Category Archives: 2018 CSA

Fall CSA–Week Four

Pick-Up:  Thursday, September 20, 4:00pm to 6:00pm, Cook Field Parking Lot

Produce this Week:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Carrots
  • Chard or Kale
  • Cutting Celery
  • Parsley

Self select—cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant

Tentative for next week:

 

  • Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • ThymE

 

 

Thoughts on spaghetti squash…

Students from farm lab have been busy harvesting spaghetti squash on the farm this past week and learning about the carbon cycle.  This is a new item for the CSA.  Spaghetti squash is technically a winter squash (Curcurbita pepo), but it is unique in that category. Known as  vegetable spaghetti, it serves as a healthy alternative to carbohydrates.  With the versatility of pasta, it is easily transformed into a complete meal.  If you peruse the internet, you will very quickly find easy recipes for Spaghetti squash burrito bowls, Mediterranean spaghetti squash bowls, and spaghetti squash pizza bowls.  Or you can just keep it simple and bake it and serve with salt, pepper, and butter.

Here’s a basic spaghetti squash as pasta recipe…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pierce the squash in several places with a sharp knife. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and place the squash on top. Bake for one hour, until the squash is soft and easy to cut with a knife. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool until you can handle it. Cut in half lengthwise, and allow to cool some more. Remove the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh from half of the squash, and place in a bowl. Run a fork through the flesh to separate the spaghettilike strands. You should have about 4 cups of squash. (Use some squash from the other half if necessary). Set aside the other half for another dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic and bread crumbs. When they begin to sizzle and smell fragrant and the breadcrumbs are crisp — that is, after about a minute — stir in the squash and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss together over medium heat until the squash is infused with the garlic and oil and heated through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a warm serving dish, top with freshly grated Parmesan and serve.

Fall CSA–Week Three

Pick-Up:

Thursday, September 13, 4:00-6:00pm, Cook Field Parking Lot

Don’t forget your reusable bag. Thanks.

Produce this Week:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Beets (mixed)
  • Garlic

Self select items—tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, watermelon

Tentative for next week:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Kale or Chard
  • Green onions
  • Parsley

We are at the beginning of the transition from summer vegetables to the fall harvest.  Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant will tapper off, and we will begin to see more cool weather crops.  You will have a bounty of  mixed greens,  winter squashes, potatoes and sweet potatoes, leeks, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, arugula, cilantro, radishes, turnips, broccoli and the like to look forward to.  The basil that we promised last week ended up getting fungus. We are hoping to have a new batch of basil later this season.

Fun facts about cabbage….

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cabbage that we eat today, along with brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, are all descendants of one wild plant— brassica oleracea, also known as wild mustard.  Native to the Mediterranean and the coast of France, this wild plant looks like this:In ancient Greece and Rome, farmers saved the seeds of the plants that grew the most leaves.  The result was an early version of kale.  This process of artificial selection continued, bringing modern versions of the plant ranging from cabbage to broccolini.

Per capita consumption of cabbage peaked at 22 pounds of cabbage a year in the 1920s in  the United States.  Now Americans eat about 8 pounds a year per capita mostly as sauerkraut and cole slaw.

 

Fall CSA–Week Two

Pick-Up

Thursday, September 6, 4:00-6:00pm, Cook Field Parking Lot

 

Remember to bring a reusable bag as we switch to the new pick up routine.  And thanks for your patience…

Produce for this week:

  • Beets
  • Watermelon
  • Basil
  • Onions

Self Select Items:  tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes

We will also have garlic seconds and lots of basil. Ian says this is a good week for pesto.

Tentative for next week:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Spring onions

We should also still have a number of self select items including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, garlic next week.

A note about the watermelon:  You will be getting Icebox watermelon.  This is a small watermelon with seeds that will last on your counter for a week or two.  You will know it is ripe when you thump on it and you get a hollow sound.

This season has been especially buggy.  The the heat followed by drenching rain followed by heat  has proven especially suitable for all sorts of insects in the field.  These conditions have also made it difficult for cooler weather crops such as radishes, turnips, and Chinese cabbage.  We have had a number of crop failures.  Rest assured that we are working on it. Thanks for bearing with us and please share your comments, thoughts, questions and concerns.  Ian does have some strategies for getting the bugs out of the broccoli.

Recipes….

Pesto by Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Cook’s Note

Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out. To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

Watermelon Tomato Basil Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon cubed
  • 1 cup tomatoes (halved or quartered if using cherry or grape tomatoes, roughly chopped if using larger tomatoes)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil  (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves roughly torn

Directions

Simple….just combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl….

Fall CSA–Week One

Fall CSA–First Pick Up

Thursday, August 30, 4:00-6:00pm, Cook Field Parking Lot

WELCOME….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  We are switching to reusable bags for pick up.  Please bring a reusable bag to collect your produce for the week.  (We will have backup bags).

Produce this week:

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Kale/Swish Chard
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Cutting celery

Self-Select Items:  tomatoes (multiple varieties), sweet peppers, eggplant

Tentative produce list for next week:

  • Watermelon
  • Beets
  • Peppers
  • Basil

A note from Ian….

My name is Ian Privitera, and I have been working on the IF Farm for a little over a year now. My background is in Sustainable Agriculture Management, and I actually studied under Charles (the farm manager) at Cincinnati State before getting my job here at Miami. I am a big fan of all things food, I grew up with a family of avid cooks, I love cooking myself, and I like to eat everything! Or at least try it! My philosophy around food is that we should all eat as locally and seasonally as possible, as much as possible! The further away your food comes from, the more resources it takes to get to you, and local growers need your support! You can get a great variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, cheese, etc. almost all year round from local producers nearby, and you will end up trying many things you’ve never had before! Some of the best quality foods you can get will come from smaller producers who put time and care into everything they make (unlike large scale food producers) and I think its quite fun and enjoyable to search around for the best! On the IF farm, Charles, Stephanie, and I will do our best to make sure all of you have an excellent experience with the CSA, and if there is anything you need, questions you have, or anything you want to tell us please let us know! Also you are all welcome to come to the farm any time we are there (mostly Mon thru Thurs 10 AM to 3 PM)- you can volunteer and help us out, bring your compost, or just come to say hi and have a look around! Feel free to contact me on my cell phone, I don’t mind! I look forward to seeing you all at the drop off this Fall, and remember- every single bite of food you eat has to be grown, raised, or produced by someone somewhere!

Recipe Suggestion (one of my favorites)…

Provençal Potato Pizza (Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville)

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 pound potatoes
  • 2 cloves minced garlic soaked in 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and sliced
  • 1 ounce Parmsesan cheese, grated, about  1/3 cup
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, grated about 2 1/4 cup
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Prepare pizza dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thinly slice the potatoes, toss them with garlic oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast them on a baking sheet for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender and a little crisp.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll out the dough and place it on a lightly oiled pizza pan; brush with garlic oil. Spread the onion  on the dough and follow with potatoes, then sun-dried tomatoes. Set aside a little parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the baked pizza and toss the rest with the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle cheese on pizza/

Bake pizza for 8 to 12 minutes until the crust is golden and crisp.  remove from oven and sprinkle with set aside parmesan and fresh sage.

CSA–Week Fourteen

Summer CSA Final Pick-Up:

Thursday, August  23, Cook Field Parking Lot, 4:00-6:00pm

Produce for the final week:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Basil

Self select Items:  Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes

Since this is the final week of the Summer CSA, please remember to return your CSA boxes and bring a reusable bag to pick-up.  We will be starting the Fall CSA next week, same time, same place. So, if you forget to return your box, you can bring it back on any Thursday afternoon.

Tentative items for the First Pick-Up of the Fall 2018 CSA:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant

I want to thank all of you for a great summer season and extend a very heartfelt thank you to farm staff for all their hard work, care, and enthusiasm for our farm.   Over these past two growing seasons, they have accomplished extraordinary things.

This is what the farm looked like when we first began to imagine the Institute for Food…

 

These images provide a hint of the transformation farm staff have accomplished with the help of students, faculty members, volunteers, and CSA subscribers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU…

CSA–Week Thirteen

Pick-Up:

Thursday August 16, Cook Field Parking Lot, 4:00-6:00pm

In your box this week…

  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Summer squash
  • Beets
  • Carrots

Self select items: parsley, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and Ian says you will be obliged to take additional summer squash.

Tentative items for next week (the final week of the summer CSA):

  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peppers

In preparation for the final week of the summer CSA next week,  you might want to begin to collect any CSA boxes you have so you can turn them in at the last pick up.

For those of you who only signed up for the Summer CSA, if you are interested in subscribing for the fall CSA, Ian will have sign up sheets at the pick up this week. All you need to do is fill them out and return to Denise Withrow in IES (information is on the sheet).   For those of you who have friends who might want to sign up for the Fall CSA, please feel free to take a sign up sheet for them.  Note that the Fall CSA starts on August 30.  Pick up is same place, same time.

A note about broccoli….

Broccoli, brassica oleracea, evolved from wild cabbage and was first cultivated in ancient Rome.  It is a nutritional superhero loaded with vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium, and iron.  It also includes an enzyme called sulforaphane, which is believe to be a cancer preventative.   Best of all it is easy to prepare.  You can eat it raw, roast it in olive oil, or you can lightly steam it with a little olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper.  Cook it briefly, so that it retains it crispness–this preserves the taste as well as the nutrients.

Broccoli Calabrian Style

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli (cut off florets; peel and quarter stems and cut into  2 inch pieces)
  • 1 large tomato diced into large chunks
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup yellow raisons (you can also use regular raisons)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • pasta (I prefer rigatoni)

Directions

Put pasta water on to boil.  Cut the broccoli into florets; peel and quarter the stems, and cut into 2 inch pieces.  Dice the tomato into large chunks. Heat olive oil in skillet and add minced garlic.  Once the garlic just begins to brown add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 2-minutes until the tomatoes begin to release their juices and add broccoli.  Once pasta water boils add a 1/4 cup of water to raisons to plump them.  Cook pasta.  Let the broccoli cook in the tomatoes until just tender.  Add plumped raisons. Salt and pepper to taste.  Drain pasta and mix with broccoli and tomatoes and raisons.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley and serve.

CSA–Week Eleven

Pick-Up:

Thursday August 2, Cook Field Parking Lot, 4:00-6:00pm

In your box this week:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Summer squash
  • Cutting celery

Self-select: tomatoes, parsley and possibly eggplant

Tentatively up for next week ~ Swiss chard, carrots, summer squash.

Help Promoting FALL CSA

For those of you signed up for the fall CSA, could you help up spread the word that we are accepting new subscribers.  If each of you could reach out to  one or two friends and tell them about the CSA, that would be a great help.

Here is the Fall CSA info:  

Dates:  Fall 2018 CSA (14 weeks) August 30 through November 29

Cost:

  • A small box for the 14-week CSA is $220
  • A large box for the 14-week CSA is $385

Anyone interested can access the sign up sheet from the Institute for Food blog site. https://blogs.miamioh.edu/if-farm/csa/

The link can be found in the upper right hand side of the Institute for Food Blog under CSA.

THANK YOU.

 

CSA–Week Ten

Pick-Up:

Thursday, July 26, 4:00-6:00PM, Cook Field Parking Lot

Your box this week:

  • Summer squash
  • Green beans
  • Chard
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil

Self select: head lettuce, eggplant, peppers

Tentative for next week…

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Onions

Thanks to those of you who brought reusable bags.  Sorry for the confusion.  We will continue to offer boxes, but if you want to pack out your weekly share in a reusable bag–that works for us too.

Notes on Summer Squash….

Summer squash has arrived.  Although  summer and winter squash are in the same family, they are complete opposites.  Winter squash has a tough skin and stores over a long period; summer squash is delicate and perishable and needs to be savored during its summer heyday.  Interestingly, summer squash is 94% water, low in calories and a great source of vitamins A and C , potassium and calcium.  It’s easily digested  and it replaces lost fluids–the perfect summer food.

Summer squash is wonderful grilled with olive oil, salt, and peppers.  I also like it sautéd with garlic and served with pasta.  Cut the summer squash into match sticks, lightly cook minced garlic in olive oil, add squash and salt and pepper.  Cook briefly over high heat to brown the squash, but don’t let it turn mushy.  Mix with pasta and sprinkle with parmesan.

CSA–Week Nine

Pick-Up:

Thursday, July 19, 4:00-6:00pm, Cook Field Parking Lot

Your Box This Week:

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Green onions
  • Head lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Green beans (possibly)

Self-select: peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant

 

Tentative for next week:

  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Garlic or Onions
  • Cutting Celery or Basil
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Our CSA boxes, like everyone and everything else, is succumbing to the summer heat.  If you are so inclined, please bring reusable bags to the pick up.  That will help us conserve our boxes.

Carrot Notes:

Did you know that carrots are from the same family–umbeliferae family–as Queen Anne’s Lace.  Early domesticated carrots were predominantly purple and yellow. The first orange carrots emerged in the Netherlands during the 1600s.  Think of all the colorful Dutch food still lifes.  If you really want to learn about carrots, check out the World Carrot Museum!

Sweet, crisp carrots are not easy to grow.  They need good soil conditions, proper pH balance, and what farmers call tilth, which refers to a special combination of good drainage, soil aeration, moisture, microbes, and a particular formation of soil particles.  It is immensely satisfying to pull a long, straight, bright orange carrot from the bed, rinse it off and take a bite.  In addition to being satisfying to eat, they are high in fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene (the source of the orange color).

Recipe Ideas:

Ian says it is a good week to make cole slaw.  Here’s a spicy version by Alice Waters.  You can add shredded carrots; and if you like it creamy add 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt or mayo.

Spicy Cole Slaw by Alice Waters

INGREDIENTS

  • medium cabbage (about 3 pounds), outer leaves removed
  • large jalapeño pepper
  • ½ small red onion, cut in half through the stem, peeled and thinly sliced
  • cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ to ⅓cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Maldon or other sea salt or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper or more to taste
  • Large pinch of sugar or more to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Quarter the cabbage through the core; cut out the core. Cut the quarters crosswise in half; finely shred, using a sharp knife. Place shredded cabbage in a very large bowl or pot (you will have about 5 1/2 quarts). Cut open the jalapeño, discard the seeds and dice it fine. Add diced jalapeño, onion and cilantro to the cabbage and toss to mix. Sprinkle with the lime juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and sugar, and toss to coat.
  2. Let slaw sit for 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Drain; taste and adjust seasonings. Wait another hour. Serve at room temperature.

 

CSA-Week Eight

Pick-Up:

Thursday, July12, 4:00-6:00pm, Cook Field Parking Lot

This Week’s Box:

  • Head lettuce
  • Green onions
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Peppers (green)

Self-select: eggplant, tomatoes, and basil

Tentative for next week

  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets

Want to volunteer on the farm?

We’ve had some queries about volunteering.  We would love your help.  You can volunteer Monday-Thursday between 10am and 4pm.  We ask that you commit to 2 hours.  If you are interested, please call or text Ian at 513-600-6178.

Thoughts on peppers…

Peppers, like eggplant, are another signal that summer is here.  Part of the Solanaceae family, they are native to South and Central America.  Pepper seeds have been found in Incan tombs; a cache of seeds found in Mexico dated to before 5000 B.C.

Sweet peppers can  be found  in array of colors.  The sweet red pepper is simply a green pepper that has matured and ripened on the plant.  Sweet peppers are low in calories and  rich in vitamins A, C, and E along with iron and potassium.  They make an easy and nutritious snack.

The go-to recipe for making a meal out of green peppers is to stuff them.  If you look on the internet, you will see that people stuff them with everything from ground beef to poached eggs.  I like them Mexican style.

Here’s a great recipe from Delish.com;

Peppers stuffed with Black Beans, Corn & Pepper Jack

INGREDIENTS
bell peppers, tops sliced off
2 cans black beans, rinsed
ears corn, kernels stripped
3/4 c. grated pepper Jack
scallions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. chili powder
Couple dashes of hot sauce
kosher salt
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of simmering water, steam peppers until tender, 5 to 7 minutes, then drain and let cool. Once cool, halve and arrange in a large glass baking dish.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine black beans, corn, 1/2 cup pepper jack, 2 scallions, chili powder, and hot sauce and season with salt.
  3. Spoon black bean mixture into bell peppers and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and mixture is warmed through, 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Garnish with scallions and serve.