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Posted 6/27/2017 11:27am by Jennifer.

What a weekend at the farm!  In addition to attending the two farmers markets, we also pruned approximately 2100 tomato plants and laid out tomato stakes.  Pruning gets rid of unproductive stems, putting all of the plant's energy into making fruit, not leaves.  Pruning the bottom stems also increases airflow around the plant, reducing the risk of bacteria and fungus growth.

Since you might still have zucchini left from past weeks, and you'll be getting more this week, I thought I'd share some yummy zucchini recipes with you.  They're listed below.  Also, keep in mind that zucchini will store better on your counter than in your cold refrigerator.

 

Fried Zucchini Straws

Grilled Ratatouille Skewers

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Tags: Zucchini
Posted 6/27/2017 11:26am by Jennifer.

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Still have some radishes from last week or wondering what to do with the ones coming your way this week?  Sure they're great just popping in your mouth as a snack, but you might want to try them roasted or in new slaw recipe.

 

We eat roasted vegetables quite frequently at our house.  They're easy to prepare and require little clean up.  Just put your favorite root vegetables on a baking sheet, toss with oil and herbs of your choice, and pop them in the oven.  I sometimes place chicken thighs or drumsticks on the pan also for a one-pan meal.  Here's a great roasted radish recipe to try!

Roasted Radishes, Carrots, and Potatoes

 

With these hot summer days upon us, I sometimes just want a refreshing salad or slaw for dinner.  Here's a link to some ways to incorporate the zesty flavor of radishes into slaws.

5 Easy Radish Slaws

 

Happy First Day of Summer!

Tags: Radish
Posted 6/27/2017 11:25am by Jennifer.

Most of the items you will receive this week are pretty common, except you might be asking, "What is a garlic scape?"  Here they are pictured below.

 

 

Garlic scapes are the tender shoots from the garlic plant.  If these shoots are left on the plant, they will produce seeds and make for a smaller head of garlic, because the plant will put energy into making seeds and not a garlic head.  So, we pull scapes in June, so we can harvest bigger garlic in July.  The scapes have a mild garlic flavor.  Some people eat them raw, others roast them in the oven.  I like them tossed in olive oil with salt & pepper and grilled.  They can be chopped up and put in a stir fry to add a mild garlic flavor.  I've also chopped them up and placed them in a homemade vinaigrette for salads.  You can also use them in pesto.  The possibilities are endless!  Here's a link with a couple more ideas.

Garlic Scapes

 

The strawberries are tasty eating on their own, but my kids love them topped with some freshly made whipped cream for a healthy dessert.  I recently tried a spin on berries and whipped cream by using a recipe from a fantastic cookbook called "Cook It Together" by Annabel Karmel.  It's full of simple recipes that kids will enjoy making with you using fresh ingredients.  Here's a link to the Strawberry Layers recipe from the book.  It got 4 thumbs-up at my house!  

You could also pair the strawberries with the fresh spinach from your vegetable share for a delicious salad.  The following recipe is similar to how I prepare my spinach salad, except for the dressing I use whatever vinegar I have on hand (usually balsamic or red wine), and I use honey or stevia to sweeten.  

Strawberry Spinach Salad

 

I enjoy putting mint in a smoothie to make it seem more like a dessert and less like a health food.  This way my kids will enjoy it also.  Here are a couple that I like:

Thin Mint Smoothie

Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie

 

Hope these recipes help you make the most of your CSA share this week!

Posted 11/7/2016 6:27am by Jennifer.

Image result for image arugula

This week you will be getting arugula (also known as rocket).  Arugula is a green with a slight peppery flavor.  It's great added to sandwiches, soups, or to your favorite salad mix to add a little kick.

 

If you don't have a favorite arugula recipe yet, here are a couple recipe collections to help you out.

Crazy for Arugula

Healthy Arugula Recipes

 

I've had several people ask when the CSA season ends.  This is the next to the last week.  You will receive your last bag next week.  Hope you have enjoyed this season's bounty!

Tags: Arugula
Posted 11/1/2016 8:25am by Jennifer.

Image result for image butternut squash

This was a fantastic year for winter squash!  It thrives in hot,dry conditions, so we were able to produce some of the largest butternut squashes that we've ever grown!  Everyone will be receiving a jumbo size butternut squash.  These are perfect for feeding a crowd at Thanksgiving or Christmas!  If you cut these in half or quarters and roast them, the puree can be used to make several pumpkin pies.  Or, I peeled, cubed, and roasted one and used it in three meals throughout the week.  First, as a side on it's own.  Then, tossed with pasta.  Finally, with sliced potatoes and onions in a hash.  This could also be made into a big batch of soup.  Here are a couple soup recipes to warm you up on these cold days of fall:

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Apple Cinnamon Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

 

You'll also be receiving a half gallon of apple cider.  We just pressed the apple cider this weekend at Sally's Cider Press just north of Zelienople.  The apples were from McConnell's Farm.  We thoroughly washed the apples before they were pressed.  Sally's does not heat pasteurize the apple cider.  Instead bacteria is killed by passing the cider through a beam of UV light, so this would be a perfect opportunity to try making some hard cider or apple cider vinegar.  Since the cider was not pasteurized, please keep it in the fridge and enjoy it within a week.  Or, if you'd like to keep it to enjoy at the holidays, put it in the freezer.

Tags: Butternut
Posted 10/17/2016 8:46am by Jennifer.

Image result for image butterkin squash

This week everyone will receive butterkin squash.  The butterkin is a cross between a butternut squash and a pie pumpkin.  The result is a sweet, orange-fleshed squash with a relatively small seed cavity.  You can basically prepare it the same way you would a butternut or pie pumpkin:

  • Roast and puree for a pumpkin pie, cake, or muffins.  If you're not ready to bake right now, the puree can be placed in a freezer bag for later use.  Pumpkin Puree Recipe
  • Peel, cube, and roast with olive oil, salt & pepper, thyme, and garlic.  I sometimes eat this as is for a side dish, or I'll toss it with pasta, bacon, and nuts for a meal.  Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Cut top like a jack-o-lantern, remove seeds, stuff with your favorite filling, put lid back on and roast in the oven.  Quinoa Stuffed Butterkin Squash
  • Remember, just like any other winter squash, butterkins are for storing.  So, if you can't get to cooking it right away there are no worries.  Winter squash will store on your counter for months!

You'll also be receiving some more bell peppers this week.  We were able to save some of our pepper plants from the recent frost (our farm actually was very close to a hard freeze) by covering with floating row cover.  In case you still have some extra peppers on hand, here's a new coleslaw recipe to try:

Bell Pepper Slaw

 

Tags: Pepper, Squash
Posted 10/11/2016 3:18pm by Jennifer.

Image result for image peppers

It looks like our pepper season is going to be an abbreviated one this year.  The extreme heat that we had in July & August really slowed our plants down.  They would not produce any blooms in the heat, therefore setting of the fruit was delayed significantly.  Now they're producing quite well, but I'm not sure how long they will survive these frosty nights we've been having at the farm.  We covered them with a floating row cover on Sunday morning, but we get hard frosts/freezes at our farm, which is situated in a valley along a creek.  Enjoy the peppers while you can.  I plan on having fajitas for dinner one night this week!  This is how I make mine:

FAJITAS

1.  Saute a lot of onions and peppers in a skillet with a little bit of oil until they are soft.  

2.  Add some minced garlic and chopped leftover chicken or beef.  Heat it through.

3.  Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, and fresh lemon juice.  

4.  Serve with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar, sour cream, and tortillas.  

****If you're watching carbs omit the tortilla, and just eat it like a fajita salad, but I can tell you that kids love to make their own fajita, and who doesn't love a battle-free dinner! 

 

We just pressed the apple cider last Thursday morning at Sally's Cider Press just north of Zelienople.  The apples were from McConnell's Farm.  We thoroughly washed the apples before they were pressed.  Sally's does not heat pasteurize the apple cider.  Instead bacteria is killed by passing the cider through a beam of UV light, so this would be a perfect opportunity to try making some hard cider or apple cider vinegar.  Since the cider was not pasteurized, please keep it in the fridge and enjoy it within a week.  Or, if you'd like to keep it to enjoy at the holidays, put it in the freezer. 

Tags: Pepper
Posted 10/4/2016 8:36am by Jennifer.

Image result for image winter squash

With the damp, cloudy weather we had last week, it was the perfect opportunity to make some warm comfort food.  So I stuffed a couple butterkin & butternut squashes and the whole family loved them!  I used the following recipe as a guide.  I also added some cooked ground maple sausage to the stuffing mix.  If you don't have quinoa on hand, cooked rice would be good too, especially a wild rice.  This filling could be used for almost any winter squash:  acorn, butternut, butterkin, delicata, kabocha, etc.

Quinoa Cranberry Stuffed Squash

 

Looking for a sweeter way to enjoy a squash side dish?  Try stuffing it with another autumn favorite - apples.  

Apple Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

 

And for those of you that enjoy fermented foods, here's a link to a recipe for fermented squash.  Sounds cool!

Fermented Squash

Tags: Squash
Posted 9/27/2016 8:37am by Jennifer.

Image result for potatoes image red gold white

Throughout the summer, I set my potatoes aside to enjoy the fleeting summer vegetable season.  The potatoes gets trumped by tomatoes, corn, zucchini and cucumbers.  But now that fall is here, I'm ready to dig into the delicious potatoes that have been patiently waiting on my counter for months.  This week you'll be getting potatoes and some dill.  So here's a great way to use both.  It says to use red potatoes, but I use whatever type of potato I have on hand.

 

Buttered Potatoes with Dill and Garlic 

You'll also be getting some cabbage.  I'm sure you have a favorite way to make coleslaw, but I found this recipe last year, and my family loves it.  It calls for lime zest and juice, but if I don't have lime I use lemon instead.

 

Pear and Cabbage Slaw

Posted 9/22/2016 2:35pm by Jennifer.

You received a variety of winter squashes this week.  Here are some pictures to help you identify them:

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Image result for image butternut squash

ACORN SQUASH

Image result for image acorn squash

 

 

DELICATA SQUASH

Image result for image DELICATA squash

 

SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Image result for image SPAGHETTI squash

 

BUTTERKIN SQUASH

Image result for image BUTTERKIN squash