CSA newsletter #9! Recipes, farm photos, tidbits, and more!
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SATURDAY, July 24th: Brian's Birthday! Happy birthday, Brian! We hope it's a good one!
Preserving the Harvest Aug. 4th. We'll be addressing the “burden of abundance”—now that you’ve grown all this food, what the heck do you do with it all? Learn basic techniques and safety for water bath canning, dehydrating, freezing, and root cellaring to save your bounty for winter dining!

CSA Newsletter #9!

Dum Dum Dum, Dum DA Dum, Dum DA DUM...(this is supposed to be Darth Vader theme music, to go along with the black hole above...Ooh-pah, oooh-pah....)
Finished braids at the garlic braiding workshop, drying in the shade, along with the rest of us...in spite of the heat, we enjoyed swapping garlic lore and growing wisdom, LOTS of garlic food and drinks (including garlic, basil, and sun dried tomato custard!), and making beautiful and functional decorations to enliven our winter kitchens. It was a great afternoon! Special thanks to CSA member Catie, who helped with setup and tear down! Thank you so much!


Dear CSA member,

As I was harvesting your greens this morning, I wrapped each little bundle of mizuna — pale green sharply-lobed leaves topped with cheery yellow flowers — with a bow, arranging it as a gift I couldn’t wait to give you. At the CSA pickup later this afternoon, you’ll ooh and ahh as Lori and I pull each treat out of the cooler. We’ll give you the story, the dirt on each one, as we go. “This mizuna is starting to bolt,” I’ll tell you, “but that’s ok. It’s not bitter yet and you can add the flowers to your salad.” You’ll ask questions about the items you’re unfamiliar with, and recount particularly memorable meals you made with your share last week.

I cherish these interactions. I’m sure every passionate tradesperson would treasure the opportunity for such a tactile and appreciative interaction with the beneficiaries of their labor, and for that alone I am grateful. However, there’s more. CLICK the YEAR of IDAHO FOOD logo above to read the rest of the story!

*POTATOES!  Pontiac Reds! Yippee!!!!! Nothin' like a fresh dug Idaho tater...they'll be good in all the usual spud ways, of course. See last week's newsletter for a great use for one of them if you still have your beets left, in the Beets With Garlic Sauce recipe!
*Carrots Mmm, this is starting out to be quite the share already, eh? Everybody loves carrots, fresh, raw, whatever. You can juice the tops or even cook with them, if you have such a mind to...my chickens love eating mine, so I just go with that, and enjoy the orange parts for myself. Now we've given you everything you need to make a rockin' pot roast, except the onions and the garlic. Oh wait! What's this?!......
*Onion! Say it ain't so!!!!!! Are we on to onions already?! Everybody loves 'em. I can't think of a meal that isn't made better by onions.
*Magic Garlic In light of last week's garlic braiding workshop, I'll keep you in garlic quotes for the rest of the CSA season...Today's quote: "Garlic is the vulgarity in the salad of life." Dig in, you li'l vulgar garlic-eater, you! It feels good, doesn't it!? Eating garlic also lowers your risk of heart disease and cancer, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, fights off mosquitoes (and vampires!), kills leaches, and wards off the "Evil Eye," in addition to making your dreams come true. It really IS magic!
*Scallions It's the ALLIUM TRIFECTA! EPIC! Onions, garlic, and scallions, along with leeks and shallots (which you'll be getting soon in your shares) are all members of the allium family. We collected seed from our scallions ("bunching onions") today on the farm, along with our red giant and Ellen's Extra Hot mustard greens, officially beginning our seed saving season!
*Rosemary A wonderful companion for potatoes...I love to roast my taters in a cast iron skillet in the oven, along with some olive oil and onions and garlic and rosemary (and of course salt and pepper)
*Lacinato "Dino" Kale Mmm, the high-zoot kale. This variety usually sells for more in the grocery store, but for you, dearest CSA member, we give it to you as we would anything else! It's aphid season in the Brassica patch, so we all can be diligent about washing (we spend about 1 1/2 hours washing your kale when it gets aphid-ey). Or, you can just pay no attention, and enjoy the extra protein as you munch happily away on the most nutritious vegetable on earth. Our farming friends' blog talks a lot about kale right now. Check it out, though unfortunately a lot of the recipes are the same as ones you've already gotten from us. Still, it's nice to see a bunch of other wackos enjoying the same weirdo food as us, right? http://castironidaho.com/
*Apricots Lori scored these from our friend Amy's folks' house in Beaumont, Idaho. Thanks, LORI!
*BEANS!!!!!!! The beginning of bean season--YES! These pole bean mixes are our attempt at replicating the seed savers exchange catalogue cover, which was the most gorgeous array of beans you've ever seen, none of them green! Why have green beans when there are so many other amazing colors out there anyway? Green beans make one of our favorite summer meals, which both Lori and I eat several times a week--GREEN BEAN TACOS!!!!!!!! They are so stinking good! I'll give you the recipe below, though for this first time you just might want to snap their ends off and steam them for a few minutes until tender, and simply enjoy them with salt and pepper. What a wonderful part of summer!
*Summer Squash Yellow crookneck, pattypan, or zucchini...all make great additions to green bean tacos when sauteed with the beans! Also, at our garlic workshop this weekend, CSA member Catie shared an AMAZING recipe that's easy and simple and is truly greater than the sum of its parts...try it for yourself! Recipe below!
*Cucumbers Rumor has the folks who got these last week found them to be bitter...we are looking into that, and will keep you updated as we do whatever we can to remedy the situation. Generally, bitterness is caused by the variety of cucumber (we are trying two new, open-pollinated varieties this year, and our Armenians, which are never bitter, haven't done jack you-know-what, which bums me out especially since I saved the seed from last years' bumper crop...), by cooler soil temperatures (which could be the case, and if it is, the bitterness is likely to go away with the heat wave we're getting now), or by uneven watering (which is always an issue for us, because we lack consistent access to water). In the meantime, people often deal with bitter cukes by peeling them and/or chopping off the last inch or so of their fruit. Try that if yer cuke is bitter!
*Basil Scrumptious, delicious basil...Brian made an orzo pasta with zucchini and pesto today on the farm (using walnuts in his pesto)...it was DELISH!

angel hair pasta with garlic & zucchini
1 lb. angel hair pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 cloves {or more} minced garlic
1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini {or other summer squash}
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
cook pasta.
saute parsley, garlic, & zucchini in olive oil.
pour over cooked pasta.
top with grated parmesan.
Faces of the Farm: Cymry Reed, CSA member to Intern to Landowner!

Cymry has indeed worn all these hats in her three year involvement with the farm. I first met her as a CSA member the year before Lori and I started farming together, when she shared with me several envelopes of tomato seed that her dad, a plant breeder, had been experimenting with, growing out and saving. This probably had as much to do as anything with my fascination for seed saving. I fell in love with Cymry's irresistable positive energy outright, and when she applied to be an intern several seasons later, Lori agreed she was a terrific fit for our farm. We enjoyed getting to know Cymry better as we worked with her last season, during what was one of the toughest times for our farm, as we fell out of favor with the landowners at our Tamarack property, which I had been farming for six seasons. Cymry, watching the whole painful process unfold, offered us her land to farm. It took us several months to admit that we really did need to leave our situation, and Cymry's generosity, compassion, and gentle encouragement convinced us that we could indeed pack up and move. I cannot express my gratitude for her enough. Cymry has one of those personalities that endears people to her instantly. She laughs at herself, she keeps a positive attitude, and her work as a hospice worker gives her a very healthy perspective on life, death, and everything in between. Since coming to farm at her place, we've gotten to know her and her husband Daniel, as well as Daniel's parents, who all live on the property, even better. We are so grateful for all you four do to make us feel welcome and appreciated on your land. We know it can be difficult to have a bunch of dirty, foul-mouthed weirdos trapsing around on your property, and having to share things like your hoses and such with us, and we appreciate you all so much! In addition to putting up with us, you also help us out so much with daily farm stuff, in so many small and large ways, and we don't think to tell you often enough how grateful we are to be farming on your land. Last year, Cymry organized our Harvest Festival, a rockin' good time where Daniel's band, Shaken Not Stirred kept us rockin' out into the evening...we look forward to another fun time with y'all again this fall! (You can follow Shaken Not Stirred by "Liking" 'em on Facebook! 

Green Bean Tacos

Now after that beautiful, specific recipe, let’s try my junk show version for what is one of our favorite summer staples on the farm. For this recipe, you’ll need:

*Green Beans
*Onion and/or garlic
*Oil (olive or vegetable)
*Hot pepper/cayenne pepper spice (optional)
*Small corn tortillas
*Any garnishes you want (cheese, salsa, yougurt, sour cream, etc.)
 -First, boil or steam the green beans in water (steaming is nice because it keeps more of the flavor and nutrients in the beans, but boiling will work fine if you don’t have or can’t make a steamer basket). They need to get tender, which will take about 10 minutes, as I recall
-While the beans are cooking, sauté some chopped onion and garlic (and hot pepper, if you’re using it) in a skillet, adding cumin and your powdered hot spice at the end of the sauté, just before adding the cooked beans
-Add the cooked beans (that may be self-explanatory here), salt them freely, and let the whole shebang cook together for several minutes, until the green beans are good and coated in the cumin-ey sauce.
-While they’re cooking together, heat up your tortillas in a pan with a little bit of oil or butter until they’re soft and not dry
-Stuff the green beans in the shells, add your extra fixins, and enjoy! We usually plan on about 3 tacos per person eating.

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