Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Week 5 6-15-2011

Week 5,

A few items of business

Please return your box each week. If you pick up at Nature’s Bounty simply leave your empty box in place of your full box and I will pick it up the following week.

In your box this week- lots of new items coming in!

Baby Carrots- Good fresh carrot flavor! Snack food! Eat whole and uncut or slice up large carrots into sticks. Cook or steam lightly to retain nutrients and flavor. I like carrots cooked until just fork tender. Also see carrot recipe below.

Lettuce mix- Enjoy the salads! Probably the last week of lettuce mix.

Kale- Curly variety. Kale is so packed full of nutrients! This curly variety holds up well to cooking. You can steam or simmer it and then sauté with sausage or beef. BUT… PLEASE TRY the Baked Kale Chip recipe below. It is amazing! Eat your healthy kale AND have the crisp crunch of a chip.

Swiss Chard- Need another idea? See recipe below.

Squash/zucchini- We love baby squash and zucchini. It is so tender and tastes like summer. We use it interchangeably in recipes. Grill, sauté, fry, bake-anything! Tonight I plan on slicing the zucchini or squash into long, flat pieces, brush it with olive oil and salt, and then grill it. Try a grilled piece on your burger!

Cucumbers- Dress with a bit of oil, vinegar, dill, and salt. Cukes are a summer standby. We never eat cucumbers out of the summer season. They never have the garden flavor and grocery cukes must be shipped in from warm climates. I’d rather think about cukes for most of the year, and then enjoy the real thing during the summer.

Spring onion- This rare Japanese spring onion is a beautiful blue- green. Use the green part of the stalk as well as the white stalk. Use it fresh or cook it. We lovingly grow our onions from seed, so that’s why they are ready a bit later that other spring onions at the local farmers’ markets.

Fresh garlic- Enjoy now. Fresh garlic won’t last as long on the shelf, because it hasn’t been dried. It will last several weeks. You’ll also receive some dried garlic in upcoming weeks.

Dill- Sprinkle over sliced cucumbers or try dill with carrots in the recipe below.

All recipes at end of newsletter

Pig Wranglers and a Sweet Potato Jungle

Last Friday, our big afternoon project was not out in the vegetable field, but with our young pigs. We played pig wranglers with our youngest batch for several hours-they almost made us tear our hair out! The pigs in question are twelve piglets we purchased form Warren Wilson College about 6 weeks ago. When we first get piglets we keep them in a corral because they are so small they will slip through all but the smallest gaps in a fence (several of these actually developed a habit of worming their way through the gaps in a pallet we use as part of the fence!). After about a month of eating they are big enough to learn about electric fences. We string up a double line and hold training sessions. We let them into their electric fence area and watch to make sure they don’t run through the fence. After about 3 practices they generally know what the fence is and they don’t want to have anything to do with it. Now they are ready to go to a paddock in the woods. So we trimmed back some of the brush that has grown up this spring and strung up some electric line. Now comes the fun part; moving the pigs to their new home. Usually pigs herd relatively well. We can get them all moving in one direction out of their old area and toward their new area. Not these pigs, they wanted to go in every direction except the one we wanted them to go in. To top it all of many of them confidently explored the woods alone. It took us about one and a half hours of crashing through brambles to move these little guys thirty feet to their new paddock! Every time we got them close to their paddock they would decide that that was the least interesting part of the woods and scatter in all directions around us. Boy was it frustrating! But in the end they got tired and a little more cooperative. Now they are happily rooting in the woods.

He looks innocent now!

This week we also planted sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are an interesting crop because you actually grow miniature plants from last year’s roots to transplant. It all starts the previous fall when you save out your best potatoes for “seed” potatoes. You then store them in a dry cool area with some airflow until about April. In April you “wake” you potatoes up by allowing them to get warmer. Once the outdoor temperatures are safely above frosting, place the sweet potatoes in a pile of mostly decomposed mulch or very loose soil. Within about a month small green sprouts will begin appearing. In about another month there is a sweet potato jungle! Each sweet potato will send out up to a dozen sprouts, called slips, from one end of the potato. Once these slips are about 6 inches tall (ideally anyway, Mine are always bigger because if you neglect them for a week they grow from 6 inches to 16!), snap them off at the potato and plant. The little slips typically have begun to send out small rootlets of their own. When placed in the soil and watered well they will establish themselves in about a week. After that, watch out, because sweet potatoes are related to morning glories and they will take over! They are a long season crop that appreciates warm weather, so after about three months of patient waiting we should be able to dig up our sweet potato treasure.

Harvesting spring onions


Sweet Dill Carrots

Adapted from How it All Vegan!

6-10 medium carrots or 12-15 small carrots,

sliced into your favorite shape (small carrots can be left whole)

2 tblsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tblsp dried dill

1 tblsp sweetener, your choice

1 tblsp olive oil

In a medium pot or steamer, steam the carrots until they can be pierched easily with a fork. Drain and then place the carrots in a small bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir together until well incorporated. Makes 2-4 servings.

You can't see the forest for the dill!

Kale Chips recipe: Kalyn’s Kitchen, Roasted Kale Chips with Sea Salt

I liked the Kalyn’s Kitchen recipe because the higher temperature made everything go faster. Try her plastic bag trick to oil the kale, you’ll use less oil!

Here’s another great recipe for Kale Chips:

Baked Kale Chips



Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Ready In: 20 Minutes

Submitted By: LucyDelRey

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Servings: 6

"These are a low calorie nutritious snack. Like potato chips, you cannot stop at just eating one. They are great for parties and a good conversation topic."


1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon seasoned salt



Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.


With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.


Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.


Printed from 6/15/2011

Creamy Baked Swiss Chard and Pasta

I don’t like to call anything “noodle casserole,” so I’m renaming this dish Creamy Baked Swiss Chard and Pasta. You may omit the parsley if you wish. –Marie


Printed from COOKS.COM

3 tbsp. olive oil
2/3 c. chopped walnuts
1 lg. onion, thinly sliced
2 lg. carrots, coarsely grated
1 lg. bunch Swiss Chard, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1/3 c. minced parsley
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
8 tsp. soy sauce
1 c. sour cream
3 c. pasta
2 c. grated Jack cheese

Heat oil in large frying pan and saute nuts until lightly browned. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, then stir in onions and carrots.

Sauté until onion is translucent, then remove from pan. Add chard, garlic, parsley and thyme and sauté until chard is limp.

Combine soy sauce and sour cream; add to chard mixture along with walnuts, onions and carrots.

Stir to mix well. Add salt to taste. Spread pasta in a lightly greased 2 quart casserole and spoon vegetable mixture over top.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake in 400°F oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and casserole is heated through.

Serves 6.


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