Sunday, November 22, 2009

CSA Harvest # 26~ Last One!!

We made it!! You managed to eat your way through 26 weeks of Big Lick Farm produce! Pat yourselves on the back (and the tummy!)
We still have quite a few more things out in the field so if you are still excited to face more fresh produce each week you can respond to our weekly emails after Thanksgiving week is over. We will be sending out an availability list every Monday and you can email us back and let us know what you'd like from the list. We would like to have $10 minimum orders to make it worthwhile. We will have things like carrots, beets, red and green cabbage, kale, chard, cauliflower, butternut squash, delicata squash, and eggs. We will put together orders and wait for your pick up at Bi-Mart in Roseburg, pick up at farm or in Myrtle Creek for those of you in the south county. Winter is always a challenging time financially for a farmer so we are going to see if this idea helps us out at all.. and helps you and your family to keep eating in season and locally!

As Thanksgiving approaches we want to let you know how thankful we are here at Big Lick for all the support we've had these last two years. From our awesome volunteer trio, to other farmers in the area who have taken us under their wing (Scott and Cindy Phillips and Norm and Cinda Lehne) and to each of you for your support! We do look forward to 2010 with renewed energy and dreams on how we can make our CSA program even more successful. One large step we will be taking this coming spring will be to put in over 2,000 strawberry plants. We know they'll be a favorite CSA item and also we can hopefully do well on them at farmers market.

We hope you will all stay with us in 2010 as we continue to grow!

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Suzie, Asinete, MA, Violet, and Robin~

The Last Week's Harvest Includes:

Lehne Leeks

Nantes Carrots

Bulls Blood Beets

Kale OR Rainbow Chard

Butternut Squash

Delicata Squash


Cabbage (may include Chinese, red or green)

Lehne Italian Parsley

Sage and Thyme for your Thanksgiving seasoning!

Some Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas for your goodies:

Italian Chard Stuffing from Sunset Magazine (tried and true! Friends and family loved it!)

Time: 1 1/2 hours. If we could have only one other dish besides turkey for Thanksgiving, this would be it: Hunks of juicy sausage, good bread, and lots of chard—a stuffing that works as a side dish too. Former Sunset food editor Jerry Anne Di Vecchio got it from her mother-in-law, and it's just as appealing now as it was 42 years ago.

Yield: Serves 16 (makes 12 cups)

* 3/4 loaf (3/4 lb.) French bread
* 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
* 2 pounds Italian sausages
* 1 cup chopped parsley
* 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
* 1 1/2 pounds green Swiss chard, stem ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
* 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
* 1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
* 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
* Salt


1. Cut bread into 1/2-in. slices. Place slices in a large bowl and add milk. Mix gently with a spoon to saturate with milk and let stand about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, place a 6- to 8-qt. pot over high heat. Squeeze sausages from casings into pot. Discard casings. Cook meat, stirring often to crumble, until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes; discard fat. Add parsley, garlic, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add chard and 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 5 minutes.

3. With your hands, squeeze bread slices to break them into tiny pieces. Add cooked meat mixture, parmesan, basil, sage, and rosemary. Season with salt to taste.

4. Preheat oven to 325° or 350° (use temperature turkey requires; see Note below). Spoon stuffing into a shallow 3-qt. (9- by 13-in.) casserole. For moist stuffing, cover with foil; for crusty stuffing, do not cover. Bake until hot (at least 150° in center) or lightly browned, at least 30 minutes.

Make ahead: Up to 1 day ahead, make stuffing, put in casserole, cover, and chill. Allow about 1 hour to bake.

Note: For turkeys 10-13 lbs., oven/bbq temperature should be 350°; for turkeys 14 lbs. and over, oven/bbq temperature should be 325°.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 3/4-cup serving.
Nutritional Information

318 (59% from fat)
21g (sat 8.3)

Butternut Ravioli with Sage-Brown Butter Sauce
(next on the must try list!)

Prep Time:
20 Min
Cook Time:
1 Hr
Ready In:
1 Hr 20 Min

Makes 8 Servings


* 1 large butternut squash - halved lengthwise, peeled and seeded
* 2 teaspoons butter
* salt and ground black pepper to taste
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
* 50 wonton wrappers
* 1 teaspoon egg white, lightly beaten
* Sauce
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
* salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon butter in the hollow of each half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the squash with a sheet of aluminum foil tucking in the edges.
3. Bake squash in preheated oven until tender and easily pierced with a fork, 45 to 65 minutes.
4. Scoop the cooked squash into a bowl, and mash until smooth. Mix in the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and Parmesan cheese until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Fill a deep pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil.
6. To make the ravioli, place a wonton wrapper on a clean, flat surface. Brush edges with the egg white. Place about 1 tablespoon of the squash mixture in the middle of the wonton. Cover with a second wonton wrapper. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and squash mixture until all have been used.
7. Drop the ravioli into the boiling water, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove, drain, and keep warm until sauce is prepared.
8. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sage. Continue to cook and stir until the sage is crispy but not browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place 6 to 8 raviolis on serving plates, and drizzle with sauce.

Gingered Butternut Squash
Pie~ from Martha Stewart


Serves 10

* 24 ginger snaps (6 ounces)
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
* 3 large eggs
* 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1/2 cup half-and-half
* 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* Crystallized ginger, cut into matchsticks


1. For the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine gingersnaps and sugar; process until finely ground. Add oil and pulse until crumbs are moistened. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch pie plate and press into bottom and up sides. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
2. For the filling, set a steamer basket in a large saucepan, and fill with 1 inch of water; bring to a boil. Place squash in pan, cover, and steam until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
3. Place squash in food processor and process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs, brown sugar, half-and-half, fresh ginger, salt, and nutmeg; process until smooth. Place cooled crust on a rimmed baking sheet and pour filling into crust. Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerate to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Garnish with crystallized ginger.

From Body+Soul, November 2008

For all you fellow pesto lovers try whipping up a batch of pesto with your Italian Parsley bunch:

Parsley Pesto:

Most people imagine Basil when they hear the word pesto. But you can make pesto with other herbs as well. Parsley has a bit more kick, offsetting heavy flavors with a bit more excitement than the subtle sweetness of basil

1 cup De-stemmed Italian Parsley
2 tbsps. Lemon Juice
0.25 cups Pine Nuts, toasted
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. Olive Oil
0.25 tsp. Sea Salt

1) Heat pine nuts in a dry pan on medium heat until browned, being careful not to burn. Cool on a plate.

2) Remove parsley leaves from stems.

3) Once pine nuts have cooled, combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.

4) Serve.

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

2-3 cups small baby carrots (pre-peeled)
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh minced parsley and/or chives

In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add brown sugar, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon; mix together. Add Carrots. Cover; cook on medium low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished cooking, the carrots should be firm, not mushy.

Remove from skillet and sprinkle with fresh parsley and/or chives. Serve.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CSA Harvest # 25~ 1 more to go!!

Hey there fellow veggie lovers! Can it really be almost the end of our second CSA season?? Please note that the last CSA delivery for this season will be this coming Monday at the same time as always. We ask that you please bring bags with you as we do not want to have to track down the baskets if you take them home again. To make it much simpler on ourselves.. if you are planning on joining us again next year we would like to just hang onto the $10 basket deposit you gave us. If you feel like you will not be joining us again please contact us via email and let us know so we can send deposit back in your basket on Monday.

This week we are fortunate to have some beautiful shallots and parsnips grown by friend, CSA farmer and writer Zoe Bradbury. Zoe wrote the article a few weeks back on the status of migrant farm workers in Oregon. Zoe, her mom and sister run a beautiful farm over on the south coast out of Langlois. Asinete and I went over there Monday to see their operation and find out a few tricks of the trade. As we joyously pulled parsnips out of the cold mud and lifted rocks out of the field it dawned on me how much more enjoyable it is to work on someone else's farm for awhile! We left the coast with the wind at our backs and a truckload full of beautiful golden shallots and white javelin parsnips. Worry not as these beauties have been grown with pure love and no chemicals. Zoe (like us) grows organically but does not feel the need to become certified as she only sells locally. We hope you enjoy some of the bounty of Valley Flora Farm this week!

As for our own fields we had planted enough cauliflower for everyone a few months ago and most of it is still not ready. There may be just enough for those of you who are getting a full share. Also as Asinete and I dug the carrots today that were coated in a thick layer of mud we could not see that many of them have the mark of the dreaded wire worm. The wire worm is a segmented critter that lives in the soil an particularly loves to tunnel into roots and tubers (remember the little holes on some of your taters?) The carrots are as sweet and crunchy as ever, they just may not be quite as pretty. Also we will be sure you all get a large "going away" bunch in your last CSA share Monday.
If you are like us (procrastinators) and you still have not planned out your Thanksgiving meal please remember that we have a local, heritage, pasture raised turkey farmer in our midst. His name is Karey Olson and with his wife they run B&K Natural Poultry out of Sutherlin. I just talked with him today and they still have turkeys available. They are very reasonably priced for heritage birds ($3.50/lb) and you know they had a great life eating bugs and fresh grass. They will be delivering dressed birds this Tuesday for pick up at Kruse Market off Garden Valley. Call them to reserve a bird and keep your food dollars local~ (541) 459-0830.

Turkey season reminds me of my second year running a CSA farm in rural Monterey County. I decided to supplement my farming income by raising 30 heritage turkeys (bourbon reds, Narraganset, royal palm) I lived in school housing (as a teacher) and decided my back yard would be the perfect turkey pen. Everything went well the first 5 months and then as November neared the rain started falling early in California and my fancy turkeys did not have shelter. Turkeys are notorious for drowning in the rain as they look up in the sky to see where the water is coming from. I was not going to let my turkeys drown! So I did what any caring turkey mother would do..I let them into my garage. I'll never forget the look on the school principle's face when he was checking the school houses one day. He thankfully did not look in the garage.. but when he closed the front door thirty turkeys in the garage gobbled goodbye to him at once. He knew me well enough to not ask any questions! The beautiful turkeys did make it to the tables of many of our CSA members with one reprieve.. Miss Thang.. a little white midget turkey that was pretty much the boss of all the others and decided I was her mate. She was adopted by a vegetarian family and had a wonderful life. And I have been wise enough to never try raising turkeys again! So thank you B&K Natural Poultry for filling that niche in Douglas County.

We hope you will be able to eat your way through this week's basket to make room for Monday's bounty!

Thank you!
Suzie, Asinete, M.A, Violet & Robin

This Week's Harvest Includes:

Valley Flora Shallots

Valley Flora Parsnips

Baby Joi Choi


Daikon Radish

Butternut Squash

Red or Green Cabbage (these will store well. We have so many in the field!)

Rosemary (for recipe below)

Storage Onion


The parsnip looks like a white, overgrown carrot. It is sweet with a texture like a sweet potato and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are wonderful in soups and stews as well as roasted or mashed like potatoes. Parsnips are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Recipe Ideas for your Parsnips:

Sauteed Parsnips with Carrots, Honey and Rosemary~ from Epicurious

yield: Makes 8 servings
To add richness, sauté three ounces sliced pancetta until crisp; crumble over before serving.

* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into 3x1/4x1/4-inch sticks
* 1 pound large parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, cut into 3x1/4x1/4-inch sticks
* Coarse kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
* 1 1/2 tablespoons honey


Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and parsnips. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown at edges, about 12 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Add butter, rosemary, and honey to vegetables. Toss over medium heat until heated through and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.

FROM OUR TEST KITCHEN: Carrots can take a bit longer to cook than parsnips, so if the carrots are large and mature, sauté them for a minute or two to soften slightly before adding the parsnips.

Pureed Roasted Parsnips

The easiest way to prepare parsnips is to slice them, steam them, and dress with butter and salt. However, to get the fullest, richest flavor from the parsnips, they should be roasted. The browning caramelizes the natural sugars in the parsnips. In this recipe we first roast the parsnips with some butter, then purée them with added water. It's quite simple, but if you've never had parsnips this way, you're in for a treat.


2 lbs parsnips, peeled, stringy cores removed, chopped (about 1 1/2 pounds after removing cores)
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel parsnips, make a cut off the top of the fat end of each parsnip. This will show you extent of the inner core. Often this core is stringy and woody, especially at the larger end of the parsnip. When you are prepping the parsnips, cut around this core.

2 Place chopped parsnips in a medium sized bowl, add the melted butter and stir to coat. Lay out the parsnips on a roasting pan in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, at 400°F, until lightly golden, turning the parsnips once half-way through the cooking.

3 Put cooked parsnips into a blender or food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and pulse until puréed to the desired consistency. Add more water if necessary. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Shallots are in the onion family just like garlic although they have a taste all their own that is highly prized by chefs. Shallots probably originated in Asia, traveling from there to India and the eastern Mediterranean. The name “shallot” comes from Ashkelon, presently a city in Israel, where people in classical Greek times believed shallots originated.

Purple Jasmine Coconut Rice Recipe

You may be able to find purple jasmine rice at your favorite store (or just use white jasmine rice)

2 cups purple jasmine rice (or substitute white jasmine rice)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (don't use lite)
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
A handful of cashews, chopped and toasted

Start by rinsing the rice. You can do this by putting the rice in the thick-bottomed pan it is going to cook in. Fill the pot halfway with water, swish the rice around (the water will get cloudy), and pour out the cloudy water. Repeat 3 times. The water might still be a bit cloudy, and that is o.k.

To the rinsed (and drained) rice add the coconut milk, water, and salt. Stir to combine. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the liquid to a boil (uncovered). Stir often to prevent the rice from scorching down at the bottom of the pot. Once the liquid comes to a boil reduce the heat to a low, low simmer, cover the pot tightly with a lid. Cook for about 15- 20 more minutes (resisting the urge to peek). Remove from heat (still covered!), and let the rice steam for another 10-15.

While the rice is cooking cook up the shallots in a small frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Too hot and you'll burn the butter instead of browning it. Add the butter to the pan, then stir in the shallots and a couple pinches of salt. Stir every few minutes letting the shallots brown increasingly until they are dark in color. Transfer to a paper towel until ready to use.

Transfer the rice to desired serving vessel and sprinkle with cashews and the crispy shallots.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cabbage Ideas

An easy cabbage recipe, with seasonings and a little vinegar, cooked in the skillet.
Cook Time: 20 minutes

* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
* 1 medium head cabbage, coarsely shredded
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 3 tablespoons vinegar
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions for Skillet Cabbage
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; add seasoned salt, cabbage, and onion. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir frequently. Blend vinegar and sugar; add to cabbage mixture. Stir gently to blend; cook cabbage 5 minutes longer.
Easy cabbage recipe serves 6.

Extras: "with the onions i put in long strips of parsnips, garlic, fresh herbs, graded carrot, white wine, 2 teaspoon of horse radish and a squeeze of dijon mustard.

Spicy South Indian Cabbage

Serves: 4
Cooking time (approx.): 8 minutes
Style: Indian Vegetarian

2 tablespoon(s) oil
½ teaspoon(s) mustard seeds
½ teaspoon(s) split black gram
4 green chillies chopped
6 curry leaves
2 medium onion(s) chopped finely
1 medium cabbage shredded
1 teaspoon(s) cumin powder
½ teaspoon(s) black pepper powder
1 garlic clove grated
4 tablespoons grated coconut
a pinch of turmeric powder and salt to taste
1 teaspoon(s) lime juice

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan. Drop in the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add the split black gram and fry till it is light brown. Add the green chillies, curry leaves and the chopped onions. Fry on medium heat for about 3 minute(s) or till the onions are pale.
2. Add the cabbage and the rest of the ingredients except the salt and lime juice. Stir-fry on high heat till the cabbage is well coated with the oil and looks glossy. Mix in the salt, cover and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes or till the cabbage is yet crunchy but cooked.
3. Mix in the lime juice. Keep covered for 2 minutes


* Cabbage must not be over cooked and tastes the best when crunchy and firm. Overcooking of vegetables leads to loss of important nutrients.

Serve hot with: Coconut Rice (Nariyal Chawal), white rice or Indian bread (Roti, Chapati, Pooris).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CSA Harvest # 24~ 2 more to go!!

Hooray for 2 more weeks of farm fresh produce! I have a suspicion many of you are as excited as we will be to see a lull in the produce. For those of you who cannot get enough we will still have things available after the CSA is completed. What we hope to do is send out an email to those of you interested each Monday to let you know what we have avail for that week. You can call us or email and we can drop off your requested items at a central pick up spot each week (like Bi-Mart's parking lot). This will help you continue eating locally and organically and it will help us in our darkest hours of need as winter faces us with no other income on the horizon until spring. If this is something you may be interested in please give us a call (863-2646) or email us. Also if you have friends who were green with envy all season that you were getting such great produce for such a great price we can now offer them produce as well.. feel free to pass on our number and email!

And now on to some important news:
Because our final CSA delivery would fall on Thanksgiving day we are hoping to deliver baskets for the final time on Monday the 23rd (Monday before Thanksgiving). If any of you will be going out of town the other option is we could do two deliveries in one next week. We look forward to hearing back from you to see which you would prefer. We will try to find a plan that accommodates everyone. Also for the last delivery we will expect all baskets back and we can check your baskets off and refund you the basket deposit (if you gave us one). We think the best thing to do would be if everyone brought bags or boxes to transfer your produce into, this way we get all the baskets back at once and we're not trying to track down missing ones. For those of you who pick up at the farm or in Myrtle Creek we will mail your deposits back since unfortunately we hardly ever get a face to face encounter with you.

Some of the surveys are in (27 out of 54). We are hoping we will get more this week but so far we have found out a few interesting things: 1) many of you have an extreme dislike of kale! 2) beets were a common item on the "overabundance" list (sorry we have more this week!) 3)quite a few of you wrote that you did not care for the tomatillos (more of those this week too.. last of 'em though!) The disdain for the tomatillos leaves me only to believe that these people do not read the blog and don't know what to do with them.. because how could you make salsa verde and not love it?? Of course a few tomatillo die hard fans like myself said they really loved them.. so this week's harvest is for you! For the rest of you not completely sold on the tomatillos please try the easy, tasty, melt in your mouth salsa recipe below and then tell me if you still don't like them! Universal favorites were heirloom tomatoes, corn, fresh herbs, garlic, carrots, onions, lettuce, potatoes and melons. Thank you for taking the time to fill these out and we will read them again over the winter as it gets time to order seeds for 2010 and we can include items you like that we did not have avail this year. For those of you who have yet to fill out the survey~ we need you!

This week we would like to give a big shout out thank you to fellow CSA farmers Norm and Cinda Lehne. Norm and Cinda have been farming out in Garden Valley since before I was even born. They cultivate 30 acres and run a u-pick operation, CSA and they attend Farmers Markets as well. Norm and Cinda were wise to end their CSA earlier than us and emailed to offer to share some of the bounty still left in their fields. This week we have some fragrant, tasty leeks started from Territorial Seeds out of Cottage Grove. While Norm and Cinda do not grow organically they are committed to not growing any GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) crops. If you are a strict organics only eater hopefully you can find a willing neighbor to enjoy it!
Thank you Norm and Cinda for sharing the bounty of your fields and for your friendship!

For those of you who were unable to attend last Friday's movie night of the film Food, Inc.. wow!! The movie was awesome (albeit a bit horrific to watch at moments) but seeing the horrific parts really pumped me up again about the importance of eating locally and for us to raise as much of our own meat as we can.. we are looking at raising pasture poultry next season. Would any of you be interested in buying locally produced chickens from us? Let us know!

This Week's Harvest Includes:

Lehne Leeks


Delicata Winter Squash

Red or Green Cabbage

Tomatillos (try recipe below!)

Beets (try recipe below~ ("all we are saying is give beets a chance"!)

Lettuce Mix

Hot peppers (see recipes below)

Daikon Radish

Tomatoes (these were picked green and ripened off the vine so not as good as warm weather ones but a local tomato nonetheless)

Recipe Ideas for Your Bounty:

Leeks~ Leeks are in the onion family and are related to onions and garlic. They were extremely muddy when harvested and we did the best we could to get them clean enough for your basket however before you cook them here are some ways to get them cleaner. Slice the leeks down the center and rinse under cold running water to remove all dirt and sand, being careful to get in between the leaves. Drain on dish towel and proceed with recipe.

To clean leeks for cooking whole, slice lengthwise about two inches up from each end, leaving a center portion intact to hold the leek together. Rinse under running cold water while separating leaves.

You may also slice them into 2-inch lengths and soak in a bowl of cold water. Swish them in the water to remove dirt, drain, refill bowl, and swish again until no more dirt is released. Drain and dry.
Fresh leek storage: They can spread their special fresh oniony smell around, so keep in plastic bag in the fridge. Don't trim or wash before storing, it makes them break down faster. BUT if space is at a premium, you can chop off the dark green stem part before storing them. you can store them in plastic in the fridge for 5 days or more.

Leeks are rich in allicin, an organosulfur compound that has been shown to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells, including breast, endometrial, and colon cancer cells. Leeks also contain calcium, iron, vitamin C, and fiber.

Lemony Risotto

from Almost Vegetarian by Diana Shaw

serves 4-6

1 lemon (or 2 small)
3 cups broth: vegetable or chicken
1 large leek, white & green part, cleaned and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 T butter, unsalted
2 shallots, minced
1 T chopped parsley
1 cup arborio rice
2 T white wine
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Halve and juice the lemon and remove the zest with a vegetable peeler. Leave half the zest in strips and mince the rest. Set aside the juice and the minced zest.

Place the strips of zest in a saucepan with the broth, leek, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, then cover and simmer gently over low heat for 30 minutes.

Stain the broth through a sieve, discard the leek and bay leaf, and pour it back into the saucepan. Cover and bring it back to a gentle simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan melt the butter. Saute the shallots, parsley, and minced lemon zest over med-low heat until the shallots are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it’s just about evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and lemon juice, turn up the heat, and stir until it’s just about evaporated, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat.

Using a ladle, add about 1 C hot broth. Stir constantly over med heat until the broth has been absorbed. Add another ladleful of broth and keep stirring until it’s been absorbed.

Continue the process, adding broth a half cupful at a time and stirring in this way, until the kernels are plump and no longer chalk white in the center. This should take 25 to 30 minutes altogether. The rice is almost done when the kernels are still separate but starting to bind and there are pools of broth on the surface. It’s done when the liquid has been absorbed, and the kernels are bound in what looks like very ricey, yet somewhat creamy, rice pudding.

When the risotto is nearly done, stir in 2 T more broth, along with the Parmesan cheese, and stir well until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.

Calories per serving: 179; protein: 6 grams; fat: 3.4 grams. I don’t know the fiber.

Risotto with Beet Greens and Leeks

Recipe from Cooking Light March 2001
6 servings

5 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups coarsely chopped beet greens
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 lemon wedges

Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, saute 4 minute or until tender. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; stir in greens. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of the broth is absorbed before adding the next portion (about 25 minutes). Stir in cheese and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.

For all you tomatillo haters these recipes are for you!

Rick Bayless's Salsa Verde Recipe~ easy to make and delish! I prefer the deeper flavor of the roasted tomatillos..


* 8 ounces (5 to 6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
* Fresh hot green chiles, to taste (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed
* 5 or 6 sprigs fresh cilantro (thick stems removed), roughly chopped
* Scant 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
* Salt


Whether you choose the verdant, slushy, herby freshness of the all-raw tomatillo salsa or the oil-colored, voluptuous, sweet-sour richness of the roasted version, tomatillos are about brightening tang. The buzz of the fresh hot green chile adds thrill, all of which adds up to a condiment most of us simply don't want to live without.

For the All-Raw version: Roughly chop the tomatillos and the chiles. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, chiles, cilantro and 1/4 cup water. Process to a coarse puree, then scrape into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, usually a generous 1/4 teaspoon.

For the Roasted version:

Preheat a broiler.

Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until darkly roasted, even blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side, 4 to 5 minutes more will give you splotchy-black and blistered tomatillos and chiles. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos and chiles, including all the delicious juice that has run onto the baking sheet. Add the cilantro and 1/4 cup water, blend to a coarse puree, and scrape into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove the excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, usually a generous 1/4 teaspoon.

Crunchy Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa
Salsa Verde Crujiente con Aguacate

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Recipe from Season 7 of Mexico - One Plate at a Time

8 ounces (about 4 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
Hot green chiles to taste (roughly 2 small serranos or 1 small jalapeño), stemmed and roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin
1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Roughly chop half of the tomatillos and scoop them into a food processor with the cilantro and green chiles. Measure in 1/4 cup water and process to a slushy, coarse puree. Roughly chop half the avocado, add it to the processor and pulse until it is incorporated into the salsa. Scrape into a serving dish. Scoop the onion into a small strainer and rinse under cold water. Add to the salsa. Finely chop the remaining tomatillos and add them, too. Finally, chop the remaining avocado into 1/4-inch pieces and stir them into the salsa. Taste and season with salt, usually about 3/4 teaspoon.

Alternative Method: Put all the tomatillos (quartered), cilantro and chiles through a meat grinder to chop them (no water necessary), then stir in finely chopped avocado and rinsed onion.

Beet Recipes Even Beet Haters Might Love!

Beet Salad With Goat Cheese

* 4 medium beets - scrubbed, trimmed and cut in half
* 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
* 3 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1 (10 ounce) package mixed baby salad greens
* 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 ounces goat cheese


1. Place beets into a saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool, then cut in to cubes.
2. While the beets are cooking, place the walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat until warm and starting to toast, then stir in the maple syrup. Cook and stir until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing.
4. Place a large helping of baby greens onto each of four salad plates, divide candied walnuts equally and sprinkle over the greens. Place equal amounts of beets over the greens, and top with dabs of goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the dressing.

Other Ideas for beets:
The Italian way. Trim off the tops must 1/4 inch or so above the root. Rinse. Wrap all the beets together in a double-thickness of aluminum foil, crimping the edges together to seal tightly. Roast in a 400ºF oven until tender, 1-2 hours. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets (the skin will pull away) and slice into thin rounds or half rounds. Just before serving, dress with good-quality red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve warm or room temperature. I especially like it after lamb dishes.

Beets roasted as above can also be used in fancier salads. Try combining them with orange sections and watercress or lamb's lettuce -- or with walnuts and goat cheese -- in a sherry vinegar dressing.

BTW, if the beet tops are in good shape, you can also use them for a salad. Separate the leaves from the stems. Drop the stems in boiling salted water, boil 5-7 minutes, then drop in the leaves. Cook until tender, 2-4 minutes. Drain well. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Or add to the beet salad described above.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CSA Harvest # 23~ 3 more to go!!

Good day farm friends! As I am a procrastinator by nature somehow every Wednesday evening finds me huddled over the keyboard trying to compose an interesting antidote of farm life. Sometimes I fail to come up with ways to describe how wonderful it is to be making a living farming, by making a living from small, tiny seeds planted in the ground that a few months later turn into hefty cabbages, delicate lettuce leaves of varying colors. I try to be humble and realize that the end product is not created only by myself and Asinete but something bigger... (wow what was in that M&M I just ate!!) ha! No all joking aside.. we feel (I feel) very blessed to be able to do something which I love to make a living. As so many of our acquaintances have lost their jobs or had hours cut at work.. we have been able to eek out a fairly comfortable existence here thanks in a large part to each of you.. so thank you!

As the ending of the season is rapidly approaching we are finally able to look back at the CSA year and figure out how we could have done things a bit more efficiently. When the season is upon us we just go through the motions and try to keep up.. with no time really for reflection.. the surveys that I have emailed each of you really help us to find out what we could improve upon, and things that you have enjoyed as a CSA member so please find some time to fill it out.. it's only 10 questions and it will really help us to help you next year!

On the previous blog I posted a great article written by fellow CSA farmer Zoe Bradbury of Valley Flora Farm outside of Bandon. Our paths crossed briefly at an organic educational farm in Salinas, Ca. The article she wrote about below really hit home for me. When I was the farm manager of a small school in Monterey County 99% of the students were the children of Mexican field laborers. One day we organized an event in honor of labor rights activist Cesar Chavez to take the kids out to the fields where the laborers were working, sing them a song, pass out sweet bread and the kids had prepared hand made thank you cards to give the workers. The day that we loaded up on the bus, complete with guitar and pan dulce and our vocal cords primed to the tune of Mexican folk song "De Colores". The workers in the field were not expecting the long yellow bus to pull through the muddy field to where they were working. As we filed out of the bus they looked a bit bewildered. The kids belted out De Colores and passed out the bread.. then the most heartlfelt part where each student picked out a laborer to give a thank you card to. One moment I will never forget is when we all came back to the school and one of the older boys from 8th grade came up to me and started to choke up as he spoke. In the field he had picked an older man (in his 60's) to tell thank you and give his card. Vicente told me how the old man had clutched the card to his muddy raincoat and stepped behind a tractor to cry.. I can only believe that that man had never been thanked for any of his long, cold, muddy, uncomfortable days growing food that we all eat. When I step into Fred Meyer and see the long rows of beautiful polished fruits and vegetables I think of that man and I say thank you again to him and all the other campesinos~ gracias para la cosecha...

Today's Harvest Will Include:

Red Cabbage


Butternut Squash

Scarlett Nantes Carrots

Salad Mix (lettuce, spinach, arugula, baby chard, mizuna)


Cilantro or Dill

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Hooray for Red Cabbage
!! Red cabbage is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It's also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.

Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon


* 1 medium head red cabbage
* 6 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, or other smoked bacon, cut into lardons (about 1/4-by-1/4-by-3/4-inch pieces)
* 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
* 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth


1. Slice cabbage in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to cut a V-shaped notch around the white core and discard it. Slice both pieces in half again so you have 4 quarters, then thinly slice each piece crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Set aside.
2. Place bacon in a large Dutch oven or other large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is browned and most of the fat has cooked off.
3. Add onion and stir to coat in bacon fat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until onion softens and edges begin to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Add cabbage, stir to coat it in bacon fat and cook until cabbage begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and mustard.
5. Deglaze the pan by adding cider vinegar and scraping the pan with a spatula to incorporate the browned bits into the sauce. Add chicken broth and season with a few pinches of salt and more freshly ground pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pan tightly. Simmer cabbage, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and soupy and bacon is tender, about 45 minutes. If cabbage begins to look dry, add more chicken broth or water.

Red Cabbage Saute~ courtesy of Rachel Ray

* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 small onion, sliced
* 1/2 red cabbage, shredded
* 1/3 cup white or apple cider vinegar, eyeball it
* 2 rounded tablespoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon mustard seed
* Salt and pepper


Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and onion and saute 2 minutes. Add cabbage and turn in pan, sauteing it until it wilts, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vinegar to the pan and turn the cabbage in it. Sprinkle sugar over the cabbage and turn again. Season with mustard seed, salt and pepper and reduce heat a bit. Let cabbage continue to cook 10 minutes or until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.