Monday, July 16, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 17 July 2012 - Delivery #5

Hello all!

Thanks to all of you who made it out to our Open Farm Day (Don't worry if you missed it, we'll be holding another sometime in September!).  It was a very hot day, but those who braved the heat got to meet the sheep, ducks, chickens, ducklings, kittens, the vegetable fields, as well as Jon, Camelia, and I.

My favourite Rooster, "Boyfriend" making some new friends

There's some extra goodies in store for you if you help us sign on more full-share members (we have about 10 spots left).  Or, don't forget you can always upgrade to a full-size share if you're finding the small is just not quite enough, or if you're jealous of some of the early bonus items that the full-shares have been receiving (but don't worry, you'll get cabbage and beans eventually, too!).

My Grandma in Manitoba and I have always shared a love of growing things.  All of the earliest garden memories that I have are from her farm.  I remember Grandpa going out to pick strawberries for his cereal every morning and the little pot he picked them into.  I remember shelling peas on the lawn in the shade, hiding in the asparagus ferns, and thinking how funny broad beans looked.  My Grandma also receives our weekly newletter, as I don't have much time to write and this way she can see what's growing on our farm.  Last week she mentioned: "My Mother would have been charmed with your project.  When we grew up the garden was a necessity and we didn't realize how healthy our lifestyle was.  I recall some relatives from Ontario wondering why 'everything tastes so good!'".    It's true that so many of us have become so detached from what real food tastes like: Luckily, as part of our CSA, you're a part of the farm and getting to experience eating locally and seasonally. 
The meandering point of this story is that today is my Grandma's birthday, and I wanted to officially wish her a Happy Birthday in the newsletter!

Just so you know, all of the newsletters are available on our Watershed Farm blog shortly after I send them out to you (or the next morning, so if you ever need to reference a previous newletter, that's where you can find them.  Also, if you use Facebook, you can Like Us to keep up to date with our farm photos and news.

Here's what's in your basket this week:

Head Lettuce
Each week, we give you the makings of a great salad.  Our head lettuce are various types, such as red leaf, romaine, green leaf, red butter, and red romaine.  Jon saw my look of frustration in the cooler today when I was packing them and asked, "Too big?".  They're HUGE and I could hardly fit them in the bags!  You can invite all your neighbours over for salad for the next week.

Our second planting of carrots is ready, which means these are sweet babies.  We gave you rainbow bunches again, so if you were unsure about those purple ones, you're gonna have to try 'em!  Really, they're delicious.  I love the seed names for heirloom varieties, too: The purple ones are called things like "Cosmic Purple" and "Purple Haze".  I truly envy the person who has the job of naming the vegetable varieties.

You'll be getting a bunch of turnips in your basket this week.  These are summer turnips, which means that they are a sweet and tender early variety, a relative of the later turnips you may already be acquainted with (Purple Top or Rutabaga).  They have a mild cabbage flavour and are nice and crunchy.  You can slice them raw into that great salad that you're making this week, or here's a recipe from the Lunenburg Farmer's Market weekly newsletter that sounds delicious:
Recipe: Glazed Turnips
1 bunch baby turnips, trimmed, greens reserved
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
Kosher salt
Place turnips in a large skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 10 minutes. (If turnips are tender before liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer turnips to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and stir to coat well.)
Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2–3 minutes.

I had a nice experience at the market in Bridgewater on Saturday.  A man who was quite overweight, headed towards my side of the market and just when I was sure he was going in for the decadent pies at the vendor beside me, he came up to our stall and exclaimed over the kale!  It's nice to see all sorts of people making healthy decisions: it's never too late!  I used to think that kale was only for the really crunchy granola types, but now I love it.  So, either I was wrong, or I have turned into a crunchy granola type.  Either way, it's delicious!

I like cilantro in small doses.  One thing you can do that's really great is add it to any canned salsa that you have around (home-made or store-bought).  It perks it up and makes it taste like it was just freshly made by someone's Mexican grandmother.  Another thing I make with it is a great sauce for rice curries.  We have usually make it with lentils, but I imagine you could be really creative and use some sort of critter, too. 
Recipe: Cilantro Coconut Curry Sauce
1 cup almonds, toasted
1 can coconut milk
2 cups greens (turnip greens or spinach)
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp curry powder (to taste - I use 2)
Cilantro to taste (personally, I use 6-8 stems)
Chili pepper flakes to taste (I use about 1 tsp)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cinnamon
After I toast the almonds, I throw everything in the food processor and blend until uniform.  (A lot of the ingredients are "to taste" because I just play with it until it tastes good.)  After it's processed, I usually add it to cooked green lentils and cook until hot.  Serve over rice or quinoa. 

Green Garlic (2)
Our garlic is WAY ahead this year and begging to get out of the ground already.  We've pulled some of it and can't resist giving you a couple of heads of what we call "green garlic", because the cloves are just starting to form and the "papery" stuff hasn't developed yet (as it does when it's cured).  It's juicy and pungent and more like garlic than those scapes you've been so dutifully devouring the past few weeks.  See below for Camelia's notes about this great item.

If you've never used a fresh onion before, you're in for a treat!  I love the slightly sweeter taste and the real "crunch!" when you cut into it.  This is something that can roll around in your crisper for a long time before you use it, but it won't, right?!  I had an ex-boyfriend who claimed to not like onion, so I grated it when adding it to nearly everything: It's an essential flavour for cooking and your kids won't even know it's there if you grate it.  Be prepared to cry a lot, though!

YAY!!  It's finally begun!  As a farmer, you measure the seasons by when your crops are ready, and to me summer squash is the gateway to real summer.  It IS summer.  It's the middle of July!  Chew on a zucchini and think about that: Carpe diem!
The one you get may be green or yellow.  You certainly may get a striped one, or even a warty fella'.  Some of them look like they are straight out of Dr. Seuss, so that was my best attempt at a Dr. Seuss impression.  (I'm sorry!  It's been a long day!)
Sautee the last 3 items together (Zucchini, Garlic, Onion), and add eggs.  MMMmm!  Throw some kale in there, while you're at it.

Full-size share also gets:
Beans (Yellow and Green Mix)
If you thought I sounded excited about the potatoes last week, know that I am just as excited about the beans!  I could eat green beans until I turned into one.  The one thing I have never understood is the "green bean - yellow bean debate".  There are some people who go nuts for the yellow beans, and some people who like their simple green bean.  I've never been able to taste the difference.  You would think being such a bean lover I would be more of a connoisseur.  Anyhow, they're delicious and it pains me to send them away in the baskets (I'd rather have them all to myself!).

Purple Kohlrabi also known as: "Whoa!  What is that purple spaceship in our basket this week!?"
Kohlrabi is a crunchy vegetable in the cabbage family, and tastes a bit like if cabbage and turnip had a baby.  You can eat it raw or lightly steam it.  First, you remove the outer skin (easy on the purple ones, as the skin is purple and the flesh is white) and then chop it up as you like.  If you've never had it before, I suggest you try it raw with a nice dip, or sprinkled with some of that herb salt you got in your basket last week. 

Message from Camelia from the garlic and flower beds:
This week is the beginning of the garlic harvest. I look to see whether there are at least two of the lower leaves that have dried down completely before pulling the whole head out of the ground. Each of the leaves represents another papery wrapper that is what will eventually protect your garlic bulbs once it dries down. Curing the garlic is a process that can take between 3-5 weeks and requires the right temperature, ventilation and humidity levels or the garlic will not store well over time and sometimes will succumb to molds and rot. One of the most delicious ways to enjoy garlic, however, is when it is still green. Fresh out of the ground and throughout the next couple of weeks at the most, the garlic still has a juiciness that is unbelievably delicious. When you peel back the white skins you will see that they haven't dried into the thin papery wrappers that you are used to seeing, just keep on peeling till you hit that juicy plump bulb and then enjoy this short lived seasonal treat.  It's best stored in the fridge, if it even makes it there!

( OPTIONAL IF YOU WANT TO GO THIS ROUTE: We can always add more green garlic to your next bag if you let us know that you are interested. We sell bags of green garlic for $10.00 and this usually represents 6-8 heads depending on size and weight. Again, this is not storage garlic but is meant for fresh eating.


I want to introduce you to some of the amazing flowers that are in your bouquets and perhaps entice a few more of you to consider signing on for a flower share, especially as the variety of flowers grows each week. I really enjoy both harvesting these beauties and finding ways to combine the colours and shapes so that you can appreciate the combination of different flowers that go into each bouquet.

This week we seem to have an abundance of so many different lovely blooms, including two of my new favourites, Cerinthe or Pride of Gibraltar with their succulent leaves and stems and indigo blushed drooping flowers and the cheerful Painted Tongue which is properly called Salpigloissis. Both of them were Victorian favourites and it's easy to see why. This week I am also able to incorporate another Victorian charmer, the dramatic Love Lies Bleeding with their drooping tendrils of red and green.

And of course, we have all of our wonderful colourful yarrows which stand up so well in the vase along with the elegant and delicate lilac and white of Agrostemma or Corn Cockle and for that burst of orange or yellow you will find some calendula blossoms.

I would love to hear how you are enjoying your flowers and if they are holding up for you in the bag and at home.

Please email Teri if you are interested in signing on for a flower share ($35 for 5 weeks of bouquets).

I really hope you enjoy your bag this week, and look forward to hearing from you!

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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