March 28, 2023
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Oranges, Grapefruit, Beets, Kale, Bok Choy & Mustard Greens
Bread this week: Asiago OR Whole Wheat your choice of one
NO CSA Delivery April 11th and April 15th
~Good Humus Plant Sale~
Saturday April 15th time 11-3PM
Bring picnic blanket and enjoy the farm
~Mother’s Day Hats & High Tea~
Saturday May 13th 2-5PM
If you are interested in joining us please email Claire for ticket availability as they are limited. See the website for more information on the event.
This week on the farm
Today I am sitting in the grass watching one of our piles of peach pruning’s burn. We haven’t been able to burn them and feel safe about it in roughly 3 years? Now I get to sit, enjoying the cool air and breeze as the fire crackles.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how different this winter has been from last (or the last few). It is really interesting to see such stark contrasts. To see so clearly the effect the excess water has had on the farm in comparison to the excess sunshine we have seen in the drought.
This time last year I was gearing up to get married. We were harvesting about 12-15 buckets of ranunculus 3 times a week. Our cooler was packed full of them, and we couldn’t sell them fast enough. It meant that come the day I got to celebrate; we had wheelbarrows full of ranunculus around the farm, and flowers on every surface, in my hair, and in the garden. It was such a vibrant and glorious show. In contrast, today was our first harvest of the Ranuncs, 3 small buckets. We only have a few flowers blooming at the moment, Last year this week, my mom was harvesting armloads full of the most beautiful stock we have every grown, today, the same plant is 6 inches tall. We are still patiently waiting for all of our crops to catch up to the calendar.
What I have found useful in the contrast is that it teaches me exactly how much water and heat matter to the plants. Our greenhouse is also a bit behind, but not because we planted our seedlings late, they have just not been warm enough to germinate and then grow. The whole farm is dragging our feet in response to the cold wet weather. It teaches us farmers exactly how much we are at the mercy of the weather and seasons. We might want to plant our seedling tomatoes, basil, eggplant, squash and cucumbers in the beginning of April, but since we can’t even mow down our cover crops to start preparing those beds, well we better get comfortable with a flexible timeline. Jeff said the other day, “the two most challenging impulses in farming to resist are: resisting the desire to increase the scale of the farm, and to put your tractor onto the fields too early.” So, as the world’s most impatient lady, I am internally fighting every day the urge to mow that flowering mustard and vetch.
As Ross Gellar says “PIVOT!” so rather than forcing groundwork at a time when the weight of the tractor will seriously damage our soil health, we get to pivot to projects! Greenhouse improvements, mechanical work, neglected burn piles, value added products, putting up owl boxes at the back 10. Jobs that have been neglected because our rainy winter months have ended around January 10th, and we had to be back on the ground running by February 1st .
So the silver linings I can glean from the stress and apprehension of being low on product, and late for our next set, is that mother nature will guide us where she wants us to go, and the less we resist her and instead just lean in the easier all this life will be. I think it was on social media I read something silly like “Replace the word “problem” with “opportunity”” and while its annoyingly simplified for a continuously complicated life, I can appreciate the twist in perspective. So we are pivoting from our problem of 30 acres of mud, to an opportunity to sit in the grass and watch our burn pile dwindle as I write to you. Have a lovely week! ~Ali
Roasted Beet Hummus
1 small roasted beet
1 15-oz. can cooked chickpeas (mostly drained)
1 large lemon (zested)
1/2 large lemon (juiced)
1 healthy pinch salt and black pepper
2 large cloves garlic (minced)
2 heaping Tbsp tahini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Once your beet is cooled and peeled, quarter it and place it in your food processor. Blend until only small bits remain. Add remaining ingredients except for olive oil and blend until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil as the hummus is mixing. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, lemon juice, or olive oil if needed. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water. Will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
⅔ cup fine bulgur
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves finely chopped (5 cups)
2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
½ cup torn mint leaves
½ cup diced radish
Black pepper, as needed
Cook bulgur according to package instructions. Cool. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, shallot, cumin and salt. Whisk in olive oil. In a large bowl, toss together bulgur, kale, tomatoes, mint and radish. Toss in dressing. Season with black pepper and more salt if you like, and drizzle with additional oil if desired.
OVEN BAKED BEET FRIES WITH SPICY AIOLI
Source: Asian Caucasian
4 medium red beets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
For the Aioli:
½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a large baking tray in the oven while it heats. Peel the beets. Cut into thick slices and cut them into ½-inch strips. In a large mixing bowl, toss the beet strips with the olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. When oven is preheated, remove the baking tray and spread the beet strips onto the tray in a single layer (do not overlap!). Bake for 15 minutes. Toss the beets and bake another 10 minutes. They should be nice and crispy. Bake longer if necessary. After removing from the oven, sprinkle the fries with a little more salt. To make the aioli dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sambal oelek. Serve on the side with the beet fries.
Saag with Mustard greens, kale, parsley, mint and cilantro
1 cup Mustard Greens
1 cup Kale
¼ cup Parsley
¼ cup Mint
¼ cup Cilantro
5 Green chillies
2 Tbsp Oil of your choice
½ tsp Cumin
1 tsp - Ginger garlic paste
Place ½ cup of water and all greens in pressure cooker or thick bottom pan. Add salt. Cook till 2 whistles. If cooking in pan, close the lid and cook for 30 minutes on medium high heat. Once cooked, grind with hand blender. If you don't have hand blender, you can use regular blender. Make sure you don't grind to paste. Couple of pulses are enough. Now prepare tadka. Pour oil in a small pan. When heated, add cumin. When they splutter, add onion and ginger garlic paste. Fry for 2 mins till onions are soft. Pour tadka in saag. Mix. I pour hot oil tadka then deglaze with saag. Serve.
Sicilian Whole Orange Cake
1 1/8 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 large organic orange, washed and cut into pieces (with the rind, but remove the seeds)
add 1 tsp vanilla extract
juice of one organic orange
1/3 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8" springform pan by spraying with oil (or butter) and lining in parchment paper (sides optional, if you want really clean sides), then spray the paper, too. Place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Sift the flour with the baking powder or Paneangeli then add to the mixture in the bowl a little at a time along with the softened butter. Continue to mix until completely blended, then stir in the yogurt. In a food processor, process the whole orange until it is almost pureed. Add this orange to the cake mixture (along with the vanilla if you used plain baking powder) and stir until evenly combined, then put the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes (depending on your oven), but test with a cake tester or skewer to make sure the orange cake is done before removing from the oven. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then remove the side of the springform pan. Make the orange glaze Prepare the glaze by melting the sugar in the orange juice and allow to simmer for a few minutes, just until the liquid has a syrupy consistency. Spoon and brush over the top of the cake and allow to cool completely before cutting
Honey Ginger Mustard Greens and Bok Choy
4 T stock or water mixed with 2 T tapioca starch or cornstarch
1/4 c honey
1/3 c soy sauce
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 c Rice vinegar plus 1T honey
2 tsp Sesame oil
Mustard greens chopped
Bok Choy, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
peanut, olive, coconut oil or butter for sautéing
Serve with rice or rice noodles or under crab cakes
Micro or baby greens to top dish with
Mix together the sauce and heat on the stove until it thickens and just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat. In a large pan or wok, heat oil sauté greens and bok choy until tender. Depending on the age/size of the mustard greens you may want to cook them a bit longer to remove any bitterness. Pour in as much sauce as you like and cook for another minute. Remove and serve either alone or over rice or rice noodles. This goes great with a lemon pepper fish or with chicken or beef sliced and cooked in the wok before the greens.