this week in your csa share {july 24}

Welcome to week 8 of the P&C CSA!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Bunching Onions
  • Basil
  • Collards – check out the recipes below
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Fava Beans
  • Tomatillos & Tomatoes – Fresh salsa, anyone?
  • Broccoli – full-sized heads!  Hurrah!
  • Beets

Last Sunday we finally made ourselves figure out our plan for overwintering vegetables.  Although it’s July and winter is, hopefully, many months away, the time to plan for overwintering vegetables had come and gone while we were still busy with the current season.  We took a break from field work Sunday and brought out our stash of seed catalogs.

We’ve written about our seed choices in the past.  How we’ve focused on open-pollinated seeds, to help promote a viable genetic stock of seeds that when saved will grow true to type.  We’ve also mentioned the need to use organically certified seed when commercially possible, as mandated by our organic status.  We also believe it’s important to support our local seeds growers.  The Willamette Valley is a fantastic place to grow vegetables, which also makes it a fantastic place to grow vegetable seed.

As we compiled our list of vegetables we want to try to bring through the winter, we found that there is some overlap with varieties we grow the rest of the year.  The kale varieties we planted in the spring are the same that we plan to overwinter for instance.  We also kept an eye out for winter specific varieties, plants that thrive in the colder months and shortened daylight hours.  Our usually mild winters allow for a diverse number of vegetables to be overwintered and we had to choose carefully the varieties that would be most welcome in the spring, wouldn’t be lost to the winter rains, and would fit in our limited available space.

These are the vegetables we plan to overwinter:

Bunching Onions
Celeriac
Collards
Daikon Radishes
Fava Beans
Garlic
Kale
Kohlrabi
Leeks
Mustard Greens
Onions
Parsley
Parsnips
Rutabaga
Spinach
Sprouting Broccoli
Turnips

At the end of our planning session we had identified specific varieties, seed sources, and planting dates for each of the crops we intend to grow through the winter.  Most of our newly ordered seeds have arrived now and we’ll soon be planting them!  And thus the cycle of farming and extending the season of fresh vegetables continues.

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Reminders – The second half of your CSA payment is due August 1st.  Feel free to mail us a cheque or bring it to the pick-up next week.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the CSA potluck on August 22nd.  More details to come.

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Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux

Coarse sea salt
2 large bunches collard greens, ribs removed, cut into a Chiffonade, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoons salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water to cool the collards.

Remove the collards from the heat, drain, and plunge them into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set the color of the greens. Drain by gently pressing the greens against a colander.

In a medium-size sauté pan, combine the olive oil and the garlic and raise the heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the collards, raisins, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should be bright green). Season with additional salt to taste if needed and serve immediately. (This also makes a tasty filling for quesadillas.)

From Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, Bryant Terry

Also available here: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recipes/sides_citrus_collards.shtml

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Collards

2 bunches (about 5 pounds) fresh collards
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 ham bone

Remove the tougher, woody stalks from the collard leaves. Smaller stems are okay. Wash the leaves and cut them into half-inch-wide strips. You can roll them into cigars to speed this up.

Put the bacon in a stock pot on high head to render its grease, 3 or so minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent but not brown, about 5 minutes more. Add the collards and cover with cool water. Add the red pepper, salt, and the ham bone. Bring to a boil and cook for at least 2 hours. There are many conflicting opinions on this. To my mind, collards were not made for quick cooking. Undercook collards and you are asking to be strangled; they can’t be properly chewed. On the other hand, overcook them and they will eventually turn to mush. Two hours seems about right, although this might give nutritionists pause. Taste for salt.

Even people who love collards complain about the way they make the house smell while cooking. People have different cures for this: Place four pecans in the pot. Cover the top of the collards with slices of white bread. None of this works.

From Seasoned in the South, Bill Smith

Also available here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Collards-236813

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Collard Confetti

The vibrant colors of this edible confetti make a beautiful side dish.  Cutting the collards and cabbage ahead of time and storing in a ziploc bag makes it possible to cook this up in less than 5 minutes.

1 tablespoon oil
1 bunch collard greens, chiffonade (cut into thin ribbons)
1/4 head of purple cabbage, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
• Pour oil into pan on medium high heat.
• Place garlic in the pan and stir for about 1 minute.
• Add the collard greens and purple cabbage and stir another few minutes.  Be careful not to overcook.
• When the collards become a bright green color, turn off the heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
• Serve and enjoy.

From Community Kitchens Northwest, http://www.communitykitchensnw.org/2010/03/collard-confetti/

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Tropical Tomatillo Banana Salsa

1/2 pound tomatillos
2-3 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
3-4 tablespoons minced green onion
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice, or more to taste
1 medium banana
salt and pepper

Husk the tomatillos, wash them, and cut out the cores. Finely chop the flesh and place in a bowl. Stir in the chiles, green onion, garlic and cilantro and lime juice. Mash or finely chop the banana, then stir it into the salsa. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with plantain chips or tortilla chips, or use as a sauce to top grilled fish. Makes about 2 cups.

From “From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce,” Madison Area CSA Coalition

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Tomatillo Salsa

See recipe here: https://pitchforkandcrow.com/2009/09/23/recipe-of-the-week-tomatillo-salsa/

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