Scotland (CSA week 9)

Apparently a front from Scotland has settled over the area. It’s been constantly cold and wet. Man, I just can’t figure this summer out! Still, tomotoes have started to come in regardless, which you’ll see in the box this week.

I’m still praying for heat and sunshine…we’ll see if that ever pans out.
Keeping it short and sweet this week.
In the box:
Some sweet corn: Not the best stuff ever, but ears are really not interested in filling out this year.
Purple pepper: Pretty cool, eh? The variety is called Islander
A couple Jalapenos
Bunch of cilantro
Mix of cherry tomatoes: sungold (orange), sweet 100 (red in color), grape
Orange Blossom Tomato
A couple Celebrity tomatoes: your standard tomato
Bunch of carrots
A pesto-sized bunch of basil: See recipe below. If holding over, our member Tammie had a good way of keeping basil. She puts the basil in a shallow cup of water and cover the leaves with a sandwich bag at room temperature. A lot of people try putting basil in the fridge…that’s a big no-no.
Bunch of kale: some got Red Russian Kale, some got Dino Kale.
A couple sweet onions
A couple summer squash: one yellow, one green zucchini.
Classic Basil Pesto
Makes 1 cup, enough for 1 pound dried pasta
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 T. pine nuts (can use walnuts)
1/4 t. salt
3 ounces basil leaves (about 3 cups loosely packed)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Food Processor Method:
Process the garlic, pine nuts and salt until finely ground, about 15 seconds. Add the basil and proccess in spurts just until no whole leaves remain. With the machine running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. The mixture should be ground to a pastelike consitency but a little bit of the leaves’ texture should remain. Add the cheese and pulse until just incorporated.
Toss with cooked pasta using cooking water to thin, if desired.

Corn Harvest (CSA Week 8)

Things really get crazy for us this time of year. This is the time when I either get reinvigorated by all the great produce which is coming in or I “hit the wall.” I don’t know which way I’m going to go this year, but I appreciate all the things which are finally coming in. This is the first week of tomatoes-albeit only cherry tomatoes and small yellows-as well as good-sized carrots, peppers, and sweet corn. Man, that’s exciting…sweet corn. I’ve only had people asking about sweet corn at the farmers market for about 6 weeks (people get impatient and I run out of excuses), so now it’s finally here.

I have a real love-hate relationship with picking sweet corn. What I love about it is that it’s the first thing I do when I go out to get ready for the CSA or market. This is that time of the morning when I’m all by myself and it’s really peaceful out. Still, I like the action of grasping, pulling, and twisting off cobs in one motion…something really feels good about it. Unlike other crops, corn is really satisfying because you go from an empty crate to a full one in about 15 minutes instead of something like beans where you feel like you’re filling up a mason jar one grain of sand at a time. This is why I have Maree pick all those things 🙂 Like the yellow beans in the box this week and last week…as you see from the picture Mar is trying her hand at pickling them this week. My patience is only so good.
On the other hand, picking corn first thing in the morning can be a cold, wet ordeal. If any of you had to do this, you know what I’m talking about. First thing in the morning, the dew is really heavy, and, instead of sitting in the comfort of home, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the paper, you’re outside wresting 6-foot tall corn plants, getting your clothes soaked through, and getting these little cuts on your arms from the leaves.
All told, I like it more than dislike it. Even when I’m not in the mood, I still like to step back and admire the harvest in the packing shed over some coffee. It just feels good.
In the box:
Sweet corn: There is a mix of two early varieties. The bi-color (white and yellow) is called Native Gem and the all-yellow is called Spring Treat (far from spring, but Mid-August treat just doesn’t sound as good).
Yellow Wax Beans
Flat Italian Beans
Red Onion
Carrots: A variety called Little Finger…a fresh eating variety which should not be too big.
A couple cucumbers
Tomato sampler: Some cherries (one variety called sungold is supposed to be orange), a grape if you’re lucky, a couple yellow Taxi, and a few Julia roma tomatoes. Not many, but a start
Some peas: a mix of snow and snap peas, so the pods of each are edible…so don’t try to shell.

Gourmet | August 2009

by Maggie Ruggiero

Sure, go ahead and cook your favorite sausages, but be sure to use every iota of their flavor: Reheat the skillet and work some pork-based magic on a seasonal array of onion, fennel, tomatoes, and corn.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 20 min
Total Time: 35 min


4 (5-to 6-ounces) fresh pork sausages
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes (5 oz)
2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill


Prick sausages a few times. Simmer with water in a 12-inch heavy skillet, covered, over medium heat 7 minutes. Uncover and cook, turning occasionally, until water has evaporated and sausages are well browned and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes more. (You may need to add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, depending on sausages.) Transfer sausages to a plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet if necessary.

Cook onion, fennel, and tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in skillet over medium heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until onion and fennel are crisp-tender and tomatoes are soft and beginning to burst, about 7 minutes. Add corn and dill and sauté 2 minutes.

Slice sausages and serve with vegetables.

I figured this would be good if you’re still holding onto some fennel from last week.

Farm Stand Now Open

We’re getting close enough to all those “high season” crops to open our farm stand today! We set up the self-serve stand at the end of our driveway last year to allow people near our farm to conveniently pick up a few things. It blew down in a snowstorm this spring, but we’ve resurrected it with the help of my father-in-law, Don Klatt, and my neighbor, Marvin Kratzke. It’s looking good and solid as a rock.

We don’t have a lot in this first week, but expect all the summer produce you crave to show up soon. Right now we have beans, cucumbers, summer squash, cabbage, onions….simply pick out what you want and drop cash or check or an IOU into the paybox.

Find us at:

Send Heat, Please (CSA week 7)

Well, another week gone by and another week of way-too-cold temperatures. I thought this summer would be “normal” after last summer, but it may just be weirder than last.
So, how big of an affect is this on the produce? Well, the biggest issue is getting those warm season crops to market and in the box. One example is that our earliest corn, a 58 day sweet corn (that is, 58 growing days from emergence to ripe corn) is still not ready and it was planted in mid May. I’m sure that’s going to make it since all we need are the kernals to fill out, but what about the late season corn which is 78 days? What about that popcorn I’m trying this year at 90 days? Yikes! Warm season crops just grow so slow when we only hit 75 during the day and the plants completely shut down when we hit 50 degrees at night. Those nights when you can’t sleep because it’s too hot and muggy are what we need because then things are growing even then…we haven’t had a single night like that.
I’m certain we’ll get these warm-season crops to come in, but the season will be pretty short. We’ll have an avalanche of stuff at the end of August til Mid-September, which is good, but I’d rather the stuff be in now until Mid-September.

In the box:

One Japanese Eggplant
One Garlic…fresh, so a bit different to peel.
Sweet Onion-a big variety called Alisa Craig
Torpedo Onion
Yellow Beans
Baby Red Potatoes
A Baby Bok Choi
More raspberries: we’re making the rounds…definately need to plant more so we’re not scrounging and can supply everybody for a couple weeks.
2 Cucumber Salads
3 cups cucumbers (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup onion (thinly sliced)
Salad 1:
Place cucumbers and onions in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt. Let stand 1 hour; drain.
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp. celery seed
Mix together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumbers. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Keeps several days.
Salad 2:
1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice
2 T. oil
1/2 t. salt
1 T. sugar (optional)
Mix together and add to the cucumbers and onions.