Thursday, July 31, 2008

Week Eight: Pray for rain...

It's been another good week at the Farm, though we could really do with a good soaking rain. On Monday my friend Jared spent the day with us at the Farm and pitched in with the potato harvest, making a soil mix, digging garlic, and moving straw into the barn. It was a big day of work and it was so nice to have the extra hands and (of course) Jared's company. I think he had a good time despite the heat and hard work because he kept saying he had to leave and actually wound up staying the whole day. :-) The Farm does that to people. Remember that anyone can come out to join in the work of the farm any day except Sunday, so come on out some time!
On Wednesday it was another huge harvest to bring in, but this week all I can remember reveling in the community aspect of the Farm, with my co-workers being more like friends and mentors than anything else. Even when we're very busy there's always time for a hug and a kind greeting. I'm so lucky to work here!!
This week's share is:
Potatoes- 2 lbs
Choice of 1 box tomatoes or 2 little cabbages (when there's a choice like this I get some of each)
Beans - 1/2 lb
Rosemary - 1 sprig
Swiss chard - 1/2 lb
Parsley - 1 bunch
Carrots - 5
Basil - 13 tips
Cucumbers - 3
Summer squash - 3
Lettuce - 2 heads
Arugula - 1 bunch
Garlic - 1 head
Mint - 1 stalk

This week's menu is:

Zucchini Fritters from The Farmer's Market Cookbook p. 114
Potato Salad with Arugula from Greens, Glorious Greens p. 11
Chilled Cucumber-Yogurt Soup from Moosewood p. 30
Vegans get Red, White, and Spring Green Crunch Salad from From Asparagus to Zucchini p. 129
and this week we REALLY will do the Oriental Green Beans (and Chard!) from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook p. 47
Don't Forget to Vote (Primaries Aug 4) Salad with lettuce, carrots, and cabbage

The Fritters are going to be VERY labor intensive, but they're delicious and they'll be worth it. My dear friend Nell will be joining us in the Kitchen for the day and with her help I'm sure we'll manage to fritter away (noontime, suppertime, chore time too!). For the Cucumber Yogurt Soup Claire and I are busily making some homemade yogurt, so look forward to that!

That's about all, I think. E.W. suggested that at the end of posts I put up a brief explanation of the photos, so here goes: 1. Massive amounts of prep work gets done every week--and the veggies are so pretty and colorful! (Swiss chard in the foreground, summer squash in the background) 2. Nora shows how huge the Swiss chard leaves are! 3. Last week's beets and beet greens were so pretty 4. Garlic hanging in the barn to dry 5. Another full car load of veggies to take home 6. In the middle of yogurt making. Enjoy! - Mary

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Week Seven: Journey into Summer

So as most of you know now, I wasn't in the Kitchen on Friday. I was on the train going to Philadelphia where I attended the wedding of my college friends, Sara and Andrew. While there I also spent the night with my dear friends Anna and Garrett who made me a delicious dinner out of their CSA share. Down in Delaware they're already getting sweet corn! Mmmm. And of course, the Kitchen ran well in my absence. I've heard good things about the food that Margaret, Michelle, Cynthia, Claire, and Nora made (one of my friends is encouraging me to refer to these lovely ladies as my minions--I'm not so sure!); I know they worked really hard. It's good to know I can leave the work in their capable hands!
After a seriously sweltering weekend, I'm sure we're all welcoming this slightly cooler weather. Yesterday at the farm was one of those perfect days: sunny, breezy, perfect temperature. There was a LOT to get done, as you'll see when you check out how much food we brought home. Missing work on Monday (on train returning from Philly) I missed out on the first round of garlic digging. It's amazing how much can change at the Farm after only a short absence. I'm sure I'll get to dig some garlic in the next week. I hear it's a lot easier than it was last year, when the hard ground made it heartbreaking (finger-breaking, pitch fork-breaking, and back-breaking) work. The goal is to get the garlic cloves out of the ground without breaking them off their stems or poking them with the pitch fork--it's harder than it sounds! Anyhow, I arrived at the Farm on Wednesday to find the barn full of drying garlic. We brought some home, but we won't be using it for a week or two until it's dry. In the mean time we're still finishing up the garlic scapes. Enjoy these pictures from the distribution area of the Farm--the barn where members (including myself and Cynthia) go to collect the shares. Speaking of which, this week's share is:
Beans - 1 1/4 lb
Choice of 1 box of early tomatoes or 1 cabbage
Parsley- 1 bunch
Swiss Chard - 1/2 lb
Basil - 5 tips
Carrots - 4
Garlic - 4 cloves
Beets - 4
Lettuce - 2 heads
Summer squash - 3
Potatoes - 1 box
Cucumbers - 3
Arugula - 1 bunch

This week's menu will be:
Summer Squash and Arugula with Fresh herbs pasta sauce from Greens, Glorious Greens p. 13
Tabouli from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 104
Beans and Potato Curry from From Asparagus to Zucchini p. 49
Balsamic Beets and Beet Greens with Chard from Greens, Glorious Greens p. 23
and depending on how many beans end up in the curry we may do Oriental Green Beans from The Community Farm Cookbook p. 47
My Salad Days Salad with lettuce and cabbage
and everyone will get one fresh cucumber to enjoy.

Remember, we always welcome feedback here on the blog or in the emails!
See you Friday!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Week six: Art Fair Madness!

Well, that crazy art fair week has arrived and I hope everyone's reveling in it! This week at the farm has been quite hot. On Monday we spent the day weeding the summer fruit vegetables--peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants. For once we have a field that looks really neat and weed-free right next to the barn! Harvest morning on Wednesday went really well. We finished early, before the real heat of the day kicked in, despite the fact that Cynthia and I were extremely late after getting stuck behind a line-painting truck on Scio Church Road. As ever, I forgot to take my camera to the Farm, but I did get some great pictures of us cooking last week, so enjoy these shots of your food in the making. On the Kitchen front, it's going to be in interesting week because I'm going to be away on Friday--heading out of town to attend the wedding of two of my friends. However, after an excellent cooks' meeting last night I have complete confidence in Cynthia, Michelle, Margaret, Claire, and Nora. They've got a great menu lined up for you this week!
This week's share:
Cabbage - 1 head
Summer squash - 2
Greens - 1/2 lb
Parsley - 1 bunch
Cucumber - 1
Arugula - 1 bunch
Lettuce - 2 heads
Potatoes - 1 box
Carrots - 7
Beets - 4

The menu is:
Colcannon from Laurel's Kitchen, p. 197
What is Colcannon? I'm so glad you asked. It's an Irish dish with potatoes and greens. And there's this fabulous song about it!

Asian Cabbage Slaw from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 259
Split Pea and Zucchini soup from The Best-Ever Vegetarian Cookbook p. 30
Beet, Carrot, and Cucumber Salad with Lime Vinaigrette from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 133
Very Artistic Salad with lettuce and arugula

a note about CFK stock: you might notice on some of your labels that we use "homemade stock". Well, it's true! We make our own vegetable stock by boiling vegetable scraps (onion peel, parsley stems, apple cores, carrot ends, whatever we have to hand) in water for a while. No added salt but plenty of flavor. Hope you enjoy!

See you next week!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Week Five: Ramblin' in the new-mown hay

I bet this won't come as a surprise to anyone, but I forgot my camera this week. I'm planning to take it to the Kitchen on Friday, though, and get pics of the food in progress. Last week the slicing of the beets was simply visually beautiful, so I want to share it with you.
It's been a great week at the Farm. Over the weekend we made hay (the title of this post refers to the folk song "Country Boy" which has verses about the seasons). On Sunday a huge team of volunteers came to the Farm to bring the hay into the barn: hard work physically, not to mention hot and dusty! I find it rewarding, though, to do a big job like that in a group. There's definitely a sense of community involved and it was lovely to be joined not only by farm regulars and apprentices but by two CFK members, Craig and Renee. After unloading 10 wagons containing something like 950 bales of hay in 5 hours, the hay crew wound up the evening relaxing and chatting in the new picnic space. It was a perfect day in so many ways: good weather (not too hot), good company (and plenty of it--no one had to overwork with a crew of nearly 25), and good work. Join us next year!
The Farm and the Kitchen have been featured in the media this week, excitingly! Check out my interview with by clicking here. In this podcast (which is more than an hour long, I'm afraid) we have a great discussion about the organic/local food movement, the Community Farm, the CFK, and ethical issues surrounding these topics. It was an interesting conversation and makes for good listening. Feel free to join the site and make comments and join the conversation yourself!
Also, the Farm's Weed and Sing program was featured on WUOM. Read and listen here. This article is only like 2 minutes long and is well-worth the listen, I think, for the sake of the voices of Anne, Karen, and a volunteer, and the singing in the background.
And now, this week's share:
Fava beans - 1 lb
Zucchini (!) - 1 small
Basil (summer is here!) - 6 tips
Cabbage - 1
Green onions - 5
Greens - 1 lb
Carrots - 6
Beets - 4
Lettuce - 3
Parsley - 1 bunch
Cilantro - 1 bunch

and the menu...
Roasted beets and carrots with rosemary (recipe I learned at Pendle Hill)
Green Goddess Dressing from Laurel's Kitchen p. 132 (herbed vinaigrette for vegans)
Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Beet Greens, Zucchini, Raisins and Apples from Greens, Glorious Greens p. 69
Fava Bean Pasta Sauce from
Dressed Grain from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook p. 37
"Ramblin' in the new-mown hay" Salad with lettuce and green onions and maybe some herbs.

A note about salad names, ever since last year I've been giving the salads creative names. Julia and I decided it would be more interesting than just calling it "Salad with lettuce and green onions" week after week. Instead we use lines from poems, comments on current life, etc. It's a bit like how the character in the movie Waitress gives all her pies interesting names (though a little less personal--usually it's just about a poem or song I like). :-) Thought I'd clarify that.

See you all on Friday!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Week Four: Vegetable Jewels

It's been a good week out at the farm. We've gotten a lot of weeding done in the peppers, leeks, parsley, and sweet potatoes. It's been good weeding weather--not too hot, the ground fairly soft and the weeds easy to pull. Even the leek weeding, usually my bane trying to find the tiny leeks amidst the large weeds, wasn't that bad since the leeks are actually pretty big already. Anne and Paul are hoping to cut the hay sometime in the next few days and we'll bring it in on Saturday or Sunday (volunteers are welcome!). This week's harvest seems especially beautiful to me, so I'm happy to have remembered my camera so I can share that beauty with all of you.

Harvest morning was pleasantly cool and we had lots of good workers out to bring in the harvest. We've picked just about the last of the garlic scapes--harvesting a count of 1257 scapes in one morning. The hardest part of that was keeping the count :-). We spent a long time in the parsley, first weeding and then picking 80 bunches. I was excited to get a good harvest of carrots. I didn't help harvest them but I did get some pictures of Angela washing them.

Here's the harvest share:
Beets - 4
Carrots - 4
Kale and Collards - 1/2 lb
Garlic flowers - 15
Lettuce and endive - 3 heads
Green onions - 3
Parsley - 1 bunch

This week's menu:
Buttermilk Borscht (completely different from the previous borscht!) from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 24
(for the vegans: Vegan Borscht from
Greens in Peanut Sauce from Simply in Season p. 195
Parsley Lemon dressing from Laurel's Kitchen p. 130
White bean and garlic scapes dip from The New York Times
Justice for All salad with lettuce, endive, and grated carrots

Enjoy! See you Friday!