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Thursday, February 16, 2017

2016/17 Winter CSA - February share

Winter is about to fade into spring and with that transition comes your final winter CSA share.  ...but don't worry, the Summer/Regular Season shares are amazing, and they are delivered weekly so if you SIGN UP TODAY, you can be sure to keep the organic veggies rolling in all year!

Ford is busy gearing up the tractors and the land for summer crops.  Yesterday evening he gave our twin boys an impromptu mechanics lesson.  It was well received because during dinner Josiah (age 3) informed us that "Daddy's tractor has a beeper part."  That would be the horn.



Depending on your pickup location, today or tomorrow you'll be receiving the following delicious products in your share:

Sweet potatoes
Garlic
White potatoes
Spinach
Kale
Frozen corn (Be prepared to put this in the freezer asap. It's sooooo good!)
Tomato juice

You've seen these items in previous share so perhaps you've perfected some favorite cool-weather recipes with these products.  If so, please share them with us!  We're always looking for new ways to enjoy our favorite crops.  If you'd like to try something new, here are a few recipes that looked interesting to me.

Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn

Spinach Tomato Blast Smoothie 

Mixed, Roasted Potatoes with Herb Butter

Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Garlicky Kale


Thursday, January 19, 2017

2016/17 Winter CSA - January Share

We're trying to blend the worlds of comfort food and good nutrition in our own home this month with hearty soups, winter salads, and comforting dishes that nourish us with healthy ingredients while still satisfying that comfort food craving that comes with cold weather. 
You have beautiful, nutritious produce in your share this week to help satisfy the need for food that is both comforting and healthy. Here’s the list of items you’ll see in the share followed by links to several recipes that incorporate one or more of the items. 
*Please note, you’ll be receiving your first frozen vegetable item – frozen corn harvested in the peak of freshness last summer, processed at the Jackson County Regional Food Center.
Butternut squash
Sweet Potatoes
Garlic
Potatoes
Spinach (mature leaves, best for cooking, or chopped salads; the leaves are sweet but large and thicker than baby spinach)
Kale
Lettuce
*Frozen Corn

RECIPES
Immunity Soup from Cooking Light (Ford and I loved this one, the kids didn’t care for the mushrooms but we bribed them with rolls, so it worked out okay.)
Delish has a great list of winter salads.  Some that incorporate items in your share for this month are:


Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 Winter CSA - December share

Happy Holidays!  It's that time of year!  While you're baking  yummy goodies you can be sure to nourish body and soul with some fresh, organic produce grown with love on Sustainable Harvest Farm.  You can absolutely incorporate the December share items into healthy dinners or part of a holiday feast. It always makes me feel virtuous to whip up some green veggies to eat before I dig into Christmas cookies/cakes/candy.   Here's the list of items in the December share:

Spinach
Lettuce* 
Cabbage
Broccoli
Sweet potatoes
Potatoes (small red and white)
Butternut squash 
Cornmeal (2 cups)
Garlic 2 bulbs

*You may notice some very slight discoloration in the lettuce leaves but they are perfectly fine.  While Ford was packing up the boxes in the sub-freezing temperatures today, a few frozen patches developed on some of the leaves.  It's very much like what happens when your vegetable crisper gets a little too cold.  

Here are some holiday recipes I thought you might like to try with some of the items in your share:

Cornmeal Popovers from Southern Living
Cabbage Salad - an easy, impressive, healthy way to enjoy cabbage and lighten up a heavy holiday menu
Soul Sweet 'Taters from the Pioneer Woman - a gooey, delicious, rich, sweet potato casserole

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

2016 Winter CSA - November Share

The November Share is filled with goodness to incorporate into your Thanksgiving menu and beyond!

eggplant

butternut squash


sweet potatoes


garlic


white potatoes


tomatoes
turnips

radishes

spinach (mature leaves)




If you're accustomed to tender baby spinach leaves in plastic bags from the grocery store, you may be surprised to find our mature, organic spinach leaves larger than your hand.  Have no fear, they are delicious and bursting with flavor.  Here's what you can do:

First, harvest large spinach leaves with the help of a toddler wielding a Tonka Dump Truck.



Okay, so maybe you don't need to do that since you already have the leaves but I couldn't resist showing you a picture of the spinach in the field and one of my gorgeous little boys.

Okay, the real step 1 is washing those beautiful greens to remove any little bits of soil that might have clung to the ridges in the leaves. I do that by immersing all the leaves in cold water in the sink, splashing around a bit and giving each leaf a final, quick rinse under running tap water just before I transfer it to another container to drain a little.


Next, lay about 6 of those big leaves out and stack 'em up, then roll them jelly-roll style.  Get a big,  sharp knife and slice the rolled leaves into thin ribbons.

Now slice again in the opposite direction to get small chunks of spinach.  This method is pretty quick, it only took me about 15-20 minutes to do this with two huge mixing bowls full of spinach.  You could also use a food processor but I hate to wash all the parts of a food processor for a small job, so I opted for this approach.

Now, if you're ready to cook the spinach jump right into this beautiful Creamed Spinach recipe from my hero the Pioneer Woman, substituting your freshly chopped spinach for the bagged baby spinach in her recipe. My kids - all three of them - LOVED this! No joke, they gobbled up every last bite I gave them.  Did I say the Pioneer Woman is my hero?


If, however, you are like me and you are hosting Thanksgiving in your home and you would like to avoid screaming at your children on Thanksgiving Day because you're overwhelmed with meal preparation, put the chopped spinach in a freezer bag, press out extra air, and freeze that yummy green goodness until Thanksgiving day, like so...

  

Don't fret about losing a little flavor or a vitamin or mineral here and there.  Your kids would prefer your sanity over extra vitamins.  Trust me, I know.

Here are some more recipes to help you make the most of your share:
Sorghum Glazed Turnips
Honey Glazed Radishes and Turnips
Baba Ganoush (creamy eggplant spread/dip)

We send our love from the farm and wish you the very best!

Monday, September 12, 2016

2016 CSA Week 20

Hello fellow CSA members,

I can hardly believe this is our final share of the season. Before I start reminiscing, let me go ahead and tell you what you have to look forward to this week:

Produce
Storage
Longevity
butternut squash
room temperature
months
red and white potatoes
room temperature
weeks
tomato juice
shelf stable
months
watermelon*
in fridge
enjoy as soon as possible
eggplant*
unwashed, in fridge, wrapped in a paper towel in crisper
5-7 days
mixed salad greens*
in fridge
1 week
bell pepper
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
garlic
unwashed in fridge
1 week
basil
store in an unclosed container in fridge or snip off bottom of stems and immerse in water
1-2 weeks

*Tuesday deliveries will include watermelon. All other deliveries will have either watermelon, eggplant or mixed salad greens.

Potatoes are a new item in our shares this week. You are most likely already very familiar with potato recipes. We had potatoes so often in our home growing up, we would jokingly ask, "how are we having the potatoes tonight?" Instead of "what's for supper?" Mashed, fried, baked, boiled, grilled, shredded, made into chips. There are so many delicious options.
 
This time of year, my mind always turns toward soups and stews. There are many potato soup recipes out there. I saw this Loaded Potato Soup recipe that leads a list of 25 different soups, many of which include our share ingredients. I hope you find one you enjoy!

I was reminded how beautiful our shares are when I was fighting a migraine last week. My mom came over to help with the baby and after the headache started to ease she offered to still stay and make dinner. I probably would have thrown a frozen pizza in the oven to get us through the night. I knew my mom would make something delicious, so I took her up on her gracious offer. She went through my fridge and pantry and began putting items on the counter to make a meal. When I walked into the kitchen, this is what I saw:

 

As you can see, many of the items came from our shares. My mom put together a meal of eggplant parmesan, a tomato, pepper and cucumber salad, as well as fried potatoes and corn on the cob. It was comforting and filling and I could also feel good about it because so many of the ingredients were local and fresh. (Bonus: It was even meatless.)
 
I hope that you can look back over these twenty weeks and feel good about the choice you made to include Sustainable Harvest Farm's fresh organic produce in your meal plans each week. I hope the CSA has helped your diet, your lifestyle, your palate and your recipe repertoire. I know Ford and Amanda are deeply grateful for your support. And while I hope you join us again soon, even if not I hope you carry benefits with you well beyond this season.

Myself, I feel as though I've gained some confidence in the kitchen and learned some new tricks to help my family make better food choices and eat healthier meals. The season didn't go exactly as I had hoped. I wish I could have done even more, tried even more recipes, been even more creative with my share. But I am encouraged to see growth as I am expanding how I have used my shares over the years. I hope all of you can look back and feel encouraged by the progress you have made. And if you see areas you wish were better, maybe go ahead and start making a plan. I am already looking forward to the fall and winter shares, and next year's shares as well. I hope I -- and you -- will only continue to move forward in our journeys for health and the support of local, sustainable farming.

Thanks for sharing this CSA experience with me. Feel free to keep in touch. And happy eating and many blessings to all of you!
 

Monday, September 5, 2016

2016 CSA Week 19

Hi fellow CSA members!

I hope you all were able to enjoy a wonderful Labor Day weekend. The weather definitely cooperated providing a perfect backdrop to the unofficial start of fall. I just got in from a low-key cookout hosted by some of our friends where they grilled up some SHF steaks and brats. My steaks have been only a memory for more than a month now, so this was a welcome treat.

Our shares this week mirror the fast-approaching season, and signal the end of our CSA season together. This share will include the final harvest of some of our produce, while next week is our final summer share. I can't be too sad about this, though, because I am already looking forward to the fall and winter meat and veggie shares!

Up this week:


Produce
Storage
Longevity
tomatoes*
room temperature
about a week
sweet corn*
shucked or with husks on in coldest part of fridge
enjoy as soon as possible
butternut squash
Room temperature
months
cornmeal
Sealed in bag or container in fridge
weeks
bell pepper
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
cucumber
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
garlic
unwashed in fridge
1 week
watermelon*
unwashed in fridge
enjoy as soon as possible

*Final harvest of the season

This season has my mind turning toward soups, stews and chilis. So as an homage to fall and our beautiful share, I offer you this Roasted Corn, Pepper and Tomato Chowder.

Its been a few weeks since I've taken the time to write an "in the kitchen" post. BUT, I have been casually searching for spaghetti squash recipes that my husband may like and I found one I got super excited about. Spaghetti squash hash browns!!! I typed this up as an "in the kitchen" post, but never actually published it, so I'm tacking it on here in case any of you have some unused spaghetti squash.

I actually don't love spaghetti squash the way some people do (cough*my mom*cough). I mean, it's alright, but I always feel like I'm eating healthy - like I'm missing a better taste/texture. I've only ever used it as a pasta substitute, so I knew there had to be some more creative things out there. I love potatoes, Johnie loves potatoes and I LOVE crunchy/crispy food. So I was pumped to try this one.

I just saw a quick blurb about this recipe and didn't actually look at it or follow it when I made them. I think that was my fatal flaw. The "squash browns" browned, but never actually got crispy. My mom and I even had the idea to make squash patties out of some of them and add egg.

The verdict: Johnie gave the squash patties with egg three and a half broccoli stalks. (Major victory. He has never liked any spaghetti squash dish at all.) The squash browns got two and a half broccoli stalks. My mom liked both, but preferred the squash patties. I and another friend who was eating with us preferred the squash browns.

Actually, I didn't think they tasted like hash browns at all, but I did like the flavor. I was looking for more with the texture, though. And I discovered my mistake: The squash was too moist to get crispy. One site I read suggested squeezing the excess water out. If you try them, let me know how they turn out for you! I'll definitely be giving them another shot!

Monday, August 29, 2016

2016 CSA Week 18

Good evening fellow CSA members,

I thought about all of you this past week. Because I really enjoyed my share and I was hoping you did too!

I had many of my share ingredients throughout one day when I made a friend's delicious avocado spinach salad for lunch. (Cut up a tomato, mix with spinach, black olives, squeeze/mix avocado into the salad with your hands working it into the greens until it is like a dressing, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and just a little Italian dressing.) Then I boiled the corn and sautéed the squash for dinner.

The food was beautiful and delicious. And thankfulness just bubbled up inside of me that I am so privileged to have access to such a wonderful food source. That we have the ability to choose where our food comes from is a blessing. That Sustainable Harvest Farm (and our grocery stores and other farmers) are choices for us is humbling. I hope we never take that for granted.

The thankfulness continued throughout the evening when I sat down to dinner with my little family. My husband and I ate a lot of meals in front of the TV when it was just the two of us. But with the arrival of our son, we wanted to make it our habit to share meals together at the table. So far, they've been mostly miserable. Either the baby will scream the whole time, or one of us will have to wait while we feed him or hold him or juggle him or finally concede and walk around the house with him until we can finally switch and eat a cold meal. But Matthias has been getting better at grasping finger foods and feeding himself. And I've learned to keep food in front of him when he's hungry (to stave off the screaming). This night he fed himself small pieces of squash, corn kernels, avocado and watermelon. (Wasn't the watermelon delicious?!?!) And Johnie and I ate at the table with him at the same time, sharing lighthearted conversation. No screaming, no cold food. It was glorious and I feel like I got a glimpse into how pleasant meal time can be for us as Matthias continues to grow and learn (and entertain us). I was especially touched that my friends grew the food we enjoyed as our most pleasant meal experience as a family so far. I even snapped a few pictures for you all to see.

That's more than enough about me and my week though. You're here because you want to know what's in store for YOU this week:



Produce
Storage
Longevity
winter squash (either delicata, acorn or spaghetti)
Room temperature
weeks
eggplant*
unwashed, in fridge, wrapped in a paper towel in crisper
5-7 days
pepper*
unwashed, in fridge
1-2 weeks
tomatoes
room temperature
about a week
sweet corn
shucked or with husks on in coldest part of fridge
enjoy as soon as possible
cucumber
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
basil
store in an unclosed container in fridge or snip off bottom of stems and immerse in water
1-2 weeks

*This week your share will have either eggplant or bell peppers, as well as one of a variety of winter squash.

Here's where I confess I had never really heard of delicata squash. I have heard the name but when Ford told me about it, I wasn't sure if it was a variety of acorn squash or if it was a different type of squash in its own rite. Turns out its a type of squash all its own. And I found this article (and recipe) that makes me VERY excited to try it.

Here are a couple acorn squash recipes from a past season.

I'd love to hear from you about how you are using, or plan to use, you squash! I'm sure many of you are much more experienced than I am. Email me with any recipes, tips or suggestions. amyrosekarr@gmail.com