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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Winter CSA corrected

Based on early feedback and some internal discussions, we're going to shift the Winter CSA shares to smalls, with a vegetarian and meat eater option.  I updated the post below.

Winter CSA

We have word on the winter shares!  This is still up for debate / request, as it doesn't go forward if you the members aren't interested.  Please weigh in with what you'd like to see, by email if you're more comfortable with that (  At the very least, let me know if you're interested so we can plan the planting scale.

Right now, David is considering
  • Meat -- cold weather means he can deliver a couple of pounds a week without worrying.  There will be a vegetarian version for those that don't want meat.
  • A single size of share, similar in volume and cost to our current Small shares (roughly 1/3-1/2 bushel a week, roughly $35/week).  We're still trying to determine costing of meat vs. non-meat.
  • October through February (roughly 20 weeks) with a weekly drop (locations dependent on interest).  There would also be a bonus holiday box (probably at Thanksgiving) with extras of all of your favorite feasty foods like potatoes, onions, salad, winter squash, and pie apples.
  • It focuses heavily on vegetables that ripen in the fall and store well (winter squash, apples, potatoes), but includes fresh tasty greens and vegetables that can extend into the fall with the use of high tunnels (spinach, tomatoes, salad greens).  All told, you're looking at over 30 different vegetables and fruits that could show up each week -- all local and in season! -- without being as dependent on the weather as the spring / summer veggies were.
Here is the projected crop list:

October and November
Meat:  Beef and Lamb
Storage crops:  potatoes, onion, beets, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, buttercup squash, turnip, cabbage, garlic, shallots
Fresh veggies:  kale, broccoli, Chinese kale, Swiss chard, mustard, tomatoes, broccoli raab, radishes, pears, apples, Asian pears, eggplant, kohlrabi, raspberries,  mixed salad greens, spinach, (possibly) summer squash and cucumbers

December, January, and February
Meat:  Beef and Lamb
Storage crops:  Yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes, onion, beet, sunchoke, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, turnip, parsnip, rutabaga, carrot, frozen berries and peaches, fruit and berry preserves
Fresh veggies:  pear, apple, kohlrabi, brussel sprouts, microgreens, microbasil, spinach

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Week 16 Lists

Top: yellow pattypan, white pattypan, zephyr, straightneck,
broccoli, cucumber
Bottom: raspberries, tomatoes, green beans, peaches
yellow pattypan
white pattypan
zephyr squash
straight neck squash
Blue Lake green beans
Regina peaches

Top: flying saucer, Armenian cuke, young squash, crookneck, beets
Bottom: plums, blackberries, roma tomatoes, kohlrabi

Armenian cucumber
flying saucer squash
crookneck squash
young spaghetti squash
extra peaches

Swiss chard, Chinese green beans, bitter melon, wheat grass,
baby squash, cherry tomatoes, leek, corn

Chinese green beans
Swiss chard
bitter melon*
cherry tomatoes
baby squash
extra raspberries
extra peaches
extra tomatoes
extra roma tomatoes
extra plums
extra kohlrabi

Bitter Melon
A tropical relative of cucumbers, pumpkins, and luffas (yes, your bath scrubby is named after a melon), this is among the most bitter fruits grown.  It is also being increasingly researched for health benefits (it features prominently in the cooking of Okinawa, one of the longer lived Japanese islands).  The Chinese like to use it in stir-fries, particularly with pork.  In Indian cuisine, it goes with potatoes and yogurt.  Strong spices like curry, and sour flavors like yogurt / vinegar, help to cut the bitterness.  Honestly, I had this vegetable prepared three or four different ways in Japan, and was never super excited to see it on the plate.  But I'll try again!

Armenian Cucumber
This isn't actually a cucumber, but a type of muskmelon.  Don't bother peeling it.  Eat it like a cuke, for a week if it is one of the bigger ones.  Crunchy and sweet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Week 15 Lists

Heavy boxes this week!  Nothing new that needs a lot of information on storage.  I'll follow up tomorrow with some new recipes for the items we've received and some information on a fall/winter share.

top: cantaloupe, green beans, peaches, cabbage
bot: zephyr, sunburst, pattypan, crookneck squash
corn, raspberries

White pattypan squash
Sunburst squash
Zephyr squash
Crookneck squash
Cabbage (last until late September)
Corn (done with this)
Green beans (done with this)
Cantaloupe (some will be a little green)

Japanese cuke, flying saucer, beets, blackberries, broccoli

Red beets
Flying saucer squash
Japanese cucumber

top: amaranth, Chinese green beans, wheat grass, baby squash, tomatoes
mid: purslane, candy striped beets
bot: Armenian cukes, kohlrabi, finger squash, mustard, chard
Candy strip beets
Wheat grass
Baby squash (seriously, they're babies)
Cherry tomatoes
Chinese green beans
Armenian cucumber
Red amaranth
Mustard greens
White Swiss chard
Finger squash
extra Raspberries

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cabbage without borders

Cabbage grows well, stores well, and keeps you well.  And I don't think we've seen the last of it.  So here a few simple ways to use it up.  Please, chime in with more.  I've listed each of these as vegetarian, but all of them are good with a pound or so of ground beef added to the skillet first.

Simplest Cabbage
2-4 T butter
1/2 head shredded cabbage
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the cabbage in the butter until tender, season to taste, serve as a side.

South of the Border Cabbage
2-4 T butter or corn oil
1/2 head shredded cabbage
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 sliced jalapenos
a package of your favorite corn tortillas
a package of cotija or queso fresco

Saute the cabbage, jalapenos, and onion in the butter (or oil) until soft.  Serve as filling for the tortillas, topped with some cotija or any other variety of fresh Mexican cheese.

East of the Border Cabbage
2-4 T butter or olive oil
1/2 head shredded cabbage
1/2 onion, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
2 T Worchestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 t paprika
1/2 c sour cream

Saute the cabbage and onion in the butter (or oil) until soft.  Stir in the tomatoes, spices, and Worchestershire sauce and simmer another 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat, stir in the sour cream, and serve.

Even Further East of the Border Cabbage
(This is actually a dish called yakisoba, a street food famous in Osaka, Japan.  I've only had this made with chicken, but pork and tofu are acceptable substitutes.  Stir fry bite sized pieces of about a pound of meat or tofu ahead of time if you'd like to use them.)
2-4 T sesame oil
1/2 head shredded cabbage
1 onion, sliced into thin half moons
thumb length chunk of ginger, diced
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, in 1/4" rounds
yakisoba sauce to taste (Asian section as the grocery, or much cheaper at the Asian store, or sub 1/3 c soy sauce, 1/3 c ketchup, 1/8 c rice wine, and 2 T sugar)
about a pound of yakisoba noodles (refrigerated near the tofu at the grocery, or much much cheaper at the Asian market, or substitute soba, lo mein, or ramen without the seasoning packet)

Brown the meat/tofu first.  The put the onion, ginger, and carrots into the mix until just beginning to soften.  Add the cabbage and season with the yakisoba sauce.  Cook about two minutes, until the cabbage begins to soften, then mix in the noodles and stir well.  As everything gets coated with the sauce, it will start to caramelize.  Stir in the scallions a minute before turning off the heat.  Serve.
(You can watch a video of a Japanese lady making it here.  What is up with the dog?)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Week 14 recipes

First off, we'll try to deal with that pile of summer squash you might be staring down.

Ratatouille -- traditionally heavy on the tomatoes and eggplants, both of which are a week or two away for our particular CSA, this is a great way to use up your summer vegetables.  I chose the recipe from Cooking for Engineers, because I'm an engineer and the site amuses me.  It has lots of pictures!  You could follow the recipe exactly, or sub out the eggplant with the softer pattypans, the herbs with microgreens and garlic chives, and cut some of the sweet corn from the cob to add.

Marinated Garden Vegetables -- Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

  1/2 c red wine or rice wine vinegar
  2 T salt
  herbs to taste (oregano, thyme, Herbs de Provence) - about 2 t
  2 bay leaves
  2 cloves garlic
  1/2 c olive oil
  1 head broccoli, chopped
  2 medium squash (yellow, zuccs, or pattypan) cut lengthwise and sliced
  2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
  handful of green beans, cleaned and cut into 1" lengths
  a bell pepper, sliced
  1/2 cup of good black or kalamata olives
  black pepper to taste

  Bring herbs, salt, oil, vinegar, and garlic to a boil in about a quart of water.  Add broccoli and green beans and boil for about a minute.  Then add the squash, carrots, bell pepper, and olives and boil less than a minute more.  Turn off the heat and cover.  Allow to cool in the pot, and serve at room temperature or cold, with a bit of the liquid plus the black pepper.

Vegetable Pancakes -- These will use up summer squash in a flash, and this great New York Times article (again, Mark Bittman) brings several international flavors to the table.  Many of these can use cabbage instead of summer squash.

Tomorrow I'll try to hit beets and cabbage.

Week 14 Lists

I was swamped tonight -- I dropped by the house during the work day to throw the veg in the fridge and then took off for more events.  Pulling it all back out to photograph at 10pm was a little daunting.  No pictures, sorry, but there's nothing here this week that isn't self explanatory for what it is or something that I've pictured before.  Corn and peaches are the new guys.  I am putting a whack of recipes in a second post to help with using a few of these items up, though.

garlic chives
Blue Lake green beans
peaches (early red haven)
white pattypan squash
sunburst squash
Italian green zucchini
zephyr squash
yellow squash
sweet corn (!!)

flying saucer squash
straight neck squash
Mediterranean squash
Chinese green beans
extra peaches

micro pea shoots
red cabbage
Chinese broccoli
bok choy (slightly different variety than usual)
micro purple basil
micro green basil
micro wheat grass
extra raspberries
extra blackberries
extra broccoli

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Squash suggestions

From Alissa, member and manager of the CSA.

Squash & Beet Chips
If you have a dehydrator, make beet and squash "chips".  They can also be done in your oven if you have an oven that stays at really low temperatures.

Quick Squash Pizza Sauce (Hiding the veggies so my kids won't pick 'em off):
One of my favorite things to do with my squash is make sweet pizza sauce.  I used to go through an elaborate preparation of cooking down fresh tomatoes and pureed squash until all the water was gone.  Then I started wanting to eat more raw foods.  So now, I just process my squash in the food processor and add a bit of tomato paste.   I also used to go through the elaborate process of making my own pizza dough from sprouted grains.  Now, I just plop down a sprouted grain tortilla, add the squash/tomato sauce, raw milk cheese and whatever toppings I want.  Then I put it in my oven for 5 minutes just until the cheese gets melty.  By the way, I also add spinach and other dark leafy greens to the sauce.  It's a great way to "hide" all kinds of vegetables : )

Save your squash.  You'll be glad you did.
I love to use my food processor to grate my zucchini.  Then I divide it into 1 or 2 cup portions and use my FoodSaver to vacuum seal it (any freezer container works well too) - and put it in the freezer.  Then all winter long, I have perfectly sized portions for making zucchini breads, muffins, pizza sauce, etc.

Squash Quiche
This is a favorite with my kids too.  I chop the squash into tiny pieces and mix them with eggs to make a quiche (with or without crust).  I add herbs, garlic, onions, spinach, whatever I have around.  And cheese.  Then I bake @ 325 degrees until it seems like the center is no longer liquidy.  Don't bake too long, or you'll end up with a dry one.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Week 13 Lists

TOP: white pattypan, sunburst, zephyr, Italian striped
MED: beets, garlic, red cabbage, raspberries, apricots
BOT: spinach, purslane, green beans, radishes
white pattypan squash
sunburst pattypan squash
zephyr squash
Italian striped squash
Detroit red beet
red cabbage
raspberries (Dinkum)
apricots (the last)
blue lake green beans
champion radish

straightneck, mediterranean, peach, spaghetti, zephyr
straightneck squash
mediterranean squash
young spaghetti squash
early peaches
extra zephyr squash

TOP: Chinese mustard, bok choy, amaranth, buttercrunch lettuce
MID: favas, micro basil, pea shoots, wheat grass
BOT: golden zucchini, flying saucer
Chinese mustard
baby bok choy
Chinese butter crunch lettuce
fava beans
micro purple basil
micro pea shoots
wheat grass
golden zucchini
flying saucer squash
extra raspberries
extra green beans
extra radishes

This succulent is generally thought of as a weed, but it is nutritious and purportedly delicious (I've never tried it, sorry!).  It is a rare plant relatively high in omega-3s, the healthy fats.  Wrap it in a moist paper towel and plastic, and store in the crisper.  Eat quickly.  Wash and remove the larger stems.  It can sub for spinach in most cooked recipes, is added to soups and omelettes, in salads or on sandwiches, stir-fried or pureed.

Using up the squash -- I'm working on making crunchy pickles out of some of the squash.  They're relatives of cucumbers, so they can't be too far off.  I'll let you know how that turns out.  In the meantime, they're gourmet little guys rather than your bog-standard zuccs and yellow squash, so try sauteeing, grilling, and roasting them until they're all gone in September.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Delivery Day At The Farm

This past Friday I went to the farm to see what a delivery day entails. I went on the least busy day, only 16 boxes, so I wouldn't be in the way or take up too much of David's time on a busy day like Wednesday where there are 50 shares to organize.  I thought I'd done well getting there by 8 from Sandy with two small kids, but David and his help had been working since 6.

Although David prefers to pick the day of delivery, there is simply too much to do for everything to be "same day".  David has things growing at other sites (apricots, spinach, microgreens) than the packing field, and to have everything picked the morning of and boxes ready to go by 10 am, some squash had been picked the day before and lay ready under burlap.

This made me think that I need to do better trying to use our share right away since so much effort goes into peak freshness. David needed many more items picked after I arrived, including more pattypan, so we went out to the squash field. It was a slow process, walking through such a large space and so many plants looking for squash to have arrived at the ideal size since the day before.

On this quietest of the delivery days David has 3 workers, but on Wednesdays there are 9. The others were back working on sorting, checking the delivery list that is updated weekly, and writing up new boxes for those that they didn't get back from the week before. 

Each box is checked 3 times with the list (when laid out, filled, and before leaving) by the time it gets on the van to make sure the right size is going to the right person.  Each week I send David an updated list since shares are traded, delivery sites are changed, and new members sign up. 

After all the vegetables are gathered, divided and trimmed/cleaned, they are boxed carefully, matching back to the list again. 

At the end David took me on a tour, pointing out a few things that will be ready soon, like broccoli, and showed me the different varieties of fruit, some that will fruit early and others later so he can spread out the crop.  

David even let us taste some of the early variety peaches and berries that are starting to come on.  He's planning a member picking day for the 3rd Friday in August so everyone can have the chance to get their hands dirty and watch food go from farm to plate. Hope to see everyone there. More details to come.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Miscellaneous Produce

Here's a few ideas I put together this week to use up multiple share items at once.  Some of them are small helpings, so they work well mixed with other ingredients as opposed to alone.

A pesto/hummus made from fava beans, microgreens (or basil from the farmer's market), scapes, and olive oil.

A super salad made from lettuce, microgreens, sliced kohlrabi, and roasted beets.

Three sisters made from favas, summer squash, and corn (frozen, canned, or from the market scraped off the cob).

A One skillet meal made from cabbage, summer squash, and meat (ground beef or lamb).  Easily wrapped in tortillas or served over rice.

A colorful soup made from green beans, leeks, a winter squash or sweet potatoes, and seasoned to taste.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Week 12 Lists

The huge rain storms that passed through the valley yesterday dumped 2" on the orchard at Zoe's.  David says something like half of the remaining apricots fell in the storm, mostly the very ripe ones.  So we're not getting 10 lbs of apricots in every share this week as hoped... but we're still getting 6-7 lbs each.  They are mostly not quite ripe, which means they're still totally edible, just a little tart.  And that the bulk of them will keep for a week or so.

David tried to estimate what he would charge at the market for the shares again this week.  I'll keep asking him for these numbers to help you see the value.  It is a little dicey -- size varies, and weighing all the veg would take too long.  For example, the patty pan squash sells for $2/lb wholesale, David listed it as $1 in the box, but some of them are pushing 2 lbs in size.  Grains of salt.

SMALL  ($40)
Pattypan squash - $1
Zephyr squash - $1
Zucchini - $1
Fava beans - $3
Carrots - $2
Radishes - $1
Apricots - $18
White pattypan squash - $1
Spinach - $4
Beets - $3
Green beans - $4
Garlic - $1

MEDIUM ($52)
Wild garden kale
Flying saucer squash
Straightneck squash
(extra) pattypan squash
(extra) apricots

LARGE (the microgreens alone put this at $120)
Golden zucchini
Chinese green beans
Microgreen mix
Pea shoots
Micro green basil
Micro purple basil
Mustard greens
Amaranth greens
(extra) spinach
(extra) radishes

Apricots, fava beans, radishes, spinach
beets, carrots, garlic 
White pattypan, Pattypan, green beans, zephyr, zucchini

Kale, straightneck, flying saucer, lettuce, golden zucchini

Kohlrabi, leeks, berries, Chinese green beans

Microgreen mix, pea shoots, cherries, basil microgreens

It looks like a Martian from a Heinlein novel, but the name literally means "cabbage turnip".  It is a variant of cabbage, and can be eaten raw or cooked.  Treat it largely like a thin skinned broccoli stem and you'll do well.  They should keep several days wrapped loosely in plastic in the crisper, though the leafy arms will get a little limp.  Peel the body and slice it into salads, munch on it with cheese and crackers, pair it with summer squash in a simple sautee, or dice it into a curry.  Apparently, the leaves and bulb together form one of the most commonly eaten dishes in Kashmir.

Other items
     Another small helping of fava's this week.  Try boiling them in salted water and then topping a salad with them.
     Summer squash -- I stuffed several this past week.  They make a great boat for carrying a saute of their innards with garlic, ground beef, some cooked millet / rice / couscous, and herbs / greens.


In preparation for the large pile of apricots you're receiving this week, I'm going to post a link to the USU extension publication on preserving apricots.  I could gather up lots of different recipes for you, but honestly, the only thing it was missing is freezer jam (see below).  I did, however, add my favorite apricot dessert after the freezer jam -- Apricots and mascarpone.  Dead easy and looks professional.

Freezer Jam
For freezer jam, you're going to need a couple of packages of pectin (CERTO, SureJell, etc).  I always have to look around at the grocery, but they're usually on the top shelf in the baking aisle or near Jello products).  You will need to follow the directions on the pectin package as opposed to this, as each is different, but your ratios should be something along the lines of the following:

3 cups mashed apricots (roughly 2 lbs)
6 cups of sugar
2 packages of pectin
water to dissolve the pectin, probably less than a cup

To prep the apricots for mashing, you'll want to wash them, peel them, and take out the pits.  Dipping them whole into boiling water for a couple of minutes will help the skin slide right off.

Fantastically Fancy Apricot Dessert
This is an elegant dessert option, but takes almost no effort to make when served cold.  It can be served raw or quickly baked.  You'll want a couple of apricots per person, some mascarpone cheese, some honey, and maybe a dash of cinnamon or powdered ginger.  Wash and halve the apricots and arrange on a baking dish with some butter in the bottom to prevent sticking (if you're serving hot) or a serving plate (if uncooked).  [If serving hot, baste them with a little warmed honey and bake them at 400 for 10-15 minutes until soft(er) and starting to caramelize.]  Put a dollop of mascarpone in the center of each apricot half, drizzle everything lightly with honey, and add a dash of spice if you'd like (or slivered toasted almonds).

Side note:  This makes a great pairing with an apricot wheat / hefeweizen beer as a dessert course.  It would also go well with a bit of ginger muddled with soda water for those who don't partake.