Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19 CSA - People & Planet

What's in the Bag?

Artichokes, strawberries, lemons, peas, radishes, mint, onions, chives, lettuces and greens - Swiss Chard/Kale/Lambs Quarters/Portulaca, Eggs, and rat tails.

This week's special gifts:

Strawberry Jam and Olive Oil

Our farmer friends at Oil of Paicines have graciously given us a great price on Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from the Mission olive trees.   The folks at Paicines gently pick their olives as they are turning from purple to black so that their oil has a distinctive buttery flavor.  I have included a sample size of this oil.  If enough of you want to order the 250ml bottle, they'll give them to us at $10 a bottle.  You can check them out at

This week at the farm we planted squash, melons and rice.  Now rice is not something that we normally grow, but with the recent addition of human genes to rice, I figured I better put some in and save the seed.  Kind of like this balloonist can fly over my farm without permission, so GMO can contaminate our food supply.  I started this year growing our own corn for the farm and rice.  Next year we hope to include wheat and barley.

Rat Tail Radish
You'll be delighted with this vegetable's versatility. Add chopped pods to a salad to give it some zing. Try pickling them. (William Woys Weaver provides a good recipe in his book "Heirloom Vegetable Gardening.") They are superb in stir-fries
Add pods to a crudité platter, or just surround a bowl of dip with them at a spring gathering. No one will know what they are, and you might want to think twice before saying, "Those are rat tails." Of course, kids love the name.  I like them lightly crisped in olive oil.

Pickled Rat Tails
Strip the rat tails from the stalk put the pods in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt.  Cover and chill 30 minutes.  Drain the liquid and rinse to remove the salt.  Add 2 T. rice vinegar, a dash of pepper and splash of Sesame seed oil.  Chill for 8 hours and eat.

From a Distance
Here's a rare view of the farm taken from on top of the hay.  Doesn't it look orderly and tidy?  There's no bugs, no weeds, no disease.  I guess sometimes I just need to step back to realize how beautiful it all is.

Topiary Cow.  The kind Leo says I can have.
1/2 cube butter, room temperature
2 t. of lemon
Sprig of Mint
4 sprigs of Chives
1 T of parsley
3 Radishes, washed, trimmed and chopped

Beat the butter until smooth, add lemon juice, herbs. Spread on bread. Toss radishes on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper. The secret to this great recipe is really fresh radishes and great butter.  Leo and I took a tour of the McClelland Dairy in Petaluma.  Now that's butter.  I have cow envy.  I also got to milk a cow and make cheese!

You all know that if you can eat it on toast, I love it, jam, butter, beans and Cheeessseee! 

Strawberry Jam Salad Dressing
1 T. of Jam
1 t. of  Dry Mustard
1 T. of Rice Vinegar
1 T. of Olive Oil

Put it all in a jar and shake, or put it in a bowl and stir.  Add salt and pepper or herbs, zest of lemon as desired.  Lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

Remember, to wash your produce, just before use.  Eggs are unwashed, please wash just before you use them.  Eggs are from the last 8 days.  They will last 2-3 months.  Remember, really fresh eggs do not make good hard boiled eggs. 

Have a great week.  Please, if you still have a bag out, return it when you pick up.  May 2nd, next bag...I hope...

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