News and blog

Posted 7/30/2015 10:28am by Gary Brever.
Keep the fresh veggies coming with a fall storage share. Buy yours today! Update your membership.
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Having trouble eating all your veggies? Be sure to check out our CSA guide for tips on how to make the most of your share.

This Week's Shares Include:

cucumbers
squash
potatoes
beets (Heart of Season)
carrots (Heart of Season)
fennel
kale (Heart and full)
cabbage
onion
cilantro
peppers
eggplant (Heart and some full)
tomatoes (Heart, mini and some full)
broccoli (some full)
beans (Heart of Season)
lettuce (3 kinds)
hot pepper (Heart and mini)
dill (Heart and mini)
 

Farmer's Notes

This week's harvest I noticed a few things that were a bit off that I really feel that you need to be aware of. 

First off, now that we are transitioning into the hotter days of summer it's very difficult to grow lettuces.  We had to leave much of our crop out in the field because it bolted very quickly.  The lettuce that were able to harvest might have a bit of brown near the stem of it.  In general, the lettuces this time of year can be very fragile and be susceptible to wilting if not refrigerated right away.  I noticed at our Alex spot last week that those boxes that were left until the afternoon had lettuces that turned brown even after a few hours in the warm part of the day. (Again, I encourage everyone to pick up their boxes as soon as they are able too).  

Everyone this week should have gotten beans... however, because of the seed company accidentally sent us a pole bean variety instead of a bush variety (and I didn't catch it until a couple weeks after planting), there was a bit of a lull in picking this week. 

Finally,  we are scratching our heads a bit at our eggplant this year.  Our plants look great out in the field. They set fruit a few weeks ago and were starting to produce.  But then, all of a sudden last week I noticed that there were hardly any new flowers on the plants.  I don't think there was ever an actual blossom drop (which could occur in times of heat stress).  It's almost like they decided to take a couple weeks off.  I am hopeful that they will start producing flowers this week, and in a couple weeks from now we will be back into an abundance of fruit.  This year it's interesting because we have had no problems whatsoever with potato beetles (which also go after eggplant), so we were excited by the potential of an abundance.  Every year is unique and there's always something to be learned.
     
As we start to come into some of the items that most people anticipate (such as tomatoes), members are at times disappointed if they are one of the boxes that don't contain a certain item.  This is just natural.  I mean it's literally nature... the crops put out fruits that in the beginning ripen slowly one at a time, but then as the weeks go on they put on more and more. 

We really try to be as fair as possible to all of our members.  If mini shares don't receive cherry tomatoes one week, they will the next.  Perhaps that first week they will receive eggplant or some other crop.  By a few weeks in, there will be plenty of tomatoes for everyone. I think you may be now experiencing this with the cucumbers and summer squash.  Those first weeks I had emails of disappointed members who did not receive a squash, but now I'm sure have more than enough.
 
Potatoes this week are considered "new potatoes."  They are picked while the plants are still alive and green so that the skins are a lot thinner.  Because of this we don't wash them because it would just end up rubbing off the skins even more and decreasing their shelf life.  Please take them out of the plastic bag when you get them.  You can either wash them and put them in your refrigerator or keep them dry in a paper bag for a few days in a cool, dry space.  Use them up this week or next.

Do you love working outside?

Don't mind getting your hands dirty? Work in a chemical free, active and POSITIVE atmosphere. Ploughshare Farm (www.ploughsharefarm.com) is looking for both part time and full time positions.

Housing available for full-time positions!!!

It can be for one or two weekdays a week or full time.
Monday through Friday. 7am-6pm
Organic vegetables to boot!!
Email resume to: Gary organicploughshare@gmail.com
Hiring immediately!! Can try it out today!!

 

Tips For First-Timers

• Before picking up your new share, freeze, dehydrate or juice the remaining vegetables you have from the previous week.
 

CSA GUIDE

A fabulous resource for all of our CSA members is our CSA guide. Find it athttp://sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfiles/476/CSA_Guide3.pdf

Highlights include:
• The Basics of Pick-up
• How Do I Eat All These Vegetables?
• Wasted Food and the Commercial Supply Chain
• Tips on Storage: How to Store Your Produce
• Pantry List

 

OTHER NOTES

Please bring back your boxes (See the survival guide for information on how to best "break down you box").
 
The earlier that people can pick up their shares the better the quality.  We strive to keep our veggies cool after harvest. (34 degrees) The quality degrades for every hour sitting at the sites unrefrigerated.
 

Fall Storage Share

3 months--October through December

Register now for the season!! Click here.

This share will supply all the fall storage vegetables that your family will need for the months of October, November and December. Deliveries are monthly. Each delivery will include 50-75 pounds of produce including potatoes, of carrots, onions, winter squash, cabbage, kale leeks, daikon radishes, beets, celeriac, rutabaga, parsnips, turnips, brussels sprouts, garlic, and pie pumpkins.

These shares are a great option for saving money on meals especially during the holiday seasons.  Most of these vegetables keep very well just in a heated garage (just above freezing) or a cool basement.

A sample delivery will look like this:

First delivery will be a 10 pound bag of onions, a 5 lb bag of carrots and 10lb bag of potatoes, one 1 1/9bushel box of winter squash with some garlic. Then one 3/4 bushel box filled with cabbage, root crops(parsnips, turnips, celeriac, etc.), Brussels sprouts etc.
 
Do you see both columns below? That of the vegetable descriptions and recipes? If you see a note at the bottom that this message is truncated, click Show Full Message.
DILL
Dill looks similar to fennel but tastes unique. It's commonly used in Europe, especially coastal regions. In order to keep the fragrance and aromatic flavor intact, dill is generally added just before eating.

Did you know?
• Dill weed contains numerous plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
• This popular herb contains no cholesterol and low in calories. However, it is contains many anti-oxidants, vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine etc, and dietary fibers which help to control blood cholesterol levels.

Storage:
Keep unwashed dill with stems in a glass of water on your counter.

How to Use:
Dill goes well with all kinds of fish, pickles, mustard and root vegetables.
 
CILANTRO
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a tasty finish to many Mexican and Indian dishes.

Did you know?
• Relief for stomach gas, prevention of flatulence and an overall digestive aid
• Helps reduce feelings of nausea
• A source of iron, magnesium, and is helpful in fighting anemia
• Disinfects and helps detoxify the body
• Acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
• Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar

Storage:
Keep unwashed cilantro wrapped in your refrigerator. Do not wash the herb until you are ready to use it since excess moisture will turn the leaves to green slime during storage.

To freeze:
To freeze, place a small amount dry cilantro leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When frozen, gather into a zip-top bag, returning to the freezer immediately. Use within 6 months. Do not thaw before using.
CARROTS
As part of the umbeliferae family, carrots are related to parsley, celery, parsnip, cilantro, fennel, caraway and dill.

Storage:
Remove greens and refrigerate in a plastic bag where they will last 2-4 weeks. If you wish to freeze, blanch for 3 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain, let dry and pack in an airtight bag. Fresh greens can be used immediately in a green salad or stir fry.

How to Use:
• Scrub with a vegetable brush (or washcloth) to remove dirt. Don't peel unless removing a damaged area. Raw carrots preserve all nutrients. Steaming for 5-10 also preserves most nutrients as long as you don't overcook them.
• Carrots are sweet, so add them to your homemade tomato sauce to lighten it up.
• Try a simple puree of carrot soup with onions or leeks, freshly grated ginger and salt or soy sauce.
EGGPLANT
Eggplant is low in calorie and high in fiber, and offers very small amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is traditionally eaten with other, more nutritious foods.

Storage:
Store eggplant in the crisper of the refrigerator, unwrapped. It can last up to a week or longer when stored properly. Eggplant cannot be stored in the freezer, unless cooked.

How to Use:
• In many Middle Eastern recipes, eggplant is stuffed, fried, added to salads, soups, and many other delicious dishes.
• To reduce bitterness, slice the eggplant, soak it in heavily salted water, rinse with cold water and pat dry.
• Eggplant skin and flesh is extremely absorbent to oil and other ingredients. This make is perfect for stuffing or in sauces, soups, and casseroles.
BEANS
Green bean varieties have been bred especially for the fleshiness, flavor, or sweetness of their pods. Green beans are often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles.

Storage:
Keep beans in a bag in your refrigerator; or fill a bowl with cold water place your beans in that in the fridge. This keeps them crisp.

Prep:
Remove strings and stems of fresh beans before cooking. Beans retain more nutrients when cooked uncut.

How to Use:
• Boil until just tender or steam to keep in more of the vitamins. Watch carefully for beans to brighten in color and become tender, but not soft or mushy.
• Beans are great in stir fries and sautéed with peanut butter and peanuts, or fresh ginger and lime for a southeast Asian dish.
FENNEL
Fennel can be eaten raw, baked, steamed or sautéed. Take a bite right away and taste the flavor. It's great dipped raw into hummus or can be substituted for celery in most recipes.

Did you know?
• Fennel is low in calories, but offers significant vitamin A and calcium, potassium and iron.
• The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans believed fennel an excellent aid for digestion.

Storage:
Store fennel in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to two weeks. The leaves will go limp - wrap them in a moist towel and refrigerate.

Prep:
Wash fennel bulb, trimming and woody or damaged areas.

How to use:
• Use the feathery leaves as a fresh herb for seasoning where you would use dill.
• Very tasty on baked, broiled or grilled fish (try salmon or trout) with lemon and butter.
• Fennel stalks are also great tucked under a whole fish or a pork loin and roasted.
• Substitute for celery in most any recipe.
• Try a saute of fennel, artichoke hearts, zucchini, tomatoess, sweet bell pepper, thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper.
• Steam fennel and chill it along with other vegetables; dress with a spoonful of lemon juice, oilive oil, chopped chives or green onion, and salt and pepper.
KALE
Kale is a leafy green with a crisp stalk and tasty leaves. Kale is very versatile and nutritious green leafy vegetable. It is widely recognized as an incredibly nutritious vegetable since ancient Greek and Roman times for its low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting anti-oxidant properties. Kale provides rich nutrition ingredients that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and, colon and prostate cancers.

Did you know?
• It is very rich in vitamin A, 100 g leaves provide 512% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
• This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vit.B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc that are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.
• It is a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Cleaning:
Wash thoroughly before cooking to remove hidden dirt and other grit from the soil.

Storage:
Wrap unwashed kale in a damp towel or store in a plastic bag and keep in the crisper drawer. It's best used fresh if you can use it, but will keep for several days if kept moist and refrigerated.

To freeze:
Kale also can be stored long term in the freezer with some simple preparation. Blanch chopped leaves (place in boiling water) for three minutes then transfer to an ice water bath to stop the cooking. (Be sure to have actual ice cubes floating the water to keep the temp cold.) Drain the leaves, squeeze to remove water and place in an airtight freezer bag.

Cooking tips:
• Use kale as you would chard, spinach or other greens. They are great wilted in a large pan with oil or butter and a little garlic. Use as a side dish to your main course.
• Place silver dollar-sized dollops on your pizza (great with goat cheese!) or other flatbreads.
• Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.
• Also great in egg bakes and quiches. Add to lasagna and pastas for extra flavor and vitamins.
• Fresh young crispy kale can be used raw in salads.
• Mature leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sautéed.
• Kale leaves are popular winter staples in all over Mediterranean, used in soups (ribollita toscana), stews, salads, pizza, and pasta.
• The leaves also used in the variety of traditional kale recipes with potatoes, green beans, poultry, and meat.
• In Japan, fresh kale juice is quite popular.
ONIONS
The bulb onion is the most universal seasoning used by humans. The pungency of the onion reflects the amount of sulfur in the soil in which it was grown. Chill onions thoroughly in the fridge or cut under running water to subdue the fumes that cause tears during chopping.

Storage:
Store onions on a rack in a well-ventilated area spaced a few inches apart. You'll want to use them within three to four weeks. Warmth and moisture will cause sprouting. Store cut onions in the fridge in an airtight container to avoid transference of flavors to other foods.

How to use:
• Add chopped onions to a hearty homemade bread dough or corn bread batter.
• Boil onions until tender (15 minutes for small ones, 30 minutes for large). Try them topped with butter, a sprinkling of herbs, and Parmesan cheese.
• Long baking or oven roasting brings out sweetness and carmelizes the natural sugars. Try surrounding a roasting meat with small to medium yellow onions.
Posted 7/23/2015 10:02am by Gary Brever.

What's lovage? Don't worry. We've got you covered with some mouth-watering recipes!View this email in your browser Learn about herbs and what you can do with them in the kitchen.

This Week's Shares Include:

Everyone: fennel, cabbage, broccoli, summer squash, cucumbers, purple beans, lettuce, carrots, parsley, purple basil, onionsLovage: full and Heart of Season Chard: Heart of SeasonCherry tomatoes: Heart, Full, some mini Eggplant: Some mini and Heart Peppers: Full and Heart of Season Bok choi: full and Heart of Season  Peas: Heart of Season Raddichio: mini and some full  

A Note From Your Farmer

This week I would consider our "Hump Week" for the year.  From the May until now it seems like everything has been quite a blur, getting plants started in the greenhouse, seeds in the ground, then cared and cultivated.  All the work for the last 3 months really takes a considerable amount of planning and timing.  If we don't get a planting off one day and it rains for a week it may throw our whole cycle into a whirl.  Same thing with weeding.... it's so critical that we get weeds when they are small and easy to manage because otherwise we may double or triple our work if we wait.  The tough thing is that there is just so many acres of fields to be covered at the same time.  So it becomes a juggling act.... plant one crop, be cultivating and managing the next, harvesting another and then planting once again. But, now the incredible rush of planting, cultivating and harvest starts to ween down to mostly just harvesting.   Our greenhouse will be mostly cleared out of plants that need to go into the ground by the end of the week (we do have some small plantings of lettuces coming up but it's a fraction of what it was even just a month ago).  The crops that are with us most of the year such as potatoes, tomatoes, onions, etc. are far enough along that any weeding that we do now would only be to stop weeds from going to seed but doesn't affect the plants too much.  One of the biggest jobs, hand weeding carrots, will be finished up this week with the fall planting of carrots that went into the ground a couple weeks ago.  Yet, despite all the jobs that are complete for the year there is actually MORE work over the next few months.  That's a good thing because the work is all about harvesting and that means that we expect an ABUNDANCE of harvest this year.   So much will be coming on over the next couple months.  We will be literally picking tons of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, melons for the summer crops, and I expect there will be days that our crew will be working close to around the clock to get everything in for the week's delivery.     Farmer Gary      Details for the fall storage share are listed.  I really encourage you to check it out.  Out of all of our shares our fall storage share is a bargain for our members.  You will get an INCREDIBLE amount of produce for the price, and the great thing is that the produce will keep for many months  (our family was just eating shallots two weeks ago that were harvested last fall).  Much of the produce will stay just fine in a heated garage or a cool basement.  Check it out at http://ploughsharefarm.com/productgraphs/141   

Tips For First-Timers

Get inspired by your fellow CSAers! Here's what others have been eating and sharing on our Facebook page. Let us know this what you're cooking!  Tonia Steinberger DittbernerCabbage stew with turnips, carrots, onions, potatoes and venison polish sausage. Add 1/4 tsp Carraway seeds. # justlikemomusedtomake

CSA GUIDE

A fabulous resource for all of our CSA members is our CSA guide. Find it at http://sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfiles/476/CSA_Guide3.pdf Highlights include: • The Basics of Pick-up • How Do I Eat All These Vegetables? • Wasted Food and the Commercial Supply Chain • Tips on Storage: How to Store Your Produce • Pantry List

OTHER NOTES

Please bring back your boxes (See thesurvival guide for information on how to best "break down you box").   The earlier that people can pick up their shares the better the quality.  We strive to keep our veggies cool after harvest. (34 degrees) The quality degrades for every hour sitting at the sites unrefrigerated.

Fall Storage Share

3 months--October through December Register now for the season!! Click here. This share will supply all the fall storage vegetables that your family will need for the months of October, November and December. Deliveries are monthly. Each delivery will include 50-75 pounds of produce including potatoes, of carrots, onions, winter squash, cabbage, kale leeks, daikon radishes, beets, celeriac, rutabaga, parsnips, turnips, brussels sprouts, garlic, and pie pumpkins. These shares are a great option for saving money on meals especially during the holiday seasons.  Most of these vegetables keep very well just in a heated garage (just above freezing) or a cool basement. A sample delivery will look like this: First delivery will be a 10 pound bag of onions, a 5 lb bag of carrots and 10lb bag of potatoes, one 1 1/9bushel box of winter squash with some garlic. Then one 3/4 bushel box filled with cabbage, root crops(parsnips, turnips, celeriac, etc.), Brussels sprouts etc. This year especially we will have an abundance of onions, carrots, potatoes, winter squash, parsnips and other great goodies!! Are you getting all the veggie notes and recipes? If there aren't two full columns on each side below this note, you might be missing some fun stuff! Look for the note from your email provider that states: This message has been truncated. Then click on the option to SHOW FULL MESSAGE. LOVAGE Dill looks similar to fennel but tastes unique. It's commonly used in Europe, especially coastal regions. In order to keep the fragrance and aromatic flavor intact, dill is generally added just before eating. Did you know? • Dill weed contains numerous plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties. • This popular herb contains no cholesterol and low in calories. However, it is contains many anti-oxidants, vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine etc, and dietary fibers which help to control blood cholesterol levels. Storage: Keep unwashed dill with stems in a glass of water on your counter. How to Use: Dill goes well with all kinds of fish, pickles, mustard and root vegetables. DILL Dill looks similar to fennel but tastes unique. It's commonly used in Europe, especially coastal regions. In order to keep the fragrance and aromatic flavor intact, dill is generally added just before eating. Did you know? • Dill weed contains numerous plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties. • This popular herb contains no cholesterol and low in calories. However, it is contains many anti-oxidants, vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine etc, and dietary fibers which help to control blood cholesterol levels. Storage: Keep unwashed dill with stems in a glass of water on your counter. How to Use: Dill goes well with all kinds of fish, pickles, mustard and root vegetables. PARSLEY Parsley is a popular culinary as well as medicinal herb. It is probably the richest of the entire herb source for vitamin K. While it is commonly used merely as a garnish, parsley is a great addition to any salad and can be used as flavoring agent in the preparation of vegetable, chicken, fish and meat dishes. Did you know? • Parsley contains many health benefiting essential volatile oils that include myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. • The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. • Fresh herb leaves are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential during carbohydrates, fat and protein metabolism by acting as co-enzymes. Storage: For short term storage, wrap parsley in a damp towel or place upright in a container with an inch of water and refrigerate (such as you would store mint). Prep: Rinse well. Chop if necessary or leave long for a garnish. Cooking tips: Add to a green, pasta or vegetable salad, or add at the very end of your stir fries. Tastes great in soups and stews - add it at the end of cooking. Parsley also is tasty fresh or dried in homemade tomato sauce (pizza sauce or pasta sauce). BASIL Basil is another of summer’s great treats. But treat is carefully as it is delicate and can’t stand being refrigerated. Did you know? • Basil leaves contains many health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. • Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron, contains 3.17 mg/100 g of fresh leaves (about 26% of RDA). • Basil contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process. Storage: Keep unwashed leaves bunched with stems in a glass of water on your counter. Do not refrigerate or leaves will turn brown. How to use: Rinse leaves in the sink and dry. Tasty in salads, on pizzas (added fresh after the pizza comes out of the oven), or in pesto. Add to your tomato sauces, on pasta or in a caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. EGGPLANT Eggplant is low in calorie and high in fiber, and offers very small amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is traditionally eatten wiht other, more nutritious foods. Storage: Store eggplant in the crisper of the refrigerator, unwrapped. It can last up to a week or longer when stored properly. Eggplant cannot be stored in the freezer, unless cooked. How to Use: • In many Middle Eastern recipes, eggplant is stuffed, fried, added to salads, soups, and many other delicious dishes. • To reduce bitterness, slice the eggplant, soak it in heavily salted water, rinse with cold water and pat dry. • Eggplant skin and flesh is extremely absorbent to oil and other ingredients. This make is perfect for stuffing or in sauces, soups, and casseroles. BEANS Green bean varieties have been bred especially for the fleshiness, flavor, or sweetness of their pods. Green beans are often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles. Storage: Keep beans in a bag in your refrigerator; or fill a bowl with cold water place your beans in that in the fridge. This keeps them crisp. Prep: Remove strings and stems of fresh beans before cooking. Beans retain more nutrients when cooked uncut. How to Use: • Boil until just tender or steam to keep in more of the vitamins. Watch carefully for beans to brighten in color and become tender, but not soft or mushy. • Beans are great in stir fries and sautéed with peanut butter and peanuts, or fresh ginger and lime for a southeast Asian dish. TOMATOES A familiar staple that is available in a multitude of varieties, the tomato offers a fresh taste whether served raw or cooked. Tomatoes are somewhat delicate and sensitive to heat and cold. They should not be refrigerated. Kee at room temperature for up to a week. Tomatoes that are damaged or cut will deteriorate quickly. If you are unable to utilize your tomatoes before they become overripe, they can be quickly and easily frozen whole. Core them and freeze separately on a cookie sheet. Once solid place in an airtight bag or container and thaw for use in cooking or purees. Storage: Keep your unwashed tomatoes out of the fridge. Wash before use. How to Use: • Among a tomato’s best friends are basil and oregano. • Caprese salad: Mozzarella (especially fresh, soft mozzarella), olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of salt, along with a fresh herb makes a great lunch, snack or appetizer. • Finding uses for your tomatoes is an easy task: slice them up and add to salads or process into salsas, sauces and simple purees. • They can also be enjoyed fried, boiled, roasted, grilled or broiled. • To core your tomatoes, just cut a cone right around the core and remove it. To seed, cut it in half and shake out the seeds, to peel it, cut a small x in the flow end and boil for up to 30 seconds, until the skin begins to peel away. Cool in an ice bath or under running cold water and remove the skins. FENNEL Fennel can be eaten raw, baked, steamed or sautéed. Take a bite right away and taste the flavor. It's great dipped raw into hummus or can be substituted for celery in most recipes. Did you know? • Fennel is low in calories, but offers significant vitamin A and calcium, potassium and iron. • The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans believed fennel an excellent aid for digestion. Storage: Store fennel in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to two weeks. The leaves will go limp - wrap them in a moist towel and refrigerate. Prep: Wash fennel bulb, trimming and woody or damaged areas. How to use: • Use the feathery leaves as a fresh herb for seasoning where you would use dill. • Very tasty on baked, broiled or grilled fish (try salmon or trout) with lemon and butter. • Fennel stalks are also great tucked under a whole fish or a pork loin and roasted. • Substitute for celery in most any recipe. • Try a saute of fennel, artichoke hearts, zucchini, tomatoess, sweet bell pepper, thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper. • Steam fennel and chill it along with other vegetables; dress with a spoonful of lemon juice, oilive oil, chopped chives or green onion, and salt and pepper. CHARD            Regular inclusion of chard in the diet is found to prevent osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, vitamin A deficiency, and is believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers. Use fresh young chard raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked, braised or sautéed; the bitter flavor fades with cooking. However, antioxidant properties of chard are significantly decreased on steaming, frying and boiling. Did you know? • Chard leaves are an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C. • Chard is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limit neuronal damage in the brain; thus, chard has an established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. • It is also rich source of omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin-A and flavonoids anti-oxidants like B carotene, a-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Storage: Wrap unwashed chard in a damp towel or store in a plastic bag and keep in the crisper drawer. It's best used fresh if you can use it, but will keep for several days if kept moist and refrigerated. Chard also can be stored long term in the freezer with some simple preparation. Blanch chopped leaves (place in boiling water) for three minutes then transfer to an ice water bath to stop the cooking. (Be sure to have actual ice cubes floating the water to keep the temp cold.) Drain the leaves, squeeze to remove water and place in an airtight freezer bag. Prep: Wash thoroughly before cooking to remove hidden dirt and other grit from the soil. How to use: • Use chard as you would kale, spinach or other greens. They are great wilted in a large pan with oil or butter and a little garlic. • Use as a side dish to your main course. • Place silver dollar-sized dollops on your pizza (great with goat cheese!) or other flatbreads. • Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. • Also great in egg bakes and quiches. • Add to lasagna and pastas for extra flavor and vitamins. ONIONS The bulb onion is the most universal seasoning used by humans. The pungency of the onion reflects the amount of sulfur in the soil in which it was grown. Chill onions thoroughly in the fridge or cut under running water to subdue the fumes that cause tears during chopping. Storage: Store onions on a rack in a well-ventilated area spaced a few inches apart. You'll want to use them within three to four weeks. Warmth and moisture will cause sprouting. Store cut onions in the fridge in an airtight container to avoid transference of flavors to other foods. How to use: • Add chopped onions to a hearty homemade bread dough or corn bread batter. • Boil onions until tender (15 minutes for small ones, 30 minutes for large). Try them topped with butter, a sprinkling of herbs, and Parmesan cheese. • Long baking or oven roasting brings out sweetness and carmelizes the natural sugars. Try surrounding a roasting meat with small to medium yellow onions. CABBAGE Cabbage is a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser. Though composed of 90 percent water, the cabbage still holds a significant quantity of vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Storage: Refrigerate cabbage in a hydrator drawer. A plastic bag will help retain moisture but is not necessary. Do not remove outer leaves before storage, and it will last 3 weeks to 2 months. How to Use: • Boil cabbage for five minutes with a chopped onion and add to mashed potatoes. • Eat cabbage raw or lightly cooked. Overcooked cabbage may produce a strong odor and flavor. • Cabbage sautes and stir-fries very well with other vegetables. Experiment with a variety of combinations. CUCUMBERS Cucumbers are great on sandwiches, in salads, refreshing on your face and most importantly, as pickles. Did you know? • It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. • Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation, and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut. • Cucumbers have mild diuretic property probably due to their high water and potassium content, which helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure. Storage: Refrigerate to retain moisture in the hydrator drawer. They will keep for up to one week. Once you slice into one, they don't stay well when refrigerated so use it up! How to Use: • No need to peel these organic and unwaxed cucumbers. Simply rinse. Dice or slice into salads, sandwiches, or on crackers (with ham and cream cheese!). • Try creamy cucumber salad: slice cucumber and toss with plain yogurt, mayonnaise, fresh or dried dill (weed or seed) and salt and pepper. Add some of this week s Walla Walla onions, too! • Try chilled cucumber soup: Blend cucumbers with plain yogurt, a pinch of fresh mint, basil and salt and pepper. Add some seeded jalapeno into the blender too if you want some heat. • Finely chop fresh slices and mix with yogurt, cumin, coriander, pepper, and salt to make Indian cucumber raita. • Cucumber juice is a very good, healthy drink. BROCCOLI Broccoli was discovered in the Mediterranean wild and has now been bred into various varieties. Broccoli is best used within a few days of harvesting. Broccoli heads are rich source of phyto-nutrients that help protect from prostate cancer and stroke risks. It is actually a flower vegetable and known for its notable and unique nutrients that are found to have disease prevention and health promoting properties. Did you know? • Fresh broccoli is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin-C. • Broccoli leaves (green tops) are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamin A. Storage: Store in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. Prep:  Soak head upside down in cold, salted water to remove any hidden field pests. Remove lowest part of stem if woody or tough. Freezing: Broccoli also freezes well. Cut into florets and slice stems. Blanch for 3-4 minutes and cool in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain, let dry and place in an airtight container. How to Use: •Fresh broccoli is great on a veggie tray with a cool dip. • Steaming increases digestibility, heightens color and retains most of the nutrients. The stalk and florets are all edible to be sure to eat it all. Chop and separate florets, steam lightly for 5-7 minutes and eat as an app or tossed into a pasta salad. • Broccoli pairs well with butter, fresh lemon juice, anchovy, soy sauce and many hard, grated cheeses such as Parmesan. SUMMER SQUASH Zucchini, patty pan, yellow crookneck and straighneck squash are popular summer squash varieties. They are delicate and perishable, so enjoy immediately, unlike their storage-friendly winter squash cousins. Did you know? • Summer squash is a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte; it helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium. Storage: It dehydrates quickly once picked. Store in a plastic bag or hydrator drawer in refrigerator for up to one week. Cooked, pureed summer squash may be frozen for later use in winter soups. Freeze in an airtight container. How to Use: • Rinse or wipe - no need to peel. Grate or slice into green salads, or shred to make a squash slaw. Cut into matchsticks or rounds and dip with other veggies. • Steam squash whole or halved. Cook squash cut into 1-2 inch cubes for 10-15 minutes, chunks for 5-10 minutes, or until tender when checked with a fork. Don't overcook!! • Grill halves 3-4 minutes over direct heat then 8-10 minutes over indirect heat. Baste with oil or marinade. Great on kabobs! • Make a simple casserole: Layer blanched squash slices alternately with chopped onion that's been cooked with bread crumbs. Repeat 2-3 layers and top with butter. Cook at 350 in oven until hot and bubbly. • Squash pairs well with butter, fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper. CARROTS As part of the umbeliferae family, carrots are related to parsley, celery, parsnip, cilantro, fennel, caraway and dill. Storage: Remove greens and refrigerate in a plastic bag where they will last 2-4 weeks. If you wish to freeze, blanch for 3 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain, let dry and pack in an airtight bag. Fresh greens can be used immediately in a green salad or stir fry. How to Use: • Scrub with a vegetable brush (or washcloth) to remove dirt. Don't peel unless removing a damaged area. Raw carrots preserve all nutrients. Steaming for 5-10 also preserves most nutrients as long as you don't overcook them. • Carrots are sweet, so add them to your homemade tomato sauce to lighten it up. • Try a simple puree of carrot soup with onions or leeks, freshly grated ginger and salt or soy sauce. BOK CHOI Bok Choi is an Asian green with flat, dark leafy greens and crisp white stalks. It is low in calories but a very rich source of many vital phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals and health-benefiting anti-oxidants.   Did you know? • Bok choi is an excellent source of water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin-C (ascorbic acid). • Bok choi contains a good amount of minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium. • Bok choi has more vitamin A, carotenes, and other flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants than cabbage or cauliflower. Storage: To clean this vegetable, simply wash each stem and leaf in cool water. To store, wrap loosely in plastic wrap in the fridge. Cooking tips: Best prepared by steaming, sauteing or stir-frying, Bok choi makes an excellent addition to any meal. Because the stems are so thick, it often works best to cut them away from the leaves and cook a few minutes longer. For a basic preparation, simply cut the stems and leaves into one-inch pieces. Sautee the stems for a few minutes in oil, adding the leaves once the stems begin to soften. Add the greens, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of liquid (water, broth, wine or a combination). Cook until the stems are tender, adding more liquid if necessary. For additional flavor add a squeeze of lemon, your favorite vinaigrette, beans, bacon, hard cheese or any ingredient combination that sounds good to you. PEAS One of summer's great treats, peas are to be savored immediately after picking. Enjoy your peas right away as their sugars rapidly convert to starch, reducing flavor and sweetness. Sugar snap peas feature sweet, juicy peas in a crunchy and edible pod. The snow pea is a flat, edible pod with undeveloped peas inside. Did you know? • Fresh pea pods are excellent source of folic acid. • Fresh green peas are very good in ascorbic acid Storage: Use asap. Refrigerate in a plastic bag 4-5 days maximum. Peas freeze well but lose some of their crunchy texture. Blanch for 2 minutes (no need to shell snow or snap peas), rinse under cold water or in an ice bath, drain well and pack into airtight bags or containers. How to Use: • Snap peas need stringing - snap off stem tip toward the flat side of pod and pull downward. Eat them raw as a snack or appetizer. Add them raw or blanched to chilled, marinated vinaigrette-dressed salads. Deep fry in a tempura batter with other vegetables. • Snow peas are a great stir fry addition. Saute alone or with other veggies or meats, adding in the last few minutes of cooking. Add raw or blanched snow peas to a variety of salads. • Quickly cooked peas pair well with bacon and a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh mint and lemon juice (or red or white wine vinegar), and parmesan cheese (and lemon juice, of course). PEPPERS Stuff ‘em, saute ‘em, grill ‘em, or eat them raw. Peppers are great in a variety of uses, and add flavor to any number of ethnic dishes. They can also be frozen and dried. Storage: Refrigerate unwashed peppers unwashed in hydrator drawer 1-2 weeks. How to freeze: Wash and dry peppers. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place in an airtight container or Zip-lock freezer bag. How to Use: • Try the famous roasted bell pepper: Place bell pepper under broiler, above hot coals, or over open flame. Toast it, turning often, until the skin is blackened evenly. Place pepper in a brown bag, close, and allow to steam 10-15 minutes. Skin will peel off easily with the aid of a paring knife. • For greatest nutrient retention eat bell peppers raw: Thinly slice lengthwise for a crunchy snack or for dipping, layer slices into a favorite andwich, or dice in a variety of salads. • Add peppers to soups, stews, omelets, quiches, casseroles and stir-fries. LETTUCES AND SALAD MIX This week’s share includes lettuces and/or salad greens. Clean all of your greens in cool water as you would spinach. Greens can be stored in a salad spinner if you have one or wrapped in a clean cloth or paper towel and placed in a plastic bag. Mixing lettuces with other greens and cooked or raw vegetables creates interesting textures and flavors. Get creative and discover your favorite salad preparation.  FacebookTwitterWebsite

Lovage, lettuce, pea and cucumber soup

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/jun/24/lovage-recipes-hugh-fearnley-whittingstall A refreshing and pretty summer soup. Serves four. 20g butter 1 onion, finely diced 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper A few young lovage stalks, chopped 700ml chicken or vegetable stock 2 little gem lettuces, finely shredded 100g peas Ω cucumber, cut into 5mm dice 1 small handful lovage leaves, shredded A few tablespoons of crËme fraÓche or thick yoghurt, to finish Warm the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, thyme and a pinch of salt, and sautÈ until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the lovage stalks and sautÈ for a couple of minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the veg (keep back some lovage leaves to garnish) and simmer for five minutes. Season and serve with dollops of crËme fraÓche and a scattering of lovage leaves.

Four-Herb Tabbouleh

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/four-herb-tabbouleh?xid=DAILY062513FourHerbTabbouleh This delightful tabbouleh, which uses Israeli couscous in place of bulgur, follows the Lebanese tradition of including more herbs than grain. Grace Parisi adds both parsley and lovage, which has a light, bright flavor similar to celery leaves. Ingredients     1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil     2 large garlic cloves     1 cup Israeli couscous (6 ounces)     1 1/4 cups water     Salt     3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice     Freshly ground pepper     2 cups tender flat-leaf parsley leaves     1 cup lovage leaves or tender light-green celery leaves     1/2 cup mint leaves     1/4 cup snipped chives     1 jalapeño—halved, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise     1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered     1 seedless cucumber, peeled and finely diced     In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Add the Israeli couscous and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the couscous is tender and the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.     Pick out the garlic cloves from the couscous and mash them to a paste. Transfer the garlic paste to a large bowl and whisk in the lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the couscous. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, just until no longer warm.     Add the parsley, lovage, mint, chives, jalapeño, tomatoes and cucumber to the couscous and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Lovage and Green Garlic Pesto

http://www.wildgreensandsardines.com/2015/06/lovage-and-green-garlic-pesto.html makes ~ 3/4 cup pesto (you could easily double the recipe) 1/2 cup green parts of green garlic (or garlic scapes), roughly chopped 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided 1/3 cup lovage leaves, stems removed sea salt to taste squeeze of lemon toasted/grilled baguette for serving chive blossoms for serving (optional) Pulse the green garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, and half of the olive oil in a food processor.  Add the lovage leaves, sea salt, and the remaining olive oil, and pulse again until the pesto is smooth, but still has a bit of texture.  Add a squeeze of lemon.  Taste and reseason as needed. Serve on slices of toasted or grilled baguette.  Top with chive blossoms, if using.

HERBS IN GENERAL:

Fresh herbs add flavor to your meals. Experiment with various flavor combinations, and discover something new! Herbs also help our bodies digest food better, and are full of essential vitamins and minerals. Cooking tips: • Add fresh herbs to a glass of water. • Tear herbs into small pieces and eat in your salads. • Use when juicing drinks or add into your morning smoothie. • Snip off pieces using a kitchen shears to add to stirfrys and other dishes. Recipe & Video:

Marinade-Lemon Herb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEKjMzp82rM This wonderful, all purpose marinade uses lemon, garlic, and olive oil for its base. It is perfect for marinating any type of seafood, or use it on chicken or pork to brighten up the flavors while grilling.

Marinade Recipe:

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, parsley or tarragon 1 lemon 1/8 cup white wine, optional 3/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon garlic puree or 1 clove minced garlic 1) Roughly chop the cilantro and carefully remove the zest (outer yellow peel from the lemon). The zest adds a lot of flavor to this marinade. 2) Next, cut the lemon in half and add lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Add the wine, chopped cilantro and lemon zest, followed by the garlic. 3) Slowly pour the olive oil into the marinade and whisk quickly until it starts to thicken. This is called an emulsion. 4) When the marinade has thickened, let it sit about 30 minutes and then pour it over your meat.

Lemon Dijon Dill Potato and Broccoli Salad

http://www.localthyme.net/recipes/lemon-dijon-dill-potato-and-broccoli-salad/ A simple salad for a weeknight supper that I often serve with grilled steak or chicken. Ingredients     1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil     2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard     3 tablespoons Lemon Juice     2 tablespoons Dill , sub 2 teaspoons dry if no fresh is on hand     1 pound Red Potato , or yellow potato; cut into 1 inch dice     1 head Broccoli Instructions     Bring pot of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk together oil, mustard, lemon juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper. When water is boiling, add potatoes and broccoli and cook until potatoes are tender and broccoli is bright green, about 5- 7 minutes. Drain veggies and toss in dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Refrigerator Dill Zucchini Pickles

http://www.localthyme.net/recipes/refrigerator-dill-zucchini-pickles/ A delicious way to enhance or preserve your zucchini this summer! Ingredients     1-2 Zucchini     1 Summer Squash     2 tablespoons Coarse Sea Salt , divided use     1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard Seed     1/2 teaspoon Coriander Seed     1/2 teaspoon Dill Seed     1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric     2 cloves Garlic , halved     1-2 Jalapeño , sliced lengthwise     1 1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar     1/4 cup Sugar Instructions     Halve your summer squash and zucchini crosswise, then quarter lengthwise. Place in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoons salt and 4 cups ice. Add cold water to cover. Top with a plate to keep submerged. Let sit for 2 hours. Drain; rinse.     Put the zucchini and summer squash spears, spices, garlic and jalapeno in a hot clean quart jar.     Bring vinegar, sugar, remaining tablespoon of salt, and 2/3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Carefully pour the hot syrup into the jar to cover zucchini and squash, leaving 1/2" space on top.     Put lids and rims on quart jar and place hot jar in the refrigerator. Allow the pickles to sit for at least 3 days before opening and eating. These will last one month in the refrigerator.

Herb Garden Tea Sandwiches with Cream Cheese

http://www.lavenderandlovage.com/2012/06/summer-solstice-sandwiches-cheese-and-tomato-with-salad-cream-and-herb-garden-tea-sandwiches-with-cream-cheese.html Elegant tea sandwiches that use delicate fresh herbs from the garden. My favourite "melange" is salad burnett (cucumber flavour), chives, mint and parsley. Don't use very pungent or woody herbs such as rosemary, sage or thyme. Ingredients     2 slices of white bread (crusts cut off and saved for breadcrumbs)     softened butter     2 to 3 tablespoons cream cheese     1 tablespoon freshly chopped herbs (such as chives, salad burnett, parsley, basil, oregano and mint)     salt and black pepper     whole fresh herbs (to garnish) Directions Step 1     Spread the softened butter over both slices of bread. Step 2     Mix the chopped herbs with the cream cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Step 3     Spread the herb cream cheese over one slice of bread and put the other slice on top. Cut into four triangles. Step 4     Arrange on a plate with whole herbs as a garnish; serve with sun, linen napkins, Pimm's cocktails, Earl Grey tea, friends, fun, laughter and freshly cut flowers.

PRIZEWINNER GREEN BEANS WITH TOMATOES AND HERBS

From Asparagus to Zucchini Consider substituting the herbs called for in the recipe with whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 t. red pepper flakes 2 t. dried oregano 1/2 t. dried ground thyme 1 pound green beans, ends clipped, beans cut in half 1 sprig rosemary, leaves torn off at the stem 3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges (peeling optional) salt to taste or 2 T. salted butter Heat olive oil in deep pan over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes; saute until fragrant. Add onions; saute until transluscent, 3-5 minutes. Add 1/4 c. water, the dried spices, and green beans. Stir, cover, and steam-cook beans until nearly done, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the rosemary and tomatoes. Cook very briefly, until tomatoes are warmed through and beans are done. Season with salt, or, if you prefer, melt salted butter over the beans before serving. Makes 4 servings.

ROASTED EGGPLANT, RED PEPPER AND GREEN BEAN POMEGRANATE SALAD

http://www.closetcooking.com/2009/12/roasted-eggplant-red-pepper-and-green.html Ingredients: 2 large eggplants (cut into bite sized pieces) salt 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon cumin (toasted and ground) 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon salt and pepper to taste 2 roasted red peppers (cut into bite sized pieces) 1 pound green beans (blanched) 1/4 cup red onions (diced) 1/4 cup walnuts (toasted) 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup feta 1 handful mint (chopped) 1/4 cup pomegranate vinaigrette Directions: 1. Salt the eggplant and let it sit for 20 minute, rinse and pat it dry. 2. Toss the eggplant in the olive oil and season with the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper. 3. Roast the eggplant in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 30-40 minutes and set aside. 4. Assemble the salad and toss to coat in the dressing.

VEGETABLE & BEEF STIRFRY

Created by Rayna of Curious Country Cookhttp://curiouscountrycook.blogspot.com/2012/04/vegetable-beef-stir-fry.html#more serves: 4 2 oz (1/3-1/2 of 1 whole carrot),peeled & sliced thin 3/4 small bell pepper (1.5 oz),seeded & sliced thin 4 oz Bok Choy, cleaned, sliced thin, and cut in 1/2 3 oz green beans, trimmed & cut into 1/3's 3/4-1 lb flank steak 2 garlic cloves 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger 11/2 tbsp vegetable oil Slurry: 2 tsp cornstarch 1/4 cup cold water Sauce: 3 tbsp orange juice 3 tbsp light soy sauce 2 tsp sugar 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce big pinch of red pepper flakes pinch of black pepper green onions,chopped for garnish 1. Prep the steak by placing it on your cutting board & cutting against the grain of the meat with a sharp knife into thin strips.- If you steak is wide and the slices are too long for your preference, you can cut the strips in 1/2 along the grain. 2. Use a micro plane (or mince) the garlic and ginger, set aside. Mix together the cornstarch and water until blended, set aside. In a small bowl, mix the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce,pepper, and red pepper flakes; set aside. 3. In a large skillet with sides or a wok, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in some of the meat in a single layer to brown before flipping over to cook the other side. Remove from the pan and cook the rest of the meat, remove it, and add in 1/2 tbsp of oil into the pan. Add in the garlic and ginger, cook until light brown (Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!) before adding in the vegetables and 1/2 of the soy sauce mixture. Cover and steam for about 7 minutes. 4. Add the meat back into the pan, toss,add in the rest of the sauce mix, and the cornstarch slurry. Cook uncovered until the sauce is thick and the vegetables are tender; add the green onions in the last minute before serving over rice or noodles.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN V8

http://www.farmgirlfare.com/2008/10/less-fuss-more-flavor-homemade-tomato.html Ingredients: 6 pounds of vine-ripened, organic tomatoes (preferably heirlooms), coarsely chopped 2 cups chopped organic white or yellow onion 2 1/2 cups chopped organic celery 1 cup chopped fresh parsley (stems are fine) 2 Tablespoons honey 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon cumin powder 6 drops hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Sriracha (I love this stuff) Splash or two of Worcestershire sauce Freshly ground pepper to taste Instructions: Put all the ingredients in a large stainless steel pot. Bring them to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until very soupy, about 40 minutes. If a thicker juice is desired, first carefully blend the vegetable mixture in batches in a counter top blender, then put it through a food mill. (I love my Oxo Good Grips food mill)*. For a smoother and more delicate juice, go straight to the food mill.

TUNISIAN FENNEL, CHARD & CHICKPEA STEW

http://www.midwestmunch.com/2011/07/tunisian-fennel-chard-chickpea-stew.html 1 bunch of chard 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 large yellow onion, sliced and loosely chopped 1 large fennel bulb, chopped - save the fronds we use that part too! 3 cloves of garlic 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground caraway 2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or harissa if you have it 1 can of diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted tomatoes) 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed salt to taste couscous for serving 1) Chop your chard so that the stems and leaves are separate. In a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, soften the chopped onion, fennel, and chard stems in the olive oil. 2) Add the garlic and spices and saute for a minute or two, until you can smell the garlic. 3) Add the canned tomatoes, chickpeas, one cup of water, chard leaves, and fennel fronds (chopped). Let simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until everything is soft and stewy. (Depending on your chickpeas, you may need to add more water along the way - if you do, adjust the spices to taste). 4) Salt to taste before serving on top of some prepared couscous.

DEHYDRATE SWISS CHARD

http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/category/recipe/page/4/ Dehydrate the chard, store it, and then use it this winter as an extra nutritional boost in soups and stews. 1) Pick chard 2) Wash chard 3) Dry chard 4) Cut chard into 4 inch pieces 5) Lay chard flat on trays 6) Turn dehydrator on {it took 3 hours at 135 degrees for me} 7) Cool chard 8) Store chard in a dark pantry until ready to use

RAINBOX SWISS CHARD SMOOTHIE

http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/category/recipe/page/5/ Ingredients: 1 cup rainbow Swiss chard, well packed 2 cups strawberries, frozen 1 ripe banana 1 cup Cranberry Juice Directions: Toss everything into a blender and hit the smoothie button.  Blend until nice and smooth.  Drink up and enjoy!

Broccoli Stalk Salad

(All the pleasure of raw artichoke salad with half the work.) Cut off and discard the tough outer peel, shave what remains into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, scatter with lemon zest and shards of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

CUCUMBER FETA ROLLS

http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2011/12/cucumber-feta-rolls-holiday-recipe-exchange.html Yield: approximately 20 rolls Prep Time: 15 - 20 minutes Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes 2 cucumbers 6 ounces crumbled feta 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 tablespoons finely diced sundried tomatoes or red bell pepper 8 - 12 pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill or oregano 2 teaspoons lemon juice pinch of pepper, or to taste Directions: Thinly slice the cucumbers longways on a mandoline at a 2mm thick setting. Alternatively, you can use a vegetable peeler if you do not have a mandoline. Lay the cucumbers on top of a paper towel lined cutting board while you prepare the filling. Add the feta and yogurt to a medium bowl. Mash to combine using a fork. Add the bell pepper or sun dried tomatoes, olives, dill, lemon, and pepper to the bowl. Stir well to combine. In a bowl, mash the feta using a fork. Place 1 - 2 teaspoons of mixture at one end of a cucumber strip and roll up. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining strips. If not serving immediately, chill until ready to serve.

BAKED, STUFFED POTATOES WITH BACON, CABBAGE AND CHEESE

From the Star Tribune Makes 4-8 4 baked potatoes 8 slices bacon 4 T. butter, divided 1 medium onion, chopped 2 c. shredded cabbage 4-6 T. milk 2 c. shredded, sharp Cheddar cheese Salt and pepper to taste When the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Fry the bacon in a saute pan over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the bacon is browned and crispy. Remove the bacon and crumble the strips into the bowl with the potatoes. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter and melt over medium heat. When the butter looks foamy, add the onion and cabbage and cook, tossing the vegetables frequently, about 8 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted and lightly browned. Add the vegetables to the potatoes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the bowl. Gently mash the potatoes with the vegetables and butter. Mix in enough of the milk to achieve a moist and tender consistency. Fold in most of the grated cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture back into the potato skins, dividing equally. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375º. Place the filled potato skins on a cookie sheet, sprinkle equal amounts of the remaining cheese on top of each potato and bake for 15 minutes or until hot and the skins are crispy.

UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

Ingredients: 1 1/2 to 2 lb. lean ground beef 1 T. oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 small cabbage, chopped 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes (or use fresh if you have them on hand) 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce 1/2 c. water 1 t. black pepper 1 t. sea salt Preparation: In a large skilled, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minutes. Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender. Yield: Serves 6 to 8

STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS

http://recipesweet.net/julies-stuffed-zucchini-boats/ Ingredients     3 zucchinis     1/2 large onion, chopped fine     1 Tbsp butter     5 – 6 slices crispy bacon, chopped     1 Tbsp sour cream     1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt     1/4 tsp curry powder     1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped     1 tsp fresh thyme leaves     freshly grated Parmesan cheese     fresh cracked black pepper     Parsley to sprinkle on top Give the zucchini a quick wash for good measure.  Slice in half lengthwise. Leave the ends on to keep the filling in. Scoop out the flesh with a melon baller or a spoon.  Leave a ledge of zucchini around the edges.  For the life of me, I couldn't make straight lines.  That's okay.  They were still delicious.  Arrange the zucchini boats in a baking dish. Chop the zucchini flesh as small as you like. Finely chop half a sweet onion. Chop up some good smokey bacon.  You could leave this out for a vegetarian side dish (maybe add some chopped mushrooms?)... but my family goes through quite a lot bacon, so it's going in! Add the curry powder...  cook until desired doneness of onions and remove from heat. To the zucchini flesh, add sour cream.  (How can this be bad?). Rough chop some fresh thyme leaves. Mix onion and bacon mixture with other ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the tomatoes.  Seed them or else there may be too much moisture in the filling.  You don't really want the filling to be all runny when you cut into it. Refill the zucchini shells with the filling mixture. Grate some good aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top and sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Of course you know me.  I'm gonna grate even more cheese on them again...  Aren't they gorgeous?!  Lots of texture.  Smokiness from the bacon.  Salty from the Parmesan cheese.  Soft and buttery zucchini.  Mmmm.... In hindsight, a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley on top of these would be really pretty.  But I didn't have any at my disposal.

Posted 7/16/2015 10:36am by Gary Brever.
Keep the fresh veggiescoming with a fall storage share. Buy yours today! Update your membership.
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A fabulous resource for all members is the CSA guide.
Find it online: http://sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfiles/476/CSA_Guide3.pdf

This Week's Shares Include:

Carrots
Turnips
Napa (full only)
Chard
Cucumbers
Summer squash
Peas
Onions
Basil
Cilantro
Escarole
Red butter head lettuce
Green summer crisp lettuce

 

A Note From Your Farmer

Strong storms put us again on high alert on Saturday night as high winds, tornado formations and hail pounded down on Alexandria.    

Luckily Saturday's storms only brought us a couple inches of rain (which we needed).  Our plants are so vulnerable and there's absolutely nothing that we can do when this occurs. In previous years we've had several week's worth of hard work be wiped out in 20 minutes.   So whenever the tornado sirens go off my brain automatically goes back and relives those summer of catastrophes, and I wane between holding my panic inside and going into a state of numbness.  I'm grateful that at least for this week our farm has been spared.
 
 
As you can see from this week's box, the diversity in our shares is starting to increase as the summer progresses.  Lots of love goes into the carrots that are in this week's box.  More time than any other crop is spent on our hands and knees hand weeding the long rows of carrots.   They are the one crop that you can absolutely tell the difference between organic and non organic. They are so flavorful not only because of what we don't put on them but also because of the minerals in the soil and the fish emulsion that we use to grow them.
 
This week left us without our main supervisor, Olga who is on vacation.  I'm very grateful that I have her for the last several years. Olga came to the United States 8 years ago from Moldova with her husband Val, who works on one of the larger row crop farms in the area.  When Olga first arrived she was very shy in speaking English.  She answered a classified ad that I posted in the local newspaper, asking for general field workers.  I recall the day she arrived.  She actually stopped in the day before on a Sunday just to be sure she knew where the farm was so she would be on time the next day.  I knew right off that there was something special about this gal.  The first day she was hand weeding carrots along with the rest of the crew, and she was double and triple what everyone else was doing (and she did a thorough job at it, too!!)  

As that summer progressed I soon realized what kind of gem Olga really was...

She went to college in Moldova for ecological agricultural and spent several years traveling throughout Europe in countries like Switzerland, working on flower operations.  Over the years she has become a real cornerstone to our farm, and now I defer many of the growing decisions to her.  Having her gone this week wasn't easy, but in the past 7 years she hasn't been able to take off anytime during the summer so I'm sure it was an especially nice break for her.  She intelligently took her time off during the right week as well... before we really get into the heart of the season (tomatoes, melons, etc.), but after the point where the rush of spring planting is behind us. Looking forward to having her back next week.
 
 
 

Tips For First-Timers

Understanding Your Crisper Drawers:

A typical refrigerator has at least two crisper drawers – usually located at the bottom of the refrigerator. Each of these drawers should have its own humidity control lever. Some produce, such as greens, will last longer if stored in cool moist conditions. While other produce will last longer if stored in less humid conditions. Therefore, you should adjust the humidity in these drawers according to the produce stored within them.

Next time you are at a grocery store, take note that some produce receives an occasion spray of mist — these items prefer being stored in more humid conditions. While other produce such as cucumbers and eggplant are stored on drier shelves because they do not require high humidity to maximize their shelf life.

CSA GUIDE

A fabulous resource for all of our CSA members is our CSA guide. Find it athttp://sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfiles/476/CSA_Guide3.pdf

Highlights include:
• The Basics of Pick-up
• How Do I Eat All These Vegetables?
• Wasted Food and the Commercial Supply Chain
• Tips on Storage: How to Store Your Produce
• Pantry List

OTHER NOTES

Please bring back your boxes (See the survival guide for information on how to best "break down you box").
 
The earlier that people can pick up their shares the better the quality.  We strive to keep our veggies cool after harvest. (34 degrees) The quality degrades for every hour sitting at the sites unrefrigerated.

Fall Storage Share

3 months--October through December

Register now for the 2014 season!! Click here.

This share will supply all the fall storage vegetables that your family will need for the months of October, November and December. Deliveries are monthly. Each delivery will include 50-75 pounds of produce including potatoes, of carrots, onions, winter squash, cabbage, kale leeks, daikon radishes, beets, celeriac, rutabaga, parsnips, turnips, brussels sprouts, garlic, and pie pumpkins.

These shares are a great option for saving money on meals especially during the holiday seasons.  Most of these vegetables keep very well just in a heated garage (just above freezing) or a cool basement.

A sample delivery will look like this:

First delivery will be a 10 pound bag of onions, a 5 lb bag of carrots and 10lb bag of potatoes, one 1 1/9bushel box of winter squash with some garlic. Then one 3/4 bushel box filled with cabbage, root crops(parsnips, turnips, celeriac, etc.), Brussels sprouts etc.


This year especially we will have an abundance of onions, carrots, potatoes, winter squash, parsnips and other great goodies!!
 

What fellow CSA members are cooking:

 
Cary Rupp Watkins Made dressing in my vitamix with balsamic vin, evoo, parm cheese, cilantro, oregano, fennel ferns, scallions, diced onion, basil, thyme, and a bit of honey. Yummy salad with that awesome cucumber, lettuce, radish, and peas! Had rice noodles with homemade sauce: sauteed medium onion, red pepper, summer squash, garlic, added canned organic diced tomatoes, torn basil and oregano, salt and pepper. Served with multigrain baguette. This is my first year with CSA and I'm LOVING it!! Thank you very much!
 
Joe Wetternach Pickling the radishes
 
Diane Townsend Pizza night! Used fennel, zucchini, parsley and kale on the pizzas.

SHARE WHAT YOU'VE MADE ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE!

 
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CARROTS
As part of the umbeliferae family, carrots are related to parsley, celery, parsnip, cilantro, fennel, caraway and dill.

Storage:
Remove greens and refrigerate in a plastic bag where they will last 2-4 weeks. If you wish to freeze, blanch for 3 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain, let dry and pack in an airtight bag. Fresh greens can be used immediately in a green salad or stir fry.

How to Use:
• Scrub with a vegetable brush (or washcloth) to remove dirt. Don't peel unless removing a damaged area. Raw carrots preserve all nutrients. Steaming for 5-10 also preserves most nutrients as long as you don't overcook them.
• Carrots are sweet, so add them to your homemade tomato sauce to lighten it up.
• Try a simple puree of carrot soup with onions or leeks, freshly grated ginger and salt or soy sauce.

CAULIFLOWER
Cauliflower is a member of the species brassica oleracea, so is related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi and broccoli.

Storage:
Cauliflower tastes best when used quickly or it may take on a strong odor and flavor over time. Refrigerate in a plastic bag and it should remain fresh for one week and still be usable up to two weeks.

To store long term, blanch for 2-4 minutes, rinse in an ice bath or under cold water, drain, dry and pack in an airtight container like a ziploc bag. It will not be firm after thawing but can be used in soups and stews.

Prep:
Soak the head upside down in cold, salted water to remove any hidden field pests. Remove the tough outer leaves, remove any blemishes and rinse the head. Core the head for even cooking.

How to Use:
• Steam 15-20 minutes for a whole head or 20-25 for florets. Cook until tender but not fully soft. Run under cold water or submerge in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Overcooked cauliflower has a strong odor and flavor and can go mushy on you.
• Cauliflower puree is a tasty (and healthy) substitute for mashed potatoes or you can add puree for a creamy soup base or soup thickener.
TURNIPS
Turnips are one of the most ancient and globally used vegetables. A great storage crop, use them fresh this week with greens or mashed, in place of potatoes.

Storage:
Store unwashed turnips in a plastic bag in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Store turnip greens separately, wrapped in a damp towel or plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Use quickly as they do not store long.

Prep:
Scrub turnips with a stiff-bristled vegetable brush or dishcloth. They don't need to be peeled. Cut away any damaged areas.

Cooking tips:
• Cut into matchstick-sized pieces and add to a veggie platter with a dip like ranch dressing.
• Grate raw into salads or slaws.
• Boil 1/2-1 inch slices or cubes 8-10 minutes; steam this size 12-15 minutes. Boil small whole turnips 15-20 minutes; steam small turnips 20-25 minutes.
• Bake with other roots (like carrots) at 350 from 30-45 minutes with butter/oil and herbs.
ONIONS
The bulb onion is the most universal seasoning used by humans. The pungency of the onion reflects the amount of sulfur in the soil in which it was grown. Chill onions thoroughly in the fridge or cut under running water to subdue the fumes that cause tears during chopping.

Storage:
Store onions on a rack in a well-ventilated area spaced a few inches apart. You'll want to use them within three to four weeks. Warmth and moisture will cause sprouting. Store cut onions in the fridge in an airtight container to avoid transference of flavors to other foods.

How to use:
• Add chopped onions to a hearty homemade bread dough or corn bread batter.
• Boil onions until tender (15 minutes for small ones, 30 minutes for large). Try them topped with butter, a sprinkling of herbs, and Parmesan cheese.
• Long baking or oven roasting brings out sweetness and carmelizes the natural sugars. Try surrounding a roasting meat with small to medium yellow onions.
CUCUMBERS
Cucumbers are great on sandwiches, in salads, refreshing on your face and most importantly, as pickles.

Did you know?
• It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.
• Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation, and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
• Cucumbers have mild diuretic property probably due to their high water and potassium content, which helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure.

Storage:
Refrigerate to retain moisture in the hydrator drawer. They will keep for up to one week. Once you slice into one, they don't stay well when refrigerated so use it up!

How to Use:
• No need to peel these organic and unwaxed cucumbers. Simply rinse. Dice or slice into salads, sandwiches, or on crackers (with ham and cream cheese!).
• Try creamy cucumber salad: slice cucumber and toss with plain yogurt, mayonnaise, fresh or dried dill (weed or seed) and salt and pepper. Add some of this week s Walla Walla onions, too!
• Try chilled cucumber soup: Blend cucumbers with plain yogurt, a pinch of fresh mint, basil and salt and pepper. Add some seeded jalapeno into the blender too if you want some heat.
• Finely chop fresh slices and mix with yogurt, cumin, coriander, pepper, and salt to make Indian cucumber raita.
• Cucumber juice is a very good, healthy drink.
NAPA CABBAGE (Chinese Cabbage)
The flavor has been described by some as delicate compared to bok choy or cabbage, and it can be used in stir-fry with other ingredients such as tofu, mushroom or zucchini.

Storage:
Refrigerate cabbage in the crisper drawer. Do not remove the outer leaves before storage. It can last for up to two weeks in the fridge.

Cooking tips:
• Chop raw napa cabbage into green salads or substitute it into a favorite coleslaw recipe.
• Napa cooks quickly. Steam for 3-5 minutes or until leaves are wilted but remain crisp. Remain vigilant as it can quickly overcook. If you do substitute napa for common cabbage, reduce cooking time by two minutes.
• Use napa in your stir fry - add onion, toasted sesame oil and soy sauce, or add it chopped at the end of your normal stir fry.
• It's also excellent in soups, fried rice and mashed potatoes.
CHARD           
Regular inclusion of chard in the diet is found to prevent osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, vitamin A deficiency, and is believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers. Use fresh young chard raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked, braised or sautéed; the bitter flavor fades with cooking. However, antioxidant properties of chard are significantly decreased on steaming, frying and boiling.

Did you know?
• Chard leaves are an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C.
• Chard is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limit neuronal damage in the brain; thus, chard has an established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
• It is also rich source of omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin-A and flavonoids anti-oxidants like B carotene, a-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Storage:
Wrap unwashed chard in a damp towel or store in a plastic bag and keep in the crisper drawer. It's best used fresh if you can use it, but will keep for several days if kept moist and refrigerated.

Chard also can be stored long term in the freezer with some simple preparation. Blanch chopped leaves (place in boiling water) for three minutes then transfer to an ice water bath to stop the cooking. (Be sure to have actual ice cubes floating the water to keep the temp cold.) Drain the leaves, squeeze to remove water and place in an airtight freezer bag.

Prep:
Wash thoroughly before cooking to remove hidden dirt and other grit from the soil.

How to use:
• Use chard as you would kale, spinach or other greens. They are great wilted in a large pan with oil or butter and a little garlic.
• Use as a side dish to your main course.
• Place silver dollar-sized dollops on your pizza (great with goat cheese!) or other flatbreads.
• Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.
• Also great in egg bakes and quiches.
• Add to lasagna and pastas for extra flavor and vitamins.
 
PEAS       
One of summer's great treats, peas are to be savored immediately after picking. Enjoy your peas right away as their sugars rapidly convert to starch, reducing flavor and sweetness. Sugar snap peas feature sweet, juicy peas in a crunchy and edible pod. The snow pea is a flat, edible pod with undeveloped peas inside.

Did you know?
• Fresh pea pods are excellent source of folic acid.
• Fresh green peas are very good in ascorbic acid

Storage:
Use asap. Refrigerate in a plastic bag 4-5 days maximum. Peas freeze well but lose some of their crunchy texture. Blanch for 2 minutes (no need to shell snow or snap peas), rinse under cold water or in an ice bath, drain well and pack into airtight bags or containers.

How to Use:
• Snap peas need stringing - snap off stem tip toward the flat side of pod and pull downward. Eat them raw as a snack or appetizer. Add them raw or blanched to chilled, marinated vinaigrette-dressed salads. Deep fry in a tempura batter with other vegetables.
• Snow peas are a great stir fry addition. Saute alone or with other veggies or meats, adding in the last few minutes of cooking. Add raw or blanched snow peas to a variety of salads.
• Quickly cooked peas pair well with bacon and a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh mint and lemon juice (or red or white wine vinegar), and parmesan cheese (and lemon juice, of course).
SUMMER SQUASH   
Zucchini, patty pan, yellow crookneck and straighneck squash are popular summer squash varieties. They are delicate and perishable, so enjoy immediately, unlike their storage-friendly winter squash cousins.

Did you know?
• Summer squash is a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte; it helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium.

Storage:
It dehydrates quickly once picked. Store in a plastic bag or hydrator drawer in refrigerator for up to one week. Cooked, pureed summer squash may be frozen for later use in winter soups. Freeze in an airtight container.

How to Use:
• Rinse or wipe - no need to peel. Grate or slice into green salads, or shred to make a squash slaw. Cut into matchsticks or rounds and dip with other veggies.
• Steam squash whole or halved. Cook squash cut into 1-2 inch cubes for 10-15 minutes, chunks for 5-10 minutes, or until tender when checked with a fork. Don't overcook!!
• Grill halves 3-4 minutes over direct heat then 8-10 minutes over indirect heat. Baste with oil or marinade. Great on kabobs!
• Make a simple casserole: Layer blanched squash slices alternately with chopped onion that's been cooked with bread crumbs. Repeat 2-3 layers and top with butter. Cook at 350 in oven until hot and bubbly.
• Squash pairs well with butter, fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper.
ESCAROLE/ENDIVE  
Endive, commonly popular as escarole, is a green leafy-vegetable with a hint of bitter flavor. Nevertheless, this well-known salad plant is much more than just a leafy green, packed with numerous health benefiting plant nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, etc. Botanically this perennial herbaceous leafy plant belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family, of the genus Cichorium and is closely related to chicory, radicchio and Belgian endive (witloof).

Did you know?
• Endive is one of the very low calorie leafy vegetable. 100 g fresh leaves provide just 17 calories; however, it contributes about 8% of daily-required intake (DRI) of fiber.
• Current research studies suggest that high inulin and fiber content in escarole help reduce glucose and LDL cholesterol levels in diabetes and obese patients.

Storage:
•  Store greens in plastic bag inside refrigerator. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days.

Prep:
• Wash fresh endive in cool running water. Discard yellow or any discolored leaves. Remove tough lower ends. Chop the leaves using paring knife.

How to use:
• In addition to being served in green salads, escarole is often sautéed or braised in a similar fashion to collard greens.
• It's also frequently included in pasta and soup recipes. Escarole and beans is a popular recipe made with white beans and sometimes featuring bacon or ham.
LETTUCES
Clean all of your greens in cool water as you would spinach. Greens can be stored in a salad spinner if you have one or wrapped in a clean cloth or paper towel and placed in a plastic bag. Add a paper towel to the plastic bag and it may keep the greens fresh a bit longer. Mixing lettuces with other greens and herbs, as well as cooked or raw vegetables creates interesting textures and flavors. Get creative and discover your favorite salad preparation.

How to use:
Add fresh herbs from Ploughshare or from your own herb garden to liven up your salads. Add greens to your sandwiches, tacos, burritos or omelets. Lightly sauté (keep a close eye, they cook quickly) then add to baked dishes like quiche or lasagna.
BASIL
Basil is another of summer’s great treats. But treat is carefully as it is delicate and can’t stand being refrigerated.

Did you know?
• Basil leaves contains many health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
• Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron, contains 3.17 mg/100 g of fresh leaves (about 26% of RDA).
• Basil contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process.

Storage:
Keep unwashed leaves bunched with stems in a glass of water on your counter. Do not refrigerate or leaves will turn brown.

How to use:
Rinse leaves in the sink and dry. Tasty in salads, on pizzas (added fresh after the pizza comes out of the oven), or in pesto. Add to your tomato sauces, on pasta or in a caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt.
 
CILANTRO
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a tasty finish to many Mexican and Indian dishes.

Did you know?
• Relief for stomach gas, prevention of flatulence and an overall digestive aid
• Helps reduce feelings of nausea
• A source of iron, magnesium, and is helpful in fighting anemia
• Disinfects and helps detoxify the body
• Acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
• Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar

Storage:
Keep unwashed cilantro wrapped in your refrigerator. Do not wash the herb until you are ready to use it since excess moisture will turn the leaves to green slime during storage.

To freeze:
To freeze, place a small amount dry cilantro leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When frozen, gather into a zip-top bag, returning to the freezer immediately. Use within 6 months. Do not thaw before using.
Posted 7/9/2015 11:19am by Gary Brever.
Have fun with kohlrabi this week! It's a nutrient-rich veggie!
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Have you purged your fridge yet this week? Consider sharing your share with friends.

This Week's Shares Include:

Cabbage
Chard
Peas
Kohlrabi (full only)
Radishes
Napa cabbage
Summer squash
Cucumbers or summer squash (mini shares)
Scallions
Dill (full only)
Basil
Cilantro
Magenta lettuce
Green Romaine Lettuce
Nevada Lettuce (mini only)

 

A Note From Your Farmer

If you haven't used up your radicchio yet know that these are my favorite vegetables to put on the grill. Spread the green onions on top. Drizzle with olive oil. They caramelize when roasted. (Also have peas and fennel bulbs underneath).
 

Tips For First-Timers

1. Purge the Refrigerator: At the end of each week, try to purge of fridge! Do whatever you need to do to make your fridge empty of last weeks vegetables! Cook a big meal and freeze the leftovers, or look at long term storage options. Just get everything from the previous week out of your refrigerator.

2. Share your Share: Give away some of your produce — share this week’s box with a friend or neighbor. Sharing is good.

3. Take a Week Off: If you fall behind and are becoming overwhelmed, consider donating your entire box to a local food shelf, a friend or neighbor, someone who you think might be interested in Ploughshare Farm, or share it with other members at your drop-site. Taking a week off can help restore balance in your refrigerator. Don’t hesitate to ask your site coordinator about some options so you can take a week off.

4. Compost! Starting a compost pile in your yard is easy, and even though it might seem crazy to throw out food, some of those vegetables that have been sitting in your refrigerator for more than a week are probably composting already. Besides, you will make the worms and microbes happy and create great soil for your plants. If you know nothing about composting, look at The University of Minnesota websitewww.extenstion.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG3899.html to learn more.

5. DON’T FEEL GUILT! We all waste some food, but compared to a typical grocery store, Community Supported Agriculture is much less wasteful.

CSA GUIDE

A fabulous resource for all of our CSA members is our CSA guide. Find it athttp://sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfiles/476/CSA_Guide3.pdf

Highlights include:
• The Basics of Pick-up
• How Do I Eat All These Vegetables?
• Wasted Food and the Commercial Supply Chain
• Tips on Storage: How to Store Your Produce
• Pantry List

OTHER NOTES

Please bring back your boxes (See the survival guide for information on how to best "break down you box").
 
The earlier that people can pick up their shares the better the quality.  We strive to keep our veggies cool after harvest. (34 degrees) The quality degrades for every hour sitting at the sites unrefrigerated.

Fall Storage Share

3 months--October through December

Register now for the 2015 season!! Click here.

This share will supply all the fall storage vegetables that your family will need for the months of October, November and December. Deliveries are monthly. Each delivery will include 50-75 pounds of produce including potatoes, of carrots, onions, winter squash, cabbage, kale leeks, daikon radishes, beets, celeriac, rutabaga, parsnips, turnips, brussels sprouts, garlic, and pie pumpkins.

These shares are a great option for saving money on meals especially during the holiday seasons.  Most of these vegetables keep very well just in a heated garage (just above freezing) or a cool basement.

A sample delivery will look like this:

First delivery will be a 10 pound bag of onions, a 5 lb bag of carrots and 10lb bag of potatoes, one 1 1/9bushel box of winter squash with some garlic. Then one 3/4 bushel box filled with cabbage, root crops(parsnips, turnips, celeriac, etc.), Brussels sprouts etc.
 
When we have extra produce above and beyond what goes into the CSA shares, we work with the Emergency Foodshelf network to get this produce to low income families. We believe EVERYONE should have access to organic food.

You can support the Harvest For the Hungry project by going tohttp://www.ploughsharefarm.com/store/harvest-for-the-hungry-share
KOHLRABI
Kohlrabi or knol-khol or German Turnip is a stout, round "tuber" like vegetable of the brassica family; the same family as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and brussels sprouts.

Did you know?
• Mildly sweet, succulent Kohlrabi is notably rich in vitamins and dietary fiber.
• Kohlrabi notably has good levels of minerals; copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and phosphorus are especially available in the stem.
• Kohlrabi leaves or tops, like turnip greens, are also very nutritious greens abundant in carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, and B-complex group of vitamins.

Storage:
Refrigerate the kohlrabi globe in a plastic bag for up to one month. Wrap leaves in a damp towel or keep in a plastic bag and keep in crisper drawer. Use greens ASAP.

Prep:
Wash and trim away any woody or tough portions of the skin. Kohlrabi is tasty cooked or raw. Try it both ways to see how you like it. It does not have to be peeled after cooking.

How to use:
• Grate it raw into salads or use instead of cabbage for a coleslaw with radish, chopped parsley, scallion and dressing.
• Chill and marinate cooked kohlrabi for a summer salad, adding fresh herbs.
• Steam kohlrabi whole 25-30 minutes or thinly sliced 5-10 minutes. Dress with oil, lemon juice and fresh dill or dip in flour and flash fry. Sauté it grated in butter, add herbs or curry. Slice or cube and add to stir fry or soups and stews.
• Mash cooked kohlrabi and mix with cooked potato, form into patties and pan fry in butter.

 
RADISHES
Radishes are popular across the globe, from Japan (where it accounts for 15% of vegetable production) to the U.S. where 400 million pounds are purchased annually. The roots and greens are tasty and can be used in your cooking.

Did you know?
• Fresh Radishes are rich in vitamin C; provide about 15 mg or 25% of DRI of vitamin C per 100 g.
• Radishes are very low calorie root vegetables; contains only 16 calories per 100 g. However they are very good source of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber.

Storage:
Store radishes for up to two weeks in a plastic bag or damp cloth in the refrigerator. Store greens separately, wrapped in a damp towel in the crisper drawer - use greens asap.

How to Use:
• Give the skins a good scrub, there is no need to peel. Enjoy them raw - whole, sliced, grated or sliced into matchsticks. Great dipped in ranch dressing. They are peppery, so to tone down the bite, steam for 8-12 minutes until tender but not mushy. Roll in butter and add salt and pepper.
• Radishes are great garnishes for Latin food. Slice and add to tacos, quesadillas or guacamole.
• Use in soups and stews instead of turnips or add to mixed vegetable stir fries. Or make a grandma sandwich which is thinly sliced radishes on buttered French or sourdough bread, with a sprinkle of salt. Also tasty if you add spinach and cheese to the sandwich.
CHARD           
Regular inclusion of chard in the diet is found to prevent osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, vitamin A deficiency, and is believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers. Use fresh young chard raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked, braised or sautéed; the bitter flavor fades with cooking. However, antioxidant properties of chard are significantly decreased on steaming, frying and boiling.

Did you know?
• Chard leaves are an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C.
• Chard is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limit neuronal damage in the brain; thus, chard has an established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
• It is also rich source of omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin-A and flavonoids anti-oxidants like B carotene, a-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Storage:
Wrap unwashed chard in a damp towel or store in a plastic bag and keep in the crisper drawer. It's best used fresh if you can use it, but will keep for several days if kept moist and refrigerated.

Chard also can be stored long term in the freezer with some simple preparation. Blanch chopped leaves (place in boiling water) for three minutes then transfer to an ice water bath to stop the cooking. (Be sure to have actual ice cubes floating the water to keep the temp cold.) Drain the leaves, squeeze to remove water and place in an airtight freezer bag.

Prep:
Wash thoroughly before cooking to remove hidden dirt and other grit from the soil.

How to use:
• Use chard as you would kale, spinach or other greens. They are great wilted in a large pan with oil or butter and a little garlic.
• Use as a side dish to your main course.
• Place silver dollar-sized dollops on your pizza (great with goat cheese!) or other flatbreads.
• Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.
• Also great in egg bakes and quiches.
• Add to lasagna and pastas for extra flavor and vitamins.
NAPA CABBAGE (Chinese Cabbage)         
The flavor has been described by some as delicate compared to bok choy or cabbage, and it can be used in stir-fry with other ingredients such as tofu, mushroom or zucchini.

Storage:
Refrigerate cabbage in the crisper drawer. Do not remove the outer leaves before storage. It can last for up to two weeks in the fridge.

Cooking tips:
• Chop raw napa cabbage into green salads or substitute it into a favorite coleslaw recipe.
• Napa cooks quickly. Steam for 3-5 minutes or until leaves are wilted but remain crisp. Remain vigilant as it can quickly overcook. If you do substitute napa for common cabbage, reduce cooking time by two minutes.
• Use napa in your stir fry - add onion, toasted sesame oil and soy sauce, or add it chopped at the end of your normal stir fry.
• It's also excellent in soups, fried rice and mashed potatoes.
CABBAGE       
Cabbage is a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser. Though composed of 90 percent water, the cabbage still holds a significant quantity of vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Storage:
Refrigerate cabbage in a hydrator drawer. A plastic bag will help retain moisture but is not necessary. Do not remove outer leaves before storage, and it will last 3 weeks to 2 months.

How to Use:
• Boil cabbage for five minutes with a chopped onion and add to mashed potatoes.
• Eat cabbage raw or lightly cooked. Overcooked cabbage may produce a strong odor and flavor.
• Cabbage sautes and stir-fries very well with other vegetables. Experiment with a variety of combinations.
PEAS
One of summer's great treats, peas are to be savored immediately after picking. Enjoy your peas right away as their sugars rapidly convert to starch, reducing flavor and sweetness. Sugar snap peas feature sweet, juicy peas in a crunchy and edible pod. The snow pea is a flat, edible pod with undeveloped peas inside.

Did you know?
• Fresh pea pods are excellent source of folic acid.
• Fresh green peas are very good in ascorbic acid

Storage:
Use asap. Refrigerate in a plastic bag 4-5 days maximum. Peas freeze well but lose some of their crunchy texture. Blanch for 2 minutes (no need to shell snow or snap peas), rinse under cold water or in an ice bath, drain well and pack into airtight bags or containers.

How to Use:
• Snap peas need stringing - snap off stem tip toward the flat side of pod and pull downward. Eat them raw as a snack or appetizer. Add them raw or blanched to chilled, marinated vinaigrette-dressed salads. Deep fry in a tempura batter with other vegetables.
• Snow peas are a great stir fry addition. Saute alone or with other veggies or meats, adding in the last few minutes of cooking. Add raw or blanched snow peas to a variety of salads.
• Quickly cooked peas pair well with bacon and a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh mint and lemon juice (or red or white wine vinegar), and parmesan cheese (and lemon juice, of course).
SUMMER SQUASH
Zucchini, patty pan, yellow crookneck and straighneck squash are popular summer squash varieties. They are delicate and perishable, so enjoy immediately, unlike their storage-friendly winter squash cousins.

Did you know?
• Summer squash is a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte; it helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium.

Storage:
It dehydrates quickly once picked. Store in a plastic bag or hydrator drawer in refrigerator for up to one week. Cooked, pureed summer squash may be frozen for later use in winter soups. Freeze in an airtight container.

How to Use:
• Rinse or wipe - no need to peel. Grate or slice into green salads, or shred to make a squash slaw. Cut into matchsticks or rounds and dip with other veggies.
• Steam squash whole or halved. Cook squash cut into 1-2 inch cubes for 10-15 minutes, chunks for 5-10 minutes, or until tender when checked with a fork. Don't overcook!!
• Grill halves 3-4 minutes over direct heat then 8-10 minutes over indirect heat. Baste with oil or marinade. Great on kabobs!
• Make a simple casserole: Layer blanched squash slices alternately with chopped onion that's been cooked with bread crumbs. Repeat 2-3 layers and top with butter. Cook at 350 in oven until hot and bubbly.
• Squash pairs well with butter, fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper.
CUCUMBERS
Cucumbers are great on sandwiches, in salads, refreshing on your face and most importantly, as pickles.

Did you know?
• It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.
• Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation, and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
• Cucumbers have mild diuretic property probably due to their high water and potassium content, which helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure.

Storage:
Refrigerate to retain moisture in the hydrator drawer. They will keep for up to one week. Once you slice into one, they don't stay well when refrigerated so use it up!

How to Use:
• No need to peel these organic and unwaxed cucumbers. Simply rinse. Dice or slice into salads, sandwiches, or on crackers (with ham and cream cheese!).
• Try creamy cucumber salad: slice cucumber and toss with plain yogurt, mayonnaise, fresh or dried dill (weed or seed) and salt and pepper. Add some of this week s Walla Walla onions, too!
• Try chilled cucumber soup: Blend cucumbers with plain yogurt, a pinch of fresh mint, basil and salt and pepper. Add some seeded jalapeno into the blender too if you want some heat.
• Finely chop fresh slices and mix with yogurt, cumin, coriander, pepper, and salt to make Indian cucumber raita.
• Cucumber juice is a very good, healthy drink.

 
SCALLIONS
Scallions are great additions to so many recipes, adding a crisp blast of flavor to salads or hot dishes. Also known as green onions, scallions are mild in flavor and taste great raw when used as a garnish for dips, soups, salads and other dishes. They should be stored whole in the fridge until you are ready to use them.

Did you know?
• This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol.
• It is also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.

Storage:
Wrap unwashed scallions in a damp towel or in plastic wrap and keep in the crisper drawer for several days.

Prep:
Rinse well.

Cooking tips:
Scallions may be cooked or used raw in salads or garnishes to provide flavor and/or color. Scallions and onions are flavor enhancers - use liberally! Scallions cook beautifully when grilled or roasted. Simply cover in extra virgin olive oil and cook until browned and tender, turning to cook evenly (5-10 min on a hot grill or 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven). Finish them off with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper and the juice of a lemon or lime.
BASIL
Basil is another of summer’s great treats. But treat is carefully as it is delicate and can’t stand being refrigerated.

Did you know?
• Basil leaves contains many health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
• Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron, contains 3.17 mg/100 g of fresh leaves (about 26% of RDA).
• Basil contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process.

Storage:
Keep unwashed leaves bunched with stems in a glass of water on your counter. Do not refrigerate or leaves will turn brown.

How to use:
Rinse leaves in the sink and dry. Tasty in salads, on pizzas (added fresh after the pizza comes out of the oven), or in pesto. Add to your tomato sauces, on pasta or in a caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt.
CILANTRO
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a tasty finish to many Mexican and Indian dishes.

Did you know?
• Relief for stomach gas, prevention of flatulence and an overall digestive aid
• Helps reduce feelings of nausea
• A source of iron, magnesium, and is helpful in fighting anemia
• Disinfects and helps detoxify the body
• Acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
• Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar

Storage:
Keep unwashed cilantro wrapped in your refrigerator. Do not wash the herb until you are ready to use it since excess moisture will turn the leaves to green slime during storage.

To freeze:
To freeze, place a small amount dry cilantro leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When frozen, gather into a zip-top bag, returning to the freezer immediately. Use within 6 months. Do not thaw before using.

RECIPE & VIDEO
How to Make Guacamole
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD3hFP0AYI8
 
DILL
Dill looks similar to fennel but tastes unique. It's commonly used in Europe, especially coastal regions. In order to keep the fragrance and aromatic flavor intact, dill is generally added just before eating.

Did you know?
• Dill weed contains numerous plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
• This popular herb contains no cholesterol and low in calories. However, it is contains many anti-oxidants, vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine etc, and dietary fibers which help to control blood cholesterol levels.

Storage:
Keep unwashed dill with stems in a glass of water on your counter.

How to Use:
Dill goes well with all kinds of fish, pickles, mustard and root vegetables.
ROMAINE LETTUCE 
When looking for foods that will stimulate fat loss, romaine lettuce nutrition facts are just what you want to see: no fat and cholesterol, with a moderate fiber and protein content. Romaine is the classic lettuce of choice for Caesar salads. It matches well with: anchovies, blue cheese, chives, garlic, lemon, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pepper.

Did you know?
• The vitamin C and beta-carotene content provides many heart health benefits of romaine lettuce, including preventing the oxidation of cholesterol, which can reduce risk of stroke and heart attack.
• The folic acid found in romaine lettuce helps keep blood vessels healthy and clear, which also reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
• The potassium helps lower high blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease.
• Fiber also contributes to the heart health benefits of romaine lettuce, by removing bile salts, which requires cholesterol, thereby lowering high cholesterol as well.
• Another health benefit of romaine lettuce provided by potassium is improved muscle strength.

Storage:
Keep unwashed lettuces in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Prep:
Tear off leaves of the lettuce head and rinse in a water bath, allowing grit to fall to the bottom. Dry in a towel or spin dry.

How to use:
• Add a few romaine lettuce leaves to sandwiches for a crunch and an extra dose of fiber.
• Combine romaine lettuce, tomatoes, whole wheat croutons, sliced onion and top with a lemon-lime vinaigrette.
• Combine romaine lettuce, chopped watermelon, kiwi and crumbled feta for a salad.
• Add steak to romaine lettuce salad for entrée salad.
• Instead of taco shells use romaine lettuce leaves for a low calorie alternative.
MAGENTA LETTUCE
Batavian type with red tinged leaves and a crispy green heart. This variety has been a favorite for many gardeners. Excellent shelf life in the cooler and at market. Magenta Lettuce is midway between a crisphead and leaf lettuce.
NEVADA LETTUCE
Glossy and beautifully ruffled leaves with a satisfying combination of crunchy texture and buttery smoothness.
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