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Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - August 17, 2011

Fresh from the Garden News

Thankfully, our computer and telephone are back in working condition after a week long hiatus without. After a week of trouble shooting issues, it turned out to be pretty simple. When we got high speed internet, a dish was mounted on top of a seven foot wooden pole up on the hillside about 350 feet from out house so that it is pointed at a satellite dish on Schweitzer for it to work. Apparently a moose rubbed on the dish, turning it ever so slightly so that it wasn’t focused where it was supposed to be and that took out the phone (which is now internet service) and our internet. Go figure. It just happened that at the same time, the hard drive on my computer died. Fortunately for me, I have a brother who is an amazing IT guy and he set my system up so that it backs up automatically daily to a second hard drive, so I didn’t lose anything. Now our apprentices can access wireless internet and friends in need can use us for a wireless hotspot. If you ever have computer problems, I highly recommend Carl Miller at Selkirk Information Technology for any kind of issues at:

It was 43 degrees here this morning and has a feel of autumn in the air already. I noticed that the squirrels are cutting cones for winter storage. This has been such a short growing season this year; we are hopeful of an extended growing season and a late frost. Time will tell. For now, we are grateful for the bounty that these warmer days of summer have brought to us.

Now that the garlic has been harvested, we have planted a cover crop of mustard where the garlic was. This will improve the soil with a green manure that we will plow under later in the fall and also help keep the weeds from growing. Every week I think the peas are over with, then another week comes and there are more to harvest. Go figure. Peas & beans typically are harvested a month apart, but this is north Idaho! We are trying to catch up with weeding and garden maintenance in between the harvesting frenzy. We are harvest some tomatoes but not quite enough to divide much among you yet. Hopefully next week will provide some tasty tomatoes and lots more beans!

What’s In The Bag…

  • Salad Mix—always double washed, colorful & full of fresh flavor.
  • Snow peas –they just keep coming!
  • Green onions—you can use most of the green part and even the seed heads are flavorful!
  • Swiss Chard—Happy to have it back again! We reseeded after our spring crop failure. Excellent sautéed with scrambled eggs.
  • Beets—be sure to eat the leaf too!
  • Sweet peppers—I think we will wait to harvest them for a week or two to let them sweeten up.
  • Potatoes—Almondine & Yellow Finn
  • Cucumbers—Regular and Lemon; since these aren’t waxed like in the store, keep them wrapped in a moist paper towel and inside a plastic bag.
  • Beans—American green “Provider”.
  • Greek Oregano—Hang to dry and use later if you like.
  • French Tarragon - Excellent for herbed vinegar on your salad!


Swiss Chard with Walnuts

  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 11/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 + pound Swiss chard, stems cut in 1-in. pieces, leaves coarsely chopped, stems and leaves kept separate
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste

Stir walnuts in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until toasted. Remove to a plate.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.

Add onions and garlic; sauté 4 minutes or until onions are soft.

Stir in chard stems and 3 Tbsp water.

Cover and cook 4 minutes until stems are crisp-tender (add more water if onions are browning too much).

Add leaves a handful at a time, adding more as they cook down. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until tender. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve sprinkled with walnuts.

*If you have less Chard, you can tweak this recipe for smaller amounts and adjust as needed.

Super Quick and Easy Stir-Fry

Ingredients are cut into small and thin pieces so they cook very quickly. The most important tip for stir-frying is to have all of your ingredients prepped ahead of time. The food is moved continuously around the hot skillet so it cooks evenly. The food should be served immediately for best flavor.

  • 2 Tbsp. Oil (we only use extra virgin olive oil but you can choose your favorite)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 3 cups assorted cut up vegetables (green beans, summer squash, peppers, onion, broccoli, cabbage)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup stir fry sauce

Cut chicken into 1" pieces. Prepare vegetables. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in skillet or wok, then add chicken. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove from skillet.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in skillet and add garlic; stir fry for 30 seconds. Add vegetables and stir-fry 2-3 minutes until crisp-tender. Add cooked chicken and stir-fry sauce to skillet. cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve over hot cooked rice. 4 servings

Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (or minced fresh ginger)
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • ¼ cup white or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1+1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth

Preparation of Stir-Fry Sauce:

1. Combine all ingredients in large glass jar with lid.

2. Screw lid on and shake well.

3. To use sauce: stir fry your vegetables and meat as desired, add appropriate amount of sauce, bring to a boil, boil for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

Can store in fridge for 2+ weeks

Two Salad Dressings to Liven Things Up

Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil

  • 1 sprig fresh Greek Oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh French Tarragon
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In a medium glass mixing bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix   together and pour mixture into a bottle, using a funnel to keep from losing oil. Cover tightly and store at room temperature.

Garlic Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (or more)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil

Place vinegar, mustard, garlic, paprika, salt & pepper in a bowl. Gradually add oil, beating with wire whisk until thick.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
   ~ Winston Churchill


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