Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - June 25, 2008
Fresh from the Garden News
A Farmer’s Labor of Love… We often wonder what we were thinking when we decided to become organic farmers. The physical challenges of enduring seven days a week & long hours has its rewards when you are there telling us that you appreciate our efforts. We love growing food for you!
Every year is different. I have been talking with some other growers at the farmers market, & everyone says that things are growing very slowly. I think it is because of the long winter, lots of snow made the ground very cold & most crops don’t like cold feet. Hard to say. We also have pest problems this year that we have never had before. It’s always something! Please know that we are doing our best and even though these early bags are a bit light, we will more than make up for it later. It balances out for the cost invested. We want to be “your farmer”. Thank you for your patience. With warmer days, the variety will get better.
As promised, you have some Small Planet Tofu which is made locally on a farm outside of Newport, Washington. We will try to get this now and then for you. It is hands down, the best tofu I have ever eaten! Just like anything else, fresh is always more flavorful. You can buy it at Winter Ridge if you want more between the times that we can get it. I like to slice it and grill it in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil, salt & pepper, and serve it on top of our greens for added protein.
Let’s talk a little bit about recycling. We encourage you to recycle some items that come to you every week like the paper bags, egg cartons, twist ties and later, hard plastic containers that we use to protect tender vegetables for packing, back to us. We can reuse the net bags that some items will be delivered in as well. We do not re-use the plastic bags. You can re-use them, we can not for health code reasons. We do not want your cans, bottles or jars. You can recycle whatever you have, but please only send us back the items noted. If you get the type of containers that flip open, (berries often come in these), we can re-use those again.
We have thought of not using the plastic bags just to be more environmentally friendly, however, produce stays fresh longer stored this way, so we use it. Thanks for helping us!
What's Happening on the Farm...
The other day, Thom heard a commotion of a robin squawking and flopping around in the strawberry patch. As he got closer to the bird, the bird attempted to fly away, but could not get off the ground. A garden snake had attached itself to the breast of the robin and was hanging on tight. All we could figure out was that maybe the tail of the snake was sticking out, the robin thought it was a worm and pecked at it. The garden snakes are good for the garden as they eat bugs, grasshoppers, slugs and many pests. The robins often peck at or eat the strawberries as soon as they are ripe, so we think the snake was protecting the berries. This is the first time one ever went after a robin that we know of. Finally, the snake let go, the robin flew away, and the snake, with a mouth full of feathers, slithered off as the master protector of the strawberry patch. Thom thinks the snake looked like he was pretty proud of himself.
What's in the Bag
- Salad Mix—Always double washed! We grow 37 kinds of lettuce and rotate the varieties all summer.
- Swiss Chard—The chard is the one with the brightly colored stems.
- Kale—Not much kale, but it is mixed in with the chard.
- Small Planet Tofu
- Baby Garlic
- Barley—Excellent recipe on the package! Try it out!
- Winter Carrots—These are imports from California I am sorry to say but we wanted to add something else for you.
- Dill—Excellent with just about anything! Adds a burst of flavor in your salad greens. Try the recipe on the other side for Creamy Dill Sauce.
One of our long time CSA members, Andrea Ward sent me an email that I thought sounded like an excellent way to serve up some of the greens that you are receiving. I wanted to share this with you:
One of my favorite ways to use them is to lightly sauté the chopped greens with garlic in some olive oil. I then add some balsamic vinegar and reduce it down a bit. (Some times I add some garbanzo beans, mushrooms, etc. to vary) I then serve over pasta. Its a great quick supper. ~Andrea Ward
More ideas: The other day, I sliced up a bunch of chard and kale with some of the baby garlic in a little olive oil, cooking the stems first (they take a little longer) and then added the greens. I covered them to let them steam a little, added salt and pepper and served the greens on a bed of rice. We had grilled salmon on the side and it was a delicious meal! The Creamy Dill sauce is very good on fish too!
All of the greens are really good cooked with eggs as a scramble with cheese too. Dill is an excellent compliment to any egg dish!
Creamy Dill Sauce from Farmer John's Cookbook
This versatile dill sauce is wonderful in egg salad, or tossed with cucumbers, or as a sauce for fish or crab cakes. It also makes a delicious salad dressing. We like it on just about anything. You can use a food processor or make it by hand.
Makes about 3/4 cup
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon minced shallot or scallion
- 1/4 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
- Pinch salt + to taste + pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- Lemon juice
1. Combine the oil, vinegar, shallot or scallion, mustard, pinch of salt and pepper in large jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously until the oil and vinegar have thickened.
2. Beat the egg yolk with the sour cream in a separate bowl until well combined.
3. If you’re using a food processor: process the yolk and sour cream for 30 seconds and then, with the machine still running, pour in the vinaigrette in a very thin stream in about three additions, letting the sauce thicken before each addition. If you’re making the dressing by hand: using a good whisk, beat the yolk and sour cream; then add the vinaigrette a scant tablespoon at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition, until the vinaigrette is fully combined with the egg yolk and sour cream.
4. Once you’ve incorporated the last of the vinaigrette and the sauce is very thick, thin it either with a little lemon juice (1-2 teaspoons) or by vigorously stirring in 1 tablespoon of boiling water.
Stir in the dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Chard can take the place of spinach or any winter green in most recipes. Its red, green an multi-colored varieties are interchangeable in cooking.
Use both the stems and the leaves. When preparing chard, cut a few leaves at a time instead of the whole bunch. Besides facilitating chopping, it’s easier to see any bruised or damaged parts that should be discarded.
Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.