Author: julie

Thai Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds cucumbers – halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, coriander, red pepper flakes, and salt in a salad bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and chopped mint, and toss to coat with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to blend the flavors.
  2. Before serving, toss again with chopped peanuts, and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 169 | Total Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 0mg

*from Allrecipes.com

Caramelized Turnip

 Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced peeled turnips
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Directions

Place the turnips into a skillet with the water and chicken bouillon cube over medium heat, and simmer until the water has evaporated and the turnips are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the butter, let melt, and sprinkle on the sugar. Gently cook and stir the turnips until the butter and sugar cook into a brown, sticky coating on the turnips, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

CSA week 3

Finally some rain this week! I am glad for the more thorough watering of the plants and for the improvement in the dusty work conditions. I have continued to work hard to transplant seedlings, seed new successions of greens and weed the already planted crops. Spring is an exciting and exhausting time in the field. I hope you are enjoying the fresh greens each week. The root vegetables are coming along with the warmer weather, so look for more in the coming weeks.

Spring CSA kickoff

It may have felt like a long winter, but now spring is solidly here and it is exciting to enjoy the new life springing up in our yards and gardens.  I was a bit hesitant about starting the CSA this week, but I am glad I did.  The lettuce is fresh and sweet and the bok choy is at a great stage–tasty either raw or cooked.  Everything in the box this week is from my high tunnel, an unheated, greenhouse structure located at the field.  The main field is quite bare, with just onions, potatoes, and a few greens poking up, but the high tunnel is full of greens, tiny root vegetables and (maybe for next week?!) broccoli.

Late October in the field

Today's box of vegetables

I have to admit I have enjoyed the “time off” from harvesting for CSA shares three times each week.  Instead, I have been pulling up old plants, tackling some extremely weedy areas and planting cover crop seed in preparation for the winter months.  One of my main tasks has been to rake up the fallen ground cherry fruits that remain in the field.  These sweet treats are proving to be a BIG weed problem.  They seed themselves by the thousands.  I plan to keep them tucked away in a corner in future years due to the effort it has been to week and clean up these productive plants.  The field is looking much tidier than it has since August.  The process of putting things “to bed” for the winter is not complete, but a lot of progress has been made in the past two weeks.

Crops are continuing to grow in the high tunnel.  I am excited for this week’s harvest.  The complex taste of greens mix with thinly sliced radish and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds makes a great salad.  I have enjoyed the arugula that has just started to be harvested and I am looking forward to experimenting with more recipes that use this peppery tasting green.  Who knows if the beets and new carrots will come into maturity before December?  The “tops” have gotten off to a good start.  This week’s carrots are the last from the field.  They have been a tasty treat on our table.

Kale

kale
Kale growing under a "low tunnel"

Kale is a hearty and nutritious vegetable that I have grown fond of the past few years. According to Wikipedia, it is “the most nutritious vegetable in the universe”. (Hmm…are they making assumptions about life outside of our solar system?) Kale is very high in various vitamins (especially Vitamin K) and is know for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Many people cook kale in soups and stews. I love it mixed with root vegetables in stir-fried or steamed dishes. I was first introduced to this type of dish at Life Alive in Lowell. Fabulous food for veggie lovers! Check it out sometime!

Kale Chips

This is a fun way to eat kale! The secret is to cook them long enough to get crisp, but not have a burned flavor.

  1. Tear kale into bite sized pieces, discarding thick stems.
  2. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite seasoned salt.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees until crisp (about 15-20 minutes).

Kale with Bacon and Onion

I have had conversations with several of you about the best way to prepare kale. If your family enjoys bacon, try this simple recipe! If you prefer not to use bacon, simply start with some oil and the onion and perhaps add some sesame oil to flavor it further. I prepared this as a simple dinner the other night, serving it in a pita pocket with Swiss cheese (or pepper jack for some of us!).

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 slices of bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, ribs removed, chopped

Cook bacon over medium heat until some of the fat comes out. Add onion and cook until bacon is nearly done and onion is soft. Remove some of the bacon fat at this point. Add kale and continue to cook over medium heat about 15 minutes or so until the kale is tender.

Walter Woodward

Walter WoodwardIntroducing Walter Woodward, who is working with me this year, is long overdue.  His assistance in preparing the field, planting, cultivating and now harvesting is so appreciated!  Walter lives in Carlisle, MA and is studying Sustainable Food and Farming at UMass Amherst.  While I am teaching him many things about farming he has been very patient with me while I learn to provide clear instruction and labeling. He is looking forward to applying what he is learning at Full Basket Farm and UMass to develop his own farm business in the coming years.

Green Chile Enchiladas

Here’s a fun swiss chard recipe for you!  (Thank you, Deb, for this great suggestion.)  The recipe does not mention using the stems of the swiss chard, as I usually do, so I assumed that the stems are removed before cutting.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups packed fresh Swiss Chard, rinsed and cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (jalapeno soy suggested)
  • pinch cumin/pinch salt
  • 4 corn tortillas (I used my whole can of beans and 7-8, 6 inch tortillas)
  • 2/3 cup salsa verde

Directions

Wilt chard in hot skillet. Remove. Spray skillet with Pam (or use a little olive oil). Cook onion and garlic just to soften. Remove from heat. Stir in beans, half the cheese, the cumin and salt.  Top each tortilla with 1/4 of the chard and 1/4 of the bean mixture – roll up tortillas.  Bring salsa to a simmer in a skillet over med/high heat.  Add enchiladas and spoon salsa over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Simmer, covered, until filling is hot and cheese melts.  Let stand 5 min. before serving.

Happy Spring!

Seedlings under lights
Spring has finally arrived. I celebrated by spending the afternoon cleaning out the shed. It was great to be outside and to more fully realize the arrival of another growing season. The busyness has begun. Onion, leek and asparagus seedlings are coming along under lights, soon to be moved to the greenhouse. I planted several more trays this morning, peppers, tomatoes, kale and some zinnias. My husband, Aaron, and I started framing in a space for the Coolbot that will keep the vegetables cool and fresh this summer. This is a great way to create a walk-in cooler using an air conditioner.
Framing in the Coolbot