April 28, 2010
Week 20 Newsletter
ATHENS HILLS CSA
April 28, 2010It’s always amazing when the last week of a CSA cycle is upon us. On one hand, it feels like we just started, and on the other hand, we are eagerly awaiting the extra hours for planting and preparing that are available when we aren’t harvesting and packing the shares. A quick look at the greenhouses and you will see that the greens which sustained us through the long dark winter months are gone. The soil is turned, compost is added, and then the planting will begin – maybe as early as this Friday.
Our ‘new-to-us’ irrigation water holding tank is due to arrive any day. Once it rode on the back of a truck hauling milk, but now it will hold large volumes of water for our drip irrigation system. We are so pleased with the way that our two smaller tanks have worked, it was certainly no great leap to imagine the benefits of one tank that holds more than the other two together. Now we will have all of them hooked up so that we can water most all of the fields at once!
Once again we say our thank you’s to all of you who have so kindly replied with paper forms or by email to our survey. We got some great ideas for improvements in the Recipes section. So thanks for all of the creative thinking! If you haven’t had a chance to reply yet, don’t be concerned. There is no deadline, except that your ideas are helpful while we begin to plan for next winter (which will start sooner than any of us want to think about.) We also want to thank all of the hosts for their superb service. Without them, we could not do what we do. So………….. THANKS TO THE HOSTS!!
This week we welcomed Guinivere back. She is mainly helping Kip in the Microgreen House. She works with us part-time now, and we’re glad to have her return! From the farm to the town, your choice of food source has been the economic foundation that enables us provide employment for up 12 people during the year, 7 of them all year. We thank you for your support. We are grateful for your continuing commitment to fresh, local, certified organic food.
We look forward to the Summer 2010 season with new excitement. Our summer numbers are filling twice as early as in the past. Rob and I both commented on the
number of members who watched FOOD, INC. last week and wrote to us to tell about it. Politically, now is always the time to ensure that family farms are recognized for being the economic community asset that is a cornerstone to the revitalization of rural lifestyles and small towns. We work for you and all those who support us. So, thanks to you again.
For all the crew,
Becky (Kip, Dan, Cale, John, Rob Julia, Guinevere, and Penny; and interns Morgan and Martin)
THIS WEEK’S VEGGIES
SALAD MIX - This is our famous blend of lettuces and mild Asian greens. We expect it to last a week, and sometimes longer. Place a paper towel in the bag to absorb the extra moisture and keep moist without being soggy.
MICROMIX MICROGREENS – Use them to add extra crunch and juiciness to a sandwich or a stir-fry. They are sooo good!!
SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS – You have another week of our tasty mushrooms. They are good on pizza, just sautéed, or in many other dishes. There are some recipes in earlier newsletters.
SWISS CHARD - It’s not hard to be amazed by the sheer ability of this plant to grow in all seasons. Refer to past newsletters for recipes, please
ARUGULA - Arugula has uses beyond salad: it can be sautéed or cooked in many other ways. In Roman times, arugula was grown for both its leaves and the seed. The seed was used for flavoring oils.
EASTER EGG RADISHES - The first of the season radishes are so special for their tender crisp crunchy juiciness. Enjoy these on salads, bread and butter, with a dip, in a stir-fry, or just by themselves, maybe a pinch of salt.
SPINACH - Enjoy this raw or sautéed, steamed, or any other wonderful way for this luscious green goodness to be prepared.
The Combo Corner from our Athens partners ~
This week’s bread selection from the Village Bakery and Cafe is 100% Whole Wheat.
The fruit basket is finished for the winter.
SPINACH SOUP PREP TIME: 5 TO 10 MINS. COOK TIME: NONE
4 Cups of spinach, well washed and dried 1 Cup water 2 to 3 cloves roasted garlic or 1 clove raw garlic 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed Pinch salt 1 ripe avocado, cut in half and pitted 2 tablespoons crushed dry- roasted hazelnuts, crushed raw hazel- nuts, or lightly toasted pine nuts.
In a blender, place the spinach, water, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Pack the spinach leaves down and then blend until smooth scraping down the sides as necessary. Spoon the avocado out of its skin and into the blender and process rain until smooth. Taste and add additional salt, garlic, or lemon juice if necessary. Divide into 4 equal portions and garnish with the nuts.
Yield: 4 Servings
“Raw soups are very easy to make and packed with fiber and nutrients. Always use enough liquid to get the vegetable fibers to puree properly, and use avocado as a creamy base to get the proper consistency. Add the avocado last so as not to over blend. Use more or less liquid for thicker or thinner soup.”-from The Healthiest Meals On Earth, Bowden 2008
Recipe: Spinach, Strawberry, and Dill Salad (Serves 6)
8 C. fresh spinach, washed
3 scallions, sliced thinly
½ C. hazelnuts, toasted
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled
¼ C. chopped fresh dill
For the dressing...
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dry mustard
½ C. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, toss the spinach, scallions, hazelnuts, strawberries, and dill.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, and mustard. In a slow, thin stream, whisk in the olive oil until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
(Recipe courtesy of Farms & Foods of Ohio: From Garden Gate to Dinner Plate, 2007.)
Recipe: Swiss Chard-Stuffed Onions
4 large onions (about 10 oz. each)
2 Tbs. extra olive oil
½ lb. Swiss chard, cut into 1-inch pieces, washed, and drained well (4 C.)
2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, and
chopped (2 tsp.)
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ lb. sweet Italian sausage
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
½ C. water
Preheat the oven to 425F. Peel the onions, and remove the stem as well as the root end of each. Arrange the onions in one layer on a large piece of aluminum foil, then fold the foil around the onions to enclose them. Place the foil package on a cookie sheet, and bake on the center rack of the 425-degree oven for 45 minutes. The onions should be somewhat soft and partially cooked at this point.
Cut a ½-inch slice from the top (stem-end) of each onion, and scoop out and reserve the inside to create a receptacle with walls about ½-inch thick. Chop the onion tops and insides coarsely. (You should have about 3 ½ cups of chopped onion.)
Heat the oil until hot but not smoking in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion, and cook for 3 minutes over medium to high heat. Add the Swiss chard, garlic, salt and pepper, and mix well. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. The mixture should be slightly moist and lightly browned. Let cool to lukewarm, then mix in the sausage meat. Stuff the onions with the chard and sausage mixture, dividing it evenly among them and mounding it so that all the stuffing is used.
Arrange the stuffed onions in a gratin dish, and sprinkle them with the Parmesan. Pour water around the onions in the gratin dish, and bake at 400 degrees for 60 minutes, until brown on top and very soft throughout.
(Recipe courtesy of Jacques Pepin's Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine, 1996.)
Posted by Athens Hills CSA at 7:50 AM