Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Monday, June 14, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 8

Roots Farm CSA
Week 8: June 15 & 18

This Week:
-Pontiac Red Potatoes
-Famosa Savoy Cabbage
-Carrots: Napoli, & Bolero
-Beets: Detroit Dark Red
-Astro Arugula
-Blue Coco Pole Beans
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Magda, Flying Saucer, Jackpot Zucchini, Cocozelle Zucchini, Soleil Zucchini, Trombicino
-Cucumbers: Suhyo Long, Mid-East Prolific, & Lemon
-Herbs: Basil (Sweet, Lemon, Thai, Purple) or Parsley
-Blackberries & Blueberries!

In the Field . . .
We planted our sweet potatoes last week in record time--almost 400 feet in under 4 hours! That's thanks to the workforce of 7 we had applied to the job, which was absolutely amazing. It's taken 2 of us like, 3 days to accomplish that before. Those sweet beauties will be coming in sometime in late September, so they won't appear in the Summer CSA. What will be coming your way? Well, let's see, the first succession of corn will be coming your way pretty soon, as well as the first tomatoes. Melons are sizing up nicely on the vines and there are tiny eggplant and green peppers coming on. What's coming up is exciting, but what's in the basket this week is exciting as well. Welcome blackberries & blueberries! Nice to have the berries back after a month long dry spell in berry land. Plus, we've got pole beans coming your way. The Blue Coco are some of my very favorite. Sweet and tender, they perform a neat color-change in the cooking process. They go from purple to green, kinda like an indicator of when they're done. Sell it to your kids (or yourself) as magic and watch the wonder at work. Pole beans and potatoes are a summery treat where I come from, and I highly recommend the combo. Yum!

Also in the Field . . .
The deer saga continues. This week, we attached 12-foot bamboo poles to our 8-foot t-posts and ran a rope at a 10-foot height. We attached ribbons to the rope to blow in the breeze and are hoping the new obstacle with confound our deer pests. We also planted about 50 lbs of cowpeas as a cover crop / trap crop in our upper field to distract their appetites (and feed the soil with their nitrogen-fixing abilities). The peas have germinated; the rope is up; now, we're going to leave some particularly tasty treats uncovered at night and see if our diversion tactics have worked . . .

Awesome Workday!

Thanks to the 10 wonderful workers who came out Saturday and tended the fields with us. We weeded, spread compost, harvested and processed carrots, weeded, planted arugula and sunflowers and buckwheat, and did I mention we weeded? It was powerful good work. Thanks so much, folks! And to those of you who missed this opportunity, never fear, we've got another one for you. So mark your calendars now, our next weekend workday is July 10th, most likely from 8am-noon again, though I'll keep you posted on those details as the day approaches.

Beaverdam SlowDown -- THIS WEEKEND

And speaking of the day approaching, we still have a few seats left for our Saturday dinner experience--this weekend! Don't miss out on the unique opportunity to treat yourself or a friend to a decadently delicious night on the farm . . . Think candlelight, flowers, white tablecloths, gourmet dishes, fine conversations, and more!

See Ya Later, Spring!

We're rolling out some of the last of the Spring veggies this week. Beets are finishing up, cabbage is coming out, and radishes and turnips may appear if we find any good ones that haven't begun to bolt. Yep, it's getting HOT out there, so the leafy, springy things are on their way out. We're planning on planting more successions of arugula, though, so hopefully that will continue to hold down the tender green front. And just in case you were worried, the kale still looks amazing, as well as the chard, and will be appearing again in your baskets in the weeks to come.


It's finally here! I'm pretty proud of these heads. Nice, savoy (frilly) cabbages coming your way. Cabbage is quite versatile. It's good braised, fried, steamed, sauteed, stir-fried, boiled, stuffed, raw, in salads, and fermented into sauerkraut! Cabbage is perhaps the most globally cultivated of all the plants in the brassica family. It's eaten in almost every country around the world, 4 or 5 of which are represented in the recipes below. Though composed of 90% water, cabbage still holds a significant quantity of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A and C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Storage: properly stored, cabbage can last 3 weeks to 2 months in the refrigerator and much longer in optimum root cellar conditions. Keep it in the fridge in the hydrator drawer. A plastic bag will help, but isn't necessary. If outer leaves get wilty or undesirable, they can be discarded before using the rest of the head. Happy cabbage cookery!


Easy Coleslaw

5 cups shredded green or red cabbage (~2 medium heads)
2 large carrots, grated
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp caraway seeds
3/4 tsp salt or more to taste

Toss the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, and caraway seeds in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots; toss to combine. Stir in salt to taste. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 4-6 servings. Note: caraway seeds help in the digestion of raw cabbage. Yay. From Farmer John's Cookbook.

Asian Cabbage Slaw

2 cups shredded cabbage (~1/2 small head)
1/3 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh mint
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp rice wine (such as mirin or sake)
2 tsp honey
1 tsp toasted sesame oil, plus more to taste
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Combine the cabbage, carrot, onion, mint, and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss well. Mix the vinegar, peanut oil, rice wine, honey, and sesame oil in a small bowl until well combined. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture; toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Makes 2-4 servings. From Farmer John's Cookbook, which also says that this recipe works well with additional vegetables--julienned cucumber is nice--and makes a wonderful bed for grilled food. Enjoy!

Colcannon (Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage & Scallions)

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 bunches scallions, white part only, sliced
1 small green cabbage (~1lb) cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half, warmed
1/4-1/2 cup butter (1/2-1 stick), softened
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan or dutch oven and add cold water to cover. Pile the scallions and cabbage on top of the potatoes and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes, cabbage, and scallions to the pot. Mash the mixture over low heat, adding milk, butter, salt, and pepper. When the mixture is coarsely mashed, taste and adjust the seasonings. Makes 6-8 servings. From The Joy of Cooking, which also says, "This is an Irish favorite. The British often fry it and call it "bubble and squeak," after the look of it and the noise it makes when cooking." Enjoy!

Cabbage with Indian Spices

3 Tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
2 cups minced onion (~4 medium onions)
1 1/2 tsp minced ginger1 green hot chile pepper, cut in half lengthwise
1 lb cabbage (~1 small head), shredded
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of turmeric
3 Tbsp water
1 large fresh tomato, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp salt

Heat the oil or ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ginger, and chile pepper; saute, stirring often, until the onion is browned, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the cabbage. Add the coriander, cayenne, and turmeric and mix well. Add the water, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomato and salt; stir to combine. Cover and cook until tender, 5-10 minutes. Remove the hot chile pepper before serving. Goes well with any Indian curry dish or with basmati rice. Makes 4 servings. From Farmer John's Cookbook.

If you'd like to explore more cabbage recipes, click here. Spicy, creamy, cooked, or raw, it's delicious.

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