Monthly Archives: April 2012

What’s in the Box for April 24 – 27, 2012

This week’s box is a pure reflection of Spring:
  • asparagus
  • salad reds and greens
  • tender stem broccoli
  • bunching (spring) onions
  • Caribe potatoes
  • peas (Cascadia sugar snaps)
  • arugula
  • spinach
  • herbs: rosemary & oregano

–posted by Steven


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Newsletter for April 17 – 20, 2012

News from the Farm

Did I mention weeds?  I thought so.  I think we may actually be gaining on it.  Lately I’m doing the annual battle with Genista monspessulana (aka French broom):

One mature plant can produce 10,000 seeds per season.

The race is on – can I get them all pulled before the seeds are set?  Probably not….
What’s in the Box? (no picture)
  • salad reds and greens
  • chard
  • spinach
  • bunching (spring) onions
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • Caribe potatoes
  • peas – Cascadia (a sugar pod pea).  There may be some shelling peas as well.
  • herbs:  tbd
No Recipes this Week
At least for now – I’m just too far behind again!
–posted by Steven

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Newsletter for April 10 – 13, 2012

News from the Farm

Newly Added to the Farm:

  • Blueberries!  We have planted 6 blueberry bushes.  We will get the first fruit next year.
  • Blackberries & Raspberries!  We used to have a small patch, but it didn’t want to stay small, and so we had to pull it.  We now have a dozen new plants in pots that will get transplanted into a new bed on the ridge that Shaun has been working on.  Again, fruit next year (although there will probably be a couple of berries for us to nibble this summer).
  • Asparagus.  We have added 100 crowns of Jersey Knight (that’s the kind we already have) and 75 crowns of Purple Passion.  These will take 2 years before we have meaningful harvest, however.
  • Rhubarb!  These are on order, but we should be getting them any day, and we have a spot all picked out for them.  First harvest – next year.
Maybe, just maybe, we will have some apricots this year.  The tress have quite a bit of fruit, but the weather is not ideal for them, so it’s still a bit iffy.  However, it’s looking better than it has for several years.  We’ll keep you posted.
Lastly, we are trying mightily to keep up with the spring weeds, but it’s a real struggle.  We would certainly welcome anyone who would like to volunteer a few hours to help with the battle.  Any time, any day.
What’s in the Box? (no picture)
  • salad reds and greens (just a small amount)
  • collards
  • bunching (spring) onions
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • Caribe potatoes
  • snow peas OR sugar snap peas
  • herbs: spicy Greek oregano & English thyme
No Recipes this Week
At least for now – I’m just too far behind!
–posted by Steven

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This week’s box in picture

I thought I’d show you the way a couple of this week’s veggies arrived to the prep room.  The process is that they get harvested early in the morning, taken to the wash area, and then brought down to the prep room for weighing and bagging.

Here are today’s lettuces:

Photo Credit: S. Butler

And some of the beets:

Photo Credit: S. Butler

–posted by Steven

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Newsletter for April 3 – 6, 2012

News from the Farm

Photo Credit: L. Butler

Spring.  The flowers, the clichés, the weeds.  It is, nonetheless, impossible not to be moved by this spectacle.

On a more prosaic note, Linda has reported that we will have 65 varieties of peppers this year, and 92 varieties of tomatoes.  Really, she just can’t help herself.

What’s in the Box? (picture here)
  • salad reds and greens
  • kale
  • beets with tops
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • Desiree Caribe potatoes
  • dried Espelette* peppers
  • herbs: Italian flat-leaf parsley
* The actual name of this pepper is Piment d’Espelette, and it is from the Basque region of France.  The name is Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), which means that the French really don’t want you to use that name unless the product comes from the appropriate region in France.  You know, “California sparking wine”, not “champagne”.   So, I guess we could call these French Basque Peppers, but nobody would know what we were talking about, and Espelette seems to be the common term in these parts.    Trivia: a friend brought us a ristra of AOC Piment d’Espelette, and, all modesty aside, they weren’t nearly as good as what we have here.  They also much have been irradiated or something similar, as not a single seed would germinate.
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Recipes of the Week

First, here’s a couple of ideas of what to do with those Espelettes:

For pepper flakes:

Remove the stemtop.  You can also remove the placenta and seeds, especially if you want to take some of the heat away.  Crush using a rolling pin, mortar and pestle, blade-type coffee grinder, or blender – all depending on how fine you want it.  Caution – if you use a blender, watch out for the dust/fumes – it can really choke you.  We put a damp towel over the lid while we blend.

You can use this anywhere that calls for chile flakes.  Something we really like is to coat shrimp with the flakes and a little olive oil, and put them on the grill (they cook fast – so don’t overcook them).   You can also try them in this week’s recipe.

For pepper paste:

Put whole peppers in a sauce pan and cover with water.  Simmer until soft.  Drain, and remove seeds.  Mince or process with a food processor.  You can blend in olive oil, garlic, or any other seasoning you like.
You can use this paste as a rub for meat, fish, or poultry.  You can add it to soups or stews.  It’s quite versatile.
This week’s recipe is from food52.com.  Click on picture to see the source page.
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Broccoli Aglio Olio with “Gremolata” Breadcrumbs

Photo Credit: healthierkitchen

healthierkitchen‘s notes: I first had Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Broccoli on a roadtrip to Woodstock, NY with my older sister and her then boyfriend (later husband). I’ve loved it since. Looking back, that version was probably nothing special, but as a teenager trying out vegetarianism in a house of meat eaters, it was a symbol of adulthood and freedom that I could choose a new, and for my parents, radical way of eating….

Serves 4 as a main course, more as a side dish

Ingredients

for the broccoli:

  • 3/4 pounds spaghetti, whole wheat or semolina, both work fine
  • 1 large bunch broccoli, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus two tablespoons
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 fat anchovy fillets
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • salt, to taste

for the “gremolata” bread crumbs:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs, I use whole wheat

Procedure

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the spaghetti.
  • Separate broccoli into florets and place on half sheet pan. Drizzle two tablespoons olive oil over top and toss to coat. Sprinkle a little kosher or sea salt over top. Roast in oven for 15 – 20 minutes. You want them to cook through and brown a little. Throw the little tiny florets and bits of broccoli into the pan as well – they will crisp up a bit and provide a nice crunch.
  • Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook to “al dente” according to directions on the package.
  • Heat a high sided saute pan, with enough room for the whole recipe, over medium to medium-low heat. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil and then the 5 cloves of garlic. Let the garlic soften and brown a little, but not burn. Add the anchovies and stir until the anchovies dissolve. Add the Aleppo pepper and a sprinkle of salt. Once everything is mixed, leave the burner on very low to keep this warm.
  • Heat up a small skillet over medium heat and add one tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and let it soften and lightly brown. Add the lemon zest and parsley, and then the bread crumbs and mix well. Lower burner to medium-low and let the bread crumb mixture toast lightly.
  • Once the broccoli is well roasted, add it to the pan with the garlic and anchovy. Mix well to coat.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the pan and toss well. If the mixture seems dry, add some of the pasta water a few splashes at a time.
  • Add about 3/4 of the bread crumb mixture to the pan and mix well.
  • Once the pasta mixture is in a serving dish, sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs over top.
–posted by Steven

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