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Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - June 22, 2011

Fresh from the Garden News

I have to admit that despite this long cold springtime, I would rather have this for transplanting in the gardens than the heat of the east coast and mid-western U.S. This is the latest that we have ever started up the CSA’s in 16 years. I don’t really refer to this as “global warming” anymore...more realistic to call it “climate change”, as it is quite different than what we are used to.

Thom and I both worked in the woods for many years and have the appropriate rain gear and clothing for working outside in the elements. Cool and wet weather is perfect for transplanting the thousands of tender seedlings that we set out in the fields every year. With the official arrival of summer solstice (June 21st), it will hopefully transition into warmer days and sunshine to help things grow. I keep telling our apprentices that “next week, it’s going to be sunny and hot”.

We have two apprentices with us this summer: Jen grew up in Africa and served in the Peace Corps there; she came to learn how to grow in a different climate. Nina lives in Bonner County, is a mother of five and here to learn how to grow an organic garden for her family. We are grateful for the help and happy to share what we know with hopes that they will learn to grow great gardens in the future.

Farmers are eternal optimists—we have to be to do this year after year. We are grateful that you also believe in what we do as we could not persist doing this without your continued support. Being a part of a CSA is the next best thing to eating out of your own garden and a heck of a lot easier for you!

I sent out several emails and am not certain that everyone received them since I did not hear back from all of you. We just changed our email and jumped into the twenty-first century with high-speed after over a decade of slow-motion dial-up. Still working out the kinks. If you haven’t made the address book change for us, please do:

Having high speed will provide some opportunity for me to do some on-line webinars and workshops, which will be so nice to be able to work from home. Last winter, I taught an on-line course for UI in Sustainable Ag and had to drive into town to the Extension office once a week to access high speed. It’s pretty exciting for sure and we are happy to have this technology in our household. It also allows our apprentice to use the wireless.

What's In The Bag

  • Salad Mix—always double washed, colorful & full of fresh flavor.
  • Spinach— double washed.
  • Rhubarb—just enough to make one of the recipes on the other side of this page.
  • Shallots—from our 2010 crop
  • Swiss Chard—a favorite  of ours sautéed with shallots; add a few farm fresh eggs for a scramble or just sauté with butter, salt and pepper.
  • Bambino Garlic—Baby         garlic...use the white stem like green onions. 
  • Dried Basil—something to get you by until the fresh basil is ready.
  • Fresh herbs—Oregano, sage flowers and chives.  Pull the chive flowers off the stem and sprinkle in with your salad.  The oregano is a nice addition to salads as well. 
The sage flowers are an excellent complement to fish—just sauté the flowers in olive oil to flavor the oil, then add the fish or chicken.



  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (*or sour milk)
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, softened

Heat oven to 325 degrees and grease bottoms only of two 8x4" loaf pans.

*to make sour milk, just add a TBS of vinegar to the milk. It works just fine as a replacement for buttermilk.

In large bowl, combine brown sugar, buttermilk, oil and egg and beat well. Add remaining ingredients except 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. butter. Mix just until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pans.

In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter in pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Store in refrigerator.                                          This bread freezes quite well. I double wrap in plastic wrap to freeze. It is very moist and delicious!

*If you don’t get around to using your rhubarb within ten days, just chop it up and put it in a freezer bag. That way, later, when you have the time, you can thaw it out for some delicious bread!

RAW KALE SALADS —- two recipes to try!

  • 1 bunch kale, cut into ¼-inch strips horizontally, about 4 cups
  • ¼ red onion, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 ounce Gruyere cheese, finely grated (or fresh Parmesan)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to combine.

Drizzle the olive oil over the ingredients, and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss to combine, and serve.

*Important to finely chop kale


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 bunches kale, stems and tough ribs removed, leaves very finely chopped


In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, chili powder and salt. Add kale, toss to combine and serve.

Salad dressing— Absolutely Fabulous Greek


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar 

Directions: In a large container, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, onion powder, and Dijon-style mustard.
Pour in the vinegar, & mix vigorously until well blended. Store tightly covered at room temp.

You can use fresh basil & oregano when you have it. This is easy, quick and delicious!

"Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience."
          ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



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