2012 CSA week 15September 19, 2012
2012 CSA week 15 September 12th
In The Box
1 bunch Sugarsnax Carrots
2 heads ‘PIC’ Romaine Lettuce
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
2 lbs Heirloom Tomatoes
2 Green Peppers
2 lbs LaRatte Fingerling Potato
1 bunch Swiss Chard 1 Melon (Charentais or Butterscotch)
Ah, the box note. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important; on the contrary, communication is one of the corner stones of our business. It’s simply a matter of time management (or lack there of in my case.) With as many hats as I wear……farmer, HR person, book keeper, plumber, chief monkey wrench, office manager, husband and parent, it’s often difficult to prioritise my to do list. Certainly when so many tasks require my immediate attention, like when our harvest trucks like to break down simultaneously and I promised the kids we’d make a robot. But here I sit with sore back and aching mind attempting to conjure the words to aptly express the goings on on the farm this week. The cooler nights and mornings have certainly slowed things down here and eased our harvest schedule a little. Crops that were requiring three to four harvest a week to keep up with are returning to a once or twice a week schedule. The crew and myself in relative zombie mode, glazed expressions in the mornings with most days manageable with a sort of semi-attentive autopilot. There is a routine from one day to the next with the details always shifting a little as the flow of certain crops peaks and ebbs. As usual, the farm is not always co operative….plants don’t always yield exactly as much as chefs order or as much as is needed to fill 170 CSA boxes so we adapt, we communicate, we count weigh and allocate. As a result, some of you might find some of your heirloom tomatoes slightly underipe. (What do you mean there’s not 340 lbs of ripe tomatoes for the CSA!?!) If so, simply sit them in the kitchen out of direct sunlight until ready to use. Eat the cherry tomatoes in the meantime to whet your appetite if needed. The potato in your box this week is an heirloom fingerling type from France. There are mentionings of this variety La Ratte (sometimes called Princess La Ratte, La Ratte D’Ardeche or Corne du Mouton) as far back as 1870 and was present in French catalogs as early as 1922. It’s waxy, nutty, buttery nature lends itself well to steaming, boiling or roasting, but it makes a pretty good fried potato too. Green peppers again this week as we wait, not so patiently for any of our pepper varieties to show some color. Even the plants in the high tunnels are refusing to ripen to red no matter how much I yell at them. I’ll try a kinder, gentler approach this week and see if they respond. Strangely, I’m over my time allotment for box note writing and need to find my beanie and go fix the compressor in the walk in (maybe I can get that robot to help.)
Dave, Lori and the crew
CROP NOTES AND RECIPES
IDEAS FOR CHARD – Sauté chard with garlic in olive oil. Put a cover on the pan and allow chard to steam for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and, if desired, some hot pepper flakes before serving. – Blanch the leaves and add to soup. Try substituting chard for spinach or arugula in soup recipes. -Food writer Fay Levy says that in Lebanon, chard leaves are wrapped around rice fillings, like grape leaves. Swiss Chard Tian from A Complete Menu Cookbook for All Occasions by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette 4-6 servings 1 pound (or one generous bunch, if that’s what you’ve got!), trimmed Olive oil, as needed 1 leek or 1 onion, chopped (if using a leek, make sure it’s cleaned, and only use the white and light green parts) 3 garlic cloves, minced 3 eggs S and P to taste 4 teaspoons water Bread Crumbs, as needed 1. Chop the chard, both leaves and stems, and then boil the chard for about 5-10 minutes in lightly salted water. Drain the chard and set it aside. 2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour some olive oil into a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté lightly over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the Swiss chard and continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes more, blending the ingredients well. Beat the eggs in a deep bowl, add the salt, pepper, and water. Mix well. 4. Butter thoroughly a long, ovenproof dish. Place the chard mixture in it and spread evenly. Pour the egg mixture on the top and also spread evenly. Sprinkle some bread crumbs over the top surface. Place the dish in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.
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