CSA week 5 July 5th, 2012July 5, 2012
2012 CSA week 5 July 5th
In The Box
1 bunch Sugarsnax Carrots
2 -3 heads baby Lettuce
1 1/2 lb Sugar Snap Peas
1/3 lb Garlic Scapes (Whistles)
2 lb Fava Beans
1 bunch Basil
1 bunch Broccoli or 3 Zucchini
1 bunch French Breakfast Radish
Hello, YAY! It would appear that summer is finally here and I can stop freaking out about the weather. The forecast for a while has sun, sun, sun and we welcome it here on the farm as it certainly makes our job easier. The challenge of keeping up with the irrigation begins and the weeding crew shudders as the pig weed and lambs quarters start growing at an alarming rate. Managing the watering of almost twenty acres of crops is a mighty task and one of the most important jobs on the farm. We use a lot of drip or trickle irrigation. This method of watering allows us very precise control over how much water each specific crop gets while also conserving a most valuable resource. For us, control of how much water the plants get is a way for us to manage flavor. The conventional wisdom of lots of water and big, fast growing vegetables goes out the window as we coax the maximum flavors out of any given crop by giving it just what it needs. Given that we have some of the most discriminating chefs in the Willamette Valley as customers, the flavor of our crops is incredibly important. We hope you can taste the difference. The summer crops that we planted out into the field earlier than they wanted us to are already responding to the weather change. They will take off now and you should start to see them in your boxes in the coming weeks. The sugar snap peas are defying all logic and sense and continuing to produce in record amounts. Even after a healthy share going to each box and several hundred pounds going to our restaurant customers, we managed to pack over 500 pounds for Organically Grown Company, a local organic produce wholesaler….mind boggling. We had to ‘hunt’ for lettuce for the boxes this week as we found ourselves in between rotations. Not our best pick but certainly salad or sandwich worthy. The first basil in the boxes this week, later than we’d hoped due to the fact that we lost the first planting to a nasty little fellow called fusarium wilt. This disease has plagued the basil industry over the last few years as it lurks in the seed itself. Most growers have switched to growing modern resistant (less tasty) varieties. My own stubbornness and dedication to heirloom varieties has us continuing to grow true Italian Genovese basil. To me the superior flavor is worth the risk. We wouldn’t want it to be too easy!
Dave, Lori and the crew
CROP NOTES AND RECIPES
Garlic Scapes (Whistles) This is the flower stalk of the garlic plant that we snap off to concentrate energy into the cloves below. It has a great flavor and the whole stalk and flower can be minced or sliced and used just like regular cloves of garlic. Some of our chef customers saute or deep fry the scapes whole.
Basil SPECIAL BASIL storage notes: It shouldn’t get too cold, so try to find the ‘warmest’ place in your fridge. For some that’s the door, for others that might be the produce drawer. In my own fridge, the back of the fridge tends to get coldest…. I’ve read recently that wrapping the basil bunch in a damp clean cloth (I used an old clean cloth napkin) and putting that in the ‘vegetable crisper’ works well. If you’re not sure about your fridge you can try keeping your basil as a flower bunch in a jar with water at the stems. I don’t recommend drying basil, it’s best used up or made into pesto and then freezing the pesto if you want to keep the flavor for a while.
PESTO from Julia’s kitchen In a mortar (when you have lots of time) or food processor (when time is limited), grind together: basil leaves, a smaller amount of parsley leaves, toasted nuts (walnuts or pine nuts), garlic cloves, grated Parmesan cheese. Slowly add some olive oil. Then add salt and pepper to taste.
The amounts vary by your taste, fat intake, interests, etc. You can find exact recipes in many cookbooks. Some people say pounding your own pesto in a mortar and pestle is better and that the pesto comes out differently. I mostly use my food processor and look forward to the day I can try to smash together the basil and taste the difference.
for a more official recipe:
3 Tablespoons pine nuts or almonds, lightly toasted 1 Cup lightly packed basil leaves 1 lg. clove garlic, thinly sliced 1/3 Cup olive oil Parmesan cheese salt
In a food processor (or blender), combine nuts, basil and garlic. Pulse, until well chopped. With motor running, add oil in a stream. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in cheese and salt to taste. Store with a thin layer of oil to keep fresh and green.
You can substitute any kind of nut for the pine nuts in pesto? I like to use sunflower seeds or almonds. You can also use garlic scapes in place of cloves.This entry was posted in Box Notes, General, News from the Field, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. ← CSA week 4 2012 CSA week 6 →
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