this week in your csa share {july 3}

Welcome to week 5 of the P&C CSA.  Happy CSA week 5 & happy 4th of July!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Cooking Greens – A mix of red ursa and lacinato kale, yukina savoy Asian greens, and chard.  We often eat this mix for breakfast, sautéed with eggs.
  • Parsley
  • Basil – pesto anyone?
  • Lettuce – A lovely head of green leaf lettuce, perfect for salads or burgers! (including gardenburgers of course)
  • Beets – While we wait for the carrots to gain some size, we hope you’ll enjoy another round of beets.
  • Summer Squash – The first of the summer squash!  Zucchini and yellow straightneck this week.
  • Cabbage – slaw anyone?
  • Shelling Peas – Pop open the pods and enjoy the sweet peas inside.
  • Fennel – Probably the last of the fennel for a few months.
  • Bunching Onions
  • Cherries – These are from the wild cherry tree that lives on the edge of our field.  Enjoy!

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of vegetables!”  While we were harvesting veggies earlier today in the field, Jeff mentioned it might be a good time to write about our farm slogan, what with Sunday being Independence Day and all.  Last year as we were kicking around farm names, Jeff came up with this slogan and it instantly stuck.  It seemed to describe very well what we wanted our farm to stand for.

Starting the farm has been a revolutionary act for us.  We’re making the choice to completely change the structure of our lives and the fundamental work that we do.  We’re working towards calling ourselves ‘farmers’ in a society where farmers are not always fully respected.  We’re attempting an entrepreneurial path and engaging the local economy in hopes that it is both better for our lives and also better for our wider community.

Perhaps we are simply idealistic dreamers, but we hope that through the simple act of growing food for people in our community, people we meet face to face each week, we are taking control of the food system and making everyone a little healthier in the meantime.  Each time someone chooses to buy vegetables from a local farmer, they are also choosing to support local agriculture and their wider community.

Thanks for joining us in our pursuit of happiness, or rather, vegetables!

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler


Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

Straightforward Coleslaw

1 sm. green cabbage, cored, quartered, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. silken tofu
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Place cabbage in a larger bowl. In an upright blender, combine the mustard, tofu, vinegar, agave nectar, and salt. While blending, slowly add the olive oil. Add the dressing to the green cabbage and massage until it shrinks down, about 3 to 4 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and remove at least 15 minutes before serving

From Vegan Soul Kitchen, Bryant Terry


Fettuccine and Fennel Alfredo

1 large or 2 small bulbs of fennel, cored and julienned (or 1 small bulb if you are fennel-averse)
2 T butter
1/2 C chicken stock
1 C heavy cream
2/3 C Parmesan cheese, grated
1 recipe fresh fettuccine pasta (recipe follows)

Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat; add sliced fennel and a pinch of salt, and saute until golden brown and caramelized in spots. Add chicken stock, reduce heat to medium, and cook until stock has evaporated. (If your fennel is not thinly sliced, you may want to cover the skillet for several minutes to promote softening before it boils off.) Turn the heat down to medium low and add the cream, another good pinch of salt and some grinds of pepper; let it come up to a very slow simmer and thicken slightly.

Meanwhile, get a large pot of salted water boiling and cook your fettuccine. Using fresh pasta, it will only need a minute or two to cook. Drain the pasta or use a spider to transfer it to the skillet. Toss once to coat with the creamy fennel, then add the Parmesan and toss again, until any looseness in the sauce has been absorbed into the pasta. Serve immediately, topped with a bit more Parmesan cheese and some chopped fennel fronds (if you want to clue in your eaters).

Fresh Egg Pasta

2 eggs
1 C all-purpose or white whole wheat flour

Mix the eggs and flour together to form a stiff dough. (If you use extra-large eggs as I do, you will likely need at least an additional quarter-cup of flour, perhaps more.) You can do this with a food processor (use the dough blade) or stand mixer (use the dough hook) or by hand, in which case mound up the flour on your counter and make a large well in the center for the eggs, then stir with your fingers incorporating more and more flour from the edges until you have a shaggy dough. Knead this until it is very smooth, adding a bit more flour if it seems sticky. (If it seems dry, knead with water-dampened hands to incorporate small amounts of liquid at a time.)

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest for about half an hour before rolling out for pasta. You can do this with a rolling pin or hand-cranked pasta machine; I love my stand mixer’s pasta roller attachments, and also use it to cut the pasta into fettuccine noodles. If using the machine to cut your noodles, allowing them to air-dry for a few minutes (say, while the pasta water boils) will give cleaner cuts. Alternately, dust your pasta sheets with flour, roll loosely, and cut by hand with a sharp knife. However you do it, separate the strands afterward with dusting of flour to keep them from melding back together, and pop them into the boiling water quickly thereafter. (If you must, freezing or drying your fresh, uncooked noodles is another option.)

From The Persnickety Palate,


Fennel with Butter and Cheese
Finocchio alla Fiorentina

4 medium bulbs fennel
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 slice of lemon
1 tsp salt
2 T butter, melted
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper

  • Trim the top shoots and bases of the fennel bulbs.  Cut into 4 segments.
  • Put fennel into a saucepan and add enough water to cover.
  • Add the oil, garlic, lemon and salt to the fennel in the saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until just tender.
  • Drain the fennel and put into a shallow baking dish.
  • Drizzle with melted butter.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.
  • Brown lightly under a broiler.

From Italian Cooking, contributed by CSA members Patty Holt & Dave Dopson


Chocolate Beet Cake

2 c sugar
2 c flour
1⁄2 t salt
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1⁄4 c oil
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
3 c shredded beets

Combine dry ingredients.  Sift or mix well together.  Melt chocolate very slowly over low heat or in double broiler.  Allow chocolate to cool then blend thoroughly with eggs and oil.  Combine flour mixture with chocolate mixture, alternating with the beets.

Pour into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans.  Bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes, or until a tootpick can be removed from the center cleanly.  Let cool.  Serve plain or with your favorite frosting.

From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition

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