Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week 3 2011


Every day around the farm now comes with several cleansing sweats. On Monday, Marie got a little taste of dizzying heat exhaustion after 2 ½ hours of hoeing weeds from kale plants. And it was only 10:45 am! Even William admitted to still feeling tired from the previous day’s unintended dehydration when we were harvesting veggies this morning.

Because of this uninviting heat, our schedules around the farm have shift slightly the past 2 days. During the 12:30-3 lunch “siesta”, we eat a healthy farm lunch, take a 15 minute power nap, make phone calls, box eggs, purchase animal feed at the mill and think of more projects outside! I’m even writing the newsletter now, instead of at 11 pm! After the siesta, we’ll check up on the farm animals and head back out for more garden work.

The life of a pea plant is ephemeral. T he vigorous vines twirl upward and the little tendrils unfurl, revealing delicate white flowers. Will Coffey, CSA member and volunteer extraordinaire, ate one of the first 3 peas that we harvested last Wednesday. We had to search hard for those first peas. Today, just one week later, we harvest 30 pounds of sugar snap peas from the plants! Enjoy them while you can- we don’t think there will be much of a harvest next week due to the suffocating heat killing the flowers.

Sugar Snap Peas- Enjoy raw or lightly cooked. Remove the string on larger peas before cooking.

Arugula- Probably the last arugula until the fall.

Baby Lettuce Mix-

Head Lettuce, Green or Red Butterhead type-

Swiss Chard- Braised Swiss Chard with Asiago: Cook 1 clove garlic, 1 chopped onion, and chopped Chard stems over medium low heat in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup of water and chopped Chard leaves. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, add a dash of lemon. Grate Asiago cheese or fresh Parmesan and toss over fettuccine.

Bok Choy- a crisp, healthy Asian vegetable. Cook lightly to preserve its health benefits.


Cilantro- Try the Honey Cilantro Vinaigrette recipe. Add diced cilantro to anything for a fresh Southwestern flavor! Cilantro is a cool weather crop.

Dill- Sprinkle over potato salad, grilled fish, fresh goat cheese and salads

Radish-We learned of an amazing new way to enjoy radishes this weekend: cut in half lengthwise and eat with a hearty slice of butter!


William and Marie

Recipes Below

Asian Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce-

Sauté 4 garlic cloves and 1 chili (or 1 teaspoon chili powder) over medium heat in a medium pot for 4 minutes. Then add 1 cup water, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy), and 2 teaspoons brown sugar. Stir vigorously to combine. Thicken sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Makes about 1 ¼ cups of sauce

Stir Fry Vegetables

Saute 1 onion and 2 carrots over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add chopped bok choy and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn up heat to medium high heat and add a splash of water. Add roughly chopped bok choy leaves and stir. After about another minute of cooking, lower heat to medium andpour peanut sauce over veggies. Cook over medium heat until some sauce absorbs or vegetables are done to your liking.

Serve over soba noodles, basmati rice, or brown rice.

Honey Cilantro Vinaigrette

Adapted From Passionate Vegetarian

Makes about 1 ¾ cup

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch cilantro

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup honey

1 jalapeno pepper or 1 pinch cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce(optional)

1 ½ teaspoon salt

Black pepper to taste, freshly ground

1 cup olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping the sides when needed. With the machine running, slowly pour olive oil into dressing. Taste for salt and pepper. Best if aged for at least one hour or overnight.

Arugula and Grilled Shiitake Salad with a Honey Cilantro Vinaigrette

Adapted from Passionate Vegetarian

8 to 10 medium, or 6 to 8 large, fresh shiitake* mushroom caps, stems removed, sliced (save stems for stock) * use other mushroom varieties if shiitakes are not available

1 onion, chopped into large pieces for skewers

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Honey Cilantro Vinaigrette

Several cups of arugula, washed and dried, - may mix arugula with lettuce

Grill style A: Skewer mushroom slices and onion pieces. Leave space between pieces for even cooking.

Grill style B: Place mushroom slices and onion pieces in vegetable or fish grilling cage.

Preheat grill to high. Lightly brush the mushroom caps and onion pieces with the oil. Prepare veggies for your chosen style of grilling. Grill veggies for 6 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally. The mushrooms should be softened with nice grill marks. Remove vegetables from grill. Drizzle the hot vegetables with about 3 tablespoons of the Honey Cilantro Vinaigrette and toss well.

Serve over cold greens with Honey Cilantro Vinaigrette. **You may also let the vegetables come to room temperature while other items cook on the grill.

Muddy Creek Mushrooms is a great source of delicious, locally grown shiitake mushrooms. They grow the best shiitakes I’ve ever tasted! Shiitakes are usually available when the temperature is below 85 F. Call for availability. Patrick and Mary Stephens 3515 Seals Road Morganton, NC 28655 (828) 584-2128, (828) 403-5569