CSA Week 3
Baby Greens Mix
French Breakfast Radishes
Some Kind of Zucchini and/or Summer Squash
Notes from the Farm
There are a lot of reasons to love the CSA model... or hate it... depending.
We love the connection over time we make with the members, seeing people at the farm milling about making agriculture a physical element of their weekly routine, getting our food in the hands of our community, the super amazing financial commitment you all make that directly supports our ability to get going in the spring... so many things.
One of the often over looked parts of a CSA is that it is a way for members to get to know us as farmers. Farming, being a farmer, is not one thing... most things aren't one thing, but a farm is a direct reflection of the farmer... most of my friends are farmers, and none of us remotely farm the same way.
You all get to know us as through the action of farming, and the way our farm changes through the season... you get a super close up view of the rhythm of our farm.
It changes a little season to season, some of the varieties, some of the quantities, but ultimately, I farm the way I farm... invoking the Popeyeism of “I yam what I yam”... I don't grow shishitos, I am terrible at carrots, I believe everyone should eat radicchio and fennel at least once a year, I take growing corn seriously, I'm not worried about blemishes on my food...
“I yam what I yam”, and I'm 100% ok with it.
You can get nearly any vegetable you want, at anytime of the year, at nearly any grocery store... fundamentally, I don't have anything to offer that you can't find elsewhere.
What I do have to offer is myself, and the individual artistic impulse of a farm season.
The CSA membership is an introduction to us as a united entity of farm & farmers.
And that's what it is, an introduction... we have enough fennel to give every member 4 bulbs a week for 6 weeks... but we're not going to do that, we just introduce it, and if you like it, you can get more... same with most of the food we grow. We know that there is some stuff that is easy to use, easy to love, and we try and supply that more often, and on the other side, we'll only make you take one kohlrabi...
Ultimately, my goal would be to graduate everyone from the membership... for our members to get to know us well enough that they eventually would just start shopping at the farmstand weekly, knowing us well enough, to know what's coming when, what to expect, what to avoid...
I'd never want to get rid of the CSA, it's really the beating heart, the still point, of our farm... but I do dream of a time when I know all you all well enough, and you know us, that the structures can melt away, and connection to the words “local agriculture” are reset in the emotional lexicon of Casco.
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. sea salt
1 bunches of radishes
Seasoning seeds such as dill, mustard, caraway, etc.
Prepare the brine by completely dissolving salt in 2 cups of water.
Wash radishes well and remove tops and tails. Cut small radishes into quarters and larger ones into sixths.
Place spices or seasonings in the bottom of a quart jar. Pack radishes on top of seasonings and cover with brine, leaving about 1 inch of headspace.
If necessary, weigh radishes down under the brine to keep them submerged.
Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture are achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.
Once radishes are finsihed culturing, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage.
Spicy Quick Pickled Radishes1 bunch radishes
3/4 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this yields very spicy pickles, so use 1/2 teaspoon for medium spicy pickles or none at all)
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (optional)
Optional add-ins: garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds
To prepare the radishes: Slice off the tops and bottoms of the radishes, then use a sharp chef’s knife or mandoline to slice the radishes into very thin rounds. Pack the rounds into a pint-sized canning jar. Top the rounds with red pepper flakes and mustard seeds.
To prepare the brine: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey or maple syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then pour the mixture over the radishes.
Let the mixture cool to room temperature. You can serve the pickles immediately or cover and refrigerate for later consumption. The pickles will keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks, although they are in their most fresh and crisp state for about 5 days after pickling.
1 head green cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds), outer leaves removed, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse salt
In a medium saucepan, combine cabbage, vinegar, salt, and 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, and cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, 30 to 35 minutes (if bottom of pan starts to brown, add 1/4 cup more water). To store, refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 3 limes)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional — leave out for a vegetarian or vegan dish)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 head green cabbage
Grapeseed or canola oil
Lime wedges, for serving
Heat a gas or charcoal grill to direct, high heat. Meawhile, whiz the limes, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne, and sugar in a small chopper or blender until the sauce is pale orange and the garlic is pulverized; set aside.
Remove the loosest, toughest outer leaves from the cabbage, and cut into 8 evenly sized wedges. Do not remove the stalk or inner core. Lightly brush the wedges with grapeseed or canola oil.
Place the wedges on the grill. Cover and grill until the edges of each layer are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften, 5 to 7 minutes per side. The cabbage is ready when it is beginning to wilt, but is still firm in the middle. (This will also be somewhat a matter of taste; I like it fairly crispy still, but you may prefer it more well-done.) If necessary, turn the heat down or move the wedges to a cooler part of the grill so they don't burn. But don't be afraid of those blackened edges; you want a lot of grill and char marks on the cabbage to give it smoky flavor.
Transfer the cabbage wedges to a serving platter. Pour the dressing over the wedges and serve immediately, with wedges of lime to garnish.
Beet Carpaccio with Goat Cheese and Mint Vinaigrette5 2-inch beets, trimmed
1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 5 ounces)
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup walnut oil or olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place beets on sheet (if using both light- and dark-colored beets, place them on separate sheets to prevent discoloration). Sprinkle beets lightly with water. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 40 minutes. Cool on sheet. Peel beets. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Place in resealable plastic bag; chill.)
Using cheese slicer or knife, slice beets very thinly. Slightly overlap slices on 6 plates, dividing equally. Sprinkle with cheese, then shallot, salt, and pepper. Whisk vinegar, mint, oil, and sugar in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over beets. Sprinkle with chives.
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