Archive for July, 2013

Newsletter for July 23 – July 29 (Cucumber Salad, Creamy Cucumber Soup)

We have corn at last this week, as well as more blueberries, lettuce, basil, and cucumbers. This would be a great week to try a refreshing cucumber salad, with or without fresh basil. We probably won’t have enough beans or zucchini to give out this week – the heat cooked one of the bean fields, and the zucchini has slowed down for the moment – but both of these items will be back. Peppers will be here soon too, as well as cilantro and, in a few weeks, tomatoes!

Small Shares:

1 pint blueberries (can be replaced with PYO voucher) ($4.50)

6 ears corn ($3.50)

1 head lettuce ($2)

2 cucumbers ($1.40)

1 bunch basil (or 1 extra cucumber) ($0.60 – $1.50)

Choose 3 options: ($9)

Cabbage

$3 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs. summer squash

1 large bunch kale

1 lb. pickling cucumbers (possibly)

1 extra head of lettuce

Surprise option (may be: beets, turnips, large bunch of basil, or chard)

Total retail value: $21 – $21.90

arge Shares:

2 pints blueberries (can be replaced with PYO vouchers) ($9)

8 ears corn ($4.65)

1 head lettuce ($2)

2 cucumbers ($1.40)

1 bunch basil (or 1 extra cucumber) ($0.6 -$1.50)

1 bunch radishes (or 1 extra head lettuce) ($2)

Choose 4 options: ($12)

Cabbage

$3 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs. summer squash

1 large bunch kale

1 lb. pickling cucumbers (possibly)

1 extra head of lettuce

Surprise option (may be: beets, turnips, large bunch of basil, or chard)

Total retail value: $31.65 – $32.55

ingle Shares:

1 pint blueberries (can be replaced with PYO voucher) ($4.50)

4 ears corn ($2.40)

1 head lettuce ($2)

1 cucumber ($0.60)

1 bunch basil (or 1 extra cucumber) ($0.60-$1.50)

Choose 2 options: ($6)

Cabbage

$3 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs. summer squash

1 large bunch kale

1 lb. pickling cucumbers (possibly)

1 extra head of lettuce

Surprise option (may be: beets, turnips, large bunch of basil, or chard)

Total retail value: $16.10 – $17

Bread and Eggs

This week the bread is Red Hen’s Crossett Hill Round, a large and hearty bread made entirely with local wheat and rye. It’s especially good with sharp cheese. This is also an egg week.

Berry picking

Strawberry picking is over, but there is still great blueberry picking, and there will be for a while. The summer raspberries have slowed down but are still available to pick, and we will have more raspberry picking in the fall. There is a $3 PYO voucher available as an option this week, and you are welcome to ask to replace the picked berries with more vouchers so you can pick your own! It doesn’t take long at all to pick a pint, or even a quart, and now that the days have cooled off and there aren’t quite so many mosquitos, the picking is much more enjoyable!

urprise options

It’s not always possible to predict what we will have from day to day, and if we will have enough of certain items to give to everyone. This week, for instance, I’m not sure if there will be enough pickling cukes, chard, beets, and turnips. That having been said, I will do my best to make sure at least two of these are available as options every pick-up day. There might be other “surprise” options as well. If you have your heart set on something and you don’t see it out, please feel free to ask – I won’t always be able to get it for you, but sometimes I will!

Cucumbers

The key to a good cucumber salad is to make it (or at least dress it) right before serving. If you do this there is no need to mess around salting or draining your cucumbers. Just toss a couple peeled and sliced cukes with about 1 tbsp. rice vinegar mixed with half a teaspoon sugar. You can add torn basil or fresh dill if you’d like, and then season with salt and pepper and serve. It’s the easiest and most refreshing salad imaginable.

Creamy Cucumber Soup

If you have a bit of time on your hands and want to try something different with your cucumbers, here’s a great soup from the Eating Well website. I think it’s especially good chilled.

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 cups peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumbers, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 1 to 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Add 3 3/4 cups cucumber slices, broth, salt, pepper and cayenne; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the cucumbers are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.

Transfer the soup to a blender. Add avocado and parsley; blend on low speed until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Pour into a serving bowl and stir in yogurt. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup cucumber slices. Serve the soup warm or refrigerate and serve it chilled. Just before serving, garnish with the chopped cucumber and more chopped parsley, if desired.

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Newsletter for July 16 – July 22 (Easy Peanut Kale Salad)

The one good thing about all the rain this spring and summer is that it’s made for a fantastic blueberry crop! Everyone gets blueberries this week, and you can also choose to take PYO voucher instead of your picked berries and/or as an option. The picking is great at both locations, and the berries are delicious. I made a mistake in the newsletter last week – the PYO blueberry price is actually $2.75 a lb. A pint works out to about $2, and a quart to about $4.

I’m also happy to say that the greens are starting to really take off, so everyone gets lettuce and fresh basil this week. We also have kale as an option, and the chard is finally starting to grow now that the fields have dried out. The drier fields also mean that we were able to plant corn late last week, so we should have corn right up until October. Our first few corn fields were really hurt by the rain, so there is no corn this week, but we should have some in the next few weeks. You can also look forward to potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and more; things are really looking up!

Small Share:

1 pint blueberries ($4.50)

1 head lettuce ($2)

2 cucumbers ($1.60)

1.3 lbs. string beans (will be either green or a green & yellow mix) ($4)

1 small bunch basil or 1 extra cucumber ($0.60-$1.5)

Pennsylvania peach coupon

Choose 3 options ($9)

1 PYO berry voucher

1 bunch kale

1.5 lbs. zucchini

1.5 lbs. summer squash

Surprise options (may include the following: ½ pint raspberries, salad turnips, broccoli, napa cabbage, regular cabbage, pickling cucumbers, extra beans).

Total retail value: $21.40-22.50

Large Share:

2 pints blueberries ($9)

2 heads lettuce ($4)

2 cucumbers ($1.60)

1.3 lbs. string beans (will be either green or a green & yellow mix) ($4)

1 small bunch basil or 1 extra cucumber ($0.60-$1.5)

Pennsylvania peach coupon

Choose 4 options ($12)

1 PYO berry voucher

1 bunch kale

1.5 lbs zucchini

1.5 lbs summer squash

Surprise options (may include the following: ½ pint raspberries, salad turnips, broccoli, napa cabbage, regular cabbage, pickling cucumbers, extra beans).

Total retail value: $31.10 – $32

Single Share:

1 pint blueberries ($4.50)

1 head lettuce ($2)

1 bunch basil OR 2 cucumbers ($1.50)

3/4 lbs. string beans (will be either green or a green & yellow mix) ($2.50)

Pennsylvania peach coupon

Choose 2 options ($6)

PYO berry voucher

1 bunch kale

1.5 lbs. zucchini

1.5 lbs. summer squash

Surprise options (may include the following: ½ pint raspberries, salad turnips, broccoli, napa cabbage, regular cabbage, pickling cucumbers, extra beans).

Total retail value: $16.50

Bread

The bread this week is O Bread’s light rye. This is a wonderful, mild rye bread. Perfect for sandwiches!

Kale

If you’re not a fan of kale, we’ll always have some option for you to take instead if you don’t want it. If you’re new to kale and you want to give it a try, though, kale salad is a great place to start – especially in the heat of July!

My favorite kale salad consists of clean, chopped kale (stems removed), lemon juice, olive oil, a little bit of honey, salt & pepper, and walnuts and dried cherries or cranberries. You can also add some crumbled gorgonzola if you want. All you do is put the chopped kale and about 2 tbsp. oil, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. honey, and salt and pepper to taste to a large bowl. Then massage the dressing into the kale with your hands for a few minutes. After that just toss with the chopped walnuts and dried fruit. So healthy and very refreshing!

Here’s a very different (but equally delicious) sort of Kale salad created by Kathy Patalsky from the “Happy. Healthy. Life” blog:

Easy Peanut Kale Salad vegan, makes 2-3 cups

4 cups kale, chopped, stems removed (about one large bunch) 1 heaping Tbsp. peanut butter (or try almond butter too!) 2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 2 tsp. brown rice syrup fine black pepper to taste 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

optional for a spicy accent: 1/2 tsp. chopped ginger a few dashes cayenne 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic

1.     Add all ingredients to a large soup pot. Toss well. 2. Cover with lid and turn heat to high. Wait until the small amount of liquid starts to boil. 3. Turn off heat. Shake pot a few times with lid on to distribute heat and steam. Remove lid and toss kale well. Steam will have wilted the kale just enough to be tender. 4. Transfer kale to serving bowl. Serve warm or chill in fridge until ready to serve.

More Recipes

A CSA member sent me this link for Mama Ghannouj (Baba Ghannouj made with grilled zucchini): http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-mama-ghannouj

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Newsletter for July 9 – July 15 (Pasta with Peas, Yellow Squash, and Basil)

What a summer this has been so far! We might have to make a few changes to the share this week due to this awful rain, but on the whole it will remain the same. We will definitely have plenty of shell peas, snow peas, summer squash, zucchini, and PYO vouchers, so please feel free to ask to replace anything you don’t want with any of these items. The blueberry and raspberry picking, if you can find a dry hour or so, is great, although you want to wear boots or flip-flops if picking blueberries in Colchester, and bring bug spray no matter where you pick! PYO raspberries are still $4.50 a pint, and blueberries are $2.55 a pound this year, which means a pint is right around $2.

Small Share:

1 pint raspberries or 1 PYO voucher ($5.50-$6)

1 lb. broccoli ($2.50)

1.5 lbs. summer squash or zucchini or a mix ($3.50)

2/3 lb. snow peas ($3.50)

1 lb. shell peas ($4)

Choose 1 of the following options ($2.50 – $3):

1 pint strawberries

Surprise option (will change day to day. Might be: Kale, blueberries, beans, garlic scapes)

Total retail value: $21.50 – $22.50

Large Share:

1 pint raspberries or 1 $5.50 PYO voucher ($5.50-$6)

1 pint strawberries (might be 1/2 pint blueberries later in the week) ($2.75)

1.5 lb. broccoli ($3.75)

2 lbs. summer squash or zucchini or a mix ($5)

1.5 lb. snow peas ($3.5)

1 lb. shell peas ($4)

1 head lettuce ($2)

1 bunch fresh basil ($1.5)

Choose 1 of the following options ($2.50 – $3):

1 pint strawberries

Surprise option (will change day to day. Might be: Kale, blueberries, beans, garlic scapes)

Total retail value: $30.75 – $31.50

Single Share:

1/2 pint raspberries or 1 $3 PYO voucher ($3)

1.5 lbs. summer squash or zucchini or a mix ($3.50)

2/3 lb. snow peas ($3.50)

1 lb. shell peas ($4)

Choose 1 of the following options ($2.50 – $3):

1 pint strawberries

Surprise option (will change day to day. Might be: Kale, basil, blueberries, beans, garlic scapes)

Total retail value: $16.50 – $17

Bread

The bread this week is La Panciata’s Tuscano, classic Italian bread. It’s also an egg week!

Summer Squash and Zucchini

I feel awful that I promised unlimited squash options last week and then was unable to offer more than 3 squash per CSA member on some of the pick-up days due to much lower than anticipated supply. This week, I promise, there is plenty of squash. Please feel free to ask to substitute extra for any item you don’t want. The squash casserole from last week is delicious, and this is the week to try it if you didn’t get enough squash last week…. (https://paulmazzascsa.com/2013/07/02/july-2-july-8-summer-squash-casserole/)

Greens and Herbs

Unlike some of our other greens and herbs, which were flooded by the Winooski river on Friday and are therefore unusable, the kale and first planting of basil are in our upper field and are doing well. There’s not enough to give to everyone this week, but the members with large shares will get some and everyone else should next week. Our lettuce, which is growing slowly but steadily in the water-saturated soil near the kale and basil, should (finally!) be ready next week as well. For some reason our chard has done much worse than the other greens in this weather, but I haven’t given up hope on that, either.

Peas

Everyone gets shell peas this week. Shell peas have to be shelled before they are eaten (unlike a snow pea or a sugar snap pea, which should be eaten pod and all). They are sweet and delicious, but should be eaten as soon as possible, since the sugars turn to starch quickly. These peas are also breaking down fast due to all of the rain, so if you don’t eat them right away make sure you leave the plastic bag open (don’t tie it!) so the peas can breath and condensation doesn’t form inside the bag, causing the peas to break down. This is also a good rule of thumb for beans, which we should have very soon, if we don’t this week!

Gemelli with Peas, Yellow Squash, and Basil

This easy recipe (from Martha Stewart) makes a great quick dinner. You can use any type of short pasta that you have on hand (I used small shells), and add halved snow peas when you add the other vegetables. You can also substitute zucchini for the summer squash, although the dish won’t be as pretty. The basil is delicious but not essential, and if you have chives or parsley that would work too. I also found that two tbsp. of butter works fine, although I’m sure it tastes better with all four!

 

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 ounces gemelli or other short pasta
  • 3 medium yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 10 oz. frozen peas (OR 1 lb. fresh peas, shelled, plus 1/3 lb. snow peas, halved)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Directions

1.   Step 1

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than al dente. Add squash and peas; cook until squash is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta mixture, and return to pot.

2.   Step 2

To mixture in pot, add butter, lemon juice, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. If needed, add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Stir in basil, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan; serve immediately.

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July 2 – July 8 (Summer Squash Casserole)

Happy Fourth of July week! Strawberries, peas, and squash are the major items this week. It’s looking like it will heat up a bit and perhaps stop raining constantly later in the week, which is great for the berries and veggies, but not so great for cooking! If you want to avoid heating up your kitchen remember that zucchini and summer squash are fantastic on the grill, and snow peas are a great snack raw or on a salad. Ice cream with sliced local strawberries also requires no cooking, and makes a great Fourth of July dessert!

Small Share:

1 quart strawberries or 1 $5.50   PYO voucher ($5.50)

1 lb. shelling peas or 4/5 lb. snow peas ($4)

1 bunch fresh chives or 1 large zucchini ($1.50)

Choose 3 options ($7.50 -$10.50)

1.3 lbs. zucchini

1.3 lbs. summer squash

1 pint strawberries

1 $3.5 PYO voucher

1.4 lbs. rhubarb

At least 2 of the following options will also be available, but they will vary from day to day:

1 large bunch scallions (possibly)

1 bunch bok choy (possibly)

1 pint snow peas (possibly)

1 bunch kohlrabi (possibly)

1 bunch young salad turnips with greens (possibly)

Total retail value: $18.50 – $21.50

Large Share

2 quarts strawberries or 2 $5.50 PYO vouchers ($11)

1 lb. shelling peas or 4/5 lb. snow peas ($4)

1 bunch fresh chives or 1 large zucchini ($1.50)

1 bunch young kale (may be red or green) OR 2 zucchini ($2)

Choose 4 options ($10 -$14)

1.3 lbs. zucchini

1.3 lbs. summer squash

1 pint strawberries

1 $3 PYO voucher

1.4 lbs. rhubarb

At least 2 of the following options will also be out, but they will vary from day to day:

1 large bunch scallions (possibly)

1 bunch bok choy (possibly)

1 pint snow peas (possibly)

1 bunch kohlrabi (possibly)

1 bunch young salad turnips with greens (possibly)

Total retail value: $28.50 – $32.50

Single Share

1 pint strawberries or 1 $3 PYO voucher ($3)

1 lb. shelling peas or 3/4 lb. snow peas ($4)

1 bunch fresh chives or 1 large zucchini ($1.5)

Choose 2 options ($5-$7)

(Note — you can split some options in half if you’d like. For instance, you could take 3/4 lb. of summer squash and 3/4 lb. of rhubarb and call it 1 option)

1.3 lbs. zucchini

1.3 lbs. summer squash

1 pint strawberries

1 $3 PYO voucher

1.4 lbs. rhubarb

At least 2 of the following options will also be out, but they will vary from day to day:

1 large bunch scallions (possibly)

1 bunch bok choy (possibly)

1 pint snow peas (possibly)

1 bunch kohlrabi (possibly)

1 bunch young salad turnips with greens (possibly)

Total retail value: $13.50 – $15.50

Bread

The bread this week is Mad River Grain. My favorite Red Hen Bread, Mad River Grain is a chewy and flavorful and lasts longer than most of the other Red Hen Breads.

Peas

As I mentioned on Sunday, our second planting of peas is not doing so well due to the rain, so this might be it for the peas. We will try to offer everyone a choice between snow peas (the whole pod is edible – great in stir-fries or raw) and shell peas (very sweet – you just eat the pea, not the pod). We might not have enough shell peas to do this, though, so there is a chance that some days everyone will get snow peas. To prepare snow peas just pull off the ends and steam or stir-fry for just a few minutes, until they’re bright green and crisp-tender. My favorite way to cook them is to just sauté them in a large skillet for a few minute in butter. Yum!

Summer Squash and Zucchini

Until I started working at the farm I never really liked summer squash or zucchini. I had only had steamed squash, and I thought it was just kind of mushy and flavorless. Over the past 7 years, though, summer squash has become one of my favorite vegetables. Sliced into thin rounds and browed in butter and topped with pecorino cheese during the last few minutes of cooking, it’s one of the sweetest, most delicious things imaginable. I also love it cut lengthwise, brushed with olive oil, and grilled. Squash casseroles are also fantastic when done right. The one below is full of flavor and perfect for early in the summer (later, when tomatoes are in season, it’s fun to include these as well).

Provencal-Style Summer Squash Casserole

(From The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thin (or substitute white and light green parts of 8 scallions)

Pinch red pepper flakes

Salt

4 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup white wine

½ cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried

Pepper

2 medium summer squash (1 lb.), ends removed and sliced ¼ inch thick

2 medium zucchini (1 lb.), ends removed and sliced 1.4 inch thick

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion (or scallions), pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is well browned around the edges, about 10 minutes. Spread the onions evenly over the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.

Add the remaining tablespoon oil and the garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the wine, broth, and thyme, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Shingle the squash and zucchini over the onion. Pour the broth mixture evenly over the top. Bake until the squash has softened and is just beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.

You can also substitute minced fresh oregano and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest for the thyme and sprinkle ½ cup feta over squash before baking for a feta and lemon version of this casserole.

Also – Check out this recipe for savory zucchini bread from the Yankee Kitchen Ninja Blog:

http://yankee-kitchen-ninja.blogspot.com/2012/07/summer-harvest-zucchini-bread-recipe.html

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