Week 11 – toe-maters, red torpedo onions… oh my


Cucumbers galore this week!  Summer squash continue as well.  The newbies this week are tomatoes and red torpedo onions.  Chard is back along with beets.  Basil needed to get chopped so you got a long big bunch, along with a head of fresh garlic for those who want to pesto it up.  Two heads of lettuce fill the salad bowl this week.

The red torpedo onions are great for any red onion task you may ask of them, as well as grilling.  Their tops are fine to use as well.  Aren’t they pretty?  I’ve realized that the fresh garlic is less potent than cured garlic, so use more than you would normally use.  The basil has some tough stems and flowers so you’ll need to go through it to get the good tender leaves off.  The tomatoes are coming out of the hoophouse right now.  There is the slicer “New Girl” which are the regular red round ones, and then three heirlooms — “Black Krim” is pink/green/purple, “Vintage Wine” is red and yellow striped, and “Old German” is yellow/orange/red.  So far I’m pretty happy with all of their flavors.  You may notice that I’m harvesting some of them a little on the firm side.  This is so that they can travel from the harvest bin into your bag and back home with you without disintegrating into a mushy mess.  If your tomato is a bit firm and you want it fully fully ripe, just leave it on the counter for a day or two and it will get there.  But leave it too long and it will start melting and turn into a fruit fly feast so watch out.  Tomatoes keep their flavor better when kept at room temperature instead of the fridge.  But if they are getting past their expiration date or you want them to last for a while, I’d put em in the fridge anyway.  It’s an exciting time of year when tomatoes start coming on!  Caprese salad and bruschetta time!

Here’s great way to get your produce home…20140729-225447-82487677.jpg

Some of you may be wondering why you’re getting cucumbers and zucchini/squash in every share now.  I have an answer for you:  they have to be picked at least 2-3x/week in order for them to keep producing well.  And yes they do continue throughout the summer.  I try to vary the contents of each week’s share as much as possible so you don’t get sick of things, but some crops such as the cucumbers and summer squash must be picked!  If I get a big restaurant order of either I may leave them out here and there, but in general, you can expect to be receiving at least some each week through September or so.  Della has found some more recipes to help you use them at the bottom of this blog post.

What goodies are coming down the pipe you ask?  Well, let’s see here… romano beans, more tomatoes, more onions, fingerling potatoes, and eggplant are probably on tap for next week.  Celery will probably make another appearance fairly soon as well.

What else is going on at the farm?  Garlic harvesting is underway.  We pull out the bulbs with stalks attached and have laid them out to dry on screens in the shade as you see here.  If rain threatens they will be covered or moved inside.  After about 2 weeks they will be fully cured and ready for cleaning and storage.20140729-225449-82489722.jpg

On to the recipes for this week!:

Vibrant Beet Hummus


4 medium beets, cooked, peeled, and cubed

2 tablespoons sesame tahini
5 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 large pinch sea salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste

 Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.


Tuscan Grilled Zucchini & Summer Squash



zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
 summer squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
red onions
 garlic cloves, minced
sprigs rosemary, chopped
 sprig oregano, chopped
tablespoon crushed red chile flakes
 cup red wine vinegar
 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  Salt & pepper to taste
Sturdy skewers, soaked in hot water for an hour if wooden


1. Make Marinade: Combine garlic, herbs, chile flake, lemon juce and zest, and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Whisk in oil.

2. Pour marinade over zucchini and allow to marinate for at least 30 min, preferably for a few hours

3. Preheat grill to high. Remove zucchini and squash from marinade and skewer.

4. Cut unpeeled onions in half and place on grill, turning occasionally. Allow to char on outside. Remove and place into a bowl, covered with plastic wrap to steam.

5. Grill skewers until tender, 5-6 minutes total, turning occasionally.

6. Peel and slice onions. Pull zucchini and squash off skewers, toss with onion, season with salt and pepper. Serve.


Greek Salad

Red Onion
Green Pepper
Feta Cheese
Kalamata Olives

Combine ingredients, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, then salt & pepper to taste. For a greener salad add some fresh lettuce or basil!


Week 10 – spuds

We finally took a picture of the darn share this week (photo credit Della!):20140722-124752-46072462.jpgYou’ve got green onions, potatoes, carrots, kohlrabi, zucchini and yellow summer squash, either Boothby’s Blonde or Diva slicing cucumbers, green beans, White Russian kale, and a head of lettuce.

The spuds are the new exciting addition this week.  These are ‘new potatoes’ meaning that their skins have not hardened or cured yet, so they fall off easily and won’t store for too long like cured taters.  So use them fairly quickly.  Ideal storage is in a paper bag in a cool (not cold) place like a basement.  Potatoes kept in the fridge convert their starches to sugar more quickly, which affects their flavor, texture, and cooking….  though if you have no other cool place, the fridge will do.  These spuds are the variety “Carola” — with sweet yellow flesh good for baking and frying.  They are similar to Yukon Gold.  Here is a shot of the potato beds I dug for you yesterday with the broadfork.  Della and Michael are harvesting kale in the background…20140722-124754-46074483.jpgAll right and now for some recipes, thanks to Della again!

Kohlrabi Carrot Fritters with Avocado Cream Sauce

From: http://www.acouplecooks.com/2013/01/kohrabi-fritters-with-avocado/

What You Need

  • 2 kohlrabi
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil (enough for ¼-inch depth in a large skillet)
  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Green onions (for garnish)

* Adding one of your many zucchinis to these might be tasty too!

What To Do

  1. Cut the leaves off of the kohlrabi, and peel the bulb. Peel the carrot. Shred the vegetables in a food processor (quick and easy!) or using a grater (slow method). Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture, then add to a bowl with 1 egg, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, and mix to combine.
  2. Place ½ cup oil in a large skillet (enough for ¼-inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat, then place balls of the fritter mixture into the oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix ½ avocado, ¼ cup plain yogurt, juice from ½ lemon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to make the sauce (or blend together in a food processor).
  4. Serve fritters with avocado cream sauce and sliced green onions, if desired.


Kale and Potato Gratin


makes 6-8 servings


1 1/2 pounds potatoes

1 bunch kale
1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 /2 teaspoon pepper

Between 1/3 and 2/3 cup bread crumbs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

OR 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as thyme or sage


1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Get a pot of water boiling large enough to accommodate the potatoes. Also prepare an ice bath.

2. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes 1/4-inch-thick. Set aside. Remove and discard the spines from the kale then chop the remaining leaves in 1/2-inch-thick ribbons by stacking the leaves and slicing in the direction of the veins. This doesn’t need to be exact, as long as you end up with a pile of roughly 1/2-inch-thick shreds of kale.

3. When the water is boiling, add a dash of salt and gently drop in the potatoes, cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes, until tender, but not cooked through. Drain and plunge into the ice bath. Drain again and dump onto a dishtowel and blot.

4. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the kale and rub the olive oil mixture aggressively into the leaves. Layer the kale and potatoes alternately with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a 9″x12″ rectangular casserole or glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes, until top is crispy.


Week 9 – green beans!

In the share Monday:

- 1 lb green beans
- 1/2lb mesclun mix (mix of arugula and various mesclun greens)
- bunch of hakurei salad turnips (these have a little bit of insect damage on the roots but it’s mostly on the surface so it can be cut off easily)
- bunch of beets with their greens
- 2 lettuce heads – 1 romaine and 1 butterhead
- celery – this is the first time I’ve grown this and I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.  Enjoy it raw or cooked into a recipe and let me know how you like it.
- cucumbers – 2 slicers and 2-3 of your choice of a mixture of pickling/blonde/asian cukes.
- summer squash – zucchini and yellow straightneck

 This week I’m giving the kale and chard a rest as they could use it to help regenerate more new growth.  But you have some braising greens in the form of beet and turnip tops.  There is lots of salad today with the two lettuce heads plus the mesclun mix.  I don’t grow a lot of mesclun mix currently for the CSA as it is very labor intensive, but it certainly is satisfying to have it now and then.  There are some new cucumber varieties trickling into the harvests these days: National Pickling, Boothby Blonde (similar to a lemon cuke but larger), and Suyo Long (asian).  One idea for using these is making quick pickles.  Here is an easy quick pickle recipe from thekitchn.com.  You can substitute any type of cucumbers.

This recipe is a great way to use up cucumbers. Pickled cucumbers are traditionally served as an accompaniment with rice or sushi, but feel free to serve any way you like.

Easy Japanese Pickled Cucumber

2 or 3 Japanese cucumbers – if you can’t find Japanese cucumbers, use one regular English cucumber
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Optional: wakame or hijiki seaweed, reconstituted in water, about 2 tablespoons

Wash the cucumbers and slice in thin coins. Place in a bowl and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of salt on them, and set aside for five minutes. Rinse off the salt and drain the cucumbers.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place in a lidded container and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. They will be ready to eat then, but personally I find that their flavor mellows over time and I like to wait 3-4 days before eating.

A few pictures from the farm to keep you abreast of how things are growing…  Tomatoes are coming right along in the hoophouse:


The field of winter squash has fully covered the ground and lots of baby winter squash & pumpkin fruit are forming.20140716-104732-38852344.jpg

The onions and leeks are growing nicely.  We should see some Walla Walla type onions in a few weeks.20140716-104730-38850530.jpg

Week 8

20140708-101640-37000244.jpgNew this week ….  savoy ‘famosa’ cabbage, ‘easter egg’ radish, cucumbers, and fresh garlic…  and a reprise of fennel!  Fresh garlic is mature garlic that hasn’t been cured for storage (so keep it in the fridge).  It is used just like regular garlic – but I think the flavor is even better.

The heat is of course affecting everything at the farm.  The zucchini and yellow summer squash are pumping out serious pounds with the high temps.  The radishes are spicy.  All the crops and the weeds are growing like crazy.  The tomato plants are sizing up some nice looking tomatoes – they are still green at this point though.

Thanks to Della for providing this week’s many recipes:

Veggie Stuffed Zucchini (http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/stuffed-zucchini)

2 Zucchinis
1 Onion
Veggies of your choice! (Corn, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomato, etc.)
1 clove Garlic
1 Tbsp Sour Cream

1/4 to 1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Curry Powder

1 tsp Thyme




1.) Preheat oven to 400.

2.) Give the zucchini a good scrub then slice them in half length-wise. Scrape out the center of the zucchini until you end up with boat-like shells, leaving about a ½ inch. Save the zucchini guts and chop them up, as you will be adding them back in later.

3.) Chop up and sauté vegetables (onion and veggies of your choice) and garlic. When they are almost done, add 1/4 tsp curry powder and cook everything for an additional 30 seconds.

4.) Next, transfer everything to a big bowl and add the zucchini scrapings, thyme, salt, sour cream, and pepper to taste. Mix gently.

5.) Fill the zucchini boats with the mixture, top with some cheese, and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!

 Carrots and Fennel Braised with Orange Zest and Honey (http://food52.com/recipes/21426-carrots-and-fennel-braised-with-orange-zest-and-honey)

tbsp unsalted butter
tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
tbsp honey
   1 1/2
pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch x 3 inch sticks
fennel bulb, ends trimmed, bulb cut in half, each half cored and cut lengthwise in 1/8”-inch slices
   Zest of about half an orange.
tsp fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar
cup water
cup orange juice
teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
   Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
tablespoons coarsely chopped fennel fronds or dill


1.) Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and honey. Stir well and add the carrots, fennel, orange zest and fennel seeds. Toss until the slices are well coated with the oil. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the fennel starts to soften.

2.) Add the water, orange juice, salt, and pepper. Toss quickly and reduce heat to between medium and medium-low. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

3.) Uncover the pan. Raise heat to high and fast-simmer until the juices have all evaporated and some of the vegetables are golden-brown, about 6 to 7 minutes, tossing only occasionally so as not to break or mush the vegetables.

4. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the fennel fronds, and serve immediately.

Cook’s’ note: The carrots and fennel can be trimmed and cut up to 6 hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to use, but the dish is best made just before serving. It does not reheat well.

Suspiciously Delicious Cabbage (http://food52.com/recipes/7533-suspiciously-delicious-cabbage#) 

medium green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
medium yellow onion, finely chopped
garlic cloves, minced
tbsp (heaping) grated fresh ginger
tbsp butter
cups heavy cream
   salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.) In a very large pan, heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted and starting to bubble a little. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.

2.) Stir in the ginger and cook for about a minute. Then, add in the cabbage, stirring well to coat it with the butter and other flavors. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, until the cabbage has softened and caramelized.

3.) Turn the heat to low and stir in the cream making sure to scrape any browned bits up from the pan bottom. Cover and cook over low for about 10 minutes.

4.) Uncover, add salt and pepper to taste. Then cook for a few more minutes, stirring once or twice, to let some of the liquid evaporate. Adjust seasonings as desired and serve.

Simple Nori Wraps (http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2013/06/raw-nori-wraps-with-red-cabbage.html#.U7tsoVy9DwI)

Thinly slice up some raw veggies (cucumber, zucchini, carrot, cabbage, avocado, etc.) and wrap them in nori or rice paper. Pair with a yummy peanut sauce and enjoy!


Week 7 – What is skhug?

20140701-073117-27077569.jpgWhat should one do with a whole big bunch of parsley, you ask?  I have two ideas for you: 1) tabouleh, and 2) skhug.  Skhug (also spelled schug and zhug) is a Middle Eastern hot sauce that uses hot peppers as a base and often uses either parsley or cilantro.  Originating in Yemeni cuisine and brought to Israel by Yemenite Jews, the condiment is now a staple of Israeli cuisine.  I highly recommend it as a general flavoring for your foods if you’re a hot sauce fan.  It’s commonly paired with hummus and falafel.  See recipes at the bottom of the post today….

Bok choi turns up again for an encore performance, and the summer squash (zucchini) are starting to really perform.  I’m excited to try the yellow zucchini called “Success PM.”  So far it seems very productive so let’s hope it lives up to its name.  By the way, PM refers not to time of day but to this variety’s supposed resistance to Powdery Mildew, which if true to name, will be very welcome come August/September when all the squash family plants tend to come down with a bad case of this fungal disease.  The new “easter egg” radish planting started producing today, but not enough for everyone so some shares got yellow snow peas instead.

The rain this last week was a welcome break from irrigation duty, though the field planted eggplants and peppers would have liked it a bit sunnier.  That being said, it really didn’t get cold during this last bit of moisture.  In fact, one rainy night had a low of about 60, warmer than the sunny-day overnight lows of 50-55 we’ve been having.  All the greens appreciated the overcast week as well.  Now that the heat is really upon us today, it’s up to me to make sure everything stays fully hydrated and the greenhouses don’t overheat too much.  During summer weather, the long sides of the greenhouses get rolled up to let out heat and allow more airflow.

Speaking of greenhouses, most of my greenhouse seeding for transplants is done for the year.  All that remains on that front is continuing to seed lettuce every few weeks.  All the fall and winter kale, collards, escarole, radicchio, and cabbage have been sown in flats.  Now more attention turns to ongoing trellising, cultivation, irrigation, and of course the biggest time consumer of all: Harvest!

I’ll leave you with a few recipes and farm pictures…  cheers and happy July!  -Matt.


How to Make Tabbouleh (from the kitchn.com)

(use as a rough guide – don’t worry about exact proportions…)

Serves 4 to 6

What You Need

1/2 cup bulgur (see Recipe Notes for quinoa and cracked wheat versions)
1 lemon
1 to 2 large bunches of flat leaf parsley, washed and dried
1 large bunch of mint, washed and dried
2 scallions
2 medium tomatoes
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
1 small cucumber (optional)
A few whole leaves of mint for garnish

1 small and 1 medium sized bowl
Knife and cutting board
Measuring cups and spoons


  1. Soak the bulgur. Place the bulgur in a small bowl and cover with very hot (just off the boil) water by 1/2-inch. Set aside to soak until softened but still chewy, about 20 minutes.
  2. Prep the herbs and vegetables. While the bulgur is soaking, juice the lemon and chop the parsley and mint. You will need roughly 1 1/2 cup packed chopped parsley and 1/2 cup packed chopped mint for this amount of bulgur. Slice the scallions thinly to equal a heaping 1/4 cup. Medium chop the tomatoes; they will equal roughly 1 1/2 cups. Medium chop the cucumber, about 1/2 cup.
  3. Dress the bulgur. When the bulgur is done, drain off any excess water and place in the large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat the grains. As you finish prepping the herbs and vegetables, add them to the bowl with the bulgur, but reserve half of the the diced tomato to use for garnish.
  4. Season and toss.  Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and another 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the optional allspice to the bowl. Toss everything together, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Garnish. To serve, garnish the tabbouleh with the reserved tomato and a few whole mint sprigs. Serve at room temperature with crackers, cucumber slices, fresh bread, or pita chips.

Recipe Notes

  • To make Quinoa Tabbouleh, just substitute 1 cup of cooked quinoa for the bulgur.
  • To make tabbouleh with cracked wheat, substitute 1 cup of cooked cracked wheat for the bulgur.
  • Tabbouleh is very flexible.  Feel free to add more or less of any ingredient based on your palate.  The ground allspice may sound unusual but I encourage you to try it. It adds a touch of warmth and spice.

Schug (from busyinkbrooklyn.com)

5 jalapeno peppers (see note)
1 large bunch fresh parsley*
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
salt, to taste


Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

NOTE: You can control the heat of the schug by the amount of veins and seeds that you put in the sauce. For a mild schug, remove all veins and seeds. For a spicy kick, add a little at a time until desired spice level is reached.

* Feel free to use all parsley, or all cilantro, or a mix. I don’t care much for cilantro, so I used only parsley. If you want more of a herby schug (which is more traditional), add another bunch. I prefer mine heavy on the jalapeno!


The (finally) trellised and weeded hoophouse of cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.


Just mowed the other day and it was so tidy looking I had to take a panorama:20140701-073123-27083284.jpg


Week 6 – carrots are here!


20140624-085624-32184717.jpgThere are a bunch of new items today:  carrots, basil, green cabbage, cucumbers, and zucchini!  For me fresh carrots from the farm are one of the most exciting things in life.  I just can’t get enough of them.  So don’t leave your extra carrots sitting around me or they’ll disappear in a blink.

The snow peas keep cranking out more so they’re still in your share.  Same with the hakurei salad turnips.  I’ve taken to making quick stir fries these days with snow peas, sliced salad turnips, kohlrabi, chard or any other green, and some sort of allium (green onions, garlic scapes).  I use a high heat oil like coconut or grapeseed, and keep everything at high temps and constantly moving around the pan.  I usually just add simple flavorings or pre-made sauces like stir-fry sauce or a curry paste mixed in with coconut milk. Basil can be thrown on top at the end when the heat is off.  Nice over rice or quinoa…

Another thing to do with the turnips if you are stuck on those is slicing them thin and putting them on sandwiches for a nice added crunch.

The kale is “lacinato” a classic from the Tuscany region of Italy.  It’s also known as “Nero di Toscano” meaning Italian Black Kale.  The stuff we harvested yesterday seems on the drier side, so I’d recommend cooking it with some liquid to help rehydrate and soften it a bit: broth, water, or wine perhaps.

Cabbage is good in slaws or quartered (or maybe halved if it’s kind of small) and grilled.  The pointy green headed variety is called “Caraflex” and it’s a straight ahead green cabbage except for its shape.

I meant to include a picture of Della, Cully Neighborhood Farm’s new intern, in last week’s post, but forgot.  So here is Della with last week’s share.  Say hi if you see her around the farm!  She’s already become a great help around here as she lends a hand with harvest, washing, weeding, trellising, and the many other little tasks it takes to keep things on track at the farm.  Thanks Della!20140624-085628-32188154.jpg



Week 5 Scapes! Beets!

20140617-093943-34783363.jpgNew this week!  Beets and garlic scapes.  Oh and spinach too!

What is a garlic scape you might ask?  It is the young flower stalk of the garlic plant, which is removed to direct the plant’s energy toward making a big root bulb.  But it is also delicious.  It can be used just like garlic, though the flavor is milder (but a bit stronger than the green garlic we had before).  Pretty much the whole length is tender, though you may want to remove the tip around the flower bud which can be more fibrous.  There are a few fun ways to eat them.  Here are two:

Garlic Scape Pesto Recipes

Grilled (or roasted) garlic scape recipe

By the way, this blog is a good resource for recipes from previous years’ shares as well.  If you’re interested, have a look back through the blog from last year and the year before (just keep scrolling down the home page to go back in time :-)…)

Beets!  I’m really happy with the first beet harvest.  Last year’s beets were a little disappointing so this year I’m pretty excited to offer some pretty decent looking ones right off the bat.  Not sure what to do with your beets?  I suggest that you simply roast them in the oven first while they are still whole.  Then there are a number of things you can do with them. For example, slice or cube them and make a beet salad with blue cheese and nuts for instance.

Here’s a simple how to for roasting beets

By the way, you have a lot of greens in your share today, in case you didn’t notice!  First of all, the beet greens are edible and delicious.  Quite similar to swiss chard but a little more tender.  I’d recommend removing the greens from the root before storing the beets in your fridge.  That actually goes for all roots as it helps make the root last longer.  You can combine the chard and beet greens if you want a larger mess ‘o greens.  You could even through the spinach in there as well for an even larger mess.  Cooking times are longest for chard, less for beet greens, and shortest for spinach.  So if you are throwing them all in a pot or pan, do them in that order.  But you could just use them all together until the chard is done and call it good!  Simple!

In other farm news, the farm has a new pair of hands!  That’s right, Della, a student at Western Washington University’s School of the Environment, is doing an internship at Cully Neighborhood Farm for the summer.  Her first day was Monday and she was a great help.  Thanks Della!  You’ll be hearing more from/about her real soon.

Have a great week!