Recipes, produce information and forum for Zoe's Garden Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. Zoe's Garden offers CSA subscriptions in the Park City, Heber, Salt Lake, Ogden & Lindon areas. Our purpose is to provide the freshest naturally grown produce possible by delivering it to our local members within a day of picking.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week 3 Lists

I will update this later with a picture guide, but I thought people might appreciate a listing of the shares earlier in the evening.  I believe that we've seen all of these items in the past, except for some lettuce.

young garlic
green asparagus
onion scapes
onion chives
easter egg radishes
great lake lettuce
microgreen mix
mung bean sprouts
wheat grass
red sunchokes

small +
Chinese snow broccoli
red sail lettuce

medium +
Chinese broccoli
baby bok choy
baby spinach
romaine lettuce
white sunchokes
extra spinach
extra radishes
extra wheat grass

I don't see anything to describe as new, except the lettuce.  I suspect that if you don't know what to do with lettuce though, you're probably not receiving a share of produce from a farm!

David thinks that next week will be the last on the sunchokes.  I know we've had some reports of, um, discomfort with the chokes.  My best advice is try them again in smaller quantities -- we responded better the second and third time we ate them.  If it was just too much, befriend a vegetarian or an adventurous diabetic -- both should appreciate the gift.  Next week might also be the last of the young garlic... they're getting ready to get really tough in the warmer weather.  There might be a couple of pounds all at once, so you'll want to prepare yourself for making a pesto that you can freeze.  More on that next week.

Small Share
Medium Share (the difference will become more
pronounced when the fruit comes into season)
Large Share
Great Lake, Red Sail, and Romaine lettuces

Friday, May 27, 2011

Checking in

I hope everyone is getting a handle on the shares.  As a way to help me help you, what sorts of things are people needing?  Are you flooded with greens?  Are you struggling with all the produce when you arrive home?  Are things going bad faster than you can eat them?  Is anything stumping you with recipe ideas?

Chime in!  If I can't help, someone in the community can.  Hopefully this will help steer the information I'm giving you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Using up your greens

The spring boxes contain A LOT of green stuff.  This is more an issue with the medium and large shares, but small share members - your time is coming!  On weeks that are short on time or meal ideas, using up all of those leafy greens can be a little difficult.  But with a few minutes in the kitchen, you can save them up for use later in the year when you are craving something green and healthy.

This site has some great instructions for freezing greens.  This will take less time than boiling pasta, and will save you that really horrible feeling of reaching into your crisper to find that chinese broccoli or spinach you really intended to make into something tasty -- last week, before it wilted all over the place.

A couple of quick tips:  Slightly wilted greens work well for this - it doesn't have to be salad quality to freeze for later use.  Also, once you have all these green baggies in your freezer, you have to find a use for them.  Soups are great, and these work for items like spinach dip.

Meat for sale

A short note:  David is scheduling some butchering for the next week or so and would like to gauge our interest in meat products.  The actual mechanics of ordering and delivering aren't worked out yet.  These are animals that David raises himself, on pasture.  Selections would include ground lamb, lamb roast, ground beef, ground chuck, ground sirloin, and beef roast.  Member pricing is about $1/lb less than David's market price.

If you're interested in some of these items, please email me at, and I'll pass it along to figure out the volume needed.

I hope you're all enjoying the produce!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Week 2 Lists

A couple of reminders before we get started with the shares. First, David reuses the boxes, so please stack them neatly at your dropoff and remember to return them each week (or leave them behind by bringing bags for your produce). Second, David can reuse the clamshells that contain your microgreens, so return those in your share box if you remember. Third, there are two Saturdays left until the Farmer's Market starts, and there's an informal invite for both the 28th and the 4th to come help at the farm. Come see how the farm operates, lend a hand planting starts, and put a face to your food, this and next Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Here are the second week's share lists!

honey (produced on the farm)
young garlic
purple asparagus
green asparagus
onion scapes
garlic chives
wheat grass
mung bean sprouts

amaranth greens
red giant mustard
green mustard

baby bok choy
soy bean sprouts (for cooking, don't eat raw)
micro dill
micro chervil
micro peas
micro basil
chinese snow broccoli
chinese broccoli
extra asparagus
extra microgreens
extra mustard greens
extra spinach

Nothing too crazy this week that wasn't there last week. That said, you're going to need some help getting rid of some of these -- they're building up or they're giant bags. If you haven't finished last week's sunchokes, don't worry. Place this week's sunchokes UNWASHED in a paper bag in the bottom of your fridge -- they should keep at least several weeks before starting to sprout. Also, be religious about chopping those young garlic, scapes, and chives into whatever you're cooking each night. The flavor is more subtle than their full grown big brothers, but soon we'll be overwhelmed with piles of them that keep well in the fridge.

David has hives on the farm. The honey is this week's apology for spring rains making field access to the salad greens impossible. A $12 value, if you're trying to check on getting your money's worth out of the shares.

Purple and green varieties of the stuff you find in the store, but actually harvested fresh and in season for your locale.  As asparagusy as it gets.  Can't cook it tonight or tomorrow?  Put them upright in a bowl of water in the fridge.  Risky on the spill factor, but they'll stay crispy.

Wheat Grass
Basically another microgreen.  If you're a juicer, juice it.  Add small amounts to salads, muffins, smoothies, and pestos.

Mustard Greens
A slightly spicy green that holds up to sauteing and boiling.  A classic Southern ingredient, also integral to South Asian cooking.  Saute with ham / bacon / seitan / tempeh, or boil and serve with a crispy fried tofu (especially the smoked variety).  I'll try to get some recipes out of my friends from India to expand beyond the heavy East Asian bent here.

Amaranth Greens
Not green but red.  Also called Chinese spinach, these are super healthy.  These will hold up well to the sesame sauce I introduced last week (gomaae), and can be treated like most any boiling/sauteing green. When in doubt -- heat olive oil in skillet, add garlic, add greens, stir, eat.  Also popular in Indian cuisine.

And a few reasons to consider the large share next summer.... seriously, this is plush kitchen living....

David recommends the micro-chervil on any white fish.  I can't wait to throw the micro-dill on some fingerling potatoes or white fish.  These would take a salad to the next level with tiny additions.

Soy Bean Sprouts
These have been problematic for David, with some going bad faster than he expects.  He never eats them raw -- blanch them or saute them.  He highly recommends sauteing these in olive oil with a touch of salt and pepper, adding the micro pea shoots to the pan at the last minute.  Earthy and fantastic -- I made this dish tonight.

Chinese Broccoli
There are two varieties this week:  regular and snow.  The snow broccoli was planted in the fall and grew through the winter, has slightly sharper leaves and veins on the back, and is slightly darker.  The regular variety was planted this spring.  Use it all -  leaves, stems, flowers.  This is a slightly spicy, broccoli flavored green.  Saute it with some stock (are you sensing a trend in spring veg yet?), make a spicy version of cream of broccoli soup, add it to stir fries.

As always, comment with ideas and email with questions.  I'm trying to get these up earlier in the evening on Tuesdays, but the family is hungry before I can get the posts up a lot of nights.  Bear with me and I'll streamline the process.  As the summer weather becomes more predictable, I can at least get the list and suggestions up on Monday night, with pictures to follow.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Member Farm Day Recap

A handful of members made it out for Member Farm Day May 14th to see the progress so far this Spring, get their hands dirty, and to experience some of what it takes to get local produce from a small farm to our share boxes.  A couple of members planted several rows of radicchio and Chinese broccoli.  Those of us with small kids took to the less delicate task of pulling up sunchokes.  A few hours squatting in the dirt gave us more appreciation for the hard work that goes into our weekly deliveries.  David welcomes member visits and involvement and is more than willing to answer any questions about farming, vegetables, and recipes.


Chinese broccoli waiting

Bees supplemented with honey water
 for energy to come out of dormancy

Lettuces, kohlrabi, peas etc. waiting to go in

Still a slow process with the tractor's help


Friday, May 20, 2011

Go-To greens with goma sauce

This recipe used up my whole bag of spinach, and it is super versatile for use with any greens (the mizuna, spinach, and chard this week are all good candidates) and things like green beans, spicy greens, and eggplants that we'll see later in the year.  It is incredibly quick, gets rid of the greens that will so quickly overwhelm our share in the next month, and has a simple elegance if served to guests.

"Gomaae" is Japanese sesame-based sauce that is equal parts sweet, salty, and nutty.  It is traditionally served tossed with lightly boiled spinach (hourensou no gomaae).  The recipe varies from kitchen to kitchen, but what follows is where I usually start.  I had to estimate the measurements -- I cook with the "glug" and "splash" measurement and taste frequently.  I like this dish a little stronger as well, because I usually serve it with plain rice.

3-4 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (toast them in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring regularly, or by them pre-toasted in the Asian section)
1-2 Tbsp mirin, a sweet cooking wine/vinegar
     (alternate: 1 Tbsp sake with 1 tsp sugar, or 1 Tbsp rice vinegar with 1 tsp sugar)
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce
roughly 1 pound of spinach

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Crush the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle (or with a coffee grinder, gently with a mallet, or with a dowel in a bowl).  It doesn't need to be too thorough.  Mix in the mirin and the soysauce.  Boil the spinach for just a couple of minutes, then drain, squeezing as much liquid out as possible.  Roughly chop the spinach and toss with the gomaae sauce.  Serve.

Alternate flavors to try:  substitute peanuts for the sesame seeds, or substitute miso paste with a tiny amount of water for the soy sauce.

Sunchoke recipe

I bet you're all cursing the dirt that the sunchokes grew in about now.  Try floating them in a sink full of warm water, bang them around a little bit, drain the water, rinse down the bulk of the dirt, and start again.  The dirt will fall away pretty quickly with a change of the water.  Then give them a thorough scrubbing and rinse.

Here is the sunchoke gratin I threw together last night, using the spinach, the young garlic, and the beef from the share as well.

1 lb ground beef
half an onion, diced
several young garlic, chopped
3-4 smallish potatoes, unpeeled, 1/4" slices
a double handfull of sunchokes, unpeeled, 1/4" slices
a double handfull of spinach, shredded
about a pint of Mexican crema (you could use 1/2&1/2, milk, sour cream, or whatever sounds tasty with your spice combo)
cheese to top

  1. Set the oven to 350 and oil a casserole dish.
  2. Brown the beef with the onion and garlic, spiced to your taste.  I used a greek mix that I like a lot, but you could use salt, pepper, paprika, more garlic, herbs -- basically however you'd like to theme your gratin.
  3. Make a layer of potatoes and chokes.  Then add a layer of the beef, then some spinach, then some crema, then repeat.  Salt and spice to taste as you go.  I finished with potatoes/chokes, and topped with cheese. 
  4. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes.
  5. Uncover and cook another 15-30 minutes.  Your cheese should be brown and your potatoes soft.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sunchokes, aka Jerusalem Artichokes

These are probably the least common of the vegetables in our share this week.  Sunchokes are the starchy tuber of a sunflower relative, with a taste between an artichoke and a potato, and a texture between a water chestnut and a potato.  They can be eaten raw or cooked, peeled or unpeeled.  These guys are pretty dirty because they were just dug up on Saturday, so give them a good scrubbing in a sink full of water before doing anything else with them.  Store them in a cool, dry place, or in the vegetable drawer of your fridge wrapped in paper towels and plastic.  They should keep for 2-3 weeks.

My go-to way of preparing a root vegetable that I'm unfamiliar with?  Roasting with other root vegetables.  And we have parsnips in the share this week as well.  Chop them up into a casserole dish, throw in a quartered onion, some chopped celery, maybe a beet, sweet potato, or carrots, then drizzle with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbs of your choice.  Add a cup or so of stock (or water or beer), cover in foil, and roast @325 until everything is soft and slightly caramelized (between 1 and 2 hours, depending on how much is in your dish).

Sliced sunchokes can be used to make a gratin (just substitute the chokes for the potatoes in your favorite recipe).  The spinach and chard we received this week would go great in this.  You can also deepfry the slices to make sunchoke chips.

Lightly (15 minutes) boiled sunchokes, pureed, can be added to a soup as a thickener.  Or make a variation on potato soup using your sunchokes.  Or mash them with potatoes, carrots, or parsnips to make an interesting variation on mashed potatoes.

If in doubt on recipes, go to the web! has the best synopsis of the roots I found, but if you come across something truly fantastic please share it via the comments.

A word of warning:  Some people don't process the starch in this tuber, inulin, all that well.  If you haven't eaten sunchokes before, don't overdo it with your first meal.  You could get a gassy bellyache.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Week 1 lists

Here is the breakdown for the first week's produce, along with a picture guide to translate your share.

young garlic
white sunchokes
microgreen mix
bok choy
onion scape
purple mizuna

small share +
baby swiss chard
extra radish

medium share +
micro arugula
micro green basil
micro purple basil
micro buckwheat
extra young garlic
extra spinach
extra parsnips
extra radish

All of your greens will want to go into the refrigerator, rinsed, patted dry, wrapped in a paper towel, and then wrapped loosely in plastic.  A grocery bag or unzipped ziploc works well for this.  The sunchokes, radishes, and parsnips should be loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge, where they'll keep for a couple of weeks.

Some hints on how to use the produce (more recipes to follow tonight and tomorrow):

Shungiku:  This is the leaf of an edible chrysanthemum, popular in Asian cuisine.  It is tasty in a supporting role in salads, and as a last minute addition to stir fries and soups.

Young garlic:  Treat like a green onion.  The bottoms are a little tougher, so saute them a little longer.

Parsnip:  A sweet root vegetable, relative to the carrot.  Most people know these.  Grate them over a salad, roast them with other vegetables, or put them into soup.  Fabulous with a bit of coriander and butter.

Mizuna:  A Japanese green, a little like arugula, but milder.  These pointy leaved greens are good in salads, or tossed at the last minute into a stir fry or simple soup.  Try quickly sauteeing them in sesame oil, then tossing with a blend of soy sauce and ground up sesame seeds (here, also good with shungiku).

Microgreens:  These are premium goods.  They're the nutrient packed 8-12 day old baby versions of plants you know well like basil, arugula, peas, kale, and buckwheat.  Swanky restaurants buy them at top dollar, and you're getting them in your CSA share!  Try them on salads and sandwiches.  Tonight, I mixed some basil and arugula greens (each separate in the Large Share, or in the microgreen mix of the small share) with tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and smoked salt, then used the mix to top some crusty bread slices.  These won't last long this spring, so please make the most of them while we have them.

Sunchokes:  Also known as Jerusalem Artichokes, these are the nutritious tubers of a sunflower relative. Scrub them clean - peeling is optional.  They're like a cross between potatoes and water chestnuts.  They can be sliced thinly over salads, pureed into soups, or roasted with other veggies.  I advise going slow on the first meal with them -- a "pre-biotic" that support healthy gut flora and fauna, they're a little like cabbage in that a minority of people react gassily to eating them.  They'll keep in the fridge, and I will get a few recipes to you in the next day or so.

Onion scapes:  The flowering tops of onions (all alliums, really -- you'll see garlic scapes in the near future as well), these can be treated mostly as you treat a mild green onion top.  I'm pretty sure you don't eat the flowering bulb right at the top.  I'll give you some recipes to make them disappear as they become more prevalent in our shares, but for now, chop them up and toss them into stir fries, biscuits, soups, etc.

Please email me with questions!  Questions are welcomed, as are suggestions for using up the produce.  It can be overwhelming, but if you put it all away properly when you get it home, it lasts all week and into the next.  I'll hit you all with recipes and suggested storage methods as the week progresses.

edit  I fixed the spelling of shungiku.  Leave it to the person who lived in Japan to mess up the spelling of Japanese words.

Heads up - Weather issues

Here is a heads up for today's pickup.  The rain made it impossible for David to harvest the tender greens like lettuce this morning.  Those items are "day of harvest" deliveries, and this rain was just too heavy to get in the field.  David will be substituting some of his grass-fed beef, and there is an abundance of some other items like sunchokes, parsnips, and microgreens.  This is an early start for the season, and we're dealing with the weather.  Your boxes will still be filled with goodies, but the breakdown will be different than anticipated.

Honestly, at this time of year, I'll take whatever is fresh and local!  Starting before June this year is a major bonus.  Final list will be up by late this evening.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Drops start THIS WEEK!

I have to apologize to the group -- I didn't make it clear that the produce drops start this week.  That means today, Tuesday, for over a dozen of you!  I'll be emailing and calling most everyone for the Tuesday drop to be sure the word gets around.  I'll post a list of the produce tomorrow evening, along with pics, tips, and recipes.

Please bring grocery bags (reusable, of course) to the drop sites to pick up your produce, or plan on being extra vigilent to return your boxes each week.

I suppose if you're looking at this, you're already following the blog.  Watch the blog posts for ALL information from the farm.  I will try to separate them out into individual posts for important things, like, say, your food starting to arrive.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Farm Day

A quick reminder: Farm Day this Saturday from 10-2.  As long as the weather holds, we'll be digging sunchokes and possibly planting seedlings.  If it doesn't, the backup is Sunday.  Watch this space for an update.