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Week 7 Newsletter (August 3, 2017)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. – John Muir

Week 7 Boxes!

Week 7 Crop List

  • Cucumbers – all
  • Green beans – all

    Tom, Jillian, and Emily packing the boxes.

  • Marjoram – all
  • Cabbage – all
  • Summer squash/zucchini – all
  • Romaine – all
  • Eggplant – single/half
  • Turnip/cauliflower – full
  • Kale – full/single
  • Swiss chard – full/single
  • Napa/collards – full
  • Kohlrabi – full

Farmer notes:

  • Most of the Cole crops are finished for now and will most likely reappear in early October: kohlrabi, broccoli, collards, cauliflower, cabbage, napa etc.
  • Friday, August 18, is our 2nd member field day here at the farm – come anytime to help out, meet the crew, and share some lunch. We would all love to meet you!
  • Green beans, cucumbers, eggplant, and summer squashes are having a ‘hayday’ right now
  • We are slated to receive some much-needed rain today
  • Everyone is trying to make sauerkraut here on the farm. You should give it a whirl since it is not terribly difficult (see recipes)
  • Yesterday we were able to field seed chard, dill and collards for late fall
  • Boxes are getting weighty – when carrying them, place a hand beneath
  • Please return all our ice packs, waxed boxes, and egg cartons
  • Enjoy the summer bounty and wash everything before you eat it

Perennial herb garden

Herb Garden at the end of May

Herb Garden from the beginning of August

Growing up on a small family farm in west central Iowa, having a large orchard and vegetable garden was a given.   Living amidst the chickens, milk cows and pigs was our backdrop and the work involved with these things was the fabric of our daily lives.  In the present, trying to make sauerkraut, bringing in produce (and most always going back out to grab something forgotten) for the evening meal, planning meals around what is in season, and relaxing on the stoop after a hot summer day all settle in to a place deep within.

I hear stories from siblings about the dill we grew, but I have no recollection of any other herbs that existed to spice up our meals while growing up.  We were a meat ‘n potato family for sure, but we also ate lots of vegetables, often canned or frozen.  Salt and pepper were our spice rack with plenty of butter of course.  Here at Earth Dance Farm, have always given herbs, both annual and perennial, in our CSA boxes.  This year we established a perennial herb garden into plastic mulch that can be used for many years to come.  So far it is home to chives, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, sage, thyme, mint, lovage, rosemary and savory.

We try to partner the herb of the week with other vegetables that are in the box.  Last week was oregano and this week marjoram to go with the summer squashes – I used oregano in coleslaw last evening.  The next 2 weeks will bring thyme and rosemary to go with the new potatoes.  The last 2 basil plantings will come with the tomatoes, peppers, etc.  I hope that you enjoy the herbs and learn how to use them in different dishes.  It has taken me some years to adjust my palate to the variety of herbs that I now use, and the possibilities for creativity are endless … so fun!!!

Share your favorite recipes using herbs with us on Facebook!

Recipes of the Week

This week we have a variety of recipes featuring a handful of items from your boxes including cabbage, squash, marjoram, and green beans. Enjoy!

Brine-Fermented Sauerkraut

Ingredients

  • Cabbage
  • 3 tbsp of canning, pickling, kosher, or sea salt

What to Do

  1. Remove the outer leaves and core of cabbage
  2. Thinly slice or grate cabbage and place in a large bowl
  3. Add salt and massage cabbage with clean hands. The cabbage will begin to release water and wilt.
  4. Pack the cabbage into a small stone crock or Mason Jar and press down firmly to submerge it beneath the water.
  5. The cabbage must remain submerged. To do this, place a Ziploc bag of water on top of the cabbage. It will conform to the shape of the container.
  6. Cover kraut with a cloth so that it can breathe, but nothing will get in.
  7. Check once or twice a week. Within a few days it should start to bubble, indicating the fermentation has started.
  8. Stir occasionally to prevent scum from forming. If scum does form, simply scrape it off and then stir.
  9. The longer it ferments, the more sour it will be. So taste to your liking.
  10. When it reaches the point that you like the taste, refrigerate it. Refrigeration will not stop the fermentation process, but it will slow it down significantly. Kraut keeps indefinitely.

Sautéed Squash with Lemon and Marjoram

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced.
  • 2 pounds squash, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram, or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram.
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice.

What to Do

  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add garlic.
  2. Slice up squash and add to pan.
  3. Sprinkle sugar, salt, pepper, marjoram, and lemon juice over squash
  4. Sauté until lightly browned.

Roasted Green Beans

Ingredients

  • Green Beans
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 4000F
  2. Spread green beans onto a pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your fingers to coat beans evenly with olive oil and spread them out so they don’t overlap.
  3. Roast in the oven until beans are slightly shriveled and have brown spots, 20 to 25 minutes.

If you’ve tried either of these recipes, we would love to see and hear how they turned out! Snap a pic and share it on Facebook or Instagram, or email it to us at norm.the.farmer@gmail.com.

Meet the Farmer

Emily

Hi all,

My name is Emily. I live in Spring Valley and go to school at Kingsland Public Schools. I came to the farm last year for the experience and to see if farming is something I would want to do in the future. The farm has taught me a lot of new things.

Enjoy your produce! Like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @EarthDanceFarm!

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