Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving CSA Share

Hey everyone,
As promised, we are offering a Thanksgiving Share. With the seasonally nice weather we still have a bounty of produce! Get some and share with your families over the harvest celebration holiday. Our pick up will be Saturday, Nov. 21 from 9-noon @ our house in Iowa City-- 1003 Ginter Avenue. Most produce will store in a cool dark space, so as not to eat up most of your fridge space. There will be some flexibility on certain items due to the unique pick-up situation. (example type of onions, type of squashes-- you can switch squashes). We will also be offering a Farmers Market Style table which will be featuring a few items not in the box & more of your favorite items. The Share cost for this special holiday box is 22$. Please let us know by this Thursday pm if you'd like a box.

Thank you!
Echo CSA
Christy 515-201-5593 or Derek 319-325-3910.

At this time this is our best guess as to what will be in the box: (first come first serve on limited varieties-though we wont let someone take all the delicata squash!) ;-)

1 bag braising mix, 1 bunch parsley, 1 bunch mint, variety of winter squash- 3 (delicata, butter-nut, acorn, spagetti, pie pumpkin), onions- pick 6 (red, sweet, yellow), leeks (3), shallots (2), garlic (3), potatoes (variety to choose from), baby bok choi.

also for individual sale-til we run out... chard, arugala, dill, cilantro, salad mix, assorted other greens, and all the above if you wish to add

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Week 13 Delivery

Week 13
August 12th & 15th

Now that it finally feels like summer, we're preparing for autumn. This morning the crew was spreading compost on garden beds to prepare for transplanting and seeding fall greens. We've got cabbages to transplant, hopefully fall lettuce, and fall greens like spinach and arugula.

In Your Box:
cherry tomatoes-
slicer tomato-
candy onion-
red onion-

Raw Garden Salad
This salad is 100% Raw when made as described below, and everything but the salt, olive oil, and vinegar is in your box!

1) De-stem kale and chard and cut into small pieces. Massage with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the following:

~ ½ a red onion cut into small pieces.
~1 or 2 cloves chopped garlic.
~1cucumber, the rounds into quarter pieces.
~ tomatoes of your choice, I like chunks of heirloom and halved cherry tomatoes.
~ basil cut into small pieces
~ 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
~more olive oil if needed
~sea salt to taste.

2) Mix all ingredients together and serve fresh!

Week 12 Delivery

Week 12
August 5th & 8th

In Your Box:
candy onion-

Pesto Pasta

1) combine ½ c sunflowerseeds, 1 bunch of basil, juice of ½ lemon and a pinch of salt in a food processor.

2) boil the pasta of your choice, (I like penne noodles for this pasta salad) according to the directions, strain noodles. Toss with a little olive oil so that they don't stick

3) sautee 1 leek with bite size pieces of zuchinni in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.

4) Combine noodles with pesto and vegetables. Add cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds to garnish. Delicious warm or cold!

Week 11 Delivery

Week 11
July 29th & August 1st

In Your Box:
candy onion-

Thai Eggplant Curry
~3 Tbsp sesame oil
~1Tbsp each of: mustard seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds
~1 chopped onion
~2 Tbsp turmeric
~ 2 eggplants
~1 C greenbeans, cut into 1 inch pieces.

1) heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or wok. Add seeds until they begin to pop, add onion stirring occasionally.
2) Add eggplant, salt and turmeric.
3) Add ¼ C water, and cook, stirring from the bottom, keep covered.
4) Steam green beans on top until they are bright green.
** Garnish with cilantro

**Serve over brown rice

Week 10 Delivery

Week 10
July 22nd & 25th

In Your Box:
cherry tomatoes-
sweet onion-

Pump up the nutrition in your fruit smoothies by adding chard or kale (no stems) leaves. Yum!

Roasted Garlic Spread
Every year we make a few big batches of this spread to last us into winter. It's great on almost everything: potatoes, kale, eggplant, or as an ingredient in other sauces.

~peel 5 heads of garlic ( or more to make more)
~toss in olive oil and spread on a baking sheet with edges.
~roast at 325º for approximately 12 minutes (maybe longer if the cloves are large)
~puree in a food processor adding a bit more olive oil and salt to taste

**a favorite variation is to add thyme and oregano when pureeing

Kale Chips
~to de-stem kale: Grasp around the stem and pull towards the top of the leaf. Tear any large leaf pieces into more chip-size pieces.
~rub kale with olive oil (about 1tablespoon per bunch) sprinkle with salt
~Bake at 350º (12-15 minutes) until crisp but not brown
~cool on wire racks

**these can also be dehydrated for a raw chip!

Week 9 Delivery

Thanks to everyone who came out to the garlic party! We figure we got about 1/8th of the field picked, so there will still be a few more weeks of picking.

Our melon and sweet corn crops failed, so we won't have them from our farm this year.

In Your Box:
tomatoes- slicing tomatoes to come soon!
sweet onion-

Sauteed Beets
*start with a little olive oil and ½ a chopped onion in a pan. Add beets cut into quarter inch thick pieces. Add a little water (mixed with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons tamari or soysauce.) and cover for ~5 minutes. When the beets are as soft as you like, uncover-- add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and all of the beet greens, chopped. (Make sure to cut the beet stems into 1 inch pieces or smaller) Cover for another minute, and then stir and serve.

*fennel and daikon are both wonderful additions to this recipe

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week 8 Delivery

Week 8 July 8th & 11th Echollective Farm Mechanicsville, IA

We've got a few more summer veggies this week: tomatoes and zuchinnis from the greenhouse, potato harvest starting too.

A lot of folks have been going on vacation-- please remember to let us know if you'll be out of town, as we don't have refrigeration space to keep your box from wilting. We can arrange to have your box donated, or you can arrange to have a friend pick up the box for you.

Garlic Party this weekend!!! We're going to be closing down a few rows of peas-- they're a bit overgrown, but there are still LOTS of peas on the vines, so, as a treat to folks who come out this weekend-- pick all you want peas! Freeze 'em for winter, you'll be thrilled in December! Garlic activities will be starting in the afternoon on Saturday. Potluck, Pickin', and Campin'. It looks like it'll be a hot weekend, but we'll be making smoothies, and garlic ice cream for cool down treats. Come on out!

Garlic house where we hang garlic to dry

In Your Box: peas- green shallot- leek- garlic scape- salad mix- basil- chard- kale- beets- turnips- parsley- zuchinni- tomatoes- sungold cherry tomatoes potatoes- these potatoes are fresh from the earth so stick them in the fridge or use them promptly
Mashed Potatoes & Turnips
boil potatoes and turnips together- as much as you want to make, half as many turnips to potatoes

when soft, remove from water and mash, adding olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, and milk (my fav is coconut milk), salt to taste, pepper if you like, garnish with parsley and chopped garlic scape.
Got any greens in your box that you're not using?? Extend your CSA season by storing your greens for winter! Chop up and sautee any wilting greens with a little olive oil until they're bright green. Puree in a food processor or blender with a little water and freeze into ice cubes. Once frozen, put into freezer bags and LABEL. These are great to add to winter soups, sauces, or almost anything for more flavor and nutrition!!

Week 7 Delivery

We can't believe it's already July! Especially with chilly nights and cool overcast days. Though, after last week's heat, we're greatful for the break. It's about the end of the greens season-- at least until fall greens come on. We've got zuchinnis this week, and tomatoes will be coming soon! We're preparing for the big garlic harvest too. Derek estimates 2 ½ – 3 tons of garlic to harvest this year! Hope to see you all next weekend at the garlic party!

In Your Box:

fennel- also nice grated in a salad
green shallot-
salad mix-
garlic scape- traditionally chopped up small and pickled in soy sauce for long-term storage. They are also great grilled.
salad turnips- purpley turnips great raw in salads.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Week 6 Delivery

June 24th & 27th

In Your Box:

peas-great fresh, and freeze well for storage too
fennel- look for fennel tops and the bulb
green shallot-
salad mix-
bok choi-
head lettuce-
garlic scape- traditionally chopped up small and pickled in soy sauce for long-term storage. They are also great grilled.
basil- purple, lemon, & traditional italian this week.
napa cabbage- traditionally used in kimchee, asian cabbage, good in slaws.
salad turnips- purpley turnips great raw in salads.
kohlrabi- brassica family, round white or purple veggie, great in stir fries.
I altered one of my favorite baked fennel recipes to a stovetop braising recipe because I can't bear to turn the oven on in this kind of heat.

Braised Fennel with Garlic Scapes

*cut one fennel bulb into eight segments.
*put 2 tsp olive oil into a pan.
*on medium heat add the fennel and cover, stirring and turning pieces occasionally so they dont get too brown.
*squeeze a tablespoon or so of lemon juice into the pan
*add ¼ c water and cover for 10 minutes or so, chop 2 garlic scapes into small pieces and add to the fennel; keep covered until soft when pierced with a fork.
*salt to taste. White pepper if you like.
*garnish with fennel tops.
Echollective 5th Annual Garlic Party
July 11th-12th
please RSVP ~~
camping, potlucking, garlic pickin' & good times!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Week 5 Delivery

In Your Box:
peas-great fresh, and freeze well for storage too
green shallot-
salad mix-
bok choi-
head lettuce-
garlic scape- traditionally chopped up small and pickled in soy sauce for long-term storage. They are also great grilled.
basil- we're just getting started harvesting basil. Store your basil in a plastic bag in the coolest place in the kitchen-- but not the fridge-- that's too cold!
napa cabbage-
radish- almost to the end of radish season.
chard- see our swiss chard empanada recipe below


Swiss Chard Empañadas
pastery crust:
2c whole wheat pastery flour
4Tbsp butter, chilled
½ tsp salt
about 1/3 c ice water

2Tbsp olive oil
shallot & leek
1 bag swiss chard cut into thin slices
1 oz cheese of your choice
dash of lime juice
about ½ tsp salt
fresh cracked pepper

*mix flour, butter, salt in a bowl with your fingers until it forms pea sized pieces. Use a fork and stir in ice water, a little at a time. Knead until dough comes together in a ball. Cover and fridge for 1 hour.
*heat olive oil, add leek and shallot until transluscent. Add chard and cover for 2-3 minutes, until bright green. Take off of heat and add cheese and lime, seasonings to taste.
*roll out dough on a floured board to thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut 12 rounds ~ 3in in diameter. Fill, and fold in half, dampening edges to create a seal. Make 2 slits in each so that steam can escape. Brush with olive oil and bake 30 minutes or until golden @ 350º

Week 4 Delivery

We're in the thick of the growing season! Our greenhouses continue to amaze us with their ability to grow huge tomato and zuchinni plants-- not to mention a lot of the early spring greens you've all already had in your boxes. The tomato plants are flowering, so it will be a couple of more weeks.
It's been great weather for planting-- the rain has been especially nice. We just finished putting in the pepper plants. The weeds are waist high here at the farm. Join us July 10th, 11th, 12th for our Annual Garlic Party-- at the farm. We'll be pulling garlic, learning about the preservation processing of garlic for long term storage, walks in the woods, pot-lucking all day, and bonfire at night!

In Your Box:
peas- just the beginning of pea season!
salad mix- always changing salad mix of fresh greens
bok choi-
spinach- almost the end of the spinach.... until fall
arugula- a spicy salad green
head lettuce-
broccoli- taste the difference in farm-fresh broccoli v.s. Store bought broccoli!
radish- crisp and tastey!
Garlic scape- the flowering shoot of the garlic plant, use like garlic in recipes.

Massaged Kale Technique
*slice out stems, roll kale leaves, slice into ribbons
*take a small amount of olive oil and a dash of salt and rub into each of the ribbons, so that it softens the kale

Use this technique for raw kale salads to make raw kale softer and easier to digest!

For a simple kale salad:
*use the aforementioned technique
*add ½ C grated carrots
*add ½ C grated radishes
*finely chopped garlic scape
*a squeeze of lemon
*sunflower seeds to garnish.

Week 3 Delivery

In Your Box:
salad mix- always changing salad mix of fresh greens
bok choi- try bok choi like 'ants on a log' with the bok choi replacing the celery stalks
spinach- great raw or cooked
Green garlic- add the white in the beginning of cooking, and the green part at the end.
Leek- pasta with mushrooms, leeks and tomato sauce, anyone?
head lettuce- these enormous leaves are perfect for lettuce wraps! Use your fav sandwich ingredients and wrap up in a lettuce leaf.

Dill- try cilantro and dill chopped with olive oil and vinegar + pepper for a great, simple, fresh salad dressing.
brazing mix- to 'braise' these greens, add them
at the end of cooking and cover with a lid until they turn bright green.
radishes- crisp and tastey!
kale- a heartier green, softer when steamed

beets and green onions

Bok Choi and Potatoes
*boil potatoes until soft, set aside
*chop a little leek and white part of green garlic; ¼ tsp coriander; sautee in a little sesame oil for a few minutes
*add white part of bok choi (sliced) and any other desired vegetables (carrots, radishes, etc)
*add potatoes back in
*add green leaves of bok choi, chopped-- lid until bright green.
* 1tsp lemon juice, ¼ c loosly chopped cilantro, salt to taste and a little fresh cracked pepper if you like.

baby Liliona in the greenhouse with flowering tomato plants

tomatoes soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Week 2 Delivery

We hope you all enjoyed your first box! We've got a lot of similar veggies this week, and some new recipes to try too.
In Your Box:
salad mix- our salad mix is always changing
bok choi-
one of our favorites-- great fresh or raw, in soups, salads or stir fries. Even try the leaves as chips! Try the bok choi miso~~~>
spinach- yuuuum! Spinach quiche, saag paneer, salads and more.
head lettuce- we grow many kinds of lettuce
swiss chard- red veined green, tender when steamed
asparagus- almost the last of our asparagus for this year.
spring garlic- chop up small and infuse into olive oil for drizzling on bread, salad greens & more radishes- crisp and tastey!
leeks- try leeks in an omelete, scrambled eggs, or soup~~~>
anise hyssop-
can be candied like violets-- these make great 'sprinkles' for special occasion cakes/sweets
another tastey tea, try infusing fresh spearmint in hot water, strain, then put this tea in the fridge for a refreshing drink. For longer storage- hang to dry.
use fresh or hang to dry and then store in a jar. Great in tomato sauces
dandelion greens-
bitter greens stimulate digestive enzymes-- eat a dandelion salad as your first course.

Bok Choi Miso
1 onion
½ leek
1-2 spring garlic (you can use the whole stalk and leaves)
2 carrots
½ C chopped radish

*sautee onions, leek, garlic in a little sesame oil, until translucent, add carrots and radish, 4 C water, + ½ C coconut milk, cook until carrots are consistency that you like.
*add 1 bok choi chopped horizontally to wilt in the soup
*pull aside 1 C broth and dissolve 2 tablespoons miso paste to warm, not boiling, broth. (add a touch of honey now if you like too.) turn off heat and re-combine. Enjoy!


Anise Marinade
1 C coarsly chopped anise hyssop leaves
¼ c water
¼ C apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
6 tablespoons maple syrup, agave or honey

*combine and heat until anise is wilted. Marinade for tempeh, tofu, meats, etc

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Week 1 Delivery

It's a time of year plentiful with leafy greens! We had a frost this past week which killed some tomatoes and turned some asparagus to mush. Luckily we have tomato starts to replace much of what was lost. The rain this week has been nice and all the plants (and weeds) are growing fast! Hooray for the first week of deliveries!!!

In Your Box:
arugula- a spicy spring green!
salad mix-
bok choi
- one of our favorites-- great fresh or raw, in soups, salads or stir fries. Even try the leaves as chips!
yuuuum! Spinach salad with strawberries, balsamic and almonds.... need I say more?
red leaf head lettuce-
swiss chard- red veined green, tender when steamed
almost the last of our asparagus for this year.

spring garlic-
garlic harvested in spring before the bulb has formed, use as you would normally in recipes
radish- French breakfast radishes- traditionally sliced and served with bread, butter and a pinch of salt leeks- these leeks stood all winter! Can be prepared similar to garlic/ onions in dishes.
green onions-
these survived the winter too!

a lemon-y herb! Great chopped up in salads

anise hyssop
- a great herbal tea, yummy in coconut milk dishes too

spearmint- another tastey tea, try infusing fresh spearmint in hot water, strain, then put this tea in the fridge for a refreshing drink. For longer storage- hang to dry.
use fresh or hang to dry and then store in a jar.

ging nettle- prepare with caution! Nettles are very rich in vitamins and minerals and are one of the most nourishing wildcrafted greens. Cooking or food processing gets the sting out!

Raw Nettle and Arugula Pesto ½ C sunflower seeds ~ 2 C stinging nettle leaves ~ 1 C arugula juice of ½ a lemon salt to taste Combine in a food processor until smooth. (Wear gloves or use caution when handling the nettles-- or don't! The sting of nettle has been used intentionally for bringing circulation to an area for conditions like arthritis.)

Stinging Nettle


Spring Salad Dressing 1 or 2 leeks, 1 garlic, 2-3 green onions, 2-4 sprigs of oregano- de-stemmed, 4 sorrell leaves, and a touch of spearmint *cut the above ingredients into chunks and put in the blender/ food processor, or chop them up finely. Add ~ 1 C olive oil and ¼ C balsamic or apple cider vinegar. Add water to the consistency that you like. Stores about a 2 weeks in the fridge. **Add a little yogurt if you prefer a creamy dressing

Please contact us if you don't know how to identify something in your box, get stuck with what to do with a veggie, or if you have questions or comments! Echollective CSA~~ echoCSA@gmail.com or 515-201-5593.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Herb Walk

Yes, we'll still be having the Herb Walk today! It may be raining, so please be prepared with raingear and a change of clothes for the ride home. I just love spring thunderstorms! See below for more information and directions to the farm.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April Newsletter

April 2009

Springtime has us busy as any organic farmer in the Spring! We enjoyed the sweet weather this weekend and planted our first onions, shallots and leeks. Worked in the garlic and strawberry fields de-mulching to let the little plants say hello to the spring sunshine (and rain). Something, voles?, ate the first pea planting right up. We finished preparing first tomato greenhouse (the heirloom starts look succulent!). We're at the end of the majority of spring planting, and have started storing seeds for next year. Lots of the potatoes are in the ground already!

Some little leeks!

Some little kales!

The first nettles are coming up, which are one of Christy's favorite spring herbs to wildcraft and incorporate into springtime recipes. I also like to dry nettles and store them for later use in herbal teas. Saturday, April 25th: Spring Wildcrafting Walk. 3 pm
We'll talk about the Ethics of Wildcrafting, learn about the properties of Spring Herbs, identify and harvest nettles, cleavers, dandelion, burdock, and more. Learn about the nourishing and cleansing properties of these common herbs!

Please wear long pants, boots, long sleeves, and bring gloves. Supervised children welcome.

Directions to Echollective Farm 879 Echo Ave. Mechanicsville, IA:

Take the Dodge St (HWY 1) exit off I80 & turn Left / or go north on HWY 1 out of Iowa City.

About 4 miles North of Iowa City turn right onto Morse Rd.

Turn left (north) onto F28. (Actually, you were already on F28 starting atthe Cedar county line.)
F28 will bend to the right (east) and cross the Cedar River.

Take the 2nd left after the river onto Eureka, which is gravel. (The first left was Delta, immediately after the river.)

From Eureka, take the first right onto 200th Street.
From 200th Street, take the first left onto Echo Avenue. We are 1 mile up Echo Avenue, on the left with a blue trailer & a wind turbine, #879 Echo Avenue.

Friday, March 6, 2009

asparagus burn

Derek and Elias try to determine which direction the wind is blowing, before they get started. They determined it was blowing from the NE, so they lit the fire at the NE side of the asparagus field.
The grasses burned quickly, and the flames undulated like waves. "It was cool, and so intense," said Elias, 11, who also video taped so he could put it on YouTube.
"Burning the field adjusts the pH of the soil, and adds phosphorus to the soil, gets rid of insect larvae, and helps keep down weeds. It's perfect for asparagus," says Derek.
We finished about sundown, perfect timing!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Echollective Farm CSA
contact: echoCSA@gmail.com or Christy @ 515-201-5593
About our Farm: Echollective Farm is a farming enterprise on an intentional community located 25 minutes from Iowa City. A cluster of farmers, interns, and volunteers cultivate 14 acres with a wide array of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and hay; and steward 20 forested acres including a creek. We've been farming for 8 years at Echollective, always using organic and sustainable practices. You already know our produce from New Pi Co-op, Iowa City's finest restaurants, and of course the downtown Iowa City Farmer's Market. Now, we're adding a CSA!! Subscribe to receive a box of freshly picked and washed produce from our farm. We'll deliver the boxes to Iowa City for pick-up at the Iowa City Farmer's Market. In years of flood/drought, our shares may be smaller; in years of bounty our shares will be bigger.

What is Community Supported Agriculture? "CSA is a relationship of mutual support and commitment between local farmers and community members who pay the farmer an annual subscription fee. This helps to cover the production costs of the farm. In turn, members receive a weekly share of the harvest during the local growing season. The arrangement guarantees the farmer financial support and enables many small- to moderate-scale organic and/or bio-intensive family farms to remain in business. Ultimately, CSA programs create "agriculture-supported communities" where members receive a wide variety of foods harvested at their peak of freshness, ripeness, flavor, vitamin and mineral content. “ www.wilson.edu.csacenter.org

Pricing Family subscription (produce for a family of 3-5 for 20 weeks)= $600 Couples' subscription (produce for 2 for 20 weeks)= $375 We ask that you pay ½ the fee upon registration, and ½ at the beginning of the season. Pricing a problem? We also have a work-trade option. Ask for details!

Contact Information: For general farm questions, CSA membership contact Christy at: echoCSA@gmail.com 515-201-5593

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Pick-up Information Shares are delivered to the Iowa City Farmer's Market on Wednesday and Saturday for 20 weeks starting the end of May. An alternative pick up time may be possible, just contact us. In addition to the delicious, fresh picked vegetables; your box will include a newsletter with updates/stories from our farm, and seasonal recipes featuring our delicious produce. We select varieties of our vegetables based on their flavor, nutritional content, and uniqueness! Vegetables at supermarkets are selected for their uniformity and their ability to be shipped long distances. You'll taste the difference in our produce!
By supporting local farms, you help to support agriculture and sustainability in your own community.

Our CSA project is part of Echollective's broader mission to support and educate the public about: sustainably & locally produced food; renewable energy; and green building construction. We also conduct hands-on workshops; host internship programs; and harvest & market products that make our community healthier. Questions... comments??? We'd love to hear from you!!!