Sunday, July 31, 2011

RECIPE: Basil Pesto (super easy!)

Take a large bunch of fresh basil, about an equal amount of baby spinach, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2-1 teaspoon salt (depending upon taste) and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and chop in a food processor slowly adding olive oil until saucy. Then add some grated cheese and blend again. You can also add pine nuts if you like.

When you serve with the pasta, save a little of the past water and add it in with the sauce. This helps bind everything. That’s it. Really easy!

RECIPE: Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s

Serves 4, with dressing to spare

1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sweet white miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed or another neutral oil
2 tablespoons water
1 small/medium head of lettuce (I used Bibb) or mixed greens of your choice
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, quartered

Whiz the carrots, shallot and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar and sesame oil. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.

Divide the lettuce among four bowls, add some of the onion and a quarter of the avocado. Drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.

RECIPE: Pasta With Zucchini and Goat Cheese

Serves 4
Hands-on Time: 20m
Total Time: 20m

• 12 ounces linguine (3/4 box)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 pound zucchini, sliced into thin half-moons
• kosher salt and pepper
• 1 clove garlic, chopped
• 5 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
3. Cook, stirring, until the zucchini is tender and any liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
5. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the cheese to the pasta. Add the reserved cooking water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir until creamy.
6. Serve the pasta topped with the zucchini, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons cheese.

If you have any fresh herbs on hand (tarragon, parsley, chervil, chives), chop them up and toss them with the pasta before serving.


Hi folks,
This past week's weather was a welcome break from all that heat and dry. Plenty of rain and lower temps made work a pleasure! We transplanted fennel, zucchini, rutabegas for fall, direct seeded salad mix, and arugula. We hoed and weeded fall carrots, parsnips, cabbages. It was a lot to squeeze in between harvests.

This coming week on the farm, hand weeding leeks and harvesting onions. It looks to be an epic harvest, due to the size and quantity of this particular crop. To harvest them, we first windrow them in the field, let them dry down for a week or so, then bring them into the barn to finish curing.

New in your share this week: Leeks, potatoes, and celery. Soup anyone? All three crops look really good, though a touch weedy and will take some work to clean up ahead of harvesting.

This week's picture: Yes, we still have seedlings for transplanting. Here are beets, fennel, turnips, chard and a few other items that we'll be planting for the fall. As we turn the corner into August we'll stop seeding in trays and finish up our fall seedings by directly seeding in the field fall greens and fall radishes.

Here's your approximate share:

Salad Mix

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What to Do with Beets

One easy option is to cook beets ahead of time and then cube them and keep them in the fridge, either to toss in salads through the week, or to combine with feta and a little vinaigrette. Preparing them is easy: just scrub them with a veggie brush and then wrap them in foil and roast them at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until they are tender. Once they are cool, the skins rub right off. In this heat it can be hard to turn on the oven, so instead you can boil them in salted water for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Again when cool, the skins rub right off.

Another alternative is to simply peel the beets (uncooked), and then slice them really thin and put them right into salads - raw. You can do this with a peeler or grater. It’s a very easy way to use beets without having to use the oven to roast or bake, nor do you have to turn on the stove. Very fast and very tasty!

RECPE: Braised Zucchini Wheels with Sesame-Mint Pesto

Ingredient List

Serves 4
• 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
• 1/3 cup whole almonds
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 Tbs. fresh mint leaves
• 2 tsp. lemon juice
• 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
• 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
• 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
• 4 medium zucchini (2 lb.), cut into 5 wheels each

1. Pulse breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic, mint, lemon juice, and lemon zest in blender or food processor until coarsely chopped. Add oil and sesame seeds, and pulse several times to make chunky pesto.

2. Score an X in each zucchini wheel to within 1/2 inch of bottom, making sure not to cut through. Gently pry each wheel open, and stuff with 1 heaping tsp. pesto. Place zucchini wheels snugly in single layer, stuffing-side up, in medium saucepan. Add 1 cup water, cover pan, and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook 20 minutes, or until zucchini are tender. Serve hot, with cooking liquid drizzled over top.

RECIPE: Basil Burgers

1 1/4 pounds ground beef (or turkey)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh mozzarella
2 sprigs chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns, split
sliced tomato, sauteed onions, or mushrooms for toppings

Yields 4 servings


Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

In a bowl, mix the ground beef, mozzarella, Worcestershire sauce, basil, garlic powder, and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 burger patties.

Lightly oil the grill grate, and cook burgers about 6 minutes, turning once, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C), or to desired doneness. Serve on hamburger buns with your favorite toppings!

RECIPE: Chilled Cucumber-Mint Soup with Yogurt or Sour Cream

From Farmer John’s Cookbook

Serves 4 to 6

4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 4 cups)
1 to 2 cups water
2 cups plain yogurt (or 1 cup plain yogurt combined with 1 cup sour cream)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
several fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon honey
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
2 scallions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

1. Combine the chopped cucumber, 1 cup water, yogurt, garlic, mint, dill, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor. Purée the ingredients, adding more of the water until the soup is a consistency you like. Season with more salt to taste.

2. Transfer the soup to a large bowl and chill for several hours. Garnish each serving with chopped scallions (or any herb garnish of your choice).


Hi Folks,
What a hot week! We really felt the heat of summer this past week, and are past due for a soaking rain. The crops are coming through pretty well, though our broccoli seems to be taking the heat poorly. The potatoes also could use some moisture to size up, and the greens like collards, kale, chard and arugula look pretty wilty by midday. It's hard as the farmer to see dessicating crops, but equally hard to see drowning crops. If the pain of the dry ever gets to be too much, I gaze into the onion crop, which appears spectacular. It sure seems like this might be a season where we get both extremes! This dryness reminds me of the four week stint we had last summer in late June/ early July. It passed, the rains came gently back, and the crops survived.
The good thing about summer heat is summer crops. Barring any catastrophe, we should start seeing tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Also there's no need to visit the sauna or take vitamin d.

This week's pictures: Everybody loves onions! Bea's friends harvested some onions during her birthday party.

Your share this week:

Salad Mix

Your farmer Dan

Sunday, July 17, 2011

RECIPE: Peach Coffee Cake

Peach Coffee Cake

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk*
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup peeled, diced fresh peaches

1 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 9-inch round pan.

2. Make the cake batter: Whisk together the dry ingredients (pastry flour through salt) and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients, one third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Add the vanilla. Fold in the peaches until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth down with a rubber or offset spatula.

3. Make the topping: Combine all the topping ingredients in a small mixing bowl and combine until it looks like wet sand (I found that using my hands was the easiest way to do this). Sprinkle mixture evenly over the batter.

4. Bake according to pan size–25-30 minutes for the two rounds–until the top is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.

*Note: If you don't have buttermilk, here is a trusty substitute: 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt + 1/4 cup water for every cup of buttermilk. If you look online you can find other options, namely souring some milk with lemon juice or vinegar, but I prefer the texture that results from the yogurt plus water.

RECIPE: Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch brocolli1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1/2 pound baby arugula
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds.

2. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper.

3. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

4. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot.

6. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli.

7. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

RECIPE: Savory Kale, Cannellini Bean, and Potato

Savory Kale, Cannellini Bean, and Potato

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup diced carrot
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup white wine
3 potatoes, halved and sliced
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups finely chopped kale leaves
1 small red chile pepper, seeded and chopped fine
ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; cook and stir the onion until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrot and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes more.

Pour in the chicken broth, water, and white wine; stir in the potatoes, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the cannelini beans, kale, chile pepper, and black pepper, and simmer, covered, for 30 more minutes.

RECIPE: Tahini-Soy Sauce Greens

Tahini-Soy Sauce Greens

Note: 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 let each person dip pieces of greens into the tahini-soy sauce.

[Ann’s notes: Instead of steaming I sautéed the greens in a little bit of peanut oil, starting the stems about 3 minutes before the leaves, then added the leaves and just let them wilt down. I didn’t measure the dressing carefully but I think the amount of dressing as the recipe is written would be more than needed for one bunch of komatsuna. I used about a heaping tablespoon of tahini, the juice of half a (juicy) lemon, and a couple of shakes of soy sauce. I just made this and it is really good.]


Hi folks,
It was an incredibly physical week at the farm- garlic harvest, handweeding peppers and eggplants, putting hay mulch on the tomatoes, seeding more salad mix, dragging out the irrigation for our tomatoes....It can be incredibly challenging to jump right into field work when the weekly harvest now occupies 75% of our time. Thanks to this year's very able and hardworking crew, the challenge has been fun!
Pictured this week: Carrot harvest.

This week's share:

Salad Mix

Your farmers,
Dan and Tracy

Monday, July 11, 2011

RECIPE: Zucchini Keftedes with Feta and Dill

Zucchini Keftedes with Feta and Dill

12 servings
• PREP TIME: 1 hour
• TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 30 minutes

• 1 1/3 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed
• 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
• 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
• 1 large egg, beaten to blend
• 1 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese
• Canola oil (for frying)
• Plain whole-milk or reduced-fat Greek-style yogurt (for garnish)
• Additional chopped fresh dill (for garnish)

Panko is available in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets and at Asian markets. Greek-style yogurt is a thick yogurt that's sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

• Grate zucchini on large holes of box grater onto clean kitchen towel. Sprinkle zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt; let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
• Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Wrap zucchini in towel; squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place zucchini in medium bowl. Mix in green onions, 3 tablespoons chopped dill, mint, garlic, lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Gently stir in panko and egg, then feta. Using 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture for each, shape mixture into 1 3/4- to 2-inch-diameter patty; place on baking sheet. Chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
• Pour enough canola oil into heavy large skillet to reach depth of 1/4 inch; heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add patties to skillet. Cook until golden and cooked through, adjusting heat if browning too quickly, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Using slotted metal spoon, transfer to paper towels.
• Arrange keftedes on platter. Top each with dollop of yogurt. Sprinkle each with dill. Serve warm or at room temperature.

RECIPE: Ruby Chard Decorated with Itself

Ruby Chard Decorated with Itself

From The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without by Mollie Katzen

Serves 4 to 6
• 1 pound ruby chard, washed in several changes of water and thoroughly dried
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 cup minced red onion
• 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
• Salt (to taste)
• Freshly ground black pepper
• ½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts (optional)

Use a very sharp knife to remove the stems from the chard leaves. Coarsely chop the leaves and set them aside. Trim and discard the very tips of the stems (as well as any dinged up edges), and mince the rest.

Place a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add about 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the chard stems and the onion, turn the heat up to medium-high, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt, if desired, then transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl, and set aside.

Without cleaning it, return the pan to the stove over medium heat. Pour in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. (Open your windows!) Turn the heat to very low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour this slightly reduced vinegar over the stem–onion mixture in the bowl.

Return the still-uncleaned pan to the stove over medium heat, wait another minute, then add the remaining olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Turn up the heat to medium-high, and toss in the chard leaves. Cook quickly, turning with tongs as you go, until the leaves are wilted. This will only take a couple of minutes. You can salt the leaves lightly while they cook, if you wish.

When the leaves are done to your liking, transfer them to a serving plate or bowl, and taste to adjust salt. Add black pepper to taste, then spoon the stem mixture over the top, being sure to include all the juices. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, topped with pine nuts, if desired.

RECIPE: Carrot Rice

Carrot Rice

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
1/4 cup roasted peanuts or almonds or any nut you prefer
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
3/4 cup grated carrots
salt to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
chopped fresh cilantro

Yields 6 servings


Combine rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and allow to steam until tender, about 20 minutes.
While rice is cooking, grind peanuts in a blender and set aside. Heat the margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned golden brown about 10 minutes. Stir in ginger, carrots, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low and cover to steam 5 minutes. Stir in cayenne pepper and peanuts. When rice is done, add it to skillet and stir gently to combine with other ingredients. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


This week's harvest: lettuce, carrots, radishes, zucchini, parsley, basil, chard, turnips, beets, collards.

Today we celebrated our daughter's sixth birthday. We had a wonderful farm birthday party complete with a trailer ride out to the swimming hole and homemade ice cream made from our own milk and sorbet from our own strawberries. We know it is Bea's birthday time at the farm when... humming birds visit our bee balm, our raspberries are ripe, onions are looking good and almost ready to harvest, the garlic is ready to be harvested and cured, green beans are coming along as are the tomatoes. Afternoon thundershowers cool off the hot days. And any day now she should start hearing the cicadas.

Happy Birthday Beatrice! Farm girl extraordinaire!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ADVOCACY: Level the playing field for family farmers – Save a Farmer Today!

Some of you may have received a “Save a Farmer Today” flyer at last week’s pick up. Here are more details on this important campaign:

If you have two minutes of free time, you can make a difference for local farmers across the country. Food Democracy Now’s “Save a Farmer Today” campaign is mobilizing support for the new GIPSA rule that will level the playing field for family farmers. By calling president Obama and voicing our support for the proposed rule, our combined Chubby Bunny forces can make a real difference. The number and call script are available below, and through the following link: If you would like to share the information or spread the word to family, friends or other contacts, an email template is available here:

For those interested in learning more, Food Democracy Now’s Founder and Director, Dave Murphy, sheds light on the motivation behind the movement in this exclusive interview with Eco Centric Blog:

President Barack Obama

(202) 456-1111

Introduce yourself and explain the issue:

Hi, my name is _______ from _________ (city and/or state) calling in support of the proposed GIPSA rule to level the playing field for family farmers. America's farmers need President Obama to live up to his campaign promise to protect farmers from unfair contracts and make our markets for farmers more competitive. This rule must protect our farmers and ranchers from retaliation and unfair practices of big packers. I strongly encourage USDA to finish and implement the GIPSA proposed rule as quickly as possible.

It's time that America's farmers were able to grow food under fair markets, please tell President Obama that I support the new GIPSA rules and care about America's family farmers.

Thank you.

Remember to be polite and thank the operator for their time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

RECIPE: Beet-Kale Salad


6 large beets, chopped into bite-size pieces

1 garlic bulb

6 kale leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, pine nuts, or other nut of choice

Olive oil, to taste

Balsamic vinegar, to taste

Feta cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Toss beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a baking dish. Cut the tips off the garlic bulb and lay it flat in the middle of the beets. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a fork slides easily into the beets.

3. Add the walnuts and kale and bake for an additional five minutes.

4. Remove the vegetables from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the skin and add to a bowl with the beets and kale.

5. Toss with oil, vinegar, and crumbled feta. Enjoy at room temperature or refridgerate and serve cold.

RECIPE: Roasted Lemon Balm Chicken

Handful of fresh lemon balm leaves, stems removed
1/4 cup or so of fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 large roasting chicken
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°. Trim herb leaves from stems; wash and pat dry. Set sprigs aside. Chop two-thirds of the leaves, and combine with the butter, salt, pepper, and garlic. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Loosen the skin in several places and insert the herb butter underneath. Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Insert the remaining herb sprigs into the cavity of the chicken. Place breast-side-down in a roasting pan. Bake 30 minutes, then turn chicken over. Bake about 20 minutes longer, or until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180 degrees F.

What is Komatsuna

Komatsuna, also called Japanese mustard spinach, is in the same family as the turnip. It can be eaten raw or cooked and has a flavor that is milder than collards or kale. Komatsuna is an excellent source of calcium.

Since komatsuna can be harvested at any stage, it is more tender when harvested in the earlier stages – think of replacing it for the spinach in your favorite recipes – and heartier when harvested later – in this case use it in the place of tougher greens like collards or cabbage.

Use the young leaves of this versatile green in salads and stir-fries, or pickle, boil or add it to soup in its later stages.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

FARM NEWS 7.3.11

Hi folks,
Hope you've been enjoying all the greens. All the rain sure makes for lots of greens. Hopefully we'll have a dry spell like we did last year at this time for the tomatoes' sake, so we can have lots of blight free maters!

This week on the farm, we'll be transplanting fall broccoli and fennel. Also seeding fall carrots and harvesting the garlic crop. The pace on the farm has shifted to harvesting 70% of the time and field working the rest of the time. Thanks again to our terrific crew, we seem to be keeping up with it all.

New this week in you share: Beets,fresh garlic, and kale. Don't forgo those beet greens, which are especially delicious cooked or topped with butter, which tends to neutralize the oxalic acid content and result in delicious eats. Kale, in an opposite way, has lots of calcium which is freed up with a bit of vinegar added to the cooking process.
Your approximate share this week:
Fresh Garlic
Salad Mix
Lemon Balm
Dan and Tracy