Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 CSA Week 4

Good morning!
I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day holiday weekend!

I'm writing this blog from Massachusetts, where I'm visting family and friends. I grew up outside of Boston, and every year our family made the pilgrimage south to visit family on "the farm," where I now live. You can say that literally "I bought the farm." Though I just have two acres of the original 600, I do live in the historic home place, of which I'm extremely proud.

One of my fondest memories of visiting family in Russell County, is the strawberries that my grandfather grew. It became my favorite food when I cleaned out the supply he put up in the freezer. I still remember the sweet syrupy goodness created from the sugar coated sliced berries. To this day, I can't get enough! Thanks to Ford and family, there is an abundance of these naturally sweet berries continuing into this week's CSA!

In addition, he will have a variety of wonderful greens, and crunchy radishes and kohlrabi.

~ Nancy

In your share this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Strawberries Unwashed in fridge 2-5 days
Radishes washed or unwashed in refrigerator several weeks
Kohlrabi washed or unwashed in refrigerator several weeks
Kale or Swiss Chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Bok Choy washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Komatsuna (Asian green similar to Bok Choy - large, dark green leaves) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks

In addition to rinsing and eating fresh, sliced in a salad, or sprinkled with sugar (try powdered, too), strawberry jam is another favorite. As usual, I look for the easy recipe and found below from the website

Easy Strawberry Jam

Original recipe makes 5 cups 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.

Radishes and Kohlrabi are both wonderful just sliced and added to salads.
Kale, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, and Komatsuna can all be chopped and steamed or sauteed with olive oil (or, my favorite, coconut oil), onions and garlic.

The following is another recipe I discovered and plan to try.

Works well with either bok choy or komatsuna

1 head bok choy or bunch komatsuna
1/4 cup tahini
1-3 tablespoon water or lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons soy sauce to taste

Wash and coarsely chop greens. Put stems into a steamer for two minutes; then add the leaves and steam for three to four minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain, pressing lightly to remove excess water. Mix the tahini, water or lemon juice, and soy sauce in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the greens and toss, or by let each person dip pieces of greens into the tahini-soy sauce.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2014 CSA Week 3

Greetings fellow CSA members!
Everything is getting so lush this time of year, as are the gardens at Sustainable Harvest Farm!

Ford and Amanda have informed me there will be slightly different produce in the Thursday and Saturday shares, which I've indicated in the chart below. Enjoy!
~ Nancy

In your share this week…

How to store it
How long will it last?
(Th+Sa) Strawberries
Unwashed in fridge
~2-5 days
(Th+Sa) Salad Radishes
Washed or unwashed in refrigerator
several weeks
(Th) Cornmeal Airtight container (such as a zipper seal bag) in the freezer
(Sa) Kale or Swiss Chard
Washed & thoroughly dried (my preference) or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag
~1-2 weeks

I know you've heard that green leafy vegetables are very nutritious. I'm always thrilled when a restaurant will serve a nice mix of greens in the salad, as opposed to iceberg lettuce, which not only doesn't agree with me, but has little to no nutrition. That being said, a favorite recipe of my sister's and mine is not only delicious and fun to eat, but extremely healthy! It's so easy, which is the only way I cook!

This recipe is from a website called "eating RULES," which I think is a catchy title, since I love to eat! Here is the link:

Baked Kale Chips
Author: Andrew Wilder
Recipe Type: Snack

2 cups kale leaves
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
several pinches sea salt

Wash and dry the kale. Tear or cut the leaves into pieces, cutting out the tough center stem.
Toss the leaves with the olive oil, and then sprinkle on a few pinches of sea salt.
Lay the leaves on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes.
Careful, though: If you bake them too briefly they won't get crispy, but go too long and they'll be burned. Check them at 9 minutes, and if they're not crispy yet, give them a couple more minutes and check again. You may need to pull some out sooner than others.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 CSA Week 2

Aurora Scott greets Somerset CSA members with goodies and a smile!
Greetings fellow CSA members!

I know I'm excited for week 2 and the precious goodies awaiting us for pick up!
I'm still enjoying the beautiful strawberries from last week! So good!
Here are the items Ford and Amanda have for us this week with storage information, and ideas for recipes. Enjoy!

In your share this week…

How to store it
How long will it last?
Baby Tatsoi (Asian green)
washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag
3-5 days
White cornmeal
Airtight container (such as a zipper seal bag) in the freezer
Unwashed in fridge
~2-5 days  (Surely you’ll eat them sooner!)
Mixed herbs:
Oregano and Sage
Unwashed in fridge, in sealed bag or container
~1-2 weeks

Tatsoi has small, spoon-shaped, tender leaves that grow in a rosette atop thin, pale green stems. It’s dark, oval leaves and pale green stems are tender and edible and are excellent chopped and served raw in a salad or lightly sauteed.

Cornmeal can be used to coat your fresh fish before pan frying. I want to experiment dipping cauliflower florets and other veggies in this wonderful full texture meal and bake on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet for a healthy snack. I'll let you know how it comes out.

Strawberries - rinse and eat! Love them in organic vanilla yoghurt! Aren't they just beautiful! This photo was taken after I rinsed them. I feel so special eating them, as if Finley picked them just for me!

Herbs add so much flavor in any dish, and I love having them fresh again after using dried herbs all winter. Here's one I found that uses both the fresh oregano and sage. Sounds yummy! Who doesn't love meatloaf! If you don’t think you’ll have time to use the herbs while they are fresh, you can dry it for short term storage just by hanging it upside down in your kitchen.

Meatloaf with fresh sage and oregano

Recipe found at

2 lb. ground beef* (See note below about naturally raised ground beef available from Ford)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice (or white)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (less if you like)
1/4 c chopped garlic (or as many cloves as you like)
15 -25 fresh sage leaves or more, chopped
30-60 fresh oregano leaves or more, chopped
1/4 cup hot sauce or tomato ketchup
2 eggs (cage free, if you ask the chickens)
Salt and Pepper

Feel free to substitute to personal taste and preference. Add the onions, garlic, chopped herbs, and 1/2 cup of cooked rice, to the ground beef and mix. (No instructions here. You know how it’s done. Ha! Messy!) Then add the two eggs and almost 1/4 cup of hot sauce or tomato ketchup. Also, salt and pepper to taste. Mix again.

After mixing, put the meat into a loaf pan. Bake in an oven at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check after an hour for doneness.

*Note: Ford will have ground beef for sale at the Laurel county farmers market on Saturdays and folks can also buy it at the farm or join their meat CSA if you'd like pastured beef/pork.  The meats are grown all naturally and grass fed. Sounds like a no brainer!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Welcome CSA members

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the 2014 Regular Season Farmshare with Sustainable Harvest Farm.  Thank you for becoming a member of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

We take great pride in our farm and our products.  Our goal is to provide you with fresh, delicious, beautiful, high quality foods. We hope you enjoy eating in-season crops fresh from the farm this year and have fun trying new things.

Seasonal eating is an adventure. In each weekly, you will find familiar favorites along with new colors and flavors from foods you may never have prepared before. We’ll be with you all the way sending emails and blog updates with information and recipes, but in the meantime, we’d like to offer a few tips to help you through the adjustment period.  See below:

1.      ·Take a moment to assess your basket Compare the produce list for each week with the contents of your basket. When you get home, decide what needs to be eaten fairly soon and what can wait until later in the week. To the extent possible, plan a menu for the entire week.  A few minutes now will save you time later and will prevent the loss of any delicate, perishable items.   You can also count on us to give you updates on what keeps well and what doesn’t but don’t hesitate to send questions.

2.      ·Remember to wash your vegetables. We do not offer the produce ready to eat. Some items are rinsed and cooled before you get them, but this aids in removing dirt and reducing the field temperature – things we do to ensure better post-harvest quality.  Most produce lasts best when the rigorous washing happens just before it is eaten.

3.      Try to refrigerate as soon as possible. This is the number one way to keep everything fresh with a few exceptions like tomatoes, onions, potatoes and winter squashes that do just fine when stored in a cool, dark, dry location.

4.      Find recipes that fit your lifestyle. From traditional foods of Appalachia to a variety of light, fresh dishes, our newsletters will offer recipe ideas for selected produce each week. We also have a host of resources in our home-cooking arsenal if you need them.  …also, please consider sharing any of your favorite recipes so that we may spread the word among the CSA community and brag on your cooking skills!!

The 16-week CSA season revolves around the months of the year that vegetables flourish in southeastern Kentucky. The first shares of the season include winter storage crops from the previous season like sweet potatoes and dried beans along with fresh spring greens, tender onions, and tomatoes from the greenhouse.  When temperatures rise in the summer, you’ll begin to enjoy field tomatoes, corn, beans, melons & summer squashes.  You can expect the season to wind down with fall greens, root crops and winter squashes. This is the typical production cycle.  We all know, however, that Mother Nature & her team of critters may intervene at any time and cause one crop to flourish while another disappears.  (We have groundhogs and rabbits that LOVE our organic lettuces.)  Thank you for partnering with us in the adventures, risks, and rewards of local, sustainable agriculture and allowing us to serve you by doing what we really love.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 CSA Share Week 1

Greetings! I know you are as excited as I am to begin receiving the amazing bounty from our friends at Sustainable Harvest Farm! As the Waterstrats expand on family members with the birth of twin boys in December, they are also as diligent as ever in continuing to provide the best quality and variety of food for us to enjoy. And, they have been very busy! To help out a bit, you'll be hearing from me, Nancy Phelps, a colleague and fellow CSA member, in these weekly blogs. I will share how I enjoy the bounty with recipes and such, but feel free to join in, since my mantra is "when in doubt, throw everything in a giant wok pan and stir fry!"  I'm a one pan wonder, so it'll be fun experimenting with the amazing variety the Waterstrats produce and share. Amanda and Ford helped this week getting started with the blog, so here is what's in store for week 1! I can't wait to receive mine! Enjoy!

In your share this week…

How to store it
How long will it last?
Shell peas
Cool, dry, dark place
White cornmeal
Airtight container (such as a zipper seal bag) in the freezer
Unwashed in fridge
~2-5 days  (Surely you’ll eat them sooner!)
Unwashed in fridge, in sealed bag or container
~1-2 weeks

Strawberry Cornmeal Muffins
-slightly adapted from Eating Out Loud

For 12 regular muffins or 24 mini-muffins
1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ to ¾ cup granulated sugar, plus a little more for sprinkling on top
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup oil
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
1 cup chopped strawberries
Preheat oven to 400oF and grease muffin cups or line with cupcake liners.

Sift together dry ingredients, then form a well in the middle of the mixture and add the egg, oil and milk.  Stir thoroughly with a whisk or spoon until just combined.  Fold in strawberries and pour into muffin cups, about ¾ full.  Sprinkle a bit of sugar on top.

For regular muffins bake for 20 minutes, for mini muffins, bake 12-15 minutes.  Cool, remove from muffin tins and enjoy.  They are best warm with just a bit of butter.  Yum!!