Monday, July 9, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 10 July 2012 - Delivery #4

Hello from the farm!

Things are rolling along just perfect here; July is well upon us and it's hard to believe the field was ever under snow like in February when we arrived.  We have a very new addition to our farm family, and more on the way: one of our hens went broody (which is when their instincts kick in and they want to sit on their eggs- because ours are heritage breeds this happens more frequently) and somehow, unnoticed, sat hidden somewhere in the chicken coop on her eggs for 21 days and hatched a little peeper!  He or she is cute in the way that only newborn fuzzy little chicks can be.  We also have a team of mothers who are sitting on an assortment of other eggs (on purpose; though we didn't expect them to share the task!), including some duck eggs, which we hope will get us some ducklings, too.

I have been meeting lots of you at the farmer's markets, and look forward to meeting even more at our CSA Open Farm Day next Saturday, July 14.  It's so great for us to be able to put a face with a name when we're packing your bags or responding to emails.  It motivates us that you are enjoying the fruits of our hard labour, and also, that being a part of our CSA is helping us do what we want to do: which from mine and Jon's perspective, is as simple as making a living growing healthy food for others.  You're also part of your community in really awesome ways: the other day a member in Lunenburg asked if another member would be able to deliver a couple of her baskets as she is unable, and within 24 hours I had responses of "yes!" from over half of the members at that drop-off location. 
Basically, we here at the farm think you're all great, and would love to have you over.  So, please come if you can make it!

Lisa picking peas- she swore she was eating more than she put in the pail, but we still had enough for all of you!

Just a reminder to please make sure you read over the contents of each bag in this email (in bold, below) and confirm that you have received all your items each week.  We'd hate for someone to miss out, and would be happy to send it along the following week.  We also welcome your suggestions and criticisms, too: please let us know if something doesn't arrive in stellar condition, so we can try a better way.  Also, if you're feeling like you don't know what to do with something, email me for suggestions or recipes: I'd really hate to see you miss out on a delicious meal!  Basically, we're like your vegetable support group, and we welcome your feedback!

Rumtopf Farm Herb Salt:

This week you will each be receiving a bottle of herb salt. I warn you all that Salt of the Earth is not only delicious it is highly addictive.   Mike and Wanda Wolters and their five children farm on a lovely hill top site called Rumtopf Farm in Conquerall Mills. For a number of years Mike has been layering rock sea salt from Brittany with fresh herbs from the garden.  Starting with lovage in May and ending with leeks in late fall, the salt and fresh herbs from their garden are placed on top of each other in alternating layers.  Over many months as the herbs dry the salt slowly absorbs the unique characteristic of each herb.  Mike then crushes the whole lot in small batches to bring out the most amazingly delicious collection of flavours imaginable.  We have become so accustomed to always having this salt shaker on hand and use it on everything from our morning eggs to late night popcorn with everything in between from soups and stews to fish and meat.  Remember that a little goes a long way and the good news is that you can always order more from us.  At $5.00 a bottle this is the quickest and most reliable way I know to season just about everything other than your morning porridge or chocolate mousse.  Mike has also made a Smoked Spicy version of this salt so if you are feeling adventurous, order one of those as well and enjoy the zing that this herb salt will add to all of your dishes.

Lettuce Medley: A simple mix of different varieties of lettuce.  That being said, this mix is still wonderful: beautiful red and green varieties, with such a satiny texture and sweet flavour.   Lettuce is best grown in the spring or early summer, and can get bitter in the late summer heat, so now is the time to enjoy these fresh greens. 
Jon, Lisa, and I were talking the other day about iceberg lettuce, and how it used to be such a salad staple.  It actually has very little nutrition, and is mostly water.  However, this bag of lettuce in your basket does have lots of nutrition: vitamins (A and C) and minerals (iron and calcium) too. 

Peas (Sugar, Shell, and Snow): Hopefully if you got one type last week, you'll get another this week, but either way: fresh summer peas are an unbeatable treat!  Eat them while they're here, because they're never the same as straight off the farm, in season!

Baby Potatoes: They're here!!  MMMmmAughaughMmmhaha - that's the only way I can express in words how delicious these nuggets are.  If you were here to see how excited I am about having these for you this week, it would look like a combination of me flailing my arms and running around in circles, while skipping.  Not the best way to get them picked, but luckily Jon and Lisa are (a little) more controlled about these things. 
Your bag is a mixture of "Blue-Noser" (purple skin, white flesh), "All-Blues" (purple skin and flesh) and Whites.  The all-blues are our favourite as far as taste goes, and they're kid friendly, too (how cool is a purple potato?!).  Here's my Mom's recipe for new potatoes:

--> Creamed New Potatoes
1-2 lbs fresh new potatoes
1 cup cream or whole milk (we subbed a can of coconut milk to make it dairy-free and it was great!)
1-2 sprigs fresh dill
1 garlic scape, diced
salt and pepper to taste (a great spot to make use of your new herb sea salt!)

Boil potatoes until cooked (they will take a lot less time to cook than storage potatoes, and have a much lower starch content than those oldies)
While potatoes are cooking, sautee scapes in cream until hot (do not boil).  Remove from heat, add dill, pour over potatoes, and serve!
P.S. I am throwing in a couple of sprigs of dill for each of you, so you have everything you need (except the cream) for this recipe. 

Even if you want to go the healthy route, they are delicious just boiled with the fresh dill and a bit of butter.  I talked to a market goer on Saturday who was going to "smash" hers: boil until cooked, place on a baking sheet, "smash" with the bottom of a cup or jar, drizzle with olive oil and bake 5 more minutes in the oven.  I'm pretty certain you could eat these raw and they'd still taste good!

Spinach: I asked a friend who is a full-share member how she was enjoying the baskets, and if her family of four was able to eat all the veggies.  She said that everything she hasn't been able to get to in terms of leafy greens, she freezes, which I think is a super idea!  We do it with leftover market goods, and if you're stuck with stuff from last week by the time this week's delivery comes along (or if you're going away, et cetera), you should try it too.  She said the frozen spinach is great and easy to throw into a smoothie (and what a great way to have greens for breakfast).  You could freeze stir-fry mix, kale, turnip tops and beet greens as well.  No blanching required - just throw them straight into the freezer! 
Or, use your spinach fresh and combine with hard-boiled eggs (especially our happy hen eggs, if you're one of our egg shares) and scapes with a nice vinagrette for an awesome simple salad.  Those strawberries at the market are looking delicious, and would be a great addition as well.

Scapes: This is your last week of getting scapes, and there's a while until the garlic is ready, so savour them!  You can also freeze them if you feel you won't go through them in time.  I just LOVE how good everything fresh tastes together, especially with scapes, and even if you're not a garlic lover, they're so mild and sweet you'll love them anyway!

Full-size share also gets:

Cabbage: Our cabbage is beautiful and early!  We had some sauteed with fresh peas and scapes for lunch today, and it is so sweet it hardly tastes related to those old lumpy winter cabbages at the grocery store.  If you're unsure about it at all, try it raw: I was certain I detested it until I started eating raw cabbage salads.  It's hearty, too, so it takes a long time to eat and makes you feel full (for those of us watching our figures).

Chard: I actually stopped dead in the field the other day when I walked by our chard: It's so beautiful!  It's also delicious, and I urge you to use it, or freeze it for those long winter months.  Substitute it anywhere you would use cooked spinach.  It's great with fish, and after all, we do live on the East Coast!  Jon and I take Tuesdays off, and tomorrow will be trying our luck fishing at a nearby lake.  If we catch one, we'll eat it with chard and lots of butter and scapes, and think of you!

Remember, it's never too late to decide you want more vegetables in your life and upgrade to a full-size share.  Just send me an email and let me know, and I'll calculate it our for you.  That being said, you can decide the same thing about eggs ($25) and flowers too!  Our flower gardens are looking awesome (and Camelia's bouquets do them great justice) so you should treat yourself to some flowers.  It's a steal at $35.00 for five bouquets and is guaranteed to bring joy to your day or make your loved one feel that you really do love them after all!

Jon inspecting his tomato plants inside the caterpillar tunnel

Thanks for being such an important part of our farm.
Hope to see you Saturday between 12-5 for our CSA Open Farm Day!

Teri Dillon

Watershed Farm
768 Allen Frausel Road
Baker Settlement, Nova Scotia
B4V 7H8
c. 902.212.2301 | p. 902.685.3901
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