it in the recipes below or add it to any dish to liven it up!

Pea Shoots- A fun addition to any salad or sandwich. These shoots have a lovely pea flavor.

Recipe Ideas:

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip– from the NY Times, an amazing dip. Believe me, it’s amazing. Go make it right now.

Spicy Napa Cabbage Slaw with Cilantro Dressing– from Epicurious.com; you can omit the pepper if heat is not your thing. Also, add some shredded carrots to brighten up the dish!

Chicken Burritos with Black Beans, Spinach and Cilantro– from Cookthink.com; healthy burritos!? FYI-there is only 1/2 lb  of spinach in your box this week so the servings will be a little smaller than the recipe.

Grilled Napa Cabbage with Chinese Mustard Glaze and Scallions– from MarthaStewart.com; feeling the need to grill with this wonderful weather? Why not try this recipe?