Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Weeks Box July 28 2012

Let's all hold a point for the color red please.

The mature tomato plants are loaded with green fruit. We have had a few random fruit ripen but the landslide of red ripe tomatoes is not yet upon us. It happens fast though. Maybe next week.
The tomatoes are definitely a few weeks later than last year. Hopefully this means we get to keep harvesting later into the season.

Here are some of the stars of this weeks box... 

multi-color beets

"Chard" Eat a rainbow at least once a week

Here is what we harvested for this week...

 red lettuce
green onions
multi colored beets
yellow squash
cucumbers "mostly lemon variety"
Anaheim peppers
a few small Haas avocados
yellow grapefruit
pink lemons

 Anaheim peppers

 I do not think we have formally introduced the Anaheim pepper here yet. I wanted to provide an image mainly for identification purposes. Basically, they are low to mild heat and have a strong flavor. They love eggs by the way.

When life gives you pink lemons, make pink lemonade

How is it that plain chicken, fresh vegetables and some herbs simmered in a pot taste so good?
Here is a little CSA secret for you all to add to your arsenal of ingenious solutions for how to get this box of nutritious, fresh veggies into our body this week without too much fuss.
Some of you might already know this, but just about anytime of the year in our little CSA, you can count on over half of your box ingredients being perfect candidates for soup. Around here, soup is a real time saver. Summer is hot and there is a lot to do. It is nice to know that there is a pot of soup in the fridge that you can take bowl out and warm up at will. by the end of the week when the soup is almost gone, I start adding more fresh veggies to liven it up.

I am not a soup expert but I will tell you all I do. I boil a pack of chicken thighs for about 4 hours. Sometimes there is onion or a fennel bulb in there for more flavor but it is not necessary.

When the broth is rich and the chicken is pretty much falling apart,  fish out the bones, skin and any other vegetables you added to flavor up the stock. They are spent and you want to add fresh veggies now and just cook enough to soften the carrots, squash, greens onions Etc....

This weeks box, like every weeks box always can make a great soup that can feed you and the family all week.
This weeks qualifiers for chicken soup would be..

green onion
cilantro "awesome in soup"
yellow squash
beet roots and greens
a little pink lemon squeezed in really livens up a chicken soup

Here is what you can expect in next weeks box..

Strawberries and Corn !!!!!

Thanks everyone. Have a great week

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Farm At Blue Sky Ranch Is Raising The Salad Bar!!

Joyce and Janet are long time customers of our little CSA. They were out here for what you could call their yearly visit. We were looking at this sequence of 100 ft rows of chard, red lettuce and tomatoes "on the right". We were appreciating how the chard and tomatoes are blatantly looking out for the fragile lettuce and protecting it from the heat of the sun. For any of you who have gardened, you know how hard it can be to grow non bitter lettuce in the heat of summer. I do actually set up rows with  the intention of protection like this, but this set really came together better than imagined.  I wish they came out like this every time. If you are wondering what the big deal is, here is an example..
If your a surfer, this is backdoor pipeline. If your a cancerian maternal type, think "womb".  Carnivore? Milk fed leafy veal. Yes, I am stoked because I ate some for lunch. You should be too because it is in the box this week!

lettuce from the maternal womb tube plant canopy courtesy of cousin chard and big brother tomato 
heirloom potatoes "dug up today"
squash "mostly yellow fordhook zucchini"
slightly squished ichiban eggplant "there will be an explanation"
golden nugget tangerines
oro blanco grapefruit
bell peppers
a few jalapenos and a few anaheim peppers

 Ichiban Eggplant this morning. 
Before the accident.

Ichiban's after the accident. 
some ichiban's were actually harmed in this incident. And killed too.

We have some good recipes and we will post them Saturday after dropping off the boxes at the drop  sites.


Friday, July 13, 2012

This Weeks Box July 15 2012

Ohh mutant potatoes. We care not how you look. We love you all the same
 It's what's inside that counts. 
Now get into the pot!

This Weeks Box
a couple small nectarines
summer squash
bunch of kale
multi color heirloom potatoes
bunch of green onions
handful of hot peppers
bunch of multi color beets
small bunch of basil
The sapote are just coming into season. They should be treated just like an avocado in regards to storage and ripening. You can brown bag them to hasten ripening. Since it is early in the season, they will take at least 10 days to start getting soft and edible. Click the link at the top of this weeks list if you want to learn more about this amazing tropical fruit.
Roasted Beets, Carrots and Potato

Garlic Pepper Dressing
•    1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
•    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•    1/2 tsp kosher salt
•    1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
•    1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
•    4 large cloves of garlic
•   1 tbsp coarse pepper
Cut up your veg and toss with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and roast at 400 for 30-40 mins.
In a food processor or blender mix garlic, oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  You will get this beautiful, white, frothy dressing.
While the veggies are still hot pour dressing over and mix thoroughly.

Roast the beets separately if you do not want everything pink

Potato Basil Salad

Summer Squash and Kale Gratin Kale 
2 tablespoons butter
3 bunching onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 bunch  kale, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup grated sharp white Cheddar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
 Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch casserole dish. In a large heavy bottomed saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add kale, zucchini and patty pans – sautee about 7 minutes Add basil and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Add mixture to the buttered casserole dish.
In a medium size bowl, add brown sugar, eggs, and half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the milk mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with both of the cheeses. Bake for 30 minutes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

This Weeks Box July 7 2012

Here are a few action photos from last week.

Bell Pepper Race......It's a tie!

The "growing a big squash out the side of your body with nothing but water, soil and light" prize goes guessed it, Yellow Squash!!!

YOU OK LITTLE GUY? Yeah, I guess so. I was going so fast, I tripped over this stupid thing. And did you see that bunny chew part of my face off?? That sucked just a little.

Here is the list ...

oro blanco grapefruit
red lettuce
butternut squash
red onions
bell peppers
basil "just a few spriggs"
haas avocados
lemon thyme

Please remember that full shares for July are 132 dollars due tomorrow.

We have three cucumbers now. Lemon Armenian and Persian. We will have all of them for a few months more. You will eventually see and eat all of them more than once.

Here is a simple recipe with any of these fresh cucumbers

chop up cucumbers in cubes
chop up some onion "red will work great"
put in some chopped kalamata olives if you like them
add crumbled feta
add olive oil
a dash of red vinegar or your own herbed vinegar
sprinkle in some fresh thyme, oregano or tarragon or anything you like. Basil is great too.

This recipe gets better when the little sun gold cherry tomatoes start ripening. They are not yet". You can half them and throw them in and they go just perfect.

    Peaches Basil Red Onion Salad

  •   2 peaches, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
  •  A few spriggs of fresh basil (leaves torn if large)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Toss peaches with red onion, basil, lemon juice, salt, and some pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

    This recipe goes well with grilled anything 

           Baked Spiced Butternut Squash Recipe

      Saute Basil Squash With Feta