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Summer Share 2016 - Week 8 - Middle Way Farm
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Summer Share
Weekly Newsletter 

Week 8
July 17, 2016
What You Will Find in This Newsletter
  1. Important Notes
  2. What's in the Share?
  3. Place Your Custom Order
  4. Farmer Reflection
  5. What to Do With Your Share
  6. Recipe of the Week
  7. Photo of the Week
Important Notes
Take the Mid-Season Survey!
EVERY OTHER WEEK SHARES WILL BE THIS WEEK
CUSTOM SHARE MEMBERS: 
MAKE SURE TO FULLY SUBMIT ORDERS, GET CONFIRMATION E-MAIL

Recently I've had a few members show up to pick up their shares and I did not have them packed because I did not have their order. Make sure to complete your order by completely checking out. Your order is not submitted unless you receive a confirmation e-mail. That let's you know that I got your order on my end. Every so often there is a member who thinks they have placed an order but didn't fully checkout and then are disappointed when there is no share packed for them, so be wary of that!
STANDARD SHARE MEMBERS: 
E-MAIL IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PLACE A CUSTOM ORDER

I don't keep the standard share member online store updated (there just aren't enough members ordering to make it worth my time), so if you want to place a custom order, don't use your the Small Farm Central log-in. Please e-mail me instead and I'll manually input your order on my end. 
PICK YOUR OWN AT BERRY PATCH FARM

Berry Patch Farm in Nevada, the source of the fruit share, offers pick your own for all the fruit it sells. Right now, they are in the midst of a banner blueberry year, with loads of big, beautiful blueberries that are very easy to pick. They currently  have expanded hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 to 7:00. Saturday 8:00-1:00. Its about an hour drive from Grinnell. They also  have currants available. Containers are furnished, free admission. No pets allowed. Visit their website berrypatchfarm.com for up to date picking conditions and availability. 

What's in the Standard Share
(With Custom Order Options and Prices)


Broccoli -  1 pound ($4/pound or 2 for $7)
Beets, Greentop - 1 bunch  ($3/bunch or 2 for $5)
Cabbage - 1 green & 1 savoy ($2.50 each or 2 for $4)
Carrots, Greentop - 2 bunches ($3/bunch or 2 for $5)
Cucumber - 1 cucumber (Standard Share Only)
Eggplant, Japanese -
1 eggplant ($2/eggplant or 3 for $5)
Fresh Garlic - 1 bulb ($1.50/bulb)
Fresh Onions- 1 pound ($2.50/pound)
New Potatoes, Yukon Gold -  1 quart (~1.75 lb) ($4/quart)
Pepper, Green - 1-2 peppers ($1/pepper)
Zucchini - 1 zucchini (Standard Share Only)
 
Also Available for Custom Order
Basil, (Choose Italian, cinnamon, lemon, or Thai) - 1.5 oz. pint ($2.50/pint or 2 for $4)
Beets, Small Pickling- $3/quart (~1.33 lb)
Cabbage, Napa - 1 large or 2 small heads ($2.50/head or 2 for $4)
Green Beans - 1 pint - $3
Fresh Candy Onions- $2.50/bunch or 2 for $4
Kale, Lacinato - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Kale, Red Curly - $2/ bunch or 3 for $5
Kale, Green Curly - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Kohlrabi - Choose purple or green. $1/bulb or 3 for $2.50
Lettuce Mix - $4/6 oz. bag or 2 for $7
Parsley - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
New Potatoes, Purple, Red Gold, or Mixed -  1 quart (~1.75 lb) ($4/quart or 2 for $7)
Turnips, Scarlet $2/pound or 3 pounds for $5

All annual & perennial herbs and annual vegetable plants are $2 each

Fruit Share

Blueberries - 1 quart 

Possibilities for Next Week
Arugula and baby kale will be available. Green beans will likely be in the standard share next week as the second planting reaches its peak. The leeks are looking great and will be in the share soon. Will probably take a week off from potatoes in the standard share next week. 
Place Your Custom Order
Farmer Reflection

The return of regular rains is a relief from earlier in the season, although it certainly complicates getting things done in the field. I have been planting fall carrots in small batches between rains when the soil is dry enough. The first batch germinated very well, the second batch is just about to germinate, and the third batch just went in the ground last night before we received another inch of rain. I have one more round of carrots to plant before moving onto fall beets, then turnips and radishes. I am planting in order of how long each crop takes to mature, prioritizing the carrots both because they take the longest and are also the most valuable and sought after. 

The Japanese eggplant look great right now and I'm happy to offer them for custom order. The Italian eggplant still need some time to set fruit but also look good. Peppers are thriving as well and are available for custom order.  The purple peppers are the same as green peppers. Both varieties will mature later in the season (if left on the plant) into orange/red peppers. Cucumber and zucchini continue to be limited and so remain standard share only. Unfortunately these plantings are much more sparse than is ideal. By the end of this week we will be planting a second round of cucumbers and zucchini that will begin producing in late August/early September. My hope is that this second planting will provide much more abundantly, so please bear with me if the supply of these two veggies is limited until then. Tomatoes are coming along nicely but a little behind where I would like them to be by this point in the season. Cherry tomatoes will probably be first to mature, followed closely by juliets (mini-romas) and then slicers. 

We'll be taking a rare week off from lettuce in the standard share. By using shade cloth, I've been able to extend the lettuce season farther into the summer than usual, but I'm currently in between plantings. There is enough lettuce mix, however, to offer for the custom share. Standard share members should expect more lettuce next week. The spring broccoli continues to produce, although we are coming to the end of it. The summer broccoli is just about to start heading, so we may take a week off broccoli before starting up again. Despite weeds, the spring carrot planting has been abundant and very nice quality. Over the last two weeks, I felt the portion for carrots in the share, may have been a little small, so I am giving two bunches this week and as the carrots get larger we are working on making the bunch sizes bigger. Put these carrots together with the beets (plus onions, garlic, and parsley) and you've got the Recipes of the Week, a house favorite called beet burgers. The cabbage plantings have all done well and so I'm passing along the abundance to you with two heads of cabbage this week. Check out the Recipes of the Week and What To Do with Your Share section if you're stymied on preparing cabbage. 

If you have not already, please click the button at the top of the page to take the mid-season CSA survey. I'm particularly interested in the responses of standard share members, since I choose what goes in your box each week and would like to know what you think! Your honest feedback will help me determine how I craft the CSA share for the rest of the season and may even affect my fall planting decisions in the upcoming weeks. I strive to make the CSA share responsive to members, not only in offering a fully customizable share but also in making sure that the standard share meets your expectations for value, quantity, variety, etc. 

Your farmer, 

Jordan 
What to Do with Your Share

Beets  - Beets often seem to be a love it or hate it vegetable. Fortunately, I think a good portion of the people who think they hate beets have only had them pickled or boiled. There are of course of some people who truly just don't like the flavor of beets, but until you've had them roasted I don't think that you've given beets a fair shot. 

Preparation & Cooking:  Trim off the leaves just above the root. Beet greens are wonderful themselves, probably my favorite cooking green. They can be boiled, steamed, or sauted. They do not keep well, so use them as soon as possible. I learned the technique below from chef Kamal at Relish and its now my preferred way to prepare beets. Trim off leaves and scrub beets clean but otherwise keep them whole. Put as many beets as you want to prepare in an all-metal stockpot with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring to boil on moderate heat with the cover on. As soon as the water boils, put the entire stockpot in the oven, covered. The beets will steam in the pot over the next half hour to one hour, depending on the size of the beets and the number in the pot. There is no risk of burning the beets and little risk of overcooking them, so this is a great way to prepare beets for kitchen multi-taskers like me. Remove from the oven once beets can be easily pierced with a fork. Leave out to cool or run under cold water if you want to use them immediately. The skins with slip easily off the cooked beets and you can use these cooked beets themselves or use in other recipes calling for beets. I love them sliced in a salad with hard boiled eggs. They can also be stored immediately with the skins on and pulled out of the fridge, peeled, and chopped as needed. 

Storage: Keep greens in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity and use within a few days. Roots should also be kept in a sealed plastic bag but can keep for well over a month. I have kept unwashed beets in cold storage from October to June and could have kept them longer if I hadn't sold them all! 

Broccoli There are two types of broccoli you may receive in your share. One would be the lighter green colored heads from the variety that has been showing heat stress.  I think the flavor is still fine, but its appearance contrasts with the other type of broccoli, which has the more typical dark green "fluffy" heads.

Preparation & Cooking:  Broccoli comes clean and "ready to eat", sitting high atop a plant away from the soil. However, with organic broccoli you may encounter the occasional insect that has hidden inside the head. I spray a non toxic organic pesticide for cabbage loopers (caterpillars of cabbage moths), but you may find one in there if their population has built up enough. There is also a brown beetle that appears harmless to the broccoli but is a common site crawling around atop heads. To make sure your heads are insect free, just soak them in a bowl of salted water for 15 minutes. Any insects will float to the top. While many steam or boil broccoli, I always suggest roasting it. 

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Use within a week, broccoli does not store well. 

Cabbage - Like beets, cabbage often gets a bad rap, largely because of how it is prepared. Most people have experienced overcooked cabbage that has been boiled or stewed into bad tasting mush. Fresh cabbage that has not been dehydrating in storage, properly prepared, is something else entirely. The savoy cabbage is the crinkly leafed one. Its known for being particularly sweet and tender when compared to a green cabbage and good for use raw as a wrap or garnish. 

Preparation & Cooking:  The key with cabbage, as any vegetable, is to not overcook it! Lightly sauted cabbage, just enough to soften and brighten, is excellent. You should remove the cabbage from heat before its color begins to dull. Roasted cabbage is also great if little known way of preparing cabbage. Then there are of course cabbage salads and coleslaw.To prep cabbage, first remove the leathery, damaged outer leaves. Slice the cabbage in halve and cut out the pithy core at the bottom by the stem. You can leave cabbage halves intact for roasting or slice thinly across the cabbage for other recipes. Halves, quarters, or sliced cabbage can be refrigerated in a sealed plastic container for a week or more if you can't use the whole cabbage at once. See the Recipes of the Week for a really spectacularly delicious cabbage dish. If you have a glut of cabbage, you can always make sauerkraut, which is probably the easiest fermented food to make. You just need cabbage, salt, your fist, a big glass jar, a towel, and a few weeks! 

Storage: Keep uncut cabbage in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer. It will store for several weeks or more. If the outer layers go bad, you can usually peel them away to find good leaves underneath. Spring grown varieties are not meant for long-term (months) storage. The fall cabbage varieties, which will appear in the final summer shares and the fall share, are specifically meant for long-term storage through the winter months. 


Carrots While smaller and more slender than you might be used to, these carrots are young and full of flavor. I have increased the bunch size from previous weeks. 

Preparation & Cooking:  Carrot greens can either be discarded or saved and used similar to parsley as a fresh herb. I have never tried it, but several customers have told me they enjoy carrot greens in smoothies and even as pesto. Carrots are wonderful raw or cooked. No need to peel them - a good scrub with a bristle brush will do to remove any remaining dirt. 

Storage:   Detach greens from roots and keep each in separate sealed plastic bags in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Use greens within a week or so. Roots can keep for well over a month. These carrots are not a storage variety, but will still hold up very well in fridge. 

Fresh Garlic Garlic harvest is over but the garlic is not fully dried yet. Fresh garlic is a bulb that has not been cured (dried) for long term storage. After the garlic has had a chance to cure in the heat of the greenhouse for a little bit longer then it will be called cured garlic that will keep into the fall and winter.  

Preparation & Cooking: Fresh garlic is wonderful because it has moist skins that slip right off and a powerful aroma. Use it just like you would regular cured garlic. Its wonderful roasted as a whole bulb as well. 

Storage: Keep this garlic on the counter, not in a sealed container. It is still a little wet and may mold if not given good air circulation. The fridge is also fine but unnecessary. It will continue to dry the longer you keep it so there is no rush to use it. 

Fresh White Onions  These onions are full sized but still fresh (not cured or dried). 

Preparation & Cooking:  I quickly clean and peel onions by slicing off the root and the top and cutting them in half, then taking off the top layer of skin. They are then ready to be sliced into half rings or diced. 

Storage: Like the garlic, you can keep these onions on the counter, but not a sealed container. They are still wet and may mold if not given good air circulation. The fridge is also fine but not necessary. The onions will continue to dry the longer you keep them so there is no rush to use them. 

Japanese Eggplant These eggplant are long and slender, either dark purple or pink skinned. They have some nice advantages to globe, Italian eggplants. 

Preparation & Cooking:  Japanese eggplant's thin skin does not need to be peeled like a globe eggplant. Its also milder and less bitter than other varieties, but also spongier, so it soaks up marinades (but also frying oil) more readily. There are many ways to cook it — try grilling, sautéing or baking thin slices coated lightly in oil. We particularly like roasting slices of eggplant until they are very tender and just a little crisp, then tossing in soy sauce or salt. Delicious! Eggplant picked at the right stage should have few or no seeds inside and will not be bitter. However, in order to ensure that there is no residual bitterness, you can slice eggplant up, coat in salt, and leave in a colander for 15 minutes or so. The eggplant will begin to "weep". You can then rinse the salt and liquid that has weeped off the eggplant. 

Storage: Keep in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer set on high humidity. Use within a week, while the eggplant is still relatively firm. It will begin to shrivel and discolor when it gets too old. 

New Potatoes, Yukon Gold - Yukon Gold potatoes are attractive, smooth, potatoes with thin yellow skin, yellow flesh, and excellent flavor. They lend themselves well to any method of potato preparation. If you like your fried potatoes golden brown, Yukon Gold will almost turn that color by themselves. Yukon Gold is also favored by top chefs for making traditional mashed potatoes, the ones that are made from the all American Russet potato. However, with Yukon Gold, your mashed potatoes are golden and beautiful to both the eye and the taste.

Preparation & Cooking:  New potatoes have delicate skin that easily flakes off. You will notice some damage to the skins from handling them during harvest and packing. We may or may not wash them prior to delivery depending on how dirty they are and how delicate the skin is upon harvest. Later potatoes that have cured skins do not damage as easily and will always be washed prior to delivery. Scrub them gently under running water to remove soil when you are ready to use them (not sooner). New potatoes are more tender and sweet than cured potatoes and will cook faster. They can be steamed or boiled whole or sliced and pan fried (my favorite way). New potatoes are excellent for cold potato salads.

Storage: Unlike cured potatoes, which can stand being at room temperature for long periods of time, new potatoes should always be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and should be used within a few weeks. 

Recipes of the Week

Beet Burgers

There are any number of variations on beet burgers but this is the recipe that we have been using since 2009. Its a consistent hit when we serve it to guests. A food processor with a grating blade is all but essential for doing this recipe. We grated everything by hand once and that was enough! We love to make a big batches of theses and will freeze the cooked extras. 

Ingredients:

2 cups grated beets (about ¾ pound)
2 cups grated carrots (about ½ pound)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup gratedCheddar cheese
1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
½ cup grated onion (about 1 medium)
¼ cup oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Ground red pepper (cayenne), to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Generously grease a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Combine beets, carrots, rice, cheese, sunflower seeds, eggs, sesame seeds, onion, oil, flour, parsley, garlic, soy sauce, and red pepper in a LARGE bowl. Mix together thoroughly with your hands.
4. Form mixture into patties and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until firm and vegetables are cooked through.
 



Kenyan Curried Cabbage

Text from the Kayotic Kitchen blog, March 18, 2010: 

"This is one of my son’s favorites. Which is probably due to the really laid back flavors of this dish. The recipe is derived from an old Kenyan recipe that relied on heavy cream for a sauce. I toned it somewhat down and replaced the cream with a [lighter] sauce....Feel free to replace the sauce with heavy cream, though!" 


This is a simple, fragrant side dish that works wonders when served with steamed rice and grilled poultry or meat!

Ingredients:

1 small to medium cabbage head
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp salt
pepper

Directions:
  1. Remove unpretty outer leaves and slice the cabbage in 1 inch thick strips.
  2. Peel and slice a large onion.
  3. Peel and grate 2 medium carrots.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp butter and sauté the onion for 3 minutes before adding the shredded carrot and cabbage. Cook everything, over low heat, until the cabbage softens. This should take about 10 minutes. Stir now and then.
  5. Combine 2 tbsp flour with 1 tsp curry power and 3 tbsp milk. Stir until it’s a lump-free paste.
  6. Once the cabbage has softened, make room in the center and pour in the paste. Cook for a minute before pouring in 1/2 cup of milk, 1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt and lots of pepper. Stir well, pop the lid on and simmer for another 10 minutes.

"This is how to serve cabbage to people who don’t like cabbage, take my word for it. It’s a really laid back dish with a wonderful flavor."

Photo of the Week

Fall broccoli trial plants look lush and are ready to start heading out!
Copyright © 2016 Middle Way Farm, All rights reserved.


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