News from the Farm: Winter CSA harvest begins

Well, it is happening! We have begun harvesting for the winter. We talked a bit a couple weeks ago about the garlic harvest, the first of the winter storage crops to come in, but now we are looking down the pipe and the start of the big haul.

Last week we combined our Hard Red Wheat, the Red Fife. We planted this crop last fall, grew it over the winter, started to dry it out a month or so ago, and now it is at the grain cleaners. When they are finished with it, we will get it back and that will be the hard red wheat we mill until we need to grow hard red wheat again. These grains will be both the seeds for our next crop and the base of our bread loaves, muffins, gravies, cookies, and anything else that is baked or needs wheat flour. Red Fife has a distinctly nutty flavor that adds some great depth to anything you bake. We are excited to continue growing it.

We have also turned the water off of the potato crop. It takes a couple weeks for the tops to dry out and then we will begin harvesting those variety by variety. This year we have multiple different varieties of potatoes and, as the summer continues, you can look forward to trying each one as new, freshly harvested potatoes. Then they will go into the potato barn and begin curing for storage for the winter. Our potatoes are one of the foundations of the winter vegetables we offer and we are excited to have so many varieties to share with you this year.

The beets and onions are also looking exceptional and over the next couple weeks we will begin to harvest these and prepare them for storage. The carrots, daikon, and celeriac are still doing great and growing to size in the 25-acre. This year has been such a delightful growing year and things are coming to size and looking so fabulous earlier than usual. So, we are going to start harvesting now instead waiting. I mean, you run the risk of things going south if you wait too long. Why risk it!

photo credit: Alison Holland

Camilla has been busy! These baby Siberian Kale (10 flats!) are in the halfway house and will be planted around September 1. Today, she seeded another 10 flats or so that will be the succession after this!

But the major thing we have done in the last couple weeks is start our successions of Siberian Kale for the winter. Siberian Kale is the workhorse of our fresh winter vegetables. This sweet, tender, mild kale ensures that we have fresh leafy greens all winter long. We also tend to have Napa cabbage, cabbage, kohlrabi, and leeks stored either in the ground or in our fridges for the winter which we eat for as long as we can! But that Siberian Kale. There is nothing like it. (Ask farmer Nat what she thinks about Siberian Kale for a good representation!)

With these drizzly and cool past few days and while beginning to really feel like the winter harvests are coming to fruition, it is difficult to imagine that in a day or two or three we will be back to summer temps. Enjoy these false-fall days while they last.

photo credit: Camilla Becerra Riroroco, Amanda Mythen

We cleaned and fired up the root washer! Almost everything we put in storage for winter goes through the root washer before being bagged: carrots, beets, parsnips, celeriac, diakon. This is always an exciting moment and truly indicates a changing of the seasons ☙  We combined all the grain on Thursday! Ashanti drove the combine, Sarah drove the tractor as we filled the grain bags, and our neighbor, Russell Luloff swung by with his bailer so we could turn the wheat stalks into straw to use for our animal beds all winter long! Next we will no-tlll drill a winter hearty cover into the field which will nourish the soil. Full circle, nothing left behind.

Veggie ID: Eggplants

photo credit: Natalie Leder, Camilla Becerra Riroroco, Kristin Wills

Eggplant is a close relative of tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. All are members of the nightshade family. They are smooth-skinned, oval to elongated, and range in color from white, to black to purple to pink and are solid or speckled! We definitely recommend you try them all!

A versatile vegetable, eggplant can be:
baked, whole, 350F, 15-25 minutes
sautéed/stir-fried, peeled and cubed, 7-10 minutes in a well oiled pan
grilled/broiled, brush 1/2-inch to 1-inch slices of eggplant with olive oil or melted butter and broil or grill until brown
steamed, steam whole (15-20 minutes) or sliced/cubed (4 to 8 minutes) or until meltingly tender; add garlic, black tea, or other herbs and seasonings to water, the eggplant will absorb these flavors.
braised, heat to boiling in a highly flavored sauce, then cook on decreased heat for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender
stewed, either on their own with savory seasonings or in combination with other vegetables (medium-low heat, 30 minutes)
roasting, pierce several times with a fork and bake (350°F for 15-25 minutes). Test for done-ness by inserting a knife or fork, which should pass through easily.

This vegetable is a true goldilocks and should never be under or over cooked!

To store: Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not plastic) to absorb any moisture, and keep it in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator. Or store unrefrigerated at a cool room temperature. Use within a week and it should still be fresh and mild.

To prep: Eggplant is usually peeled. The flesh will brown when exposed to air. To prevent browning, coat in lemon juice or keep submerged  in water.

Serving Suggestions and Ideas from Mi Ae Lipe’s Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook

Complementary Herbs, Seasonings, and Foods
Aïoli, anchovies, bacon, balsamic vinegar, basil, béchamel sauce, bread- crumbs, capers, chard, cheese (feta, goat, Gruyère, Parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta), cream, cumin, garbanzos (chickpeas), garlic, ginger, ham, lamb, lemon, lentils, mint, miso, mushrooms, olive oil, olives, onions, oregano, parsley, peanut oil, peppers, pesto, pine nuts, potatoes, rice, rosemary, sesame, shallots, soy sauce, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar, walnut oil, wal- nuts, white beans, yogurt, zucchini.

Serving Suggestions

  • Here’s a salty, savory, simpledish: Heat a preferred oil in a sauce pan until hot (peanut or vegetable are good choices). Add eggplant that has been cut into 1-inch chunks, and brown them on each side. Then add garlic, shallots, and tamari or soy sauce. Top with chopped green onions and serve hot or cold.
  • Because of their substantial, rich texture, eggplants have been used as a meat substitute for centuries. Try using grilled, seasoned slices in sandwich- es, lasagna, and casseroles.
  • Grill or broil eggplant slices and use them in combination with mush- rooms in sandwiches or other dishes.
  • Top a pizza with strips of precooked eggplant, roasted sweet red peppers, and ripe tomatoes.
  • Eggplants stuffed with crustaceans (such as shrimp, crab, and lobster) and combined with a cream sauce make a delicious, filling meal, rounded out with a green or tomato salad and good crusty bread.
  • For a twist on a traditional dish, mash and whip eggplants the same way you’d prepare mashed potatoes.
  • Baba ghanoush, that traditional Middle Eastern preparation of puréed, roasted eggplant, makes a delicious dip or sandwich filling. Combine the eggplant with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt, and olive oil.
  • Add tender eggplant cubes to an Indian curry or Asian stir-fry.
  • Hollow out eggplant “shells,” stuff them with ground meat and spices, and
  • bake them in the oven.
  • Create a delicious, hearty, vegetarian spaghetti sauce by steaming eggplant slices until tender; sautéing garlic, onion, and Italian-style stewed tomatoes; combining the eggplant with the tomato mixture and adding chopped fresh basil; and simmering on low heat for 20 minutes.

Vegetable CSA Harvest List

Every week, we include this section which includes what we think will be coming out of our fields and hoop houses for Wednesday pick up. Keep in mind, that we send this email on Sunday and we harvest Monday & Tuesday for our Wednesday CSA. Sometimes we are spot on, but other times, we discover that we have more of something else and substitute that.

We will let you know on Wednesday how many other items you will get to select.

Other Vegetable Options will probably include:

Fresh onions
Green onions
Lettuce heads
Napa cabbage
Salad mix
Summer squash & zucchini
Yod Fah

Meat CSA: Chicken & Beef

This week everyone gets a chicken and some beef!

Large CSA (10lbs)

  • whole roasting bird
  • +/- 2 ground beef
  • 1 pack flanken ribs

Small CSA (5lbs)

whole roasting bird

+/- 1 ground beef

Recipe Corner

Every week I try to send along a few recipes that utilize the meats and vegetables in your CSA share. Check out the recipes below for some inspiration!

Baba Ghanoush (Eggplant Dip)
(from Mi Ae Lipe’s Bounty from the Box; don’t forget you can freeze this dip for a blast of deep summer in those cold months!)

2 large eggplants (about 11⁄4 pounds) 2 level tablespoons tahini
4 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
1⁄2 cup diced onion
1 cup chopped tomato
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Finely diced tomatoes, for garnish


  1. Pierce the eggplants in several places with a toothpick. If you are cooking indoors, wrap the whole eggplants in aluminum foil and place them over the open flame of a gas burner; or place them under your oven broiler to cook on all sides until they collapse and begin to release steam. If you are cooking outdoors over coals, grill the eggplants until blackened, collapsed, and cooked through.
  2. Remove the foil and place the cooked eggplants into a basin of cold water; peel them while they are still hot, and allow them to drain in a colander until they are cooled. Squeeze the pulp to remove any extra juices—they may be bitter. Then mash the eggplant to a chunky consistency.
  3. In a food processor, mix the tahini with the garlic, onion, tomato, and lemon juice until the mixture turns into a uniform puree. Thin with water. With the machine still running, add the eggplant, salt, pepper, and oil. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly in a shallow dish and garnish with more pepper, parsley, and tomatoes.
  5. OPTIONAL: freeze in 1/2 pint or pint amounts to use on sandwiches or as a dip later.
Eggplant and Bean Chili
(Adapted from Kay Chun’s New York Times Cooking Recipe)

¼ cup lard or oil of your choice
1 pound eggplant (1 medium), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (6 cups)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice (1 cup)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon pure chile powder (such as ancho, chipotle or a mix)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
2-3 cups cooked farm beans
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups water or broth
1 lb ground beef (optional)
Sour cream, grated Cheddar, sliced jalapeños and tortilla chips, for topping (optional)


  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the lard/oil over medium. Add eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden in spots, 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  2. If using ground beef, add a little more lard/oil, ground beef, season to taste, and cook through. Remove.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then add the onion and carrots to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato paste is lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Stir in chile powder, cumin and oregano until well blended.
  4. Add tomatoes, beans, the reserved eggplant, ground beef if using, and 2 cups of water or broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to release any browned bits from the bottom of pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, undisturbed, until eggplant is very tender and flavors have melded together, 30 minutes. Uncover and stir, mashing some of the eggplant to create some creamy texture.
  5. Stir in the scallions and lime juice; taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide chili among bowls and garnish with more scallions. Finish with any of the optional toppings and serve warm.
Grilled Flanken Ribs
(adapted from Life’s Ambrosia)

8 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 pack flanken ribs
2 green onions diced
sesame seeds


  1. Combine first six ingredients together in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Place ribs in a resealable plastic bag or a bowl. Pour marinade over the top. Toss the meat to coat completely. Seal and refrigerate for 6 – 8 hours.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to cook to allow the meat to come up to room temperature.
  4. Heat your grill over medium-high heat. Once hot, cook ribs 2 minutes per side. You can also cook these in the broiler by turning your broiler to high and cooking the ribs 2 – 3 minutes per side on the middle rack. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle diced green onions and sesame seeds over the top and serve.
Summer Squash Bread Pudding With Feta
(Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s New York Cooking recipe)

4 ounces whole-wheat bread or baguette, crusts removed (weigh after removing crusts)
2 garlic cloves
1½ cups milk
1½ pounds mixed green and yellow summer squash, grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small or ½ medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 eggs
2 ounces feta, crumbled (½ cup)
1 ounce Parmesan, grated (¼ cup)


  1. Slice the bread about ¾ inch thick. If the bread is not stale, toast it lightly. Cut 1 of the garlic cloves in half and rub each slice of bread with the cut side of the garlic. Then cut the bread into 1-inch dice, place in a bowl and toss with 1 cup of the milk. Refrigerate for 1 hour, tossing every once in a while. Mince the remaining garlic and set aside.
  2. While the bread is soaking, place the grated squash in a colander and salt generously. Toss and let sit in the colander in the sink for 15 minutes, then squeeze out water.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or a 10-inch ceramic tart pan. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt, the garlic and grated squash. Stir together until the garlic is fragrant and the squash limp, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped mint or dill and the parsley, and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove the bowl with the soaked bread from the refrigerator. Using your hands, a whisk or an immersion blender, mash or beat the soaked bread so that the mixture turns to mush. Add the squash mixture and the feta to the bowl and stir together. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. Top with the grated Parmesan.
  5. Break the eggs into the bowl and beat with the remaining milk, salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper. Pour over the bread mixture and place the dish in the oven. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until the mixture is puffed, golden brown on the top and set. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes or longer before serving
photo credit: Laura Chappell

We will see you Wednesday, August 9!

The Farm Crew