ATHENS HILLS SUMMER CSA:
We are now in the full swing of summer here at the farm. There are so many things that need to get done each day that it is sometimes overwhelming. Since we had a couple of days of rain all of the veggies are doing great, and so are the weeds! Yes, the weeds were threatening to take over the gardens so as you can imagine weeding is high priority. Most of the crew spent the entire day yesterday doing just that, and because of their valiant efforts peace in the vegetable world has been restored once again. Thanks guys!
I hope all of you are enjoying your CSA experience so far. I just wanted to update everyone on a few things that are coming up this summer. Of course we have the OPEN FARM DAY on July 27th (be sure to bring a dish to share and your own plate and silverware). Also, in an effort to cut down on our carbon footprint, we will be discontinuing the paper version of the newsletter starting the week of July 20th. Instead you will be able to find it on our blog every week! If you would like to receive the paper version or would like to have the newsletter emailed to you, please contact us before July 16th to make arrangements with Margaret or Becky. Thanks for helping us do a little more for our beautiful planet! Have a great week everyone!
Salad Mix (a mix of several lettuce varieties picked for their delicious taste and color combinations.)
Micro Mix (a mix of sunflower, buckwheat, radish, cabbage and kogane (pac choi)).
Mushrooms (Our mushroom guy Rob’s selection from our farm-grown shiitake, oyster or trumpet mushrooms. Be sure to store in the fridge with the bag open.)
Swiss Chard (One of our favorite greens that happens to be growing like gang-busters-- don’t forget that you can blanch, freeze & store it for later.)
Carrots (We all know the fantastic versatility of this wonderful root! I hope you enjoy our sweet little gems!)
Green Onions (Another of our early season staples, these wonderful roots compliment any salad, stir-fry, veggie tray, etc. Summer wouldn’t be the same without them.)
Sweet Basil (One of the true harbingers of summer and we are so happy to have it for you in this share, especially if it is your first. This is essential in your favorite pesto recipe. To keep basil fresh, do not refrigerate it but simply put it in a glass of water & keep on your counter. It will last for days)
Summer Squash (Picker’s selection from our zucchini, yellow, sunburst or pattypan squashes. We love to eat these raw & chopped in our salads, or marinated and grilled alongside your favorite meat. They even make a great slaw! Have fun with these and let us know what you do with these summer treats.)
Recipe: Swiss Chard and Golden Raisins (Serves 6)
2 1/2 pounds (the average weight of 2 bundles) red Swiss chard
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 turns around the pan in a slow stream)
extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 pound, 2 slices, pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 small yellow skinned onion, chopped
1/4 cup (2 handfuls) golden raisins
14 ounces chicken stock or broth
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, a couple pinches ground or equivalent of freshly grated
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Coarsely chop the greens of clean red chard. Add oil, pancetta, and chopped onion to the pan and cook 2 or 3 minutes until onions begin to soften and pancetta is lightly browned. Add chopped chard to pan in large bunches, adding remaining chard as the greens wilt.
Sprinkle in raisins, pour in broth and season with salt and nutmeg. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat and simmer greens 10 to 15 minutes until greens are no longer bitter and you are ready to serve. Raisins will plump as the dish cooks through.
(Recipe courtesy of our Rachel Ray’s 30-Minute Meals & The Food Network, 2008.—Thanks to Kate for this suggestion!))
Recipe: Healthy Carrot Muffins
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 medium carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
Special equipment: 12 cup muffin tin
and paper liners
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin cups with paper muffin liners.
Whisk the flours with the brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl lightly whisk the egg, then whisk in the vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
Quickly and lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula. Stir in the carrots and pineapple just until evenly moist; the batter will be very thick. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Turn muffins out of the tins and cool on a rack. Serve warm.
(Recipe courtesy of The Food Network Kitchens & The Food Network, 2005.)