Good Eats Newsletter - June 22nd, 2011

Welcome to Good Eats Summer Share!
Your first pick-up is tomorrow (Wednesday, June 22).

I write the weekly Good Eats newsletter that you will receive every Tuesday evening with farm updates, the week's share contents, storage and use tips, localvore information and recipes and anything else we think you might find interesting or useful. Pete will often chime in with farm updates, thoughts and pleas for feedback.

The picking for the weekly share begins on Monday and the packing of shares is finished late Tuesday afternoon. Although we try to get the newsletter out just as early as we can, we do like to wait until the share is finalized. Sometimes there are last minute changes to the contents and we want to make sure that you've got the right information to accompany your pick-up.
 If there are changes to the share, which happens occasionally, that occur after the newsletter has been sent, you may receive a follow-up email Tuesday night or Wednesday.

If you have any feedback on the newsletter, recipe contributions or just general questions about the CSA, feel free to email me. 
We also post each newsletter on our blog. It generally gets posted sometime on Wednesday. There's a good history there for recipes, farm stories and share contents. 

Please add to your address book to limit the possibility of having newsletters filtered as spam.
Feel free to contact me anytime about with questions or comments about Good Eats. ~ Amy

Summer Share
The Summer Share is full for the moment. We will accept new members in 2-3 weeks once we get further into the growing season. Visit the Summer Share page for more info.

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
Bag of Mesclun Greens; Spinach; Head Lettuce; Mustard Greens; Garlic Scapes; Bunch of Beets; 1 Bunch of Herbs (either sage or oregano), Potatoes and ..... Frozen Sweet Red Peppers

Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Bread Foagies Vermont Butter and Cheeese Fresh Chevre Pa Pa Doodles Farm Fresh Eggs 5 lbs Quebec Oats

Picking Up Your Share

If you are unsure of your pick-up times or site location, please visit our website's Pick-Up page. If you have any questions about your pick-up please email Amy Skelton. The quickest way to reach me is email, but you may leave a message on voice mail at 802.586.2882 x2.

Share Pick-Up Instructions! Please review.

You may be a seasoned CSA share member or new to Good Eats. It's important to review the pick-up instructions before you head out to your site.

Clipboard #1 - Find your name on the pick-up list and check it off. The first clipboard contains a list of all share members at your site. Note that only one name is listed for each share. If you can't find your name on the list, look for your share partner's name. Checking off your name lets us know who has picked up and is extremely helpful in solving any mysteries at the end of the day. If you can't find your name or your share partner's name, please don't take a share! Call or email Amy and we'll figure it out.

Check your share type on the list. Share types are Localvore, Localvore Vegetarian, Veggie Only, Pete's Pantry. If you are listed incorrectly, let Amy know via email.

Clipboard #2 - Select your items by following the Pick-up Instructions. These are posted on the second clipboard. Follow the specific item list/instructions to assemble your share. The top section of the pick up list describes what to select for the vegetable portion of both the Vegetable Only and the Localvore share.

The bottom section of the Pick-up Instructions list the localvore (non-vegatable) items that only the Localvore or Pete's Pantry members should select.
If you are sharing a share with someone - coordinate with your share-mate to make sure that you DON'T take double the amount of any items. All shares at the sites are whole shares.

Please note that the first Meat Share pick up is not this week, it is July 6th.

What To Do If You Have a Problem at Pick Up

Although we do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up spot to find that your name (or share partner's name) is not on the list, one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let us know right away! Our goal is 100% satisfaction.

If you email Amy (or call if you can't email) as soon as you discover the problem, we may be able to resolve it the same day or the following day. If you would like to receive an item that you missed at pick-up, you must contact Amy by Thursday morning.
If we have not heard from anyone, by Thursday afternoon our site hosts are instructed to donate leftover food, assuring that they don't end up with bad food on their hands. If we can't resolve your issue right away, contact Amy via email to arrange a replacement or substitution the following week.

Pete's Musings

Thanks for joining us for this share period. It has been an interesting several months since our barn burned on Jan 12. We've experienced incredible support from the community. We did not realize that what we do is so important to so many people and this knowledge will inform and inspire our work as we go forward. 

We have planned and mostly built a new barn. One that is much more appropriate for storing, washing and packing produce and that will also contain our offices and commercial kitchen. Our old barn was a big old dairy barn with low ceilings. The lower floor, built into the bank, housed all our vegetable washing and cooling space. The second floor was our supply and equipment storage. And we were halfway through building a large much needed addition to the main barn. Our new building is actually only slightly larger in footprint than the combined area of all the old spaces. But the new barn has something the old didn't - height. We can store things vertically where before we didn't even have a full 8 ft of height in our working areas. The combination of a well planned and designed workspace, with the ability to use shelving to stack vertically is going to greatly enhance both efficiency and useable space. We are excited about the potential of this new building to expand access to local food throughout Vermont.

The support we received from our community has been vital to getting us operational again. Along with the insurance we received from the barn, the donations of $150K have helped to carry us through a long 6 months of tiny sales, supporting our staff and allowing us to plan and begin building when other funds were not yet available. Because this money was so critical and was given with such generosity and love, we decided we wanted it to do good work again, helping other farms in need of financial assistance. So we are treating these donations as a loan. In a couple years, when we are on solid financial footing we will pay the money back into the newly created Vermont Farm Fund, whose mission is to support other Vermont farms who are in crises or who need funding for a sustainable local food project. 

We are estimating that our new barn will cost $750K. The tractors and equipment and supplies we need to replace add significantly to that figure. Since the insurance money and donations we received fell far short of what we needed to rebuild, we secured two loans for $600K. Having a large debt load is new to us, but we are committed to our mission and confident in the future of good healthy food.

In addition to planning for an efficient barn, we have been working hard to develop our crew for the future. One that is better trained in food safety, organization and general farm operations. We are excited about the potential of this team.

We have been farming through a pretty dismal spring - lots of rain, little sun. I know 70 year old farmers who say they have never seen a tougher spring. Fortunately things have really turned around the last couple of weeks and our crops are coming along well. This week we're transplanting storage cabbage and prepping land for storage carrots and beets. Last week we baled 1200 bales of winter rye straw. We hadn't done that in a few years and it was a lot of fun. Baby greens are at absolute peak quality right now. We are growing them on some new land in a high, windy spot and the greens love those conditions. We're still washing and packing produce in our little commercial kitchen, but will be moving into our new building in another week or two. Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy the share. ~ Pete

New Barn, photo taken from growing fields behind the barn.

New Barn, front. The building to the left of the new construction is the "headhouse". It houses the veggie oil burner that heats the attached tomato and cuke greenhouse. We will love having our work space so close to all our fields and greenhouses.

The old barn had nearly the same amount of square footage as the new barn will have, but it was broken up between upstairs, downstairs, the new addition, and some auxiliary freezers. There was no ease of movement between these spaces. Note the greenhouses in the distance... The washhouse in the old barn was far from where the food was grown and also not attached to the kitchen where some vegetable processing takes place.

Storage and Use Tips

Mountain Mesclun Greens - Our greens probably need no introduction. A healthful mix of many varieties of lettuces, baby kales and mustards, baby tatsoi, chards, arugula, endives, spinach, garden cress. Store loosely wrapped in plastic in your crisper drawer.

Head Lettuce
- A mix of head lettuces is going out to sites, your site may receive only one kind or a couple. You may receive panisse, green butterhead, red butterhead, or romaine or something else entirely! One head per member. Store loosely wrapped in plastic in your crisper drawer.

Green Mountain Garlic Scapes
- The tall, curly seed stalks that a garlic plant sends up at
this time of year are a short season delicacy. Garlic scapes are trimmed from the garlic plants so that the plant will put energy into fattening the garlic cloves in the ground, not making seed. Garlic scapes have a nice garlic flavor, without the bite of garlic cloves. These scapes are young and tender and they may be eaten raw or cooked. You can chop and add to stir fry recipes, pasta dishes, guacamole, salsas, and vegetable dishes. This year our garlic scapes are not our own, and instead are coming from Bob and Cindy Maynard's Green Mountain Garlic in Waterbury. Bob and Cindy's backyard garden has evolved into this new business and they will offer 15 varieties of garlic for sale this Fall. Harvest is in September and you can order their garlic online. Store loosely wrapped in plastic in your crisper drawer.

Green Wave Mustard Greens - Related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens, mustard greens are the peppery leafy greens of the mustard plant. Store loosely wrapped in plastic in your crisper drawer.

- This week you will receive either oregano or sage. Herbs can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, the oregano in plastic, the sage appreciates a paper towel and plastic. You can keep herbs longer in fridge by stripping leave s and placing them in olive oil in the firdge. Oregano also freezes very well in a plastic bag.

Mixed Beets
- Beet bunches will be mixed today and you may receive chiogga
(these are candy striped inside), red, gold or white beets or a mix of these colors. I store my beets with the tops off. I store the greens loosely wrapped in plastic and the roots in a separate bag.

Photo at right
Annie and Socorro pulling beets for Good Eats on Monday.

Frozen Peppers
- As we await this year's harvest of sweet peppers, we can enjoy last year's. If you have never had frozen peppers hanging around in your freezer, you are in for a treat. I love having them on hand to toss into a dish that suddenly calls for them. Leave peppers in the freezer til you are ready to use them. Then take out the peppers you will use for the dish you are making, and cut them as required for your recipe while they are still frozen, or just starting to thaw. As they thaw they will soften and become harder to chop neatly. These peppers can be used in any recipe that calls for cooking peppers. Chop them and toss them onto a pizza, or into a pasta dish, in a casserole, or alongside onions when grilling your meats. You will find many uses for them once you get used to pulling them from the freezer.

Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let me know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.

Localvore Lore

I am excited to include Elmore Mountain Bread "Foagies" for this first week of the share. These delightful foccacia breads have been a mainstay at our house the last few weeks. I have been splitting them, toasting them, smearing them with fresh chevre and/or olive oil, and stuffing them with garlic (or chopped scapes), tomato, herbs, greens, and sometimes cucumbers. Sometimes I toast the whole thing again once loaded just to make it all meld together. Yum. They are made with Quebec Milanaise Organic Unbleached Wheat, Water, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, and Yeast.

The "foagies" or focaccia-hoagies is a bread that was developed out of our relationships with several local restaurants. Our friend and former chef of the Cliff House at Stowe, Jeff Egan came to us looking for a bread or rolls that would be suitable for sandwiches and hamburgers. Rolls were something that we wanted to stay away from, but we were very interested in classic Italian Focaccia style breads. After much trial and error, we came up with the"foagies". It was very well received and before long we were working with many local chefs on developing their own custom versions. Grill it like a panini, make an egg breakfast sandwich, or eat it with your favorite local cheese and fresh seasonal veggies; it will soon be your favorite sandwich bread! ~ Blair Marvin

Our Good Eats eggs are laid each day by "the girls" at Pa Pa Doodles Farm. Deb Rosewolf is one of our team at Pete's Greens and a couple of years ago Pete talked her into keeping a flock of hens to supply the CSA (actually he talked her into taking the farm's small flock over to her house). Deb now has 400 hens and supplies eggs 2 weeks out of 4 weeks for the share. Last March, Eva Sollberger visited Deb's Farm and shot a video for the Seven Days Stuck in VT series. Watch it now for a first hand look at where your eggs come from! You'll have to scroll down a bit to find the video.

Allison Wolf, owner of Vermont Butter and Cheese Co sent along fresh chevre this week to start off the share. She reached out immediately following the fire offering to help in some way. Thanks Allison! I send this cheese out usually once a share because I love it and I find so many uses for it. I consider it to be a staple because a small amount added to so many dishes turns them into something a little special. The cheese keeps quite a long time in the fridge unopened, it will last several weeks after it's been opened. And if you won't use it right away it will freeze beautifully. It's a little crumbly after being frozen but that can actually be nice when crumbing for salads or into various dishes.

Localvores will also receive a 5 lb bag of rolled oats from organic grower Michel Gaudreau, across the border in Quebec. Michel grows quite a few different grains on his farm and mills grains for organic growers in his area. He has a great operation in a beautiful setting surrounded by his fields. Michel's mill (Golden Crops)makes many organic grains available locally that we might not otherwise have local access to and we are grateful for his commitment. These are beautiful, clean organic rolled oats ideal for oatmeal, granola, cookies, streusel toppings etc. Click here for either a solid granola recipe or one for oatmeal.


Mesclun Salad
There might be a few of you who would like a salad recommendation, so here's mine for this week's share. And, it's salad season so I am offering up my favorite dressing to start off the share.

Mesclun greens
Chopped Garlic scapes
Raw beets sliced very thin
Crumbled Goat Cheese

Toasted Foagie croutons

Other veggies as you have them to add
Toss the above with a good drizzle of Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette (below).

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T maple syrup
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper Taste – it should be strong flavored – NOT BLAND. If it needs more zip add a bit more garlic, or more black pepper, or more Dijon or all three.

Spinach, Goat Cheese, Red Peppers, and Lemon Pasta

This recipe adapted from would be perfect for a picnic or an addition to a summer BBQ.

1 pound spiral-shaped pasta

1 pound spinach or a combo of spinach, beet greens, and mustard greens

1 cup red peppers, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano plus more for garnish

1 4-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (the pre-crumbled stuff will not melt as well)
Fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)

Cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until it is almost tender, or about three minutes shy of what the package suggests. Add spinach and cook until firm-tender, another two to three minutes. Drain both pasta and spinach together, reserving one cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil, lemon peel, oregano and cheese in a large bowl, breaking up the goat cheese as you put it in. Add hot pasta and spinach to bowl, along with a couple slashes of the pasta water. Toss until smoothly combined, adding more pasta water if needed. Season genersously with salt and pepper, and lemon juice if you feel it needs a little extra kick.

Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto

A quick and easy recipe that can be used on sandwiches, tossed into pastas or stored in the freezer to use later in the season.

(Makes about 1/2 cup)
5 garlic scapes, finely chopped

1/4 finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)

2-3 TB slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like)

About 1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt

Put the scapes, cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt.

If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by which time tomatoes should be at their juciest. Delicious!

Red Beet Risotto with Mustard Greens and Goat Cheese

From the February 2007 issue of Bon Appetite. If you like the sounds of this recipe but hate to use up all of your goat cheese, it would also be delicious with shaved Parmesan substituted for the goat cheese.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

2 (2 1/2- to 3-inch-diameter) beets, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
1 cup Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
3 cups low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups chopped mustard greens/mizuna

4 ounce chilled soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add beets and onion. Cover; cook until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Mix in rice. Add broth and vinegar. Increase heat; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer uncovered until rice and beets are just tender and risotto is creamy, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into shallow bowls. Sprinkle with greens and cheese.

Greens With Garlic and Chile

Here's a simple classic you can use this week with beet greens, kale or the spinach in the share.

1 bunch (about 1 lb.) greens of your choice
1 Tbsp. salt (for boiling water) plus more to taste

1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 to 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 to 3 whole, small dried chiles (such as arbol) or 1 fresh red chile such as fresno, sliced
Lemon juice (optional but delicious)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, clean greens and cut off any tough stems. Chop greens into fairly large pieces and set aside. Add 1 tbsp. salt and chopped greens to boiling water (except for spinach, you can skip this step if using spinach). Cook until greens wilt, 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on toughness of the greens you're using. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water until cool.

Use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible from the greens. Set aside.
Heat a large frying pan or saute pan over high heat. Add oil, garlic, and chile. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and just starting to turn golden, about 30 seconds. Add greens and stir to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender and flavors combine, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve greens hot, warm, or at room temperature.


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