Archive for the ‘Crazy Daisy CSA’ Category

We are now open for applications for new customers for the 2012 season! All of our current Farm information can be found right here.

 

Our current brochure with the handy guide ‘Is CSA for me?’

2012 Brochure

 

A comprehensive list of all the different vegetables we’re growing this year.

2012 Vegetable List

 

And a form you can print, fill out, and mail in if you’d like to join us for the season.

2012 Submission Form

 

If you have any other questions about the farm or the current season, feel free to email us at crazydaisycsa@gmail.com

It certainly has been an interesting winter so far. From 5o degrees yesterday to 20 and windy today. Strange, strange! We’ve yet to see how it will end, but we’re planning for all possibilities. The seed order for 2012 is all in. So I’ve uploaded the 2012 Vegetable List.

Among other things, we’re adding gold beets, a new variety of red cherry tomatoes, and an extra early salad tomato to the roster.

Check it out!

Vegetable List 2012

Our harvest baskets for the last several weeks have featured a lot of eggplant, both the traditional large globe type and small striped Asian varieties. So I thought I’d put an extra recipe up here to help you get the most out of them.

My favorite way to enjoy eggplant is sliced, battered, fried and served with a delicious remoulade sauce. The recipe works equally well for zucchini and green tomatoes. I usually have a bag of fried veggies in the fridge that I can pop in the toaster oven and enjoy for lunch or a snack.

 

Fried veggies

~Ingredients

2 eggs, beaten

2 T milk

1 c flour

1 c cornstarch

Salt & pepper

Peanut oil, for frying

 

~Directions

Slice the veggies of your choice (eggplant, zucchini, green tomatoes, or some of each) into 1/2” rounds. Mix the flour and cornstarch and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk.

Coat the sliced vegetables with the egg mixture, then the flour and cornstarch mixture, then back into the egg, and back to the flour.

In a large skillet heat the peanut oil until just shimmering. Place the slices in the hot oil and fry until lightly browned. Flip the vegetable slices and cook the other side until browned.

Place the cooked slices in a single layer on a plate or baking dish covered with paper towels.

 

This is my all time favorite remoulade recipe to serve with fried veggies: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/remoulade-sauce-recipe2/index.html

 

Enjoy!

I had a little free time today so I went out to the hives and just sat and watched them. Interesting little creatures!

I took over 200 images but only a dozen were any good, they move so fast! The one above one is my favorite.

Purple Coneflower

 

Black-Eyed Susan

 

Some of you may be aware of the history of our farm and my previous business, but for those who don’t and would like a little history, here it is.

My life as Crazy Daisy originally started back in the nineties when we rented some land to a friend of ours for her flower business. She specialized in dried flower arrangements, but during the summer would sell fresh flower bouquets at the Minneapolis Farmers Markets in Lyndale and on the Nicollet Mall. As a teenager I would go with and make fresh bouquets out of the flowers she’d grow on our farm. I liked the work, but the hours were hard, and income sporatic.

My mom had the brilliant idea of combining fresh flower bouquets with a CSA type arrangement where people could buy a share in the spring and have fresh flowers delivered to their office every week. Oddly enough 99% of our customers were dentists.

I worked at this for a few years before my uncle gave notice that he would be retiring from Willow Bend which was his CSA that ran on our land. I think it’s neat that some of his original customers are still with us.

So I thought about it for a while before deciding to take the plunge into vegetables, and thus Crazy Daisy CSA was born.

In the baskets this week you’ll notice the first carrots of the season. We leave the tops on the carrots for a couple of reasons, the main one is that it allows us to use rubber bands on them instead of having to bag them. That helps us conserve our bags for the crops that really need them.

If you leave the tops on the carrots, they will leech moisture out of the carrot leaving it soft and rubbery. To prevent that, first thing you should do when you get them home is to cut or twist off the tops. Then you can run them under cold water, wrap them in a damp paper towel and put them in the fridge. That should keep them fresh and crispy for about a week.

Our First Harvest of Carrots

As an addition to our Greens Guide, I thought it necessary to have a Washing Greens page.

The thing is, if you’ve ever bitten into a dish of homemade greens and gotten even a tiny piece of grit in your teeth you know why a washing guide is so important. It’s gross. It’s like finding a hair in your food. Ew.

So to prevent that from ever happening again, it’s pretty important to master the art of washing greens. Which, luckily, is very simple, though slightly time consuming.

Step 1.) Fill your sink or a large bowl with water and soak the greens for a few minutes. This allows time for the dirt to dislodge and fall to the bottom of the sink. Remember to swish them occasionally. Adding salt to this step will dislodge any caterpillars or bugs that may be hiding out. Adding vinegar will help deter bacterial growth if you plan on keeping the greens in your fridge for a while. Adding both…well I don’t know,  but I’d think it wouldn’t hurt.

Step 2.) Remove the greens. Drain and clean the sink, or bowl. Depending on how dirty the greens are you may need to repeat step 1. If they seem reasonably clean you can move on.

Step 3.) Rinse the greens one leaf at a time under running water. Pay special attention to the underside of the leaf where dirt and bug/eggs can hide out.

That’s it, enjoy your greens!

Once again bizarre circumstances this Friday have put a damper on our harvest.

You might remember our first Friday harvest, July 1st was  ridiculously hot with heat index values around 110 degrees.

And today we woke up to torrential downpours and frequent lightining which made it impossible to get out in the garden until after noon.

As a result the baskets today are lacking their usual variety, because we ran out of time for picking the little things like herbs. Cleanliness has also suffered as the time we had to wash them was greatly reduced. I rinsed the large head of Napa cabbage in your basket, but it will need a much more thorough cleaning before you cook it.

Also the potatoes are still damp so it would be a good idea to take them out of the bag and dry them if you’re going to store them for a while. Otherwise just cook them up today. ;)

On a positive note, the rain and coming heat will bring on explosive growth in the garden. The zucchini are already getting started and I suspect we’ll get our first taste by next week. We’re also seeing itty bitty cucumbers, the first cherry tomatoes are turning red, the green beans are either blooming or starting to produce beans, and the onion tops are starting to lay over.

We managed to get the majority of the weeding done this past week so all we need is a little time and sunshine, and it looks like we’ll have an abundance this week!

Greens, while more popular in the south, are a great addition to our harvest baskets here in Minnesota.

On our farm we grow; collards, kale, mustard, Swiss chard, arugula, tatsoi and bok choy. Any of these may show up in your basket over the course of the season, although they are tastiest in the spring and fall, when the weather is cooler.

Packed with nutrients, like vitamins A, C, and E, they’re low in calories and high in fiber. They’re like a delicious multi vitamin.

 

Collard Greens & Kale:

Kale (left) Collards (right)

Traditionally boiled with ham hocks or smoked turkey legs until tender. I like to season them with adobo seasoning, for a little kick try adding Cajun seasoning. Every couple of months I get a super craving for them. The liquid left behind from boiling them is called pot likker and is fantastic sopped up with corn bread.

A word of warning about collard greens. Like other members of the brassica family, collards may contain goitrogens which may cause swelling of thyroid gland and therefore, should be avoided in individuals with thyroid dysfunction. However, it may be used liberally in healthy person.

Also keep in mind it should be used sparingly with people suffering from oxalate kidney stones.  A serving of collard greens provides more than 500 mcg of vitamin K which is well above daily recommended value; it is therefore, should be used cautiously in people taking anticoagulants like warferin.

 

Kale:

My favorite way to cook kale is in soup with peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn, and onions. You can find the recipe in our Crazy Daisy cookbook here: http://crazydaisycsa.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/crazydaisy_cooks_081.pdf Try adding some Brie to it. I love this soup!

Kale can also be seasoned with salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil then baked in the oven until crispy, so yummy.

 

Swiss chard:

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is actually a member of the beet family that is grown for the green tops rather than the root. Thus the green tops of beets can be used exactly the same way you would use chard. This is one of the reasons we leave the greens attached to the beets when we harvest them, it’s like getting two vegetables in one!

Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically sauteed as their bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a delicate flavor.

 

Tatsoi (tah tsai):

Tatsoi A.K.A. Tah Tsai

These beautiful little plants have a soft, creamy texture and a mild taste that blends well in any recipe that calls for spinach. Also great in a stir fry. Although my favorite recipe is sauteing it with bell peppers, onion, shallots, tomatoes and Cajun seasoning, and serving it over rice.

 

Mustard Greens:

Mustard Greens

Mustard contains large amounts of beta carotene and vitamin C. Mustard greens are also a source of calcium that can be important to lactose intolerant individuals. And are contain a significant amount of iron.

For cooking you can prepare them the same way you would collard greens.

 

Bok Choy (A.K.A pak choi):

Bok Choy

Cultivated in China for centuries, bok choy’s popularity comes from its light, sweet flavor, crisp texture and nutritional value. Not only is bok choy high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium, but it is also low in calories.

When it comes to cooking, you’ll find that bok choy is very versatile. Boiling, steaming, stir-frying and even deep-frying are all possibilities. With large bok choy you should want to separate the leaves from the stalks, because the thick stalks have a longer cooking time.

 

Arugula:

Arugula

Arugula looks similar to kale but has tender lighter green leaves, unlike kale’s waxy blue green leaves. An ancient leafy plant, it’s been grown around the Mediterranean since roman times. It’s rich in vitamins A and C, and potassium. It’s described as having a peppery taste but I think it tastes more nutty.

Very versatile to prepare, it can be eaten raw in a salad usually mixed with other greens, it’s also great either raw or cooking in a pasta dish, or even used to top pizza.

 

So the next time you get a big bunch of greens in your basket, enjoy them!

 

 

 

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