April 20th 2011, Week 1

Hello Members!  Hope you enjoy your first week’s worth of yummy produce! 

-Pick up your shares within the allotted time so you don’t miss them.  Pick up times are as follows:  Carrboro- 3:30-6:30, Stateside-2:30-7 , Hale St.-2-7 , Cornwallis Rd.-2-7 , Hillsborough-1:30-6:30 , Farm- after 12pm. 

This week Half shares have received Japanese salad turnips and Purple Plum Radishes, which we packed in the same bag for you.  I have included recipes for both below!  Full shares will receive turnips next week.  The strawberries surprised us this week by being ready to harvest!  Oh my, they taste good this year so far so enjoy, there will be more where that came from. We have washed everything once, but since we have such sandy soil some of the greens may need to be dunked again to get all the little pieces of sand out.  Storage tips and recipes below!

At the farm this week we are battling 88 degree temperatures!  This is good for the summer crops which we are frantically planting out.  Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, basil, summer squash and melons are in the ground or about to go in the ground.  The temperatures are a little tough though on the spring crops.  Lettuce usually only lasts for us here until the middle of June because temperatures above 85 degrees can cause it to become bitter.  Seems like we are getting these temperatures early again this year!  Lets hope the lettuce and other greens get through okay, and lets hope this doesn’t mean the start of another really really hot summer like we had last year!

Let me know via email if you have any questions, thoughts or concerns!  I love to hear from you all J

Recipes!

Nearly Instant Radish PicklesSheri Castle’s The New Southern Garden Cookbook
3 cups paper thin radish slices or ribbons
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Spread the radish slices evenly on a serving plate.  Sprinkle with the salt and sugar and let sit at room temperature until moist an a little juicy, 5-10 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Orange-Sesame Baby Bok Choy
1 medium orange
1 tbl vegetable oil
8 heads baby bok choy (about 4-6 oz), each cut lengthwise in half
1 tbl minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbl soy sauce
¼ tsp Asian sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

From orange, grate ½ tsp peel and squeeze ¼ cup juice.

In deep, non-stick 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add bok choy and cook 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Add ginger, garlic, and orange peel and cook 2-3 minutes, until bok choy is tender and lightly browned, turning occasionally.

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, sesame oil, and orange juice; add to skillet with bok choy and cook 30 seconds. Transfer bok choy to bowl. Pour any liquid from skillet over bok choy, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Separate stems from leaves of 1 head (or 1 ¾ lb) bok choy. Cut stems and leaves into 1 inch wide slices. Heat oil in skillet as above. Add bok choy stems with ginger, garlic and orange peel, and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add leaves and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Complete recipe as above.

Japanese Instant Pickled Turnips
2 or 3 medium Japanese (white) turnips, peeled and sliced very thin
2 tsp salt
1 tbl white vinegar
1 tbl water
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp powdered mustard

Slice the turnips as thinly as possible (use a mandoline if you have one). Sprinkle with the salt and mix thoroughly, kneading with your hands. Let rest a few minutes and squeeze out all excess water. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Rinse excess salt from the sliced turnips and again squeeze as dry as possible. Add the vinegar mixture and mix thoroughly. Let sit for at least two hours before serving. (This recipe can also be used to make cucumber, eggplant, cabbage, or daikon radish pickles)

Silky Turnips with Shallot and Butter
1-2 lbs turnips
2 ½ tbl butter
2 tbl finely diced shallot
¼ cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

Peel the turnips and cut in half. Slice into 1/8 inch thick half moons. Melt butter in a 10 ½” skillet on medium low heat. Add shallot and a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes or until the shallot begins to soften. Add sliced turnips and 1 tsp of salt. Turn heat to medium. Toss or stir the turnips about once every minute so they cook evenly. Watch the heat as you may need to lower it. The turnips will be done in about 5 minutes. Check seasoning and add parsley before serving.

Ginger Kale:  From Asparagus to Zucchini:  A Guide to Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce,
Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed, leaves cut
2 T olive oil
1T butter
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T fresh ginger, chopped
Juice of 1 fresh lime
Freshly ground black pepper

Steam kale until slightly wilted.  In large skillet heat oil and butter, add garlic, onion and ginger; sauté until onion is soft.  Toss in kale.  Cover and cook on low heat until the kale is tender.  Toss in lime juice and pepper to taste. 

Storage and Preservation of your veggies!

General Tips for Freezing…
Keep in mind that frozen vegetables lose much of their crispness and are really suited to cooked dishes rather than salads.
When blanching, you can put the veggies in a wire basket and submerge the entire basket in the boiling water.  It’s much easier to remove them this way and you can reuse the water for another batch.  Otherwise just submerge the produce then drain using a colander.
Reduce freezer burn by vacuum sealing freezer bags.  Put the produce in the bag and then seal it nearly shut, leaving a small opening.  Suck out the air with your mouth (it’s for home consumption anyway, right?) and close the bag completely.  It really works!

Spinach
Storage:  Store in plastic bag in the crisper drawer of  the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Preservation:  Canning or freezing.
To Freeze:  Trim away stems. Wash carefully in a large pot of water, letting any sediment or dirt settle to the bottom.  Blanch in lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes.  Cool immediately with ice water and drain.  Pack into freezer bags, leaving ½ inch of headroom, seal, and freeze.

Kale or Turnip Greens
Storage:  Store in plastic bag in the crisper drawer of  the fridge for 2 weeks.
Preservation:  Canning or freezing.
To Freeze:  Trim away tough midribs and stems (Kale).  Cut into uniform pieces (tip: large leaves like chard and kale can be stack, rolled like a cigar, and sliced into ribbons).  Wash carefully in large pot of water, letting any sediment or dirt settle to the bottom.  Blanch in lightly salted boiling water for 2 ½ minutes.  Cool immediately with ice water and drain.  Pack into freezer bags, leaving ½ inch of headroom, seal, and freeze.

Radishes
Storage:  Radishes will keep in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for a couple of months IF the tops are removed.  The tops or greens of any root crop will suck moisture from the root in storage and shorten its storage time.
Preservation:  Canning and freezing are not recommended.

Turnips
Storage:  Keep in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for a week or more. Removing the greens will allow the roots to store for several weeks.  Place the greens in a bag in the crisper drawer and they will hold for a week or 2.
Preservation:  Freezing
To Freeze the Root:  Cut into uniform cubes or chunks.  Blanch in lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes.  Cool immediately in ice water and drain.  Pack into freezer bags, leaving ½ inch of headroom.  Seal and freeze.  OR boil turnips until tender, drain, and mash.  Cool immediately, pack into containers, leaving ½ inch of headroom.  Seal and freeze.

What's in the box?

Full Share
Crop Amount  
 

Radishes           Two bunches
Kale                  One bunch
Boc Choi          One green, two purple
Spinach             1 lb.
Lettuce Mix      ½ lb.
Strawberries!    1 pint

Half Share
Crop Amount  
 

Turnips             One bunch
Radishes           One bunch of Purple Plum
Kale                  One small bunch
Boc Choi          One green, one purple
Spinach             ½ lb.
Strawberries!    One pint