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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/12/18)

Bartlett Pears

These are easy to tell when ripe because they brighten in color (turn from green to yellow in tone) and have a wonderful fragrance. Try adding pears to a salad this week! Cut into wedges or cubes they would make a great addition to this week’s salad mix. For dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a little bit of Dijon mustard and about an eighth cup of maple syrup. Mix together with a wire whisk and beat in an eighth cup of olive or avocado oil. I would probably double the recipe if serving more than 3 people. Can also be topped with gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese and pecans (or walnuts).

Beets

If you don’t have time to roast or boil beets you can shorten the cook time dramatically by slicing off thin rounds and either sautéing, steaming, or boiling them, just peel them first with a vegetable peeler.

In the cooking world, beets are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin” for their incredible range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although beets can be cooked in a variety of ways (including as a secret ingredient for deep dark chocolate cake-Google it!), roasting beets is one of the easiest and most delicious. Roasting beets intensifies their flavor, brings out their earthy sweetness, and makes their skin tender and easy to peel off. Roasted beets are particularly delicious in beet salads or just as a complementing side dish.

Kale

We love Apple Kale Salad: (Kale, Apple, Pear, Red Bell Pepper, Green onion, Carrot….)

Kale is just wonderful and it’s so good for you! One great thing about kale as a salad is that it keeps well in the fridge, so you can make ahead of time and not worry about it wilting. Kale can be a little tricky because it tends to be a bit tough and sometimes bitter. Here are a few tips that have helped me. First make sure to remove all large ribs and stems (They make a great addition to a stir-fry though!); Chop the leaves small; Sprinkle with salt to cut the bitterness; “Tenderize” the leaves by massaging them with your hands (only takes about half a minute); And lastly, massage in the olive oil or salad dressing. This turns the kale bright green and makes it so it’s evenly covered.

For the dressing, I like to use a combination of vinegar and olive oil. Once you have prepped your kale and worked in the dressing, add your toppings. Try with apple or pear slices. Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries also taste great with this combination!

Broccoli:

Pass the broccoli! Broccoli contains plant compounds which protect against cancer. Broccoli is great in salad, stir-fry, soup, roasted, steamed, or raw with your favorite veggie dip. Add Broccoli to your next box of good food delivery here.

Featured Recipe: Roasted Broccoli

The high heat with this method causes the broccoli to caramelize making this one of the tastiest ways to prepare and eat broccoli. Leave off the pecorino for a vegan option (try topping with a drizzle of tahini instead). Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

1 and ½ pounds broccoli crowns (roughly 2 heads)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, pressed

large pinch of dried red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons raw, sliced almonds (with or without skin)

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 – 3 tablespoons freshly grated aged pecorino cheese (leave out for vegan option)

zest of half a lemon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer less crispy florets (or if your oven runs hot), you can reduce the oven temperature by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust cooking time as necessary.

Line a sheet pan with parchment. Trim any dry, tough ends of the broccoli crowns, leaving roughly 2-inches of stalk attached. Slice the broccoli into ½-inch-thick steaks, starting in the center of each broccoli crown and working out to the edges, reserving any small or medium florets that fall off for roasting. Slice any large remaining florets in half lengthwise.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pressed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the broccoli steaks and toss gently until evenly coated. Arrange the broccoli, cut-side down, on the lined sheet pan, setting them apart slightly. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the broccoli for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the broccoli, and sprinkle the almond slices evenly across the sheet pan. Roast for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is evenly caramelized and fork tender, and the almond slices are toasted and golden.

Transfer the broccoli to a platter, toss gently with the lemon juice and top with the grated pecorino cheese. Garnish with fresh lemon zest. Serve hot or at room temperature (it also tastes great cold). Leftover broccoli can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

 

Recipe adapted from abeautifulplate.com

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Weather is a Real Factor on the Farm  

In our micro climate, almost all vegetables on our farm do better when planted in May. Of course, there are always a few outliers, like peas or spinach, but for the most part the soil is warmer, the seed beds can be worked without soil compaction and the germination rates are just better for everything especially weeds!

Planting has more to do with soil type and your micro climate. For us we are a hair colder and our soil is “heavier” which means we need some warmth to get a good seedbed before planting. We certainly had a wonderful May, an okay June, and a decent start to July for planting weather. This week you are getting some wonderfully tasty beets from our May planting.

This is also the time I get my first water bills. OUCH! To review weather patterns, all I have to do is look over the previous years’ water bills! And May was hot this year. I am eagerly (not really) anticipating the July/August water bill!

Beets are a great crop to grow as a farmer and home gardener. I sow (plant) about twice as much as I need which allows me to harvest over a longer time frame. This strategy works well for beets because they can be harvested as babies or full size. As a rule, I usually plant about 25% more than needed on all crops, to accommodate for early achievers and laggards. One could say that I farm based on a bell curve!

As I shared last week, we are still planting and still weeding and still harvesting from the crops we planted in May, but June plantings are starting to make an appearance. I saw my first red tomatoes and cukes are setting fruit. We picked our first green peppers last week also!

Next week we are going to be harvesting our first crop of Frisee ever (hopefully). I am trying to time the harvest and since I have never grown it, I am paying ultra-close attention to how it responds to the heat. So far it looks great. If I am successful, I am planning on featuring it with a roasted mushroom salad. YUM!

Eating more fruits and vegetables is an important part of the solution to America’s obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease crisis. Real food, grown as locally as possible and eaten as fresh as possible is a game changer for anyone’s health!

I love what I do. Yes, it is hard work, but providing your family with organically grown foods that make a difference in your health—that motivates me.

Thank you,

Tristan

Your Farmer and Community Health Activist

 

 

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How to Eat Your Box! (Week of 4/1/18)

Gold Nugget Mandarins:

Citrus, in nearly any form, is a perfect addition to brighten up a salad. Add citrus segments to winter greens along with avocado and crumbles of salty feta. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Radishes, Black:

The skin is particularly spicy on black radishes; for milder flavor, peel them before using. These radishes store well—simply wrap the roots in newspaper or perforated plastic in the refrigerator, and they’ll keep well for a long time. Try them: roasted with olive oil and salt. You can either roast them whole (like a potato, and then peel/mash, or slice them thin into “chips.” To make chips, slice the root as thinly as possible, or put halves in your food processor. Coat in a little olive oil and sprinkle on salt. Bake in a hot oven (375-400 F) for about 10 minutes. Be careful – they can burn to a crisp if you’re not careful.

If you do want to try them raw, slice them thinly (or grate them) and mix in a salad with sweet, balancing ingredients like apples, celeriac, arugula, beets, carrots and pecorino. Salt also helps take the edge off their spiciness.

Arugula:

This peppery green is ubiquitous with fresh salads (try it with blue cheese, walnuts and Asian pears), but it is also great atop pizzas (add just after you remove them from the oven, and allow to wilt slightly), or to wilt atop a winter soup. Arugula pesto has its own following too. Store in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days to prevent from becoming bitter.

Beets:

Beets can be cooked just about any way you like. They are great boiled or baked, sautéed or stewed. Usually I cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 375° for about 35 minutes (try adding some parsley when they’re done).  But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed as well so don’t throw them out! Try cooking the greens in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bright green. Don’t let cook them too long though or they’ll get slimy.

Or check out this recipe for sweet potato and beet chips! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/sweet-potato-and-beet-chips-with-garlic-rosemary-salt-recipe.html

 

Featured Recipe: Roasted Radishes with Arugula

Ingredients:

0.66 lb Black Radishes

2Tablespoons Avocado Oil

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

½ teaspoon of Kosher Salt

½ teaspoon of Cracked Pepper

Fresh bunch of Arugula

Pecorino, grated or flakes (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425F

Slice the radishes into cubes and toss with the avocado oil, herbs, salt and pepper.

Spread across a shallow pan and cook in the oven at 425F for about 30 minutes.

When the radishes are done (test with a fork), immediately fold in the arugula leaves until they wilt from the heat. Sprinkle with pecorino if desired. Enjoy!

 

Adapted from recipe by platedwithstyle.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (9/17/2017)

D’Anjou Pears:
The d’Anjou is a truly an all-purpose pear. They are juicy when ripe, and their subtle sweetness hints at a refreshing lemon-lime flavor. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack. The most important thing to know about d’Anjou pears is that they do not change color as they ripen, unlike Bartletts, whose skin color changes to yellow during ripening. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

Fennel:
Known for its crunchy texture and mild anise flavor, fennel is best used within 5 days. Keep fennel bulbs wrapped in the fridge to keep out air that will lessen its flavor. Fennel is wonderful braised, roasted, or grilled where its it brings flavor reminiscent of pine nuts to the table, or, sautéed, or used raw in salads, where it is crunchy and sweet.

Beets:
In the cooking world, beets are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin” for their incredible range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although beets can be cooked in a variety of ways (including as a secret ingredient for deep dark chocolate cake-Google it!), roasting beets is one of the easiest and most delicious. Roasting beets intensifies their flavor, brings out their earthy sweetness, and makes their skin tender and easy to peel off. Roasted beets are particularly delicious in beet salads or just as a complementing side dish. Check out the recipe below for easy Roasted Beets.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
“The good news: Beets are packed with folate and potassium, and the red ones deliver lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants.” – Food & Wine

Ingredients:

4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (~1 1/2 pounds)
2 thyme sprigs or 2 tsp dried
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large fennel bulb with fronds—bulb cut into 1/2-inch wedges, 1 tablespoon chopped fronds
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or balsamic

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F. In a medium baking dish, toss the beets with the thyme, the water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Discard the thyme.
2. Meanwhile, in a small baking dish, drizzle the fennel wedges with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until tender and lightly browned.
3. Pour the beet juices into a bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Add the beets, fennel wedges and fronds and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Recipe adapted from: foodandwine.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/13/17)

Beets:

Beets can be cooked just about any way you like. They are great boiled or baked, sautéed or stewed. Usually I cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 375 °F for about 35 minutes (try adding some parsley when they’re done). But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed as well so don’t throw them out! Try cooking the greens in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bright green – be careful not to over cook. 

Celery:

Popular as a finger food, celery also makes a flavorful addition to soups. Because of their crescent shape, they make a great healthy medium to stuff as a fun and flavorful snack. You can get creative when it comes to what you put on them: Peanut or almond butter is the classic pairing but you can pair celery with just about any snack dipper. Cream cheese makes a good filler, try it mixed with chopped nuts and raisins. Homemade ranch or Hummus also makes a good savory pairing. Celery is also great in salad. It can lend itself to the sweet: using thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon, or, the savory: with lettuce or spinach, finely chopped onion, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper.

Herb, Savory:

Savory is an aromatic herb similar in flavor to thyme that works well to season fish and meats as well as vegetables like summer squash, green beans, and tomatoes. It is perhaps best known for flavoring lentils and beans, where it helps with digestion. Savory blends nicely with other spices such as rosemary, basil, oregano, marjoram, and bay leaf. Strip the leaves from the stalk and add towards the end of cooking to best preserve the flavor. This savory was cut at prime while flowering and dried for packing early August.

 

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Who knew that adding this vegetable to a chocolate cake could make it the most moist and delicious cake ever? The beetroot plays up the chocolate but you’ll be hard-pressed to taste it! Ingredients:

3-4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks*

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups organic whole cane sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon Salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup safflower oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cover beets with 2 inches water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth. (See note, below)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups beet puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use). Whisk until just combined.
  4. Line the bottom of a 9 x 3-inch round cake pan with parchment, and coat pan with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn cake out from pan onto racks, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.
  5. Trim top of cake using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Transfer cake, cut side down, to a platter. Pour chocolate glaze over the top, and let set, about 30 minutes.

 

*If you don’t have a food processor, leave the beets whole when cooking, then grate beets on your finest-hole cheese grater.

Adapted from marthastewart.com

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 7/2/17)

Rainier Cherries:

Although you’ll quite likely find yourself eating them straight from the bag that they traveled to your home from, you should also try serving cherries with dinner over ice. The ice slowly melts into the bottom of the bowl, dragging some of the buoyed little fruits with them. Those ones are the best – completely cold and crisp throughout, melting away the summer heat from the inside.

Fun Fact: The light skin and delicate nature of Rainiers occasionally leaves light brown spots on the skin. This is not a flaw, but actually an extra-sweet sugar spot.

Beets:

Beets are great boiled or baked, sautéed or stewed. Usually, I cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 375° for about 35 minutes (try adding some parsley when they’re done).  But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed or steamed as well so don’t throw them out! Don’t let cook them too long though or they’ll get slimy.

Zucchini:

Zucchini is more often used as a cooking vegetable but can easily be enjoyed raw. It makes a great salad when sent through the spiralizer and tossed with carrots, cucumber, and snow peas. Like cucumbers, zucchini is good when marinated for a couple hours in the fridge. Simply toss in lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, cover and let sit in the fridge for a time. Add freshly chopped basil or parsley right before serving.

 

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies are the number one thing I bake for my kids during summer and when I saw zucchini on the menu this week, I knew I needed to share this recipe with you all! These Zucchini Breakfast Cookies are ideal for active, hungry kids.

If you can keep some old-fashioned oats, coconut oil, honey, salt and cinnamon on hand—-you’re well on your way. Often, we add in smashed bananas (also on the menu this week!), peanut butter, apple sauce (or diced fresh apples), dried fruit, nuts and chocolate chips.

My kids aren’t huge zucchini lovers so when I discovered that they’d gobble these, my day was made. I hope you try them out and that your people love them, too!

Ingredients:

 

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

dash of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Photo: © 2017 Northwest Healthy Mama. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Directions:

Grate the zucchini and put it in a bowl.

Sprinkle in a dash of salt and add in the cinnamon.

Measure in the honey.

Melt the coconut oil and then pour it in, stirring everything together well.

Add in the oats and flour. Stir well.

Lastly, gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are set and starting to lightly brown around the edges.

Notes: Feel free to add in raisins, peanut butter, nuts or dried fruit!

By Angela Strand

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 4/30)

Bosc Pears:

Don’t be fooled by the Bosc’s rough exterior and firm touch, they are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than most other pears. Their full flavor is best enjoyed before their flesh softens. Bosc pears are crisp and hold their shape well even when baked. They are an ideal candidate for a poached pear: In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups of water and a cup of sugar until warm and the sugar is dissolved. For extra flavor, you can add a cinnamon stick, a vanilla bean, fresh ginger, or a half a lemon if desired. Peel, core and quarter pears and add them to the mixture. Because the pears won’t be completely submerged, they can be covered with a piece of parchment paper (cut to fit with a whole in the center to let steam escape). Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the pears. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid. These are best served warm or at room temperature. You can eat them with breakfast, as a desert, or as a side/topping with cake and loosely whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Beets:

Beets can be cooked just about any way you like. They are great boiled, baked, sautéed or stewed. I usually cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 400° for about 35 minutes. But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed as well, so don’t throw them out! Try cooking the greens in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bright green. Don’t let cook them too long though or they’ll get slimy.

Recipe: Lentil & Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 tbsp curry paste

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 cup red or yellow lentil

34 oz. low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock (made with 2 cubes)

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets

1 large potato, diced

3 tbsp coconut yogurt

small pack coriander, chopped

juice 1 lemon

4 oz. cooked brown rice

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until soft, about 5 mins. Add the curry paste, spices and lentils, then stir to coat the lentils in the onions and paste. Pour over the stock and simmer for 20 mins, then add the cauliflower, potato and a little extra water if it looks a bit dry.

2. Simmer for about 12 mins until the cauliflower and potatoes are tender. Stir in the yogurt, coriander and lemon juice, and serve with the brown rice.

Recipe from www.bbcgoodfood.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 12/18/16)

How to Eat your BOX

Yams:

If it were up to me I would put yams/sweet potatoes in the boxes every week! 😉 They make one of my all-time favorite snacks and are also a great side for any meal. I like to slice them into quarter inch rounds or strips (a mandolin comes in handy here), toss them in a little olive oil and any desired seasoning (sage, rosemary, and thyme are great with yams) and bake at 400° for about 30 minutes, until tender. You can also bake them whole. Make sure to thoroughly clean first and pat dry. Prick with a fork and bake for about 40-60 minutes at 425°.

Beets:

Beets can be cooked just about any way you like. They are great boiled or baked, sautéed or stewed. Usually I cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 375° for about 35 minutes (try adding some parsley when they’re done). But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed as well so don’t throw them out! Try cooking the greens in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bright green. Don’t let cook them too long though or they’ll get ‘slimy.’ Check out this recipe for sweet potato and beet chips!

Pears:

Try adding pears to a salad this week! Cut into wedges or cubes they would make a great addition to this week’s salad mix. For dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a little bit of Dijon mustard and about an eighth cup of maple syrup. Mix together with a wire whisk and beat in an eighth cup of olive or avocado oil. I would probably double the recipe if serving more than 3 people. Can also be topped with Gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese and pecans (or walnuts).

Mushrooms:

Mushrooms are in a class all their own. Literally, they are quite distinct in nature and classified as their own kingdom, separate from plants and animals. But, they are packed with nutrients and make a great addition to a healthy diet. Mushrooms are good raw on salads or in an array of cooked dishes. You can dice them and sauté with onions as a base for scrambled eggs or stir fry or in soup. They also blend well with ground beef, enhancing the flavor and making the meat go farther. Great for tacos or in pasta.

Parsnips:

Parsnips have an almost peppery sweet flavor to them that comes out nicely when roasted. They make a great addition/alternative to the more traditional baked or sautéed root vegetables! Try these diced into bite size chunks or julienne, drizzled with olive oil and tossed in a bowl with a little salt and cayenne(or other spices). Bake on bottom rack at 450° for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned and crispy.

Papayas:

Papayas are ready to eat when they take on a yellow/orange-y color and are slightly soft. Leave on the counter in paper bag for a few days to ripen. The skin looks like it is going bad when ripening, but don’t throw it because it looks bad. Opening a rough-looking papaya often reveals a perfectly good piece of fruit. Once ripe, store in the refrigerator but try to eat within day or two for best flavor. Unripe/green papaya can be eaten it green salads or cooked dishes. After washing this fruit, cut it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and eat with a spoon. For a little extra zest, squeeze lemon or lime juice on top. Cut papaya into smaller pieces for fruit salad or recipes, but first peel it with a paring knife. You can also use a melon baller to scoop out the fruit of a halved papaya. If you are adding it to a fruit salad, you should do so just before serving as it tends to cause the other fruit to become soft. (Thanks to all those good-for-you enzymes.)

While most people discard the big black seeds, they are actually edible and have a peppery flavor. They can be chewed whole or blended into a creamy salad dressing.

Try a mix of diced papaya, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and ginger together to make a unique salsa that goes great with shrimp, scallops and halibut.

Or try adding papaya to your smoothie. Combine with strawberries and or other fruit and yogurt in a blender. The papaya gives it a wonderfully creamy texture.

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It’s a good thing there are only 24 hours in a day

Hustle, hustle, hustle! When the weather turns and the sun comes out, it is all hands on deck. I have to keep reminding myself that it is only April and that I will be planting crops until August. I used to think that vegetable farming was a marathon race, but now I am more inclined to think of it as a track meet.

Yes, the season is long, but it really feels like a series of sprinting events, and the starter gun has definitely gone off. We are getting the peas, spinach, beets, chard and lettuce planted. We are also getting the ground worked up for potatoes, corn and winter squash. So in the spring we are mostly preparing the ground for planting and then planting it.

As the season marches on we are still working the ground for summer crops, like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, but we add in weeding – lots of it (ugh!). We also add harvesting of those early planted crops of lettuce, spinach, etc.

About June we move into a weeding, watering and harvesting cycle. Life also begins to mellow and the days become more manageable (ahh! deep breath). Life feels normal. We are not quite there yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

We have lots to do between now and November. This week we are planting strawberries and potatoes!

 

Sprinter (Farmer) Tristan

 

 

 

cow

Order your grass-fed beef before prices increase!

Prices for our local, grass-fed beef will go up $0.10 per pound after April 30th, so place your order today!

June beef is sold out, but we still have shares available for August and October.

 

Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese and Chives

Ingredients:

1 medium head cauliflower

2 tablespoons cream cheese

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 clove crushed garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Trim the stem from the cauliflower and cut it into small florets.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and simmer just until tender, about 8 minutes.

3. Drain the cauliflower florets and transfer them to a food processor. Add the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese to the food processor and pulse until creamy. Add the garlic and pulse for about 30 seconds.

4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the chives, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with additional chopped chives.

Adapted from Kelly Senyei’s recipe from justataste.com

Know Your Produce: Beets

If you’re not a fan of beets’ famously bright hues, then cover your work surfaces before you start peeling, slicing, and grating. To store beets, cut the greens from the roots, leaving an inch of stem attached, and place the different parts in separate plastic bags and refrigerate. Beet roots will last at least a month, but you should use the greens within three or four days.

Roasted Beet and Fresh Greens Salad

2 1/2 lbs. small beets, trimmed and scrubbed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

4 cups leafy greens, with any thick stems removed

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets on foil lined with parchment. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; season with coarse salt. Wrap foil into a sealed pouch. Roast beets on a rimmed baking sheet until easily pierced with a skewer, about 45 minutes. Carefully open pouch; when beets are cool enough to handle, rub off skins with paper towels. Halve beets (or quarter if desired).

2. Arrange beets and greens in a serving dish. In a skillet, bring remaining 3 tablespoons oil and cumin seeds to a simmer; toss with beets and greens. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Recipe adapted from marthastewart.com

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I Really Like Farming!

I can hardly contain my excitement! Every year I get a little winter’s rest and then the first crocuses show up and I am chomping at the bit to get out there and get going. As a matter of fact, I already planted my two green houses to spinach and radishes. I am planning on another early and warmer spring.

Do you know what my favorite crop is to grow? The one I am harvesting! If my plantings make it to harvest (most do), that is always my favorite crop at the moment. Picking it at the height of nutrition and flavor, packing it, and getting to you—that is exciting! And the nice thing about growing vegetables and fruit is there is almost always something to harvest.

I was just out in my fields, checking in on some overwintering curly parsley and chives, and you know what I found? Beets! Those beets were too small to harvest last fall, so we left them in the ground and now they are ready. The tops aren’t in the best shape, but the beets are solid and tasty. I wish I had planted more! Which is another nice thing about farming—I get to try it again next year! So, I will plant beets a little earlier (mid-August) and I will plant more of them, then I will have more beets to sell in the spring.

Now I might be the only farmer writing this newsletter, but a whole lot of you are chomping at the bit to grow some vegetables, too. Which is why Klesick Farms is now carrying vegetable seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds. This is where I buy most of my seeds. I recognize that if we are going to have healthy food for generations to come, we are going to need genetic diversity in our seeds.

There are two ways to support organic seed production:

1. You can buy vegetables from growers who use organically grown seeds (if you are reading this letter you can check

that off!).

2. Or you can plant them yourself and still buy some of your vegetables from me.

If you are a gardener and would like to support organic seed production, you can buy them through our website or you can go to: highmowingorganicseeds.com/klesick and order them directly. Either way, shipping is free.

Also, we have arranged with Michael, at Rents Due Ranch, to have organically grown tomato, peppers, basil, and strawberry plants available this spring, so stay tuned for updates in early March for their availability.

Bring on spring!

tristan-sign

Tristan