CSA Newsletter: Week 6

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days.

Lettuce Mix (Large Shares Only) or Romaine (Small Shares Only) // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on head. Use within a week, but may store for up to two weeks.

Collards (Large Shares Only) // Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. Do not wash before storing.

Lacinato Kale (Most Small Shares) // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture.

Rainbow Chard (Small Shares who do not receive Kale) // Do not wash chard before storage. Wrap in a plastic bag and try to remove most of the air from the bag. Store in the fridge and try to use within a few days.

Zucchini or Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Green Bell Peppers // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

Jalapenos // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.

Fennel // Remove delicate leaves (also known as fronds) before storage if you plan to use. Store the bulbs in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Store the leaves in a moist paper towel in the fridge and use within a week.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Parsley (Large Shares Only) or Chives (Small Shares Only) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

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Things are heating up on the farm my friends-- in case you hadn’t already heard on any number of Wisconsin news outlets. Despite the couple short stretches of days in the high 90’s we’ve already experienced this season (which we moved through with relative ease), the weather has decided it wants us to handle a bit more sweltering this summer.

Heat indexes above 100 seem to be a new norm in these Southern Wisconsin summers so we’re learning to roll with it: drinking plenty of water, slathering on the sunblock, stocking up on popsicles and taking as many breaks as we need without guilt and without too much thought. We discover a different rhythm than our typically manic pace. We work an hour, find a space to cool down (usually the walk-in cooler), fill up our water bottles, and repeat for the remainder of the day.

Generally, the heat wave is harder on your farmers and their farm crew than it is on the crops. Nothing really loves temperatures this hot, but most of what we’ve got in the ground can certainly tolerate these excessive temperatures if they don’t last too long. The peas, broccoli and lettuce are the only things we expect to be negatively affected.

The snap peas, which I proudly announced at the party were the best we’ve ever grown and expected to last three or four weeks, are going to be over after their typical short two week run. Their seedpods turned woody and bitter last week when the temperatures were in the low 90s and they certainly won’t be making it through this hot spell ahead of us. It’s not altogether unexpected but it is a little disappointing. Deconstructing our massive pea trellis and prepping that ground for fall will be a big priority in the coming weeks.

As for the lettuce, those receiving romaine this week will notice the lettuce is a bit smaller than before. If we didn’t harvest the romaine yesterday, it would have certainly bolted during the impending heat wave. We actually wanted to give you a week off of lettuce finishing the spring treat next week instead but had to adjust when we saw the forecast. Earlier this spring, we had considered planting two more beds of lettuce for late July. The cool June made us hopeful that we could grow lettuce into the hot summer months but in the end, we wound up opting against it and Kyle and I are both so glad we didn’t spend any time getting those sixth and seventh plantings of lettuce into the ground. Even with heat tolerant varieties, there is pretty much no way lettuce can survive days as hot as Friday’s forecast.

The last planting of broccoli is perhaps the biggest wild card. Broccoli, like lettuce, tends to bolt and flower in excessively hot temps. The broccoli in your box this week matured at just the right time. It was by far our most successful broccoli planting this year—with abundant large heads, and beautiful tight flowers. The fourth and last planting of broccoli is just beginning to head which means it will have to mature during the tail end of this week. It’s likely the broccoli will become stressed making the heads small and the flowers a bit more loose. We’ll likely be giving broccoli to some (and hopefully all!) folks either way, but the main questions are how much and what quality.

The best part of this July hot spell we’ve been encountering is actually the accompanying dry spell. We’ve still been getting a pretty heavy rain each week of the month but that’s so much less than what we were dealing with before and it is actually quite welcome after such a long, wet May and June. Our crops have been handling the rain and moisture much better than we expected, but it’s clear they are ready for a respite. This dry-ish spell will do them well. Plus, once rain slows to once a week or less, the weeds finally become much more manageable.

So that’s where we are at. Despite the heat, your farmers and the crops are certainly thriving and it feels good to make it to this point in the season.

I hope you all stay cool and enjoy this week’s veggies!

-L&K

VEGGIE ID: Collards

Collards are the oldest known greens in the cabbage family, dating back to ancient times. Collard greens grow quickest in warm weather, but they can withstand the cold temperatures of late autumn and mild winters. They are similar to kale but a little more robust in texture (almost like a cabbage kale cross).

So what do I do with it?

I used to only braise collard greens (that’s a big thing in Southern cooking) and I never really loved that, so never really thought I enjoyed collard greens. But then one day, I cut them into small slices and put them into a salad raw and absolutely fell in love. I’m overdue for some collard green recipes on my blog (I have so many yummy ones tested!!) so for now I’ve included a kale recipe below that I often make with collards instead so regardless of whether you got kale or collards this week you should absolutely give it a try. The greens can also be steamed, added to soups, salads, stews, and other dishes.

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VEGGIE ID: FENNEL

Fennel is one of those vegetables that everyone thinks they don't like just because they don't know how to use it yet. I know because I was one of those people for a very long time. Fennel is a beautiful vegetable used in a lot of Italian cooking.  It's got a white bulb, green stalk and beautiful scented fronds at the top.  You can eat all of these things but most commonly folks eat the bulb or the fronds.

The bulb is pretty comparable to an onion (and can be used as such) but has a slightly anise (black licorice) flavor. I think this is why it gets such a bad wrap. Because people hate black licorice (I do too!). But anise is actually a flavor used in lots of common favorites like Italian sausage and pepperoni. When it's subtle it adds a lot to a dish. I know this is a less of a description of a vegetable and more of me begging you to try a vegetable, but I'm begging you people, try the fennel in one of the recipes below! You might be surprised! Also, here's an awesome article from a chef in Columbus, Ohio asking you to do the same :)

So how do I use it?

Because lots of people are stumped by fennel, there are lots of great tutorials online for how to cut it up. You will cut the bulb away from the stalks in an angle matching the shape of the fennel and then slice off the bottom where the fennel sat on the ground. Place the fennel flat on it's base and slice it in half lengthwise. From there you'll see a little core near the bottom of each half. It will look solid and triangular. Remove that and then get to chopping! This link will teach you how to slice, dice and shave it. I most often shave it because I love how delicate it is when added to any dish, but this is much easier with a mandolin than trying to do by hand. This link will teach you how to store and use every part of the vegetable.

What is the best way to prepare fennel?

Honestly, you can keep it so simple with fennel. You can shave it and throw it on pizza or in pasta. You can roughly chop it and throw it in a stew or braise. You can slice it and grill it (I'm so excited to try this over the weekend!). You can use a similar technique and roast it in the oven. You can shave it and toss it with some apple and lemon juice  for a quick salad. You can throw it in a quiche or a tart. You can really do a ton.

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 10-11 of these items in your box next week

Red Cabbage

Chard

Collards

Kale

Broccoli

Cucumber

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Beans

Bell Peppers or Italian Fryers

Shishito Peppers

Jalapenos

Fresh Onions

Garlic

Mint or Parsley

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Broccoli Biscuit Squares

1 pound ground beef

4-ounce can mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained

3 or 4 scallions, sliced

4 cup chopped broccoli

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

2 cups biscuit/baking mix (Bisquick or Jiffy type)

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup water

4 large eggs

½ cup milk

2 or 3 teaspoon diced chives or other fresh herb of choice

1 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰.  In a large skillet, cook the hamburger, mushroom, onion and broccoli until meat is cooked through and veggies are close to tender, season lightly. Drain, set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine biscuit mix, ½ C. shredded cheddar, parmesan cheese and water. Stir until a soft dough forms. Knead a few times on floured board.

  3. Press dough into bottom and ½” up sides of a greased 9” X 13” pan. Stir remaining cheddar cheese into hamburger mixture, spread evenly over dough.

  4. In the same large bowl, beat eggs, milk, chives, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over meat mixture. 

  5. Bake, uncovered 25 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Green Goddess Cobb Salad // Uses Lettuce or Lettuce Mix, Fennel, Scallions, Chives and/or Parsley, use more Scallions on the salad instead of Red Onion, skip the other herbs in the Green Goddess or buy some bottled stuff // It’s the last of the lettuce for a while so it’s time to go big. It’s time to make this salad immediately. When you start to get a little sick of salad, the only logical answer is to pile it high with so many delicious things that you fall back in love with summer’s best treat. This salad is a real gem— and if you can’t find the guanciale, feel free to substitute bacon or prosciutto.

Gluten-Free

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Kale Peanut Salad with Peanut Dressing // Uses Kale (or substitute Collards), skip the carrots and red bell pepper and put in some Scallions, Cucumber and Green Pepper instead // This recipe is my all time favorite CSA salad recipe and honestly, I need to apologize that it took me this long to share it. Martha Stewart’s version uses kale, carrots and red peppers. My version uses pretty much whatever I have on hand. The dressing is the real gem and the rest can be swapped around.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Pasta & Fried Zucchini Salad // Uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, substitute Parsley or Chives for basil, feel free to add thinly sliced fennel or scallions // I know many people are intimidated by fresh herbs, but let me just remind you that pesto is a thing and that it can be made with pretty much any green thing. I’ve made chard pesto, arugula pesto, parsley pesto, chive pesto. And it’s always good. So try this decadent pasta with the pesto of your choice— store bought or homemade. You won’t regret it.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right pasta)

photo by: Brooklyn Supper

photo by: Brooklyn Supper

Lily’s Lemony Fennel, Radish, and Kale Salad // Uses Fennel, Kale (or substitute Collards), don’t worry about not having radishes or snap peas // I am forever loving salads that just feel like summer in a giant bowl. This is definitely one to bookmark!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Broccoli Basil Quiche // Broccoli, Scallions, add Fennel and Jalapeno, sub Chives or Parsley for basil to make a different kind of pesto (or skip the pesto altogether and just add some fresh chopped herbs into the eggs!) // This recipe, featured in the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook we sell, is a new favorite. I never thought of putting broccoli in quiche for some reason until I was asked to make this recipe for my friends at FairShare and discovered what a gem this recipe really is!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right crust)

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Quinoa Tabbouleh // Uses Cucumber, Parsley, Scallions, feel free to also add diced Jalapeno or Bell Pepper, skip the Mint // Even though we’re still a couple weeks out from cherry tomatoes, I’ll still be making tabouli with my cucumber, scallions and parsley this week. It is such a cool, delicious treat!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Simple Salad // Lettuce Mix, Fennel, Scallions, Chives or Parsley if you like // I love fresh crunchy summer salads that have little more for ingredients than the produce in your box. Cooking with vegetables can be so much simpler than we think it is. This salad is a bed of greens topped with thinly sliced fennel, sliced scallion and cubed avocado alongside my favorite sweet dressing (Papaya Poppyseed from Annie's Organics). The citrus pairs perfectly with the fennel! You could also add some fresh herbs if you don't have another purpose for them.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Summer Squash Tuna Cassarole Melt // Summer Squash, Onion, Pepper // I'm not an especially big fan of tuna or tuna melts (or casseroles for that matter) so imagine my surprise when I found a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks (Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden). I made it one night in a pinch when we had a ton of summer squash in our fridge and not much else and I was so pleasantly surprised that I've made it three times now. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

photo by: Minimalist Baker

photo by: Minimalist Baker

Vegan Collard Green Burritos // Collards, sub Scallions for red onion, sub Parsley or Chives for cilantro & sprouts, add sauteed Green Pepper or raw diced Jalalpeno (and whatever else you feel like tossing in) // This recipe as its written is totally vegan with walnut meal and vegan cheese spread so if you are vegan, absolutely give it a try. But if you aren't ground beef with taco seasoning and your favorite shredded cheese would work just as well. The real lesson to learn here is that collard greens make amazing vegetable wraps. Our friends at the Good Food cart did it a couple weeks ago and we just love the way it looks and tastes! Blanche the collards first for the best flavor and texture.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

CSA Newsletter: Week 5

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Snap Peas // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on head. Use within a week, but may store for up to two weeks.

Lacinato Kale // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture.

Zucchini or Summer Squash // Zucchini and summer squash spoil most quickly in very warm or very cool temperatures. They can be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to use within a week as they will get soggy quickly in there.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Beets // Beet roots will easily last a couple of weeks. They’ll get soft after that but can still be used. Store the roots loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Fennel // Remove delicate leaves (also known as fronds) before storage if you plan to use. Store the bulbs in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Store the leaves in a moist paper towel in the fridge and use within a week.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Chives (Large Shares Only) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

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Hello dear members and welcome back to reality after what was hopefully a long and relaxing holiday weekend for you all!

Your farmers had a wonderful long weekend spending just enough time in the fields weeding, keeping those peas, zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers harvested, continuing to string up tomatoes, and seeding the first of the fall root crops while still saving some time for fun. We spent an evening canoeing before heading to our local fireworks show, an evening with family shooting off fireworks, and an afternoon with our amazing CSA members, friends and family at our annual summer CSA bash! It was a beautiful balance of work, play and rest.

The CSA bash was an absolute joy and one of the real highlights of our weekend. Every year these parties get a little bit better and this bash was certainly no exception. The spread of food was sprawling, barely fitting on our three tables. The Cucumber Kolsch CSA member Duane brewed up for us was absolutely heavenly. The weather could not have been more cooperative with lovely temperatures, a gentle breeze, and what felt like no humidity. With no blazing sun, our farm tour was able to be lingering and we had so much fun sharing every inch of our fields with you from the hemp to the snap peas to the onion field we’re so proud of.

And perhaps my favorite part of the whole night was the Beeswax Wrap station that core group members Lindsey and Jessica lead throughout the party. Inspired by our Climate Change Challenge, these ladies took the lead on creating an activity that would help our members create less waste and use less plastic. This moment of true community, of members working together to educate and teach each other something new without any effort from us, was beautiful. We have always dreamed of our CSA becoming a community like this; of becoming a community that can sustain itself in the winter months or even after we stop farming one day.

Because in the end, this CSA really has nothing to do with us. It is all about you and your family and a box of food that inspires your week, your summer and maybe even your life. It’s about a box of food that helps you become healthier, sit down to eat dinner with loved ones more, and find joy in the bounty of Wisconsin summers. It’s about a box of food that hopefully brings connection, community and a better life. We may be the party hosts and we may be the people who grow your food, but you all are just as much a piece of this whole movement as we are.

So, thanks for showing up—even if you couldn’t literally show up at this particular party. We know you are showing up every day in different ways. Thanks for leading. Thanks for dreaming. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for being part of this community. We’re so happy to have you.

-L&K

P.S. It is not too early to save the date for our Fall Harvest Party!!! We’ll be making apple cider, decorating caramel apples, having a chili cookoff and just celebrating the success of another year on Saturday, September 28th from 11-3 p.m.

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VEGGIE ID: kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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VEGGIE ID: FENNEL

Fennel is one of those vegetables that everyone thinks they don't like just because they don't know how to use it yet. I know because I was one of those people for a very long time. Fennel is a beautiful vegetable used in a lot of Italian cooking.  It's got a white bulb, green stalk and beautiful scented fronds at the top.  You can eat all of these things but most commonly folks eat the bulb or the fronds.

The bulb is pretty comparable to an onion (and can be used as such) but has a slightly anise (black licorice) flavor. I think this is why it gets such a bad wrap. Because people hate black licorice (I do too!). But anise is actually a flavor used in lots of common favorites like Italian sausage and pepperoni. When it's subtle it adds a lot to a dish. I know this is a less of a description of a vegetable and more of me begging you to try a vegetable, but I'm begging you people, try the fennel in one of the recipes below! You might be surprised! Also, here's an awesome article from a chef in Columbus, Ohio asking you to do the same :)

So how do I use it?

Because lots of people are stumped by fennel, there are lots of great tutorials online for how to cut it up. You will cut the bulb away from the stalks in an angle matching the shape of the fennel and then slice off the bottom where the fennel sat on the ground. Place the fennel flat on it's base and slice it in half lengthwise. From there you'll see a little core near the bottom of each half. It will look solid and triangular. Remove that and then get to chopping! This link will teach you how to slice, dice and shave it. I most often shave it because I love how delicate it is when added to any dish, but this is much easier with a mandolin than trying to do by hand. This link will teach you how to store and use every part of the vegetable.

What is the best way to prepare fennel?

Honestly, you can keep it so simple with fennel. You can shave it and throw it on pizza or in pasta. You can roughly chop it and throw it in a stew or braise. You can slice it and grill it (I'm so excited to try this over the weekend!). You can use a similar technique and roast it in the oven. You can shave it and toss it with some apple and lemon juice  for a quick salad. You can throw it in a quiche or a tart. You can really do a ton.

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 9-10 of these items in your box next week

Red Cabbage

Chard

Collards

Broccoli

Snap Peas

Cucumber

Zucchini

Summer Squash

Fennel

Scallions

Parsley

Basil

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Zucchini Pie

1 8-ounce package refrigerated crescent rolls                          

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter                                                                             

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 cups thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash                                                     

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup chopped scallions                                                                   

2 cups shredded cheese – fontina, jack or swiss works best

3 tablespoons chives, sliced, optional                                              

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 375⁰. Unroll crescent roll dough. If using dough sheet, you can place it in the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 11 X 7” dish. If using traditional crescent roll dough, place points of each triangle in center of 9” or 10” pie plate. Press to seal seams and press dough up sides. Melt butter in lg. skillet,  gently saute’ onion and zucchini until just tender, ~ 12 minutes.

Gently stir all herbs and seasonings into zucchini mixture, set aside. Stir up eggs in a small bowl, pour over zucchini mixture, sprinkle cheese over. Fold together, spoon over crescent crust. Bake until set, 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving . Can serve warm or at room temperature.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Green Goddess Cobb Salad // Uses Lettuce, Fennel, Scallions, Chives, use more Scallions on the salad instead of Red Onion, skip the other herbs in the Green Goddess or buy somme bottled stuff // When you start to get a little sick of salad, the only logical answer is to pile it high with so many delicious things that you fall back in love with summer’s best treat. This salad is a real gem— and if you can’t find the guanciale, feel free to substitute bacon or prosciutto.

Gluten-Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Grilled Sugar Snap Peas with Spicy Peanut Sauce // Uses Snap Peas // I know most folks will just eat their snap peas straight out of the bag, but in case you didn't get enough grilling in this past week, I want to open your mind to the wonderful world of grilled snap peas. They are one of the most amazing summer treats I've ever experienced. The spicy peanut sauce is also out of this world.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Beet, Pea & Avocado Salad // Uses Beets, Snap Peas, substitute Scallions for onion and skip the herbs // Crunchy, sweet, creamy, tangy: this recipe inspired by the chef Ottolenghi is an absolute explosion of flavors and textures. It's simple and well worth using up your limited number of snap peas.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Brooklyn Supper

photo by: Brooklyn Supper

Lily’s Lemony Fennel, Radish, and Kale Salad // Uses Fennel, Snap Peas, Kale // I am forever loving salads that just feel like summer in a giant bowl. This is definitely one to bookmark!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Dishing Out Health

photo by: Dishing Out Health

Cucumber Sesame Salad with Garlicky Chile Oil // Uses Cucumbers, feel free to add some Scallions or Chives // Lately, we’ve really been enjoying the spicy garlicky kick with our cucumbers and this great recipe mellows it out with some yogurt for a perfect bite.

Vegetarian, Vegan (without yogurt), Gluten-Free

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Garden Greens Goddess Pizza // Uses Zucchini, Kale, skip the Arugula/Watercress (unless you still happen to have some lying around) // I love a good veggie pizza and this one is going to be on rotation this summer for two veggies that can overwhelm me quickly (abundant zucchini and abundant greens).

P.S. Let shaved zucchini be your new favorite method for using the summer treat!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right crust)

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Kohlrabi & Beet Salad with Walnuts, Yogurt & Dill // Uses Kohlrabi, Beets // Earthy, crunchy, bright, sweet; this dish is perfect on the side of whatever you are grilling.

Vegetarian, Gluten Free

photo by: Bon Appeit

photo by: Bon Appeit

Grilled Steak Salad with Beets & Scallions // Uses Beets, Scallions // Are you sensing a theme with this week’s recipes? We can’t seem to handle cooking indoors anymore.

Gluten-Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Apple, Fennel & Kohlrabi Salad // Uses Fennel, Kohlrabi // Fennel and kohlrabi are, in my humble opinion, two of the most misunderstood vegetables we grow. My solution? Throw them together with some fresh apple, funky blue cheese and toasted walnuts for a quick salad that is delectable as it is simple. Raw fennel is hard for folks to get behind but shave it real thin and put it with some strong flavors and I guarantee you'll be happy you did!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Grilled Zucchini Ribbons with Pesto and White Beans // Uses Zucchini and/or Summer Squash // Introduce your zucchinis to the grill and I promise you will never get sick of them or have trouble figuring out what’s for dinner over the next several weeks.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

CSA Newsletter: Week 4

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Snap Peas & Snow Peas // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Lettuce Mix // Store loosely in a plastic bag until ready to use. Should last up to a week.

Butterhead or Romaine Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Curly Kale // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture. Also freezes well for soups.

Zucchini and/or Summer Squash // These are the first zucchinis of the year which means they are imperfect. Imperfect produce always needs to be used quickly so store these beauties in your fridge and use within a couple days. They will get soft after that.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Beets // Trim the leaves off the beets. Store the leaves in a plastic bag if you plan to use them (the leaves should last 2-3 days). Once leaves are removed from the beet roots, the roots will easily last a couple of weeks. They’ll get soft after that but can still be used. Store the roots loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

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Hello dear members!

And welcome to week 4 of the CSA season!! In case you haven’t noticed, this green bounty of early summer is definitely going to continue here at Raleigh’s Hillside Farm.

With days above 80 degrees and (what feels like) non-stop rain, the fields are really beginning to burst with flavor and abundance. Though the zucchini and cucumbers have just begun, within a week of our first harvest we were able to haul in a couple hundred pounds. These crops are absolutely loving the humidity and moisture. Lettuce heads continue to grow more and more massive. Kale, chard, and collards are begging to be picked every week. Kohlrabi and beets are also massive and full. Parsley beds are overflowing. It’s absolutely crazy out here.

And above everything else, it appears to be the best season for snap peas we have ever encountered in our seven years of farming. Because it stayed so cool and wet for so long, the peas grew comfortably in their perfect climate. Since we dialed in our pea trellising system four years ago, every May and June have been pretty hot causing the peas to stress and put out lackluster fruits. This year they flowered like mad while in a perfectly low stress environment and now that the heat has come, it’s encouraging the peas to fruit and size up more quickly. This week and next should be massively abundant with high quality snap peas. We could not be more excited.

And how is the rainfall affecting other things? Mostly the rain feels annoying. It means the heavy weeding season will definitely last until mid-July (at the earliest) and it’s making planting near impossible. Luckily, we have a two-week gap in any urgent seeding or transplanting so though frustrating, the rain isn’t actually putting us behind schedule. We’re keeping up with the weeds just well enough to keep things growing, but it has been a pretty overwhelming task at times. With no tractor cultivation, keeping things well-weeded is a very physical task.

As for the crops, a couple things seem unhappy with the excessive rain—mainly the peppers, beans and watermelon—but generally things are doing really well. The worst damage we’ve seen is to the basil. This crop is prone to a disease called downy mildew and with increased rain and humidity, every year this disease seems to come a bit earlier and earlier. This year, the plants seem to be affected already even though they’re less than a month old. We will likely remove the plants, re-till that bed and plant something new.

All in all, the rain really just means we can spend the week focused on finishing one of the season’s biggest projects: trellising the tomatoes! Over the last couple weeks, we have been laying landscape fabric in between the tomato rows and mulching them to keep the weeds down. The most recently planted five beds of plum tomatoes still need landscape fabric and mulch and then everything (all 22 rows!) will need to be trellised. This means pounding 25 posts into the ground for each row and then weaving them together with tomato twine to help the tomatoes grow upright instead of sprawling everywhere. It’s a huge project we have to set up and take down every year, and with 22 rows of tomatoes, it feels more daunting than ever but we’ve already got two rows done and will start doing more just as soon as the CSA boxes are packed and out on delivery.

Now that the harvests are so full, it’s becoming harder and harder to balance field week with all the harvesting but we’re overjoyed with the bounty we have for you all and we can’t wait to share our overflowing (and maybe a little weedy) fields with you all this Saturday!

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 11-12 of these items in your box next week

Lettuce or Lettuce Mix

Red Cabbage

Broccoli

Kohlrabi

Beets

Fennel

Scallions

Kale

Snap Peas

Snow Peas

Zucchini

Cucumber

Parsley

Chives

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

2 Variations on “Caprese”

#1 Grilled Zucchini & Pepper “Caprese”

Fresh Mozzarella, sliced as thin as the zucchini

Zucchini, sliced diagonally, lightly grilled

Roasted red peppers (larger pieces), from a jar

Lay slices of mozzarella, zucchini and lg. pieces of peppers on a serving platter, overlapping about 2/3rds, alternating items to make a row. When row is complete, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Chill until serving.

#2 Roasted Beets & Honey “Caprese” 

Fresh Mozzarella, sliced as thin as the beets

Beets, roasted (see instructions below)

Honey

Walnuts, chopped and toasted

Microgreens if desired

First, prepare the beets. Cut greens off, leaving about an inch. Wash beets, wrap loosely in foil. Smaller beets can be roasted together. Roast beets until tender, about 50min.@ 400⁰, longer at lower temps. When beets have cooled somewhat, rub w/ paper towel to remove skins. Allow to cool completely, slice thinly.

To make the “Caprese”: On a long serving platter, lay slices of mozzarella and sliced beets, overlapping about 2/3rds, alternating items to make a row. Drizzle honey overall, sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Sprinkle microgreens over if using. Chill until serving. You may need to use a paper towel on either side of row to keep the beet juices from running on the platter. Remove paper towel before serving. 

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

Grilled Sugar Snap Peas with Spicy Peanut Sauce // Snap OR Snow Peas // I know most folks will just eat their snap peas straight out of the bag, but in case you didn't get enough grilling in this past week, I want to open your mind to the wonderful world of grilled snap peas. They are one of the most amazing summer treats I've ever experienced. The spicy peanut sauce is also out of this world.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

Photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Garden Greens Goddess Pizza // Zucchini, Kale, skip the Arugula/Watercress (unless you still happen to have some lying around) // I love a good veggie pizza and this one is going to be on rotation this summer for two veggies that can overwhelm me quickly (abundant zucchini and abundant greens).

P.S. Let shaved zucchini be your new favorite method for using the summer treat!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right crust)

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Beet, Pea & Avocado Salad // Beets, Snap Peas, skip the herbs if you don't have any on hand // Crunchy, sweet, creamy, tangy: this recipe inspired by the chef Ottolenghi is an absolute explosion of flavors and textures. It's simple and well worth using up your limited number of snap peas.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Iceberg Wedges with Grilled Bacon & Croutons // Uses Mirlo Lettuce // The Bibb/Butterhead lettuce most of you received this week is the closest thing to an Iceberg we grow on our farm and I think it makes an absolutely beautiful wedge salad. This salad is super simple and just feels like what we all should be eating before we head out to watch fireworks.

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Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Pork Meatballs & Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil // Uses Kohlrabi, Lettuce, and leftover Garlic Scapes & Scallions if you’ve got ‘em //  There is just something I love about a cold noodle salad with warm pork meatballs. This dish is so yummy. My favorite part might just be the garlic scape chile oil— so whatever you do, don’t leave that out!

Gluten-Free (depending on the noodle)

Photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Winter Beet and Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Pecans + Balsamic Citrus Dressing // Uses Lettuce, Beets // I made this salad for Christmas this past year and it blew everyone’s mind. The amount of flavor packed into one salad is truly incredible and I’ve been waiting to give you beets just so I can share it with you all! Even though this recipe is titled as a winter salad, the only thing that really keeps it in the winter category is the pomegrante which you can absolutely leave off. Feel free to substitute strawberries or cherries if you still want a fruit on there.

Vegetarian, Gluten Free

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Summer Vegetarian Cobbler // uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, substitute Kale for Collards // Top this summer mix of veggies with fresh homemade biscuits or premade biscuits from the fridge section of your grocery store. Either way, you’re going to love them!

Vegetarian

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Raw Beet & Cucumber Salad // Beets, Cucumber, use whatever herbs you have lying around or toss in your Lettuce Mix instead, sub red pepper flakes if you don't have any chiles //  I love this recipe. I love the rawness of the beets paired with crisp, sweet cucumbers and the abundance of fresh herbs. The recipe calls for English and Persian cucumbers but regular old cucumbers work just as well. I like to peel strips of skin away (as the recipe suggests), halve the cucumbers, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then thinly slice. I do, however, find this recipe to have way too many poppy seeds though so feel free to reduce the quantity or leave them off altogether.

Vegetarian, Vegan (without the cheese), Gluten-Free

photo by: Yay! For Food

photo by: Yay! For Food

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls with Garlicky Kale // Kale // Brown rice + beautiful wilted greens + a protein makes for a delicious, healthy dinner packed full of flavor when paired with this teriyaki sauce (and plenty of garlic!!).

Gluten-Free (with soy sauce substitute)

Photo by: Dishing Up the Dirt

Photo by: Dishing Up the Dirt

Kohlrabi Fritters with Garlic & Herb Cashew Cream // Kohlrabi, any leftover Garlic Scapes you still have in your fridge // Fritters are one of our absolute favorite ways to transform vegetables we may be sick of, or at the very least, are out of ideas for how to eat them. I love these fritters so much, but typically don’t make the sauce. It’s absolutely delightful, but we usually opt for a quick yogurt sauce with any leftover goodies we have on hand instead (scallions, garlic scapes, random herbs).

Vegetarian, Vegan (with an egg substitute)

CSA Newsletter: Week 3

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli (All Large Shares & Most Small Shares) // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Snow Peas (Only Small Shares who did not receive Broccoli) // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.

Romaine Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Rainbow Chard (Small Shares Only) // Do not wash chard before storage. Wrap in a plastic bag and try to remove most of the air from the bag. Store in the fridge and try to use within a few days.

Collards (Large Shares Only) // Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. Do not wash before storing.

Zucchini (Large Shares & Most Small Shares) // These are the first zucchinis of the year which means they are imperfect. Imperfect produce always needs to be used quickly so store these beauties in your fridge and use within a couple days. They will get soft after that.

Cucumbers (Only Small Shares who did not receive Zucchini // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Turnips (with greens!) // Store for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Garlic Scapes // Garlic scapes will last up to three weeks loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge. They also freeze extremely well; just chop and freeze!

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Hello dear members,

I really hope you’ve enjoyed these newsletters so far this season. I’ve really loved taking some quiet time on Tuesday morning before I head out to the fields to harvest our CSA veggies to tell you about our history as a farm and how the season is going to date. I really hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know us while enjoying your first couple of boxes of food! We’re so proud of the CSA so far. Despite a weird, cool spring, we think these boxes have been absolutely perfect and we can’t believe we’re harvesting the first zucchini and summer squash already!

Today, I want to spend a little time introducing you to our little farm crew because as I said in the first newsletter, its not just Kyle and I out here each week harvesting your veggies, packing your veggies and growing your veggies. We feel absolutely blessed to have a crew by our side who is dedicated, hardworking, goofy and just as obsessed with growing vegetables as we are.

This is our fourth year managing employees and honestly, it hasn’t always been easy. We have loved and appreciated every one of our crew members past and present, but early on, we were hiring friends and inexperienced hands to help because we were still young in our business and a) didn’t know how to find or retain great farm labor and b) couldn’t pay enough to make the gig very attractive. The folks we found did a wonderful job, but we were quite limited as their managers. Even though we knew we needed help, we didn’t always know how to manage or create systems that others could easily plug into.  

This year, things have begun to shift completely. We have three paid crew members helping us in the field and we are tremendously grateful for all of them. All three have worked for other CSA farms, and training folks who already understand the ins and outs of harvesting, washing, and packing (among so many other things) has helped us become better managers and focus on higher level systems and planning.

We feel so lucky to have these three kickass folks beside us, and perhaps one of the most wonderful parts of our team culture this year is that all three of them feel just as lucky to be working alongside us. The mutual respect and love apparent between all of us fills our hearts with so much joy. It’s the only way we ever wanted to run a business. If we were going to have employees, we wanted to treat them right and be a true team and we truly, deeply feel we have that.

Rebecca is our first ever returning employee and we hope we can figure out how to keep her here for a while. She and Kyle met working together at Kopke’s greenhouses in Oregon. When she expressed interest in working for us, Kyle and I both got so excited. We had already known Rebecca for several years and knew she was amazing at pretty much anything and everything she does. She works hard and gives her full heart to anyone she works for. You can usually find Rebecca alongside Kyle in the field, the only one who can truly keep up with him harvesting pretty much every single crop. These two have such a beautiful team dynamic and I love to watch them work together. Rebecca is also an incredible mother of four and so much fun on and off the farm. Whenever you see activities at our farm parties that your kids are loving, Rebecca probably came up with the idea.

And what does she say about working for us? Rebecca told us recently, “I am truly thankful to be a part of the amazing team at Raleigh’s! Rain or shine, breezy, buggy or hot as hell, I couldn’t think of a better place to spend my summer. We laugh, sing or harvest peacefully in the rain. Kyle and Lauren are passionate farmers that I am happy to call my friends. I have watched their farm grow over the past few years into greatness. Happy to be here!”

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Zoe is new to our farm this year. I first met her at the In Her Boots workshop hosted at our farm last summer through Soil Sisters and MOSES. When I led a tour of our farm, Zoe was always in front, scribbling down notes and asking incredibly thoughtful questions. I knew immediately this woman had more passion for farming than anyone I had ever met and the knowledge to back it up. When we got to talking after the tour, I asked if she was currently farming and where, and I learned that she would possibly be looking for work this year. I grabbed her contact information and kept in touch all winter. From our couple hours together, I knew I loved her. Originally from Illinois, but living in Colorado, Zoe moved back home to take the job with us and we were truly thrilled. She began working four days a week at our farm in April and has been a god send. We’ve never flown through a spring planting season with such ease. She is quick, meticulous, and always willing to learn. She has experience on lots of different size operations as well as farming on her own, and the knowledge she brings is truly tremendous. She does, however, hate being in front of the camera so don’t expect a ton of photos of her this year.

In a letter to us early on Zoe wrote, “Although I learned more [at the Soil Sisters In Her Boots workshop] than I can convey in this space, your utilization of regenerative practices, your commitment to both tradition and experimentation, and your emphasis on maintaining a work-life balance suggested to me that this environment would be incredibly suited to my values as a young farmer.”

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Emily is also new to our team this year. They have two years of experience working with our dear friend Kristen at Blue Moon Community Farm and are currently sharing their time between our farm two days a week and Snug Haven in Belleville. They bring such a beautiful energy to our farm. I’ve never met a crew member more zen—happy with any task put in front of them and never frustrated even if the weather or the system is a little less than ideal. When a day or a task feels daunting, they always remind us to just put one foot in front of the other because we’ll finish, and what’s the point of stressing when we could be enjoying? I love the lightness, comic relief, and kindness Emily brings to our fields.

And they love working for us too. I’ll never forget Emily’s interview this past spring, they asked such thoughtful deep questions about our operation. It was clear they weren’t just looking for any farm job, they wanted the opportunity to work for us. When I asked them what they love about working for us, Emily said, “I am proud to work at a farm committed to looking beyond organic standards to care for the soil and minimize external inputs. I love working with people so passionate about sharing the veggie love.”

I really hope you enjoyed meeting the folks who are growing your food alongside us this summer. Until next week!

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Salad Turnips ↑

Just like with regular turnips you receive in the fall, salad turnips are a member of the Brassica family. These spring beauties are one of our absolute favorite spring/early summer vegetables even though we’ve never had success growing them ourselves before. These turnips have very tender skins and do not need to be peeled. They are also a bit sweeter than the turnips you get in the fall. You can literally crunch on them just like an apple, slice them thin for salads, cut them into matchsticks for a simple slaw or braise them until tender. The greens are also delicate and delicious. I love to eat them raw in salads, saute them down or add them to eggs in the morning.

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VEGGIE ID: Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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VEGGIE ID: Garlic Scapes

An edible shoot that hard-neck garlic puts out in the spring. It is the plant trying to flower and reproduce and we have to cut this shoot off before it flowers so that the garlic puts energy into its bulb. Luckily, this shoot is edible and delicate and everything good about garlic in one little crunchy green ribbon. Munch on them raw, mince and put on your asparagus pizza (below), or use in salad dressing. The sky is the limit. If you love garlic, you will love these beauties. 

IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 9-10 of these items in your box next week

Lettuce or Lettuce Mix

Broccoli

Kohlrabi

Turnips

Beets

Scallions

Chard

Collards

Kale

Snap Peas

Snow Peas

Zucchini

Cucumber

Parsley

Chives

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Asian Style Stuffed Cabbage

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin

½ - ¾ cup kohlrabi; sliced or diced fairly small, optional

2 teaspoons minced garlic scapes

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

1 pound ground pork

1 cup cooked rice

1-2 large turnips, shredded

3 scallions, sliced

1 teaspoon dried cilantro

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 head cabbage

Teriyaki sauce

¼ cup Hoisin sauce

2 tablespoon water

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

  2. In a large saute pan, warm oils over medium heat. Saute’ mushrooms and kohlrabi (if using) for a couple minutes until mushrooms begin to release their juices. Add ginger and garlic scapes, saute 1 minute more; set aside.

  3. In bowl, gently combine raw pork, rice, turnips, scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Stir in mushroom mixture; set aside.

  4. Start a large kettle of water boiling. Using a paring knife, cut out core of cabbage  in a cone shape, leaving head intact. Drop cabbage into boiling water. Using a tongs, gently peel off outside leaves as they become pliable but still leaving the head in the kettle. Set leaves on a tray.

  5. Using an ice cream scoop, put a level scoop of filling on the stem end of a cabbage leaf. Fold edges in and roll towards end of leaf. Place rolls in a greased 9 X 13 pan with a small amount of the teriyaki sauce in the bottom.  Repeat until all filling is used. Mix hoisin with water in a small bowl, and pour over each roll. Bake 30 – 40 minutes.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Broccoli & Kohlrabi Salad // Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Scallions // I've always been a huge fan of broccoli salad (especially when the broccoli is cut into very small, tender pieces as it is here). I love the combination of sweet dried fruits, crunchy roasted nuts, sharp raw scallions, and a creamy, tangy dressing all over a pile of fresh broccoli. This recipe is even better because of the small cubes of delicate kohlrabi. I eat bowl after bowl of this stuff for as long as the broccoli is in season and you really should too!

Vegetarian, Vegan

Photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Turnip & Bacon Fritters // Uses Turnips (and their greens!) // These beautiful fritters us both the turnips AND their greens! Add those delicate spring flavors with bacon and you’re in for a real treat!

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Market Mac & Cheese // Uses Chard, Scallions, Garlic Scapes // We whipped up this dish on Saturday night and it was so good, I just had to share it. It’ll be added to my blog soon, but for now, follow these instructions.

Bring a large pot of salted boiling water (enough for 12 ounces of noodles) on the stove. On another burner, melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until it just begins to get foamy. Add sliced chard stems (roughly chop the greens for later!) along with sliced scallions and garlic scapes to the butter. Saute for 5 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Reduce the heat to medium low and add in a 1/4 cup flour, stir and cook for just a couple minutes again until flour just begins to smell nutty. Slowly stir in 1 cup whole milk until its well incorporated into the flour-butter paste (aka roux). Stir until there are no clumps and the consistency is smooth then add in 2 more cups of whole milk all at once. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens a bit.

Meanwhile, boil 12 ounces noodles according to package directions. And cook 1 pound of sliced smoked sausage (on the stove or on the grill) until charred.

Add your chard greens into the milk mixture once thickened and let them cook down for a minute or two. Then add in your noodles and sausage. Finish it all off with a bunch of freshly ground black pepper and 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese (we used a mixture of mozzarella, cheddar, havarti, and spicy gouda). Top with kimchi and/or microgreens or pea shoots.

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

BLK Sandwich // Uses Lettuce, Kohlrabi, sub Garlic Scapes for Garlic, skip the Basil // Substituting kohlrabi for tomatoes seems a bit strange, I know, but trust me that this sandwich made entirely of vegetables, bread and bacon is simple spring perfection. Andrea Bemis of Dishing up the Dirt, the woman who created this recipe, also happens to be a master of great vegan substitutions like cashew mayo. But for this recipe, which has bacon (and is therefore absolutely not vegan) I sub mayo for the cashews for a quicker sandwich spread.

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Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Pork Meatballs & Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil // Uses Kohlrabi (turnips would also be fine!), Lettuce, Garlic Scapes, Scallions //  There is just something I love about a cold noodle salad with warm pork meatballs. This dish is so yummy. My favorite part might just be the garlic scape chile oil— so whatever you do, don’t leave that out!

Gluten-Free (depending on the noodle)

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Cabbage & Snow Pea Rice Bowl with Warm Coconut Peanut Sauce // Uses Cabbage, Scallion, Snow Peas if you’ve got them, feel free to Sub in Turnips for the radish that’s called for // A bowl of warm rice topped with abundant veggies and a creamy, rich peanut sauce? Is there a better way to get through your CSA box? I think not.

Vegetarian, Vegan (with a substitute for fish sauce used), Gluten Free

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Summer Vegetarian Cobbler // uses Scallions, Zucchini (leave it out if you didn’t get any this week), Collards or Chard, Garlic Scapes // Top this summer mix of veggies with fresh homemade biscuits or premade biscuits from the fridge section of your grocery store. Either way, you’re going to love them!

Vegetarian

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

Collard Green & Turnip Slaw with Spicy Seed Brittle // Uses Collards, Turnips // This brittle is heavenly and would be delicious sprinkled on just about anything but I LOVE that it’s sprinkled over two of my favorite, underappreciated vegetable. Collards are an EXCELLENT salad green and I love them so much. Turnips made into slaw is also one of my favorite preparations of an oft overlooked root vegetable. Give this recipe a whirl. You won’t be disappointed!

Vegetarian, Vegan (without Honey), Gluten-Free

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Alison Roman Inspired Wedge // uses Lettuce, Turnips, Scallions // I love doing plays on classic Wedge Salads this time of year when Romaine is at it's absolute loveliest. Inspired by the incredible Dining In Cookbook by Alison Roman of the New York Times, this is my current favorite wedge. Recipe below.

First I slice my Turnips and a couple Scallions real thin (use a mandoline for the turnips if you've got one!) and combine them in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to quickly pickle them while I prep the rest of the meal. I cook up 10, yes 10, slices of thick-cut bacon (preferably the peppered stuff) either in a skillet if I'm real hungry or in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes if I'm feeling a little more patient, and then pat the browned and crispy slices with paper towels to get the grease off.

In another bowl, I quickly whisk together 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons olive oil and another 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon until smooth and then spread it evenly onto two (if doing entree salads) or four (if doing side salads) plates. I cut my washed and dried lettuce into quarters, putting one (if serving four) or two (if serving two) onto each plate. I sprinkle the whole thing with turnips and scallions being sure to get some of the vinegar right on the lettuce and I follow that up with a bunch of that bacon. I drizzle it all with a little olive oil and devour immediately using a steak knife and fork. Voila. The perfect spring Wedge.

Gluten-Free, skip the Bacon for a Vegetarian salad

Photo by: Bon Appetit

Photo by: Bon Appetit

Classic Coleslaw // Uses Cabbage, feel free to throw in some Turnips // Everyone needs a simple go to coleslaw recipe and for going on five years, this has been mine, though I do of course make some of my own adjustments. I tend to use whatever cabbage I have on hand (just green or just red— rarely some of each) as well as half mayonnaise and half Greek yogurt. I also often skip the carrots if I don’t have any on hand but in this case, you should totally give kohlrabi a try!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

CSA Newsletter: Week 2

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli (Some Large Shares) // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Kohlrabi (Large Shares Only) // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Asparagus (Large Shares who do not receive Broccoli, and all Small Shares)** // Of all your spring goodies this week, be sure to use the asparagus first! Asparagus has a short shelf life (less than a week). Keep it banded and up-right in about an inch of water for best long-term storage. Large mason jars work well for this. Don't bother with this step if you plan to use within a couple days.

Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.

Bok Choy // Store unwashed in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Use within a couple days for best texture. Greens will wilt relatively quickly. Stems will retain firmness a while longer.

Lovelock Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Rhubarb // Store in your fridge and use within a week. Store in a plastic bag wrapped loosely in a damp paper towel for longest life.

Radishes (with greens!) // Store for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Turnips (with greens!) // Store for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Garlic Scapes // Garlic scapes will last up to three weeks loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge. They also freeze extremely well; just chop and freeze!

**The asparagus you’ll be receiving from us this year is certified organic from Little Heathen’s Farm north of Stoughton. Though we did put an asparagus patch in last year, it takes a couple years to really begin producing so for now we’ll be buying in from our friends.

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Alright, so now that we got all of that storytelling out-of-the-way and you know little bit about us, our partnership, and our evolution as a farm over the past seven years, let’s get talking about this season because if you’ve been reading the headlines, you’ll likely know it’s been a pretty rough spring for farmers. Plagued with torrential storms throughout the month of May and not enough sunshine or warmth to keep the plants growing at a normal rate, it’s fair to say conditions have not been favorable for anyone trying to grow things for a living.

All in all, we can’t really complain. Our planting windows have been tight, our fields have not been worked in the ways we want (to work towards healthier, happier soils), and things are way behind schedule, but we have friends and neighbors who were literally under water for weeks and we feel pretty insulated from that on our little hillside. We feel grateful that we didn’t have to deal with any actual standing water or flood damage, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

Our farming season generally begins in the fields during the third week of April. By then, all the things we seeded in early March are ready to be transplanted into the ground if weather conditions allow. We planned to get our onions, kale and the first field of brassica crops (broccoli plantings one & two, three plantings of cabbage, and one of kohlrabi) planted that week. When April 16th rolled around, conditions were basically perfect.

It was dry for five or six days straight with a storm at the end to water in all our transplants. We had a crew member who was able to start at the beginning of our season (for the first time ever!) and Kyle had no commitments away from the farm (he’d spent the past six seasons splitting his time between the farm and a greenhouse where he worked during March, April and May). We got the plants we wanted into the ground with time leftover to focus on getting our walk-in cooler built. Everything felt balanced and organized. That continued for another week until the late April blizzard. We were fearful of negative effects to all our young plants, but also knew from experience that plants were freakishly resilient and that snow would likely provide insulation for the below-zero temperatures.  We did what we could, focused on the positive, and everything made it through without issue.

Then came the real tough stuff, the rain and the cloud cover and the temperatures that refused to rise. Most farmers in our region are saying this is the wettest spring they’ve ever experienced. Others go so far as to say its quite possibly the wettest spring on record, and definitely the most rain in May in the last 20 years. Given any of those stats, we feel pretty grateful to have been able to stay mostly on track. Our planting schedule kept pushing a couple days behind and now it’s a solid 10 days from where we would like it to be, but generally we have stayed on top of the weeds and the plants look healthy and happy.

The two main concerns at this point are 1) that our plants are getting stressed having to deal with the compacted soils they were planted into (to be able to stay on schedule we had to till and do field work in less than ideal conditions thus packing the soil down a bit with the weight of our tractor—plants don’t like compacted soils because they have to put a LOT of energy into growing roots, and 2) the cool temperatures are keeping things small. Aside from a few crops that are rocking the cool days, cooler nights and lack of sunshine (peas, cabbage, lettuce, onions), a lot of crops are straggling along at a snail’s pace.  

We know that some of our early boxes might not look exactly how we wanted them to or thought they would, but as usual, farming is a practice in finding your zen. We can make plans but they rarely are able to come to fruition. Mother Nature always has a plan of her own. And like it or not, we can’t speed the plants up. We can only continue planting, harvesting what’s ready, weeding in every spare moment, and keeping our heads held high because things will catch up (as they always do).

And once again we’re reminded why CSA is the most beautiful business model that exists for farmers: it’s all about taking the trade-offs (of less asparagus but early cabbage; of less spinach, but more kohlrabi; of delayed snow peas but beautiful turnips with greens out of a storybook) and communicating them well with our community of supporters. Every year and every season has a mind of its own. CSA makes it our job to ride these waves and take you along with us. It’s a model I never take for granted and I never tire of. So once again, sincere thanks for being here. We’re so jazzed to be riding these farming waves with you.

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: BOK CHOY ↑

Be not afraid of that leafy green vegetable with white almost celery-looking stalks in your box this week. Bok Choy is one of the vegetables I had never heard of before we began farming that I have grown to have a deep love for. It is a member of the brassica family (I'll mention the brassica family a lot; it includes lots of popular veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts as well as some odd ducks like kohlrabi, bok choy and rutabaga).

It sometimes also referred to a pac choi or Chinese cabbage. This green is mild and sweet with an almost silky texture. A lot of dark leafy greens can be bitter or harsh, but bok choy is the complete opposite. The leaves are light and tender. The stalk is crunchy and crisp.

So how do I use it?

The first step is getting it clean. We washed the field dirt off the bok choy, but dirt still likes to hide between the layers. I fill my sink with cold water, rip off as many leaves as I plan to use and then soak them for 5-10 minutes. I rub my fingers over any dirty parts of the stem after they soak and then swish them through the water before use.

Then all that's left to do is cut it up. This will vary a little bit based on what recipe you are using, but I like to cut the stems from the leaves. I usually roughly chop the leaves and slice the stems.

What is the best way to prepare bok choy?

Because the leafy greens are so tender and the stalks so crispy, I love to eat bok choy raw in salads. There is an amazing salad recipe below that calls for bok choy as well as one that turns bok choy and radishes into a simple slaw. My friend Sarah loves to grill bok choy because it stands up well to the heat. Lots of folks stir fry it or add it to soups. You can also make a quick ferment or kimchi out of it. I've also simmered it in coconut milk (ala creamed spinach, but vegan and so much better!) and that was one of my favorite simple preparation. And as always, never forget that you can roast literally anything. The sky is the limit with this leafy green so be not afraid. You too will learn to love it!

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VEGGIE ID: Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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VEGGIE ID: Garlic Scapes

An edible shoot that hard-neck garlic puts out in the spring. It is the plant trying to flower and reproduce and we have to cut this shoot off before it flowers so that the garlic puts energy into its bulb. Luckily, this shoot is edible and delicate and everything good about garlic in one little crunchy green ribbon. Munch on them raw, mince and put on your asparagus pizza (below), or use in salad dressing. The sky is the limit. If you love garlic, you will love these beauties. 

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 8-9 of these items in your box next week

Head Lettuce

Cabbage

Broccoli

Kohlrabi

Radish with Greens

Turnip with Greens

Beets

Scallions

Chard

Collards

Peas

Chives

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta

5 cups dry pasta of choice, I used rotini

1 – 1 ¼ pound (6) favorite Italian Sausage links

1 bunch scallions

1-2 green garlic or garlic scape

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

½ teaspoon crushed rosemary

¼ teaspoon pepper

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups half & half cream

½ - ¾ cup flavorful shredded cheese i.e. fontina, asiago, etc.

1/2 cup reserved pasta water

1 cup milk

4 cups or more lightly packed chopped hearty greens (this is a great place to use your turnip or radish greens— or even bok choy leaves would work!)

  1. Cook pasta according to package or until al dente’.

  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet add a couple teaspoons olive oil and brown sausages well on both sides. Poke a few holes in the sausage with fork or knife tip. Add mushrooms, scallions and green garlic or garlic scapes and seasonings. Cover pan and saute for a few minutes until veggies are tender and sausage is almost cooked.

  3. Remove sausage to cutting board. Add flour to skillet and stir into veg juices. Cook a couple minutes. Add half & half, cook and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese. Slice sausage into bite size pieces and add to skillet. Add reserved pasta water and pasta, stir until combined.

  4. Stir in 1 milk and greens, stir to combine, cover and over very low temp, heat until greens are wilted.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Broccoli & Kohlrabi Salad // Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Scallions // I've always been a huge fan of broccoli salad (especially when the broccoli is cut into very small, tender pieces as it is here). I love the combination of sweet dried fruits, crunchy roasted nuts, sharp raw scallions, and a creamy, tangy dressing all over a pile of fresh broccoli. This recipe is even better because of the small cubes of delicate kohlrabi. I eat bowl after bowl of this stuff for as long as the broccoli is in season and you really should too!

Vegetarian, Vegan

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Midwest Bok Choy Ramen Salad // Uses Bok Choy, Scallions, feel free to add julienned Radishes to the salad for extra crunch and minced Garlic Scapes to the dressing // I’m not sure if everyone else grew up with ramen noodle salad aka “Chinese Coleslaw” but this is a Kathy Wells (my mother) classic. It’s usually made with that bagged coleslaw mix but I wanted to play around with some spring veggies and it brings me back to my childhood while feeling a bit healthier. I did keep the ramen noodles because that’s such a key component of the original. I know it’s silly but dang it’s tasty. Oh and yes, the ramen noodles do go in raw. You want that crunch.

Vegetarian with the right Ramen packet

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Spicy Pork Tacos with Scallion Green Garlic Chimichurri & Radishes // Uses Scallions, Radishes, sub Garlic Scapes for the Green Garlic, and use whatever herbs or greens you feel like (chopped really small) // With the help of a crock pot and a food processor, this meal comes together easily in 15 minutes on a week night. Plus the flavors are out of this world. What a weeknight win!

Gluten-Free with corn tortillas

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

BLK Sandwich // Uses Lettuce, Kohlrabi, sub Garlic Scapes for Garlic, skip the Basil // Substituting kohlrabi for tomatoes seems a bit strange, I know, but trust me that this sandwich made entirely of vegetables, bread and bacon is simple spring perfection. Andrea Bemis of Dishing up the Dirt, the woman who created this recipe, also happens to be a master of great vegan substitutions like cashew mayo. But for this recipe, which has bacon (and is therefore absolutely not vegan) I sub mayo for the cashews for a quicker sandwich spread.

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Spinach, Turnip & Green Garlic Dip // Uses Turnip (or Radish), sub Turnip Greens and Radish Greens for spinach, sub Garlic Scapes for Green Garlic //  My veggie-centric riff on Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Everything you need when feeling overloaded by salad.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Cabbage & Snow Pea Rice Bowl with Warm Coconut Peanut Sauce // Uses Cabbage, Radish, Scallion, leave out the Snow Peas // A bowl of warm rice topped with abundant veggies and a creamy, rich peanut sauce? Is there a better way to get through your CSA box? I think not.

Vegetarian, Vegan (with a substitute for fish sauce used), Gluten Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Chicken Tacos with Bok Choy & Radish Slaw // uses Bok Choy, Radish // When life throws a lot of veggies at you, always make tacos. You’d be surprised how many fresh veggies you can turn into a simple slaw and serve over zesty chicken or beef and wrap into a corn tortilla. This recipe makes using up your Bok Choy and radishes super simple! 

Gluten Free with the right tortillas

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

Buttered Radish & Ricotta Toast // Uses Radish // Buttered radishes over ricotta-slathered toast is pretty much everything we all need for breakfast. Even without the sumac and parsley this is a true breakfast of champions.

Vegetarian

photo by: Epicurious

photo by: Epicurious

The Shubarb Cocktail // Uses Rhubarb // A syrup made with rhubarb that is tangy and bright instead of sticky sweet (aka a shrub!). If you are sick of baking, this is exactly the right thing to make with your rhubarb. Serve it with gin, bourbon or tequila for a stellar CSA day treat.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Alison Roman Inspired Wedge // uses Lettuce, Radishes or Turnips, Scallions // I love doing plays on classic Wedge Salads this time of year when Romaine is at it's absolute loveliest. Inspired by the incredible Dining In Cookbook by Alison Roman of the New York Times, this is my current favorite wedge. Recipe below.

First I slice my Radishes or Turnips and a couple Scallions real thin (use a mandoline for the radishes or turnips if you've got one!) and combine them in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to quickly pickle them while I prep the rest of the meal. I cook up 10, yes 10, slices of thick-cut bacon (preferably the peppered stuff) either in a skillet if I'm real hungry or in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes if I'm feeling a little more patient, and then pat the browned and crispy slices with paper towels to get the grease off.

In another bowl, I quickly whisk together 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons olive oil and another 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon until smooth and then spread it evenly onto two (if doing entree salads) or four (if doing side salads) plates. I cut my washed and dried lettuce into quarters, putting one (if serving four) or two (if serving two) onto each plate. I sprinkle the whole thing with radishes or turnips and scallions being sure to get some of the vinegar right on the lettuce and I follow that up with a bunch of that bacon. I drizzle it all with a little olive oil and devour immediately using a steak knife and fork. Voila. The perfect spring Wedge.

Gluten-Free, skip the Bacon for Vegetarian salad

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Shaved Asparagus, Spinach & Mushroom Quiche // uses Asparagus, sub Turnip Greens or Radish Greens for Spinach, feel free to add Garlic Scapes and/or Scallions // I make a ridiculous amount of quiche this time of year. It's partially because it's quick, easy and heats up well, but it's also because as much as a I love salads, I too get overwhelmed by fresh greens. Cooked greens wilt down and feel so much more manageable and I love the way they pair with creamy eggs.

Vegetarian