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