CSA Newsletter: Week 10

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Cantaloupe (Small Shares Only) // Store in the fridge. Once cut open, store leftover melon in the fridge wrapped with plastic wrap. The flesh will dry out if left exposed. Use them quickly.

Sweet Corn // Keep corn unhusked in the fridge until ready to use. Use as soon as possible. If you don’t think you’ll use it right away store it on ice.

Cherry Tomatoes // Most tomatoes should be kept out on the counter at room temperature, but cherry tomatoes need to be stored in the fridge or they over-ripen quickly.

Slicer or Heirloom Tomatoes // Store at room temperature for up to a week. Do not refrigerate. Use heirlooms much more quickly, immediately if you can.

Eggplant // Eggplant is very perishable. Use quickly or at least within the week. Many people recommend not storing in the fridge because it will get soggy quickly, but we generally do and just use it within a couple days. You can cube it and freeze it for soups or curries if you know you won’t get to it right away.

Zucchini or Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Green Bell Peppers // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

Shishitos or Poblanos // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.

Carrots // Refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag. They will easily keep for 2-4 weeks this way. If your carrots had tops, remove them prior to storage and store the tops separately in a separate bag. They should last 2-3 days.

Garlic // Store in a cool drafty place, preferably out of direct sunlight. Use within a couple weeks. They will store for several months but the quality will begin to suffer the longer you wait to use them.

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This time of year just always seems to sneak up on us in the most wonderful way. We are so laser focused on getting all the fall crops into the ground, harvesting the first of the tomatoes, preparing for Soil Sisters, figuring out how to get away for Kyle’s birthday (more on this later!), and just generally trying to survive the mania that is July on a vegetable farm, that all of a sudden we look up, realize the CSA is half over, and discover that we’ve made it to the most beautifully abundant time of the year.

From now on, the fields will only get less full. And though there are parts of that that feel bittersweet, it’s mostly the exhale we’ve been waiting for since early May. The scales have tipped. There is still plenty to harvest and the pace certainly isn’t slow, but it stops feeling so much like a race—like we can’t sleep a full 8 hours or take a full weekend off because we may never catch up.

The biggest focus of our weeks now, aside from getting a succession of lettuce, scallions, and fennel transplanted every couple of weeks, is keeping up with the zucchini and tomatoes (which really demand constant attention through at least the end of August) and hauling in all the storage crops.

We began with the garlic in mid-July. The crew got most of it dug on one lovely Wednesday afternoon after we packed your CSA boxes. We covered our greenhouse with shade cloth and transitioned the space into a curing house for our alliums. This is the same garlic you are receiving in your box this week. You will likely only receive it once since we love to hold onto the smallest garlic for next year’s green garlic and keep saving more and more of the biggest garlic for seed garlic (the less we give this year means the more we can plant for next year). We’ve only been growing our own seed garlic for three years so we are still working on increasing our little patch exponentially.

Next up on the storage crop harvest list was the shallots. We harvested all of these at the end of our Tuesday CSA harvest last week and brought them into the greenhouse for curing on Wednesday. If all goes to plan you will receive these next week! Over the weekend, our crew member Rebecca took care of the farm while Kyle and I headed to a cabin on Lake Waubesa to celebrate his birthday with his family. Rebecca not only kept the greenhouse water and zucchini harvested, she also hauled in 300 feet of yellow onions! This is what you see below.

We’ll keep chipping away at the remaining five beds of onions, harvesting them and dragging them into the greenhouse whenever we have a spare moment. Once they’ve dried a bit in there, we will begin to clip the tops and move them into crates and then bags. Hauling in the onions and getting them stored away will likely take the rest of August and then, before you know it, we’ll begin to bring in the potatoes and winter squash!

Late summer into early fall continues like this. We harvest what’s ready in the field while also focusing on getting storage crops curing. It’s some of the most fun we’ll have on the farm—some of the onion times you get to clear a whole crop at one time and take it to the scale. It feels amazing to write things like 283 pounds of shallots of 1000 pounds of Walla Walla onions in the harvest log. It’s our chance to really see what our fields are capable of, to understand the gravity and weight of all our little four acres produces. We’re giddy to be here in the middle of late summer, and we hope you’re savoring just as much of these August days as we are.

-L&K   

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VEGGIE ID: SHISHITO PEPPERS

Shishito peppers are a relatively new variety to us. We grew them for the first time last year and fell absolutely in love with them. These peppers are a Japanese variety that became real trendy a few years back, but over time have proved they have staying power. The peppers are thin-skinned, crunchy and sweet, but the best thing about them is that they don't take much work. You don't need to seed them or even cut them at all.

I think these peppers are made for a vegetable skewer with some beef and onions,  but most folks swear by just tossing them in a pan until blistered. Here is a great link that teaches you how to blister them and also shares a few great recipes. If you aren't feeling too creative or like learning a new veggie, don't distress, you can also chop them up and throw them in anything that calls for green peppers or mild chile peppers.

We don't grow a ton of these peppers (because if we did you'd wind up getting them every single week) so instead these beauties will be rotated through your CSA boxes until everyone gets some!

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 11-12 of these items in your box next week

Sweet Corn

Cucumber

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Eggplant

Cherry Tomatoes

Slicer Tomatoes

Colored Bell Peppers or Italian Fryers

Curly Kale

Celery

Carrots

Daikon

Shallots

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Ratatouille Pasta 

1 pound ground meat; hamburger, pork, turkey, whatever! 

1 or 2 mild peppers, diced 

3 shallots or 1 large onion, minced 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 

2 teaspoons Italian seasonings 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 – 3 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled (dip in boiling water for 30 seconds) and diced

1 medium eggplant, cubed in ½” cubes

1 zucchini or summer squash, cubed 

4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed 

8 ounces rotini pasta, cooked 

Shredded parmesan, optional 

  1. Cook ground meat in a large skillet. Drain fat. Add pepper, shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Saute 5-10 minutes. Add seasonings, tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini.  Simmer for another 10 minutes. Add cream cheese, stir until melted.

  2. Stir in cooked, al dente pasta. Top with shredded parmesan just before serving.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Mason Jar Caprese // Uses Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Chives // Meet one of my absolute favorite summer lunches (especially when I’m about to run out the door on my bike and realize there is nothing in the fridge for me to take to work). This recipe came to being because of that exact reason. This is the world’s most portable caprese and making it in the morning when you plan to eat it for lunch will really give all the flavors time to meld and come together.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Better Than Takeout Drunk Noodles // Uses Garlic, Carrots, Zucchini, sub an Onion from the last couple weeks for the Shallots and Green Onion, sub Poblano or a couple Shishitos for the Fresno pepper, sub Green Pepper for red one // I’m not sure if you’ve ever had Thai drunken noodles before but it is one of my absolute guilty pleasure dishes from pretty much any Asian restaurant. Some are great. Some are not that good. And I’m so excited for this amazing version from one of my favorite recipe developers so I can have this comforting dish whenever I want!

Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Hummus Heaped with Tomatoes & Cucumbers // Uses Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, feel free to add some diced Green Pepper or Poblano // Now that we’ve made it to tomato season, simple dinners are key. Smitten makes her own hummus here but you absolutely would not have too. One of our favorite meals is taking a pita and dragging it through hummus and a few veggie salads. This puts that all together into one giant bowl of snacky dinner goodness. I am currently also obsessed with the roasted eggplant from this recipe and highly recommend you add some of that to your platter.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free (with the right pita)

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Smoky Eggplant Dip // Uses Eggplant, Garlic // For me, a good loaf of bread is essential for August eating. I LOVE how easy the eating is this time of year (you’ll see my favorite tomato toast recipe below!). Grill up some veg and eat it with a side of crusty bread or in this case, roast some veg and process it into a spread for your bread and eat it alongside a cucumber and tomato salad. Voila. Dinner time!

Vegetarian, Vegan

photo by: Bon Appeit

photo by: Bon Appeit

Grilled Corn & Poblano Chile Salad // Uses Sweet Corn, Poblanos (or substitute a few Shishitos or a Bell Pepper), feel free to skip the Scallions and throw in a whole bunch of garlic instead // Not much better than a grilled corn salad ESPECIALLY when paired with the incredible poblanos in some of your boxes this week!

Vegetarian, Vegan

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Carrots with Avocado & Yogurt // Uses Carrots, Garlic // The carrots we gave you this week are PERFECT. No need to peel them or really do anything to them at all, but if you must, I love this simple sheet-pan dish. It’s a late summer favorite paired with some steak or grilled chicken.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Spicy Pesto and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Involtini // Uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, sub Green Bell Pepper for red pepper, sub 2-3 cups roughly chopped Tomatoes for tomato sauce // This recipe is a little putsy but damn is it delicious. I love it with fresh tomatoes instead of sauce and some store-bought (or frozen) pesto to keep things a little easier.

Gluten-Free

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Tomato Toast // Uses Tomatoes, Garlic // If you haven’t started or ended your day with a giant piece of tomato toast, you have not yet experienced the beauty of summer eating at its simplest. I love this crunchy yet fresh topping of sesame seeds and chives, but you could really play around with what exactly you sprinkle on top (maybe some fried garlic?). You can also make it vegan by using avocado instead of the mayo (still mix it with the garlic and lemon).

Vegetarian

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Zucchini Quesadillas // Uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, Jalapeno, feel free to add some diced Green Pepper or Onion to the saute // Dealing with too much of a particular veg? The answer almost always is quesadillas!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Wine Braised Eggplant & Tomato Pasta // Uses Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, sub Chives for Parsley, add some Thyme if you have it // This dish would be amazing even without the wine braising, but that really takes things to the next level.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free (with the right pasta)

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Takeout Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumber // Uses Cucumber, Garlic, add in Green Bell Pepper, Poblano and/or a couple Shishitos (I usually finely dice about a cup of peppers to sprinkle on top) // Okay okay, two takeout-style noodle recipes in one newsletter. Clearly I am having a craving. But I just had to share this recipe before the cucumbers are finished!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free (with tamari instead of soy sauce)

CSA Newsletter: Week 9

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Watermelon (most Large Shares) // Store in the fridge. Once cut open, store leftover melon in the fridge wrapped with plastic wrap. The flesh will dry out if left exposed. Use them quickly.

Sweet Corn (Large Shares who didn’t receive watermelon received 4 extra ears!) // Keep corn unhusked in the fridge until ready to use. Use as soon as possible. If you don’t think you’ll use it right away store it on ice.

Cherry Tomatoes (Large Shares and most Small Shares) // Most tomatoes should be kept out on the counter at room temperature, but cherry tomatoes need to be stored in the fridge or they over-ripen quickly.

Slicer or Heirloom Tomatoes (Small Shares who did not receive Cherry Tomatoes receive an extra 2 pounds of tomatoes) // Store at room temperature for up to a week. Do not refrigerate. Use heirlooms much more quickly, immediately if you can.

Eggplant // Eggplant is very perishable. Use quickly or at least within the week. Many people recommend not storing in the fridge because it will get soggy quickly, but we generally do and just use it within a couple days. You can cube it and freeze it for soups or curries if you know you won’t get to it right away.

Zucchini or Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Green Italian Frying Peppers // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

Jalapeno // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.

Chives // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

Thyme // Lay on a damp paper towel and wrap tightly. For long term storage and drying instructions, see here.

Fresh Walla Walla Onions // Fresh onions, which are freshly harvested and have not been cured, should be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge until ready to use. They will last about a week.

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Today, we’re going to take a brief break from talking about what’s happening in the fields to talk about the people who got us where we are today because a) you largely already know what’s going on (fall crops are going in, irrigation has continued to be a top priority, tomato bounty has just begun!) and b) we are just coming off of Soil Sisters’ weekend and our hearts are full of gratitude for the community that got us where we are today.

But before I even mention Soil Sisters and all the support and love and growth we’ve gotten from this amazing group of women, I need to spend a little time telling you about our most important farm partners, the silent behind-the-scene heroes of this little farm who are rarely seen by you, but have been absolutely instrumental as we have built this business over the past seven years—my parents!!

I told you all in the first newsletter that we lease land from my parents. Our farm is built on a corner of the homestead where I grew up as a child. When we began this farm venture as only a dream in 2012, my parents immediately supported us and our crazy idea to become organic farmers. They leased us land without asking any questions (about how we would get water, where we would store things, or how it would affect them). They just supported us blindly—as they have always done. But that is just the beginning. I still can’t believe they stood by quietly as we grew our CSA membership from 8 to 200 members, using their back patio as our wash area and their garage to pack CSA boxes. Luckily for both of us, those days of washing and packing in their space are finally over with the use of our new pack shed.

Over the years, my parents have taken on varied roles in our small business outside of just offering up their land and other spaces. From loaning us their rototiller in year one to helping with tillage and mowing in the early years when our own equipment was not big enough to manage our land quickly or efficiently, my parents have always been a big part of this business. My mom is always around to talk out business strategies and act as my therapist. As a farm dreamer who also built a business with her life partner, she reminds me to be patient, kind, and focused on solutions instead of problems. She also has this beautiful habit of coming to our rescue when regular life tasks feel like too much burden to balance with farming. She buys us groceries when we can’t make it to the store and makes us dinner when we’re too exhausted to feed ourselves.

In addition to all that, my parents have generously offered to act as our bank as we scale this little business into something bigger. In early 2018, when we decided it was time to invest in ourselves, we reached out to my parents for a loan to purchase our pack shed, our tractor and some other equipment, and they immediately moved money around to help us move this dream forward. It’s truly amazing all they have done for us.

Which all brings me back to the Soil Sisters: a collective tour de force started in 2010 by a group of powerhouse female farmers and entrepreneurs in Green County. Formally, Soil Sisters is a weekend-long events that celebrate Wisconsin women in agriculture and rural life in our region (this took place last weekend), but informally, the Soil Sisters are a network of dynamic female farm leaders who are there to catch you when you fall, lend you a hand or some land, and exist as a resource for one another as we all work to better this food system. Just like my parents, the Soil Sisters have been a supportive force for us—a greenhouse space for our baby plants before we put in a greenhouse of our own, a friend to call to bounce ideas off of, a partner farmer to swap produce with, a restaurant owner to buy our produce, a mentor to support new business ventures and projects.

All of these people have done so much for us and I find it vitally important to acknowledge all of our community when we look at this farm and this life we’ve been lucky enough to build over the past several years. We are so grateful to you all, our members, for your deep and loyal support, and are also so grateful to our employees for caring so deeply about what they do, but that’s only the beginning. We are held up not just by these two tremendous groups of people but also by land owners, mentors, family, and friends.  So thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for showing up and caring and being a part of something so beautiful.

-L&K

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 11-12 of these items in your box next week

Watermelon or Muskmelon

Sweet Corn

Cucumber

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Eggplant

Cherry Tomatoes

Slicer Tomatoes

Bell Peppers or Italian Fryers

Shishitos

Celery

Carrots

Daikon

Garlic

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Zucchini Ham Frittata

4 cups finely cubed zucchini or summer squash

1 or 2 kale stalks, stripped and chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

¾ teaspoon salt

Pinch or 2 of black pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar

1 cup fully cooked ham, small cubes

  1. In a 9 or 10” microwave-safe pie plate or equivalent shallow casserole dish, combine zucchini, kale  and onions. Microwave, partially covered on high for 4 or 5 minutes or until tender; drain.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs & seasonings. Stir in cheese and ham. Carefully pour over zucchini mixture. Adjust ingredients so they are distributed evenly.

  3. Microwave at 70% power for 8-9 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let sit 5 minutes before cutting.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Mason Jar Caprese // Uses Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Chives // Meet one of my absolute favorite summer lunches (especially when I’m about to run out the door on my bike and realize there is nothing in the fridge for me to take to work). This recipe came to being because of that exact reason. This is the world’s most portable caprese and making it in the morning when you plan to eat it for lunch will really give all the flavors time to meld and come together.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Easy Eggplant Parmesan Bake // Uses Eggplant (and/or Zucchini or Summer Squash), feel free to add in sliced Tomatoes to the layers, skip the chard or kale if you don’t have any lying around or substitute any dark leafy green (collards, spinach, etc), add Thyme or Chives to ricotta sauce // You are really only receiving enough eggplant for a half batch batch of this yummy meal but guess what? Zucchini, summer squash and eggplant are really not that different at all. Use whatever you want to use up for this yummy dairy packed dish.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Hummus Heaped with Tomatoes & Cucumbers // Uses Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onion, Chives or Thyme, feel free to add some diced Green Pepper or Jalapeno // Now that we’ve made it to tomato season, simple dinners are key. Smitten makes her own hummus here but you absolutely would not have too. One of our favorite meals is taking a pita and dragging it through hummus and a few veggie salads. This puts that all together into one giant bowl of snacky dinner goodness. I am currently also obsessed with the roasted eggplant from this recipe and highly recommend you add some of that to your platter.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free (with the right pita)

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Frozen Watermelon Mojitos // Uses Watermelon, make it a little spicy by adding one diced and seeded Jalapeno // I know, I know, I know. You just want to eat your watermelon and not make anything fancy with it. BUT let me just spell this out one more time for you all: F R O Z E N W A T E R M E L O N M O J I T O S!!!!!!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Tomato & Sweet Corn Pasta Salad // Uses Cherry Tomatoes (or Slicers), Onion, Cucumber, Sweet Corn and/or add some Green Pepper or Jalapeno // I never thought I was one for pasta salad and then I realized I was doing it all wrong. For this recipe, I doubled the veggies most pasta salads have in them and made a dressing with just as much yogurt as mayonnaise. Suddenly a healthy pasta salad that felt like a meal!

Vegetarian

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Jim Lahey’s 5-Ingredient Summer Squash Pizza // Uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, feel free to add thinly sliced Onion and Bell Pepper // Shredded zucchini mixed with cheese and topped with breadcrumbs. Sounds kinda bland. Tastes AMAZING.

Vegetarian

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Cucumber & Charred Onion Salad // Uses Cucumber, sub Walla Walla for red onion, sub 1-2 Green Fryers for fresnos // I’ve been sharing this recipe with you since probably year one of our CSA because it is just so simple and perfect. I always always always use Walla Wallas instead of red onion and green peppers instead of fresnos.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Vegan Sloppy Joes // Uses Walla Walla, Green Pepper // Lentil sloppy joe’s that remind me of my childhood AND use up a couple box ingredients. So in love with this fun little recipe :)

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free (with the right buns)

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Zucchini Quesadillas // Uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, Jalapeno, feel free to add some diced Green Pepper or Onion to the saute // Dealing with too much of a particular veg? The answer almost always is quesadillas!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Wine Braised Eggplant & Tomato Pasta // Uses Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, sub Chives for Parsley, add some Thyme if you have it // This dish would be amazing even without the wine braising, but that really takes things to the next level.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free (with the right pasta)

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Eggplant Salad Toasts // Uses Eggplant, sub Onion for scallion // This recipe is such a favorite. And honestly, it doesn’t even need the toast. Whip up a little bowl of the salad that goes on top and snack on it before dinner.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (without toasts)

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Zucchini Bread with Chocolate, Cherries & Cardamom // Uses Zucchini // Oh zucchini bread, such a treat once the zucchini has been in our lives for over a month and we’re no longer quite what to do with it. I love this recipe because it’s packed full of not so common zucchini bread ingredients.

Vegetarian

CSA Newsletter: Week 8

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Watermelon // Store in the fridge. Once cut open, store leftover melon in the fridge wrapped with plastic wrap. The flesh will dry out if left exposed. Use them quickly.

Cherry Tomatoes // Most tomatoes should be kept out on the counter at room temperature, but cherry tomatoes need to be stored in the fridge or they over-ripen quickly.

Slicer or Heirloom Tomatoes // Store at room temperature for up to a week. Do not refrigerate. Use heirlooms much more quickly, immediately if you can.

Eggplant // Eggplant is very perishable. Use quickly or at least within the week. Many people recommend not storing in the fridge because it will get soggy quickly, but we generally do and just use it within a couple days. You can cube it and freeze it for soups or curries if you know you won’t get to it right away.

Beans // Refrigerate in a plastic bag and use as soon as possible. They are quite perishable.

Curly Kale // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture.

Zucchini or Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Green Italian Frying Peppers // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

Shishitos or Banana Peppers // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.

Fresh Walla Walla Onions // Fresh onions, which are freshly harvested and have not been cured, should be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge until ready to use. They will last about a week.

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Last week I told you we were going to switch our focus to fall and boy did we ever! Once the CSA boxes were packed Wednesday morning, we pivoted straight into fall planting. Kyle sent the crew out to the fields to bring in all of our garlic and while they harvested, he began to prep the fields for planting. He began in the herb field while I weeded the rutabaga. Once the first bit of tillage was done, I got straight to work planting the next successions of fennel, parsley and scallions.

The planting list for last week was ambitious but we got through it all. In addition to the herb additions, Zoe got three beds of broccoli, two beds of Napa Cabbage, and a bed of regular cabbage all planted alongside the cauliflower in the fall brassica field. We seeded more beans along with five beds of carrots, four beds of beets, three beds of watermelon radish and another one of daikon radish.

Planting in the midst of such a couple of dry weeks always proves difficult (though it makes the ground much easier to work than it did this spring when it was constantly sopping wet!). Well-established crops can survive without water for a week or two, but newly transplanted seedlings have much greater irrigation needs. We had to set up drip irrigation as soon as we plant to make sure that the seedlings get enough water. It doesn’t make much sense for us to lay drip irrigation in the root fields so Kyle had to set up wobbler sprinklers everywhere he seeded roots to get those wet and germinating.

In general, irrigation was a pretty major priority this past weekend. In addition to the irrigation needs of our newly planted and seeded crops, it had been a couple weeks since we’d received any substantial rain and you could tell it would soon begin to effect production. Though crops can certainly stay strong through two weeks without water, their production slows down considerably.

We set up irrigation in three new fields on Saturday so that the peppers, squash, cucumbers, and watermelon could all keep putting out fruit quickly. We made some major upgrades to our irrigation system this past year and Kyle was practically giddy when he discovered that he could irrigate four fields at one time. And on Monday morning it rained, an easeful gentle rain that meant Kyle didn’t need to set up the last few fields of irrigation or spend time Monday moving sprinklers around.

The focus of the week ahead will be continuing to get some storage crops into the ground. We have several more beds of cabbage to plant, a few more roots to seed, and a lot of things to row cover so that they will grow quickly through August and September.

It feels like perhaps last week was the peak of our summer crazy of setting up systems and getting things into the ground. And just in time I’d say. The tomatoes are just beginning to ripen!

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Shishito peppers

Shishito peppers are a relatively new variety to us. We grew them for the first time last year and fell absolutely in love with them. These peppers are a Japanese variety that became real trendy a few years back, but over time have proved they have staying power. The peppers are thin-skinned, crunchy and sweet, but the best thing about them is that they don't take much work. You don't need to seed them or even cut them at all.

I think these peppers are made for a vegetable skewer with some beef and onions,  but most folks swear by just tossing them in a pan until blistered. Here is a great link that teaches you how to blister them and also shares a few great recipes. If you aren't feeling too creative or like learning a new veggie, don't distress, you can also chop them up and throw them in anything that calls for green peppers or mild chile peppers.

We don't grow a ton of these peppers (because if we did you'd wind up getting them every single week) so instead these beauties will be rotated through your CSA boxes until everyone gets some!

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 10-12 of these items in your box next week

Watermelon or Muskmelon

Sweet Corn

Curly Kale

Cucumber

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Eggplant

Cherry Tomatoes

Slicer Tomatoes

Bell Peppers or Italian Fryers

Jalapenos

Carrots

Daikon

Fresh Onions

Garlic

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Impossible Ham or Bacon & Veggie Pie

½ pound bacon, diced or ham, diced

3 leaves kale, striped off stem, chopped into small pieces

1 pepper, chopped

1 onion, diced

Other veggies as desired: tomatoes, seeded and diced; zucchini, cut into sm. cubes; mushrooms, sliced etc.

Seasonings

1 cup milk

¾ cup biscuit mix (Bisquick)

3 eggs

Salt, pepper

1 cup shredded cheese of choice

  1. Grease 9 or 10” pie pan. Preheat oven to 375⁰.  If using bacon, place in medium skillet, begin to cook over medium heat. Add veggies (except tomatoes), saute’ until tender. If using ham, add to skillet at same time as veggies. Drain if necessary. Season as desired – salt, garlic, pepper, basil, thyme, etc.

  2. Place milk, biscuit mix, eggs and a little salt and pepper in blender. Blend until smooth.

  3. Place all sautee’d ingredients in pie plate. Top with tomatoes if using. Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Pour egg mixture over. Thump to level.

  4. Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Creamy Cucumbers // Uses Cucumbers & Fresh Onions // This is a Midwest staple found at many a potluck and for some reason for me, it NEVER gets old. This is what I'm snacking on the full first month of cucumber season and even then I don't seem to tire of it.

To make, slice 2-3 cucumbers into 1/8-inch slices (ideally using a mandolin for ease) and toss into a large bowl with 1-2 halved and sliced fresh onions. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Pour dressing over cucumbers and onions. Cover and set in the fridge. Let sit for an hour or two before diving in. Over a 72 hour period, this salad will only get better so don't feel you need to rush eating it.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Easy Eggplant Parmesan Bake // Eggplant (and/or Zucchini or Summer Squash), Sub Kale for Chard, skip the Mint, feel free to add in sliced Tomatoes to the layers // You are really only receiving enough eggplant for a half batch batch of this yummy meal but guess what? Zucchini, summer squash and eggplant are really not that different at all. Use whatever you want to use up for this yummy dairy packed dish.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Garlicky Runner Beans with Fennel // Uses Beans, sub Onion for fennel if you are out // This dish is simple summer perfection. Make it on the grill if you don’t want to heat up your house.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Tomato & Sweet Corn Pasta Salad // Uses Cherry Tomatoes (or Slicers), Onion, Cucumber, skip the Sweet Corn if you don’t have and/or add some Green Pepper or Banana Pepper // I never thought I was one for pasta salad and then I realized I was doing it all wrong. For this recipe, I doubled the veggies most pasta salads have in them and made a dressing with just as much yogurt as mayonnaise. Suddenly a healthy pasta salad that felt like a meal!

Vegetarian

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Jim Lahey’s 5-Ingredient Summer Squash Pizza // Uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, feel free to add thinly sliced Onion and Bell Pepper // Shredded zucchini mixed with cheese and topped with breadcrumbs. Sounds kinda bland. Tastes AMAZING.

Vegetarian

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Kale Peanut Salad with Peanut Dressing // Uses Kale, skip the carrots and red bell pepper and put in some raw Onion, Cucumber and Green Pepper instead // This recipe is my all time favorite CSA salad recipe and honestly, I need to apologize that it took me this long to share it. Martha Stewart’s version uses kale, carrots and red peppers. My version uses pretty much whatever I have on hand. The dressing is the real gem and the rest can be swapped around.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Vegan Sloppy Joes // Uses Walla Walla, Green Pepper // Lentil sloppy joe’s that remind me of my childhood AND use up a couple box ingredients. So in love with this fun little recipe :)

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free (with the right buns)

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Shishito Dog or  Shishito Pepper Bison Burger // Uses Shishitos // I'm not sure why I never realized that you could just cut the tops of your shishitos and blister them as usual for the world's best burger and/or hot dog topping. We'll definitely be doing this over the weekend.

photo by: Wife Mama Foodie

photo by: Wife Mama Foodie

Spicy Tomato Kale Linguine // Uses Cherry Tomatoes (or Slicers), Kale, feel free to leave out the basil // Sometimes simple and quick is best— especially when dining on summer staples like kale and cherry tomatoes.

Vegetarian

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Eggplant Salad Toasts // Uses Eggplant, sub Onion for scallion // This recipe is such a favorite. And honestly, it doesn’t even need the toast. Whip up a little bowl of the salad that goes on top and snack on it before dinner.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (without toasts)

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Zucchini Bread with Chocolate, Cherries & Cardamom // Uses Zucchini // Oh zucchini bread, such a treat once the zucchini has been in our lives for over a month and we’re no longer quite what to do with it. I love this recipe because it’s packed full of not so common zucchini bread ingredients.

Vegetarian

CSA Newsletter: Week 7

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Red or Green Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.

Broccoli // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days.

Beans // Refrigerate in a plastic bag and use as soon as possible. They are quite perishable.

Rainbow Chard (Large Shares & Most Small Shares) // Do not wash chard before storage. Wrap in a plastic bag and try to remove most of the air from the bag. Store in the fridge and try to use within a few days.

Collards (Small Shares who did not receive Chard) // Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. Do not wash before storing.

Zucchini or Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Green Bell or Italian Frying Peppers // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

Shishito Peppers (Large Shares Only) or Jalapenos (Small Shares Only) // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.

Fresh Walla Walla Onions // Fresh onions, which are freshly harvested and have not been cured, should be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge until ready to use. They will last about a week.

Mint (Large Shares Only) or Chives (Small Shares Only) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

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It’s time to start thinking about fall! I know, I know. It sounds so wrong. It sounds like the last thing any of us want to be doing—especially now that the temperatures dropped and summer feels absolutely blissfully perfect. But nevertheless, your farmers are nose to the grindstone, fully focused on making our fall boxes and our fall storage shares as beautiful and bountiful as possible!

We’ve had about a month-long break from transplanting after the last summer crops (the second round of tomatoes) went into the ground on June 21st. We’ve put a couple other successions of fennel and scallions into the ground, but mostly we’ve been focused on harvesting like mad and keeping crops well-weeded. Luckily, both of those massive tasks have tamed down a bit so we can focus on the fall planting right before the tomatoes start ripening and harvest gets all kinds of heavy!

A couple weeks ago we began preparing for fall by prepping the field that will hold all the fall brassicas. We plant a lot of cabbage as well as a few beds each of cauliflower and broccoli. All those brassica crops will share a field that has been out of production for two years (since these crops demand a lot from the soil). After we prepped the soil, we covered it with a large black tarp to help suppress weeds. Ideally, waiting these two weeks to plant will mean we only have to weed these crops once.

On Friday, we untarped three beds to get the first beds of cauliflower planted. This week we will plant the fourth and final cauliflower bed alongside a few broccoli beds and the last planting of kales. Next week, we will tackle the eight beds of cabbage we are planting. Transplanting these crops doesn’t take too long because the plants are spaced 18 inches to two feet apart. Getting a bed planted takes about 20 minutes, but then we also have to lay drip irrigation and get them all row covered which makes it a bit more of a feat. Breaking these plantings into three weeks will really help make the big task manageable.

Alongside all the transplanting, we’re also doing the fall seeding of root vegetables. We have a beautiful stand of rutabaga already in the ground, but our beet and carrot planting we did a couple weeks ago all got washed out due to heavy rains. We’ll reseed those fall beds this week and begin seeding the other fall root crops as well—the watermelon radish, the daikon, the purple top turnips, and even more carrots!

It can be a bit overwhelming, bringing planting back into our busy weekly rotation but dreaming of all the fall treats makes us smile. We love summer and we can’t wait for those tomatoes, but thinking of shorter days, cooler months, and heavy storage harvests is also a wonderful vision at a time of year that feels so full.

We’re also really excited for fall because things are going to look a little different for us this season. After six years of doing a 20-week CSA season (and two of adding on one massive fall storage box delivered a couple weeks later), we decided to do an 18-week season with a multi-delivery fall storage share this year. We are so excited to end the CSA just when fall abundance is just beginning, take a week of for our anniversary, and return with a biweekly storage share that feels bountiful. We’re expecting the fall storage share to be two weeks (one box in late October and early November) but we are still assessing a bit. We are getting a LOT of goodies into the field and are considering a third fall delivery that would come right before Thanksgiving. The idea of being a part of your holiday season makes our hearts so full.

Stay tuned in early September for more details on these storage boxes. We expect to have about 100 available! And for now, enjoy the summer bounty. Our zucchini and cucumber crops have never been more abundant!!!

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Shishito peppers

Shishito peppers are a relatively new variety to us. We grew them for the first time last year and fell absolutely in love with them. These peppers are a Japanese variety that became real trendy a few years back, but over time have proved they have staying power. The peppers are thin-skinned, crunchy and sweet, but the best thing about them is that they don't take much work. You don't need to seed them or even cut them at all.

I think these peppers are made for a vegetable skewer with some beef and onions,  but most folks swear by just tossing them in a pan until blistered. Here is a great link that teaches you how to blister them and also shares a few great recipes. If you aren't feeling too creative or like learning a new veggie, don't distress, you can also chop them up and throw them in anything that calls for green peppers or mild chile peppers.

We don't grow a ton of these peppers (because if we did you'd wind up getting them every single week) so instead these beauties will be rotated through your CSA boxes until everyone gets some!

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VEGGIE ID: RAINBOW CHARD

There's a green in your box this week that you may or may not be familiar with. It has giant leaves and colorful stems. It's rainbow chard and it's the best rainbow chard we've ever grown at our farm so expect a good amount of it!

Chard is a beautiful tender green that can be added to pretty much any dish from scrambled eggs to pizza (see amazing pizza below I made last night with chard instead of kale) to soups to pasta or eaten raw in a salad. The colorful stems should be removed before working with the leaves but can also be eaten. The colorful stems do great sauteed but take a bit longer to cook then the leaves, which is why I always remove them.

If chard is stumping you, check out this resource from Bon Appetit that lists 31 recipes that utilize rainbow chard.

If you are overwhelmed by greens, always remember that dark leafy greens (chard, kale, collards, spinach) stand up well to freezing for winter soup making. Find freezing tips in the recipe/box inspiration portion of the newsletter.

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 10-12 of these items in your box next week

Watermelon!!!

Curly Kale

Cucumber

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Eggplant

Beans

Cherry Tomatoes

Bell Peppers or Italian Fryers

Shishito Peppers

Jalapenos

Fresh Onions

Garlic

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Red Cabbage & Apples

This dish with some freshly grilled sausages is one of the simplest kinds of summer dinners. You could even prepare the cabbage on your grill with a cast iron skillet (just be sure to have that oven mitt close by!). Enjoy!

1/2 head red cabbage, shredded

¾ cup boiling water

3 large apples, firm

¼ cup vinegar

1-1/2 teaspoon flour

¼ cup packed brown sugar

1-1/2 - 2 teaspoons salt

Place cabbage in a large saucepan. Add boiling water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add apples, cook 10 minutes more.  Stir flour and brown sugar together, add them and all remaining ingredients and heat through. Serve warm or room temperature.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Creamy Cucumbers // Uses Cucumbers & Fresh Onions // This is a Midwest staple found at many a potluck and for some reason for me, it NEVER gets old. This is what I'm snacking on the full first month of cucumber season and even then I don't seem to tire of it.

To make, slice 2-3 cucumbers into 1/8-inch slices (ideally using a mandolin for ease) and toss into a large bowl with 1-2 halved and sliced fresh onions. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Pour dressing over cucumbers and onions. Cover and set in the fridge. Let sit for an hour or two before diving in. Over a 72 hour period, this salad will only get better so don't feel you need to rush eating it.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Creamy Swiss Chard with Lemony Breadcrumbs // Uses Rainbow Chard, Sub some Onion for the shallots // I could eat greens like this every single week of the year. Silky greens covered in a delicious white sauce, sauted down to something that feels manageable and easy to get through. This recipe is a go to when I'm not feeling like using my greens as the base for a salad. 

Vegetarian

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Roasted Zucchini & Sausage Breakfast Burritos // Uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, Onion, Pepper, could easily add in chopped Chard or Collards for the last 5-10 minutes of roasting if you want some greens in there

For this super simple batch-able recipe, cut 3 zucchini or summer squash into small cubes and divide onto two roasting pans. Add an even amount of diced onion, diced pepper, and breakfast sausages to each pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the whole mix for 45 minutes at 400 degrees (stirring once or twice for even browning). Remove roasted veggies to large bowl. Add one can drained and rinsed beans of your choosing (I used pinto).

While those roast, gently scramble a dozen eggs in a large frying pan. Smitten Kitchen has great tips for how to scramble so many eggs at one time in her recipe that inspired this recipe.

Combine the roasted veg and beans with eggs and as much shredded cheddar cheese as you like in large tortillas (at least 8-inches). Fold the tortilla like a burrito (again, great tips on folding here) and eat immediately with hot sauce, avocado and/or chopped lettuce. Wrap just burritos in foil and store in freezer if not eating today. You can warm them in toaster oven when ready to devour.

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Shishito Dog or  Shishito Pepper Bison Burger // Uses Shishitos // I'm not sure why I never realized that you could just cut the tops of your shishitos and blister them as usual for the world's best burger and/or hot dog topping. We'll definitely be doing this over the weekend. 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Collard Greens Salad with Ginger & Spicy Seed Brittle // Uses Collards, feel free to double the dressing and add sliced seeded Cucumber, steamed Broccoli or Beans, and whatever Herbs you received this week // I shared a recipe similar to this when we gave collards in week 2 or 3, but it’s worth sharing again just to remind you that raw collard greens are a real thing of beauty. Keep it simple and just let the greens shine or feel free to add some other goodies to the mix as suggested above.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Quinoa Tabbouleh // Uses Cucumber, Mint (or feel free to use Chives), substitute Onion for scallions, feel free to also add diced Jalapeno or Bell Pepper // Even though we’re still a couple weeks out from cherry tomatoes, I’ll still be making tabouli with my cucumber, scallions and parsley this week. It is such a cool, delicious treat!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Date, Feta & Red Cabbage Salad // Uses Red Cabbage, feel free to use Mint or Chives instead of parsley, could also definitely throw in some Sliced Onion // In my humble opinion, there is nothing better than a cabbage salad in the fridge. It keeps well, pairs with anything you want to put on the grill, and fills you up far better than most other types of salad. Make cabbage salads a new staple of your summer.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Jalapeno Cheddar Scones // Uses Jalapeno, add Chives if you've got them // I'm a big fan of biscuits for breakfast (which call for butter and no eggs which is different from this recipe) but these scones rival any of my favorite biscuits. They have a crunchy almost caramelized exterior and soft center with just enough heat to be interesting. 

Vegetarian

photo by: Alexandra Cooks

photo by: Alexandra Cooks

Baked Ziti with Hot Italian Sausage, Swiss Chard & Creme Fraiche // Uses Swiss Chard, Onion, could easily add in some Green Peppers and/or Jalapenos // Now that the nights have gotten a bit cooler for a moment, there is really no reason NOT to turn on your oven and enjoy a giant vat of pasta

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Ginger Pork Burgers // Uses Red Cabbage, sub Walla Walla or Chives (or both) for shallots and ramps in burger patty, consider also adding a little Mint and/or Jalapeno to the burger patty // A burger made from ground pork packed full of onion, herbs, and ginger on a toasted bun with a quick red cabbage slaw and spicy sauce; there's not much I find more decadent for dinner than a burger like this. It may have some ingredients that aren't normally in your fridge (like hoisin sauce and sesame oil) but boy is it worth it anyway.

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Summer Squash, Fennel & Pesto Pizza on Zucchini Crust // Uses Summer Squash, Zucchini, Bell Pepper, feel free to substitute or add Onion instead of Fennel, feel free to add Jalapeno // There is no doubt that a zucchini pizza crust is a project that will take a little time to figure out, but if you have the ambition, this is a wonderful way to use so many of the abundant veggies in your box this week! Or, if you want something a little simpler that puts shredded zucchini on a regular crust, check out this great Zucchini Pizza recipe!

Vegetarian

CSA Newsletter: Week 6

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days.

Lettuce Mix (Large Shares Only) or Romaine (Small Shares Only) // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on head. Use within a week, but may store for up to two weeks.

Collards (Large Shares Only) // Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. Do not wash before storing.

Lacinato Kale (Most Small Shares) // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture.

Rainbow Chard (Small Shares who do not receive Kale) // Do not wash chard before storage. Wrap in a plastic bag and try to remove most of the air from the bag. Store in the fridge and try to use within a few days.

Zucchini or Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Green Bell Peppers // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

Jalapenos // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.

Fennel // Remove delicate leaves (also known as fronds) before storage if you plan to use. Store the bulbs in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Store the leaves in a moist paper towel in the fridge and use within a week.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Parsley (Large Shares Only) or Chives (Small Shares Only) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

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Things are heating up on the farm my friends-- in case you hadn’t already heard on any number of Wisconsin news outlets. Despite the couple short stretches of days in the high 90’s we’ve already experienced this season (which we moved through with relative ease), the weather has decided it wants us to handle a bit more sweltering this summer.

Heat indexes above 100 seem to be a new norm in these Southern Wisconsin summers so we’re learning to roll with it: drinking plenty of water, slathering on the sunblock, stocking up on popsicles and taking as many breaks as we need without guilt and without too much thought. We discover a different rhythm than our typically manic pace. We work an hour, find a space to cool down (usually the walk-in cooler), fill up our water bottles, and repeat for the remainder of the day.

Generally, the heat wave is harder on your farmers and their farm crew than it is on the crops. Nothing really loves temperatures this hot, but most of what we’ve got in the ground can certainly tolerate these excessive temperatures if they don’t last too long. The peas, broccoli and lettuce are the only things we expect to be negatively affected.

The snap peas, which I proudly announced at the party were the best we’ve ever grown and expected to last three or four weeks, are going to be over after their typical short two week run. Their seedpods turned woody and bitter last week when the temperatures were in the low 90s and they certainly won’t be making it through this hot spell ahead of us. It’s not altogether unexpected but it is a little disappointing. Deconstructing our massive pea trellis and prepping that ground for fall will be a big priority in the coming weeks.

As for the lettuce, those receiving romaine this week will notice the lettuce is a bit smaller than before. If we didn’t harvest the romaine yesterday, it would have certainly bolted during the impending heat wave. We actually wanted to give you a week off of lettuce finishing the spring treat next week instead but had to adjust when we saw the forecast. Earlier this spring, we had considered planting two more beds of lettuce for late July. The cool June made us hopeful that we could grow lettuce into the hot summer months but in the end, we wound up opting against it and Kyle and I are both so glad we didn’t spend any time getting those sixth and seventh plantings of lettuce into the ground. Even with heat tolerant varieties, there is pretty much no way lettuce can survive days as hot as Friday’s forecast.

The last planting of broccoli is perhaps the biggest wild card. Broccoli, like lettuce, tends to bolt and flower in excessively hot temps. The broccoli in your box this week matured at just the right time. It was by far our most successful broccoli planting this year—with abundant large heads, and beautiful tight flowers. The fourth and last planting of broccoli is just beginning to head which means it will have to mature during the tail end of this week. It’s likely the broccoli will become stressed making the heads small and the flowers a bit more loose. We’ll likely be giving broccoli to some (and hopefully all!) folks either way, but the main questions are how much and what quality.

The best part of this July hot spell we’ve been encountering is actually the accompanying dry spell. We’ve still been getting a pretty heavy rain each week of the month but that’s so much less than what we were dealing with before and it is actually quite welcome after such a long, wet May and June. Our crops have been handling the rain and moisture much better than we expected, but it’s clear they are ready for a respite. This dry-ish spell will do them well. Plus, once rain slows to once a week or less, the weeds finally become much more manageable.

So that’s where we are at. Despite the heat, your farmers and the crops are certainly thriving and it feels good to make it to this point in the season.

I hope you all stay cool and enjoy this week’s veggies!

-L&K

VEGGIE ID: Collards

Collards are the oldest known greens in the cabbage family, dating back to ancient times. Collard greens grow quickest in warm weather, but they can withstand the cold temperatures of late autumn and mild winters. They are similar to kale but a little more robust in texture (almost like a cabbage kale cross).

So what do I do with it?

I used to only braise collard greens (that’s a big thing in Southern cooking) and I never really loved that, so never really thought I enjoyed collard greens. But then one day, I cut them into small slices and put them into a salad raw and absolutely fell in love. I’m overdue for some collard green recipes on my blog (I have so many yummy ones tested!!) so for now I’ve included a kale recipe below that I often make with collards instead so regardless of whether you got kale or collards this week you should absolutely give it a try. The greens can also be steamed, added to soups, salads, stews, and other dishes.

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VEGGIE ID: FENNEL

Fennel is one of those vegetables that everyone thinks they don't like just because they don't know how to use it yet. I know because I was one of those people for a very long time. Fennel is a beautiful vegetable used in a lot of Italian cooking.  It's got a white bulb, green stalk and beautiful scented fronds at the top.  You can eat all of these things but most commonly folks eat the bulb or the fronds.

The bulb is pretty comparable to an onion (and can be used as such) but has a slightly anise (black licorice) flavor. I think this is why it gets such a bad wrap. Because people hate black licorice (I do too!). But anise is actually a flavor used in lots of common favorites like Italian sausage and pepperoni. When it's subtle it adds a lot to a dish. I know this is a less of a description of a vegetable and more of me begging you to try a vegetable, but I'm begging you people, try the fennel in one of the recipes below! You might be surprised! Also, here's an awesome article from a chef in Columbus, Ohio asking you to do the same :)

So how do I use it?

Because lots of people are stumped by fennel, there are lots of great tutorials online for how to cut it up. You will cut the bulb away from the stalks in an angle matching the shape of the fennel and then slice off the bottom where the fennel sat on the ground. Place the fennel flat on it's base and slice it in half lengthwise. From there you'll see a little core near the bottom of each half. It will look solid and triangular. Remove that and then get to chopping! This link will teach you how to slice, dice and shave it. I most often shave it because I love how delicate it is when added to any dish, but this is much easier with a mandolin than trying to do by hand. This link will teach you how to store and use every part of the vegetable.

What is the best way to prepare fennel?

Honestly, you can keep it so simple with fennel. You can shave it and throw it on pizza or in pasta. You can roughly chop it and throw it in a stew or braise. You can slice it and grill it (I'm so excited to try this over the weekend!). You can use a similar technique and roast it in the oven. You can shave it and toss it with some apple and lemon juice  for a quick salad. You can throw it in a quiche or a tart. You can really do a ton.

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 10-11 of these items in your box next week

Red Cabbage

Chard

Collards

Kale

Broccoli

Cucumber

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Beans

Bell Peppers or Italian Fryers

Shishito Peppers

Jalapenos

Fresh Onions

Garlic

Mint or Parsley

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Broccoli Biscuit Squares

1 pound ground beef

4-ounce can mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained

3 or 4 scallions, sliced

4 cup chopped broccoli

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

2 cups biscuit/baking mix (Bisquick or Jiffy type)

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup water

4 large eggs

½ cup milk

2 or 3 teaspoon diced chives or other fresh herb of choice

1 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰.  In a large skillet, cook the hamburger, mushroom, onion and broccoli until meat is cooked through and veggies are close to tender, season lightly. Drain, set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine biscuit mix, ½ C. shredded cheddar, parmesan cheese and water. Stir until a soft dough forms. Knead a few times on floured board.

  3. Press dough into bottom and ½” up sides of a greased 9” X 13” pan. Stir remaining cheddar cheese into hamburger mixture, spread evenly over dough.

  4. In the same large bowl, beat eggs, milk, chives, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over meat mixture. 

  5. Bake, uncovered 25 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Green Goddess Cobb Salad // Uses Lettuce or Lettuce Mix, Fennel, Scallions, Chives and/or Parsley, use more Scallions on the salad instead of Red Onion, skip the other herbs in the Green Goddess or buy some bottled stuff // It’s the last of the lettuce for a while so it’s time to go big. It’s time to make this salad immediately. When you start to get a little sick of salad, the only logical answer is to pile it high with so many delicious things that you fall back in love with summer’s best treat. This salad is a real gem— and if you can’t find the guanciale, feel free to substitute bacon or prosciutto.

Gluten-Free

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Kale Peanut Salad with Peanut Dressing // Uses Kale (or substitute Collards), skip the carrots and red bell pepper and put in some Scallions, Cucumber and Green Pepper instead // This recipe is my all time favorite CSA salad recipe and honestly, I need to apologize that it took me this long to share it. Martha Stewart’s version uses kale, carrots and red peppers. My version uses pretty much whatever I have on hand. The dressing is the real gem and the rest can be swapped around.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Pasta & Fried Zucchini Salad // Uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, substitute Parsley or Chives for basil, feel free to add thinly sliced fennel or scallions // I know many people are intimidated by fresh herbs, but let me just remind you that pesto is a thing and that it can be made with pretty much any green thing. I’ve made chard pesto, arugula pesto, parsley pesto, chive pesto. And it’s always good. So try this decadent pasta with the pesto of your choice— store bought or homemade. You won’t regret it.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right pasta)

photo by: Brooklyn Supper

photo by: Brooklyn Supper

Lily’s Lemony Fennel, Radish, and Kale Salad // Uses Fennel, Kale (or substitute Collards), don’t worry about not having radishes or snap peas // I am forever loving salads that just feel like summer in a giant bowl. This is definitely one to bookmark!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Broccoli Basil Quiche // Broccoli, Scallions, add Fennel and Jalapeno, sub Chives or Parsley for basil to make a different kind of pesto (or skip the pesto altogether and just add some fresh chopped herbs into the eggs!) // This recipe, featured in the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook we sell, is a new favorite. I never thought of putting broccoli in quiche for some reason until I was asked to make this recipe for my friends at FairShare and discovered what a gem this recipe really is!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right crust)

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Quinoa Tabbouleh // Uses Cucumber, Parsley, Scallions, feel free to also add diced Jalapeno or Bell Pepper, skip the Mint // Even though we’re still a couple weeks out from cherry tomatoes, I’ll still be making tabouli with my cucumber, scallions and parsley this week. It is such a cool, delicious treat!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Simple Salad // Lettuce Mix, Fennel, Scallions, Chives or Parsley if you like // I love fresh crunchy summer salads that have little more for ingredients than the produce in your box. Cooking with vegetables can be so much simpler than we think it is. This salad is a bed of greens topped with thinly sliced fennel, sliced scallion and cubed avocado alongside my favorite sweet dressing (Papaya Poppyseed from Annie's Organics). The citrus pairs perfectly with the fennel! You could also add some fresh herbs if you don't have another purpose for them.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Summer Squash Tuna Cassarole Melt // Summer Squash, Onion, Pepper // I'm not an especially big fan of tuna or tuna melts (or casseroles for that matter) so imagine my surprise when I found a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks (Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden). I made it one night in a pinch when we had a ton of summer squash in our fridge and not much else and I was so pleasantly surprised that I've made it three times now. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

photo by: Minimalist Baker

photo by: Minimalist Baker

Vegan Collard Green Burritos // Collards, sub Scallions for red onion, sub Parsley or Chives for cilantro & sprouts, add sauteed Green Pepper or raw diced Jalalpeno (and whatever else you feel like tossing in) // This recipe as its written is totally vegan with walnut meal and vegan cheese spread so if you are vegan, absolutely give it a try. But if you aren't ground beef with taco seasoning and your favorite shredded cheese would work just as well. The real lesson to learn here is that collard greens make amazing vegetable wraps. Our friends at the Good Food cart did it a couple weeks ago and we just love the way it looks and tastes! Blanche the collards first for the best flavor and texture.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free