Farm Notes March 22nd: Walking to Spring CSA is Here!

Hello from Tant Hill Farm! We are so excited about the Spring season and all the surprises it has in store for us The weather has been a little strange but we just go with its flow! Our new baby Chicks are growing so quickly, by July we will have more Organic free range, soy and wheat free eggs to offer! Our Walking to Spring CSA session starts today, pick up at Main Street Farmers Market and Nutrition World Farmers Market.

We are at Nutrition World Farmers Market every Saturday from 11:30am-1pm.

See you at Main Street Farmers Market!

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March 22nd Produce

Here are the items you can expect at Market {M} and in the CSA {CSA}:

  • Toscano Kale {CSA} Red Russian and Siberian Kale {M}: check out this recipe from the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith. Don’t throw your stems away!! Kale Salad with Apples and Peanuts
  • Rainbow {M/CSA} and Giant Ford Hook Swiss Chard {M}: while you can use just about any green in our latest recipe – Chard Onion Cheese Frittata – I like how quick Swiss chard cooks down. Thinly slicing the stems and cooking them with the onions is an added bonus!
  • Dragon Tongue and Spicy Asian Mustard Greens {CSA}: did you know mustard greens are linked to cancer prevention? They are also touted as cholesterol lowering machines, along with kale and collards, so be sure to get your daily dose of these greens! The Spicy Asian Mustard has a Horseradish bite that is tamed when cooked. Mustard Greens are amazing with your scrambled eggs in the morning!
  • Tender Collards {CSA}: Collard Green and Pecan Pesto is a great recipe as the weather is starting to warm. Basil is not the only green you can use for pesto. You can also use your favorite nut if pecans are not your fancy!
  • Red Kitten Spinach {M/CSA}: this is the most beautiful spinach I have ever grown! The dense texture, the arrowhead shape and the stunning burgundy coloring is so vibrant! Check out Blackwell Smiths recipe for Warm Red Kitten Spinach Salad.
  • Organic, Range Free, Soy and Wheat Free Eggs {M}: here is a muffin-type meal that would be great with any number of our greens – Quinoa Kale Bites. A few eggs bind together quinoa, kale (or other greens) and cheese to make a healthy on-the-run meal.
  • Green Onions {CSA}: Add these beauties to any salad or meal.
  • Herbs: Parsley {M/CSA}, Rosemary, Garlic Chives, English Thyme and Sweet Mint {M} Here is a great site on how to store and prepare your herbs. Herbs. The herbs will store well in the bag they come in!
  • Edible Asian and Arugula Flowers {M}. Flowers make a great addition to your Kale salad. If you love presentation, this will take it to another level!
  • Medicinal and Nutrient Dense Chickweed for Smoothies, Teas or Tincture. See Chickweed is a Star for some great info on this amazing Herb!

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Thomas Edison


Weekly Farm Notes :: March 9th, 2016

Hello,

We are in between CSA sessions currently with the “Walking to Spring” session starting March 16th or 23rd. It is currently full but we may open more shares so please check back with us if interested!

See you tomorrow at market!

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March 9th Produce

Here are the items you can expect at Market:

  • Toscano & Red Russian Kale: I am always trying to get my 2-year-old son to eat more vegetables. He is a good eater but plain sauteed greens are a bit much to ask. Smoothies are a great option but so is anything in bread form. Last week I made Vegetable Packed Pancakes and they were a big hit! They aren’t sweet so you can eat them as is, with a yogurt sauce or on the side of any number of main dishes.
  • Swiss Chard: if you are in a chard rut, check out this list of tasty recipes (Swiss chard taco wraps?! Yah, that’s happening). Remember, don’t throw away the stems!
  • Tender Collards: I love preserving seasonal produce but collards always seemed like a tough option. You could add them to soup or sauce but I wanted something a bit different. If this sounds familiar, you may like our Collard Green Relish recipe. It’s a great balance of sweet, tangy and spicy. It’s delicious with crackers a cheese!
  • Radishes: there is a great new recipe on the Main Street Farmers Market blog for Grains and Greens Salad. These are the type of recipes I love – a good base but with plenty of room for experimenting.
  • Peppery Arugula & Spicy Wasabi Arugula Flowers: with Spring right around the corner, it feels fitting to add edible flowers to our meals. If you aren’t sure how to use them, check out this link for more information.
  • Peppermint: basil isn’t the only herb that works well in pesto – mint is a great option, too! Check out the Mint & Pistachio Pesto recipe below.
  • Chickweed: there are lots of chickweed pesto and salad recipes out there but if you want something a bit different, try this Chickweed Pakoras recipe. It’s on my list for the week!
  • Dead Nettle & Henbit: if you look down as you walk around, I bet you will see a ton of Dead Nettle and Henbit growing (check out this link to identify both). I wouldn’t suggest picking any if you don’t know if it has been sprayed or not. You can feel rest assured ours is chemical free so pick some up and try this Dead Nettle and Henbit Pistou!

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Recipe :: Mint & Pistachio Pesto

  • Ingredients
    • 3 medium garlic cloves, skin left on
    • 1 cup (1 ounce) packed mint leaves
    • 2-1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) pistachios
    • Juice of one medium lime (2 tablespoons / 1 ounce)
    • 1/3 cup neutral oil (I used grapeseed oil)
    • 2 tablespoons of water (if needed)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Directions
    • Heat a small traditional skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic cloves and cook, turning occasionally, until they are softened and the skins are charred, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and when cool enough to handle, remove the skins.  Mince and add to a food processor.
    • Add the remaining ingredients except the water and process until mostly broken down but still slightly chunky, about 10-15 one-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed.  Thin with a little water or additional oil if needed.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

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Alice O’Dea Article

Have you read Alice O’Dea’s recent article? I love learning about new dishes, so was excited to read all about an Indian soup called rasam.


Weekly Farm Notes :: Feb 24th, 2016

Hello,

This is the last week of the “Deep Winter” CSA! We hope you all have found the session nourishing. The “Walking to Spring” CSA session is full but we might open more shares later in the season – check back with us if you are interested!

The greens mix includes basil this week, which may seem odd given the season. It comes to us from a special place – Ray McWhorter, a teacher from the aquaponics “SPLASH” lab at Gilbert Elementary! It sounds like an impressive learning technique!

See you tomorrow at market!

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February 24th Produce

Here are the items you can expect at Market {M} or in the CSA share {CSA}:

  • Rainbow Swiss Chard {CSA/M}: this rainy weather has me craving soup, like this Barley & Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard, or an Asian noodle soup like the Market Udon Bowl (to which you can add any of our greens to) or maybe Egg Drop Soup, again with greens added.
  • Red Russian {CSA/M}, Curly {CSA}, Toscano {M} & Red Ruffled {M) Kale: this Purple Kale, Cabbage and Fennel Ferment mixture sounds like a great way to preserve kale for the weeks and months to come!
  • Arugula, Spicy Asian Greens, Spigarello Broccoli Rabe Leaves and Basil Mix {CSA}: this mix of spicy and herby greens will make a great base for pesto! There are a million ways to make it, and while I don’t really think you need a recipe, you should at least read through this blog post on How to Make the Best Pesto. It all comes down to personal taste but the author does some interesting experiments that you might find valuable.
  • Tender Collards {CSA/M}: I am always looking for ways to get my toddler to happily eat greens. Sure, I can put them in smoothies or chop them finely to add to other dishes (which happens all.the.time), but something crunchy is always a hit. That is where Collard Green Chips come in. They couldn’t be easier and can be flavored in so many ways. Make them in the dehydrator or the oven and get your crunch on.
  • Lavender Leaves {CSA}: did you know that you can use lavender leaves in addition to the flowers? Check out our latest post with LOTS of great ways to use your leaves!
  • Mild Red Mustard {M}: there are references to soup above but thought I would include one more – see the recipe below for an easy Potato and Mustard Green Soup!
  • Chickweed {M}: this nutritious herb can be used in salads or as a substitute for spinach. You can also make a tea from the fresh leaves – add 2 tablespoons of chickweed to 1 cup of boiling water and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Add lemon and/or honey to taste!

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Recipe :: Easy Potato and Mustard Greens Soup

This recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, de-stemmed, cooked and chopped
  • 2-3 pinches of red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan for serving

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook slowly. Meanwhile, quarter each potato lengthwise, then thinly slice. Irregular pieces are fine – the smaller ones will fall apart, giving body to the soup.
  • Add the potatoes, raise the heat, and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to color and a glaze builds up on the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf and 1 cup water. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the solids. Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, taste for salt, season with pepper and stir in the parsley, cooked mustard greens and red pepper flakes. For a soup with more body, pass 1 or 2 cups through a food mill.

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Alice O’Dea Article

Have you read Alice O’Dea’s recent article? She is taking a break from cooking to talk about starting the process of decluttering, specifically her kitchen.


Weekly Farm Notes :: February 10th, 2016

Hello,

This week we are sharing some farm news. Check out the highlights below!

  • Big news – we are starting a mushroom growing operation! The first shiitake and oyster varieties hopefully available by the end of the spring CSA session.

  • Tomatoes and peppers are growing and we hope to have them available first to shareholders.

  • First spring plant order of 2000 plants coming in next week.

  • The first of two hightunnels is under construction with 2nd one completed by end of April.

See you tomorrow at market!

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February 10th Produce

Here are the items you can expect at Market {M} or in the CSA share {CSA}:

  • Rainbow Swiss Chard {CSA}: kale isn’t the only green that can be turned into chips. Check out our Preserving the Harvest :: Dehydrated Greens post to learn more!
  • Red Kale Blend & Toscano Kale {CSA}: I think our Toscano kale makes the BEST kale salads. The trick is to massage them with a bit of dressing for a few minutes to soften slightly. You could even mix the kale with some of the other greens, like arugula, and toss it all with our new Hemp Seed “Ranch” Dressing! Check out our Essentials to a Satisfying Salad post if you want to turn it into a meal.
  • Dragon Tongue Mild Mustard Greens {CSA}: I love sauces. They are relatively quick to put together and can turn a few refrigerator ingredients into a meal. If you are wondering how to use your mustard greens this week, check out this tasty recipe for Mustard Green Harissa.
  • Kohlrabi {CSA}: there are many ways to prepare kohlrabi but my favorite has to be Home Fries. Cut them about 1/2″ thick and they have the perfect texture – soft but with a nice bite.
  • Homemade Rosemary Rolls {CSA}: Stephanie Everett from Everett Heritage Farm made these for us. She used local eggs, honey and flour from Sonrisa Farm! The recipe is below if you wish to make some for yourself!
  • Fresh Rosemary {CSA}: having infused olive oils in a fun way to add extra flavor to your favorite dishes. Homemade Rosemary Infused Olive Oil couldn’t be easier – simply steep about half the rosemary in warm oil for about 10 minutes and then pour over fresh rosemary in the jar of your choice. Drizzle this on pasta and toss with a little garlic, lemon and cheese – yum!
  • Tender Collards {M}: if you are looking for a way to preserve your collards, check out our Collard Greens Relish recipe! It is great served with crackers and cheese!
  • Wasabi Arugula with Spicy Flowers {M}: wondering about edible flowers? Here is a list of common flowers you may not have known you could eat (I had no idea you could eat clover flowers!). This is good to keep in mind as Spring is just around the corner 🙂
  • Bold and Peppery Arugula {M}: are you familiar with the Vietnamese soup called pho? It is based on an intensely flavored broth and served along with noodles and various garnishes. I love to make a vegan variation (similar to this one) and add my own veggies, including arugula. The bold flavor stands up really nicely to the broth. Give it a try and make your own version!
  • Spicy Asian Mustard Greens {M}: Mustard Greens Soup with Almonds and Poblanos may seem like a strange combination but it is delicious! We hope you enjoy it!
  • Chickweed, Henbit & Dead Nettle {M}: here is yet another sauce – it couldn’t be easier and can be used on so many things – Henbit & Dead Nettle Pistou.

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Recipe :: Rosemary Rolls

The recipe Stephanie used can be found here but she added dried rosemary. If you want to use fresh rosemary in place of the dried, you typically use about 3 times as much (so about 2-1/4 teaspoons). To store, keep in a dish towel on the counter for a few days or in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for a week. They also freeze well and will keep for a few months in a ziplock bag.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tb. active dry yeast (instant works, too)
  • ½ c. warm water
  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • ¼ c. honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup lukewarm buttermilk or milk
  • 4-1/2 – 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. dried rosemary

Directions:

  • Dissolve the yeast in the ½ cup warm water in a glass measure. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs and mix, scraping the sides. Add the milk and yeast mixture.
  • Add 4-1/2 cups of flour, salt and rosemary, mixing until combined. Change to dough hook and knead for 2-3 minutes only, just until no longer tacky, adding a tablespoon or two of flour, if needed.
  • Let sit in bowl, covered, to rise for one hour. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times, then let rest 3 minutes.
  • Divide into 24 equal pieces, shaping each into a ball and placing in a buttered 13×9-inch baking dish with the pieces touching.
  • Let rise, covered for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

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Alice O’Dea Article

Have you read Alice O’Dea’s recent article? This week she touches on the importance of eating out…something I could use more of in my life!


Weekly Farm Notes :: January 6th, 2016

Hello,

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with everything you love most.

We are looking forward to the start of the Deep Winter CSA session! The first pick-up will start either next week or the week after. Look for an email with more details soon.

Hope to see you at market tomorrow!

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January 6th Produce

Here are the items you can expect at Market:

  • Tender Collards: I love these Collard Green Falafel. They don’t take long to throw together and are a unique way to use your greens. Serve with hummus, pita and olives for a tasty meal.
  • Rainbow & Ford Hook Swiss Chard: Callaloo is a Caribbean dish traditionally made with amaranth greens (which are also called callaloo). The stew is quick and flavorful and while we don’t have the greens, Swiss chard makes a great substitute. Here is a recipe worth trying.
  • Siberian, Red Russian & Toscano Kale: if you need a little detox in your life after the holidays (hand raised), give this Vegan Detox Smoothie a try!
  • Spicy Large Leaf Arugula: cooking tames the spiciness of these greens. Check out the recipe below for a super simple, yet satisfying pasta dish with sauteed arugula. There are many ways to make this dish your own – use different nuts or cheese and add any additional seasoning you like.
  • Spicy Asian Mustard Greens: I love 1) Indian food and 2) finding ways to use whatever greens are left over in my refrigerator. This Indian Mustard Green Sauce with Potatoes fulfills both of these loves. I hope you like it as much as I do!
  • Wasabi Arugula: if you are in the mood for a salad, don’t let this spicy arugula scare you away! The trick is to balance it with other flavors, like this recipe for Fresh Fig and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese. The sweetness from the figs and the tangy, rich flavors from the cheese are a great compliment to the arugula. Check out The Essentials Elements to a Satisfying Salad post to come up with your own salad!
  • Chickweed: if you haven’t tried this nutrient dense, medicinal “weed” before, now is your chance! It can be eaten raw or cooked briefly, in which case it will be similar to spinach. Check out our Chickweed Power Salad recipe for a great way to make it into a meal!
  • Henbit: this edible “weed” is part of the mint family but it tastes more like raw kale. It is high in iron, vitamins and fiber and can be used in salads, smoothies or wraps.
  • Dead Nettle: another edible “weed”, is very similar to Henbit (see a comparison between the two on this link). It is called “dead” because it won’t sting you like the infamous stinging nettle! One blogger notes the fuzzy texture is not great for eating raw and prefers adding it to smoothies.
  • Parsley: use the parsley in the pasta recipe below!
  • Lemon Balm: shrubs are a fun way to preserve fruit and herbs. Here is a quick Lemon Balm Shrub recipe which can be enjoyed on its own or used in a cocktail.
  • Leaf Celery: gremolata is an Italian condiment usually consisting of chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Swap out the parsley for leaf celery and you will have an easy, delicious topping for any number of meals (I sprinkled it on a mushroom pizza but it would also be great swirled into soups). Find the recipe here!
  • Mint: the cold weather has me craving tea all day long. When I need a caffeine-free version, I turn to herbs. Simply steep fresh mint leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes, add honey and lemon juice to taste, and enjoy!

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Recipe :: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Arugula, Walnuts and Ricotta Salata

This recipe is from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra virgin to finish
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Several pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 6 or more cups of arugula leaves, large stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
  • Thin shavings of ricotta salata

Directions:

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a 12″ non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the arugula, season with a few pinches of salt, and saute until wilted. Stir in the parsley and walnuts and turn off heat. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the skillet. Toss well and serve with cheese and extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top.

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Alice O’Dea Article

Have you read Alice O’Dea’s recent article? Detox tips are always welcome this time of year!


Chickweed Power Salad

I visited The Farmer’s Daughter for brunch this past weekend for the first time and I was not disappointed. It is just my type of food – local, seasonal and flavorful. The menu isn’t very big but I had a hard time deciding what to get. Pancakes? Grits & Greens? Hashbrowns? Everything sounded delicious. Oddly enough (for me), I chose the Power Salad. Maybe it’s the start of spring or the fact that the salad is described as “hearty” on the menu. Either way, I loved it and was determined to make my own version.

Their salad includes quinoa, French lentils, roasted root vegetables, seasonal slaw, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, shaved parmesan, and lemon-miso dressing with a smattering of salad greens tossed in.  I started, of course, using what was provided in last weeks CSA share. While I could have used kale as the base of the salad, I thought I would try it with chickweed. Check out this link if you aren’t familiar with chickweed. It’s nutritious, crunchy and it tastes similar to spinach. To this, I added the quinoa and French lentils and kept the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. I used goat cheese instead of Parmesan because it was on hand but I think I liked it better with Parmesan. Parmesan provided umami (or savoriness) that the salad was lacking otherwise. I also swapped the roasted root vegetables for shaved carrots (because it was easier) and lemon-miso dressing for lemon-avocado dressing (because it was on hand).

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a starting point. I think what makes this salad wonderful is the combination lentils and quinoa with lots of other flavors and textures. Below are directions on the lentils, quinoa and dressing but just use what you want and what is on hand. Experiment and enjoy this hearty salad!

Chickweed Power Salad
roughly 4 servings

Salad ingredients:

  • French lentils (recipe below)
  • Quinoa (recipe below)
  • Chickweed or greens of choice (kale, salad greens)
  • Shaved carrots or veggie of choice (roasted root vegetables)
  • Dried cranberries or dried fruit of choice (raisins)
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds or seeds/nuts of choice (sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts)
  • Shaved Parmesan or cheese of choice (goat cheese)
  • Lemon-avocado dressing (recipe below) or dressing of choice

Lentils (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated):

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup French lentils
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon table salt
    • 4 cups water
    • Optional: a few smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 onion, stalk of chopped celery, sprig of fresh thyme
  • Directions:
    • Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Quinoa (from Cook’s Illustrated):

  • Ingredients
    • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and dried on a towel
    • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
    • 1-1/2 cups water
  • Directions:
    • Toast the quinoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the quinoa is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water and is nearly tender, about 12 minutes. Spread the quinoa out over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside until it is tender and cool, about 20 minutes.

Lemon-Avocado Dressing

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/2 Hass avocado, pitted and removed from skin
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1 small garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • A few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • Directions:
    • Place all ingredients in a small food processor or blender and process until fully combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.