Come visit the farm - we'll have a great spread of local foods, farm tours, and some music.
It's always a good time and we love to meet you all!
Talk all around the State is all about the June rains. There has been a lot. We've been fortunate to not have as much as some but the reality is that we'd all better get used to it. Climate forecasts show more extreme weather of all types, and for our area more precipitation and bigger precipitation events.
We're working on being as flexible as possible. Well crafted cropping plans that we made in February have been tossed out 2 or 3 times as we've made adjustments to drier ground. We're steadily working on ditching and proper drainage in more marginal land so that it drains better. And we're working on a very ambitious project to mulch most of our veggie crops each year. This requires having twice as much land in hay or cover crops as veggies, harvesting the hay and cover crops and using them to mulch the vegetables. This will help tremendously with soil erosion which occurs no matter how flat or sandy the soil is when it rains 2 inches in 20 minutes. Additionally the mulch will suppress weeds, conserve moisture, feed soil microbes, add fertility as the mulch breaks down, and help prevent leaf diseases which often are started when soil splashes onto crop leaves. I'm very excited about this project and believe it will make our farm a whole lot better.
The goal of all this is to improve the land each year while providing a steady, consistent supply of the best vegetables anywhere. In the end we're all responsible for climate change and we're all going to have to work together to reduce carbon emissions and to adapt to the effects of what we've created. ~Pete
Storage and Use Tips
This week's mesclun is a beautiful mixture of our greens. Our mesclun mix is constantly changing to reflect the seasons we are in. Store sealed bags in the fridge from 3-7 days.
The large share will get our seasons' first snap peas. These peas can be eaten pod and all, raw, or cooked lightly. The shelling peas are bigger - 3-5 inches long and the peas can be enjoyed right out of the pod or cooked slightly.
The half share will get green beans this week. These beans have an impressive amount of antioxidants in them. They also have a good amount of the mineral silicon which is very important for bone health and for healthy formation of connective tissue. You can steam these beans, incorporate them into a stir fry, or make them into a featured dish.
The onions are bunched, sweet and tasty. The tops on the onions are actually quite nutritious too so try to find a use for them. They contain more potassium than the onions do, along with an excellent supply of vitamins A and C. I freeze mine in a plastic bag in freezer along with scraps of other veggies and I save them all up for when I make broth.Large share will get red onions and the half share will get yellow onions.
The lettuce for the large share is our Romaine lettuce.It grows in a tall head of sturdy leaves with firm ribs down their centers. This lettuce makes a great salad or adds some crunch to a sandwich. Store it in the fridge in a large plastic tub with a piece of paper towel to absorb excess moisture and condensation. My lettuce will keep for up to 5 days this way. If you store wet lettuce in a produce bag, it will likely only last a couple days.
Pac choi (aka bok choy or Chinese cabbage) originated in China, where it has been grown for over 1500 years. It's a member of the brassicas family along with cabbage and kale, and it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries and sautes and in asian soups (and other soups too). Pac Choi has a mild flavor - the leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes. My favorite way to cook it is to halve or quarter it lengthwise (depending on the size), brush it with olive or sunflower oil and throw it on the grill. Prepared this way, it makes an excellent and easy side. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Cauliflower is going out for everyone this week. You may either get a white head or a yellow head which is a cheddar variety. Both types cook up and taste the same. I like to roast my cauliflower; cover it with some olive oil, salt and pepper and either roast in your oven or wrap into a foil packet for the grill.
Heads up! We are going to run a bit short on cauliflower this week so you may get broccoli instead.
Euro cucumber keep it loosely bagged in the crisper drawer and they will keep a few days or more.
Large share members will also receive zucchini. Here are a few suggestions on how to enjoy your zucchini: shred it and made into a baked good or slice it and steam for a veggie side.
Elmore Mountain is baking up their Anadama bread for Wednesday CSA members. This is their Vermont take on a traditional New England bread, made with Butterworks Farm Stoneground Cornmeal, Butternut Mountain Farm dark maple syrup and our fresh stoneground organic wheat flour.
For Thursday members, we have a bit of a bread hodge podge. All of the bread is locally made with local ingredients. Some sites will get bread from Patchwork Farm & Bakery in East Hardwick, some is from Elmore Mountain, and some others will receive Red Hen bread. We hope you enjoy this little bit of variety!
Sweet Rowen FarmsteadFarmer's Cheese is a great spreadable cheese. It goes wonderfully on bread, crackers and bagels, and would be awesome on a cheese plate. This cheese is made by our friend Paul Lisai who's farm is right down the road from us. Paul started his grass based dairy Sweet Rowan Farmstead several years ago, working on his herd and beginning to develop his producs. He was off to a great start selling small batches of milk that he bottled in a rented creamery when that creamery burned in the Fall of 2011 (he shared that creamery space with Ploughgate, some of you may remember that cheese). It was a tough time but Paul reorganized and built a creamery on his family farm and was up and running again. Paul milks his small grass fed herd of Randall Lineback cows (a VT heritage breed) and sells his pasteurized milk direct to his customers. He also makes this cheese. Enjoy!
** There will be 2 flavors of cheese this week - Garlic Herb and Tomato Garlic. Choose just one. **
Appearing for the first time in our CSA are organic raspberries from Adam's Berry Farm! Burlington locals may know Adam from the Burlington Farmers' Market or their farm in Charlotte. He was a mainstay at the Intervale Farm for years until he moved the operation to East Charlotte in 2013. Adam farms organically and his motto is "Simply said, we like healthy food and we grow what we would want to eat."
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Sesame Roasted Snap Peas This may seem like a lot of work for the amount of peas you've got but the results are worth it. Throw this into your oven while you're roasting your cauliflower or other veggie.
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 475° F
Toss snap peas, sesame oil, and salt in a bowl. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Place in the oven and roast, turning halfway through, until snap peas are tender and lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
Toss with sesame seeds and serve.
Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Brown Butter
Even the freshest cauiflower sometimes needs a little help perking up it's flavor. This recipe is wonderful as it gets a great flavor boost from the brown butter and toasted pine nuts. This is great with salmon with a green salad alongside.
5 tbsp pine nuts
4 tbsp butter
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
Toast the pine nuts in a small dry skillet over very low heat, stirring constandly, until they turn a pale tan color and give off their rich aroma, 3-5 minutes. Watch them carefully because pine nuts burn very quickly if they get too hot. Set them aside.
To make the brown butter, use a small skillet or saucepan that is not aluminum and does not have a dark bottom, so you can track the changes in the color of the butter. Melt the butter in the skillet over low to medium heat. It will foam and bubble, and the trick is to keep the heat low enough so that it does not overflow the skillet and does not burn while it continues to brown. The milky particles will darken and sink to the bottom, but should not blacken. The butter will turn a rich golden color with a wonderful rich flavor. Set the brown butter aside in the warm skillet.
Bring water to a simmer in the bottom of a vegetable steamer. Add the cauilflower to the steamer basket, cover, and steam until it is just tender when pierced with a knife, about 5 minutes.
Place the cauliflower in a warmed bowl and drizzle the brown butter over it. Scatter the toasted pine nuts on top, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
Zucchini Breakfast Cookies A hearty breakfast cookie with zucchini and spices. These aren't extremely sweet and pack a good punch with the oats, rasisins and spices. This is a tasty breakfast cookie that will give you energy to get through your mornint!
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine applesauce and pure maple syrup. Combine until smooth. Stir in the egg, vanilla and zucchini. Mix until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the oats and raisins.
Drop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Space 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and edges are set. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on wire racks.
Raspberry Lemonade Yogurt Ice Pops
If you don't have a popsicle mold yet you may want to invest in one for this recipe. It's delicious!
makes approximately 10 ice pops
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons lemon zest (zest of one lemon)
½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons juiced)
1 ½ cups plain yogurt
6 ounces fresh raspberries, cleaned (large ones cut in half)
Evenly distribute raspberries between ice pop molds. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar. Smash lemon zest with a fork until all sugar is coated in lemon. Add lemon juice and yogurt. Stir until well combined.
Pour into molds. Cover with aluminum foil and add sticks. Freeze for 4-24 hours.
Creamy, Lemony, Pepper-Parmesan Dressing on Romaine Salad
This recipe comes to you courtesy of Rachel Ray. It's nice and crunchy and can certainly handle more veggies - mesclun, cucumbers, peas or beans. Make it your own!
3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon coarse pepper, eyeball the amount in the palm of your hand: 1 teaspoon is equal to about 1/3 of a palm full
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 bunch romaine lettuce, chopped
Combine the mayonnaise, lemon zest (grated yellow part of lemon) and lemon juice. To get the juice out of a lemon, heat it up in microwave for 10 seconds on high. Cut the lemon across in half. Squeeze the lemon halves while holding them upright over the dressing bowl so that the seeds stay with the lemon halves, not in the dressing! Add pepper to the dressing bowl, too. Whisk the dressing and pour in the extra-virgin olive oil while you whisk. If you pour in a slow, steady stream, 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil will pour out in a count to the number six. Once the oil is combined with the acid (the lemon juice) and the mayonnaise, you can switch utensils and stir in the cheese and a pinch of salt with a spoon or rubber spatula.
Chop up the lettuce into 2-inch pieces. Place the lettuce in a salad bowl and top with the dressing when you are ready to serve dinner.
Crunchy Pac Choi Salad This is one of the best salads I have ever had! The ramen noodles may sound a bit weird and unhealthy but they give it a nice crunch, and you don't use the sodium filled seasoning packet.
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles
1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
3 cups thinly sliced bok choy
1 cup very thin red bell pepper strips
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup diagonally cut green onions
To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.
To prepare the salad, crumble noodles; discard seasoning packet. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add peanuts; saute for 4 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat. Combine crumbled noodles, peanuts, bok choy, and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.