FALL CSA–WEEK ONE!

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday August 29, 3:30-5:30pm

Welcome to our new fall CSA subscribers and welcome back for those of you who have been with us all summer. Don’t forget to bring your reusable bag to pick up.

Produce this week…

  • Garlic
  • Greens
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Self-Select Items…

  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Summer squash

Tentative produce list for 9/5

  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes

Farm updates…

Welcome to the start of the fall CSA. Cooler weather is on the way. Charles just seeded broccoli, Chinese cabbage, kale, lettuce and kohlrabi. Our winter squash is getting bigger each day and the radishes and turnips are also growing. You can look forward to these and other veggies later in the season. Right now we have wealth of summer vegetables. We are flush with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and summer squash among others. You will be seeing these vegetables for the next 3-4 weeks. The farm is flourishing and we encourage you to come out to visit. You can find directions here.

What follows is some basic information about the pick up and how to get the most out of your fresh vegetables. Each week we try to provide a variety of selections. The weekly harvest depends on the ripening process, the weather, what critters have visited in the past week and other unforeseen factors. Some weeks you might get an overflow, other weeks there might be fewer items. Rest assured by the end of the semester, it all evens out.

CSA’s bring you incredibly fresh vegetables. We are harvesting most things that are coming to you the day before or the day of harvest. The benefits are robust taste and lots of nutrients. But, this also means you might find some uninvited guests as well as some farm soil with your weekly share. To get the most out of your weekly share, it’s best to wash, pack and store as soon as you can after pick up. Most things should be washed and put in the refrigerator to keep them fresh (not tomatoes or winter squash). You will find that things like lettuce and greens last for a long time if stored correctly (they haven’t been sitting on a truck for a week). We will try to provide storage tips each week.

We will also provide cooking and recipe tips. Stephanie is a wealth of information about what to do with your weekly share. Feel free to ask her about recipes at the pick up. We will also provide some suggestions and resources here. If you find a recipe that works, please share it with us. Also, if you need extra ingredients–olive oil, herbs, additional vegetables, eggs, meat, fruit–head to MOON CO-OP or the Oxford Farmer’s Market (Sat and Tues).

What to do with your produce this week…

Ratatouille Recipe from Craig Claiborne & Pierre Franey for the New York Times

YIELD About 10 cups

TIME1 hour

  • 1 eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 3 zucchini, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 2 onions, about 1/2 pound
  • 3 green peppers, about 1/2 pound
  • ½ cup olive oil
  •  Salt to taste, if desired
  •  Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 4 cups drained, canned tomatoes, chopped or crushed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ½ cup drained capers
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley

PREPARATION

  1. Trim off the ends of the eggplant and zucchini. Do not peel. Cut each into cubes measuring about one inch or slightly larger. There should be about nine cups of eggplant cubes and six of zucchini.
  2. Peel the onions and cut into one-half-inch cubes. There should be about one and one-half cups.
  3. Core, seed and devein the green peppers, and cut them into one-inch pieces. There should be about two and one-half cups.
  4. Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole and add the eggplant and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, over high heat until the vegetables start to brown, about five minutes.
  5. Add the onions, green peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring, over high heat, about two minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, and stir to blend. Add the bay leaf, thyme and capers. Add salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and cover closely. Reduce the heat and let simmer 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.

SUMMER CSA–WEEK FOURTEEN

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday, Aug. 22, 3:30-5:30pm

Produce this week…

  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Peppers
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes

Self-select items…

  • Basel
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Onions

Tentative produce list for 8/29 pick up

This is the last week of the Summer CSA. Our next pick up will be the first pick up for the Fall CSA. We look forward to seeing all of you who are continuing on as subscribers. Thanks to those of you who joined us for the summer. If you want to add on a fall subscription you can add on for the price of a combined share. Contact ifmiami@miamioh.edu for more information.

  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomatoes

Farm updates…

This is a big week for local food at Miami. Stephanie Anderson, author of One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture, arrives this afternoon for four days of conversation about food and agriculture and why it matters now more than ever. She is giving a book talk at Lane Public library this evening at 7:00pm. She will also start the semester off with a lecture at Miami’s Convocation this Sunday at 3:00pm in Millet hall. We are looking forward to showing her our farm. This is a great way to launch the fall CSA. More than that, it is a great way to begin an ongoing conversation about food, agriculture, and our stewardship of the environment where we live and work.

What to do with your produce this week…

This is the week for peppers. Peppers are members of the Solanaceae family, which makes them relatives of tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. Peppers are a New World plant that played a central role in the Columbian Exchange, spreading quickly through Europe, India and beyond. They have become an integral part of diets around the world. They are also an important source of nutrition, high in vitamins A, C and E as well as iron and potassium. Finally, they are versatile–you can eat them raw, stuff them, make a sauce, a salad…

Here is a link to the Food Network, which provides a number of good recipe ideas. https://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/bell-peppers

SUMMER CSA–WEEK THIRTEEN

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday, Aug. 15, 3:30-5:30pm

Produce this week…

  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes

Self-select items…

  • Beets
  • Peppers (hot and sweet)
  • Melons (maybe–keep your fingers crossed)

Tentative produce list for 8/22 pick-up

We are still in our harvest holding pattern as we wait for cooler weather. Rest assured, leafy greens are coming.

  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes

Farm updates…

Our nutrition masters students have completed their summer internships on the farm. I want to thank them for all the hard work they have done this summer, especially the wonderful information about produce and the recipes they prepared for the blog. They have played a critical role in supporting all aspects of the summer CSA, and we hope the experience of learning about food from soil to fork has added to their educational experience.

What to do with your produce this week…

Here is a great resource to search recipes. You can search by season and ingredient. There are other filters as well.

https://www.loveandlemons.com/recipes/#all

Also, here is an easy recipe for cucumber mint soup.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/4153-cucumber-mint-soup

Summer CSA–WEEK TWELVE

Cook Field Pick- Up, Thursday, August 8, 3:30-5:30pm

Produce this week…

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes

Self-select items…

  • Beets
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers

Tentative produce list for 8/15 pick-up…

  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes

What to do with your farm produce this week by intern Kelly Adams

The Asian varieties of eggplants are coming to the CSA this week! The skin varies from a light lavender to a dark purple depending on the type of eggplant. The Chinese and Japanese varieties tend to be long and thin, while the Italian eggplants (the ones you find in the grocery stores) are shorter and darker. Eggplants contain vitamin B1, copper, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin K. When eaten raw, eggplants can have a bitter taste but when cooked they become very tender and flavorful. They can absorb oils and fats while cooking, and can be used to compliment very rich dishes. Additionally, they can be breaded and fried, sauteed, or grilled to take on an even more complex taste.

Eggplants should be stored on your kitchen counter in a cool, dark space. However, if you don’t plan on consuming it for a couple of days, the eggplant should be stored in the fridge to stay fresh for about 3-5 days. You can also blanch or steam them before freezing to store for up to 6 months.

One of the most common ways to prepare eggplant is by making eggplant parmesan. Here’s a staple and well-known recipe for this week’s produce! https://thestayathomechef.com/baked-eggplant-parmesan/

Need a new way to change up your weekend grill outs? Try this recipe for grilled eggplants topped with fresh tomatoes from this week’s CSA pickup!

https://www.ehow.com/how_2191766_grill-eggplant-gas-grill.html?utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=freestyle&utm_campaign=fanpage&crlt.pid=camp.hVcUhlpjoFwP

Looking for a recipe to sneak in some extra veggies in for your picky eaters? Try this recipe for eggplant lasagna!

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/220094/eggplant-lasagna/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=Search

Summer CSA–WEEK ELEVEN

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday, August 1, 3:30-5:30pm

Produce this week…

  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale or Swiss chard
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes

Self-Select Items…

  • Bell peppers and jalapeños
  • Onions
  • Potatoes

Tentative produce list for 8/8 pick up

  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes

Farm Up Dates…

The impact of the heat and lack of rain has put our harvest schedule in a holding pattern. For the next few weeks we will be rotating the same summer vegetables, as you can see from the list of produce for this week and the tentative list for next week. We will try to mix it up as much as possible. The heat just means those crops that need cooler weather (leafy greens, lettuce…) will come a little later. We are hoping for melons, beans and sweet corn in the near future.

What to do with your produce this week by farm intern Kelly Adams

There are more than 8 varieties of summer squash. The skin of the squash is where basically all of the nutrients remain. The skin contains fiber, calcium, potassium, Vitamin A, and Folate. Summer squash can be eaten raw, grilled, steamed, sauteed, fried, and more. It’s great mixed in a vegetable medley with tomatoes, onions, broccoli, carrots, etc. They can also be blanched (boiled for about 1-2 minutes and immediately submerged in ice water) and stored in the freezer to help make smoothies thicker without noticing the vegetable taste or even unblanched for making zucchini bread. Summer squash should be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Wash the squash just before usage to prolong its storage life.

Here are some fun facts about summer squash:

  • The difference between summer and winter squash is that the summer squash is harvested before the rind hardens and the fruit matures.
  • All squash plants, male and female plants, flower. But, only the female flowers produce the actual squash vegetable.
  • Squashes are related to melons like honeydew and watermelon.

Recipe ideas…

One of my favorite dessert recipes is for chocolate zucchini brownies. Any kind of squash works for this recipe. It’s easy, sweet, and you can’t taste the vegetables in it. Give it a go and see if your kids notice the squash! https://www.texanerin.com/chocolate-zucchini-brownies/#_a5y_p=3859621

Here’s an easy squash vegetable medley that utilizes multiple items from this week’s pickup. Add your favorite protein to the meal like chicken, beef, or pork from Saturday’s Uptown Farmer’s Market. https://www.dealstomealsblog.com/2018/07/30/summer-squash-medley/

Looking for a healthy alternative to chips? Try baking your own oven-fried summer squash!

https://www.wenthere8this.com/oven-fried-summer-squash/

Also, one more suggestion from a recent New York Times cooking section article.

Charred tomato soup recipe adapted from New York Times.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds ripe red tomatoes
  •  Salt and pepper
  •  Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  •  Pinch of ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems (from 2 bunches) (can substitute a mix of basil and parsley)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta or thick yogurt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives, for garnish

PREPARATION

  1. Light the broiler. Remove cores from tomatoes and cut them in half horizontally. Season with salt and pepper on both sides and brush lightly with olive oil.
  2. Place tomatoes skin-side down on a rimmed baking sheet and leave for about 10 minutes, until skins are blackened and tomatoes have softened slightly. Transfer tomatoes to a large bowl.
  3. Add garlic, cayenne, coriander seeds, cilantro or other herbs, 2 tablespoons olive oil and sherry vinegar. Stir all ingredients together. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes to allow flavors to marry.
  4. Purée tomato mixture with a blender or food processor. Strain through a medium mesh sieve, if desired. Thin with a little water if too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill well. (The soup will taste best if served within a few hours.)
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into chilled shallow bowls. Put a large spoonful of ricotta on top, and sprinkle with chives. You can also add some cherry tomatoes.