CSA Week 8

Greetings!

Well, summer is officially upon us. We are finding a need to irrigate in the field, which hadn’t been the case thus far. Harvesting is in full swing. We are currently picking beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and squash two-to-three times per week. To help us with this busy part of the season, a group of kids from VYCC (Vermont Youth Conservation Corps) lend a hand once a week.

The group varies in size but consists of students, ages 16-18. They work on a number of different farms throughout the work week. Most recently, they helped us move our silage tarp to another piece of the garden. This is the first time Alchemy has utilized this tool. It’s a polyethylene tarp that has been covering a portion of our newest beds for over a month, in order to clear any unwanted weeds and grasses. It requires quite a few hands to move, but the results are rather incredible. Beneath the cover, was a beautiful, fluffy soil prime for planting a second succession of kohlrabi.

 

I have been writing this while a storm passes over. Sun is shining once more, so onward to seeding micro greens!

New additions this week include our first Tomatoes (Cherry & Slicing) and ESCAROLE- a bitter green used in Italian cooking. We also have a more plentiful stock of the summer vegetables that were offered last Saturday. See you at market!

 

-Katie


Recipe:

 

I have been on the prowl for delicious one-pot recipes that can be used for camping. My most recent obsession is with dutch oven pizza. It is a crowd pleaser for sure. Link is included that describes the method. This weekend my toppings included sliced mozzarella, whole garlic cloves, sliced tomato, chopped fennel, basil, and one of our purple peppers for a pop of color. Hope you enjoy!

https://freshoffthegrid.com/dutch-oven-pizza/

 

Peppers turning red, melons ripening, and lots of eggplant this week!

Peppers turning red, melons ripening, and lots of eggplant this week!

CSA Week 7

Happy Saturday! This week, we'll be bringing even more summer veggies: sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, carrots, basil bunches, parsley, green beans, and some really big, beautiful heads of garlic! The first tomatoes are ripening, and in the next few weeks we will have enough for market. It seems that in the last week or two, crops have REALLY started growing quickly and the garden is finally lush with foliage.

Sweet peppers on the left, Dancer eggplant and first ripe Taxi tomatoes on right  

Sweet peppers on the left, Dancer eggplant and first ripe Taxi tomatoes on right

 

So, a few weeks ago we began delivering to the Health Care Shares program, a program of the Vermont Farmers Food Center in partnership with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. In this program, families who need access to healthy food are given prescriptions for CSA shares by their physicians. Along with several other farms, we deliver produce every week to go into a multiple farm CSA. Our crops for this program are cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, green beans, tomatoes, and lettuce. 

Speaking of lettuce, the deer had until recently been having quite a "field day" with our lettuce. In the past, we've used an organic-approved spray that has kept the deer from eating too many crops, but this year it didn't seem to work for us. We've lost thousands of dollars worth of head lettuce--the deer like to come and take a bite right out of the middle as they near maturity. Scott has now installed a three line electric deer fence, and we are watching closely to be sure that the deer are staying out!

Here's a link to one of Scott's favorite summer recipes: Grilled Eggplant Salad with Walnuts, a recipe from the republic of Georgia that we came across years ago and absolutely crave once eggplant season arrives!

Enjoy!

a "twin" eggplant

a "twin" eggplant

CSA Week 6

Greetings everyone! So we've missed a few weeks of the CSA Newsletter. Unfortunately, one of our employees left and with that we have been very short handed on the farm. The CSA Newsletter slipped by the wayside, but no longer! Katie, our wonderful assistant farm manager, has taken on the task of writing it and giving you all an update on farm happenings. Check back here weekly (on Fridays or Saturdays) for the post about this week's produce.

Thanks, Lindsay, Scott, Ella & Murphy

Ella samples the first ripe husk cherry

Ella samples the first ripe husk cherry

 

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Hi All,

Hope the week has treated you well! What a lovely few days of sunshine.

We have a few exciting additions to both the farm and CSA share this week. A family of WWOOF volunteers (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) joined us all the way from the Lone Star State to help with the busy harvesting schedule that is quickly approaching. If you have any suggestions as to what these kind folks should do and see while here, please stop in and pass along some suggestions. They will be in and out of the market booth this month.

Now for those exciting new vegetable options…

In addition to last week’s selection of greens, micros, scallions, squash, zucchini, cabbage, kohlrabi, and herb bunches, we will have a limited number of fresh garlic before the larger harvest, bunches of carrots, bunches of basil, cucumbers, and peppers (a few sweet and hot varieties).

Lettuces, beet & chard greens, and herbs

Lettuces, beet & chard greens, and herbs

Recipe idea (and it only takes 30 minutes!):

Spiralzed Zucchini Casserole

1 cup ricotta cheese

½ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 clove garlic (minced)

½ teaspoon ground pepper

3-4zucchini (6 cups spiralized or peeled)

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

1.    Position a rack in the top of the oven, and preheat boiler to high

2.    Combine ricotta, Parmesan, basil, garlic, and ¼ tsp pepper in medium bowl. Set aside

3.    Using spiral vegetable slicer or a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into long thin strands or strips. You’ll need 6 cups of “noodles.” Place them on a cutting board and shape into an even 20” square. Cut the square into eighths and transfer to a broiler-safe pan.

4.    Drizzle each of the now eight squares with oil, salt, and remaining pepper. Make a well in the center of each square and spoon in about 2 Tablespoons of the filling.

5.    Broil until browned in spots, 6-8 minutes.

All for now, and happy cooking!

-Katie

Ella and Murphy survey the potatoes, growing nicely

Ella and Murphy survey the potatoes, growing nicely

CSA Week 2

Purple kohlrabi. Red radishes. GREENS. herbs.

This week we still have an abundance of leafy greens with some colorful bursts as well:

  • Head Lettuce (NEW!)
  • Lettuce mix
  • Kale bunches
  • Kale mix
  • Micro greens Mix
  • Micro Basil
  • Pea Shoots
  • Purple Kohlrabi (NEW!)
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Dill (NEW!)

Today we enjoyed a couple big salads as part of our meals--first, delicious and crunchy butterhead lettuce for lunch. Then, lots of lettuce mix for dinner. 

Sometimes we have customers who come and tell us their bag of lettuce mix lasted over two weeks. It is great that our produce keeps that long, being nutrient dense and picked fresh. But, what I would like to tell these customers is how I eat a whole bag of lettuce mix in a sitting. Why did they wait two weeks to finish theirs? We have these conversations with our farmer friends as well, and all of us are eating bags and bags of greens each week. It is not out of the question for Scott and I to go through 2-3 bags of greens for one meal.

One of my favorite things to do is to make each of us a big salad with whatever veggies we have, like some chopped carrots and kohlrabi, apple, toasted sunflower seeds and walnuts, cheddar, avocado, pea shoots, and lots of micro greens. I find that when I eat salads like this, I start to crave them. 

Kohlrabi may be a new item for some of you. It is delicious raw and eaten plain or in salad, but can also be roasted or cooked in a soup or stir-fry.

Here's a recipe I haven't tried, but it's going on my list: 

KOHLRABI CARROT FRITTERS WITH AVOCADO CILANTRO CREAM SAUCE

  • 2 kohlrabi
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup sunflower or vegetable oil (enough for ¼-inch depth in a large skillet)
  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Green onions (for garnish)

Cut the leaves off the kohlrabi and peel the bulb (may not be necessary for this recipe). Shred the vegetables in a food processor, or by hand using a grater. Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture, then add to a medium bowl with 1 egg, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Mix to combine.

Place ½ cup oil in a large skillet (enough for ¼-inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat, then place small patties of the fritter mixture into the oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

In a small bowl, mix ½ avocado, ¼ cup plain yogurt, juice from ½ lemon, cilantro, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to make the avocado cilantro cream (or blend the ingredients together in a food processor).

Serve fritters with avocado cilantro cream and sliced scallions.

And a few photos from the farm...

our lettuce mix is cut and double washed for quality and your convenience. zucchini and patty pan squash behind.

our lettuce mix is cut and double washed for quality and your convenience. zucchini and patty pan squash behind.

baby patty pan squash, our favorite summer squash variety

baby patty pan squash, our favorite summer squash variety

tractor and sky

tractor and sky

 

 

 

CSA Week 1

Greetings CSA members! We are excited for the CSA season to begin. Crops are growing well in the field, and despite a rainy start, the plants look beautiful and healthy. 

For the first week, you will be able to choose from:

  • Spinach

  • Kale bunches

  • Kale Mix

  • Lettuce Mix

  • Microgreens Mix

  • Micro Basil

  • Sunflower Shoots

  • Pea Shoots

  • Cilantro

  • Radishes

  • Carrots

  • Scallions

  • Any plant starts for your home garden- veggies, culinary herbs, medicinal herbs, and flowers

 

We wanted to highlight our sunflower shoots for this first week. Sunflower shoots are the first green growth of sunflower plants. We grow them in trays of soil, thickly sown, and cut, wash, and spin them so they are ready to eat. 

Sunflower greens offer one of the most balanced forms of a complete plant protein by providing all of the essential amino acids our bodies need. They are full of folate (folic acid), and B complex, vital nutrients for pregnant women and developing babies. High levels of antioxidants in sunflower greens can aid in heart health and slow aging. High levels of vitamins C, E, and selenium can even reduce high blood pressure and improve arterial health. They also contain vitamins A, D, and E as well as important minerals including zinc, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium.

We find them incredibly delicious eaten straight out of the bag, on top of salads, or in sandwiches or wraps. In salads, they are especially tasty paired with toasted sunflower seeds. (We often toast nuts and seeds in our toaster oven or a dry skillet before adding to our salads). Enjoy this recipe!

Quinoa Salad with Sunflower Shoots and Carrots

1 cup dry quinoa

1 3/4 cup water

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup carrots, chopped

1/3 cup cilantro, minced

1/4 cup sunflower seeds (toasted, if you like)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 T. tamari (soy sauce)

1 bag sunflower shoots

Rinse quinoa with warm water and drain through a fine strainer. Place quinoa, salt and water in a pot. Bring water to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes uncovered, then fluff with a fork.

Place cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Add carrots, sunflower seeds, sunflower shoots, and cilantro to quinoa. Mix thoroughly. Combine garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and tamari; pour over quinoa and toss well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.