CSA 2013

Last year at this time, the rows of lettuce, spinach and radishes had already emerged from the soil.  This year, I can finally see the soil after the last snow melted away just a few days ago.  The slow spring of 2013 makes me wonder if the whole year will be on the cool side, or if we will just  jump right in to summer all of a sudden.  Either way, it will come, and either way, we have been putting in to motion the plans and planting for our 2013 CSA.  The thing about farming and gardening is that each year is exciting and each year one is filled with hope.  Hope that the weather and season goes well.  Hope that the new varieties are pleasing.  Hope that all of our usual intentions, like weeding or transplanting on time, become reality.  I don’t think many hobbies/professions are so often rooted in as much hope as this one. Nor do i think as many give a person a second chance to try again.    

The year 2013 has a few new things in store for us at the farm.  After perusing for hours over the webpages and catalogs of our favorite seed suppliers like Baker Creek, Italian Seed and Tool, Seed Savers, Burpee, and FedCo, were adding 20 new varieties of tomatoes, 12 pepper varieties, 12 squash and much more. Were excited to try some new varieties of tomatoes like San Marzano Gigante and Indian Stripes from Sandhill Preservation Center.  Were growing some Purple Viking Potatoes this year after a trial last year.  We also picked up some new beans called Cut Short or Greasy Beans.  These beans are heirlooms from the Appalachian region.  While they may be different and take some getting used too, I am excited to get the seed in the ground in the ground.  Were also working to go heavy on our production of common favorites like spinach, colored bell peppers, red tomatoes, sugar snap peas and golden beets.  We also will be retiring the quaint wooden baskets and begin using a more clean, convenient and larger corrugated plastic tote. Finally we are making space to add a few more patrons to our CSA this year. 

Some more long term projects for the year are expanding our fruit and perennial crop area with more raspberries, asparagus, plums and historic apple varieties like Ashmeads Kernal, Pound Sweet and Arkansas Black.  

 If you are interested in finding out more about the CSA or signing up, feel free to contact us.  Just be aware, it is planting/hatching/kidding/grafting season and were not always right near the phone.  We will try to get back to you as quickly as possible.




CSA September 6

CSA Weeks ??? September 5

I don’t know about you but these last few weeks for me have just flown by.  Between vacation and the start of school it has been pretty crazy, but a very fun crazy.  I hope you didn’t miss my little chatter too much.  The gardens are charging ahead full force, and we are ushering in another season, this time the fall crops of squash and pumpkins.  At this point, as long as there is no hard freeze, the shares will keep coming through the month of September for certain. 


This week’s share contained some old stand bys like carrots, potatoes, garlic, basil and kale.  There were a few new things.  The big one this week was spaghetti squash.  I was never a fan of spaghetti squash because we either ate it like spaghetti with marinara sauce or like squash with brown sugar and butter.  But I have found that my preferred way is to eat it with just butter, salt and pepper.  Just cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake at 350 until the squash can be pulled out like spaghetti.  When done add the butter, salt and pepper to taste.  If you don’t get to eating it right away, it keeps very well just on the counter.  For a faster way, cut it in half, take out seeds, place it in a large bowl with some water in the bottom, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 min. 

Also this week, we offered Haralson apples.  Haralson is an older great all purpose apple.  While they are not large, overly sweet or white like many new varieties they make a great all purpose apple for apple dumplings, pie and fresh eating.  Despite the scare of an early bloom spiked with a late freeze, our apples came out unscathed.  Many orchards in the area wound up with an excellent crop of apples this year, unlike many orchards to the east and south of the twin cities.  The only down fall to a tree loaded with apples is that their size is a bit smaller than usual.  Hopefully next year we will get them thinned better and increase the size of the apples.

Some of you also received an interesting onion variety, Torpedo Red.  This red onion is an Italian variety with strong red color and elongated shape.  Use them like any other onion variety. 

And again, there were tomatoes.  A mixed bag of cherry tomatoes and another bag that contained purple Russians (moms favorite), carbon (a round purple variety) Dr Wyche’s orange and maybe a few random red tomatoes. 

Like everything, determining how many tomatoes to offer is kind of a challenge.  If people only eat them raw, then it is easy to get too many.  However, if you want to make a batch of marinara sauce, then it takes quite a few.  With that being said, this week if the tomatoes are plentiful, you can opt to get a larger quantity.  It will not a be a huge amount for making salsa, but something more substantial if you wanted to cook with it.

Have a great week!

CSA Week 10 August 15

CSA Week 10 August 15, 2012

Week 10 brings a few new things to your share, bell peppers and watermelon.  Growing up we never grew melons.  Mother always said it wouldn’t grow in our heavy soils.  A few years ago I tried melons and had great luck with a great little green melon called Edens Gem.  It was like candy; A great green melon about the size of a softball.  Ever since I have tried to grow melons buy only had moderate success.  This year looks to be a different story.  After a little bit of a battle against cucumber beetles, the vines took off in our hot wet conditions and there are a respectable number of melons out in the patch.  This week it was an old heirloom watermelon variety called Chelsea.  We also had super long Moon and Stars, but kept that for ourselves.  The only downfall with not growing melons is I never really learned when to know they are ripe.  I think they could have been picked sooner, hence the cracking in some, but they are still tasty.  Also new are a few peppers, a green bell names California Wonder and a purple bell, Lilac. Along with the newbies, you will find 2 small heads of garlic, a mix of Yukon Gold and All Red Potatoes, some Marketmore 76 cucumbers, a bunch of lettuce leaf basil, Cour Di Bue cabbage, a mix of Chioggia, Bulls Blood and Detroit Beets, some yellow crooked neck and patty pan squash, and a mixed bag of tomatoes.  Usually I have early tomatoes compared to others, but this year mine are later than most.  The cherries are a mix of Mexico Midget (little Red), Green Grape (big yellowish green), Lemon Drop (light yellow), Blondkopfchen (dark yellow), Riesentraube (larger Red), Brown Berry (ehh, brownish), a few Cream Sausage (long creamy colored) and Wapsipinicon Peach(larger round and fuzzy).  I also had a few bigger tomatoes.  You could have received, Cherokee Purple, Dr Wyches orange,  Master (red) or Purple Russian (elongated fat purple).    They all taste so unique it is crazy.  Depending on the growing conditions each year they also taste different, but my favorites are consistently Mexico Midget, Green Grapes, and Purple Russians.

Ideas for the week:

Tomato Basil Bruschetta:

A simple way to use tomatoes is to make a simple bruschetta.  Dice tomatoes,  a few leaves of basil, season with salt and pepper and marinate in balsamic vinegar.  Eat them as they are or on a piece of crusty bread.  So simple, yet so great.  Firm dry tomatoes like the cream sausage work the best but any will do.


We love cabbage.  Baked, boiled, slawed, fermented, braised and creamed we love it all ways. It must be our Polish Roots.  Creamed cabbage is kind of an old fashion thing.  You don’t come across it too often but it is nice, different, and tasty.


Creamed Cabbage



Boil cabbage until tender, approximately 30 minutes and drain well.

Make a roux from the butter, flour and milk stirring constantly until it turns a light brown. Add bouillon and stir to combine.

Add cabbage, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir to mix together.


 Have a Great Week!

CSA Week 9 August 1

CSA Week 9


Happy Week 8, or almost 9.  The fair this week got me kind of busy, hence this is late but it was well worth it.  The goats did great at the fair, the people had fun and my vegetables did pretty well.  You can be excited to know you are getting the best yellow wax beans, purple beans, endive, squash and beets in the county! Well, you probably don’t get the best as I used those as my entry, but pretty close to the best. 

This weeks basket contained: 

Marketmore 76 Cucumbers

A mix of Royal Burgandy, Yellow Wax and Dragon Tongue Beans.  The Dragon Tongue beans are the best raw, if cooked, watch them closely as they get soft quite easily.  Even the large beans are still quite good. 

White Onion

Hardneck Garlic

Yukon Gold Potatoes


Summer Squash Mix

Chioggia Beets    – these beets are a great sweet treat.  While their colorful stripes to leave while cooking, their flavor is great and there is less mess.

Yellow Stone Carrots

Herb Bunch of Lettuce Leaf Basil, Cilantro, and Dill Weed

Jalapeno Peppers

Sweet Corn – the first of the season but it is coming on like gang busters now.  You will probably be getting a similar amount for the next few weeks. If you would like to purchase a large quantity for freezing, feel free to contact me and we can have that ready by Wednesday.

I have 2 great recipes this week that use the ingredients provided. The first link is for Vomacka soup. This was made at the famous Schumachers Restaurant in New Prague.   http://www.showcaseminnesota.com/recipes/recipe_detail.aspx?rid=275  Again, thanks to my friend Brian for enlightening me to this great soup.

This second recipe is for a fresh zucchini salsa. Sometimes it feels like people keep shoving zucchini in things as a way to use it.  Often the zucchini doesn’t really improve the final product. This salsa is different in that it is something different, yet really yummy. The only thing we have done differently is to keep the Zucchini coarse.  It was not done in the food processor, only chopped finely with a knife. http://www.pearlandpine.blogspot.com/2011/07/all-things-zucchini.html This blog also has other great recipes and pretty nice photography as well. 


This is the high time of summer gardening.  Tomatoes and peppers are right around the corner, there is a lot of produce happening.  If you feel you are getting too much of something, feel free to give it away or just let me know and I can adjust the quantity down.  If there is something you totally don’t want, or don’t use I can avoid giving it to you all together so you don’t have to feel bad about wasting anything.

CSA Week 8, July 24

CSA Week 8

Welcome to Week 8!  During this time of the year I always get the desire to begin a challenge be a self sustainable homesteader for a year.  It reminds me of the Barbara Kingsolver book, Animal Vegetable Miracle.   When the gardens are producing more than you can eat, animals are growing well and the weather is great, it’s easy to think…”I could do this every day.” But soon enough winter will be here and the lettuce at Cub Foods will be a welcomed sight. That being said, there might be times when you have more than you feel like eating.   Some things are quite easy to keep by freezing or drying them for those not so abundant winter days.  There is always something satisfying about reliving a bit of summer when you open up something that you preserved. 

Here are a couple ways to freeze some common vegetables:  

Zucchini:  Simply slice or grate zucchini and put in a freezer bag raw and freeze.  It is convenient to have a recipe in mind, like 2 cups for bread, and freeze that quantity so you can thaw it all out at once.  When the zucchini is thawed and used, the juice can be used in the recipe as well.

Beets:  It is helpful to cut the beets so they are the same size, but don’t cut up into bite size pieces as they lose much juice when cooking.  Place the beets in a pot and add enough water to cover all the beets.  Cook the beets with the skins on until tender, about 25 minutes. Cool the beets, peel, slice like you want, bag and freeze.

Beans: Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the snapped and washed beans to the boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes.  Remove the beans, cool, bag and freeze. 

On to this weeks basket:

Zucchini, cucumbers, onions, carrots, dill weed, parsley, basil, string beans, are all things you have seen before.  I have a couple of great ideas for using them in the recipes that follow.  Also this week is something new, Fennel.  On fennel all three portions can be used.  Fennel is not too common, but has an unusual licorice flavor.  The leaves can be used in a salad, or as an addition to potatoes or other vegetables.  The roots can be used in soup or stew and the bulb and stalk can be baked like other vegetables.

The potato tray consists of mostly 2 varieties: Purple Majesty, the all purple potatoes are a favorite around here.  Purple Viking, the purplish pink skinned potatoes are also a great tuber.  Try to use the potatoes quickly as the plants were still green and the potatoes may tend to soften if kept too long.  If you can’t use them too soon, try to keep them in a cool, dark place but not in the fridge.  

Zucchini Quiche

4 cups thinly sliced zucchini

1 large onion thinly sliced

3 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons parsley

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon basil

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

9 nine inch pastry shell


1. In large skillet sauté onion, zucchini and butter until tender.

2. In large bowl whisk the eggs, parsley, salt garlic powder oregano basil and black pepper.

3. Stir in the cheese and zucchini mixture.

4. Spread mustard on pastry shell and pour in your egg mixture.

5. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 35-40 min or cover and freeze unbaked for up to 2 months.

Roasted Vegetables with Fennel

2 small fennel bulbs, tops removed

1 pound small potatoes

1/3 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½-1 pound string beans

1 bunch carrots (or asparagus)

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425

2. Cut the fennel bulbs into 4 wedges.  Place on a sheet pan.  Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and place them on the pan.  Cut the carrots in half, or in 4 pieces if larger. 

3. Drizzle the olive oil on the vegetables, then sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Toss with your hands.

4. Roast the vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, tossing once while cooking. 

5. Toss the string beans with the roasted vegetables and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. 

6. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and roast another minute or until the cheese is melted. 

7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve hot.

CSA Week 7

CSA Week 7 July 18, 2012

A tiskit a tasket there’s something red in your basket!

Well the Early Girl is doing her job, making tamaters early in the year.  They are not real big, not totally red, but I wanted to give a little treat.  It is also the beginning of the cukes and a few sweet banana peppers.  If the beginnings are anything to hint at, you cucumbers will be quite plentiful this year.  That’s not all bad as there are quite a few different ways to use them – and if you get full of them I am sure a friend wouldn’t mind them.  Again we lucked out with a great inch of rain with perfect timing.  That makes the watering job much easier, and rain can do a much better job than I can anyways. 

This weeks goods:

Swiss Chard:  The variety, Red Rhubarb is a high color chard variety.  Chard can be used in place of spinach in many recipes or try something new with a chard wrap or a smoothie.

Summer Squash Mix – There are 4 kinds of summer squash floating around.  Hopefully in the next few weeks you will get a mix.  There are yellow crooked neck, patty pan, Burpees Black and Romanesco.  They all can be used interchangeably, although patty pan are prized as a mini squash for grilling and frying.  The larger varieties are great for anything, including kabobs, zucchini bread and the chocolate zucchini cake with mint cream cheese frosting (described below)

Carrots:  There is still the mix of orange and yellow.  Roast them, Grill them, use them raw in a slaw or an Asian spring roll.  There may be a little bit of carrot maggot damage on a few.  It should be localized to a part of the carrot leaving plenty of good stuff to use.

Onions:  There is a mix of basic scallion onions and a few red chipolini onions. 

Beets:  The first crop of beets are almost out, apparently I didn’t start giving them soon enough and some are growing to crazy sizes. Not as convenient to work with, but a whole lot to work with.

Cucumbers:  There are four kinds floating around.  The majority are either Market More76, which is a typical slicing cuke, or Muncher, which is the smooth skinned green cuke.  Both are excellent in a cucumber salad creamed or with vinegar.  There are also some of the Asian Long cucumbers which are a little softer but easy to use.  Finally there are a few little lemon cukes.  The name comes from their looks, not their taste, although some thinking it taste a bit lemony.  I think it is due to the placebo effect. 

I also tossed in some fresh basil, and dill. The dill was an after though as I was thinking how good the cucumber dill dip would be.   If you’re not going to use the herbs, just hang them in a dry spot out of direct light and let them dry for later use.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Mint Cream Cheese Frosting.


½ Cup Butter

½ cup Oil

1 ¾ cup sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ c sour milk

4 Tablespoons Cocoa powder

2 ½ cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 c grated zucchini

1. Cream butter, oil and sugar well.

2. Add remaining ingredients through salt, mix,

3. Stir in zucchini until mixed well.

4. Pour into a d greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan.  Bake at 325 for 40 to 45 minutes. 

Mint Cream cheese Frosting.

1.5 packages cream cheese

¼ cup butter

¾ teaspoons peppermint extract

2.5 cups powdered sugar

1. Beat the butter, cream cheese and peppermint.

2. Add in the powdered sugar.

3. Frost your cake when cool.



Creamy cucumber Dill Dip

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced small

¼ cup onion, chopped 

1 package cream cheese

1 cup miracle whip or mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon tabasco sauce

1. Mix everything but the cucumbers.

2. Stir in the cumbers and chill for at least 1 hour.

3. Enjoy on a cracker or, with a spoon which ever you prefer.

CSA Week 6, July 11

Welcome to Summer! This is when gardens really start putting out the goods, it truly is a veggie lovers dream.  This weeks basket has plenty root crops including carrots, radishes and beets.  There is a modified stem crop, kohlrabi. This variety is named Supershmultz.  They are great because they get large yet keep their crisp texture and don’t get woody.  We typically eat kohlrabi raw. Just peel, cut into appropriate sized chunks and add a little salt if desired.  They are also wonderful boiled with a little butter, or boiled and mashed as a sweet substitute for potatoes. 

Also in the basket are a few modified leaves, the red onions and the German Hardy Garlic.  The garlic is classified as a hardneck garlic.  Hardnecks have the hard stem in the center and typically only have one ring of cloves, but the cloves are huge! They work great for making roasted garlic either to cook with or use as  a spread for bread.

Kale and Cilantro are present to represent the true leaves.  Kale is one of those super foods people talk about.  It can be used in soup, juiced, but a great favorite are Kale Chips.  While it is not typically used in salad, there is a great Mexican Kale Salad as a way to eat some kale raw.

Finally we have some fruiting structures.  There is a bag of beans and a few summer squash/

Have a great week!

Kale Chips

1 Bunch Kale

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 teaspoon salt



Preheat oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Remove leaves from stem and tear into bite size pieces.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.

Bake until edges are brown, but not burnt, roughly 10 to 15 minutes.



Mexican Kale Salad

Recipe courtesy of Linda Szarkowski

1 Big Bunch of Kale

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 avocado, diced

¼ cup diced tomato

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Dash Cayenne pepper


  1. Stack two of the kale leaves with the stem end facing you.  Fold in half lengthwise and roll tightly like a cigar.  Slice crosswise into thin strips. Repeat with remaining kale leaves.  If the strips are too long, they can then be cut down a bit more.
  2. Place the kale in a mixing bowl along with the olive oil, lime juice, and salt.  Toss well with your hands, working the dressing in to the greens.  This helps to soften the leaves.
  3. Mix in the cumin and cayenne.
  4. Mix in tomato, bell, pepper, and avocado.

CSA Week 4, July 3rd

I hope you didn’t miss last weeks blog too much.  While heat is good for growing crops, the benefit decreases above 90 degrees.  Thankfully the inch of rain last night came at the perfect time.  Not only did it help to break up the heat and cool the soil, but it also made sure my crops were well watered so I can go on vacation and not worry about coming home to wilted plants.  This weeks basket is the basket of root crops.  They have grown very well and are ahead of schedule.  The downfall is that it has totally taken the lettuce and spinach out of commission, even much of the later planted spinach.  Conditions are never perfect for everything.  Conditions that grow good lettuce are different than conditions that put tomatoes on the vine.  That is why there is a definite succession of crops throughout the year.  I think that makes it more fun to eat, and when conditions are good for a particular crop, the flavor can be amazing.

So whats amazing in your basket this week?

Golden Beets:  These are touchstone golden beets.  They are amazing anyway you use traditional beets, but without the mess.  When I first started growing odd colored vegetables years ago, my traditional mother was not so keen on them.  She was used to beets and tomatoes being red and beans being green.  Sometimes standard colors are better, but often the different varieties have a much different taste.  That was the case with the golden beets.  Now when ever I plant beets, Ma is sure to ask if I have enough golden beets.  Their only downfall is that germination is not as good and seed is more than twice the cost with the gold beets as the red.  So if you see golden beets with a higher price at the farmers market, that is why. Keep them stored int he fridge unwashed.

Carrots:  There are two varieties of carrots, Yellow Stone and Juan de Doubs.  The yellow carrots are amazing roasted, but eat them as you like. Store them in the fridge as they are.

Radish: Cherry Bell.  This later planting came in beautifully so hopefully you are not too sick of radishes. Works well to wash them before refrigerate, or just throw them in a bowl of water and eat as a snack with some salt and butter.

Potatoes:  You will have the basic Red Norland and also the Purple Viking.  Both are very versatile but this time of year are best boiled, mashed, roasted, creamed or my favorite, cooked in a foil packet on the grill with carrots, onions butter and herbs.  Store at room temperature, but eat soon.  The plants are still green and so the potatoes are not cured well yet. If left at room temperature too long (more than 4 days or so) they will become soft.

String Beans:  The beans are just coming in.  There will be a mix Jade, Royal Burgundy and Golden Stick, but most this week are the green Jade.  Due to some flooding the early beans didn’t come so well but the later plantings are terrific.  They could be creamed with the potatoes or just boiled or steamed, but don’t overcook.  The beans are a little dirty due to the rain, but didn’t wash them as if they are washed and then stored they have a tendency to get rusty in the fridge. Just tie the bag shut and refrigerate until use.

Fresh Garlic.  The scapes are done and this week I will be harvesting the garlic, hopefully before I leave for vacation.  This is fresh garlic so it should be stored in the refridgerator if you are not going to use it within 2 days.

Finally your basket has some little scallion onions, a bunch of fresh cilantro, and my very first summer squash. there not many of these little babies yet but you all know how summer squash goes…. pretty soon we will be swimming in it.

I figure most of you have your favorite ways of preparing these treats so I will spare you on the multitude of recipes, but i will share a great way to use beets.  This is taken from an Ina Garten cook book.  I think everything that woman whips up is amazing.  These roasted beets are no exception.

Thanks again and we will see you next week at our regularilly scheduled time.

Roasted Beets

6 Beets

3 tablespoons olive oil

¾ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

Juice of one orange


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Remove tops from beets and peel each one with a vegetable peeler.  Cut the beets in 1 ½ inch chunks.

3. Place the cut beets on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning once or twice, until the beets are tender. 

4. Remove from the oven and immediately toss with the vinegar and orange juice.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve warm.

CSA Week 3 June 20, 2012

Bit by bit, there is a touch more of color and substance working its way into the baskets.  There are some colorful pea pods, red swiss chard and radishes to brighten things up.  Hopefully you been finding ways to enjoy (or choke down) the bounty of greens you have been receiving. We have been pretty lucky to recieve a good amount of rain, but not too much like many folks. Still, it was poor timing and hurt the quality of strawberries, made some lettuce rusty, and drounded out some tender beets and spinach, but other things have been loving the rain and heat and look beautiful like corn and cabbages.



This week you will find a few standbys and some new things:

Asparagus – the ample rain has kept the asparagus coming well. Don’t be afraid of the fat ones, they are often just as, if not more tender as the skinny ones.

Lettuce- A larger head of romaine.  The heads are not real dense yet, but needed to be thinned.  If it is broken apart and washed it will have a tendancy to rust more unless it is dried very well.

Frisee Endive  – this is rinsed and bagged.  Endive green a little on the bitter side, but mellows out tremendously when wilted a bit.  A traditional French way of eatting endive is wilting it and adding fried egg to the top.  It can also be mixed in with other greens in a salad, just be prepared for it.  If you don’t get to using it up, don’t feel bad as I know it is not for everyone. Endive is also very nutritious being high in fiber, B vitamins, manganese, copper and iron.  So if all else fails, blend it up in a smoothie.

Salad Turnips – along with the plum purple radishes, there are a few white salad turnips.  These salad turnips are similar to radishes, and can be eatten in many of the same ways.  As their name implies, slicing them for a salad is probably their main use.

Brigh Lights Swiss Chard – swiss chard comes in a wide array of colored varieties, but for now it is mostly red.  Chard is closley related to the beet, so any ways you would use beet greens would be a way to use chard. The little leaves can be used in as salad greens, the larger ones can be used to replace spinach in many recipes and you can simply steam or boil the leaves and drown them in butter.  I like it sauteed and tossed with pasta like the Hot Chard Pasta recipe below.  Chard is exceptionally high in vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, beta carotene and many minerals.

Pea Pod Mixture – There is a mixed baggie of pea pods.  You will find the Purple Podded Pea, Sugar Ann Snap Pea and the Golden Sweet Yellow Pod.  All of these have edible pods so there is no need to shell them ( you wouldn’t find much any ways)  Eat fresh, or steam or stir fry. 

I hope you enjoy the week, and planning ahead to the 4th of July, I am hoping that we can shift the pick up to Tuesday, the 3rd as I will be out of town from the 4th to till friday or Saturday. 

Frisee Salad with Egg Bacon

1 baguette (thinly sliced on the bias in 12 inch pieces)
9 tbsps olive oil
12 lb cheese (sliced comte)
1 lb bacon (cut into pieces)
2 shallots (finely chopped)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsps sherry vinegar
4 tbs Butter
6 eggs
Frisee Endive
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Drizzle baguette slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil and top with each slice with some Comte cheese. Place into oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and brown.
3 In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and bacon. Render bacon until crispy and caramelized.
4 While bacon is rendering, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, combine the shallots and mustard. Whisk in the vinegar and the remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
5 Remove the bacon from pan and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. In the same skillet, add butter and crack eggs 1 at a time and cook 2 minutes per side, or until yolks are set.
6 While the eggs are cooking, arrange frisee in a large bowl. Pour dressing over frisee and toss to coat.

On 6 plates, arrange a mound of salad and top with fried eggs. Garnish with the bacon, set 2 croutons on each plate and serve immediately.






Hot Chard Pasta


  • 1/3 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the spaghetti, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute to soften. Add the Swiss chard. Cook and stir until the stems of the chard are tender. You can use some of the hot pasta water to help steam the chard in the covered pan.
  3. Stir the hot spaghetti into the chard mixture. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with lemon juice if desired. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.

CSA Week 2, June 13 2012

Welcome to Week Two!  While it sure felt like summer last weekend we are still in spring mode with means the basket is full of green stuff.  The timely rains have been keeping the lettuce pretty good amid the excessive heat, wind, and dry conditions. Some of you may get a new lettuce, De Morges Braun Lettuce.  It is a rare romaine style lettuce with an apple green color and a slight reddish bronze tint to its smooth, rounded leaves.  It has been growing exceptionally well.   There is also a bag of spinach.  Enjoy it as there might be a gap untill the next is ready due to a little flooding a few weeks back.  I personally love the spinach quiche recipe below. Again you will be enjoying a great asian green, only this time it is the smaller pak choi.  Stir fry is great, so is having it steamed and braised. You will find a bunch of radishes.  If yours are little, round purple ones they are called Purple Plumb.  If you have the large, long, red ones, those are Chinese Dragon.  All radishes have a little heat this time of the year, but they still make a mean radish sandwich with butter, salt and pepper. There is another ‘fancier’ version below. The final contents of the basket include onions, a little bulb of garlic, and a little bundle of lovage.

Lovage is a relatively unknown herb that resembles flat leaf parsley but has more of a strong celery taste.  It is a perennial that is closely related to carrots and parsley.  It originates from Asia and the Middle east and has a long history.  It is thought to be good for stomach aches, It is extremely versatile as it can be used to replace parsley and celery in many recipes, but be cautious as it is more flavorful than both.  What to do with it?  Mix the small leaves in a salad, stuff them in fish or chicken before baking, steam the small stems or make a creamy potato soup using the leaves.  It will be coming again later you have some time to do some research. 

Spinach and Bacon Quiche

1 Pastry for Single-Crust Pie

1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)

6 slices bacon, chopped

8 beaten eggs

1/2 cup dairy sour cream

1/2 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Dash ground nutmeg (optional)

3 cups lightly packed chopped fresh spinach

2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 ounces)

1. Prepare and roll out Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry. Trim; crimp edges as desired. Line the unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes more or until pastry is set and dry. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook onion and bacon until onion is tender and bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towels.

3. In a bowl stir together eggs, sour cream, half-and-half, salt, pepper, and, if desired, nutmeg. Stir in onion mixture, spinach, and cheeses.

4. Pour egg mixture into the hot, baked pastry shell. Bake in the 325 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

5. Makes 6 to 8 servings

Fancy Radish sandwiches

  • // 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup diced radishes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Salt, to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon onto slices of hearty bread. Or, refrigerate and serve later.

  Braised Pak Choy

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 lb baby pak choy, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange pak choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer pak choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered.

Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/4 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over pak choy.