Thursday, June 25, 2009

Week Four: Heat Wave

At the Membership Meeting on Saturday Anne told us that with the solstice (which was on Sunday) comes a change. High summer arrives and the hot nights ripen the summer crops as spring crops come to an end. We begin to seed and plant the fall crops. Well, with these hot days I'd say we're seeing that pattern! Work continued this week at the farm despite the heat. We workers tried to stay cool by dipping our arms and heads in buckets of water (cold water on the inside of the elbows can cool you down so quickly!). On Tuesday we planted Brussels sprouts and weeded chard and picked peas. On Wednesday I was glad to get the work done early in the day before the heat really kicked in. We harvested a great crop of fava beans as well as the first beets and carrots of the season. Everything at the farm is looking great, though the strawberry beds need weeding to ensure that they thrive for next year--call the farm to volunteer for that important task. While you're there you should check out the *awesome* work that got done on the leek beds--leek weeding is important because the leeks stay in the ground all season and get big so slowly it's hard for them to keep ahead of the weeds.
Also this week I've been enjoying reading a collection of essays, The Gift of Good Land by Wendell Berry. I'm not sure whether to be encouraged or discouraged that we're still facing many of the same problems 30 years after he wrote these essays. But he's a great writer and can really capture the nature of a situation, so I find his writing very interesting.
So, this week's BOUNTIFUL share--note the new summer-y crops!:
Sugar snap peas - 1 lb
Carrots - 1 bunch
Beets - 1 bunch
Garlic scapes - 26
Swiss chard - 1/2 lb
Green onions - 5
Parsley - 1 bunch
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Lettuce - 2 heads
Fava beans - 1 lb

Fava bean Guacamole from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 102. After I made this unusual guac last year it has become the standard thing to make with fava beans at the farm--Anne even sent the recipe to the seed catalogue! I hope you enjoy it too.
Quick and Delicious Borscht from Greens, Glorious Greens p. 25 Another favorite from last year. This is more of a vegetable-soup-with-beets type of borscht.
Blair's famous Garlic Scape Pesto - Blair's own creation. Another yummy green spread!
Chard Chickpea Balti from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 47 This British interpretation of Pakistani food was popular last summer (read about what Balti is here)
Longest Day Salad with lettuce and maybe some grated carrots or something like that.

See you Friday!
Photos: 1. Mary picking up greens in the barn. (Photo by Nikki P.) 2. Blair and Mary planning the week's menu at Cafe Verde (photo by Michelle H.) 3. Mary's cookbooks at Cafe Verde (Photo by Michelle H.) 4. Farmer Paul and the bees (Photo by Nikki P.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Week Three: Garlic and Mosquitoes

What a busy week we've had. On Tuesday we had a great team out at the Farm, which was good because we had a lot of work to do. We spent the morning picking peas and then we transplanted ("dibbled") some lettuce for the green house. We also planted some gorgeous lettuce plants out in one of the fields. We'll be eating that in just a few weeks! Over lunch we got to hear stories from Vivian, a friend visiting from Spikenard Farm, where they have a bee sanctuary. Evidently it's important to plant things that will bloom in succession so that the bees always have food. Vivian describes Spikenard as an island in the middle of corn-and-soybean agriculture in Southern Illinois.
In the afternoon we had a big weeding project working on the summer squash. We eliminated QUITE a lot of galanzoga, a weed that is all over our farm, so that was exciting.
Wednesday started out in the pouring rain, which is unusual on a harvest morning in my experience. The rain let up after we finished harvesting the herbs, but we were out in the rain long enough to be wet down to the underwear! It was also pretty mosquito-y after the rain stopped, as Cynthia discovered when she was picking kale. This was our first week for harvesting the lovely garlic flowers or scapes. These unusual-looking veggies are one of the treats of spring. And they make great jewelry (follow links to pictures from last year's post). After a busy harvest morning and lunch and picking up the shares, the day ended with attending a concert by former farm apprentice Andrea. She was having a benefit to raise money for her recent knee-surgery. Not only was the music fabulous, but I saw many many CFK members, Farm members, and Farm workers there. It was definitely the place to be!

Sooo, this week's green green green share is:

Sugar snap peas - 1 1/2 lbs
Green onions - 10
Kale and Swiss Chard - 1 lb
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Garlic blossoms (scapes) - 18
Dill - 1 bunch
Lettuce - 4 heads

White Beans and Garlic Scape Dip from last year's NYT article about scapes
Chard with Sweet and Sour Ginger Sauce from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 88
Nitya's Veggies and Lentils - one of the members of the CFK has taught me to make this traditional dish from southern India. One of the ingredients is "Nitya's Mom's spice mix" so I know you'll like it. :-)
Dilly Green Goddess Dressing adapted from Laurel's Kitchen p. 133 - basically I'm planning to make some yogurt and throw herbs into the blender until we acheive deliciousness. Sound good? Vegans will get a vinaigrette.
Sabertooth Tiger Salad with lettuce, green onions, and maybe a few chopped up sugar snap peas
fresh lettuce
a big bag of sugar snap peas - who could ever have enough?

So, that's about it. I hope you're enjoying everything so far. We're looking forward to seeing you for pick up on Friday!
Pictures: 1. Blair working on salads last Friday. 2. Eliza tub-ing up your Spinach Tarragon Soup 3. Ricardo, Helen, and Kristin picking strawberries last week (photo by Nikki P.) 4. Cynthia weighing out sugar snap peas.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Week Two: Sun and Rain

Here we are at week two. The first week was amazing. In the kitchen, we kept busy all day long, but were mostly ready for everyone by the end of the day. CFK members managed to find their way to the pick up, so all went smoothly. The cooking team, Blair, Cynthia, Becky, and Eliza, worked really hard, but they are such good spirits. I'm excited about working with them this year. I hope you realize how much fun we have cooking your food!
It's been a good week at the Farm as well. CFK orientation on Saturday was really delightful--the weather was beautiful. On Tuesday we planted watermelon and cantaloupe. We had a LOT of beautiful seedlings and ended up planting MORE of these delicious summer treats than most years. I, for one, think this is a good thing. :-D Harvest day on Wednesday was a busy morning, but again good company made the work go smoothly. We finished a morning of bringing in greens with picking sugar snap peas, the candy of the farm. I hope you'll agree that they're a delicious snack just to crunch on--the hard part is stopping! This week we have the last of the spinach crop and the beginning of the Swiss chard. Seems like spring is ending--seasons change so quickly around here--or maybe they just shade gradually from one to another. We got FOUR more heads of lettuce each this week--I love how crisp and delicious it is...
Sorry about the lack of pics--I forgot my camera. I'll try to remember next time.

This week's share:
Sugar Snap Peas - 1 lb
Swiss Chard - 1/2 lb
Green onions - 10
Spinach - 1 lb
Dill - 1 bunch
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Lettuce - 4 heads

Veggie Burrito Bake from Simply in Season p.64 with tortillas from the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory
Creamy Spinach and Tarragon Soup from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 85 - this is a new raw foods recipe, but it's got good ingredients and I'm sure it'll be delicious.
Dill Pesto from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 260 - traditional for the CFK at this time of year :-)
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette from From Asparagus to Zucchini p. 63- probably the most delicious salad dressing we made last year. With all this lettuce we need to give you some salad dressing, right?
Fresh sugar snap peas - will you make it home before you eat them all?
"Strike a Chord!" Salad with lettuce and green onions
Washed lettuce

See you Friday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Week One: Best Spinach Harvest Ever!

Hello and welcome (back) to the CFK Season for 2009! I am so excited to be getting started. In addition to keeping these weekly posts about what's happening at the farm, complete with shares and recipes, I also am going to be updating my twitter feed on a daily basis, and sometimes more often. So, if you want to follow along with the food, visit You don't have to be a member of Twitter to follow the posts, but they also appear on the left upper side of THIS blog page! Woo.

This has been a great week at the farm. Last weekend 3rd graders from the Rudolf Steiner School came to the farm for an overnight field trip, and their energy really helped kick off the harvest season with Saturday's first harvest.

Rain early in the week led to a late start on Tuesday, but we spent a good afternoon planting lettuce, picking strawberries, and tidying up for Wednesday's harvest. Today we all arrived bright and early and ready to go. We spent the morning picking MASSIVE quantities of spinach and green onions. Then we bunched some herbs and got everything ready for the harvest. It was a beautiful, relaxed way to start our season.

This week's FULL share was:
Green onion - 6
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Dill - 1 bunch
Sage flowers - 1 sprig
Spearmint - 1 bunch
Spinach - 3 lbs
Lettuce - 4 heads (!!)
Strawberries - just a pint

Our first CFK menu will consist of:
Spinach Mushroom Green Onion Quiche from Simply in Season p. 60 --I got the mushrooms in a barter from Michigan Mushrooms at the Farmer's Market last week! They gave me a HUGE bag of mushrooms in exchange for my granola. I think it was a good deal :-)
For those who need it there will also be Vegan Quiche - tofu-based deliciousness!

Katharina's Spinach Sauce - a perennial CFK favorite, I learned this pasta sauce recipe from my friend Katharina (read about her biodynamic training in the previous post). It's deceptively simple and yet incredibly tasty.

Cilantro Hummus - I'll be doing a variation on the Pendle Hill Hummus recipe. There are a lot of funny stories about making this hummus last year, but we don't need to talk about how the chickpeas made a mess all over the kitchen now, do we?

Tamarind-Mint Dressing - A new recipe I found here, this sounds perfect for grilled vegetables and other grilled items...

Scrumptious Spring Salad - lettuce, green onions, sage blossoms, yum!

Lettuce for your salad and sandwich pleasure.

Strawberries - a tiny taste of heaven

Enjoy! See you Friday, and don't forget our orientation--Saturday at 10 am.

Photos: 1. Chalkboard in the distribution area at the farm. 2. Green onions - yay! 3. Sage flowers - pretty 4. Farmer Paul sets out lettuce 5. Cynthia shows that our car is full of greens.