tat soi

arugula, bok choy, daikon radish, French breakfast radish, kale, marconi peppers, radish greens, tat soi

Fall 2011 CSA Week 1


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We know that a lot of folks have a hard time sometimes distinguishing between, say tat soi and bok choy, so we like to take pictures of our CSA share items and label them, so our members have a reference once they bring their shares home. I took these pictures at market on Saturday, since I won’t be home on Tuesday when Ben will harvest and then deliver your shares. We usually like to put all the CSA items together for one picture, but since we did this at market, it wasn’t really conducive to our situation. Anyway, the single picture items should be somewhat helpful for identifying your CSA share items. So, as I stated in the email, you will receive the following items in your shares:

SCALLIONS                           ARUGULA

BOK CHOY                           PEPPERS
DAIKON RADISH                RADISHES/
NAPA CABBAGE                  HAKUREI
LETTUCE                              TURNIPS

KALE

Note: scallions, lettuce, and hakurei turnips not pictured

bok choy great for stir-fry

tat soi also great for stir fry, but also salad


daikon radish
you can cook the greens and stir fry the root or eat it sliced, raw with salt
it’s also good in kimchi


red Russian kale (aka ragged Jack)
this is good every which way
you can also save and eat the stems (they require a longer cooking time than the leaves)


arugula
great raw and cooked


French breakfast radishes
you can eat the greens cooked
the roots are great as a snack, in salad, or in a stir fry


sweet gypsy peppers
raw and cooked – either way, they’re tasty!


marconis
these are my favorite sweet peppers, by far



Well, that’s all folks! We’ll try to post more share pictures as the season progresses. Definitely feel free to email us if you have any questions about your share items or what to do with them. We’ve got TONS of ideas :). Thanks for stopping by!

– Patricia

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arugula, beet greens, bok choy, greens, kale, mustard greens, radish greens, spinach, tat soi, turnip greens

Happy Autumn!


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Hi folks! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted on this ol’ blog – again – but what can I say? We’re busy farmin it up out here and that leaves little time for blog posts. As the weather turns colder, you can expect more posts. Until then, I’m posting one of our write ups from the first Fall CSA newsletter. It’s all about greens – and I figured lots of folks might be interested in how to deal with the plethora of greens to come this season. I’ve been taking pictures on the farm – some of them are outdated already, but expect a picture blog in the near future. 
As usual, thanks for stopping by! 
 – Patricia 
Greens Galore
By Patricia Parker
Even for greens lovers like us, it can be a challenge to keep up with all the greens (but we like challenge) and root veggies of the fall. I’d like to share a bit of our greens wisdom with the hopes that you find some of our strategies helpful.
First and foremost, it is important to get acquainted with your greens. You’ll be receiving numerous types and varieties, each with their own unique flavors and textures. Additionally, their flavors will change as the weather grows colder (they’ll get sweeter – this goes for the root veggies too!). I recommend trying your greens every which way – starting by trying them raw. I find some greens less palatable raw than others – for instance, turnip, radish, and mustard greens are a bit too pungent raw for my taste. But, when they’re cooked, they’re delectable. And some greens are great raw – like arugula and spinach – and others that might surprise you, like kale and swiss chard (all of them are great cooked). As a general rule of thumb, the more tender the green, the better it tastes raw (and the less time you will need to cook them).
Now, there are countless ways to prepare your greens – you can steam them, sauté them, stir fry them, put them in soups, chilis and stews, eat them with eggs (e.g., as a side, in an omelet or frittata), etc. We’ll provide you with recipes for your greens throughout the season to help spur along your greens creativity. We’ll also give you basic cooking instructions and storage information. If your greens ever start to feel like they’re piling up on you, remember how few greens there are in the summer. You can blanch and then freeze your greens to use them any other time you like. You can also use up lots of greens if you make them the primary course on your plate (e.g., dinner salad or beans and greens with meat on the side). Of course, you can also share with your friends, family and neighbors – and if you don’t have any takers, you can leave them with us and we’ll donate them to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle for you.
Keeping up with your greens can be a daunting task in the beginning, but before you know it, you’ll turn pro!
Note: If anyone would like to share their own methods for keeping up with your CSA share, please send a write-up our way. We would LOVE for CSA members to contribute to weekly newsletters. You can send your write up in an email, as a word file, or as a pdf file. We’ll be sure to place it in the next newsletter.
2011 CSA, bok choy, cilantro, dandelion greens, dill, kale, leeks, lettuce, scallions, snow peas, strawberries, swiss chard, tat soi

Week 3, May 9-15 CSA Share Contents


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Howdy do, folks? It seems I’m communicating with all of y’all via the blog and newsletters these days. I’m sad to say that I still haven’t met everyone in the CSA yet, since I’ve been staying home studying for my prelim exam – but that’s only going to be the case for another week and a half and then I’ll be right there with Ben at the drop sites!

So, I did a little something different this week with the pictures of the share contents. I know a lot of CSAs use boxes and that’s something we haven’t really been doing. We don’t use the boxes for a few reasons. The most important reason is because we prefer to keep the produce nice and cool so when you come to pick it up it’s in great condition. Heat works wonders on these veggies and once they wilt, it’s all over. Another reason, which will become pretty apparent once you check out these pictures, is that the produce just won’t fit in one box – at least not a box with a lid on it. I took pictures of each of the items in the box and I also tried to include everything in the box, so y’all could get a nice view of what it would look like if you did get a box of your share.

So, without further adieu…

Here’s the box with the contents of this week’s share all together (minus the dill and cilantro – it seems I forget to take a picture of something every time!)
Broccoli
Dandelion greens
Rainbow chard
Strawberries (one quart for small and regular shares; 2 for large shares)

Berry close up
Snow peas
Close up
Baby leeks

Bok choy
Kale
Kale close up
Red bibb lettuce

Green romaine lettuce
Tatsoi

Scallions
The baby leeks are on top, scallions on the bottom here.
My, that sure is pretty!

Alrighty. That’s all folks! See you in a week or two. Take care and thanks for stopping by!

2011 CSA, arugula, bok choy, cilantro, dill, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, swiss chard, tat soi

Week 1, April 24-30 CSA Share Contents


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Hi again folks! Last year, particularly at the beginning of the CSA season, a lot of the newbies were unfamiliar with some of our CSA share items. So, this year, we’re going to try our best to post pictures of all of the items in the shares each week. We’ll see how long that lasts! With all of the other happenings on the farm, photographs are definitely a low priority. But, we will do our best, because I think they are helpful.

And, just to reiterate one more time, it is not too late to sign up for the Summer 2011 CSA with us. We will pro-rate your share if you come on board late.

So, you will notice one MAJOR thing missing from these pictures – strawberries! They’re in the shares, but we forgot to take the pictures in time. We’ll be sure to include them in the photos next week.

Here’s a shot of the regular share box.

And here’s another.
Tat Soi
Arugula
(for large shares only – large shares will also receive twice as many berries, spinach and lettuce, compared with regular and small shares)

Dill and Cilantro (just a little for now, but much more to come!)

Red Russian Kale

Swiss Chard

Bok Choy

Spinach

Red Salad Bowl (an Oak Leaf Lettuce)

And here’s Bocephus. He’s not included but he wanted to say, “Hi!”
cabbage, chinese cabbage, eggplant, peppers, planting party, seedlings, summer squash, tat soi, tomatoes

Seedlings Galore!


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Howdy do, folks?! It’s been busy as can be out here at the farm. Ben and I have been making soil blocks, seeding flats, planting seedlings and direct seeding root veggies. Of course, that also means Ben’s been prepping a whole heck of a lot of ground to get it ready so we can plant. I also finally tried my hand at the tiller to till up soil for our newest edition – the flower garden (so pumped!!!).

We’ve had lots of folks stop by since our last planting party to help us out on the farm in one way or another. Beth and the kids have been keeping up with the chickens (the kids LOVE gathering the eggs each morning), our neighbors Andy, Amanda and Duffie have been by to give us furniture (they got a new set) and keep us company, our friend Craig has been dropping off quite a lot of flower bulbs from his garden, Kevin came out to help Ben pot up some of the summer seedlings, and David came out to help Ben and I plant more potatoes (they’re all in!!!) and weed and mulch some. Whew! I think that’s everyone, but please don’t be mad at me if I forgot to mention you.

As you know from our previous post, we’re having a planting party this Sunday the 10th from 1-5pm. We’ve had a few folks email us to let us know they’ll be stopping by to pitch in a hand and have a picnic with us too. Please come out if you’re interested! Many hands make light work! It’s true!

Alrighty. I just wanted to let y’all know we’re gearing up (and have been for quite a while) for a fantastic season and I thought I’d show you some of the seedlings that we’ll be planting in the next couple of weeks or so. Just to warn you, these pictures aren’t very diverse. They’re mostly pictures of a number of different varieties of the same veggies (e.g., multiple varieties of tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, eggplant, squash, brassicas more generally, etc.) – but I thought it might help to demonstrate what we’re doing out here if I bombard y’all with some pictures of everything. Plus, you’ll be able to see the crazy awesome varieties we’re planting this year (and these pictures are not really representative – there’s even more to come!).

Okay. I guess I’ll get to it then. We hope to see you Sunday. And we hope you enjoy the pictures!



beet greens, collards, garlic, mesclun, red Russian kale, tat soi

versatile greens


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since greens are in season – and will be for a while – i’m going to post some more really yummy greens recipes so y’all can be sure you keep your taste buds jumping for joy – or whatever it is they do when they’re happy.

Red-Cooked Collards
1 cup dark soy sauce or tamari
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry sherry
several nickel-sized pieces of fresh ginger
4 or 5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
several pieces of star anise
2 pounds collard greens

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil while you prepare the collards. After washing the greens, trim them of their large stems and chop coarsely. Place in the cooking liquid and adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil. Cook until greens are tender and most of the liquid is gone, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice as a main course or as a side dish.

Source: Bittman, Mark. 1995. Leafy Greens.

Grilled Mesclun-stuffed Tuna Steaks
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon strong mustard
2 teaspoons ginger, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
1/4 cup dry white wine or water
1 tuna steak, no less than 1 1/4 inches thick, about 11/2 pounds
about 1 1/2 cups assorted greens, washed and dried

Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill or broiler. Mix together all the ingredients except the tuna and the greens.

Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife (a boning knife, for example), make a small incision halfway down any edge of the tuna steak. Insert the knife almost to the opposite edge of the steak, then move it back and forth, flipping it over and creating a large pocket. Be careful not to cut through the top, bottom, or opposite edge of the tuna. Put the tuna in the mixture; you can leave it there for a few minutes or continue with the recipe right away.

Remove the tuna from the liquid and dry it with paper towels. Toss the mesclun with the marinade. Stuff the pocket with the mesclun, still drenched in the liquid. Seal the pocket opening with a couple of toothpicks. Grill the tuna, turning once, about 5 minutes per inch of thickness (if your steak is 1 1/2 inches thick, for example, turn it after about 4 minutes and cook 3 or 4 minutes more). It will be quite rare; if you want to cook it more, go right ahead. Serve, cut into quarters or 1/2 inch thick slices.

Steamed Beet Greens with Oregano

About 1 1/2 pounds beet greens, washed and trimmed
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or marjoram, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steam the beet greens just until tender. Rinse them under cool water, then press out the moisture as much as you can. Chop finely.

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano or marjoram. Dress the beet greens with this mixture, season to taste; serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings; 15 minutes.

Pasta with Greens and Ricotta
1 bunch tat soi
1 bunch red Russian kale, tough stalks removed (about 4 cups chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
dash of salt and ground black pepper
1/4 ground nutmeg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 pound pasta (fettuccine, penne, macaroni, fusilli, butterflies or shells)
grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled ricotta salata
chopped tomatoes
toasted walnuts or pine nuts

Bring a large covered pot of water to a rapid boil.

While the water heats, rinse the tat soi and kale well, shake off any excess water, and chop coarsely. Saute the garlic in the oil for a minute, until soft and golden, taking care not to scorch it. Add the damp greens and saute, stirring often, until they are wilted but still bright green. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and remove from the heat. In a blended, puree the cooked greens with the ricotta until smooth and evenly colored. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

When the water boils, stir in the pasta, cover, and return to a boil. Then uncover the pot and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and immediately toss it with the sauce in a warmed serving bowl. Top with Parmesan or crumbled ricotta salata, tomatoes and/or toasted walnuts or pine nuts.

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

And here’s a link to a radish greens recipe as well.

Hope y’all are keeping cozy. We hope to see you tomorrow at market!

bok choy, broccoli, chickens, collards, eggs, lettuce, low tunnels, red Russian kale, roosters, tat soi, Thanksgiving

playing catch up


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Hi y’all!

We finally found our camera and the battery charger, so I took some snap shots yesterday afternoon/evening to update the blog. As you’ll see, the chicks are well on their way to being full blown adolescents. The roosters finally have their crowing figured out. For some time all we got out of them was a “cock-a-…” and no “doodle doo” of any kind. It was amusing for a while – and just as our amusement was about to wear off, they figured it out. At the moment we have three roosters: Ted, Bocephus, and Uncle Jesse (of the Dukes of Hazard variety, not Full House). We’re still reluctant to have to get rid of any of them, as they’re growing on us, but we’re also practical. We’ve decided that Uncle Jesse is the best suited rooster for the coop. He’s the least “chicken-y” guy of the three, he’s extremely protective, but he also lets us hold him, although I don’t think he cares for it very much. The hens show no sign of laying eggs any time soon, but they’re really not ready to lay yet anyway. They’re almost 4 months old and they really shouldn’t be ready until the beginning of 2011 (but we’re hoping we have a couple early layers by the solstice). The guy above the right is Ted.

The fella in the frying pan above, humorously the one we will keep, is Uncle Jesse.
The white rooster above is Bocephus. He’s kind of the biggest “chicken” of the three, so I had a hard time getting a picture of his face. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time. 

(Above) My dad and Ben built the low tunnel in the middle and the hoop house to the right (Ben built the one on the left all by himself while I was in D.C.).
Below is tat soi. It’s an Asian green that tastes kind of like spinach and bok choy crossed (although I think it leans more toward spinach).
Below is a head of oak leaf lettuce. It’s one of my favorites. I love that that color of green actually occurs in nature! 🙂

red Russian kale (below)


Then, in order, we have broccoli, a field of broccoli, red cabbage and collards, and finally, savoy cabbage.

That’s it for now. Now that we’ve finally organized our lives a bit more, maybe we’ll be posting more regularly and updating the farm pics. So much changes daily – but it’s hard to tell when those changes are picture worthy.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving! Thank YOU for caring to keep up with us and take care!

Patricia & Ben