Tuesday, June 5, 2012

CSA Harvest #1 for 2012

Good day everyone and welcome to the first delivery of 2012! We are excited for another great season. Although it seems like we are just starting we have actually been hard at work on the farm since late January. In late winter there were trees to prune, deer fence to build (finally!), a high tunnel to construct (one more on the way), perennial crops to prune, fertize and mulch. Although we have been busy since late January we are at our busiest now trying to get all of the crops in and keep the weeds from overtaking them at every turn. This year sharing the farm load while raising a baby we have wisened up and enlisted the help of two brothers from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Ray and Tino are now an integral part of our farm and business and try their darndest to keep the weeds at bay while Asinete and I have time to plant, plant some more and harvest and attend three markets a week around town. We are fortunate to have the help of many wonderful people. Dave, a retired machinist from the mill who comes nearly every day, all day just to help out (and even brings us homemade cookies too!) M.A our master packer who can organize anything, anywhere. Sally who makes sure your produce arrives clean and presentable and Violet for making it all look wonderful as she packs it in your baskets. No farm is an island and we appreciate all the hands that help to make Big Lick Farm possible. We will be taking pictures and introducing you to the crew of Big Lick as the CSA week's progress. Every season holds what we farmers like to call "aha! and uh oh! moments. So far this season seems a bit slow on the aha's and we've had to deal with the uh oh's! For example last Wednesday we were having nice warm weather. We took that as a sign to plant out our sweet peppers finally. We plant our peppers on black weed fabric for two reasons. First of course it keeps out lots of weeds but also the black color heats up and retains heat better than bare soil and peppers love heat. To make it even warmer for them we cover them with a fabric called reemay or agribon. This also helps to keep the peppers warm while also keeping pests out. We were so excited.. the peppers were in and they had never looked so good! The next day was another warm one. Errands to run in town. By the time we got back and got down to check the peppers nearly half of them were heavily wilted and many of the soft leaves were as dry and crackly as potato chips. We quickly noticed those that had not been covered still looked fine. We immediately removed the cover. The next morning we could see that about half of our sweet peppers had been killed. Luckily we were able to take quick action and replant them (with starts we had to purchase). Still the old adage is true "live and learn". We hope you enjoy this week's harvest. Spring time is when greens reign supreme. If the raw quantity of it is too intimidating it quickly wilts down to manageable portions when sauteed. Enjoy and thank you for choosing to support our small farm! Suzie, Asinete, Tione & The Crew Harvest This Week Includes: Snow OR Snap Peas (snap at top and remove string but enjoy whole & do not shell) Head Lettuce Salad Turnips (nope these are not fancy radishes. They are a facy turnip. So yummy raw or sauteed) Greens are good too! Bok Choy aka Pac Choi (recipe ideas below) Green Garlic (recipe ideas below) Rainbow Chard (recipe ideas below) Seascape Strawberries (much more to come but they do not like rain and need more sun and heat) Please note that our produce is field rinsed only. We recommend that you wash it again before consuming. How to Store it and Cook it! Rainbow Chard keeps best wrapped in a damp towel in crisper drawer of 'fridge. Not only is rainbow cahrd lovely to look at it is also yummy and good for you. Use the leaves as you would spinach although cook it a bit longer. Sauteed Chard To sauté chard, you will need: 2 pounds of chard, cleaned and coarsely chopped; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; 2 cloves of garlic, minced; salt and freshly ground pepper to taste; and fresh lemon juice, if desired. After washing, remove the stems and chop the chard into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces and set aside. Then, stack the washed leaves and roll them into a long scroll. Using a sharp knife, cut the scroll in quarters. Heat a skillet or heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and chopped stems and sauté for five minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 15 seconds. Next, add the wet chard, one handful at a time, stirring after each addition. After all the leaves have been added, immediately cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the leaves to cook for about five minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking over high heat until all the liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a splash of fresh lemon juice, if desired. Serves four. BRAISED RAINBOW CHARD Ingredients: 1 pound rainbow chard, leaves and stems separated 1 cup dry red wine 1 tbsp unsalted butter 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 medium red onion, diced 1 apple, grated, skin on 1 cup vegetable stock 2 tsp wildflower honey Sea salt and freshly ground pepper Instructions: Wash and cut the chard leaves across the stem into 1-inch ribbons. Trim 1/2 cup of the chard stems into 2-inch-long-by-1/4-inch-thick strips. Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a large sauté pan until the butter foaming subsides. Sauté the red onion and apple, without browning, until translucent. Toss in the chard leaf and stem and sauté for a minute with the apple and onion. Add the wine and vegetable stock all at once, and stir to cook evenly. Cook on high heat until the chard is tender, with the liquid evaporating by about two-thirds. When the chard is tender, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the wildflower honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or cool and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serves 2 to 4. Bok Choy/Pac Choi~ another super healthy leafy green! Americans are not too familiar with this Asian green but it is so tasty and also extremely good for you. Pac choi is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and iron. Pak choi is related to the cabbage and belongs to the same vegetable species as the turnip Like the rainbow chard this will keep best wrapped in a damp towel in your crisper drawer. Will store for about 5 days. The whole pac choi plant is edible. To clean, chop off enough of the base of the pac choi plant before washing so that stalks can be cleaned individually. Rinse stalks and leaves under running water, using a vegetable brush if they are especially dirty at the base of the stalk. Pac choi stalks can be consumed raw with dip, or chopped and used in salads. Pac choi has a high water content and becomes limp very quickly upon cooking. It should be cooked very quickly over a high temperature so that the leaves become tender and the stalks stay crisp. In Chinese stir-fried dishes and soups, choi is added toward the end of the cooking process. Since the leaves cook much more quickly than the stalks, it’s a good idea to add the stalks first and then the leaves about a minute later. Cut the stalks into 1/2-inch (1.25cm) pieces before cooking. RECIPE FOR PAC CHOI STIR-FRY (serves 4) 2 bunches pac choi 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 pound COOKED cubed tofu, chicken, beef or pork 1 pinch of salt 1 cup vegetable, chicken or beef stock 1 tbs. cornstarch mixed w/ 1 tbs. water 2 tbs. soy sauce 1 tbs. chili paste 1 tbs. toasted sesame oil 1. Cut pac choi leaves into 3 pieces, cut stems into 2 pieces. Wash well. Mix stock, soy sauce and chili paste. 2. Heat a nonstick skillet, add and heat oil then add garlic and pac choi. Sprinkle with salt and stir-fry over high heat for a few minutes until the greens are wilted. Add the stock, reduce heat to low, then add cooked meat or tofu. Cover and heat until meat or tofu are heated through. 3. Add cornstarch mixture and stir. Cook until thickened. 4. Serve over noodles (try udon or soba noodles) or rice. Pak Choi with sesame oil (Serves 3-4) 1 large pac choi 2 tbsp oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed 3 thin slices of ginger 3 tbsp chicken stock or water 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp sesame oil Cut the pak choi into thumb-length pieces. Trim off any roots that hold pieces together, then wash and drain well. Heat a wok or lidded pan over a high heat and add the oil. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add the pak choi and stir-fry until it begins to wilt, than add the stock or water and sugar, and season with salt or soy sauce. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, or until the stems and leaves are tender but still green. Sprinkle over the sesame oil and serve immediately. Green Garlic The green garlic in your CSA share is just the immature dried garlic you will be getitng later this season. We love to use green garlic like green onions. While the taste is definitely garlic it is much milder in this form then when dry. We chop it up just as you would a green onion, cutting off the roots first and pulling away any of the course top leaves. We cut it all the way up the stalk and add it anywhere we want a garlic flavor. Green Garlic Mayonnaise 2 whole eggs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon or a little less dijon mustard 4 stalks green garlic, cleaned as you would leeks, white and pale green parts chopped roughly 3 teaspoons lemon juice or rice wine vinegar 2 teaspoons more rice or white wine vinegar 1 1/4 cups corn or other vegetable oil Whirl all ingredients except oil in food processor with the metal blade. With machine running, add oil in thin steady stream through opening until all oil is completely incorporated. If the food pusher has that little hole, use it by pouring the oil into that, it works great. Green Garlic Soup The following soup is based on my ‘make any kind of vegetable soup' recipe, here's it's green garlic and potatoes. - Julia 1 pound green garlic 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 2 Tablespoons cooking oil 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes Salt and pepper to taste 1 1/2 quarts broth (chicken or veggie) Discard the darkest green leafy parts of the green garlic, leaving the white and pale and medium green parts. Cut each garlic in half lengthwise, then mince. Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for about 5 minutes to soften. Add potatoes, season with salt and pepper, then add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender enough to mash with a wooden spoon, about 25-35 minutes. Mash the potatoes into the broth, or puree in a food processor, then reheat. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Serves 6 Greens and Green Garlic 1 generous bunch rainbow chard, stemmed and washed 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 4 large cloves green garlic, peeled and sliced, or one small head that has not separated into cloves, chopped Salt to taste 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 3 eggs 1/2 cup 2 percent milk Freshly ground pepper 1 cup cooked barley (regular pearled or purple), brown rice or arborio rice 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese (2 ounces) 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish with olive oil. Blanch the chard for one minute in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, or steam over 1 inch of boiling water for two to five minutes until wilted and tender. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Set aside. 2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Continue to cook for another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the cooked greens and the thyme, and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. 3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the greens mixture, the barley or rice, and the cheeses. Mix together well. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. 4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned on the top and sides. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Yield: Serves four to six. Advance preparation: The gratin will be good for three or four days. It is as good served cold or at room temperature as it is hot. Nutritional information per serving (four servings): 272 calories; 6 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 159 milligrams cholesterol; 19 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 282 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 13 grams protein Nutritional information per serving (six servings): 181 calories; 4 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 106 milligrams cholesterol; 13 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 188 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 9 grams protein Martha Rose Shulman is the author of "The Very Best of Recipes for Health." Enjoy and we will see you next week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

CSA Harvest #21~ The Garlic is In!

Many thanks to our awesome CSA members who spent their Sunday afternoon helping us plant 2,400 feet of garlic for next season! As you can see from the pictures above everyone seemed to have a great time and the old adage of "many hands make light work" rings true! There were a few things about garlic which I forgot to add in last week's blog. For one garlic is the most important crop that we save our seed from each year to replant. The taste of garlic actually improves as it is grown on the same soil year after year. Die hard garlic enthusiast claim the subtle flavors from the soil can be tasted in the garlic much the way a wine aficionado can swirl wine in their mouth and describe the soil it was grown in by the subtle notes in the wine.
The garlic we planted on Sunday was given to us two years ago by our good friends and fellow CSA farmers Norm and Cinda Lehne who farm out Garden Valley Blvd. For the first year or two of our CSA season we really relied on Norm and Cinda for support and growing advice for this climate that was new to us. We traded items back and forth in our CSA (we grow crops they do not and vice versa). Finally we seemed to get a handle on when to get things in the ground so we were able to make it the full 26 weeks with the items we had grown on the farm that we did not need to go pillage Norm and Cinda's fields in search of extra produce to fill that baskets.
Every year around this time we catch our breaths, survey the fields and the storage sheds and hope we have enough product left to make it through the remaining CSA weeks. For the last few years we have pulled though.. this year because the summer birth of Tione we are a little more anxious than usual. One huge bonus is that we have not yet had a frost and we hope that the warm, sunny weather will last as long as possible!

This week you will notice an extra goody in your CSA share and that is the addition of Asian pears that a fellow CSA member told us about. Asinete and I picked them Monday at an organic pear orchard out on Del Rio Rd outside of Roseburg. The man who had planted and tended the trees had passed away and there was no one left to tend to and harvest the fruit. The orchard had been open to u-pickers but there were still soft, rotting fruit in a thick layer all over the ground. It made it hard to pick as we slid around in the pear slurry. We are happy that these will not be wasted and we hope will be relished by you!`

Enjoy and we will see you next week! Five more weeks to go!

Suzie, Asinete, Tione, M.A, Sally, Grandma GG and Violet

Harvest This Week Includes:

Asian Pears (will keep best in your fridge)



Kale (Red Russian or Winterbor) *kale chips recipe below yumm!

Red Meat Radish



Yukon Gold Potatoes

Boothby Blonde Cucumbers


Tomatoes (not pretty but all we could muster)

Delicata Winter Squash

How to Cook It

Winter squash is different from summer squash in that it has a hard rind on it that allows it to be stored at room temperature for months at a time. There are many different varieties of winter squash and most need to be cured (well dried for several weeks) before eating but delicata is one of the few you can eat without curing. Winter squash is chock full of vitamins and minerals!
Classic Baked Delicata Squash
1 Delicata squash
1 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
Pinch of salt
A pinch of fresh ground pepper (optional)
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a strong knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Spoon out seeds and stringy bits in the center of each half. (save the seeds!) Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Rub 1/2 Tbsp. butter on the inside of each half. Add a pinch of salt (and black pepper and cayenne if you wish), add 1 Tbsp brown sugar to each half, then drizzle each half with maple syrup. Adding a little water, about 1/4 inch, to the bottom of the baking pan will help keep the squash from drying out.

Bake for an hour, or until the squash is very soft. When serving, if there is any of the sugary butter sauce left, spoon that over the squash.

Serves 2

yield: Makes 6 servings

This is my favorite way to cook winter squash. You peel, and slice it, then cook it in a skillet with cider and winter herbs.
adapted from Bon Appétit


2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm winter squash
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
print a shopping list for this recipe

Preparation 1. Squash. If using delicata squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it lengthwise in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. Other types of squash should be peeled with a chef's knife, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges, then sliced 1/2-inch thick.

2. Herb Butter. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture.

3. Cooking the squash. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and additional salt if needed.

Vegan Cheesy Kale Chips (guaranteed delicious!)

First you will need to make the sauce to coat the kale chips. We just use a regular old blender which works fine!

1 cup raw cashews. Rinse the cashews under cold water. Place the cashews in a glass bowl, cover with 1 - 2 inches of water, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Remove from fridge, rinse with cold water, place in blender and cover with
1 - 2 inches of water. Turn the blender switch to high and blend until cashew mixture is completely homogeneous.

Step 2: season the Cashew Cream. I added about a teaspoon each of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper, and sea salt, but you can season however you want. A few tablespoons of nutritional yeast add the "cheezy" flavor. Pay a visit to your local health food store for nutritional yeast. (You can often buy it in the bulk section by the scoop and it makes a great popcorn topping!) A lot of recipes called for bell pepper, which would add some great nutrition and flavor.

Step 3: Rinse the kale and tear it into smaller (but not too small because it will shrink a good deal when you bake it) pieces. Pat or spin it dry so the "cheeze" sticks.

Step 4: Coat the kale with the cashew cream mixture. Just pour it on top and toss it with your hands in a large bowl.

coat the kale in your "cheezy" cashew cream

Step 5: Spread the kale thin on a parchment lined cookie sheet (2 sheets should be enough for 1 bunch of kale). Bake at 375 until crispy, wait 15 minutes and then flip with a pair of tongs and bake for another 10-15 minutes until crispy.

Eat right away or else keep sealed up tight as it quickly loses its crisp!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CSA Harvest #20

Welcome to week 20 of eating locally! For many of you this has been a new experience to enjoy food harvested and grown right in your community. Some of you have been with us since our humble beginnings and this will be your 98th week of eating our produce (considering that this is our 4th year running the CSA program).
In these four years we have tried many crops and moved our CSA drop off location three times. As many of you know the first year our drop off was at the old New Day Market location downtown by the Bagel Tree. Having people pick up their CSA shares at New Day provided us cooler space to keep CSA shares cool and fresh on hot days and also it had the benefit of bringing more business in to New Day. We were there for half a season before we had to move due to the uncertainty of New Days time left in the building and lack of space for their product and our CSA shares in their cooler. At that point a CSA member who lived in Hughcrest offered us their home as a drop off and so we finished our first year and second season dropping off there. The third and fourth year has brought us to Broccoli Street where we hope to stay as long as they let us :).

This past weekend was spent spreading cover crop seeds since the rains we have had moistened the soil enough for us to work it up without the ground turning to dust and blowing away. Walking through the cleared fields with a hand spreader to be sure the seeds are evenly dispersed. Planting cover crops is one of my favorite things to do on the farm. It is the one crop that we plant for the health of the ground and the one crop that we do not harvest. We always seem to battle the pigeons though as they appear overnight after we plant the cover crop seeds. There are always seeds that are not buried that the pigeons find. I try chasing them out of the field with the dogs barking behind me. They fly off in a cloud, circling the farm and valley only to land again and resume eating more exposed seeds when we've gone. We always hope there are enough seeds hidden from the pigeons to sprout!

This coming week also marks garlic planting time where we will go through our storage garlic, choose out the largest heads, separate them into cloves and begin planting out. Garlic has the longest growing season of any other crop on the farm. It requires nearly 10 months of growing before it is ready to harvest! When planted now in mid- October it will not be ready to harvest until around the 4th of July. We hope you will still be with us to enjoy it then!

If any of you would care to join us in planting out the garlic please let us know via email or phone. We are planning on planting it out this Sunday October 16th from 1-4pm(ish). Many hands make light work!

Thank you for supporting local farmers!

Suzie, Asinete, Tione, M.A, Sally, Violet and Grandma GG

Harvest This Week Includes:

French fingerling Potatoes



Salad Turnips

Head lettuce (we had to fight the deer for these heads.. you may notice they sampled some of yours).

Hot pepper mix (Serranos, Anaheim and Jalapeno)

Tomatoes (not the prettiest due to the rain!)

Strawberries OR Raspberries

Watermelon (this week for sure!) Last week we were forced to skip it due to lack of room in the baskets and the fact that our second delivery truck died in the field forcing us to fit everything in one truck).

Boothby Blonde Cucumbers

Summer Squash

Italian Flat Leaf Parsley


Recipe Ideas

Roasted Parsley Potatoes

2 lbs potatoes (if you can find fingerling potatoes, use them.)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
grated Parmesan and chopped parsley (to garnish) (optional)


1.Preheat oven to 375°F 2. Cut potatoes into large pieces (if potatoes are small, you can leave them whole). Do not peel skin. 3. In a large bowl, fold the rest of the ingredients (except the garnishing) with the potatoes and make sure that the potatoes are coated with all the ingredients. 4. Place potatoes in roasting pan uncovered. 5. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are golden brown in some spots and cooked through. 6. Garnish with parmesean and chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Curried TurnipsOne chopped onion

2 tablespoons oil
5 or 6 turnips sliced thin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
one lemon, cut into wedges

Sauté the onion in the oil for a few minutes until translucent. Add the turnips, the curry powder and salt and cook until everything is tender. Squeeze some lemon juice over the dish before serving and serve with extra lemon wedges.

Enjoy! Next week: delicata winter squash and kale!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

CSA Harvest #19

Nothing says Autumn like a truckload full of harvested winter squash! Asinete, Tione and I and a helper spent Sunday hauling in the winter squash from out in the field. We knew the rain was coming and wanted to get the squash in while they were dry. We will have five varieties to share with you in the coming weeks.. butternut, green acorn, Cha Cha (a green Kabocha variety), delicata and Red Kuri. If you are new to the winter squash world you are in for a treat! Winter squash are sweet, chock full of nutrients and cook up wonderfully in pies and many other dishes (also while they are sitting on your counter waiting to be used they add quite a festive flair!) You can see Asinete above doing his best Jack 'O Lantern face!

The first fall rains on the farm are welcome as they give all the crops a good drenching.. doing a much more thorough job than we do with our irrigation system. The rain is not good for the berries however.. it makes them wet, soggy and quick to spoil so please enjoy your berries quickly!

We spent another part of Sunday erecting a large carport to store our tractor implements under this winter. This year we have invested in our new Kubota tractor along with the costly implements of a new rototiller and flail mower.

In the next coming weeks we will be cleaning up the farm.. tilling in old crops and starting to plant out our cover crops which will arrive this week (all 350 pounds of them!) We will need to make the tough call about when to call it quits on the strawberry patch and till them in before the ground is too muddy to work. The strawberries you have been enjoying this year are now in their second year which is their last year. As the years progress the berries produce less and less, are smaller and not as sweet. This coming Spring we will replant 2,000 new strawberry crowns and will be rewarded soon after with large, sweet berries!

The last big planting we will do this Fall is planting out our garlic. We would love to have some help planting out the cloves. We will be planting it out on Sunday October 16th from 1-4 pm. There will be snacks provided! Please let us know if you can make it out even if just for an hour.

Enjoy the tastes of Fall!

Suzie, Asinete, Tione, M.A, Sally, Violet & Grandma GG

Harvest This Week Includes:


Red Meat Radish *also called watermelon radish.. cut them open and see why!

Sweet Corn (please excuse the corn ear worm at the top. The tip of the corn is all they should be living in.. simply cut off the tip and eat!)

Strawberries OR Raspberries

Boothby Blonde Cucumbers ( a crunchy, sweet, heirloom gherkin from Maine)


Tomatoes (large ones only this week.. the rain made all the cherry toms split open)

Sweet Peppers (some are ugly we know. These have been sunburned. Just cut away that part and eat the rest.. they are still good!)


Yellow Copra Storage Onions

French Fingerling Potatoes (look at the beautiful blush inside when you cut it!)

Watermelon (finally!) Instead of eating cold out in the warm sunshine you may have to eat huddled up by your wood stove!) Eat it and relive the long days of summer :)

Recipe Ideas

Beet Risotto with Purple Greens

6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 small spring onion bulbs, chopped
1 spring garlic stem, or 4 garlic chives, chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 medium beets, peeled and grated
3 cups of greens – use the beet greens, and if you need to make up the difference, you can add chard, kale or spinach.
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
Zest and juice of one lemon

Bring stock to a simmer on the stove. In another large, wide-bottomed stock pot, heat the butter and olive oil, then add the onion and garlic and cook on medium heat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat it, and cook for 1 minute.

Add red wine, stir, and simmer until it is absorbed. Stir in the parsley, basil, and beets, plus some salt and pepper to taste. Combine well, then add 2 cups of the stock, cover and cook at an energetic simmer until the liquid is absorbed.

Begin adding the remaining stock at 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly until each addition has been absorbed. When you have a half cup left, add the chopped beet greens. When the last ½ cup is absorbed, stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Taste for salt and pepper, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Watermelon Radish
This gorgeous root crop, also called red meat or red heart radish, is
less spicy than other radishes. It is great sliced thin or grated raw into
salads, roasted with olive oil and herbs or butter and brown sugar, or
sliced or diced into a stir fry or soup. Red heart radish slices are great
chip or cracker substitutes to use with hummus and other dips, and
make great edible garnishes for any dish. The tops can also be sautéed
like any other green.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CSA Harvest #18

Happy Fall! As much as we love the long summer days the beginning of Fall excites us as well. Fall on the farm is all about cleaning up the remains of the season. Much of this clean-up is done after the first hard frost when the last, brave tomatoes, eggplant and peppers succumb to the freezing weather. At this time we can pull out the weed mat, roll up the drip tape, and pull out t-posts that we use for staking tomatoes. This season we planted 520 main season tomato plants in addition to the 120 early Glacier and Oregon Spring toms. We get a little nutty for tomatoes over here!

Fall also means the time to plant garlic (helpers anyone?) and also prepare the ground for planting our overwintering cover crops.
For cover cropping in the winter we plant a cold hardy mixture of vetch, bell beans and cow peas. These three plants are legumes which fix nitrogen (a crucial nutrient needed by plants. Cover crops also help hold the soil in place with their roots to prevent soil erosion. Insects and other animals love cover crops too since it provides a habitat for them to live in. Last it is much more beautiful to us to look out and see cover crops growing then bare mud in the fields and we rest easy knowing we are doing right by the soil.
Winter time for these farmers means some R&R and road trips so unlike many of you who greet the upcoming winter with dread we tend to mark our calendars and count down the days!

In that spirit please enjoy your 18th week of produce.. there are 8 more weeks of CSA left.. 8 more weeks until Thanksgiving.. yikes!

The Big Lick Crew: Suzie, Asinete, Tione, M.A, Violet, Sally and Grandma GG

Harvest This Week Includes:

Salad Turnips (no need to peel... super buttery and sweet!)


Strawberries OR Raspberries (with shortening/cooler days now not as many)

Salad Greens (please wash again and remove excess water to keep uber fresh)

Summer Squash

Red and Yellow Sweet Onions (get ready for the massive onion onslaught! We have loads of them!)

Eggplant (Purple is called Dancer and the smaller with white stripes is called Fairy Tale)


Cilantro (salsa time!!)

Cherry Tomatoes

San Marzano Roma Tomatoes

Hot pepper mix (Hungarian Hot Wax, Jalapeno, Serrano and Poblano)


*No recipes again this week.. our apologies.. This farmer/mommy cannot keep her eyes open any longer as the time now is 10:38pm Tues eve) For recipe ideas please check out allrecipes.com

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CSA Harvest #17

Thank you to all of you who came and shared scrumptious food at Big Lick Farm's 4th Annual Farm Tour/Potluck. We feasted like Kings and grooved to the smooth sounds of Mato's musical mix and Steve's accordion. We hope you all had as much fun as we did! Getting our CSA members to the farm is an important part of the season. We like you to know where your food comes from and to see the fields that pumped out the produce to you and your family. We are consistently amazed at how much food this small plot of land produces.
Each year we plan on recording the weights of everything we harvest just to keep track of yields but it has not happened yet. We would love at the end of the year to say we harvested 600 pounds of cantaloupe, 1,000 pounds of beets etc. This information would be tallied each year to see if our farming techniques are becoming more efficient or not. Successful farmers (like all business minded folks) keep careful records each season of what they planted and where, crop yields, season challenges, what crops performed best and which should not be planted again and more. We are learning the important art of record keeping. Especially important each season is the dates you plant a certain crop so we know for next season. Organization and record keeping is a skill we still have not yet mastered but we will keep trying!

There were plenty of pictures taken at the potluck and this blog is having trouble posting them. We should have some posted by next week. Also check Big Lick Farm's Facebook site for potluck pics!

Enjoy the last week of summer's bounty.. that is right.. we only have two more days of summer left... Friday is the Autumnal Equinox. Soon time for winter squash and hot soups!

Your farmers: Suzie, Asinete, Tione, M.A, Sally, Grandma GG, Violet

Harvest This Week Includes:

Desiree and Purple Majesty Potatoes

Rainbow Chard

Summer Squash


Red Onion

Strawberries OR Raspberries. *both are in a lull. You may get both or you may get one or the other. We are not sure yet as more to harvest in the am.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Mix Cherry Tomatoes

Luscious Sweet Corn (if you find a worm in the top simply cut off the tip. This is the corn ear worm which affects the later plantings of corn.)

Bartlett Pears



Please remember your sweet corn is best if you eat it now! If you cannot eat immediately store in your fridge.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CSA Harvest #16

If you are what you eat then this week each of you will be sweet corn! Finally after the weeks and months of waiting it is ready and we have lots of it to share! We're sure you remember of us writing about the corn woes we faced earlier this year when the seed kept rotting in the cold soil.
Also we are cursed with the dreaded wire worm at our farm which is the larvae of the click beetle. Crop rotations are a must when dealing with wire worm as they love root crops, corn and brassicas (cabbages/broccoli). In fact the last harvest of carrots you had were looking so beautiful and the next week we went to harvest more of them and the wire worms had moved in and made ugly tunnels through them and we had to share the rest with the pigs and not you.

When farming you must learn to roll with the punches since many of the things you plant and tend and care for never come to fruition. The bugs or deer eat them or the weeds take over seemingly overnight. Farming definitely teaches you the art of letting go. Each Fall we watch sadly as the first hard frost kills off the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Of course this sadness is quickly overshadowed by the growing excitement we feel at having some down time in the winter.

At this time of year on the farm we are busy clearing up spent crops (such as the cantaloupe which are done now). Also the large block of early tomatoes that you enjoyed early this summer. We are still planting as well, lettuce, spinach, chard, bok choy, radish and turnips. Enough things to carry us through the last weeks of CSA harvests.

We are embarrassed to be showing off the fields this year to those of you attending the potluck. Dealing with weeds on an organic farm is a battle and this season it is a battle we have lost! Instead of calling the farm walks "farm tours" we may be instead calling them weed identification walk. C'est la vie! Next year is a clean start!

We hope to see you all this Sunday for the potluck and weed identification walk! :)

Your farmers~ Suzie, Asinete, M.A, Violet, Sally and Grandma GG

Harvest This Week Includes:

Easter Egg Radish (we are more impressed with the leaves on these! Recipe ideas for the leaves below!)

Baby greens (a mix of arugula, mustard and green bibb lettuce)

Jalapenos (salsa anyone?)

Heirloom Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Luscious Sweet Corn


Summer Squash


Summer Squash

Bartlett Pears



Yellow Sweet Onion


How to Keep it Fresh and Eat it!

The Bartlett Pear!~
The Williams' bon chretien pear, commonly called the Williams pear, or Bartlett pear in the U.S. and Canada, is the most commonly grown variety of pear in most countries outside Asia. It is the pear that is most commonly used for canned pears. It is wonderful eaten fresh and also when baked. If your pears are still too firm to eat leave them at room temperature to ripen. Once they are ripe and soft to the touch they will last longer in the refrigerator.

Pear Frangipane Tart
Servings: 8

Pastry for 9-inch tart pan

1/2 pound blanched almonds

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 tablespoon Oloroso or other sweet Sherry

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 pieces

3 ( 1/2-pound) Bartlett pears, firm but ripe

Apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1. Prepare the pastry and fit it into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 20 minutes. Prick the shell with a fork and bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature.

2. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and place a baking sheet on a low rack.

3. In a food processor, grind the almonds. Add 2/3 cup sugar, the eggs, vanilla, orange zest, Sherry and salt, and process to make a smooth, sticky paste. With the motor running, drop in the butter through the feed hole, piece by piece, and process until smooth.

4. Peel the pears, cut them in half lengthwise and with a spoon remove the vein for the stem and the seed pit. As you finish each pear half, slip it into a work bowl filled with a mixture of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and enough water to cover all of the pears.

5. Spread the almond mixture in the base of the tart, using the back of a spoon to spread it as evenly as possible.

6. Pat each pear half dry and carefully cut it into thin crosswise slices, about 1/8 inch, keeping the pear in its original form. As you finish each pear half, lift it, using the flat of the knife as a spatula, and carefully place it in the tart pan, with the narrow stem end toward the center. Gently press down into the frangipane. Place each subsequent pear half next to the previous one in a spoke pattern until the tart is filled. Brush the pears with the melted butter and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon sugar.

7. Place the tart pan on the baking sheet and bake until the almond mixture is puffed and golden and the pears are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Each serving: 355 calories; 149 mg. sodium; 89 mg. cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 5.04 grams fiber.

Pear and Apple Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1/4 cup minced dried cranberries

1 tablespoon minced shallot

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons olive oil


Cracked pepper

1 pear

1 apple

1 lemon, cut in half

1 endive, sliced crosswise

5 cups mixed salad greens

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Combine the rice vinegar, cranberry juice, cranberries, shallot, sugar, rosemary, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Let the dressing stand for the flavors to meld.

2. Meanwhile, cut the pear into quarters then core and slice. Place the slices in a shallow dish filled with water and the juice of half a lemon; the liquid should cover the fruit. Cut the apple into quarters, core and slice. Place the slices in a shallow dish with water and the juice of the remaining lemon half to cover.

3. Just before serving, drain the pears and apples. Toss together in a large bowl with the endive and salad greens. Arrange the salad on a platter and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts. Serve the dressing alongside.

Each serving: 250 calories; 1,143 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 46 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 5.99 grams fiber.

Honey-Poached Pear with Greek Yogurt and Toasted Walnuts
Total time: 50 minutes, plus cooling time

Servings: 4

1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons honey, divided

2 cups sugar

1/2 slice lemon

3 black peppercorns

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 large Bartlett pears

1/2 lemon

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

1/2 teaspoon melted butter

1. Combine 4 cups water, one-fourth cup of the honey, the sugar, lemon slice and peppercorns in a large saucepan. Using a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mixture. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 10 minutes to blend the flavors.

2. Add the pears and simmer until they are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and lift the pears into a glass bowl, then pour over the juices. Let cool to warm. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.

3. When you are ready to serve, remove the peel and stem from the pears. Halve each pear lengthwise and remove any seeds, if necessary. Cut each pear half into 4 wedges.

4. Arrange two pear wedges on a plate and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over them. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the yogurt on top. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the honey over the yogurt and around the pears on the plate. Repeat with the three remaining plates. Toss the toasted walnuts with the melted butter then scatter over the pears and serve immediately.
449 calories; 5 grams protein; 84 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 13 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 11 mg. sodium.
Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Radish Top Soup

Don't throw out your radish greens. Believe it or not, those fuzzy leaves can be transformed into a smooth green soup, with a hint of watercress flavor.
6 Tb butter
1 cup chopped onions or leeks
8 cups loosely packed radish leaves
2 cups diced peeled potatoes
6 cups liquid (water, chicken stock)
1/2 cup cream (optional)
Freshly ground pepper

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan, add onions or leeks, and cook until golden, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in radish tops, cover pan, and cook over low heat until wilted, 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook potatoes until soft in liquid along with 1 teaspoon salt. Combine with radish tops and broth, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes to mingle flavors. Puree finely in a food processor. Add cream if desired. Season to taste with butter, salt and pepper.

Spicy Stir-Fried Radish Greens
(Makes 2 servings, can easily be doubled.

8-10 ounces radish greens and/or swiss chard, washed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2-3 tsp. peanut oil
2 large garlic cloves (for seasoning the oil)

sauce mixture:
1 T soy sauce (I like Kikkomans)
1 tsp. rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tsp. Agave nectar
1/4 tsp. (or less) Sriracha sauce or other hot sauce

Wash and dry radish greens and/or swiss chard. (I used a salad spinner.) If desired, soak greens for about 30 minutes in very cold water. (This makes sure they're crisp for the quick stir-frying.) Working in batches, cut greens crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.

Mix together sauce ingredients and set aside. Preheat the wok or large, heavy frying pan until it feels very hot when you hold your hand there, then add the oil. When oil looks shimmery, add the garlic cloves and cook about 30 seconds, making sure garlic doesn't start to brown. Remove garlic and discard.

Add chopped radish greens and/or swiss chard all at once and immediately begin to stir-fry, turning greens over and over just until they are almost all wilted. (For me this was only one minute, but I have a great gas stove with a burner with really high heat.) When greens are almost all wilted, add sauce ingredients, stir, and cook 30 seconds more. Serve hot.

Yummy!! Enjoy!!