Sogn Valley Farm CSA Newsletter Week 11 | Aug 14-15, 2018
What's In The Box
Red cherry tomatoes: The new variety we are growing this year set a ton of green fruit early, then ripened little-by little until this week, and BOOM! A harvest 4x bigger than any previous harvest. We’re sharing the bounty with you this week - two pints to full shares and one pint to half shares. I’m not blown away by the sweetness of this variety. While they’re certainly enjoyable eaten plain, they’re well suited to be halved and added to a salad. Try substituting them for the regular tomatoes in this cucumber/tomato salad recipe.
Yellow and red onions: The yellow onions are now cured and can be stored at room temperature. The red onion is only partially cured, and would be fine short periods at room temperature, but should be in the fridge if you’re going to hang onto it for a couple weeks.
Jalapeño peppers: Use these in this week’s enchilada recipe. If you don’t use them right away, they’ll keep quite well in the crisper drawer. Remember you can cut the heat by removing seeds and membrane.
Eggplant: You are receiving either globe or Asian eggplant, with a few members receiving a combination of both. Try using some in this dip recipe.
Tomatoes: Mostly red slicer tomatoes this week, a larger quantity than previous weeks. Full shares are also getting an heirloom tomato. Use these in this week’s recipe.
Beans: These beans are our last harvest from the first planting of beans – most are a little on the larger side. Still tender enough to eat raw, but they’re delicious steamed, blanched, or sautéed.
‘Amiga’ cucumbers: It has been quite a year for cucumbers and zucchini – they’ve been coming out of the field relentlessly (thus the reason you’ve seen a lot each week over the past month). We’re holding off on zucchini this week, but wanted to give you a taste of a new variety of cucumber, ‘Amiga.” These are thin-skinned, much like the English cucumbers. Full shares are also getting a regular cucumber. Use in the cucumber/tomato salad linked above.
Flat leaf parsley: This pungent herb is tasty with eggplant in the dip linked above. Also a nice one to add to green smoothies, tabbouleh, or as a soup garnish.
Cantaloupe: This first harvest of melons left us with an assortment of different varieties: First Kiss (small, round cantaloupe), Athena (large, oval cantaloupe), and Magnificenza (green/yellow striped oval melon). They should get more abundant and even sweeter over the next few weeks. If still slightly green, leave on the counter in a paper bag for another day or so.
Tomatillos: This tart relative of tomatoes is commonly used in Mexican cuisine – remove the husk, rinse the fruit, and try them out in this week’s enchiladas recipe.
Green bell peppers (full shares only): Use in the eggplant dip recipe.
Each week, we’ll give some hints about what new items may show up CSA shares in the next 1 -2 weeks. Please note, this is not a guarantee, but our attempt to give you an idea of what’s coming up.
Watermelon and/or cantaloupe – Cabbage – Carrots – Salad mix
I’m writing this from a hotel room in Madison, WI, on Tuesday morning. Karin is presenting a “pollinator short course” to farmers and land managers in this area as a part of her job with the Xerces Society. I’m here with my dad hat on, watching Anneli while Karin is presenting.
This is a very unusual feeling for me, being off the farm in the middle of a week in the middle of the growing season. So, who the heck is packing CSA boxes, you may be asking yourself?
I am fortunate enough to have a stellar crew working with me this year, which, now 10 weeks into the CSA season, I wholeheartedly trust to run CSA harvest, wash, and pack without me. Now that’s a luxury not every farmer has.
So as you enjoy this week’s box, remember that you have Aaron, Liz, Sam, Elyssa, Michael, and Becky to thank for what you’re eating.
We will be back late tonight, in time to see Twin Cities deliveries onto the truck on Wednesday morning, so not exactly a vacation. But during a time of year when I’m literally always either at the farm, at the farmers’ market, or picking Anneli up from daycare in Northfield, it’s still fun to have a change of scenery and a chance to talk with Karin during the drive.
It’s mid-August, less than two months away from the first fall share delivery. If you are interested in continuing deliveries through Thanksgiving, now’s the time to sign up. Click here to access the signup page. If you’ve already signed up but haven’t yet paid, the due date is August 15th, so please mail a check sometime this week, if possible.
It has been quite dry on the farm for a few weeks now. A couple of storm systems that brought rain to the Twin Cities and even our friends’ farms in Northfield, brought nothing more than an inconsequential sprinkle at the farm. We have been running irrigation 24/7, but still not getting to all the crops that need a drink. It again reminds us of how nice it would be to have a high-capacity irrigation well that would allow us to water large swaths of the farm quickly and with much less labor.
Meanwhile, we have entered the final phase of planting, where we start again seeding crops for fall harvest that had a hiatus over the summer ‒ arugula, spinach, radishes. We have one more succession of broccoli to plant and three more lettuce plantings to get into the ground, but the end of field planting is in sight.
Onions and garlic are mostly cured, cleaned, and now in storage to be doled out over the next three months. The earliest of the winter squash – delicata – is starting to ripen up, and fall carrots and beets are now well established and growing quickly; these will be harvested around the date of the first frost: late-September into October.
Some of you might be wondering about potatoes, and when you’ll see them in your CSA boxes. We decided to make a change this year, and instead of growing them ourselves, we are bringing them in from our friends Josh and Noah of Driftless Organics in Soldiers Grove, WI.
Why are we not growing them ourselves? We found that potatoes were a challenging one for us to do efficiently at our scale. We also have some soil-dwelling pests that liked to bore holes in the potatoes, causing a high proportion of non-marketable tubers. Josh and Noah grow maybe 20 acres of potatoes and have it down pat. We got word that they have now harvested their early potato varieties and plan to deliver ours in the next week or two, at which point you’ll start seeing them in CSA boxes. Stay tuned!
Have a great week,
Enchiladas Verdes (Serves 3-4)
1 pound fresh tomatillos (about 7 medium)
2 jalapeño peppers
1 clove garlic
4 large red tomatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 flour tortillas or 15 corn tortillas
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and pulled into bite-size pieces
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (or use Mexican cotija cheese)
1 head iceberg lettuce, washed and shredded (or use other fresh greens)
12 ounces (1 1⁄2 cups) sour cream
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, boil the tomatillos with the jalapeño peppers in enough water to cover until they become soft; remove from the water and drain. Put the tomatillos and jalapeños into a food processor, add the garlic clove, and blend until smooth.
Blanch and peel the tomatoes; cut into cubes.
In a small frying pan, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat; add the onion. Add the tomato cubes and cook until the onions become translucent. Add the blended tomatillo mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat more olive oil in a sautépan over high heat. Lightly fry the tortillas in the hot oil on both sides (or they may be served without frying). Drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Assemble the ingredients on each tortilla shell (chicken, cheese, tomatillo sauce, lettuce, and sour cream). Serve topped with salsa or guacamole.
— Terhune Orchards, Princeton, New Jersey
From Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook, by Mi Ae Lipe