this week in your csa share {august 7}

Welcome to week 10 of the P&C CSA!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Red Torpedo Onion  – an heirloom Italian onion, mild enough to eat raw but also excellent for grilling or carmelizing, or even pickling.
  • Cabbage – Sauerkraut?  Coleslaw?  Or…?
  • Lettuce – butter lettuce!
  • Carrots – Jeff calls these magic carrots
  • Beets
  • Lemon Cucumbers – treat these yellow cukes like you would other cukes.  Check out the lemon cucumber and pesto recipe below
  • Cilantro
  • Summer Squash – a yellow straightneck this week
  • Tomatillos/Tomatoes/Hottish Peppers – summer salsa!
  • Basil

In an attempt to finish up the necessary work on our new cooler, we postponed the start of harvest Thursday night.  We can relax a little if we get a crop or two harvested a day early but this week we decided it was more important to focus our time and energy on the cooler.  Jeff worked hard to finish up the cooler door and install the air conditioner we’re using to cool the space.  We were able to finish up the second layer of the floor Friday morning pre-harvest and we eagerly watched as the temperature dropped once we turned on the AC.  Unfortunately it never dropped as low as we’d like and we’ll continue tinkering with it.

In addition to the new cooler this week, we also purchased new harvest and market bins.  We’d been running low on the Rubbermaid bins we’d been using and chose to buy agricultural totes designed for this work rather than investing in more Rubbermaids which tend to have a shorter lifespan.  The new bins are smaller, which makes for happier farmer backs, and they have holes for happier and drier vegetables.  Although they stack well enough, they don’t have lids, which can on occasion result in overturned bins and rolling vegetables.  In general they’re nicer, but I admit they’re taking some getting used to as we adjust our systems to accommodate the change.

We also had a beekeeping friend out to take a look at the bees this week.  He may only be in middle school but his knowledge of bees is pretty amazing.  He and Jeff opened up the hive to see what the bees have been up to since we installed them back in the spring.  It appears they’re generally ignoring the frames where we’d hoped they’d draw out the comb and instead they’ve been busily building comb hanging off the bottom of the frames.  If you’re not familiar with inner-workings of a honey beehive, just know that our hive is a bit of a fiasco.  Perhaps it’s a success simply because the bees are still alive.

For us farming is not just about simply planting seeds and harvesting vegetables some time later.  As much as we wish we had a little more time for weeding, a little more time for planting, we love the less obvious stuff too.  Building the cooler was rather fun, measuring plywood and insulation board for the floor, piecing together wall panels just so, filling in gaps with canned foam.  I enjoy washing harvest and market bins while listening to A Prairie Home Companion on NPR.  Harvesting days are more fun thanks to Jeff’s jokes and funny made-up harvest songs.  And of course we love all the folks who support us and it’s even better when we get to have folks out to the farm. We are looking forward to the farm potluck on Sunday, August 22nd from 5-8pm. Our focus from now until then is to catch up on weeding and do some more planting for late fall goodness!!!

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

Most of these vegetables have made prior appearances in your previous shares, so check back at earlier posts for more recipes.

Chilled Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup

2 poblano chilies*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 English hothouse cucumber, peeled, chopped (about 2 cups)
4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chilies
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 green onions, chopped

Char poblano chilies over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag; cool 10 minutes. Peel and seed chilies, then cut into 1-inch pieces.

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saut
 5 minutes. Add tomatillos and cucumber; saut
 until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add broth and poblano chilies; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tomatillos are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in jalape‱os, lime juice and cilantro. Cool completely. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Transfer to large bowl; stir in cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill soup until cold, at least 3 hours or overnight. Divide soup among 6 bowls. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chilled-Tomatillo-and-Cucumber-Soup-105272

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Layered Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cilantro Sauce

2 pounds large tomatillos, husked, rinsed, halved
1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups sliced green onions
2 cups (packed) very coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 large serrano chile, sliced (with seeds)
12 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
1 purchased roasted chicken, meat torn into strips (about 4 cups)
1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into strips
1 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix tomatillos, chicken broth, and garlic cloves in large saucepan. Cover and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently until tomatillos are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer hot mixture to processor. Add sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced chile; blend mixture to coarse puree. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Overlap 6 tortillas in 13x9x2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Top tortillas with half of chicken strips and half of mozzarella strips. Pour 2 cups tomatillo sauce evenly over. Top with remaining tortillas, chicken strips, and mozzarella. Pour 1 1/2 cups tomatillo sauce over, then whipping cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until bubbling, about 25 minutes. Cool enchiladas 10 minutes. Serve with remaining tomatillo sauce.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Layered-Chicken-Enchiladas-with-Tomatillo-Cilantro-Sauce-232700

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Lemon Cucumber and Pesto Recipe

About 3-4 medium lemon cucumbers
2 cups fresh Italian basil leaves and stems
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove crushed garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons fresh, grated parmesan cheese

1. Slice or chop cucumbers.

2. In food processor: combine basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper and parmesan cheese. Blend ingredients till combined well.

3. Dress over cucumbers.

4. In Mortar, crush basil leaves and garlic till. Scoop up basil/garlic combo and place in bowl. Add salt, pepper, olive oil and cheese.

From White on Rice Couple, http://www.whiteonricecouple.com/gardening/lemon-cucumbers-with-pesto/

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