Archive for the ‘Organic Produce’ Category

The garden is looking really good so far. All of our started seedlings have been transplanted and are thriving. The eggplants, peas and peppers are weeded and mulched, now all they need is time to produce their fruit.

Nearly everything that we seeded directly into the garden is up and growing. The first things we planted were hardy greens like Swiss chard, arugula, kale, and collard greens. They are now between 3-5 inches tall already. Those greens along with lettuce will be the first things we’ll harvest.

Although they’re not a big  part of traditional Minnesota cuisine, greens are so versatile and so nutritious it’s worth working into your weekly menu. Personally I don’t care for Swiss chard, while my mom loves it. On the other hand I adore tatsoi and kale. My favorite way to use them is wilted with sauteed vegetables and seasoned with a generous portion of Cajun seasoning. It’s so good! My recipe will be featured in one of our newsletter this summer.

I know it looks like things should be ready, but the night temperatures have only recently been above 50 and until that happens the plants don’t thrive. Because it’s like they spend half their time in a refrigerator. The forecast for the next 7 days looks very promising though and we’re still expecting  our first harvest to be either the last week in June or the first week in July.

I will send out an email when we know for sure, as well as posting it here, so stay tuned!

We’re starting to get the first eggs from our young hens, it’s a very exciting thing to walk into the coop and have a tiny egg in the nest box.

Larka was the first of all, she’s been laying pretty well for a week now.

Larka

Larka's First Egg

This pretty girl is a Mottled Ancona. She’s an independent lady, once she lays her egg she’s off to her next adventure. It’s typical of her breed to dash off after laying, and they’re very productive so it’s no surprise she was first out of the gate.

Last week we also gathered another small pale cream egg. I was too late to see who laid it although I have my suspicions…

Stay tuned!

The heat of summer came so late and didn’t stay for long, as a result we have a ton of green tomatoes available. If you’ve never tried them before, you are in for a treat! Besides the southern favorite, fried green tomatoes, they’re also excellent in chutney, salsa, relish, pickled or even made into jam. Here’s one great recipe to get you started. Happy eating!


Ingredients
NOTE: This is one of those recipes that is so easy to adjust and adapt to personal preferences. Have fun with it! ~Recipe from eatdrinkbetter.com Check it out for the story behind this salsa!

3 – 4 Green Tomatoes (chopped finely)
2 – 3 Peppers (a variety of colors and ‘heats’ also depends on preference, chopped finely)
1/2 medium Red Onion (chopped finely)
2 – 3 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
1 T. Cilantro (chopped)
1 T. Parsley (chopped)
1 Lime (juice)
1/4 C. Ume Plum Vinegar
Salt & Ground Pepper to taste
Agave or Stevia to taste

If it is possible to mix all the ingredients and let it sit for at least a 1/2 hour before serving, all the wonderful flavors marinate and blend nicely.

It’s that time of year again! Winter squash has been showing up in the baskets for the last few weeks, and will be with us for several more weeks.

Left to right: butternut, acorn, carnival, and spaghetti squash

Winter squash got it’s name because, unlike summer squash, it can be stored for several months before it needs to be eaten. Unblemished squash with the stem still attached stores the longest.

We do our best to keep the stems attached but sometimes they become dislodged while we are handling them. If you get a squash without a stem, be sure to cook it up soon. You don’t need to eat it right away, you can put the cooked squash in a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. It’ll be good for at least a year that way.

Butternut squash pie filling

Many of you already know that my favorite thing to do with butternut squash is to make pie. Substitute butternut squash for pumpkin in any pumpkin pie recipe. The result is the best pumpkin pie ever! It tastes like the smoothest sweetest pumpkin you’ve ever had, and it makes sense, they’re in the same family of vegetables. In Australia, butternut squash is known as butternut pumpkin.

Carnival Squash

Carnival squash is more than just a pretty face. It’s glorious autumn colors may have you thinking decoration, but do yourself a favor and try it baked with butter and a touch of brown sugar. I bet you’ll love it!

So what do you do with all that squash? I’d love to hear, email me with your favorite recipe and it might be featured in an upcoming newsletter.

Spinach

We have a variety of greens in the baskets again this week. Greens are absolutely packed with nutrients, remember popeye? He had it right!

Spinach~ With only 7 calories (1 fat calorie!) it has more than half your daily value of vitamin A. It’s also a great source of vitamins E, C and K. It’s so versatile it can be added to just about any meal. It’s excellent in pasta and lasagna, quiche, soup, or with bacon. I prefer spinach when it’s only slightly wilted. It’s more appetizing when you can eat individual leaves instead of being faced with a shapeless mound of green.

Mustard greens~Full of vitamin A & K they have a tangy horse radish flavor and are commonly mixed with milder greens in soul food. Simmer them with ham hocks or any other smoked pork, until tender, for an authentic southern meal. I love them with smoked turkey legs. YUM!

Tatsoi~ You can see our article on tatsoi here All I will say is, I am in love with this Asian green!

Whatever kind of greens you get be sure to clean them thoroughly when you get them home. The best way I’ve found is to fill the sink with cold water and salt it generously. Soak the greens for several minutes. Check for cleanness by rubbing the leaves with your finger and thumb, they’ll make a squeaking sound when they’re clean. Check them over again for bugs and dirt around the stem then throw them in the pot!

The hot humid weather has left us with a ton of summer squash. They’ve been a regular part of your basket for several weeks now. Right now even the most creative squash dish doesn’t hold the same appeal it did early in the season. So why not freeze some and save them for the middle of winter when you will be craving them?

You don’t need to be crafty to learn to freeze veggies, it’s super easy and doesn’t require any special equipment.

Just wash the squash, slice it into 1/2 inch rounds, boil it for 3 minutes then straight from the pot plunge it in a bowl of ice water (this is called blanching), drain it, seal it in a freezer bag and stick it in the freezer.

The process of freezing can leave veggies soft, as the water in the cells rupture. So if you like your zucchini firm, you’ll probably best enjoy the frozen squash in a midwinter soup or pasta. Fresh zucchini bread is also a wonderful treat when it’s cold outside.

Give it a try, you’ll be glad you did!

In this week’s basket most of you will get a small bag of tatsoi. This small leaved Asian green is excellent in any recipe that calls for spinach or Bok choi.

It’s fairly mild so it blends well with many different flavors. Ginger, mustard and sesame seeds are favorites to mix with tatsoi. It’s amazingly good sautéed in a little oil with some red pepper flakes until slightly wilted. Or try it sautéed and added to garlic buttered pasta with some parmesan cheese on top. It’s even excellent mixed raw into a salad!

Some of you may find an interesting addition to your basket this week.

Cauliflower is the diva of the vegetable world. It likes cool weather, rich compact soil and plenty of moisture. Too hot, dry, or sandy and it just doesn’t grow well.

This beauty is a variety of cauliflower is called ‘cheddar’ for obvious reasons. What makes this variety special is that it contains as much as 25 times more beta carotene (vitamin A) than traditional white cauliflower.

I was pleasantly surprised with cheddar. It was still a pain to care for and didn’t produce as well as any of the other crops, but the heads that we did get were very pretty. I’m thinking it may be a permanent addition to our farm.

Everything you need to know about pickling plus a basic recipe to get you started. You’ll be enjoying your own home made pickles in no time!

The Art of Pickling

Packing a peck is easier than you think!

2010 Season News is Here!

Thank you to our members for your confidence and support. 2010 was another Sold Out Year. We are looking forward to seeing you and hoping you enjoy the harvests. You can find this year’s newsletters under either Tuesday or Friday Crop Newsletters at the top of the page, just under the daisies.

If you are interested in learning more about Crazy Daisy Farms, CSA and how it all works, please visit our 2010 brochure page. This page is an online version of our brochure. It talks about us, our philosophies, our crops, and how it all works. Adobe Reader is required to view this file. To download Adobe Reader, click here.


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