Summer CSA – Week #5

Welcome to week #5!!!

Let’s take a peek at what some of you have been cooking up last week…

CSA member food collage

L to R: (Left) Julian’s hakurei turnip & radish pickling using one of our Bulk Specials; (Middle) Judy’s sautéed spinach & turnip greens; (Right) Martha’s stir fry medley of our bok choy, snow peas, turnips, & zucchini with other veggies!

Hope this makes you hungry to start on this week’s produce!

Reminder, please continue to return the CSA boxes from the previous week(s) when you pick up your CSA shares.  When opening your boxes, keep in mind that these will be our reusable packaging for the season so please plan to return them the following week and treat them gently.  The lid with “Perishable” written on it slides out (it will bend, do not pull) and this will open the box top and reveal your edible goods.

Here’s what tasty goods to expect for Week #5…

Small shares include:
English cucumbers (note: in the article there is a mention of yellow streaks on cucumbers while not so common on the English variety, on our smaller pickling variety it is usually a sign that side has not received much sunlight)
sugar snap peas or snow peas
scallions
– a bag of assorted salad greens
– some young zucchinis
– plus 1/2 a dozen eggs* from our hens
(“best by” date written on the box, labeled ‘W’ for washed or ‘UW’ for unwashed, if ‘UW’ just rinse with warm water before use)

… ANNDDD a BONUS: a bundle of Genovese basil (a sweet variety common in Italian cuisine)

Vegan shares include:
– All of the above, plus a surprise veggie (in place of eggs)

For the few Large shares, Farmer Kohei will notify you specifically with what you can expect!

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Veggie Gallery

English cucumber   double zucchini

On the left is our English cucumber just hanging out, ready to be picked from the vine.  On the right is a “star-crossed lovers” zucchini, they couldn’t bear to be separated!

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Recipe Ideas:

  1. If you enjoy cucumbers, you can always eat them raw (cut into sticks, they’re great snacks) and pair with your favorite dip.  But here’s a slight sweet & sour salad recipe using your English cucumbers in a Japanese-inspired cucumber salad (*note: if you don’t have sesame seeds but have sesame seed oil, use that; taking out the seeds of English cucumbers isn’t really necessary since they’re so small and tender to begin with…but if you really want to eliminate some of the extra water that the cukes will release into the dressing, feel free.. but it takes an extra step and why waste the juicy core?).

  2. A vegetarian & vegan recipe idea using both sugar snap peas/ snow peas & scallions, and served over tofu and a soy sauce dressing.  Also, the sugar snap peas/ snow peas can be rinsed with the ends and “stringy” parts peeled and eaten raw with a dip or dressing, or just slice it up and top off your salad greens!  For a quick use, thinly slice lengthwise or at a diagonal and top off your instant ramen to add freshness.

  3. What to do with salad greens…?  It’s so tasty and nutritious as a salad!  But if you’re not a fan or sick of salads.. you can always use it as your sandwich greens; add a little freshness to egg salads or chicken salads; or slightly wilt it into your pasta dishes.

  4. Zucchini is continuing to grow like they’re cloning themselves… make zucchini noodles by shredding or slicing into thin noodle shapes (there’s also gadgets out there that makes that easier); slice them up and roast or sauté them; cut into “finger food” portions, bread them (or use panko bread crumbs), then bake for a healthier version of zucchini fries!  Or there’s this tasty sounding recipe for a zucchini parmesan casserole.

  5. For the bonus basil, slice up and add to salads, use as a garnish for your stir fries, add into sandwiches for an herby kick, blend into mayonnaise for a great new condiment, make pesto, or blend with oil and use for cooking or in salad dressings.

ENJOY!

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BULK ORDER SPECIAL:

What a GREAT response to this week’s BULK ORDER SPECIAL!  Farmer Kohei is psyched our members want more and we do enjoy hearing the excitement of cooking and eating fresh!

Wk #5 Bulk Special collage

Clockwise: colorful patty pan squash w/ young zucchini, pickling cucumbers, and squash blossoms.

Not only are these edibles growing in crazy abundance right now, it’s also very visually appealing from their vibrant colors and different shapes (visual appeal seems to do a good job at bringing in customers at Farmer’s Markets)!  The patty pan squash look like funny little wheels.. and the squash blossoms are such an awesome hue of orange AND THEY’RE TOTALLY EDIBLE!  The pickling cucumbers with its gradient mixture of light and dark greens are a nice color contrast to the other veggies, plus they smell so refreshing.  It’s such a great size for making pickles (hence the name), but also have such small and tender seeds, they’re enjoyed for eating raw (try slices in your water or juices… or add to some cocktails!).

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Let us know how you eat and cook your CSA goodies by sharing your cooking stories and/or pictures on our Facebook page or leave a comment here.  It’s great to see what you’re cooking up and how you’re enjoying the fruits of our labor (literally :D).

Summer CSA – Week #3

20150624_201351

Farmer Kohei looking at some wild spring onions in the light of the setting sun.

Yay to another great week and some new CSA members!  Welcome to week #3!

A friendly reminder.  Please return the CSA boxes from the previous week(s) when you pick up your CSA shares.

When opening your boxes, keep in mind that these will be our reusable packaging for the season so please plan to return them the following week and treat them gently.  The lid with “Perishable” written on it slides out (it will bend, do not pull) and this will open the box top and reveal your edible goods.

Here’s what to expect for Week #3…

Small Summer shares will include:
– Hakurei turnips
– mini spring onions
– baby Zucchini
– Romaine lettuce
– arugula
– plus 1/2 a dozen eggs* from our hens (“best by” date written on the box, labeled washed or unwashed)

Large Summer shares will include:
– the above vegetables in larger quantities
– some surprise vegetables
– plus 1 dozen eggs* from our hens (“best by” date written on the box, labeled washed or unwashed)

( *Typically, we will collect our eggs freshly laid from the hens a couple times a day and leave it unwashed [unless it’s particularly dirty]. Leaving it unwashed means that a natural membrane around the shell is intact. Left this way it can be kept unrefrigerated at room temperature for a while, and can last up to two months in the fridge. Once eggs are washed, it no longer has that natural membrane and will make it more susceptible to spoilage, so it needs to be refrigerated; washed eggs are good up to one month.

Directions for washing eggs before use:  Use warm, running water. “Cold water will cause the contents of the egg to shrink, creating a vacuum that will pull bacteria and other nasties into the egg through the porous egg shell. Warm water, on the other hand, will cause the contents to expand against the shell, preventing bacteria from entering. …After washing, store them in…the fridge and use them before any unwashed eggs.”)

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Featured Vegetable:

20150624_201548

Spring Onions

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Farmer Kohei’s Notes:

A BULK ORDER SPECIAL!

6.21.15 - bulk order special

(Clockwise: Siberian kale, Red Rover radish, Hakurei turnips)

collage_20150629222011337

(Left: Japanese Red Giant Mustard, Right: komatsuna)

 

 

 

 

 

 
As some of the farm’s crops thrive, we are realizing there is surplus of some items that are doing really well right now but most likely won’t last very much longer… But that means we can offer some savings and pass onto our customers a special pricing for bulk extras!

Contact us at 617-863-SOIL or MovementGroundFarm(at)gmail.com by noon 6/30, if you’re interested.  Just let us know how much of which bulk order special you’d like (please have money ready when your CSA is dropped off on Wednesday, 7/1/15).

  • Baked Kale “Chip” Special
    A giant bag of our Siberian kale, a $10 value for $5.  Make kale “chips”, power juices or smoothies, or even stomach satisfying soups.

  • The “Pickling” Paradise Special
    Try a large mixed bag of our Hakurei turnips and Red Rover radish, a $12 value for only $5!  Throw it in salad, roast it, or make lots of pickles with it.  (Some people love it dipped in a little butter and a sprinkle of salt, though I haven’t tried it myself.)

  • Last Call for Komatsuna
    Have some more crisp, leafy, and light mustard greens, one bunch for $3.50.  This looks like the last week for it.

  • Last Call for Japanese Red Giant Mustard
    Have some more red-tinged, mustard greens, one head for $3.50.  It looks like the last week for this, too.

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Recipe Ideas:

(..will be updated soon…)

ENJOY!

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Let us know how you eat and cook your CSA goodies!  Share your cooking stories and pictures on our Facebook page (some of our members and friends already began posting some of their own cooking adventures!) or leave a comment here.  We’d love to feature and keep your recipes to share in the future as part of our community posts.

Summer CSA – Week #2

Farmer Kohei with his first CSA delivery drop-off and our excited customers!

Farmer Kohei with his first CSA delivery drop-off and our excited customers!

The FIRST CSA DELIVERY = SUCCESS!!

It took some adjusting and volunteers helping to plan a route for Farmer Kohei’s first week of CSA deliveries, as it was a little tricky with a few different sites miles apart and, currently, only one person to deliver… BUT it was SUCCESSFUL!  The above picture was to document a milestone in MGF’s journey, and as proof of the excitement our customers have to support the farm’s Mission while receiving conscientious, healthful, and fresh produce & eggs.

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Now a look into what you’re receiving for Week #2 of the Summer season… but as a reminder about the CSA’s reusable box:

Before you open your boxes, keep in mind that these will be our reusable packaging for the season so please plan to return them the following week and treat them gently.  The lid with “Perishable” written on it slides out (it will bend, do not pull) and this will open the box top and reveal your edible goods.

Here’s what Week #2 Small Summer shares will include:
bok choy (though our variety is slightly different than in the link)
komatsuna (or Japanese mustard spinach)
Japanese red mustard green (similar to komatsuna but can be bolder in its mustard-y bite)
– Chinese broccoli (aka gai lan; has a thick, edible stem and broad leaves; very different from the western broccoli)
– and rainbow swiss chard
– plus 1/2 a dozen eggs* from our hens (“best by” date written on the box, labeled washed or unwashed)

Here’s what Week #2 Large Summer shares will include:
– the above vegetables in larger quantities
– maybe a surprise vegetable from last week
– plus 1 dozen eggs* from our hens (“best by” date written on the box, labeled washed or unwashed)

( *Typically, we will collect our eggs freshly laid from the hens a couple times a day and leave it unwashed [unless it’s particularly dirty]. Leaving it unwashed means that a natural membrane around the shell is intact. Left this way it can be kept unrefrigerated at room temperature for a while, and can last up to two months in the fridge. Once eggs are washed, it no longer has that natural membrane and will make it more susceptible to spoilage, so it needs to be refrigerated; washed eggs are good up to one month.

Directions for washing eggs before use:  Use warm, running water. “Cold water will cause the contents of the egg to shrink, creating a vacuum that will pull bacteria and other nasties into the egg through the porous egg shell. Warm water, on the other hand, will cause the contents to expand against the shell, preventing bacteria from entering. …After washing, store them in…the fridge and use them before any unwashed eggs.”)

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Featured Vegetable:

The Japanese Red Mustard Green
6.21.15 - Japanese mustard“The variety is part of the Brassica juncea sub-types, and this is commonly known as the Japanese red mustard.  When the plants first sprout and begin to develop, they are completely green but, as they mature, the veins in the leaves start to redden until almost the entire leaf has a deep, slightly purple-red color.

As for the flavor and usage, the leaves and stems have a pungent mustard taste with a peppery quality and just a hint of horseradish.  But with some cooking, the pungency will begin to decrease depending on cooking time.  I’ve tested a couple of leaves by wrapping them around some ground beef and grilling them after basting with a little oil and the result was very nice, though the leaves had almost lost all the sharpness and could have been almost any mild green vegetable such as lettuce.” (quoted text here is from this linked blog, Sybaritica)

“Japanese red mustard is a common salad green, pot herb, braising and pickling green used in a number of cuisines from Asia to Europe to South America. Red mustard pairs well with poultry, legumes, sausages, pork, grilled fish, garlic, creamy sauces and fresh cheeses…” (quoted text here is from this linked site, also see for more recipe ideas)

“Many mustard greens, in general, contain a good amount of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, & K.” (quoted text here is from Wikipedia)

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Farmer Kohei’s Notes:

A BULK ORDER SPECIAL!
6.21.15 - bulk order special
As some of the farm’s crops thrive, we are realizing there is surplus of some items that are doing really well right now but most likely won’t last very much longer… But that means we can offer some savings and pass onto our customers a special pricing for bulk extras!

Contact us at 617-863-SOIL or MovementGroundFarm(at)gmail.com by noon 6/22, if you’re interested.  Just let us know how much of which bulk order special you’d like (please have money ready when your CSA is dropped off on Tuesday, 6/23/15).

  • The Kale “Chip” Special
    Try a bag of our Siberian kale (three small share sized bundles, about 1.5-2.5 lbs) for $5.  Make kale “chips”, power juices or smoothies, or even stomach satisfying soups.
  • The “Pickling” Special
    Try a large mixed bag of our Hakurei turnips and Red Rover radish, a 5 lb bag for only $5, or 10 lb bag for $10!  Throw it in salad, roast it, or make lots of pickles with it.  (Some people love it dipped in a little butter and a sprinkle of salt… though I haven’t tried it myself.)

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Recipe Ideas:

1. Try bok choy on pizza!  Add sliced bok choy to frozen pizza and cook per the instructions on the box.  For a more DIY version, buy/make your own pizza dough, roll & stretch it out, add sauce (tomato, BBQ, hoisin, etc.), add bok choy and any other toppings, a light sprinkling of cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (or infused oil of your choosing), and bake in a pre-heated, hot oven (about 425º F or higher) until medium brown along edges.  Here’s more cooking ideas for use in salad, roasted with chicken, and more via this link here.

2. Cook komatsuna (or Japanese mustard spinach) in this recipe with tofu in a miso sauce.  Feel free to leave out the almond and onions and it’ll still be tasty.  If you’re looking for something with meat, substitute a meat instead of tofu, or just add it early on in the cooking process before you add your greens.  Add a teaspoon or two of sugar to taste to even out some of the salt in the recipe.  Or add it to a salad mix you like for extra bite, or dress up some ramen when pressed for time.

3. For the Japanese red mustard green, you can combine it with komatsuna and treat it similarly.  Here’s this simple and quick, sautéed side dish recipe only calling for oil, garlic, your mustard green, chicken stock, salt & ground pepper to taste, and mustard.  Any extras?  Add it raw to a sandwich to increase flavor and nutrition factor.

4. When cooking with your Chinese broccoli (or gai lan), trim the very end of the stem or peel it like you would with asparagus.  The end of the stem can be very tough and fibrous.  Cook it simply by blanching it first in boiling water, then sautéing quickly before serving with oyster sauce similar to this recipe (fried garlic optional).  OR for the more adventurous cook, try it in a beef chow foon (beef with wide rice noodles).  For a slight Cambodian flair on this dish, leave out the ginger and onion, make a little more sauce, and crack an egg or two into the pan during the last step of the same recipe.

5. Use your colorful, rainbow swiss chard chopped in a salad (try it in the salad recipe linked under bok choy) or with your favorite dressing and toppings (still have some radish from last week? use it fresh or roast it and add to this salad).  Use it in as a colorful replacement of lettuce when making lettuce wraps or in sandwiches.  Or here is a simple and quick, sautéed side dish recipe that calls for butter, your chard, salt & pepper to taste, and a drizzle of lemon juice or vinegar.

ENJOY!

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Let us know how you eat and cook your CSA goodies!  Share your cooking stories and pictures on our Facebook page or leave a comment here.  We’d love to feature and keep your recipes to share in the future as part of our community posts.

First Ever CSA at Movement Ground Farm

At Movement Ground Farm (MGF), we are kicking off our VERY FIRST “Founding Members” CSA program with our FIRST week of the growing season!!

We (inclusive of the farm, Farmer Kohei, the Board, & working volunteers at MGF) got rain Monday, and considering the dry spell Massachusetts had for a while, combined with high temperatures a little unusual for Spring, we certainly are welcoming cloudy, cool, and wet days.  The plants certainly need all the water it can get.  Take a look at our friend & volunteer, Sandy, among the green rows of thriving veggies while he’s harvesting the very edibles that will be found in your CSA this week!
(It’s exciting to see how well the plants are doing, and how much they’ve grown in the past couple months… Farmer Kohei is a proud farmer parent 🙂 !)

MGF in the fields

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With the veggies all picked, it’s ready to be rinsed, bundled, and packaged to be organized into the specific CSA shares.  Most of the produce, though rinsed, may not be clean enough for you to be ready to eat and cook.  It’s still processed in sandy conditions and handled just enough to be presentable to you, our CSA members (don’t be surprised if you find some bug bitten leaves or remnants of them, as is the nature of fresh from the farm and organic conditions).  Give your veggies a good rinse before you cook.

Hope our Summer CSA members will enjoy this first week!

loading harvested veggies

Before you open your boxes, keep in mind that these will be our reusable packaging for the season so please plan to return them the following week and treat them gently. The lid with “Perishable” written on it slides out (it will bend, do not pull) and this will open the box top and reveal your edible goods.

Here’s what Week #1 Small Summer shares will include:
mizuna (a leafy, peppery, green similar to arugula in taste)
– Red Rover radish (you also can use their greens!)
Siberian kale
bok choy
Chinese mustard green (or gai choy)
– plus 1/2 dozen eggs* from our very own hens (“best by” date written on the box, already washed)

Here’s what Week #1 Large Summer shares will most likely include:
– the above 5 vegetables in larger quantities
Hakurei turnips (you also can use their greens!)
pea pod tendrils
– plus 1 dozen eggs* from our very own hens (“best by” date written on the box, already washed)

( *Typically, we will collect our eggs freshly laid from the hens a couple times a day and leave it unwashed [unless it’s particularly dirty]. Leaving it unwashed means that a natural membrane around the shell is intact. Left this way it can be kept unrefrigerated at room temperature for a while, and can last up to two months in the fridge. Once eggs are washed, it no longer has that natural membrane and will make it more susceptible to spoilage, so it needs to be refrigerated; washed eggs are good up to one month.

Directions for washing eggs before use:  Use warm, running water. “Cold water will cause the contents of the egg to shrink, creating a vacuum that will pull bacteria and other nasties into the egg through the porous egg shell. Warm water, on the other hand, will cause the contents to expand against the shell, preventing bacteria from entering. …After washing, store them in…the fridge and use them before any unwashed eggs.”)

These strolling ladies are providing us with some tasty eggs.

These strolling ladies are providing us with some tasty eggs.

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Recipe Ideas

  1. Try treating mizuna like arugula–in salads, using it as the lettuce substitute in sandwiches, making a version of pesto, or even quickly wilting it with other cooked foods like pasta.
  2. For the radish, you can roast it whole with the green leaves on, or separate it and slice the bulbs thrown into a salad with some of the radish greens.  Or try the bulbs cut up into egg salad or chicken salad, thrown into soups, or pickled.
  3. Kale is a hearty vegetable that has gotten some attention the past couple of years for being very nutritious either eaten raw (i.e. kale salads, kale juiced or blended) or cooked (i.e. in stews, braised, made into kale “chips”).
  4. Bok choy has a light bite to it (at least the stem part) but can be eaten raw in salad or paired with a dip. You can cook it into soups, use it to dress up your instant noodles, or give it a quick stir fry treatment.
  5. The Chinese mustard greens have a bright, bitter taste and is equally great in stir fries, soups, or even pickled.
  6. For the Hakurei turnips (crisp, juicy, and lightly sweet) and the pea pod tendrils (so tender and tasty), if you’ve never cooked with them before the links in the above list are a good start as you get to know the flavor of these edibles.

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Farmer Kohei’s Notes:

  • Farmer Kohei wants you to be confident in Movement Ground Farm and its commitment to being a local farm you can trust uses sustainable and organic farming methods (that may mean use of crop rotation, cover crops, weeding, etc.) in how we care for the land.  Also, the seeds we’ve used to grow our vegetables were carefully selected for being certified organic AND non-GMO (genetically modified organism).

  • Enjoy these early season veggies which belong to the Brassica family.  Brassica related veggies are cold hearty (so ideal for New England), and typically are abundant early in the growing season, disappear as the temperatures increase, and return in the fall.  The slight bitterness (and more extreme, in the case of the Chinese mustard greens) of Brassica related veggies are great for detoxing and cleansing your liver.

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Let us know how you eat and cook your CSA goodies!  Share your cooking stories and pictures on our Facebook page or leave a comment here.  We’d love to feature and keep your recipes to share in the future as part of our community posts.