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SRJC Shone Farm CSA Newsletter             

                                                       July 16, 2014

cabbage - Chinese
Chinese Cabbage
Bush Beans
(Multi-colored) Beans

apples
William's Pride Apples!

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:
 
Lettuce
Chinese Cabbage
Carrots
Green Beans
Basil
Strawberries
Raspberries or Blackberries
William's Pride Apples
  
 NEWS AND VIEWS 
   

Students hard at work!

 

This week's box contains more firsts of the season with green beans and apples!  As you may know, consistent picking of certain crops helps generate more growth.  Green beans, summer squash, tomatoes, and berries all fall under that category, which keeps our staff quite busy, along with weeding, irrigation, and planting.

 

Last week, the organic fruit tree and berry class was out re-trellising, picking, and thinning raspberries and blackberries, which were thick with thorns and buzzing with bees.

 

Also, student employee, Adam Cook, mentioned that weeding is probably the biggest time consumer at the farm.  Following time spent weeding is time spent watering.  This year's drought has us paying a lot more attention to water timing and scheduling due to water constraints.  We pay close attention and regulate what gets watered when, and for how long.

 

The drought is affecting certain areas of the farm, including our greens like kale.  Normally we use overhead spray to water the greens, but that uses more water, so aren't doing it this year.  Overhead watering helps create a cooler climate that greens thrive in.  It also prevents some insect problems that we are seeing this year.  Pests like flea beetles don't like getting sprayed with water, but without the overhead

spray, they aren't as easily organically scared away from munching on the greens.  That's why some of our produce may look a little more bitten up this year than in the past.

  

In this picture, student employees are fixing a leak in the irrigation lines to help save water. 

TIPS & TIDBITS... 

 

Chinese Cabbage

 

Chinese or Napa cabbage is closely related to bok choi.  It looks like bok choi on the bottom, with a white stalk, but then it flows into a crinkly savoy cabbage looking top.  Napa cabbage is widely used in China, Japan, and Korea.  It's often is used as a sign of prosperity

 

To eat Chinese cabbage, simply slice off and discard the very bottom of the stem.  Then slice it into any size you'd like.  You can eat both the bottom white and top crinkly green part of it. It's delicious in stir fries, and blends nicely with other Asian ingredients like garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  It's also the main ingredient in traditional kimchi.  Chinese cabbage will store nicely in a plastic bag in the fridge for 1 - 2 weeks.

 

"Green" (or Purple) Beans

 

"Green" beans aren't always green; there are over 130 varieties of green beans. They can be green, golden, purple, red, or streaked. Shapes range from thin "fillet" types to wide "romano" types and more common types in between. Green bean varieties have been bred especially for the fleshiness, flavor, or sweetness of their pods.

 

Green beans are also called string beans. "Haricots verts" is French for "green beans", although it may refer to a longer, thinner type of green bean than the typical American green bean.

 

You'll be getting either green or purple beans in the box this week.  Try fresh beans raw in a salad, slightly blanch them in boiling water so they are tender-crisp, stir fry them, or bake them in a trusty green bean casserole. 

 

THE RECIPE CORNER

 

Asian Summer Salad

  

Ingredients:

2 lemon or 1 long cucumber, sliced thin

2 carrots, julienned

lb green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon grape seed oil (or other clean tasting oil)

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

2 teaspoons sugar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

 

Directions:

Blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 2 minutes.  Then plunge into an ice bath.  Drain.  Combine the cucumbers, carrots, and green beans in a bowl. Set aside.

 

In another bowl, whisk together the grape seed oil, rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, sugar, garlic, and soy sauce.  Taste for seasoning and adjust to individual preference.

 

Toss the veggies with the dressing. Fold in the sesame seeds. Chill for 20 minutes or overnight and then serve.


Quick Pickled Produce

Many of the items in this week's box can be pickled, so check out this quick pickling recipe!  Pickled veggies are the perfect appetizer to set out on a hot summer night.

 

Ingredients:

Green beans, trimmed

Carrots, cut into sticks, or sliced

Chinese Cabbage, thinly sliced

Cucumbers, sliced (optional)

Radishes, sliced (optional)

2 1/2 cups water
2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons salt, kosher is good
2 tablespoons dill or coriander seeds
a generous pinch of red pepper flakes

2 large garlic cloves, cut into quarters

 

Directions:

This should be enough brine to pickle all of this week's green beans, carrots, and some of the Chinese cabbage, or a combination of other veggies as well.  Reduce or increase the recipe as needed.   

 

Place the veggies in a large glass jar.  In a large saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, water, salt, seeds, pepper, and garlic. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring constantly, just until sugar dissolves.

 

Remove from heat; pour mixture over vegetables, and let cool completely. Cover tightly, and refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving.

 

Pickled vegetables can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 week.

 

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

A delicious side dish by itself, or combine with the green bean and carrot salad, recipe below.

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbs butter

1 head cabbage (Chinese or regular), shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 apple, chopped
cup vinegar
cup water
3 Tbs sugar

salt & pepper

 

Directions:

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and sautee for a few minutes.  Then add the rest of the ingredients, except the apple, cover, and simmer about 15 - 20 minutes, or until cabbage is nice and tender.  Uncover, add the apple and cook just a few more minutes.

 

Green Bean & Carrot Salad

 

Ingredients:

lb green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces

2 - 3 carrots, thinly sliced

2 Tbs Dijon or German mustard

1 Tbs ground caraway seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp salt

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

cup extra virgin olive oil

 cup sweet and sour cabbage

c walnuts

 

Directions:

Add the carrots to boiling water for about 2 minutes.  Then add the green beans for about 2 minutes more, until all the veggies are tender-crisp.  When cooked, plunge them into an ice bath and drain. 

 

Make the vinaigrette by whisking the mustard, caraway, coriander, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the vinegar. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly to emulsify.

 

Add the green beans, carrots, cabbage, and walnuts to the dressing. Toss to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately.

 

Eat Good. Do Good.