July 6, 2009

6 Jul

A reminder: Our CSA Potluck is this Saturday, July 11th at 12noon to 3pm. Tuesday pick-up members bring a main dish or a salad. Thursday pick-up members bring a dessert or a side dish. Fairview will provide beverages. Please remember that every CSA member must bring their own plate, utensils, cup, cloth napkin, and a set to share with a friend who forgot. Bring your kids and meet us at the farmhouse. We are looking forward to being together and getting to know each other.

A quote: “Over the years, I‘ve been amazed to hear of all the different types of people who started to cook for the first time – you’d think it would mostly be twenty-year-olds at university, but that’s absolutely not the case. It’s kids, teenagers, middle-aged people, men, women, singles, marrieds, working-class and posh people – all sorts, who come across cooking for whatever reason. And the one thing that I hear over and over again when it comes to those who discovered cooking after, say, the age of thirty, is that they wish they’d started earlier. Well, here’s your change.” (Jamie Oliver, Cook with Jamie) Jamie Oliver is come of my favorite chefs and he inspires me to cook, to experiment and be elaborate, or to stay simple and highlight three flavors I put in a dish. As you hit a mid-ish point of your Summer Season CSA share, I encourage you to cook and explore with the same enthusiasm as you did during week one. We are coming into the peak of our summer crops and I hope you are ready with enthusiasm.

A note from Toby:

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well and enjoyed your 4th of July with family and friends.  The fields are looking great and we are looking forward to another successful week of farming.  It looks like there may be some white corn ready for next week and the tomatoes and peppers are not far off.  Enjoy the Flageolet Beans; they are certainly a rare treat.  I recommend cooking them for about 20-25 minutes with some garlic and onions in the water (no salt, salt makes the skin tough).  Enjoy a burrito with sautéed radish and squash.

It was not a great year for the stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots) at Fairview and we knew last winter that this would be the case.  Stone fruits require a certain amount of chill hours, which we did not receive.  Chill hours are the total number of hours during the dormancy period below 45 degree.  If the chill factor is not met, flowering and fruit may not occur, foliation could be delayed and fruit quality affected.  Most stone fruit varieties require between 900-1200 chill hours, although varieties have been developed for our milder climates that range from 400-800 hours.  Some people have mentioned they had a great year with their backyard stone fruit, which is a great reminder of how many different microclimates we have in the SB area.

We successfully completed the construction and permitting part of phase IV of our farmer housing project by the July 1st deadline.  One more big phase to go, a huge fundraising campaign and a remodel of the farm stand to meet EHS standards.  And the farm keeps on farming.  Thank you to everyone that participated with phases I-IV.  We certainly could not have done it with out your assistance.  We have some major projects still on the near horizon and will provide a sneak peek of these in the coming weeks.

Cheers,

Toby McPartland, Farm Manager

 A Sneak Peek:

Small Share:

Flowers

Shelling Beans

Strawberries    

Radish 

Carrots                                   

Squash

Plums

 Large Share:

Flowers

Shelling Beans

Strawberries    

Radishes                     

Carrots                       

Avocado        

Squash

Plums  

Fennel

Cucumbers

A few recipes: dedicated to my favorite chef (all from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie)

Thoughts on Zucchini: “Zucchini can be cooked in lots of different ways: boiled, stewed, friend, roasted, even sliced into slabs and grilled.” They go well with just about anything and love to be cooked or dressed in olive oil…. Zucchini are best friends with mint garlic and chilli.” -Jamie

Simple Sautéed Zucchini with Chili and Lemon

4 small zucchini

Olive oil

1 dried red chili, crumbled

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of ½ a lemon

A knob of butter

Slice your zucchini with a mandolin slicer or sharp knife so they’re just under ¼ inch thick. Heat a large frying pan over high heat and pour a good splash of olive oil.

Drop the zucchini slices into the pan and fry for 2 minutes with chili and garlic until the zucchini begin to brown. Season well with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice and butter and cook for another 2 minutes. When the lemon juice has evaporated, take the pan off the heat and divide the zucchini over the plates and serve.

Spiced Plum Chutney

1/3 cup sugar

½ a cinnamon stick

1 star anise

6 large red ripe plums, pitted and chopped

A strip of orange zest

A pinch of ground cumin

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Pour the sugar in a saucepan and add just enough water to dissolve it. Place on the heat, drop in the cinnamon and star anise and bring to the boil.

Simmer the syrup until it reduces right down and the bubbles start to get bigger. As soon as the syrup starts to turn golden, add the chopped plums, orange zest and cumin and turn the heat down low. The plums will release heir sticky, sweet juices and after a few minutes the sauce will cook down to a thicker consistency. Take the pan off the heat, season the chutney with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

The Best Whole-Backed Carrots

1lb 10oz young bunched carrots, different colors if possible, washed and scrubbed

Olive oil

Herb or red wine vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A few springs of fresh thyme

3 cloves of garlic crushed

Preheat your oven to 400F. Toss your carrots with a good glug of olive oil, a splash of vinegar, salt and pepper, the thyme springs, and the garlic cloves. Place in a roasting pan or earthenware dish, cover tightly with foil and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until just tender. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes until the carrots have browned and caramelized nicely.

 Thanks for the inspiration Jamie. With gratitude,

jen

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