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Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - July 20, 2011

Fresh from the Garden News

We hosted the WSU Natural Pest Management Field Day last Sunday. Even though it was the hottest day of the summer so far, it was a successful event. We had 26 people attending; most of them were home gardeners wanting to learn more about integrated pest management practices. The graduate student presented her research project as a part of her dissertation. Joyce brought a microscope so we could actually have a good look at nematodes swimming around, along with her insect collections of assorted “bugs” from across the country. We had a hatch of ladybugs just in time for the event, which was an excellent way to see them in all stages of metamorphosis. Our cherry trees have aphids, which in turn have become a hatchery for the ladybeetles. Unfortunately, the aphids have ruined the cherry crop, but the good side of it is we have thousands of happy ladybeetles that will stay around for the rest of the season.

We have replanted some Swiss Chard since we had a crop failure of the first planting. Hopefully we can get it to grow through these hot days of summer.

We have planted and replanted the corn three times and while we haven’t given up quite yet, it is looking like we may also have a crop failure with our corn. This will be this first time in 23 years of growing a garden here that we don’t have corn. Difficult to say what happened. Sometimes we just have to accept that there may be crop failures. It’s been a tough year for many crops in the ground simply because the weather has been so inconsistent. Hot-cold-hot-cold-wet….not so good for vegetable gardens.

Inside the hoop houses, things are growing. There are baby peppers coming soon and the summer squash are very happy. There are baby cucumbers growing now, and with any luck at all, the eggplant and tomatoes will continue to flourish under cover. The beans are finally starting to grow well, but we still have at least a couple of weeks before they are ready. We will begin harvesting the first of the garlic crop next week. I am so ready to have fresh garlic again!

What’s in the Bag

  • Salad Mix—always double washed, colorful & full of fresh flavor.
  • Garlic Scapes—There are LOTS of great recipes on-line. Just google “recipes for garlic scapes”. This will be the last of them. The white specks are just garlic juice from the stem. Cut off the flower top when preparing them.
  • Sugar snap peas—Edible pod peas that are sweet as candy. Eat them raw in a salad or as a healthy snack. There are just a handful of snow peas in there as well.
  • Strawberries—Rinse them off!
  • Green onions— You can use almost all of the green too!
  • Kale—This is an heirloom variety from Scotland and now our favorite kale.
  • Summer squash—3 different kinds with subtle taste differences.
  • Herbs: Spearmint, Cilantro, Mexican Oregano. If you don’t use the spearmint or oregano right away, just let it dry for using later. The spearmint is a nice addition to iced tea. Cilantro doesn’t dry very well, so if you don’t use it right away, pull the leaves off, put in a bowl, cover with a bit of olive oil, stir and stick it in the freezer or make a cilantro pesto . It holds its flavor better this way than drying it. Just add to whatever you would use fresh cilantro for.


Summer Squash Stir-Fry

This is one of our favorite ways to eat summer squash...

  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 garlic scapes
  • 1 medium, or 2 small summer squash, yellow, green or 1 of each
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Slice squash into thin slices (we washed it already). Place oil and onion in skillet and cook until onion is translucent. Add squash then reduce heat and cook only until squash is tender, stirring as needed. Just before serving, add Parmesan cheese.

You can add other vegetables such as carrots, green peppers, snow peas, sugar snap peas, green beans, tomatoes. Also, you can use any cheese you prefer. I will often add some cooked pieces of organic chicken or pork; tofu is a nice addition too. Sometimes I will lightly brown some slivered almonds to sprinkle on top.

Serve with rice or pasta of choice if you like. I made this for lunch today & stuffed pita bread that had been seasoned with garlic scape pesto and a little mayonnaise topped with lettuce.

Creamy Green Onion Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c Green onions, chopped
  • 1tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 c sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic scape, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste.

In a blender, whirl everything except the sour cream till smooth. Blend in the sour cream by hand and chill.

Green Onion Salad Dressing

  • 4 green onions
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard.

Combine all ingredients in blender until onions are chopped. Chill 1 hour

Pasta With Greens and Feta

CSA member Marie Warren shared this recipe…

  • 3T olive oil
  • 2 c chopped onion (or a smaller amount shallots)
  • 3 to 4 c packed kale, coarsely chopped (or escarole & spinach)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 lb penne, fusilli, shells or some comparable pasta
  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb crumbled feta cheese
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste (this is optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in deep skillet or dutch oven, add onion & cook for 10 min over med heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, put the pasta water on to boil.

Add chopped greens to skillet, salt lightly & stir til greens begin to wilt. Cover & cook 10-15 min over med-low heat.

Cook pasta til al dente. Just as it becomes ready, add feta to the greens/sauce, keeping heat on low.

Drain the pasta, but not too thoroughly & immediately add it to the sauce. Mix well. Cook the completed dish just slightly over low heat for a couple minutes. Add parmesan if desired and black pepper.

Preparation time = 35 minutes.
Serve immediately.
2 to 3 servings.

*Marie says:

 “Here's a modified recipe from Mollie Katzen's Still Life With Menu cookbook. What I like about this one is that the ingredients & the amounts called for are totally up to you. It still tastes terrific, no matter what.
And it's a cinch to prepare!”

*The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing over never weeded a garden.
- Ray D. Everson



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