Week 7, 2011

Green Kale.  Try the Chip recipe …

Harvest Newsletter, July 2011
Week 7 of 18

Greetings, Members!

Farm News: We have discovered vine borer  and it is very evident in most winter and some summer squash. The plants looked healthy (most still do and are forming squash) however others look wilty (we thought heat induced) but never bounced back.  So what does that mean for this year’s winter and summer squash availability for the CSA?  Butternut has proven to be a very hearty plant, and hopefully acorn too.  We decided to cut openings into the stems (with a razor) of the acorn and inject them with BT, which is a bacteria in the soil which kills the borers/loopers.  BT is approved by the Organic Standards, so we feel this is the best way at this point to attempt to save the Acorn Squash.  As for the other 4 varieties we planted of Winter Squash (Guatemalan Blue Banana, Potimarron, Spaghetti, Delicata) all will be pulled and burned ASAP, the stems are basically rotting.  The vine borer feeds its way into the stems of the squash and steals the nutrients from the plant, which results in dying off of the plant.  We have painfully learned that we need cover them with row cover at the time of planting and to closely monitor stems in June, which is when they establish their residence in the squash.  Nonetheless, we are very grateful that we practice crop rotation and that we have about 35 different crops we grow.

Saturday, July 30 from 10-1:00 we will be a part a Local Farm Tour which the Twin Cities Coop Partners have organized, as a way to bring folks out to meet Local Producers.

Come on out, rain or shine, and dress for the weather.  Bring a drinking container as we will offer a refreshment.  Guided tours on the hour.

This week’s harvest includes: kale (green and lacinato), rainbow chard, cucumbers, beets, basil, potatoes, green beans, carrots, greenhouse tomatos, and maybe summer squash (since the vine borers have made their presence evident), scallions, and green peppers.

Storage and Preservation Suggestions:

Preservation:  Blanching and Freezing

Many books recommend blanching vegetables as a pretreatment to freezing.  Lupita and Adam skip the blanching step when we freeze our bounty.  The following is from the book Canning and Preserving Your Harvest by Carla Emery and Lorene Edwards Forkner.

Bring to boil 1 gallon of water for every pound of vegetables.  Immerse the prepared veggies in the hot water and stir briefly to ensure even heat distribution.  Cover and begin timing from the moment the water returns to a boil.  Greens should be blanched for 2 minutes.  Immediately after blanching, remove the greens from the hot water and plunge them into an ice water bath to cool them as quickly as possible.  Thoroughly drain and pack for freezing in quart size freezer-safe bags or containers.

Recipes and Tips

You may be wondering how else you can use the Green or Lacinato Kale in each week’s harvest, so this week consider the following recipes.  You may want to think about freezing the kale for use in the winter (instead of buying frozen spinach) and add it to any soup, stew, lasagna, chili, casserole, etc.

Baked Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch kale (Dino/Lacinato works best, but you can use any kind of kale)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp.

Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

This weeks Baked Kale Chip recipe is from our farm mentors at Loon Organics in Hutchinson, MN.  Adapted from Smitten Kitchen: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/03/baked-kale-chips/


Emerald Sesame Kale

  •  1 bunch kale
  • 2-3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Tamari or Soy sauce (to taste)

Wash kale, remove spine and stem, chop into small pieces (about 1” strips). Toast raw sesame seeds in a heavy skillet and heat over medium heat until they begin to pop, turning occasionally until brown. Steam for 5-8 minutes until wilted. Drain kale and toss in bowl with sesame oil, minced garlic, tamari or soy sauce, and toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot, or chill and serve cold. Serves 2-4


For visuals if something is unfamiliar in your share box/harvest newsletter check out:
www.highmowingseeds.com (the column on the left side of the website provides a list of vegetables, etc)
www.johnnyseeds.com (Product Index)
www.seedsavers.org (scroll to the bottom, and click on Helpful Links)

Remember to return your box clean and exchange it for the full share box.  Thanks in advance!

Happy eating! ~ Lupita & Adam

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