Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Elements and Garlic

"There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic."

~ Louis Diat




Once you have had our fresh local garlic, store bought is simply no longer an option.  You just can't go back to bland.  We still have plenty for sale at market and are preparing to get cracking on our seed saved for planting.  When you folks come out to the farm it makes us smile. We love bridging the gap between farm and fork but we also love connecting farm and folk.  Sooo....

We are inviting you to come to the farm on the weekend of October 25th and 26th to celebrate garlic with us, do a little planting and potlucking, talk farm and food and more.  Bring kids if you've got them as there will be activities.  The campgrounds will be open to any who want to pitch a tent, weather permitting.  If you are interested, please let us know.  We'd love to have you out.

Garlic is widely known for its amazing flavor and maybe a little bit less known for its amazing healing properties.  

Joseph and Amy Alton of Backwoods Home write, "Unlike most herbs, studies have shown garlic to have a direct effectiveness against viruses. There are no known antibiotics that will destroy a viral infection. Colds and influenzas can cause miserable symptoms, and some flu cases can be fatal. Garlic probably works in a two-pronged attack on viruses, both directly and by stimulating your own immune defenses to fight harder. Ingesting fresh garlic may decrease the duration of a viral illness. It is thought that taking garlic before exposure to a virus will lessen your chance of getting the infection in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

We all have notions of the healing potentials of garlic but may not really know what to do with it, other than cook it.  Cooking with it is a great start and regular use is intelligent use.  The Altons also recommend a few tips with garlic that are really easy to follow:

"The best garlic remedy uses fresh, uncooked, crushed, organic cloves — used in a warm tea or mixed with raw, unprocessed honey."

I love to do this and also fresh press raw garlic with beets, carrots and lemon for a powerful immune system. The more you play with garlic on a regular basis, the more prevention you put in the bank.

Another recommendation of the topical variety suggests, "For prevention or treatment of wound infections, you can use cool compresses of garlic tea, honey garlic syrup, fresh minced garlic, or garlic oil in place of a triple antibiotic ointment. Cover the wound or laceration with sterile gauze dressing. Change the covering and reapply the garlic remedy once or twice daily."

For more details and recommendations you can access their article with the following link:


And for food fun, here is a great way to use it in a recipe!


GARLIC AND THYME QUINOA PATTIES

Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes 
Makes – 20

Ingredients

 

2 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
5 organic eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 whole meal bread slices, processed into breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sea salt flakes to taste
olive oil to pan fry

Method  

 

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a large wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. 
Scoop some mixture in the palm of your hands to shape a patties approximately 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick. This size will yield approximately 20 patties with the mixture you have. (You can make them smaller and thicker or large and flatter as per your preference.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Gently place 4-5 patties in the pan and shallow fry, cooking each side for 2 minutes before gently flipping over with a small spatula to cook the other side. Repeat till all patties are cooked. Use a tablespoon of oil each time you start cooking a new batch of patties.
Serve hot or cold with ketchup and salad greens.

Notes

 

These are delicate patties and a tad tricky to shape as they may stick to your hands or fall apart in the pan. Gently handling will prevent them from falling apart. once one side is cooked, they become easier to manage and even flatten nicely for even browning.
If you find it impossible to work with them or shape them, try adding 1 tablespoon of plain flour to make them hold their shape. 

Via  http://www.cookrepublic.com/recipe-archive/garlic-and-thyme-quinoa-patties/

GARLIC AND THYME QUINOA PATTIES

Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes 
Makes – 20

Ingredients

2 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
5 organic eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 whole meal bread slices, processed into breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sea salt flakes to taste
olive oil to pan fry

Method

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a large wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. 
Scoop some mixture in the palm of your hands to shape a patties approximately 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick. This size will yield approximately 20 patties with the mixture you have. (You can make them smaller and thicker or large and flatter as per your preference.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Gently place 4-5 patties in the pan and shallow fry, cooking each side for 2 minutes before gently flipping over with a small spatula to cook the other side. Repeat till all patties are cooked. Use a tablespoon of oil each time you start cooking a new batch of patties.
Serve hot or cold with ketchup and salad greens.

Notes

These are delicate patties and a tad tricky to shape as they may stick to your hands or fall apart in the pan. Gently handling will prevent them from falling apart. once one side is cooked, they become easier to manage and even flatten nicely for even browning.
If you find it impossible to work with them or shape them, try adding 1 tablespoon of plain flour to make them hold their shape.
- See more at: http://www.cookrepublic.com/recipe-archive/garlic-and-thyme-quinoa-patties/#sthash.MNkabByP.dpuf

This week's CSA box will include:

Red and Yellow Onions
Shallots
Garlic
Potatoes
Sungold Tomatoes
Zucchini (last week)
Leeks
Diakon Radish
Winter Squash (acorn, delicata, sunshine, bon bon and butternut options)
Green Varietals (still working on just what we will be putting in but we do have a lot of great greens!)

Also... the ever present element of surprise. :)

We sure hope to see you out at the farm for the garlic event!  More info to come...

Your Echo Team

"No cook who has attained mastery over her craft ever apologizes for the presence of garlic in her productions."

~ Ruth Gottfried: The Questing Cook


GARLIC AND THYME QUINOA PATTIES

Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes 
Makes – 20

Ingredients

2 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
5 organic eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 whole meal bread slices, processed into breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sea salt flakes to taste
olive oil to pan fry

Method

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a large wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. 
Scoop some mixture in the palm of your hands to shape a patties approximately 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick. This size will yield approximately 20 patties with the mixture you have. (You can make them smaller and thicker or large and flatter as per your preference.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Gently place 4-5 patties in the pan and shallow fry, cooking each side for 2 minutes before gently flipping over with a small spatula to cook the other side. Repeat till all patties are cooked. Use a tablespoon of oil each time you start cooking a new batch of patties.
Serve hot or cold with ketchup and salad greens.

Notes

These are delicate patties and a tad tricky to shape as they may stick to your hands or fall apart in the pan. Gently handling will prevent them from falling apart. once one side is cooked, they become easier to manage and even flatten nicely for even browning.
If you find it impossible to work with them or shape them, try adding 1 tablespoon of plain flour to make them hold their shape.
- See more at: http://www.cookrepublic.com/recipe-archive/garlic-and-thyme-quinoa-patties/#sthash.MNkabByP.dpuf


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hello Frost

"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. 
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
 
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


(!Watermelon Radish!) 

This week has been a wacky one, adjusting to the new season and rolling with a powerful full moon eclipse.  Cosmic shifts bring adjustments to life here on earth.  The deer are chasing the cats and the plants are jousting the frost, with a little human intervention of course.  Our root vegetables are looking and tasting great.  The spinach took a really strong stand and has been producing beautifully.  Although the slugs have been prevailing this year, the bok choy is coming out big and hardy.

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

This week's fall CSA box will include:

Parsley
Red Onion
Shallots
Garlic
Potatoes
Sungold Tomatoes
Zucchini
Winter Squash
Bok Choy
Spinach
(And the element of surprise)

Delicata Squash with Rosemary, Sage, and Cider Glaze

"You peel, and slice it, then cook it in a skillet with cider and winter herbs. When most of the liquid boils away, the cider forms a tart-sweet glaze around the now-tender squash.
 
Delicata is a wonderfully firm-textured squash that's not too sweet and almost like a potato. Other varieties like acorn, turban, or kabocha will make good substitutes, but they may not hold their shape quite as well through the braising."

  • 2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm winter squash
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Squash. If using delicata squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it lengthwise in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. Other types of squash should be peeled with a chef's knife, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges, then sliced 1/2-inch thick. 

2. Herb Butter. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture. 

3. Cooking the squash. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and additional salt if needed. 

Compliments of http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Delicata-Squash-with-Rosemary-Sage-and-Cider-Glaze-104125

* Just a friendly reminder that there is no longer a Wednesday CSA pick-up for the remainder of this season. *

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Kindly,
Your Echo Team




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall CSA Begins!

"I'm strong to the finish, 'cause I eats me Spinach, I'm Popeye the sailor man! (toot, toot)" 

~ Popeye (from theme song)




We are having a beautiful start to the fall harvest as we have had a week of nice warm weather and fairly easy patterns to work with.  The grasshoppers and slugs have been throwing us some curve balls, as well as neighboring properties who use farming practices that don't exactly meet our preferences or rhythms with the earth.  So we are grateful for the shining blessings this week.

For this week's first fall CSA box, you will find:

Spinach!
Salad Greens
Bok Choy
Zucchini
Leeks
Sungold Tomatoes
Kennebec Potatoes
Red Onions
Yellow Onions
Garlic
Shallots
(and some hopefuls)

Here is a great recipe for your fall start:

Fall Harvest Spinach Salad

  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa (cooked according to package directions)
  • ¾ cup butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
  • ⅓ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or water)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (tamari or soy sauce would work too)
  • 4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (1 – 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  1. Prepare the squash by peeling it, cutting it in half and scraping out the seeds.
  2. Cut the squash into ½ inch cubes, place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast at 400° for 30-40 minutes, turning once or twice, until all the pieces are tender and have a few small brown spots.
  3. While roasting the squash, toss together spinach, cooked quinoa, apple, pepitas and cranberries in a large salad bowl.
  4. Prepare dressing by placing all remaining ingredients (tahini through maple syrup) in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Once the butternut squash is done roasting, allow it to cool and then place into the salad bowl with the other ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Compliments of:  http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2012/10/fall-harvest-spinach-salad/

Thank you all for farming with us!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Home Grown Tomatoes

"It is difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts
while eating a homegrown tomato."

~ Lewis Grizzard



So far as we know, this has just not been a great year overall for home grown tomatoes with traditional growing methods in the mid-West.  Our tomato season has definitely been a trying one.  Yet, our Sungold cherry tomatoes are somehow flourishing and we are thrilled to have them for our CSA members!  We have rebounded from the early frost temps and this week is to be a warm and fairly dry one, so this translates into lots of cherry tomatoes.

Our winter squash is coming along nicely and the Easter Egg Radishes have been really beautiful and very popular.  All leading to the autumn CSA!  Next week is the first one of eight so if you have not signed up yet please contact us.

This week's CSA Box:

Potatoes
Red Onions
Shallots
Garlic
Leeks
Diakon Radishes
Zucchini
Bok Choy
Sungold Tomatoes
Heirloom Tomatoes
Rosemary or Thyme
Spinach
Lettuce Mix
Arugula

A great way to use the potatoes and radishes is in this roasted salad I have adapted from Noble Pig.

Roasted Radish & Potato Salad

1 lb. radishes, trimmed and quartered (reserve greens or use spinach/arugula)
1 lb new potatoes, quartered
2 Tablespoons olive oil
 Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Salt and black pepper to taste
(you can use your herbs from your box just as easily for a slight adjustment)

Preheat oven to 425o F with a large baking sheet inside.

Toss radishes, potatoes, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl to coat.  Transfer mixture to hot baking sheet in oven.  Roast until golden, 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting. 

In the meantime, wash radish greens in several changes of cold water and spin dry.  For the vinaigrette whisk together vinegar, 3 Tablespoons oil, Dijon, parsley and dill in a bowl until combined; season with salt and pepper.  Stir radish greens into roasted radishes and potatoes and add vinaigrette.

Via http://noblepig.com/2011/04/roasted-radish-potato-salad/

YUMMA!

Thanks again for farming with us!  Keep your eyes open for information coming soon about our fall garlic planting event the weekend of October 25-26!  Fun farm times ahead.

"Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes,
what would life be like without
home grown tomatoes?
Only two things money can't buy,
That's true love and home grown tomatoes."

~ John Denver Home Grown Tomatoes

Fortunately, here at Echollective, your money CAN buy home grown tomatoes!  Or for CSA membership, we offer a portion to be paid by work trade which gives you the opportunity to connect with the land and the people out at the farm while supporting your local food needs.
Have a great week, folks!
Your Echo Team

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Care of Earth

"The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope."

~ Wendell Berry





As summer winds down, we are excitedly putting together the final two weeks of summer 2014 CSA at Echollective, that is if the grasshoppers do not scarf it all down!  They multiplied in droves this week and are really taking a lot of pleasure from the Bok Choy.  

These next couple of weeks we are busy tweaking the switch from summer CSA to fall CSA.  Many of you have already set up for that and the time is drawing near, like now, to get on the fall list so you don't miss the first week's box.  We begin the first week in October and run for 8 weeks.  

This week is the last downtown Cedar Rapids market so it would be a great time for you CR folks to submit for yours right when you pick up your box, as next week the pick up will be at Greyhound in NewBo City Market. (Thanks again Greyhound Deli!  You people rock.)
If you have not done a CSA membership with us, please contact us for more information on how to get started.  It is easy and totally worth it.

Another important mention:

SEED GARLIC!  The time is now.  If you are interested please contact us at echocsa@gmail.com!
So...
This week's CSA box:
Kale
Potatoes
Red Onions
Shallots
Garlic
Leeks
Diakon Radishes
Summer Squash/Zucchini
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
Green Beans
Sweet Peppers
Bok Choy
(And we have a few hopeful surprises.) 
Here is a really flavorful and easy way to serve bok choy.  The sesame oil is a must!

Sautéed Bok Choy Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (from 1/2-inch piece)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds bok choy (about 2 medium bunches), cleaned, ends trimmed, and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Salt (optional)
  1. In a large frying pan with a tightfitting lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the bok choy and, using tongs, fold it into the garlic-ginger mixture until coated, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and water, cover, and cook until steam accumulates, about 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just wilted, the stalks are just fork tender but still crisp, and most of the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and season with salt if desired.
Via: http://www.chow.com/recipes/28071-sauteed-bok-choy 

Thank you for farming with us.  We look forward to a beautiful harvest season with all of you and wish you the very best of the coming season.

Kindly,
Your Echo Team