Summer CSA: Week 5

Hail at our house in Bellingham. The hail in Franklin wasn’t quiet as large, but lasted at least 15 minutes (says Tim, the farm owner). We also got between 4 and 6 inches of rain . . . we are having a hard time figuring it out since there are different amounts in all the buckets we leave around as “rain gauges”.
Did I invoke the wrath of the weather when making this art with Harvey on Sunday morning? Rain, humidity, thunder, lighting, “brown” (Harvey’s idea), clouds and . . . HAIL!

It looks bad, I know, and it is bad for some crops, but honestly, it could be WAY, WAY worse. We luckily had a lot of weeds in the pathways and covers over some of our most tender crops to try and keep flea beetle, leaf minor and root maggots out, so they didn’t get too badly beaten. So far the only thing we planned to pick this week that we lost completely is . . . was a super gourmet mild mustard mix that would have been a choice with the arugula and lettuce. We lost a really stellar looking planting of lettuce, but we have another one at Eliot St in Ashland which did not get hail. Plus some of the lettuce might pull through.

Oh well. We have lots of produce, and yes I wish we didn’t lose that mustard mix or that lettuce, and our epic battle with getting a good stand of carrots in 2020 is made even harder by the wash out, but guess what? We are really good at this and it could have been way worse. (If you’ve been with us long enough you will remember the hail of 2017 . . . it was almost the exact same date, June 27th!)

If you all could dial down your invocation of rain though . . . I think 1-2 inches at a time, and a little gentler would result in more of a net gain for the farm. 😉

Quick update on my anti-racism work: still reading Emergent Strategy by Adrianne Marie Brown. Here’s a really important quote that elaborates on something I read the other day that stated: “White Urgency Is Violence” (I’m sorry I can’t reference where I read it).

“There is such an urgency in the multitude of crises we face, it can make it hard to remember that in fact it is urgency thinking (urgent, constant, unsustainable growth) that got us to this point, and that our potential success lies in doing deep, slow, intentional work.” – AMB

I am also reviewing the National Young Farmer’s Coalition’s Racial Equity Toolkit and trying to be open to/seek out new information from new voices. I found this article from the Stanford Medicine particularly interesting and inspiring: “All-black ambulance service inspired today’s EMS system.”

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE

Beets or Sweet Turnips (if you haven’t tried sweet turnips yet, do it now! wrap in foil and grill!)
Kale, Swiss Chard or Frisee
Radish, Fennel or Broccoli (might be different choices on Thursday)
Peas
Zucchini and Cucumbers 2-3 fruits
Scallions or Cilantro
Arugula or Lettuce Mix

RECIPE CORNER

GLAZED SUGAR SNAP PEAS AND TURNIPShttps://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/glazed-sugar-snap-peas-and-turnips-recipe-2107215Super quick saute with just a kiss of sweetness.
HONEY GLAZED TURNIPShttps://www.marthastewart.com/326905/honey-glazed-turnipsThis super fast side dish is so yummy even your kids will eat it!
QUICK-PICKLED BABY TURNIPShttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/quick-pickled-baby-turnipsDon’t be afraid to try baby turnips even if you’re not usually a turnip fan. Baby turnips or salad turnips are mild and tender and don’t have the bite that some people are opposed to. You can chop them up and sauté them with their greens, dice them and throw them into a fried rice dish, roast them, grill them or slice them up in your salad. You can also pickle them! This recipe makes slightly sweet, slightly spicy pickled turnips but you could use any quick-pickle recipe if this one doesn’t sound like your thing.
SAUTEEED SALAD TURNIPS WITH TURNIP GREENShttps://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/06/japanese-turnips-saute-easy-side-dish-recipe.htmlWhile it’s always a good idea to separate your turnips from the greens as soon as you get home, don’t toss the greens! They’re packed with antioxidants and nutrients and pair perfectly with the turnips in this super simple side.
RADISH AND TURNIP HASH WITH GREEN GARLIC AND FRIED EGGShttps://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-radish-and-turnip-hash-with-fried-eggs-230586Great for breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner, this recipe makes a mouth watering hash from radishes, turnips and green garlic. Top it with some farm fresh eggs and sprinkle with microgreens or pea shoots.
REFRIGERATOR PICKLES WITH CARROTS, CUKES, YOU NAME IT!https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ted-allen/refrigerator-pickles-cauliflower-carrots-cukes-you-name-it-recipe-2119945OK – I’ve been holding out on this one, but I think it’s time. This is my favorite “use up my share” recipe. It works great for the veggies listed but you can also include green beans, scallions, radishes, zucchini, onions, peppers, asparagus. The options are endless. I usually do at least a triple batch at a time and the kids LOVE to make them. They help cut up the veggies and then they build mini jungles in the jars. The tall veggies are the different trees, the garlic is birds, the seeds and spices are the leaves and (I hesitate to include this part but it’s adds significantly to their amusement level) the cauliflower is bird poop. LOL. To finish it off, we flood the jungle with the salty tsunami brine. It’s good clean fun. These pickles are not shelf-stable but will keep in your fridge for about 3 months.
CHICKEN AND SUMMER VEGETABLE TOSTADAShttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-summer-vegetable-tostadasThese tostadas are as pretty as they are delicious. If you’d prefer a vegetarian option, skip the chicken and throw in some black beans!
BAKED PARMESAN ZUCCHINI FRIEShttps://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/baked-parmesan-zucchini-fries-3365019Got zucchini? I know you do! While zucchini bread is delicious and is often everyone’s go-to for using up zucchini, it actually uses shockingly little zucchini. These fries are delicious and easy and will use up quite a bit of your stash. I highly recommend adding some fresh chopped dill in with the bread crumbs and don’t use plain breadcrumbs – the panko breadcrumbs make them super crispy.
ZUCCHINI FRITTERS WITH FETA AND DILLhttps://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-symon/zucchini-fritters-with-feta-and-dill-2111879I like to slice zucchini into thin strips, toss it with balsamic vinaigrette and grill it for a few minutes on each side but I have a hard time getting the kids into eating it this way. Fritters are a great way to use up lots of zucchini that the kids will still eat. I love the different spin on these with the feta, dill and lemon.
CHARRED VEGETABLE AND BEAN TOSTADAS WITH LIME CREMAhttp://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/270963/charred-vegetable-bean-tostadas-with-lime-crema/While we’re talking tacos we shouldn’t leave out these hearty vegetarian tostadas. They’re a flavor explosion and brimming with good-for-you ingredients.
CARROT ZUCCHINI CAKEhttps://mamasgottabake.com/2013/04/carrot-zucchini-cake/I (Brittany) made this with Harvey, as you might know if you follow us on social media. I did tweak it: I used 2 cups zucchini and 3/4 cups carrot and added 1/2 cup flour. I also made buttercream frosting, because I didn’t have cream cheese.
GRILLED GRUYERE AND ZUCCHINI SANDWICHES WITH SMOKY PESTOhttp://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-gruyere-and-zucchini-sandwiches-smoky-pestoI make these sandwiches weekly during the summer. They’re quick, inexpensive and the whole family devours them. I usually make up a big batch of regular pesto whenever we get basil in the share and freeze it in silicone ice cube trays so I have plenty on hand which makes this recipe even faster. I love the Hearth & Stone Garlic Herb English Muffins (I get mine at Whole Foods) for these but they’re good with whatever kind you have on hand. I frequently swap out summer squash for the zucchini if that’s what I have on hand and they’d be delicious with tomatoes or peppers too.
ZUCCHINI BREAD (OR MUFFINS) WITH OATShttps://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/zucchini-bread-oatsWe’re up in Maine camping this week so I made up a big batch of these muffins to have on hand for breakfast and snacks. The recipe makes two loaves of bread but I put the batter into muffin tins and reduce the cooking time to 25-30 minutes (makes 24 muffins). I also swap out most of the flour for white-whole wheat flour.


Summer CSA: Week 4

The hero of the share this week? Burgandy purple sprouting broccoli. Outrageously stunning, fun to pick, delicious to eat. What a treasure. So glad we gave this variety a whirl.

So, I was going to write a rain blog, but guess what? I’ve written like five of those over the last 10 years. Click here, to read the rain blog from 2018, the last time it got dry like this. We are on sandy soil right now instead of silt/loam which holds moisture better than sand. Think” hot beach” when you think of our fields right now. We do have irrigation this year (town water, $$$, yikes!!) and we are running some kind of irrigation almost 24/7 to keep plants alive (and growing). A little rain would go a long way.

Instead, I’m going to write a little about the book(s) I’m reading and work I’m doing, in my attempt to educate myself more on how to dismantle systems of white oppression so I can be ready to take action. For years I have struggled with the manifestation of my desire to “be part of the solution”. I studied environmental policy and sociology in college and basically decided it was “too depressing” so I started working on farms so I could be “a part of the solution.”

What an incredible amount of privilege to chose to put aside dealing directly with systemic environmental justice problems so I could go learn how to farm. Second, without all my class privilege I don’t think I could have afforded to say, “hey, it’s ok, I will make almost no money for years so I can learn how to do this job that might not make any money.”

After more than a decade of farming full-time, I’m not sure I’ve done much more than promote an overly idealized, white-colonizer version of sustainability in the form of the “small family farm”.

I’m going to stop here, because I want to make sure you know the things I am watching and reading. And because I don’t have much clarity beyond my need to keep reading, keep listening, even when its painfully uncomfortable, and I need to be ready for change.

The book I’m reading is “Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds” by Adrienne Maree Brown. (I’m also simultaneously re-reading “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler, which is one of the foundations for the authors understanding of emergent strategy). I’ve meant to read this book for years. I should have read this book years ago. It sings to me – I almost feel guilty for how much joy I derive from it.

“Emergence is a way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions” – Nick Obolensky
“Emergence emphasizes critical connections over critical mass, building authentic relationships, listening with all the senses of the body and the mind . . . Emergent strategy is how we intentionally change in ways that grow our capacity to embody the just and liberated worlds we long for.” – adrienne maree brown

Without having finished the book I already know it is an incredible guide, not only for how to work more deliberately support and make space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, but how to reinvent the way I have been trained to exist in the world so that I can be a better collaborator, a better ally, and maybe transform my entire approach to farming and life?

I also tuned in to a portion of the Juneteenth Broadcast hosted by A Growing Culture on Friday as I bagged greens for market. I don’t think you can watch a recording right now, but I think it will be available soon. I got to hear Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms speak for the first time. I’m going to paraphrase, because I can’t yet find a recording to get a direct quote but, during his presentation he said, ‘agriculture in America is the result of Europeans stealing too much land from indigenous people and then stealing African people in order to have enough labor to farm it.’ There is a lot more to what he said than that, and I have since read subsequent articles he has written which clearly articulate other ideas I have been exposed to over the last few years . . . read “Small Farm’s Aren’t The Answer.”

I don’t have presentable takeaways from this work yet, other than I have a growing understanding that I’ve been doing lots of things wrong, perpetuating injustice and there is so, so much room to grow, change and evolve as a person and as a business so the effort and energy I put into the world can directly move us all closer to a “just and liberated world.” AMB


Eastern Black Swallow Tail in the greenhouse last week. Protecting pollinators is important – not as important as social justice and dismantling systems of oppression. We can do both.

What’s in the Share:

The first cucumber and zucchini: 1-3 fruits depending on yield
Carrots
Peas!
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Head Lettuce
Scallions
Choices (2): (lots of odds and ends this week) kale, escarole, scapes, cabbage, beets, extra lettuce . . . maybe a few other things)

Recipes:

WHAT IS PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI?https://www.olivemagazine.com/guides/best-ever/best-ever-purple-sprouting-broccoli-recipes/Purple Sprouting Broccoli is a nutty, more tender version of traditional broccoli and it’s even better for you. Higher in Vitamins C and A, fewer carbs and more protein. You can use it in any recipe that calls for broccoli or try out one of these recipes designed to highlight this variety.
CHICKEN AND SUMMER VEGETABLE TOSTADAShttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-summer-vegetable-tostadasThese tostadas are as pretty as they are delicious. If you’d prefer a vegetarian option, skip the chicken and throw in some black beans!
SNAP PEAS WITH MEYER LEMON AND MINThttps://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-snap-peas-with-meter-lemon-and-mint-recipes-from-the-kitchn-81633On the rare occasion that the kids and I don’t polish off the snap peas by the time we get home from picking up our share, I love to sauté them which really brings out their flavor. This recipe has all the flavors of the season with Meyer lemon (I won’t tell if you use a regular lemon) and fresh mint.
CURRIED COUSCOUS WITH BROCCOLI & FETAhttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/curried-couscous-with-broccoli-fetaAnother quick and inexpensive vegetarian summer main dish that can be made in advance and served up whenever you’re ready for it. For an extra protein kick you can add grilled chicken or steak.
FRISEE SALAD WITH ROASTED BEETShttps://www.finecooking.com/recipe/frisee-salad-with-roasted-beets-orange-vinaigretteFrisée is a type of lettuce in the chicory and endive family. It has a slightly bitter or peppery flavor and looks exactly like it sounds. Pair them with beets and an orange vinaigrette in this side salad – add grilled chicken for a main dish.

Summer CSA: Week 3

We are loving this cool weather.

Hello Everyone,

Well, here we are in week 3 of the CSA. We haven’t been posting CSA emails on our blog, in part because it makes it a two-step process and we’ve been really short on time, and in part because demand has been so high for our products, we felt bad flaunting sold-out shares. Also, shares haven’t always been the same on Tuesday and Thursday this year, more so than in previous years, and people complaining about fairness in the CSA makes us crazy.

But, the Ashland Farmer’s Market is now open, and although it is different this year, you can still get tons of great farm products (snacking on an egg on locally-grown-whole-grain-sour-dough-toast from Crust right now). As always, we do our best of prioritize our CSA members, but we also love our farmers market customers, and we are excited that production (after a weird and wild spring) is finally ramping up.

This week’s share has the first carrots and peas of the season, as well as more delicious salad and cooking greens and kohlrabi!

What’s in the share:
Carrots (tender, baby – don’t cook, just consume!)
Kohlrabi
Head Lettuce
Salad Greens Choice: Micros, Arugula, Mild Mustards/Mix
Cooking Greens Choice: Bok Choy, Kale, Swiss Chard, Escarole, Frisee
Peas/Strawberries: (some amount of either or both)
Broccoli (for Tuesday)/Zucchini (for Thursday). Lots more zucchini on the horizon.
Garlic Scapes


This is a garlic scape still on the garlic plant.

RECIPE CORNER

GARLIC SCAPE GREEN GAZPACHOPerfect for a steamy night! You can use pretty much any combination of greens in this so it’s a great way to use up any extra greens you have.
ABOUT GARLIC SCAPESGarlic Scapes are the curly stems that shoot up out of garlic bulbs. They will eventually flower but they are typically trimmed off to allow the garlic plant to use all of its energy on making a delicious flavorful garlic bulb. Scapes taste like a cross between garlic, onion and scallions and are fantastic sautéed with eggs or to top pasta, made into pesto, grilled or added to a soup or stir-fry.

KOHLRABI FRITTERSKohlrabi is something that I wasn’t familiar with until I started getting a CSA share but now I get it whenever there is a choice. Also called a German Turnip, kohlrabi is in the cabbage (Brassica) family and has a mild flavor like a cross between a cucumber and a turnip. The whole plant is edible and can be eaten raw but I typically strip off the stems and leaves and if the skin is feeling on the tough side I peel it with a veggie peeler. We love to make these fritters with them and I frequently mix half kohlrabi and half shredded carrots if we have them on hand. Scallions or scapes would be great in here too and I think this week I’ll add some shredded kale too.
19 NEW WAYS TO EAT LEAFY GREENSIf you ever start feeling overwhelmed by greens, don’t despair! There are so many ways to use them up without having salad for every meal.
QUICK SAUTEED ENDIVE, ESCAROLE AND FRISEEYou can either use a combination of Endive, Escarole and Frisee in this or just pick one or two depending on what you like and what you have on hand.
ENDIVE APPLE AND CELERY SALADI love a crunchy salad and this one has loads of crunch and a fantastic combination of flavors.
SNAP PEA SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSINGCrunchy and delicious snap peas served over a super simple buttermilk dressing. It will look like you were in the kitchen slaving for hours!
WILD RICE GRATIN WITH KALE, CARAMELIZED ONIONS, AND BABY SWISSThis is a great recipe to have on hand because you likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry or can easily swap them for ones that you do have. The wild rice could be swapped for pretty much any kind of rice and it would be equally delicious with cheddar cheese, fontina or feta if you didn’t have swiss.