Every other week or so the farmers will write the Sunday CSA letter. This will bring a different tone and story to your inbox and come even closer to telling the full story of the diversity that is Rainshadow Organics.
This week, our newsletter is written by Noah
our Livestock Manager and Lead Miller
photo credit: Natalie Leder
Where are you from?
I am from Coos Bay, OR
Why Rainshadow? Rainshadow provides endless opportunities to expand my skillsets and passions.
What do you hope to learn at the farm this season?
I am really trying to learn how to use systems (even create them) to avoid repetitive work and use that energy to focus on important projects.
Where do you find your inspiration? I am often faced with challenges that I have never dealt with before, and I use these moments to look within myself and find solutions that I can utilize again when they reappear.
News from the Farm: Preserve the abundance
As stewards of the land and mere grains of sand blowing in the wind of nature’s raw beautiful power, we lay witness daily to the beauty and destruction it can create. Discovering our role in all this is part of the farmer’s journey.
Advancements in technology in this modern era have given us numerous ways to look ahead into the coming days and get somewhat accurate predictions of weather, air quality readings, tide charts and anything else you could possibly want to track. Granted, this is considerably more scientific than the old man who thinks his arthritis is acting up because a storms a comin’ on the horizon; but are there times we try to know too much?
Before all this information and weather forecasters people woke up, looked out at the world and took whatever was given to them. Obviously having access to tech can be vital and even save lives, but there is something to be said about the freedom from stressing about the future that may only be 73% correct. It’s something that keeps you in the moment, worrying only about what is happening now.
As I care for our animals on especially hot or smokey days I see in them the ability to push through any circumstance without any forewarning. They continue about their days, eating, drinking, finding shade and even birthing babies. Life goes on. It may be smokey the next day and the next…. Or maybe a lucky south to north wind blows it out of our little valley.
It is my work for the farm and my life’s work to do due diligence in preparation for what may come. Whatever that may be is beautiful because it’s what was dealt. Take this tip from the pigs, if it’s all too much just keep digging until you get to that cool soil that’s good for napping in, then wait out the heat.
photo credit: Jim Stinger, Natalie Leder, Amanda Mythen
Miss Marlow gave us twins last week and they all seem to be doing great! Twins are pretty unusual for Jersey cows, but mom and babies are figuring it out and starting to make quite the team. ☙ We had a mysterious visitor a few days ago in the chicken coup. We still have no idea how this great horned owl made it in, but it only got one chicken before we were able to remove it and release it outside again. ☙ The winter storage harvest continues. We are harvesting beets, potatoes, and onions and processing garlic these days whenever we can!. ☙ The smoke rolls in and out and we keep farming. Huge high-5s to the farmer crew for keeping their spirits up and their smiles big even if you can’t see it under their masks!
Veggie ID: Italian Basil
Basil is one of the stars of the summer growing season. And not just because it pairs so well with so many of the other things that are ripe at the same time: summer squash, tomatoes, etc. Basil is related to mint and retains a bit of the mint/anise flavor profile while being sweet, mild, and classically “basil-esque”.
Basil originated in India about 4000 years ago and then wound its way to the Mediterranean through the Oriental Trade Routes where it found its footing in ancient Greek and Roman cuisines. It found its way to England in the 16th century (although it then fell out of favor culinarily), and remains a star of Mediterranean cooking.
Basil is best kept: dry and in plastic bags in the veg crisper. You want to use it fresh within a week.
If you aren’t going to use your basil within the week, then ideally you would store it frozen. Basil looses a lot of its flavor when it is dried. To save for later you want to chop it up and mix it with water or oil and freeze in ice cube trays. Then, to use it later, toss the frozen cube of basil into what ever you are cooking.
Basil serving suggestions from Mi Ae Lipe’s Bounty from the Box
Substitute basil for parsley in meat loaf; it adds a marvelously savory, per- fumed flavor.
If you are a huge basil fan, tear off the leaves from the stems and add liberal quantities to tossed salads, just like a salad green. Leaves of fresh mint and a few thin shreds of raw ginger along with the basil make a powerful flavor combination in a salad.
The uses of basil pesto are numerous: for spreading on ham sandwiches, mixing into mashed potatoes, stirring into tomato or bean soup, dabbing on salmon, marinating meat kebabs, saucing pizza, adding to stuffed eggs, mixing with salad oil and using as a dressing…
Another great way to preserve basil is to make it into pesto and then freeze the pesto. I prefer freezing in muffin tins. Once the pesto is frozen, you can remove the pesto from the tin and keep frozen in a resealable bag. One muffin tin of pesto is about a 1/2 box of pasta. Or you can toss the pesto over potatoes, spread on cream cheese in your morning bagel, toss with sautéed veggies, or whatever else your heart desires.
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. Also, because we have a market style CSA, this isn’t a guarantee of 1 of all these things for everyone. Instead, this will be the variety of what will hopefully (fingers crossed) have for you to choose from this week.)
Our foundation vegetables this week will include: we have decided that choosing foundations by Sunday usually leaves us all disappointed. It is really hard to know until we harvest what we actually have in the fields. Instead, we are pivoting to just making sure that the list is adequate. But, here is a hint, the recipes will usually reflect what we *think* we might have quite a bit of
Harvest List will probably include:
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! These are some of Cami’s favorite recipes for this time of year.
Believe it or not, it is possible to miss zucchinis when they’re gone. One of the greatest treats in my winter was fresh zucchini bread. Now is the time to set aside some frozen shredded zucchini so that you, too, can enjoy a warm zucchini delight this winter.
(adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
Alison’s mom has made this recipe for as long as she can remember. While the Joy of Cooking recommends toasted pine nuts, we have always either used walnuts of pecans instead. Pine nuts are the classic, but pecans and walnuts are a bit more affordable 🙂
2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/3 cup nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
Toast pine nuts in a skillet.
Combine in a food processor and process to a rough paste basil leaves, grated Parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic.
With the machine running, slowly add olive oil, or as needed.
If the pesto seems try (it should be a thick paste), add a little more olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Use immediately, or pour a very thin film of olive oil over the top, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Melt butter in stockpot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Add leeks and cook until slightly tender: approximately 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute; stirring constantly. Stir in cayenne pepper, onion powder and dried parsley. Add the chicken stock, potatoes, broccoli and cream. Turn heat to simmer and cook until potatoes and broccoli are tender; about 10-15 minutes. Salt and pepper the soup to taste.
Crush the croutons in a food processor or in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin, stir in the melted butter and crispy bacon.
Spoon the soup into bowls and top with a couple tablespoons of the bacon crumble.
1 pound zucchini, about 3 medium
2 large eggs
1½ cups chopped scallions, about 1 bunch
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon sea salt
2¼ cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Avocado oil, for the pan
Freshly ground black pepper Tartar Sauce or Creamy Dill Sauce, for serving
Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. Place on a kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the grated zucchini, scallions, garlic, dill, lemon zest, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Add 1½ cups of the panko, sprinkle in the flour, and fold to combine. Place the remaining ¾ cup panko in a shallow dish and set aside.
Preheat a cast-iron skillet to medium heat. Use a ¼-cup measuring cup to form the zucchini mixture into 14 to 16 thin patties. Place each into the reserved panko and coat well. The mixture might seem loose at this point, but the patties will firm up as they cook. Coat the skillet generously with oil. Cook the patties for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, flip, and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until well browned, working in batches as necessary. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet to drain. Season to taste and serve with the sauce.
2 lb carrots, peeled or not
1 tsp to 1/4 cup brown sugar/honey/maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp butter, melted (or lard)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Parsley, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Cut carrot on the diagonal into 4cm / 1.75” lengths. Halve thicker end so they are all roughly the same width.
Toss in a bowl with sugar, butter, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Pour onto tray, spread out.
Roast 15 minutes. Toss, then roast a further 10 minutes until soft and caramelised on the edges with plenty of glaze left on the tray.
Toss carrots in the glaze, sprinkle with parsley if using. Serve warm.
photo credit: Jim Stinger
The rainbow of the flower garden continues, smoke and heat be darned!
See you on Wednesday or later in the week at the Farm Store.