As the water levels rise and fall around us, we are continually thankful for the drainage project of last summer. Fall planted crops that have wintered over are looking better than they have in years thanks to the lack of standing water in the fields. Kip has the equipment shed staked out, and today they are pouring the concrete pedestals for the corner posts. After the next two days of rain, and several more for drying out the soil, the next step will begin. Last Friday night, we had a great send-off party for Julia and Steve at the Casa Nueva Cantina. We miss them, but Maria has definitely ‘stepped up’ and ‘stepped in’ to fill the gap. Welcome to Maria.
And despite all of the rain and high water, we are actually watering in the greenhouses. These sunny days make things ‘toasty warm’ in the houses. The extra warmth causes the soil to dry faster than the outside. Of course, when we add water, weeds also grow, so the greenhouses are receiving a nice weeding this week too. This warmer weather also signals the beginning of the battles against aphids in the greenhouses. We usually win this with the help of insecticidal soap.
This week we will be sending out the E-vites to the Open Farm Day on March 20. This is a day that we invite all of our CSA members, hosts, and partners to come and visit their veggies and us. It is also a day open to the public for a visit. As we have grown, many people are interested to see how we grow what we grow. A full tour will take about an hour. Join us at the historic Amesville Grange Hall for a potluck dinner at 1:00pm. Then it’s off to the farm around 2:30 (in several waves of cars) about 1 mile away. We like to take the tours in several groups because it is difficult to accommodate large groups inside the greenhouses. Smaller groups also mean more time for you to ask your questions. We hope you will join us, and remember you can bring a friend or two with you. Please let us know if you are planning to come by responding to the e-vite which will come to your email inbox. Thanks and have a great week!
From all of us at Green Edge,
Becky (Kip, Dan, John, Rob, Cale, Penny, Maria, Guinevere, and Morgan
Mushrooms - Mushrooms this week – shiitake. It’s a good thing they’re so good. If you can’t use them all in one week, they should store fine in their paper bag to be combined for a really big mu-shroom extravaganza next week!
Sunflower Microgreens - If you’re not familiar with micro-greens, you are in for a surprise! Unlike sprouts (which are only grown in water), these are grown in soil and therefore im-part the nutritional additions from the soil. These have a mild, almost nutty flavor and are juicy and crunchy.
Spinach - Another week of spi-nach while we patiently wait for the chard and kale to size up. We hope you are not too bored with it already.
Turnips – Calling all turnip lovers! Yes, it’s beginning to be turnip time. Spring must be right around the corner when these treasures start coming.
Collards- We hope you were able to try the sweet stems of these beauties last time. If not, well, there’s this week… In addition, the greens are sweet and flavorful, but remember they need a little longer cooking time than some of the other greens.
The Combo Corner
The apple selections from Cherry Orchards are the same. For the remaining weeks the apples will be a mix of Fuji, Red Delicious and/or Yellow (or Golden) Delicious.
This week’s bread from The Village Bakery and Café is Honey Oat Wheat.
You’ll notice a sweet potato recipe here. This was sent by a member as her great favorite. So, even though there are no sweet potatoes this week, you might have a few left.
The faster the drying process, the more vitamins and minerals are retained in the dried product. Contents of vitamins A and C are lower in the dried product than in fresh food due the exposure to air during the drying process.
Bacteria, molds, and yeasts cannot survive without sufficient water. The drying process removes enough water from the plant cells to prevent their hosting the growth of spoilage organisms during storage. Except for onions, vegetables should be blanched in steam or in boiling water before they are dried. This sets the color, checks the ripening process and also hastens the drying time by softening the tissues.
Wash the turnips and cut them into thin slices. Spread on drying trays in the hot sun (or use a dehydrator). When dry, turnips will be brittle. Store in glass jars or grind into a vegetable powder.
To stove-top dry or oven dry, slice very, then steam slices for 6 minutes. Allow to cool. Spread on trays and dry until brittle.
from: Putting It Up with Honey, a natural foods canning and preserving cookbook; Geiskopf, 1979.
Smokey Sweet Potato Chicken Soup
2 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 ribs celery
1 large onion, peeled & chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 chipotle chili in adobo, finely chopped, plus a spoon of sauce from the can
Salt and Black pepper
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 large sweet potato
¾ to 1 lb. chicken tenders, cut into bite- size pieces
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro leaves, a generous hand ful, coarsely chopped
½ cup sour cream, optional
Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 turns of the pan. While the soup pot heats, chop carrots in half lengthwise then slice into thin half moons. Add the carrots to the pot while it heats, stirring to coat the carrots in the oil. Chop and drop in celery and onion, chopping as small as you can, but don’t make yourself crazy. Add the garlic, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Season the veggies with salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook the veggies together 1 minute. Add the wine and reduce a minute. Add the stock to the pot, cover the pot, and raise heat to high. Bring the soup to a boil, remove the cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into quarters lengthwise, then thinly slice into bite size pieces. Add the cut chicken and sweet potatoes and simmer 5 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn the heat off and add the scallions and cilantro. Serve each portion of soup with a dollop of sour cream on top.
1 10-oz. frozen spinach or all of the spinach that came in your share, stemmed 2 Tbl butter or margarine 2 Tbl all-purpose flour ½ tsp salt ½ cup milk ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese * * * 5 egg yolks 5 stiffly beaten egg whites Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Cook the spinach until mushy. Drain thoroughly! Add butter to spinach; cook and stir over high heat till butter is melted. Blend in flour and salt; add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat; stir in grated Parmesan cheese.
Beat egg yolks till thick and lemon-colored. Stir spinach into egg yolks. Pour spinach mixture over egg whites; fold together carefully. Pour into ungreased 1-quart soufflé dish. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or till knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Makes 4-6 servings. Serve with Cheddar Cheese Sauce.
CHEDDAR CHEESE SAUCE: Combine 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and 1/3 cup milk; heat. Add 4 ounces sharp natural Cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup); stir to melt.
Soufflé tips: Yolks are less likely to break when separated if the eggs are still cold; Egg whites should be beaten when room temperature; Stir the ready-and-waiting hot sauce slowly into the beaten egg whites’; Fold sauce mixture into beaten whites; gently lift up-and-over in high strokes. Take your time; To help the soufflé clinb, use and ungreased dish.
~from Better Homes and Gardens’ Casserole Cookbook, 1968. This cookbook was one of my mother’s. Growing up in the depression, she embraced the ‘quick’ recipes calling for a can of creamed condensed soup instead of making her own ‘sauce’ with butter, flour, and milk. She was a ‘git-it-done’ girl who appreciated saving minutes when she could.
OPEN FARM DAY Sunday March 20
Mark your calendars and save the date!
Join us for a Potluck Dinner at the Amesville Grange Hall. and then caravan to the farm for a tour of your veggies.
Look for an E-Vite soon!
Bring a friend or two!