Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Veggie CSA Week #1

UPDATE: Durham Folks will receive 1/2# Spicy greens braising mix instead of arugula (there is arugula in the mix...)

Half Shares:

Strawberries - 1 pint - $3.00
Lettuce - 1 head - $2.50
Onions - 1 bunch - $2.00
Garlic - 1 - $1.00
Turnips - $2.00
Radishes - $2.00
Arugula (1/4#) - $2.00

TOTAL - $14.50

Full shares:

Strawberries - 1 pint - $3.00
Lettuce - 2 heads - $5.00
Garlic - 2 - $2.00
Onions - 1 bunch - $2.00
Radishes - $2.00
Turnips - $2.00
Escarole - 1 head - $2.50
Spicy Greens/Arugula Mix - 1/2 pound - $4.00
Beet Greens - 1/4 pound - $2.00

TOTAL - $24.50

It has been a busy week here at the farm! This weekend, we participated in the Piedmont Farm Tour, which went very well, and we even got to meet a few new CSA members. It was great to see you all out here! It was a little warm for April (and for me) so between groups of visitors, we were rushing around getting irrigation set up and keeping chickens watered and cool.

It is also the busy season in that while we are spending time trellising, weeding, irrigating and harvesting the spring crops, all the summer veggies are getting planted at the same time! Tomatoes are being planted as we speak, and squash, cucumbers, basil, winter squash and tomatillos were planted last week. Next into the ground will be melons, peppers and eggplant along with some late plantings of lettuce, cilantro and arugula. Phew!


Its greens season!! The spring is a perfect cool time to grow lots of the leafy greens, so enjoy them while they're here, as soon as the summer heat returns to stay, the greens will slowly disappear. However there are many weeks still full of lettuce, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, kales, cabbages and even some fun weird kohlrabi.

You are receiving spring green garlic in your boxes this week (and most likely through much of the spring). This form of garlic is the immature version, we are pulling it before it has formed bulbs and a papery cover. Garlic (and onions, and most of the Allium family) are daylength sensitive, so they will start to bulb when the days reach a certain length. For us, our garlic and onions always bulb and are ready for harvesting in mid-late June. At that point, we will pull all that are still in the field, and cure them in our greenhouse until they are dry. This spring green garlic is my favorite, because its so tender, mild, and has a nice fresh flavor. Just chop it up and sautee in olive oil before adding greens for a stir fry, or if you very finely chop it, you can add it (raw) to salad dressings, mashed potatoes, eggs, pasta...

The turnips are a Japanese salad turnip, meaning they tend to be more tender and sweet than the purple-topped type we all may be used to. These you can slice for a salad, like you would a radish, or slice, brush with olive oil and roast. Some people even just quarter them, and steam them with the greens.

Full shares are getting 2 items that may be unusual: Escarole and beet greens. The escarole is in the Chicory family, slightly bitter, much like radicchio and dandelion greens. Usually, the outer leaves, which are a bit tougher, can be used in cooked dishes (see recipe below) and the inner, more tender leaves may be used raw in salads.


Strawberry and Green Onion Salad
Source: Amy Tornquist, Watts Grocery
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tsp. snipped fresh chives
2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. snipped fresh dill
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
Edible flowers (optional)
Directions: 1. In a small bowl combine vinegar, chives, mustard, salt, dill, and pepper. Whisk in olive oil to form an emulsion.
2. In a medium bowl combine strawberries and onions. Toss with dressing. Garnish with edible flowers, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Escarole and Beans


2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 - 4 Cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Head escarole, approximately 1 Lb., washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 14 oz. cans cannellini, drained and rinsed
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan
Slices of rustic bread


Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for a minute or two. Add the escarole and stir to coat with the oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the escarole begins to wilt.

Stir in the beans. Lower the heat, add up to a cup of water (more if you prefer it soupier), season with salt and pepper, and simmer for five to ten minutes.

To Serve:

Divide equally among four soup bowls, drizzle a little more olive oil over each serving, and garnish with the Parmesan. Serve with a slice of good crusty bread. Or, garnish with homemade croutons.

Serves four

FROM: www.almostitalian.com

SPRING GARLIC PESTO (you may need to wait until the garlic backs up in your fridge, or buy more at the farmers market, but this is incredibly garlicly delicious!)


  • 1/2 pound green garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded pecorino cheese or other hard sheep's milk cheese


  1. Trim and discard root ends of green garlic. Finely chop green garlic, rinse thoroughly and pat or spin dry.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook vegetable oil, green garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt until soft, about 3 minutes. Let cool to warm room temperature.
  3. In a blender or food processor, pulse pine nuts to chop. Set aside. Add green garlic and process, scraping down sides as necessary, until bright green and smooth. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil. Pulse in reserved pine nuts and cheese. Taste and add more salt if you like.
Makes enough Green Garlic Pesto to coat 1 pound linguine.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Veggie CSA 1st Delivery


We will begin deliveries of the Veggie CSA NEXT week, April 29-May 2nd. If you need to verify/change your pick-up location, please email us as soon as possible.

There are a few items of business I'd like to mention:

1) Your weekly produce will be delivered to you in a waxed cardboard box. These boxes need to be returned (empty) weekly. At $1 a piece, they get expensive to replace, and are very easily reusable. Just unfold the bottoms and lay them flat in the trunk of your car, etc. (if you need help on how to flatten these boxes, please just ask!!)

2) We are attempting a new credit system this year (for returning members, please note the change). The delivery season will be 22 weeks long - however, you will be receiving 20 weeks of produce. You all will get one week where you can opt to not receive a box (to accommodate summer vacations, etc). If you don't use your one week off, your last delivery will be on week 21. If you need more than that one week off, you will need to find someone to pick up your box for you that week. We will be taking a break August 12th through 15th and there will be NO deliveries this week. If you have questions about any of this, just ask, and it will be explained more as we get into the delivery season.

3) Please observe the designated pick-up times. We have a long day on CSA delivery day, and usually have worked at least 12 hours by 6 or 6:30pm. For RTI folks, the gates will close and lock at 6pm (although you can get out after 6), just as an FYI.

We're excited to get the season started, and we look forward to seeing you all next week! I will post a newsletter on Tuesday morning next week letting you know what to expect in your first boxes, and a recipe or two (and hopefully some pictures!!)

The Piedmont Farm Tour is this weekend, and we're on it this year (#30 on the Tour map)! So come on out and see the farm!

Thanks! See you next week!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Answers to questions you may have about feeding chickens

This is the best chicken feed FAQ on the internet that I've found. These folks have been in the business about 4 years or so longer than we have, and this guy does his homework. I just wanted to link this because it helps relieve some of the confusion about feeding chickens and pastured poultry: